Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google that provides detailed statistics about your site's visitors, where they come from, and most importantly what they look at and buy. Having this information allows you to make key choices about the content of your site, how it is organized and displayed, and how to market it effectively. There's nothing like real data to support the decisions you make!
Setting up Google Analytics Google Analytics isn't too complicated and you won't need to use any code. Digging into your Google Analytics reports, you'll not only find very useful data about how many people are visiting your site, but also practical information about who your customers are. In the audience reports, you'll see where your customers are geographically and be able to see what language your customers use. Knowing the language of the majority of your customers and their location can influence shipping decisions (maybe you weren't shipping to that country before?).
You can also find information about your customers' technology in the audience report. What browser or device are they using, a cell phone or tablet? Perhaps you see a higher bounce rate among your mobile customers, which could indicate that it's time to opt for a responsive (mobile-friendly) theme for your website if you haven't already.
You can track the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts - such as blog posts and social media links to your site - through Google Analytics. Using Google's URL builder, you can create tagged links to your stores that will be tracked in Analytics. Let's say you'd like to see how much traffic you get to your store from your Pinterest profile. All you would need to do is create a tagged link in the URL builder, place it on your Pinterest page and watch the visits roll in your acquisition reports. Now you'll have a better idea of where to focus your time and energy when it comes to talking about your products around the web.
Seeing how your customers interact with your site is invaluable. Looking at Google Analytics reports feels like watching customers browse the aisles of a store in person. You can see which pages they look at, which pages don't get any love, and when visitors leave your site. Viewing the behavioral chart can help you determine what changes you need to make to your store to turn visitors into paying customers. Or maybe it's not the content on the page, but the way the content is being downloaded that's driving traffic away. You can check your page load times in the site speed report. Google also gives suggestions for improving your site's download times. You may need to optimize the images you use to ensure they appear quickly.
One of the coolest and most valuable things you can do in Google Analytics is to set goals. With an online store, it's probably safe to assume that your priority is to sell your products. But you can assign a goal to a specific page to track that. Maybe you want to know how many customers sign up for a newsletter from a custom page in your store - that could also be a goal. Creating goals not only gives better insight into how customers are interacting with your online store, but it can also give you a better idea of the value of their interactions. Since you've enabled e-commerce tracking for your store, you can also take advantage of convenient e-commerce reporting. You can view your sales by transaction, product, product category, etc.