Google Analytics: Effective Ways of Tracking Refunds

Google Analytics has recently introduced a nice new feature with improved e-commerce upgrade meant for e-commerce tracking. However, this cool feature failed to get the kind of response that it really deserves.

This feature is meant for tracking refunds in Google Analytics. This is quite powerful as it would be assisting Google Analytics in providing data which is more comprehensive, accurate, and complete.

If as a marketer or an analyst you are working with the same numbers as those that finance is dealing with, then be sure that your insights would be powerful and would impress the top officials of your organization.

Google Analytics Tracking Refunds

How to Track a Refund?

Tracking of any refund on Google Analytics could be done in two ways.

  • Hit: Using Measurement Protocol while a transaction takes place for instance, by using analytics.js tracking code on your website.
  • Data Import: Via refund data that has been imported after the fact, into Google Analytics using the Management API.

The first option seems to be especially appropriate when your website is involved in processing refunds by itself particularly, in such cases where no approval or verification of the refund is needed. For instance, on your e-commerce platform, customers are allowed to straightaway cancel any order immediately after placing it or any time before the order has been shipped and then a request is sent for marking the precise transaction as refunded.

However, not many refunds would be happening that way. Customers often are in the habit of ordering online but they request a refund process to initiate over the phone.

In many other cases, customers may be returning something online, however, the return needs to be verified first and then approved.

In such situations, the website cannot consider tracking the return automatically since either it may not be happening there or maybe it is not really a valid return.

There are two effective solutions that could be opted for. The first is to consider applying the Measurement Protocol right into the external system for tracking returns effectively, as soon as, they have been approved. This, however, may not be possible always as numerous other order management systems would not be allowing customers to do the required modifications. You need to control the system code otherwise, it is of no use. Remember making such modifications would be involving a cost. In such cases, it would be more sensible to make use of the data import abilities of Google Analytics for routinely uploading refund data which would be including information on returns, any fraud, and any order cancellations.

There are a number of effective ways of doing it. You may opt for the labor-intensive way of formatting routinely this data and uploading it via the User Interface of the Google Analytics. Another effective method is to come up with an effective connection with the API which would be pushing data into the Google Analytic. In this context, you must know that this would be involving significant costs including the additional expense of maintenance. Another important option is using a solution which has been designed for doing this automatically.


One thing is vital for you to take note of. When you push refund data into Google Analytics, it does not impact your actual revenue numbers. The Google Analytics Revenue Metric would be reporting the same data just like it would do even when no refund data was pushed into Google Analytics.

It would be better to check out the Enhanced Ecommerce reports which would be demonstrating a Refund Amount, as a separate or a new column that would be containing the precise amount of the revenue that has been refunded.

Moreover, there are also some metrics that are available for items that have been refunded and also the exact number of refunds done.

Author Bio

WriterEvans Walsh is a freelance content writer. He has written many good and informative articles on different categories such as technology, health, fashion, beauty, education, career, travel etc. He is very responsible towards her job. He loves to share his knowledge and experience with his friends and colleagues.

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