Category : Analytics Setup
GA4 Auto-migration: Why and how to opt-out
If you haven’t migrated to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) by now, you’re likely flooded with reminders from Google to get to it! But what does auto-migration mean? And can it break your Shopify data? With Universal Analytics’ July deprecation date coming soon, the pressure is on. To encourage UA users to make the switch, Google began auto-migrating UA properties to GA4 on March 1, 2023. While this may sound helpful, you actually do not want to rely on Google’s auto-migration to GA4. For data-driven ecommerce brands, Google’s “basic” configurations aren’t going to cut it, and Google’s auto-migration could actually hinder your data quality. The same goes for Shopify’s Google sales channel. With a few simple steps, you can opt out of GA4 auto-migration and set up your GA4 property correctly. There’s a lot of confusion in the marketplace right now, especially when it comes to tracking ecommerce stores in GA4. Whether you’re on Shopify, BigCommerce, or another ecommerce platform, it’s a must to track checkout steps and conversions, but auto migrations don’t cover that at all. So in this post, we’ll be clearing up: Why you should opt out of auto-migration (and how to do it) How to ensure data quality in GA4 How to track ecommerce events in GA4 Why you need to opt-out It’s important to note that GA4 is a completely new reporting tool, built from the ground up for faster reporting, increased flexibility, and streamlined audience building. GA4 relies on a new data model — event-based tracking, rather than session-based tracking — and doesn’t track data like-for-like with UA. To avoid any data disruptions and ensure data integrity, brands need to manually set up their GA4 properties. [tip] Watch our recent webinar to learn more about the differences between UA and GA4 [/tip] Problems with GA4 auto-migration Google’s auto-migration runs deep and migrates several parts of your account. If you’ve already set up a GA4 property, you may think this doesn’t apply to you, but even if you have manually created a GA4 property, it’s crucial that you switch off the auto-migration toggle to avoid further issues. Duplicated orders We’ve seen Shopify stores face duplicated orders and inaccurate data after missing this key step. Even with the proper data tech stack, brands are struggling with data quality issues because they have not opted out of auto-migration. Event naming If you’ve auto-migrated your UA events into GA4, your event naming can majorly skew conversion tracking, if not done properly. GA4 limits event names to 40 characters or less, so any UA events automatically migrated to GA4 that are 40+ characters will not be reported as a conversion because the appended “_c” will be missing. Managing users With great power comes great responsibility. There may be users you don’t want to migrate to GA4 so it’s best to review account and property users and the access they’re granted during migration. How to opt out of GA4 auto-migration It’s easy to opt out of auto-migration. Simply access the GA4 Setup Assistant via the Admin panel and scroll down to ‘Automatically set up a basic Google Analytics 4 property’ and ensure that the toggle is switched off, as pictured below. As an added measure, ensure that you have “Collect Universal Analytics events” toggled off in your data stream’s tag settings, as shown below. How to ensure data quality in GA4 Check that all pages and conversions are being tracked Mistakes and inconsistencies in your Google Tag Manager (GTM) tracking can result in missing data, with Littledata’s data layer, you won’t have to worry about that. Unlike alternatives, Littledata’s data layer works automatically, eliminating the risk of human error so you can finally trust your Google Analytics data. As mentioned above, GA4’s event naming requirements could interrupt your conversion tracking. To avoid any interruptions, make sure that your event names are below 40 characters, otherwise, you could face some issues in reporting. Check your transaction and purchase data Tracking complete transactions, revenue, and purchase data is essential for any ecommerce brand. Many of the apps that offer “GA4 setup” for Shopify or BigCommerce stores do not fix your tracking. Find out if your GA4 setup is up to speed with our free GA4 Conversions Checker. Connect your Google Analytics account and the Conversions Checker will automatically audit your GA4 property for any data discrepancies, explains why they exist, and how to get more accurate ecommerce reporting in just a few clicks. Build out your data tech stack Using the right Shopify or BigCommerce app can help make your transition to GA4 much easier. Littledata’s GA4 integration works seamlessly out of the box, automatically tracking the entire customer journey — from discovery at the source, through the checkout funnel and post-purchase events — pushing events into Google Analytics 4, Facebook Conversions API, Segment, and any connected reporting tool. How to track ecommerce events in GA4 Shopify’s GA4 integration is now available through the Google Sales Channel App, but as with Shopify’s native integration with UA, it comes with a few core limitations. Beyond this app, you have two other options: Google Tag Manager (GTM) GTM is a common tracking solution for ecommerce stores. And while GTM itself is free to use, it comes with a price — GTM is very time-consuming, complex, and often costly to maintain, especially for a lean team. Plus, Shopify’s recent updates removed the ability to add scripts to checkout.liquid, no longer permitting brands to track the checkout funnel with GTM. A trusted app, like Littledata Within minutes, fix your ecommerce tracking in GA4 — no implementation or developer needed. Littledata’s app uses a combination of client-side and server-side tracking to capture the entire customer journey, including complete marketing attribution and post-purchase events, like subscriptions and upsells. Start your GA4 journey on the right foot with hands-on support from our team of analytics experts. [tip] Read our step-by-step guide to tracking ecommerce conversions in GA4 [/tip] Next steps The good news is that there’s still time to fully migrate your ecommerce analytics to GA4 before the July deprecation date. But don’t delay — the sooner you set up a GA4 property that checks all the boxes, the better equipped you’ll be in the future with a treasure trove of historical data, custom-built reports to answer your business's top questions, and a BigQuery export to turn data into marketing magic.
