The ultimate guide to ecommerce analytics

If you oversee the operations of an online store, keeping up with new technologies, services, products, and marketing strategies can feel like a full-time job. The decisions you make in these areas are integral to the success of your business.

But how do you decide which trends to follow or technologies to adopt? This is where analytics come into play. The best business moves are based on data-driven decision-making. And today, especially in the ecommerce sphere, gathering data is easier than ever.
 
This article is your ultimate guide to the world of ecommerce analytics.

What is ecommerce analytics?

Ecommerce analytics help you gain a more in-depth understanding of user behaviour. They can tell you everything you need to know about your users and how they interact with your ecommerce site. 

Analytics are gathered from quantifiable data sources across your online business to present information to you that is relevant and actionable. This data allows for a thorough examination of every stage in the customer journey. Parsing it will enable you to understand trends and shifts in consumer behaviour. From there, you can make data-driven decisions that will help you optimise the ecommerce customer experience and increase revenue.  

analytics

Why should you care about it?

We all know that data is a significant component of decision-making, but perhaps you haven’t begun dedicating the time to ecommerce analytics. Well, you should because analytics provide concrete evidence to guide you in making the right changes for your company. 

Let’s take a moment to consider why it’s crucial that businesses fully embrace ecommerce analytics: 

Data is the key to decision-making

Knowledge is power and having access to data from all areas of your online business gives you an advantage over your competitors. Data you collect allows you to: 

  • Understand trends
  • Pinpoint profitable/ unprofitable marketing channels
  • Learn how customers interact with your ecommerce website
  • Drop unpopular products/ stock up on popular products
  • Optimise your pricing

An understanding of your customers can’t be gained merely by intuition. No matter how much experience you have in ecommerce, you can’t predict the future. Trends are always changing, and so are your customers. 

Keeping a focus on data-driven decisions ensures that you never get left behind. You also ensure you’re managing your business well by balancing customer experience and optimising your total revenue. 

It helps you to understand what’s working and what isn’t

Whether you’re a small or medium business, your resources are precious. Armed with analytics reports, you can visualise the areas of your business that are having an impact on your success. This allows you to improve, change or eliminate any aspects that are hindering profitability while optimising those that will help boost it. 

In June 2021 alone, the value of internet retail sales was over £2 billion. More people than ever are buying online, and you need to find ways to harness this audience. You must evaluate your marketing strategies to put you ahead in the ecommerce market. 

Value of internet retail sales monthly in the United Kingdom (UK) from January 2016 to June 2021
Image source: Statista

For example, let’s say one of your marketing channels is radio advertisements. On the radio, you provide a coupon code for an extra 10% off your products or services along with your big seasonal promotion. However, through your analytics, you find that less than 1% of the people making purchases on your site have used that code. Depending on your investment in this aspect of your brand promotions and your expectations, this could be a signal that this marketing channel isn’t very effective. 

You might also have an influencer promoting your site on their social media channels. Let’s say the clicks on their links along with the use of their promotional code have accounted for over 25% of your lead generation during this marketing campaign. Perhaps this is a signal for you to focus your marketing efforts on social media and brand promoters. You might consider retaining this influencer to keep promoting your product along with budgeting for more work with them during your next campaign. 

It helps you supercharge conversions

Gathering sales data and other web data is the first step in building a solid foundation to grow your ecommerce business. By understanding your customers and their behaviour and making data-driven decisions, you’ll be able to provide a site optimised to their needs. This will drastically improve your conversion rates. 

A huge part of demonstrating that you understand your customer is producing content to suit them. Analytics facilitates this, allowing you to deliver personalised content to your audience (more on this below).  

Using analytics allows you to make decisions that are good for your business and your customers. 

Benefits of ecommerce analytics

The digital world has allowed customers to take the time to make informed decisions. They can research products, look for unique experiences, and read reviews before making a commitment. The ability to understand user behaviour and cater directly to your audience is an asset that will help your business in many ways. 

Here are the benefits you can experience by embracing ecommerce analytics.

good data analytics data measurement graph

Provides better understanding of user behaviour 

This one may be obvious. However, the power of modern ecommerce platforms allows you to see further into user behaviour than just the items they end up purchasing. By using ecommerce analytics, you can discern how much time users are spending on a site, which products they’re clicking on and adding to their carts and wishlists, and if they’ve abandoned any of their cart items.  

