An Overview of Differences between UA vs. GA4
While there are several minor differences between the functionality of the two platforms, the most important one is that Google Analytics 4 enables you to report on activity on websites and applications.
You can track websites and apps in a single property, whereas previously, you needed separate properties for apps and websites. GA4 is also more focused on customer privacy and has prioritized this in compliance with privacy laws such as GDPR and CCPA.
It's based on a data-driven model for attribution and tracking, phasing out cookies, and future-proofing for topics API.
How to Use GA4 for Ecommerce
UA vs. GA4 sees the new platform offering a wider range of functions for ecommerce businesses. This includes segmentation, funnel analysis, Google Ads reports, and access to predictive insights. But first, let's explore some of the key features and capabilities of the new platform.
GA4 provides robust segmentation options, allowing you to analyze data based on various criteria. As a result, it enables you to gain deeper insights into user behavior and tailor your marketing strategies accordingly.
You’ll find that you have access to numerous reports. You can use them as they are or customize each to suit your needs. Some common report categories include:
- Users vs. traffic
- Behavior vs. engagement metrics
- Session-based data vs. event-based data
- Event and conversion creation
Google Ads Reports
GA4 offers comprehensive Google Ads (GAds) reports that enable you to analyze the performance of your advertising campaigns. When linked, you can pull in data from GAds. You can also create custom reports, review search terms, track conversions, and compare advertising campaigns to understand user behavior and make data-driven decisions.
One of the most underrated features of Google Analytics 4 is its customization capabilities. You can tailor the platform to meet your requirements by creating dashboard-esque reports using the “Explorations” feature. This feature combines the best of custom dashboards from Universal Analytics and the user interface of Data Studio.
GA4 leverages machine learning capabilities to provide advanced functionalities such as anomaly detection, predictive analytics, and attribution. These features allow you to gain deeper insights into user behavior, optimize your marketing campaigns, and improve overall performance.
Google Analytics 4 lets you get really granular with the amount of data you can gather on user behavior and journeys. You can use pre-built templates or customize them to give you the insights you need.
Some key explorations include:
- Funnel exploration: Analyze user journeys across channels and devices.
- Path exploration: Explore conversion rates and sales volume by path.
- Segment overlap: Compare data for various segments, such as users from different regions.
- User explorer: Dive into individual user behaviors.
- Cohort exploration: Group users and analyze their data collectively.
- User lifetime: Understand the lifetime value of your users.
The Inevitable Shift to GA4
With GA4 entirely replacing UA by July 2023, businesses have no choice but to accept the change. While leaving behind the historical data collected through UA may be challenging, adapting to GA4 ensures access to advanced analytics insights and keeps businesses aligned with evolving technology.
Google provides resources and tutorials to help you understand the new GA4 platform. If you have a Shopify store, you can refer to our step-by-step guide on linking your shop to GA4.
In conclusion, GA4 offers enhanced capabilities for gathering and analyzing data. It gives marketers and account managers powerful insights into user behavior and predictive analytics. In addition, the platform's focus on customer privacy and advanced functionalities make it a valuable tool for ecommerce businesses. Embracing the shift to GA4 is essential for staying ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape.