Last year, there were discussions about Google Analytics transitioning users to Google Analytics 4, as Universal Analytics was going to be phased out completely. This shift towards event-based reporting instead of session-based reporting was not entirely new to brands that rely on data for analysis, reporting, and retargeting customers. Littledata has been working with brands that have been utilizing granular event-based data for some time now to enhance the user journey and increase conversions. This highlights the importance of subscription data in improving business outcomes.
Adapting to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will require some adjustment, as with any new tool. Although it has a distinct appearance and user experience, it offers even greater capabilities for ecommerce managers. Littledata’s app connects automatically with BigCommerce and Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants to ensure precise subscription data in GA4, and in this article, I will outline the most beneficial features they have discovered thus far.
Event based tracking
Event-based tracking in GA4 captures specific actions or events on a website or app, providing more detailed data about user behavior than Universal Analytics, which focused on sessions and pageviews. This includes clicks, scroll depth, form submissions, video plays, and more. See Google’s full list of events that are tracked automatically.
Implementing event-based tracking in GA4 can help businesses understand user behavior and engagement, optimize their website, identify growth opportunities, and make data-driven decisions to improve their bottom line. This includes highlighting products and product groups based on granular browsing data captured through event tracking.
Automatically tracked events do not include important ecommerce actions like purchases, subscriptions, and refunds. Shopify’s Google sales channel also does not provide complete tracking. Ecommerce sites need a custom setup or automated server-side tracking to ensure accurate conversion tracking. If you are using Skio events captured can be very useful for campaigns—for example using specific events to trigger workflows in Klayvio to drive higher engagement and AOV.
GA4 has new features including no event collection limits, cross web + app tracking, explorations, and faster reporting. An early limitation was reporting, but Google has added an Explorations tab that makes it easy to deep dive into data by channels or demographics. Popular exploration types include free-form, funnel, and path. Creating an exploration by dimensions, metrics, or segments is now easier. Creating these for your unique subscription types, segments, or product types can do wonders for diving into data for analysis right in GA4. Remembering that the accurate data captured is key to the results.
The phrase garbage in garbage out applies here when you are only using client-side tracking or native store tracking. Littledata has gone to great lengths to enable merchants to have accurate data stitched together with server-side tracking so that the information you have in GA4 can be your single source of truth.
As mentioned, it takes time to learn a new tool but the Littledata team has made it incredibly easy with free GA4 courses that walk you through how to build your own ecommerce reports in GA4.
Here are our three popular setup videos for ecommerce reports in GA4:
Knowing how customers discover and interact with your brand can help with customer retention and acquisition. Identifying successful channels that drive subscriptions and high AOV can help ecommerce managers predict and allocate resources effectively.
Streamlined audience building
Google is encouraging users to link their Google Ad’s account to GA4, which is seen as a better option than Universal Analytics in the long run. This will provide merchants with a direct view of the customer journey and allow them to create audiences from any combination of dimensions, metrics, and events found in GA4.
Google will automatically make two audiences for users based on purchases and all users, making audience building easier. Similar audiences or segments will be faded out by May 1st, 2023, to enable users to shift to using first-party data and Google’s optimized targeting feature.
Littledata customers have been using their data to create audiences for years, and this connection is now even more important as GA4 data will guide Google Ad campaigns. The best part of sending this data directly to GA4 is that you will have the historical data from the time of implementation. Given that Google Analytics is not going anywhere this also gives brands piece of mind even if they are using alternative third party tools like Glew, Daasity, or Triple Whale to send their data for reporting purposes.
Littledata benefits Skio brands by working with server-side tracking and third party integrations — helping sort out that the data is accurate and deduped before it reaches your GA4, Meta, TikTok, or Pinterest destinations giving you maximum control over your data for making better decisions.
Export raw data to BigQuery
The ability to export from Google Analytics 4 (GA4) directly to BigQuery has opened up new possibilities for ecommerce managers to take their data analysis to the next level.The integration of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) with BigQuery has provided ecommerce managers with fresh opportunities to enhance their data analysis. Previously, these users were dependent on a GA360 account to obtain raw, row-level data and create unsampled reports or run their own algorithms. But now, with GA4 + BigQuery, users can access these features without requiring a GA360 account.
This ability is particularly beneficial for ecommerce businesses, as it offers a robust data warehouse solution and provides an insurance policy for brands that want to own their own data for future analysis. With GA4 + BigQuery, users can harness the power of raw, row-level data to gain deeper insights into customer behavior, identify new opportunities, and optimize their marketing strategies. Ultimately, this new ability is a game-changer for businesses that want to take control of their data and leverage it to drive growth and success.
Many brands are sending their data to GA4 from GA4 to BigQuery as a precautionary measure, even if they are not yet prepared to utilize or examine it in BigQuery. Reasons very but for the majority of brands they want the data collected and stored, so it is accessible in the future. Therefore, we highly suggest that anyone considering a data warehouse should begin using both BigQuery and GA4.
Third party apps are prioritizing GA4
GA4 only weeks away from being THE ANALYTICS TOOL — with sunsetting of Universal Analytics in July 2023 — for online merchants and brands. Providing more event based data than ever before that stands on privacy, first party data, and server-side tracking. Littledata helps top subscription brands track their data from Shopify and BigCommerce into GA4, ensuring accurate data and analytics by combining server-side and client-side tracking to combat cookie blockers from iOS updates and new privacy rollouts.
Subscription tools like our partners at Skio come highly recommended by brands in all product vertical types: life food and beverage, fitness and health, and fashion. Having a tool like Skio to drive brand loyalty through new and robust subscription features is key for any brand looking to grow. Pairing this with Littledata for your conversion tracking into GA4 is the perfect way to level up your insights and data acumen. The benefit is that Littledata supports server-side tracking for brands to track all orders and give visibility to if those orders are one-time orders or recurring.
This adds tremendous value to subscription brands who want to drive campaigns based on high LTV and AOV—through accurate subscription data that can be missed completely with native tracking efforts or client-side tracking alone. For example, Littledata calculates LTV for brands automatically and sends it to your destinations like Google Analytics where you can filter by channel.
We’ve chatted with current and future Skio customers who rave about their platform for brands to drive more customer engagement and features to manage subscriptions. By combining Littledata with Skio you will get the most complete view and best attribution. Enabling you to take full advantage of the launch of Google Analytics 4 without the hassle of implementation or data maintence.
Curious if you have any data tracking discrepancies?
Check out our free tool, GA4 Conversions Checker, to see if your ecommerce store is tracking the data properly, here. Or you can install Littledata instantly by connecting your store for a 30 day free trial.