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Let's see what are the main changes between Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 .
- The panel interface has a makeover and is very different from the previous Universal Analytics one.
- The data structure is very different from the previous one and is prepared for the acquisition of new metrics related to the user and site / app interactions.
- Preductive metrics: These are new metrics that seem capable of making predictions.
- Account structure , the concept of view is replaced by that of stream.
- New e-commerce event tracking system .
- Improved integration with Google Ads and Youtube.
- The objectives disappear and are replaced by conversions managed through events.
- New function to integrate user privacy preferences.
Is it worth switching to Google Analytics 4?
In most cases and immediately NO! The new property is too recent and is not fully supported by the PrestaShop ecosystem, for example it will not be possible to connect it to PrestaShop Metrics. For now, it is advisable to continue using Universal Analytics, even if no one prohibits the use of multiple properties at the same time. So both UA and GA4 on the same ecommerce.
A drastic change
More than an update, this is a real revolution. The changes are drastic with a new model of data collection and processing. The new Analytics 4 seems to use machine learning , for machine learning and to provide useful information to users. The main novelty is in user tracking , rather than Universal Analytics' piecemeal per-device analysis.
Google's goal is to overcome and aggregate Web and App events into a single property, this responds to today's needs and allows a better understanding of the impact of Marketing actions.
Implement GA4 in PrestaShop
At the moment the free ps_googleanalytics (Google Analytics) module does not support Google Analytics 4. So the only way to integrate GA4 into PrestaShop is to use a third-party module, the best solution is to use Google Tag Manager with the help of a specific module such as our Art WebMaster for partial support or against our interest, the Google Tag Manager Enhanced Ecommerce (UA) - PRO module which allows a complete integration of GTM, if you have a recent Warehouse theme in IqitThemeEditor it will be possible for you enter the GTM code, but we always recommend a module that fully implements GTM.
How to return to Universal Analytics?
If you've created a new Google Analytics user or are trying to create a new property, you may have mistakenly thought that the only selectable option is GA4, but that's not the case. Well hidden is the option to use Universal Analytics (UA), just select " Show advanced options ".
Once you have clicked on " Show advanced options " we just need to activate the item: " Create a Universal Analytics property ".
Google recommends creating both properties , it is unclear how long it will be possible to use Universal Analytics as well, but like the previous switch from Urchin.js (version 1) or Asynchronous Tracking (version 2) to Universal Analytics (version 3), it is it will probably be possible to do this for a long period (a few years), in order to allow everyone to migrate to the new GA4 .
Author: Loris Modena