Enhanced Ecommerce in Universal Analytics has been with us for a few months now. There have been a number of good articles written about the new bells and whistles of different reporting capabilities this new piece of kit offers – and, as an analyst, I’ll openly admit I’m seriously excited about them all. However they’re not all disparate parts reporting independent behaviours, the insights they offer all interlink to give you a much more holistic understanding of your customers and how they’re interacting with you. To demonstrate this, I’m going to temporarily take my analyst hat off and put my Christmas shopper hat on instead.

As much as I may try and delay the inevitable, Christmas shopping time is rapidly approaching so I need to start having a think about who I’m buying for and what to get them. Better go looking for some ideas…

Enhanced eCommerce Christmas Behaviour

Starting on one of my favourite websites, I see that they have an interesting Christmas banner on their homepage – just what I’m after. So, I don’t waste time trawling their whole site, I click through and go to their dedicated Christmas page that contains lists of their gift suggestions, which I can sort by category and price range. I look at the product details for a couple of items, but I’m pretty sure I want to buy them so I add them to my basket. Other products I am more hesitant about, so I add these products to my wish list for now and will come back to them later after doing some comparisons on other websites and getting feedback from friends and family. Research done for now, I venture into the checkout process and decide that  I don’t want one of the items after all, so I remove it from my basket and then successfully buy the rest.

With research on other sites done, and feedback garnered from friends and family, I come back to my favourite site to finish my shopping. I know exactly what I want so I search for the specific products using the onsite search tool, add them to my basket and buy them. All done before I’ve finished my cuppa. I’m a pretty typical shopper, I either know exactly what I want and buy it, or I have a browse around and buy then, later on or not at all. My Christmas shopping behaviour has potentially given my favourite website a huge amount of information about me and my experience with them. Without a lot of additional event tracking in place, standard Ecommerce reporting in Universal would have told them what I bought, how many and how much I spent. Useful, but nowhere near the whole picture of what I did.

Here’s where Enhanced Ecommerce comes into its own. Again, without using any additional event tracking the retail site can see which internal banner I clicked on, what product list I then saw, what products in it I clicked on, what position in the list they were, which of those products I then added to my basket, subsequently removed or bought, and my journey through the checkout funnel. This level of product and internal promotion interaction is invaluable to understanding what subsequent behaviour it’s driving and if it’s the right kind of behaviour. Once I’m in the checkout flow, being able to see if there’s a particular spot where people drop out, such as a third party payment system, can lead to a quick fix and more conversions. Also, in the unlikely event that someone doesn’t like what I’ve bought them and returns it, refunds are now part of the sales report too.

Analyst hat back on again now. Naturally, we shouldn’t be looking at Enhanced Ecommerce in isolation; we want and NEED to use it in conjunction with the traffic sources, devices, onsite search and page reports that we already regularly use. You could even add some of that event tracking I’ve been mentioning on your ‘Add to Wish List’ button, product price/category sorting options or videos for even more context.

You can decide what your whole business needs to know about your customers and take it from there. Something I find that’s always important to remember is that not every visit is a buying visit. Being able to identify the differences between consideration vs. conversion visits and delivering what a customer wants at either stage can make all the difference to their experience.

4Ps isn’t just another London SEO agency. To discuss how analytics and content are evolving together in order to keep pace with new developments in user interaction and tracking technology, give us a call on +44 (0)207 607 5650 for a no-obligation coffee and chat about data, marketing and user behaviour across all inbound channels.