Google has just launched a new report in GA4 that will help businesses spot any issues users may encounter at the checkout process. This new addition in the reporting section of GA4 will become one of the most used tools to identify whether the users didn’t complete the checkout process due to personal reasons or if there was a problem that prevented them from doing so.
The Checkout Journey report displays the count and percentage of users who initiated checkout on your site or app and successfully completed each subsequent step in the checkout process. This closed funnel approach helps you pinpoint bottlenecks and identify areas where you can improve the checkout experience.
When is the right time to use this report?
The Checkout Journey report is a valuable tool for e-commerce businesses of all sizes. It allows you to track how users are interacting with your checkout process, from start to finish. This information can be used to identify and fix any bottlenecks or issues that are preventing customers from completing their purchases.
If you have a high-traffic website, you should monitor the Checkout Journey report on a daily basis. This will help you to quickly identify and resolve any problems that could be impacting your conversion rates.
Even if you have a lower-traffic website, you should still check the Checkout Journey report regularly. If you see a drop in sales compared to previous periods, this could be a sign that there is a problem with your checkout process.
Which data does the Checkout Journey Report use?
The data for the Checkout Journey report comes from the e-commerce events that you implement on your website or mobile app. These events track how users interact with your checkout process, from start to finish.
The four most important e-commerce events for the Checkout Journey report are:
- begin_checkout: This event fires when a user starts the checkout process.
- add_shipping_info: This event fires when a user adds their shipping information.
- add_payment_info: This event fires when a user adds their payment information.
- purchase: This event fires when a user completes their purchase.
If you want to see data in the Checkout Journey Report, you must implement these events on your website or mobile app. You can find instructions on how to do this in the Google Analytics documentation. For Shopify users, GA4 automatically records the begin_checkout, add_payment_info, and purchase events after initial tracking set up and you only have to set up the add_shipping_info event.
How to view the report?
Follow these steps to view the Checkout Journey Report:
- Sign in to your Analytics account
- Select your GA4 property
- Hover over the left menu and select Reports
- In the Life Cycle section on the left, click on Monetization, and then select Checkout Journey
Which are the default dimensions?
These are the different ways you can segment your Checkout Journey report data. You can select one or more dimensions to refresh and update the dimension values within the table. By segmenting your data by different dimensions, you can identify patterns and trends in customer behavior. This information can be used to improve your checkout process for all of your customers.
Here are some examples of how you can use dimensions to segment your Checkout Journey report data:
- Browser: See how users from different browsers are interacting with your checkout process.
- City: See how users from different cities are interacting with your checkout process.
- Country: See how users from different countries are interacting with your checkout process.
- Device category: See how users from different devices (e.g., desktop, mobile, tablet) are interacting with your checkout process.
- Language: See how users from different language groups are interacting with your checkout process.
- Region: See how users from different geographic regions are interacting with your checkout process.
Interpreting the Checkout Journey Report
The Checkout Journey report consists of two parts: a funnel chart and a table. The funnel chart shows how many users complete each step of the checkout process, while the table allows you to segment the data by one dimension.
The abandonment rate is shown below each bar in the funnel that has a next step. It shows the percentage of users who did not complete the next step in the funnel. For example, if 300 users started the checkout process in the selected time period and only 120 users completed the shipping step, then the abandonment rate for the shipping step would be 60%.
(Learn more about abandonment rates here)
The retention rate is the opposite of the abandonment rate. It shows the percentage of users who completed the current step and also completed the next step in the funnel. The retention rate is shown in the header of the next step in the funnel. In the previous example, the retention rate for the shipping step would be 40%.
(Read more on other acquisition metrics)
Interpreting the Data
When you hover over a step in the report, you can see the number of users who completed that step. For example, if you hover over the shipping step, you will see that 140 users completed that step.
By looking at the abandonment and retention rates for each step in the funnel, you can identify areas where users are dropping off. This information can be used to improve your checkout process and increase conversion rates.
Here are some additional tips for interpreting the Checkout Journey report:
- Look for steps in the funnel where the abandonment rate is high compared with previous periods of time. These are the areas where you need to focus your attention. This usually indicates a problem at that step needing to be addressed.
- Compare the abandonment and retention rates for different dimensions, such as device type, browser, and region/country. This can help you to identify patterns and trends in customer behavior.
- Use the Checkout Journey report to track the results of any changes you make to your checkout process or to identify a winning variant of an A/B test.
By following these tips, you can use the Checkout Journey report to improve your checkout process and boost your sales.
What do you need to know about GA4 thresholding when interpreting a report?
If the Checkout Journey report isn’t displaying any data for all or only a few steps, it may be due to the following reasons:
- The event tagging isn’t set up properly, especially if your website is using any other platform than Shopify
- GA4 has applied a data threshold.
In the latter situation, Google Analytics may withhold data from reports and explorations to protect the privacy of individual users. This is done by applying data thresholds. Data thresholds are system-defined and cannot be adjusted.
Data thresholds may be applied when:
- Google signals is enabled and you have a low user count in the specified date range.
- The reporting identity relies on the device ID and there aren’t enough total users.
- The report or exploration includes search query information and there aren’t enough total users.
- You view a report or exploration within a narrow date range and have low user or event counts in the date range.
Our take on this subject: Effective implementation of e-commerce events will lead to accurate numbers in the Checkout Journey Report in GA4. If you are having trouble with this, consider hiring a professional to help you.