The new version of Google Analytics tracking, GA4, will soon take over the current, and most commonly used, Universal Analytics (UA). The transition will officially roll out on July 1st, when UA will stop processing new hits, and on October 1st for those using UA 360.
Let us break down what this new version of GA offers, how it is enhanced, what to expect, and how to plan to implement the migration.
What's new in GA4
One of the core updates from GA4 is that it is now using event-based tracking, instead of session-based as it was in the old UA world. This includes more granular data and better control over data privacy.
Enhanced privacy & security
Less dependent on user cookies
Helps unify data structure for web & mobile apps
Allows web & mobile apps to share data-collecting format
More consistent formatting & advanced reporting
GA4 utilizes machine learning for behavioral and conversion modeling to provide users more advanced insight data without sacrificing users’ privacy (e.g. collecting more data). GA4 can also be linked to BigQuery for users who need advanced usage of their data.
Analysis hub with templates to simplify cross-dimensional metric reporting
Extended segmentation (based on 'time' & 'events')
Access to complete user journeys ("life cycle")
Includes detailed reporting on acquisition, engagement, monetization, & retention
More predictive metrics (revenue prediction, purchase & churn probability)
How can 1r partner to help
1r has worked with our team of developers to create multiple solutions based on the level of tracking each client might need in GA4.
Here are some of the recommendations we provide:
1r custom GTM Implementation (Recommended)
1r has worked to pull together various levels of support based on clients' needs. After evaluating the current level of tracking and intentions for the future, a custom list of events will be created in Google Tag Manager to help accomplish it all. These events allow for real time tracking, utilizing more user interaction events and covers most use cases to solve urgent needs, creating scalability and adaptability. 1r will handle the evaluation, build out in GTM, as well as all tests to ensure everything is working as intended.
Brand Lead Implementation
A second option is to utilize GA4's basic implementation through the Shopify Google Channel App. By using this setup, events will be created through the GA4 Setup Assistant on the Google account. These events will be their basic tracking and can limit the amount of events and product data that are collected, but it can be done quickly and on your own.
3rd Party + 1R Combined Implementation
A third option would be to utilize a third party company, like Elevar, to help set up all events and then work with 1R to install and help maintain them. The third party would set up and configure the Shopify site for both the client and service side, the GA4 property and GTM container with their pre-built tags. With this option, there is a monthly cost to the third party, and if you want to utilize a different option in the future you will need to rebuild all events in your GTM container.