Top Options for WooCommerce and Other Online Store Platforms
WordPress websites with ecommerce functionality are very common today. They leverage WooCommerce and other online selling platforms to build and manage high quality B2C and B2B ecommerce sites.
Good measurement is key to online revenue success. This post introduces several of the top ecommerce analytics plugins that help site owners track store performance and drive growth in 2020 and beyond.
Last Updated: May 20, 2020
What is Ecommerce Analytics?
Tracking What Matters in Online Commerce
Ecommerce analytics is the range of website metrics that help online business owners track and optimize their online stores.
These metrics include things such as:
- Customer transactions
- Revenue metrics (by individual products, store totals, traffic sources, etc.)
- Conversion metrics
- Most popular products and categories
- Online shopper behavior analytics
- On-page ecommerce events (add-to-cart button clicks, etc.)
- Cart abandonment / non-completed conversion paths
These are in addition to the more common visitor metrics that apply to nearly all websites, including:
- Visitor engagement (bounce rate, session duration, time on page, pageviews per session, etc.)
- Traffic sources and channels
- Traffic growth over time
- Most popular pages and posts
- Visitor demographics
Google Analytics for Ecommerce
A Good Starting Point for Most Ecommerce Measurement
For most ecommerce websites – based on WordPress or other platforms – it’s certainly possible to start with the ecommerce tracking functions available natively within Google Analytics.
Technically speaking, this does not absolutely require extra plugins or software. Just enable and configure GA’s ecommerce tracking (or enhanced ecommerce functions), and you’re good to get started.
That is, if you have access to the skills to set this up properly in GA.
Here are two help resources from Google Analytics Support that may be useful for you:
(Don’t worry if you’re lacking these configuration skills. Many of the plugins below take care of GA ecommerce tracking configuration for you.)
If you don’t yet have ecommerce tracking set up, here’s what you’ll see when trying to access any of the reports under Conversions >> Ecommerce in Google Analytics.
Then, in the View column of your Google Analytics Admin settings, click on the Ecommerce Settings option and you’ll find this…
After Successful Ecommerce Setup
Once you’ve successfully enabled and configured ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics, you’ll have access to a range of standard reports such as Overview, Product Performance, Sales Performance, Transactions, and Time to Purchase.
See below for a sample screenshot of GA ecommerce reporting in action.
This is from Google’s own GA demo account for their online merchandise store.
WordPress Ecommerce Analytics Plugins
Improving and Adding Functionality
If Google Analytics already covers the essentials of ecommerce measurement, why then do we also have a bunch of WordPress plugins available for ecommerce analytics?
What do they do? What extra value do they provide?
(Hint: Just for starters, they make the scary GA ecommerce setup stuff mentioned above way easier for non-techies!)
In the sections below, we’re going to look at several WordPress plugins that can be a big help for online store owners.
If you operate a B2C or B2B online store, here are several top WordPress ecommerce analytics plugins for your consideration.
MonsterInsights for Ecommerce
Comprehensive Google Analytics Plugin… Plus Ecommerce
With over 2 million active installations and a 4.5 star overall rating from reviewers, the MonsterInsights plugin is a clear favorite for adding rich Google Analytics functionality to a WordPress website.
MonsterInsights provides a wide array of advanced Google Analytics capabilities, both at the free and paid levels.
Ecommerce features enter the scene at one of the paid tiers.
Here’s a quick overview video for this plugin.
MonsterInsights Video Intro
MonsterInsights Core Features
(Note: some of these, including ecommerce support, require paid levels.)
- Universal Tracking – simple setup across an entire website
- Google Analytics dashboard
- Real-time visitor stats
- Enhanced ecommerce tracking
- Page-level analytics
- Affiliate link and ads tracking
- Custom dimensions
- Google Optimize support for A/B testing
- Integrations with other popular plugins, including Yoast for SEO
I’ve used MonsterInsights on multiple websites for many years now and have been happy with it. It’s easy to set up, and I love the fact that it also offers basic Google Analytics event tracking at the free level.
MonsterInsights is definitely a comprehensive plugin for adding Google Analytics support to just about any WordPress website. It covers a lot of territory.
For ecommerce sites more specifically, MonsterInsights Pro provides the following:
- Simplified setup for Google Analytics ecommerce tracking
- Enhanced ecommerce tracking for WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and MemberPress stores
- Ecommerce reporting dashboard, including metrics such as total revenue, conversion rate, average order value, top products, top referral sources, and more
- Insights to help you reduce shopping cart abandonment, improve conversion rates, identify new referral partners, and boost overall store revenues
Here’s a look at the MonsterInsights ecommerce dashboard.
MonsterInsights Levels and Pricing
The free level of MonsterInsights is very functional, and is popular with very many WordPress site owners.
Ecommerce site owners, however, will likely want to jump straight to the Pro paid tier.
The paid tiers for MonsterInsights are:
For small businesses and publishers who want to push their analytics to the next level for a single website.
