Google Analytics Workshop: 5 Crucial Customizations To Boost Your E-Commerce Sales

If you're not using Google Analytics to its full potential to manage your online business, you might be missing out on a whole world of data potential.

An e-commerce site is an excellent way of generating revenue with minimum physical effort—but that doesn’t mean it can thrive on its own. Tools like Google Analytics are key for your e-commerce site's survival. Access to data and the ability to analyze it are the foundation on which successful online stores are built.

Study of web analytics reports from Google Analytics can help you get useful insights into important factors like campaigns that are actually working, pages that are getting lots of attention, and products that get little response from customers.

However, in order to get all kinds of extensive metrics regarding your store, you will need to customize certain core areas of Google Analytics. Doing so will help you boost your sales, and it will also aid in increasing your site's overall value for customers.

Get ready to make the most of your e-commerce site with these five crucial customizations in Google Analytics:

1. Custom Reports

You already get a few default reports from Google Analytics in your account—you can find these on the left-hand column. Mostly, they offer stats on top landing pages and traffic sources. But, if you want to get more detailed reports, you need to use Custom Reports. You can find Custom Reports on the top navigation menu.

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Here, select the "Create a Custom Report" option. When you select it, you’ll get additional options like "Metric Groups" and "Dimension Drill-Downs." Metric Groups can give you the numbers for average visit duration, e-commerce conversion rate, and pages/visit. Dimension Drill-Downs on the other hand can track figures from source/medium and keyword. This will help you to get accurate figures that are pretty helpful when you’re running SEO and PPC campaigns.

2. Customization in Advanced Segments

Advanced Segments is a must-use for e-commerce merchants. Google Analytics does provide you stats on traffic, but those stats are all clumped together. You won’t be able to know which sources are actually bringing more clicks and which ones need more attention. But with Advanced Segments, isolating specific data and analyzing useful traffic sources becomes easy.

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You can customize this feature in two ways:

1. Segment by Traffic Channel

Segmenting reports by traffic channel will enable you to assess traffic generation via different sources. You can get exact numbers from the Traffic Sources option. Ranging from emails to organic searches, it will give you figures from all sources that you’re using to get customers. Further, these figures will help you analyze your marketing campaigns.

For example, if find out that your social media campaign is bringing great results for you, then you should look forward to expanding this channel. But if it is performing poorly, then a great deal of attention should be given here.

2. Segment by Day of Week

This feature to segment reports by day of the week is highly beneficial for e-commerce merchants. You can you set up custom reports by days of weeks, see the number of visits, e-commerce conversion rates, and revenue generated each day.

So, if you see Sunday getting maximum number of conversions, then it’s an indication that Sunday is a good time to display special offers and discounts. The gathered data from report segmentation can come in handy to amplify sales and success of your site.

3. Funnels

Funnels help online merchants check performance of an entire process via URLs. For example suppose you want to know how satisfied your customers are with your site’s shopping process. For this, you can create a funnel that starts with Add to Shopping Cart and ends at Payment Successful page. Through funnel segmentation, you can find out performance of each and every single step.

You’ll be able to figure out the number of people leaving your site at each stage. For viewing the completion percentage of every step of a funnel, go to Conversions > Goal Flow Reports. Here, select Medium in the dimension drop down. This will enable you to check performance of every step via traffic channel.

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Though you can find several funnel segmentation ideas, here are some useful ones for your e-commerce sites:

  • Add-to-Cart conversions:

    Setting this up in Google Analytics as a funnel can aid in tracking campaign response as well as conversions. You’ll be able to know which products are added to shopping carts.

  • Track Repeat Buyers:

    Setting up this funnel in Google Analytics will help in identifying shopping behavior of your valuable set of customers by monitoring conversion rates and their average order values. You can set up same metrics for first time buyers and then compare these two reports. The comparison will help you identify shopping trends, and you will be able to make improvements accordingly.

  • Location of add-to-cart:

    Experienced online merchants know that the homepage is not the only source for adding products to carts. Recommendations in specific product pages or promotion pages also motivate your customers to add products in their shopping carts. Knowing those specific locations and how customers use them is worth knowing as it will help you to design better promotional pages.

4. Goal Conversions

If you’re not measuring goal conversions, then you are missing out on measuring success of your site. Thanks to Google Analytics, with a little customization, you can measure the performance of well-defined Goals. However, in order to do so, you first need to define actions for which you would like to track conversions.

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Listed below are the four types of goals that can be tracked in Google Analytics:

  1. URL Destination:

    Goal conversions are recorded for specific URLs like Payment Successful page or Shopping Cart page.

  2. Pages Per Visit:

    This goal records the number of pages that a visitor views in a single visit, for example, two or four pages in one single visit.

  3. Visit Duration:

    This goal records visitors who linger on specific pages for a certain time period, like 120 seconds (2 minutes).

  4. Event:

    This Goal is recorded only when specific events occur—for example, when a visitor clicks the email subscription button or feedback button. However, implementation of this goal needs some technical skills. So, it is better to get thoroughly acquainted with Google Analytics before tampering with this feature.

5. E-Commerce Tracking for Mobile Apps

In the smartphone era, an online merchant simply can’t ignore the potential of mobile commerce, or m-commerce. If you have supplied your customers with a mobile app, then you should use Google Analytics Android SDK or Google Analytics iOS SDK to track transaction data. However, you won’t need SDKs for mobile web pages because the Google Analytics tracking code works just the same for desktop as well as smartphone browsers.

You can obtain useful, extensive metrics from Google Analytics. A study of the different figures can help you tweak your store, improve your process, and eventually increase your return of investment from your e-commerce site.

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For this, you will need proper configuration of the above mentioned features. In addition, you’ll also need to monitor reports thoroughly after setup—the benefits will trickle down, but only with time. So, the sooner you start with customization, the faster you’ll reap the rewards.

Kinjal Adeshara has been helping e-commerce website owners improve efficiency of their websites and boost sales for the last 5 years. Currently, she is working with Cygnet Infotech, an ISO Certified company providing end-to-end ecommerce solutions to businesses worldwide. You can connect with Kinjal on Google+.

[Image: Flickr user KamrenB Photography]

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