Are you all set to switch to GA4? This post will give you a quick comparison of GA3 to GA4 and why it's important to make the switch now!

What's happening with GA3?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google's popular web analytics platform, and it is set to replace the current version, GA3. The main difference between the two is the way they collect and process data. GA3 is based on a traditional pageview model, while GA4 uses a more modern event-based model.

Google has signalled clearly that GA3 will stop collecting data on July 1, 2023, and at that point, data will stop appearing in your account.

Why should I upgrade GA3 when I use my Shopify dashboard for most of my insights and decision-making?

GA4 delivers increased flexibility.

One of the main benefits of the switch to GA4 is the increased flexibility it offers. With GA4, users can collect data from a wide range of sources, including web and mobile apps, IoT devices, and even offline events. This allows for a more comprehensive understanding of customer behaviour and engagement in the era of omnichannel eCommerce. So if you are planning to grow, this is now the platform you want at the heart of your business.

GA4 offers improved data privacy features.

Another benefit of GA4 is its improved data privacy features. GA4 allows users to control what data is collected and shared, and also provides more granular control over data retention. This can help organisations comply with privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

These two benefits alone will give any Shopify business a substantial advantage over its competitor's decision-making if GA4 is set up and implemented correctly.

The features that will make a difference in your day to day.

1. Reporting intelligence.

In terms of features, GA4 offers several new and improved capabilities. For example, it includes a new machine learning-based feature called "Reporting Intelligence" that can automatically detect and notify users of unusual or significant changes in their data. This can help organisations quickly identify and respond to potential issues.

2. Cross-device and platform tracking.

Another new feature in GA4 is the ability to track user interactions across multiple devices and platforms. This is known as "Cross-Device Reporting" and allows users to see a more complete picture of how customers interact with their brand. The current picture in GA3 has become increasingly fragmented and, therefore, more difficult to deliver accurate reports. GA4 solves this, which will enable better attribution of marketing performance. Enabling you to make smarter decisions.

3. BigQuery export.

An exciting new feature that will benefit e-commerce businesses is the easy way to export data to BigQuery. This means businesses can quickly access and query the raw data set powering Google Analytics 4, without sampling issues from HyperLogLog++ or limitations of existing reports. This opens up new possibilities around asking more thoughtful questions, custom modelling, and joining multiple data sets together. Forward-thinking, data-driven companies can now unlock new opportunities on an unprecedented scale with this feature.

4. Improved customer journey analysis.

Probably my personal favourite improvement is the easier and faster customer journey analysis using the new Pathing feature. This is an exciting step forward in the way GA3 previously communicated this information and will uncover more fascinating insights.

Having been in the digital industry for over 15 years. The changes arriving in the free version of GA4 will mean that SMBs will now have a legally safe, more accurate, and flexible way to learn about their customers and make informed decisions.

Get ahead of the impending rush in July by switching to GA4 now.

Overall, the migration to GA4 offers several benefits, including increased flexibility, improved data privacy, and new and improved features. However, it is important to note that the migration process can be complex and time-consuming. The analytics industry has matured significantly in the last 5-10 years, and organisations should work with experienced partners to ensure a smooth transition and take advantage of the new capabilities of GA4.

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