ch7 - Fun with eCommerce Analytics - Gumroad

(NOTE: You can download a copy of this chapter in PDF format at the very bottom of this page.)

Fun with Analytics

Chapter 7: Fun with eCommerce Analytics - Gumroad


Welcome to Fun with Analytics. If you’ve come across this material on its own – it has two homes – one is a site where you can download copies of the chapters or read them online, at - the other is a LinkedIn Group, Learning Google Analytics, where you can discuss the material and ask questions:

In This Chapter

In this chapter we’re taking another look at ecommerce analytics, courtesy of Gumroad – a free, super easy to use platform. In some ways this chapter is a back-up to the previous two chapters, another way to learn about analytics in a live setting. In the case of Gumroad, there’s an easy way to link up Google Analytics, as well as built-in analytics. Even though you can’t track conversion directly back to a specific ad, you can still get a sense of how Google Analytics works with ecommerce, and it is completely free. And fun!

Conversion vs Infersion

One of the advantages of writing an independent book is that I can get away with making up a word like “infersion”. But I think it has merit. And I think that conversion-related analytics are among the most important, if not “the” most important to learn, because of how valuable they can be to business.

So on the one hand, you have “direct” conversion tracking analytics available, via platforms like Adwords. See chapters 5 and 6. Google wrote the book on this, and the power of this direct conversion tracking is that you can trace exactly how effective a specific ad was. Furthermore, you can track how effective individual keywords are. So these “conversion analytics” help you to optimize a campaign. For example, when these pieces are put together, analytics become a tool that allows you to optimize, by deleting keywords that don’t perform as well, and focus on ones that do better. The analytics help you to make an advertising campaign more effective, and more efficient, and this is very valuable for a business. It helps you generate more revenue, and use existing budget more wisely. And it is the depth of insight that the analytics provide, which help guide your action.

On the one hand, if you read these chapters and worked through them, you saw that it takes more effort to set up and track such things – on the other hand – it’s worth it. It’s a best practice, and definitely worth learning about, trying.

Then you have what I would call “Infersion” tracking. That is, you infer, or guess what is going on, but you don’t really know. In a way, most forms of advertising are based on this principle – billboards, radio, television, etc. You advertise, hope for the best, and look at the sales figures, and hope they go up.

In the case of Gumroad, we are talking about infersion. That is, Gumroad has built-in analytics that will tell you how many people visited the site, and how many people went on to actually purchase an item. As a learning experience, these basic analytics are a great starting point.

So in order to generate some sample data, I tried making a post on Facebook to friends, asking them to buy the digital ebook and I’d pay them back on Paypal. I also ran a Facebook ad. I didn’t spend a lot of time tweaking the Gumroad site – my focus was on just generating the data.

And in Gumroad, it showed 31 views, and one sale, during the day or two  was doing this. And I was the only one who actually purchased the item. But let’s pretend that someone else purchased the item.

So the “conversion rate” is 1 sale for 31 visits – if you divide 1/31, you get .032, which is basically a 3% conversion rate.

The actual conversion rate isn’t as important as the fact that it provides you with actionable insight. It’s a tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of efforts to improve things, over time. For example, I could spend more time improving the site, adding more visuals, a more compelling value proposition – following best practices of digital marketing. I might also make a separate landing page, where I could focus on these things, and then and only then refer people to the “catalog”

And after these efforts were made, I would hope to improve the conversion rate of people coming on the site.

So the analytics built-in to gumroad provide some limited insight, but it is still actionable.

Now if we consider the Facebook ad I made, Gumroad can’t tell me anything about it. It also can’t tell me whether one ad was better than another if I had more than one version.

Technically, if I was only running a single advertising campaign, I could “infer” how well the ad campaign was based on looking at sales. Since it is my only ad, I can reasonably guess that it is the force behind sales. But what if there’s traffic coming from different sites, or a blogger picks up the site? That’s when it gets harder to track the impact. So “infersion” has its limits.

Still, I think it is worth looking at.

And as we’ll see, there are a few things you can do in Google Analytics (which “expands” Gumroad’s basic analytic capabilities), which can provide a bit more insight.

