Chapter 8: How to Set Up GA4 eCommerce Tracking

You need lots of data to succeed at eCommerce.

After all, if you knew which of your products is getting the most views, cart additions, and sales, you could optimize your eCommerce store better.

You can add more variations to your highest-performing products and remove (or improve) the product pages that are generating abysmal results.

That’s why you need to put a premium on GA4 eCommerce tracking.

With the proper tracking setup, you’ll have a much clearer view of your eCommerce site’s performance, allowing you to make decisions with a higher likelihood of success.

Table of Contents

  • Why you should use GA4 eCommerce tracking
  • eCommerce tracking changes between GA4 and UA
  • Steps to set up GA4 eCommerce tracking 
  • Visualize your GA4 tracking data with Polymer
  • People Also Ask
  • Master your GA4 eCommerce tracking configuration

Why you should use GA4 eCommerce tracking

Google Analytics is the go-to analytics platform for most website owners for a handful of reasons. 

1. Complete view of website traffic data

First, it offers an in-depth view of your website's performance. 

Just like its predecessors, Google Analytics 4 tracks data sets that help you understand your top content, audience behavior, ad campaign performance, and more. And with the handy "Insights" tool, you can skip the number crunching and instantly reveal the actionable takeaways. 

2. Free to use

Another compelling reason to use GA4 for eCommerce tracking is the price. 

In order to democratize internet analytics, GA4 remains a "freemium" software. All core features are unlocked for every user—without requiring them to spend a single cent.

If you pay for the 360 version, you get higher data processing limits and a few advanced features, like customizable funnel reporting and cross-property roll-up reporting. 

3. Integrations

Apart from automatically collected events, GA4 can track custom events from external data sources like Hotjar, Adroll, Pinterest, Quora, and other advertising solutions through Google Tag Manager. It's also capable of monitoring transactions through mobile apps, including in-app purchases and app store refunds.  

Thanks to GA4's popularity, it also integrates seamlessly with third-party analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) platforms. This allows you to consolidate website analytics data into a centralized data management platform. 

Must-read: Advanced Features of Google Analytics 4 [2023] 

eCommerce tracking changes between GA4 and UA

Other than knowing what is Google Analytics 4, it's important to understand how the analytics platform changes over time. 

The previous version of Google Analytics, also known as "Universal Analytics" (UA), set the standard for traffic analytics tracking. But in July 2023, Google will officially retire UA and stop all data collection to make way for GA4's launch. 

For eCommerce websites, the transition to GA4 means the following: 

  • More insights using an event-based tracking model: While UA tracks individual sessions for user interactions, GA4 measures everything using events. This enables GA4 to pack more information into data layers, providing eCommerce websites with more context for each interaction. 
  • Track a comprehensive set of eCommerce events: GA4 comes with recommended eCommerce events for tracking different user actions in online stores. This includes activities like initiating the checkout process, adding products to the shopping cart, and issuing refunds. 
  • Cross-platform data streams: You don't need additional tools or workarounds to set up data streams for mobile apps. GA4 lets you set up data streams from Android and iOS apps within minutes.
  • eCommerce-specific analysis templates: GA4 offers analysis templates that will help turn eCommerce store data into actionable insights. Some examples of Google Analytics 4 reporting templates include funnel exploration, user lifetime analysis, and conversion tracking.
  • Access to predictive metrics: Using Machine Learning (ML), GA4 can utilize your audience data to predict their future behavior and activities. This enables eCommerce websites to evaluate predictive metrics like "purchase probability" and "predicted revenue."

Must-read: Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics: 10 Key Differences

Steps to set up GA4 eCommerce tracking

Before you begin, existing users of Universal Analytics should know how to upgrade to Google Analytics 4. Otherwise, setting up a Google Analytics 4 property is your first priority. 

Here are the steps to set up an eCommerce property on GA4:

Step 1: Log in to your Google Analytics account and go to the admin settings page. 

Image Source:

Step 2: Click Create Property under the "Property" column to set up your eCommerce website.

Image Source:

Step 3: Specify the name, time zone, and currency you want to use for your property. Take note that you can still change these settings later. 

Click Next when done.

Image Source:

Step 4: Proceed to enter your business details and objectives. 

On the "Business details" page, set your industry category and company size. Moving on to "Business objectives," select the goals you want to achieve using your GA4 data.

Feel free to select as many objectives as needed. Just be sure to select "Drive online sales" since you're running an eCommerce business. 

When done, click Create to configure your data collection. 

Image Source:

Step 5: Choose the type of property you want to obtain data from. 

If your eCommerce business runs a website-based online store, select Web. But if you use a mobile app, select either Android app or iOS app

Image Source:

Next, enter your eCommerce website's URL and set a name for your data stream. As for the "Enhanced measurement" feature, leave it as is or define the metrics you want to collect automatically. 

