Google Analytics Beginners Guide: 8 Ways to Use Google Analytics for Ecommerce Tracking

Meet John, who owns an eCommerce store. John has high hopes for his store, but it did not translate into numbers at the end of the day. He kept analyzing who visited the store and completed the purchase. But something is wrong. He is not able to wrap his head around it.
What did John do wrong?
John’s efforts focused only on the purchases. But what about the dropouts?
Unless an eCommerce store owner analyzes every aspect, it is impossible to validate the results. That’s why John decided to install Google Analytics to track his eCommerce metrics.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is an incredible tool from Google’s suite of products. In basic terms, Google Analytics helps you get valuable insights about your eCommerce store’s visitors. This includes vital details such as:

  • Where they came from?
  • Their behavior
  • What did they do on your website?
  • Their conversion paths
  • Whether they meet your business goals
  • Why did they leave?

But Google Analytics can be challenging even for a specialist. It’s essential to identify the relevant metrics to track for your eCommerce store. This article will help you with 8 fundamental metrics that every eCommerce store needs to start tracking right away.

Google Analytics for Ecommerce Tracking

For generating some critical data, you need to set up Google Analytics eCommerce tracking. It is easy and takes only 3 steps.
Step 1: Create your Google Analytics account. Then go to the "Admin" section on the top right side. Under "View," select "Ecommerce Setting."
Step 2: See the third column on the right side. The "Ecommerce tab" is visible. Select it and then set it to "YES."
Step 3: Now, you can see your eCommerce reports under the "Conversion" tab on the left-hand side of your page.
Pro tip: Don't forget to add your eCommerce tracking code to your website or Google Tag Manager. This will help you generate more accurate data and reports.

Google Analytics Metric #1: What Marketing Channels Should I Focus On?

No brainer! Every eCommerce store invests so much energy and effort in its ecommerce marketing campaigns. You might be creating many landing pages, email campaigns, video marketing assets, etc. But how will you measure your results?
Here’s where Google Analytics helps with the right inputs.
For instance, you have created a landing page for your new product launch. It has embedded YouTube videos along with a clickable CTA. As plan B, you have also sent an email campaign announcing the new product launch with clickable CTA.
With Google Analytics, you can calculate which one of these has led to more CTA clicks. Based on that, you can tweak your strategy to drive more sign-ups to your product.
Find this report under Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium
Pro tip: Using Google Analytics data, see which funnels are the most effective for your online marketing campaigns. If not sure, do A/B testing and then fix on a strategy.

Google Analytics Metric #2: What Is the Revenue I Am Generating?

Knowing how much revenue you generate and from where it is coming is essential. You might be already generating reports on this. But Google Analytics provides very accurate conversion metrics.
Let’s consider an eCommerce store A. With Google analytics, the eCommerce store owner curates important data like

  • Transactions
  • Average Order Value
  • Unique purchases
  • Quantity
  • Best Selling Products

Then he maps out the data that answers specific questions like

  • Landing pages that get the most conversions?
  • How do people find these pages?
  • Which products show the highest value to your customers?
  • How do you track your online revenue?

By mapping both these data, you will realize the source of your revenue. Also, you can analyze data for the past week or the past month and then understand the pattern to tweak your strategies.
Find this report under Conversions → Ecommerce → Overview
Pro tip: This data also helps you set up/change Google Analytics goals to understand if you are meeting/falling short of your financial goals.

Google Analytics Metric #3: How Do I Know About the Traffic?

Traffic is one of the metrics any eCommerce store owner cannot afford to miss out on. And when it comes to traffic, no tool can upstage Google Analytics. It provides you with detailed information such as

  • How many users have visited your online store?
  • What pages they've been on
  • Demographic details of users
  • Traffic sources.
  • Compared analysis of traffic between two time periods

You can deep dive into the website traffic sources and generate reports on

  • Organic Traffic - visitors who land on your site after searching on Google
  • Referral Traffic - visitors who clicked on your site's link but from some other website. You can also see where they landed on your website.
  • Social Traffic - visitors who come via social media.
  • Direct Traffic - visitors who typed your site's link directly in the web browser and landed on your site.
  • Email Traffic - visitors who come via your email campaigns, newsletters, etc.

For example, you're running a special contest on your Instagram. Still, you can see that more traffic is coming from your email newsletter but no other traffic sources. This fails the purpose of your giveaway contest.
Your website traffic reports from Google Analytics can help you here. It will help you identify if users are having problems accessing your giveaway from other platforms. Or your promotions for the giveaway are not as heavy as your emails to get the same results.
Find this report under Audience > Overview
Pro tip: Using this report, you can understand which channel is performing better than the others. Based on that, you can decide where you need to invest next - advertising, referrals, email marketing, etc.

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Google Analytics Metric #4: Who Should Be My Target Audience?

You can get outstanding traffic. But if you are not sure who your target audience or, in other words, potential customers are, then it isn't easy to create laser-focused strategies.
Google Analytics helps you discover who your real potential customers are. Find the following about your website visitors:


Use the data from Google Analytics and compare the data. See if your traffic consists of more male or female visitors. Based on this, you can realize if you're attracting the correct gender(s) to your store. Or the other way, you will know which gender feels more attracted towards your store. So now you can use it to tailor your content.
Find this report under Audience > Demographics > Gender.
For example, you run an eCommerce store for new moms. This means your traffic will consist of more women and comparatively fewer men.

