Omnichannel

In 2023, Google will stop supporting Universal Analytics and switch all customers to Google Analytics 4. Prepare ahead of time to make your transition as seamless as possible by making GA4 an integral part of your tech stack now. We will discuss how Google Analytics 4 differs from earlier versions and there will also be pointers for maximizing the platform's functionality. 

Google Analytics 4: What’s new?

So now comes the question of what new features there are in GA4, and the answer is, in short… a lot. The data collection algorithm and data structure in GA4 are quite different. Now, rather than sessions as in the past, everything is built around users and events. Every user interaction is treated as a separate event in an event-based approach.

This shift is important since, in the past, we relied on a session-based model that categorized user activities over a certain time. Marketing grows significantly from shifting the focus from sessions to events, including improved pathing analytic capabilities and cross-platform analysis.

By switching to an event-based approach, GA4 becomes more adaptable and has improved user behavior prediction.

Google Analytics 4 property events

Normally, the data in your reports comes from activities that occur as people engage with your website or blog. A page view event is triggered whenever a user accesses a page on your site.

The following events may be gathered without the use of any code:

  • Automatically collected events: Events that are automatically captured when data collection is set up include first visit, ad clicks, and file downloads.
  • Enhanced measurement events: This option automatically gathers enhanced measurement events such as page view, scroll, and video engagement.
  • Recommended events: This represents events that you design but that have fixed names and parameters. Common events in this category could be ad impressions, coupon use for purchases, or a search performed by the user on your website directly. 
  • Custom events: Custom events are ones you designate and give a specific name. If none of the events in the other categories meet your requirements, you can build events that are completely bespoke to your business.
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How to make the transition from Universal Analytics to GA4

To update the GA version, you can follow the steps that are listed below:

Step 1: 

Easily install GA4 by navigating to the admin part of your reporting view in your GA3 property. Open the admin section and start the process.

Step 2:

You will see that the "Setup Assistant" link for GA4 located under the Property column. Click on it. 

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Step 3:

You will find the heading "I want to create a new Google Analytics 4 property," click the "Get Started" button.

Step 4:

In this step, you need to click on the Create Property button. New GA4 properties will now be created automatically by Google Analytics. Your current GA property will continue to exist. So you will have access to at least two GA properties. With gtag.js, the GA4 setup assistance operates automatically. You must add the Analytics tag manually if you use a website builder like WordPress, Wix, etc. However, this new GA4 property won't start gathering data automatically. For the data to begin flowing into your new GA4 property, you must configure your GTM (Google Tag Manager).

Step 5:

Now click on the "see your GA4 button. A new tab will open. Click on the Data stream link.

Step 6:

In this step, click on your web data stream. Note: Both "web stream" and "data stream" are used in Google Analytics 4. These two terms refer to the flow of analytics information your website sends to Google Analytics.

Step 7:

Select "Use existing on-page tag" from the Tagging instructions section. Select Google Tag Manager from the drop-down option. Now you will see the instructions for setting up a tag to track your website data in the new GA4 property. Note down the measurement ID.

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Step 8:

Go to your GTM account and click the link for New Tags. Give your new tag a name like "GA4 tracking - All pages" and choose Google Analytics: GA4 Configuration as the tag type.

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Step 9:

In the Measurement ID text box, type the measurement ID you recorded earlier. Make sure that your trigger fires on all pages. To save your tag, click the Save button.

Step 10:

Click on the Preview button, which is situated in the upper right corner. The Tag Manager Preview mode window will appear in a new browser tab. If it doesn't, it indicates that your browser is blocking the window.

Step 11:

Now enter your website address and click on the Connect button. Your website will appear in a new tab in your browser window as soon as you click the Connect button.

Step 12:

Return to the tab of your browser that displays the Tag Manager Preview mode window, and click the Continue button. Your tag is firing properly if you see the tag "GA4 tracking-All pages" in the Tags Fired column.

Step 13:

Now again, open your GTM account and click the submit tab. Click the Publish button after naming your version. Go back to your website, click on a few pages, and open them. After scrolling up, open your GA4 property again and click the cross button next to the Web stream details.

Finally, check your reports

From the menu on the left, just select the Reports icon.

Your home page report's quick response will be:

  • What are the locations of your new users?
  • Which of your campaigns performed the best?
  • Which screens and pages receive the greatest traffic?
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Select Real-time report by clicking over it. Your real-time report should show new data. Remember that Google Analytics 4 reports differ significantly from the Universal Analytics reports. In addition to using the new catalog, several well-known metrics and reports have been totally removed. Basically, you would have to start again with Google Analytics 4 if you were using standard reports like the Top Landing Pages report.

