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  • Effectively tracking donations and sales as separate entities in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

    Posted by William on 8 April 2023 at 10:31 am

    I’ve switched over to a new GA4 property to keep track of all my work across various subdomains, like give.domain.org and shop.domain.org. Before, I had Universal Analytics (UA) handling each subdomain separately – it was a breeze because it integrated directly with our software. Now with UA taking a bow in July 2023, I’ve got all my subdomains under one roof with GA4, but setting up custom configurations has been tricky as our software third parties aren’t big GA4 fans.

    Here’s my puzzle – How do I manage to keep tabs on both donations and product sales using the same property? I’ve seen suggestions to use the purchase event for tracking donations, but won’t that mess up my product sales tracking? Most advice I’ve come across seems to assume non-profit means no product sales, which doesn’t work for us.

    I’m giving a whirl with a custom event called donate right now, with parameters like currency and value attached. But I’m scratching my head because there’s no sight of any revenue or value metrics showing up in GA4.

    Can I somehow use the purchase event for tracking donations without messing up the tracking for sales? Or should I stick with a custom donate event? Whatever it is, I feel like I’m missing a trick or two here.

    Ava replied 10 months, 3 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Kelsey

    Member
    23 June 2023 at 8:33 pm

    You can continue to use the ‘purchase’ event to track the products sales on your ‘shop.domain.org’. For the donations received on ‘give.domain.org’, stick with the custom ‘donate’ event. The reason your revenue or ‘value’ metrics might not be showing up on GA4 is because GA4 treats custom events a little differently. You will need to register ‘value’ as a custom metric in GA4. In the GA4 interface, go to ‘Custom Definitions’ and then to ‘Create Custom Metrics’. Here you can name your custom metric (like Donation Value), choose the scope as ‘Event’ and select your custom event (‘donate’). Once GA4 recognises ‘value’ as a custom metric, you should be able to see the tracked donations under Event data in your GA4 reports. It might take a while for the metric to reflect in your report. This way, you’ll be able to track both donations and product sales separately and effectively.

  • Ava

    Member
    7 July 2023 at 11:49 am

    For tracking separate actions like purchases and donations, it’s essential to add clear distinctions between the two. If you use the same purchase event for both, it may confuse your data analysis and reports. Your approach of using a specific donate event with parameters such as currency and value attached is a good move.

    However, to solve the issue of revenue or value metrics not appearing in GA4, you need to use the specific parameters that Google Analytics 4 recognizes for these values. Usually, that is items (which is an array of item objects – each object can have item_id, item_name, quantity, etc.) and value. So, when sending a donation, send value as a metric but, remember that GA4 considers value as a custom parameter and it will not show up in your reports until you register it in the ‘custom definitions’ section of your GA4 property.

    So, while you can technically use the purchase event for both, it is recommended to use a custom donate event to maintain clear data distinctions. Remember to register all custom parameters and you should see the data showing up in your GA4 reports.

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