The Ultimate Guide to Black Friday / Cyber Monday Reporting using GA4
November 26, 2023
Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) are two of the biggest shopping days of the year. In 2023, shoppers in the United States spent a record-breaking $9.12 billion on Black Friday, and $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday. These are massive opportunities for businesses to boost sales and grow their customer base.
To make the most of BFCM, it is important to have a strong marketing strategy in place. And a key part of any marketing strategy is tracking and measuring your results. This is where Google Analytics 4 (GA4) comes in. GA4 is the latest version of Google Analytics, and it is designed to help businesses track and measure their marketing performance across all channels, including websites, apps, and social media. With GA4, you can get a comprehensive view of your customer journey and identify opportunities to improve your marketing results.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to use GA4 to report on your BFCM results.
Table of Contents
Identifying your KPIs
Check your GA4 data collection setup and Ecommerce tracking setup:
Realtime report tracking to measure BFCM
Custom Reporting - GA4 Exploration Report
Google Looker Studio Dashboard
Additional tips for using GA4 for BFCM reporting
Frequently Asked Questions
Identifying Your KPIs for BFCM
Before diving into the data, it's essential to establish your key performance indicators (KPIs). These are the metrics that will measure the success of your BFCM efforts. Some common BFCM KPIs include:
Website traffic: Track the number of visitors to your website during BFCM to gauge the overall interest in your products and promotions.
Conversion rate: Measure the percentage of visitors who complete a purchase, indicating the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and website usability.
Average order value (AOV): Track the average amount spent per purchase to assess the profitability of your BFCM sales.
Customer acquisition costs (CAC): Measure the cost of acquiring new customers during BFCM to determine the efficiency of your marketing efforts.
With your KPIs defined, you can now delve into GA4 to extract valuable insights.
Ensure your GA4 setup is configured before proceeding. If you haven't already set up GA4, follow the comprehensive guide on this page.
Checking Your GA4 Data Collection Setup and Ecommerce Tracking Setup
Ensuring that your GA4 data collection and Ecommerce tracking are set up correctly is crucial for accurate reporting.
Verify GA4 Setup: Confirm that you have GA4 set up for your website. Follow the instructions in the Google Analytics 4 setup guide if you haven't already.
Enable Google Signal: Google Signal provides additional data about users across Google products, enhancing your understanding of customer behavior.
Link GA4 Property to Other Google Analytics Products: Link your GA4 property to Google Ads and Search Console to gain a holistic view of your marketing performance.
Verify User Data Collection Consent: Ensure that you have obtained explicit consent from users to collect their data, complying with data privacy regulations.
Set Data Retention to 14 Months: Choose the longest data retention option (14 months) to maximize historical data insights. For more information about retention settings, blog post here.
Verify Event Conversion Tracking: Ensure that the correct events are marked as conversions, such as "purchase" or "completed purchase." For a deeper understanding of event marking as a conversion, explore our insightful blog post here.
After ensuring the accuracy of your GA4 setup and verifying conversion tracking, you can now proceed to identifying your target audience.
Why is this important? Knowing your target audience is crucial for effectively measuring Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) data and making data-driven decisions to optimize your sales strategy. Here are the key reasons why:
Relevant Insights and Benchmarking: Tailor your BFCM data analysis to specific customer segments, allowing you to gather more relevant insights and benchmark your performance against targeted groups.
Personalized Marketing and Offers: Understand your target audience's preferences to design personalized marketing campaigns and promotional offers, increasing the likelihood of customer engagement and conversion.
Customer Journey Optimization: Analyze how your target audience interacts with your brand during BFCM to identify areas for improvement and optimize the customer experience for better outcomes.
Effective Resource Allocation: Allocate marketing and promotional resources strategically based on your target audience's preferences and behaviors to maximize return on investment.
Improved Conversion Rates: Design landing pages, product descriptions, and promotional messages that resonate with your target audience's motivations, leading to higher conversion rates during BFCM.
Now let’s say that you’re tracking, and you’re ready to collect and analyze those data. Here are reporting tools that help you analyze the success of your BFCM.
Realtime Report Tracking for BFCM
BFCM is a highly dynamic period with significant fluctuations in website traffic and user behavior. Traditional analytics tools that provide data with a delay may not be sufficient for making timely decisions during this fast-paced event. Realtime report tracking bridges this gap, allowing you to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changing trends in real time.
Key Benefits of Realtime Report Tracking for BFCM
Monitor website traffic fluctuations: Realtime tracking enables you to observe spikes and drops in website traffic, indicating the effectiveness of your promotional campaigns and the overall interest in your products.
Identify user behavior patterns: Gain insights into how users are interacting with your website during BFCM. Track metrics such as page views, session duration, and bounce rate to identify areas for improvement.
