Google Analytics’ goal tracking itself is an important metric. That is not under contention. Where it does go wrong is when people make the mistake of relying on goal tracking for revenue analytics. It just doesn’t give the complete picture of user interactions on a website.
Take for example a goal set for “order confirmed” page. Suppose there are 500 sessions with “order confirmed” page in a given week and the total revenue that week was $ 5000. The goal value of the “order confirmed” page will be $10/session (5000/500). But does this mean that all 500 orders were for $10? Does this take into account how many orders were being placed in a single session? What about how many times a user visited the page to view the product?
These reasons and many more helped in accepting enhanced e-commerce tracking as a better measure of your e-commerce revenues.
Common mistakes associated with Goal Tracking as revenue metrics
Goal tracking is a very important metric to understand some one-time events a user may do on your website. It’s important for any business to measure metrics like new accounts, newsletter sign-ups, and similar user engagement metrics. Where some e-commerce falter, is using these metrics in place of revenue metrics that are a part of e-commerce tracking.
We’ve already talked about the first shortcoming by way of the dynamic nature of goal value. It requires constant monitoring as it can become outdated quickly.
Another flaw leading out from this is that once you set a goal value, it sees all transactions as being the same value. After all, a $10 product is not generating the same revenue as a $50 product. Depending on this transaction value blindness as a revenue metric can lead to varying inaccuracies in your revenue reports.
The other major flaw with goal tracking as revenue metric is that it will register unique events only. A user could be checking the same product within the same session 2-3 times but will be counted as a single page view. It doesn’t matter how many items a user may be ordering without leaving the website, only one goal will be triggered for the given session.
As you can see, when it comes to tracking revenue, goal tracking leaves much to be desired. For this reason, e-commerce platforms now use enhanced e-commerce tracking.
Before we get to the advantages having enhanced e-commerce can have, first we have to clear up another confusion when it comes to revenue tracking.
What is Enhanced E-Commerce tracking and how is it different from Standard E-commerce tracking?
When you will be setting up e-commerce tracking, you will be given the choice of either Standard or Enhanced E-commerce tracking. While there is a quick explanation on the Google Tag Manager Page, that tells you that Standard tracks transactions on the “order confirmed” or “thank you pages” only. Enhanced e-commerce tracking, on the other hand, tracks transactions from the moment an item is added to cart all the way to the transaction page.
It also allows you to check additional metrics like impressions, create funnels of the checkout process of a user on your website and even access to more reports like Product performance and Sales Performance among others.
Now with that out of the way, let’s look at some advantages your analytics will get when you start using enhanced e-commerce tracking.
5 Reasons you should switch to Enhanced E-commerce Tracking
Unique v/s Transaction: The biggest limitation that Goal tracking runs into is that it tracks unique events only. Track down to the transaction level with e-commerce tracking. This helps in keeping revenue information as accurate as possible.
Conversion Timing Reports: Get insights into user behaviour with e-commerce tracking and looking at Time to Purchase reports – track days to transaction and sessions to transactions of different products.
Revenue Reports: Understand revenue per transaction or even down to the product SKU and use this data to optimize marketing efforts.
Set-up Sales Funnel: The sales funnel is an important part of optimizing the checkout process. You can further segment it according to your needs like devices, browsers or source/medium.
Product Reports: With reports like Items per Purchase and Item Quantity, you can give better suggestions to your customers about what products usually get bought together.
As you see, enhanced e-commerce tracking lets you gather multifaceted data on how users interact with your website along with the products listed on your website. With this, you can look into your revenue streams carefully and examine how you can best carry out your future marketing activities.
As digital marketing is an iterative field, the results of any activities affect all future activities and armed with the data from both enhanced e-commerce and goal tracking, you can power-up your marketing like never before. Get started today. Keep in mind you might need the help of your developer or implementation expert if you’ve never worked with Google Tag Manager before.
About the author
Joy Chakraborty is a customer success manager at SearchTap.io. He is an enthusiast of CRO techniques, data-driven decisions and customer success through innovation. He has helped many small and medium e-commerce businesses increase revenues by fixing search UI/UX and relevance issues. Joy recommends the first steps an e-commerce store take to boost its conversions and revenues are looking at studying user search patterns and digging deep into search specific analytics.
To know more about how you can search can help improve revenues, visit SearchTap.io.