Category : Enhanced Ecommerce
GA4 E-Commerce Reports: Get the most out of your ecommerce tracking in GA4
Guest Post by Maryam Oseni, Content Manager at Narrative BI GA4 E-Commerce Reports allow online businesses to track their website's e-commerce performance and optimize their sales strategies. Learn how GA4 can help you make data-driven decisions and grow your business. Google Analytics is a powerful tool for e-commerce business owners. With the release of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), e-commerce tracking has become even more sophisticated. GA4 E-commerce Reports are a set of reports specifically designed for e-commerce businesses, providing detailed insights into customer behavior, product performance, and revenue metrics. In this article, we will explore GA4 E-Commerce Reports in detail and explain how e-commerce business owners can use them to gain valuable insights into their customers' behavior and optimize their sales funnel. What are GA4 E-Commerce Reports? GA4 E-commerce Reports provide detailed insights into e-commerce transactions, customer behavior, and product performance. The reports are specifically designed for e-commerce businesses and offer various metrics and dimensions highly relevant to online retailers. These reports provide a wealth of information, including: Total revenue Total purchases Conversion rate Revenue by product Revenue by traffic source, and much more. GA4 Ecommerce Reports work by tracking specific user actions on an e-commerce website. These actions might include: Viewing a product Adding a product to the cart Starting the checkout process Completing a purchase By tracking these actions, GA4 can provide detailed insights into the customer journey on an e-commerce website, including where customers are dropping off and where they are converting. To start analyzing GA4 reports, you need to enable Enhanced E-commerce tracking when setting up your GA4 property. This will allow GA4 to track specific user actions on your website, such as product views and purchases. Enhanced e-commerce tracking in Google Analytics provides additional information about visitor behavior for specific products at different stages of the purchasing process (for example, the ratio of product views to purchases). It is highly worth it for you to have that additional granularity because you are operating an online retail business. Now that you are acquainted, let's get into some important Google Analytics 4 E-commerce reports. Monetization Overview Report The Monetization Overview report summarizes all monetary transactions on your website, including total revenue, number of purchasers, average revenue per user, products bringing in the most revenue, and so much more. This will help you identify trends or patterns in your website performance and make data-driven decisions to optimize your sales funnel. This report also shows data on the most viewed products, most sold items, and revenue from any active coupons. Each section has a link that allows you to drill down on the data displayed. You can access the monetization overview report by clicking Reports on the left-hand side and selecting Monetization under the Lifecycle tab. E-commerce Purchases Report The E-commerce Purchases report provides information on how often your customers viewed, added to the cart, and purchased the items on your website, with a total of the generated revenue from each item. This information helps you measure sales and your customer's interests. For instance, if an item was added to a cart 200 times but was only purchased five times, it can indicate that the price is too high and they don't love it enough to pay that much even though they want it. It also displays data for up to 5 product sub-categories with the dimension item category 1 to 5. For example, as a fashion store, you categorized women's purses on your website as Women's Fashion > Accessories > Bags > Purses; GA4 will label all four categories respectively and display data on how many items were added to the cart, viewed, and purchased in each category. This extra granularity helps to fine-tune the customer experience. It is important to note that the data in this report comes from the e-commerce events recommended by Google Analytics 4. If you want to add extra events, you must manually create one unless you are using Littledata’s GA4 connector. User Acquisition Report As an e-commerce marketer or business owner, it's important to understand how new users find your website or app for the first time. This is where the User Acquisition Report comes in handy. Analyzing this report lets you gain valuable insights into the channels driving new user acquisition. Each dimension in this report contains the text "First user," which denotes how the user visited your website for the first time. For example, selecting the First user default channel group shows how many users were acquired via direct search, organic traffic, social media, paid ads, etc. It also displays metrics like the engagement rate, conversions, average engagement time, and total revenue of each channel. Analyzing the User Acquisition Report lets you identify which channels drive the highest amount of new users. This information can help you optimize your marketing efforts and allocate resources to the most effective channels for new user acquisition. For example, if you notice that many new users are coming from social media, you may want to invest more resources into your marketing efforts. On the other hand, if you see that very few new users are coming from paid search, you should reevaluate your paid search strategy. Traffic Acquisition