How-To

How To Launch The New Google Analytics 4 On Shopify

Launch the new Google Analytics 4 tracking for your Shopify store in less than 10 minutes.

In July 2019 Google announced their new app + web property type which was going to become the new default Google Analytics tracking protocol.

My biggest takeaway when this launched was: “Wow, this is basically GA360, but now free”.

It was packed with many new features that had us excited:

  1. No sampling for standard reports
  2. Unlimited events
  3. Funnel builder
  4. Custom analysis reports
  5. Ability to combine multiple data streams

When it comes to tagging, the biggest change with this property type was the move to utilizing events (think event actions) and event parameters for your primary tracking which you have full control over.

For example “pageviews” are now an action called page_view:

event names google analytics 4

These are similar to custom events in the GA you are familiar with, however they are now a main focus in GAv4.

Within each custom event you can define custom parameters (similar to dimensions) and user parameters to unlock even more insights in the new reporting.

In the image below I show an example of a custom funnel that you can create with any combination of page_view, event, etc.

Each of the steps can be anything you want.

So a session start => product view => video play => add to cart => purchase is totally doable in this property if you are collecting this event data. 

google analytics 4 custom funnel

In the past year you may have seen these two new tag types inside of Google Tag Manager:

GA app+web property type

But now everywhere App + Web used to exist is now called Google Analytics 4.

Google announced this is now rolling out with fresh name of Google Analytics 4.

Learn how to get this new Google Analytics 4 property setup and running for your Shopify store.

Step 1: Create New Google Analytics 4 Property in GA

It’s only a few steps to create your new app + web property. Go to Google Analytics > Admin > Create New Property:

create ga 4 property

Then you’ll be asked to enter your site URL and enable the enhanced measurement streams.

These are all of the built in events that this property tracks by default. Pageviews, scroll events, video plays, etc which you can leave enabled.

The last step is implementing the tracking code. Instead of the typical “UA-” you’ll notice this starts with “G-”. 

step3-pre-defined-events-gtm-setup

Step 2: Create Tags in GTM

Now head on over to Google Tag Manager, create the new web configuration tag, enter your App + Web aka GA4 measurement ID, and assign the All Pages trigger:

GAv4 config tag

Then inside your Elevar account, download the pre-built Google Analytics 4 (for Shopify) container:

(don’t have an Elevar account yet? No worries. This free pre-built container can still be used if you have your own enhanced ecommerce data layer created. We’ve translated the variables from Universal Analytics to GA 4 automagically.)

gav4-containerdownload

Once downloaded, go to your GTM web container > admin > import container.

Be sure you select merge and not overwrite on this import!

There is one variable you need to update in the user defined variables section:

Update the variable called *Update After Import* – GAv4 ID with your measurement ID from step 1.

Click save.

*Note: if you are not on Shopify Plus then you can still implement, you just won’t have any pageview tracking for your checkout pages. Purchases will function normally. Be sure you have a referral exclusion parameter setup in Google Analytics for your primary URL.

Step 3: Modify Property Data in Event Tags

If you are an advanced user and want to send custom dimension or user data with your hits (things like user status, page type, hit type, etc) then you can modify the tags that you just imported with this data.

After you import the container you will have a base set of tags:

basegav4-tags

You can click into these and modify the user or custom properties on each.

Here is what we have set on the purchase tag by default (note the user properties):

gav4-custom-properties

You can modify these properties.

Read an overview from Google on base GAv4 properties – however you can customize to anything you’d like.

Step 4: QA Tags in Preview Mode

Now you’re ready to test! Go ahead and put your web container into preview mode.

Then browse your website and verify the tag triggers across your major pages.

You can click into the tag to view more details through the new GTM preview mode.

Here’s an example of what a product view event detail view looks like:

view item gav4

Or can go to your real time report inside of GA to see the tag data:

If all looks good then you are ready to go live!

Step 5: Publish Web Containers

When you are ready to go live all you have to do is publish the containers.

There is no need to worry about any duplicate data having this run in parallel with your primary Universal Analytics property.

Whatever you do – don’t turn off your Universal Analytics tracking you have setup.

Have any questions on how to configure? Let me know in the comments!

If you don’t have an Elevar account yet then get started for free today.

Interested in super charging this with server side tagging? Book a call with us.

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About Elevar

We're a Shopify Plus partner that specializes in onsite tagging and event tracking analytics.

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Brad Redding

Brad, co-founder of Elevar, has lived in eCommerce for over 12 years. He's helped design, build, and optimize over 100 websites in his career. From new retail startups to well-known brands like Le Creuset, Signature Hardware, Rebecca Minkoff, Char-Broil and more, he specializes in data analytics and conversion optimization to help achieve business goals.

  1. Hi Brad, Thanks for this article!
    We are using Elevar with the “old” Analytics, and want to update, now that GA4 is beeing rolled out in Europe. A few questions where I couldn’t find the answer in your article:
    – For the “old” GA, you recommended to add the tracking code via the shopify backend or insert it to the template code (not via Tag Manager). Just to be sure: This is not necessary with the new GA4? And can we still leave the code in shopify backend, or does it need to be removed to not interfere with the new GA4?
    – Is it necessary to stop any tags in the old setup, or change anything?

    Thank you very much for your help!
    Stefan

    1. Hi Stefan!

      You can use the “old” GA with your Shopify setup. No need to move this to GTM. Then you can implement GA 4 with the GTM using our dataLayer and pre-built tag containers. Email us if you run into any issues at [email protected]!

  2. Hi, brad.
    It’s me again. I have change the measurement id with my GA4.

    But all event that created in GTM is not added to GA4 events. Did i do something wrong? can you please help. thank you..

  3. Hey is it possible to use the new GA without GTM? I’m not yet familiar with GTM and would rather use other methods if possible. If not… I guess I better start learning GTM!

    1. Hi Tim – we suggest running 4.0 in parallel only and keeping the existing universal analytics property running as normal.

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