Google Analytics

Install GA4 on Shopify: A Step by Step Implementation Guide

How to Properly Install GA4 + Importance of Understanding Business Analytics & Customer Base

Main Image Courtesy of Blend Commerce.

GA4 + eCommerce Tracking on Shopify 

Due to the complexity of today's e-commerce environment, it's more important than ever for companies to use analytical insights to make proper decisions regarding their brand. With the help of Google Analytics 4, Google's latest release, Shopify store owners analyze and improve their store's performance much easier.

Track Sales/Revenue 

With the help of GA4, you can easily track and analyze your e-commerce sales and revenue data. This allows you to pinpoint areas of weakness and improve your offerings. You can also optimize your marketing campaigns and pricing strategies by gaining insight into your sales and product performance.

Funnel Analysis 

One of the most critical factors that you should consider when it comes to increasing sales and improving ROI is understanding your conversion funnels. With the help of GA4, you can easily identify areas of weakness and bottlenecks that can affect your sales. In addition to providing you with actionable reports, GA4 also lets you make informed decisions on your sales strategies.

Accurately Understand Customer Behavior 

Through GA4, you can analyze and visualize the various aspects of your customers' behavior and preferences in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your Shopify store. You can also track the performance of your users by analyzing their engagement metrics, such as the duration of their session, bounce rates, and page views. With the help of GA4, you can make informed decisions to improve the customer experience and enhance the sales.

Specific Mobile App Analytics 

GA4 is a powerful tool for Shopify store owners who want to analyze and monitor the performance of their mobile apps. It allows them to gain insight into their users' behavior and make informed decisions regarding the app's features. This tool also helps them improve their conversions and enhance the experience of their customers.

Privacy Protection 

The goal of GA4 is to create a more privacy-centric framework that will comply with the regulations of the future. This is particularly relevant to Shopify merchants as they process sensitive information.

Adding GA4 to Your Shopify Store

To get started on your way to a more successful business and a satisfied customer base, check out a couple ways to incorporate GA4 into your Shopify store. 

Youtube & Google 

One of the easiest and fastest ways to integrate Google Analytics with Shopify is through the YouTube and Google applications. This will allow you to add the Google Analytics feature directly to your store, and you can also use this application to integrate with the Google Merchant Center. However, it is recommended to use other apps to import data feeds.

To manage the pixel in your online store, go to the Preferences section, click on the "Manage pixel here" button, and then choose the "Google Analytics" option from the list that's provided. You can then connect your Google Account with an email and select the appropriate property from the list.

On the next page, you'll be able to see the integration section of Google Merchant Center. However, it's highly recommended that you avoid using this feature if you're already using other programs to import data.

Overview of Google's Merchant Center
Create your free Merchant Center account today! Image Courtesy of Google. 

If you have previously used the Google Analytics code in your site's code, you should remove it to prevent getting double data. Setting up the Google Analytics tag correctly and ensuring that data isn't being double-tracked can be done with the help of the Tag Assistant or a debug view.

Add GA4 Tag to the Site Code 

You can also add Google Analytics 4 to your site using the Gtag.js tag. This is a convenient way to integrate various Google services and products into your website. For instance, you can use the Google Tag to link your site to multiple destinations. With this, you don't have to deal with the multiple tags for different accounts of Google.

To use this feature, you will need to add the Google Tag into your Shopify site's code. It's important to note that you will need to modify the code to ensure that it accurately tracks all e-commerce activities.

Use a Paid Tool like Elevar

The final choice is to use a paid tool, such as Elevar. This is the only option that is not free, however, it is often recommended if you feel unsure about going through the process on your own.

With Elevar, you'll get a faster implementation that will prepopulate the data layer. It also provides a variety of Google Tag Manager (GTM) templates and email signups tracking.

Elevar is the go to platform of many to help automate accurate server-side tracking, which also includes a point-and-click Chrome Extension to easily add in event tracking to your site. Image Courtesy of Elevar.

You'll need to access the GTM and the settings for your Shopify store. You can also download the theme files for your store from EZFY. After you've signed up for Elevar, you'll need to link it to your Google Account. This will allow you to access the Google Analytics and Tag Manager.

Install Data Source

You will need to install the data source after you have connected the analytics account and the store.

Go to the GTM container and click on the ID that you want to use. You can then copy and paste the GTM into the box that you created in Elevar. There, you can see an arrow next to the box that says "event breakdown." Make sure to leave all of the checkboxes enabled, these will allow you to measure everything that you need to know about your results.