Report The Traffic Acquisition report is a section of Google Analytics that provides information about how users get on your website. It shows you the different channels driving traffic to your site, such as organic search, social media, email, and paid advertising. The report also provides data on the behavior of users who come to your site from each channel, such as bounce rate, pages per session, and average session duration. This information can help you understand which channels drive the most engaged traffic to your site. It's important to note that the User Acquisition Report differs from the Traffic Acquisition Report. While the Traffic Acquisition Report focuses on where new sessions are coming from, regardless of whether the user is new or returning, the User Acquisition Report looks explicitly at how new users find your site or app. To find the Traffic Acquisition report, select Reports from the menu on the left. Click to expand the Lifecycle section and select Acquisition. Conversion Paths Report The Conversion Paths report in Google Analytics 4 provides valuable insights into the different touchpoints that lead to a conversion and how different attribution models distribute credit on those paths. This report is divided into two sections: the data visualization and the data table. The data visualization section provides a quick overview of the channels initiating, assisting, and closing conversions. This information is crucial for understanding which channels drive the most conversions and where to focus your marketing efforts. The data table section provides a more detailed view of users' paths to complete conversions. This section includes metrics such as Conversions, Purchase revenue, Days to conversion, and Touchpoints to conversion. Analyzing this data lets you gain insights into the customer journey and identify areas to improve your marketing strategy. By analyzing the Conversion Paths report, you can identify the most effective channels and campaigns to drive conversions. This information can help you allocate your marketing budget more effectively and optimize your campaigns for better results. To access the Conversion Paths report, select Advertising on the left, expand the Attribution tab, and select the report. Using Explorations for Custom Reports Google Analytics 4 Explorations go beyond the basic e-commerce reports. It helps you create custom reports to analyze purchase paths, shopping behavior, product/sales performance, and checkout behavior. To find GA4's multiple exploration templates, click Explore on your dashboard's left side. Here are some ways to customize Explorations reports for your eCommerce business to maximize GA4 benefits. Analyze purchase path Use the Path Exploration template to create a custom report of your customers' purchase routes. This report helps you see which traffic sources drive the most revenue and identify any drop-off points in your funnel. You can also see which events drive towards purchases or abandonment and optimize accordingly. You can use this report to identify any drop-off points in your sales funnel, identify any fields in your checkout process causing friction for your customers, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your checkout process. You can also use this report to identify which traffic sources are driving the most revenue and allocate your marketing budget accordingly. Observe Shopping Behavior The funnel exploration report is excellent for observing shopping behavior. It shows your users' steps from their first visit to purchase. You can also see the average time it takes for a customer to make a purchase and identify any patterns in their behavior. It can also help you uncover seamless purchase funnels on your website. Let's assume you are running a 10% discount, and you offer it to your buyers during checkout. You can use the funnel exploration feature to observe what behavior spurs from that action. Do your buyers go ahead and complete the purchase? Or do they go back to add more products to their cart? Optimize Checkout Process You can also use the funnel exploration reports to optimize your checkout process. First, you have to customize this report by adding all the checkout steps your customers must take. For example, your customer has to complete four steps to make a purchase, and these steps are: click to checkout, add a delivery address, add payment details, and complete the purchase. A high abandonment rate after they add their payment details can signal a technical difficulty with your payment gateway. Or if there is a high abandonment rate after delivery details, it can indicate that the delivery rates are too high. This will help reduce your checkout abandonment rate and improve your e-commerce performance. Analyze product performance GA4’s path exploration lets you know the top pages that new users open after landing on your homepage. You can display product banners leading to different product catalogs on your homepage and use path exploration to know which one is getting more clicks. Automate Google Analytics 4 Reports Now that you know about GA4's reports for your e-commerce business, here is an extra tip for ease, especially if you are just starting with Google Analytics: Connect your GA4 property to Narrative BI. This lets you receive GA4 automated reports on essential metrics directly in your inbox. There are many metrics and dimensions in Google Analytics 4 reports; some do not translate into actionable insights that can help you optimize your e-commerce business. With Narrative BI, you can focus on the key metrics and see how they are performing at a glance.
