The Digital Marketing world has been saturated with the latest news on Google Analytics ending. What does this mean for your eCommerce business and how do you prepare to transition to the event-based Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?
Google has announced the end of standard Universal Analytics (UA) in their blog. If you have been using the previous version of Analytics, you will have until the end of June 2023 to transition to GA4. If you’ve been holding off migrating to GA4, then it’s the perfect time to start planning.
What happens when Universal Analytics end?
All UA properties will stop populating data into reports. All new data from July 2021 will show up as zero’s but historical data will still be available.
Google has stated that you will be able to access all historical data sets for at least 6 months. In other words, you have until the end of December 2023 to gather and download all historical data and any custom insights.
Will there be an automatic upgrade from Universal Analytics to GA4?
Sadly, you can’t simply upgrade your UA property to a GA4 property. We recommend that you set up a parallel GA4 property and have it run in the background with Universal Analytics to build the necessary historical data. By doing this you are giving you and your team a little bit more time to familiarise yourself with the new Analytics suite.
Why the sudden move to end Universal Analytics?
UA was created to gather data from cookies and measure independent user sessions with a focus on desktop web. This type of measurement activity is very quickly becoming obsolete. With the introduction of GA4 we are getting an analytics suite that focuses on multi-platform user activity, does not rely solely on cookies and uses event-based data models.
GA4 allows eCommerce businesses to see user journeys across their websites and apps in one place and use built-in machine learning technology to predict insights to keep up with ever changing web algorithms. It also offers sophisticated privacy controls and will no longer store IP addresses.
Make a list of any custom events and tracking parameters you are using to track specific eCommerce events. This will ensure you are prepared to transfer this to GA4 without losing precious data.
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