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Launched during the Google Analytics’ partner summit, Google has taken a fairly huge step in customer understanding by releasing ‘Enhanced Ecommerce’ functionality across the platform.

This latest update is a major change to specifically understand customer behaviour and the effectiveness of merchandising efforts, away from attempting to understand products within GA using transactional data alone and covers a number of new opportunities.

The changes include a series of funnel based reports, widening of the use of the Product ID dimension and Google Tag Manager support for the new functionality, all available through any standard GA account (Universal Analytics only).

So what’s so different?

Well. In a recent briefing, Head of Google Analytics Premium, Jody Shapiro, emphasised ecommerce retailers trending towards a much richer understanding of shopping habits, sales regeneration activities, understanding on and offline and the effective segmentation of customers.

Google is pushing towards new analytics functionality allowing for improved data collection, organisation and analysis, and activation of that data.

The move to Universal Analytics and the measurement protocol has enabled new data sets to be sent to GA either through tags or data layers, or through importing directly.

This latest change is not just GA re-purposing ecommerce to import more product data, it allows for a much more in depth analysis and evaluation of that data, as described on its blog.

What examples of insights are there?

First off, you will be able to build customisable funnels that relate to customer behaviour within your shopping process (mixing individual product views, behavioural events and transactions) to gain a true reflection of performance.

Merchants will be able to understand how far through the buying process customers are getting allowing definition of your most travelled paths, biggest exits, look for the biggest wins… all standard optimisation stuff, but this time on enhanced data sets.

Cross these new funnels and reports with your existing (and new) customer segments. Do customers from different regions demonstrate behavioural issues when they experience your delivery options? Do new visitors struggle with registering before making a purchase?

Link to Adwords and Google Ad Network allow for segments to be created directly from the funnels allow identified behaviours to become target groups without leaving the analysis.

Checkout abandoners are the most obvious, but drop outs at registration or any other stage of the process are easily identifiable for remarketing efforts.

Extend the amount of metadata available for products, and new product orientated reports allow you to understand performance by product groups, brand and category – do different products perform better when listed in a different way? What are the similarities in sales across brands?

The changes include new reports for:

Shopping behaviour 

Providing assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the whole purchase funnel, starting at product views, the whole shopping experience can be mapped.

Customisable to accommodate the specific elements unique to your checkout, this will show user flow through key elements such as product views, add to cart etc. are available.GA Shopping Behaviour

Checkout behaviour 

Specifically looks to identify the path through the checkout process, which are more customisable than previous goal based URL analysis by allowing specific events to be sent to GA to integrate as key moments of the checkout process.

GA Checkout Behaviour

Product performance

This provides a counter point to the aggregate performance of all purchases by allowing evaluation of individual products, split into two sets of metrics from sales performance (revenue, quantity etc.) to shopping behaviour (product views, added/removed from cart and details to cart ratios).GA Product Performance

Product list performance

One element that has always frustrated is managing intra-site marketing.

GA address this with product list performance reports, allowing evaluation of how products perform when grouped with other products using new dimensions such as the Product List Name and Product List Position.

GA Product List Performance

Coupon and affiliate marketing 

This allows tracking of transactions that include product or order coupons as well as conversions that are a result of affiliate marketing, associating metrics for revenue, unique purchases and average product revenue per purchase / average order value.

Along with these report changes, it is also now possible to import product data into GA to reduce the amount of data required with each interaction.  

By using a unique product ID you can associate the product metrics with new dimensions such as product brand, and a five level hierarchy for product category, all of which can be pre-loaded along with any sensitive metrics such as margin, which you would not like to be sent through the publicly available measurement protocol.

What can I do to get this?

The features are being rolled over the next few weeks, so you’ll be getting it soon.

It appears as a view level setting in your Analytics admin, along with a series of custom labels for your checkout process. 

Ecommerce Set Up Setting

There are some specific changes that you’ll need to make to take advantage of this. These include:

  • Conduct a review of your site from a shopping and product, rather than page, perspective. Get an idea of what the key elements in your shopping funnel are, how you group your product sets, what key behaviours are important to you...
  • Tagging changes. As you would expect, if you want to be able to track these new interactions, then you’ll need to send them in the tags, or add them to your data layer.

    All this information is in the associated guides and phased implementations to work yourself into the new structure is possible. Also, GTM support is available.

  • Increased meta data. Previously, products could be categorised and SKUs added, however the new extensions to this data, and the ability to upload reference information can be exploited. Work through how you can create regular uploads of this information and what structure is required.

I’ve only covered the main report changes in this blog post and will revisit once we have had a chance to fully implement the functionality.