This level adds new reporting insights, including scroll tracking (very useful!), and enhanced link tracking.
MonsterInsights Plus Pricing: $99.50 per year
For ecommerce sites and webmasters with multiple websites needing even more capabilities. Covers up to 5 sites.
The pro level adds support for lots of ecommerce needs, including GA ecommerce reporting and integration with key platforms such as WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, MemberPress, and LifterLMS.
Other features unlocked at this level include form conversion tracking, author, category, and tags tracking, GA custom dimensions, and Google Optimize support.
MonsterInsights Pro Pricing: $199.50 per year
As the name suggests, this tier is for agencies who need advanced analytics functionality for multiple client accounts.
This level adds support for up to 25 websites. Includes premium support, WordPress multisite support, and client management features.
MonsterInsights Agency Pricing: $399.50 per year
MonterInsights has earned its spot as perhaps the king of WordPress plugins for Google Analytics support.
As I mentioned above, I’ve been using it for years and it’s been working great all along.
The Pro level adds features designed especially for WordPress ecommerce, and is definitely worth a good look for online store owners.
Enhanced Ecommerce GA Plugin for WooCommerce
Developed by Tatvic, this plugin for WooCommerce sites is focused on simplifying the setup and use of advanced ecommerce measurement with Google Analytics.
It enables a wide range of ecommerce analytics reports, all based on your GA data. Insights include product impressions and clicks, cart activity, conversions and sales data, and more.
There’s also a pro version that adds significantly more functionality starting at about $135.
WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration
WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration
This is the official GA integration plugin straight from WooCommerce, with a handful of other individual contributors pitching in to help.
It has over 100,000 active installations, but mixed reviews (overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars).
Its main purpose is making the basic connection between WooCommerce and Google Analytics, including ecommerce event tracking for add-to-cart actions.
WooCommerce Growth Platform
Metrilo’s analytics platform for WordPress helps WooCommerce store owners measure and improve business performance with features ranging from sales and marketing analysis to customer journey tracking, engagement, and feedback channels.
Metrilo is a self-standing cloud platform that does not require Google Analytics as the base data collector or reporting interface.
Here’s an example Metrilo dashboard showing various ecommerce metrics.
They offer three plan levels, including a free 14-day trial period.
Enhanced Ecommerce Google Analytics for WooCommerce
Matomo for Ecommerce
A Non-GA Option for Measuring Ecommerce Performance
Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that is focused on its customers having 100% ownership of their data, along with user privacy protections.
It is essentially a substitute for Google Analytics, with a wide array of free and premium features.
Matomo is used on over 1.4 million websites in over 190 countries. They have cloud-based as well an on-premises options for data storage.
Matomo offers their own comparison with Google Analytics here.
Matomo Intro Video
Overview of Matomo's Ecommerce Capabilities
Matomo Core Features
- Comprehensive website analytics
- User behavior tracking and conversion optimization options, including heatmaps and session recordings, A/B testing, funnels, goals, and forms
- Visitor profiles
- Enhanced SEO features (e.g., better keyword analytics)
- Matomo Tag Manager
- GDPR Manager
- Roll-up reporting
- White label options for agencies
- 100% data ownership for customers
- User privacy protections
- No data sampling (unlike Google Analytics)
- Flexible hosting options (cloud or on-premises)
- Data export and migration options
- Marketplace for free and premium add-ons
- 100+ technology integrations
Matomo Ecommerce Features
Matomo has comprehensive ecommerce capabilities.
See their ecommerce features here, and a high-level view of their ecommerce reporting options in this screenshot.
The available reports include Overview, Ecommerce Log, Products, Sales, and Multi Attribution.
There are also plugins available to simplify the integration of popular ecommerce platforms with Matomo Analytics.
For example, here’s the plugin that helps connect WooCommerce and Matomo. Current pricing for this is US $39 per year.
Matomo pricing varies by tier level and also by cloud vs. on-premises hosting plan selected.
Cloud hosting comes at three levels: Essential, Business, and Enterprise. Pricing here ranges from US $19 per month to $TBD (customized) at the Enterprise level.
Cloud-hosted data is stored in Frankfurt, Germany.
WordPress installations are self-hosted (on premises), so everything runs on your WordPress server.
All core features are included for WordPress installations, including WooCommerce analytics.
Premium options include:
- Search Engine Keywords Performance ($79/year)
- Funnels ($99/year)
- Users Flow ($39/year)
- Heatmap and Session Recording ($119/year)
- Paid Advertising Performance ($89/year)
- Custom Reports ($119/year)
- Forms ($89/year)
- Media Analytics ($89/year)
- Multi-Channel Conversion Attribution ($39/year)
- Cohorts ($59/year)
Optional features that are *not* available for WordPress installations include Activity Log, White Label, A/B Testing, Roll-Up Reporting, and the SAML and LDAP integrations.
For those interested in a non-GA approach to website analytics for online stores, Matomo is a full-featured option with plenty of ecommerce capability.
