3 things to consider when tracking your ecommerce site

Emily Pick - Head of Analytics,

#1 – Your analytics data will never match your sales data

One question we get asked a lot is ‘why is there such a discrepancy between what we are seeing in Google Analytics vs. what’s in our database?’. It's something we see across all ecommerce websites, so if you’re experiencing this, you’re probably not the only one!

The answer is simple; they are two completely different platforms. They track and record sales in very different ways and getting them to align 100% is near impossible.

There may also be other aspects in play, for example if customers can place orders via a call centre; these purchases will be recorded in your database but not in GA (unless you have the required tracking in place).

This can also highlight the value of linking your online and offline data, as well as having a comprehensive database with relevant values you need for segmenting and validating the data.

#2 – Cautiously approach CRO testing with dynamic elements, however this can add real value

One key aspect of an ecommerce website are the product listing pages; these pages are the gateway to your product offering and can play an important role in driving users further into the funnel. Pages such as this tend to have dynamic search and filtering feature, so playing about with the presentation of this can cause some functionality issues and should be done with detailed testing across different devices and browsers.

Testing on your basket page can also add significant value. Here you could look at ways to introduce upselling products based on what is in the customer’s basket, or even consider retargeting users who have items in the basket with some nudging content to encourage completion.

#3 – Funnel analysis can really help you outline your optimisation strategy

As an ecommerce website, you will potentially have several steps from entrance to conversion. Reviewing where users are dropping off at each point on a regular basis can really help you prioritise your CRO strategy and plan of action.

Key points that tend to have high areas of drop off are at the beginning of the funnel, and right at the end at the point of payment, or when a customer must commit to the purchase.

To encourage customers to stay on track at the beginning of their visit, it is important to have a seamless search functionality, as well as well-delivered product listing pages. Towards the end, trust is very important and should have been considered at different points throughout the journey to conversion. You also want to make sure that your checkout process is really straightforward and easy to use, particularly on mobile devices.


At 26, our data science and user experience teams work hand-in-hand to help brands really get to know their customers and their behaviours, and improve the user journey to increase on-site conversion.

If you're interested in a free audit of your current tracking set-up, or would like a specialist review of your website experience, please drop us a message.

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