How does Elevar Compare to the Native Shopify GA4 Integration

Overview:

As of March 2023, the Google Sales Channel in Shopify allows you to enable a GA4 Tracking Integration.

For an optimized GA4 integration with Shopify, Elevar's Server-Side GA4 integration ensures 99%+ order accuracy by sending purchase events server-side, tracks comprehensive data including product lists, upsells, and shopping behavior rates, and provides customization options for order and product identifiers. Additionally, Elevar passes user identifiers for better data attribution and can be implemented on non-Shopify pages. While the native GA4 integration allows checkout funnel event tracking for stores without checkout.liquid, Elevar is rolling out this functionality in beta, aiming to address any potential underreporting issues by April '23.

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Main Takeaways:

Should I use the native GA4/Shopify integration or should I use Elevar's Server-Side GA4 integration?

  • We'd recommend using Elevar's Server-Side GA4 integration.

Are there any benefits to using the Elevar over the native GA4 integration?

  • Yes! The main benefits (as of March '23) of using Elevar over the native integration include:
    • Elevar sends the purchase event sent server-side, which guarantees 99%+ order accuracy. The native integration using client-side tracking, which can under report due to ad blockers, page load speed, etc.
    • You can track product list performance data with Elevar. The native integration does not track this and only sends a purchase event on the final thank you page. If a shopper navigates away before they make it to the thank you page, which many customers do when shown an upsell offer, the data never gets sent.
    • Elevar allows you to track shopping behavior rates correctly by only passing the parent name, so you get a consistent name throughout the shopping funnel. The native integration includes the parent and variant name in the name field. On most stores, you will only get a product view of the default variant, but you will get add to carts and purchases of the variant the customer selected.
    • Elevar tracks the "add_shipping_info" step. The native integration does not.
    • Elevar passes product information in the "add_payment_info" step. The native integration does not pass product information.
    • Elevar allows you to customize the order identifier, product identifier, & transaction value. The native integration does not.
    • Elevar passes a user identifier. This leads to less direct/none data & more data attributable to a marketing channel. The native integration does not pass a user identifier.
    • Elevar setup can work on non-Shopify pages.

Are there any benefits to using the native GA4 integration over Elevar?

  • With the native integration, stores without the checkout.liquid can track checkout funnel events.
  • Elevar has this functionality in beta. As of now (March '23), our beta will track checkout funnel events, but it may under-report. We are releasing an update in April where this will no longer under-report.
  • On Elevar's Fully Managed server & want to join this beta? Email [email protected] with your account name & say "I want to join the checkout funnel beta"!

Full Comparison Chart:

Last Updated on March 13th 2023

Event DataElevarGoogle Sales Channel
vistor_type parameterYesNo
Product list trackingYesNo
ecomm_prodid, ecomm_totalvalue, ecomm_pagetype parametersNo, but can be added via GTMYes, on view_item, add_to_cart, and begin_checkout events (totalvalue NaN on PDP)
Product id sentCustomizable - sku, product id, or variant idProduct id only
Product name sentParentParent - variant (begin_checkout event only sends parent)
Sends additional product IDsYesNo
Data on checkout without checkout.liquidNoYes
begin_checkoutFires every time info page is visitedOnly fires first time
add_shipping_infoYesNo
add_payment_infoSent on view of payment step. Includes product dataSent on payment submission. No product data included
Server side purchaseYesNo
Transaction IDCustomizable - Order Name, Order Number, or Order IDOrder Name
Transaction valueCustomizable - Grand Total, Subtotal, or Product SubtotalSubtotal
user_idYesNo
page_path parameterNoYes (not beautified on checkout like UA)

Upsell Comparison

Event DataElevarGoogle Sales Channel
Post purchase pageview/[ShopID]/checkouts/checkout_one_web_analytics/checkouts/c/[CartID]/post-purchase
Purchase eventSent server side based on order create webhook. Data based on original order (does not include products purchased in upsell)Sent browser side on thank you page. Data based on original order only. Value = subtotal
Upsell eventSent browser side on upsell accept. Includes data from upsell onlyNO

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Note: The native GA4/Shopify integration is new, and we've seen a beta flag on it. We expect changes to the integration in the future.