While Google Analytics is the most widely used analytics tools for e-commerce sites, a new survey suggests that the vast majority are failing to make the most of it. 

The stats, from a DBD Media survey of 50 e-commerce sites, find that 73% of businesses are inflating traffic in their reports, while 67% haven’t integrated social media tracking. 

Here are some stats from the survey, while the findings from our Online Measurement and Strategy report shed some light on the barriers to effective use of Google Analytics…

The stats from the survey

  • Only 50% of e-commerce businesses track main conversion points. This prevents marketers from measuring website performance against business objectives (such as purchases or leads) as well as end-to-end campaign effectiveness.
  • 73% of businesses are inflating traffic in their analytics reports, through self referral issues. Self-referrals are the result of user sessions being split, often due to gaps and/or conflicts in data tracking. As a consequence, traffic data is inflated and the original traffic source is overwritten and not retrievable.
  • 60% of GA accounts were not correctly synced with Google AdWords, meaning PPC data is not being passed-on and is hampering accurate ROI measurements for paid search.
  • 67% of websites haven’t integrated social media tracking, thus affecting a site’s ability to identify how and where a piece of content was shared across social networks.
  • 33% of websites with on-site search function do not track site search keywords, thereby missing out on potentially valuable inisghts from site search data.
  • 73% do not track micro conversion goals such as newsletter sign ups or account registrations. This affects insight into user behaviour patterns that can lead to conversions or exits.
  • 30% of websites have incorrect e-commerce tracking implementation.

According to DBD Media’s Axelle Ros:

Google Analytics is today’s most popular web analytics package for ecommerce businesses. A wealth of companies and agencies rely on it to measure website performance. But GA’s ability to extract accurate and insightful data is deeply affected by its initial setup, both in terms of code and interface configuration.

Barriers to effective use of analytics

Our recent Online Measurement and Strategy report finds that the most commonly cited barrier for company respondents was a lack of budget and resources, with 50% of respondents listing this as an issue. Following this was a lack of strategy (31%) and siloed organisation / lack of co-ordination (26%).

For supply-side respondents the most commonly cited barrier was a lack of understanding / don’t know what to measure (47% compared to only 24% for company respondents), followed by a lack of budget and resources (42%) and a lack of strategy (37%).

What are the barriers that prevent you from having an effective online measurement strategy?

Barriers to effective use of analytics

Despite the fact that 30% of responding companies have no dedicated employees for web analysis, only 16% listed finding staff as a significant barrier.

Given the fact that 40% of organisations planned to increase spending on staff last year, the lack of analysts working for companies reflects the talent shortage present in the industry.

How many dedicated employees does your organisation have doing analysis of web data?

Number of dedicated web analytics staff

DBD has put together a white paper with some useful advice on setting up and using Google Analytics. For more tips, check out these 10 GA walkthroughs from our guest bloggers.