For every 100 orders in Shopify, 12 go missing

If you’re using Shopify’s default Google Analytics tracking you might have noticed that the revenue in Google Analytics never matches what you see in the Shopify dashboard. This is a big problem: missing orders means orders that can’t be attributed to marketing campaigns, whether those channels are paid or organic. Littledata’s improved Google Analytics app for Shopify increases order throughput to Google Analytics from worse than 90% to better than 99.9% -- and it works automatically in the data layer. How big is the problem? We sampled a set of larger DTC brands on Shopify, together processing 50,000 orders a month through a standard Shopify checkout. Looking at a month of traffic, we compared the paid orders for these Shopify stores with the Thank You pages tracked in Google Analytics. Remarkably, only 88% of orders were tracked on average, ranging from 78% tracked in the worst store setup to 96% in the best store. That is a big loss. For every 10,000 orders processed, 1,200 were going missing. Assuming each of those customers cost $50 to acquire, that is $60,000 of marketing spend which can't be attributed to sales. Whatever the CAC for your ecommerce brand, you can’t afford to miss significant data like this about transactions, not to mention the marketing campaigns that led to those sales in the first place! For every 10,000 orders processed, 1,200 went missing Revenue aside, what about those 1,200 customers who are likely still being retargeted by abandoned checkout campaigns, even though they did complete the checkout process? There is a good case to be made for remarketing to your best customers for upsells, cross-sells, referrals and more. But remarketing to your new customer base as if they never made a purchase is certainly bad business. And it gets worse. When I looked at 10 stores that have non-standard checkout setups, using apps such as ReCharge or CartHook, the percentage of orders tracked (excluding recurring orders) ranged from a pathetic 9% up to a disappointing 70%. Shopify’s order tracking relies on customers seeing the Shopify Thank You page, and many other checkouts do not immediately redirect there. What are the main reasons for missing transactions in Google Analytics? Littledata has had five years of experience debugging GA tracking, so at this point we’ve pretty much seen it all. In fact, it's the most common question our sales team hears: why doesn't my data in Shopify match my data in Google Analytics? The ecommerce ecosystem is constantly evolving, including headless setups and subscriptions in the Shopify checkout. But some things remain the same. The most common problem areas for disappearing orders are: 1. Users not waiting for the Thank You page to load Many tech-savvy buyers know that your store will email them an order confirmation, so if they’re in a hurry - and the thank you page takes a few seconds - why should they wait? This is especially true with payment gateways like PayPal, which have their own payment confirmation page. 2. Thank you page overloaded with marketing tags Most order tracking relies on a script to fire on the thank you page, and if your store has lots of these scripts then it could take 10+ seconds before the crucial Google Analytics script is run. Customers won’t wait 10 seconds to see a page which has no value for them. 3. Draft orders paid at a later date Does your store create draft orders? This is more common for B2B stores, and means the order is completed well after the customer web session finishes. That means no thank you page, so no way to track the orders in a standard GA implementation. 4. Third-party checkouts That Thank You page on Shopify may never appear at all if your store uses third-party checkouts. 5. Recurring orders Like paid draft orders, recurring orders are payments that happen outside of the customer’s web session. The user never goes through a checkout or sees the thank you page. 6. Duplicate tracking Refreshing the order confirmation page, or clicking through on an order confirmation email to view the page again, might cause another transaction event to be fired from the page. [tip]Get the free ebook about why Shopify doesn't match Google Analytics[/tip] How is Littledata’s tracking different? Littledata offers server-side order tracking, hooking into the order creation in Shopify after the payment has been made. That allows us to track draft orders paid after the event, recurring orders, and orders through channels like Amazon that don’t use the Shopify Checkout. It also allows us to add refunds back in real-time, so you can track net sales against marketing channels. Littledata de-duplicates all orders, so an order is only ever reported once - giving a 100% match with what is in Shopify admin. Server-side tracking ensures complete analytics If you want to compare like-for-like, as I did for this article, our app also sends a ‘Thank you page’ event (in the same way the order tracking done in Shopify’s standard setup). This event can also be used to trigger Google Tag Manager tags, using the built-in GTM data layer. Interested in improving your Google Analytics setup? You might be interested in 6 common reasons why GA is not accurate and how Littledata’s Google Analytics app works. [subscribe]

