Ecommerce Tracking - Web Tracking (ga.js)

Before Google Analytics can report ecommerce activity for your website, you must enable ecommerce tracking on the view (profile) settings page for your website. After that, you must implement the ga.js ecommerce tracking methods in your shopping cart pages or through your ecommerce software. The collection of ecommerce methods work together to send each user's transaction information to the Google Analytics database as it occurs. In this way, Analytics can link a specific referral source to a conversion or purchase. Most template-driven ecommerce engines can be modified to include this information hidden in the order confirmation page.

General Process

The basic process for tracking ecommerce using Google Analytics can best be described by summarizing the three methods required for tracking ecommerce transactions on your site. These methods are described in the order in which you should invoke them in your shopping cart or ecommerce software.

  1. Create a transaction object.

    Use the _addTrans() method to intialize a transaction object. The transaction object stores all the related information about a single transaction, such as the transaction ID, shipping charges, and billing address. The information in the transaction object is associated with its items by means of the transaction IDs for the transaction and all items, which should be the same ID.

  2. Add items to the transaction.

    The _addItem() method tracks information about each individual item in the user's shopping cart and associates the item with each transaction via the transactionId field. This method tracks the details about a particular item, such as SKU, price, category, and quantity.

  3. Submit the transaction to the Analytics servers.

    The _trackTrans() method confirms that a purchase has occurred, and all data that has been built up in the transaction object is finalized as a transaction.

There are many ways that this information can be retrieved from the ecommerce engine. Some ecommerce engines write the purchase information to a hidden form that you can use, others keep the information in a database that you can retrieve, and others store the information in a cookie. Some of the more popular ecommerce engines that recognize Google Analytics provide their own modules to simplify order tracking for Analytics.


Keep in mind the following when implementing ecommerce tracking.

  • The SKU code is a required parameter for every item that is added to the transaction.
    If a transaction contains multiple items and the SKU is not supplied for every item, a GIF request is sent only for the last item added to the transaction for which a SKU is provided. In addition, if your inventory has different items with the same SKU, and a visitor purchases both of them, you will receive data for only the most recently added. For this reason, you should make sure that each item you offer has a unique SKU.
  • The argument list for _addTrans() and _addItem() is matched by position.
    While not all arguments are required, you should supply an empty placeholder for unspecified arguments to avoid errors. For example, you would add an item containing only transaction ID, sku, price, and quantity like this:
    _addItem("54321", "12345", "", "", "55.95", "1");
  • The values for the price and total parameters do not respect any currency formatting.
    For both parameters, the first instance of either a comma or a period indicates a fractional value. So, for example, if you provide 1,996.00 as the value for the total parameter, it is recorded as 1.996, not as $1,996.00. Because the value is not affiliated with any currency, your ecommerce software must handle any currency conversion before you pass the data to Analytics.
  • If you are implementing ecommerce tracking and using a 3rd-party shopping cart, you will likely need to configure cross-domain tracking as well.
    See the section on "Cross Domain Tracking" for details.
  • While not strictly required, it is a good idea to call _trackPageview() on your receipt page if you want to associate that particular page with the transaction data.

Complete Example

The following example illustrates a sample configuration of ecommerce tracking on a receipt page using all three methods. The use of _trackPageview() associates the transaction with the page entitled Receipt for your clothing purchase from Acme Clothing.


Local Currencies

By default, you can configure a common, global, currency for all transactions and items through the Google Analytics management web interface. By default, the global currency is used for all items and transactions. For websites that conduct transactions in multiple currencies, the ga.js ecommerce tracking feature allows you to specify the local currency of the transaction using the following command, before the call to _trackTrans is performed:

_gaq.push(['_set', 'currencyCode', 'EUR']);

The local currency must be specified in the ISO 4217 standard. Read the Currency Codes Reference document for a complete list of supported conversion currencies.