How to measure profit in Google Analytics

One major limitation of the standard Google Analytics ecommerce tracking is that, by default, it only tracks revenue and revenue is not profit. In this post, I will explain the steps required to track profit in Google Analytics.

Many ecommerce product catalogues have profit data stored against products but very few think to pass this data to google analytics. Even if data like product cost isn’t stored, it’s not difficult to start storing this data with the product.

Most of the ROI figures I see thrown around are also based on revenue but the most important thing for any company is profit.

After implementing tracking that measures revenue & profit it can become quite clear that certain campaigns have been driving decent revenue but very little profit. It also becomes possible to see which channels, locations & devices etc drive the greatest profit.

Recording profit data in googles analytics makes it possible to optimize marketing channels and campaigns by profit instead of mere revenue.

So how to do we go about doing this?

Step 1: Create Custom Metrics in Google Analytics to store profit data.

Step 2: Include the new Custom Metrics (profit data) in the dataLayer

Step 3: Setup Google Tag Manager to collect profit data from the dataLayer & pass this data to the custom metrics we set up in step 1.

Step4: Set up a calculated profit metric in Google Analytics that subtracts the costs (profit data) from the revenue.

Step 5: Create custom google analytics reports that show the profit. For example: channel by profit & adgroups by profit.

Step 1: How to create custom metrics in GA?

Simply click on Admin (bottom right while in Google Analytics) and then click on:

Custom Definitions / Custom Metrics

Set them up like this:

Great now you have metrics to store the profit data you are going to provide with each transaction!

Step 2: How to set up the dataLayer

You simply add the additional metrics with the existing transaction data like below.

Step 3: How to setup GTM to pass profit data to GA

In the Ecommerce transaction tag simple add the required Custom Metrics like this:

Step 4: how to setup the calculated metric?

Simply click on Admin (bottom right while in Google Analytics) and then click on:

Calculated Metrics

The calculated metric should look like this:

Step 5: How to set the custom report

And that’s it you now have a way of viewing the data by profit!

Author: Kevin Thomson

Head of Analytics & Measurement at Attacat

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