How to Set up Google Analytics for Ecommerce: Dashboards, Metrics, and Templates
October 29, 2021
The Bolt Team
You may think that ecommerce stores are much easier to operate than brick and mortar locations, but managing an online store takes just as much effort. The advantage of ecommerce stores is the digital nature of traffic makes tracking data much easier for ecommerce retailers, as traffic, conversions, and more can all be measured accurately.
To make sure you are using up-to-date, meaningful data, we will introduce you to ecommerce analytics dashboards, the features they will have, and essential metrics to track:
- What an ecommerce analytics dashboard is and why you should use one
- 4 characteristics of any good ecommerce analytics dashboard
- 3 KPIs and metrics to display on your ecommerce analytics dashboard
- How to set up your ecommerce analytics dashboard on Google Analytics
- 8 Google Analytics ecommerce dashboard templates to draw instant insights
- How to set up your ecommerce analytics dashboard on Google Sheets
An ecommerce analytics dashboard is an essential tool for any ecommerce store, allowing you to track and measure your performance and draw meaningful insights from your data that lead to actionable changes.
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What an ecommerce analytics dashboard is and why you should use one
An ecommerce analytics dashboard is a centralized system that displays performance metrics over defined periods of time. They give you important information through customized data visualization and provide deep insights into your ecommerce store. They let you choose which KPIs to monitor and how data is displayed.
Ecommerce analytics dashboards are an essential component of an ecommerce store, letting you measure and track your performance by analyzing trends. These analytics should let you reflect on your performance and help you make improvements to your checkout page design.
4 characteristics of any good ecommerce analytics dashboard
Depending on your business and goals, you will want different things from an ecommerce analytics dashboard. However, the main features will largely remain the same. A good ecommerce analytics dashboard will offer the following main features and characteristics:
1. Data visualization
One of the key features of any ecommerce analytics dashboard is the ability to customize how metrics are displayed. Multiple dashboards are a great way to achieve this, as you can customize the metrics that are shown and how this data is visualized so you can draw conclusions faster and better.
Customize your dashboards to serve you better, and design unique dashboards for various members of your team. This will let you use the same data to help different teams reach their objectives with more valuable information guiding them.
2. Centralized and accessible
Ecommerce metric dashboards centralize information for teams on your business. This ensures that your team members are accessing the same data, which can be trusted to be accurate and reliable across your business. Ensure that all teams have access to the dashboard and that it is secure and functional.
3. Integration with software and tools
Whether you are looking to integrate your ecommerce dashboard with legacy systems you are using or preparing in advance, having integration options is important. Systems need to work well together for you to have reliable, trustworthy information and few errors with viewing this data. Choose a tool with many integration options that will allow for future flexibility.
4. Accurate and responsive
It may seem like common sense, but the ecommerce analytics tool you choose needs to give you accurate, reliable data. If possible, real-time options are ideal, so that you get current statistics. Either way, it should be responsive so that your team gets up-to-date information when they need it.
3 KPIs and metrics to display on your ecommerce analytics dashboard
Metrics are your bread and butter, helping you understand customer behavior on your ecommerce store. They identify areas of success and failure, allowing you to steadily improve.
It’s important to find the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business, providing the greatest impact. The best metrics vary across industries and businesses, but will have the following qualities:
- Relevant: Directly related to the performance of your business. It may take testing to find which metrics are the best gauge of your performance.
- Measurable: Data is only useful if you can accurately track and store the information. Metrics that matter most need to be measurable so you can track changes and identify trends.
- Actionable: The metrics you track need to offer insights that you can use to make meaningful adjustments. If the data you are collecting won’t help you make improvements, it’s not valuable to you.
To start, these are some of the main metrics anyone should track to gauge their performance.
These traffic-related metrics give you an idea of how many people are coming to your page. On its own, it offers limited value, but it’s an essential metric that will be used as a baseline for many other important metrics. Visits, page views, and sessions are some of the most important metrics.
2. Traffic sources
Knowing the volumes of traffic only gives you half the picture; you also want to know where customers are coming from. Segment traffic source data by channel, by region, by device type, and more so you can better identify user behavior and target marketing campaigns.
