Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting: A Step-by-Step Guide

Author's avatar Analytics Feb 2, 2022 25 minutes read

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    Peter Caputa

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    Are you still thinking about whether you should switch to Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce reporting?

    You definitely should because enhanced Ecommerce reporting is one of the best ways to obtain your visitor’s ecommerce engagement data. Also, you should be aware that most of your competitors are already using this feature and that you are giving them an edge by not implementing it.

    Enhanced Ecommerce reporting is essential for efficient conversion rate optimization (CRO). It gives you an insight into how well your products are performing, tracks users’ activities, and provides an overall behavioral impression of your visitors.

    By analyzing this data, you can make better marketing decisions and create new strategies. Think of it as Ecommerce tracking with superpowers.

    In this guide, we are going to go into detail on what exactly Enhanced Ecommerce reporting is, what it can offer, how you can implement it, and how you can take advantage of this powerful tool.

    Let’s dive into it.


    What is Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting?

    For executives that don’t have a rich background in marketing, Enhanced Ecommerce reporting may seem like more trouble than it’s worth.

    While we do agree that it might be a bit complex, the benefits it brings to your business will make it all worthwhile.

    After all, that’s why we are here – to simplify it.

    As we said, Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce is a tool that provides some extremely useful data by analyzing the behavior of your customers. This includes item data, impression data, promotion data, action data, and product data.

    Once you have all this information, you will have a clearer picture of how well your company is doing. You will see which aspects of your ecommerce website are doing well and which you have to focus on improving.

    Here are some engagement actions and metrics that you can get once you have the tracking tool up and running:

    • Campaign Views
    • Product Views
    • Campaign Clicks
    • Product Clicks
    • Shopping Cart Additions
    • Shopping Cart Changes
    • Shopping Cart Abandonment
    • Product Detail Page Views
    • Refund Requests
    • Purchase Activity
    • Coupon Code Activity
    • AOV (Average Order Value)

    Before Google released the Enhanced Ecommerce reporting feature in 2014, ecommerce managers craved this kind of information regarding pre-sale customer activity. Nowadays, this data is accessible for everyone willing to put in the time to analyze it.

    Related: 16 Google Analytics Custom Dimensions for Tracking Your Ecommerce Store

    Why Use Enhanced Ecommerce?

    The main goal of any ecommerce manager is to enhance conversion rate optimization. This is done through finessing the design, content, and products displayed on your website. Enhanced Ecommerce is the underlying foundation of any good CRO strategy.

    The reason why you should use Enhanced Ecommerce is pretty simple. It provides you with wealthy data that, if used properly, can give you an insight into visitor activity. This will later help you create better sales-related decisions and increase profits from selling your products.

    There are plenty of executives that find Google Analytics too complicated and time-consuming. This guide will take Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting apart piece by piece. Once you understand how each piece works, you will not only learn how to implement the tool but also learn how to use it to your advantage.

    How Do I Set Up Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking in Google Analytics?

    After reading about all of these amazing features that Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking has to offer, you might be persuaded to give it a try. So what’s next?

    While a good Ecommerce setup often requires collaboration from your development and marketing team, it’s not impossible to set it up yourself.

    However, we do recommend that you leave the technical part (coding) to your developer.

    There are two options when it comes to the actual implementation: on-page tracking and through Google Tag Manager (GTM). Our recommendation is through GTM and it is the method that our guide will cover. 

    Follow these steps to successfully set up your Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking:

    Enable Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics

    Before you start setting up Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking, you will need to enable it on the Google Analytics admin panel.

    This is the easiest part of the implementation process and you can do it by following these next few simple steps:

    1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account
    2. Open the “Admin” section
    3. Find “Ecommerce Settings” in the “View” column
    4. Switch on the general “Enable Ecommerce” button
    5. Switch on the “Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting” button
    6. Lastly, press “Save”

    Keep in mind, once you enable Enhanced Ecommerce, you will get some new reports into GA. However, all of them will be empty. This is why we do this in advance and focus on sending additional data from the website afterward.