Google Analytics and Adwords and Gumroad

For those who are interested in knowing the finer points, I’ll mention an area to look into called eCommerce tracking. My approach and intent with this book has been to keep things as simple as possible, and to try and focus on learning experiences which can help you understand some of the fundamental concepts in analytics.

Technically speaking, in chapters 5 and 6, the focus was on Adwords, and Shopify. There were analytics “in” Adwords, and in conversion tracking, you can trace this without ever touching Google Analytics. However, when you are running Adwords campaigns, and have Google Analytics installed, you can get additional insight through linking Adwords and Google Analytics.

I don’t want to spend too much time on this because I think learning by doing is the best way to get a handle on things – but suffice to say that there’s more than one way to do things. And I think you can think of it like layers in an onion. You can track conversions with Adwords, but linking up Google Analytics can provide more insight. (do google searches on “ecommerce tracking in adwords”, or “linking Adwords and Analytics”)

And the same principle applies to Gumroad – there’s a basic way to connect Google Analytics, but there’s also a way to set “goals” to provide further insight (see “learning more” section at the end of this chapter).

So my general recommendation is, try things out, such as Gumroad on its own, then try Google Analytics, then maybe try “goals” in Google Analytics. And if possible, try selling an actual product, even if it is just friends who buy it (or yourself!).

So let’s get started!

.Getting going on Gumroad

One of the reasons Gumroad is more simplified is because it is built on selling digital downloads. As with the previous Adwords/Shopify chapters, you are welcome to use the sample files from the CASA site to try things out – if you plan to actually try and sell them beyond yourself, just check in with me, ok?

For example, in Gumroad, you might find the “at sign” file helpful, because you probably will want a square logo for your Gumroad store. And the social media marketing ebook file can be used as a digital product. Then, the “250x250” cover file is probably good for a cover image, since gumroad likes square images for products. Try as thou wilt.

To get started with Gumroad, go to, and click Get started for free:

.Then enter an email address and password, and click Create account:

Next, make a name for your store, enter “something” in the bio section:

If you are going to try and do this for real, you will probably want to expand the bio, through coming back to Settings in Gumroad, and editing/expanding the text. Gumroad at present is a bit limited – it’s mainly a streamlined shopping cart for digital downloads, so it’s not really built to be a “landing page” for an ad campaign, in terms of text formatting, having visuals, and fine tuning the “value proposition”. But if you do want to try to add credibility, you can expand the bio section, and see what I did for the text that appears at - you’ll see I adapted the outline for the social media marketing book, from the CASA marketing site (which you are welcome to do).

When you choose a username, this is what will appear in the link:

So my store link became

Next confirm language settings, and set the time zone:

Then enter an email address and choose options as desired:

.Then, for now, just click Update account details:

You’ll notice that this section has an area to connect Google Analytics, and the way you get back is to go to Settings in Gumroad. But you need a code from Google Analytics, so we’ll go there next.

Google Analytics

You may want to start out by just skipping ahead, adding a product in Gumroad, and just buying one yourself to generate data, or post to social, or otherwise just getting a few sales in Gumroad, before jumping into Google Analytics. Nothing wrong with that.

But if you don’t mind, I’d recommend going the extra mile and putting the foundation in for Google Analytics.

In order to do this, you need to know the link for your gumroad store (Gumroad > Settings).

In my case it was

The reason you need it is to tell Google Analytics what “site” it is tracking.

So, to get a code from Google analytics, go into Google Analytics:

Note: if you haven’t already, I recommend reading chapters 1-6 of this book, which includes an introduction to Google Analytics and setting up an account. Available at

At the site, click Access Google Analytics:

(This will appear when you are signed in to Gmail/Google and go to the site. If not you may have to sign in.)

Next, click on the Admin link:

There are multiple ways to add a new site, but this one may be easy enough – you’ll have an account, and you’ll need to add a new “property”, which is a new site:

.So just click on the Property drop-down:

And click Create New Property:

Select Website:

.Then set up a name (not important as long as it makes sense to you), and paste in the link for your gumroad site:

Choose a category, set a time zone, and click Get Tracking ID.

