Tracking the source of orders
You can get an at-a-glance understanding of the source of your order (for example: a Google ad, a Facebook post, an email campaign, etc.) on the order details page in your store admin. The source data appears if you use UTM tags for the links you share with customers. If you run an email campaign via Mailchimp or have automated marketing emails enabled, UTM tags are created automatically.
When a customer clicks a link with the UTM tag and makes a purchase in your store, you will see where the order came from. If a sale was made without a link with UTM tags, you won’t see the order source.
Understanding UTM tags
UTM tags, or UTM parameters, are extra bits of text you can add to a link to your store that tell your online store (as well as other analytics tools like Google Analytics) a little bit more information about each link. Here’s a sample of what one looks like:
If you send a lot of promo emails or run ads on multiple social media platforms, you might be publishing dozens of links. UTM tags help you track the performance of each of those links so you know which platform brings you more sales.
The UTM has three required parameters: source, medium, and campaign. Each parameter contains information about the traffic source that is sent to your store admin and third-party analytics tools like Google Analytics. You can notice the UTM parameters on the order details page:
Here’s a brief explanation of what each parameter means and how you can name it while creating them:
utm_source indicated where customers come from. The traffic source can be a site or an email. For a utm_source name, choose the name of a platform you use for your campaign: facebook, google, mailerlite, etc.
utm_medium indicates the method for bringing customers. In other words, it shows the type of traffic: ad, banner, cpc (cost per click), etc. For a utm_medium name, choose a medium you use to get traffic: article, blog_post, shoes_ad, etc.
utm_campaign indicates a specific advertising campaign. This tag is the most flexible with naming. Since you may have different campaigns for different products or audiences, choose a particular name: black_friday_22, wireless_headphones_sale, women_under_30_dresses, etc.
Naming UTM tags. Best practice
UTM has its naming convention. Take a quick overview of the basic do’s and don’ts:
- Make tag names consistent, clean, and easy to read. For example, choose between underscore or dash and use your choice to name all tags (e.g., “summer_sale”, “facеbook_ad”).
- UTM codes are case-sensitive. We recommend sticking with lower case to ensure that data will be categorized correctly.
- Be specific about naming your UTM tags so you can easily identify the campaign. For example, “spring_sale_dresses_2022” is better than just “sale”.
- Keep a list of your UTM links in one spreadsheet to track all your campaigns and get a quick overview of it.
Creating UTM tags
To track orders from marketing campaigns, you need to create UTM tags yourself. There are plenty of sites where you can create a UTM link for your ad campaign: UTM maker, Google Campaign URL Builder, UTM Builder, and so on.
To create UTM tags for your marketing campaign:
- Open a UTM builder. In our example, it’s Google Campaign URL Builder.
- Fill in your website URL, campaign source, campaign medium, and campaign name in the corresponding fields:
- (optional) Fill in the Campaign content and Campaign term fields if you run PPC ads. If you run ads with Google Ads and have a campaign ID, enter it in the corresponding field.
- Scroll down to the URL with UTM tags and copy the link.
- Insert the URL with UTM tags to your social media post, ad, or banner. In our example, it is a Facebook ad:
Once your marketing or email campaign goes live, you will be able to track the source for all orders made by customers who click the link with UTM tags in your online store admin.
Viewing order source in your store
When a customer clicks the link with the UTM tag and places an order in your store, the information about an order source appears on the order details page in your store admin on desktop. In case a customer interacted with any other ad or marketing campaigns, you will also see UTM parameters for that campaigns.
To check the order source:
- From your store admin, go to My Sales → Orders.
- Select the order and click Update → View order.
- Scroll down to the The order was placed thanks to a tagged source section:
- If there’s more than one order from a certain source, click Show all orders from this source to view all orders.
(optional) Click View UTM parameters history to see what other campaigns a customer interacted with.
For more information about the data collected with UTM, visit your Google Analytics account connected to your store. In Google Analytics 4, you will find UTM data on the Acquisition → User acquisition page. In Google Universal Analytics, the UTM data is located on the Acquisition → Campaigns → All Campaigns page.