Deep Cuts: Five Ecommerce Reports You Should Be Using – Right NOW



Open up your cabinet of LP’s, your drawer of 8-Tracks or [I GUESS] your favorite digital music subscription service account, you will see two types of songs, ones that ‘grow’ and ones that ‘show’. ‘Show’ songs are the ones that draw you into an artist or album, but really they are catchy, but have little substance. ‘Grow’ songs are the tracks, those ‘deep cuts’ that resonate with you. They keep you coming back to that artist time and again.

For most of us reading this, Google Analytics is the same way. There are fancy Sankey Flow reports that catch your eyeballs, but then there are those personalized “deep cut” reports that affect you and resonate with your data.

Maybe you are not alone. Maybe other people share a similar love for the same reports? Maybe others could benefit from your knowledge. You share your tunes, right? Share your reporting methods.


First, Google has made available the analytics data of their merchandise store. The following sample report links use this data. You can access the Google Analytics demo account here.

Second, along with a brief description, each report contains the following sections:

  • Answers the Question – The insight the report would provide.
  • Might Be Good For – Describes actionable items to be gleaned from the report.
  • Yeah, but – Any other questions that may arise as a result of this report or other considerations. This section is really meant to model further curiosity and creativity in your analysis.

Finally, here the are FIVE reporting combinations you should be using… RIGHT NOW!

Quarterly Average Order Value by City – YoY

Go to report

Average order value is a great metric and looking at it across geographies in history makes it even better. This is a great report to look for both quality sales and changes over time.

Answers the Question: What cities (> 10 transactions) had the highest average order value year over year?
Might be good for: Justifying ad campaigns or looking for new markets.
Yeah, but: Which cities have high average time on site, but lower average order value?

Quarterly Transactions by Day Time Lag Report

Go to report
Deep within the recesses of the Multi-Chanel Funnel reports, lies the Time Lag report. It shows you how many days it took for a visitor to turn into a customer through a variety of touch points.
Answers the Question: How many days after a visit or marketing exposure do they make a purchase?
Might be good for: Audience building for remarketing campaigns.
Yeah, but: Does my remarketing ad spend justify the incoming revenue?

Average Order Value Affinity Category by Gender

Go to report

Quarterly movement in affinity groups year over year by gender may seem granular, but can prove to be an effective tool for identifying specific converting groups on your site. It’s important to note that the accuracy of the name of the category is not as important as it’s performance and the ability to track and market to these groups over time.

Answers the Question: Which user groups have an above average order values?
Might be good for: Ad targeting by gender and perceived interest.
Yeah, but: Is there any audience where I should NOT be spending my money?

Tree Maps – Affiliate Marketing Revenue by Per session Value.

Go to report
The tree maps reports can be a good indicator of quality over quantity when it comes to eCommerce and especially affiliate channels. Identifying which ones are bringing in quality referrals is important in justifying ROI.

Answers the Question:
Visually, which channels are bringing in the highest per session value?
Might be good for: Assessing the volume vs. quality of key affiliate channels.
Yeah, but: What are other ways I can reengage users from these channels?

Internal Site Search Terms by Order Value

Go to report

Even if you feel internal site search is an indicator of bad UI, you can gain valuable information from listening in on this report. Site search is one of the easiest customizations to make in Google Analytics, why not work it to your advantage from an eCommerce perspective?
Answers the Question: What keywords are generating sales?
Might be good for: Adding or enhancing PPC keyword roster.
Yeah, but: Which products are the most profitable that could feature on my home page?

There you have my five deep cuts. Five awesome ways to use the reports and five awesome ways follow up and follow-through. What are your ‘deep cuts’? What blends and types of reports are your go-to’s? Let us know in the comments below!

Dan is a Manager at LunaMetrics with an Agency/Development background. He has over five years of experience working with Google Analytics. He loves leveraging data to help clients make better decisions. Dan loves new methods and lives by the motto, “break it and make it better.” Dan is a husband and father of four future data science-loving sons. When not putting kids to bed, he writes songs and plays guitar.

  • YiannisG

    With all due respect I am a big fan of your work and blog but I stopped reading at ” Affinity Category by Gender” as being a report to use right now. JS tracking (and web browsing behaviour in general) is way too unreliable to give any trust to Demographical/pshycographic data, everyone in e-commerce knows that.

    • Daniel Settlemire

      Hi Yiannis, Thanks for reaching out. I too have my concerns over the validity of the data, but the purpose of the report in the eCommerce context is not to discern accurate information about our users, but rather to help our marketing efforts. I addressed your comment with this statement:

      “It’s important to note that the accuracy of the name of the category is not as important as its performance and the ability to track and market to these groups over time.”

      There should be quite some consideration with any marketing assumptions being made outside of the Google ecosystem. But within it, we can market to these users regardless of their true demo/psychography. If browsers with these set of cookies are making purchases, let’s take advantage of this and segmenting and engage them.

      • The demographic data is based on the Doubleclick cookie, so Daniel’s point about using the affinity for remarketing reason is a valid one as long as Doubleclick is being used for targeting and not Facebook or anything else.

  • JesperS

    Hello Daniel,
    Great post! I really could use your special reports, only I have one problem: I can’t open them through the links provided on the page. Could you maybe send me the reports by e-mail, so I can use them?


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