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Getting Started with Google Analytics
Google Analytics helps you understand your customers, but where do you get started when looking at the data? There are multiple analytics tools that excel at Customer Analytics and fill gaps in areas where Google Analytics may not have excelled. But over the last year or so, Google Analytics has been consistently pumping out new updates and has some solid offerings to help you understand and analyze your customers more effectively and close some of those gaps. Some highlights from these offerings are Flow reporting, Enhanced E-commerce, User ID, Data Import, and improved Audience Reporting.
Behavioral Flow Reporting
Behavioral Flow reporting has been around for quite sometime, and is incredibly helpful when trying to uncover how your customers are behaving on your site. Flow reports display how a customer moves through your site one interaction at a time. What makes flow reporting especially powerful is the ability to alter your starting dimension. You can choose from any number of dimensions to see how users are traveling through your site from specific sources, mediums, campaigns, geographical locations and more!
One of the largest announcements to come out of Google Analytics last year, is Enhanced Ecommerce. Moving past basic transactional detail, Enhanced Ecommerce provides analysts with even deeper insights surrounding the customer journey. Included in Enhanced Ecommerce is the ability to track all phases of the purchase process, upload product data, refund data, and a slew of new reporting dimensions and metrics. With this new functionality, analysts can easily answer questions like "Where are my customers falling off in the transaction process?" "Which of my products are viewed most frequently?" and "What products are most frequently purchased or abandoned?"
Similar to Behavioral Flow reports, Shopping Behavior Analysis provide an overarching view of your customer's journey from site entrance to transaction completion. Using the visual (above) analysts can quickly identify where the highest amount of fallout during a site session is occurring. The steps within this report are customizable to best fit your website needs, and are based on your site's implementation.
If you haven't already migrated to Universal Analytics, another reason to do so is Data Import. By leveraging either a customer ID or transaction ID, you can upload corresponding data directly into Google Analytics. This could include information such as: