Report from the Google Analytics Summit 2014

As a Google Analytics Certified Partner (GACP), Hanson gets to send a team member to San Francisco every year for the annual Google Analytics Summit, and for the third year now, it’s been my pleasure to represent Hanson. This year’s summit theme is “Data In Action.” As is normally the case with the first day of the event, Google had a few notable product announcements that went public: Enhanced eCommerce and Data Import.

With the announcement of Enhanced eCommerce for the Google Analytics platform, users can now set up eCommerce reporting with more in-depth features. Prior to this update, the only visible information within eCommerce reporting was understanding which products were purchased and how many transactions took place.

Now retailers and other online merchants can see an expanded funnel throughout the shopping cart. You can now understand exactly where users are entering and exiting the buying process by seeing a funnel view of product views, to detail views, to add-to-cart and checkout. This will help companies further optimize the shopping experience and increase conversion rates and overall revenue.

Alongside Enhanced eCommerce, and adding to the eCommerce experience in Google Analytics, Google announced new Data Import options. Prior to this announcement, you could only import cost data from outside campaigns. This was good for tracking against your return on investment for those campaigns – but now you can also use data import to push outside details about your customers and transactions into Google Analytics.

This is useful because, while you need to know how much revenue a transaction or product is generating, that’s only half of the picture when you consider product returns and so forth. With data import, you can upload refund information from online purchases to see a true net revenue after any refunds or exchanges. This, along with the other data import options, will help you get more offline information into Google Analytics for a more holistic view of your business.

While product announcements like the above generate the most buzz, one of the big highlights of the conference for me as a practitioner is meeting great analytics minds from around the globe. This year’s event includes representatives from 52 different countries! In an industry that changes day to day, and with analytics becoming an enhanced focus for driving action everywhere (not just websites and mobile apps), sharing insights and strategies with other experts is invaluable to me and the Hanson team.

Leave a comment if you have questions about these announcements, and watch for future posts as we dive into some of these insights in more detail.