Automatically Import Refund Data into Google Analytics

Data Import is one of Google Analytics powerful features that lets you integrate data from a variety of external business systems to gain a better understanding of your customers’ behavior.  You can import refund data into GA and even use the imported data for reporting, segmentation and remarketing, giving you a complete and accurate view of your business using Analytics reports.

Uploading refund data to Google Analytics can happen in two ways:

# Hit Data Import:  sending hits directly to Google Analytics through analytics.js tracking code. This is only for valid for businesses that have systems on their websites that allow users to cancel and request refunds online.  However, many refunds don’t happen this way, customers often order online and request refunds over the phone.

# Management API Import:  uploading hits to Google Analytics through the management API or directly from the platform. In this article, we will be covering how to automate uploading refund data through Google sheets. All you have to do is to share this sheet with the team who is in charge of processing refunds, so they can fill out the details whenever a refund occurs. So, let’s get down to business:

1-Create a spreadsheet with the refund data

Refund Data Import relies on the Transaction ID (ga:transactionId) to reverse Ecommerce hits in your data. You can refund the full amount of the transaction or issue partial refunds. To issue a full refund, you only need to upload ga:transactionId. The entire transaction, including all products, will be refunded using the originally reported product quantities, prices, and transaction revenue.
To issue a partial refund, in addition to the transaction id you need the ga:productSku and ga:quantityRefunded using a new row for each SKU being returned.  Refunded transaction revenue will be determined automatically based on the product price and quantity.

So in your Google Spreadsheet, the first header should use the internal dimension names (e.g., ga:transactionId instead of Transaction). In the example below, we added three columns;  ga:transactionId  which is required. ga:productSku and ga:quantityRefunded which are also required for partial refunds.

refund data

2-Create the Data Set through GA

Go to the Admin panel of your GA account. Under the “Property” column, please select “Data Import” :-

Click New Data Set.

Select Refund Data as the Type:

 

Define the Schema using the example above:

Save and then click “Get Custom Data Source ID (for API Users)“, copy the ID, will be using it later on.

3-Connect Google app script to your spreadsheet.

Once you have the data correctly formatted, it’s time to connect Google app script to your spreadsheet. Click tools then “Script Editor”:-

Now, the script editor is open:-

Delete any code in the script editor and paste in the code below:

function uploadData() { 
 var accountId = "xxxxxxx";
 var webPropertyId = "UA-25xxxxx";
 var customDataSourceId = "CAuCSza1SXCifs79teXIEl"; 
 var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet().getActiveSheet(); 
 var maxRows = ss.getLastRow();  var maxColumns = ss.getLastColumn(); 
 var data = [];  for (var i = 1; i < maxRows;i++) { 
 data.push(ss.getRange([i], 1,1, maxColumns).getValues());  
} 
 var newData = data.join("\n"); 
 var blobData = Utilities.newBlob(newData,
 "application/octet-stream", "GA import data");
 try {
var upload = Analytics.Management.Uploads.uploadData(accountId, webPropertyId, customDataSourceId, blobData); 
 SpreadsheetApp.getUi().alert("Uploading: OK");  
}
catch(err) {  SpreadsheetApp.getUi().alert("Cannot upload: Failed");  
}
}

Please note that you need to replace what’s in red with your relevant data, the account id, the property id and finally the API id we generated in step 1 (above).Then, click “Resources” and choose “Advanced Google Services”:-

Turn on the Google Analytics API:-

Finally, try to run your script:-

A small window will pop up asking you to authorize permission to access your Google drive and Google Analytics. Once you do so, the data will get uploaded successfully to Google analytics as long as it’s in the correct format:-

Now, you can schedule an upload to happen on an hourly, daily or weekly basis, Google will run the script and import the data exists your spreadsheet through their management API. On the other side, you should also agree with the team who is in charge of processing refunds to fill out this spreadsheet once a refund happens.

Once you’ve uploaded refund data, you can see it in the Sales Performance report. Please note that You cannot delete or modify refund data once it has been uploaded to your Analytics account. You bear sole responsibility for validating the accuracy of your refund data prior to sending it or uploading it to Analytics.
If you are also interested in importing cost data into Google analytics, please visit our guide here.

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Ahmed launched his first digital campaign in 2013 through participating in Google Online Marketing Challenge. He competed with over 12,000 students from 80 countries to win the first place in Africa & MENA region and one of the best five campaigns in the world. Today, he works as an Associate Digital Director at Keyade Middle East.

4 Comments

  1. Hi Ahmed,

    Hope you are doing great.

    Tried your script and the procedure. There’s an extra ‘}’ in the code.

    Fixed that while testing, but it still says upload failed. What’s going wrong? Any advice?


    Thanks
    Ratan Jha

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