Building a Mobile Ecommerce Dashboard in Google Analytics

Recently, at the GAUGE conference, I talked about Google Analytics custom reports and dashboards. During the dashboards section of the talk I walked the group through the process of setting upa dashboard. As an example I created a dashboard for a fictional ecommerce website.

After the talk someone came up to me and asked if I could share more details on the dashboard. So here they are!

My goal with this dashboard is deep-dive on the mobile segment of the business: to focus on the business objectives (conversions), key actions that could lead to conversions AND ancillary data about the mobile experience. This will give us a wide range of metrics that provides a deep understanding of the mobile experience.

This is not a data puke.

Before we begin, some assumptions about the business that will make it easier to build the dashboard.

  • This is an ecommerce business and revenue is queen!
  • The business has launched an ecommerce website in hopes of diring more revenue via mobile
  • There are a number of mobile marketing campaigns that are running and it is critical to measure their effectiveness
  • The mobile site is ever evolving and the business is always looking for information on how to improve the site

A dashboard is a great way to pull all of this information together. Could you use a custom report? Sure.
But the dashboard does include some nice (but VERY basic) visualizations.

Here it is, the mobile dashboard.

Mobile Ecommerce Dashboard for Google Analytics

Mobile Ecommerce Dashboard for Google Analytics

The key to creating tis dashboard is the filter option built into each widget. I’m basically segmenting each widget to include only mobile traffic. It’s not that hard to do, just set the Dimension to Mobile and the value to ‘Yes’. (The Mobile dimension is a yes or no flag.)

Filtering a Google Analytics Dashboard Widget for Mobile

That’s it. The widget will only contain data specific to mobile.

Now that we know how to manipulate the widgets so they only include mobile data it’s just a matter of putting the most appropriate widgets on the dashboard.

I’ve divided the mobile dashboard into four sections:

1. Revenue Measurement (outlined in green above)
2. Campaign Performance (outlined in red above)
3. Mobile Device Information (outlined in orange above)
4. Content Performance (outlined in yellow above)

Let’s look at each section.

Revenue, Revenue and Revenue!

The first section of the dashboard deals with revenue. Surprise! There’s not much to explain here. This is an e-commerce site and revenue is their key success metric. You could easily change this to conversion rate if you’re not an ecommerce site. I like the little spark line that shows me a trend.

Google Analytics Mobile Revenue Widget

Google Analytics Mobile Revenue Widget

Now this is where things get interesting, the next widget is Mobile Revenue vs Non-mobile revenue. This is cool if you want to see how mobile revenue compares to overall revenue.

Mobile Revenue vs. Non-Mobile Revenue

Mobile Revenue vs. Non-Mobile Revenue

The way this widget is a pie-chart widget is to group the metric, in this case revenue, but the Mobile dimension. Like this:

Grouping a Pie Chart Widget

Channel & Campaign Segmentation

Next we continue to look at revenue but now we’re segmenting it my marketing channel. A bit more advanced, but very, very insightful.

This fictional company is leveraging a number of marketing channels, so let’s segment the revenue by medium to determine which ones are generating revenue.

Mobile Channel Revenue

Mobile Channel Revenue

Drilling a bit deeper we can include a table of the top 10 campaigns to quickly see which ones are successful and which ones are not. Again success is measured based on revenue. But if you are not an ecommerce site you can change the widget to measure almost any goal conversion.

Mobile Campaign Performance

Mobile Campaign Performance

Notice I’ve also included Bounce Rate in this table. This makes it easier for me to understand if the poor performance of a campaign might be due to the initial experience the visitor has on the site.

In this case every campaign has $0.00 and a 100% Bounce Rate. Not so good. Time to rethink my landing page experience.

Don’t forget, if you’re using Google Analytics you need to use Campaign Tracking to accurately track marketing activities.

Device Information

In addition to our key business metrics, let’s include some usability metrics that will help guide future development of the site. In this case, because we’re dealing with mobile, let’s include some device data.

Mobile Device Revenue

Mobile Device Revenue

I know… not another pie chart. But it’s a fast way to show which devices are driving revenue on the site. 38% from the iPad! Maybe we should focus on the iPad user experience?

