Top 8 Google Analytics Event Tracking Keys for your ecommerce store

By | Date posted: | Last updated: October 12, 2020
Google Analytics Event Tracking

Do you want to know in detail how the traffic in your ecommerce store is developing? A good solution is an extension of Google Analytics: event tracking.

In order to precisely track the performance of the traffic in an ecommerce store and to be able to track certain user actions, the standard implementation of Google Analytics needs to be expanded. Event tracking provides such measurement data beyond the usual performance metrics.

Event tracking is the use of event functions that are added to HTML pages.

With these functions, operators of ecommerce stores and other websites get a precise insight into the use of elements that are below the level of the data measured by Google Analytics.

Without an event tracking extension, analytics only measures activities that relate to entire HTML pages, but not actions that relate to the use of elements within pages, such as videos, downloads, forms, individual buttons and links, gadgets etc. Only event tracking gives ecommerce operators a precise insight into the behaviour of their users. Therefore, a real optimization of ecommerce stores is only possible with event tracking.

The technical implementation of GA event tracking

Here and there advisors write that event tracking can also be implemented without programming knowledge. It is true that you do not have to be a specialist to add the necessary components to the page code. General basic knowledge of web programming should be available, however, because the implementation is by no means work for laypeople.

As a prerequisite, the following things should be implemented first:

  • Integration of the source code into the website, which loads the external JavaScript every time the page is viewed;
  • Assignment of all actions to a specific protocol;
  • Reduction of the IPs of the website users in accordance
  • Securing the recording of all page views on Google Analytics through the event tracking function.

The basic function call is made using the parameters:
ga (‘send’, ‘event’, ‘Category’, ‘Action’)

The concrete source code then specifies these parameters and integrates the original code.
In the case of event tracking of a whitepaper download, it looks like this, for example:

<a href = “http://www.domain-name.com/document-name.pdf” onClick=”ga (‘send’, ‘event’, ‘Download’, ‘pdf name’);”>Download</a>.

The implementation can be quite complicated for certain applications, for example for interactions via social sharing buttons, form or mouse scroll tracking.

In the following, we will focus on the possibilities that event tracking opens up for an ecommerce store.

1. Home Page Promotion – How successful are special offers on your ecommerce store home page?

Most ecommerce stores have special offers on their home page. Special offers, new products, specials and other items are presented in certain areas of the page that lead to the corresponding category or product pages. There are of course other ways to get to these pages.

In the standard implementation of Google Analytics, the operator therefore does not know how successful homepage promotions are. Event tracking provides the answer. In daily practice, the corresponding function is used to test different products, categories and placement variants in order to find the most successful in each case, and to identify generally successful products and categories.

2. View product – How often are individual products viewed?

An interesting question for ecommerce store operators concerns the mathematical difference between the number of “product shows” and the number of their purchases. Some products are often viewed without the number of purchases corresponding to them. It is the other way around with other products. It is possible that the detailed description of the products that are attractive at first glance is not optimal and needs to be improved. This important question of ecommerce store optimization only allows the appropriate event tracking.

3. 404 Errors – Find error pages and notify the operator

Error pages are ugly things that are very detrimental to the branding of an ecommerce store in general and the customer journey specifically. For this reason, a corresponding event label should be generated for every ecommerce store, which is linked to the URL of the HTTP 404 error and issues a warning to the operator.

4. Payment Methods – What are the preferred payment methods?

The payment methods are particularly interesting for visitors to ecommerce stores. Some people have one or more credit cards and others do not, some visitors prefer to pay via PayPal, others prefer to pay by direct transfer. For some users, it is the only possible payment method.

Ecommerce store owners respond to the multitude of preferences that they cannot mathematically estimate by setting up as many payment methods as possible. Which payment method is more popular than the other is usually only revealed to the ecommerce store owner after a labour-intensive examination of the accounting department?

Event tracking opens up the possibility of getting a precise and quick answer to the question. On the basis of the result data, they can make decisions about the extent to which the provision of certain payment methods is of particular importance or more worthwhile than others for the operation of the ecommerce store.

5. Internal store search – Which products are searched for in the ecommerce store?

Anyone who tracks the search results in their ecommerce store as an event will also gain important insights.

  • Are certain products searched for in the ecommerce store but not found?
  • So, should they be included in the repertoire?
  • Should the product you be looking for be offered in the event of negative search results?

Search results that are particularly frequent could be specially advertised on the ecommerce store ‘s homepage in order to increase the success of the product. After all, popular search results are used to usefully expand the keyword list of search engine optimization and Google advertising.

6. Checkout – How many users leave the ecommerce store without buying?

The implementation of a function that connects checkout data with conversions enables a quick insight without detours. Has a user who leaves the ecommerce store bought something beforehand? The function provides valuable information for questions about usability such as inventory and general pricing.

7. Continue Shopping – How many users buy how many products?

This event also allows a comfortable insight into a question, which would be much more time-consuming to answer by reviewing the entire order.

When a product has been placed in the shopping cart, a button with a name such as “Continue Shopping” usually allows you to continue browsing the store. If you do not use this button, you go to the checkout with the product placed in the shopping cart.

Some users take a different route on their customer journey, but this is the usual one. The connection of the function with a number of passes enables the counting of the button usage and thus the number of products purchased. If the number of users of the button is low, the ecommerce store operator will try to increase the purchases per visitor in one way or another.

8. Add product to shopping cart – Which products are bought most often?

The question is of course not entirely correct because not every item that ends up in the shopping cart is actually bought. On the shopping cart page, articles can be removed from the product list or their number modified. After all, this is a good approximation to determine which products in the ecommerce store are bought most (or least). With this event tracking, of course, not the name of each individual product, but a variable for all product names is entered in the EventLabel field.

There are many more applications that can be measured by event tracking, such as video and form usage, scrolling through a page, mouse-over activities, downloading documents, leaving a website using certain external links, and many others. The above is only a small selection of events that are of interest to ecommerce store operators. One thing is certain: Anyone who has started using event tracking for their ecommerce store optimization will use the method again and again with great enthusiasm.

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