Age Range

Look at the data and know your Audience's age range. Based on this data, you can use the marketing channels most suited for that age range.
Find this report under Audience > Demographics > Age.
Considering the same example, you might figure out the age group of your new moms. It could be somewhere between 25-35. In this case, you need to focus on running more retargeting ads on social media channels to attract these new moms.


Get a glimpse of what devices (even the OS system) your visitors are using the most to visit your store.
It is no new information that online shoppers are turning to mobile devices compared to desktops. And we know all your new moms are going to shop from social media. This means you need to have a mobile-friendly store to capture more sales.
Find this report under Audience> Mobile > Devices.
Pro tip: Use these specific target audience details to cross or upsell opportunities. You can also create better blog content ideas based on your target audience's preferences.

Google Analytics Metric #5: What Are the Keywords That I Should Be Optimizing For?

As you already know, content is still the king. Also, technical SEO and on-page SEO needs to go hand in hand with your content. But all these will work out only if you optimized all of these using the relevant keywords with the right search volume.
Google Analytics helps with the "Site Search" report here. It gives an overview of the search terms, keywords, long-tail, and pages that customers are searching for the most on your website.
Instead of breaking your head using Google Keyword Search, Google Analytics helps you get insight from visitors coming to your page.
For instance, the search terms in the US differ from the ones used in India. You cannot optimize your pages using Indian search terms when your target audience is from the US. Using Google Analytics, you can identify these details and optimize your website accordingly.
By doing this, you can rank higher in search for topics, features, or products that customers are looking for.
Find this report under Behavior > Site Search.
Pro tip: Combine your "Interest" report from the Audience tab and your "Search Site" report. This helps you gather the right keywords and phrases to target your future customers.

Google Analytics Metric #6: How Do I Understand My Customer's Shopping Behavior?

We spoke about demographics in brief. But you can learn more about your customers by breaking down their shopping behavior. Google Analytics helps you understand your customers' shopping behavior with details such as

  • Products they view
  • CTAs they click on
  • Items added to the cart
  • Carts abandoned at checkouts
  • Duration of transactions

By analyzing the shopping behavior, you understand your buyer's journey for both new and returning customers on your site. And the best outcome of this, you can reduce your cart abandonment rate.
For example, not all your website visitors complete their checkout process. Nearly 70% of them abandon their carts before the process. You can track your shopping cart abandonment with Google Analytics.
Create a Google Analytics Goal, and here a visitor needs to complete an order/purchase. Give your Google Analytics some time to populate the report first if you're a first-time user.
Then, you can start viewing reports like "Goals" and "Funnel Visualization" in the "Conversion" tabs. You can track which pages that customers abandon and make changes as needed.
Find this report under:

Conversions >> Ecommerce >> Shopping Behaviour

Pro tip: You can set up ‘checkout complete’ as one of your goals in the Google Analytics account. Using this, you can track the shopping cart abandonment in the conversion funnel.

Google Analytics Metric #7: How Do I Identify Which Social Media Channel Provides Better Traffic?

Not just traffic, you can also analyze your social media efforts using Google Analytics. Social media marketing is a highly competitive scenario. If you don’t channelize your efforts in the right direction, it is like a mirage. You will never find it.
Google Analytics provides reports for every social media channel.

  • Google Analytics on YouTube
  • Google Analytics on Facebook
  • Google Analytics on Twitter
  • Google Analytics on Instagram
  • Google Analytics on Pinterest

You can also measure social interactions and follower engagement. This will help you understand and compare traffic and conversions attributed to social media.
For example, if you are into B2B product marketing, your target audience is on LinkedIn and YouTube. By analyzing the number of times, a user clicks on embedded social buttons; you can understand your post's virality. For LinkedIn, this will be ‘Like’ or ‘Share.
Find this report under:

Acquisition → Social → Overview

Pro tip: Set up only one active goal for a specific social media channel to track social media metrics efficiently.

Google Analytics Metric #8: How Do I Integrate Google Analytics with Other Tools for Better Results?

Organic marketing efforts are reasonable. At times, you need to focus on paid marketing efforts such as PPC campaigns and Google Ads that convert. To achieve maximum results, you can link your Google Analytics account with your Ads and AdSense.
Link your Google Analytics account with your Ads account. With this, you can create ads with relevant keywords that result in better conversions.
Link your Google Analytics account with your AdSense account to track your online store's earnings. You can follow based on how many users visit you have/ or had instead of relying on page impressions.
Pro tip: Use the data from Google Analytics to create converting retargeting ads and track earnings per page.

Wrap Up

Use these 8 strategies today to start tracking your eCommerce metrics. You can create actionable steps to optimize your eCommerce store. Enjoy better conversions and enhance buyer experience using these robust Google Analytics metrics.
If you’re already using Google Analytics for your eCommerce store, let us know what you want to hear from us. We will include it as part of our ‘Advanced Google Analytics Guide for Seasoned Analysts.’

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