WooCommerce Vancouver March 2016 recap

This was the first WooCommerce Vancouver meetup for 2016 as we took quite a long break over the holidays, but it was a meetup worth waiting for. The evening began with some awesome raw, vegan, gluten free goodies happily sponsored by Prospress, and delivered with care by Indigo Food Cafe. The Network Hub is our awesome ongoing venue sponsor, and as usual, the amazing Minna was on hand to assist with setup and wrangle technical apparatus.

WooCommerce and Google Analytics 101

We were lucky to have Behdad Berati talk about Google Analytics (GA), and specifically how it can be useful in your WooCommerce store. Behdad teaches GA at BCIT and has been working in this space for over 20 years, so we were in good hands.

Behdad showed us how to set up a Google Analytics (GA) account, which was great for the complete novice such as myself who has never looked under the hood of GA.

He then discussed how to choose a plugin, and how to implement tracking code for GA to report the activity from each page. It’s important to exclude your own visits to your website but the technical discussion on how to do that was outside the scope of the meetup discussion.

Using Google Analytics on your WooCommerce site

GA can be configured to track a range of different customer behaviours on an eCommerce website. This is important for store owners. The standard conversion rate measures the number of people who bought something compared with the number of people who visited the website, but this is not always a good measure because there may be people visiting your website looking for a job, or for other non-purchasing reasons.

ECommerce tracking collects statistics on product performance, and can also tell you about all the different activities of the shopper, such as adding to cart, how many website visits, and how many checkouts.

The good news is that there is quite a decent plugin for WooCommerce, which makes life easy. Behdad recommends the plugin you can find here.

Tracking customers’ eCommerce behaviour

Behdad made some important points about what to do with the data once you have it, particularly if you are using the data to make comparisons. For example, it’s a good idea to compare conversion rates for different periods of time, which is especially useful if you are selling seasonal products. However, it’s important to make those comparisons on the same timeframe: if you are looking at Monday’s data, you need to compare with another Monday’s data, because your customer base might be different on different days of the week, different weeks of the month, and so on.

There is a GA premium version, but it is very expensive. You would only choose to buy this if have more than 10 million requests in a month and a budget greater than $200,000 for this feature alone because having access to ALL the data is worth it for you. For most users, this will not be the case. Besides, there are so many good features available on the free version – more than enough to keep most eCommerce stores happy.

After Behdad’s talk, we had a few minutes for open questions to the floor, and then we wrapped up this successful meetup with some more networking and mingling.

It was great to see everyone who came out for the meetup! There’s no meetup in April, due to WooConf, but we’ll be back in action on May 4th (you can RSVP here). Tim Stringer will share his entrepreneurial journey using WooCommerce and Subscriptions, and we’ll also have a wrapup of WooConf.  Look forward to seeing you in May!

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