Keep in mind that GA4 property is the default option while establishing a new property from within an existing GA3 property. However, you can still use the GA4 Setup Assistant option in your GA3 property even after you have created your new GA4 property.

The option to "See your GA4 property" should appear when you click the GA4 Setup Assistant link once more, indicating that you have successfully set up the GA4 property and connected it to your previous GA3 property.

What is an App + Web Property?

App + Web was basically Google Analytics 4's beta version. All App + Web properties are now accessible as GA4 properties. This means that you don't need to do anything.

Open the property in your Google Analytics account. The previous Universal Analytics interface will have been replaced with the new GA4 interface.

Next Steps

Google Analytics 4 uses artificial intelligence (AI) to effectively gather user data, provide statistics based on customer life cycles, and help you customize your advertising to your target audience. Combining these elements can increase your chances of conversion and ROI while also building your business.

Using GA4 in combination with MarinOne reporting and conversion tracking tools will give your marketing team complete visibility on all your website impressions, engagement, and actions…with a holistic view of users and events across channels and devices. By automatically connecting and combining siloed marketing data from thousands of sources, you can understand the impact of your marketing at both high and granular levels. 

Ready to know your best-performing tactics across the consumer’s journey and optimize every marketing dollar? Speak with one of our expert consultants today to learn how to get started.

The global e-commerce market reached a value of $13 trillion in 2021—and is forecasted to rise to $55.6 trillion by 2027. What are some of the major factors that led to this growth?  There was an explosion in demand for smart devices like smartphones and tablets, making it easier than ever for people to shop online from anywhere. COVID was another big factor: when stores closed, consumers  all went online—and they liked it.

In this article, we'll share some of the benefits of the current e-commerce landscape, then give you some tips on getting your e-commerce site to perform at its best this year and beyond.

Reasons to Ramp Up your E-comm Presence

There's no doubt that online sales are more important than ever, regardless of your company structure. With a growing population of e-comm shoppers and a marketplace that's constantly expanding, it's essential to have a strong e-commerce presence if you want to stay competitive and meet customers’ demands. Here are five reasons you should focus your efforts on e-commerce: 

Meeting Consumers Where They Are

Since the onset of the pandemic, consumer behavior has dramatically changed, shifting more towards digital shopping habits. A study done by Pew Research states that 79% of U.S. consumers shop online, indicating that this new habit is here to stay. And for good reason: it’s far more convenient than having to step foot in any physical retail store. It saves time, gives consumers the flexibility to shop for the best prices, and allows them to choose from a wider range of products.

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Unrestricted Store Hours

Having an e-commerce site means your store is theoretically open all day, every day. With 24/7 access consumers can browse whenever they want, be it 1 AM or 1 PM. Not only does this make digital shopping more appealing for customers, but it also increases sales opportunities. 

Manage Your Business From Anywhere

As opposed to a traditional brick-and-mortar storefront, using an e-commerce site allows you to run your company from anywhere. Whether you prefer to sit in an office, work from home, or even your local coffee shop, you can watch your business grow without being tied to a physical space. 

Extend Your Reach

As an e-commerce company, your number one priority is to get the word out about your products and services. It is possible to advertise in different ways and improve traffic to your site. However, this is easier said than done. It's always hard to get noticed online with so much noise and competition shouting their message out. By honing in on the right niche messaging for your target demographic, and utilizing an omnichannel marketing approach with SEM, email marketing, influencers, and more…you can "find your people" on a global scale. Once the right brand message is identified, the opportunity to extend your reach to a wider target audience is virtually limitless.

Reduce Your Costs

If you were at all hesitant to start an e-commerce site because of the cost, think again. Launching a site is more affordable than owning a store, and it minimizes infrastructure, communication, and other overhead costs. 

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Tips for Creating a Profitable E-commerce Site

Follow the Latest Trends

With e-commerce best practices constantly evolving and changing, it’s vital to keep your e-commerce site current and your business competitive. By keeping up with the latest trends, you'll find new and innovative techniques that will offer your business huge value, while identifying the tactics that may not be suitable for your specific company needs. To determine which trends are worth pursuing, know your customers and competitors well so you can make the right move. 

Understand How to Optimize your E-Commerce Presence

Adopt advanced conversion tactics and push your organization to improve your baseline goal. Routinely examine bounce rates, exit rates, click-through rates, and average session durations. It is also wise to invest in e-commerce tools that can help analyze your current conversion rate issues. Some other strategies for boosting conversion rates include using high-quality images and videos on your product pages, providing limited-time coupon codes, and tweaking your store checkout process. 

