Soon, migrating Google Analytics for eCommerce over to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will not be optional, with Google ending the transition to the latest in analytics by July 2023. With the impending changes upon us, it’s important for anyone with an eCommerce store to make the switch sooner rather than later as part of good maintenance for your eCommerce website.

GA4 is free and provides a range of advantages even though some features will have disappeared compared to Google Analytics Universal (GAU). With GA4, you will be able to track more of the behaviours of your online shoppers, tracking the customer journey over multiple websites, apps and devices.

When making the switch to GA4 for your Google eCommerce tracking, you will notice some key differences from GAU. 

An Event-Based Model vs A Session-Based Model

GAU uses cookie tracking, storing cookies in the browsers of each visitor and monitoring their behaviour when they start a session. With GA4, cookies are used along with Google signals to track a website or app visitor’s actions as an “event” rather than as a session. With the event-based tracking model, you will have a deeper understanding of which channels bring first-time visits and which bring conversions.

GA4 Is More Flexible Than GAU

Custom reports are rarely used in GAU. They are often found to be difficult to use, not particularly intuitive and lacking in an effective way to gather events data or create event funnels. In fact, GAU only offered 3 parameters to be set for any event. With GA4, up to 25 parameters can be set for each event, making it an incredibly flexible analytics tool that offers options to set up all kinds of table reports and explore many kinds of events. 

Different Reporting

There is an immediate visual difference in the dashboards for GA4 and GAU. At a glance, GA4 offers more information than GAU, but GAU offers a lot of this information tucked away under the “Audience” tab. GA4 is divided into two large groups ‒ “Reports” and “Explore” ‒ in a way that makes it easy for users to navigate and track their required metrics.

Difference In Scope 

GA4 allows you to set scopes for custom parameters that you collect that are outside of the standard dimensions. These scopes play a pivotal role in calculating how dimension data is calculated. Currently, there are three scopes for users: “Event”, “User” and “Product”. GA4 will eventually add a “Session” scope to the list for even more insight. 

Attribution Differences

Attribution was the last non-direct hit in GAU. This could result in a user visiting a site or app more than once but coming in from different sources; only some visits were getting conversion value. In GA4, the default setting is a data-driven attribution model, which uses AI to identify which touchpoints impact conversions and label them as important. 

The New Privacy Consent Mode

Unsurprisingly, GA4 makes user privacy a high priority, automatically making IP addresses anonymous. This was not seen in GAU. The implementation of privacy consent in GA4 will play an important role in general data protection regulation. 

Are You Ready for the Switch Over?

Making the necessary switch from Google Analytics Universal to Google Analytics 4 can feel like a daunting task but can be made much simpler by working with a reliable UK web development company.

Working with an agency with Magento developers will offer you piece of mind by supporting implementation and configuring of the right tracking IDs for any event. 

Protect the performance of your eCommerce brand without interrupting business and be ahead of the curve. Get ready for July 2023 GA4 switch over today!