Why Is Google Analytics 4 Such A Pain In The #$$?

And Why You Need It More Than Ever for eCommerce...

Feelin’ The Pain

Let’s face it. Nobody’s happy with Google’s decision to sunset Universal Analytics this July. And to put it mildly, Google Analytics 4 (its successor) really stinks as a reporting tool.


  1. Universal Analytics reports will be lost with this cutover. Yes, you’ll have a few months to continue to use UA reports. But UA data will not be migrated to Google Analytics 4.
  2. Moreover, Google plans to delete all of your Universal Analytics reports later this year. 10+ years of data, gone.
  3. UA and GA4 use very different measurement methodologies. Session counts just don’t match between the two systems.
  4. GA4’s reporting interface is nascent. I’m sure Google will continue to improve upon these reports over time. But currently, there’s a lot less you can analyze within GA4’s UI.
  5. Last month, Google announced that it will be deprecating “First Click” and “Last Click” attribution models. Users will be limited to analyzing attribution with Google’s proprietary, blackbox data-driven attribution model.
  6. And wildly, Google Analytics 4’s javascript tag doesn’t actually leverage the same API endpoint as its programmatic interface, the Google Measurement Protocol.

While nerdy, this last point is what drives us attribution and customer data platform folks bonkers:

Unlike with Universal Analytics, with Google Analytics 4, you can’t send as much data to GA4 via the API as you can with GA4’s client-side javascript library. This is ironic, because the whole conceit of GA4 was that it’s an event-based platform, built for integration into custom applications.

But as an API-driven tool, GA4 is severely limited.

And Still…You Need GA4 Now More Then Ever

Despite the pain, if you’re an eCommerce brand, you need Google Analytics now more than ever.

While Google is deprioritizing GA4 reporting features, it is integrating Google Analytics more and more deeply into Google Ads targeting an optimization.

Google is pushing its new Google Performance Max campaign format. PMax ads, as they are called, rely almost entirely on Google’s machine learning algorithms for targeting and optimization.

As a result, it’s become even more critical that brands have Google Analytics 4 instrumented correctly on their storefronts.

Our Worry-Free, Robust GA4 Solution

Yeah, yeah, getting a little pitchy here. But we love this nerdy, devilish GA4 instrumentation stuff and gotta share:

Fueled makes it quick and easy to implement a best-in-class Google Analytics 4 setup for Shopify and BigCommerce

Last fall, we released GA4 connectors for Shopify and BigCommerce:

These two apps have caught fire. Organically, we’ve acquired over 1,200 merchants on these apps — and we process 2 million daily Google Analytics 4 events.

Advanced Features Now Available For Fueled

This month, we’ve launching a number of advanced features that take the efficacy of our GA4 connectors even further:

Extended Attribution Windows With Our Domain Proxy

As far as I know, Fueled is the only commercially available GA4 solution that offers domain proxying for a native GTag.js implementation.

What this means is that we can run your Google Analytics 4 site tag as a 1st-party script and API endpoint.

This gets you around ad blockers and, more importantly, results in attribution cookie tagging with 4x longer expiration windows.

Longer cookie expirations give you wider attribution tracking windows, and deeper insights into the campaigns that are working for your brand.

No-Code Configuration Options

Setting up a very basic Google Analytics 4 tag on your website is easy. The headaches come when setting up a robust eCommerce attribution tracking setup.

This month, we’re releasing a number of new features that give you much more control over your setup, with an easy-to-use no-code interface.

Deeper Support For OneTrust and Privacy-As-A-Service Solutions

Privacy is critical to building trust with your shoppers. This month, we released a major integration for OneTrust’s cookie compliance features.

You no longer have to choose between robust attribution tracking and respecting your shoppers’ privacy preferences.

Support for React.js and Headless Implementations

Moving to headless? Leveraging Pack Digital, Next Commerce, or Vue Storefront?

Our latest release of Fueled makes it easy dramatically reduce implementation costs/time in setting up attribution tracking for headless sites.

Own Your Own Data

Finally, we now allow eCommerce brands to capture and store their raw Google Analytic attribution data. Don’t get burned the next time Google (or another attribution reporting platform…) decides to delete your data.

We can start piping your raw attribution data to your own data warehouse in minutes.

Let’s Chat!

Interested in learning more? Interested in an attribution tracking audit? Get in touch!

Fueled is a 1st-Party Data Platform, designed specifically for eCommerce. We help brands unlock the power of 1st-party customer data for analysis and campaign activation.

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