It’s been two years since Google released its new analytics edition, so why are we chatting about it just now? Is it because the pandemic was filling our stressed minds, or was it just a case of shelving having to learn yet another version of Universal Analytics (UA) – a program we just managed to conquer?

Well, if you’re the owner of an ecommerce online store, right now is the time to get on board with the new generation Google Analytics 4 - GA4.

Before discussing why, we need get on it right now, let’s drill down to what GA4 encompasses and what it’s offering us.

  • GA4 is Google’s new way of measuring data
  • GA4 gathers event-based, (or behaviour-based) data from websites and apps to further identify and analyse the customer’s user experience. (In other words, this web analytics tool will track and measure user traffic and behaviour on your website for free).
  • GA4 uses privacy controls that do not include cookies
  • GA4 uses behavioural and conversion modelling. (Thinkwithgoogle defines ‘conversion modelling’ as the use of machine learning to quantify the impact of marketing efforts when a subset of conversions can't be observed).
  • GA4 has predictive abilities that can guide simply without being too complex
  • GA4 integrates with media platforms helping to push activity on your website or app.

Why get on board with GA4 now?

  • From July 2023 the comfortable version of UA for our data processing needs will cease to exist. You’ll be able to see your UA reports for approximately six months after the deadline, but any new data processing will only happen with the new GA4.
  • It’s best to start getting accustomed with the program now so it won’t get stressful closer to deadline. If you’ve been an eCommercer for a while now, then you’ll know that data and measuring data is indispensable. So, don’t wait any longer to make the move.
  • The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll get up to speed on who’s visiting your website, how they are navigating it, and why? Then, with new data you’ll be able to inform wise adjustments and improvements to your online store. With the GA4’s sophisticated data collection and analysis, you’ll also be able to develop critical digital marketing plans to increase visits and new customer volumes.

Steps to begin GA4 set up

  1. Setting up GA4 is like signing up to a new account. For the initial quick and dirty easy-to-follow steps to create your account, click here.
  2. To integrate your online store with GA4 can be a bit tricky, it’s not just about using bits of code here and there. As previously mentioned, GA4 works on analysing events, so it needs to be integrated into every part of your site. For example, view items and all cart actions as well as product names, cart totals and discounts need to be tagged.
    To help you to do this you can use Google Tag Manager. With this program you can set up more than 60 tags, remembering that developers like us (seventyfour) can help you with the intricacies of this step.
  3. GA4 is different from UA, so you’ll need to study it properly. However, it’ll be worth it because it does have wizz bang benefits such as: precise User ID tracking, ability to track how much your business grows with customer lifetime value (CLV), ability to track how users got on to your website and automate the source/medium, predictive audiences and free data backup.

Using your GA4

Once you’re fully set up, you’ll quickly learn there are many ways of using the program. It all depends on the type of data you are looking for to analyse. For a beginner’s guide to delving deeper into operating the program, the ahrefs blog gives an easy run-down, here.

Further benefits to using GA4

Just remember even though setting up your GA4 feels arduous, today’s ecommerce businesses are gaining top wins from collecting and analysing event-based data. Data ultimately equals increased revenue.

Investing time into learning how to use GA4 will further bolster your online framework and create an intelligent and refined data-driven setting to help your store have less conversion loss resulting in more sales.

Data collection and measurement is certainly becoming more important as we get deeper into developing ecommerce technology, and subsequently so is the need to be thinking ahead and putting in protection for the privacy of your data and business.

As data measurement processes continue to develop, and global technology continues to also evolve, marketers will continue to be challenged to keep forward thinking and remain data privacy focused.

As a final note, after you set up your GA4 and you get through the angst of pulling your first basic report, don’t forget you’ll be well on your way to multiplying your revenue by two-fold and more.