Google Analytics has the ability to collect product revenue, item information, and transaction data from sales that happen on your online store in a very special e-commerce report section. This section appears below the Goals report section when enabled, and also appears throughout the Google Analytics interface in a tab or as an additional trending graph, custom report, and advanced segmentation options.
To be able to collect this highly valuable information, you will need to roll up your sleeves and put on your technical hard hat—because there is some custom programming and possibly an obstacle or two to negotiate along the way. Even if this isn't your gig—that is, even if you are not a technically savvy individual—you can still take in the information in this chapter, which will enable you to understand how e-commerce data looks in source code format. This will come in handy for diagnostic purposes if there are ever issues, bugs, or garbled data in your e-commerce reports.
If you'd like to read about the metrics, reports, and insights that you'll be able to obtain from the E-commerce section, then before reading this chapter flip back to Chapter 6 and forward to Chapter 20. The present chapter deals mostly with the programming and implementation side of e-commerce with Google Analytics.
The very first step in activating e-commerce reporting within your Google Analytics profile(s) is selecting Yes, an ...