Cracking Google Analytics can often provide us the data we need to gain insights, solve problems, and make profitable changes to our digital marketing strategy. Most of us will be able to talk comfortably about key Analytics metrics such as sessions, bounce rate, pages, conversion rate and traffic sources to name only a few, but Anna Lewis from Polka Dot Data explained the importance of digging deeper into the data to understand the potential of Google Analytics for eCommerce accounts.
When asking clients, “What’s your business plan?” all will likely have a firm business objective and a set of KPIs readily to hand. However, when asking about the plan for their website, clients often won’t have anything quite so solid in place – usually only that they want it to look great and convert well, without considering many of the grey areas in between.
This, then, is where Google Analytics comes in. By moving beyond the obvious, surface level Analytics metrics and gaining much deeper insights into customers and their on-site behaviour, marketers can create digital strategies using detailed data insights that can make a real difference to eCommerce profitability.
Anna spoke in detail about the Enhanced eCommerce plugin for Analytics which, in Google’s own words, “enables the measurement of user interactions with products on eCommerce websites across the user’s shopping experience“.
Looking at different sections of customers’ shopping behaviour, including the number of sessions which lead to product views, product page views that cause users to add products to their shopping cart, add-to-carts that lead to checkout, and checkouts to transactions gives marketers unique insights into the way that their websites assist users through the conversion process.
Image Credit: EConsultancy
Using drop-off percentage rates between each stage, you can more easily establish which parts of your conversion funnel need more work. For example, if less than 50% of sessions are resulting in visits to product pages, paid social or search campaigns could be launched specifically with the intent to increase traffic to key product pages. Alternatively, if users are adding products to their shopping cart but then abandoning these before making a purchase, the checkout process on your site may need some investigation and simplification to make it more conversion-friendly.
Enhanced eCommerce also allows marketers to get even more granular by showing what users are actually up to throughout the checkout process. There’s a multitude of different stages between checkout and payment, and of course we know not everyone who starts filling in their details actually makes a purchase.
But where do customers drop off? What improvements might need to be made to the checkout functionality to encourage them to follow all the way through to transaction? Anna talked about the possibility of split testing different checkout layouts and form fields to assess which converts best for your business.
Image Credit: Analytics-Toolkit.com
Not only does Enhanced eCommerce allow much better visibility of on-site behaviour, it can also provide us with an insight into the performance of product categories, brands or even individual products. Anna discussed the impact of somewhat confusingly-named ‘Cart-to-Detail’ and ‘Buy-to-Detail’ rates – essentially the percentage of users who added products to their carts and then bought them.
Gaining an understanding of the differences between different items on site promises to be revolutionary to your eCommerce marketing strategy, and we could all use this data to decide where high-performing areas of the business could be pushed to be even more profitable, or where promotions may need introducing to boost less converting product lines.
Image Credit: EConsultancy
Best eCommerce Practices
To end her talk, Anna outlined a series of key takeaways for eCommerce Analytics:
- Plan what you’re going to be tracking and align it with your businesses KPIs
- Make sure you can trust your data by ensuring a high quality conversion tracking set-up
- Once you’ve obtained the data, learn how to use it to best possible success by focusing on a couple of KPIs that are already profitable for your business, but could be even more so
- Set KPIs and data benchmarks in your analysis, but don’t lose sight of the bigger Analytics picture overall
Find Anna’s full SearchLeeds slides online here.