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 (current?) version of Google Analytics. 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 for a period of time after that (at least 6 months… but not forever).
This means that you must have GA4 connected to your ecommerce shop by 1 July 2023 to continue to collect data. And ideally, have it connected by 1 July 2022 to access year-on-year comparisons, which are important for monitoring trends.
What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
GA4 has a very different user interface and a different underlying data model. This means it’s not just a matter of learning new buttons to access the same reports: the way we build reports and think about viewing our data is fundamentally different.
Watch a walkthrough of the new interface
Do I have to do anything? Will Google upgrade for me?
You must setup and install GA4 yourself. GA4 is a new tool that collects a separate set of data. Google won’t upgrade your code automatically.
Can I use UA and GA4 at the same time?
Yes – and you should. This is called “dual-tagging” and simply means that the tracking code for UA and GA4 are both running at the same time, so the same pageviews, sales etc. go into each system.
When do I need to start using GA4?
ASAP! If your ecommerce platform supports it, you should start dual-tagging with GA4 as soon as possible, ideally before 1 July 2022 so that you have access to year-on-year comparisons in July 2023.
Will all my old data get transferred?
No. GA4 is a new tool and not an upgrade to your existing Google Analytics. There’s no method of importing your old data into your GA4 property.
What does this mean for Etsy sellers?
Etsy still does not support Google Analytics 4 for sellers. I have reached out to Etsy support and they were not able to give me a timeframe for when sellers might be able to use this tool – if ever.
In the meantime, Etsy sellers should continue as usual. You have over 12 months of data still to come and give you insights!
Other ecommerce platforms
Other major ecommerce platforms already support Google Analytics 4 at different levels.
Where to learn more about GA4
I’ve selected free (and cheap) guides and courses from trusted resources to help you get started with this new tool. As with Universal Analytics, my advice on learning the tool remains the same: try to answer real questions, in short, regular sessions.
- How to Upgrade to Google Analytics 4 (Measure School)
- Google Analytics 4 Tutorial – How to get started quickly with GA4 [VIDEO] (Loves Data)
- The Ultimate Side by Side Comparison Guide: GA3 vs GA4 (Krista Seiden)
- Analytics Essentials Course (Loves Data) – Free
- GA4 Mini-Course (Loves Data) – $99 AUD
- 5 Quick Tips to help you better use GA4 (Krista Seiden)