    Related: How to Set Up & Use Google Analytics Conversion Tracking

    Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting with Google Tag Manager

    GTM is a tag management tool that ecommerce managers use to incorporate different marketing and analytics tags on a website. You can use this tool to add, edit, remove, enable, or disable a specific tag from your Ecommerce website. GTM also allows adding different enhanced ecommerce events.

    To set up Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking, you first need to install Google Tag Manager onto your website.

    Here is how you can do it:

    1. Use your Google login to create a new GTM account
    2. Login to the GTM account
    3. Click on “Create Account”
    4. Enter a name for the new account
    5. Select your country
    6. Enter a name for the new container
    7. The target platform should be “Web”
    8. Click on “Create”
    9. Read and accept the Terms of Service Agreement
    10. Copy and paste the GTM installation code you get in the <head> section on each page of your ecommerce website

    Set Up Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking Using Datalayer (Recommended Method)

    Now that you have laid down the foundation, we can switch to the actual implementation methods.

    The Datalayer method is a bit simpler to understand and we strongly recommend it if your website supports data layers. In case it doesn’t, you can skip to the next heading (Custom JavaScript Variable Method).

    If you don’t know what a data layer is, here is a simple definition: A data layer is a layer that contains all of the data your website generates through visitors. Having a data layer on your website can provide you with much more reliable and useful data to later analyze.

    Data layers present a safe place where you can collect data coming from your website. There are three areas affected by data layers: the website, your tools, and your organization. 

    We use data layers to measure Enhanced Ecommerce activities such as these:

    • Product Impressions
    • Product Clicks
    • Product Detail Impressions
    • Add/Remove from Cart
    • Promotion Impressions
    • Promotion Clicks
    • Checkout
    • Purchases
    • Refunds

    While it isn’t impossible for people with no background in developing to use the data layer method, we strongly recommend you leave it up to your developer.

    You can provide help in terms of what Enhance Ecommerce activities you want your website to run. Create a detailed plan with specifics on what you want Enhance Ecommerce to track and let your developer deal with the technical part.

    To implement Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking using Data Layer, follow these steps:

    1. Open up your code
    2. Add your specific Ecommerce information to the “ecommerce” data layer object
    3. Open up Tag Manager
    4. Change the Track Type to “Page View” or “Event”
    5. Open up the Google Analytics Settings variable
    6. Go to “More Settings”
    7. Press “Ecommerce” and set “Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Features” to “True”.
    8. Click on “Use Data Layer”

    Note: Before you push enhanced ecommerce events into the data layer, you should use this command to clear the previous ecommerce objects.

    Set Up Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking Using Custom JavaScript Variable (recommended only for developers)

    Google Analytics enhanced ecommerce setup via custom JavaScript variables is far more complicated and it’s why we recommended this method only for experienced developers.

    This method is most commonly used in two cases:

    1. When your website doesn’t support a data layer.
    2. When you want to track additional activities that aren’t available via the Data Layer method.

    Setting up the foundation for the Custom JavaScript variable is pretty similar to the Data Layer method:

    1. Open up Tag Manager
    2. Change the Track Type to “Page View” or “Event”
    3. Open up the Google Analytics Settings variable
    4. Go to “More Settings”
    5. Uncheck “Use Data Layer”
    6. Press “Ecommerce” and set “Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Features” to “Read data from macro”.

    This is all you have to change. After doing this, your developer can integrate the custom codes for additional activities you want to track on your website.

    This is how the JavaScript layer should look like before you type in the codes for any activities.

    What Is the Difference Between Standard Ecommerce and Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics?

    Both Standard and Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking in Google Analytics offer great ways to analyze the data and revenue of your ecommerce website.

    However, they do it a bit differently.

    The Standard option is most suitable for smaller businesses that don’t have a wide range of products to offer and for ecommerce businesses that are just starting out.

    On the other hand, Enhanced Ecommerce tracking is much more thorough. It provides more essential information regarding your customers and it gives you data that can be pivotal in boosting your CRO.

    Also, Standard Ecommerce only covers website transactions on the Thank You/Order Confirmation page while Enhanced Ecommerce analyzes the whole journey your customers take on the website.