Just to provide a little context, let’s add a table with the top mobile devices.

Mobile Device Traffic and Bounce Rate

Mobile Device Traffic and Bounce Rate

The table helps us understand two things. First, what are the most popular devices that people use to access our mobile site? This information is critical for future development work. Second, I’ve included bounce rate in the table. This metric will make it easier for us to determine if users of a certain device have trouble accessing the site.

Popular Content

The last part of the dashboard deals with content. I put the mobile site bounce rate just to keep it at the top of my mind. It’s basically useless without some segmentation, but good to keep an eye on.

Mobile Website Bounce Rate

Mobile Website Bounce Rate

Let’s segment it by landing page using a simple table widget. And to add more context, let’s add the number of Entrances for each landing page. Now I can see how popular a landing page is along with the bounce rate. Popular landing pages with really high bounce rates suck.

Mobile Landing Page Bounce Rate

Mobile Landing Page Bounce Rate

Now let’s see what people actually like to read or interact with on the mobile site with the top mobile content. Using two simple metrics, pageviews and time on page, it’s easy to see what people like. And if I know what’s popular I might be able to promote it in new ways.

Most Engaging Mobile Content

Most Engaging Mobile Content

Wrapping Up

I know that there are some serious shortfalls with the Google Analytics dashboard. BUT, let’s not look past certain things that are helpful. You get to add almost any metric and dimension. You can segment that data AND you can add some (VERY basic) visualizations. All in all, it doesn’t suck. Too much.

There are two things I wish the dashboard had:
1. The ability to add a simple text area where I can add my analysis and thoughts
2. The ability to add external data, like ad spend

Post Script

Google recently hosted a webinar with Avinash Kaushik promoting mobile marketing and, of course, measurement. You can watch the entire video below. It’s about an hour but well worth it.

Avinash also included a link to a custom report for mobile measurement. A nice compliment to the dashboard above.

Now it’s your turn. What would you add to a mobile dashboard?

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    1. says

      Hi Justin,

      First, thanks for your post on setting up a mobile dashboard. As a budding GA ninja (or at least ninja wanna-be!) I find one of the areas I get caught up in sometimes is what to enter in a filter field, there seems to be no good help or guide for this.

      Case in point: In your filter field example above, I would never have guessed that the entry would be “yes” and NOT “mobile”! I’m complaining to Nick and Avinash about this ;) but in the meantime, is there a definitive guide to how/what to enter into filter fields? (note: for this question, I’m not including regex, I realized you have to know regular expressions if you make that choice).

      Hope my question is clear and makes sense… if so, maybe that’s a new blog post for you/us? I bet I’m not the only one who gets into GA and can’t figure out what to enter into a field – another example is an advanced segment, let’s say for time – is that to be in milliseconds? seconds? minutes? GA help section is, well, not very helpful, really…

      In any event, thanks for your time and expertise, I do appreciate it.


    2. says

      I never thought that mobile market is so attractive. I think in India, it is still in its initial stage and will take lots of time to grow. In analytic, we see the visit from mobile device and haven’t see any one try to buy via mobile device.

      • says

        @Alex: Mobile is absolutely growing in many parts of the world. I’ll be honest, I have not done much work in India, so I don’t know that market. But that’s the great thing about data. If your customers are not using mobile you do not need to rush into it now. But I think mobile will continue to spread globally.

        @David: Great comment, thanks for taking the time to write that out. You bring up a good point: there really is no good resource for understanding all of the metrics and dimensions in GA. There is the Dimension and Metric reference in the Google Code site. But that’s a bit nerdy. I think this would make a good blog post.

    3. says

      I really like the way you’ve explained the ideas behind your choice of data and presentation style for each of the widgets. Thank you. Please keep sharing dashboard examples — more practical advice on using these features is always very valuable.

      For @david’s question, here’s a thought — you can often find the relevant values for filtering by checking in standard reports, or even building a temporary custom report with the dimensions/metrics you’re interested in.

    4. says

      It’s really cool dashboard. Mobile will generally be used for local business and this is good tips to analyze local market about the products, website or services.


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