Google Analytics Demystified: Part 3 – E-Commerce Tracking
In Part 2 of this series, Google Analytics Demystified: Part 2 – “Vanilla” Google Analytics I talked about what I call “Vanilla” Google Analytics and provided some helpful insight on how to install it, how to check the status of it, and offered some tips for troubleshooting when it seems Google does not recognize your tracking code.
In Part 3 of this series here, I reveal the secrets to successfully using E-Commerce Tracking in Google Analytics. I’ll briefly go over installation, and then “activation” of Google E-Commerce tracking for Zen Cart. There are two steps required to get e-commerce tracking working, and both need to be completed or you will get “0’s” returned in your statistics.
Keep in mind that to utilize e-commerce tracking, you must first have Google Analytics installed for your website.
Google Analytics E-Commerce Tracking is used to track product sales, sales revenues, transaction data, etc… When you install E-Commerce tracking, you’ll get reporting figures for things like “dollar amount of total sales for the period”, “product sales revenues for the period”, “top selling products”, and more.
The code you use to install Google E-Commerce Tracking looks something like this and MUST be placed BELOW the “Basic” Analytic Tracking code (shown above) on the sales RECEIPT page. This is the page a user arrives at after completing a successful sale at your store.
Sample of Google E-Commerce Tracking Code:
<form style="display:none;" name="utmform">
[total]|[tax]| [shipping]|[city]|[state]|[country] UTM:I|[order-id]|[sku/code]|[productname]|[category]|[price]|
Zen Cart users that are utilizing the Simple Google Analytics Contribution do not have to worry about adding any code for e-commerce tracking. It is automatically added for you when you install the contribution. However, you still need to make sure you enable e-commerce tracking from within your Google Analytics Account as indicated below.
You must tell Google that your site is an “E-Commerce Website” by enabling e-commerce tracking (or you will get “0’s” across the board in your e-commerce statistic reports.)
To do this, you login to your Google Analytics account and go to your Analytics tab then click on the “Edit” link to the right of the website profile you wish to activate e-commerce tracking for.
On the next page you come to (profile settings), click the “Edit” link to the right of the first section heading that says “Main Website Profile Information”. This will bring you to the final screen, and the screen at which you actually “activate” e-commerce tracking for your store.
At this final screen, simply select the “Yes” radio button option next to “E-Commerce Website:” and then click the “Save Changes” button.
Now, and only now, you are ready to start tracking e-commerce transactions at your online store.
In my new workbook titled “Google Analytics Uncovered for Zen Cart: The Workbook“, to be released on or before August 15th, 2007; I go into even more detail about how to install, read, and utilize Google E-Commerce tracking for Zen Cart. Keep an eye out for that.
With close to 100 pages of content, it’s sure to provide a wealth of unknown information and uncover some revealing details to help you read and understand what your Google Analytics are telling you. This information, when used properly, can assist you in increasing conversion of your website.
**** UPDATED 7/30/07 ****
I’ve had a number of users ask to show the Zen Cart customized code that should be used if you are planning on inserting it by hand (and not electing to use the Simple Google Analytics contribution; my recommended method). So, to help those users out, I have included instructions and code below to achieve that.
To insert the code for e-commerce tracking into Zen Cart by hand, you will need to alter two different files.
The first file you will need to alter is:
Find that file, and insert the following code into it just above the closing