Sales metrics, such as transactions, conversion rate, and revenue are key performance indicators for your business, reflecting your successes. They should also be compared and measured against traffic and sources to gain deep insights into how successful your marketing and sales campaigns are. This will help you improve your sales funnel over time and increase your conversion rate.
With these basic metrics, you can determine other valuable information, such as conversion rate, average order value, and more. All of these give you a better picture of your business and a deeper understanding of behavior on your store. Track these metrics, and expand as you see value from other metrics.
How to set up your ecommerce analytics dashboard on Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the most commonly used ecommerce analytics tools. This is because it’s relatively easy to use and accessible to beginners and advanced users alike. If you’re using Google Analytics to track your metrics, we’ll walk you through how to set up ecommerce analytics dashboards.
Step 1: Create new dashboard
The initial step is to create a new dashboard through Google Analytics. Ensure you are signed in to your Google Analytics account so that this will be automatically saved and readily accessible when you sign in.
PRO TIP: In order to make these changes, you will need to have Collaborate, Edit, or Manage Users permissions.
On the left hand menu, click “Customization” and then click “Dashboards.” This will bring up your Dashboard menu, listing all dashboards for you and enabling customization. To create a new dashboard, click “Create.”
Next, we’ll choose how we want the dashboard to look when started, choosing between Blank Canvas (which comes with no widgets selected) or a Starter Dashboard (which comes with a default widget set). Dashboard templates can also be used by clicking “Import from Gallery.”
Make a selection, name your dashboard, and then click “Create Dashboard.”
Step 2: Add widgets to your dashboard
What you have now will be pretty basic, either completely blank or featuring common KPIs. From here, you can start adding widgets and customizing the layout of your dashboard. There are six types of widgets that Google Analytics offers:
- Metric: Straight to the point, this widget displays text values for the metric being tracked.
- Timeline: A line graph plots the performance of a metric over time, helping you identify trends. You can also stack two different metrics for easy comparison.
- Geomap: See data segmented by location and region, with metrics being displayed on a map. You can hover over the areas of the map you want to get the actual metrics.
- Table: Tables let you display up to two metrics in a table format, enabling you to compare the performance of content, sources, and more.
- Pie: Use colors to give you a breakdown of metrics, showing you percentages in an easily accessible visual. Hovering over a section will give you details about that segment.
- Bar: A common data visualization format, bar graphs will display up to two dimensions, allowing the bars to show further segmentation.
When choosing, you need to choose if you want to use standard or real-time statistics. Standard widgets refresh everyone 15 to 30 minutes, while real-time widgets are continuously updating. The limitations of real-time data is that it only displays information on active users on your site.
Choose which widget you are using from the list, making sure you select from the Standard or Real-time list as needed. After choosing the widget type, you can then select the metric that will be displayed using that widget. Clicking the metric box will give you a long list of available metrics to choose from. You can select any metric from this list, and even search via keywords to find the metric you want faster.
From here, you can customize the information displayed for this metric, filtering data for a deeper analysis. Filtering lets you sort the data using a number of parameters. For example, to view revenue specific to Facebook, you can filter to only show data that comes from this channel.
Once you’ve adjusted the filter to fit your needs, click Save. This will add it to your dashboard and make it functional for future use.
That covers the basics of setting up your dashboard and getting the first widget operating. Next, we’ll learn how to add more widgets.
Step 3: Add additional widgets to your dashboard
Now that you’ve started your dashboard, you can easily add more widgets, using the same method we outlined above. To do so, simply click “+ Add Widget.” You can then choose the type of widget and the actual metric to display.
Step 4: Integrate revenue data with the dashboard
To display revenue data on your dashboard, you will need to connect your Google Analytics to the ecommerce tool that manages your online store. You can do this with various ecommerce platforms, but you may need a developer to set the Google Analytics Web Tracking code for you.
For common platforms such as Shopify, it is relatively simple to set up yourself. Here’s how to connect Shopify data with your ecommerce analytics dashboard:
1. Click the Admin button at the bottom of the left-hand menu, and then select “Ecommerce Settings” in the third column, under Viewing Options.