By examining the user experience, you can understand their expectations, demands, and pain points. This will enable you to become a customer-centric retailer, which will lead to an enhanced ecommerce experience. 

You can then adapt your platform to suit your customers’ needs through features like email personalisation and intelligent product recommendations

Guides product development

Product development can be a difficult task, even if your company is experienced in getting ahead of the latest trends. Especially online, your customers have endless options, and this leads to high expectations. This means you must be able to keep up with your customers in terms of product development. 

Even the best ideas can fail if, for one reason or another, these don’t connect with your target audience. Effective product development creates products based on great ideas but then alters and shifts those ideas based on data. By dedicating yourself to data-driven product development, you keep your company adaptable and agile in the ever-shifting trends of the ecommerce marketplace. 

Enables personalisation

Gathering data and dedicating time to analytics is the first step to personalising the user experience on your site. But what exactly is ecommerce personalisation? Well, it is the real-time customisation of the content on your online site. It personalises the web experience based on demographics and user behaviour. 

In the realm of ecommerce, one size does not fit all. Personalisation is the strongest pillar in driving customer loyalty in the majority of global markets. This means you can put your company well beyond your competition by embracing personalisation based on your ecommerce analytics. 

Through ecommerce analytics, you can adopt effective customer segmentation while providing consumers with a tailored experience with the most relevant product recommendations. 

Customer segmentation breaks down your customers based on the data you collect from them. This could include their basic demographic information, like gender, or their behaviour, like previous purchases. 

By personalising your site, you can: 

  • Provide a better customer experience
  • Prevent information overload 
  • Hold your users’ attention
  • Improve customer engagement and conversions 
  • Present customers with exactly what they’re looking for without the need to navigate around your site

With PureClarity’s tools, you can take advantage of the best in ecommerce personalisation. From intelligent product recommendations to insights and analytics, these tools will put you on the path to boost conversions and satisfaction to increase the loyalty of your customer base. 

Up-Sell Cross-Sell

Helps you to cross-sell and up-sell to your customers

Just because you don’t have a store attendant to help cross-sell and up-sell to your customers doesn’t mean it isn’t an essential part of your business. The most valuable customers are those that are buying new products, using them, and staying loyal to your brand. Cross-selling and up-selling are critical methods of increasing customer value. 

Cross-selling alone has seen businesses make increases in sales of 20% and profits of 30%.

Marketers know the value of existing customers, and it’s critical to focus on balancing customer retention with new customer conversion rates. You must focus on the optimisation of the overall lifetime value of a customer. 

Through ecommerce analytics, you can get real-time reports on what your customers are interested in to make them even more likely to buy additional products. You can increase your chances of successfully up-selling or cross-selling by using analytics to provide options to customers. This will help to increase your average order value (AOV) and overall revenue. 

And, using tools like our AI Recommender Engine, just like we did with cycling accessory distributor Zyrofisher, you can preselect the most relevant products to cross-sell to increase your average order value and overall revenue. 

By using PureClarity’s highly intelligent, self-learning AI tech, Zyrofisher have seen an increase in overall conversions of 55%.

Assists with inventory management

Great inventory management is essential for the success of an online store. You must know where your products are and be able to pinpoint the precise moment to reorder. Customers rely on you to be open and honest about product availability on your site. They also expect to get their goods in a timely fashion.     

For example, let’s say your website alerts you that you have six separate orders for one of your products. When you come to pick the orders, you realise that you can only fulfil five of these, and your reorder won’t be here for two weeks. 

In the best-case scenario, the customer that ordered last is willing to wait for the product to come in. However, their customer experience and overall satisfaction are certainly reduced. Worst-case scenario, they cancel their order and leave a scathing review.

Good inventory management allows you to keep your customers happy while ensuring you don’t have dead stock. With ecommerce analytics tools, you can determine the best time to reorder while also being able to forecast and plan inventory for the future. 

Helps you optimise your product portfolio 

Not all your products will be best sellers. That’s just an unavoidable truth for any retailer. Even products that you’re sure will be total hits may not sell the way you think they will. 

Ecommerce analytics will help you pinpoint the products that are and aren’t selling. From there, you can analyse what characteristics, pricing, and features set your best sellers apart. You can also identify exactly why dead stock won’t sell. 

Are customers seeing these products? Could you benefit from personalisation within search to present customers with the products they like when they make general searches in your search bar? 

