How The Google Analytics 4 Update Will Impact Your eCommerce Site

In July, Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will replace the current version of Google Analytics, and there are a few key things to know about this update.

At the moment, Universal Analytics is Google’s way of tracking website data, but it was designed with desktop computers in mind. Universal Analytics focuses on independent sessions and data from cookies, and everything to do with mobile is handled separately. Now, with a lot of people accessing the web via smartphones and tablets, things are having to change and this is where GA4 comes in. 

Universal Analytics will be completely replaced by GA4 and it will be the only Google Analytics option. This could mean a lot of changes for ecommerce websites and the change is sure to have an impact, regardless of the products or services that you sell. Below, we have taken a look at how GA4 will impact your ecommerce website.

What is Google Analytics 4?

GA4 will launch in July, and it’s Google’s newest way of tracking website traffic, engagement and metrics. It’s Google’s way of focusing on cross-channel data measurement, advanced reporting capabilities, customer privacy and AI predictive analysis. Universal Analytics works by tracking mobile screen views as a separate property, whereas GA4 combines everything, including tracking websites and applications at the same time. GA4 will also use a different measurement model to Universal Analytics by tracking user interactions on a website or app – this includes clicks, form submissions and general browsing – to gain a better understanding of user behaviour and how people use digital platforms.

How GA4 Will Benefit Your eCommerce Website

 

  • By Providing Accurate Reporting – There are a lot of changes to the way that GA4 reports information, compared to Universal Analytics, and this provides a more accurate insight into the way that your ecommerce website is being used. With GA4, cross-channel reporting is possible, highlighting how users are interacting with your website through a single API. It will also offer a clearer and more accurate view of how the website is performing overall. 

 

  • By Tracking Events and Not Page Views – Whereas Universal Analytics tracks individual sessions and page views, GA4 will track traffic as events, putting everything into one analytical category. This provides a lot more insight into ecommerce businesses and adds further customisation to the data layer. It’s a lot easier to track a customer journey with events, as it highlights exactly how they have interacted with your website, and not solely what action they took. Whilst respecting user privacy, ecommerce businesses can delve into why customers are acting the way they are, using real-time information and a fuller picture.

 

  • By Using Automation and AI – Using AI and automation, GA4 is able to forecast what specific metrics may be, based on historical data and analysis. This could be a huge benefit for a lot of ecommerce companies, as it will make predicting future purchases a lot easier, as well as making it easier to create accurate revenue forecasts.

 

  • By Having a User-Friendly Search Bar – When you are trying to succeed as a business online, it’s important that you have access to information related to your website quickly. This was sometimes difficult with Universal Analytics, as the search function was somewhat limited. However, GA4 has much more capable search abilities, and finding how key information – such as how many visits your website had last week, or how much your website traffic has improved over the year – is easy. This is a much more user-friendly way of doing things.

 

  • By Tracking Useful Information – Thanks to event tracking, GA4 is able to track a wide range of things that are sure to be useful to ecommerce businesses. Instead of tracking a range of information, you can specify what you want GA4 to track and choose whatever information is relevant to your business. This ensures that you are given the most useful information, and won’t waste time going through data that you don’t need.

 

  • By Being Highly Customisable – Whereas Universal Analytics approached website tracking on a ‘one size fits all’ basis, GA4 is highly customisable. You can select bespoke metrics and create unique reports, based on your ecommerce business’ individual requirements. There are a lot of customisation options for you to familiarise yourself with, and it’s possible to create analytics that really work for you.
Are There Any Drawbacks to GA4?

 

 

  • Getting Used to a New Interface – If you have spent a lot of time getting used to the Universal Analytics interface, you might struggle to use GA4 at first. Though the interface is by no means complex, it’s different to what you might be used to. This could slow down your use of Google Analytics, to begin with, until you familiarise yourself with a new way of doing things.


  • There Will Be No Automatic Email Reports – A lot of ecommerce businesses rely on the automatic email reports that Universal Analytics send, whether they are weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. With GA4, these are not automatically generated, which means that you will need to find the time to collate the information yourself. 

 

  • Backend Views Won’t Be Available – If you have been using Universal Analytics for a long time, you will probably have used various features to filter out internal traffic. This takes away any internal traffic going to your website, leaving you with a more accurate view of how many users have accessed a page. However, this won’t be possible with GA4.

 

Give Your eCommerce a Boost with Quickfire Digital

At Quickfire Digital, we provide a wide range of digital services, and this includes building specialised ecommerce websites for retailers large and small. It doesn’t matter if you are just getting started with selling online, or you have been doing so for a while, our talented team of ecommerce experts is on hand to help. We design websites that attract, engage and convert your target audience. To find out more about giving your ecommerce at Quickfire Digital, get in touch with our knowledgeable team.

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