    Of course, this isn’t the only difference between the two. Let’s check out the key things that separate Enhanced Ecommerce vs Standard Ecommerce.

    Provides More Reports

    Enhance Ecommerce provides twice as many reports compared to Standard Ecommerce.

    Standard Ecommerce provides the following reports in Google Analytics:

    • Overview – This includes Revenue Summary, Conversion Rate, AOV (Average Order Value), Transactions, etc.
    • Product Performance – Purchases, Refunds, Average Price, Quantity, etc.
    • Sales Performance – Date-classified Revenue.
    • Transactions – This report uses Transaction ID to check Revenue, Taxes, Shipping, and Quality.
    • Time to Purchase – Days/Sessions before a Transaction occurs.

    You can use the data you get from these reports to understand which products are doing well, which are best suited for customers, and how long your customers take to make a decision. Combine this information and you will be able to create authentic revenue predictions.

    Enhanced Ecommerce includes all of this, but it provides these advanced reports in addition:

    • Ecommerce Overview – Overview of viewer engagement on your ecommerce website.
    • Shopping Behavior Analysis – The number of sessions in each stage of your purchase funnel, how many customers continued to the next stage, and at which stage did they abandon the funnel.
    • Checkout Behavior Analysis – This report shows how many visitors moved through the checkout phase.
    • Product Performance Report – Analyzes “Summary View” and “Shopping Behavior View”.
    • Sales Performance Report – Allows you to assess sales through Transaction, Date, Revenue, Tax, Shipping, Refund Amount, and Quantity.
    • Product List Performance – This report gives insight into how the product lists on your website are performing. It analyzes metrics such as Views, Clicks, and CTR.
    • Internal Promotion Report – Provides information regarding internal promotions. Metrics include Views, Clicks, CTR, and Name.
    • Order Coupon – Analyzes Revenue, Transactions, Average Value, and Order Coupon Code.
    • Product Coupon – Analyzes Revenue, Unique Purchases, Product Revenue per Purchase, and Product Coupon Code.
    • Affiliate Code – This report shows how affiliate websites influenced your Ecommerce performance. It includes metrics such as Revenue, Transactions, Average Order Value, and Affiliation.

    All of these reports provide unique and important data that we will cover in-depth in the next heading.

    Even though Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting is harder to implement compared to Standard Reporting, the additional data and insight it provides are unparalleled.

    PRO TIP: Combining data in the Google Analytics reporting tool with several other platforms can enhance e-commerce reporting capabilities. You can improve goal tracking, automate reporting processes, streamline data consolidation, and create engaging dashboards for enhanced e-commerce reporting.

    Uses a Different Plugin

    Little software additions, aka “Plugins”, authorize the program, app, and web browser customization. They are used to optimize the content you put out on your website.

    Implementing Standard Ecommerce Tracking requires using the “ecommerce.js” plugin.

    Implementing Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking requires using the “ec.js” plugin.

    Can Only Be Implemented in Universal Analytics (GA3)

    If you are confused about the difference between Google Analytics and Universal Analytics, don’t worry, most people are.

    To put it simply – it’s actually the same thing. Universal Analytics is just an upgraded version of Google Analytics (aka Classic Analytics). Since no one uses Classic Analytics anymore, you don’t have to worry about not being able to set enhanced ecommerce tracking on your website.

    Allows You to Capture More Ecommerce Data

    Standard Ecommerce Tracking offers only two types of data: Transaction data and Item data.

    While these two can be useful for smaller Ecommerce websites, you will eventually need more data as your business grows.

    This is the data you can get through Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking:

    • Impression data – The number of products viewers saw on your Home Page/Category Page.
    • Product Data – A detailed view of your products. Includes features such as Product ID, Product Name, Product Color, Product Variant, and Product Brand.
    • Promotion Data – Details regarding the promotions your website offers.
    • Action Data – Add/Remove from cart, Checkout, Shipping Method, and Transaction data.

    Simply put, Standard Ecommerce Tracking can only track transactions on the Order Confirmation Page. Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking goes into much more detail – it tracks all the steps viewers made before the purchase.