Develop Strategic Shipping Policies and Options

Offer your consumers free shipping on orders over a specific amount and offer expedited delivery options like three-day shipping or two-hour delivery windows for customers who need their items immediately. An effective product delivery strategy will help to differentiate your business from competitors.

Include Customer Reviews on Product Pages 

Without a storefront, customers can’t physically experience an item before purchasing it. Give them the confidence they need to make informed decisions about products by providing them with easy access to online product reviews. By helping them navigate your business’s digital space, you maintain a positive reputation and a strong brand name, leading to happy customers and returning business. 

Create Social Media Profiles for Your Brand 

Having a social media presence allows you to connect with existing customers and reach out to potential new ones. Statista data indicates that users spend an average of a whopping 147 minutes per day on social media. Using social media to market your e-commerce store allows you to reach shoppers directly, advertise new products, or engage them with attractive promotions. According to BigCommerce statistics, businesses with an active and unique social media presence have at least 32% more sales than those without one. 

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Integrate your Point of Sale and Inventory Management Systems for Best Results 

Consumers prefer a seamless shopping and purchasing experience, with expectations that their products will arrive at their doorstep as fast as possible. Backend integration can help streamline e-commerce operations like inventory management, so that your customers remain satisfied and get what they want, when they want it. Integrating inventory management allows your organization to track its stock so you can balance the quantity of products on hand while meeting customer demands. By being able to analyze trends and sales patterns, you can also successfully maximize sales margins. 

Make your Site Mobile Friendly

Making sure your e-commerce site is mobile-friendly is the key to driving more sales and ensuring a smooth customer journey. A mobile-friendly design leads to more page views, stronger customer loyalty, increased online purchases, and many more benefits. 

Site Speed Matters

The last thing you want is a slow-loading website that will irritate your visitors. If your site can’t move fast enough for your customers it will negatively impact the user's perception of your brand, increase bounce rates, and encourage buyers to look elsewhere. In fact, studies prove that if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of users will quickly give up and leave.  

Conclusion

Not only is centralizing your business to an e-commerce website cost-effective, it’s also been the preferred way for customers to shop for several years now. To stay competitive, it's essential that you get your website running like a well-oiled machine.

Not sure where to start? MarinOne can help by streamlining your advertising efforts and give your website a jumpstart in sales and traffic. This will buy your team time to get the web backend exactly how you want it while we build your front-end brand through advertising on marketplaces, paid search, and social. With MarinOne, you can gain an edge over your competition, maximize performance across all channels, and utilize impactful retail marketplace advertising features to set your e-commerce site up for success. 

Learn more about how MarinOne can help. Get in touch and speak to one of our team experts or schedule a free demo today.

This is a story about people doing bad things on the internet. It’s not the first and certainly won’t be the last. We decided to tell our story to help prevent others from becoming victims. Of course we don’t want people misusing our brand, but the people who have spent their precious time and lost money in this are the real victims and are the ones we are looking to protect.

It started with a DM

We started getting strange messages to our social media accounts and various company email addresses asking “is this project real?” The project: Translation work from somebody who is using a name very similar to ours and our company logo.

This has nothing to do with our company (if you look closely, you can see the misspelled name). We responded to these inquiries letting the email senders know the project was not real and that they should not communicate with these Scammers (I’d really prefer to use a stronger term here, but my editor would not allow it). We also let the platforms where these conversations originated know what was happening.

As we received more messages, some of them became more urgent. Some of these new Victims were panicked because they had done the work and then sent money to the Scammers. One of them had sent $1,500.

How does this work?

We believe that these scams start with a job posting on sites like Freelancer.com and Upwork. The Scammer then asks the Victim to move their communications off the original platform and to communicate directly through Telegram or another messaging platform, including email. 

The Victim is given work that seems legitimate, and completes the task. When the Victim seeks payment, the Scammer then requires the Victim to establish an account for payment, which requires the Victim to send an “account registration fee” to the Scammer. This advance-fee scam is not new. Similar scams have been around in various forms for decades or longer, including the Spanish Prisoner and Nigerian Prince scams.

 

The Scammer promises that the account registration fee will be refunded upon the Scammer’s payment for the Victim’s work. At this point, many of the Victims realize that they have fallen for a scam.  But some Victims, having already done some work and not wanting to walk away from a potential payment, go ahead and pay the account registration fee. A behavioral psychologist might refer to this as an escalation of commitment or sunk-cost fallacy.

In a few cases, the Scammer further escalates the commitment by asking the Victim to make an additional payment to link their account.

