Tracking checkout conversion rate with Google Analytics or Omniture Site Catalyst

Tracking checkout conversion rate with Google Analytics or Omniture Site Catalyst

About conversion rate, I would like in this article to dig a little deeper into checkout conversion rate and how to measure it. Currently, I’m doing an AB Test to compare the performance between a classic step-to-step checkout with a less classic “accordion checkout” (not to be confonded with one-page checkout).
Few things to define before talking about tracking with either Google Analytics or Omniture Site Catalyst.

1. Conversion rate

Well, this design should do the trick

Conversion Rate illustration
Illustration from the great great Conversion Rate Experts blog

Our subject being checkout, we will assume that the website is an ecommerce one and as a consequence the main goal/action we want the user to take here is “placed an order”.

2. AB Testing

Also here i think an illustration will express it better than words

Few words about the AB testing subject here.

3. Checkout ergonomy and design

Just want to highlight the difference between : accordion checkout, classic step-to-step checkout and one page checkout. The checkout being the step just after the basket, not to be considered lazy but once again examples is better than words:

  1. Accordion checkout: Following the principle of an accordion, this kind of design hide and show the step following the user progression without leaving the page, it’s a “vertical” design using Ajax most of the time. When the user is taken to the checkout the first section is open and he can see the titles of the following sections just below.
  2. Classic checkout: The classic checkout is more a “horizontal” design, each step of the checkout = one dedicated page.
  3. Single Page Checkout: This kind of checkout design can be horizontal or vertical, the principle here is having everything on the same page and every fields open, better option for short checkout process > everything is visible at a glance.

Context being clear now, lets get quickly to measurement! First of all, most of the checkout being in multiple steps – whatever the kind of design you choose – I would advise to measure 3 things:

  1. Checkout conversion rate = sales / number of carts initiated
  2. Overall conversion rate = sales / unique visitors
  3. Fall out step by step = % of visitors who drop on each step
  4. The 2 first performance indicators can show you trend and the 2nd expecially allow you to compare your rate to market conversion rate: knowing that the formulas can depend but either way the 2nd formula is supposed to be the one the market use and communicate about.

    The fall out indicator is the one you should/could take more time to analyse and set up on your webanalytics tool.

    With Google Analytics

    You first have to set up your goal. In our case, you goal is the last page of the checkout, usually the Thank You page then you have to set up the funnel which is each page/section of your checkout process. This is useful only if your checkout is a multiple page checkout : new step = new page. For one page checkout or accordion checkout, I would implement events tracking to get info about the steps within the page, but I will dig into this in a later article. Here is what you should get from GA:

    Why do I love Google Analytics: because it’s flexible, any webmarketer can do this without involving development team!

    With SiteCatalyst

    You will first have to set the “pagename” in the tracking page properties. But most of the time, this should have been done when implementing Omniture SiteCatalyst the first time. With this, it’s also really easy and flexible as you just have to drag and drop your pagename into the “Fall out report” to build your report!
    Here is what you will get:
    What I do love about SiteCatalyst fallout report, is that you may need developement team help but you will be able to track PAGE and SECTION in a page so any kind of checkout design can be tracked!

    Well, tracking is the first step of optimisation: go this article to learn more about few tips to enhance your checkout flow and decrease your checkout abandon rate.

L’abandon du panier, quelques idées clefs pour y palier !

Cette infographie de Peter Borden (Monetate) reprend l’essentiel des TODO et not TODO, lors du travail sur l’optimisation de votre checkout !

J’y ajouterais un point : mettre en place une analyse des points d’abandon a la fois au sein du formulaire pour savoir a quel moment du formulaire les utilisateurs abandonnent, hésitent, s’y reprennent a plusieurs fois & par la même occasion a chaque étape de validation pour connaitre le taux d’abandon step by step. Le rapport “Schema de l’entonnoir de conversion” chez Google analytics ou le rapport “Fallout report builder” chez Omniture SiteCatalyst vous aideront a optimiser votre checkout sur du concret !