Data capture advice for start-up e-commerce businesses

Data capture advice for start-up e-commerce businesses
Fran QuiltyConjura

Posted: Tue 8th Dec 2020

Setting up an e-commerce business can be a complex undertaking. Moreover, it can be hard to find reliable sources of information to guide you through the process step by step, so that you structure things correctly from the get-go.

This checklist covers off everything you need to do when it comes to setting up the data side of things.

Google Analytics

The following features should be part of any Google Analytics setup:

  • Exclude any internal IP addresses

  • Set up referral exclusions

  • Set up goals for behavioural analysis

  • Enable demographics and interests reporting

  • Enable site search tracking

  • Enable e-commerce (including enhanced e-commerce)

Custom fields should be created in Google Analytics to capture useful additional data that can help build future bespoke attribution models or perform detailed customer journey analysis. Some recommended custom fields are listed below:

Remember to ensure that Channel Groupings are following the correct logic.

Next comes your key ad platforms.

Google Ads

The most important initial step is to ensure that the Google Analytics account is linked directly to the Google Ads account.
Creating a good process around naming campaigns will enable greater flexibility for future analysis. Your campaign naming convention should include as many details about the campaign as possible. The more information included, the easier it is to determine the objective, target demographic, location etc. of the ad, and the easier it is to analyse. 
An example would be:


Business Manager

Your campaign naming convention should follow the same guidelines as Google Ads. 
Ideally, paid Facebook and Instagram ad clicks are fully tagged in Google Analytics. The best way to address this issue is to paste the same string into every Facebook or Instagram ad, either in the URL parameters box (as shown below) or in the website URL box.

This string calls on the variable automatically and leads to a perfect join from Google Analytics to Facebook.
Most companies get this wrong. They either don't tag the campaign at all or they tag it with something that does not equal the naming convention. In either case, companies are wasting a lot of time i.e. they spend all that money without getting a real idea of how beneficial it is for them.

Facebook Pages

All organic posts that include links to the website should include custom URLs generated by an in-house UTM generator (an example of which is shown below).

Although surfacing detailed insights will not be a priority for most founders when they get started, it will become extremely important as the business scales. If data is captured correctly from the beginning then, when the time comes to analyse the data, rich historical insights can be surfaced very quickly.

If data is not captured correctly, a business will be starting from scratch when they do begin to utilise data analytics - and retrospective analysis may not be possible.

Don't miss Fran's recent Lunch and Learn webinar, where she reveals how you can use and collect your e-commerce data in order to drive growth.

Fran QuiltyConjura

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