There are many Shopify users out there who take advantage of Google Analytics to track how well their sites are doing. Occasionally, there may be discrepancies between the Google reports and the reports built into the Shopify platform. There are a number of reasons this might happen, including differences in how page visits are defined.
Most discrepancies between Shopify reports and Google Analytics are minor and can be ignored. However, there could be more serious analytics problems on sites that have multiple analytics scripts installed. For example, Universal Analytics and Google Classic Analytics do not play well together. Shopify has been designed to use only one analytics script at a time.
If you are having problems with significant discrepancies, you will want to check your Shopify installation to find out what analytics scripts are being used. To do so, open up your theme.liquid file using a text editor and look for scripts. If you already have Google Analytics installed, you might see any of the following three:
If you see multiple versions, you likely have multiple instances running on your system. This could cause major discrepancies. Any other scripts besides these three indicate another analytics platform being used. If either is the case, you can start over by deleting these three scripts and then reinstalling Google Analytics from scratch.
Google’s Tag Assistant
Google’s Tag Assistant is an excellent browser plugin that you can use to troubleshoot your website if you suspect you have duplicate analytics scripts running. You might consider installing the plugin if you have tried the previous method and still see too many discrepancies in your reporting. Add it to Chrome or your Chrome variant the same way you would any other plugin.
If multiple analytics scripts are conflicting on your site, Google Tag Assistant will reveal one of two errors, according to the Shopify documentation:
- Error: Detected both ga.js and dc.js scripts, which will make tracking ambiguous.
- Multiple Google Analytics tags detected.
In such a case, it is a simple matter of finding them, deleting them, and reinstalling the latest version of Google Analytics.
Choosing Your Version
Shopify supports both the old version of Google Analytics (a.k.a. Classic) and the most recent version, known as Universal Analytics. To install either in your Shopify store, navigate to Admin, Settings, Online Store. Then scroll down to the Google Analytics section to make your choice. In order to use the latest Universal package, you will need to have a Google account already in place.
To create a Google account, just visit the Google Analytics homepage and click the link in the top right corner. Just fill out the appropriate information and then click ‘Get Tracking ID‘ at the bottom of the page. A second page will open that includes a lot of information along with some code at the end. That code is what you paste into your Shopify site using the Google Analytics section in Settings.