Surviving the End of Google Universal Analytics

Surviving the End of Google Universal Analytics

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For many years, Google Analytics has been the go-to analytics platform for SMEs. It is the leading free web analytics platform, offering a range of powerful features that help you make better decisions.

Sellerdeck Desktop has incorporated a direct integration with Google Analytics since version 9, including support for ecommerce tracking.

In October 2020, Google launched its new analytics platform, Google Analytics 4 (GA4), to replace Google Universal Analytics (UA).

From 1st July 2023 Google Universal Analytics will no longer collect new data. Users that want to continue using Google Analytics must migrate to GA4.

This article describes some of the main differences between GA4 and UA, and provides help for Sellerdeck Desktop users wanting to migrate.

Integrating GA4 in Sellerdeck Desktop

Sellerdeck Desktop v18.2.0 onwards includes the new tracking scripts for GA4. Once you are using this version, you will then need to create a new Google property for GA4, which you apply in your Google Analytics account. Version 18.2.0 onwards also includes built-in support for Google Tag Manager.

Sellerdeck Desktop v16.0.0 to v18.1.0 will require a manual addition of the tracking script. For instructions on how to add this please visit our Knowledge Base Article. Once you have added the tracking script, you will then need to create a new Google property for GA4, which you apply in your Google Analytics account. Some features may not be supported, therefore we recommend you upgrade to v18.2.0 onwards.

Sellerdeck Desktop v14 and older is not compatible with GA4 as the Sellerdeck Desktop GA4 code relies on variables that are only available in v16 onwards. Therefore we recommend you upgrade to v18.2.0 onwards.

Upgrading Google Analytics to GA4

To use GA4 you need to create a new Google property or upgrade your existing Google Universal Analytics property.

Due to differences in how data is recorded, GA4 may produce different results for the same stats compared with UA. To help you get used to this, Google recommends setting up a GA4 property alongside your existing UA property so that you can compare the data. For details on how to do this, see

You must upgrade your tracking scripts before creating your new GA4 Google property.

General Differences Between UA and GA4

GA4 is designed for the multi-channel world. It extends analytics beyond the website to encompass everything from social media to mobile apps. UA was able to cover those things generically, but in GA4 they are fully integrated.

  • GA4 collects website and mobile app data in the same property to help you understand the customer journey. (Unless you have developed a mobile app for your business, this change will not affect you).
  • UA recorded page views and other occurrences as sessions and used the term ‘event’ for other occurrences such as social media visits and e-commerce activity. In GA4, everything is an event, and events are divided into different types.
  • GA4 incorporates privacy controls and cookieless tracking. This does result in some compromises in the data gathered, but GA4 data should be more reliable and consistent.
  • GA4 uses behavioural modelling and provides predictive capabilities. These are powerful but complex and outside the scope of this article. Refer to the help provided by Google for more information:
  • Some analytics features have been simplified. A few have been dropped.

Feature Differences Between UA and GA4

This section is not intended as a comprehensive list of differences between the two platforms but highlights some of the more significant changes that may affect Sellerdeck users. Some of these may result in significant differences in the stats returned by the two platforms.

  • The ‘Users’ count now represents Active Users instead of Total Users. Returning visitors are counted separately and cannot be discounted. The GA4 counts may or may not be similar to the UA counts, depending on how often users return to your site.
  • GA4 counts only page views, not Unique page views. Duplicate views of the same page cannot be discounted.
  • Bounces are interpreted differently. A bounce is recorded if a visit is very short (< 10 secs) and not just based on lack of interaction.

Every user action is an event – events are no longer a separate type of interaction. There are four different types of events:

Automatically collected events are triggered by user interactions with your website and recorded automatically without you having to do anything. For a full list see

Enhanced measurement events:

  • Sessions in GA4 are handled differently. For more information, see
  • Filtering options, such as geographical filtering, are not supported in GA4.
  • Acquisition data is recorded in a separate Traffic Acquisition report.
  • Conversions may be handled differently, depending on how they are defined by the user. (The Sellerdeck Desktop integration still handles purchases in the same way as before. Other types of conversion that you may have set up yourself may vary).
  • Four of the five goal types are no longer supported.
  • Web and mobile app data are combined in one property, as described above.

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