One of the more frustrating parts of using Google Analytics with Etsy is that we cannot see ecommerce metrics.

That’s right: Etsy does not tell GA when a sale occurs, so we get big fat zeros for everything from Transactions to Average Order Value to Ecommerce Conversion Rate, no matter how many actual sales you’re making in Etsy. It’s not just a matter of enabling Ecommerce Tracking in your GA settings; Etsy simply doesn’t send the data to be tracked.

Luckily, all is not lost!

If you make regular sales on Etsy and have had GA connected for at least a few months, you can use an Advanced Segment to identify a slice of your buyers in your GA reports. The most useful thing this lets you see is general trends around the traffic sources that send you buyers.

These instructions are for GA Universal Analytics and are no longer applicable. Etsy now supports GA4.

The out-of-date article below is available to read if interested. If the topic is still relevant in GA4, it might be updated in the future.

Google Analytics 4 has similar segment capabilities as those used in this technique. You should be able to use this technique in GA4 once you have a few months’ of data.

WARNING: This is an advanced technique and a quick & dirty article to start sharing this segment with the community. If you’re not very experienced with Google Analytics or interpreting reports, these instructions might not be detailed enough for you. There are links to additional resources below – try things out, play around and keep learning!

Quick recap: advanced segmentation

In Google Analytics Universal Analytics, an advanced segment lets you pull out data about a slice of users or sessions that match certain conditions. You can then compare this slice with another or against all your data.

The key difference between simply drilling down in a single report and using an advanced segment, is that you can apply a segment on any or all of your reports. It’s an additional (very powerful) layer of segmentation. You can also build segments by combining multiple conditions, such as the Engaged Traffic segment we use to create our Engagement Rate custom metric.

Etsy Buyers Advanced Segment

This segment works to identify a slice of your Etsy buyers by applying a few rules:

  • Identify users who have viewed a listing from a transaction receipt or their purchase history = they are a buyer
  • Show all of their visits to your shop except the visit where they viewed the purchased listing = more likely to only include the visit when they purchased

Let’s break this down:

1. Identifying buyers

When someone buys something from Etsy, there’s no direct indication in the shop’s GA data. The checkout and purchase pages don’t get tracked. There’s no “thanks for your purchase” page at the end. Nada.

There’s really only one way to know that a user in Google Analytics is/was a buyer, and that is if they click back to the listing they purchased from your shop. Boom! The view is tracked in your Google Analytics!

Clicks back to purchased listings can come via the transaction receipt email or from their purchase history in their Etsy account. Both methods leave a trail in GA that we can identify and include in our segment conditions.

Is it that easy? Not quite… If we only include these conditions in our segment then most of the visits it captures will be the session when they view the listing they already purchased and NOT the session when they actually purchased it! That is not what we’re really interested in. We want to know how they arrived at our shop when they bought the product!

On to step 2…

2. Showing the right sessions

To make this segment more useful, we just need to tweak our rules to capture only the other visits from these buyers and not the visit when they view the listing they already purchased.

This is where advanced segments really shine: you simply cannot do this any other way in Google Analytics!!

Using the segment

Before you install this segment thinking it’s going to solve all your ecommerce-tracking-woes, please read about what it will and will not actually show you.

This segment does not:

  • Track every single sale. The buyer must have viewed their purchased listing after buying to be recorded in this segment and most buyers do not do this!
  • Track only sales. All other visits from buyers are included in this segment, including visits where they do not buy anything. The longer your sales process (the more visits needed to get a single sale), the less accurate this segment will be.
  • Complete ecommerce metrics. Your ecommerce metrics will still all be zeros. This segment does not pull in any sales data that you don’t already have, so no product names, average order values, revenue etc.
  • Show data for over 90-days in a row. This is a limitation on Google Analytics segments with User-based conditions, which this one has (“show me all sessions from users with these conditions”). When selecting the date range with this segment applied, you’ll be limited to and automatically restricted to a maximum of 90 days (juuuust enough to get enough data to maybe be usefully accurate!!)
  • Work with very few sales. As it only shows a sample of buyers, you must be making regular sales (multiple per week) for the segment to reflect anywhere close to accurate averages or trends.
  • Work over short time periods. Again, you need to maximise the number of buyers captured in the segment to maximise accuracy. That means always using it for the full 90-day date range it will work for.
This is not a replacement for proper ecommerce tracking that Etsy does not provide!

This segment does:

Provide a slice or sample of buyers to help identify trends and compare with your site averages or non-buyer behaviour.

Show you the approximate proportion of buyers from different traffic sources, to identify over- and under-achieving channels.

This pie chart is found by clicking the “Percentage” report view icon in the top-right of the All Traffic > Source/Medium report:

Help correlate your engagement rate goals/metric with buyers to confirm whether it’s an accurate proxy measurement.

Install the segment

How to install:

Learn Core Analytics Skills in my course on Tizzit HQ

In my Marketing Analytics with Google Analytics course, you’ll learn how to use Google Analytics to access information about your marketing results, including how to harness the power of Campaign Tags for even more accurate reports!

The Core Analytics Skills module covers Segmentation, Trend Analysis, using hypotheses and a bunch of “rules of thumb” (or “common sense for statistics”) to help you think about your data. All extremely useful when trying to compare Advanced Segments!

Comments (2)

I LOVE this! what’s an Etsy referral? is there a workaround to show more data than past 90 days?

Hi Lenny! In this example, Etsy Referral includes traffic sent by other pages in Etsy except search and ads. So it’s things like editor’s picks and suggested items on the home page or other shop listings.

There’s no workaround to the 90 day limit as we definitely need a User-based condition. But I don’t think GA4 has this limitation, so if you can re-create the concept there (and once you have enough data!) you might be able to cover more time, assuming users don’t clear their cookies.

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