Google Analytics’ User Explorer Tool: Why eCommerce Managers Are Excited

If you’ve had the pleasure of Google beta testing on you, then you may have recently come across the new User Explorer feature in Google Analytics.

According to Google’s Analytics Release Notes for April 11, 2016, User Explorer Reporting is described as:

“A new set of reports in Google Analytics lets you perform analysis of anonymized individual interactions with your websites and apps. User Explorer utilizes existing anonymous Google Analytics data to deliver incremental insights that marketers need to improve and optimize their sites and apps. The feature is now available in the Audience sections. Anonymous Client ID and User ID will be surfaced in this report as a part of the release.”1

So it seems that Google are testing the new User Explorer tool in order to give website managers a more succinct overview of the user journey as a whole across your website. Let’s dig a little deeper into the tool…  

At the top level on the user explorer page you can see information such as:

  • Client ID – the unique value which Google attaches to each device from which users engage in your content.
  • Sessions – total number of sessions within the date range, including screen views events etc. from a set device.
  • Average session duration
  • Bounce rate
  • Revenue
  • Transactions
  • Goal conversion rate

User Explorer Report

The best part, however, comes when you click deeper into the User’s ID. This will give you a step by step journey of what action was performed by that user and the time stamp. Exciting right? This ability to drill down on individuals’ behaviour provides so many new opportunities and many in the industry are citing the change as a threat to platforms like Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot.2

Individual user report

The User Explorer feature allows you to filter, sort and segment the data to find the most interesting users. You can filter your data based on session information like Pageview, Goals, Events and Ecommerce metrics. This is particularly exciting for eCommerce brands who can segment their most profitable customers using this tool.

How to use the user explorer feature

Using the User Explorer tool, website managers can easily see what content these most profitable and engaged users looked at, what events an actions led them to the purchase including of course the acquisition channel! This kind of data is really valuable to inform content marketing efforts as well as other digital marketing strategy designed to reach users at the right point in their journey. This tool has some great potential to connect the dots of when it comes to who your customer is and what they want. 

What does the future hold for the User Explorer tool?

It’s early days for the User Explorer tool and the more data that becomes available over time, the more website managers will find more sophisticated ways to generate insights. In conclusion, some of the top perks of the User Explorer tool are:

  1. Better understanding of individual users and their interaction with your website
  2. Easily viewing profitable customers with the ability to segment and search by transactional ID
  3. Better data to improve the user experience of your website
  4. Customer segmenting abilities provide good insights for digital marketing strategy
  5. Create more accurate audience personas for your brand

Thanks for reading

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About the author: Olivia Collins

Olivia has over 3 years of digital marketing experience, with expertise in digital strategy across content, email marketing and social media. With a degree in Advertising and Brand Management Olivia designs strategies that provide audiences with useful content and has successfully delivered B2C and B2B email marketing campaigns generating thousands of pounds for brands like Calumet Photographic and Employer Advice.


  • Excellent feature. I’ve a query, can we fetch client-id through a javascript and store it in the backend system? We can then map whole history associated with each client-ID. i.e. we can get name, email etc. from the backend along with client-id and then export report from GA. So we can segment each person and target marketing campaigns at an individual level?

    • By Olivia Collins | May 20, 2016 at 10:40 am

      Hi Nik,

      Thanks for your comment, there is definitely scope to use this new feature for improved personalisation and segmentation of campaigns, right down to an individual level. Implementing a JavaScript Universal Analytics collection method might infringe on PII policy, so make sure you take a look at Universal Analytics’ guidelines:


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