How to track ecommerce conversions in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
Have you mapped out a data plan for 2023 yet? If you’re selling on a major DTC platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, GA4 is probably on your mind. With the sunsetting of Universal Analytics (GA3 or the “old version” of Google Analytics) on the horizon, it’s time to get going with event-based tracking. Many brands have been procrastinating about setting up GA4 – or, worse, only setting it up halfway so that browsing behavior is tracked but revenue and conversions are missing. But can you blame them? Shopify isn’t planning to release native GA4 integration until March 2023 at the earliest (and nobody’s expecting it to work well for serious DTC brands) BigCommerce released a beta version of their GA4 integration in November, but it’s extremely minimal, tracking only begin_checkout and purchase events Manual setup is costly and confusing (and has to be maintained every time you change your site or checkout flow) GA4 revenue tracking should be your top priority, but there’s a lot of confusion around GA4, made worse by Shopify apps that claim to offer GA4 integration but only offer client-side tracking. It shouldn’t be so complicated. At Littledata we’ve already fixed GA4 tracking for hundreds of top DTC brands. In this post I’ll show you how to check if you’ve set up GA4 correctly to capture orders and revenue, and how to start tracking ecommerce conversions today in the most secure and reliable way possible. Follow this guide to GA4 and you’ll be on your way to ecommerce data tracking in no time. We’ll look at how to get from this: To this: How to check if you’re tracking GA4 revenue and conversions After creating a new GA4 property and following the setup assistant to create a new data stream, you might have noticed that you’re instructed to copy and paste the Google tag (gtag.js) script on every page of your ecommerce site. Once you’ve added the Google tag to your site and linked your GA4 property, everything will just start tracking automatically, right? Wrong. With the basic script all you get are engagement events such as page_view, session_start, view_search_result, and click. Obviously these “automatic events” are super important, but they don’t tell you what happens post-click. Here’s how to check if your GA4 ecommerce setup is working or not. 1. Check your Acquisition reporting in GA4 There are two places to look to see if you’re capturing ecommerce conversions. First, the Acquisition reports. You’ll see user and traffic engagement details grouped by channel, but no conversion or revenue data exists. You’re seeing which organic or paid channels are bringing visitors to your store, but you can’t tell if you’re generating any revenue from these visitors. GA4 revenue reporting not showing is one of the most asked questions by merchants and performance marketers. 2. Check your Engagement and Monetization reporting in GA4Taking a step further, check your Engagement and Monetization reports. Do you see GA4 reporting data about cart updates, interactions with the checkout flow, or any purchase or revenue data? If revenue is missing in GA4’s monetization overview, you need to start tracking ecommerce activity ASAP. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lot of data points that lead nowhere and you will not have an accurate understanding of your ecommerce store’s performance. [tip] Use our complementary instant order checker for GA4 to check your property [/tip] How to track ecommerce conversions and revenue in GA4 After landing on your store, online shoppers interact with collections and products before adding items to their carts and going through the checkout process. These web interactions must be captured as events and linked with customers and marketing data in GA4 to get a complete picture of your business. We have looked at what data can be missing from your GA4 events and which enhanced ecommerce events you should track. But how can you get all these ecommerce events in GA4? Google Tag Manager (GTM) has always been the most common tracking method for Universal Analytics, and the setup process can be carried over to GA4. However, for a lean team, the setup process can be quite time-consuming and complex, having to create a Data Layer In Shopify, and then for each event, you must create: Firing Triggers in GTM Data Layer Variables in GTM Ecommerce Tags in GTM Needless to say, there are quite a few maintenance pitfalls if you're going down this route. Setup is just the beginning. To make matters worse, Shopify is removing GTM from the checkout for Shopify Plus stores (standard Shopify stores never had access). So even if you take the time to add all your own events to tracking visitors before they make a purchase, you’ll no longer be able to track checkout steps (add-to-cart, etc) with GTM. If you want to save time and money while still having confidence in the accuracy of your GA4 data, Littledata is the perfect solution for you. Our proven app is used by over 1500+ brands and can help you track your ecommerce conversions with ease, giving you the reliable data you need to make informed decisions about your business. Littledata’s data layer uses a unique combination of client-side and server-side tracking to ensure accurate, complete ecommerce data in GA4 and any connected data warehouse or reporting destination. Littledata captures complete ecommerce data automatically in GA4 for Shopify and BigCommerce stores. We can break down those events into seven general categories: Marketing channels Browsing behavior Checkout steps Conversions Revenue Recurring orders Upsells Of course, each reporting category has useful data, but brands that really want to scale link it all together to look at revenue and LTV by channel, splitting out first-time purchases from repeat purchases or recurring orders (subscription analytics). As I mentioned earlier, Acquisition reports are some of the most valuable sets of data GA4 offers. They show which of your team’s marketing efforts bring the most results, from traffic through engagement and conversions. The difference between having accurate or questionable ROI data in these reports rests on how the purchase event is tracked. It is useful to have the engagement metrics grouped by channel, but the difference between having accurate or questionable ROI data in these reports rests on how the purchase event is tracked. Get started with Littledata today so you will have the data you need to scale faster the smart way. We recommend tracking in UA and GA4 “in parallel” as soon as possible.