2. From here, click the Enable Ecommerce button to toggle it to “On” to allow communication between Google Analytics and Shopify.
3. Copy the Google Analytics code from the admin panel. Then go to Shopify and paste the code.
4. Put Google Analytics code into your Shopify store by going to “Online Store” on the menu along the left of the screen, and then select “Preferences.”
5. Insert your Google Analytics code into the empty box for your Google Analytics account and accept.
This enables basic communication between these platforms, allowing you to track your revenue conveniently with your other metrics. Now it’s set up, and you can easily add revenue-related metrics to widgets the same as you would other metrics. You can also use enhanced ecommerce tracking through Shopify for deeper insights.
Enabling revenue tracking will allow you to measure the following metrics:
- Revenue per user
- Ecommerce conversion rate
- Average order value
- Product revenue
You can use these to create revenue-specific dashboards or add these metrics to other dashboards. This adds a number of different dashboard combinations, enhancing the number of insights you can draw quickly and conveniently using ecommerce analytics dashboards.
8 Google Analytics ecommerce dashboard templates to draw instant insights
Save yourself time setting up your own dashboards from scratch by downloading pre-designed ecommerce analytics dashboard templates. They come optimized for specific needs, focused to give you relevant insights. Use them as they are or make small adjustments to fit your preferred layout.
This dashboard displays the main metrics related to earnings, providing your revenue and a number of metrics that track your basic sales funnel:
It also features a graph of visits and revenue, so you can visualize the traffic on your platform over time. This gives you an idea of trends, including specifics on traffic at each hour of the day. A pie graph breaks down traffic by source, indicating whether your customers come from cpc, organic, and other traffic sources.
The last two pieces give you an overview of the performance of content, showing you a ranking of top keywords (with visits and revenue) and landing pages (with pageviews and average time on page). These let you see how your best pieces of content are performing at a glance.
This dashboard offers all mobile data, including revenue, revenue by channel, top performing campaigns (by sessions and revenue), and organic mobile keywords (by sessions and pages/session). These give you a quick view of where revenue is coming from and the top performing content on your platform.
Beyond this, it features a graph with bounce rate against average session duration, and mobile revenue against average order value. These give you a great indication of stickiness and how much traction you are gaining with visitors and how much value you are getting from customers using your ecommerce store. To help you identify weak points, they feature high bounce mobile devices. This lets you quickly see where problems are, and will help you improve user experiences by device type.
Straight and to the point, this dashboard gives you all of your transaction and conversion data in one place, without anything else to bog you down. It highlights the following metrics:
- Total transactions
- Ecommerce conversion rate
- Total revenue
- Average order value
- Transactions by day of the week
- Transactions by hour
- Total transactions by source
This cuts to the chase, with KPIs related to transactions, conversion rate, breaking these down by time so you can identify the best times for selling on your ecommerce site. Bar graphs and a pie graph let you easily visualize sales by time of day and source, letting you draw insights from trends and patterns about your sales.
If you’re optimizing your ecommerce store for SEO, this is a must-use dashboard, highlighting top-performing content by landing pages and keywords. Track goals you have for landing pages, such as visits and bounce rate, getting information on when the goal is met and further details about the metric.
Track content pieces based on their performance, and actively measure your ability to meet goals and improve your ecommerce sites ability to draw traffic and drive conversions.
This dashboard uses colorful visuals to help make information easier to visualize. A bar graph features the ecommerce conversion rate, broken down by device type. There is also a pie graph that shows transactions by medium. A line graph features users and transactions over time, giving you an idea of your traffic, conversions, and conversion rate a glance. All of these metrics, and revenue, are included below as well.
It displays session, revenue data, transactions, and ecommerce conversion rate segmented by device type, including desktop, tablet, and mobile. It also segments transactions and conversion rate by city so you can develop regional strategies and campaigns effectively.
