With Google Analytics’ new iteration, GA4, comes a slew of changes in how your digital marketing efforts are defined, measured, and reported. Customers are identified differently, reports are rearranged, and attribution becomes “data-driven.” With all of this comes a nuance in how a critical retargeting strategy is reported – Shopping Cart Abandonment. 

Beware of How Shopping Cart Abandonment Is Attributed in GA4

In GA4, the Organic Shopping default channel grouping includes a setting in which anytime the term ‘shopping’ is found in a campaign tag that is NOT a CPC Source, any corresponding activity and revenue will be applied to Organic Shopping – Even email and SMS campaigns. This obviously becomes a problem with Shopping Cart Abandonment emails and texts, which earn large amounts of revenue and greatly impact a retailer’s bottom line.

What Should You Do?

Listrak recommends creating custom channel groupings and definitions rather than using the GA4 default settings to ensure your campaigns are attributed to the proper channels for ongoing analysis. You can always change your UTM tagging structure, but it’s easier and more efficient to update custom channel definitions instead. That way, you don’t have to overhaul all your campaigns across digital channels. 

Additionally, UTM tagging changes only apply moving forward in time – no historical data will retroactively update, leaving inconsistent data and unclean comparisons. Any year-over-year or period-over-period analysis you do will require custom data pulls and extra time spent, which we know is incredibly valuable and limited in your current day-to-day! 

By creating custom channel groupings and definitions, all your data (historical, current, and future) will match. But yes, it will take some extra set up-time upfront. But in the end, it will be worth it because you’ll see exactly what you want, grouped the way you want it, and with the name you defined it to be.

Listrak is a trusted partner in your migration to and understanding of GA4, and recognizes it will bring significant changes to how you analyze your digital marketing performance and overall business health. It’s essential to thoroughly understand the differences in your campaign results and dive deeper before drastically changing your existing strategies or marketing spend. Shopping Cart Abandonment contributes more engagement and revenue to email and SMS marketing programs than ever before, so it should not be taken lightly or changed frequently. For more information, connect with your Account Manager.

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