The new reality of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) goes beyond a simple upgrade from Google Universal Analytics (UA). Understanding the key features and ways of how to track e-commerce in GA4 can help you make informed decisions, tailor your strategies, and chart a course for business growth.
In this overview of GA4 e-commerce, we explore how you can leverage e-commerce Google Analytics effectively to supercharge your online retail business. We’ll provide step-by-step guides on navigating the new features and using them to your advantage.
The Advantages of GA4 for E-commerce
As an e-commerce business owner, you know how important it is to have a deep understanding of your customers and their behaviors. With GA4, you get access to even more knowledge thanks to the advanced features: cross-device tracking, real-time data analysis, and machine learning-powered predictive metrics. Together, they make for data-driven decisions that will take your e-commerce store to the next level.
Here are the key benefits of GA4 for e-commerce:
- A User-Centric Approach – GA4 revolves around user-centric data collection, focusing on individual user journeys rather than just pageviews. This shift allows you to better understand your customers and their interactions with your e-commerce platform.
- Enhanced E-commerce GA4 Purchase Event Tracking – GA4 simplifies tracking e-commerce events, making capturing critical data points that matter to your e-commerce business easier. Beyond tracking page views, you now get a comprehensive view of your customer's buying journey without manual setup.
- Improved Cross-Platform Tracking – Today’s customers interact with your brand across multiple devices, and GA4 excels at cross-platform tracking. You can follow users seamlessly from their desktop to their mobile device, which provides a holistic view of their journey.
- Access to Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics – GA4's machine learning capabilities can help your business anticipate customer behavior, identify and forecast future trends, and make data-driven decisions faster than before.
➠ Check out this blog for a more detailed comparison of GA4 vs. UA.
Leverage Enhanced Measurement Tracking in GA4
GA4 e-commerce tracking offers a set of features that streamline monitoring of all e-commerce events. The functionality leverages automated data collection on user interactions that are often missed in traditional tracking setups.
Here’s what GA4-enhanced e-commerce tracking effortlessly captures:
- Interactions, such as product views, add-to-cart actions, and successful purchases
- Purchase event parameters
- Site searches
- Scroll depth, or how far users scroll on your product pages or blog posts
- Outbound clicks to external resources
How to Turn on E-commerce Tracking in GA4
Follow Amasty's step-by-step guide for your GA4 e-commerce setup.
- Access GA4 Property Settings: Log in to your GA4 account and navigate to the property for your e-commerce website. In the Admin section, select and enter "Property Settings." Then, scroll down to the "Data Streams" section. Click on the web data stream you want for enabling Enhanced Measurement and toggle on the "Enhanced Measurement" option.
- Choose Events to Track Automatically: You can select which events you want to track automatically within Enhanced Measurement settings. Be sure to enable Enhanced E-commerce, Site Search, Scroll Tracking, and Outbound Clicks per your e-commerce site's needs.
- Save Your Configuration: Click "Save" to apply the Enhanced Measurement settings to your e-commerce property. GA4 will start collecting the specified data automatically that you can access in your reports.
Two Key Components for the Set-Up Process
To streamline the implementation process, use Google Tag Manager (GTM). If you use Magento or Adobe Commerce, our Google Tag Manager Magento 2 helps you easily manage tracking codes by implementing, modifying, and organizing tags, triggers, and variables. This module facilitates Magento 2 Google Analytics e-commerce tracking without expecting you to have any coding expertise.
Complementing GTM is the GA4 Data Layer, which bridges your website or app and GA4, ensuring the seamless transfer of vital data. This structured container holds essential information such as events, custom dimensions, and user interactions, providing the foundation for precise, real-time analytics.
Use Custom Dimensions and Metrics to Tailor GA4
With GA4, you can create custom dimensions or characteristics that help you segment and organize your data in ways that matter to your business. These customizable data fields help you capture specific data and related information relevant to you.
Custom metrics, in turn, can provide additional context to your data. Use these numerical values to track profit margins, customer lifetime value, or any other key performance indicators essential for your business.
Custom dimensions and metrics help ecommerce businesses better understand their customers and make data-driven decisions to increase sales and revenue. One way you can leverage this feature with Magento is by tracking abandoned carts. Upon Magento & analytics integration, GA4 will analyze the behavior flow of users who have abandoned their shopping carts as well as record the time spent on each page, the number of clicks made before abandoning the carts, and any other custom metric you need.
Create Custom Reports and Dashboards in GA4
After GA4 collects custom data, you can have GA4 prepare a custom report for you. Using the insights from the report on cart abandonment, for instance, you can understand why customers are leaving without making a purchase, which areas of the site are confusing or frustrating for users, and what can be done to improve the user experience and increase conversions..
How to Create a Custom Report in GA4:
- Upon logging into your GA4 account, you'll be greeted by the Home Screen with an overview of your key metrics, including user engagement, acquisition channels, and conversion rates.
- Click on "Reports" in the left-hand navigation menu to access the Reports Hub, where you can explore pre-built reports and templates.
- Select "Custom Reports" in the Reports Hub to build reports from scratch or modify existing ones to suit your e-commerce needs.
- Alternatively, access "Custom Dashboards" to aggregate multiple reports onto a single screen, getting a comprehensive view of your e-commerce performance.
Custom reports and dashboards in GA4 become your personalized e-commerce command center, providing real-time insights and key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most to your business.
Take Advantage of Predictive Analytics in GA4
Predictive analytics uses historical data and machine learning algorithms to predict future trends and outcomes. In the context of GA4, predictive analytics is a game-changer for e-commerce businesses. Let's look at some of the predictive metrics integrated into the platform.
- Churn Probability – GA4 can predict the likelihood that a user will stop engaging with your site or app. This information is invaluable for devising retention strategies to keep customers coming back.
- Purchase Probability – Predictive analytics can estimate the probability that a user will make a purchase, which can guide your marketing efforts and product recommendations.
- Recommended Products –GA4 can provide recommendations for products that a user is likely to be interested in based on their past behavior and the behavior of similar users.
- Revenue Prediction – Predictive analytics can estimate the long-term value of customers.
- Session Duration Prediction – GA4 can predict how long a user will likely spend on your site or app during a session, informing content and engagement strategies.
Training and Educating Team Members
We recommend investing significant effort in GA4 training and education for your team. Once you equip them with the skills to leverage GA4 effectively, you'll be able to better position your e-commerce business for success. Here are some tips for organizing the education process:
- Organize workshops or training sessions for your team members. Invite experts or use online resources to guide your team through the basics of GA4, including setup, event tracking, and report interpretation.
- Tailor your training to match different team member’s specific needs. For instance, content creators might focus on understanding user engagement metrics, while marketing managers might dive deeper into attribution models.
- Assign tasks or projects that require them to use GA4 to analyze data and make decisions. The best way to learn GA4 is by doing.
- Provide access to Google's educational resources for their users.
- Encourage certification through Google to validate their GA4 knowledge and skills.
- Schedule regular updates and refresher courses to keep your team up-to-date with new features and best practices.
- Use GA4 to set up custom reports or dashboards to monitor your team’s performance and engagement with GA4 and identify areas that may need additional training or support.
The Bottom Line on GA4 for E-commerce Success
The future of e-commerce belongs to those who leverage data to understand customers, optimize experiences, and stay ahead of the competition. By embracing the transition away from Google Universal Analytics to the user-centric approach, predictive analytics, and customization capabilities of GA4, you gain a competitive edge and ensure the future success of your e-commerce business.
Start training your team to unlock the power of GA4 and go beyond simply adapting to the new reality. Instead, shape the reality around your business and let it thrive in the data-driven realm.
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