Learn more about your ecommerce customers' behavior with advanced checkout funnel analysis [VIDEO]
Ecommerce analytics are tricky to begin with. Add tracking your subscription services on top of that and you’re dealing with a whole other animal! Do you use Google Analytics to report on your Shopify store’s one-off purchases AND recurring orders? Check out our video on Littledata’s advanced checkout funnel analysis to find out how we’ve made subscription analytics easy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU3Cj2Z6AII Traditional ecommerce stores typically track one checkout funnel per property. The benefit is that this makes it easy to analyze the drop-off at each point. But, if you have multiple checkouts to track one-time orders and subscription purchases, important insights might go unnoticed when GA aggregates your data. Littledata automatically differentiates between your checkout funnels to show whether they’re subscription or one-time purchases. That way you know exactly what each funnel’s checkout completion rate is for different order types. This gives you the power to tailor your remarketing strategies for specific checkouts or products, further increasing your ads’ relevance to possible customers. [note]Do you trust your subscription tracking? Get accurate subscription tracking with the ultimate ReCharge guide for Shopify[/note] Littledata integrates with the top subscription ecommerce apps—including ReCharge Payments, Bold Commerce, and Ordergroove—and automatically tracks both Shopify and subscription checkouts. “Littledata is a must-have if you’re running Recharge and Shopify; it helped us figure out what channels were getting us our future subscribers and what helped convert them.” —Better Way Health To access your checkout reports in Google Analytics, go to your ecommerce analysis reports. From there, you can view your checkout behavior reports to get a general understanding of when users are dropping off throughout the checkout process. Find out how to segment your data between Shopify and subscription checkouts to measure the exact drop-off rate at each stage of the checkout process for each checkout funnel in our latest learning video. Capture data at every turn In addition to tracking your checkout funnel completion rates for subscription checkouts, Littledata tracks crucial sales and marketing metrics, so you can: Get accurate marketing attribution data for subscription revenue, including first-time payments and recurring chargesUse custom dimensions to measure customer lifetime value (LTV)Track performance by payment source, subscription plan type, and product categoryView complete sales and marketing data with combined server-side and client-side trackingMake better, informed decisions for your Shopify store Resources Watch a quick demo video on how Littledata worksFind out how to calculate LTV with Google AnalyticsDownload the ultimate guide to subscription trackingCheck out our ReCharge FAQSubscribe to our YouTube Channel for more videos about analytics
Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking in Google Analytics (VIDEO)
By now you know that Littledata sends accurate ecommerce data to Google Analytics. But how does it work? In this new video, we cover Littledata's Enhanced Ecommerce tracking for Shopify stores. Littledata's Google Analytics connection for Shopify stores uses a combination of client-side and server-side tracking to guarantee 100% accurate data. During the automatic installation process, Littledata adds a data layer and tracking script to all your Shopify store pages. We also add a set of webhooks to make sure everything is captured. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c7ULfatrWU There are many advantages to this approach: On the client side... Works with Google Tag Manager (GTM) Faster page speed Consistent journey tracking On the server side... Ensures complete event capture for the checkout flow Safe & secure checkout process All sales & refunds are tracked Works with headless Shopify, multi-currency stores, and more! Accurate marketing attribution for Shopify & any subscription checkout [subscribe] Littledata sends these events to Google Analytics in three categories: Shopify Order Affiliation ReCharge (for stores that have a ReCharge subscription checkout) The Shopify (Littledata) event categories include the combined client-side and server-side tracked event actions, as follows: The Order Affiliation (Littledata) tracks each Shopify order as an event action, with the e-commerce affiliate type as its event label: For Shopify stores that use ReCharge, we send all customer lifecycle events in Google Analytics under the ReCharge (Littledata) event category: Analyze growth rates and subscriber behavior in greater detail. [note]In GA4, the latest version of Google Analytics, there are no default ecommerce reports. Learn more about ecommerce reporting in GA4[/note] Resources Watch a quick demo video Learn how to track the Shopify checkout funnel (and the ReCharge and CartHook checkouts) Check out our Shopify to Google Analytics FAQ Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more videos about ecommerce analytics
10 reasons to move to GA4 for ecommerce analytics
