Google Analytics

GA4 Ecommerce Events: What They Are and How to Implement Them

The Newest Features in Google Analytics for Ecommerce Tracking, How to Set Up Everything Needed, Measuring & Analyzing Data, and More!

Main Image Courtesy of Cardinal Path. 

Unfortunately, Google Analytics doesn't automatically collect information from your site or app. This means that you'll have to set it up in order to utilize it in your reports which is very beneficial in the long run.

With Google Analytics, you can analyze and report on your ecommerce transactions. It will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of your customers' shopping habits and improve the experience of your consumers. In addition, it will allow you to make changes to your marketing strategy to boost conversions.

New and Improved GA4 Features for GA4

Overall, the newest version of Google Analytics (GA4) is much more advanced when comparing the older version of Universal Analytics, when it comes to features such as measuring data, machine learning, and reports. With regards to ecommerce specifically, there are new features to take your ecommerce business to that next level. 

New Data Model 

Through the measurement of user interactions, you can learn about your customers and develop strategies to improve their experience.

The goal of GA4 is to measure every interaction, even if it happens multiple times in a session. For instance, if a user completes a form three times, it will be counted as three conversions.

Predict Future Insights 

Through Google Analytics for Ecommerce, you can collect and analyze data about your customers' behavior and preferences, allowing you to improve your marketing efforts.

With the help of machine learning technology, GA4 can also predict client lifetime value and churn rates, as well as identify potential customers to target for better engagement.

In-depth reports provide you with a detailed overview of your customers' interactions across all channels, allowing you to see who your audience is. Using automation, you can easily keep up with the competition and achieve success with Google Analytics for Ecommerce.

Better Understanding of Customer’s Life Cycle 

Through the use of interactive tools, ecommerce businesses can monitor the activities of their customers on different platforms and devices.

With the latest version of Google Analytics, you can now see the entire customer journey, giving you more effective marketing techniques. This feature also allows you to collect and analyze data related to your customers' behavior, making it easier to make better decisions and improve revenue.

More Efficient Data Control

With the latest version of Google Analytics for Ecommerce, advertisers can now easily comply with various data protection regulations, such as the GDPR. A new consent option in the software allows website owners to gain more control over how their data is used. It also makes it easier to handle requests to remove personal information.

Quick Reporting 

With Faster Reporting in GA4, you can get immediate access to critical data such as website traffic and conversion rates, eliminating the need to wait for the data to load. This powerful tool will allow you to quickly identify and fix any issues that may have been affecting the website's performance.

What to Do Before Enabling Ecommerce Tracking 

Implement transactional capabilities on your site to gather data related to ecommerce transactions. These may include shopping carts, product pages, payment options, and more. If you haven't already, make sure to create your GA4 account.

You must first choose a method to collect data related to your ecommerce transactions. This can be done through the use of a global site tag or a Google Tag Manager (GTM). These allow you to configure the property of Google Analytics to allow you to receive reports related to your website and app.

Setting up eCommerce in Google Tag Manager (GTM)

Google Tag Manager graphic
The Google Tag Manager is an online tool that enables you to update third-party and Google tags on your mobile apps and websites without writing a whole lot of code. It also allows you to collaborate and create versions. Image Courtesy of Market Vantage

To access the Google Tag Manager, go to the top-left of Google Analytics' All Accounts page and click on the icon for the tool. You can then follow the steps to get started.

You can also sign in using the Google Tag Manager's site. If you are new to the tool, create a new container and an account from the GTM homepage. This will allow you to manage all of your tags in one place.

To create a new account, go to the Accounts tab, click on the "Create Account" button, and then select the country where you want to set up your account. You can also add a descriptive name to the New Container field, choose a type of container, and sign the Terms of Service agreement.

Install GTM on Your Apps & Web Pages 

To use the Tag Manager feature on your site, you must first add a small piece of code that will allow it to communicate with Google Analytics and Google Tag servers.

The code that will be used to implement the configuration of the GA4 tags will automatically set the cookies and send enhanced and collected measurement events. With the help of Tag Manager, you can monitor the activities of your users as they interact with your eCommerce products and app. It can also alter the way your app is set up without having to go through the laborious process of re-creating the app codes.

