Marketing efforts are typically considered a success only if they drive leads and sales. While brand awareness is important, your stakeholders most often want to know that you’re converting your budget into profit. Yet, surprisingly many marketers don’t fully track everything related to their Ecommerce activity – or leverage that data to improve their campaigns.
Are you tracking the right data?
Most marketers understand the importance of setting up conversion tracking in AdWords and similar platforms. Yet, most only think about how many “conversions” they are receiving without ever considering that not all conversions should receive equal weight.
Take this for example: One recent client was tracking a variety of conversions: form fill-outs, gated asset downloads, demo requests, etc. The form fill-outs and the gated asset downloads were more “top-of-the-funnel” activities, i.e. downloading a whitepaper or viewing a video. In sales terminology, these leads would have to be nurtured before they would be considered a “hot” lead.
The demo requests, on the other hand, were actual hot leads since these were people potentially interested in using the product. Yet, both sets of leads were given the same consideration as far as total conversions, value and potential ROI. These leads, however, should have been weighted differently and dropped into two very different buckets: marketing qualified (MQL) and sales qualified leads (SQL).
Marketing qualified leads are all leads, i.e. every single type listed in the example. Sales qualified leads are leads that need to get to the sales people ASAP. These will be the leads that now need a salesperson to close the deal. The client is ready or near ready to buy.
Depending on the type of inquiry as well, higher value leads should be given priority, reflected in the value that it’s given in the conversion tracking fields. In order to make sure you calculate the lead generation value correctly, read this article.
Then in reports, higher-value conversions should be broken out from lower-value ones.
Gaining Value from Ecommerce Tracking
Oftentimes, we get stuck in the rut of simply looking at which campaigns are and are not converting, and for what CPA. You can, however, learn so much more if you dive deeper into the data.
With Google Analytics alone, you can track data like:
- Revenue: Marketers should always compare revenue to spend, and not simply once per month. If in middle of the month you determine that lack of revenue is going to result in negative ROI, you should adjust spend and tweak the campaign.
- Item Name: Understanding which products are being sold is important. If a product is consistently selling – with or without marketing’s assistance, then you might not need to put a lot of marketing dollars behind it. Yet, if there is a high-profile product that doesn’t really move, then you should shift more budget to this campaign and potentially add even a branding campaign to increase awareness.
- Price: Price is especially important when it comes to total ROI. For example, let’s say that you’re spending $5,000 per month on a paid search campaign. You’ve made over 1,000 sales, but only on your lowest-cost product, i.e. $5.00 toy. While the overall sales look good, your ROI on this is flat. You’re not making any money on the product. Add in the cost of employees or vendors managing the campaign, and you’ve actually lost money.
- Quantity: Quantity helps also you see which products or services are selling the best.
Leverage this data to determine individual campaign success. While total sales may look good, digging into individual campaign data often tells a story of one product carrying all the campaigns – as opposed to success all the way around.
Learning More About Your Customers
With a recent customer, we figured out that most of the conversions and traffic were coming from mobile, but the site wasn’t really mobile-optimized. This was hurting potential conversions. We decided that a landing page might be better in this scenario since it would be mobile-optimized. Understanding your customers is one of the first steps in improving your campaigns. You can get in-depth information on how and where your customers are consuming to better funnel marketing dollars.
With Google Analytics, you can obtain information on:
- Demographics: Are more women than men consuming your products? What about a certain age group?
- Geographic: For national campaigns, many marketers default to the entire country. But what if most of your conversions are coming from the West and East Coasts, and not the middle of the country? With these insights in hand, you could better target marketing dollars.
- Interests: Google Analytics will show some interest data, including data on who’s converting. You can leverage this data to tweak messaging and targeting.
- Mobile or Desktop: Like our previous example, it helps to know what type of device your audience is using.
- Technology: Many of us may hate Internet Explorer. If the majority of your audience is, however, using it to find your company, your site better be compatible with the browser.
How’s Your Cart Doing?
We as marketers sometimes forget that no matter how much we tweak a campaign, that might mean nothing if our cart isn’t working for us. Luckily, we can set up funnels to see where users are abandoning the cart.
As long as you have goals set up, you can determine where users are exiting the purchase process. To do this, follow these steps:
- Go to Conversions, then Goals and Goal Flow.
- Select a goal from the dropdown menu.
- Move the mouse over each step in the funnel to determine the drop-off percentage.
You can then use this data to determine at which step most people abandon the cart. Do some investigation by going through the cart yourself. Compare this data to – for example – browser or mobile data to determine if these are barriers to completion.You can find nice infographics by Statista, reflecting the most important elements for the customer in 2016 to give you an idea what you might want to check on your website:
How to Keep Track
All this data can be found in your analytics platform, especially if you use Google Analytics. You must, however, have Ecommerce tracking set up if you’re trying to capture this data in AdWords. To enable Ecommerce tracking,
- Go to your Analytics account, and then the right Account, Property and View.
- Go to View, and select Ecommerce Settings.
- Ensure that the Enable Ecommerce toggle is On.
- Click Next step.
- Then Submit.
You’ll receive a lot of data from the Ecommerce report. A standard dashboard report, however, may still not be enough to capture all the data that you need for your stakeholders. A more in-depth report that showcases transactions, revenue, user insights, top channels, cross-channel interactions and more may better show successes, challenges and opportunities. While you can build these reports yourself from scratch, you can also leverage templates to assist you with the process. Then, tweak the templates based on your preferences and needs. Supermetrics offers a comprehensive E-commerce template (among many other templates that can be accessed from the Google Drive Add-On), that will show the breakdown of Traffic by different channels and reflect what audience works best in relation to the particular metric.
For best results, import different campaigns across multiple channels into a single report. This provides a comprehensive view of how the marketing efforts as a whole are performing. A single view cuts away the clutter of having to switch between different reports. Leverage the Multi-Channel Funnel reports in Google Analytics to show how marketing channels are working together to produce positive ROI. Even add the cart abandonment data to the spreadsheet, including the funnel reports.
Be prepared to tweak your report as time goes on. In my experience, the initial report oftentimes looks nothing like the report that you finally use several months later. As campaigns run, you’ll realize that some data is more important than others, meaning that you’ll add or subtract columns or sheets from your report. Plus, the client or stakeholders always have input on what they want to see.
Always review your reports. Even if you only have monthly reports, review this data on at least a biweekly, if not weekly, basis. These insights will help you gain insights into what’s working and what may need to be eliminated.