In November 2020 Google surprised the analytics world by making the beta of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) the default for all new web properties. Many GA4 ecommerce features are yet to be released, but I think there are compelling reasons to start using GA4 now, especially for data-driven Shopify Plus stores.Google is clear that GA4 is the future for integrating marketing data with Google Ads. Yet there's more to the picture, including custom funnels and other key features which were previously restricted to GA360 (costing $100k and upwards per annum), but are now free for anyone to use in GA4. Here are my top 10 benefits of GA4 from a data analyst’s perspective: Faster reportingCustom funnels *Analysis module *Export raw data to BigQuery *No event collection limits *Track mobile app events alongside web events **Streamlined audience buildingPredictive insightsMore custom dimensions *There’s more to come * Previously only available with GA360** Requires a roll-up property in GA360 Read on to dive into the details of each reason. We'll look at what's new in GA4 and how we expect these features to be useful to ecommerce managers and data scientists. 1. Faster reporting If you’ve used GA with high-traffic sites, especially with GA 360 properties, then you’ll be all too familiar with the ‘Loading…’ bar -- waiting many minutes for some reports to load. Ultimately Universal Analytics was built on 10-year-old data processing, and although the GA4 user interface looks similar, Google has rebuilt it from the ground up for speed and flexibility. In GA4, standard reports generate more quickly and are more powerful at the same time, bringing us to Reason #2: Custom funnels. 2. Custom funnels Goal funnels have always been a useful feature of GA, but the full power to choose a series of events to analyze was previously restricted to GA360, due to high processing costs. With GA4 you easily build a funnel using any combination of events or pageviews, filtered by any event property (see reason #9), with clever features like measuring elapsed time through the funnel. This is equivalent to the funnel functionality that made Mixpanel and Amplitude really popular, and is a massive upgrade on the previous version of GA -- where you could only add events or pages but not both. And where you had to set the goal funnel up in advance to see any report at all! 3. Analysis module The funnel reporting is part of a new ‘analysis’ tab in GA4 that brings more powerful report-building functionality. Compared with the previous ‘custom reports’ in Google Analytics (Universal Analytics), it is more intuitive to add dimensions, with more report templates like the Segment Overlap report below. Hopefully Google extends the template gallery to allow other analysts to share reports, as we’d love to see more reports for ecommerce metrics. 4. Export raw data to BigQuery This is a big one. Power users who wanted to go further and run their own algorithms, or build unsampled reports from raw, row-level data, previously needed a GA360 account. In GA4 you can set up an export to Google BigQuery, steaming events within a few minutes of them being recorded from your website. You pay for the BigQuery transfer and storage, but this is free for smaller sites and merely hundreds of dollars a month for larger sites. This makes GA4 + BigQuery a very viable data warehouse solution for ecommerce, and an insurance policy if you want to own your own data for future analysis. 5. No event collection limits In the free version of Universal Analytics you are limited to 10M hits (pageviews and events) per month, and 500 hits in any one session. For GA4, Google’s policy is ‘there is no limit on the total volume of events your app logs.’ Google has made no announcements on GA360 support for GA4, so these event limits may be subject to change. However, I see unlimited event collection as fitting with Google’s strategy to enable more ad retargeting and head off competition from tools like Heap (which has always advocated maximum possible event collection).There are limits to data export via the reporting API, with higher quotas for GA360 customers. But those limits could be bypassed by maintaining a BigQuery export (see above). 6. Track mobile app events alongside web events GA4 was originally called ‘app+web’ as it built on Firebase’s tracking for mobile apps and extended this tracking for web. Google calls this ‘customer-centric measurement’ as it allows the user-identified app sessions to be measured side-by-side with public website / web app sessions, where user-identification is harder. You could do something similar with roll-up properties in GA360 previously, but getting user identification right was a pain. I don’t rate this as a key feature for ecommerce, because most stores only run a public website, but if you are investing in a native mobile experience for loyalty then this is a killer feature for you. [subscribe heading="Love analytics? Littledata is seeking an Analytics Advocate" button_link="https://blog.littledata.io/2021/01/29/shopify-analytics-littledata-is-hiring/" button_text="See Open Positions"] 7. Streamlined audience building It is telling that one of the first features launched for GA4 was linking a Google Ads account. Google wants to make GA4 the key way you build audiences for retargeting, and export them to Google’s other products. In GA4, Audiences can be configured with any combination of events, demographics or channel, and then synced with Google Ads. For example, let’s say you want to retarget users over the next 30 days who added a product from the ‘handbags’ category to cart, with a value of more than $100 -- but never purchased. No problem! Go ahead and include users who have triggered the add to cart event with a certain product category and product price, and exclude those that triggered a purchase. 