With the rise of privacy regulations and other industry changes, the shift from third-party cookies to first-party data for tracking and reporting has been a long time coming. Here at NetElixir, we have been preparing for the cookieless future for years. Support for Universal Analytics will sunset on July 1, 2023 and that date is almost upon us. Has your e-commerce business changed over to Google Analytics 4? If you haven’t, don’t delay any longer because implementation doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to avoid a gap in reporting analytics, it’s time to make the change. Today can be the day you put in action your strategy for first-party data by switching to GA4 and getting a feel for it before the July 1 deadline.
Upgrade to Google Analytics 4 to Enhance Your Analytics Options
GA4 is an analytics service designed for how today’s consumers shop, with the privacy options they desire and require. Whether your potential high-value customers are browsing on their phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, GA4 tracks every interaction. GA4 captures events, including clicks and scrolls, across platforms; allows you to assign different categories to these events; and offers your business a holistic view of the customer’s journey while complying with privacy rules and regulations. GA4 streamlines your tracking and reporting, with all the tracked platforms monitored from a single dashboard. GA4 leverages machine learning for conversion modeling and to automate key insights about your customer behavior.
With first-party data usage at the center of GA4’s design, your customers have more control over how their data is shared through options like Consent mode. This mode adjusts what data is collected based on user preference, while still allowing for the collection of non-identifying data, such as functional and aggregate information. GA4’s use of server-side tagging improves attribution for conversion and offers a deeper understanding of the specifics of the customer’s journey. GA4 offers an opportunity to effectively collect accurate, insightful first-party data that can benefit your strategy in real-time, with no need to rely on third-party data.
While GA4 is an upgrade from Universal Analytics, (because UA is built around page views and sessions on a single device and GA4 tracks events across platforms), the two platforms work differently and offer different reporting and metrics. You’ll need to invest time to understand what options are carried over to GA4 and how new features may replace or augment current reporting. By migrating to GA4 now, you can take time to learn GA4’s interface, explore its features options, and develop your marketing and analytics strategies before support for UA ends. Google’s helpful comparison of UA metrics with GA4 offers insight into how metrics might report in different ways after the migration and what new metrics are available. Google’s support resources are a critical tool when navigating this transition and exploring new options, such as enhanced attribution features and modeling that includes cross-channel rules-based models, an Ads-preferred rules-based model, and data-driven attribution.
Ensure a Successful Migration to Google Analytics 4
Haven’t had time to upgrade to GA4 yet? To ensure a seamless migration, make sure you communicate the updated migration to all your channel stakeholders, and plan for a reporting transition period as your business and team get up to speed with GA4. The sooner you migrate your data, the better: Standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing data on July 1, and eventually these properties will go away entirely, taking your historical reports with them if you don’t export them ahead of time.
As of March 2023, if you haven’t created your own GA4 account, Google has already built one for you. Google will automatically create a basic GA4 account for your business that copies over your UA configurations.
What if you don’t want this profile but you missed the opt out date? In the Admin section of your account, select your UA property, click GA4 Setup Assistant, and click Disconnect from your “Connected Property”. After that, you can go ahead to your GA4 property and delete it. If you’ve created your own GA4 property, you can control which configurations you’d like to copy over.
Future-Proof Your Business with NetElixir’s AI Solutions
Check out our GA4 Strategies For Your Brand on demand webinar for a discussion between our Senior Director of Client Strategy Tauseef Syed and Google’s Agency Development Manager Billy McLellan.
Our analytics technical experts can work with you to ensure your e-commerce business is set up for success with Google Analytics 4. We’re here to answer your questions and share best practices that can inform your digital marketing strategy now and into the future. By crafting a strategy that collects and leverages first-party data, your business can field targeted campaigns that respond in real-time to customer behavior.
AI-powered modules are the future of digital marketing, and at NetElixir we are AI-first. GA4 uses machine learning to analyze user behavior, offer predictions, and help your business optimize the user experience. We can help you access real-time insights that will maximize the quality of your data inputs to ensure you are getting the most out of your tracking, reporting, and analysis. Our proprietary AI-powered digital marketing platform, LXRInsights, seamlessly integrates with Google and other platforms to help you understand and reach your customers.