Advanced: Find Etsy buyers in Google Analytics

One of the more frustrating parts of using Google Analytics with Etsy (besides not being able to use GA4 yet) 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.

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Change to Google Analytics on Etsy shops (2021)

In June 2021, Etsy stopped running our Google Analytics tracking code on our shop home pages. (Our listings are still tracked normally.)

This might sound like a big deal but let’s look at the effects in some detail before worrying too much.

First of all, it’s been well over 6 months at the time you are reading this. So if you haven’t noticed anything unusual in your reports yet, that’s a pretty good sign that you aren’t being impacted.

This does not mean that your numbers haven’t changed at all! Your visitors were (and still are) viewing your shop home. And now those views are not tracked in Google Analytics. That’s a fact.

The question is whether the impact of these views disappearing is visible in your reports or if it’s been buried by other effects & changes over the past months or year? Are the trends you saw this year actually a result of this tracking change or other things going on with your marketing and buyer behaviour?

Luckily for you, I have crunched the numbers – looking at Google Analytics reports for five different Etsy shops – and the answer is:

There is (probably, most likely) no or minimal noticeable impact on your reports!

Wonderful! Relax and carry on as you were!

If you want to learn more, keep reading to understand more about what impact this change could have and how I came to my no-stress conclusion. Along the way, you’ll get an insight into the thinking behind a real-life analysis.

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Getting started: Set up Google Analytics for your Etsy shop

If you’re ready to harness the power of numbers to optimize your Etsy shop but haven’t installed Google Analytics yet, don’t wait any longer!

Here are my instructions for connecting Google Analytics the right way, with up-to-date steps and screenshots.

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Hide Related Listings from Other Etsy Shops

A few years ago, Etsy started showing products from other shops on our own listings. It went over about as well as you can imagine, but they’ve stuck with it and Etsy shop owners have learned to live with it.

Here’s how they look today:

(That is a very eye-catching background behind those other listings, Etsy!!)

NOTE: I’ve blurred visible listing photos throughout this article, that are copyright to other Etsy shop owners.

There is a solution!

By making a small change to the links you share, you can send visitors to product listings that focus on YOUR product, not other Etsy shops.

Here’s my same listing with this modification:

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The (almost) Definitive Guide to Real Etsy Traffic Sources in Google Analytics

LAST UPDATED: 29 July 2020, with important fixes to two Filters: Source: etsy.com and Medium: Etsy referrals

POP QUIZ: Can Google Analytics answer this question?

“How do people find my Etsy store?”

At first, Google Analytics looks like it has all the answers! There in your reports, you see: direct traffic, referrals, a few from Facebook and other social media… Isn’t that how they got there?

ANSWER: Nope! Not unless you follow the instructions in this guide.

Google “etsy traffic sources” and you’ll find this little Help article from Etsy. In that article it says this:

“Google Analytics shows how people found Etsy.”

So, what’s the difference?

Well, that means that any of the traffic sources you see in Google Analytics could show how that person found the Etsy home page or an entirely different shop before they navigated to yours within Etsy. Half your so-called social media traffic could be from other people’s marketing! (And not in a good way…)

Even worse, Google Analytics doesn’t show you how people found your shop within Etsy, which makes up the bulk of your traffic. Etsy search, clicks from favorites or recently viewed, promoted listings: all hidden.

That kinda sucks.

Where’s all the Etsy traffic? Probably in “(direct) / (none)”…

You could just analyse your traffic sources in Shop Stats, but let’s fix it in Google Analytics instead.

This guide explains how to use channel definitions and filters to make traffic sources a whole lot more accurate!

This looks much better! Yep, these are the exact same visitors.
(If you’re a beginner, don’t be scared! You only need to copy-and-paste.)
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The Etsy Seller’s Guide to Hiding Your Own Visits in Google Analytics

A long time ago, when I worked in retail, I envied the prim, organised merchandisers whose sole responsibility was (as far as I could tell from behind the counter) to fluff around with enticing displays of gifts and stationery.

I know I’m not the only one!

Now as Etsy sellers, we get to “merchandise” our own online shops every day.

Check how our listing thumbnails look all together in the catalogue.

Pour over a new product page to make sure every detail is perfect.

Go through our shop policies with a fine tooth comb to make sure we aren’t accidentally committing to replacing unwanted items with a lifetime supply of Starbucks…

And I know—because I’ve spent my fair share of time there—that we do a lot of this “fluffing around” in our public shop front. You know – the exact same view that our buyers see.

The pages of our shop where our Google Analytics code runs. Those pages.

Oh… I think we have a little problem to fix.

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Google Analytics vs Etsy Stats: Which is Better?

Reading and understanding the numbers around your shop’s traffic is super important. If you can do this, you can better understand where you should focus your marketing, what parts of your shop could be improved, and make sure you’re seeing real benefits from all your promoting efforts.

(And we know promotion needs A LOT of effort!!)

There are two sources for this information: Etsy’s built-in Stats and Google Analytics (“Analytics” or just “GA”). They both have their pros and cons, so you’ll most likely continue to use both hand-in-hand to gauge your performance. But when should you use each one?

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Are You Still Confused About 2017’s New Etsy Shop Stats?

A few weeks ago, I visited the Etsy forums.

Did the hair stand up on the back of your neck?

Ok, so it’s not quite that scary in there. It’s just a lot of very passionate sellers who are trying to run a successful shop and are worried about changes to their platform that might make that harder.

And rightly so! It’s never nice to have the rug pulled out from under your feet.

So it didn’t surprise me one little bit to see the plethora of threads, discussions and yes – complaints – about the new Etsy Shop Stats that were released earlier this year. Sellers were talking about why the changes were made, the things they couldn’t find anymore, and the new numbers that didn’t make sense.

So what do I think? Should you be throwing in the Etsy-Shop-Stats towel or running back to it with open arms?

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Create useful & understandable Etsy Listings reports by importing your own data (it’s easy!)

Have you ever asked the question, “What type of listings do my visitors spend longer on?

It’s a great question! If I sold children’s toys and toy patterns, I’d want to know what general type of products are more popular with visitors, regardless of what actually sells more.

But if you’ve spent much time in the Behavior reports in Google Analytics (which is where you’ll find all your listings), you’ll know that you can’t just group them by their Section. That info just isn’t in there at all!

You know what I’m going to say… we can totally fix that!

listing-performance-reporting_bad-vs-good

You can take your Listings reports to the next level by putting in whatever information you want about every listing. So keep reading to find out how…

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Find individual Etsy buyers in Google Analytics

Are you despairing that you got all excited about Google Analytics but now you’ve realised that you can’t even see your sales in it?!

It’s crazy and crazy annoying! Luckily, all is not lost.

There’s one important step that you can do right now to start analysing your sales. This technique lets you pinpoint individual buyers to discover the path they took through your shop, even across multiple visits, and how they got to you.

So let’s explore!

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