Let’s use an example to demonstrate the importance of breaking down analytics in this area – Your ecommerce store purchases dresses made from sustainable materials in a flattering cut in a wide range of colours. Your data analytics had suggested that, based on previous purchases, environmental considerations were a big deal to your audience. However, the dresses aren’t selling as expected. 

You realise this in your monthly ecommerce reports but decide to look closer to pinpoint the cause. It turns out that your customers are simply not seeing the product on your site. You, therefore, decide to feature the dresses in search results pages to give them greater visibility. 

Shopdesign Personalisation in Search
Case study:

One of our clients, Shopdesign (who provide a largest selection of furniture and design accessories in Mexico!), had similar issues with the visibility of their new product lines. The search bar on their site was the most actively used navigation tool, so we made sure that within this early part of the online buying cycle, they were able to promote new lines available within search results pages. 

Implementing our auto recommenders alongside this, Shopdesign saw an increase in sales of 125%.

Enables you to provide a more engaging user experience

In ecommerce, there is nothing more important than the customer experience. It is the life-breath of your brand’s identity, reputation, and revenue. 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. 

With the number of options available to users today, you need to deliver an engaging experience for your customers. Alongside pitching the optimal pricing and quality, users need to be interested and engaged during their time on your site. 

Through your analytics, you can see how much time customers are spending on your site and what individual products and features capture user attention. This can help you identify areas for improvement. By using the data, you can create simple, exciting, and inspirational user experiences to keep your customers coming back.

For example, with PureClarity, you can identify your best performing campaigns and exactly where your customers are engaging. You can also discover insights about your different customer segments to make actionable changes to your marketing and digital strategies. 

A seamless user experience is vital to your company’s success, and analytics can help you solve your business’s most pressing UX problems. A well-designed user interface could raise your website’s conversion rate by up to 200%, and a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400%. 

Ecommerce metrics you should track

Now that you understand the importance and benefits of analytics, let’s discuss which metrics you should track. There are many ways you can categorise ecommerce metrics. One useful way to divide these is through each phase of the customer lifecycle. 

The customer lifecycle is the process that follows your customers from their first interaction with your brand through to when they become loyal patrons. 

Tracking metrics as you trace the customer journey will help you drive sales and establish yourself as a customer-centric retailer

Below, we’ll explain what metrics you should be tracking and at which stage in the life-cycle. 

Image source: FinancesOnline

Discovery

No matter what channel a prospect uses to find your brand, they need to find it somehow. That could be from a friend, search engines, or social media. The metrics you use at this stage will help you measure activities that promote brand awareness and lead generation. 

At this stage, you can ask general questions like: 

  • Where did prospects first hear about your organisation?
  • How are you performing across your channels? 
  • What are your competitors doing at this stage, and how do their services overlap or differ from those that you provide? 

To answer these questions, you should keep an eye on the following: 

Impressions

Monitoring impressions is vital to building successful marketing campaigns. Impressions refer to the number of times content or ads are viewed or engaged with. 

If you’re leveraging an omnichannel marketing strategy, this data can come from paid third-party ads, search results, social platforms, and any other place your brand has a presence. 

An impression is not necessarily a click. This metric only looks at how visible you are on the platforms where your ads and content appear. If you find out you aren’t as visible as you want, the good news is that this metric is easy to improve. 

You can increase your budget to allow for better ads, more sponsored content on social media, or a search engine optimisation (SEO) service. 

The three key types of impression metrics include: 

  • Organic impressions: The number of times non-paid content is displayed
  • Paid impressions: The number of times sponsored content is displayed
  • Viral impressions: The number of times content is displayed due to high engagement 

Reach 

This is the next vital data point to measure during this part of the lifecycle. Reach looks at the total number of followers and subscribers across your platform. Your subscribers are all the people that see your content. These subscribers could stem from a mailing list, social media, and loyalty programs. 

To track reach, you should monitor your number of: 

  • email subscribers
  • social media followers
  • customers signed up for loyalty programs

Reach can be improved with digital marketing campaigns that encourage subscription to any of your active channels. 

Have you noticed more companies are using humour to increase subscribers on platforms like Twitter? They’re not just promoting their products directly; they’re building their brand identity as relatable and likeable. 

You can also improve your reach by launching consistent campaigns and offering perks to your followers and subscribers. Like we see with Twitter marketing, the better defined your brand and voice is, the better your reach. 

