If your brand hasn’t migrated to GA4 yet, this weekend is it. There are a lot of changes that you’ll want to watch out for as you’re looking at your direct marketing results. In this article, we will delve into revenue changes, session discrepancies, integration limitations, and other noteworthy insights that email marketers should keep in mind when embracing GA4.
Revenue Shifts and Last-Click Attribution
During GA4 migrations, you may encounter significant revenue shifts, typically ranging from 10% to 20%, even when comparing last-click attribution. These variations stem from fundamental differences in event and session tracking between GA4 and previous versions.
Session Definitions and Changes
One notable distinction between GA4 and its predecessors lies in the definition of sessions. GA4 measures sessions differently, causing sessions to be counted as new when users remain idle in their browsers for extended periods. The period differs between GA3 and GA4, so your session counts will also differ. This discrepancy can lead to considerable variations in reported session metrics compared to previous versions. Marketers should adapt their analysis and interpretation of session data to accurately account for this disparity. On a positive note, GA4 excels in tracking sessions across multiple devices, treating users who start on their phone and continue browsing on a desktop as the same user.
Limitations in GA4-Shopify Integration
The integration between GA4 and Shopify presents its own set of limitations and challenges. Customization options are limited since the integration is native to Shopify, meaning the details of the integration cannot be customized. This lack of flexibility means that email marketers cannot “improve” the accuracy between GA3 and GA4 through customization. However, GA4 offers greater flexibility in terms of KPIs, custom charts, and reports.
Establishing Baseline Changes
To accurately assess the impact of migrating from previous versions to GA4, establishing a baseline for comparison is crucial. Ideally, data from May to June should be used for this purpose. However, if the Shopify integration encountered issues during this period, complete data availability might be limited. Despite this setback, comparing revenue discrepancies between previous versions and GA4 during this timeframe can still provide valuable insights, assuming any missing revenue is evenly distributed across both analytics platforms.
While GA4 presents new opportunities for email marketers to gain insights and optimize their campaigns, it’s important to be mindful of revenue shifts, session discrepancies, and limitations within the GA4-Shopify integration. By understanding these factors and being prepared to adapt, email marketers can successfully navigate the migration to GA4 and leverage its capabilities to drive growth and enhance campaign performance. With improved session tracking across multiple devices and increased flexibility in KPIs and reporting, GA4 holds promise for email marketers, albeit with the need to overcome challenges and invest in learning the intricacies of the new analytics framework.