Embracing GA4 for Enterprise

Sunsetting of Universal Analytics is right around the corner 

Fulfilling orders is essential to keeping your customers satisfied, but capturing the customer experience and journey prior to ordering is crucial for building a brand. Now is the time to embrace GA4. 

Google’s Universal Analytics (UA) is GA4’s predecessor, which has been used by over 30 million users around the globe since 2005. But as soon as July 2023, UA will be sunsetting, and data will cease to flow into UA. This is why Littledata, a top-rated tracking app for Shopify and BigCommerce, has recommended to our 2000+ brands to start tracking in parallel. This way, ecommerce brands will have nearly a year’s worth of historical tracking and events in Google Analytics 4.

What brands can look forward to with GA4

While there is still much to be discovered about GA4 as we get closer to July 2023, here are a few things to give Google credit for already: 

Many experts in the ecommerce industry use Google Analytics for reporting and analysis to have a granular view of attribution and customer behavior, helping you optimize and automate your channels. 

GA4 is turning up the heat on event-based tracking vs. session tracking for a complete picture. What has excited many is the event-based tracking will work across web and app (cross device) touchpoints. This first-party data, collected directly from the customer, will allow for a more robust understanding of user behavior throughout the journey—critical to implementing the right customer experience. For your DTC channels, you can have a firm understanding of where your customers are coming from and how they are engaging across your digital assets.

“It’s high time to start using Google Analytics 4 and understand how it works. Universal Analytics is the habitual choice, but GA4 is the easier, smarter, next-gen tool that meets your future data analytics needs.”—Rares Ionescu, Product Manager at Littledata

Another aspect of GA4 to look forward to is the new exploration reporting with an improved UI and more flexibility for creating custom reports. 

At first glance, one might say that it is not as intuitive as one would hope, but after creating a few reports, they can be a powerful tool. The use of exploration free-form reports is vast, and we’ve developed free courses to help users on their data journey, such as landing page reports, keyword and queries reports, setting up custom audiences, and more. 

For brands with multiple products, you are able to create a custom report in exploration showing a specific product and channel you want to focus on or go broad and add many—giving you more control over the information your team is focusing on. 

The last update we will leave you with can be found in the new interface, Advertising.  This is a suite of new reports like measuring ROI, channel performance, attribution modeling, and conversion touch points. GA4’s Advertising snapshots and reports will likely be a new favorite  among ecommerce brands as they look to move customers through the funnel faster and with an optimized experience.

At the heart of GA4, Google says, is your customer—specifically, how they interact with your business. This marks a move away from the old session-centric measurement to instead track via a User ID.

The change should give a better picture of what actions customers took after discovering your business and track the whole lifecycle from first impression to final sale more effectively.

You will still have deep insights into User Demographics that can help you understand your customers at a deeper level and to look for analysis to ensure your marketing campaigns are running correctly. 

We recently had a customer, Flux Footwear, share with us that correct demographic information was crucial to their creative development efforts. In about a year, they went from zero in revenue to six figures launching their new shoe brand!

Is GA4 going to be a privacy law-compliant, long-term solution for my business?

Google Analytics is trusted by many to comply with the growing global expansion of privacy laws. Many of the changes, like their event-based UI and machine-powered core, are due to the need to adapt and evolve. In other words, as you venture into the world of first-party data, GA4 will be your loyal guide along the way.

What you should do now

Our Shopify and Big Commerce stores and agency partners know that when it comes to Google Analytics, you can always count on Littledata as a single source of truth for truly accurate ecommerce data.

This holds true with GA4, and Littledata is excited about the new reporting capabilities in GA4.

Littledata recommends using UA and GA4 in parallel until at least early 2023. Brands can explore GA4 while still having accurate, actionable data in Universal Analytics, including Enhanced Ecommerce reports, lifetime value reporting, and subscription analytics.

All Shopify and Shopify Plus stores can activate UA and GA4 connections directly from their Littledata dashboards. You can learn more about terms and definitions by reading our hand Google Analytics 4 Glossary. 

This is a guest post from Blake Wisz the Head of Growth Marketing at Littledata. He creates and executes marketing strategies that bolster Littledata’s growth. Wisz’s strengths are being able to develop marketing tactics that help customers understand and engage with brands as well as provide analysis for ongoing business development. Having worked for non-profits, SaaS, and creative companies he provides unique insights and ideas that help businesses accomplish their marketing goals. You can follow or connect with Blake on LinkedIn for ongoing updates and news.

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