Image Source:

Click Create stream to complete the GA4 setup process and start tracking your eCommerce website. 

Step 6: The final step is to inject your Google tag into your eCommerce website. This can be done manually via Google Tag Manager. 

The good news is you can streamline this process if you use any of the following website platforms: 

  • BigCommerce
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • WordPress
  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • GoDaddy
  • Blogger
  • Drupal
  • Duda
  • Typo3
  • Hubspot

In this case, click View tag instructions on your data stream details. On the next page, enter your website's URL and click Scan to have GA4 detect the appropriate platform for you. 

Image Source:

For example, if you use WordPress, GA4 will show you a list of plugins you can use to install your Google tag quickly. 

Suppose you chose the WooCommerce plugin. At the bottom of the page, you'll get specific, step-by-step instructions to configure your data stream as fast as possible. 

Image Source:

Setting up eCommerce events

GA4 automatically collects basic conversion events that are useful for eCommerce websites. 

For example, the "page_view" event can be used to track users that reach your "Thank You" page, which is only visible once they complete a purchase. 

But in order to take full advantage of GA4, you need to implement eCommerce tracking with store-specific events. This includes purchase events, refund events, and "add to cart" events. 

Here's a quick rundown on setting up eCommerce custom events: 

  • Step 1: Go to the admin settings page. 
  • Step 2: Under the "Property" column, click Events. 
  • Step 3: Click Create event in the top-right corner and choose your eCommerce property. 
  • Step 4: Click Create and configure your event by adding an event name and matching conditions. 

Since most of the eCommerce events you need classify as "recommended" events, you don't need to build a custom event from scratch each time. 

For example, in the event name field, the drop-down menu should show a handful of eCommerce interactions and other events that online store customers execute.

Some examples are "add_to_cart," "begin_checkout," "add_payment_info," and so on. 

Image Source:

As for your eCommerce event parameters, refer to this guide for the complete list. 

Event parameters let you embed more context into transactions, like the price of an item or its color. 

Visualize your GA4 tracking data with Polymer

Understanding Google Analytics 4 metrics and dimensions, be it for eCommerce or anything else, is the easy part. 

GA4 ensures eCommerce reporting features are intuitive and accessible from the start. For instance, the eCommerce purchases and monetization overview reports both highlight crucial online store metrics without additional setup. 

While using Google Analytics 4 reports and Analysis Hub is already intuitive, there's a better way to refine your eCommerce data into actionable insights. 

Using a Business Intelligence tool like Polymer, you can effortlessly generate advanced interactive reports using the drag-and-drop block editor. Use pivot tables, scatterplots, bar charts, ROI calculators, and more to track sales, reveal trends, and develop insights to fuel your decision-making. 

Connecting your GA4 property to Polymer is also doable in a few steps. 

From your Polymer dashboard, click Add Source and select Google Analytics 4

From there, just log in using your Google account credentials, select a property, and choose the reports you want to generate.

Some of the best reports for eCommerce websites are: 

  • E-Commerce - Shopping & Checkout Behavior
  • E-Commerce - Product Performance
  • E-Commerce - Sales Performance

Must-read: Event Tracking in Google Analytics 4: Ultimate Guide

People Also Ask

How does Google Analytics 4 impact your eCommerce website?

Google Analytics 4 enables eCommerce businesses to continue tracking their online store data in a post-cookie world. It helps eCommerce brands make data-driven decisions by monitoring user behavior, content performance, traffic sources, audience demographics, and more.

Why is my eCommerce data not showing in Google Analytics?

Ensure your Google tag is properly installed on all your eCommerce website pages. Also, remember that Google Analytics takes 24-48 hours to consolidate and compile data into reports. 

Which report in GA4 is used to indicate eCommerce performance?

GA4 categorizes eCommerce-related reports under "Monetization." Here, you can view reports like eCommerce purchases, in-app purchases, promotions, user purchase journey, and publisher ads. 

Where is eCommerce report in GA4?

The eCommerce-related reports in GA4 can be found under the "Monetization" sub-menu. You can access this tab by going to "Reports" and expanding the "Life cycle" tab. 

Must-read: GA4 for SaaS/Product: Complete Guide

Master your GA4 eCommerce tracking configuration

GA4 is a must-have for every eCommerce business.

Not only does GA4 give you a more comprehensive look at your website data, allowing you to make better business decisions, but it’s also free!

However, if you want to put your reporting and business analytics on steroids, use Polymer as your primary Business Intelligence solution.

Polymer offers powerful and easy-to-use data visualization tools, and you can access its core features for only $10 per month. 

See Polymer in action by creating a free trial account here

Related Articles

Browse All Templates

Start using Polymer right now. Free for 7 days.

See for yourself how fast and easy it is to uncover profitable insights hidden in your data. Get started today, free for 7 days.

Try Polymer For Free