How to Configure Goals and E-Commerce
Configuring E-Commerce in Google Analytics is pretty straightforward:
- Login to your Google Analytics account
- Click on the “admin” tab in the right corner
- Click on the “view settings” links
- Turn on E-Commerce tracking
However, before you will see data in Google Analytics you have to add extra e-commerce scripts to your website.
Similarities between Goals and Transactions
1. Success Indicators
Both goals, as well as transactions, tell your something about how your business is performing.
For example, you might implement eCommerce to track the number and average order value of laptop’s sold.
On the other hand, you might use goals to track the number of unique views of your “thank you” page. This can be your e-commerce “thank you” page, but also your newsletter “thank you” page.
As you can see, both metrics will help you to measure the performance.
2. Possibility of Segmentation
A lot of extra insights will appear in Google Analytics after you have configured your goals and e-commerce in the correct way. It is important to know that you can segment your goal and e-commerce metrics toward virtually any dimension available in Google Analytics. This allows you to analyze and optimize your ROI per traffic source, region, browser, landing page etc. etc.
3. Multichannel Reporting and Attribution Modelling
E-commerce transactions, as well as goals, are available with multi-channels and attribution modelling. You can dive into the interaction between multiple channels for one or more of your business goals.
4. Value of Goals and Transactions
Within eCommerce, you are able to measure the value for each of the products sold and the transaction as a whole. In this way, you can calculate the ROI of AdWords or email campaigns for instance.
If you are technically skilled, you might benefit from setting up e-commerce for non-eCommerce actions. For example, in order to measure different selection/value criteria in forms.
Google Analytics goals can and should be equipped with a goal value. Read my in-depth post about goal values in Google Analytics if you like to know more about this topic.
Differences between Goals and E-Commerce
1. Once per Visit vs. Multiple Times
A goal is only measured once in a visit. Think about pageviews vs. unique pageviews.
On the other hand, there are no limitations for the number of transactions being measured during one session.
For example, Peter visits the Nike store twice in a row within the same visit. He decides to buy two pairs of shoes within one session but as two different orders. Peter has bought one pair for himself and then decides to buy one pair for his girlfriend as well. Google Analytics will measure one goal and two transactions in this case!
2. Funnel Data
If you set up a goal to measure transactions, you are able to set up a funnel in Google Analytics. You could do this to measure the complete checkout process and optimize it as well.
You won’t be able to get this data if you limit yourself to eCommerce reporting.
3. Visits to Purchase and Time to Purchase Reports
Ecommerce is very powerful as it allows you to analyze additional metrics. The Days to Purchase report shows how many days occurred before the visitor decided to purchase. Whilst the Visits to Purchase report shows how many visits occurred before the visitor decided to purchase.
4. More Broadly Used
In general, Google Analytics goals are more broadly used than eCommerce transactions. You might use goals for destination pages, time on site tracking, pages per visit tracking and event tracking.
Ecommerce is most often used for measuring e-commerce related metrics.
5. Detailed Metrics
If compared to goals, eCommerce reporting provides you with many more metrics related to eCommerce transactions.