For years, Google's Universal Analytics platform has been the industry standard for website tracking and measurement, and it's one of the most important tools in any successful digital marketer's toolkit for enhancing their online presence and audience targeting. Is there a new ruler on the throne now that Analytics 4 has been released?
Google Analytics 4, the latest version of Google Analytics, offers some great new features for e-commerce sellers. It is a powerful tool for monitoring and analyzing your website traffic; it helps you know how people use your website, where they come from, what they do once on your site, and so on.
By learning how to use Google Analytics 4, you can make better decisions about your e-commerce business, such as what products to sell, how to market them, and where to invest your resources for the best return on investment. Additionally, you can use Google Analytics data to track your progress over time and see which marketing strategies are working well and which ones need improvement.
In this article, we'll look at some of the benefits of Google Analytics for e-commerce sellers and how you can start using it to take your business to the next level.
What is Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 is the latest version of Google's popular web analytics platform. Google Analytics 4 introduces several new features and improvements, including machine learning-based event modeling, improved cross-platform tracking, creating custom parameters and metrics, providing analytics data, and support for Google BigQuery.
Google Analytics 4 holds a lot of promise as a major upgrade to an already essential tool for webmasters and digital marketers. Perhaps the most significant change in Google Analytics 4 is the move from a pageview-based model to an event-based model. This means that rather than simply tracking page views, Google Analytics 4 can now track various user interactions, such as button clicks or video views.
This iteration of Google Analytics provides more granular data that can be used to better understand user behavior. In addition, Google Analytics 4 also includes improved cross-device tracking, allowing more accurate reporting on users accessing your site from multiple devices. Finally, Google Analytics 4 integrates with Google BigQuery, making it easy to run complex queries on your website data.
Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics
For those who might be unfamiliar with Universal Analytics or are quite new to e-commerce, Universal Analytics is the previous version of Google Analytics. It's still widely used by webmasters and digital marketers, but Google Analytics is constantly being updated with new features.
One of the key differences between Google Analytics and Universal Analytics is that Universal Analytics uses a page view-based model, while Google Analytics uses an event-based model. This means that Universal Analytics tracks page views, while Google Analytics tracks various user interactions. Google Analytics 4 is designed to work with mobile apps and websites. In contrast, Universal Analytics is focused on website data only which is why Google Analytics 4 uses a new flexible data model based on events rather than page views. This allows for more granular tracking of user interactions and sets custom dimensions.
Another difference between the two platforms is that Universal Analytics does not include cross-device tracking, while Google Analytics does. This means that if a user accesses your site from multiple devices, you will be able to see this in your Google Analytics data but not in your Universal Analytics data. It will only show you the page views from the device the user was using when they first visited your site.
Finally, Google Analytics integrates with Google BigQuery, while Universal Analytics does not. This means you can run complex queries on your website data with Google Analytics but not Universal Analytics. For instance, you might want to know how many people added a product to their cart but didn't purchase it. With Google Analytics, you can easily find this data by running a query in BigQuery. But with Universal Analytics, you would need to export raw data into a spreadsheet and manually filter it to find the information you're looking for.
So, what are the benefits of using Google Analytics over Universal Analytics? First, let's take a look at some of the key advantages.
Key Advantages of Using Google Analytics 4 for Your E-commerce Store
Updated user interface that makes it easier to use and navigate
Google Analytics 4 has an updated user interface that makes it easier to use and navigate. In addition, the interface includes features such as a Maps visualization for geographic data and machine learning-powered reports for Google Ads.
Google Analytics 4 allows you to collect data from multiple platforms, including web, mobile apps, and IoT devices. This is also called cross-platform tracking, and it's a key advantage of using Google Analytics over Universal Analytics as it can understand user behavior. This makes it easy to get a consolidated view of your customer's journey across all touchpoints, not just for website users.
2. Seamless integration with Google Ads
Google Analytics offers seamless integration with Google Ads. This means you can see how your Google Ads campaigns are performing and make changes accordingly. Also, you can create remarketing lists in Google Analytics and target these users with relevant ads on Google Ads.
