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Analytics: A Users Guide

Analytics: A Users Guide

While previous versions of AOM allowed you to use Google’s Analytics tracking code, integrating information from the shopping cart was always a mystery. The building blocks were there, yet few people understood how to put the pieces together. But now with v5.x, the process has been internalized, resulting in a much simpler application of the code, and enhanced tracking of carts along with their contents. We’re going to take a look at how easy it is to integrate AOM with Analytics.

A crucial point to make before going any further is that goal tracking is not possible. Google allows you to measure a goal by reaching a desired point through a funnel, or path through a website. For ecommerce terms, a goal would obviously be a completed sale. This is usually registered by sending the visitor to a page they could not reach otherwise, such as a ‘Thank you for your purchase’ page. With AOM however, the sale is completed outside the site, in Amazon. There is no way to determine externally that a visitor reaches this point. Amazon would have to return the customer back to AOM in order to determine if the goal had been reached. And of course this does not happen.

So while the setup described below will give you a great deal of information about what your site visitors are doing, it will not be able to tell you which carts will be paid for and which carts will be abandoned. Unless Amazon makes major changes to their system, goal tracking will remain out of reach.

To begin with, we will assume that you know how to set up your Analytics account and obtain the tracking code. You would then paste the tracking code into the Site Traffic Code box under the Site tab of your AOM control panel, as shown below.

Google Analytics Traffic Code

Despite what Google may say in their instructions, you don’t have to put the code in the <head> section. The Site Traffic box will place the code before the closing </body> tag, which will work just as well.

Once the script is in place, you then enter just the Web Property ID into the Google Tracking ID box located under the Shopping Cart tab:

Google Tracking ID

Do not put any Analytics code in the Cart Checkout Tracking Code or the Cart Add Tracking Code boxes. We will briefly come back to those later.

At this point the tracking code installation is complete. Depending on how much traffic the site gets, you should start seeing data in your Analytics reports within a few hours, or by the next day. If you go to Conversions > Ecommerce > Overview, you can then click through the various reports available in that section to see what information is available. The Overview area itself will contain several reports,  including:

Product: The product name, such as Kindle_Fire_Full_Color_7_Multi_touch_Display_Wi_Fi.

Product SKU: This will actually display product ASINs, which are the Amazon versions of SKUs.

Product Category: The Amazon category for the item.

Ecommerce Overview, showing 'Product' Information

Other areas such as Conversions > Ecommerce > Product Performance will display items with the name, price and subtotal, etc.:

Product Performance Screenshot

Conversions > Ecommerce > Sales Performance will display totals by date:

Sales Performance Screenshot

And Conversions > Ecommerce > Transactions will display by Cart ID (the same ones you see in the built-in AOM cart reports):

Transaction Report Screenshot

In addition there are various other reports, and of course the typical tracking data that’s not cart-specific. As this is not a tutorial on Analytics, we will not delve into those areas here. Google provides a large help section dedicated to understanding how to read their reports. However, one point to note is that the data is displayed by default in a rolling thirty-day period. You can change this if you wish to review the data over a longer or shorter timeframe.

This also highlights one of the main difference between what Analytics can show you versus the built-in cart reports. The AOM reports are only cart by cart. With the more advanced tools of Analytics, you can look for trends, see which items are being placed into carts more often, find out if certain days perform better than others, track what items have been selected in the past, etc. The built-in reports are like a stack of receipts, but Analytics works more like a spreadsheet, allowing you a much greater overview of what’s happening.

Plus, its plugged in with the usual tracking information, so you can see how many visitors you get, where they come from, what they’re looking at, etc. For this reason, it’s important to have the full Analytics script plugged into your Site Traffic Code box. If you just enter your Web Property ID without also entering the script, the tracking code will not function.

The Cart Checkout Tracking Code and Cart Add Tracking Code boxes mentioned earlier used to be where you would paste modified versions of the Analytics code, including obscure parameters to capture information such as {ASIN}, {CARTID} and {SUBTOTAL}. These boxes are now superseded by the method we have been discussing in this post. However, the boxes are still included if you use some other form of tracking code that can utilize the parameters given.

So as you’ve seen, the recent updates to Associate-O-Matic allow for a greater integration of Google Analytics than ever before. While many users were able to install the basic code to track visitors, few could tackle the changes required to follow the cart contents. Now it’s just a matter of pasting the ID code into a second box, and you can collect a wealth of data to help you understand the complex dynamics of customer interactions better than ever before.

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