How to use eCommerce?

posted Feb 29, 2012, 12:39 PM by Elio Mondello Anza   [ updated Nov 16, 2017, 4:03 PM ]

If your site sells products or services online, you can use Google Analytics e-commerce reporting to track sales activity and performance.  

The Ecommerce reports show you your site’s transactions, revenue, and many other commerce-related metrics. 

Some examples of the kind of information you can get from the e-commerce reports include:
• the products that were purchased from your online store
• a list of transactions, and
• the number of times people visited your site before purchasing

E-commerce metrics are also available on the Ecommerce tab which appears in many reports. 

For example, on the Ecommerce tab of the AdWords Campaigns report, you can see how much revenue is associated with your AdWords campaigns.

In order to use e-commerce reporting, you’ll need to do three things. 

First, enable e-commerce reporting within your Analytics website profile.

Second, add or make sure that you’ve added the Google Analytics Tracking Code to your receipt page or “Transaction Complete” page.

Finally, you’ll need to add some additional e-commerce tracking code to your receipt page so that you can capture the details of each transaction.

Let’s take a look at each step.

Step 1 is simply to enable the E-commerce selection for the profile.  
Click the Account Administration icon. Navigate to the desired account and web property. 
Select the desired profile and click the Profile Settings tab.

You’ll then see the screen shown here. 

Select “Yes” next to E-commerce Website and save your changes.

For Step 2, add the Google Analytics Tracking Code to your receipt page. In Step 3, you’ll be adding some ecommerce tracking code to the basic tracking code.

<script type="text/javascript">

  var _gaq = _gaq || [];
  _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-25866384-1']);
  _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', '']);

  (function() {
    var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
    ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);


For Step 3, add code to track transaction. Here’s an example of what the ecommerce tracking code on your receipt page might look like. Remember, you’ll be sandwiching this code into the basic Google Analytics Tracking Code.

In the first part of the code, there is a call to the _addTrans() method. The call to _addTrans() tells Google Analytics that a transaction has occurred.

The arguments to _addTrans() provide details about the transaction -- for example an Order ID, the total order amount, and the amount of tax charged.

After the call to _addTrans(), there must be at least one call to the _addItem() method. This call provides Google Analytics with details about the specific item purchased.

Finally, there is a call to the trackTrans() method which sends all the data to Google Analytics.

Let’s look at each method in more detail.

The _addTrans() method establishes a transaction and takes the arguments shown here.

Your code will need to dynamically retrieve the values from your merchant software to populate these fields.

You can type single-quote single-quote to leave an optional field blank, but note that Order ID and Total are required.

For each item that a visitor purchases, call _addItem(). If more than one item is purchased, you’ll call _addItem() multiple times.

As with _addTrans(), you can leave some of the fields blank, but note that Order ID, SKU or Code, Price and Quantity are required arguments.

Use the same Order ID that you used in the call to addTrans().

If you’re not sure how to write this code, contact your merchant software provider.

Finally, after the calls to _addTrans() and _addItem(), you’ll need to call _trackTrans() to send the transaction information to Google Analytics. 

Remember that all of the e-commerce code must appear after the Google Analytics Tracking Code calls _trackPageview().

Generally, you’ll be placing ecommerce tracking code on a secure shopping cart page.

The standard Google Analytics Tracking Code automatically detects when an https protocol is being used. 

So you won’t need to add any special tracking code for secure pages.  

For many e-commerce websites, the checkout process occurs on a separate domain or subdomain.

For example, if you send customers from to, you’re sending them to a subdomain.