Engagement 

Engagement is the merging of your impressions and reach. It considers how many of the people in your reach are engaging with your content. Engagement metrics include: 

  • Email click-through rates
  • Social media clicks and likes 
  • Content shares 
  • Reviews on your website
  • Comments on your blog and social media

With the power of the internet, you can see what ad or content drove a customer to your product and what they did once they were on your site. This is monitored through a tracking code – a small snippet of code automatically generated for each account to track important user actions after they’ve clicked on your ad. This will help you keep tabs on user behaviour and conversions. 

Achieving a good amount of engagement is vital to building trust in your brand. Potential customers looking into a company will often consider how many followers they have and how many likes and shares they receive to determine whether they seem reliable. 

You can boost engagement metrics with successful email marketing campaigns, dedicating more resources to your social media strategy and content, and encouraging customers to leave reviews with incentives.

Acquisition

Now that your prospect is aware of your brand (and hopefully subscribed), you can move onto the next step: acquisition. During this stage, various metrics can help you answer questions like: 

  • What content on your site encourages users towards a purchase? 
  • Should I invest in more features, such as Live Chat, to give customers the information they need to make a purchase?
  • Is my website easy to navigate? 

The following will help you measure how you’re catering to customer needs once they’ve reached your site:

Customer acquisition cost (CAC) 

CAC is a metric that measures how much it costs to acquire new customers. It’s useful, especially when compared to the cost of retaining customers. However, it does not give a full picture of the value each customer brings. 

However, it can give insight into whether different acquisition efforts, such as referral programs, are effective. When broken down into its parts, you can see if the cost of your referral program is reducing or increasing your CAC. 

Often, these programs are a great lead generation tactic that lead to results. But if they’re increasing your CAC with little ROI, it may be time to rethink your referral program offers. 

Customer acquisition cost makes no distinction between one-time and repeat customers. That’s why you should think of CAC as a growth indicator. 

Rate of visits to key webpages 

Pageview rates is another critical metric in the acquisition stage. You can compare the rate of visits to key pages to overall site visits or user sessions on a mobile app. 

Instead of just examining overall purchases vs site visits, looking at the rate of visits to key pages gives you a more nuanced insight into how customers navigate to the end of their journey. 

Using this data, you can optimise parts of the site to make for a better user flow and overall experience. For example, you may look at the rate of visits to the pricing page. If a high number of customers are viewing the page and not following through with a purchase, you may have to ask yourself if your products are too expensive. 

On the other hand, if your customers are not making it to that page at all, you might have to rethink your site design to guide users to that page.  

The key to improving this metric is to: 

  • Link to your key pages with well-designed emails
  • Make strong calls-to-action
  • Have excellent subject lines to entice your audience to key pages
  • Ensure that your site is easily navigable 
  • Include links in your social media profiles

Conversions

At this stage in the customer lifecycle, a customer has completed a desired action on your site. You must make sure that you’ve proved to your potential customer that your company has value. You also want this to be the beginning of a long-lasting relationship, not a one-off engagement or purchase. 

Some questions to consider when analysing your conversion metrics are: 

  • Is your value proposition clear and compelling?
  • How easy is the subscription/ sign up/ purchasing process?
  • Are there any obstacles or distractions on your site for customers when making a purchase, signing up, filling out a survey?

From there, you can pinpoint the metrics that will give you the most relevant data on how well your company is performing at this stage in the lifecycle. 

Some crucial metrics to monitor are: 

  • Conversion rate

There isn’t any hard definition of what’s considered a “conversion”. This can describe any action that you’ve deemed as valuable to your marketing strategy or business. The rate is the percentage of people who take that action. 

Your conversion rate will most often refer to a customer transaction that leads to income for your company. However, this could also be how many people submit a survey or sign up as a subscriber.  

This metric is crucial as it indicates what percentage of your traffic is actually doing what you want them to do. And the sooner you’re aware of this, the sooner you can discover if a disproportionate percentage are not and why this is.

Conversion rate by industry

It can be useful to track the conversion rates of new and return visitors separately as their reasons for not converting may not have much overlap. Return visitors may be familiar with your website and be able to find the product they’re looking for and navigate to checkout with ease. New customers may get lost much earlier in the journey.

If your analytics suggest this, you should consider A/B testing website designs to remove any obstacles from the purchasing process.

While there is no set ‘standard’ for conversion rates, you can compare how your business is doing to others in your industry or your direct competitors. Don’t expect the rate to be too high.

