May, 21st 2017 | 5 min read

e-commerce tracking 

Introduction - eCommerce tracking

Online selling space is continuously changing as it's getting more crowded by the day. Every once in awhile, new technologies, services, and strategies gain traction and become the guidelines for many.

E-sellers are perhaps the one group that is impacted the most by these persistent evolutions. In order for their online businesses to survive and prosper, they need to be able to make better decisions faster, which is where e-commerce tracking steps into play. 

E-commerce tracking allows online store owners to measure the number of transactions and revenue that their websites generate. That way, you know which landing pages or campaigns are successful (driving sale) and which are not so much. However, before you start with your ecommerce tracking venture and boldly go where many have gone before, you need Google Analytics. Google Analytics (GA) is a free online tool which is used by millions of websites across the globe. This post will highlight all the benefits of GA and what it can do to improve your sales.

Requirements

So, you want to track your ecommerce sales data for your WooCommerce store, for instance.

First, you’ll need to install Google Analytics on your website. Then, if you want your Analytics reports to display ecommerce data, you need to: 

  • Enable Ecommerce for each view in which you want to see data.
  • Add tracking code to your site or app to collect the ecommerce data and send it to Analytics.

To complete the latter task, you need to possess basic HTML editing knowledge, as well as coding in JavaScript. Chances are, you are no hacker and lack such proficiency so you might want to ask for help from an experienced web developer or just follow what Google says. 

Now that you have set up everything, here’s how you leverage ecommerce tracking to your benefit. 

Identify revenue drivers

One of the most helpful things about linking your ecommerce tracking to your GA account is the ability to see a number of statistics. Most notably, the ones that identify the revenue generated by specific products or services. Knowing how one product or service is performing as opposed to your other offerings can be extremely valuable. These comparisons will help you recognize exact revenue drivers to further build your strategy around, as well as see if there are goods that can be improved or dropped altogether. Seriously - who can say no to this kind of data?

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 Improve marketing 

Loads of available statistics means you can cover almost any imaginable aspect of online selling. Naturally, that includes marketing as well. In this case, you can easily identify which of your offerings sell from organic traffic as opposed to which sell from paid marketing. This also includes the types of marketing campaigns you used, ie. Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and so on. The end results can help you come up with better and more focused campaigns that target the customers that are most valuable to your business.

e-commerce tracking

An example of ecommerce tracking analytics

Source: Shop Plugins

Improve SEO

In terms of SEO improvements, ecommerce tracking help in a way that you can see which of your landing pages generate the most revenue. From there on, you can use the insights to further improve their visibility to increase the revenue even more. In addition, you can gauge the performance of target keywords, as well as see if there are keywords that do not fall under the targeted category, but are performing equally well or even better and what keywords could benefit from additional optimisation (for instance, the difference in revenue between a single word and multiple words search terms). 

Customer segmentation


Deep analytical skills of ecommerce tracking also have the ability to segment your customers on different levels. Customer segmentation is important as it relies on identifying key differentiators that divide customers into targetable groups. By targeting specific groups of customers, customer segmentation allows for the effective distribution of marketing resources and the maximization of selling opportunities. For example, you can segment customers by user type and pinpoint how valuable your returning visitors are, how much you could profit from remarketing to them and so on. Or, you could segment them by the periods of purchase and see in which hours of the day most purchases happen. By doing so, you can easily spot the trends when your customers like going shopping and put more support on or intensify your email marketing. Maybe they prefer to access your store through mobile devices rather than web. By our account, there are 545 thousand ways to segment your customers within Google Analytics and each has its own merits. 

Attain value to non-ecommerce items

Finally, ecommerce tracking also helps with items that have no ecommerce (numeric) value. These can be any parts of your online store, like a pdf/Powerpoint presentation or blog that act as a waystation during your customer’s buying cycle. This provides a valuable insight into customers that visit your organic pages and as a direct result, spend more. That way, you get higher numeric value for your SEO pages. The same goes for keywords and various traffic sources. If they are not bringing any revenue, they either need optimization or they need to be removed. Attributing different content to the revenue stream helps measure the revenue power of those pages - the non-ecommerce items.


Conclusion

Setting up ecommerce tracking is something you want to divide your close attention to. Because of its nature, ecommerce tracking can be a complex subject for online store owners to understand and implement. However, it can be more rewarding as you can make out so much of the available data if you work out what they mean. That way, your site has proper ecommerce tracking on both non-ecommerce and ecommerce items. Acting on those insights, you can strategize and plan what actions will benefit your business the most. By knowing where your money comes from you can decide where best to invest and grow your business strategically.

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