5 Google Analytics Metrics that Will Move the E-commerce Needle

Editor’s note: Thanks to Spela Miekuz of Databox for this guest post on Google Analytics metrics.

To generate more e-commerce sales, whether that’s on your Google Shopping store or on your website, sellers need to get good at analyzing data and spotting trends in Google Analytics. Because it’s easy to focus on vanity metrics like pageviews or get stuck in analysis paralysis, we’re sharing five crucial metrics to look at to help you move the needle.

E-commerce conversion rate

This one should be a no-brainer. “If I could provide only one tip for tracking your e-commerce performance in Google Analytics, it would be conversions,” says Nadia Duwaik of Cleure. “After all, conversions equal money earned, and at the end of the day, that is the main driving force of any e-commerce site. You can have an increase in site traffic, but if you aren’t tracking your conversion rate and implementing measures to increase it, you are missing out on sales.”

Aim for a conversion rate of 3% or better. If you’re below that, devise a strategy to improve your conversion rate.

First-time vs. returning visitors

What percentage of your customers are first-time buyers versus repeat customers? 

For first-time buyers, consider an automated savings message or a free trial on a premium service plan. Have a strategy in place to capture new visitors to your site. 

In addition, if you have a significant percentage of repeat buyers, this likely means you have loyal customers. Implementing a loyalty or customer referral program could go a long way in generating more sales quickly.

Visitor behavior flow

“Keep a close watch on your shopping behavior flow as your conversion rate is key to running a successful e-commerce store,” says Alistair Dodds of Ever Increasing Circles.

“Monitor particularly the flow from sessions with add to cart, sessions with checkout, and sessions with transactions. Any sudden reduction in flow will indicate an issue with your checkout process and, potentially, site speed issues. Close monitoring and analysis of this flow are essential.” 

Top traffic drivers

Do you know which sources are driving the most traffic to your site?

Use Default Channel Grouping to track the channels that are sending you the most traffic and which ones are resulting in the most sales. Adjust your marketing budget and channel efforts accordingly.  

Enhanced e-commerce report

Finally, make sure to install the enhanced e-commerce reporting plugin. This plugin is especially valuable for sites with 100 or more product SKUs. 

The enhanced report provides a complete view of users’ pre-purchase shopping behavior and the performance of each product. The plugin offers other reports such as checkout behavior and product list performance. You can install the plugin manually, or find the plugin for a site hosted on Shopify or Magento.

Together, these five metrics will help measure your store’s performance within Google Analytics and keep an eye on what’s important. 

Learn more: Optimize your product listings by testing design concepts, photos, and descriptions with a target audience of likely buyers.

Kim Kohatsu

Kim Kohatsu is the founder of Charles Ave Marketing — Madison Ave for small businesses and startups. She loves SEM, business, writing, presidential history, and pandas.