Support » Plugin: WooCommerce » Google Analytics eCommerce reporting with PayPal Standard

  • I’m using PayPal Standard on a couple of woocommerce sites. Google Analytics is capturing some but not all sales. I suspect this relates to customers leaving my site to paypal’s site, making payment, and then only the customers who return to my site after payment is made having their purchase recorded.

    Would using PayPal Pro fix this? Is there another alternative? (not all my clients have PayPal Pro)

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Roy Ho


    May I ask why you would need to track this via Google when you can simply just look at the sales log?

    Sure! I use google anayltics to determine which attributes lead to a sale or other action in my store. Main attribute would be keyword, but there are many others. I can then use this information to determine what to bid on in google adwords.

    Good use of analytics can help you figure out areas of your website and marketing campaigns that you might want to focus on. This is especially important for eCommerce sites, but I think it applies to some degree with any website.

    Bad data (such as missed sales) in analytics can lead to bad decisions.

    Roy Ho


    What I meant was why can’t you just check the sales log to know what attributes were purchased.

    The sales log tells me what was purchased but it doesn’t tell me what keyword was searched for on google by the customer which lead them to find my site.

    Roy Ho


    I am totally confused…What does checkout and Paypal have to do with the keywords searched?

    Google will already track what keywords were used to get on the site. They don’t need to purchase anything or even go to the checkout to log that information.

    I need to find out which search keywords lead to sales so I can bid a higher amount for those keywords in adwords. I choose to do this through google analytics. I think google analytics is not registering the ecommerce conversion unless the customer returns to my website after visiting paypal to make payment.

    Roy Ho


    Yes I understand what you’re trying to do however you have a misconception that you need checkout page to go through to get your data. Because you already realize that if customers don’t wait or click back to your site, they don’t see the “thank you” page and thus your data is not gathered.

    As I stated, if you have Google analytics setup correctly, it will have already gather which keywords were use to land on the site. With those keywords matched to your products keywords (sold ones), you would have essentially gathered the keywords that lead up to the sale.

    Now, this isn’t to say you can’t log the “thank you” page. You can. But this leads back to if customers come back or not.

    @pilkster, we’ve observed the exact same thing and are looking for a solution too.

    @splashingpixels, you’re totally missing it. The point of having all the data in one place (google analytics) is that it automatically tracks conversion metrics, but those metrics are not accurate in this scenario. Also, why take time to manually try to guess what sessions and keywords led to sales when #1 it’s at best a guess and #2 it can be automated? You answers are not really helping the OP. The Goal Flow reporting in GA is amazing and brings adwords and organic keywords directly into the conversion and goal data. If you aren’t familiar with it – highly recommended – will save you tons of time and guesswork once you have goals and e-commerce settings all configured correctly.

    OK, here’s what we’re trying out to keep all the data accurately reflected in GA – there’s a doc on WooCommerce that describes some steps but is currently 404. Still, I was able to pull it from google cache for the time being:

    There’s also this:

    To summarize, we’re trying this:
    1) PayPal > Profile > My Selling Tools > Web Site Preferences [Update]
    2) Set Auto Return ON
    3) Set return URL to
    4) Save

    There’s also a note about using ?utm_nooverride=1 to ensure the original source is counted as the referrer (and not paypal). Not sure, but hopefully WooCommerce does this automatically on the URL that it passes to payal as the return URL.

    Hopefully that works to bring those PayPal transactions back into the analytics pipeline. We’ll see!

    @never Settle

    Thank you! I thought I was going crazy… surely there must be other woocommerce store owners who want to track ecommerce with google analytics.

    I’ll try out your settings and do some trial purchases (I use test items in the store at $0.01 – do you have any better ideas for testing?) but even if this does work it’s going to leave me with an issue as I run multiple stores through one paypal account.

    I previously found that the return URL doesn’t actually impact on where the customer is returned to (they automagically end up at the right store):

    Also my previous testing indicates that order capture in analytics is NOT dependant on clicking through to the return URL (I performed several orders myself clicking through on some and not on others).

    I’m really struggling to understand how the process works. PLEASE update me with any results from your investigations. I’d be happy to share data and/or the cost of a dev to get this fixed.

    Roy Ho


    @never Settle – No I am not missing anything. I was trying to suggest an alternative way for OP to gather the information.

    Cool, @pilkster. We test the exact same way – with low cost products. It’s really the only way to verify the live pipeline.

    I’m puzzled by your observation that some click-backs to the return URL are counted and others not.

    One clarification – to your question about multiple stores – as long as the cart is correctly implemented (like WooCommerce) the order itself gets sent to PayPal with a dynamic return URL as well as the product / cost data. PayPal will use that dynamic return URL in almost all cases. So, you should be fine with multiple stores. The return URL in PayPal is a fallback in case one isn’t passed in with the order.

    Something else to verify is that the GA tracking is in fact showing up on your return URL page (view page source).

    Another factor is that you might have to wait for up to 24 hours for the analytics data to be available in your dash. The real-time view works pretty well, but if you miss the hit with that, it might take a while for the page hits to actually show up.

    Anyway, hope that all works out for you. If you want to compare notes in more detail feel free to contact us through our site. Take care!

    Still not working for me.

    I’m really surprised more people haven’t chimed in on this one.

    I’ll be updating to woocommerce 2.0 over the next week, maybe that’ll fix it, stranger things have happened!

    Bizarre! We basically followed the steps in the discussion above and our most recent paypal orders are now hitting google analytics correctly. I think it’s working right on our end as far as I can tell. All the best – hope you get it figured out!

    Facing the same problem. At first it recorded sales, but it doesn t anymore.

    Will look at the paypal settings and see if i can get this fixed.

    Having similar issues: customer reaches the Cart > Checkout stage, but the Thank You is not loaded.

    We’re using card payments with PayPal Pro and 3D secure settings turned on.

    Pretty sure the thank you page was coming through okay in the tests prior to 3D secure, but we NEED that security!

    Not sure what’s changed, as our tests deliver us to our thankyou page, but 5-10 sales per day doesn’t get anyone else there. This is also a concern as users MIGHT (and, if it is possible, someone will do it 🙂 ) end up thinking they haven’t purchased, and order twice…

    Also, we’d like to get conversions and goals working for Adwords / Analytics optimization – for the obvious reasons stated above. And, no, we don’t want to do this manually…

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
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