How can freelancers protect themselves?

The first thing that people can do when working on freelance projects is to always work through the platforms. They have established policies in place to ensure that payment happens once the job is completed and that payment should happen directly through the platform. Being asked to move communication to email or another platform should be a red flag. 

Secondly, there is absolutely no reason that we can think of where a legitimate company would ask you to provide payment in order to get paid. If it sounds like it doesn't make sense, it probably doesn't.

Third: watch out for projects that look too good to be true. The pay for the projects that we've seen were quite generous and this of course gets people more interested. If it seems like you are being overpaid for the amount of work involved, keep your guard up. 

There are many articles and videos with additional advice on what to watch for.

What are you doing to stop this? What can other companies do?

We aim to work with the freelance platforms and relevant law enforcement to try to prevent these types of scams from happening. Below are some contacts and links that we used so you can use them if needed.   If you become aware of a scam online posting, please report the posting and/or the user to the relevant platform.

US Agencies

Online Platforms

Also, provide a way for people to contact you. People who have lost money are very resourceful about getting in touch with someone who can help. We have seen direct messages on social networks, emails to every alias listed on our website, and well as personal telephone outreach to team members and their families. By posting a link on our Contact Us page, we have made it easier for people to connect with our legal team and get additional information.

Open request to freelancing platforms

As we discussed how to handle this internally, one of the things that we think could provide a significant Improvement in the freelance ecosystem would be to allow companies to become certified. This would be similar to the blue check on Twitter. This way, a freelancer would know that the job is legitimate and coming from the official company account. It seems like a step in the right direction. It appears there is something similar for individuals, but we couldn’t find anything for companies.

We are not experts in this area, so there may be other things in place or better ways to solve this problem. We'd love to start a discussion about how we can do that. For now, know that Marin's cyber security practices are strong. If we need any freelance assistance, we will not be contacting anyone through Telegram or Whatsapp.

As we live in a world with increasingly remote employees, we expect that we will all face more of these types of threats.  We all should keep our guards up.

There's nothing worse than feeling like you're wasting perfectly good product in storage facilities because certain items in your inventory just don't seem to be selling. This is frustrating both for operations and marketing teams. Operations teams are facing supply chain issues, shipping headaches, storage fees, and more while they watch waning product take precious warehouse space that best selling items could occupy. 

Meanwhile the marketing team is pouring money into ads, thinking that more exposure will lead to more sales, while certain items cannot seem to get out the door quickly enough. Sometimes, no matter how many times you tweak a campaign, the results just aren't there. Too many companies suffer from the "left hand not speaking to the right" in regard to marketing and operational teams. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to take a closer look at your inventory management strategy and realign the effectiveness between operations and marketing. 

As Julie Durante, the Director of Inbound at Impulse Creative, said, “Operations must serve the customers that marketing helps attract. If marketing and ops aren’t in alignment, no one will be successful.”

What are the benefits of aligning operations and marketing roadmaps?

If your operations and marketing teams work side-by-side, you'll see great results. Making sure operations are aligned with what marketing is doing ensures a smooth workflow and you'll end up with more leads and revenue because of this close collaboration. Entering into a mutual agreement means you can share ideas, improve efficiency, and create the right environment for company growth. Here's a quick overview of the advantages of this approach.

  1. Avoid over-ordering products that aren’t selling well 

By reducing your exposure to products that aren’t moving, you can save money on advertising and inventory costs. By ordering just enough to meet consumer demand— no more and no less—you can avoid major losses. 

  1. Improve your company cash flow with inventory management

When an effective management strategy isn’t in place, you can tie up your money by purchasing large quantities of inventory all at once. With careful management, this can be avoided, resulting in improved cash flow that can be spent elsewhere when needed, like special marketing initiatives. 

  1. Improve your organization’s bottom line 

When you streamline processes, it impacts the rest of your business by increasing revenue growth and leading to more consistent profitability

  1. Benefit from a well-organized operations and marketing system 

Since you now have insight into exactly how much product you have, it makes it easier to determine the right products for upselling, cross-promotion, and bundling. An inventory that is well organized and well documented will also help save staff time and prevent errors, leading to tight shipping schedules and a greater overall customer experience, which is an important part of reputation management for the marketing team as well. If your inventory is properly organized, the rest of your supply chain will fall right into place.  

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3 Challenges of operations-marketing alignment

Obviously creating the kind of multi-team synergy we're describing takes time and effort. That’s why it's important to find the right balance between having autonomy amongst each team and finding the most opportune moments for both teams to work together. 

