Tom King

Account Executive

August 19, 2022

7 minute read

Shopify Reporting and Google Analytics For Ad Tracking

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Over the past year, a LOT has changed in the world of tracking! The most obvious change has been the iOS 14.5 update, but a lot of other things have changed as well. Major advertising platforms like Facebook have shortened their tracking attribution windows, more and more people have been signing up for ad blockers, and GDPR rules have basically made 3rd party cookie data obsolete. This has led to a lot of confusion, and questions about whether or not effective digital marketing strategies are still even possible.

The short answer? TONS of people are still having great success with FB ads.

Experienced marketers managed to stay ahead of the curve because they noticed the bad attribution caused by all of these changes early on. The most common strategy for fixing attribution accuracy is by implementing UTM parameters on the ads to accurately keep track of where the sales are coming from. 

Once you have the UTMs setup on the ads, you can just use Google Analytics and Shopify Reports to get accurate attribution, right? WRONG.

While the Shopify Reports and GA will help show some accurate data, they are both really, really bad at recognizing if someone is a returning visitor to your store. For example, someone might click on your FB ad, and wait a couple days before coming back to your store and making a purchase. Chances are both Shopify Analytics and Google Analytics will not recognize that this is the same visitor that clicked on the ad a few days ago, so they would attribute the sale to a direct visit, instead of attributing it to the ad that drove the sale.

Additionally, Google Analytics and Shopify Analytics both still use 3rd party cookies to try to fill in the gaps in their reporting. This leads to inaccurate data being used to influence decisions you make on your ads, which is losing you money.

Cometly will alleviate these pain points for you. Not only is Cometly much easier to set up, but Cometly is also really, really good at recognizing if someone is a returning visitor to your store, and will track anyone who clicks on a FB ad for up to 28 days after their click WITHOUT using any cookie data. Even if they originally clicked the ad on their phone, but later make a purchase on their laptop, Cometly will be able to track it. On top of that, Cometly makes it super easy to visualize your data and quickly scale up the paid ads that are working, and turn off the ads that are losing money.

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