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  • Utilizing Ecommerce Item Fields in Custom Events for Ecommerce

    Posted by Devin on 2 February 2023 at 8:18 am

    Hey there, I’m curious if I can utilize ecommerce columns with my custom Tag Manager Event tied to ecommerce. I’ve got a BigQuery Link established on my GA4 view and I got some data back. I noticed “items” columns in the table schema (screenshot included for reference).
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    My question is this: If I design a custom event as shown below, using the same syntax as a recommended event, will my “items” column auto-fill?
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    I’ve been using DebugView, and the representation for a recommended event and a custom event is varied. I can spot an “items” tab for the recommended event. Is that an indication that my custom event won’t register my items?
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    If so, is there a workaround so I can feed large values to the table with a custom event, such as a product list? Normal parameters seem to truncate the value after 20 characters, which is a bummer. Any suggestions? Cheers!

    Elijah replied 10 months, 4 weeks ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Scarlett

    13 February 2023 at 10:17 am

    Hey there! It looks like you’re trying to make full use of ecommerce columns with a custom Tag Manager Event.

    Unfortunately, if you’re using an appropriate EEC event, that’s the only way you’ll be able to send EEC values. When you use a regular event to send complex data structures, it means you’re bound to the limitations of event properties.

    Yes, you’ve noticed correctly that GA4 lets you create and modify events based on other events, but this function is a bit on the simplistic and limited side. It mostly is due to Google trying to balance functionality against costs to keep the product free and accessible to everyone.

    As for your question on handling large values for the table with a custom event, GA4 might not be as flexible as enterprise analytics solutions in the market when it comes to the number, size and the complexity of processing the dimensions. You might notice a bit of a bottleneck when trying to parse dimension values into sub-dimensions.

    A workaround could be to split your dimensions into subdimensions with a little bit of ETL magic, but remember this would mean you have to process your data after it’s exported to BigQuery.

    I hope this helps clarify things for you!

  • Elijah

    24 June 2023 at 3:20 pm

    When using custom events with Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and BigQuery, the “items” array will not auto-fill unless the event explicitly includes item data. Google’s built-in events have specific expected parameters (like ‘items’ for ecommerce events), and because of this, setting up a custom event using the same naming convention will not necessarily make GA4 treat it exactly the same way as a predefined one.

    The varied representation you’re seeing between recommended events and custom events is indeed because the recommended events automatically register item data when it’s present, while custom events do not.

    As for a workaround on the 20 character limit for parameter values, you could split up your larger values across multiple parameters, making sure each one is below the limit, and then combining them back together in your analyses within BigQuery.

    However, do keep in mind that GA4 and BigQuery are mainly designed to work with structured data rather than large strings of information in single cells, and may not be the most suitable solution depending on the specific requirements of your project.

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