Damien Smith -
Thursday, July, 06, 2017
Nothing causes senior management or a business owner to distrust the numbers faster than errors in the data. Once that trust is gone it’s very difficult to win back.
Whilst it is important that any user of Google Analytics Enhanced E-commerce understands that the transactions that are recorded will not match your accounting system exactly, they should be very close. Typically we aim for an error rate of less that 5% but have seen differences up to 10% on a healthy website with no tracking issues.
Some of the key errors that might be influencing your data are listed below:
Whilst a small amount of missing transactions is virtually unavoidable sometimes errors can creep in.
Common issues that cause this are:
- Incomplete data being sent to Google Analytics. The user exiting the browser if the confirmation page takes too long to load is a common cause.
- The customer is not always sent to the confirmation page that sends the data to Google Analytics. Paypal and other external payment gateways can sometimes cause this if the customer doesn’t fully complete the process and return to the thank you page.
Too Many Transactions
If you see that the total count of transactions is higher than expected it is likely that some customers can reload the confirmation page that sends the data to Google Analytics and cause that transaction to be double counted.
This can happen if you send a confirmation email to the customer that encourages to return to their order details and your system reloads the Google Analytics code when the user visits that page. It can also happen if the customer reloads their confirmation page.
The solution to this is to only send the data to Google Analytics the first time. This may require modifications to your shopping cart as many will allow for the full transaction details to be reloaded when the confirmation page is refreshed.
To check if your data includes any duplicate transactions, click on the link below to view a custom Google Analytics report and select your normal Google Analytics view when prompted. The number of transactions per transaction ID should only be “1”.
Duplicate Transaction Report
Not Tracking Refunds
Whilst it is a little harder to implement if your store receives a large number of refunds this can significantly bias the data. Google Analytics can reverse transactions by sending a refund event. Removing these sales is important to ensure that you accurately measure the results of your marketing campaigns.
Incorrect Sales Attribution
This is the number one issue that we are brought in to solve time and time again.
There are two main causes of this:
The first occurs when your payment gateway is on a different domain and the final confirmation page is on that domain. The symptom that you will see is that all sales are attributed to that domain. The reason for this is that the customer’s is tracked as a different user on the payment gateway site.
The solution to this is to implement cross domain tracking so that the user can be tracked consistently across both domains.
Tip: Use Google Tag Manager. It makes solving this problem much, much easier than doing this using straight Google Analytics code.
The second occurs when the customer is taken to a different payment gateway and then is redirected back to your own store to see the confirmation page. In this case you might see your own site, Paypal or some other payment gateway as the source of the sales from your site.
The solution to this is to add all of your sites and the payment gateway domains to the list of ignored referrers in your Google Analytics settings.
There are many other ways in which you can receive unexpected data. If you need help in solving these please contact us for support.
Damien Smith -
It is strongly recommended that you use the Google Tag Manager service wherever possible to implement Google Analytics. There are many reasons for this but the main one is that it makes updating or adding features to tracking your website easier and reduces your reliance on a web developer to make changes to your website.
IMPORTANT: Google Analytics Enhanced E-commerce requires that you are using the Universal Analytics version of the tracking code. If you are using an earlier version then you will need to upgrade this to the Universal Analytics version before proceeding with the remaining steps in this article.
Step 1: Turn on Enhanced E-commerce in your Google Analytics Settings
Step 2: Setup the variables or data layer
Step 3: Connect the Google Analytics code
Step 4: Test and test again
Step 1: Turn on Enhanced E-commerce Settings
Login to Google Analytics.
Go to the view that you want to configure.
Click on the Admin icon at the bottom left hand side of the screen.
Click on the E-commerce Settings icon
Turn on the Enable E-Commerce status
Click Next step button to configure the Enhanced E-commerce settings.
Change the Enable Enhanced E-commerce Reporting toggle to On
Under Funnel Steps, add labels which match each step in your checkout process.
Click on the Submit button to save these changes.
Step 2: E-commerce Variables / Data Layer
This is the hardest step for most people. Getting the data that you need from the web page to populate the Google Analytics reports can be tricky.
The full details on what you need to track can be found at:
Google Tag Manager:
Rather than recreate this documentation here, you can send this to your web developer for them to implement.
If it is not possible to implement all of the features on your shopping cart platform then you might want to consider implementing some of the more important features only. From our experience these are:
- Checkout Steps
- Product detail views
- Add to cart events
- Internal promotions
Step 3: Connect the Google Analytics Code
If you are using Google Tag Manager (and we recommend that you do), you must set up the variables, triggers and tags for any of the features you’re implementing.
The configuration specifics for Google Tag Manager can be found with the details of each feature here: https://developers.google.com/tag-manager/enhanced-ecommerce
Step 4: Test and Test Again
Testing that each of the enhanced e-commerce features is functioning is imperative to ensure the data in Google Analytics is reliable.
There are a number of methods for conducting the tests:
1. Google Tag Manager’s Preview Function
Google Tag Manager has the ability to show all tags which have (and have not) fired on each page.
As an example, see the testing section for our Tag Manager Plus Magento Extension:
DataSlayer is a Chrome extension which shows tag activity and data layer details. This is only useful for a Google Tag Manager implementation.
Download DataSlayer here.
