How To Connect Google Analytics to your Shopify Store [Guide]
Running an eCommerce business on Shopify is an excellent choice. Shopify is elegant, simple, modern, and easy to use. It is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms with almost 1 million Shopify stores selling around the world.
As an eCommerce owner, you probably want to get more insights into your traffic. You want to better track your data and better understand your customers. That is the reason why you must have to connect Google Analytics to your Shopify store. That way, you will get the best eCommerce analytics that will allow you to improve your Shopify store.
To measure the performance of your e-commerce Shopify store, Google Analytics is clearly the way to go. With just some clicks, you will be able to access very useful data regrouped by reports.
However, there is so much information out there that you can get lost. It’s hard to choose between all the tutorials, guides, and other best practices that come to you.
So, in this guide, we will see together what is google analytics, how you can easily connect Google Analytics to your Shopify store, configure it, and how you can make the best out of your Google Analytics metrics.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is an analytical tool that is offered by Google. It can track and report your website traffic. It’s a tool that can drastically improve your eCommerce performance. Any Shopify store owner needs to get a chance to understand how to use Google Analytics to boost results (that is why we made this guide!). In the beginning, it can be tricky for beginners to make sense of Google Analytics data.
Actually, the main difficulty for Shopify Stores is to understand their customers. You can do that by analyzing your data. Fortunately, Shopify is already starting to solve the problem by providing analytics solutions.
Shopify and Google Analytics: is Shopify Analytics alone enough?
On Shopify, you will have a bird view of your store. You will be able to see your sales, sessions, returning customers, the conversion rate, average order value, and total orders.
However, you will need to be careful because Shopify’s data can sometimes be broken. For example, the number of sessions by traffic sources can be too high on Shopify compared to Google Analytics. The best thing to do is to have multiple analytics tools connected to your Shopify store. Do not rely only on Shopify Analytics, connect Google Analytics to be able to get extra insights on your data.
Google Analytics is nice but do not forget to activate the Enhanced Ecommerce reporting. Otherwise, you will have a limited view. With the Enhanced Ecommerce reporting, you will have access to:
- Customer report
- ATC report (adds to cart)
- AOV report (Average order value)
- Cart abandonment report
- Track customer turnover (at what stage of the funnel are they leaving?)
- and much more…
To summarize, remember that your data needs to be accurate if you want to measure success. Using Shopify analytics alone is a mistake and that is why Google Analytics is used by 80% of large retailers.
How to connect Google Analytics to Shopify
Step 1: Have a Shopify store
If you are already selling online, chances are you already have a Shopify account. Obviously, that step is necessary to connect Shopify to Google Analytics. If that is not the case, you can create a Shopify store by clicking here: http://shopify.com/. You will get to this page:
Step 2: Create a Google Analytics account
You will also need to have a Google Analytics account. Google Analytics exists in two different versions: free and paid. The free version will be more than enough for the moment. You can create a Google Analytics account for free, all you need is a Gmail address or a business account that uses Gsuite. Click here to create your free account : https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/
Now, you should have your Shopify store and your Google Analytics account created! Let’s connect your Google Analytics account to your Shopify store.
Step 3: Create a Web Property on Google Analytics
This is the first technical step. You will have to create a web property on Google Analytics. Google Analytics has 3 “levels”: the accounts, the web properties, and the views.
First, click on the wheel at the bottom left of your screen, then click on “Create Property”.
Step 4: Get the id of your web property
Now that you have created your Google Analytics account and property, you will have to get the id of your web property. This number is really important because it will tell Google Analytics where the data will be sent. This number usually looks like this: UA-5942194256-2 (do not use that number, this is an example). It always begins with “UA” and the following depends on your account. All we have to do to connect your Google Analytics account to your Shopify store is to give that number to Shopify.
To find your id, you can click on “All Website Data” at the top left of your screen.
Step 5: Link your Google Analytics account to Shopify
You should have your Google Analytics web property number by now. It’s time to link it to your Shopify store. Here is how to do it:
First, click on Online store, then Preferences, and finally paste your web property number on the “Google Analytics account” form.
Be careful! Be sure to use the right number or you will lose all the data.
Do not forget to check the “Enhanced Ecommerce”, that will be useful later.
After doing all that, you can save and verify that everything has been saved. And voilà! We are almost done with connecting your Shopify store to Google Analytics. We just need to give some information to Google Analytics to interpret your Shopify data.
Step 6: Configure Google Analytics
Let’s get back to Google Analytics.
In the ‘View” column, click on Ecommerce Settings. From there, check ‘Enable Ecommerce’ and ‘Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting’. For the moment, we will not add funnel steps (that will be for another eCommerce guide).
Step 7: Verify that your Google Analytics account is operational
On your property column, click on Tracking Info / Tracking Code and click on Send test traffic.
We are done! You just connected Google Analytics to your Shopify store, congratulations. You can now gather very useful data on your visitors and customers. However, the most important is to analyze that data. That’s where we can help! Mark will automatically generate audit reports of your Google Analytics data and give you powerful insights so that you can take action. You will be able to make sense of the data to grow your Shopify store to the next level.
You can try Mark for free by clicking here: https://www.markadz.com
Understanding the basic metrics of Google Analytics to grow your Shopify store
Now, we will explain to you how to understand the technical language behind Google Analytics.
Users mean unique visitors in Google Analytics. You can see that metric on the default dashboard of Google Analytics. To understand that metric better, you need to understand that each time a visitor is coming to your website, Google Analytics will automatically assign them an id that is stored as a cookie. That is how Google Analytics is able to detect how many users (=unique visitors) are coming to your Shopify store.
