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114. [BIZ BITE] How Do I Know Which Marketing Channels Are Driving My eCommerce Business?

How much time, energy, and effort do you put into marketing your e-commerce business? If you’re like most of the entrepreneurs I talk to, it’s a whole hell of a lot. And it’s possible you’re going through the motions of marketing, but you’re not really sure which of those efforts are actually paying off.

If that’s you, then you’re in the right place friend. I’m going to share two reports that you can find inside. You guessed it, Google Analytics, that are going to give you all the data you need to make an educated decision on where you should put your marketing efforts.

And if you just cringed a little, when I said Google Analytics, because you’re not comfortable with the platform and you get overwhelmed, just logging in there…

Stick with me because one, if you’re going to be an eCommerce CEO, you have to get comfortable with it. And two, I have something special for you. I created a Google analytics crash course that will walk you through everything you need to know. And it’s super affordable. So head to http://ecommercebadassery.com/data, or grab the link in the show notes.

Okay. So what are these two reports? Your acquisition report and your assisted conversion report.

Google Analytics Acquisition Report

The acquisition report breaks down all the traffic that has visited your website over a period of time. It tells you where the traffic came from, such as email, social or other websites. It tells you how many sessions came from each of those traffic sources, how long those visitors spent on your website, how many pages they visited, and most importantly, the conversion rate and revenue from each of those channels.

Essentially this report will give you the direct ROI from your email marketing, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, wherever it is that you’re marketing your e-commerce business. This report is also really powerful when you are trying to diagnose conversion problems. As we discussed in our last biz bite episode.

Remember when I talked about breaking down your data as much as possible and looking at conversion at the traffic source level versus just your overall conversion rate. The truth is in most cases, your low conversion rate is not a website problem. It’s a traffic problem. And the acquisition report in Google Analytics will tell you which channels have the lowest conversion. So you can focus on improving that channel specifically.

If you do think you have a conversion problem. I listened to episode 112 of the podcast where I talk more about this.

Google Analytics Assisted Conversion Report

The second report that will help you determine which marketing channels are contributing most to your eCommerce business is the assisted conversion report. While the acquisition report tells you which channels led to direct conversions or last-click conversions.

The assisted conversion report will show you which channels assisted in a conversion.

Why the Assisted Conversion Report is Important

Because Google reports on something called last-click attribution, which means whatever the last click the customer made before making a purchase on your website. Is the channel Google will credit the sale to on your acquisition report. But customer journeys, aren’t that linear. So it’s not always a true representation of how your marketing efforts are performing.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you post an Instagram story with your newest product launch, a customer clicks the link sticker and goes to your website. They see a pop-up to sign up for your email list and get 10% off their purchase. So they sign up. Once they get the email with their code, they click the email and purchase the product.

Now, according to Google Analytics, that sale came from email and it looks like Instagram didn’t do shit. You think? Hmm. Maybe I shouldn’t be spending so much time on Instagram. But arguably, if you didn’t post that story with the link. That customer may have never gone to your website and you wouldn’t have gotten the sale.

So your assisted conversion report will give you insight into which traffic sources are assisting your other traffic sources. And assign a value to them based on the total revenue driven by those channels. If you’re a visual person like me, then I would also check out the top conversion paths report.

This will show you the most common steps people take before they make a purchase on your site. And I will tell you, this is very eye-opening. Because you’re going to see things like paid ad email direct, which means they first discovered you through a paid ad, then signed up for your emails and clicked an email. Then they left your site and came back directly by typing your URL into the browser or following a bookmark.

If you only look at your acquisition report, then direct traffic would have gotten the credit for that sale. Making it seem like your paid ads. Aren’t getting you a return on your investment. But when you look at the assisted conversion or top conversion paths report,

You’ll see that while the ad didn’t have a direct ROI. It’s likely that sale would have never happened if they didn’t see the ad.

And you might be wondering, can I just use the reports inside of Shopify for this? And the answer is actually no. Yes, Shopify reports will give you similar data as your acquisition report, but they do not have any reports to show you assisted conversions, which in some cases might be more important.

And secondly, I have always found that Shopify’s reporting on email revenue is way off and not reliable. Ultimately Shopify reports are great to get a quick glance at your business and how it’s doing. But when you really want to make data-driven marketing decisions, Google analytics is a must-have.

Don’t forget if you’re intimidated by Google Analytics, get your hands on the Google Analytics Crash Course. I promise it’ll have you feeling like a pro at the platform!

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Jessica Totillo Coster of eCommerce Badassery eating gelato on stairs in Rome Italy

Hey, I'm Jessica eCommerce & Email Marketing Strategist

I support scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow and scale the traffic, sales & profit in their eCommerce businesses. Learning from the top experts in the digital marketing & eCommerce industry I love working with female entrepreneurs and teaching the secrets of 7-figure eCommerce businesses.

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