Set up The Store 

Before you can start setting up your store, it’s important that you remove all of the existing GTM scripts from your store. To do so, go to the settings of your Shopify store and click on Google Analytics. You will then be asked to remove all of the scripts that are currently installed.

Go to the settings of your Shopify store and click on the "themes" category. You will then be able to customize your store's look and feel. You can also plug in the code that you want to use by going to the "edit code" section.

This will automatically highlight the files that are currently in the GTM container thread. You should also remove it from wherever you find it, as you don't want it to be installed twice on your store. Go back to Elevar.

Checkout Traffic 

Navigate to the "configure checkout" area and click on the "view guide" button in Elevar. This will take you through the various steps that are required to set up a Shopify store in the Elevar system. 

Go to the settings page of your store and click on the "Copy to clipboard" button. You'll be able to track the user's Progress as they complete the purchase. Unfortunately, you can't keep track of where the user went to the checkout since that's on the Shopify URL. You can then add a script to the page that will allow you to monitor the traffic that came from the website after the purchase has been completed.

Install Elevar 

After you’ve returned to Elevar, follow the steps to install it into your store. The last step is to confirm that you have the necessary developers installed. When you click on the "reinstall" button, it will take you to a pop-up message. You should then notify them if you have them and proceed.

You must first go to the consent page and get your GA4 ID. After that, go to the GA4 website and click on the "Data Streams" button. You'll be able to see your measurement ID, and then paste it into Elevar using the copy button.

Web Container Setup 

In the web container setup wizard, Elevar will show you a pre-built template that will allow you to create a web tag. This is basically the entire GTM container that will be used. Once you've downloaded and installed the package, go to the admin section and click on the "Import Container" button. You'll then be taken to the destination of GA4.

You are able to create containers across all of your platforms. Image Courtesy of Elevar

In the new workspace, choose what you want to name it. You can also add a description, though it's not necessary. To avoid accidentally overriding anything, select merge. You'll be able to import all the tags, containers, and triggers into the GTM.

In the overview section, Elevar will demonstrate how to update your existing files. If you see a gray banner, it means that there's an update available. To complete the process, go ahead and open the template.

Testing Elevar Results 

After adding event tracking to the GTM,  take a look at how it works. Go to your store's page and click on the preview. You'll then need to enter your store's URL and hit "connect," and make sure that the tags are loaded correctly. In the DL_UserData section, look for the "Import data layer" button. This tells you that Elevar has started running.

Through some typical events in your Shopify store, you can test the capabilities of GTM. After viewing one of your products, go back to the GTM page and click on the "view data layer" option. The advantage of using Elevar's UA setup is that it allows you to view all of your items' information while simultaneously sending all of it to GA4.

Next go to GA4 and look for the information you want to see. In the configuration section, go to "debug" and then "view item event." You should be able to see the events that happened in your store and the products that you clicked on.

Discrepancies Between GA4 and Shopify Revenue Data 

The reason why Google Analytics' revenue and transaction data doesn't always line up with that of Shopify is that the platform uses a browser-side Javascript code for its tracking system, (gtag.js). This is referred to as "browser-side" due to how the code is executed via the browser instead of the website.

This means that if a browser-side Javascript code is used to track a user's activity, it can be blocked by various third-party platforms, such as ad blockers and operating systems. With a server-side tracking system (which is what Elevar is as well), Shopify can keep track of its users' transactions and revenue data and not be affected by these third parties.

Server-Side Google Analytics Tracking 

Along with Elevar, there are other platforms out there such as SlideRule analytics to help you get on track with GA4. Prior to installing a server-side system like the SlideRule GA4 application, it is important that the integration of Google Analytics with Shopify has been disabled. This will prevent you from double-up your data. After this, you can configure the application using the existing GA4 property of your website.

Those who are planning on using the SlideRule GA4 application for Google Analytics should be aware that it will increase the reported revenue for their properties. Although this method will provide a more accurate report, the actual increase in revenue will most likely be observed when compared to historical data.

Prior to implementing the integration of Google Analytics with Shopify, it is recommended that you disconnect the connection between the two components.

The Google Analytics GA4 application may not work in accordance with local cookie consent and laws in certain regions. Before you install it, it is important to familiarize yourself with the cookie consent policies in your business region and how the application will affect your website's alignment.

Trying the GA4 Demo + Getting Started on Your Own 

GA4 is one of the best ways out there to today to properly check valuable insights and monitor a website’s performance overall. By following this guide, you will easily transition there in no time! Still feeling a little uneasy about the platform in general? Try out the GA4 demo and experiment with some demo data. 

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