8. Predictive insights GA4 adds a number of features for predictive insights. For example, in analysis and audience building you can add predictive metrics: purchase probability and churn probability. Purchase probability is the chance that a user will purchase in the next 7 days, based on their patterns of behavior so far. Churn probability is the chance that they will no longer be an active user in 7 days. This further improves the kind of audiences you can build. How much more would you be willing to pay to re-engage customers that were in the top 10% of people most likely to buy? For ecommerce analytics, we see predictive insights being used alongside metrics already enabled by Littledata's tracker, such as LTV by channel. Yet another reason to be excited about GA4 for DTC growth. 9. More custom dimensions and user properties At Littledata we add custom dimensions about user behavior over time (their lifetime spend, date of last purchase, and more) to aid in audience building and LTV analysis. This used to eat into the 20 custom dimension slots provided in Google Analytics, but with GA4 you can specify as many hit-scope dimensions with events as you like (not just limited to Category, Action and Label). You can also add up to 25 user properties that are persisted with each user as they get tracked across your site. The only downside is there is no support for product-scope custom dimensions (like sizing or gross margin) as such. You can add multiple item_category fields, which could be used as extra product fields, but I hope custom product properties are on the roadmap. 10. There’s more to come Google stopped developing Universal Analytics a few years ago and any new features will only launch on GA4. Although GA4 is not yet perfect I am really excited about the direction and speed of travel of the product. As Spencer Connell at Praxis Metrics puts it: “GA4 feels like a house which is 60% built - missing a couple of walls, and maybe the roof … but you definitely don’t want to wait until the house is 100% finished before you start moving in.” At Littledata we’re so excited that we have built a beta GA4 connection for Shopify, and we will launch it just as soon as GA4’s APIs are ready. Please get in touch in you're interested in access to the beta release. What you can do now If you want to watch the GA progress from the sidelines, keep checking for GA4 product releases and jump in when you’re ready. But I recommend getting started right now by tracking your site on GA4 in parallel with Universal Analytics (or ‘doubling tagging’ in marketing analytics speak). Josh Katinger at our Google Analytics Sales Partner, Cardinal Path, explains: “Why now? You need an overlap of data. Moving to GA4 is really equivalent to a migration from Adobe Analytics - it’s a platform migration. And when you have a platform migration you want to have overlap, so you have time to understand the difference in the data model, understand the data variations and how to handle them. We are counseling everyone to double tag if you can.” Note that adding GA4 tracking to a Shopify store will not slow down your pages, as Littledata shares the same gtag tracker and server-side tracking for both versions of GA. Have you already started playing around with GA4? Let us know what you've discovered. [subscribe heading="Love analytics? Littledata is seeking an Analytics Advocate" button_link="https://blog.littledata.io/2021/01/29/shopify-analytics-littledata-is-hiring/" button_text="See Open Positions"]
Do Google Analytics 4 properties work with Shopify?
The short answer is no: until these new properties come out of Beta testing, we can’t recommend you use them with your Shopify store. We expect that to be in early 2021. In July 2019 Google brought out a public beta for combining website and native mobile app tracking called ‘App + Web’ properties. These are technically a big step forward for Google Analytics (GA), combining some of the flexible, event-based tracking from Firebase Analytics for mobile with the deeper reporting and journey analysis tools in GA. This got rebranded as Google Analytics 4 in October 2020. However, we believe these are not yet suitable for use because the reporting and management APIs which enable Littledata (and many other tools) to access and configure the data in Google Analytics are still in private beta. Where’s this new reporting going? What Google appears to be doing is rebuilding Google Analytics from the ground up, so it’s fair to call it ‘GA v2’. Some of the long-term problems they are addressing include: Flexible ways of building funnels based on a series of events and page views (i.e. no more limitation on ONLY page views or event funnels) More powerful ways to build ‘audiences’ used in other Google tools (such as Google Ads), instead of the clunky and error-prone advanced segment builder True event-level views of the data with ‘stream view’ Enabling events to be sent with many properties, rather than just event ‘action’ and ‘label’ See Krista Seiden’s excellent post for more information on the features. What’s next with Google Analytics 4? We expect it to come our of beta and ready for prime time in 2021.
Shopify analytics vs Google Analytics: which offers better ecommerce data?