Sessions are different than users. Actually, the user metric is one of the most popular in Google Analytics. It proves that marketers are more interested in unique visitors than sessions. Let’s see now see what is a session.
A session is simply a visit initiated by a user on your Shopify store. In Google Analytics, a session stops after 30 minutes of inactivity. Let’s say that I come to your website, scroll down, add to cart, and quit the website. That would be 1 session. If I come back to your Shopify store 5 minutes after quitting it, Google Analytics will still count that as 1 session. 30 minutes need to pass before Google Analytics counts a new session.
A user is someone that comes to your Shopify store to view products, buy them, etc. A user can have 1 or multiple sessions. If I come to your Shopify store in the morning, and later at night. Google Analytics will count 2 sessions but only 1 unique user.
The bounce rate
The bounce rate can be defined as the percentage of visitors who navigate away from your Shopify store. A high bounce rate generally has one of the two causes:
- UX problem
- Traffic problem
The UX problem means that it’s very difficult to navigate on your website, or the design looks bad. As a consequence, your visitors lack trust in your Shopify store and they are leaving.
If you have a traffic problem, then you are just not targeting the right audience. That is why it’s tremendously important to understand your audience (you can do that with making sense of analytics). Not targeting the right audience result in a high bounce rate. They come to your website and bounce immediately because they are not interested in your products.
High bounce rate represents a scary movie for most Shopify store owner, it’s a very important metric to track and decrease. A lower bounce rate will get you:
- A higher conversion rate
- More sales
- Visitors that stay longer on your website
Any view of a page on your Shopify store is considered a “pageview” by Google Analytics. For example, if I come on your homepage, then check a product, reach the checkout page, that’s 3 page views.
Frankly, the page view metric is really generous because if you come on any page, that is a pageview. If you reload the page multiple times, that is multiple page views. If you quit the Shopify store and come back, that also counts as a page view.
Average session duration
That Google Analytics metric is simple so we will not spend a lot of time on it. Basically, this metric represents how long your visitors are staying on your Shopify store. This is the average time of the session. You can calculate it by taking the duration of all sessions in seconds divided by the number of sessions.
Percentage of new sessions
When a new visitor comes in your Shopify store, Google Analytics will not have an id associated with that user. As a consequence, that user will be considered as a new session.
So the percentage of new sessions in Google Analytics is simply the percentage of first-time sessions in your Shopify store. If that percentage is low, then it’s good news because it means that your Shopify store has a great retention rate (or that you do not have enough traffic coming to your Shopify store which is bad).
Mistakes to avoid that most Shopify stores do
Shopify is one of the world’s most popular eCommerce platform. During Covid-19, Shopify share price almost doubled and the tech giant will soon reach 1 million stores on its platform.
Marketers around the world are spending tons of money on acquisition. However, there is a problem: most Shopify stores are running with inaccurate data because the Google Analytics setup is not done right.
As a result, they are not able to properly measure return on investment, they invest in the wrong place, and the wrong campaigns. Ads that could be winners are turned off because of that problem.
For example, almost half of Shopify stores are not tracking product list views on Google Analytics. As a result, they are not able to know which products are driving the most sales and on which product they should invest more budget.
Many Shopify Stores orders on Shopify Analytics is different from Google Analytics. They miss many orders on their Google Analytics reports because the customer is not seeing the confirmation page (on mobile it gets even worse).
We also see a lot of Shopify stores that are not enabling demographics tracking in their Google Analytics. Demographics tracking allows you to get more insights into your users, and it will help you to set up more accurate advertising campaigns. It is really easy to set up and it is one of the easiest things to fix.
Also, we see that many Shopify stores are not tracking funnels steps in Google Analytics. As a result, they cannot know at which step of the funnel is the user leaving. The tracking for adds to cart and checkouts is often missing too.
90% of Shopify stores are not tracking well. If you run a Shopify store, then you must take care of the way you track information. While we cannot detail everything on this one article, be sure to join our newsletter to not miss future posts that will explain how to better track your data.
Never forget that the better you track your data, the better you will make decisions. It is all about the data.
Shopify Guide Google Analytics: Summary
In this guide, we have seen the basics of Google Analytics and how to connect it to your Shopify store. We have seen that Shopify Analytics alone is not enough and that it is important to connect your Shopify store to Google Analytics to gain extra insights.
We have also seen the basic and most important metrics on Google Analytics, and mistakes to avoid on Google Analytics (that most Shopify stores are doing).
In another tutorial, we will see how you can properly set up Google Analytics for E-Commerce (enhanced eCommerce) to be sure that your data is tracked well. The better you track your data, the faster you will be able to grow your Shopify store.
If this guide helped you, you will enjoy using Mark. Mark is a virtual assistant that you can connect to your store. It will analyze your store and give you actionable tips to take your Shopify store to the next level. For example, it can tell you exactly what you need to do in order to improve your conversion rate, your average order value, your page load time, etc…
Our vision with Mark is to make Advertising easy and affordable. Nowadays, there is so much data coming from multiple sources and it becomes increasingly difficult for a human to analyze all that data. That is why we are building Mark. Not only will it help you to improve your store, but it will also be able to analyze your advertising campaigns and give you actionable recommendations to improve them. Mark will save you tons of budget and we cannot wait to make it smarter and smarter.
Mark will be an amazing assistant and will help you to boost your sales drastically. And the good news is that you can try Mark for free! Do not wait, and connect Mark to your Shopify store now!