Shopify Analytics vs. Google Analytics: Discrepancies & How to Resolve Them
Rob Elgaron August 29, 2022.
Tracking your business data is essential, but when data is incorrect it can lead to issues. Not only can misinterpreted data cause immediate problems, but small margin errors could be fatal to a business as it begins to scale.
Shopify Analytics vs Google Analytics (GA) is a common issue for Shopify store owners as the metrics often don't correspond.
Why Don't Google Analytics & Shopify Analytics Match?
There are various reasons for inconsistencies between Shopify and GA. The accuracy of Shopify dashboard reporting often comes under scrutiny. This could be why:
Time Zone Differences
If the time zone of your Shopify store is different from your GA, you may experience some differences. For example, if your Shopify reporting time zone is 12 hours earlier than GA, you may have missing data on Google until the data is updated. The metric could also be recorded as a different date.
Use of Different Metrics
Shopify and Google define particular metrics such as sessions and how unique visitors are counted differently. Google counts each time a page is reloaded, but browsers don't count reloads of cached pages. Both services track users differently and therefore don't always record users equally.
Incorrectly setting up GA to track your business can contribute to mismatched data. Furthermore, some browsers such as Safari have a short cookie life which makes tracking difficult. This can also make sending data between Shopify and GA less accurate.
Orders Going Unrecorded
If the "thank you" page is not viewed then the sale isn't recorded by GA. Third-party payment systems and users closing the thank you page before it's fully loaded can contribute to this.
Visitors Using Ad Blocking Software
Visitors using adblocking software, a VPN, or a private browser could bypass the GA tracking system, thus resulting in different data to Shopify. If your customer's behavior can't be tracked, it can't be recorded.
What to Do About It
Although Shopify integrates with GA, the two don't always correspond. It's important to track both sales and web data—therefore the correct tracking tool needs to be used in order to obtain accurate results.
It's best to use Shopify to track sales metrics. Your sales data will be up-to-date and accurate as everything is contained within your Shopify account. Shopify automatically tracks your sales and similar reports, even if you haven't set it up prior.
Analyzing and interpreting GA user metrics, on the other hand, requires more setup, but offers a wider variety of reports and a deeper analysis of web-related activity. Real-time reporting, lifetime value (LTV), and tracking social media with GA are all metrics that Shopify doesn't offer.
When analyzing your Shopify store, a full perspective of your website's performance and customer behavior is important. Using only Shopify or Google to track metrics will limit your business's potential future growth.
Using the incorrect source could provide you with incorrect data, which could cause problems down the line. If you're only using Shopify Analytics then learn how to add GA to Shopify and create a better overview.