Released in October 2020, Google Analytics 4 is Google’s newest generation of analytics and tracking software. Standard Universal Analytics properties will no longer process data on July 1, 2023. After July 1, 2023, you’ll be able to read your Universal Analytics reports for a period of time; however, new data will only be sent to Google Analytics 4 properties.
Google’s latest iteration of Analytics, referring to GA4, is a “new sort of property” that enables more tracking and reporting options. It gives you a complete view of how users interact with your brand across platforms and devices. One of the significant differences between GA4 and its predecessor UA (Universal Analytics) is the ability to utilize it not only for a website but also for an app, or both at the same time, allowing for tracking possibilities that have never been seen before.
What is the difference between Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics?
While GA Universal focuses on pages, GA4 is very different. Instead of focusing on page views, GA4 employs an entirely new sort of event-based measurement. It keeps track of individual page elements’ performance and relative contribution, including variants. GA4 allows you to assess a user’s experience rather than a proxy, giving you a complete view of their behavior and removing blind spots as you track them across your entire website.
All traffic sources are now tracked in one location, without the need for additional solutions like App + Web, whether your visitor engages with your business through a mobile app, software, or your website. There are numerous changes, including a new user interface. GA4 additionally utilizes new Google Tags, and you will need a new Google Analytics property for storing data.
Can we use both Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics?
Yes, you can utilize both Google Analytics 4 and Universal Analytics simultaneously, and it’s a quick way to get started on a successful long-term transition.
If you’re excited to try “the new thing” but want to be cautious, you can install both tracking codes and compare the results. Because these are different attributes, they don’t interact with one another, and you can set them up to work together without conflict. Although historical data from Universal Analytics will not be available in Google Analytics 4, you can want to install it with Universal Analytics to get started collecting data in the new landscape.
What are the features of Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 brings new and advanced features to better support businesses. Here are some of the platform’s benefits:
- GA4 allows a complete understanding of the customer journey across multiple devices, platforms, and domains
- Cross-platform tracking (web and apps) using the same Google Analytics property
- New AI-powered insights and predictions
- Customer-centric measurements to streamline data collection
- Customer lifecycle-framed reporting
- New interface and navigation
- GA4 allows you to get access to a lot more custom metrics and domains
- Real-time event tracking without adding code on your website
- Improved visualizations to make data control more granular
- Future-proof tracking without cookies
- Deeper integrations with Google Ads and BigQuery
The relationship between Google Analytics 4 and eCommerce
As Google Analytics 4 is still in its early stage, you can expect a lot more competitive features in the future. Anyone switching from Universal Analytics to a GA4 property type will probably experience some growing pains.
eCommerce reports and features differ from Universal Analytics in a number of ways, as they do in many other areas of GA4. eCommerce tracking has been modified within GA4; however, it still lacks some functionalities that are accessible in Universal Analytics. For example, the “Monetization” report in GA4 now includes the “Overview, eCommerce Purchases, In-App Purchases, and Publisher Ads” reports, which track eCommerce statistics.
Google Analytics 4 use cases for eCommerce
Use Case #1: Google Analytics eCommerce tracking
You can compare real sales data with other website metrics like traffic source or medium using GA4Google Analytics eCommerce tracking. So you can understand how well your web pages are performing and your average return on investment (ROI) from marketing campaigns. In addition, it provides you with a whole eCommerce report. This report gives you a detailed overview of user behavior on your website or app. You’ll be able to utilize the information later to improve your business.
Here are some use cases of GA4 eCommerce tracking:
eCommerce conversion rate: Find out what percentage of your visitors made a purchase. Conversions could be someone filling out your contact form, signing up for your newsletter, or purchasing anything.