Today (Wednesday October 14), Google has announced that Google Analytics 4 Property (previously known as App+Web) will become the new version by default of Google Analytics.
This new version of Google Analytics appears in a period of massive changes in the web analytics’ landscape.
Why introduce Google Analytics 4 Property?
Since a few years, the online privacy of people has appeared at the heart of many discussions. The publication of GDPR law in May 2018 has strongly changed the way we collect and analyse data. Users become more than ever concerned about data control, use and transparency of businesses. Browsers have started to update their protections in terms of tracking. Third-party cookies, i.e. cookies set by a domain other than the one you visit, are less and less supported in browsers. Therefore, first-party data become the priority in order to make a fine analysis of your marketing while respecting the legislation.
Apart from that, while the number of touchpoints in the users’ customer journey increases, cross-platform analytics is still not widely used in firms. According to a study conducted by Forrester last July, called “The Future of Analytics”, only 43% of their respondents collect data on website and app user behaviour under a single platform. These gaps between touchpoints limit the understanding of customer behaviour.
In order to reply to these changes, Google is introducing a new version of Google Analytics, “Google Analytics 4 Property”, with a main objective:
“Build a unified offering for user centric analytics across app and web for all clients” (Google).
How is the new Google Analytics 4 Property infrastructure overcoming these challenges?
The new Google Analytics 4 Property is based on three main pillars to overcome these challenges.
The first one relates to the ability of leveraging data and improving performance thanks to the power of Machine Learning. Designed to collect data cross-devices and cross-platforms, Google Analytics 4 Property will also help you better understand the customer journeys with the aim of sending the right message to the right people at the right moment. Finally, with the new version of Google Analytics, you invest in a durable and future-proof platform, configured to work with or without cookies or identifiers.
All of this makes the Google Analytics 4 Property very promising for even more insights out of the data collected.
What is the main difference with the current Google Analytics setup?
The new Google Analytics property uses an event-based model for collecting web and app data, replacing the well-known session-based model. Examples of events include page views, scroll, video engagement, file downloads and many other user interactions. Don’t worry, the notion of sessions will still be available in Google Analytics 4 Properties. However, the main objective will now be to analyse data based on the user, and not on the sessions anymore. This new model allows Google Analytics to catch on other Analytics platforms having this built in for years like MixPanel or Amplitude.
As the focus is now set on the user, the way you read and analyse your data will significantly change. Through the new features of Google Analytics 4 Property, you will be able to conduct advanced analyses on user behaviour. Thanks to new powerful tools, you are now allowed to examine your data in many ways, without being limited by any pre-defined reports. These new insights will help you deepening your understanding of the customer journey across platforms and will guide you in the improvement of your marketing strategy to deliver better customer experiences and ease customer acquisition and retention.
As the new Google Analytics 4 Property just came out of beta, there are also few features missing from the past version. However, we are confident that Google will be able to reply to these needs in the future updates.
What does it mean for you?
With Google Analytics 4 Property defined as the version by default, it is now time to make the dual setup and start collecting data.
Even though you only own a website and don’t specifically need cross-platform tracking, we strongly recommend you to implement the configurations in order to enjoy the great capabilities of this new property and be prepared for the future migration by already having historical data.
Being Google Marketing Platform Partner for 4 years and Google Analytics certified, Universem will be happy to help you in the configuration of this new setup.