Tracking and analysing traffic are essential for eCommerce stores, as understanding your audience and its needs will help you adapt your strategies to respond to those needs and boost your sales. Google Analytics offers some really detailed reports but small – medium stores don’t always have to budget to hire qualified staff who can interpret them.

A smaller budget, however, doesn’t have to hold you back. Today we’ll be looking at 3 essential GA reports that can help you analyse the performance of your eCommerce store without having to be to become an expert.

Traffic Sources

In order to invest your budget effectively, you have to understand which traffic source is the most profitable and to do that, you’ll need to access the Source/ Medium report by taking the following path Acquisition – All traffic – Source/ Medium .

Through this report, you get a list containing the sites that have referred traffic to your store, the duration of the visit as well as whether or not said traffic has converted and by how much. If you want more granular information, you can always click on each traffic source and, by assigning a secondary dimension, you can obtain data like day of the week, numbers of days to transaction, campaign name, ad and so on for each of the traffic sources available.

Tip: This is where you’ll see a lot of spam referral traffic, which you can filter out of these reports by adding each one to the Referral Exclusion List in the GA Admin.

Content performance

If you’re planning a content overhaul of your website or you’re simply trying to understand which content piece is performing better, then you need information that shows the level of engagement each of your pages provides. By accessing the Site content report, located in the Behaviour section, you can obtain valuable data regarding each of the pages your users visit.

GA - Behaviour

Through this report, you’ll be able to see which of your pages attracts the most visitors, how much time they spend on each and how often users exit your website through that page. This information, however, has to be contextualized, in that, you have to interpret the numbers according to what each page is about.

A high percentage of page exits can be scary but it’s not necessarily a problem. On the other hand, if you see a high number of exists on a product page, that might indicate a major issue with that particular page. In this case, assign secondary dimensions to figure out if the exits have anything to do with the traffic source, PPC campaign or device.

eCommerce performance

Since you’re managing an eCommerce store, I probably don’t have to stress the value of the eCommerce reports to you. The volume of information supplied in these reports, however, is rather large and can be difficult to interpret so, I’d like to focus on what information a beginner should try to correlate.

GA - ecommerce - product performance

The Product Performance report offers data regarding the products you sell most often, the average price, revenue, etc. Aside from this overview, it’s important that you further segment the report by adding a source secondary dimension. By doing this, you’ll be able to see which traffic source is contributing to the performance boost of each individual product.

Another important report you should be checking is Time to Purchase. By understanding how many days or sessions it takes for a visitor to decide to purchase will help you focus your advertising efforts accordingly, such as investing more budget into a 60 day Remarketing campaign rather than a 30 day one.

The Bottom Line

Learning to effectively use GA and interpret the data available in the context of your eCommerce store will not only help you improve the overall performance of your shop but can help you cut down costs by investing in advertising channels that prove to be effective. To learn more about how to use Google Analytics reports head over to Google’s Analytics Support Page; pen and paper in hand.

© 2015 Shoestrings & Fancy Things. All Rights Reserved.