Install GTM Container on the Ecommerce Site 

In the Google Tag Manager, go to the Workspace tab, and click on the container ID that's formatted as GTM-XXXXXX. You'll then be prompted to install the app.

Paste the code snippets you copied and pasted into your web pages into the "Install Tag Manager" box. Then, put the no script snippet right after the HTML output of the page.

Using Ecommerce Events with GTM

GTM is an add-on for an eCommerce event that allows you to display various products and services. It can be done with as many as 200 elements and 27 custom parameters. Creating a group of these products and services will allow you to track their progress.

Event tags in GA4
In order to implement a Google Analytics event in your app or website, you must first set up an event tag in GTM. This will allow you to set up rules so that you can collect data from your site. Image Courtesy of Google for Developers

You'll then need to create a macro in GTM that will allow the event to access the data from your website's products. This will help it pull in details about the products, such as the descriptions and prices.

Next, go to the GTM main menu and click on the "New Event" button. Then, enter the name of your new event. For example, you can create a "Purchase" event.

Finally, navigate to the Data Layer section and click on the Variables option. Then, enter your name and the name of the data layer that you want to be created. You can then save the changes by going to the next section.

Events in GA4 include:

  • Automatically collected events: First_visit, Session_start, etc. are the predefined events businesses should be tracking. 
  • Enhanced measured events: These are ideal for capturing data without requiring the Tag Manager to set up events. They can be used for various activities such as page views, site searches, and outbound links.
  • Recommended events:  Along with generating reports in GA4, these events can help you analyze and improve the behavior of your website.
  • Custom events: Any activity that isn't tracked, like form submissions or button clicks, can be included in custom events. 

Test Your Setup 

Before you start publishing new events, it’s important that you first preview the changes that will be made to your event. In Tag Manager, you can enable the preview feature to test if your Google Analytics setup is ready to handle the details of your eCommerce business.

To use the Google Tag Assistant in a preview mode, go to the settings in Google Tag Manager and click on the "Preview" button. You'll be notified if there are any errors in the setup. To confirm that everything is working, enter the URL of your website where you installed the container.

In the settings section of Google Tag Manager, click on the "Change settings" button to address any issues related to your tag. For instance, if an event triggers an error, such as when a page is loaded without a button click, you can fix this issue by saving your changes and repeating the process.

After your tag is working properly, it's time to update your workspace. To do so, go to the top-right of your Tag Manager and click "Publish Workspace Changes." In the box that's labeled "Review Workspace Changes," enter your details and a description.

After everything is set up, you can get the details of your events and your parameters from the DebugView and Realtime reports. These reports allow you to keep track of your sites' activities in real time.

Analyzing the Data

With the help of GA4 eCommerce tracking, you can now gain deeper insights into your customers' buying habits. This will allow you to create customized experiences for them and make informed decisions for your business.

Creating reports for your eCommerce business can help you monitor trends and improve your marketing efforts. This will also give you a deeper understanding of how your customers are buying.

Benefits of Ecommerce Websites in GA4

While ecommerce tracking can be a bit complicated to completely figure out, the benefits sure make it worth it. 

Integration with Google Ads 

Through the integration of Google Ads and GA4, a business owner can easily monitor the performance of their campaigns, which allows them to create and target effective remarketing lists that are based on their users' behavior. It also helps to optimize their ads.

Export Data to BigQuery 

Google Big Query logo
With the help of GA4, you can easily export your collected data to BigQuery, which is a powerful data analysis tool that can allow you to gain deeper insight into your website's users. Image Courtesy of Medium

This integration will let you identify and target your ideal customers. It will also enable you to implement effective data-driven marketing strategies.

Custom Dimensions

A well-defined set of custom dimensions is very important to describe and understand the behavior of your website's users. Although Universal Analytics only limits the number of these, GA4 allows you to have up to 50 custom metrics and 25 user-related dimensions per property.

This feature allows you to analyze and track the activities of your users in more detail, allowing you to make better decisions and improve the efficiency of your marketing efforts.

Final Remarks

Data is more important than ever nowadays when it comes to taking your business to the next level in the digital landscape. Because of all the new advanced features in GA4, it’s important for business owners to understand its capabilities to stay on top of all the new industry trends. 

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