Enhanced ecommerce is the most through rethinking of Sales reports that GA has done since urchin. With it it has introduced a slew of new reports and metrics to make performance of products more central to analysis of sales and revenue. As well as also recognizing the unique needs of checkout funnels. In this part 1 I will focus on Product Performance reports.
Part 1: An intro to Product Performance reports.
Traditionally ecommerce reports hace read like reports you would get from your sales management backend with list daily sales, sales by order id and sales by products. Due to this generally this section was not as actively used and we generally just used sales and ecommerce metrics in reports to look at acqusition and performance. And GA wasnt a great place to understand product mix and how different sources (external and Internal!) impact its performance.
With enhanced ecommerce products have been made first class citizens and product related dimensions can be used to run more granular analysis. More than that previously where we only had a single ecommecre conversion rate GA has now provided new metrics to calculate conversion rates for sale of each product, we now have two new metrics Cart-to-Detail Rate and Buy-to-Detail Rate. These in my view are more reprsentative of understanding product performance since an aggregate conversion rate is more or less useless for sites selling more than a few products.
Detail page is what GA has taken to call the product page.
Cart-to-Detail-Rate = Total add to carts of a product / Product Detail Pageviews
Buy-to-Detail Rate = Total Unique Purchases of a product / Product Detail Pageviews
ps. When I say Product I really mean a set of dimensions related to products this includes Product / SKU but also more aggregate views of products such as Product Category (and sub-categories!) as well as Product Brand.
In addition to data about product level conversion rates we also have new abilities to easily track onsite (internal) promotion of products. To do this GA has introduced the concept of lists. Lists are any representation of a group of products anywhere on the site. Category pages, Search results, Featured product section on homepage or Products you may like on product pages are all examples of lists.
For each list we can track its views and for each product in the list we can track impressions and click it generates and click through rates to detail page. As well as analyze this CTR further based on position of product on the page. (A sort of internal search engine but one where you can more easily change listing order :)).
Now more like physical products we can track where the products were promoted and how effective these placements were in driving people to details pages and from there how each product is sold.
This effectively means you can now think of each product as its own separate mini site feeding from both internal and external sources of promotion and producing sales.
This has all resulted in providing us a granular view into product performance and allowing us to tweak and optimize performance along each step of the funnel and easily see the impact.
Also I realize this post might read backwards with us starting from product conversion rates and moving back through the funnel to product impressions and lists but the idea was to drive the point that in the new heirarchy detail pages act like minisites with everything else feeding into or from it.
Lead Gen site dont fret!
So extending this enhanced ecommerce isnt just for ecommerce sites, its fundamental idea is about shifting understanding product (or service) offerings as more central to analysis of performance. So there is no reason why a service offering with lead generation cant be measured with the same rigor. Think of an insurance seller or car dealer site with lots of offerings they can easily use this entire framework to seeing what works.
I hope this helps you decide if this new feature set is for you. I would be keen to hear your thoughts on how you plan to use this.