Measure eCommerce Performance in Google Analytics

In my previous post, I shared instructions on setting up Google Analytics Profile for General use on your website. This includes tracking Demograhics data, user behavior , traffic sources, goal conversion (non-ecommerce) & other content related data on the website. Now, if your website supports eCommerce transactions, just content tracking is not enough. Google has tools built into analytics to track eCommerce on your site to a very granular level. If you learn how to read and analyze this data you are in a good place to leverage the reports to optimize your eCommerce transactions and offer better user experience.?

  • If you are running multiple campaigns to drive traffic to your website, you want to keep track of which campaign is bringing traffic to your website and which campaign is yielding more conversion which in turn converts into completed eCommerce transaction/sale. Performance Measurement is a critical step in your marketing campaign.?Google Analytics gives you all the tools to help you with this Campaign Tracking that is critical for your business.
  • Once a potential customer enters the website, you want to track the path that they follow for various goal conversions, such as newsletter signup, form submission, or enter the sales funnel by entering the store and adding items to the shopping cart, completing payment/shipping details and the checkout process. Google Analytics allows you to track goal conversion effectively.
  • Once the data is collected, you can generate various reports bi-weekly or monthly depending on the traffic volume, to analyse the performance. These reports allow you to look at various metrics such sales, average size of the sale, ROI, sales by repeat customers, time taken before the purchase, average number of visits to the site before a purchase is made, etc. Understanding these numbers and using them effectively to optimize the campaigns or content on the site, is a critical step towards the success of your online store.

Setting up eCommerce Tracking in Analytics

Before setting up eCommerce Tracking for your site it is important to put-together a plan on what you want to track on your site, for reporting and business purposes. This plan is going to make your life lot easier in setting up tracking.

For example,

  • if you are running SEO, PPC, Mobile, & Social Media Marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your website, you want to track the traffic from all these channels
  • once the visitor lands on your site from any of these channels, you want to track how they follow the sales funnel. Adding to shopping cart, continue shopping, registration if first time users, checkout & confirmation
  • you also want to track their behaviour during buying process, such as sharing items they like with their friends on social media, adding items their wish list if they are not ready to buy yet, signing up for offers, coupons, watching product videos, etc.
  • when the transaction is complete, you want to track the sales data by generating reports for various metrics

Now you are ready to setup tracking on analytics. Follow the steps below:

  1. Login to your analytics profiles. Navigate to Admin area->View Settings for your Profile.

GA eCommerce - Step 1


2. Locate the one or more Receipt page(s) ?you have on the website for completed transactions & install GA tracking code on them. You will not be able to track transactions without this code on receipt page(s)

3. There are 3 Google API methods you need to invoke to track eCommerce transactions on your site:

    1. _addTrans(); Create & initialize a Transaction Object.?The transaction object stores all the related information about a single transaction, such as the transaction ID, shipping charges, and billing address. Here is an example:

‘6890’, // transaction ID – required
‘Kids Shoes’, // affiliation or store name
‘15.99’, // total – required; Shown as “Revenue” in the
// Transactions report. Does not include Tax and Shipping.
‘1.32’, // tax
‘10.00’, // shipping
‘Plano’, // city
‘Texas’, // state or province
‘USA’ // country

2. __addItem(); Add items to the Transaction. This?method tracks information about each individual item in the user’s shopping cart and associates the item with each transaction. This method tracks the details about a particular item, such as SKU, price, category, and quantity. For every SKU in the shopping cart for a transaction, you invoke this method.

‘6890’, // transaction ID – necessary to associate item with transaction
‘KIDS123’, // SKU/code – required
‘SPERRY’, // product name – necessary to associate revenue with product
‘BEIGE SMALL’, // category or variation
‘15.99’, // unit price – required
‘1’ // quantity – required

3. _trackTrans(); Submit Transaction to Analytics Servers. This?method confirms that a purchase has occurred, and all data that has been built up in the transaction object is finalized as a transaction.


The sequence of methods to invoke to track a transaction:

_gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-XXXXX-X’]);

If you have any questions on setting up eCommerce tracking in GA for your website, contact us via our Digital Marketing Resources Website.