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Google Analytics

Describes using Google Analytics with Optimizely Configured Commerce.

Basic Google Analytics versus Google Tag Manager implementation

Optimizely Configured Commerce business users have the option to install either basic Google Analytics or a Google Tag Manager container on their various websites and domains using three simple settings. The advantages, disadvantages, and considerations of which route to go are discussed below.

Basic Google Analytics implementation considerations

Using the basic Google Analytics implementation lets you provide a unique Google Analytics property ID (often refered to as a "UA ID") and the domains in which you want that tracker installed, and Configured Commerce will place the Google Analytics Universal Anlaytics tracking snippet with your provided UA ID in the correct location across all pages on your site. If you are having trouble locating your UA ID, see the Google Support. This is typically the easiest way to implement Google Analytics tracking.

Google Tag Manager implementation considerations

While basic Google Analytics implementation will provide you with a majority of reporting features out-of-the-box, advanced business users may want to use a Google Tag Manager implementation to provide more customizations and benefits.

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager (GTM), a free tag management solution from Google, allows users to install one singular code snippet across every page of their website, and use the GTM interface to push the various marketing tags needed, on the exact page in which they are needed. Not only does this clean up the amount of code your developers need to implement and change, but it also allows the code changes, additions, and removals to be in the power of the ever-capable marketer's hands. It also builds in protections, such as firing and blocking rules, as well as versioning controls, so that a marketer may roll back to the last stable version if a recent update is having adverse effects on the site.

Additional information on Google Tag Manager can be found on its official product page and support documents.

Benefits to firing Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager

Google Analytics normal pageview tag can be configured to fire across all of your websites pages thanks to a built in Google Analytics Tag template. However, this does mean that additional configuration through the Google Tag Manager UI is required before information would begin being captured by Google Analytics.

Additionally, if the tag manager method is chosen, Configured Commerce exposes additional advanced data for Google Analytics use. This includes exposing two data layer variables: Authentication State, and User ID. These variables could be used for a variety of situations, but most commonly they are collected as Google Analytics Custom Dimensions, allowing users to segment and compare nearly all metrics and KPIs against individual site User IDs and if the users were logged in or not.

Google Analytics eCommerce plug-in is also supported through Configured Commerce versions 4.2+ by way of the Google Tag Manager Implementation. eCommerce tracking through Google Analytics allows the platform to capture transactional details (sale amount, products in order, and so on) to gain valuable insights into what online behaviors contributed to a eCommerce transaction. With this level of detail, business users could determine if certain blog posts contributed to a user buying, whether an email campaign or a Google search led a user to the site, whom ultimately transacted. With this additional layer of detail, marketers and others can fine tune their advertising approach as well as on-site experience to optimize for the best result.

Additional Tag Management benefits

Besides the additional information and control you may gain by using Google Tag Manager to set up Google Analytics with Configured Commerce, you also gain the ability to empower business users to add and adjust tags without any code deploys. From setting up additional Google Analytics events, to adding a tracking code for your email platform, to measuring conversions of your digital ads via a conversion snippets, Google Tag Manager enables business users to add these tags via a friendly web interface, and control when and where they fire by using firing rules. Furthermore, Google Tag Manager (as of April 2016) has built-in tag templates for 26 separate products (including AdRoll, Marin, ComScore, LinkedIn, CrazyEgg, and more) as well as the ability to fire custom HTML tags.

Side-by-side comparison

FeatureAnalyticsTag Manager
Requires Google Analytics Account & PropertyXX
Requires Google Tag Manager Account & Container X
Immediate analytics trackingX 
Site Search tracking supportX*X*
eCommerce tracking support X*
Transaction ID X
Transaction Value X
Shipping Cost X
Tax Amount X
Product Name X
Product SKU X
Product Category  
Product PriceX
Quantity of Product X
Additional Data Variables X*
Authentication State X
User ID X

*Additional configuration in Google Analytics (and Tag Manager, if applicable) required

How do I get started?

After you go with a Google Analytics or Tag Manager approach, follow the guides on how to configure the appropriate settings in Configured Commerce 4.2+ as well as how to set up Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager for use with Configured Commerce tracking.