Enhanced Ecommerce: Upgrade your Analytics

4 min read

If you haven’t upgraded your Google Analytics – you’re missing out

Enhanced Ecommerce is an exciting addition to the Google Analytics library that measures product interactions – such as views, clicks and add to carts, on top of tracking page views and transactions.

Basically, Enhanced Ecommerce provides a whole new set of actionable insights about your product listings and customer behaviour that allows you to make more informed decisions.

Measuring product impressions bridges a gap between acquisition data and transaction data. Enhanced Ecommerce helps you discover the “why” behind checkout abandonment and lagging conversion rates. Now you can see whether or not products were considered for purchase, whereas before you could only see if a product was sold or not.

This is especially useful when managing a large product catalogue. Finding out what products are selling well, which ones are underperforming and who is buying them is now much clearer.

New Metrics and Reports

Enhanced Ecommerce collects extra data beyond pageviews. Because of this there are a few new metrics in the reports – these are:

Product Detail Views – how many times product descriptions have been viewed
Products Added to cart – How often a product was added to cart
Cart-to-Detail ratio – the amount of times a product’s details were viewed against how often that  product was added to the cart
Buy-to-Detail ratio – how often a product’s details were viewed against the amount of times it was purchased.

To house these new metrics there are new reports that clarify merchandising and sales performance.

Traditional analytics has 5 reports, there are now 10 reports under the Ecommerce tab in Google Analytics.

Google have even gone as far as to make the analytics account for the Google merchandise store open to all. If you want to see some of the new features in action, brush up on your skills, or play around in a fully configured analytics account, you’ll definitely want to give it a shot.

Its possible to see Enhanced Ecommerce reports in action by visiting https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6367342?hl=en#access
And looking at the Google Test account data.

All new reports can be found under the Conversions >> Ecommerce tab.

With these metrics and reports it’s possible to find answers to questions like:

Which products are shoppers really interested in (Product Detail Views) that never get added to cart (Cart-to-Detail ratio)?

This can begin discussions about how to improve the presentation of underperforming products – do your competitors have you underpriced? Is the photography underwhelming? Are there product reviews?

Which products sell really well (Cart-to-Detail ratio) but rarely get a look-in (Product Detail Views)?

This can highlight opportunities to merchandise certain popular products elsewhere on-site and in external promotions.

Which products make it to the basket (Products Added) but never make it to full sale?

Is this because our competitors are offering something better? Are there conditions between add to cart and payment that are putting people off?

Other Features

While these are arguably the most useful features of Enhanced Ecommerce – it’s other features are not to be ignored.

Measuring Internal Promotions
You can see which internal banners are performing and which aren’t. This means the effectiveness of sliders and banners on the home and category pages can be measured. Before this was difficult, now it’s built-in.

Increased Segmentation abilities
The ability to segment the new reports allows you to quickly find any browsing or technology errors, as well as identify high-performing customer groups to market to. Being able to segment the checkout funnel for instance is invaluable.

One-click remarketing
You can create customer segments based on who left your site and at what stage – and from this create an advanced segment to target for remarketing.

Integration

If you haven’t upgraded to universal analytics (analytics.js) from the old ga.js library, the benefits of enhanced ecommerce should make you consider doing so. Enhanced Ecommerce is an addition to the universal analytics library, so you’ll need to do this before you can go any further.

Enhanced Ecommerce has developed a reputation for being difficult to properly implement. There are a few Magento plugins will do this however you’ll want to take a carefully planned approach involving lots of testing preferably on a staging environment before going live.

The other implementation option is to migrate to Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager is the recommended way to implement Enhanced Ecommerce. If you’re not already on Google Tag Manager, it will still require a developer and a carefully planned approach but it’s worth doing in the long run. Those serious about data collection and quality already have it in place – and it’s free!

To conclude – the benefits of Enhanced Ecommerce Google Analytics for online retailers are huge. If you’re still using Classic Analytics (ga.js), or if you haven’t implemented Google Tag Manager, you’re going to need to get your developer to work it out. Don’t worry though, the cost and effort will be recuperated by the better business decisions that Enhanced Ecommerce allows you to make.

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy |