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New GA4 service and how to better track e-commerce users? What do you need to know to implement Google Analytics 4?

Casper Cooper
16/11/2023 | 5 min read
New GA4 service and how to better track e-commerce users? What do you need to know to implement Google Analytics 4?

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    The well-known and free Google Analytics data analysis tool has been enabling monitoring and evaluation of user behavior on websites for years. Google has announced that soon, starting from July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics will be replaced by a new version - Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

    Why do Google services undergo frequent changes (and at the same time are often removed by Google)? The reason is internet users, or more specifically, the way they browse through information that interests them and make purchases. A few years ago, users went through the entire purchasing process only on desktop computers or laptops. Today, this process is often carried out using multiple devices, including tablets and smartphones.


    The changes in user behavior and preferences regarding devices have revealed significant limitations of the Universal Analytics service. Google Universal Analytics was unable to connect the measurement of activity and data related to the same user on multiple devices - in the app or on the website simultaneously.


    Google Analytics 4 is intended to address all of these and other needs. The service uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to track customer purchase paths more effectively than its predecessor, as customers increasingly use various devices and make purchases in mobile apps.


    Is it worth implementing Google Analytics 4 and better tracking user e-commerce sessions?


    In the e-commerce market, competition is very strong, and attracting new customers is becoming increasingly difficult. One way to overcome the competition is to focus on providing the best shopping experiences. To achieve this goal, you need information about the users visiting your website.


    The new web analytics tool from Google will allow you to collect session data more effectively, which will help you better understand the customer's decision-making process and determine purchase impulses more effectively. Data sources, including data and other cookies from mobile apps, will allow you to improve your services and tailor them to the needs of the modern - constantly changing - customer.


    The new version of Google Analytics 4 offers more advanced reports on traffic sources (including real-time), user interactions with the website, engagement, individual clicks, and much more user data.


    Google Analytics 4 allows you to implement events, which are all user interactions on the website or in the mobile app. More information about events can be found in our free guide for e-commerce owners.


    Google Analytics Universal vs Google Analytics 4 - what are the differences between these versions of analytics?


    Google Analytics 4 will differ from the previous Google Analytics service in many aspects. The most important change is the way all actions taken by the tool are handled, namely:

    • collecting user data,
    • storing it,
    • measuring and analyzing data,
    • filtering and reporting data from websites and mobile apps (in one place).


    According to experts, the data collection scheme in GA4 is similar to that of Google Analytics for Firebase. If you are using Firebase, it will be easier for you to navigate GA4 and find the information you need.


    In Google Analytics 4, the concept of events with specific parameters will replace the session concept known from Universal Analytics. You can set and configure them according to your analytical interface, which will facilitate data collection. Additionally, with the set of metrics (Enhanced Measurement), you can track defined marketing events occurring in various channels (e.g., conversion rate) - all from within the GA4 panel on your Google Analytics account.


    Examples of events you can measure include opening a mobile app, searching on the website, or other events defined by you. Furthermore, Google Analytics 4 is a service that allows for automatic counting of:

    • interactions, such as clicking on an ad,
    • clicking on a link leading outside the domain,
    • downloading a file,
    • starting a session,
    • loading a page,
    • scrolling the page,
    • or starting video playback by the customer.


    Thanks to Google Analytics 4, analyzing free or paid mobile applications will become much easier and more accessible, and the analysis results can be used in marketing and sales strategies, for example, on Google Ads. In GA4, access to data will allow for refining your offer and tailoring it to the needs and preferences of the customer even better than in Google Analytics Universal.


    Events, metrics, data streams, reports. Should you use the new version of Google Analytics - GA4?


    In short, Google Analytics 4 is a tool that allows for monitoring and analyzing data from both websites and mobile applications, all in one panel. GA4 replaces Universal Analytics, which will be completely phased out on July 1, 2023.


    Google describes GA4 as a source service that includes data streams from websites or applications that provide incoming data.


    This change brings many benefits, such as:

    • more accurate data collection regarding users,
    • easier analysis of user behavior on the website,
    • easier optimization of user purchase paths on different platforms,
    • more accurate and transparent monitoring results,
    • separate reporting of screen views for mobile apps and page views for websites (previously integrated),
    • the ability to identify the most effective marketing channels,
    • the ability to determine the number of users who started the process in a mobile app and completed it on a website (or vice versa),
    • access to a greater number of valuable data and reports.


    How to start using Google Analytics 4? GA4 service configuration


    If you are currently using Universal Analytics, you can gradually transition to Google Analytics 4 and continue to use both tools. This way, you will gain new skills and collect additional data. If you want, you can also fully switch to GA4.


    The configuration is very easy. Just add a new tracking ID to your website, which you can do using Google Tag Manager. You will find the full configuration instructions in our free guide for online store owners, the link to which is provided above.

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