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Enhanced Ecommerce: What Are You Missing Out?

You are already an expert with what you do. You are a marketing maven or a data ace and you are very aware of what to do and have nailed it when it comes to online success. But if you’re only using “regular” Google Analytics than I think you’re missing out on a ton of valuable free data that could help you increase revenue. That’s the e-commerce three magic words also known as e-commerce trifecta.

Three words: Enhanced E-Commerce Plugin.

Introduced about two years ago, the Google Analytics enhanced e-commerce plugin – or ec.js provides the kind of data that you could only dream of in the past. And yet, many e-commerce sites are still not using it.

With the classic GA, analytics collected the data after some action by the visitor, typically using a destination goal. You could track the number of impressions, the conversion rate, and the value of those sales. That’s all helpful stuff with the old Google Analytics. If you’re a pro user, you might even track, compare data, and analyzing other statistics to guide your marketing team. That’s all fine.

But as an e-commerce site, wouldn’t it be great to have access to more beneficial data about your customer shopping behavior before they buy?

With Enhanced E-Commerce, the entire customer journey from arriving at a page, through research, evaluation, purchase, and even returns (post-purchase action) is tracked and collected. So now here come three questions:

  • What is Enhanced Ecommerce?
  • How can it help you?
  • How can you plug it into your website?

Addressing all the Alices, we are going to help you understand why moving to Enhanced Ecommerce is one of the best decisions you can make.

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What is Enhanced Ecommerce?

Classic Ecommerce data from Google Analytics (GA) addresses the most basic questions. It churns out reports on which products were sold and how many units, how many transactions were completed, and what is the return on spend for marketing campaigns. This does not, however, tackle other questions that riddle your brain:

  • Which internal promotion bears a product’s ad?
  • How many people saw the product details page?
  • Out of them, how many purchased the product?
  • Did anybody remove products after adding them? Has anybody triggered a partial or full refund?

You can still answer some of these questions using other reports in GA, but it does not give a holistic view of the customer journey or the purchase process. Enhanced Ecommerce can save the day!

The current default ecommerce tracking looks at the following steps when tracking a transaction:

  • Adding products to the shopping cart (removals are not specifically mentioned)
  • Starting, completing, or abandonment of the sale process (also using goals)
  • Enhanced Ecommerce looks at more steps that affect the customer journey:
  • Internal campaigns promoting a product
  • Clicks on the promotional campaigns
  • Views of the product list
  • Clicks on the link to product page
  • Views of the product page
  • Addition/removal of products to/from the cart
  • Checkout process Starts/Completions/Abandonments
  • Refunds

How can it help you?

You also get detailed customer journey details in terms of funnels for Ecommerce:

Using the Product Performance report in Enhanced Ecommerce, you can track:

  • Refund amount (partial or full) for a specific product
  • The % of times a product is added to the cart after viewing the product page: Cart to detail rate
  • The % of times a product is purchased after viewing the product page: Buy to detail rate
  • The number of times a product was part of the product list: Product detail views
  • The number of times a product was added to the cart: Product adds to cart
  • The number of times a product was removed from the cart: Product removes from cart
  • The number of times a product was checked out: Product checkouts
  • Not only that, you also get detailed reports on the internal marketing of products (using internal promotions) and external (using coupons and affiliate marketing).

    Internal Promotion Report : This is used to measure the efficiency of the internal campaigns on driving the traffic to the product pages. The measurement includes the views, clicks, and click-throughs for these promotions.

    Order Coupon Report : Coupons usually positively or sometimes negatively affect the purchase of products. The impact of such coupons is measured in terms of driving sales, orders, and AOV, which ultimately results in a decision to continue or discontinue a coupon. These coupons are applied at order level irrespective of the products in the transaction.

    Product Coupon Report : Same as the above but, product coupons are applied at a product or product category level.

    Affiliate Code Report : Helps you determine the affiliate websites’ role in driving transactions and revenue.

    With all these advantages, you would have to be crazy to say “No” to Enhanced Ecommerce. Now, let’s get you started on how to install it.

    How to set up enhanced ecommerce?

    The e-commerce tracking works on a thank you page. You have to place a JavaScript tag to collect the transactional data and send the information to Google Analytics. The hard part of tracking transactions is that you need to insert the transaction details into a special e-commerce tag. That means you need to add some server-side code to properly format the data. The server-side script needs to populate the transaction details based on user inputs. Below is the list of data layer items that need to be included:

    • Product impressions
    • Clicks on the link to product page
    • Product view
    • Additions to the cart
    • Checkout completions
    • Product Impressions

      We can measure the product impressions by using the impression action and one or more products. The below example showcases the details about the products displayed.

      Product Clicks

      To measure clicks on product links we need to push a click action to the data layer, to represent the clicked product. Below is an example:

      Product View

      By pushing a ‘detail’ action to the data layer, we can measure the views of product details, representing the products being viewed. Below is an example:

      Additions to the cart

      Similarly, you can measure additions to the shopping cart using an ‘add’ action and a ‘list of product’ details. Below is an example:

      Purchase

      Add your transaction details into the data layer using the ‘purchase’ action, along with an event that will fire an enhanced ecommerce-enabled tag. gtm.js would be required to call this particular tag.

      How to add the e-commerce tag in Google Tag Manager?

      Step 1: First we need to add a Universal Tag and add the account details as given below.

      Step 2: Now we need to make this tag a page based rule and then go to the More Settings → Ecommerce Features → Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Features option and select data layer as an option.

      Step 3: After making this addition, now we need to add the tag rule so that the tag fires on the correct page and with the transaction data enabled.

      Now you must be very clear on enhanced ecommerce implementation and should shortly start getting insightful reports that impact your most important goal: sales! It is not important to have a large quantity of data. Rather, it is best if you have a good quality of data. Enhanced Ecommerce is the right step in that direction. It heightens your ability for data analysis and lets you understand the customer purchase cycle and possible steps to improve the user’s experience.

Drive better results by understanding customer data