Are you looking to harness the power of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) for your Shopify store?
You're in the right place. In this comprehensive review and guide, we explore Shopify's built-in GA4 integration and its impact on your eCommerce business. With years of experience and numerous clients under our belt, we've got the insights you need.
By the end of this post, you'll know exactly how to set up the integration and be aware of potential pitfalls. Let's dive right in.
An Overview of Shopify's Built-In
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) Integration
Are you new to this GA4 topic? Begin by reading our article on the top benefits of using GA4.
Shopify's seamless GA4 integration empowers you to monitor your website traffic and sales data effortlessly, without requiring any additional code installation. This user-friendly feature allows you to jump-start your GA4 experience and gather invaluable insights to improve your business.
PRO TIPChoose your metrics wisely. Read our guide on eCommerce KPIs to spot the difference between a valuable metric and a vanity number.
To harness the power of your Shopify website's built-in GA4 integration, begin by creating a GA4 property to establish your measurement ID. You may have to do this to replace an existing universal analytics property. Once your property is established, connect it to your Shopify store to launch your data stream, collect data, and improve your conversion tracking.
The integration also boasts several features that streamline data analysis. For instance, you can utilise the Shopify Reports app to observe real-time website traffic data. Additionally, the Shopify Analytics app enables you to scrutinise sales data and compare it to previous timeframes.
In essence, Shopify's built-in GA4 integration offers an accessible and efficient way to commence your Google Analytics 4 property journey and collect valuable insights for your business.
Here are some key benefits of utilising Shopify's native GA4 integration:
Simple setup and usage, even for universal analytics properties
Access to crucial business insights
Real-time tracking of traffic and data through your web stream details
Comparison of sales data across different periods
An excellent starting point for GA4 newcomers
Pros and Cons of Shopify's Built-In GA4 Integration
Shopify’s built-in GA4 integration is a new feature that allows you to track your ecommerce data using Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which is a different platform from the previous Universal Analytics (UA). According to some sources, some of the pros and cons of this integration are:
The Pros and Cons of Shopify's Built-In GA4 Integration
You can use Shopify Customer Events and Shopify Pixels to manage all your tracking pixels from one place without using third-party scripts.
You can automatically track events based on enhanced measurements, such as scroll depth, outbound clicks, video engagement, file downloads, and site search. This will boost conversion optimization possibilities.
You can access new features that are not available in UA, such as cross-platform and cross-device tracking, improved funnel analysis, and more flexible attribution models.
You may want to add additional code, called a data layer, to gain additional insights, such as customer lifetime value and purchase frequency.
You might get less ecommerce data compared to UA, as GA4 is still in development and some features are not fully compatible with Shopify yet.
Setting Up Shopify's Built-In GA4 Integration: A Step-By-Step Guide
Follow these simple steps to set up the Shopify GA4 integration quickly and efficiently:
Create a Google account and Google Analytics account: Sign up for a Google account if you don't have one, and then create a Google Analytics account.
Set up a Google Analytics 4 property: Enable Google Analytics 4 by creating a GA4 property and web data stream for your Shopify store. Note the Measurement ID for later use.
Add Google Analytics 4 tags to your Shopify store: In your Shopify admin, navigate to Online Store Preferences, and follow the steps to connect your GA4 property using the Measurement ID.
Link your Google Analytics account to your Google Ads account: Connect your Google Analytics property to your Google Ads account to analyse customer activity, measure conversion actions, and create audiences.
Optional: If needed, create a Google Tag Manager account and container for your Shopify store to manage tags, and add data layers for purchase and product view events to your Shopify theme code. For more information, read our guide to Google Tag Manager vs Google Analytics.
You can also refer to Shopify’s setup instructions if you need more help.
Events Automatically Sent to Google Analytics 4
There is no definitive list of all the Shopify store events that are automatically tracked in GA4. However, these are some of the possible events that might be tracked automatically:
Note that some of these events are only applicable for mobile apps and not for web browsers. Also, some of these events might require additional configuration or code to work properly. For example, you might need to create a data layer for purchase and product view events.
