Ecommerce Funnel in UA and GA4

Dec 04, 2022

6 Minutes Read

By Shubhangi Chauhan


E-commerce Funnel

When we run an online business, customers visit the website to browse the merchandise and add it to their baskets. Now that they are still on the fence about making a purchase, we are interested in how many people are leaving their shopping carts empty. In order to comprehend user behaviour on websites and apps, funnel comes to our aid in this situation.

Four steps make up a typical ecommerce conversion funnel. The consumer makes decisions at each level based on how they perceive your brand, your product, and the competition. They are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Desire
  4. Action

Types of Funnels in Analytics:

When it comes to funnel visualisation in Analytics, there are different ways available to visualise the available data.

  1. Funnels In UA:

In UA, there are two types to visualise the data in the funnel Analytics.

  • Funnel Visualization

In your analytics property, you can navigate to Conversions> Goals> Funnel Visualization. We can create the goals depending on the business models of the various clients which can differ from one company to another.

  • Shopping Behavior & Checkout Behavior Funnels

In your Analytics property, you can navigate to Conversions> Ecommerce> Shopping Behavior/Checkout Behavior.

Shopping Behavior

Here you can see the Shopping Behaviour Funnel where you can see the data mentioned below:

  1. All Sessions: The number of sessions represented with the bars on the website. In the next step, it is showing the number of sessions with product view and so on.
  2. In between each step, the grey arrows show the percentage of sessions that moved to the next step.
  3. On each step, the red arrow shows the drop off activity in which users didn't move to the next step.

                Checkout Behavior:

This funnel shows you the steps of the checkout process which has been set to view the data in Analytics.        

UA automatically calculates the funnel phases for both reports based on your labelling. This makes sending the necessary e-commerce data types crucial. Even for a professional developer, it may take several iterations of creation and testing to ensure that the tags provide the correct data.

However, there are limitations here in the both types of funnels are:[a][b]

  1. The shopping funnel & checkout funnel are based on complete session data. That's why it is difficult to understand that 3.26% is the ratio of the number of sessions that finished the chosen objective to the total sessions that entered the funnel and not the number of users. For example, if we want to understand the number of users who have dropped out will not be able to make it through.
  2. Also, the funnels visulization in Goals can be created only on the page url/screenfor the pageviews andnot on any custom clicks/events on the website which makes it a major drawback in UA(Whereas this feature is available if you have GA360 account). [c][d]For example, If a user visits the same step twice—by returning from another step or refreshing the page/screen—the second session will appear as an exit to that step's page/screen since the Funnel Visualization report only displays one session for each step in the funnel. If a user goes from /url1 to /url2 and back,

You would observe a session to /url1, a session to /url2, and an exit from /url2 to /url1 in theexample[e][f].

As we can see in the screenshot up top, each funnel we establish in UA displays how many sessions it takes the user to complete it. Additionally, we can view the user's entrance and exit points at each stage. For example, from the /homepage, the user reaches the cart page before leaving the funnel to access other pages, such as the /signin page.

  1. In addition to these, we won't be able to alter or add any more checkout or shopping funnel phases in UA because they are already predefined from the backend based on e-commerce steps. For example, If we want to add a step of product click on the product list pages then one must integrate utilising several methods or create a completely unique one in the dashboard or any other tool, but not in the UA.


Funnels In GA4:

Now, in GA4 everything is event based(pageviews (i.e., URL visits), session starts, video plays, etc.) and Google has streamlined reporting to make it easier for you to track the user experience from beginning to end from platform to platform as well as swiftly acquire marketing insights linked to your chosen funnel stage.

The funnel exploration feature of GA4 gives you a comprehensive picture of how customers interact with your company throughout the customer lifecycle, from acquisition and conversion through monetization and retention.

The funnel exploration helps identify the path users take to complete a desired journey which could lead to purchase or form submission on the website. This indicates that not all website visitors proceed through the processes outlined in your funnel. There will inevitably be a drop off to some extent.

Because GA4 works for both websites and mobile apps, you may build bespoke funnels based on events or page urls/screens, and there are no restrictions on the path or events that can be used to create a desired funnel. You can navigate to the ‘Explore’ section and there will be various option available to choose and create the custom reports.

