The ROI Revolution Blog
5 Advanced Segments for Ecommerce Analysis
May 15, 2009
Back in the day when I was but a wee web analyst, if I wanted to segment my website traffic data with Google Analytics, I had to use filters. This meant a lot of upfront work, a flimsy and fragile analysis environment, and way too many profiles.
It was also pretty limited. I could segment by dimensions and a select handful of metrics only. If I wanted to see only the traffic that came from a specific source and then bought a high priced item from my online store, I was out of luck.
Now, though... Now we have Advanced Segments. You kids are so lucky these days with your iPhones and text messages and Advanced Segments. Why, in my time we had to work for our segmentation.
Instead of complaining about the past, though, I guess I'll just look to the future with five advanced segments that can help you breeze through your own analytics ecommerce data. Hit the jump for more information on how you can start slicing and dicing your way toward better insights about your sales.
1. Visits with Transactions
Even the default advanced segments have a lot to offer. The Visits with Transactions segment gets rid of all the non-converting traffic, showing you only those visits that included a purchase from your site. You can look for popular pages, sources, geographic locations, and keywords that helped your customers decide to buy.
Try checking out the Visits report and selecting the Visits with Transactions, Paid Visits, and Non-Paid Visits Advanced Segments. Then graph by hour. How do transactions correlate to the rise and fall of paid and non-paid traffic throughout the day? Should you dig a little deeper and perhaps adjust your advertising day parting accordingly?
2. Landing Page Testing for Revenue
The Top Landing Pages report is great if you're only interested in bounce metrics, but what if you want to see how much money a landing page generated? One way of getting at this data is by creating an advanced segment for each landing page.
Once you apply these segments to your reports, you can see all traffic that originated at a specific landing page. In addition to revenue, try analyzing time on site, internal site searches, and clickpath data. You can use the information that you collect here to supplement your Google Website Optimizer reports with additional metrics. If one landing page generates more orders but the other generates more revenue, which is the true victor?
(Believe it or not, you can actually use the Map Overlay report without configuring an advanced segment to access ecommerce data for landing pages. Just go to the report and choose the Landing Page dimension from the dropdown.)
3. Product Correlation
Now that Secondary Dimensions and Pivoting have been announced, it's possible to do some deep digging right inside your data tables.
Even with the advent of these tools, sometimes it's easier and more effective to put the blinders on, zoom in on one slice of data, and just ignore the rest. When it comes to product correlation, sometimes an advanced segment that focuses on one product type or category is the best way to go.
After applying the segment, you can browse through your reports—the Traffic Sources reports are a good place to start—with an eye toward correlation. Is there an errant ad group that seems to be performing well for a specific product, despite its unrelated ad text and keywords? Maybe you've struck gold with one traffic source/product combination and you never realized it? Use these insights to better target your advertising and really squeeze the opportunity for all it's worth.
4. Big Ticket Transactions
Let's say you have a number of loss leaders on your site designed to attract customers to your big ticket products. If you're interested in the sources that drive only those high value visitors to your site, you can create a segment that ignores low revenue transactions and focuses only on the big ones.
Previously with profile filters there were very few ways to modify your report data based on the actual metrics of your site. With advanced filters, you can select a metric from the blue list to the left and set a value or a threshold. If you only want to see transactions with revenue greater than $50, just set the segment like this:
Now you can learn a thing or two about the high rollers on your website.
5. Return Customer Efforts
If you have any sort of membership programs, tracking returning transactions and customer retention is a great way to increase revenue. Using the New vs. Returning report is a very basic way of examining these trends, but it's based on the Google Analytics cookie. People surf from multiple browsers and multiple computers, but if you have a membership program or the ability to track customer accounts, chances are you will know whether or not someone is a return customer.
Try dynamically inserting the customer's status into the "affiliate" ecommerce field (more information about the fields can be found in Caitlin's article from last week). It would like something like:
pageTracker._addTrans("123456789", "return", "15.00", "0.00", "1.00", "Raleigh", "NC", "US");
Because each transaction now has a marker, you can create an advanced segment to zoom in on only those with the "return" tag.
Now monitor your retention efforts. You're testing out a new coupon program? Did it boost your return customer transactions? Did it boost overall revenue? Now you can find out.
There you have it. Five ways to slice and dice your ecommerce data with Google Analytics Advanced Segments. Let me know in the comments if you've found any cool ways to customize your own data, and whether or not you find these useful. If you're looking for more tips on advanced segments and other Google Analytics know-how, join me and my co-presenter Shawn Purtell for our upcoming Google Analytics Seminars for Success.
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