GA4 Event Tracking for Purchases – Ecommerce Platform Roundup

The timeline for Google Universal Analytics (UA) is getting down to the wire. UA is in its final six months of life, as it will no longer track your website traffic starting on July 1, 2023. GA4 is the new iteration of Google Analytics. If you haven’t upgraded your UA account yet, please don’t wait any longer. Your biggest issue is going to be the Year-Over-Year comparison. If you haven’t implemented GA4 yet, you will have no way to compare July 2022 to July 2023 and so on, until your implementation is complete.

My colleague Jeremy wrote a blog detailing how to upgrade your UA account to GA4, as well as how to use Google Tag Manager to start tracking site visitors in the short term. But if you are an ecommerce client, your job is not done. In order to track orders and revenue to your site, there’s another step you need to take, and that’s to create a Purchase Event which will report when someone completes an order, the order size, and other data back to GA4, so you can see how your website is doing as a whole. (There are other events you could track – like add to cart or checkout start, but those are entirely up to you. At the moment, the most pressing Event is purchase). 

We’ve rounded up a list of how to set up Purchase Event tracking for the most popular website platforms. Some have built-in integration, and some require an extension (or extensive development skills). If an extension is required, we do not make recommendations on one extension over another. Please know we don’t have confirmation on how well each of these works, so we are not able to offer set-up assistance.

One thing to note – if you’ve previously set up GA4 site tracking via Google Tag Manager, you’ll need to review if you should turn off that tag in GTM so as to avoid redundancy on your website.

Setting Up Purchase Event Tracking on Popular Platforms

BigCommerce: Impressively enough, BigCommerce has native GA4 integration of two Events:

  • Someone starts the checkout process
  • Someone completes a purchase

Based on the list here, this is the most forward-thinking of the ecommerce platforms since it gives you more than one Event setup.

Magento: The most complex of the ecommerce platforms on our list is Magento because of customizations and the nature of the platform. You can do the setup yourself or use an extension that ranges from free to upwards of $249. (We could not locate any documentation on how to do it yourself.)

Miva Merchant: The Miva Developer Docs have instructions in the Code Samples on how to install the Purchase Event. (I do recommend you fix the typo in the mvt comment on line 2 to fix the spelling of Purchase). There was only one app at the time of publishing.

NetSuite: From the look of the documentation, it’s rather straightforward to add the code yourself, though it does require you to add code to a few different places. 

OpenCart: This website platform appears to require an extension. The extensions available on the OpenCart Extension Store cost $30 or more at the time of publishing.

Shopify: There is currently no built-in integration, but per Shopify, that is coming in March of 2023. This one has shocked me for quite a while, as Google announced in March of 2022 that UA would be depreciated starting July 1st, 2023. It’s taking Shopify a year to develop the integration.

  • JumpFly recommends that you at least install the site tracking portion via GTM until such a time that Shopify has it built in.
  • One of our clients found a blog that shared how to configure GTM for GA4 ecommerce but was not able to get the tags to start reporting revenue.

WooCommerce: This ecommerce plugin offers a free extension in order to track. The support doc I include shares setup for both UA and GA4, so make sure to use Option 1 (GA4) to set up.

X-Cart: The first step is to integrate GA4 into your site, then you can use the Google Analytics Add-on to set up purchase events.

Yahoo Stores!/Turbify: I could not locate any directions on how to set up GA4 ecommerce tracking or even GA4 tracking on the site or even when searching on Google.

Good luck with the setup of Purchase Events in GA4! And remember, if you have a Google-assigned Google Ads rep, you should be able to ask them to connect you with the Google Implementation team for assistance.

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