One of the options available is, ‘Funnel exploration’ or if you are already in one of the custom report you will get a dropdown to choose the reports from:

Now we will check the funnel by adding each feature available in GA4 one by one to understand the data in detail and how we can use the features available in the reporting to make better decisions.

Basic Funnel:

Now let’s take a look at a funnel created in GA4 based on the checkout process for e-commerce so that would be relatively easy to understand.

Checkout Behavior Funnel in GA4

Let’s consider below steps which are the events triggered at checkout steps for any website in GA4:

  1. add_to_cart
  2. begin_checkout
  3. add_shipping_info
  4. add_payment_info
  5. purchase

We can create a funnel in GA4 of upto 10 steps, if you have more than that we can help you out creating the custom funnel in Data Studio.

Now as we all know that these are all event names set by GA4 to pass based on the website flow to get the checkout process. Below we have created a funnel for steps mentioned above:

Let us explain you the funnel shown above in detail and what it is showing:

  1. Here the data shown is of theActive Users, are users who have engaged on your site over a certain time period. Google Analytics 4 looks at active users in terms of one day, seven days, and 30 days.count shown in bars on the website or app who have completed the journey from add to cart to final purchase. For example:2.9K of Active users were total userscount and all the percentage shown are based on the active users who have navigated to the next step or have dropped off from the funnel.
  2. The percentage shown above the bar is the percentage of total users who have further moved to the next step in the journey. For example, 37.8% of users have proceeded to the begin_checkout step.
  3. Like in UA also we have similar data, here in GA4 the red arrow showing the number of Active Users and percentage who have dropped off from the first step of the journey which has been set in the funnel and below, we can see the table for the Completion rate, Abandonments and Abandonment rate of each step separately. For example, 1.8K Active Users i.e. 62.2% of total(2889) have dropped off from the first step. For 3rd step of adding shipping information, the completion rate is 51.1% and Abandonment rate is 48.9%

Shopping Behavior Funnel in GA4

Here, we have considered funnel based events mentioned below for each step:

  1. session_start
  2. view_item
  3. add_to_cart
  4. begin_checkout
  5. purchase

Benefits of GA4 Funnel

Funnel with Segment

Here in GA4, we have functionality of adding custom segments based on users and events data which is being collected in the GA4 property. We can roll out a different blog on custom segment creation.

Funnel Breakdown with Dimensions

Now that we are aware of how many users there are at each stage, we want to know which types of devices or channels these users are using. Consequently, we can add the dimension needed to fully comprehend each user base and we have breakdown the funnel based on the First User Default Channel Grouping and it will be applied to each and every step in the funnel. Also, the data for completion rate and abandonment rate will be divided based on the channels.

For example: the total users were 850 on the 3rd step of add shipping information, out of it 405 were from Paid Search, 233 from Organic search and so on.

Funnel with Elapsed Time:

The funnel with elapsed time, you can notice the average time which has elapsed based on the user engagement duration between each step of the funnel. For example: 6h 23 m is the average time taken by the users to move to the next step i.e. Begin checkout.

Funnel with Next Action:

Finally, you can see the top five actions people do after finishing a certain phase using the new funnel exploration tool. Select "Event name" as the dimension and then select "Next Action." The top five actions that users do after a certain funnel phase are then displayed to you by GA4 when you click on that step.

For example: as you can observe in the funnel, after completing the add to cart event users are likely to perform the  events shown on the pop-up of step-1 in the funnel like pageview, header clicks and then again add to cart.

Funnel with Filters:

Now in the funnel if you would like to view the data for specific medium the data is coming from like the Organic users on the website, then we can add a filter with the value to see the required changes in the data.


We can see that the GA4 comes with a variety of new features in the funnel which can be used in a better way to meet the business goals.

To take advantage of GA4's features like make Google Analytics 4 your cross-platform Analytics solution, cross domain tracking and many more.

Migrate now to GA4, as Google has stated that it will terminate its Universal Analytics (UA) platform and switch to a completely redesigned GA4 platform starting in June 2023 to satisfy all of your tracking requirements. In case you haven't migrated, reach out to us and we will help you with the easy migration process.