I bet you have all been hearing the infamous buzzword flying around again, which is GA4. But if you don’t already know; what is it? And what does it do for your e-commerce business?
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is a new version of Google Analytics that provided businesses with a comprehensive solution to measure and understand the user behaviour on their websites and apps. It’s a powerful tool that helps businesses to make data-driven decisions and improve their marketing efforts by enabling you to measure website traffic and engagement.
Here are some of the key reasons to set up Google Analytics 4:
1. Cross-device measurement
With GA4, you can track user behaviour across multiple devices and platforms, providing a complete view of the customer journey. This helps you to better understand your audience and target them more effectively. This could benefit your budget planning on ads (e.g. your business could learn which channel your customers are more likely to interact with) and improvements on your user interface (UI) design.
2. Improved data privacy
GA4 has been designed with privacy in mind and offers a more secure and transparent way of collecting and managing data. It uses a new measurement protocol that relies on a combination of first-party data and machine learning to track and analyse user behaviour, reducing the need of cookies and personally identifiable information (PII).
3. Increased accuracy
GA4 uses machine learning to improve data accuracy by analysing patterns and trends in user behaviour, and by providing predictive insights into user engagement and conversion. This allows you to make better data-driven decisions and understand how your website and app are being used accurately.
4. Seamless integration
GA4 integrates with other Google products, such as Google Ads, Google Tag Manager, and Google BigQuery, making it easier for you to collect and analyse data from multiple sources.
5. Improved reporting
GA4 provides a range of customisable reports that allow you to easily see how users are interacting with your websites and apps. This information can be used to improve your user experience, optimise your audience targeting, and increase conversions.
6. Increased automation
GA4 uses machine learning to automate certain processes, such as event tracking and conversion tracking. This will save your business time and effort, allowing you to focus on other important tasks.
7. Built-in anomaly detection features
Using GA4 machine learning and AI tech, GA4’s anomaly detection automatically identifies unusual happenings on your website or app, and will deliver reports on statistically significant findings. There are also great new features such as automatic and custom alerts, as well as insights cards.
Like we said, Google Analytics 4 is a powerful tool that provides e-commerce businesses with the data and insights they need to make informed decisions about their online presence. With its advanced features, improved privacy, and increased accuracy, GA4 is a valuable resource for businesses of all sizes looking to improve their online marketing efforts.
But was is the reason this buzzword is flying around again?
Well, starting in March 2023, for continued website measurement, it is being advised that you should have created a new Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property. If you don’t, one will be created for you by Google based on your original property; reusing existing site tags. You might think, 'oh that's handy, it saves me a tricky job'…except it actually doesn't, as Google might be setting you up a GA4 property automatically, but it will only carry over the most basic of setups.
So what does this mean for you?
If your setup is anything outside of basic, you're going to need additional resources to get it completed, as GA4 will be the default and only option for tracking from 1st July 2023. While GA4 won’t give you all this data right off the bat, by enforcing implementation now, you will be able to take advantage of the enhanced experience and data sooner rather than later. We have encouraged our clients to implement GA4 on their sites and we are seeing some great results!
While your platform built-in reports can provide valuable insights into your website's performance and transactions, GA4 offers advanced analytics features and deeper insights into the user behaviour, cross-channel tracking, easier data integration, a wider range of metrics and dimensions, a user-friendly interface that may make it a more attractive option for some website owners, and much more. By using both the built-in reports and GA4, you can create a more comprehensive view of your business performance and gain a deeper understanding of your customers.
What’s happening to Universal Analytics?
The previous version of GA (Universal Analytics) is no longer being supported. This means that if you want to make use of any of the new features in GA4, you’ll need to migrate over. It also means that if you’re planning on creating a new website or app, then it’ll be a GA4 property by default.