3 Reasons why Shopping Cart Custom Domains Will Mean the End of Your Web Analytics Problems

3 minutes
After reviewing hundreds of Google Analytics implementations on ecommerce websites one thing caught my eye: more than 90% of Google Analytics tracking of third party shopping carts end up with errors. That’s a fact.

Why is it so hard to track flawlessly third party shopping carts? Mainly, because of the technology. Google Analytics uses cookies to track visitors and those cookies can only be accessed by the domain on which Google Analytics is installed, i.e. your website.

When a visitor goes from your website to a third party cart, the visitor essentially gets to a new domain which can not read the cookies from your website domain. This means that Google sets up a totally new set of cookies and will consider the visitor as referred by your website.

Having all your sales “ referred” by your website clearly doesn’t help you in your marketing efforts. That’s where Avangate Analytics MiniBible V3.0 comes in to help you understand the real analytics behind your online sales.

Aimed at software selling websites, the Avangate Analytics MiniBible V3.0 is a step-by-step guide showing you how to be in control of Google Analytics for high performance analysis of your users.

Why Custom Domains?

Shopping cart Custom Domains mean that the third party cart platform, in our case Avangate, will load from a subdomain of your website, something like store.yourwebsite.com. As subdomains can read the cookies of their mother domains, Google Analytics will be able to track a visitor from your website to the cart and know that is the same one.

Still not convinced you need a custom domain? Here are 3 reasons why (plus the 4th of  making your marketing life much easier):

Reason 1: Accurate sales referrers

Using custom domains for your shopping cart will make the eCommerce tracking feature in Google Analytics work flawlessly. That means that you will get the following report for sales and you can be sure the data will be accurate:

The best part is that when you use a Custom Domain, no hacks need to be in place for the above report to work. It just works out of the box.

Reason 2: You get to build conversion funnels that start on your website

Conversion funnels offer you a great image about what happens on your website when it comes to converting visitors.

You get the following answer: Where do my visitors drop off? Knowing this, you can start and research the why factor. Getting the Why answer and acting on it will mean more revenue for you at the end of the month.

If Google Analytics will not see the same visitor as being 2 different ones, that means it can build accurate conversion funnels that start on your website and finish on the shopping cart, just like this one:

Reason 3: Know how many days pass from first visit to purchase

Based on this intel, you’ll be able to fine-tune not only your marketing campaign messages but also the timing – when to display them – in order to convert as many visitors into buyers.

Again, with Custom Domain implemented for your cart, you will have access to the following report with accurate data, out of the box:


Selling software and looking to boost online sales? There is more in the bag

Having the right Google Analytics implementation will allow you to improve your business based on data you can trust. That’s why we have launched the Analytics miniBible for Software Vendors.

The Custom Domain implementation is just a small fraction of what you will find in the ebook which is now at its 3rd edition. Tracking unfinished payments, shopping cart errors, behavior of trial visitors, conversions and so on are all covered in the ebook.

If you sell software and you want to improve your business, tracking your website performance is a must. Goes without saying that you need to constantly test your cart conversion and monitor your data to enhance your performance with Analytics. But no worries, the Analytics miniBible for Software Vendors is free and is here to help.

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