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.
How to get the most out of your Google Analytics setup
There are seemingly countless analytics solutions on the market today for ecommerce merchants to choose from. None, however, have overtaken the undisputed leader in the data world—Google Analytics. In order to get the most out of GA, though, you have to know a thing or two about what capabilities the tool affords you. As you may have noticed if you've read our content before, we're big fans of GA here at Littledata. Our team of experts help clients get accurate, reliable data through the platform every day. To help you decide where to begin optimizing your GA setup and improve the reporting you're capable of, here are three blog posts answering questions we recommend you ask yourself about GA. Is now the time to move to Google Aanalytics 4 (GA4)? YES! Google has already announced they are sunsetting Universal Analytics (UA), a.k.a the old version of GA, for good on July 1, 2023. If you're just starting a GA property now, GA4 is the way to go. But the coming deprecation of UA isn't the only reason to embrace GA4—far from it. We have 10 reasons you should make the switch now and the benefits GA4's new features offer from an analytics expert's perspective. https://blog.littledata.io/2021/02/04/10-reasons-to-move-to-ga4-for-ecommerce-analytics/ [note]Littledata's GA4 connection gives you complete and accurate data in your GA4 property in just one click. Find out how to set it up on your store.[/note] Should I use GA to track my email campaigns? Email campaigns are a frequently used promotional tool for ecommerce merchants. The name to know when it comes to ecommerce email is Klaviyo, as it's one of the most popular marketing platforms in the entire industry. The best way to optimize your email campaigns for success is of course to track their performance. Google Analytics is not only a dynamic solution for this but an easy one to set up too. In this article, Littledata CEO Edward Upton walks you through how to get your email campaign reporting up and running in GA so you can get the most from your campaigns using data-driven decision-making. https://blog.littledata.io/2020/11/25/how-to-track-klaviyo-flows-and-email-campaigns-in-google-analytics/ Should I get a Google Analytics expert to help with my Shopify data? Google Analytics is the leader in analytics reporting, so of course, that means it's easy to use—right? In most cases, if you've armed yourself with a bit of data knowledge, this is true. However, if you're looking to really unlock the full capabilities of the platform, you need more than just the standard level of GA know-how. While gaining that knowledge is a great learning experience, it also takes a lot of hours—time that busy business owners and marketing teams don't always have. If you want to go beyond the basic revenue/transaction checks and ad campaign monitoring to unlock deeper insights into your customers' behavior, a GA expert could be just the right solution. We have a full article explaining everything a GA expert can help you gain access to in your reporting so you can see if it's the right next step up for your analytics setup. https://blog.littledata.io/2020/02/25/do-you-need-a-google-analytics-expert-to-help-with-your-shopify-data/ [subscribe]
We Make Websites features Littledata in ideal headless tech stack
We Make Websites is one of our trusted agency partners at Littledata. The geniuses behind beautiful ecommerce experiences for Lauren Conrad Beauty, PANGAIA, and countless other Shopify Plus sites, We Make Websites are experts in headless builds. We were honored to be included in their new outline of a "perfect" headless tech stack for ecommerce merchants! Littledata's ecommerce data platform now supports any headless Shopify build, and we work together with top Shopify Plus agencies like WMW to help brands get accurate data to fuel their growth. The "perfect" headless tech stack Headless ecommerce isn't new, but the technology has improved across the board in recent years. With the rise of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and increasing popularity of React frameworks, it seems like headless platforms are everywhere you turn these days. Many brands are turning to sites that act like apps, and headless is a great way to do that. Even Shopify seems ready to go all-in with the launch of Hydrogen, which is focused on integrating React server components. As the WMW team explains, headless isn't for everyone. To really do it right (and keep maintenance costs down), you'll need a developer or agency with experience in Node.js and React/Vue as well as the Shopify ecosystem. When done right, headless sites like Recess and ILIA Beauty are lightning fast and provide personalized experiences for shoppers. In "Creating the Perfect Tech Stack for Your Headless Build", the We Make Websites team highlights top apps that work well in a headless environment, work well together, and "harmonize" with the wider tech stack. Here's their recommended stack. ShopifyLoyaltyLionKlevuYotpoNacelleNostoShogunRechargeLittledata Littledata is featured alongside some of our