For small to midsize retailers, and startups in particular, Shopify can be a revolutionary platform. Affordable, easy to manage, and requiring minimal development support, Shopify was created to make eCommerce an industry anyone could compete in, and for many retailers it’s managed to do exactly that.
But sometimes, Shopify’s commitment to simplicity can undermine the exact goals it’s trying to accomplish. Take, for example, the platform’s analytics capabilities. Although Shopify offers a fairly robust native analytics suite, they’re not trying to compete with the broad functionality of titans like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics. Instead, their goal is to make it easy for its users to leverage these top-shelf services. As such, they’ve designed the platform so that a user can simply enter their property ID into a field on Shopify’s backend in order to track site metrics via Google Analytics. In fact, users can even enable Google Analytics’ Enhanced Ecommerce tracking just by clicking a button!
As you probably know by now, we’re big fans of Enhanced Ecommerce. As a free, easy-to-implement tracking solution focused on the entirety of the eCommerce shopping funnel, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more flexible and powerful solution for the value.
Unfortunately, Shopify’s native Enhanced Ecommerce feature doesn’t quite live up to its promise. In a quest for ease and simplicity, Shopify has sacrificed the depth and complexity that make Google Analytics’ solution so powerful in the first place.
Read on to learn exactly what you’re missing.
In our opinion, the biggest problem with Shopify’s Enhanced Ecommerce tracking is that it’s missing two of the most crucial tags in the entire suite: Product Impressions and Product Clicks.
Want to know which collections are driving the most revenue, or which are underperforming, relative to the traffic they receive? Enhanced Ecommerce can tell you that! Want to compare how certain products perform in different collections, or use Avatria Convert to optimize the order of products in a list? Enhanced Ecommerce can help you do that too!
Of course, to get any of those benefits, you’ll need to be tracking product impressions and product clicks first. For more information on the value of product impression tagging, take a look at the blog post we wrote on that very topic.
In-Depth Variant Performance
While Shopify’s Enhanced Ecommerce tagging does track variants, it’s a bit like the rest of the suite – just scratching the surface of what’s possible. If your goal is simply to compare the number of purchases and amount of revenue each variant received, then you’re in luck. But if you’re dreaming of more valuable insights than that, well… that’s going to be a problem.
Because Shopify doesn’t honor a traditional “parent SKU vs. child SKU” product schema, depending on your site design and the types of products you sell, it may be extremely difficult or impossible to consistently track these products’ performance across the entire purchase funnel.
Removes from Cart
Sometimes, knowing what customers are choosing not to buy is just as valuable as knowing what they’re buying. It can indicate that pricing, inventory, shipping costs, or another roadblock may be preventing customers from purchasing something they want.
For our money, measuring removes from cart is the surest way to identify the products in your catalog that could use a little help. Carting a product expresses a serious purchase intent, and the removal indicates a conscious decision not to complete the transaction. That conscious component is a depth of insight that analyzing buy-to-cart or buy-to-detail rates simply can’t provide.
Unfortunately, Shopify’s Enhanced Ecommerce feature doesn’t support the Removal tag, which means you’re stuck guessing how many cart actions led to removal versus simple abandonment.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our decades working in the industry, it’s that eCommerce sites aren’t made with a cookie cutter. Every site has its own unique mix of features and functionalities, and to really understand what is happening on your site, you need your analytics to reflect that.
Infinite scroll, multi-variant PDPs, carts from lists, quick view modals – these are all common eCommerce features that Shopify’s Enhanced Ecommerce tracking struggles or fails to support, and the list doesn’t end there.
Unfortunately, despite its efforts, Shopify’s feature isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, it’s a fits-one-size solution. If you want to get more out of your analytics and take your business further, you need to invest in an eCommerce tracking system that fits you.
In fact, let us be more direct: it’s time you turned off Shopify’s Enhanced Ecommerce tracking and implemented your own.
Need help? We’re here. We think so highly of Google Analytics’ Enhanced Ecommerce tracking that we built an entire conversion optimization platform around it. So yeah, you could say we’re experts. We even offer an Enhanced Ecommerce Implementation Package to Shopify users, where we custom-build a tagging solution for your site at an affordable, all-inclusive rate.
Still unsure how your current tag setup is hurting your analytics? Click here to request a free tag audit from our eCommerce experts. We’ll inspect your site and provide a personalized report showing where and how your tagging can improve.