What marketers need to know

On July 1, 2023, Google is ending Google Analytics. Referred to as Universal Analytics (UA), Google Analytics Has been a tracking tool for online stores and PPC performance since 2005. If you use the Universal Analytics 360 property, you will have until October 1, 2023.

Despite its many add-ons, updates and improvements since its launch, Google Analytics has become obsolete. Instead, Google will replace it with a new generation Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which is much more capable of tracking and measuring cross-channel behavior.

How? GA4 is designed to measure data across websites and apps and will provide better insights to ecommerce marketers.

So what does this mean for ecommerce brands and marketers, and what do online stores need to do to ensure they are ready ahead of time for change?

This post answers these and other essential questions about Google’s decision to Universal Analytics Sunset and what online retailers should do. Including:

  1. Why is Universal Analysis Becoming Obsolete?
  2. What is Google Analytics 4?
  3. Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4
  4. GA4 Schedule: How will change happen?
  5. What should ecommerce marketers do before July 2023?

Let’s get started.

1. Why is public analysis becoming obsolete?

Universal Analytics (UA) has been around since 2012, offering a new and improved version of Google Analytics in 2012, and it has been the default ever since.

The UA was cemented at a time when online measurement relied on desktop and independent session tracking. In addition, at the time of its conception, the landscape of privacy preferences was much different than it is today.

Google’s new Analytics 4 is designed to improve privacy, relying heavily on cookies for third-party tracking, and as Google implements various privacy control upgrades. Or, in Google’s own language:

“Universal Analytics was created for a generation of online measurements that were anchored on the desktop web, more easily observable data from independent sessions and cookies ৷ these measurement methods are rapidly becoming obsolete.”

Am I using Universal Analytics?

Launched in October 2020, Google Analytics 4 has been around for almost two years now and is already the default property. So, most likely if you created an analytics account before October 2020, you are still using the Universal Analytics property.

So how do you check any analysis Property type What are you using? Follow these steps:

  1. Open your analytics account
  2. Click the drop-down arrow next to the property name
  3. Check the property ID number

The Google Analytics property ID is used by Google Analytics to collect identifiers and data associated with your account. If the number starts with UA and ends with a number, then that property is using Universal Analytics.

How to check analytics property type

2. What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 was first launched by Google in late 2020 and is now the latest version of Google Analytics. Designed for multi-platform tracking, it offers better connectivity to off- and online engagement and is built for better customer experience and privacy.

Google Analytics history timeline

Unlike previous generations, GA4 does not rely solely on cookies. Instead, it uses peer-based data modeling for more customer-centric measurements, giving more control over data collection and use.

Google Analytics 4 offers ecommerce marketers:

  • Easy integration with other Google products
  • Extended data-driven attribution
  • Better insights across different touchpoints
  • Built-in predictive user behavior driven by insight machine learning

3. Universal Analytics vs. Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 is not just a new generation UA ​​upgrade. This is a completely new tool that has been created differently from the foundation. Its primary focus was to be able to keep pace with changing privacy and reporting requirements.

Here are some of the most important differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4:

  1. Privacy. Unlike UA, GA4 does not rely on cookies, making GA4 more privacy-friendly. In addition, the default in Google Analytics 4 is to anonymize users’ IP addresses by default.
  2. Cross-device insights. GA4 is specifically designed to deal with the much more complex customer journey that goes from the website to the app.
  3. Events and sessions. G4A takes more than page views into account. Although UA is session-based, GA4 is event-based, video play, button clicks and more to track the next event.
  4. Machine learning. GA4 is built around Machine learning and automation technology, Enables it to predict and share more detailed insights This allows it to provide data modeling, closing data gaps.
  5. Structure. GA4 removes data views and filters instead of including filters for better reporting. Here’s a walkthrough of the Google Analytics 4 user interface for a more in-depth look:

Summary of the differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4

    Differences between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4

4. GA4 Schedule: How will change happen?

Now that we know why Google is shutting down Universal Analytics and why Google Analytics 4 is a great tracking tool for ecommerce marketing today, let’s see how Google is going to make this happen.

  1. If you use the Universal Analytics property, data collection will continue until July 1, 2023
  2. From July 1, Google Analytics 4 will be the default analytics tool
  3. After July 1, for at least six months, marketers will still be able to access previously processed data
  4. For large online retailers using Google Analytics 360, you will have until October 1, 2023, before the default change from UA to GA4

5. What should ecommerce marketers do before July 2023?

So, what should ecommerce marketers do before the change? The first thing you should do

Check if you are using Universal Analytics for any of your properties and back up your UA data.

Then, if you still use Universal Analytics, you need to:

  1. Switch to GA4 as soon as possible. To do this, you will want to set up a GA4 property with your existing UA property. However, you should follow it Google Guide And use GA4 setup support to make sure you’re doing it right.
  2. Export report. While UA data will be acceptable for at least six months after the change, you’ll want to export individual reports and BigQuery and set yourself up to use the Google Analytics Reporting API as soon as possible.
  3. Update Google ad tracking. After that, you need to update your Google Ad Tracking. It probably has your conversion tracking set up. So you need to import GA4 conversions into Google ads and delete any UA targets.

How to switch to Google Analytics 4

Here’s more details on how to properly switch to Google Analytics.

How to switch to Google Analytics 4

Final Thought: Google Analytics 4 is coming. What are you ready

Here’s what you need to know about Google’s transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. There is no doubt that the new analysis property is much more suitable for today’s cross-channel buyers and will provide better insights while improving privacy.

And if Google Analytics 4 offers better tracking, why wait? If you’re still in the UA, it’s best to start moving as soon as possible so that you are not only ready for the change, but also enjoy the benefits sooner rather than later.

Have questions? Post in the comments below – our analytics experts are here to help.

Mushon Henish

Mushon Store is the head of year media. He is a PPC expert specializing in Facebook, Google, and Instagram ecommerce campaigns.



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