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Category: Digital Analytics

Google Analytics Focuses on Shopping & Merchandising Analysis

May 30, 2014

Enhanced Ecommerce Reports Empower Ecommerce Retailers

If you haven’t yet heard, Google announced a new suite of Universal Analytics ecommerce reporting capabilities all focused around gaining a deeper understanding of eCommerce shopping behavior and merchandising. Blast Analytics & Marketing had the opportunity to work with a large ecommerce retailer to put into place these new features during Google’s confidential beta release period.

Given the breadth of all the ecommerce features and reports, I felt it would be best to create several blog posts, each covering a different aspect of the new Ecommerce reports and features. In this first of four parts on the Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce series I’ll focus on the Ecommerce Overview report. Stay tuned, as I will soon cover the new reports for shopping behavior, checkout behavior, and product performance.

The Ecommerce Overview Report (Part 1 of 4)

Like other Overview reports, Google Analytics has provided a significant amount of summary level information at a glance.

New Google Analytics Ecommerce Overview Report
The ecommerce overview report opens up with the default graph showing both revenues and conversion rates together on the same chart. Nice! This chart plots using dollars for the left axis, percentages for the right.

Next up, is a much better arrangement of the ecommerce KPIs (i.e. key financials) for the reporting period. I like the way revenues are pushed left and presented first, followed by the other key performance numbers. Also, now shown is an average quantity (products per transaction) instead of unique purchases and quantity.

New KPI Summary in Google Analytics Ecommerce Overview Report

For comparison, here’s the older ecommerce KPI format.

Old KPI Summary in Google Analytics Ecommerce Overview Report

Hold On, What’s This?

Directly following the key financials is now a NEW summary section that might interest product and marketing managers.

Marketing Summary in Google Analytics Ecommerce Reports

Let’s take a closer look. First, I see right away the label “Campaigns,” and to my clicking pleasure, it’s a quick link to the Acquisition Campaigns report showing performance by campaign.

Ecommerce Reports By Campaign in Google Analytics

The report layout here is ABC (Acquisition, Behavior, Conversion) focused. Note that there’s a drop-down in the “Conversions” section where I can switch quickly to select a specific ecommerce goal.

Conversion Goal Selection in Google Analytics Ecommerce Reports

I digressed, but all with good intention. Now back to the Ecommerce Overview Report. I have to try to click “Internal Promotion” and… yep, it too is a link. I’m already in love with this new screen. I clicked the link and now see a new report showing me internal CTA performance with views, clicks, and click-thru rates. I am getting the impression (no pun intended) that the terminology for ecommerce analysis is very AdWords-like — and I like it.

Internal Promotion Ecommerce Reports in Google Analytics

Next up is “Order Coupon Code.” Again a link, and this time I click it to see a summary of all the coupons used. Be aware that sales without the use of a coupon are shown as “(not set).” I love it.

Order Coupon Code Ecommerce Reports in Google Analytics

Last of the new section’s links is “Affiliation.” Following the link I see a fantastic ecommerce report of sales by affiliate. I guess I no longer need to build a custom affiliate performance report when this extremely useful report is available within one click. I’m sold.

Affiliate Ecommerce Reports in Google Analytics

Finally, the new Ecommerce Overview report now shows, (like the original Ecommerce Overview report), the top revenue producing sources. There are a few changes noted here as again, the focus is on revenues shown up front versus quantities, and the available revenue sources has changed from “product, SKU, Category, Source/Medium,” to “Product, Category, Brand.”

Top Revenue Sources Ecommerce Report in Google Analytics

What’s Next?

I am really enjoying the new changes, as Google has made a massive investment and clear commitment to support the needs of ecommerce retailers. In my next blog post I will dig into the new Shopping Analysis section, which includes reports covering shopping behavior and checkout behavior. Honestly, these robust reports demand deep dive blog posts. As a teaser, here’s a screenshot of the report that I will be taking a deeper look into.

Shopping Behavior Analysis Ecommerce Report in Google Analytics

For those of you who’ve previously been hesitant about Google’s commitment to more in-depth ecommerce reporting, you are about to have a serious increase in new reporting data to crunch and optimize your ecommerce funnel.

Enhanced Ecommerce Setup

Keep in mind, that in order to acquire much of this valuable, new ecommerce data within Google Analytics, you will need to do the following:

  1. Review your site flow to identify key elements in your shopping funnel (e.g. category views, product detail views, add to cart actions, checkout, transactions)
  2. Implement Universal Analytics
  3. Use ec.js plugin to tag your site
  4. Turn on Enhanced Ecommerce for each ‘View’

Plus, you can go further and get more value within Google Analytics by:

If you need help implementing these Google Analytics tracking code changes, and/or understanding these new ecommerce reports, we’re available to help.

Stay tuned for the second post in this Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce series, on Shopping Behavior Analysis (Part 2 of 4).

Paul Lear
About the Author

Paul is a Senior Analytics Consultant and Data Scientist at Blast. He has spent 20+ years venturing into the depths of software development, designing and implementing analytic solutions to automate business processes within all sizes of financial services institutions. Paul's experience spans software development, Business Intelligence design, eCommerce, database design, predictive modeling, and adaptive decision systems.

Connect with Paul on LinkedIn. Paul Lear has written on the Blast Digital Customer Experience and Analytics Blog.