Connect Google Analytics 4 (GA4) to your ecommerce platform

1 July 2023 is fast approaching came and went, just as fast as we expected.

Some UA Properties kept tracking data all the way to November 2023 but it’s all over now. Universal Analytics has been and gone!

If you were previously “dual tracking” GA4 with Universal Analytics, you can now remove the UA tracking code.

If your ecommerce platform supports Google Analytics 4, you should connect it as soon as possible to restore your web analytics tracking.

Keep reading to find instructions for your ecommerce platform (or leave a comment if yours isn’t yet covered).

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Explore your Etsy Google Analytics backup data (Looker Studio Dashboard)

This article is about how to view and explore the Google Analytics backup for your Etsy shop’s historical Universal Analytics data (2023 and earlier). If you have not yet backed up your data, start here:

Make sure you complete your backup before 1 July 2024 or Google will delete your data!

Learn about backup options for other types of shops and websites.

No matter which method you use to backup your Etsy shop’s Universal Analytics data, you’re going to end up with a bunch of spreadsheets.

Which are… not super user-friendly for actually viewing, exploring and using all this data!

At a basic level, you can use the in-built chart tools in your spreadsheet program of choice. But I recommend using Google’s free dashboarding program, Looker Studio (previously called Data Studio).

If you export your data using my tailor-made UA backup tool for Etsy, I have built a Looker Studio dashboard to go with it. Here’s how to get it…

(Free mini-dashboard below)

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Backup your Google Analytics data before it’s deleted

On Some time after 1 July 2023, Google Analytics Universal Analytics (UA) stopped recording data.

The future is Google Analytics 4. Well, maybe it’s GDPR-friendly analytics instead. But it’s certainly not the same tool we’ve used for all these years (decades?) and it’s not the same set of data.

What do we do with all the data in our Universal Analytics Properties? Can we backup our analytics data? Can we transfer UA data to GA4? Can we continue to analyse it at all?? Is it only an option for big business (i.e. comes with a hefty price tag) or is it something boutique ecommerce shop owners can DIY?

We only have until July 2024 to figure this out, when Google will actually delete all our Universal Analytics properties and reports.

Let’s take a look at the options…

Etsy shop owners: start here with my free backup tool!

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Backup your Etsy shop’s old Google Analytics data for free

Left it to the last minute to save your Etsy shop’s old Google Analytics data?

If you’re here, then yes: you have. The countdown is on to 1 July 2024 when all our Universal Analytics data will be deleted!

Don’t worry, I’ve left it this late too… Let’s do this together 🙂

In true Artisan Analytics fashion, I have created a custom Google Sheet that will automatically backup the most relevant and important Google Universal Analytics data for an Etsy shop and I am releasing it here for free.

Quickstart Guide

  1. Install the official Google Analytics for Google Sheets add-on
  2. Make a copy of the Google Sheets backup tool
  3. Complete the “Settings” tab with information about the Universal Analytics View you need to backup
  4. Go to Extensions → Google Analytics → Run reports
  5. If all reports run successfully (there’s a confirmation pop up), you are done 🎉

The backed-up data now lives inside this Google Sheet, in your Google Drive account, for as long as you keep it there. You can do whatever you want with it, like view it in a Google Looker dashboard.

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Connect Google Analytics 4 to your Etsy shop

If you’re ready to harness the power of numbers to optimize your Etsy shop but haven’t installed (or upgraded) Google Analytics yet, don’t wait any longer!

Here are my instructions for connecting Google Analytics 4 with an Etsy shop.

⚠️ If you’re reading these instructions to upgrade your Etsy Google Analytics tracking, did you know that Google is going to delete your old GA data on 1 July 2024? Learn how to backup that data so you can refer to it later.

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Track your ads with a Paid Social Channel in Google Analytics 4

You pay good money for your ads on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest! So don’t let all that valuable traffic get lumped into your Google Analytics reports with your other visitors from social media, in the general “Social” Channel.

It’s important to clearly separate social media traffic you’ve paid for (advertising) and organic traffic (from your own and others’ posts). Learn how to use the Channel called “Paid Social” that will automagically capture all our social ad visitors, where they can be analyzed separately.

Quick Answer: Google Analytics 4 now comes with a Paid Social Channel built in. You can start using it right away by simply tagging your ad destination links with the Medium value of paid-social and a Source of the social platform’s domain (eg. instagram.com).

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The Unexpected Value of Organic Search Traffic

Years ago, almost all of my clients also partnered with a Search Engine Optimization agency.

Google was king and SEO was strategy #1.

Then social media marketing took over as businesses discovered the value of free exposure on Facebook and Twitter. The results were faster and it was no harder than SEO.

Now it’s 2018 2023. Organic reach on social media is still a shadow of its former self. Advertising costs on the major networks (AdWords and Facebook) are doubling every year. And AI chatbots are loudly heralding the return of the king: search is back – and this time, it’s smarter!

If your marketing strategy is getting more complicated and expensive every month, it’s time to re-discover the value of organic search traffic.

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Google Analytics 4: the what, when & why

Google Analytics 4 is a brand new version of this powerful tool. When I say “brand new”, I mean it is completely different! There are some exciting, really powerful features. And some missing features. There’s also the important question of whether it works with Etsy!

So let’s get a quick overview of what GA4 means for boutique ecommerce sellers.

👋👋 Universal Analytics is going away in late 2023

DEFINITION: “Universal Analytics” is the name of the old version of Google Analytics that we used for many years. From here, I’ll refer to it as “UA“.

On March 16, 2022, Google announced that Universal Analytics (UA) will stop processing new data on 1 July, 2023 and reports on historical data will only be accessible until 1 July 2024.

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What does your Bounce Rate really mean?

We all know it:

A high bounce rate is bad! Right??

Well, that depends. On a lot, actually.

And even if you decide you need to “get your bounce rate down”, you first need to have a deeper understanding of what causes bounces than just “bounce = bad”.

Let’s have a look at what a bounce rate really is and what a “bounce” means for different parts of your online shop.

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Advanced: Find Etsy buyers in Google Analytics

One of the more frustrating parts of using Google Analytics with Etsy is that we cannot see ecommerce metrics.

That’s right: Etsy does not tell GA when a sale occurs, so we get big fat zeros for everything from Transactions to Average Order Value to Ecommerce Conversion Rate, no matter how many actual sales you’re making in Etsy. It’s not just a matter of enabling Ecommerce Tracking in your GA settings; Etsy simply doesn’t send the data to be tracked.

Luckily, all is not lost!

If you make regular sales on Etsy and have had GA connected for at least a few months, you can use an Advanced Segment to identify a slice of your buyers in your GA reports. The most useful thing this lets you see is general trends around the traffic sources that send you buyers.

⚠️ IMPORTANT!
These instructions are for GA Universal Analytics and are no longer applicable. Etsy now supports GA4.

The out-of-date article below is available to read if interested. If the topic is still relevant in GA4, it might be updated in the future.

Google Analytics 4 has similar segment capabilities as those used in this technique. You should be able to use this technique in GA4 once you have a few months’ of data.

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