Note: even if you are just testing things out, you’ll want to set up your own gumroad store, even if you just upload a “dummy” PDF file for digital download. In other words, use your own link, with your own username – if you try, you won’t get any data. You can use the sample files, but you’ll need your own sample site.

Next, you’ll get a page with the code on it.

.So just select the tracking ID:

And copy it into memory (ex: CTRL+C, or right-click > Copy on Windows, or CTRL-click > Copy on Mac)

Then you can keep it in memory, or paste it somewhere.

Back to Gumroad

To paste your Google code, go into Gumroad and into Settings:

And in the Advanced section, paste it in:

.After it is pasted in, click Update account details:

Gumroad - Add a Product

To test things through, you’ll need to add a product.

(As per previous, feel free to use the sample files, graphics, but if you end up wanting to sell to a “public” audience other than your friends/yourself, just check in –

To get started, just click Products:

And click Add a product:


Then click “Product” type on the left:

It’s very easy, relatively speaking, to add products in Gumroad, compared to most ecommerce platforms.

Just type in a name for the product, and add a file to it.

(ex: use the PDF from:

It will give progress on the upload:

Then choose a price and click Add:

You might just want to make the price $1.00 to keep things as cheap as possible, if you’re using the sample file.

Next, load a cover for the product. Gumroad likes square images for products. Feel free to use the “cover 250x250” image, or review the chapter on Content of the Social Media Marketing Primer, or use an image created in a program like SnagIt, or Gimp (free), or use

Click Upload a cover:

.Also, I’d recommend clicking on “Describe this product” field and entering a description (also on the sample files page if you like).

When you’re ready, click the Save changes button:

And then click Publish:

.Setting up Payment

This may not be strictly necessary for testing you’ll probably want to set up payment. Depending on where you’re at in the process, you might need to click on Products in Gumroad:

The easiest to do is probably just to set up direct deposit – you just enter a checking account and routing number (which you can get from a check)

Then you can click change on tax settings if you want to. If you’re just testing, an option is to ignore the tax settings, for the moment.

By continuing to read, you’re recognizing that I am not giving financial advice on ecommerce tax – if you plan on selling anything on an ongoing basis, I recommend consulting an accountant. And you might also want to click on Gumroad’s “Learn more” link.

When you’re ready to move forward, click Save payout settings.

.Check Site

At some point if you haven’t already, you’ll want to check your Gumroad site, to see what it looks like.

If you’re not clear yet on the link, go into Gumroad and click on Settings:

And then scroll down and see what it says under username:

Then you can copy and paste that link into a browser. I recommend using multiple browsers, specifically Firefox ( and Chrome (, and working with gumroad in one, and then “testing” the site in the other. The reason being that if you’re logged into Gumroad, the site appears slightly differently than if you’re not, so by going into a separate browser, where you’re not logged in, you get a better picture.

Get some Traffic to Sell

So as with earlier chapters, and based on techniques in the social media marketing primer, I suggest trying to get a bit of traffic to the site, through a combination of making an ad on Facebook, or Adwords, or both, as well as making an appeal on social media to your friends.

Gumroad does have some built in connections to make it slightly easier – try going to “Timeline”:

And then click Share on Facebook:

(You could also select and copy the “short link” –—and text it to friends, email it, post it wherever)

.Then make some kind of kindly appeal for people to click and buy the product, and click Share:

Reviewing the Analytics

So after you get some traffic, and get at least one purchase, you can go to “Analytics” in Gumroad:

Be aware that you do actually need one purchase to “activate” analytics in Gumroad, for some reason.

Then try dividing the number of sales by the number of views (ex: 1/31) to get your “conversion” rate.

Then, go back to the drawing board, improve the site, lower the price, do some research on making a landing page, make a landing page somewhere, and then link to your gumroad site – and see how the statistics improve.

Ex: try a search on landing page tools:

And google “landing page best practices”

And then try it – and link to your Gumroad store, and see if you can improve your conversion rate.