Take a look at the average conversion rates by industry: 

  • Value per visit

This metric can be a great tool to see how effectively you’re converting customers by calculating how much each visit is worth. You can have a great-looking conversion rate, but those conversions may not be adding that much value to your company. 

To calculate this metric, take the number of visits and divide this by the total value created by these visits. For example, if you have 100 visitors with a total value of £800, your value per visit is £8.

  • Cost per Conversion

When it comes to conversions, you must know what this is costing your company. It doesn’t matter if your conversion rate and value per visit are high if you’re spending too much money to achieve these numbers. 

Let’s take the numbers from the previous example. Say that your conversion rate is 4% (which is great), you have 100 visitors, and your value per visit is £8. However, it costs you £200 per conversion with an average order of £200. That means, at best, you’re breaking even.

While you should, of course, try to achieve high conversion rates and value per visit, you must balance this aim with minimising your cost per conversion. If your conversion cost is high, you may want to pinpoint conversion efforts that aren’t working well or shift your focus to existing rather than new customers. 

Behaviour

While this doesn’t correspond directly to the customer lifecycle, it’s essential to discuss the insights analytics can offer in this area. Understanding your customer’s behaviour will have a direct impact on every aspect of the customer journey. With the right behaviour metrics in place, you can create a loyal customer base and provide them with a great experience from discovery to advocacy. 

Some important metrics to consider are: 

Bounce rate 

Bounce rate is the frequency with which new visitors click onto your site and immediately leave after only viewing one page. If you have a high bounce rate, you’ll need to evaluate why that is. 

Of course, every page on every site will have a bounce rate. A site user may have been looking for a different product, or perhaps their internet cut them off from their search prematurely. 

However, a high bounce rate can be a symptom of: 

  • Weak or irrelevant sources of traffic 
  • Inadequate landing pages
  • Poor web design
  • Low usability
  • High load times 

Cart abandonment rate

Cart abandonment rates refer to users putting items in their shopping carts and then not purchasing these. This can indicate problems with your checkout process or that your customer isn’t fully convinced by your products’ value. 

If you realise that your cart abandonment rates are high, first make sure that there are no hitches in the checkout process. If your checkout is both bug-free and user friendly, think about offering plenty of payment options and sending out automated coupons to users that abandoned their carts. 

For example, you can utilise personalisation within email to offer a 10% off coupon to push those customers to follow through with their purchases. You can also offer free shipping to make the last stages of purchasing hassle-free and sweeten the deal. 

Segmentation

Types of purchases 

While this isn’t exactly a metric, tracking what your customers are buying will enable you to make intelligent decisions for the future. With the help of Customer Segmentation, you’ll also be able to tell what types of customers are buying these products. Even if customers in the segments are making unique purchases, these may fall into a certain category of products. 

Having this data allows you to make tailored offerings to your customers. It can also let you know if your personalisation tools are segmenting your traffic effectively. You may also find that you need to alter your product details section to appeal more to certain segments. 

As we’ve mentioned, ecommerce personalisation is vital for a successful online shopping experience. It brings together the brick-and-mortar shopping experience with the convenience of online shopping. Understanding and tracking user behaviour allows you to improve the customer experience and the effectiveness of your personalisation tools. 

Retention

You’ve now got a user to make a purchase, but your work isn’t done yet. Retention not only cuts down on your cost per conversion but also helps you build your brand an excellent reputation for value and quality. 

To achieve great customer retention, you must understand how customers feel about your products and the overall customer experience. 

The following metrics are helpful indicators of this:

  • Customer retention rate 

Your customer retention rate is the percentage of existing customers who continue to engage with your brand after a given period. Tracking this metric can help you understand what keeps customers engaging with you and provides an insight into areas to improve. 

To calculate your retention rate, you take the number of customers you have at the end of the period minus the number of new customers you have acquired. Then you just divide it by the customers you began with. 

For example, if you had 2000 customers at the beginning of the quarter and 1500 are still with you at the end of that quarter, your customer retention rate is 75%. 

Retaining customers can drastically improve your profit margin. This is because it costs a lot less to keep customers than to acquire them. Also, as we’ve already mentioned, you are more likely to convert existing customers than new ones. 

Just calculating your retention rate isn’t enough to get to a full picture of how your business is retaining customers. Let’s take a look at some other customer retention statistics. 

  • Customer churn rate

Your customer churn rate is the opposite of your customer retention rate. It calculates the percentage of customers your company has lost during a given period. Your churn rate should be as low as possible. If your churn rate is high, you must analyse why you’re losing customers and make improvements. 

