Know Your Sales Numbers: Google Analytics eCommerce ReportsTsvik
Know Your Sales Numbers: Google Analytics eCommerce Reports
In the past year I started getting emails from a lot of online vendors asking me why they can’t see their sales reports in their Google Analytics account. Maybe it’s the general expansion in this industry – more and more businesses are start selling their goods and advertise online and want to understand how to make the most of this media.
Frequently, I get questions like:
“Why can’t I see my sales in my analytics report?”
“How can I know where my online sales came from?”
“Why is my site not selling?”
All these led me to this base question:
“How can I spot problems and opportunities on my site that impact my sales?”
The answer is pretty simple you must set up E-Commerce reports!
There is no built-in sales tracking within the basic Google Analytics platform. If you wish to see that information you need to add designated reports called “E-commerce Reports.” (There is also an option for advanced E-commerce reports, but that’s for another post). Below is a short explanation, addressing my client’s questions and teaching you how to set up your E-commerce Reports in Google Analytics.
How to Set Up E-Commerce Reports
The basic E-commerce reports are based on a piece of code placed on ALL sale pages, product pages and generally in the entire website. This code will deliver the relevant information to your Google Analytics account and will later on display it within the E-commerce reports.
On top of the code implementation, you will also need to change some settings in your analytics account, and, well, check the reports from time to time.
The good news are that if you’re working with the known E-commerce platforms (Shopify, BigEcommerce, etc.) you can implement this code easily using the self-implementation manuals available in the support section for these platforms. (It will take some work though.)
The not-so-good-news is that if you are working on a less familiar platform, or had your site built a specially for you, you might have to implement the code manually in each and every page and send the data to Google Analytics in a longer, more complicated, fashion. Plus, you’d have to run extensive checks to see that all the data is in fact going through.
What’s clear to me is the need for these reports. Since you took the time to build your website, and probably invested money in building and designing it, it’s important to have these reports implemented from the minute you finish building it. Don’t spend money on marketing and social efforts and only after start asking yourself – What worked? Why can’t I tell which one of my efforts payed off? The answer to these questions would be simple but you didn’t use the right tool to get this knowledge!
I tell all my clients this: Keep track on your site’s reports no matter what industry you’re in! But when it comes to online sales – this goes far beyond a recommendation – It’s a must.
This easy step would allow you to make sure that you’re aware of any problem your user is encountering during the sales process. This smart use of data could revel technical problems or design problems on one of the pages, and would show you which product was sold using which marketing channel. This data is important since it would allow you to focus your marketing strategies on something you know for sure works! (Cutting out all the non-profiting channels, saving time and money.)