GA4 is Here: What Does it Mean for Tracking Your Shopify App?

Google Analytics has changed – how is it set to help your Shopify app?

(Thank you SASI for the topic idea!) 

GA4: What’s New?

In June 2023, the sun set on Universal Analytics, and rose on GA4. Representing a significant evolution from its predecessor, the main changes GA4 brings include enhanced user-centric tracking, event tracking, cross-platform compatibility and machine learning capabilities. GA4 focuses on individual user journeys, allowing businesses to gain a holistic view of user interactions across websites and mobile apps – which has, understandably, got the ears of many Shopify app developers pricking up!

GA4 also emphasises event-based tracking (more on this later…) which provides greater flexibility in tracking user interactions and conversions. Cross-platform tracking means it’s easier to achieve a seamless understanding of user behaviour across various devices and platforms. And by harnessing machine learning for predictive analytics and audience segmentation, GA4 helps businesses to make data-driven decisions and adapt to the evolving digital landscape.

What does this mean for your Shopify app tracking? 

The robust event tracking that GA4 offers allows Shopify app developers (like you) to monitor specific user interactions and conversions within your apps, and this can provide valuable insights for marketing optimisation. Its user-centric approach provides a more holistic view of user journeys, which will help to identify bottlenecks and improve your user experience. 

Cross-platform compatibility also ensures seamless tracking across various devices and platforms, which is a great fit when we consider Shopify's diverse user base. By leveraging machine learning, GA4 enables predictive analytics and personalised user insights, assisting Shopify app developers in enhancing their app's functionality and engagement.

Overall, GA4 stands to empower Shopify app developers with comprehensive and actionable data which can help to optimise their solutions more effectively.

Stream Setup 

Let’s talk data streams. In GA4, developers have the flexibility to establish multiple data streams within a single property, which helps with the effortless collection of data from diverse sources. Traditionally, websites tend to utilise a single stream for tracking, but when it comes to Shopify apps, where we deal with distinct domains and platforms, it's logical to employ separate streams — for example, one for your promotional app website and another for your app itself. This can help achieve more accurate data capture.

The Customer Journey - From Website to App Store to Install

Understanding the customer journey of individuals researching and downloading your Shopify apps across various platforms and channels is crucial for developers. It provides valuable insights into user behaviour and preferences, helping you tailor your offerings for a seamless experience.

By better understanding the steps users take from initial discovery on the Shopify App Store to exploring your app's website and eventually downloading it, you can optimise your marketing strategies and user interfaces. This knowledge enables you to address pain points, streamline the onboarding process, and enhance user engagement, ultimately increasing app adoption and satisfaction. In a competitive marketplace, this deep understanding of your customer journey could be the edge you need.

To achieve a clear overview and carry attribution data across channels, developers will need to persist their user’s Client ID. This means you’ll need to add your company’s domain and Shopify app store domain as tracked domains in the Data Streams created. After configuring this, whenever a user clicks a link from your website to the Shopify App Store, a _gl parameter will be automatically added.

Understanding Events & Tracking in your Shopify App Store Listing

One of the main interactions that you’ll want to track in your Shopify App Store listing is your app being installed (i.e. your user hitting the “Add App” button). Shopify only supports a basic event for app install clicks, but by setting this event up as a Conversion, you can flag it after the event has been recorded in the Events table on the admin.

Among others, some events that you’ll want to keep track of might include clicks to the App Store from your site, the completion of onboarding and which value of plan was purchased.

Best Practice for Shopify App Store Listing Tracking

Change always brings a little disruption, but the new opportunities for insight that GA4 opens up when it comes to tracking your Shopify App Store listing are too good to sleep on. The quicker you get yourself up and running, with assigned User IDs and clearly structured data streams, the quicker (and better) your results will be.

Want to get your Shopify App Store listing firing on all cylinders? Kollectify can help.

Book a call with Kollectify to deep dive on a successful strategy…