What do we do with all the data in our Universal Analytics Properties? Can we keep it? Can we move it? Can we continue to use it at all?? Is it only an option for big business (i.e. comes with a hefty price tag) or is it something boutique ecommerce shop owners can DIY?
We have until July 2024 to figure this out, when Google will actually delete all our properties and reports.
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.
⚠️ IMPORTANT! These instructions are for GA Universal Analytics and are no longer applicable.Etsy now supports GA4.
The out-of-date article below is available to read if interested.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.
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.
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.
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.
Before you start creating or testing things with Filters in Google Analytics, it’s important to take some steps to keep your data safe.
What’s the danger?
Whenever you make changes to your GA settings for things like Goals, Filters, Content Groupings etc. — all the things I describe in my articles — the changes to your data are permanent. You need a backup without any of these changes, just in case you get something wrong…
Like accidentally creating a filter that removes ALL your traffic and you don’t notice for a week… right during a big ad campaign!
A Testing area takes it one step further to let you test out these settings first, then apply them to your main set of data only when you’re sure they’re working correctly. It’s up to you to decide how risky you think a change is and whether you should test it out first.
How do we do this in Google Analytics?
In Analytics, you can have multiple ways of viewing the same data. These are called, appropriately, Views.
In this guide, we’ll create a backup “Raw Data” view to preserve everything with the default settings, and a “Test” view for trialing more complicated Filters before applying them to your main View (normally called “All Web Site Data”).
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?
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?