Working in eCommerce, you’ve probably heard all the praise and compliments for Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking. If you haven’t tried it since its release a few years ago, you’re right to be suspicious… but in this case, the reputation is deserved.
Just ask Brian Gavin Diamonds, a Texan jewelry retailer who reduced their cart abandonment rate by 60% by taking advantage of Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking. We’ll go into details below, but for now we mention them as hard evidence that it works.
While the ordinary Google Analytics provides a ton of general website usage insights, the enhanced eCommerce tracking lives up to its name with extraordinary additions for online retailers. Enhanced eCommerce tracking tracks the shopper’s entire user journey, compiling data on their arrival, browsing, and eventual conversion or departure — not to mention the sites that sent them.
The massive amount of extra data available in Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking is extremely useful for building an online retail business… but at times it can be a bit overwhelming. Perhaps this is what’s kept your eCommerce brand from using it in the past, or perhaps you do use it, but are confused about its true potential.
In either case, we’re here to help. We’ll do a deep dive on implementing Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking for your online store, and show you how to practically apply the insights you gain towards boosting your business. Soon enough you’ll be able to turn those numbers on the stats page into numbers in your bank account.
Let’s get started by discussing what Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking can really do…
8 Most Useful Types of Stats from Google Analytics Enhanced eCommerce Tracking
Like we said, these statistics really are a gold mine — as long as you know where to dig. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of numbers, so here are the 8 most useful types of facts and figures you can pull from the reports.
1. Customer Data from Start to Finish. Monitoring your customer’s journey quantitatively can be a huge boost to your site’s UX, revealing what works and what doesn’t. These statistics can pinpoint where you’re losing customers, or which areas of your online store need redesigning… Not to mention how to redesign them.
2. Sales Performance Statistics. In addition to more specialized statistics, Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking also offers a suite of more standardized sales statistics. This includes data like average order values (which can be which can narrowed down by type), the average number of items per order, and top selling products and categories.
3. Fine Details on Referrals. It’s not enough to know where your shoppers are coming from, or even how many are coming from each source. Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking shows you how much shoppers from each source spend. You can manage the minute data for affiliate trafficking. This includes each referral site’s average time-on-site, total revenue, and even average order value.
4. Cart Abandonment Causes. This is where Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking really shines. By analyzing every aspect of the shopper’s experience, you can learn how and why customers abandon their cart. You can even see which products are abandoned most. This can shed light into their pricing and perceived value, or inspire more aggressive promotions.
5. Coupon Reports. If you’re not careful, coupon promotions can backfire. The product coupon reports here disclose profit revenue per order, so you know exactly how much to discount.
6. Refund and Returns. Hone in on which products — or type of customer — are most problematic. These statistics not only let you anticipate how to to plan your customer service and return policies, but they also help you predict future profits more accurately by factoring in refunds.
7. Individual Product Performances in Featured Sections. With Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking, you can conduct your own sort of A/B testing. The reports show which products perform best in featured areas, such as landing pages, recommendations, banner ads, etc. Factor these into your overall strategy to help failing products or further promote your best-sellers.
8. Content Strategy Results. The eCommerce industry is a lot more than just selling products online. Your online presence, guided by your content marketing strategy, will determine whether or not shoppers follow through on a sale, or learn about your store at all. Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking adds substance to an otherwise abstract field, so you can construct the most effective content strategy for whatever your needs are.
And that’s what the plugin can offer you. Now, let’s talk about how this data applies to the world of online business.
How the Stats Directly Apply to Your Business
Getting a hold of statistics and applying them to business are two completely different skills. Setting up Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking on your site alone will not change your bottom line, even if you memorize the report data by heart. Like learning a new language, you must figure out the meaning behind the numbers, and use what they tell you to modify your strategy.
We’ll show you, in concrete terms, how to apply these statistics for practical use. In addition to an article on properly setting up enhanced eCommerce tracking, we’ll also be publishing in depth articles on:
Tracking Cart Abandonment. Cart abandonment is probably enemy number one for eCommerce, a far more elusive culprit than bouncers or window shoppers. Because Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking accounts for both the point in time when the shopper abandons, as well as the products involved.
For example, if your customers usually abandon during checkout, it may have something to do with your shipping or payment policies. If they mostly abandon while browsing, it might have to do with your pricing or the perceived value of the product.