If your Shopify store is starting to pick up traction, you've probably wondered if you're better off using Shopify's native analytics platform or Google Analytics, the household name for cross-industry reporting. Truth is, both Shopify analytics and Google Analytics offer unique benefits and features of their own. The difference, however, is that one of them is inherently incomplete, leaving Shopify merchants without valuable insights to make well-informed decisions for their store. So, which of them is incomplete? Let's dive in. Shopify tracking Shopify's analytics dashboard (available to both basic Shopify stores and Shopify Plus stores) provides a birds-eye view of the "big ticket" metrics, including average order value (AOV), conversion rate, sessions by location, sessions by traffic source, etc. With Shopify analytics, merchants can do the following: check and compare the value of recent sales by time period compare sales channels by performance track average order value identify store visitors by source (social media channel, location, etc.) monitor shopper trends over time Break in the system However, Shopify analytics offers an incomplete and inaccurate view for merchants, including key metrics like average order value and customer lifetime value (LTV). How do we know this? Take an example from earlier this year, when our team analyzeddata from 10 Shopify Plus customers to see whether the sales by traffic source report within Shopify analytics could be trusted. [subscribe] Turns out, the sales by traffic source report was broken. Looking at 180,000 orders for 10 stores in Q4 2018, here are the marketing channels which Shopify Analytics says brought the traffic: Direct 83.5% Social 9% Search 4.5% Unknown (other websites, not social or search) 3% Email ~0.1% Clearly, the Direct channel traffic seems high — what channels was Shopify grouping under Direct? As you can see below, Shopify's data is all wrong. Here’s a comparison of Shopify’s attribution to Google Analytics last-click attribution of sales for one of these customers: Unfortunately for merchants primarily using Shopify analytics, the proof is in the pudding. Shopify users have frequently shown doubts as well — when we googled the keyword shopify analytics, the first Google-generated FAQ was is Shopify Analytics accurate? So is Google Analytics any more reliable for Shopify merchants? Google Analytics tracking With Google Analytics, merchants can do the following: Track number of sessions/purchases AND unique sessions/purchases Calculate accurate customer lifetime value (LTV) Dive deeper with acquisition reports — analyze campaign performance, referrals, etc. Segment by user type to evaluate your visitors (and potential ROI of retargeting them) Run conversion rate optimization (CRO) tests Analyze checkout funnel drop-offs Track which landing pages generate the most revenue Monitor your target keywords and optimize your store messaging accordingly Use custom segments to see the difference in revenue between search terms The list goes on. But beyond tracking site visitors, sessions, and other customer behavior on your store, Google Analytics provides a more complete picture of store performance within a more robust dashboard. Out with the old Without Enhanced Ecommerce reporting, GA still offers a somewhat limited view of shopper behavior. The EE plugin provides useful data about customer behavior before a purchase is made, giving you a better picture of the buying journey for your customers. Every stage is tracked — from research to consideration to purchase and even refunds. Enhanced Ecommerce does a little bit of everything: Customer behavior before, during, and after a purchase Detailed reports on: Average order value Add to carts Average order size Affiliate data records (number of transactions, affiliate revenue, etc.) Cart abandonment Track customer turnover — at what stage of the funnel are they walking away? Shopper engagement, including product views and purchases Coupon and discount reporting Even with EE, Google Analytics isn't a perfect platform. There is a problem with the reliability of transaction volumes within GA (luckily, this can be fixed with Littledata's Shopify app). But using Shopify’s reports alone to guide your marketing is ignoring the power that has led Google Analytics to be used by over 80% of large retailers. [note] See 4 reasons why you need Google Analytics for your Shopify store.[/note] GA's Enhanced Ecommerce plugin also offers a big step up from Shopify's basic reporting: Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce If you're a Shopify merchant using Google Analytics (either as your main reporting tool or in conjunction with Shopify analytics), make sure you enable Enhanced Ecommerce (EE) reporting on your GA dashboard, if you haven't already done so. [note] Learn more about EE reports and how to set them up here.[/note] EE offers Shopify merchants a gold mine of additional data. But while GA users have EE reporting functionalities by default, the biggest difference is that Shopify's tracker (in this case) does not accurately populate all the reports available with EE enabled. Bridging the data gap Littledata's solution comes packaged in a top-rated Shopify app, where you can get a complete picture of your Shopify store performance, all within the familiar Google Analytics dashboard. With the app, you won't have to worry about switching back and forth between reporting tools or crossing your fingers in hopes that the data you're seeing is accurate. The app offers 100% accurate data from every event (including page views, add to carts, purchases and refunds) that takes place in your Shopify store at every step of the customer journey. It also guarantees pinpointed marketing attribution, so you can track where your customers are coming from and exactly how they arrived at your store. Consider your tracking accurate and automated from here on out! [subscribe] A better question to ask While Shopify’s dashboards give you a simple, daily overview of sales and product data, if you're spending at least a few hundred dollars per month on online advertising or investing in SEO, you need a more robust way to measure success. So, Shopify analytics vs Google Analytics might be the common search query, but here's a better one: how do I ensure my Shopify tracking is accurate? For that, it's Littledata to the rescue. Shopify Plus users should stay tuned for Part 2: Do I need a Shopify Plus expert to help with Google Analytics?