  1. Changing processes can be difficult to implement for larger businesses

Poor operational oversight and control can slow down fulfillment, and make errors more frequent. Some of the tactics we've mentioned, like engaging an inventory management tool, or reorganizing documentation processes, will make things much easier.

  1. It requires accurate and up-to-date communication

As with most things in business, communication is key. Constant, transparent communication between the marketing team and operations team is a vital part of achieving success. The idea is to encourage the free flow of information. Promote collaboration by giving everyone a chance to share their ideas and knowledge. Make sure that people can easily talk to one another in person or through conference tools, and help break barriers between departments.

  1. Assigning ownership and responsibility can get messy

Great teams work to understand the full range of what work is taking place and who owns what pieces of the puzzle. Who will take charge and make sure your teams function as well as they should? The answer lies in the question of ownership, not control. Establish early on the areas where one team will have to dictate the actions of another and vice versa, based on the greater good and big picture objectives of the company. 

If a shipping promotion marketing wants to run will ultimately cost the company too much, operations may have a veto in that area. But if a product bundle idea could potentially bring in a significant amount of additional revenue and it doesn’t add too much time in terms of labor or packaging, marketing may have the final vote in that scenario. 

At the end of the day, everyone is on the same team of reducing costs and increasing revenue for the company at large. Keep that singular focus in mind, have a spirit of teamwork from the top-down, and every situation will play out as smoothly as possible.

What role does inventory-based spend management play?

Inventory-based spend management is a way of making marketing and advertising budgeting decisions based on the product inventory you have available. 

By tracking and forecasting inventory levels and targeting your campaigns more specifically to the products you have in stock, you can increase your chances of making a sale. Surprisingly, 43% of small businesses don’t track their inventory—and 21% of companies overall say that they don’t have proper inventory management in place. Starting with a basic understanding of where things are now is paramount in order for all parties to move forward. To make a strategic sales approach based on inventory management successful you must get on top of existing inventory, the current marketing plan, and identify where those two componencts do not align in the big picture.

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How do we get started?

In this case, unlike other marketing tactics, the operations team takes the first step. Inventory-based spend management starts with a forecast and analysis of your product inventory. You'll need to take a close look at what products you have in stock, the expected rate of turnover, and any supply problems on the horizon. Without this kind of information, the "tail will be wagging the dog" as marketing continues to guess on which products to promote and feature.

Once that data is all in one place, you can start to make decisions about where to allocate your marketing budget both in the short-term and the long-term. If there’s a problem with supply for one item or category, you can shift your marketing strategy to other products. 

Thankfully, all of this can be done by implementing inventory software. With a good system in place, you can automate your strategy, optimize cash flow, successfully manage and control orders, oversee warehouses, reduce handling costs, and much more.

Inventory-based spend management techniques

There are predefined techniques to help you optimize inventory-based spend management. By choosing the techniques that work best for your business, you can maximize your budget and optimize your spend strategy. Here’s a look at just a few of them.

  1. Just-In-Time (JIT) inventory management

The goal of JIT is to have the minimum amount of inventory on hand to meet demand. That means you bring in inventory on an as-needed basis, rather than buying in large quantities. 

  1. ABC analysis

With this technique, goods are split into three categories, A, B, and C. Category A products represent your most valued goods—those that make a huge impact on your overall profit; Category B reflects products that fall somewhere in the middle of your most valued products and your least valued ones; Category C includes small transaction items that are critical to overall profit but don’t individually matter too much. 

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  1. Demand forecasting

Demand forecasting focuses on historical sales data to forecast customer demand. Companies use this type of forecasting as a rough estimate of the amount of goods they expect consumers to purchase in the future. 

Inventory-based spend management is crucial if you want to ensure your customers get the goods they want when they want them, but can also be a key tool to help you properly manage your marketing budget. 

Realizing the potential of inventory-based spend management

Inventory-based spend management is a great way to save money and get the most out of your marketing budget. By targeting your campaigns specifically to products you have in stock at a surplus and those that generate the best profits, you can avoid over-ordering products that aren't selling well and bounce back as a business when inventory levels are off. This approach can also help you make more sales by increasing your marketing focus on products that are in stock.

How MarinOne Can Help

Whether you’ve got a solid marketing and operations strategy in place already, or you’re looking to develop one, MarinOne can get you headed in the right direction.

MarinOne helps your marketing team see all of your ad spend data in one place, so you can make more informed decisions about where to allocate your marketing budget instead of watching your dollars go to waste. 

Paired with a great inventory management tool, you'll have effective multi-team visibility for both operations and marketing needs. Consult with one of our advertising experts to learn how you can successfully manage and optimize spend.

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