Google Analytics is a Freemium web analytics service offered by Google. The term Freemium means that while the service is available for free, one needs to pay in order to unlock its certain features. It is now the most widely used web analytics service on the internet which tracks and reports website traffic. It is also available in two additional versions – subscription based Google analytics 360 which is targeted for enterprise users and Google analytics for mobile App, which is an SDK (Software development kit or “dev kit”) that allows gathering usage data from Android and iOS Apps.
Google Analytics ecommerce reporting can easily track sales activity and performance. The reports show the website’s transactions, revenue and many other ecommerce related metrics. In 2011 Google added another feature to Google Analytics and that was ‘Real time analytics’. With real-time, one can monitor the activities as they happen on the web or the App. The reports are updated continuously and each hit (Hit can be defined as an interaction that results in data being sent to Analytics. It includes page tracking, ecommerce hits etc.) is reported within seconds. This real-time data is great for ecommerce websites as you are able to see the number of people that are there on your website at present, the events that they are interacting with and the conversions that are taking place. Another great feature of Google Analytics that can be used by ecommerce websites is the cohort analysis which rather than looking at the users as one unit breaks them into related groups as per their behaviour, for analysis. This feature can be helpful to ecommerce business leaders for implementing an effective marketing strategy.
When combined with Google AdWords (An online advertising service by Google in which the advertisers pay to display ads to web based users), the users can easily review online campaigns. Google analytics is a very effective tool and the analysis done by it can identify poorly performing web pages. To identify such pages, it uses methods such as funnel visualization, where the visitors came from, how long they stayed on the page and it also traces their geographical location.
For an ecommerce business the areas that are focussed by the Google analytics report precisely include the following – content, social, traffic sources, conversions and technology.
The content report helps you in identifying the pages that are most visited, the ones that have a high bounce rate, and the ones that need more promotion. And not just this, you are also able to identify the problems in navigation and site search options.
The social report includes the analysis of the performance of the products that you had promoted through the social media channels. It includes network referrals, conversions, plugins etc.
The traffic sources report helps you see where the traffic is coming from. It also helps you analyse the organic performance based on keywords and landing pages.