GA4 Debacle: Brands forced to rethink their Analytics Strategy
GA Universal was the easy choice for eCommerce being free and ‘good enough’ for what a brand needed at the time, but GA4 is unfortunately none of the good parts, except that it’s still free.
While GA4 still aims to accomplish the same goal for brands as Universal did, it falls short in usability and the entire lack of eCommerce-centric context. Conversion rates, funnel analysis, customer journeys on the site are all things that are not possible or easily done.
There are other options in server based technology and analytics that will allow you to stop flying blind on data.
Here’s what’s wrong with GA4:
GA4, despite its advanced features, falls short in several areas crucial for eCommerce analytics:
- Inaccurate Data Capture: Inconsistencies in GA4's data collection can lead to misguided strategies in targeting engaged users and understanding audience segments. Browser based capture is vulnerable to loss of data capture due to page speed, browser limitations and ad blockers.
- Slows Website Performance: The browser based nature of GA4 can adversely affect site speed, crucial for maintaining an engaged user base. By adding more to a website, the slower it will be.
- Complex, Messy Migration: Transitioning to GA4 from older versions is a daunting task, posing challenges for seamless data continuity. Rewiring the Google Tag Manager structure is an entire project alone.
- Limited Historical Data Import: Switching to GA4 losses alarming amounts of historical data. You’re previous performance is
- Inadequate eCommerce Reporting: GA4's reporting features lack the depth needed for detailed analysis of conversion rates and customer engagement. It is built for site analytics, not eCommerce.
Benefits of a Server Based Alternative
Server-side analytics address the shortcomings of GA4 in the context of eCommerce:
- Comprehensive Data Collection: Captures detailed interactions, including transactional data, vital for segmenting audiences and analyzing eCommerce trends with dimensions and measures that work for the business.
- Adaptability to a Cookie-less Future: HTTP, 1st Party cookies are the only method of retargeting without expiration in an increasingly privacy-based browser world.
- Enhanced Data Accuracy: Server-side tracking accurately captures data unaffected by client-side issues like browser limitations and ad-blockers, crucial for reliable conversion rate and wider data analysis.
- Robust Privacy and Security: Offers tighter control over customer data, a key factor in building trust with eCommerce audiences.
- Optimized Performance: Server-side technology does not live on the site, giving better performance without adding bulk in the browser.
Leveraging Server-Side Tracking for eCommerce Success
For eCommerce platforms, server-side tracking is not just an alternative but a necessity for accurate, comprehensive, and fast data collection.. It's instrumental in marketing attribution, customer retention, and optimizing conversion rates. It is the only method that guarantees full data capture regardless of external factors or tag and event set-up.
Edgemesh Analytics provides server-native data capture, storage and analytics tooling to better understand your eCommerce business. Ask us today about how you can switch to the edge for a complete view of your data that you’ve never seen before.