0405123696 petra@web-data-analytics.com

 882 total views,  6 views today

The tracking codes used by Google Analytics can get a bit complicated, especially if you’re not a developer. I’ll do by best to explain in this article how it all works.

There are two eCommerce frameworks that you can use in Google Analytics – Standard Ecommerce and Enhanced Ecommerce. This article will discuss the background information along with some examples from Enhanced Ecommerce. If you are using Standard Ecommerce then please go to the relevant article.

Essentially, if you are using the Google Analytics with Ecommerce turned on, you want to include transaction data with every transaction.

To do this, you will typically generate a post-transaction “thank you” page, which is intended to be seen by all customers as soon as they purchase. The tracking code will be placed on that page.

Ecommerce tracking is executed in three distinct steps.

Firstly, the website’s “server-side” code is responsible for working out the price, the quantity, the tax, shipping etc. (This is often written in PHP, but may be written in another language – it doesn’t really matter). This website code contains instructions that write the Google Analytics tracking code on to the HTML page, or alternatively it might just list all the data values so that it can be dynamically created in Javascript. Irrespective of which language is used to write the website pages, the Google Analytics Ecommerce tracking code will be written in Javascript because that is the language that Google Analytics uses to send data.

Once the thank-you page has loaded, the HTML page will have been rendered with a Google Analytics tracking code. This tracking code will be updated with all the values that the eCommerce server has sent to the page. The code will include a “send” command that will send the data to Google Analytics.

As the page is rendering the Google Analytics tracking code will execute and send the data over to Google Analytics. This is why it is important that the Google Analytics tracking code is placed as high up in the page as possible, in order for it to have the opportunity to finish executing before your website visitor closes their browser window.

Good to Know: You can manually add transaction data to your website even if you don’t implement all the different options from the Enhanced Ecommerce Framework.

Now lets look at how this is done with Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce framework. If you are using the Google Analytics Standard Ecommerce framework then skip to the relevant article.

In the same way as with the Google Analytics Standard Ecommerce framework, you can add your Enhanced Ecommerce tracking code to a post-transaction “thank you” page.

The Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce tracking code is made up of two components – the Action data and the Product data. We will now look at these two aspects of the tracking code in more detail.

Action Data

In the table below, you can see the format for action data. A transaction is considered an action in the Enhanced Ecommerce Framework. Actions are generic and can be used for more than just transactions, so some of the options listed are not relevant for transactions.

Google Analytics. Retrieved from https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/ecommerce

Here’s a bit of a summary:

  • The Transaction ID is a required field. This will be a generated ID made up of letters and/or numbers which will uniquely identify the transaction.
  • The Affiliation is an optional field, and is the name of your store. It is useful to include if you have more than one eCommerce store sharing the same Google Analytics property, or if you have more than one department, each with its own shopping cart.
  • The Revenue is an optional field. It tells you the total amount that your customers are paying for the transaction, irrespective of how many items are being purchased; i.e. it is the final total price. Google Analytics can determine the amount from the total revenue of the products, if the revenue is excluded from the transaction.
  • Shipping and Tax are optional fields, but are good to add if you know these details.
  • Coupon enables you to list a coupon that was used with a transaction.
  • List, Step and Option are optional fields that would not typically be used with a transaction action.

Product Data

In the table below, you can see the format for product data. A transaction does not require products, but it greatly enhances the functionality of the data if you include them.

Google Analytics. Retrieved from https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/analyticsjs/ecommerce

Here’s a summary of the product data:

  • The Product ID is a required field that uniquely identifies a product, i.e. it is a product code or SKU.
  • The Name is a required field that describes the human readable name of the product.
  • The Brand is an optional field that describes the brand of the product.
  • The Category is an optional field that describes which product category this product belongs to.
  • The Variant is an optional field that describes which variation of a product this is.
  • The Price is an optional field that lists the unit price for the product. While it is optional, it should always be included for a transaction.
  • The Quantity is an optional field that lists how many of this product was purchased in this transaction. While it is optional, it should always be included for a transaction.
  • The Coupon is an optional field that is used for a coupon code that is associated with the product rather than a transaction.
  • The Position is not relevant for transactions.

Adding a single transaction via Enhanced Ecommerce is quite straightforward, so you end up with a fairly simple piece of code that can then be added to your transaction thank you page.

Important note: You will see examples of Enhanced Ecommerce code written for Google Tag Manager as well as Google Analytics. These are very similar in format, with a few notable differences. Google Tag Manager code is pushed to the Data Layer whereas Google Analytics code is pushed to Google Analytics directly. We won’t be covering Google Tag Manager in this article series, but Google Tag Manager is my area of expertise so please contact me if you require assistance with Google Tag Manager.

Here is what a completed example using Enhanced Ecommerce Framework would look like:

Step 1: Let Google Analytics know that we will be sending Enhanced Ecommerce data.

Step 2: Add the product data.

Step 3: Add the action data.

Step 4: Send it all to Google Analytics so that it turns up in your Google Analytics Ecommerce reports

 

Effectively adding tracking data to your thank-you pages will take a bit of getting your head around, especially if you don’t come from a developer background. It is well worth the effort to get it done however, as adding Ecommerce data to your Google Analytics reports will prove to be invaluable for your business.


Kiley Hay Baby Carriers Australia

I have been working with Petra for over a year now after changing from a much larger digital marketing provider and I could not be more pleased with the service and results my business is achieving.

With my previous providers I felt disconnected with limited communication. Petra on the other hand provides me with knowledge and information in a language I can understand that helps me make informed decisions not just about digital marketing but also my e-commerce business as a whole.

Petra has helped me navigate seasonal drops in trade creating a strategy that helped us grow and establish a healthy position in the market. It is an absolute joy to work with someone who loves what they do. I have complete confidence in recommending Petra to anyone considering e-commerce digital marketing, she is efficient, trusted and a true professional.

Kiley Hay CEO of Baby Carriers Australia Ecommerce Google Ads April 23, 2020

Ian Gale - Sleepwise Clinic

Petra was instrumental in pulling all our clinic's web analytics into one easy to read, dynamic report that's accessible to me at any time, and works with our EXACT booking system.

This has allowed me to see, at a glance, what marketing initiatives are working, need tweaking, or changing altogether, saving me both time and money. I can't recommend her or her analytic services enough.

Ian Gale SleepWise Clinic Analytics Dashboard August 1, 2018

Michelle Bridger

Petra's detailed reports and her personal assistance has been helping us to know where to concentrate our efforts and even showed us technical issues we needed to fix. Our Audience Engagement Report identified several key interests of our buying audience. We tried targeting one of those interests and it brought in two sales almost immediately! I highly recommend working with Petra and accessing her brilliance to scale your business.

Michelle Bridger Michelle Bridger, Facebook Advertising Specialist Ecommerce Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics & Google Data Studio Configuration April 23, 2020

Erica Stacey Scout Digital

I recently worked with Petra to improve my understanding of Google Tag Manager.

Petra not only provided a solid overview of GTM set up and event tracking, she also provided many tips on best practice, and answered the questions that I didn't even know to ask!

Petra is patient, fun to work with, and her analytical programming mind is hell bent on finding the BEST solution to any data, analytics or tracking problem.

Erica Stacey Scout Digital Marketing Strategy Session June 21, 2017

brett leggett

Hi Petra, Hope you are well, I checked out the Google Analytics and all I can say is AWESOME. You have essentially doubled her revenue in a month and the Google Ads seem to be popping off!

Brett Leggett Brett Leggett ✪ eCommerce Growth Specialist Ecommerce Google Ads April 23, 2020