Social media is one of the best – and most economically efficient – ways of marketing, with low costs and high exposure. It’s always important to track the impact this has on the performance of your store. To get this all in one place, this dashboard includes the following metrics:
- Overall site visits
- New visitor acquisition from social
- Traffic from social sources
- Offsite social actions vs site traffic
- Traffic from social networks
- On-site social actions
- Value of socially engaged
- Most socially shared content
- Social visits & quality from mobile
- Social source value
- Revenue and per visit value by social network
- Read an article
More than just giving you an idea of traffic, this offers a deep dive into the behavior of customers that come from social media channels. It gives you information into the value of each customer, how engaged they are in your platform, where they come from, and more, so you understand how these users behave. From this, you can better create social media posts based on what users like and dislike.
Advertising is an expensive investment, and you want to make the greatest impact with the screen time you have in front of potential customers. To measure the success of your advertising efforts, this dashboard collects all AdWords info in one place, including:
- Ad Spend
- Conversion rate
- Goal completions by campaign
- Destination URLs
- Visits and conversions by campaigns
- Visits and conversions by ad groups
Monitor the full spending on your platform, where you’re spending your advertising budget, and the metrics that determine the success of these efforts. Easily see how your advertising is performing, how much traffic you are gathering, and how valuable that traffic is through conversions and behavior on your site.
Email marketing is an essential way of communicating with your customers, offering deals, specials, and incentivising potential customers to visit your store. In most cases, an email is the only piece of information you need to connect with customers in the future.
Email marketing efforts help you capture initial traffic and sales, but are extremely valuable for checkout abandonment recovery and remarketing. This dashboard features all email marketing KPIs, including revenue, bounce rate, and visits. It features an email marketing timeline that displays sessions and transactions in a line graph over time. This helps you pick up patterns across time, helping you adjust as you see drops.
How to set up your ecommerce analytics dashboard on Google Sheets
Google Sheets allows you to input, track, and display information, enabling complicated functions, formulas, and more to create diverse data spreadsheets. As many are familiar with Microsoft Excel and other table formatted data sheets, Google Sheets is a popular method of developing ecommerce dashboards for Google Analytics data.
To create dashboards using Google Sheets, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Download and install Google Analytics plugin designed for Google Sheets.
Step 2: Open a new Google Sheet, and click “Add-ons” from the menu button. From the drop down, click “Google Analytics,” and then “Create new report” a new report.
Step 3: Using the Report pane along the right size of the spreadsheet, label your spreadsheet using the Name section. Then choose the Google Analytics account, profile, and property to connect to the spreadsheet.
Step 4: Under account info, select the metrics that you want to track on this report. Once you’ve chosen the correct metrics, click “Create Report.”
Step 5: This will add a “Report Configuration” tab to your Google Sheet, which will be automatically populated with analytics data from your ecommerce site.
Step 6: When installed, the spreadsheet displays data from the past 7 days. To alter the period of analysis, enter the beginning and end dates of the period you wish to examine.
Step 7: To compare periods of time, duplicate the report and set it for the period you wish to measure the current period against. Repeat to compare multiple periods. It’s a great practice to compare 30 day periods, repeating this to see month over month changes.
Step 8: Now that you’ve set new parameters, you want to run the report to get new results. Click “Add-ons,” then “Google Analytics,” and “Run Report.”
Step 9: Running a report will result in a new tab being added to the Google Sheets spreadsheet, with the data automatically populating from your store. A tab will be created for each report you chose to run.
Step 10: Now that the spreadsheet is drawing data from your store, you can build out a dashboard that draws from the other tabs on this sheet. Go to the original sheet, and type in metrics that you want to display on the dashboard. Populate the spreadsheet with the data. This can be done by creating formulas on the Google Sheet that draws from other pages.
Step 11: Now that you’ve created functional reports that draw from each other, you can begin to change the format of data to create graphs, charts, and more so data can be visualized in a useful way. To do this, click “Insert” and then “Charts.
Step 12: You can repeat this for a variety of other metrics that you want to track. Rearrange the metrics to create different layouts for your dashboards. Test different designs and metrics, finding the dashboards that give you the best information to make improvements on your platform.
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