longtime integration partners Recharge (for selling by subscription) and Nacelle (for fast, flexible headless builds), as well as our friends at LoyaltyLion. So, this is an ideal stack for a customer-driven brand that is selling by subscription (at least in part) and is serious about data-driven growth. Note: Littledata also integrates with landing page builders like Shogun, Zipify Pages and Gem Pages Our headless tracking ensures that sessions are stitched together and linked to ecommerce events. We have also added default integrations with every major landing page builder, whether those pages act as your front-end or you're running hundreds of top-of-funnel landing pages. Should you go headless? As the WMW team puts it, one of the biggest reasons for going headless in the first place is the ability to pick and choose from modern commerce tools, including data platforms and CDP integrations: A headless architecture [lets you] employ a “best of breed” technology strategy. By harnessing the power and agility of APIs, headless websites allow you to create a tech stack that’s unique to, and perfect for, your business. We have certainly found that to be true in practice, especially with our merchants using Nacelle and Netlify. For the most part they have managed to keep their Shopify Plus tech stacks while improving speed and engagement . As Devin Saxon, senior sales engineer at Nacelle put it in our interview last year: Every headless build is unique. Not because of catalogue size, but due to what the merchant’s goals and needs are for their front end and overall architecture.The process itself is not dramatically different. We align with the customer on the build scoping process, including their goals, integration, and workflow needs, which can be the biggest determinant of the timeline. It’s best to work this out far before they start building, though, to mitigate any issues from coming up during the build. In our view, chief among those goals and workflows should be your data vision: what do you want to track, how do you want to track it, and who will be using the data? Check out our headless tracking demo to get sense for what's possible. If you're ready to start planning a headless build — or you've already launched are are ready to take data more seriously — let's chat.
Is it possible to track headless Shopify setups?
Headless commerce is not a new concept, but it's an increasingly popular solution. As larger brands continue to move to streamlined ecommerce checkouts such as Shopify and BigCommerce, they look to headless setups as a way to maintain speed or flexibility. An increasing number of those bigger DTC brands are going headless, whether that means a collection of landing pages leading directly to a Shopify checkout, or a full-on headless architecture implementation with a dynamic CMS. The question today is less whether you should consider headless in the first place (everyone is at least considering it), but more about your overall tech stack. When looking at the details of your stack (cost, functionality, maintenance, etc), it's important to consider headless pros and cons in general. But it's often even more useful to highlight specific use cases. We've previously written about how it's now possible to maintain your favorite Shopify Plus tech stack with a headless Shopify architecture. But what about your data stack? Does headless mean that your analysts will be dealing with a snow storm of anonymous IDs? Are there sacrifices to data accuracy, such as marketing attribution for recurring orders? With the right tools and plug-ins, you can still capture the complete headless journey on your headless site. In this post we look at headless Shopify tracking from several different angles and share resources for further reading. Why headless? DTC brands with a headless Shopify Plus setup now include Inkbox, Rothy's, Verishop, Allbirds, Recess, and many more. So why do merchants go headless? Headless commerce overview from Shopify Plus The main reason is speed, or site speed to be precise. When built the right way, modern headless sites are insanely fast. Ballsy increased conversion rates by 28% after going headless, thanks to dramatically faster page load times. (The average Shopify site sees around 4 seconds to full page load). At the same time, as our agency partner We Make Websites has noted, "extreme performance" isn't for everybody. Sometimes it can be like "the difference between buying a BMW or Audi, versus buying a Ferrari". Additional reasons for going headless include flexibility of controlling and customizing the complete frontend (with a CMS or other content framework). Of course, there are also limitations. When it comes to headless Shopify sites specifically, some trade-offs are the need to maintain multiple technologies or platforms, and the fact that Shopify's Storefront API uses GraphQL (there's currently no REST API for Storefront). Without the right tools, the other limitation is data accuracy and completeness. That can include: Marketing channels (paid channels, organic social communities, SEO)Browsing behavior (landing pages, product lists, website, mobile apps)Sales data (checkout behavior; one-off, first-time and repeat purchases)Ecommerce data from additional checkout apps (subscriptions and upsell flows) Headless tracking in Google Analytics / GTM It's no secret that Shopify and GA need some help to play well together. For every 10,000 orders processed on Shopify, 1,200 go missing in Google Analytics. For your average headless site, the stats are even worse. By default, different customer interactions with your brand — ppc campaigns, product lists, adds-to-cart, checkouts, refunds, recurring orders and subscriptions, email campaigns — are often either not tracked at all or not linked to the original user or session. In that way, you can end up with siloed data in different apps and platforms. Or even worse, everything could show up as anonymous activity or "Direct" traffic, even for repeat purchases. This isn't Las Vegas; what happens in the checkout should definitely not stay in the checkout! We have solved this problem by extending Littledata's server-side tracking to stitch sessions together from the client-side events captured on headless frontends . . . which is a rather technical way of saying that our Google Analytics app for Shopify now tracks headless sites automatically, from browsing behavior through the checkout funnel and beyond (we even capture subscriptions such as ReCharge payments!) This guarantees accurate sales and marketing data for any headless Shopify site. Check out Littledata's headless demo to see how our headless Shopify tracking works for Google Analytics. Tip: Using Google Tag Manager? Read more about our GTM / Data Layer spec. Headless tracking in Segment As mentioned, we have offered server-side tracking for Shopify since the beginning, and automatically linked this with client-side events. Now this is available for any headless setup as well. In theory, it should be easy to send data from additional cloud sources to Segment. Each part of your headless frontend stack can just plug right in. But in practice this means manually adding a hodgepodge of client-side and server-side event tracking, and maintaining this as you scale. If you're using Segment as your CDP — or considering using Segment — rest assured that Littledata's headless tracking now fully supports Segment as a data destination. You can try to set this up yourself, but it's much easier (not to mention cheaper and more reliable) to just use our Shopify source for Segment to track your checkout. With Littledata, you can automatically send sales and marketing data from a headless Shopify site to your Segment workspace. We also recently added more flexibility around which fields to send as the userId for known customers. Check out our headless tracking demo to see how our headless Shopify tracking works for Segment. Tracking landing page builders Not every headless site is using a Content Management System (CMS). For those who do, Contentful is the most popular with straightforward headless Shopify builds. There are also "soft headless" sites that rely on a series of landing pages or similar flows, which then lead to the main Shopify site or even directly to the checkout. In the first case, where the landing pages are truly landing pages and lead to your main site, you can use the default settings in Littledata's Shopify app and generally do not need to take the headless install route. For cases where landing pages go directly to the checkout, see the headless tracking demo linked above. We also need to take landing pages seriously. It can actually be just as difficult to get complete marketing attribution or even to link sessions together and track the purchases customers make after landing on one of these pages. To solve this problem, Littledata's automated tracking now tracks landing pages as "additional apps" on top of our main Shopify connections for Segment and Google Analytics. As long as the Littledata script is loading on those landing pages, everything will link together automatically. We have tested this functionality with three of the most popular landing page builders for Shopify stores: Shogun PagesZipify Pages Gem Pages Drop us a line if you have any questions about additional apps or special requests for landing page tracking. Preferred headless tech partner: Nacelle Our merchants looking for a complete headless Shopify solution often choose our tech partner Nacelle. Nacelle powers storefronts that stand out from the competition, offering headless website builds backed by a robust data stack. Focused on Progressive Web App (PWA) technology, they build lightning-fast, responsive sites for modern DTC brands. We've been working closely with Nacelle on tracking setup for some initial merchants (many brands you would recognize...) and are excited to now be able to offer headless tracking for any Nacelle customer. Read our shared ebook on going headlessExplore our headless tracking demoCheck out our NPM package for grabbing client IDs [or forward this to your developer!] Littledata's Nacelle tracking works automatically once you follow a few simple setup steps. Plus, the data can be sent to Segment, Google Analytics, or any connected data warehouse or reporting tool.