2021-04-08

Advanced Google Analytics integration for Ordergroove subscriptions

We are excited to announce a new Ordergroove connection. Any Shopify store using Ordergroove for subscriptions can now take advantage of Littledata's server-side tracking for advanced analytics. The new connection lets you automatically track online sales, marketing, and recurring payments in Segment, Google Analytics, or any connected data warehouse or reporting tool. What's more, it is available on all Littledata plans at no additional cost. Many Shopify stores are finding success with subscriptions, whether that's all or part of their online business. And this year we expect even more brands to move to subscription platforms like Ordergroove rather than trying to build and maintain in-house solutions to manage subscribers. This is especially true for larger DTC brands on Shopify Plus. Ordergroove integration with Google Analytics Ordergroove is a popular subscription solution for larger brands on Shopify, Salesforce, Magento and BigCommerce. Ordergroove offers a single checkout experience for Shopify Plus merchants, and brands like Intelligentsia Coffee and 4Ocean use Ordergroove’s integrated cart experience to maximize recurring revenue. Ordergroove's technology partners offer a range of integrations to help you scale. Littledata's new Ordergroove integration offers a seamless data pipeline for any Shopify store using Ordergroove for subscriptions. (Coming soon for BigCommerce too!) Google Analytics Google Analytics is extremely powerful once you know how to use it. Littledata has long been a leader in subscription analytics, and GA is our tool of choice. We're also especially excited about GA4 these days. But Google Analytics tracking often goes wrong for Shopify stores, resulting in order throughput of less than 90% (we have a good ebook on this). Common issues include: Lots of "Direct" traffic (transactions not linked to browsing behavior)Issues with thank you page tracking (doesn't load completely, too many marketing tags, etc.)Recurring orders either not tracked at all or look like orphan sessionsCustom themes breaking Shopify's default GA integration We built Littledata to fix these issues automatically, especially for subscription stores, where seeing details like LTV by channel can make or break a business. Littledata uses a combination of client-side and server-side tracking to give you one source of truth in Google Analytics: Complete sales data, including subscriptions and refundsAccurate marketing attribution for all transactions, including recurring ordersCustom dimensions for customer lifetime value (LTV/CLTV)Payment gateway trackingAnd much more! The Ordergroove integration works automatically with our Shopify/Shopify Plus to Google Analytics connection. You can install the connection directly from the Shopify app store. After installation, follow this quick guide to our recommended Google Analytics setup, which includes a special View in GA for one-time orders and first-time subscriptions (ie. filtering out recurring payments). [tip]Eager to track subscription lifecycle events? Sign up for beta access to v2 of our Ordergroove connection[/tip] If you are using a headless Shopify setup, please see our guide to headless tracking. Google Tag Manager Ordergroove works directly in the Shopify checkout, and Littledata's GTM and Google Analytics data layer makes it easy to track the pre-checkout journey as well as what happens in the checkout funnel. We add detailed events which you can use to build funnels or trigger other marketing tags in Google Tag Manager (GTM). At the same time, many brands find that our default schema is more than enough to fill their data needs and nothing custom is needed. Either way, our ecommerce tracking is highly scalable and extensible. Book a demo to learn more -- we are happy to chat about your data stack and see if Littledata is a good fit! Ordergroove integration with Segment Littledata also sends complete ecommerce events to Segment to match their ecommerce spec. Whether you are just considering Segment implementation or already far along the journey of using Segment for your data warehouse and marketing destinations, let our Shopify source for Segment do the heavy lifting so you can get back to business. Book a demo to learn more. [subscribe]

by Ari
2021-03-30

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  

2021-03-18

Can you still install Universal Analytics?