  • Customer lifetime value (CLV) 

Calculating your CLV allows you to visualise the total amount of money a customer is expected to spend with your business during their lifetime. A high CLV is a good indicator that you’re not only retaining customers but that these customers are making high value repeat purchases with your company. 

What is considered a good CLV depends on your average order value. If you have an average order of £2000 and your CLV is just £4000, this may not be the best sign. However, if your average order value is £100 and your CLV is £10,000, you’re retaining customers well. 

Advocacy

The final goal for your company is to turn your customers into brand advocates. Loyal customers not only make repeat purchases but also recommend you to their network. 

While this stage in the customer lifecycle is often overlooked, it can be the most important for your success. In fact, customer advocacy can increase your marketing effectiveness by as much as 54%.  

If your customers are not advocating for your company, make sure that you look closely at the factors that determine this. Things like product quality, value for money, and customer service are big factors in how loyal your customer base is. But how do you calculate how likely it is for your customers to become brand ambassadors?

Let’s look at some critical indicators to determine your customers’ loyalty:

Image source: FinancesOnline

Net promoter score (NPS) 

Calculating your NPS allows you to measure how willing your customers are to recommend your products and services to others. This is usually done through customer surveys that ask them to assign a number from 1-10 to how likely they are to recommend your company or products. 

The system categorises your customers into three groups:

  • Promoters: Your loyal customers and advocates
  • Passives: Satisfied with your brand, but unlikely to promote you
  • Detractors: Unhappy customers who won’t buy from you again and may even discourage others from doing so. 

You want to excite your customers and give them a reason to tell their friends about you.  Not only is it a great way to market your company, but it also builds your brand a reputation that new customers are more likely to trust.

In addition to tracking your NPS, another good way to measure your brand advocacy is tracking your shares and reviews on your website and social media platforms. Make sure to address the comments or shares that aren’t positive and take steps to address customer problems.

Want to increase your ecommerce conversion rate?

Google Analytics

How to set up Google Analytics for your ecommerce data

There are many tools that you can use to help you engage with your ecommerce analytics. However, the most common is Google Analytics. Once you set up your Google Analytics account, there are still some steps you should take to get the most out of the tool. 

Let’s go over what you need to do to set up Google Analytics. 

Step 1: Set up Google Analytics in Google Tag Manager (GTM)

GTM is a free tool with a simple interface. It deploys tracking and remarketing code that removes the need for developers to add or remove pixels. This allows you to make changes without having to be familiar with JavaScript, PHP, or HTML. This means you no longer need specialised knowledge to make changes to your web script and tags. These can be made by you or anyone in your marketing team. 

All you have to do is: 

  1. Sign up for Google Tag Manager and specify the container.
  2. Create a tag
  3. Enter the GA tracking code and type
  4. Set the trigger for “All Pages” 

Step 2: Register and verify your website with Google Search Console

Using Google Search Console (GSC) is essential for monitoring your SEO and keyword ranking in Google. All you have to do is: 

  1. Register your site’s domain
  2. Verify your domain through GSC or GTM
  3. Upload an XML sitemap to Google for faster indexing 

Step 3: Enable your site search

Tracking what your customers are searching for on your site is a useful tool. It can help you unearth trends and new search terms. Google Analytics can provide you with reports on the keywords your customers are entering into search. 

To set this up: 

  1. Go to your account on Analytics
  2. Set up Site Search Tracking under Admin > View Settings > Site Search Settings 

Step 4: Filter spiders and bots 

Bots can be a problem for your metrics because they can inflate them, leading to data inaccuracies. To resolve this, you need to filter out the traffic created by non-humans. 

To do this: 

  1. Go to Bot Filtering under View Settings
  2. Tick the box that says “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders” 

Step 5: Use default or customised tracking campaigns

You can use default tracking for your segments or make your own. Here’s a list of the default channel groupings:

  • Organic search: Search results 
  • Paid search: Sponsored search results
  • Direct: Customers typed your URL into their browser 
  • Display: Traffic from a banner, display, or content ads. This includes Google ads
  • Social: Directed from social media
  • Email: Visitors that clicked on an email link
  • Affiliate: Customers that arrived via an affiliate campaign
  • Referral: Customers that accessed your site via news coverage or a review article

You aren’t bound by these categories, though. You can classify your traffic via URL Query String Tags. This will help you capture traffic from sources like dark social sharing, HTTP to HTTPS redirections, PDFs, and more. 

