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The Product List Performance Report is the last of the built-in Ecommerce Conversions reports and is available to businesses with Enhanced Ecommerce.
It is located in the Conversions menu, as shown in this image:
The Product List Performance report helps with optimising the display of individual products as part of categories or “groups” of products.
Firstly, it is important to note that a product list is any list of products on your website. So this may include each of the categories in your website navigation, “related” product lists, “recommended for you” product lists, special collections and any other list of products that can be found on your website. You may even find that when a visitor looks at a product on your website, your shop shows “similar products” alongside, and so looking at a single product may also trigger an impression of a product list.
This data can be collected using Enhanced Ecommerce Product Impressions tracking codes, as long as the product list name is collected at the same time as any Product Impressions.
There are four ways of viewing the Product List Report, depending upon which Primary Dimension you select. You can select from the following four options:
- Product List Name: The name given to a specific product list.
- Product List Position: The product position in all product lists (usually used with a secondary dimension of product list name to make it more useful). So, for example, the first product in the list would have list position 1.
- Product: The name of the product found within a product list.
- Product SKU: The SKU or unique product code of the product found within a product list.
Choose Product List and Product List Position reports if you want to optimise lists in terms of which products are listed on them. Choose Product or Product SKU if you want to optimise products in relation to which lists they are displayed on. You want to make sure that the products that are most likely to sell well are displayed prominently on your product lists rather than being slotted in on page 27 of 100 pages (I really hope you don’t have such long lists 😆).
The columns in this report include the following:
- Product List Views: The total number of product impressions for the time period selected, divided up by the dimensions selected. This requires Product Impression to be captured with Enhanced Ecommerce.
- Product List Clicks: The total number of product clicks for the time period selected, divided by the dimensions selected. This requires Product Click to be captured with Enhanced Ecommerce.
- Product List CTR (Click Through Rate): This is the Product List Clicks divided by the Product List Views. It requires both Product Impression and Product Click to be captured with Enhanced Ecommerce.
- Product Adds To Cart: This is the number of times that a product is added to the cart for the time period selected. In order to see the data for a Product List, the Product List would need to be captured within the Add To Cart with Enhanced Ecommerce, otherwise this column only works for Products.
- Product Checkouts: This is the number of times a product is checked out for the time period selected. In order to see the data for a Product List, the Product List would need to be captured within the Checkout with Enhanced Ecommerce, otherwise this column only works for Products.
- Unique Purchases: This is the number of times a product is purchased for the time period selected. In order to see the data for a Product List, the Product List would need to be captured within the Transaction with Enhanced Ecommerce, otherwise this column only works for Products.
- Revenue: This is the revenue from product purchases for the time period selected. In order to see the data for a Product List, the Product List would need to be captured within the Transaction with Enhanced Ecommerce, otherwise this column only works for Products.
Here’s an example.
You might have noticed there are several columns with 0 in the image above. That is because it is rare for a plugin to implement product lists further than impressions and few ecommerce stores manually configure their ecommerce tracking codes. So let me explain what I mean.
The Product List Name and the product list position are properties that can be passed to events such as impression, click, add to cart, checkout, transact etc. For any one column to show data in the Product List Report, the Product List Name needs to be included in the data captured as part of that event. If the Product List Name is missing then you will see a 0 in the report, even though that is not really the case.
So in the example above you can see that in the Specials list there were o Product Adds to Cart, No Purchases, no Product Revenue etc. That is because when the event was sent to Google Analytics it didn’t include the originating Product List Name as part of the event data. One way to resolve this, if your developer couldn’t fix it with custom eCommerce tracking code, would be to store the name of the product list as a session variable in Google Tag Manager and then pass it at the time of each event. Unfortunately that is well out of scope for this book, so we’ll need to look at that some other time.
So how do you use this report? Essentially if you are wanting to optimise Product Lists you want to set your default order to the order of most profitable products first and least profitable products last. Now profitable might not have anything to do with margin, but the likely revenue. You could store profit margin as a custom dimension but it isn’t natively part of Google Analytics.
On the other hand, if you wanted to optimise products by putting them into more Product Lists, you could use these reports to identify which product lists they are converting best from and then seek to add them to more targeted lists such as ‘recommended for you’ lists.
So that’s a guide to the Product List Report. Product List Optimisation really deserves a topic of its own, rather than just in relation to reading this report, but hopefully this is a good start.