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Success with Google Shopping (Tracking Sales)

Post By:

Harekrishna Patel

If you’re running an e-commerce store, then you need to start using Google Shopping. When it comes to advertising your site and your products, nothing compares to the marketing and analytical potential of this platform.

However, Google Shopping can be a little overwhelming at first if you aren’t familiar with it. So, with that in mind, we want to go over some of the crucial aspects of the platform so that you can figure out how to use it to your advantage.

E-Commerce Tracking in Google Analytics

One of your most potent metrics when analyzing the success of your site is the total number of sales. However, if you want to maximize your profitability, you need to understand how people are interacting with your landing pages and which products are driving the most sales.

One way to think about it is this – if you have 1000 products, but 100 of them aren’t selling at all, then why are you wasting time listing them on the site and promoting them in your marketing? However, if you don’t have the analytical tools to figure out which products are selling more than others, it’s impossible to determine what has to go.

Thankfully, you can track this with Google Analytics (GA) and Google Shopping. By incorporating GA into your site pages and product IDs, you can get a comprehensive report that illustrates how well each item is selling, as well as your conversion rates for the site and individual pages.

Let’s break down the various elements included in e-commerce tracking.

Conversion Rate

This rate is calculated by looking at the total number of transactions (sales) and dividing it by the number of sessions (site visits) and multiplying it by 100. For example, if you have 1000 sales and 10,000 site visits, your conversion rate would be 10 percent.

Transaction Details

You can look at a variety of information for all of your transactions, which can help you understand what’s selling best and what isn’t. Some of this data includes:

  • Average Order Value – the total revenue divided by your total transactions
  • Unique Purchases – how many times a particular product as part of a sale
  • Quantity Sold – how many of each product you’ve sold
  • Product SKU – track individual items and see how many times they’ve been sold by themselves or with other products
  • Product Revenue – see the earnings for each product by itself
  • Per Session Value – how much you average for each site visit

As you can tell, there is a lot of valuable data available. Seeing how well each product performs, as well as how many times it’s sold with other items can show you what people are buying and what influences the shopping decision.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to set all of this up yourself. As with most of the analytical tools offered for Google Shopping, you will need the help of a professional developer who can ensure that all of your items can be tracked accurately.

Tracking Google Shopping Traffic with Google Analytics

When it comes to marketing your e-commerce store, you will want to utilize a variety of methods. Since you already know the power of Google, SEO marketing should be a cornerstone of your overall advertising methods.

However, since you will also be utilizing Google Shopping to drive people to your site, it’s imperative that you can separate organic traffic generated by regular searches and those produced by clicks on your Shopping ads.

When you go into your Google Analytics account, search through reports – you’ll see one that says “Google Shopping“. Clicking on it will give you a detailed account of the amount of traffic coming to your digital storefront from a particular Shopping campaign.

Ideally, you should be running multiple campaigns for different products and categories. If you only have one campaign for the whole store, it’s much more difficult to understand what’s doing better and what’s driving your overall sales.

Thankfully, even if you are doing that, this report breaks down the campaign by product and category already. Thus, if you don’t have the time or energy to run multiple campaigns simultaneously, you can still get the data you want and need.

Here are some takeaways you should have when reading this report:

  • Top-Selling Products – which items are driving the most sales?
  • Top-Earning Product Categories – what kinds of products are customers searching for the most?
  • Conversion Rates – which items are converting leads to customers?

From there, you can adjust your budget and your bidding accordingly. As you should know by now, Google Shopping has a bidding system where you set a bid rate for each item in your campaign. When first starting, you can probably keep the price the same for everything, but once you understand which products are performing the best, you will want to spend more on them so that you get a better conversion rate.

Overall, seeing the traffic generated from your Google Shopping campaign shows a) whether it’s worth the investment, and b) what people are searching for the most on Google. This information can help you capitalize on trends and maximize your e-commerce profits.

Advanced Analytics for Google Shopping

Because Google Shopping can be so valuable for your digital storefront, it’s imperative that you get as much data as possible to inform your business decisions. Are people bouncing off your landing pages after clicking on the shopping ad? Are certain products generating a ton of site visits while others are turning people away?

Although Google Shopping (when paired with Google Analytics) can deliver a lot of pertinent information regarding your campaigns, you need to be able to do more to get the most out of your marketing budget. Let’s look at a few extra options that allow you to get advanced analytics from Google Shopping.

Product Performance

We’ll dive into this more in the next section, but you want to see how each individual item is selling so that you can put more of your time and energy in the products that are generating the most revenue. You want to avoid wasting money on ads for things that people aren’t buying, as that can dilute your ROI.

When it comes to tracking product performance, you will need to go to the conversions tab and click on “product performance”. This listing will show which items are converting the most, as well as which ones are generating the most clicks.

Multi-Channel Conversions

Realistically, you’re bringing in leads from a variety of sources – SEO traffic, email marketing, Google Shopping. Thus, it’s imperative that you understand where most of your leads are originating so that you can focus on the channels that have the highest ROI.

You can find this data under the multi-channel tab on the conversions page, and it offers some valuable insight. First, you can see your top conversion paths (i.e., direct site visits, shopping ads, email). Next, you can see the “path length” tab, which illustrates how many touchpoints it takes to convert a customer. Finally, you can see “assisted conversions,” which shows how different channels influence each other (i.e., a shopping ad coupled with a direct site visit led to a sale).