There appear to be a number of opportunities available for Econsultancy, especially around conversion rate optimisation and user behaviour.  

As we are wouldn’t class ourselves as merchants we’d love to hear your comments on what is valuable or important from this latest update, along with what you feel about the direction Google Analytics are taking with their development plans...

Our Festival of Marketing event in November is a two day celebration of the modern marketing industry, featuring speakers from brands including LEGO, Tesco, Barclays, FT.com and more. 

Ben Barrass

Published 28 May, 2014 by Ben Barrass @ Econsultancy

Ben Barrass is Data and Digital Marketing Manager at Econsultancy. You can connect with him on LinkedIn

6 more posts from this author

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Gareth

This looks great, a lot of it can be done in a kind of botched manner with some basic funnels and sales goals but it will definitely improve the clarity of what's going on and make it all a lot easier to track.

about 2 years ago

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Tim Leighton-Boyce, Analyst at CxFocus

This goes way beyond what's in the existing system, but requires a lot of extra explicit tracking. For example the concept of a stage in a checkout now exists as something which is specifically sent to GA.

So my big question is: how long do we wait before the ecommerce platform vendors incorporate the new features? Or do we all have to invest in developing this per site only to have that work become redundant in 18 months time.

about 2 years ago

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Gerry White

@Tim - unfortunately most sites I have worked with struggle to deploy out of the box type solutions as the site is already way beyond this point, customised to such a level ...

Also most ecom platforms seem to update very slowly and this new functionality looks like exactly what I have been trying to get clients up to before this was introduced.

about 2 years ago

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Tim Leighton-Boyce, Analyst at CxFocus

@Gerry Of course you are right. And your second point is painfully true for me too.

But when I look at the complexities of things like the 'list views' I wince at the cost of everyone inventing their own wheel. And I suspect many won't do it. You could tie it in with a 'content grouping' project and get better value for money while work is being done on those pages, but I still think many companies will sit and wait.

That's why I'm alarmed at the thought that something is introduced which people like you and I have been trying to get clients to do for ages, and still they don't do it.

about 2 years ago

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zain ali, Marketing Executive at LiveAdmins JLT

The information provided by you guys is really helpful. Ecommerce is an important subject for every businessman to learn that how to target and satisfy your customer. Nice discussion.

about 2 years ago

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manoj sonawane

hi how can we set product category to prdouct in google anlytic code

manoj sonawane

about 2 years ago

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Renee Girard, Sn. Search Marketing Specialist at Zeon Solutions

Great article. There are very few comprehensive posts on this topic. I am setting up Enhanced Ecommerce with Google Tag Manager and after reading your post, I still have a couple questions. I understand that you can enable it from the advanced settings within the Universal Analytics tag but after that, I'm not sure what the steps are.

Do you have any idea what they might be? From just enabling the feature on GTM, only limited data comes through in GA telling me that something is missing on either the coding end or the GTM end.

Thanks in advance!

about 2 years ago

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Yoosuf Hassan, Tech Digital Coordinator at Peak Colombo

Could you please let me know the difference between product coupon and order coupon under the new Ecommerce menu in GA (after enhanced ecommerce is enabled)? Also how could be populate the data into these fields via tealium?

over 1 year ago

Ben Barrass

Ben Barrass, Data and Digital Marketing Manager at EconsultancyStaff

@Yoosuf - unfortunately i cannot comment on how to import those details into Tealium, however there is a description of the two here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6014872?hl=en#oc

@Renee - sorry for not getting back to you sooner! But there is a new guide published on using GTM within http://analytics.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/solutions-guide-for-implementing-google.html, but more specifically for enhanced ecommerce - these dev notes run through how to use the data layer to push the required information into GA https://developers.google.com/tag-manager/enhanced-ecommerce - they will require site coding changes to implement - but should provide some clarity as to the missing part of the puzzle for you.

@Tim / @Gerry - don't know if you are still picking up posts on this but was wondering if things had changed within the flexibility of 'out of the box' ecommerce tracking now enhanced ecommerce had had a chance to bed in (or whether you are seeing anyone at all using it)?

over 1 year ago

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Sarah Lundy, Digital Marketing & Project Manager at Workhouse MarketingSmall Business

Hi, I wondered if you have an update on this blog post?

12 months ago

Gerry White

Gerry White, Techical SEO Director at SiteVisibility

So a year on and it seems that most new clients I come across are still very much on classic ecommerce, implementation is far less straight forward than you would expect and so uptake / transition isn't perfect. I am on my 3rd implementation and the data you do get out is pretty impressive, but its a lot more challenging to implement than I would expect.

10 months ago

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