Just as likely, the customer may be using the shopping cart just to calculate the total price, or as a makeshift “wishlist,” with the intention of returning later to fulfill the purchase –these are the second and third biggest reasons for cart abandonment, according to a Business Insider report. In these cases, check the rates of return… maybe you need to add a price calculator widget or a better wishlist feature.
SWOT Analysis Based on Behavioral Data. By revealing the numbers behind your customer’s average journey on your site, Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking gives you everything you need for a proper SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) Analysis.
And when you learn to recognize the statistics behind your shoppers’ behaviors, patterns begin to emerge. You can use these patterns to redesign your site to better fit your target customers. This might be playing up your strengths, minimizing weaknesses, taking new opportunities, or eliminating threats before they start.
Content Strategy. The data can do wonders for your content strategy in two main areas: optimizing the content posted on your own site, and tailoring your content marketing on external sites like social media.
First, the stats show how successful your own on-site content, like your blog, performs. We’ll talk about the three most important metrics for understanding your shoppers — views, time on site, and exit rate — and how these add up to how what your customers want to read about, and which content converts best.
Second, you can see which social media platforms and affiliate sites are worth investing in by the number — and quality — of referrals they give. For instance, you may notice a high number of Facebook referrals compared to Instagram. However, the fewer Instagram referrals may still generate higher total revenues than Facebook. This could lead your to invest more time in Instagram, or audit your Facebook strategy.
Both internally and externally, you can measure which content suits your goals and what kind of people prefer which content. These figures also show you how successful your SEO efforts are by way of organic traffic results. You may need to include new keywords in your content if those numbers are lagging.
Custom Alerts. While part of the original Google Analytics available for eCommerce, the Custom Alerts feature is just as worthwhile as the other benefits of Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking. This piece discusses the 6 most useful custom alerts available in Analytics’s “intelligence events”:
- spike in traffic
- sudden drop in traffic
- drop in engagement
- spike in revenue
- drop in conversion rate
- spike in bounce rate
Setting these customized notifications makes the analytics process a lot smoother, since need-to-know information finds you instead of the other way around. We explain the best parameters for each custom alert and what they mean.
Case Study: Brian Gavin Diamonds
According to this report by Google Analytics, the Texas-based jewelers Brian Gavin Diamonds reduced their cart abandonment rate by 60%. As a brand where 95% of their business comes from their eCommerce site, those numbers were a huge game changer for the company.
Source: Brian Gavin Diamonds
The enhanced eCommerce analytics data has helped the company stay laser focused on the customer. The data represents customer behavior, and it’s used to determine the best pricing, shipping policies, return policies, and site design, based on your actual customers’ preferences.
For example, when Brian Gavin noticed a newer line of their diamonds, the Advanced Collection, garnered a 6% increase in sales, they deduced their customers enjoyed the style and set out on later launching a similar new line. Analytics statistics aren’t just report cards; they’re cues about what people want to inform future business decisions.Analytics statistics aren't just report cards; they're cues about what people want to inform future business decisions. Click To Tweet
So, with the customer in mind, Brian Gavin Diamonds set up to redesign their entire site in a way to make the shopper feel at ease.
In just a single month of using Google Enhanced eCommerce Tracking, the jewelry retailer collected the information they needed for the redesign. Chief among their findings was the staggering $500,000 they lost to cart abandonment.
Brian Gavin made the necessary changes to the site, based on the findings from the Analytics data:
- They reorganized the featured items to showcase the ones the data showed to be most popular. This increased engagement by giving the customer what they, statistically, wanted.
- In addition, they removed one of their Live Chat options because it was only providing 20% of the Live Chat revenue, compared to the respective 40% from the other two Live Chat options. This freed up valuable screen space for more important elements.
- After noticing a disparity between the pages popular on the site and on social media, the company reorganized their navigation system
- The most effective change was the inclusion of guest checkout, one of our 9 Best Practices to Optimize Checkout Design.
In the end, the revisions were a success. The company overcame its greatest obstacle: a high cart abandonment rate. And as a bonus, customers enjoyed the new site design hand-tailored to their preferences.
Want to see Google’s Enhanced eCommerce tracking in action? Check out this demo, set up by Google. It will run you through the basics to better understand how Enhanced eCommerce tracking works and what it takes to implement it for your website.
Do you have any questions or concerns about Google’s Enhanced eCommerce tracking? Is there anything you want us to cover? What are your personal experiences using it? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section now.