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What is Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

So what is GA4? Google Analytics 4 or GA4 is Google’s new analytic software that allows your eCommerce business to measure traffic and engagement across your websites and apps. GA4 offers new capabilities not possible on the Universal Analytics (UA) platform. The new software offers predictive capabilities and direct media platform integrations for your site. GA4 also offers improved privacy options, behavioral and conversion modeling, and enhanced measurement tools. 

On July 1, 2023, standard Universal Analytics properties will stop processing data. We strongly encourage you to make the switch to GA4 as soon as possible.

Why is Universal Analytics going away?

What does this mean for Universal Analytics users? Technology is forever changing and evolving. Google is upgrading its software and doing away with Universal Analytics in favor of the more comprehensive GA4 measurement solution. Google Analytics 4 gives you the tools needed to track and stitch together user journeys more accurately. As well as being able to collect and aggregate more data, Google has made it more intuitive for marketers and analysts to dig into user centric reports and better understand the customer journey.

When is your data no longer available?

When should you make the switch? As soon as possible! Universal Analytics will no longer process new data starting on July 1, 2023. After that date you’ll be able to access your data for approximately six more months. In the months after that, Universal Analytics will no longer allow access to data or reports.

Will old Universal Analytics data be accessible?

Short-term answer is yes your old data will be available. But the best thing to do is begin to download  your data into separate files as soon as possible before Universal Analytics is completely shut down. You can export data into a CSV, excel or pdf file. This will allow you to preserve historical data and reports and begin collecting new data on the GA4 platform. Don’t wait. Start downloading your data now while it’s still available.

How does this change impact me?

In order to keep collecting data and metrics that allow your business to grow and thrive after July 1st, now is the time to set up a GA4 property to start sending data into that account. You need to export your data to keep your information safe, configure your site to work with GA4, and start generating new reports. Spend some time getting familiar with the new GA4 toolset to best prepare yourself for the shift from Universal Analytics. 

What are the benefits of the new GA4 platform?

The new platform shifts data collection from bounce rate metrics to conversion rate metrics to track a more usable customer journey for your business. GA4 allows you to collect both cross-channel and funnel tracking information, as well as support easier cross-domain tracking. The platform does not require cookies and is GDPR compliant. There is no limit to the traffic metrics you can capture.

What do I do now?

Start preparing your eCommerce site now. Don’t wait until it’s too late and risk losing access to all your historical data or fall behind in tracking useful information that could positively impact your business. Familiarize yourself with the GA4 platform and begin to make the switch. 

Smart Solutions is here to help. Reach out with questions or concerns. We’re here to support you through this change.