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? 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How to track Klaviyo flows and email campaigns in Google Analytics
Klaviyo is one of the most popular email marketing platforms for Shopify stores, but the analytics setup is often overlooked. By following a few simples rules, you can ensure accurate Klaviyo data alongside other sales and marketing data in Google Analytics. In this article we cover how to set up Google Analytics tracking for Klaviyo, including best practices for UTM parameters and dynamic variables, and how this tracking works alongside Littledata's Shopify to Google Analytics 4 connection. Why Klaviyo Klaviyo is a popular customer engagement platform used by over 50,000 Shopify merchants. Their focus is on email and SMS automation, and they have been one of the major success stories in the Shopify ecosystem, recently closing a $200 million funding round. Klaviyo's features for Shopify include: Codeless signup forms Pre-built flow templates for quick automation Email campaigns for customers and leads Advanced segmentation and personalization, including product recommendations Many of Littledata's Shopify customers use Klaviyo in one way or another, as do almost all of our Shopify Plus customers. But we've noticed a trend where even the biggest Klaviyo users aren't correctly tracking Klaviyo flows in GA, which ends up blocking data-driven decisions for growth. Read on to see how to fix this. Why Google Analytics The Klaviyo dashboard has useful built-in reporting, but for ecommerce managers focused on more than just email, there are some significant limitations compared with a dedicated analytics platform like Google Analytics 4 (GA4). One key limitation is for sales attribution (marketing attribution for online sales). In Klaviyo, any sale that happens after engagement with an email is attributed to that email. This overstates Klaviyo's contribution to sales. For example, if a user first comes from a Facebook Campaign, then clicks on an abandoned cart email from Klaviyo, then goes on to complete a purchase after being retargeted in Facebook, Klaviyo will claim this as owned revenue attributed to that email engagement and credit Facebook with nothing! Another limitation of reporting in Klaviyo's dashboard is that it's hard to see the contribution of an entire email flow to sales, as opposed to the impact of a particular email message in the flow. In Google Analytics (if set up correctly) you can see multi-channel contribution to sales, comparing apples with apples across different marketing channels. What is UTM tracking? UTM parameters are extra data in the link the user clicks to tell Google Analytics (and Shopify) where the click came from. These parameters are automatically added by Google Ads, but for other platforms (e.g. Facebook or Klaviyo) you will need to add them manually or via the software. Why does this matter? Because link clicks coming without a UTM tag will typically be treated by GA as "direct" traffic -- in other words, the source of those visits will be unknown. [note]Read Littledata's free guide to common reasons Shopify doesn't match Google Analytics[/note] Recommended settings To provide the most reporting flexibility we recommend having the same standard UTM parameters across all email flows and campaigns. Klaviyo allows dynamic variables to be used in your default UTM tracking settings. To get the most out of your Klaviyo reporting in GA, we recommend using static values for Source and Medium, and dynamic values for Campaign and Content. You can change these defaults in go to Account > Settings > UTM Tracking UTM Parameter Campaign Email Value Flow Email Value Source (utm_source) 'Klaviyo' 'Klaviyo' Medium (utm_medium) 'email' 'email' Campaign (utm_campaign) Campaign name (Campaign id) Flow email name (Flow email id) Content (utm_content) Link text or alt text Link text or alt text [tip]Content is not a default parameter in Klaviyo, so you will need to add that manually (enter `utm_content` as a new parameter).[/tip] With static values for Source and Medium (Klaviyo / email), you will be able to see Klaviyo compared against other marketing channels in GA, and in particular how Klaviyo campaigns contribute to customer lifetime value and other key metrics for Shopify sales and marketing. We do not recommend sticking with Klaviyo's default UTM settings, where Klaviyo flows, for example, are given a dynamic variable that pulls in the name of the flow. You can already see that type of data in the Klaviyo analytics dashboard -- better to use GA for complete marketing analysis. Whichever naming convention you choose, consistency is essential. Many Littledata customers create internal spreadsheets to manage UTM naming conventions and channel groupings in GA, and run regular QA checks to ensure consistency. Note that we have analytics audit checks within the Littledata app, and we now offer analytics training on Plus plans. Enabling UTM parameters In addition to setting up the UTM Parameter values in your Klaviyo account, you