Shopify vs Google Analytics data discrepancies

Updated on 2022-01-28

The truth is that Google Analytics and Shopify don’t always get along so well. Having correct and reliable data requires some extra effort and care, and even so, the end data set might differ depending on a few important factors.

Of course, not all inconsistencies between Shopify and Google Analytics can be resolved, but we can definitely identify the factors that led to this happening. 

The most important aspect to have in mind when performing a comparison is that both Shopify and Google Analytics are using different tracking mechanisms

You need to make sure that you analyze the right metrics in the first place to ensure accurate reporting on both platforms.

In this help article, we will present the most common reasons for differences in tracking results.

  1. Comparing different metrics

    Most Shopify store owners are comparing different metrics such as the number of users and sessions in Shopify vs Google Analytics, instead of the number of transactions or revenue. Sessions are defined differently and Google can only count visitors with JavaScript and cookies enabled. A better practice would be to compare the revenue and the number of transactions from Shopify with the numbers in Google Analytics - even so, there is an accepted limit for the discrepancy that would be around 5% between the number of transactions/revenue in Shopify vs GA. Everything that is above that limit could be problematic and would require further investigations.

  2. Timezone and currency mismatch

    You might have noticed that you compared the same date in both Shopify and GA, but some orders are missing, and the revenue seems to be off. The most common reasons for this inconsistency are timezone or currency differences. Google Analytics might process the order a few hours later, so it is recommended to add an extra day to the timeframe that you were checking. On the next point, we will add another reason for one transaction or more missing from your GA.

  3. Session hit limit

    It is not encountered often, but still causing some troubles - the Google Analytics hit limitation for standard tracking where a session can contain only 500 hits. This means that interactions taking place after the hit limit is reached will be ignored by Google Analytics.

  4. AdBlockers/ VPNs/ Special browsers ( iOS 14.5 and Safari) 

  • one of the troublemakers here is the new ITP feature (intelligent tracking prevention) that came with the 14.5 version of iOS - store owners have to “ask” users for permissions to monitor their data. If the users don’t give permission, Google Analytics won’t be able to track any of their actions. You can read more on our blog post about How to fix marketing attribution for iOS 14.
  • Safari is one special browser too as it shortens the life of a cookie and makes tracking pretty difficult as well as Brave browser which gives users the opportunity to block all tracking
  1. GDPR and CCPA

    It is required now that merchants ask users for their consent before the tracking starts. Lately, this has become the most common reason for seeing such discrepancies between Shopify and GA, since the user journey cannot be tracked. Unfortunately, this is the case where the discrepancies cannot be fixed or prevented.

  2. Page builders A perfect integration with page builder apps such as Gempages, Shogun, etc, might seem easy to achieve, however, these page builders can be real blockers if not configured properly. If you are using these apps, especially for landing pages, these can be the reason for seeing a mismatch between Shopify and Google Analytics.

  3. Double Tracking

    Having too many trackers on your website could be problematic too. Extra trackers might double your data in Google Analytics, leading to big discrepancies between these two platforms. This situation can be easily avoided only by double-checking your setup.

  4. Shopify Apps for Upsell and Checkout

    Many merchants are using these kinds of apps to improve the customer experience or they simply want a different checkout flow. These apps are not similar to Shopify’s native flow so tracking might not always work as expected. If these apps are not correctly working, it will prevent Google Analytics from tracking any upsells or other actions performed by the user.

    • i.e Post-purchase upsells created via Carthook might not have the upsell included