How to choose the best Google Analytics consultant for your Shopify store
It's no secret that Google Analytics (GA) is the bedrock of modern analytics. For analytics experts in all verticals — not only ecommerce — Google Analytics is the primary tool for setting goals, tracking results, ecommerce benchmarking and optimising campaigns for peak performance. [note]Do you really need a Google Analytics expert to help with your Shopify data?[/note] But GA is no walk in the park. It's a complex platform with a robust dashboard, unique features like Enhanced Ecommerce and dozens of helpful tracking features for merchants big and small. Because GA can be a learning curve for less experienced users, many Shopify merchants opt to work with a Google Analytics consultant or Google Analytics consulting group to navigate the waters of GA and optimise their product campaigns. [subscribe heading="Get top Google Analytics consultants for Shopify" background_color="green" button_text="get started" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/app/enterprise"] But before you go hunting for Google Analytics consultants for your store, make sure they check all the boxes: Can they code in GA? From UTM parameters to more complex bug fixes, a respectable GA consultant should be comfortable with code. While troubleshooting and custom implementations are the most common calls for coding experience, Google Analytics experts should be able to code in GA with no problems. Are they comfortable segmenting data? As the old adage goes, averages always lie. In other words, insights from data reports go beyond the average numbers that GA shows. To better understand the data, an experienced GA consultant should know how to segment the data. If you hire a GA consultant who shows you plain GA exports exactly as Google shows it to the user, he/she is providing your store no value. Data without a plan of action is just a collection of reported numbers — nothing more. Do they deliver insights, not reports? Not every Shopify store owner understands bounce rates, but most understand that there are shoppers who find their way to an online store, don't take any on-site action, and leave the site right away. In other words, a good Google Analytics consultant should not be interested in exports from GA, but insights. A reliable Google Analytics expert should be able to extrapolate data from GA, explain to store owners what it means and communicate the impact for ecommerce managers. We've seen that many merchants are not interested in complex GA data, and you probably don't have time to read comprehensive reports — what you probably need is guidance, translation and plain english to turn data into actionable insights. Why Shopify store owners choose enterprise plans There's no getting around it — highly effective (and affordable) Google Analytics consultants are difficult to come by. Luckily, there's a better way for merchants to track data they can trust and build their strategy around reliable reporting from GA. Littledata's enterprise plans (which are also optimised for Shopify Plus) offer all the benefits of a personal Google Analytics consultant along with better insights, the experience to address complex issues, and dashboards to visualise the KPIs that matter to your store. [subscribe heading="Try Littledata free for 30 days" background_color="grey" button_text="start my free trial"] 1) Start with an audit, sail to higher revenue We first got started as a next-gen audit tool, so it's no accident that enterprise plans begin with an audit review. During the audit, we review your store's data gaps and tracking issues keeping you from data you can trust for actionable insights. Our audits extend across marketing channels, mobile app performance and user behaviour on your storefront and product pages. Our Google Analytics-certified account managers ensure a smooth process through strategy, implementation and optimisation. 2) Define project goals If your store requires more than just ongoing audit fixes, we work with your team to define custom goals for the products you really want to push. This can be something as standard as setting up Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics or as complex as developing a multi-site dashboard to analyse average customer revenue by location. Either way, enterprise plans offer complete online support for peace of mind. 3) Decision-making power throughout the process Unlike some account managers, our team is hands-on from initial GA set up to implementation. You'll be looped in throughout the entire process with an in-app, custom dashboard that updates real-time. If you have GA questions, enterprise customers can also communicate with our account team through Slack and Trello. 4) Always getting better Our GA team monitors your data collection for accuracy and depth before creating custom recommendations. These include step-by-step reports showing how to use your new analytics setup, how to maximise automated reporting and how to improve your marketing ROI and drive more revenue through fixed attribution. Take the first step Beyond deep experience with Shopify and Shopify Plus, we have a number of seamless connections with everyday tools like Facebook Ads and Google Ads for accurate marketing attribution, plus full support for Google Tag Manager setup, etc. Take the first step into our custom enterprise plans. ?
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