Google Analytics Conversion Tracking Issue

Hopefully someone can help.

I turned on Google Analytics conversion tracking using just what CS-Cart has provided. What is happening though is that it is telling me the referrer is the payment method they used to purchase (example, in Google Analytics it is saying the referrer is Paypal).

This is not at all helpful information.

Does anyone know why it is showing the referrer as the website they go to in order to pay for the order?

Thanks in advance.

Probably because paypal makes a “callback” to the site to notify it of success/failure and this is what's being picked up in your analytics.

Yes. I believe my credit card processor does the same thing. Is there a way to make this work though? Because the original referrer is being overwritten. Is anybody else seeing this? I would have thought that Google Analytics would use the referrer that happens before the transaction. But I guess it doesn't “know” about the transaction until Paypal gives the success callback. I'm just not sure how conversion tracking is in anyway useful if this is the case…

Mind you, I have read that you can use the IP from the cart software somehow in Google Analytics… but I'm unsure how to do that. I might get a better notion with that I guess.

Thanks for your answer. If anyone has any other thoughts, they would be appreciated. If anyone knows how to use the IP address from the cart in Analytics that would be good to know too.

Did you find a solution to this? I have the same problem

No sorry I haven't. I've not been able to work much on it. I have read you can somehow get the IP from cart software and add it in to Google Analytics, but I've not had time to look in to how it is done and I'm not sure CS-Cart can do it. I was hoping someone on here had already solved this, but it seems not I guess. Currently both my payment methods are doing this (credit card, paypal), so conversion tracking is pretty much useless for me at the moment.

I did just find this add-on… it's not free. I haven't tried it yet, but it seems to maybe get at what we are wanting? I worry though that I'll install it and it'll say Paypal too.

Order Referrer - CS-Cart Add-on by

I think I will try and ask HungryWeb about it.

Do note that anytime anyone does a google search while they are logged into the gmail account (like most mobile devices), the search query will not be available in the HTTP_REFERRER header. That's why we stopped providing our order referrer addon because without knowing the search words, knowing that you came from is pretty pointless. It does have value if you are interested in tracking other referrer sites like blogs and so forth, but Google wants you to use GA to identify search words and landing pages so they can sell you ad-words…

I'm interested in tracking other referrals though too, as we do a lot of blogging and we also advertise on some sites. It's good to know too if people are coming in from social networking and buying. So, while it would be good to know the search terms, it's still good information to know where in general they are coming from so we know what efforts are working well for us.

I got a message back from HungryWeb and I'm not sure if they understood what I was asking. I think they told me that their add-on would do just what Google Analytics was doing and tell me it is Paypal that is the referrer. Which I definitely don't want. I asked for clarification.

I still think the easiest way is to just track the IP address in Google Analytics. But I still have to look that up and see if it's possible or not. I just don't have a ton of time to seek these things out.

Editing to add that Google Analytics itself does not tell me anything about search words either now. I mean, some are there, but most are “not provided”. I didn't know there were add-ons that would tell me what the search terms were. I've not read anything about that.

Perhaps the IP address in Google Analytics is not the answer either. Seems it is against privacy rules to store the user's IP address in Google Analytics. So that seems to be out.

I'll have to keep searching it seems. I just want to know where a sale originated from. I thought it would be more straight forward than this.

[quote name='wasootch' timestamp='1430005648' post='212623']

I did just find this add-on… it's not free. I haven't tried it yet, but it seems to maybe get at what we are wanting? I worry though that I'll install it and it'll say Paypal too.


I think I will try and ask HungryWeb about it.


This addon from Hungryweb does exactly that. I have it installed, and whenever anyone pays with their PayPal account, it shows the referrer as PayPal.

Thanks for the info Kingsleypress. I guess it usually would provide good information if people pay by credit card. But in my case, even my credit card processing does this. Just the way I have it working. Interesting issue for sure.

Google stopped providing info when you are logged. You can exclude a refferer from analytics. Read this

Thanks. I'm aware I can exclude a referrer. But the problem is that doesn't solve my issue. What I'm wanting is to know who the original referrer of my sale is. I have no way of knowing that right now because Paypal ends up being the referrer of every sale because they redirect back to the site after a sale happens. So, the original referrer is lost in the process I guess. Removing Paypal from my referrers in Analytics still will not tell me who the original referrer is. It just won't show that it is Paypal. I don't know what it will show without Paypal. Probably it will just list it as direct.

Unless I'm not understanding something about Analytics? I thought that was just so that you don't see Paypal as referrer traffic… so it doesn't mess with your stats.

Do other people not want to track this information? I'm simply wanting to know where a sale originated from. For example, did someone click on a pinterest pin and then buy something or was it from an organic Google search, or was it from one of the blog articles we write, etc.

Instead what I am being told is that the sale was referred from Paypal. But it wasn't. Paypal would not be referring sales to my site. Paypal is instead the way they paid. I don't care about that information. It's not relevant to how they got to the site to buy.

Humhhhh… I found this article. Maybe something can be done with this method? Using [color=#525252][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=3]utm_nooverride=1.[/size][/font][/color]


I'm still wondering if something can be set differently in Analytics.

Editing to add that I am trying referral exclusion in Analytics… see if that does anything. I'll report back on what I see with that added. Perhaps that is a quick solution.

Shouldn't the original referrer be on a previous page? While you may get the payment summary page having paypal as the referrer, all the prior pages leading up to it for that visitor should have trace back to the original referrer.

Yep, it should be, but I don't have a way in GA to track the previous page… that's the problem. Because the referrer gets overwritten by Paypal I don't know how to figure out who they were before… it that makes sense. I know it is there in GA… it's like they get counted as two visitors now because I guess the cookies are getting overwritten… but there isn't enough data about the user to link the two together… that was why I was wanting the IP address… but that is a no-no with Google privacy policy.

Does anyone have any knowledge of how to figure out who it was in GA? I've looked through it and I can't seem to figure it out. But I find Google Analytics to be very confusing… there are so many sections and I probably am missing something.

I'm hoping that excluding paypal as a referrer will help… there are suggestions to do that in other posts online. So far it didn't change anything… I don't think it works for history stuff… only for new stuff. So I'll have to wait and see.

Oh, I just found a way through locations in Google Analytics… I think.

Editing to add that didn't work either. I have the location, but then how do I use that in the referrers section of GA? ugh. I think I just don't understand GA very well.

Another edit… I found it. I can add the city as a secondary dimension in the “acquisition → all traffic → channels” section of GA. Was able to find the original referrer that way.

Very convoluted, but I guess it helps.

I don't use GA, but I thought you could filter by session…

Maybe. I'll look into that too. Good suggestion.

I had the same problem with my credit card processor. I excluded my bank url and then analytics gave me the original refferer. Test it. Follow the url above.