What’s Enhanced Ecommerce?

So you’ve already set-up your online shop and are hands wide open waiting for those first customers to come. You’ve selected a plethora of products, and have created a bona fide marketing strategy. You know which channels will bring you the biggest “bang for the buck.”

I have one question for you though: Still using regular Google Analytics?

Why?

Did you know that you’re missing on a truckload of absolutely free data? Did you know that this data can help you create better strategies and remarketing campaigns?

How to get this data you might ask?

Use enhanced eCommerce (EEC).

Why Enhanced Ecommerce?

Let’s compare the regular Analytics set up with the enhanced eCommerce setup.

Regular Google Analytics Setup

The regular setup is as simple as they come. It tracks goal data after the purchase is made, mostly via a thank-you page. You can track the number of people who saw the previous page (like checkout) and see how many of those people bought from your store.

That’s about it.

Enhanced Ecommerce Setup

Enhanced eCommerce (EEC) does everything the regular setup does. And, it gives you data on customer behavior before they buy on your website. This setup allows you to see the whole customer journey in your store. It collects the whole thing, from landing on a page, then consideration, then the sale, and then returns! Everything is tracked and collected.

What Does Enhanced Ecommerce Do?

In a nutshell, the enhanced eCommerce tracking does everything. This includes:

  • Tracking customer behavior
  • Reports on funnel drop-offs at each step of the funnel
  • Reports on when, where, with what, and how customers complete the purchase
  • Product views
  • Total revenue per order (including tax, coupons, and shipping costs)
  • Product performance
  • Reports on reviews
  • And much, much more

If this sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is.

So What’s the Catch?

There’s always a catch. With enhanced eCommerce, the catch is the setup. To say it’s complicated is, well, an understatement. The truth is if you don’t know how to write JavaScript and have decent knowledge in coding, you’re going to have a bad day.

My recommendation here is if you don’t know how to do it, get an experienced developer to do it for you.

The silver lining here is that if you use a CMS platform like WordPress, Shopify, or Magento, you can use one of the available plugin/app integrations.

CMS Integration Examples

For WordPress shops built on Woocommerce, you can use both the Enhanced Ecommerce Plugin for Woocommerce, or set it semi-manually via the Google Tag Manager for WordPress plugin. Both do their job, the latter requires a bit more work.

For shops built on Shopify, for a minimal fee of $39 a month, you can get the Actionable Google Analytics app.

For shops built on Magento, you can use the dedicated Enhanced Ecommerce extension.

All the above ease the process of integrating enhanced eCommerce, making it easy.

But, if your site doesn't have these methods available, you need to go the long way to achieve the same thing.

Installing the Enhanced Ecommerce Setup

First things first, make sure you aren’t using standard eCommerce. This Analytics setup tracks only transactions and item data. We don’t want that, we want more.

If you are already using the standard eCommerce setup, you’ll either need to:

  • Scrap it completely and start from scratch
  • Change the code to add enhanced eCommerce references

The Do-It-Yourself way is extremely difficult. Especially if you have a lot of products in your shop.

There are two ways to install enhanced eCommerce on your website:

Enhanced Ecommerce Via Google Tag Manager

The best way to implement enhanced eCommerce is through Google Tag Manager. And, it’s easier than setting it up via the Universal Analytics tag.

The setup includes:

  • Enabling Enhanced eCommerce in the Google Analytics property,
  • Enabling Enhanced eCommerce in the Tag Manager GA tag,
  • Use the dataLayer to push eCommerce data into Analytics..

The tricky part with this setup is to implement all eCommerce data (cart additions, checkouts, abandonments, etc) into the dataLayer itself. Below is an example of how such an implementation for measuring product clicks looks like:


ga('ec:addProduct', {               // Provide product details in a productFieldObject.
  'id': 'P12345',                   // Product ID (string).
  'name': 'Blue T-Shirt',           // Product name (string).
  'category': 'Apparel',            // Product category (string).
  'brand': 'Generic T-Shirt Brand', // Product brand (string).
  'variant': 'Black',               // Product variant (string).
  'position': 1,                    // Product position (number).
  'dimension1': 'Member'            // Custom dimension (string).
});

ga('ec:setAction', 'click', {       // click action.
  'list': 'Search Results'          // Product list (string).
});

You can find full specifications from Google on their developer website.