.Reviewing Google Analytics

Note: Google Analytics, and web tools in general, will change their interfaces from time to time, so you might have to dig for where things are. For example, there’s some links at the end of this chapter, helpful links, which Gumroad provides on connecting Google Analytics to Gumroad – only the exact position of the information may change, and it did. So I still recommend the article, but keep in mind you might have to dig around for it. The moral of the story is – play around and search for things, and when all else fails, google it, because someone else probably had the same question and blogged about it. And remember, you can blog about it too!

Take screenshots! Share your thoughts on what you learned! Make a blog! Share with others! This is how the blog entries came into being that so many people have found helpful – someone had to do it, even if they didn’t feel like an expert. Try it! Build your portfolio!

Ok I’ll stop “exhorting” now.

So, go to Google Analytics:

Then select “All website data” in the property you want to look at:

Next, go down to Behavior on the left, then to Events, and finally to Overview:

.And you’ll see something like what you see in Gumroad:

But the difference is that you can dig a little deeper.

For example, try scrolling down, and clicking on Event action:

At this level, you’ll get a sense of across all products, how many times people clicked “I want this” in Gumroad, and of those people, who actually purchased:

This is an example of analytics related to “abandonment”. To learn more, google “cart abandonment” and “abandon rate ecommerce”. It’s something that ecommerce businesses pay close attention to, in terms of looking at how many people go along the process of visiting the site, and where they “drop off”.

For example, if people click on the buy button, but don’t “check out”, there could be a misunderstanding about how to check out, or an issue with shipping prices, etc. – by looking at where a person leaves the site, you can pinpoint actions you could take to hopefully reduce abandonment.

This information from Gumroad > Google Analytics is pretty limited, relatively speaking, but it gives you a general idea of the concept. In more extensive analytics environments, such as shopify, you may be able to get more information on “paths” people take, and get a sense of where the highest % of people are “dropping off”.

.In our example, you could also go to the same spot in Google Analytics and click on Event Category, and then click on an individual product: (ex: “product-bVxL”)

This will give you a closer view of an individual product.

Then you can click on Event action from there.

And it will give you similar information, for a specific product. This is important, because if you have multiple products, performance could be different between them. In some cases with analytics, you want to “drill down” to a specific product level.

Learning More

To learn more about Gumroad, see

There’s also some information from Gumroad on analytics:

Setting up “goals” in Google Analytics (I highly recommend exploring and trying this)

General analytics:

Remember that if you follow their description on where to find Google Analytics, it might be out of date. But still worth reading.

And this link is helpful for working with products:


Congratulations on taking another tour through analytics and ecommerce!

I encourage you to continue exploring various connections you can make, between shopping carts, analytics and ad campaigns. This is the “core” of Web analytics, and Google Analytics can play a central role in helping to make sense of things. If you haven’t already, you may also want to collaborate – concentrate on what you do the best, and work with others to do the rest! For example, if you want to focus on the analytics, find a friend or local business or organization that has something to sell, and work with them on getting a site up and going, integrating Google Analytics, and getting a sense of visitors. Then try integrating selling something – or get someone else to run the ad campaign, and look at conversion tracking, and optimizing the site.

Start out simple, have some fun, and before you know it, you will be considered a Web Analytics Guru – even if you don’t feel like one!

In the next chapter we’ll look at the ultimate goal of this chapter, or one of the ultimate goals. To explore and inspire you to dig into Google’s free learning material, and work towards getting certified in Google Analytics. This book was mainly written to introduce you to analytics, and to see if it’s possible to get you to try a few things, have some fun, and get some momentum. Learning more about Google Analytics is the next recommended step. It will give you confidence, it will help your career, it might even help you get a new client or a new job for that matter. It’s doable, and I highly recommend it!


You are welcome to visit and join the LinkedIn Group at - if you want to come on and say “huh?” or if you would like to set me straight on something, or just have some feedback.

Remember, there are NO DUMB QUESTIONS. If you have the question, someone else surely also did.

(NOTE: You can download a copy of this chapter in PDF format at the very bottom of this page.)
Todd Kelsey,
Aug 20, 2014, 4:11 PM