How To Set Up Ecommerce Tracking For Your Site

Posted by | March 07, 2014 | Blog | No Comments

If you run an ecommerce website, it makes sense that you’ll want to see exactly how your business revenue is generated. Where are most customers coming from? How many of your visitors are buying? What kind of return are you getting from your campaigns? Transaction data is crucial for understanding the behaviour of visitors to a site and allowing for analysis of a business’s performance. The good news is that with a bit of setup you can get your hands on all of this invaluable data and we’re going to show you how.

As well as organic transactions, ecommerce tracking also provides an insight into conversions from Adwords campaigns, email marketing, social platforms and display banners on your site. Having an overview of all metrics in one place allows you to review the performance of each source and make crucial decisions about your business.

Ecommerce data can also reveal insights that you may not have noticed. For example, the source that usually generates the most visits for the site doesn’t necessarily always generate the highest revenue.

Source 3 (below) has received 203 visits and generated around £15,000 in revenue, whereas Source 4 has had 5,441 visits and only resulting in around £5,000 revenue. The data therefore, displays areas where you could be using your budget more wisely and highlights more valuable traffic sources for you to invest in.

Ecommerce data example

Ecommerce data example

So, how does it work?

Ecommerce tracking extracts data from the website server whilst the site is preparing a receipt page for a customer. This data is then sent to Google Analytics to report back.

The great thing about this tracking tool is that, whereas standard GA ‘goal tracking’ will only track a single conversion per visit (regardless of the amount of times one visitor has converted), Ecommerce tracking will record multiple transactions if the user makes more than one purchase in one single visit.

How easy is it to set up?

The first step is incredibly easy and simply involves enabling the ecommerce reports in Google Analytics. Here’s a step by step guide on how to do this:

1. Go to your Google Analytics
2. Click on the “View settings” button (beneath your domain on the right)
3. Scroll down to “Ecommerce Settings” and change the slide button to “On”
4. Click “Save” at the bottom
5. This is a good time to also ensure that there is GA tracking set up correctly on the receipt/thank you page of your website

Check out a screen shot of how it should look below:

Ecommerce tracking settings

Ecommerce tracking settings


Next, you’ll need to connect the ecommerce part of your website to your GA account (this can be a bit trickier for those who are less tech savvy). If you are using Universal Analytics, try carrying out the steps below:

Add the following code to your site on your ‘receipt’/’thank you’ page after the main GA page tag. Please note that the only fields required are; order ID, unit price and quantity.

< script type=”text/javascript” >
“order-id”, // required
“affiliate or store name”,
“order-id”, // required
“product name”,
“product category”,
“unit price”, // required
“quantity” //required
< /script >

There are three distinct parts to the Javascript; the _addTrans () which stores information regarding the transaction, the _addItem() for adding an item to the transaction and the _trackTrans() for sending data to Google Analytics.

If you need more help with this, please refer to Google’s help page here for detailed instructions.

How is ecommerce conversion rate calculated?

The conversion rate is calculated as:

(ecommerce transactions / total visits)*100

Transactions are the amount of purchases that have been made on your site.

Can I pull reports for this data?

Yes. Google Analytics allows for standard ecommerce reports in PDF, TSV and more, as well as custom reports to highlight more specific data. Tailored reports allow you to make further use of your data and report to your employees/colleagues.

Nearly every report available in GA can also be created to display ecommerce information so that you can clearly view how your site is making money and how to grow your business.

That’s it, you’re done! Once you have set up the code on your site, you can sit back, relax and start watching your ecommerce data roll in.

About Laura Waite

As a child Laura always wanted to be a dancer but when she started a media course alongside dance at college, she discovered a new found interest for digital media. Near the end of her college days, Laura started making jewellery in her spare time and decided to make a website to sell it. It was then that Laura was introduced to the basics of SEO. Fast forward a few years and Laura has landed at Leadspring as SEO manager. When she's not at work you’ll find Laura dancing away at Zumba classes, enjoying cream teas in quirky cafes around Brighton and planning her next world travelling adventures.

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