Google recently released a new version of Google Analytics called GA4. But until things are ironed out with GA4, you might still want to install Universal Analytics (the previous version of Google Analytics, sometimes now referred to as GA3). For the time being, it's still possible to create a new Universal Analytics property in your GA account. It just takes a couple of extra clicks. This quick guide will show how to to create a UA property. What is Google Analytics? At this point, who hasn't heard of Google? Not only does the company have over a 92% share of the search engine market, but they have come to dominate analytics. Google Analytics is a very popular data tool. Originally designed to track web behavior, including marketing channels and landing pages, Analytics has evolved to offer much more, including advanced functionality like: Cross-domain tracking to capture every customer touchpointComparative attribution modelsAdvanced segmentation and audience building (ie LTV cohorts) Google Analytics is used (or at least installed) by over half of all websites, but over 70% of the top sites use GA, and many use Google Tag Manager as well, for custom tracking to capture details like custom checkouts or Pinterest Ads. [note]Learn more about Littledata's GTM Data Layer for Shopify stores[/note] Google Analytics is deceptively simple. In fact, 88% of Shopify stores have Google Analytics set up incorrectly. But if it is set up correctly, either with a data pipeline like Littledata or a manual setup from a developer or agency, and you take the time to learn how to use the data, it can be invaluable to your business growth. Plus, it's free! Very big stores do need to pay for GA360 once they exceed the data threshold, but as we've noted recently the move to GA4 appears to be part of a larger move away from charging for analytics at all -- even for larger brands. This includes data destinations like BigQuery. We created Littledata to automatically fix ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics, whether you're just looking for accureate sales and marketing data or a more complex data warehouse setup. Our app is currently optimized for Universal Analytics, but our GA4 connection is already in private beta development. We see the event-based tracking and flexibility of GA4 as the wave of the future, but recognize the need for UA in the meantime. How to install Universal Analytics instead of GA4 When you set up a new Google Analytics property, you can choose between GA4, Universal Analytics, or both. Go to the Admin Settings in your Google Analytics account (if you don't have a Google Analytics account yet, it's free and easy to create one). From your Property Settings, click on + Create Property. Give your property a name. Then click Show advanced options under Property Setup (this is essential!). Click the slider on Create a Universal Analytics property. This will allow you to set up a new property in Google Analytics for GA4, Universal Analytics, or both. Add your Website URL (you can't create a property without a URL). You now have two options. Either select Create both a Google Analytics 4 and a Universal Analytics property to create both types of properties (you can play with them later). Or select Create a Universal Analytics property only if you really only want to create a UA property. [note]We recommend setting up both a Universal Analytics property and a Google Analytics 4 property, and using them in parallel so you can compare the tracking.[/note] Click Next and fill out the form if desired. Then click Create to finish the setup. That's it! You've now created a new property with the old version of GA. You can find your new Tracking ID and Tracking Number (or Measurement ID for GA4) in your Google Analytics admin. For UA, go to Property > Tracking Info > Tracking Code. Note that you can install Littledata's Shopify to Google Analytics connection for any store using Universal Analytics, but our GA4 connection is in private beta. If you are interested in parallel tracking -- or just testing GA4 for ecommerce -- contact us for info on our beta program. [subscribe]

by Ari
2021-03-15

What's the real ROI on your Facebook Ads? [webinar]

Is your FB/Insta ad spend leading to high LTV customers? What happens after a shopper clicks on a link? One thing is clear: you've got to get the tracking right before you can start making data-driven decisions. Join Littledata and Beacon on Thursday, March 4th for a free webinar where we will explore the details of marketing attribution and Facebook campaign ROI. Pretty much all ecommerce brands today are using Facebook and Instagram ads as part of their digital marketing mix. When it comes to Facebook Ads, marketers are drawn to messaging about a strong return on investment. But are you measuring that return correctly? In this free webinar, you'll learn:  Common issues with marketing attribution How to track post-click shopping behavior (what happens after someone clicks an ad) The importance of using external platforms for an unbiased view of marketing channels How to calculate complete ROI for your Facebook and Instagram Ad spend, including repeat purchases, refunds, and customer lifetime value (LTV) How benchmarking your site against similar brands can help make sense of the data Signup for the free webinar >>> About Littledata Littledata automatically fixes tracking for Shopify stores, offering complete marketing attribution, accurate sales data, and custom dimensions for lifetime value reporting. Check out our Shopify app for Google Analytics Learn more about our Shopify source for Segment Try Littledata's Facebook Ads connection free for 30 days Signup for the free webinar >>> About Beacon Beacon is the digital marketing campaign intelligence platform that is easy-to-use and presents real-time information based on data you can trust. It empowers marketers to accurately measure campaign results, take back control of their digital spend, and get a better ROI on their campaigns. Signup for the free webinar >>>