Enhanced Ecommerce Via Universal Analytics (UA)

Firstly, if you’re using Classic Analytics, update to Universal Analytics. Start by clicking the “Universal Analytics Upgrade” link in the Property column under the Admin tab.

Then, you need to install a dedicated analytics.js tracking code. If you are using the ga.js library, you’ll need to migrate to analytics.js. It’s the latest JavaScript library for Google Analytics. Install it on every page that you want to track with enhanced eCommerce.

Lastly, go into the Admin tab in Google Analytics. Select the View you’ll be doing the tracking in, select Ecommerce Settings, and Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting.

It looks simple so far, but this is far from the truth.

After this initial setup, you’ll need to modify the Google Analytics tracking code to be able to load the enhanced eCommerce plugin.

(Sounds complicated? That’s because it is.)

I won’t go into details on how to set this up, because Google has an in-depth guide on how to use the analytics.js library for eCommerce tracking.

Enhanced Ecommerce Data Types

The enhanced eCommerce tracking can track four categories of data and collect them in Google Analytics. This includes:

Product Impressions Tracking

This category contains data about product views. It's called with the enhanced eCommerce command impressionFieldObject.

Below is a table containing the data required to set up this category.

png-format-1573140295907587750impressionfieldobject

Product Tracking

This category collects data about individual product views, add-to-cart, and more. It’s called with the enhanced eCommerce command productFieldObject.

Below is a table containing the data required to set up this category.

png-format-15731402331166191237productfieldobject

Promotions Tracking

This category collects data about viewed promotions. It's called with the enhanced eCommerce command promoFieldObject.

Below is a table containing the data required to set up this category.

png-format-1573140178694794180promofieldobject

Action Tracking

This category collects data for eCommerce-related actions, like revenue, shipping costs, tax, and more. It’s called with the enhanced eCommerce command actionFieldObject.

Below is a table containing the data required to set up this category.

Enhanced Ecommerce - Tracking Priorities

Since implementing enhanced eCommerce is a chore, you can go about having one tracking implementation at a time. Remember, if you have lots of products, you’ll need to set up the analytics.js for each of them. So, if you want to start using a partial implementation, you should follow this priority list:

  1. Purchases - This needs no explaining. Tracking purchases is the most important part of using enhanced eCommerce. Implementing it will give you access to the sales reports in Analytics. This report will contain sold products by brand, variant, and category.
  2. Checkout - Implementing checkout tracking is the second priority of eCommerce implementation. This will give you access to the checkout steps report, giving you data on checkout behavior, including drop-offs.
  3. Product Details - Implementing this is optional, but should be done nevertheless. This will give you access to a dedicated metric, ‘Buy-to-Detail’, which is the ratio between sold products and details page views of said product.
  4. Cart Actions - Implementing this will give you access to the ‘Cart-to-Detail’ metric. This metric measures the ratio between add-to-cart and product details views. Oh, and it will track how many add-to-cart and cart abandonments happened too.

Is Enhanced Ecommerce Actually Worth the Trouble?

Nobody said implementing enhanced eCommerce tracking would be easy. But nothing worth something is easy.

Having more data is always worth the trouble. Especially if you're doing PPC for Ecommerce.

So, it’s the real question here is - have you already implemented enhanced eCommerce tracking?

If you answered no and you own an eCommerce business, you should seriously dedicate time to get this done. Getting an idea at what’s happening in your shop is crucial to plug any leaks from the conversion funnel of Ecommerce and boost your sales.

Needless to say, enhanced eCommerce is a must for all retail and wholesale online businesses.