Migrate to GA4 to Avoid Losing Your Ecom Store’s Historical Data
Irene Wanja | Jan 17, 2023Reading Time: 4 minutes
Google Analytics (GA) is one of the most widely used web analytics platforms that provides ecommerce businesses with valuable insights into their website performance. However, Google announced that it will no longer be supporting GA, and instead is introducing the next generation of analytics called Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This new platform has more advanced features, like improved data collection, better user privacy protection, and integration with other Google products.
Given the deadline of July 2023 for the switch from GA to GA4, it is highly recommended that all ecommerce business owners migrate their stores as soon as possible to take advantage of the new features and benefits that GA4 offers.
What GA4 brings to the table
The primary difference between GA and GA4 is that rather than a pageview-centric experience, GA4 is event-based and provides deeper information on customers’ user behaviors. Furthermore, its granular data offers more detailed insights than were available before, giving you the ability to make better decisions in marketing and product planning. There truly has never been a better time to transition to this new analytics service, as it empowers business owners to learn more about their users than they ever could before.
GA4 also offers more advanced features for tracking, like the ability to track new data points such as scroll depth and engagement metrics—allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of your online customers and prospects. You can also set up automated triggers in GA4 to save time while viewing reports. These upgraded features enable you and your team to obtain actionable insights quickly and easily, giving you a competitive advantage. To keep up with rapidly changing customer behaviors, it is essential that online store owners make the switch from GA to GA4 now.
While switching to GA4 requires an extra investment of time, it also has a larger potential return on your analytics efforts in terms of data uncovering. That’s why it’s important to keep in mind the deadline for the official changeover—July 1, 2023. After this date, any websites still running on traditional Google Analytics will lose access to their historical data, and may experience disruption in reporting. So, don’t wait until the last minute to make the switch, as there could be potential disruptions in reporting during peak times, such as holidays or special promotions when high traffic volumes are expected.
Basic migration steps
If you’re not familiar with how best to migrate to GA4, here’s a quick overview of what needs to be done:
- Ensure you have a property set up for each domain you would like tracked within your new version of analytics. This can be done via property settings within your account dashboard.
- Establish a data governance plan. Decide which types of information should be collected, and what will be done with it once gathered.
- Configure additional features, such as goals and events. Set up specific events and goals you would like tracked and recorded.
- Implement any necessary tags and scripts. Add tags and scripts onto pages that need tracking. Configure them correctly so they match up with what requires measuring.
- Monitor performance and adjust accordingly. Access reports generated by analytics. Review them regularly, and make changes where necessary so results remain accurate and useful.
In summary, if you haven’t yet made the transition to GA4, it’s essential to do so soon in order to meet the July 1, 2023 deadline … or risk losing access to valuable data. Switching over now will let you reap the benefits of features like improved segmentation analytics, real-time reporting capabilities, and enhanced machine learning capabilities … all of which can help you make better business decisions.
As an online store owner, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused about how to complete this migration on your own. You might be worried that you’ll tamper with your data if you make one wrong step. That’s understandable, as the process of migration can be complex and requires a thorough understanding of the new version.
But don’t worry—you don’t have to go through this process alone. At Build Grow Scale, we have GA experts who can help guide you through the migration process and ensure that your data remains intact. They can help you set up a property for each domain, establish a data governance plan, configure additional features, implement necessary tags and scripts, and monitor performance. They can also help you make sense of the data once it’s been collected and provide actionable insights to help you grow your online business.Working with a BGS Google Analytics expert will help you rest easy, knowing that your data is in good hands and that the migration process will be completed efficiently and effectively. Don’t let confusion and fear hold you back from taking advantage of the new features and insights GA4 has to offer. Reach out for professional help today (we’d love to hear from you!), and watch your ecommerce business grow!
Irene Wanja is in charge of analyzing usability data at BGS. She spends her time with your content applying her understanding of how users interact to improving user experience, which is her specialty. She is passionate about software and technology and loves working on clients' businesses to improve clarity, efficiency, and user satisfaction.