3. GA Debug
This is another Chrome extension which shows all data being transmitted from to Google Analytics. The format of the data isn’t as easy to read as DataSlayer, but it can be used with analytics.js tagging or Google Tag Manager.
Download GA Debug here.
4. Google Analytics Realtime Reports
While the above 3 methods show data which is being sent to Google Analytics, the Realtime Reports will confirm the data is arriving as expected.
Specifically, look at Realtime > Events to confirm that all events which are triggered on the website are appearing in Google Analytics.
If you would like to find out more, or require assistance with implementation documentation for your developers, contact us to discuss your requirements.
Damien Smith -
If you are serious about growing your online business then you need good information to help you make decisions about where to invest your energy and resources. Google Analytics is one valuable source of this information.
Google Analytics has two different sets of e-commerce reports. The standard reports which only provide basic e-commerce information and enhanced e-commerce which provides a richer set of data. It takes more work to set up the enhanced e-commerce reports but the results are worth it.
The enhanced e-commerce reports provide a much richer and detailed source of data that helps you to understand more about:
- Which products are being viewed, added to cart and sold,
- The results of your efforts to promote these products on your own website using promotional tiles and other offers,
- Coupon code redemptions and
- The effectiveness of your checkout process.
The key differences at a glance:
| ||Standard E-commerce||Enhanced E-commerce
|Transactions & revenue tracking||Y||Y
|Product attributes (brand, colour, etc)||N||Y
|Days and sessions to purchase||Y||Y
|Product add to / remove from cart events||N||Y
|Track checkout steps||Y (Using goal funnels)||Y
|Create audience remarketing lists for abandoned carts||N||Y
|Track on-site promotional tiles and offers||N||Y
|Track coupon code redemption||N||Y
Next: Read Getting Started with Google Analytics Enhanced E-commerce or contact us for a quote.
Angela Conn -
Wednesday, June, 07, 2017
This month we are letting you know about Google Attribution, Data Studio, AdWords & Optimise Integration and Google Analytics Enhancements.
Google recently announced a new product, Google Attribution, with a view to helping marketers measure the impact of their marketing efforts across both channels and devices.
Historically, attribution tools have been difficult to set up, lose tracking visibility over customer journeys when people switch between devices, nor have they been integrated with ad tools, making it extremely difficult to accurately take informed actions.
Google Attribution can help you:
- Understand how all of your marketing activities are working together
- Deliver the necessary insights required to make your activities work better together
- Integrate Adwords, Google Analytics and DoubleClick Search, making it simple and fast to consolidate your data from every channel and thus providing complete visibility over performance
- Move away from last-click attribution and towards data-driven attribution, using machine-learning to assign credit to each step of the customer journey
Google Attribution is now in beta and will roll out to more advertisers over the coming months.
Data Studio Now available Globally (and it’s free!)
Data Studio is now available for free and without reporting limitations in over 180 countries. The product allows you to easily connect to data to create information and visually pleasing reports which are easy to read, share and customise.
Key Features in Data Studio include:
- Filters: you can filter your data in many ways, easily reuse filters on multiple charts, utilise compound filtering to combine multiple AND and OR conditions together and filter established metric values that are too large or small.
- GA Segments: Google Analytics segments can be applied to your charts. They are viewable in Data Studio and if updated in GA, the changes are also applied to your segments in Data Studio.
- Powerful Data Connectors: Popular data connectors in Data Studio include Youtube, DoubleClick, Campaign Manager and Adwords.
- Google Cloud Platform Integrations: Integration and improvements to the Google Cloud Platform enables fast data reporting, at scale, with powerful functionality.
- File Upload: Data Studio can upload 2GB of CSV data for free, lifting restrictions on data access from SQL or Google databases only.
Adwords & Optimize Integration
From managing media, to optimizing your site and collecting performance insights, your marketing workflows need to be seamless and integrated. This will allow you to easily apply learnings and take action, fast. With new integrations for Google Optimize and AdWords you will now have the ability to efficiently test landing pages, gaining valuable insights about your ads.
The new integration allows you to create new variations of your landing pages and apply them to any combination of AdWords campaigns, ad groups and keywords. It’s fast and easy and requires no coding or webmaster.
With Optimize determining which variation performs best for your company, it aims to assist you in getting more value from your AdWords campaigns.
Google Analytics Enhancements
Google Analytics is now even easier to use to gain the insights you need. After a redesigned mobile app for an improved on the go experience last year, followed by the introduction of automated insights within the app, Google have recently simplified their website user interface.
The most recent enhancements have been designed to help you make better data-driven decisions based on a more insightful user understanding.
Google Analytics “Home” features:
- Viewable snippets from a curated set of GA reports with simple controls.
- Each Snippet is preceded by helpful questions to frame your data.
- Digging deeper is easier, simply hover on any data point to access more details or drill into relevant reports
- Your “home” is automatically configured based on your GA setup.
- Your former default landing page, Audience Overview is still accessible. Open “Audience” section in your navigation and click on overview to access.
The new “Discover” page holds all of the latest enhancement information. It offers products and experiences to assist you with manoeuvring through your GA account.
Helpful products including Optimize, tools such as the GA mobile app, features like Custom Alerts and educational material from the Analytics Academy are all included in the Discover page.
We recommend spending some time exploring these Google Analytics enhancements to make sure you are getting the most out of your experience.