The Customer Analytics Blog

Actionable advice on optimizing the customer lifecycle

What Should I Track? Part 3: E-Commerce

Using Woopra - June 26th, 2013 by Natalie Issa.

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E-Commerce stores have a distinct advantage over bricks and mortar retail locations – the ability to track and understand every action a customer takes. But beyond the simple pageview, deciding exactly which of these actions to track is where your work starts.

You could of course have customized tracking right out of the box with the Woopra for Magento plugin. But what if you’re not using Magento? For the third installment of our what to track series, we’ll take a look at the key components of a successful e-commerce analytics implementation.

Stage 1: Pre-Sale

Most of the activity on your site likely happens pre-sale. That’s when customers are exploring your site, looking through your products, and managing their carts. All of this activity needs to be tracked. Remember that along with the events, you will also want to send properties, which are pieces of information that describe the event.

For example, the table below outlines some of the key events and properties you should be sending outside of the basic pageview.

Event: Add To Cart  
Property Product name
Property Product price
Event: Estimate Shipping  
Property Zipcode
Event: Compare Products  
Property Product name
Property SKU
Event: Read Product Reviews  
Property Product name
Property Product category
Event: Catalog Search  
Property Search keyword

Sending properties with your events is extremely important because it gives you a lot more capability to analyze your data in different ways and ultimately answer more complex questions. For example, by sending the “product name” property with the “add to cart” event, we can generate this report:

Magento Product to Cart by Product

Stage 2: Purchasing

Checkout Process

You will want to track all the steps of your checkout process, which will vary by website. For example, your checkout process may look like this:

  1. Shipping Address Added
  2. Shipping Method Added
  3. Payment Method Added
  4. Reviewed Checkout
  5. Successful Checkout

It’s important to track the smaller steps within the checkout process because it will allow you to analyze the process and see where there may be problems. For example, in the funnel below, we can see the conversions at each step of the checkout process.

Magento E-Comm Funnel

Creating Accounts

Customers may also have the option to create an account during the checkout process. If this is an option on your site, it’s extremely important to track this and include the properties that are sent with the event. It’s critical to send the email address property, which the system will then use to identify the visitor. This will give you customer profiles where the visitor is identified, such as in the example screenshot below.

Magento Customer Profile

Note that you may still identify customers even if they don’t create accounts so long as they submit their email address at some point in the checkout process. So long as you send the email address property to Woopra, you will be able to identify customers.

Stage 3: Post-Sale

Post-sale activity is often overlooked, but as we’ve explored before, customer retention is important for e-commerce companies. It’s 6-10 times more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones.

You will want to monitor activity that tells you how happy or engaged a customer is with your company. Some examples include:

  • Review product
  • Subscribe to newsletter
  • Contact support

Do you need help tracking custom events? Read the documentation or send us an email to support@woopra.com

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