Time to Transaction in Google Analytics
Who wants more conversions?
Google Analytics, out of the box gives us invaluable information such as number of sessions before transaction and number of days before conversions. This gives data supported insight into how keen our customers are. Is the purchase an impulsive act or well thought through decision? Do people tend to research the market before committing to the brand or just convert immediately?
- How much of the content was consumed prior to the purchase decision? Was the visitor convinced within the first half OR did they need to read to the bottom of the page to satisfy their decision?
- How long is it taking my visitors to get through the content? Is it a quick process or long process?
- If it is taking visitors a long time for what should be a simple process - does this indicate that there are issues/hurdles in the process which need to be rectified?
- How long does it take for my customers to complete the checkout process?
I am sure you can think of a couple more.
Well - Google Analytics is not going to help us. The Goal Funnel in GA is not recording time and you can't create a funnel for an Event-based Goal.
We, at Internetrix believe that if you need some specific data - you should have it! It's doable, we just need to get a little bit technical.
Luckily, Google Analytics has customisable User Timing reports and Timing Hit Type which can deliver user specified timing value to Google Analytics. Timing works pretty much like Google Analytics Events - you send a timing hit (instead of event) together with Category, Variable, Label and time as a value.
- Timing Category - Conversion or Transaction or anything else you see fit
- Timing Variable - Completed or Reached Step 1 or 2 or 3 of the conversion pathway
- Timing Label - Product Name or Conversion (Goal) Name
- Timing Value - time passed in milliseconds
1. Create 1st Party Cookie Variable to store session start timestamp
2. Create Trigger for Session Start
On session start we will save the current timestamp to the cookie and timestamps usually contain numbers. So our trigger checks if the cookie is not empty and contains digits.
3. Create Tag, making sure to write session start time to cookie (very important)
4. Use the Session Start Trigger you just created to fire this Tag, so it will only fire when the cookie has no value (first hit of the session)
5. Create a Variable returning time since Session Start in milliseconds
6. Google Analytics Transaction Timing Tag using Track Type as Timing.
Name your timing Variable Completed, Category Transaction and Label leave empty for now.
Use your just created Variable IRX - Time2Conversion - Time Since Session Started as a timing value.
Fire this tag on your conversion page.