Step 6: Look into Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics

Google has an Enhanced Ecommerce plugin that can be a great asset for your company’s analytics strategy. While it takes some time to set up the tracking, the additional data you receive will make it worth your time. 

Using this tool, you can equip yourself with the information to help you track the metrics we’ve already discussed. 

Common ecommerce pitfalls when using Google Analytics

Before we look at best practices, let’s go over some common pitfalls of using Google Analytics for ecommerce businesses. When employing Google Analytics dashboards, especially for new users, it’s easy to make decisions that might lead to unreliable data.

We’ll alert you to these missteps and explain how to ensure more accurate data and more actionable statistics. 

Data discrepancies

Using multiple platforms to handle and analyse data can lead to discrepancies between your sales data, shopping cart data, and Google Analytics. Your ecommerce platform will typically handle your unfulfilled orders, cancelled orders, refunds, and test orders. However, Google Analytics does not have these capabilities. 

GA can track when a user visits a confirmation page, but it can’t record cancelled orders or refunds. This can lead to discrepancies. 

One way to combat this is to verify checkout tracking and ensure the pages for cancelled orders and refunds are listed under your checkout labelling in your ecommerce set-up. Making sure your checkout process has individual URLs that you can track is integral to limiting the discrepancies. 

It’s always necessary to keep the possibility of inaccuracies in mind when you’re reading your reports. Remember, your GA is an analytics platform, not your accounting software. 

Inaccuracy in data sampling

For larger data sets, statistical analysis often involves data sampling. Data sampling takes a subset of traffic data for analysis. However, Google Analytics limits data sampling, so you can’t produce reports on large data sets. 

Running data sampling with GA, even below its threshold, can risk skewing your data. To prevent this, minimise your data range to stay under the sampling limit or use default reports that don’t perform data sampling. 

Running tests orders without reverting them

Before you launch your site, you must run test orders. These tests ensure that your checkout process is not only bug-free but also user-friendly. When running these tests, it’s important to remember to reverse them in Google Analytics. By not reverting them, you‘re inflating your sales data. 

Make sure to check that your developers are deducting all test orders from GA. 

Duplicate transactions

Duplicate transactions are a common issue across ecommerce platforms. This occurs when an ecommerce tracking code is executed more than once without an order being placed. However, having too many of these in your GA can reduce the value of your sales data. 

To prevent this from happening, make sure that confirmation pages are only accessible once or disable the tracking code from being executed on a reload or refresh. 

Ecommerce analytics best practices

Today, data analytics plays a crucial role in the operation of an ecommerce business. To make the most of your analytics, there are some best practices you should follow. These practices will help focus your efforts and increase your online sales. 

Gather all your data in one place

If you have an omnichannel ecommerce strategy, the chances are that your analytics data lives across your ecommerce and social media platforms, your Google Analytics, and CRM software. All this scattered data can make it challenging to analyse in a meaningful way. 

Don’t worry! You can gather data from all your sources into Google Sheets, Excel or Google Data Studio. This means that you can make reports on a simple platform for easy analysis. Doing so will boost productivity, efficiency, and business agility. 

Understand your customers and know when to act

Data for data’s sake is a waste of effort and money. Make sure that you’re using the data to understand your customers. Look at your data with an eye towards the big picture. Then use your intelligence to make changes at your company. 

You can use rule-based alerts for your various metrics to tell you when these are at a high level or below expectations. You can even set alerts for when inventory is running low. This allows you to take informed steps, like doubling down on products, services, or strategies that are working and eliminating those that aren’t delivering results. These alerts can be sent directly to your mailbox so that you can act on them immediately. 

Automate ecommerce dashboards and share them with your team

Automation allows you to track data in real-time without expending the time and energy of pulling manual reports. You can therefore focus on analysing your data and providing better service to customers. It also reduces the chances of mistakes. 

When you automate, it’s also easier to have transparent and streamlined communication throughout your company. Equipping yourself with centralised, automated data means that your team can make the most informed decisions for your company. 

How we can help jump-start your ecommerce analytics

We’ve already mentioned the importance of personalisation within the ecommerce landscape. PureClarity can provide you with real-time analytics and insights when you personalise using our AI.  

The great thing about Artificial Intelligence (AI) is that it can collect data on every single visitor. It tracks interactions with customers onsite and offsite to build up a picture of their behaviour. It then uses all this data to provide a better customer experience. 

