If you’ve done any digging around in your Google Analytics account, you may have noticed a section called eCommerce. At first you might assume that this relates to online retail purchases, but you can actually use this feature to track any transactions on your website. For nonprofits, this means donations, ticketed events, online store purchases, registration fees, membership fees, and more.
As you think about implementing eCommerce tracking for your site, you may be wondering why you need this feature if your fundraising software already provides reports. The answer is that when you are assessing the value of your website, you need a deep understanding of the paths people are taking toward a conversion. What pages are people visiting before they donate? What are the top acquisition sources for transactions? What is the mobile conversion rate on your donation form? Once eCommerce tracking is enabled you can answer all these questions, plus get additional audience insights about your donors. The ability to see everything in one place is what makes eCommerce tracking so powerful.
Set Up eCommerce Tracking
The most straightforward implementation method is to set up an eCommerce tracking tag using Google Tag Manager. This does require working with your web developer (or us!) to make sure you are pushing transaction information from wherever your forms are hosted to your GA account through the data layer. This is the behind the scenes script that passes data to Google Analytics. You’ll also need to make sure that eCommerce tracking is enabled in your Google Analytics view settings.
Once you have eCommerce tracking successfully pushing transaction data into your Google Analytics reports, it opens up a whole new world of insights.
Analytics tells you a lot about your website visitors: who they are, where they came from, and what they are doing on your site. This information is all available in audience reports. Once you have eCommerce enabled you can set up a custom segment of users who completed a transaction on your website and analyze the age, gender, and location of that segment . With this information you can identify gaps in your fundraising, event registrations, or other programs. For example, if you know the age ranges of your donors you can make strategic decisions about where and how to promote your mission based on where specific age groups tend to spend their time online.
Track Conversion Rates on Desktop vs. Mobile
Google Analytics also allows you to easily see what devices people are using. Once you have eCommerce tracking enabled, you will be able to understand if there is a difference in your conversation rate between users on mobile or desktop. Mobile conversion rates tend to be lower overall on donation forms, but if they are drastically lower than desktop conversion rates, it might be time to update your forms to be more mobile friendly.
Insights from Behavior Reports
What pages on your website do users most commonly visiting before making a donation or purchase? Behavior reports in Google Analytics combined with eCommerce metric can help you unlock these insights. Check out the Landing Page report to analyze which point of entry to your website has the best eCommerce conversion rates. Whether they are the pages you expected or they’re a surprise, you can use this information to either more publicly promote the pages that are already working or improve content on the pages that aren’t.
Understand Your Most Valuable Acquisition Sources
Finally, you can use eCommerce tracking to learn about where your donors are coming from. Think about your year-end campaign for example – you send emails, have popups on your website, are running ads, and promoting on social media. But how much are you raising from each of those channels? What ad content or social posts are driving audiences not just to click but to donate? eCommerce tracking is a way to get a pulse on how those channels are performing. That way you can adjust your strategies or reallocate your budget toward what is already leading to the highest conversion rate.
Testing and Optimization
Once you have the data from eCommerce tracking and you’ve taken the time to analyze what it means, you can put that data to use testing and optimizing your website. See if those tweaks you made to your donation form really make a difference for mobile conversion rates. Test landing page and form content to see what messaging and imagery works best. There’s a whole new world of testing possibilities now that you have transaction data in Google Analytics.
Check out our post on Google Optimize to learn how to integrate with Google Analytics and get started running experiments to sell more tickets, register more event participants, and raise more money online.