Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands ask themselves a lot of questions. Who are my customers, and how do they interact with my brand properties? How can we expand our customer base and stop churn? Google Analytics 4, or GA4, is a game-changing web analytics tool with all the functionality ecommerce brands need to answer those questions.
Here are some key features to know about in GA4:
Ready to set up Google Analytics 4 yet? Keep reading for more reasons to take advantage of new Google Analytics functionality for ecommerce, including how to migrate historical data from a Universal Analytics property.
Google can’t migrate historical data directly from your old Universal Analytics property into a new Google Analytics 4 property. The two versions are too different for 1:1 data migration.
Here are just a few of the ways that the data collection schemas and dimensions changed so dramatically in GA4:
Google does offer Setup Assistant for Universal Analytics users to set up a new GA4 property, but don’t get too excited. This setup wizard helps you set up Google Analytics 4 as a new property alongside a historical Universal Analytics property. That isn’t the same as migrating your historical Google Analytics data into the same data destination as your new property.
Fortunately, ETL (extract, transfer, load) tools like Stitch Data support seamless and code-free integration of historical Google Analytics data. You can also use Stitch to build pipelines to replicate GA4 data into your data warehouse or other destination.
When you extract Google Analytics 4 data with Stitch, you gain visibility into user engagement across your entire DTC strategy. Since GA4 is event-based it offers the ability to track user engagement across multiple platforms.
With the addition of cross-domain tracking in GA4’s data streams, Google will be able to pass cookies between websites and apps. This consolidates duplicate users to give a more holistic view of user lifecycle across domains. Now you can create a unique identifier for individual users. Then, utilize that user ID to track engagement beyond your website and mobile app experiences.
Extracted GA4 data helps you get the most out of your demand-side platform (DSP) and content resource management (CRM) tools. For example, you can merge consumer-level advertising DSP analytics with traffic from your websites and apps, individual CRM touchpoints, a live look at your invoicing and billing software, and so on. That way you’ll see the full impact of your entire marketing and sales funnel in one place.
Stitch uses GA4’s Reporting API to pull whatever metrics you need into your data warehouse or data lake. That way you can direct your effort into interpreting analytics instead of managing data pipelines.
Merging Google Analytics data with your marketing data stack is effortless with Stitch’s no-code/low-code user experience. Connect your web traffic data stream with performance data from platforms like HubSpot, Salesforce, Marketo, Facebook Ads, Google Campaign Manager, Taboola, LinkedIn Ads, Twitter Ads, Delighted, and Freshdesk. See Stitch’s full list of advertising and CRM integrations.
Google Analytics 4 was built with ecommerce users in mind. Custom dimensions and new ecommerce-specific dimensions focus on measuring shopping behavior. You can even check a real-time data stream to see how users currently on your site are engaging with your property. Ecommerce companies use GA4 to simplify purchase intent and categorization of SKUs.
Added ecommerce dimensions and metrics make tracking events much easier in GA4. Some examples:
Stitch’s no-code ETL tool helps you easily extract these dimensions and metrics, and more. Then use Stitch to combine your analytics data with data streams from your favorite ecommerce tools. Stitch supports Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Square, Invoiced, Klaviyo, Drip, and Stripe, among others. Click here for Stitch’s full list of ecommerce integrations.
Google Analytics 4’s cross-platform visibility and enhanced measurement capabilities simplify iMarketing for ecommerce. You can customize new data reports in GA4 to optimize paid ads, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media as marketing channels. Use this new data to build a data-driven ecommerce engine.
GA4 helps you populate a data warehouse for better analysis, optimization, and forecasting.
It’s hard to overstate how GA4 revolutionizes data collection across paid media channels including Google Ads, LinkedIn ads, and Facebook ads from Meta.
GA4 improves tracking and results thanks to its new, data-driven attribution model. The old way of doing things was to attribute conversion to the last click. Google’s new machine-learning model looks at more behaviors per user. The GA4 attribution model also continuously learns and optimizes to calculate conversion credit.
Search engine optimization is an art that’s grown and changed along with web analytics technology. You can count on Google, whose name is synonymous with search, to help with SEO. Google’s GA4 radically simplifies SEO analytics for less-advanced site owners and web admins. From user trends to organic traffic over time, your GA4 dashboard surfaces the data you need for auditing and analyzing websites.
Simple metrics like web hits and bounce rates aren’t good enough anymore. The only way to know that is to see how users behave on your domain. Ultimately, the best content for SEO is content that people actually engage with (like this page, now that you’ve read this far).
The new version of Google Analytics shows how users really interact with your web and mobile app properties. Default event types show you how effective your SEO content really is: page_view, session_start, user_engagement, first_visit, scroll, click, view_search_results, and file_download.
Google Analytics is getting more savvy about social. The previous version of Google Analytics, Universal Analytics, grouped all social into one category by default. Google Analytics 4 matches traffic sources against a list of social sites to better categorize incoming users and separates paid social traffic.
You can learn even more by enabling enhanced event measurement in the Google Analytics interface. Enhanced measurement learns even more when a certain event is triggered. This setting lets you choose parameters to choose what extra data to collect when a particular event is triggered.
Syncing Google Analytics 4 data to your chosen destination with Stitch is simple. You just need these 4 elements:
Stitch integrates with all major destinations including Amazon Redshift, Amazon S3, Snowflake, Microsoft SQL Server, and many more. See all the destinations Stitch offers to see how Stitch can simplify your data pipelines.
Watch this video tutorial for a step-by-step guide for how to connect your GA4 data to the rest of your data pipeline. Then visit trialstitch.com to sign up now for 14 days of free integrations. This trial includes integrating all your historical data.
Google Analytics is great for ecommerce. The new version of Google Analytics, GA4, provides a more complete view of the customer lifecycle than ever. Codeless event tracking and cross-platform visibility add mobile app analytics to your data collection, while maintaining a higher standard of customer privacy.
GA4 also levels the playing field for website owners with less experience or expertise. The updated user interface is designed to help you customize your web analytics reports. Design reports that give you exactly the web analytics that you need, and nothing you don’t.
Google Analytics 4 collects cross-platform ecommerce data from user events captured through both web and app activity. This enhanced measurement doesn’t need a tracking code, because GA4 uses codeless event tracking. GA4 tracks all kinds of customer activity as user events, including opening mobile apps or emails, clicking links, or filling out forms.
While Universal Analytics applied 100% of revenue attribution based on last click, Google Analytics 4 looks at more of the customer journey. GA4 uses a more complex, data-driven attribution model. GA4 looks at a combination of source, medium, and campaign — then uses a weighted system to distribute credit for revenue.
As an ecommerce site, your data needs are more complex than the average website. Fortunately, Google Analytics 4 does a lot more than just collect data on site visits, bounce rates, and time on page. GA4’s ecommerce settings help you track customer journeys across your brand properties, from awareness to consideration and decision.
And as customers spend more time on digital devices and mobile apps, GA4 follows. This new Google Analytics version provides cross-platform insights into the entire digital customer journey, including custom events and app data from mobile platforms like iOS and Android. GA4 gives you unprecedented insights into where your ecommerce experience is succeeding and where customers run into barriers.
If you used Universal Analytics, you might rely on a special feature called Enhanced Ecommerce. Enhanced Ecommerce is also available as a plugin for GA4.
When you’re logged into your Google Analytics account, select the property (website) that you’d like to enable ecommerce for. Then, click “admin” in the right menu bar. You’ll see a menu item with a shopping cart icon labeled “Ecommerce Settings.” Select that option, and you’ll be able to toggle a slider to enable ecommerce on your GA4 account.