In less than a year, the version of Google Analytics currently in use will cease its operations. Google is getting ready to conclude the shift to the next iteration of analytics by July 2023. Businesses that wish to continue monitoring their online visitors must transition to Google Analytics 4 instead of the existing Google Universal Analytics.
Google Analytics 4 represents a significant upgrade that mirrors the advancement of the contemporary internet and applications. It departs from tracking sessions and instead focuses on tracking events, enabling comprehensive monitoring of the complete customer journey across various online platforms like websites and apps.
The process of shifting to the new analytics might present challenges, as certain familiar reports have been removed or substituted. Marketing professionals will need to come to terms with the absence of well-known metrics such as average session duration and bounce rate.
Here’s a concise overview of the key distinctions between the current Google Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4. Furthermore, you’ll gain insights into establishing a connection between your Magento 2 platform and the new analytics solution.
Table of Contents
What Exactly is Google Analytics 4?
Google Analytics 4 (GA 4) stands as a comprehensive upgrade to Google’s analytics service on a global scale. This enhancement entered public testing in 2020 and showcases notable deviations from the prevailing Google Universal Analytics (GA 3). At the present moment, online stores possess the flexibility to adopt any analytics solution they deem most suitable. Nonetheless, come July 2023, the tether to Universal Analytics will be severed. The key distinction between Universal Analytics and GA 4 lies in the shift from sessions to events, enabling the aggregation of standardized data across all platforms. This, in turn, facilitates the generation of a unified report tracing the entire user journey. GA 4 also encompasses machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP). These features empower the anticipation of conversion probabilities, harnessing such insights for Google Ads campaigns. Machine learning additionally proves its worth in detecting irregularities within reports, such as absent conversion tracking or miscalculated conversion coefficients.
What is Magento 2
Magento 2 stands out as an open-source e-commerce system that represents a substantial enhancement over the original Magento e-commerce software. Crafted by Magento Inc., a subsidiary of Adobe Inc., it made its debut in November 2015. The prime objective of Magento 2 revolves around providing online merchants with an adaptable, expandable, and feature-abundant foundation to construct and oversee their e-commerce establishments.
Catering aptly to a broad spectrum of businesses, ranging from fledgling startups to expansive enterprises, Magento 2 particularly garners favor among enterprises seeking a remarkably flexible and scalable e-commerce remedy. Nevertheless, owing to its intricacy and advanced functionalities, the configuration and administration of a Magento 2 store could entail a requisite for technical prowess and development resources.
In what ways does Google Analytics 4 differ from Google Universal Analytics?
Google Analytics 4 introduces a range of notable distinctions when compared to Universal Analytics:
Revised Data Model: Arguably the most overarching distinction between the old and new iterations of Google Analytics lies in their data models. The new model transitions from sessions and page views to events and parameters. In Google Analytics 4, every user action is classified as an event, which can be automatically collected or manually configured. Each event is capable of accommodating up to 25 custom parameters. For instance, a page view is treated as an event, encompassing parameters like page language, screen resolution, and page referrer.
Data Streams: Google Analytics 4 captures data from websites and apps through data streams, integrated within a single Analytics property. In contrast, Universal Analytics employs separate Analytics properties for distinct data sources, such as websites or mobile apps. This setup in GA 4 simplifies the analysis and tracking of traffic across various sources.
Time-Scoped Data Viewing: While Universal Analytics permits unrestricted access to historical statistics, GA 4 offers data spanning the last 14 months. Beyond this timeframe, utilization of Google BigQuery is necessary.
Enhanced IP Anonymization: The new Analytics offers heightened IP address anonymity, with IP anonymization activated by default.
Dual Cookie Files: GA 4 employs not one, but two cookie files to monitor user activity, each with a two-year lifespan.
Empowered Segmented Analysis: The new Analytics introduces a more comprehensive range of parameters, metrics, and connections between these elements and events. This enriches audience analysis capabilities, enabling forecasts like predicting the upcoming week’s count of buyers.
Cross-Domain Tracking: GA 4 enables the tracking of conversions based on their authentic sources, excluding intermediary websites. For example, if a user’s conversion is attributed to a social network upon authorization, even though email serves as the actual source, cross-domain tracking unveils the genuine conversion source.
Revamped Engagement Tracking: Google Analytics 4 monitors engagement via Sessions with interaction, Engagement rate, and Time of involvement. This last metric remained untraceable on smartphones with Universal Analytics.
Condensed Standard Reports: Standard Reports in GA 4 encompass fewer categories, including Users, Demographics, Behaviors, and Devices.
Customizable Reports: The Custom Reports feature, previously exclusive to paid GA 360, is now accessible in the new Analytics. Additionally, GA 4 integrates seamlessly with Google BigQuery.
Tailored Insights and Anomaly Detection: Users can configure alerts for critical events, such as anomalies in data collection. Monitoring frequency is hourly in GA 4, contrasting with the one-day interval in GA 3.
Enriched Path Analysis: Google Analytics 4 extends customer path analysis, a capability previously reserved for paid GA 360 users.
BigQuery Integration: GA 4 introduces complimentary integration with BigQuery, albeit with limits of 50 text and 50 numeric event parameters.
Google Analytics 4 (Ga4) Extension for Magento 2: How Does It Work?
The Google Analytics 4 and Google AdWords integration into your Magento 2 store is effortless thanks to the Enhanced eCommerce extension, Magento 2 Google Analytics 4 extension can be easily implemented in a matter of minutes.
This module’s setup is rather simple and is assisted with a thorough step-by-step manual. After installing the plugin, prepare a JSON file by following the instructions to include the new Tags, Triggers, and Variables. This JSON file may be easily added to Google Tag Manager, allowing you to replace or combine it with the labels that are already there.
There is no need to modify the code once you’ve saved these configurations; you are ready to go.
Advantages of Implementing Magento 2 and GA 4
The extension will start sending Enhanced insights with GA4 on Magento 2 via the database layer as soon as it is operational. It will start evaluating the pertinent events for your Magento 2 store simultaneously. This influx of priceless insights provides you with the knowledge you need to effectively manage your company’s operations.
Data holds immense significance for online enterprises. The latest rendition of Google Analytics empowers these businesses to delve into the customer experience, procuring invaluable insights. In the case of a CMS store operator leveraging Magento, there are several advantages to harness from Analytics for Magento:
- Thorough Data Examination & Reporting
- Enhanced Monitoring of Customer Journeys
- Amplified Analysis of Visitor Engagement
- Effortless Configuration of Objectives
- Consolidated Web Application Analytics
- Augmented Tracking and Illustration
- Establishment of Tracking and Custom Events
Let’s now proceed to the primary segment.
This encapsulates the essential insights regarding the newly introduced iteration of Google Analytics and its seamless integration with Magento 2. I trust you have found this manual beneficial for establishing Magento 2 Google Analytics 4 through GTM. The inherent events tailored for eCommerce streamline the setup process.
Upon completing this guide, you should be fully capable of integrating Google Analytics into Magento 2, enabling you to monitor your store’s traffic. Through GA 4, Magento 2 merchants can track not only their website activities but also engagements on their mobile app and various online marketplaces. This furnishes them with a more profound comprehension of user behaviors.
Consequently, the identification of inefficiencies in sales funnels becomes significantly more straightforward, empowering businesses to foster more personalized interactions with customers by comprehending their actions.