Import of Product Data

Data Import is a feature that supports combining the data generated by your offline data (external sources) with Google Analytics. Ideally, you’ll be able to use Analytics to organize and analyze all of your data to help find meaningful and actionable insights.

This is the second post in the series ‘Data Import.’ In this post we will talk about Product Data Import. In the 1st post we discussed Content Data Import.

What Problems Does It Solve?

Importing additional product-related information facilitates better merchandising insights by adding product-related dimensions, such as color, size, and style to your collected Analytics data. Data Import adds the ability to extend product dimensions and metrics. Please note - Product Data Import requires that your property be using Enhanced Ecommerce (ec.js)

The ecommerce product variable has all kinds of information you can add to session data for deeper analysis of your visitors’ online transactions. You only get limited slots in the transaction hits such as product name, SKU, category, brand, and variation, along with unit price and quantity. With Data Import you can add product-scoped custom dimensions as indicated below. You can associate data with your products to view detailed merchandising reports in Google Analytics

a) Product cost, margin, or profit
b) Product weight, color, size or other physical information about a product

How Does Data Setting work?

Every product has an SKU to uniquely identify the product, just like every employee in an organization has an employee number. Product Data import works by using a primary key, ‘SKU.’

Below is the step-by-step guide for data import:

1) Tag your site with the ec.js plugin

If your site does not have ec.js plugin then follow the guidelines to tag your pages with the ec.js plugin (https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6014857). With the plugin you tag your product detail pages, product lists, internal promotions, and your shopping-cart and checkout pages.

2) Create Custom Dimension

The additional information or metadata (like size, color etc.) you will upload in GA will be stored in Custom Dimension. So before we start uploading the metadata, the 1st step is to create a slot for metadata i.e. to create Custom Dimension. If you haven’t created Custom Dimension before, follow the instructions here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2709829?hl=en

3) Create Data Set

Navigate to the Admin area of GA. Under Property, look down toward the bottom and click ‘Data Import.’

  1. Create a new data set: click on +New DATA SET
  2. Choose the Data Set type; we are importing product data so we will choose Product Data. Then click Next.
  3. Name Data Set
  4. In the next step, you need to define the Data Set schema.
    • Key: This is just the key that exists in GA to join with the uploaded data. By default, key is set to Product SKU
    • Imported Data: The dimensions we created above to store the additional information about the product.
  5. Overwrite Hit Data: Choose yes or no. If you are passing the article headline from your Google Analytics tracking on your site, do you want to use the value that is passed into GA, or overwrite it with the value you are going to upload?
    practical-google-analytics-product-data-import-1
  6. Click Save. Now you will see two buttons: 1) Get Schema and 2) Get Custom Data.
  7. Click on the Get Schema Button.
    practical-google-analytics-product-data-import-2
  8. You will see two options: CSV header or Excel Template. We will use Excel template, which is readily available for download.
  9. Fill in the details in the template and save it in a CSV format after you’ve added your data.
    practical-google-analytics-product-data-import-3
  10. It’s time to upload the data into Google Analytics. You have two options to upload the data: 1) API or 2) Manual Upload. We will choose Manual Upload.
  11. Go back to the data set you created just now, i.e. Admin --> Data Import. Click Manage Upload.
    practical-google-analytics-product-data-import-4
  12. Then, click on the Upload file button, browse the CSV file you created just now, and upload it.

That’s all; finally you have uploaded product data.

4) View data in Reports

The uploaded data may take up to 24 hours to be reflected in Google Analytics. You should be able to see the uploaded data in your reports in a multiple number of ways. Since your uploaded data is being stored in Custom Dimensions, you’ll be able to view it in all the same ways (secondary dimensions, custom reports, and custom dashboards).

For example, in the Product Performance report (available under Conversion-->Ecommerce), choose Product SKU as the primary dimension, and then add Product Color or Product Size as the secondary dimension.

If you like my articles,