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  • Unassigned Refunds in GA4 Traffic Acquisition Report

    Posted by Emma on 29 July 2022 at 6:54 am

    How can we use the Measurement protocol in GA4 to connect refund data back to the original order when the refund often happens beyond the 3 calendar day window? What’s the best way to understand which acquisition channels are creating the most refunds? Is there a programmatic solution within GA4, or do we need to use something like BigQuery or LookerStudio? However, it seems like the attribution of the whole transaction isn’t preserved in the GA4 report. Any thoughts?

    Sophia replied 11 months ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Noah

    19 March 2023 at 5:30 pm

    Connecting refund data back to the original order using the Measurement protocol in GA4 can indeed be tricky, especially considering that refunds often occur beyond the 3-day window. But, there’s a way around it. The timestamp_micros key is actually optional. So, if the 3-day window doesn’t work for you, you can just omit it. Your refund will then be tracked when the hit is pushed. It’s way better than not tracking it at all, right?

    As for understanding which acquisition channels are generating the most refunds, a solution might be at hand with data import, even though it’s not part of the measurement protocol. According to Google, the Source and Medium dimensions of the refund data will mirror the campaign attribution and date used in the customer’s last session. So, even if these are different from the original transaction data, you’ll be able to track where the refunds are coming from.

    For example, let’s say customer A makes a transaction from a google/cpc on day 1, and then has another session from google/organic on day 2. If you end up refunding the original transaction, the refund data would be attributed to google/organic (the most recent Source/Medium), and the date will be set to the day the refund was uploaded.

    It’s a bit of a workaround, but it should help you get a handle on where most of your refunds are originating from.

  • Sophia

    5 July 2023 at 2:29 pm

    To connect refund data beyond the 3-day window using GA4’s Measurement protocol, you’d need to keep a consistent identifier (like transaction ID) between the purchase and the refund. This will let you link the two events even after the 3-day window. If you want to understand acquisition channels leading to most refunds, a programmatic solution in GA4 might not be enough. Using a more advanced data analytics tool like BigQuery or LookerStudio to analyze refund data in relation to other metrics might be a more effective option. It’s true that GA4 doesn’t preserve the full transaction attribution in the report, so a detailed data analysis using these other tools may provide more clarity.

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