    Related: 7 Ways to Use Customer Data for More Efficient Marketing

    Introduction to Ecommerce Engagement (Shopping Activity)

    “Shopping Activity” is the term used for ecommerce engagement in Ecommerce Enhance Reports.

    It provides user engagement information regarding:

    • Internal Promotion Campaign views
    • Internal Promotion Campaign clicks
    • Product views in Product List
    • Product clicks in Product List
    • Product Detail Page views
    • Shopping Cart Product Additions/Removals
    • Coupon Code adding
    • Purchases
    • Refunds

    If you think this kind of information would be useful for your business, you will have to upgrade to Enhanced Ecommerce.

    Introduction to Ecommerce Abandonment (Abandoning Shopping Activity)

    “Abandoning Shopping Activity” is the term used for Ecommerce Abandonment in Enhanced Ecommerce Reports.

    It covers user’s activities such as:

    • Disinterest in shopping activity (No Shopping Activity)
    • Opening a product without adding it to a shopping cart (No Cart Addition)
    • Adding a product to a shopping cart and not purchasing it at the end (Cart Abandonment)
    • Entering the checkout phase and eventually leaving it (Checkout Abandonment)

    Once again, these activities aren’t provided by Standard Ecommerce Reports, so you will have to switch to Enhanced Ecommerce to obtain them.

    Overview of Enhanced Ecommerce Reports

    We have listed the types of reports Enhanced Ecommerce can offer, but now it’s time we go into more detail on what they are all about.

    Jump to the ones you are most interested in.

    Ecommerce Overview Report

    This report is pretty self-explanatory. It gives an overview of Ecommerce activities on your online shop.

    The key metrics it uses are:

    • Revenue – Total number of sales your website has made in a certain period.
    • Conversion Rate – Ecommerce conversion rate statistics for a specific period.
    • Transactions – Total number of orders made on your website for a specific period.
    • Average Order Value (AOV) – The average value of the orders made on your website.
    • Marketing – Internal and external marketing campaign performances.
    • Top Sellers – This report filters out top products, top product categories, and top product brands.

    Enhanced Ecommerce Shopping Analysis Reports

    There are two types of Shopping Analysis Reports:

    Shopping Behavior Analysis Report

    This report covers the funnels through which the users go through when shopping on your website. It reports on which shopping phase did the buyer drop off. The metrics included are: All Sessions, Sessions with Product Views, and Session with Transactions. By following the strengths and weaknesses in the funnel, you can create a better CRO strategy.

    Shopping Behavior Analysis Report example

    Checkout Behavior Analysis Report

    This report shows how many visitors moved through the checkout phase. It is also funnel-based and shows the exact phase on which the visitors dropped off. By using this data, you will know which phase of the purchase funnel you have to work on.

    Product Performance Report

    This Enhanced Ecommerce report gives you an overview of how successful each individual product is.

    The two points of view it analyzes are:

    • Sales Performance Report – Allows you to assess sales through Transaction, Date, Revenue, Tax, Shipping, Refund Amount, and Quantity. This report tracks individual transactions and analyzes the core of each sale your website made.
    • Product List Performance Report – Essentially, product lists are logic-based product groups. Logic-based means that they are based on the ec.js tagging on your website. The metrics this report uses are: Product List Views, Product List Clicks, and Product List CTR.

    Enhanced Ecommerce Marketing Reports

    Measuring internal and external marketing performances is just as important as measuring product performance.

    Enhanced Ecommerce marketing reports consist of:

    • Internal Promotion Report – Provides information regarding internal promotions. Metrics include Views, Clicks, CTR, and Name. Within this report, you can also find transaction attributes such as “internal-promotion click” and “internal-promotion view”.
    • Order Coupon Report – Analyzes Revenue, Transactions, Average Value, and Order Coupon Code.
    • Product Coupon Report – Analyzes Revenue, Unique Purchases, Product Revenue per Purchase, and Product Coupon Code.
    • Affiliate Code Report – This report shows how affiliate websites influenced your Ecommerce performance. It includes metrics such as Revenue, Transactions, Average Order Value, and Affiliation.

    How to Analyze Enhanced Ecommerce Data?

