Ecommerce Reports in Google Analytics – Three Random Questions

MoreVisibility - March 4, 2008

Last week, I was asked three different questions about the Ecommerce section of reports in Google Analytics. And, I was able to give a different answer for each question! 🙂

Here are those questions – and my answers to each one. Maybe (just maybe) you had a similar question in mind:

Question #1: Why isn’t order #1234567 showing up in the Transactions Report?
A: There is a high degree of probability that you will not see every order appear in Google Analytics. As I mentioned in my very last blog post, Google Analytics uses a combination of Cookies and JavaScript as its tracking mechanism. If a user doesn’t accept the Google Analytics cookies that your website is trying to set on their computer, or if a user has disabled any JavaScript tracking, then Google Analytics cannot track any data for that person, including Ecommerce data. Another reason why you may not see order #1234567 is if a user lands on your receipt / “Thank You” page, and leaves that page quickly, before the Ecommerce Data has a chance to be captured by Google Analytics.

Remember, Google Analytics isn’t a replacement for your accounting software, and you shouldn’t use and think of it as such. Use Google Analytics to view and compare trends and patterns, not to keep official records.

Question #2: Why is it that in one report, the Revenue figure is $100,000, but in another report, the Revenue figure is showing as $113,345?
A: You should know that there are two different Revenue figures. There’s “Revenue”, which is used in the Overview and the Transaction reports, and there’s “Product Revenue”, used in the Products sub-section. The difference between the two is that Product Revenue excludes tax and shipping costs, while Revenue adds in those figures. In most situations, Product Revenue + Tax + Shipping should = Revenue. If there is still a large discrepancy, your data collection process could be faulty, and have bugs – please check with your programming team to verify if your Ecommerce coding is accurate.

Question #3: I’d like to erase / delete some orders from Google Analytics. How do I do that?
A: What you can do is you can actually issue a credit for an order. Unfortunately, once an order happens and Google Analytics collects that data, you cannot erase it from the system. But what you can do is have an order processed with negative numbers, which will in effect “cancel out” an order. For example, let’s say someone purchased a $19.99 Green T-Shirt from your store, and then changed their minds and had the order canceled. You can run an order on your system for -$19.99 to nullify the order in Google Analytics. If you decide to do this, I suggest creating a new product name for these order cancellations, so that you can view how many you’ve had to handle during a given period of time. You can also apply discounts and rebates this same way, if you so choose.

I hope these answers helped you!

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