Whether you’re a startup or a long established e commerce business, there are certain metrics it makes sense to measure consistently on your website using Google Analytics.

1.     Sales

Let’s start with the obvious. Sales. This is where a huge number of businesses start and end with their website Analytics.

  • How many sales did you make?
  • How much revenue did you make?

Yes it’s important and yes, it’s in Google Analytics. But this should be one of a several key performance indicators you’re measuring.

2.     Your Website’s Conversion Rate

It’s all good and well knowing how many sales you’ve made, but how much traffic did you have to generate to make that money? By assessing your site’s conversion rate (the percentage of sessions that result in a sale) you can start to intelligently forecast sales because on traffic projections.

Don’t simply start and end with the overall conversion rate, however.

  • Break it down by marketing channel. So if you’re investing in ecommerce SEO, paid search or social media marketing, for example, you can make assessments about the quality of traffic from each
  • Break it down by landing page. Some landing pages (like products, for example) should be converting much higher than general information pages or blog posts. So it is important to segment
  • Break it down by device so you can clearly see how each type of device users access your site on converts

3.     Devices

Which devices are your customers using? Tablets? Smartphones? Desktops?

It’s important to look at device trends over time and you might even want to delve deeper than just the device type and start assessing different models and handsets.

By understanding how users convert on different devices, you can gain intelligence about how you should be marketing and ensure a seamless experience for users on the popular devices.

4.     Purchase Path

The multi touch sales path of most ecommerce websites means that looking at raw figures alone can be misleading. Let’s consider this scenario with a site that sells dining room furniture:

  • A user searches for “dining tables,” and finds your site on a PPC ad
  • The user clicks through to the site and sees one or two things he likes
  • He takes a note of the links
  • He then revisits the site via these links later and decides on one of the products
  • He goes to Google and hunts for 3rd party reviews of your site for reassurance and maybe even searches for a voucher
  • He then searches for your brand in Google and clicks your organic listing before making the purchase

Google will, out of the box, report this as a sale for organic search. But in reality it originated with paid search and was helped along the way.

Understanding how many of your buyers visit more than once, the typical path length and typical time between first visiting and making a purchase is all really straightforward with Google Analytics.

This data helps you to better understand your customers’ buying habits and thus tailor your marketing plan to make various channels work better together.