Campaign / product performance insights 

With PureClarity, campaign insights allow you to identify your best performing campaigns and where your customers are engaging. These are shown in real-time and allow you to discover insights about different customer segments. 

For example, for our client Cutwel, an engineering tool distributor, we were able to help showcase products based on customers’ previously searched items. 

Cutwel was also able to look at how that personalised content improved the sales of those products to inform future decisions. 

With our product performance reports, you can track the performance of products under the same description or SKU number. You can also gather data on the performance of specific product pages. This allows you to see how many clicks a page is getting compared to the product revenue. 

ROI analysis 

PureClarity’s personalisation features allow you to have full visibility of your sales. This allows you to track impressions, clicks, AOV, revenue, and sales driven by our auto recommenders. 

One of the companies that we’ve helped with their ROI analysis is Comfy Homes. The data we’ve equipped them with has helped them support their paid media activity to increase ROI from their key platforms. 

You’ll also be able to understand better the revenue generated as a result of our services. This allows full transparency with our clients. 

Revenue generated by our personalisation tools can be identified by any date criteria to determine your ROI easily. 

Product analysis 

Another great feature of our Insights & Analytics is its ability to carry out product analysis. Analysing your products allows you to discover your top viewed and bought products. It can also allow you to find out:

  • What products have been purchased
  • The product revenue
  • Purchase dates and times for unique products

Using PureClarity gives you the power to see the recommendations we present associated based on our AI’s knowledge of your customer’s previous behaviour. It analyses sales product performance, products viewed and purchased together. All of this allows you to create campaigns around each of these product groups. 

All in real-time 

A key advantage of our service is that you have access to all of these results in real-time. Like we said earlier, harnessing real-time analytics is the cornerstone of making effective, data-driven decisions with your company. 

You can also easily share these results with your team or include them in your aggregated data. 

Conclusion

Ecommerce analytics are vital for maintaining a successful online store. Tools like PureClarity are instrumental in helping you jumpstart your analytics to provide a more personalised customer experience and make informed decisions in real-time for the future of your business.

Choose the metrics that fit your company and business goals and hit every point in your customer lifecycle. This will help you increase your profitability and also supercharge the customer experience- which will, in turn, help you build your brand’s reputation for quality and value. 

If you want to create an engaging and personalised online shopping experience for your company, why don’t you try PureClarity? With our 30 Day Free Trial, you can discover the value of personalisation right away with access to all of our features. Our service is compatible with all ecommerce platforms and includes plugins for Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and X-Cart. 

Sky rocket your revenue

Start a no-commitment 30-day free trial and enjoy all PureClarity features on your website.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is ecommerce analytics?

Ecommerce analytics refers to the data gathered from all areas of your online platform and the use of this information to understand trends and shifts in consumer behaviour. Analytics allows you to make data-driven decisions that will help your business succeed. 

Which tools should I use for ecommerce analytics?

There are a lot of tools you can use for ecommerce analytics. Here are a few that you shouldn’t be without. 

  1. PureClarity: Of course, we may be a little biased. But our service marries the best in personalisation with indispensable insights and analytics to help you:
    1. Discover what your top products are and which you should phase out
    2. Identify your customer segments and show your customers you really know them by providing personalised and relevant content
    3. Encourage customers to spend more by showing them personalised offers
    4. Increase your loyal customer base
    5. All while having full visibility of the sales driven by our service 
  2. Google Analytics: As we’ve already discussed, Google Analytics is a great tool for analytics. It is free and relatively easy to use. It can provide you with statistics and basic analytical tools for your marketing and SEO purposes. It allows you to visualise the performance of your website with easy-to-read reports. 
  3. Google Search Console: This tool should be used in conjunction with your other analytics software. It is also a Google product and allows you to see how Google sees you and gives you data on how to improve your organic presence. 

Why is ecommerce analytics important?

Ecommerce analytics is a vital component of good decision-making. It allows you to understand trends, pinpoint profitable and unprofitable marketing channels, gain an awareness of consumer behaviour, and optimise product lists and pricing. 

It’s impossible to understand people you’ve never met or had the opportunity to interact with without a significant amount of data. 

Through the power of analytics tools, we can develop our knowledge of our customers’ behaviour and provide them with the service they want. This gives your business the potential to achieve higher conversion rates and revenue and better customer satisfaction.