Site Performance

As you already know, a slow site can cause visitors to leave immediately, no matter how much they want your products.

Google Analytics can show you how well your site is doing, including the following components:

  • Site Speed – How fast pages are loading
  • Bounce Rate – for individual landing pages
  • Exit Pages – the last page visited before a person left the site

Seeing these details can help you figure out whether your site is fully optimized for conversions or if you’re lacking in a particular area.

Track Your Product Performance

We mentioned tracking product performance in the last section, but let’s dive deeper into why this matters and how you can go about it in Google Shopping (and Analytics).

Why it Matters

When setting up a new marketing campaign, you want to be sure that you’re focusing your attention on items that are the most profitable. Otherwise, you could wind up with a much lower ROI, which can affect your bottom line.

If you weren’t able to track the performance of each product, it would be impossible to tell how much of your sales are driven by a particular item (or set of items). If you’re only selling a handful of products, then it’s much easier to cultivate this data. However, if your e-commerce site has hundreds or thousands of options, it’s impossible to do it without the help of programs like this.

How to Track Product Performance

Google Shopping makes it relatively easy to set this up. All you have to do is add the parameter “source=googleps” to the URLs for the landing pages you want to track. Regardless of the web service you use to host your site, it should support this kind of URL tracking.

Once you’ve set that up, you can access a wealth of information on your Google Analytics page. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect.

Product Groups

See how different groups of products are performing overall. For example, if you sell toys and furniture, you can see how many site visits result from each category. You can dive deeper into this data by seeing how it changes over time, as well as which devices are generating the most clicks (i.e., computer or mobile).

Individual Products

You can separate items by ID and sort them however you like. Some of the search parameters can be by price, by condition, clicks, language, and product type. See how many clicks each item gets and look at the overall sales generated by the ads.

Auction Insights

With this report, you can understand how well your ads are doing compared to the competition. Because Google Shopping is a bid-based system, you want to adjust your bidding according to whatever is working the most. See where you’re performing well already and where you can stand to make some improvements.

Bid Simulator

Adjusting your bids for a particular product can seem risky if you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, Google has this simulator so you can get a sense of how well your ads will do when you increase (or decrease) your bid. While it can’t predict the future, it can look at recent data and illustrate how a different bid would have fared over the same period.

Track Shopping Cart Abandonment with Google Analytics

Unfortunately, for most e-commerce websites, the vast majority of shoppers abandon their carts before finalizing their purchase. In some cases, up to 80 percent of shopping carts are left abandoned. Even for high-performance sites, it can still be as much as 60 percent, which illustrates how big of a problem this trend is.

While there are several primary reasons why a customer may not follow through on a purchase, you can’t make any adjustments until you recognize the severity of the problem. When it comes to maximizing your profits and boosting your bottom line, know how many carts are abandoned on your site is a valuable tool.

Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to set up this kind of tracking in Google Analytics; let’s break down how to do it.

Step One: Set a Goal

In Google Analytics, you can create a wide array of different goals, which will be tracked by the program. In this case, we want the goal to be shopping cart abandonment, so you can name your goal accordingly.

Step Two: Define Your Goal

In this case, we will want to use a URL destination as the objective. Input your confirmation page URL so that GA can track it.

Step Three: Define a Funnel

A funnel is simply a list of actions that a customer has to take to reach the goal. In this case, shopping cart abandonment requires at least two steps. First, the customer has to put an item into the cart. Next, he or she has to reach the confirmation page. By tracking the total number of customers who put products into the cart and subtract the number of confirmations (tracked by this goal), you can determine your abandonment rate.

As you can imagine, this data isn’t going to provide detailed insight into why your customers aren’t following through on the sale, but being able to see the abandonment rate enables you to try different tactics and pay attention to how it improves (or worsens).

For example, if your checkout process is too long or complicated, you could simplify it or add a progression bar so that customers know what to expect next. Once you implement these changes, see how your abandonment rate changes.

Track Google Shopping Keywords in Analytics

When it comes to SEO marketing, keywords are the bread and butter of any campaign. Unfortunately, however, when talking about Google Shopping, you don’t have the same level of control as you do with regular SEO.

The reason for this lack of agency over your Shopping campaign is that you don’t decide when and how your ads appear. Instead, Google uses its algorithms to determine if your ads are relevant to a user’s search query or not.

What this also means is that it’s challenging to see which keywords are driving the most traffic to your ads and which ones aren’t. However, just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

There are two approaches you can take to get this information. That being said, since you can’t control the outcome, you will have to do more work to improve the results of a particular ad. Basically, you will have to adjust the keywords for your product listings and landing pages and wait to see if there is an improvement, rather than getting data on it immediately.

Here are the two ways to see how keywords are influencing your Shopping ads:

  • Adwords – go to the Search Term Dimension setting
  • Analytics – go to Matched Search Query

Both of these options will show you which keywords were in the search bar when a user clicked on your ad. Based on this information, you can see the keywords that are having the most impact on your sales. Ideally, you would then optimize your products and landing pages to fit these keywords, even more, to see whether your traffic can be boosted as a result.

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