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Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce Startup Guide

Ecommerce tracking is an invaluable tool for any online seller.

More than just transactions and revenue, good ecommerce tracking gives you actionable insights into your marketing campaigns, on-site user experience and overall business goals. Mastering this tool will give you the power to track any data you might need to make your business that much better.

Imagine being able to compare which items were removed from someone’s cart just before checkout with those that have barely been clicked on. With access to specific information like that, your opportunities for better marketing and business efforts are endless. You could develop a strategic plan around an item that consumers have previously expressed interest in, or you could focus your efforts on informing them about a product they may have been unaware of.

With ecommerce tracking, all of this is possible.

Our goal for this post is simple-- use Google Analytics' Enhanced Ecommerce Analytics plugin to track user interactions with products throughout the site, including item-level detail within transactions during checkout. Implementation is anything but simple-- but no need to worry! We’ve broken down Google’s Guide to Enhanced Ecommerce to highlight exactly what you need to know to master the art of enhanced tracking. This guide should help ease the pain of implementation, so let’s get started.

Implementation

Google Analytics: Enable Ecommerce Tracking for the Global Property

First, we need to enable e-commerce tracking for a specific account and property within Google Analytics.

1.     Login to Google Analytics

2.     Go to "Admin"

3.     Select the account

4.     Select the property

5.     Under view, click "Ecommerce Settings"

ga screenshot

6.     Enable "Ecommerce" by changing "Status" from "Off" to "On"

7.    Enable "Related Products" by changing the switch from "Off" to "On"

ga screenshot 2

8.     Click "Next step"

9.     Enable "Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting" by changing the switch from "Off" to "On"

ga screenshot 3

10.     Add a funnel step for each of the steps in the checkout process. This will vary from site to site depending on the complexity of checkout. For instance, view cart, payment, order confirmation.

11.     Click "Submit"

Google Analytics: Add Custom Dimensions

While Google Analytics provides many default product attribute fields, you may have additional attributes you want to track such as weight, vendor, physical dimensions, lot number and any filtering or sorting criteria that was used when selecting the product. Custom dimensions will be used to store these additional pieces of data.

Perform the following steps:

1.     In Google Analytics, go to "Admin"

2.     Select the account

3.     Select the property

4.     Click "Custom Definitions"

5.     Add custom dimensions as desired

ga screenshot 4

Note: Be sure to change the "Scope" to "Product" for each custom dimension.

ga screenshot 5

Google Tag Manager: Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Features Using the Data Layer

In Google Tag Manager, create or edit your Google Analytics Settings variable. Click on “More Settings”. Click “Ecommerce”. Check the box that says “Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Features”.

gtm screenshot 1

Backend Changes

The following changes are recommended implementations. All of these are optional, however the more you implement, the more detailed and helpful the reporting in Google Analytics will be. These changes are to be implemented directly in the code.

Initial Implementation (recommended to do first)

Purchases

When the order confirmation page loads, the data layer should be populated with details of the transaction, including the following items:

1.     Transaction

2.     Transaction ID

         a.     Revenue

         b.     Tax

         c.      Shipping

         d.     Coupon

3.     Products

         a.     Product 1

                 i.          Name (at a minimum, you must specify either the name or the ID)

                 ii.          ID

                 iii.         Price

                 iv.         Brand

                 v.          Category

                 vi.         Variant

                 vii.        Quantity

                 viii.       Coupon

                 ix.        Dimension 2

                 x.         Dimension 3

                 xi.        Dimension 4

                 xii.       Dimension 5

                 xiii.      Dimension 6

                 xiv.      Dimension 7

                 xv.       Dimension 8

                 xvi.      Dimension 9

         b.     Product 2

                 i.         Same as Product 1 (same process for more than two products)

Example: Purchase with Two Products

code snippet screenshot 1code snippet screenshot 2

Notes:

1.     This code should be included before the GTM snippet is inserted so that the values are available to Google Analytics when the pageview is sent.

2.     The dimension index can be found in Google Analytics under Property → Custom Definitions → Custom Dimensions. 

Refunds

If you issue refunds, you will want to implement this functionality so that the values in Google Analytics match up with what's actually happening with the revenue.

Example: Full Refund (all purchased products refunded)

code snippet screenshot 3

Note: If you try to process a refund with a transaction ID that has not been sent, the refund action will do nothing. Google will just ignore the request.

Example: Partial Refund (only specific products refunded)

code snippet screenshot 4

Advanced Implementation (to be done after initial implementation)

Product Impressions

For each page where products are shown, impressions can be tracked for those products by populating the data layer with this information:

1.     Currency Code (optional)

2.     Impressions

        a.     Product 1

                i.          Name (at a minimum, you must specify either the name or the ID)

                ii.         ID

                iii.        Price

                iv.        Brand

                v.         Category

                vi.        Variant

                vii.       List

                viii.      Position

                ix.        Dimension 2

                x.         Dimension 3

                xi.        Dimension 4

                xii.       Dimension 5

                xiii.      Dimension 6

                xiv.      Dimension 7

                xv.       Dimension 8

                xvi.      Dimension 9

       b.     Product 2

                i.         Same as Product 1 (same process for more than two products)

Example: Page with 2 Products

code snippet screenshot 5code snippet screenshot 6

Add Products to Cart

When a user adds a product (or products) to the cart, the information can be tracked by populating the data layer with the following information:

1.     Currency Code

2.     Products

        a.     Product 1

                i.          Name (at a minimum, you must specify either the name or the ID)

                ii.         ID

                iii.        Price

                iv.        Brand

                v.         Category

                vi.        Variant

                vii.       Quantity

                viii.      Dimension 2

                ix.        Dimension 3

                x.         Dimension 4

                xi.        Dimension 5

                xii.       Dimension 6

                xiii.      Dimension 7

                xiv.      Dimension 8

                xv.       Dimension 9

Example: User adds 1 count of a specific item to the cart

code snippet screenshot 7

Remove Products from Cart

When a user removes a product (or products) from the cart, the information can be tracked by populating the data layer with the following information:

1.     Currency Code

2.     Products

         a.     Product 1

                 i.          Name (at a minimum, you must specify either the name or the ID)

                 ii.         ID

                 iii.        Price

                 iv.        Brand

                 v.         Category

                 vi.        Variant

                 vii.       Quantity

                 viii.      Dimension 2

                 ix.        Dimension 3

                 x.         Dimension 4

                 xi.        Dimension 5

                 xii.       Dimension 6

                 xiii.      Dimension 7

                 xiv.      Dimension 8

                 xv.       Dimension 9

Example: User removes 1 count of a specific item from the cart

code snippet screenshot 8

We know that was a lot to take in… So just take a breath, relax and give it a try for yourself. Remember, practice makes perfect and enhanced ecommerce is a skill worth perfecting. Once you understand implementation, you’ll have access to virtually unlimited data about your consumers and their behavior on your site. This information could take your business to the next level, so why waste any more time without it? 

Still a little too complicated? Give us a shout to see how we can help. As a full-service agency, we’re not only experienced in implementing enhanced ecommerce solutions, but with building the sites that utilize it. Check out our web design & development capabilities, along with our expertise in all things digital marketing.

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