by Ari
2021-03-01

Replacing Additional Google Analytics JavaScript for Shopify stores

On 1st March 2021 Shopify is permanently removing scripts added in the ‘Additional Google Analytics JavaScript’ preference. This field has been hidden for some time, but was previously used to inject all kinds of additional scripts into the checkout pages. Why is Shopify removing these additional scripts? Primarily they represent a security risk: injecting key-stroke-tracking scripts into checkout pages is a common way to steal credit card information. Shopify just can’t take the risk that if the store admin gets hacked, so could the customer card details. Additionally, being able to customise the Shopify checkout pages (via the checkout.liquid file) is a key feature of Shopify Plus and so a reason for stores to upgrade to Plus. How to replace Google Analytics code added in this Additional JavaScript field I know many stores were using this preference for exactly the reason it intended: to modify the functionality of the Universal Analytics tracking script Shopify adds, if configured in the online store preferences. The good news is that the scripts you need to run (excluding the checkout) can be added in the theme <head>. You can add settings or events to GA’s command queue, which get executed when the Universal Analytics (GA) library is ready. You need to add this line of code before any additional commands below, to ensure that: If the ga function is defined already, calls to ga() are queued If the ga function is not yet defined, calls to ga() are added to a new queue [dm_code_snippet background="yes" background-mobile="yes" slim="yes" bg-color="#abb8c3" theme="light" language="javascript" wrapped="yes" copy-text="Copy Code" copy-confirmed="Copied"] window.ga=window.ga||function(){(ga.q=ga.q||[]).push(arguments)};ga.l=+new Date; [/dm_code_snippet] Shopify Plus stores can do the same thing on checkout.liquid to customise Google Analytics tracking on the checkout pages. Here are some of the common uses of Additional JavaScript, and alternatives I know of: 1. Anonymising IP address GDPR regulation in Europe requires stores not to send full IP addresses to Google’s servers in the US. You can opt out in GA by using this - but it will NOT affect pageviews sent from the checkout. [dm_code_snippet background="yes" background-mobile="yes" slim="yes" bg-color="#abb8c3" theme="light" language="javascript" wrapped="yes" copy-text="Copy Code" copy-confirmed="Copied"] ga('set', 'anonymizeIp', true); [/dm_code_snippet] 2. Tracking checkout steps To measure how far users get in the checkout, and with what products, many stores want to track checkout steps in GA. Shopify does track pageviews and some events from the checkout (not including product values), but unfortunately you can no longer add a script on Shopify’s checkout. However, Littledata’s app has a more robust solution to send checkout step events and pageviews from our servers. Tracking the checkout steps across all checkouts, including third party checkouts on ReCharge and CartHook, enables stores to retarget abandoned checkouts with Google Ads and understand how shipping and payment options affect checkout conversion. 3. Cross-domain linking Shopify already accepts incoming cross-domain tracking, but to add cross-domain tracking to links from your Shopify store you need to instruct GA to automatically decorate links: [dm_code_snippet background="yes" background-mobile="yes" slim="yes" bg-color="#abb8c3" theme="light" language="javascript" wrapped="yes" copy-text="Copy Code" copy-confirmed="Copied"] ga('linker:autoLink', ['yourblog.com']); [/dm_code_snippet] For more examples on when you need to set up cross-domain linking (for example, to third-party checkouts), see our cross-domain Shopify tracking guide. 4. Tracking logged-in users To enable a registered users view in Google Analytics you need to send a customer ID when known. The window-scope object `__st` includes that `cid` field, when the user is logged in. [dm_code_snippet background="yes" background-mobile="yes" slim="yes" bg-color="#abb8c3" theme="light" language="javascript" wrapped="yes" copy-text="Copy Code" copy-confirmed="Copied"] if(__st["cid"]) ga('set', '&uid', __st["cid"]); [/dm_code_snippet] 5. Tracking additional events You may want to trigger additional GA events, like clicks on a particular button. I’d recommend you set these up using Google Tag Manager, but you can also run a SEND command at any stage and it will send to the GA tracker Shopify loads on the page. [dm_code_snippet background="yes" background-mobile="yes" slim="yes" bg-color="#abb8c3" theme="light" language="javascript" wrapped="yes"] ga('send', 'event', 'List Filter', 'Change size filter', 'XL'); [/dm_code_snippet] 6. Tracking additional web properties Many stores need multiple tracking IDs to send data to multiple web properties, and Shopify by default only allows a single property.  I’d again recommend you set these up using Google Tag Manager, but you can also run a CREATE command in your head to track to additional properties. [dm_code_snippet background="yes" background-mobile="yes" slim="yes" bg-color="#abb8c3" theme="light" language="javascript" wrapped="yes" copy-text="Copy Code" copy-confirmed="Copied"] ga('create', 'UA-XXXXXXXX-X', 'auto'); [/dm_code_snippet] 7. Adding GTM triggers If you are using Google Tag Manager to fire other marketing tags you might have used the Additional JavaScript to run triggers - for example when customers completed an order. This could be replaced by using Littledata’s GTM data layer, which is included with our Google Analytics app.  The final result Assuming you just need items 1 and 4 from the list above, this is how the script tag in your liquid theme might look: [dm_code_snippet background="yes" background-mobile="yes" slim="yes" bg-color="#abb8c3" theme="light" language="html" wrapped="yes" copy-text="Copy Code" copy-confirmed="Copied"] <head> … <script> // Scripts moved from Additional Google Analytics JavaScript preferences window.ga=window.ga||function(){(ga.q=ga.q||[]).push(arguments)};ga.l=+new Date; ga('set', 'anonymizeIp', true); if(__st["cid"]) ga('set', '&uid', __st["cid"]); </script> </head> [/dm_code_snippet] Is there anything else your store has added? Let me know and we can add it to the list.

