Workshop: Google Analytics Set-up for Ecommerce Websites

You can track anything and everything with your Web Analytics tool. But this comes at a cost. Analyst time & costs to design the solution, developer time & costs to implement the solution, a longer time frame before data is available. And typically, most of the last 50% – 80% of information will not be used for months, if ever.

The better solution is a Web Analytics set-up that only captures the information you need and will use immediately.

This workshop covered my recommended solution for Ecommerce websites. While it was based on being able to perform the key analytics tasks listed below, they were described as the business questions an ecommerce store owner would have.

  • Create your Ecommerce funnel
  • Create a basic Ecommerce Performance Diagnostic
  • Create a Merchandise Report
  • Identify pages uniquely on the website
  • Evaluate performance by marketing campaign

Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) was used as the example and an Audit Checkout provided to review your own website against this set of requirements.

The recording of the workshop is below. Underneath are answers to the questions raised during the workshop and a link to download the deck used. This workshop was based on a previously published blog post, with this containing more of the technical details of the implementation.

Audience Questions

Do you have any tests or checklists for each level in your set up “circles”, from the start of your talk?

The test for level 1 is simply, is there a tag on all pages. From level 3 onwards, you can’t have a checklist for auditing as the information to capture depends so heavily on your business requirements. These should be defined on where the biggest issues are in the website, hence where detailed insights wil be the most valuable.

My audit checklist for Core level of Ecommerce tracking I have gone through in this workshop can be found at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MW9IQbFIELpdu5zlAev29T3ZS18hBSKP9073jDSxqoA/edit?usp=sharing.  There is a completed version for Universal Analytics with the GA4 checklist to be completed very soon.

I would add “demographics tracking enabled” to the checklist perhaps?

The information exposed through enabling demographic tracking is not critical/core in my opinion. It is nice to have the estimated age, gender and interests but not as vital as other information. On the other hand, it is a simple checkbox in the configuration so can be included on that basis, as long as in line with your consent settings and privacy policy to have data linked with other Google systems in that way.

How long would you assign internally to check and action this checklist?

With this limited core set of requirements, the checklist should not take long to review, I would estimate less than 30 min (with a bit of practice). It can be more complicated as a experienced analyst, as you would review alternative options to expose the needed information if not within this exact struction.

The time to make corrections depends on what the issue is. Adding in the Page URL or exposing the Product Name to a custom dimension on product page view (if already in Enhanced Ecommerce) via GTM should be very quick. A change to the Data Layer will depend on developer resources and backlog. Identifying the cause of a discrepancy in transactions can be time consuming.

Any more questions?

Please leave a comment if you disagree with my definition of what to include within the Core set-up of Google Analytics for any Ecommerce website. That could be something I missed or information that is not actually that critical.

Any feedback on the Audit Checklist tool would be appreciated, by me and any future users.

Get in touch if you have any questions or if you are interested in discussing options for improving your set-up of Google Analytics. I am happy to provide a free audit, as per my checklist, for any business interested in knowing what they are missing.

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