    Once you have implemented Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking onto your website, we can move on to the fun part – Analyzing your new data.

    The wealthy amount of data you are going to receive from now on won’t mean much if you don’t know how to read it. When you learn how and why your customers behave the way they do, you can work on improving your CRO and increasing revenue.

    The key to analyzing Enhanced Ecommerce data is asking the right questions.

    These are the most popular analyses that you are going to need in the beginning:

    Product Analysis

    This analysis is focused on the individual success of each of your products. You will have an insight into which products are most responsible for your revenue and exactly what makes them so attractive.

    Use it to check which products have the highest Cart-to-Detail rate and Buy-to-Detail rate. Often, these two metrics will be correlated. On the opposite, Product Analysis will also show you the negative add/removal rate.

    Search Analysis

    To convert visitors into customers, you can use the internal site search feature. Keep in mind, there is a difference between search and non-search conversion rates. In most cases, it will turn out that people who use the site search are more likely to buy a product since they are looking for something specific.

    To find out which site searches are most profitable, you should always look for specific time periods and compare the metrics.

    Enhanced Ecommerce also lets you see if your visitors searched for any products that you aren’t currently offering. You can check which of these products have been searched the most and consider adding them in the future.

    Promotions Analysis

    Naturally, you will want to know which promotions bring the most revenue. In promotion analysis, the key factors are “Promotion Impressions” and “Promotion Clicks”.

    There are certain promotions that never go old. For example, free shipping promotion above X amount. If your customers are used to this offer, your revenue might go down if you decide to exclude it.

    And, if you want your promotions to be more category-based, you can always find products that you will soon replace and give a discount for them.

    Developing the right promotion strategy requires great marketing planning.

    Category Analysis

    Most executives choose to categorize their products on their websites. Just like you need to know which specific products are doing best, the same is applied to categories. With this data, you will know which categories are responsible for generating the most revenue, and which you need to work on.

    A good category analysis can have a huge impact on future plans. Depending on category sales that occur in a year, you can make predictions regarding next year’s performances with your Merchandise department.

    Funnel Analysis

    This type of analysis takes a few things into consideration. For example, the customer’s state of mind and how complex the purchase process is.

    Funnel analysis is also probably one of the most complicated analyses on Google Analytics since it uses multiple techniques to answer questions.

    Our advice is that you create separate segments to analyze since it will provide much more accurate data regarding the decisions and behavior of your visitors.

    Purchase Analysis

    This is where segmentation comes into play. In this case, you will want to analyze the actions buyers made compared to non-buyers.

    You will also need to distinguish these two things – “Macro goals” and “Micro goals”.

    Macro goals are the primary goals, typically making a sale or a lead. Micro goals are secondary and they include things such as asking your viewers to download a brochure or watch a demo video.

    Purchase analysis will also give you insight into how many page views usually occur before someone purchases one of your products. Also, you can check what kinds of payment methods are most frequently used.

    Attribution Analysis

    Google Analytics uses the “last-click” model to create conversion and transaction overviews. While these overviews do provide useful data, Attribution analysis can bring in much more.

    This kind of analysis will let you know which marketing channels create the most transactions and which close the most transactions.

    For example, if you integrate marketing strategies on both Instagram and Facebook and you realize that Instagram is responsible for 70% of your viewers, you will naturally want to focus more on that market channel.

    Post-Purchase Analysis

    Activities users make on your website after making a purchase are most often overlooked by companies. However, it can provide some interesting behavioral data. For example, what made them buy the product and what almost made them quit the purchase.

    These activities are tracked on Google Analytics through “event tracking”.

    Aside from figuring out what they do after a purchase, you can also examine what they don’t do.

    Knowing these kinds of patterns can be used to influence the viewer’s post-purchase activities on the website.

    Once you learn all of these analysis techniques, you will have a much clearer picture of how your visitors think and the things you should do to increase your revenue.

    Free Ecommerce Reporting Templates

    Analyzing data is a fun process but it isn’t the easiest task in the world. You will want all the help you can get and this means using Ecommerce reporting templates.

