Why ecommerce merchants should migrate to Google Analytics 4
There are several reasons why ecommerce merchants should consider switching to Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
Universal Analytics will be going away
On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits. After July 1, 2023, you’ll be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property for at least six months. If you still rely on Universal Analytics, we recommend that you prepare to use Google Analytics 4 going forward.
GA4 property will only collect data from time of creation and will not include UA data, thus it would be strongly recommended to implement GA4 as soon as possible so that you have data available when you are ready to use switch over.
Greater flexibility with more insightful dashboard
GA4 allows and encourages users to create custom reports for the data they need. This significantly reduces the number of irrelevant, pre-made reports and reduces clutter on your dashboard. You can find the most important data for your business within dashboard summary cards, enabling you to make informed decisions quickly, increasing your website and/or app’s effectiveness.
Better understanding of user engagement
First and foremost, GA4 is the latest version of Google Analytics and includes several new and improved features that can provide ecommerce merchants with valuable insights into their business. GA4 uses an ‘event-based’ data model compared to the ‘session-based’ data model used by Universal Analytics. Event-based data models allow the ease of populating additional parameters as part of that event that adds further context to the event taken on site.
This can help merchants better understand how users are engaging with their website, and can provide valuable insights into which aspects of their website are performing well and which ones need improvement.
Customer lifecycle-framed interface & reporting
GA4’s interface and reports are focused more on the customer’s life cycle compared to UA. For example, you can see what channels are driving new customers in the user acquisition report, then use the engagement and retention reports to understand the actions these customers take, and whether they stick around, after converting. GA4 also aims to give marketers a more complete view of how customers are engaging with their businesses across devices as well as channels. Marketers can provide their own user ID or enable Google signals to deduplicate users across devices for reporting and ad targeting.
Predictive Analytics capabilities
GA4 automatically enriches data by using Google machine-learning algorithms to predict future behavior of users. GA4 has the ability to analyze Purchase probability, Churn probability, and Revenue prediction, and create Predictive audiences.
GA4 offers the ability to import first-party predictive audiences from Analytics to Ads. Combined with the ability to have App visitors in the same Web data stream, it enables powerful remarketing and ad optimization strategies in your Search, Video, and Display campaigns by using Google’s Machine Learning capabilities specifically for your business.
Track user across devices while they’re shopping
Another key benefit of GA4 is that it offers improved cross-device & cross-platform tracking capabilities. This is especially important for ecommerce merchants, as many users now shop on multiple devices (e.g. mobile phones, tablets, and laptops) and expect a seamless shopping experience across all of them. With GA4, merchants can track user behavior across web & app data in a single GA4 property, providing them with a comprehensive view of how users are interacting with their website and making it easier to identify and address any issues.
Better integration with existing Google products
Another reason to switch to GA4 is that it offers improved integration with other Google products and services. This can be particularly useful for ecommerce merchants, as it allows them to take advantage of other Google tools, such as Google Ads and Google Shopping, to improve their online presence and drive more traffic and sales to their website. With GA4, merchants can easily link their website to these other Google products and services, making it easier to track and analyze the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
Improved Data Privacy Controls
Additionally, GA4 offers improved data privacy and security features. With the increasing focus on data privacy and the need to comply with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), this is an important consideration for ecommerce merchants. GA4 includes features such as data encryption and the ability to automatically delete data after a certain period of time, providing merchants with greater control over their data and helping them to comply with privacy regulations.
GA4 offers in-platform ability to specify any individual event or parameter to be a ‘NPA’ (No Personalized Ads) for compliance management. This will be a powerful ally to our retargeting efforts as privacy policies continue to change around GDPR and US state-level privacy laws.
Overall, GA4 offers ecommerce merchants a range of valuable new and improved features that can help them better understand their business, improve the user experience on their website, and drive more traffic and sales. For these reasons, ecommerce merchants should consider switching to GA4.
So when should you switch to Google Analytics 4?
Here comes your favorite response … it’s a little complicated.
Having said that, get GA4 setup yesterday.
If you want to be able to look at those YoY (year over year) comparisons and trends next year, move forward with setting up Google Analytics 4 as soon as you can. Yes you’ll have to run UA still. Yes you’ll need to learn GA4. Yes the way you report is going to change as you’ll get access to new types of data.
The reality is you’ll most likely still run UA and GA4 in parallel, until you’re ready to make the hard switch. If you’re thinking about making the switch, we’re always happy to provide a consult and answer any questions. Reach out to us here.