Making informed business decisions is only possible with accurate data about transactions and orders. Agree? Then, you probably need help with the problem of missing transactions in Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
You're not alone in your struggle since missing transactions and orders in GA4 are more common than one would think. There are plenty of reasons why it appears, but only a few solutions.
In this guide, we'll cover the most common reasons why transactions are missing in GA4 and what you can do to improve the data accuracy.
Those of you who use Magento, stay tuned to learn about the Magento 2 Google Tag Manager solution to this issue.
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Reasons Why Transactions Are Missing in Google Analytics 4
There is no one-size-fits-all answer regarding missing transactions and orders in Google Analytics 4. There could be multiple reasons why it happens or just one. However, identifying it helps you to eliminate the issue and improve the data tracking in your store.
Let's review why some data might be incorrect or missing from the Analytics.
We can all agree that adblockers are helpful if you want to get rid of annoying ads. However, it also happens to block first-party trackers like GTM and GA4. As a result — missing transactions in GA4.
2. Turned off cookies
It's common knowledge that cookies store the tracking data and send it to Google Analytics.
According to the GDPR guidelines, many stores need to ask customers for consent before tracking their data. If you use such an extension, chances are customers opt out of tracking cookies.
Thus, turned off cookies is one of the most common reasons for missing transactions in GA4.
Example of the cookies consent message
3. Misconfigured web containers
As simple as it is, this error is also among the most common.
Once you have a container and set up all important eCommerce events,you do the Preview. If set up correctly, you see all transactions and purchase events in the debug mode.
However, if you've configured the data tracking through GTM, it's also crucial to Submit (publish) the tags after you verify them with the Preview.
Publishing tags in the GTM account
4. Tracking codes are not activated on the checkout success page
Transaction data is passed to Google Analytics 4 once the purchase is complete.
Regardless of the application you use, single-page or multi-page, it's crucial to send the purchase data to the Data Layer when customers land on the checkout success page.
Sometimes, things don't go as planned, and the purchase data doesn't make it to the data layer. Hence, the transactions are not captured or sent to GA4.
Example of the checkout success page
5. Tracking codes are activated before the redirect
The tracking code is activated once a customer makes a purchase. But, then (before the checkout success page is displayed), the customer is immediately redirected to the payment gateway page. They finalize the purchase there and only then land on the checkout success page, if ever.
This time is is not always sufficient to pass the request to Google Analytics. So, the purchase data is lost even if the customer has finalized the order.
Ensure the tracking code is activated AFTER the customer lands on the checkout success page before redirecting them to the payment provider page.
6. Tracking codes are activated even if the transaction failed
Pushing the purchase data to Google Analytics before the redirect results not only in missed transactions. If you push data about purchases before the redirect, it might pass to Google Analytics.
However, what if the transaction fails when a customer is on the payment provider page?
Once again, you need to ensure the purchase data is tracked only if customers land on the "Thank you" page after a successful purchase.
7. Browsers with strict privacy settings
Even if you offer customers a choice to opt out of tracking cookies, it may not be enough for some of them. Some visitors prefer using browsers with strict privacy settings. These browsers block various, if not all, tracking tools and pixels.
8. Browser errors
Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, you can't prevent browser-related issues. These errors can be related to literally anything. So, it's hard to highlight any common ones.
Example of the browser error
10. Delays in GA4
The last but not least reason for Google Analytics missing transactions is Google Analytics itself. Note that there is no real-time data tracking in this tool. It takes about 24-48 hours for GA4 to process the data and create accurate reports.
So don't rush to look for issues if some transactions are missing in Google Analytics. Just give it some time first.
How to Fix Issues with GA4 Missing Transactions?
Since there are multiple reasons for missed transactions in Google Analytics, there are many ways to troubleshoot the issues. You can spend hours debugging Google Analytics 4, finding patterns between missed orders, and checking the payment providers' page.
If you identify what causes the issues, great. You can fix the problems and hope it won't appear again. However, it's impossible to address all of them.
So, we offer you the ultimate solution — server-side tracking.
For those who have yet to hear about it, server-side tracking does precisely what the name implies. The tracking is done from server to server. So, your server passes the data to the Google Analytics server or GTM.
Each transaction is captured, regardless of the cookies' consent, browser errors, or adblockers. The only case when the transaction is missed is when the order wasn't created in the first place.
Google Analytics Missing Transaction in Magento
Setting up the server-side tracking is not easy, especially without a specific technical background. However, it could be made easy with the right tools at hand.
It requires no server configurations. You just need to fill out a few fields in the Magento admin panel, depending on the methods you choose.
The best part? You can still use browser-based tracking and enable server-side tracking only for missed transactions. Check out any of the guides we've shared above to avoid facing issues with missed transactions in GA4.
Option to track only missing transactions in Magento 2