In the following article, you will learn not only in which tools you can monitor data on user behavior on the web and the cost of obtaining them. But at the same time, you will gain an awareness of how this data is processed and where its boundaries end to discover the necessary facts.
The first source of data that is very important to you is Google Analytics. If you have an e-shop from Shoptet, you have its implementation very well-tuned and you can start merrily analyzing it. If you have another e-shop platform and you are not sure that your GA measures correctly, start by auditing your data measurements. Finally, in Google Analytics you will get answers to the following questions in particular:
- Where did the customer come from to your website (from what marketing source/campaign)?
- What pages and products did they visit on your site.
- Whether they also bought something from you and, if so, what products were they.
- And a lot of other useful information.
Unfortunately, in Google Analytics you will basically not find information on the profitability of your e-shop and in most cases, how much the acquisition of traffic cost you. You can easily link Google Analytics to your Google Ads account (where you are most likely to invest in Google paid search campaigns), but the cost of campaigns on other platforms (Facebook, Sklik, etc.) is no longer so easy to get into GA (For a start, I definitely recommend the solution from Standa Jílek, if you insert into the order form code “EA Školení” on his website then the ordering services you will get 3 months extra for free.
However, even if you import costs from all marketing platforms into GA, you still won’t make your business profitable. First, Google Analytics is not 100% reliable (by default it measures 5% – 10%, so the actual number of orders in GA and in your Shoptet transaction database will be slightly different). Furthermore, there are no returns by default (and if someone convinces you that you have to send a return to GA, please refuse it politely, but very emphatically).
Within GA, you can also monitor the volume of sales excluding VAT, and by default, there is no margin information for transactions. As with returns, this information can be retrieved from GA, but in most cases, it doesn’t make sense. Working with data is now at a completely different level and it makes sense to process data in cloud services such as Google Cloud Platform, Amazon, Snowflake, or Keboola (if someone tries to discourage you with the fact that this is extremely expensive, then it’s only because they do not understand how to use this :-). Simply put, Google Analytics is used to collect data on user behavior on the web and not for data transformations (engineering work with data), quantification of your company’s profitability, and e-shop data management in general. Honestly, if you want to succeed in the field of e-commerce nowadays and you are serious about doing business in this area, without a data engineer who will give you at least a few hours a month and smart data work well beyond the possibilities of Google Analytics, you can no longer get by without it today.
What is important for the identification of important business data and the resulting information (professionally referred to as KPIs)?
For simplicity, we can divide the main business KPIs into two categories:
- Profitability (= the goal is to generate the maximum net profit of the company).
- Growth in sales volume (= the goal is to generate the maximum turnover of the company even at the cost of negative profitability).
“But that goes hand in hand, doesn’t it? When my sales grow, logically does my profit grow?”
However, this judgment cannot be applied strategically, because according to only to the set goals can the equation be supplemented by one unknown. You can read about the relationship between profit and growth in the next article focused on the customer approach.