How Google Analytics 4 for E-Commerce is Changing the Direct Sales Game

How GA4 is Changing the Direct Sales Game

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The direct sales industry depends on the advancements in modern technology, so naturally, it’s constantly changing with that technology. As such, whenever a major advancement occurs, the state of the industry completely changes, and those who adapt to and take advantage of the changes most effectively gain an edge over the competition. Let’s take a look at one such advancement, Google Analytics 4, how it’s changing the game, what it does, and what that means for you and your business.

What is Google Analytics 4?

Released in 2020 as an update to Google Analytics 360, (GA360) Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is an extremely powerful tool in the hands of a skilled direct seller, greatly refining the features of previous versions as well as adding several cutting-edge new features, with more being added in recent updates. In the hands of a well-informed and skilled digital marketing executive, it gives a company all the information they need to expand in a rapidly-changing market.

Benefits of GA4

As mentioned before, Google Analytics 4 has taken its predecessor and expanded upon its existing features while implementing new features to further increase its versatility. Needless to say, digital marketers stand to benefit greatly by upgrading to GA4 and taking advantage of its newer elements. So, what exactly are the new and upgraded features, how can your network marketing company make use of them, and how do they improve on previous versions of the software?

Four Event Types

The change from UA to GA4 can be seen in five areas: Hits, Data Model, Events, Sessions, and Users. “Hits” are interactions tracked by Google Analytics, but they’re very different in terms of how they’re tracked. With GA4, all hits are tracked as events – a contrast from the varying hit types in UA. As others have been saying, GA4 is an event-based data model. 

According to Google, an event “let’s you measure user interactions on your website or app. For example, (loading) a page, (clicking) a link, and (making) a purchase.” A session is still measured as a period of time a user is active on your site or app, but the way GA obtains the data has changed. When a session starts, GA collects a session-start event and generates a session ID (ga_session_id). All the events that happen from the start of a session are mapped back to the GA session ID so they’ll be associated together. 

Note: Since users can have multiple sessions, there should always be more sessions than users in your GA4 data. If you don’t see that there are more sessions than users, that’s a sign that something is broken. 

There are four types of events in Google Analytics 4:

  • Automatically collected events
  • Enhanced measurement events
  • Recommended events
  • Custom events

While recommended and custom events are different, they’re similar in that they must be manually created. For the first two events, Google Analytics does much of the work. 

Automatically Collected Events

As you may have guessed, these events are collected automatically, and there’s no way to turn them off. To begin gathering and recording this event type, all you must do is to implement the GA4 tracking code on your website.

There are three automatically collected events:

  • Session Start (session_start) – this event fires at the start of each site/app session.
  • First Visit (first_visit) – this event fires if this is the user’s first visit to the site/app.
  • User Engagement (user_engagement) – this event fires if the visitor has been on the page 10 seconds, has viewed two pages, or has completed a conversion event. Any session with a user engagement event is listed as an engaged session.

Enhanced Measurement Events

These event types are collected by default, but unlike automatically collected events, you can turn enhanced measurement events on or off. With these event types, you can measure interactions with your content without needing to change codes. This update is one of the major benefits of GA4 over UA.

Here’s an overview of enhanced measurement events:

  • Page Views – unlike the rest on this list, page views are automatically tracked and can’t be turned off, despite their status as enhanced measurement events.
  • Scrolls – once the scroll depth gets to 90%, this event will fire.
  • Outbound clicks – clicks on external links are tracked with this. (Note: GA4 does not track internal link clicks.)
  • Site search – track queries on your site search bar.
  • Form interaction – capture form interaction when a visitor interacts with a form.
  • Video engagement – track video play, progress, and completion for embedded YouTube videos.
  • File downloads – this fires when a user clicks a link with a document in it.

All these events are on by default, but can be turned off whenever you choose (except, of course, page views). 

Recommended Events

These events are optional, but recommended by Google for certain verticals. Google provides recommended event names and names for event parameters, since these require custom code (typically through Google Tag Manager). They help you measure other features that could be relevant to your industry. 

Custom Events

Like recommended events, custom events require custom coding through Google Tag Manager. Unlike recommended events, however, Google doesn’t offer any suggestions/recommendations on naming these events or determining event parameters. 

Google Analytics 4

Revamped Data Collection Model

While previous versions of Google Analytics tracked per-session data, GA4 takes a different approach by tracking specific events. For example, with previous data-collection models, if one user’s visit to the site resulted in multiple conversions, the data collected would simply read as a conversion occurring during their session. Under this new model, however, each and every conversion is recorded as an individual event, giving you a more accurate report of how visitors tend to interact with your website.

AI-Powered Predictions

In addition to reporting the current facts and statistics on your site’s engagement, Google Analytics 4 is equipped with powerful AI that will make predictions based on those statistics. Rather than relying on human conjecture to predict how your customers will behave or how your online shop will fare, you can use GA4’s AI to piece together everything for you. 

As of right now, it can predict how likely a recently active user is to make a purchase soon, how likely a recently active user is to not revisit your site in the near future, and how much revenue you can expect within approximately the next month. With these predictions in mind, you can begin planning ahead, either how to capitalize on a positive prediction or turn around the effects of a negative one. Either way, however, you’ll be better equipped to direct your marketing efforts with GA4’s strong, data-based predictions under your belt.

Analytics Integrated in Online Storefronts

Perhaps most important, however, is GA4’s seamless integration with a number of popular online storefront platforms. In most cases, it’s as simple as installing a GA4 plugin for your respective platform and punching in your Google Analytics identification number. From there, you should be good to go, with all the benefits of GA4 at your fingertips. All that’s left to do is wait for the data to start rolling in, and let the software work its magic.

Google Analytics

What Does This Mean for Marketing Executives & Network Marketing Companies?

Taking everything into consideration, what does the growth of Google Analytics 4 mean for you as a marketing executive? First and foremost, it presents an opportunity to better understand what makes your audience tick, and how to interact with them more effectively. This in turn presents you with ways to streamline your business operations, cut unnecessary marketing costs and redirect them into more valuable places, and tighten up your strategy to maximize conversions. This can also help you increase your ROAS on your advertising efforts on Google Ads or Facebook Ads. 

Of course, the conversion process can be a bit jarring as you start building up a new data pool and learn the ins and outs of the new system, but the benefits gained from doing so make it well worth your time and effort. Once you’ve settled into the flow of things with GA4, you’ll have a wealth of new data at your disposal, ready for you to make data driven decisions.

If you need more information about how to maximize Google Analytics 4 or how to improve all the things we just mentioned, at NexLaunch we do this all the time! Our Digital Marketing strategies are data driven and our Advertising campaigns use all these tools to maximize your ROAS and increase your bottom line. 

Get in touch with one of our marketing experts and learn how you can partner with us and our specialized fractional marketing team. 

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