Track conversions in real time: Monitor the number of purchases and completed transactions as they happen, allowing you to assess the success of your BFCM sales and make immediate adjustments if needed.
Identify potential issues promptly: Realtime tracking can help you detect any technical glitches or issues that may hinder user experience and sales during BFCM, enabling you to address them promptly.
How to Access Realtime Reports in GA4
Sign in to your GA4 account.
Select the property you want to analyze.
In the left sidebar, click on "Reports."
Under the "Realtime" section, click on "Realtime Overview."
The Realtime Overview report will provide a summary of key metrics, including website traffic, active users, page views, and conversions. You can also view detailed breakdowns of these metrics by traffic source, location, and device.
Custom Reporting - GA4 Exploration Report
Another possible way to do this is via custom report in the GA4 exploration report. Here’s an example, but this really depends on your current goals and objectives.
Report Name: Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales Performance
Report Type: Exploration
Report Description: This report tracks key metrics related to sales performance during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Date: Date of the eCommerce transaction
Product Name: Name of the purchased product
Traffic Source: Channel that drove traffic to your website
Session Default Channel Grouping
Device: Device used to access your website (e.g., desktop, mobile)
Location: Location of the customer (e.g., country, city)
Promo Code: Promo code used during the checkout process. (A custom dimension you could use)
Session Conversion Rate: Percentage of sessions that resulted in an eCommerce transaction
New vs. Returning Customer: Percentage of revenue generated from new and returning customers
Checkout: No of checkouts
You can drop these dimensions and metrics into the settings section. This is just a sample, and you can customize the report to fit your specific needs. You can also add additional metrics, dimensions, filters, and segments to get a more comprehensive picture of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday performance.
Caveat: Even though you may have specific reporting needs, it's important to keep GA4's dimensions and metrics compatibility in mind. While you may want to combine certain dimensions and metrics, GA4 may not be able to generate a report if those elements are not compatible. For more information about dimensions and compatibility, you can check out our Resources section.
In addition, you can also leverage on other GA4 functionalities such as the following:
Date: Filter to include only transactions that occurred during Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Transaction Status: Filter to include only completed transactions
High-Spenders: Segment of customers with high average order values
First-Time Purchasers: Segment of customers who made their first purchase during Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Email Subscribers: Segment of customers who are subscribed to your email list
You can also use different type of visualization:
Line Chart: Track revenue, transactions, and AOV over time
Bar Chart: Compare conversion rates, checkout abandonment rates, and CAC across different traffic sources, product categories, and customer segments
Pie Chart: Visualize the distribution of top traffic sources and top products
Table: Display detailed data for each metric and dimension
Google Looker Studio Dashboard
In addition to Google Analytics 4, there are other reporting tools that can be useful for analyzing your Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) data. One such tool is Google Looker Studio. Looker Studio is a data visualization tool that allows you to create interactive dashboards and reports. This can be a great way to visualize and analyze your BFCM data, and to gain insights that you can use to improve your sales and marketing efforts.
Here are some additional tips specific to BFCM reporting:
Set up your tracking early: It is important to set up your tracking early so that you can collect data for the entire BFCM period.
Track your sales and marketing channels: Use GA4 to track your sales and marketing channels so that you can see which channels are driving the most sales during BFCM.
Use attribution modeling to assign credit to your marketing channels: Attribution modeling can help you to assign credit to your marketing channels for your BFCM sales.
Track your customer journey: Use GA4 to track your customer journey so that you can see where customers are dropping off in the funnel.
Use A/B testing to improve your conversion rate: A/B testing can help you to test different versions of your website or marketing materials to see which ones convert better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can I ensure data accuracy in GA4 during BFCM's high traffic volume?
A: Regular data validation and error checking are crucial to maintain data accuracy during peak traffic periods.
Q: What are some additional ways to optimize GA4 for BFCM reporting?
A: Utilize UTM parameters to track campaign performance and use GA4's attribution modeling to determine the true impact of different touchpoints in the customer journey.
Q: How can I use GA4 to improve customer retention after BFCM?
A: Analyze post-purchase behavior, identify loyal customer segments, and target them with personalized marketing campaigns.
GA4 is a powerful tool that can help you make the most of BF/CM. It doesn’t just provide numbers and graphs; it delves into the heart of your customers' behavior, revealing their preferences, purchasing patterns, and online journeys. This deep understanding empowers you to tailor your marketing campaigns, optimize product offerings, and create a seamless shopping experience that resonates with your unique audience.
Also remember, BFCM isn't just about slashing prices; it's about understanding your customers, engaging them with relevant content, and providing an exceptional shopping experience. GA4 serves as your secret weapon to achieve this holistic approach, allowing you to build genuine connections with your customers and create a positive brand reputation.
Thank you for reading!
We're always looking for ways to improve our Google Analytics 4 blog content. Please share your feedback so we can make it even better.