Missing Events: What's Not Tracked
While Shopify's built-in GA4 integration offers numerous benefits, some events aren't tracked by default.
remove_from_cart: when a customer removes a product from their cart.
select_item: when a customer selects a product variant or option on a product page.
select_promotion: when a customer clicks on a promotion banner or link on your store.
view_promotion: when a customer views a promotion banner or link on your store.
refund: when a customer receives a refund for an order.
These events and tags are not automatically tracked by Shopify’s GA4 integration because they require additional code or configuration to be implemented. You might need to use third-party tools, such as Google Tag Manager (GTM), or custom code to fire these events and send them to GA4.
Solutions for Missing Events: The Importance of Comprehensive Tracking
A solution for tracking the missed events is crucial for understanding a store’s performance because these events can provide valuable insights into the customer journey and behaviour in your store. For example:
Tracking the remove_from_cart event can help you identify the reasons why customers abandon their carts and optimise your cart page design and checkout process to reduce cart abandonment rate.
Tracking the select_item event can help you understand how customers interact with your product variants and options and optimise your product page layout and content to increase conversions.
Tracking the select_promotion and view_promotion events can help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and promotions and optimise your promotional strategy and budget allocation to increase sales and revenue.
Tracking the refund event can help you monitor the customer satisfaction and loyalty levels and identify the causes of refunds and returns and improve your product quality and customer service to reduce refund rate.
By tracking these events, you can gain a more complete and accurate picture of your online store’s performance and identify the areas of improvement and opportunities for growth. You can also use these events to create custom reports, segments, audiences, and goals in GA4 to measure and optimise your ecommerce objectives.
Optimum Click’s Custom Solution for Better Shopify Analytics
Optimum Click has our own solution for tracking these missing events. Our custom code brings your business the necessary data to track these events and improve your web store's performance. Here are just a few ways tracking these events can help you business:
Abandoned Cart Recovery Strategy: By analysing the remove_from_cart event, Optimum Click can design a more effective abandoned cart recovery strategy, including personalised email reminders, incentives like discounts or free shipping, and an improved checkout experience. This encourages customers to return to their carts and complete their purchases, boosting the store's conversion rate.
Personalization and Product Recommendations: Examining the select_item event enables Optimum Click to understand customer preferences and choices. This data informs personalised product recommendations for customers on the store's website and in targeted email campaigns. By offering tailored suggestions based on browsing and purchasing behaviour, the store increases the likelihood of customers finding and purchasing products they're interested in, ultimately enhancing sales and revenue.
Promotion Performance Optimization: By tracking the select_promotion and view_promotion events, Optimum Click can identify which promotions and campaigns effectively drive customer engagement and conversions. This information helps optimise the store's promotional strategy, focusing on successful campaigns and adjusting or discontinuing underperforming ones. As a result, the store's return on investment for marketing efforts improves, driving more sales and increasing overall revenue.
Server-Side Tracking: Optimum Click offers server-side tracking solutions to collect data more accurately and securely, ensuring privacy compliance and providing a complete view of user interactions and conversions.
Measuring Lifetime Values: Optimum Click helps businesses measure the lifetime value of customers, enabling better decision-making regarding customer acquisition, retention, and marketing investments.
In-Depth Analysis of Returning Visitors: Optimum Click delves deeper into the behaviour of returning visitors, examining factors like repurchase frequency, average purchases during a user's lifetime, and spending patterns. This information empowers businesses to create tailored strategies for retaining and engaging customers, driving long-term growth and success.
As a full-service digital marketing firm, we also offer a digital analytics agency service. Our team of analytics experts can help you deploy a custom solution to get the most useful info from your data.
In summary, Shopify's built-in GA4 integration simplifies the process of connecting your store to the new Google Analytics 4. However, some events aren't tracked by default, which may impact your store's performance analysis. By understanding the pros, cons, and potential solutions, you can optimise your eCommerce store and make data-driven decisions.
Of course, our team at Optimum Click can help you get the right data, make smarter decisions with it, and increase the profitability of your ecommerce business. When you’re ready to start collecting the right data and gaining real insights from your Shopify data, contact Optimum Click. We can help you set up your Shopify integration and data tracking to increase your store’s performance.