Analytics

Which Products Are Performing Best on My Ecommerce Website?

Photo of Justin Givens Justin Givens - November 5, 2017

woman-shopping-on-ecommerce-website-from-phone.jpgSuccessful online business depends on smart marketing, and that depends on knowing which products are performing well on your site and which aren’t. With both standard and enhanced ecommerce tracking options, Google Analytics (GA) has all the tools you need for collecting detailed data on the performance of every product you sell – and on the behavior of visitors at every stage of the purchasing process.

What Is Google Analytics?

Backed by search engine giant Google, Google Analytics is the Internet’s most widely utilized tool for detailed web analytics. Google Analytics offers both free and premium options for tracking visitors’ behavior on any page of your site. This kind of detailed data allows you to modify marketing and production efforts to target best-performing products, identify areas needing improvement and create new campaigns for highly specific user demographics. And for ecommerce sites and online stores of all kinds, GA’s Ecommerce and Enhanced Ecommerce tracking tools provide even more insights on visitor and buyer behaviors.

Getting started with Google Analytics requires a general Google account. With that account, you can create a free Google Analytics account. Analytics can be used with any content management system through a snippet of code that can be pasted directly into your site’s header files.

Why Enable Ecommerce Tracking On Your Site?

Google Analytics can provide a wealth of information about the number of website visitors and their behavior when they’re on your site, such as bounce rate and page views. But GA's Ecommerce tracking tools offer specific data on every aspect of your product’s performance and the behavior of visitors who buy them – or choose not to.

With e-commerce tracking in place, it’s possible to find out not only which products are top performers but also how much revenue each generates. Ecommerce tracking can also reveal the points at which potential customers abandon the shopping process and offer insights into possible user interface problems and new ways of engage visitors for more sales.

How to Enable Ecommerce and Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking

The tools for both standard and enhanced Ecommerce Tracking are available from your Google Analytics dashboard. To enable standard Ecommerce Tracking, follow these steps:

  • Click Admin in your Google Analytics account
  • Navigate to the view you want to track.
  • In the View column, click Ecommerce Settings
  • Set Enable Ecommerce Status to On and click the Next step button
  • Click Submit – now, you’re ready to track basic performance metrics for any site or part of a site.

This standard ecommerce tracking tool set provides five separate reports on e-commerce activity, including conversion rates, transactions and revenue for selected products. But for a comprehensive report on the performance of every product on your site, you’ll want to enable the next tier of ecommerce reporting tools – Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking. Offering 11 separate reports, Enhanced Tracking reveals both product sales and visitor behavior at every point in the purchase process, including rates of shopping cart and checkout abandonment.

To enable Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking, you’ll need to take the following steps:

  • Click your Admin Tab
  • Find the view for which you want to enable Enhanced Ecommerce.
  • In the View column, click on "Ecommerce Settings"
  • For Step One, "Enable Ecommerce," set status to "On" and click "Next Step"
  • Go to Step 2, "Enhanced Ecommerce Settings" and set status to "On"

When Enhanced Ecommerce is enabled, the Enhanced Ecommerce reports become visible in the Conversions section of Google Analytics and the standard Ecommerce reports will no longer be visible - but you can return to them by switching Enhanced Ecommerce settings off.

WordPress offers an Enhanced Ecommerce Google Analytics plugin that can be installed on your site’s dashboard, and Magento has an Enhanced Ecommerce extension as well. Other ecommerce hosts may also offer extensions and apps for managing Enhanced Analytics.

What Information Does Ecommerce Tracking Provide?

E-commerce tracking provides a wealth of information on just about every aspect of customer behavior. You can see all data in a master overview, or examine details of specific behaviors including:

  • Revenue from ecommerce transactions
  • Conversion Rate – the percentage of sessions that resulted in a transaction
  • Transaction details such as the total number, value and quantity of products sold in any transaction
  • Marketing details, such as the number of transactions per promotion or coupon code
  • Shopping behaviors at every step in the purchasing process

Using the Shopping Behavior Metric

Google Analytic structures the Shopping Behavior analysis based on the tags you create for steps in the shopping funnel. Tags allow you to track behaviors such as:

  • Product views per session and how many led to a transaction
  • Shopping cart abandonment with no advancement to checkout
  • Checkout abandonment, or stopping the process at the final point
  • The points at which consumers entered or exited the checkout funnel.

Using the Product Performance Metric

The Product Performance metric can provide detailed insights about the ways in which your customers interact with your product at every point in the sales process. The Product Performance metric allows you to fine tune product pricing, positioning and more to maximize revenues with data that includes:

  • A summary of the performance of each product in terms of total revenue, quantity, price and refunds
  • A shopping behavior overview that includes the sales performance of each product, starting with the product list view and continuing to checkout, plus the shopping behavior for each product, including the points at which products were abandoned, revisited, or purchased.

The e-commerce tracking options in Google Analytics make it easy to track the performance of any product at any stage of the buying process. With insights into where, when and how visitors interact with your products, Google Analytics allows you to identify the highest performing products in your inventory and helps you identify what marketing efforts are most effective for those products.

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