    Reporting templates are used to track all of the important data you are generating in one place. This will help you gain better insight into your performances which will affect your future decisions and strategies. Picking the right kind of template can be time-consuming if you don’t know where to start.

    But don’t panic.

    Databox offers free pre-built Ecommerce Reporting templates that implement all the most frequently tracked metrics. These free templates include all the significant KPIs you need to grow your business. Also, you can customize them in any way you deem fit.

    Google Analytics (Ecommerce overview) Dashboard

    A complete overview of the ecommerce performance of your store isn’t the only thing that makes this template special. This Ecommerce Overview Template also includes useful data regarding your transactions, revenue, sessions, conversion rates, and AOV.

    When you start using Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking, you will most likely have dozens of questions.

    How much are you generating from sales, the number of visits on your website, how much time customers spend on the site, are they converting, and which products are the best-sellers.

    This template answers all of these questions. It is your right hand for developing better strategies.

    Google Analytics (Ecommerce overview) Dashboard

    Online Sales Overview Dashboard

    Use the Online Sales Dashboard Template to check out online sales statistics in accordance with Google Analytics (and Facebook Ads in case you use them). Download the template and easily track product performance, ecommerce conversion rate, audience overview, and bounce rate.

    All the sales funnels you need are integrated into this dashboard template.

    Online Sales overview Dashboard

    Google Analytics Product Revenue Dashboard

    The Product Revenue Template is one of our most popular dashboards for a good reason. It’s free, customizable, and easy to navigate through. You can use it to track and gather all of the important ecommerce performance data on your site.

    The included key metrics are product sales, performance, conversion rates, AOV, revenue, transactions, and many more.

    In a few simple steps, you will be able to track your product sales and performances in real-time.

    Google Analytics Product Revenue Dashboard

    Ecommerce Full Funnel Dashboard

    One of the most efficient tools to track where your Ecommerce funnel is advancing or declining is the Ecommerce Full Funnel Dashboard. This template provides unique insights regarding your funnel data and tracks the most important metrics such as AOV, email revenue, conversion rate, product revenue, revenue by channel, and more.

    With the information you gather, you will have a clearer picture of which stages of your conversion funnel need to be improved.

    Ecommerce Full Funnel Dashboard

    Google Analytics Ecommerce Shopping Behavior Dashboard

    The Ecommerce Shopping Behavior Dashboard is your best friend when it comes to analyzing your customer’s shopping behavior.

    The key metrics include shopping behavior, sessions with product views, sessions with transactions, sessions with checkout, cart additions/abandonments, and plenty more.

    Google Analytics Ecommerce Shopping Behavior Dashboard

    Google Analytics Ecommerce Checkout Behavior Dashboard

    While shopping behavior remains one of the key focuses of Ecommerce managers, checkout behavior shouldn’t be overlooked. To analyze the checkout behavior of your customers, use this Ecommerce Checkout Behavior Dashboard.

    With key metrics such as shipping, payment, sessions with transactions, and information, you can further optimize your website’s checkout phase.

    Google Analytics Ecommerce Checkout Behavior Dashboard

    Monitor All Your Ecommerce Data in One Place

    Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting can be extremely beneficial for conversion rate optimization, but it requires hard work. You will receive a massive amount of data and if you don’t know how to utilize it, it won’t be of much use. This is why you will need the right tools at your disposal.

    Analyzing the key metrics such as shopping behavior, checkout behavior, sales performance, product performance, and internal promotions takes up a lot of time. This is especially the case if the data is located in multiple places.

    Luckily, Databox can simplify this whole process. Databox’s ecommerce reporting tool will allow you to monitor all of your important data in one place. By visualizing metrics that you get from Google Analytics you will be able to develop better CRO strategies in no time. Once you have all of the Enhanced Ecommerce data organized in one place, the whole analyzing process will become much easier.

    We believe actions speak louder than words. Sign up for Databox for free today and let our actions speak for themselves.


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    Filip Stojanovic

    Filip Stojanovic is a content writer who studies Business and Political Sciences. Also, I am a huge tennis enthusiast. Although my dream is to win a Grand Slam, working as a content writer is also interesting.

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