Google Analytics also allows you to create custom reports and dashboards for your e-commerce store. This is extremely helpful if you want to track specific KPIs or compare data over time
3. Provide predictive insights into how customers interact with your online store, what they are buying, and how you can improve their experience
E-commerce tracking is a vital part of using Google Analytics 4 for data collection, and it allows you to see which products are selling well and which ones need improvement. In essence, Google Analytics 4 provides even more insights using your web data stream, allowing you to see what customers are buying and how you can improve their experience. Additionally, Google Analytics can help you track customer lifetime value and churn rate.
4. Identify unique users across all devices.
Since Google Analytics 4 can combine mobile apps with web data, it can identify unique users across all devices. This is extremely helpful for e-commerce businesses as you can target these users with relevant ads and marketing campaigns. This feature can help you with your business because it allows you to track how users interact with your website or app. It's essentially a tracking software to understand your market as it allows you to see which device they're using, where they're located, and even what type of device they have. This information helps set up target audiences in an ad campaign and understand user engagement.
5. Track Mobile App Events and Conversions
You can also use Google Analytics to track mobile app events and conversions. Tracking these events lets you see which actions users are taking and how this impacts your business goals. For example, you might want to track when users add a product to their cart or make a purchase. Through event tracking, you can see which features are used most and make changes to improve the user experience.
Besides collecting data, Google Analytics can also track ecommerce conversions, such as adding a product to a shopping cart or completing a purchase. This data is extremely valuable for understanding which products are selling well and where customers are dropping off in the customer journey.
6. Enhanced reporting features that allow you to track your sales performance over time and compare it with industry benchmarks
Suppose you're looking for a way to track your sales performance and compare it against industry benchmarks. In that case, you'll be excited to know that Google Analytics 4 now includes enhanced reporting features and custom reports. It can now track how your e-commerce store is performing over time, which can be extremely helpful in spotting trends and making changes to improve your sales. The custom reports also allow you to track specific KPIs important to your business.
7. Google Tag Manager
Google tag manager is a free tool that helps you manage your google analytics tags. Google tag manager allows you to quickly add, update, and remove google analytics four tags from your website or app. Google tag manager also lets you preview and debug your tags before they are published. This is especially useful in the development stage of your website or app.
8. Design custom funnels
Custom Funnels is a new feature in Google Analytics 4 that allows you to see your customers' paths as they interact with your business. This can be extremely valuable in understanding how well your marketing efforts are working and where there may be opportunities for improvement.
Custom Funnels allow you to see the overall conversion rate and the conversion rate for each step in the sales funnel or user journeys. This will help you to identify where customers are dropping off and make changes accordingly.
Additionally, custom funnels can be used to track how different channels (such as paid search, email, or social) contribute to conversions. This information can fine-tune your marketing efforts and ensure you are getting the most out of your budget.
9. Cross-domain tracking setup
If you have multiple domains (such as a website and an online store), you can now set up cross-domain tracking in Google Analytics. This will allow you to see the complete journey that your customers take as they interact with your business, regardless of which domain they are on.
Cross-domain tracking is essential for understanding traffic sources, how your customers interact with your business and ensuring that you attribute conversions correctly. Without cross-domain tracking, you might only be able to see part of the customer journey, leading to inaccurate data and insights.
10. Export raw data from Google Analytics 4 to BigQuery
BigQuery is a powerful tool that allows you to analyze large data sets. With the ability to export raw data from Google Analytics, you can now take advantage of BigQuery's advanced features to gain even deeper insights into your customer's behavior. To do this:
- Go to the Admin tab in Google Analytics 4 and select the account, property, and view from which you want to export data.
- Click "Data Export" and select "BigQuery" as the destination. You'll then be able to choose what data you want to export and how often you want the export to occur.
- Once you've made your selections, click "Confirm," and your data will start flowing into BigQuery.
Exporting your data to BigQuery is a great way to get more insights into your website traffic and how users interact with your site. This is very helpful in e-commerce tracking and understanding the buyer's journey.
The need to collect data has increased in the past decade as technology has become increasingly involved. Businesses need to understand their customers better to provide a better product or service. However, with the vastness of the internet, it has become quite difficult to track an individual's behavior. Thanks to Google Analytics 4, it has become easy to collect data and draw insights that can help improve businesses, unlike Universal Analytics, where you still need to invest more time to collect and collect web data.
With Google Analytics 4, you can have custom dimensions or metrics, no longer need to set up filters, and it's very easy to export data to BigQuery. Overall, Google Analytics has become much more powerful, user-friendly, and helpful for businesses.
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