Why Your Ecommerce Site Should Be Using Universal Analytics

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Google Universal Analytics for Ecommerce

Universal Analytics is the most widely used web analytics tool for Ecommerce. It lets you view all the metrics that are relevant for your online store, including the total revenue, quantity, average price, number of transactions, and much, much more. The latest version also allows cross-platform tracking, collects data from any device, and includes new custom dimensions and customizable metrics.

In my blog entitled What is Conversion Rate Optimization, I talked about how CRO can help your business grow faster, improve your marketing ROI, and increase your overall profits.

However, before you can begin to understand how your visitors are interacting with your online store, or see how different versions of the same web page influence their behavior, or test the value of your pay per click ads, you need to build a foundation of relevant statistical information.

You can track the exact performance of your AdWords campaigns, and go beyond conversion tracking (which can't show you the exact revenue from a conversion or calculate the profit margin on products that were sold). You can also track Bing Ads campaigns, or Facebook and email marketing efforts, and the effectiveness of organic searches and display banners. You will be able to see exactly where your marketing dollars are returning the highest revenue.

Sounds like a tool that would be worth a king's ransom, right? But the good news is that Universal Analytics is free!

Here are just a few of the benefits of using Google's Universal Analytics for your Ecommerce store. You'll be able to:

  • See which traffic sources are the most profitable, breaking down the source to see if it's marketing SEO or from search, referral, campaign, or direct traffic.
  • Run CRO tests that show the differences in user interaction, as well as compare the differences monetarily between tests.
  • Understand more about your visitors, for example, whether they are return visitors or new visitors.
  • See the difference in revenue between one-word and four-word search terms.
  • Check when purchases are happening throughout the day so you can add on more support or send email marketing.
  • See which keywords, traffic sources, pages, etc., are not bringing in revenue.
  • Spot activities that are working so that you can see how well target keywords are performing, and then concentrate on those channels.

If you have a Magento Store, you can add the Universal Analytics extension for Magento, which now includes the Ecommerce tracking extension. This extension is compatible with older Google Analytics Script versions, and includes Funnel Tracking for Checkout and Cart. You can also integrate your Shopify website with Universal Analytics.

Universal Analytics is fairly easy to set up if you are starting from scratch, and Google offers tutorials and help documentation on their web site. If adding a little code makes you a little queasy, a developer can help you.

If you already have Google Analytics installed but aren't using Ecommerce tracking, a developer can set it up to work correctly with your existing code.

The process is a bit more complex if you are adding the free Magento plugin into your Magento Store. Once again, ask your developer to help you integrate it into your system.

Having detailed knowledge of what's going on with your online store is critical today, and something no store owner can afford to do without. You can bet that your competitors are watching their data and squeezing every last penny out of each transaction. To stay competitive, you need to be on top of every dollar, too.

Whether you are going to be a casual user, or want to drill down to the smallest detail of every conversion, learning to read your metrics and assessing their value is critical.

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About Author

Lynn Genske
Lynn Genske

Previously a writer for corporations such as IBM and Schneider Trucking. Lynn has been with us for seven years as a content specialist and a front-end developer

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