need to enable UTM tracking to ensure that those parameters are applied to all emails in flows and campaigns. The first step is to enable global UTM settings. Go to Account > Settings > UTM Tracking Switch Automatically add UTM parameters to links to ON. Then click Update UTM Tracking Settings. This will ensure that the UTM parameters are added automatically to all emails sent via Klaviyo. Now that you have enabled UTM tracking, you need to make sure that you are using 'account defaults' for UTM tracking in your flows and email campaigns (as opposed to custom tracking). This should already be the case, but it's good to double-check. Disable any custom UTM tracking for flows or campaigns Make sure that the UTM settings for individual flows are set to 'Yes, use account defaults' Make sure that overall email campaign settings are set to use default UTM tracking as well. In your overall campaign settings, select 'Yes, use account defaults' In addition, when creating/editing a campaign, go to Tracking and make sure that 'Include tracking parameters' is ON and 'Customize tracking parameters' is OFF Tracking across all marketing channels The UTM settings above only solve part of the marketing attribution problem: getting the campaign information to the landing page. Commonly this marketing attribution is lost between the landing page and the order completing. You can try to do this manually with an in-house dev team, but Littledata has built a complete ecommerce tracking solution for Shopify and Google Analytics that works automatically. Our connections use a combination of client-side and server-side tracking to make sure that all marketing channels -- including email, paid channels, organic search and referrals -- are linked to sales, along with all touch points in between. We also track returns/refunds, repeat purchases, and subscriptions, so you can understand customer lifetime value on a deeper level. Read about all of the the events Littledata sends automatically. You can use these events for reporting and analysis, and also to build audiences for your Klaviyo campaigns! Reporting on Klaviyo flows in Google Analytics Google Analytics is a powerful reporting tool once you get to know how channel groupings and custom dimensions work. Here's a quick look at how to analyze your Klaviyo data in GA. Looking at campaign conversions in Google Analytics After you have enabled our recommended settings for UTM tags, you will have access to Klaviyo flow and campaign data in GA. You can look at this on its own, but also compared against other channels for engagement and acquisition. To see revenue and orders attributed to these campaigns, drill into the Klaviyo source and add campaign as a secondary dimension. If you set up the Flow email name as the utm_campaign above, then you can look at the contribution of that whole flow to sales. For example, without caring if the user clicked on email 1 or 2 in a 4-email flow, did clicking on any of the emails in that flow -- for example, the 'Browse Abandonment' flow -- result in sales? Going further, you could create a segment of users who came via an Instagram campaign, and see to what degree they were influenced by the email sequence. Will Google Analytics match Klaviyo? How does the data you now have in Google Analytics compare with what you see in your Klaviyo dashboard? Under the Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Model Comparison Tool in GA, you can compare the default email attribution in GA (last non-direct click), with other attribution models more similar to Klaviyo's dashboard. Keep in mind that there is no model for 'all click' attribution, so the numbers you'll see in GA will always be lower. You can also look at the Multi-Channel Funnels > Top Conversion Paths report to see where Klaviyo fits into the user journey on your ecommerce site. [note]Google Analytics data can also be used as a source for other reporting tools, such as Data Studio and Tableau.[/note] Using Klaviyo with Segment If you are looking to do more with your Shopify and Klaviyo data, consider Segment. Littledata's Shopify source for Segment automatically sends a rich data set for use with a range of Segment destinations. Not only does our Segment connection get all of the post-click events into Segment, but it also sends any event associated with an email address onto Klaviyo as well -- providing a richer set of events, without a developer, than Klaviyo's own Shopify event tracking. For example, you can retarget users in Segment who have purchased a certain value, or got certain products to a stage of the checkout -- all without writing a line of code. [note]You can now track Klayvio SMS clicks with Littledata: Learn More[/note] Read more about how Littledata's Segment connection works, and check out the latest updates to our Shopify source for Segment. The connection now supports analytics destinations such as Mixpanel, Vero and Kissmetrics, and email marketing destinations including Klaviyo, Hubspot and Iterable. [subscribe]
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