2021-02-22

Track CartHook upsells and downsells in Google Analytics

We're excited to announce a major update to our popular CartHook connection for Shopify stores. The connection now offers complete CartHook checkout tracking for landing pages, upsells and downsells. [note]The update discussed here applies to CartHook’s legacy checkout product. If you are using the new CartHook Post Purchase Offers app that’s native to the Shopify checkout, you can just use Littledata's main Shopify to Google Analytics connection and do not need to activate the CartHook connection[/note] The updated CartHook integration includes a number of new events and increased precision. In addition to the sales data and marketing attribution that we were already sending to Google Analytics, you can now automatically track 100% of custom upsell and downsell funnels. Advanced Google Analytics integration for the CartHook checkout productCaptures every checkout event, such as when a shopper accepts or rejects a one-click upsell offerAutomatically synced with Shopify and ReCharge checkout stepsEasy installation from the Shopify app store, or directly from your CartHook admin [subscribe] Whether on Shopify or Shopify Plus, successful DTC brands use CartHook to increase AOV with custom post-purchase offers. But how do you know which marketing channels are working best? And which custom offers are leading to the highest value customers over time? Are some downsell offers more valuable that upsell offers over time (do they lead to more devoted or higher-LTV customers)? To help answer these types of questions, Littledata combines client-side and server-side tracking to give you a complete, unbiased view of shopping behavior, from the first visitor touchpoint through every interaction with your brand or checkout. The latest version of the CartHook connection adds upsell and downsell tracking, offers a custom option for Thank You page tracking, and works in tandem with other Littledata app improvements such as how we track the Shopify checkout funnel. Read more about the events we track for Shopify stores and the additional events we track for CartHook. Additional resources: Quick overview of the CartHook connectionDemo video about how Littledata worksAll of our current connections and integrations [tip]Current CartHook connection users will automatically get the enhanced tracking - no additional action is needed on your part! [/tip]

by Ari
2021-02-18

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"]

2021-02-04

Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

Get a 30-day free trial of Littledata for Google Analytics or Segment