How to Maximize the Potential of eCommerce Analytics & Tracking

April 13, 2020

Tracking eCommerce sales and all other interactions of your visitors, such as the initial ads they clicked on to the interactions with your email campaigns, is essential to be able to measure what parts of your marketing activities work and which don't.

Analytics should be set up correctly right before the launch of your eCommerce store as you want to collect data and analyze the performance of your eCommerce site properly.

When setting up your eCommerce analytics, you want to have some of the following capabilities:

Detailed checkout tracking

By tracking checkout steps in detail, you will know when customers abandon their shopping cart, and what products they have added or removed from the cart. These information will help you understand where and why people drop off. If you have thousands of people adding products to their cart, but never completing the purchase, something may be wrong during your flow.

Here is an example of one of our customers:

Their checkout process required users to enter a one time password (OTP) for credit card authorization. It turns out; the OTP field didn't allow copy-pasting the code from the received SMS and pasting it over to the form. Additional security, sure, but no further warning to the user. Of course, this led to a massive drop off since many customers didn't assume that they could not copy-paste the code for security reasons and though it's a bug.

Track sales in your analytics platform

You want to know which products were purchased and what was the value of the product as well as the total shopping cart value.

While this information is already available in your eCommerce platform, you still want to be able to track this information in your analytics platform of your choice. This information will allow you to analyze your sales funnel in more detail. For example, you could follow a purchase back to other events that are happening on your site, or to the sources that brought customers to the store and ended up buying certain products.

Besides, you will want to use your sales conversions in optimizing your campaigns on  your advertising platforms. 

Yes, that's right, you want to tell Facebook how many products you have sold and what was the value of those, because yes, Facebook and Google will use this information to optimize your campaigns.

Track product popularity, most bought, most refunded, and filter your reports based on product purchases.

Another powerful way to analyze your eCommerce performance and adjust your marketing and merchandising efforts is to track which products sold the most, are most viewed, most refunded, and how visitors have reached to purchase them.

Think about a marketing message or product description that promises something the product does not fulfill. You'd expect to receive a lot of refunds for a situation like this.

Implementing a robust tracking system takes time, and our recommendation is Enhanced Ecommerce Analytics together with Google Tag Manager.

Google Tag Manager will allow you to set up custom data layers that will push information to Google Analytics as well as other platforms.

How Google Tag Manager Helps Manage Data From Multiple Sources

Imagine you have a shopping cart purchase event-triggered, and you want to send the details of the transaction to various platforms such as Google Analytics, Facebook, and your BI dashboard. 

Without Tag Manager, you would have to send the data to each service individually using an API call. This method has several issues, such as being slow, error-prone, and potentially require a lot of maintenance work in the future.

Google Tag manager handles this for you. Google tag manager, when installed on your site, will receive event data from your website, such as clicks and page views, etc. You can then interact with this data using the Google Tag manager console and send the information you want to your analytics or marketing tracking tool.

Example of Facebook Purchase Tracking flow using GTM

Don't underestimate the importance of analytics

It's a never-ending spiel of generating traffic, analyzing this traffic, making adjustments to improve conversion, and sending more traffic to your site. A lot of work goes into this. Creating traffic to your site is complicated, and so is finding out what people are doing on your website, what you can improve, and then testing that those improvements worked.

It requires patience. Really? Patience? I don't know about you, but I don't do patience, I'd rather have a plan. 

And that's what you need here: a measurement plan. A measurement plan is a way to set clear KPIs, have a defined idea of measurement, and, most importantly, how you can influence the performance as fast as possible.

If you want to know how to set up an ecommerce tracking and measurement plan, feel free to get in touch.

Read the rest of the articles from this eCommerce Business Setup Series:

4 Things That Make eCommerce Better than Traditional Retail

4 Approaches to Choosing the Right Technology for Your eCommerce

Keys to an Organized eCommerce Product Architecture and Inventory System  

Crafting a Smooth Operational Plan for Your eCommerce Store

How to Align Touch points to Maximize Conversion of Your eCommerce Site

3 Proven Techniques to Increase eCommerce Conversion Using Psychology

Top Merchandising Strategies of the Biggest eCommerce Sites

Leveraging Retargeting & Automation to Increase eCommerce Conversions

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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