With strong data privacy protections, great core features and a menu of paid add-ons, Matomo deserves a solid look for ecommerce and non-ecommerce WordPress websites alike.
Visual Analytics for Ecommerce Customer Behavior
Many online store owners are eager to go beyond a purely numbers-based approach to understanding visitor metrics. Hotjar is one way to do this.
They aim to be “the fast and visual way to understand your users”, with a focus on heatmaps and session recordings as the primary measurement tools. Hotjar also offers several interesting user feedback tools.
Hotjar is multi-platform and works with many website builders, CMS platforms, and online store software. WordPress users can implement it quickly using the Hotjar WordPress plugin to connect the WP site to a Hotjar customer account.
Hotjar Intro Video
Hotjar Core Features
Hotjar’s main features include:
- Heatmaps – Visualize user clicks, taps, and scrolling behavior
- Visitor Session Recordings – For on-screen visitor behavior analysis, including mouse movements, clicks, taps, etc.
- Conversion Funnels – Identify key points where content and process improvements can boost conversion rates
- Form Analysis – Boost form completion rates by understanding why visitors abandon forms and form pages
- Feedback Polls – Add targeted questions to identify opportunities for website improvements
- Incoming Feedback – Provide an easy way for site and app users to leave quick visual feedback
- User Surveys – A flexible way to collect even more user insights about preferences, objections, and concerns
- Test User Recruiting – Identify and incentivize participants for user research and testing projects
Ecommerce Use Cases
For ecommerce sites, Hotjar helps store owners in a variety of ways:
- Shopper Activity Flow – Use heatmaps and session recordings to better understand your online shopper’s experience and look for roadblocks along the path to purchase
- Conversion Rate Optimization – See where shoppers drop off and identify new things to test for CRO
- Cart Abandonment – Boost transactions and revenue by identifying and fixing cart abandonment issues
- Collect Shopper Feedback – Use Hotjar’s feedback and survey tools to better understand your customers’ wants, needs, and preferences for your online store and product categories
Hotjar Customer Case Studies
For case studies specific to ecommerce, see this page with Hotjar customer success stories. At least four of the case studies profiled here are focused on improving ecommerce websites.
Hotjar organizes product pricing into three categories: Personal, Business, and Agency. Pricing is on a per-website basis, though a single Hotjar account can manage multiple websites.
There are discounts available for non-profits as well.
Basic – A “free forever” plan for up to 2,000 pageviews per day. Limited reports, unlimited team members, and data storage for 365 days.
Plus – $29 per month for data collection on as many as 10,000 pageviews per day. Unlimited reports and team members, data storage for a year, and a free 15-day trial period. Also includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Hotjar’s business plans are all based on how much data collection is happening, based on number of website pageviews per day.
The pricing breakpoints start at 20,000 pageviews per day and can run as high as 2,000,000 or higher pageviews per day.
Business pricing starts at $89 per month for 20K pageviews per day. It increases at logical breakpoints along the way to $989 per month for 800K pageviews per day.
Custom pricing applies to anything higher.
All Hotjar business plans include:
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Unlimited reports
- Unlimited team members
- Data storage for a year
- Removal of Hotjar branding
- Access to advanced features
- 15-day free trial
For agencies and marketing consultants working with client accounts, Hotjar offers discount volume pricing and a few other important goodies:
- Unlimited client sites within a central agency account
- Client access to visitor data
- Rebrandable interface for agency branding purposes (“white label” approach)
Hotjar’s more visual emphasis stands apart from the other solutions highlighted in this post. For ecommerce site owners, this makes it especially interesting for shopper behavior analysis.
Many website owners use Hotjar in addition to, not instead of, other tools such as Google Analytics.
Some analytics tools also include some level of heatmap and session recording functionality, so those webmasters will need to see for themselves if adding Hotjar makes sense.
However, Hotjar’s other features, such as feedback polls and user survey tools, may tip the scale toward using Hotjar as a primary analytics tool for improving online store performance and revenues.
Picking the Best Ecommerce Analytics Tools for WordPress
Finding and selecting the best ecommerce analytics plugin(s) for your WordPress-based online store may not be a 5-minute task, but at least we have several decent options here for serious consideration.
I hope this post helps to narrow down the field and point you in a good direction.
A good start may be to decide if you want to stick with Google Analytics as your main ecommerce measurement platform, or if a non-GA approach is right for your organization.
Then beyond that choice, do you also want more specific visualization features, such as heatmaps and session recordings?
How about event tracking and other metrics?
And for B2B websites with ecommerce options, there’s the potential added value of implementing website visitor tracking tools designed specifically to help companies turn website visitor data into B2B sales leads.
Some of these vendors offer WordPress plugins as well.
In any case, good luck with your selections and implementation. Please drop a comment below if you have any feedback or other thoughts to add.
Comments and Feedback
What’s your favorite ecommerce analytics plugin for WordPress?
Should I add any others to my discussion above?
Feel free to add your thoughts below!
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