Web Analytics News Roundup January 2023

What’s new in web analytics this January? Google sunsets Google Optimize, Adobe Analytics provides online retail insights, the rush to move to GA4 and more.

During January 2023, these are some of the highlights so far:

  • AI and Big Data to Change the Way Legal Firms are Run
  • Mobile Analytics Market Size Expected to Reach $14.9 Billion
  • Google Looks to Sunset Google Optimize as A/B Testing Migrates to GA4
  • Adobe Releases UK Online Retail Insights for 2022
  • Gear Up for GA4: Universal Analytics will Soon be Gone
  • Google Adds New Ecommerce Dimensions and Metrics to GA4
  • Search Engine Roundtable Poll: Most SEOs Not Using GA4

Read on for the low-down.

AI and Big Data to Change the Way Legal Firms are Run

Posted January 27th on Analytics Insight

A very interesting post from Analytics Insight, detailing the ways in which AI and big data, may change the way in which law firms are run.

The post references a study by Deloitte Insights research, which states that 100,000 legal roles could be automated by 2036. We commonly think of law as a very human-centric service, so how could automation play such a large role in the future of law firms?

Analytics Insight list these primary reasons:

  • Artificial Intelligence Can Assess Risks
  • Artificial Intelligence Produces High-Quality Work
  • Artificial Intelligence Enhances Creative Analysis
  • Artificial Intelligence Reduces Frustrations
  • Artificial Intelligence Improves Organizational Structures
  • Artificial Intelligence Improves Client Relationships

For law firms, it’s obvious how the automation of risk assessment could be extremely beneficial. Many of the other items listed, could be applied to organisations outside of law.

Rather than being afraid of AI, at Anicca we have already taken steps to engage with it. For example, we have begun developing Python-based tools which can send bulk-requests to GPT-3’s “text-davinci-003” engine. This is the technology which underpins Open AIs massively popular ChatGPT.

We’re already taking steps to engage with this new technology, so that some tasks can be further automated. These evolutions are not confined to marketing, data and law. We fully expect technologies like ChatGPT to play a revolutionary role in how all businesses operate.

Main takeaway: Whilst the mass-adoption of AI does come with some risks, AI is the future. Technologies like Open AI’s ChatGPT have accelerated this evolution. Those who step forwards and create new efficiencies by working with AI, are destined to succeed.

Mobile Analytics Market Size Expected to Reach $14.9 Billion

Posted January 25th on Yahoo Finance

This news post from Yahoo Finance states that “the global mobile analytics market size is expected to reach $14.9 billion by 2028, rising at a market growth of 19.0% CAGR during the forecast period”. What does this mean?

To understand this, we first have to define mobile analytics. Mobile analytics is the process of measuring, collecting, analysing and reporting on mobile data from mobile apps and devices. This data can include information on user behaviour, app performance, and device usage, among other things.

The goal of mobile analytics is to provide insights into how users interact with mobile apps and devices, and to identify areas for improvement in order to increase engagement and revenue.

These are the ways in which mobile analytics can help a business:

  • Mobile analytics can help track user behaviour within mobile apps and understand which features are being used the most
  • Mobile analytics can help identify technical issues with an app that may be causing users to drop off
  • Mobile analytics can help track revenue from in-app purchases, subscriptions and advertising
  • Mobile analytics can help track user acquisition and retention
  • Mobile analytics can help to identify the best way to monetize an app
  • Mobile analytics can help evaluate an app’s performance against competitors

It’s no surprise that mobile analytics is experiencing extreme growth. As the web moves to a mobile-first model, businesses are keen to understand how users are interacting with their business via mobile apps and mobile-responsive websites.

Covid-19 has also driven growth for mobile analytics, with many more digital transactions happening online. The 5G rollout has also been a factor, the plan is to cover the whole of the UK population by 2028.

Main takeaway: Google have been talking about a mobile-first web for a long time. Due to a number of factors (Covid-19, 5G rollout) this process has been accelerated. The mobile analytics market is experiencing large growth as a result of this. It’s never been more important to analyse your mobile properties. Competitors will be getting ahead in this area, in-fact their engagement is driving mobile analytics growth.

Google Looks to Sunset Google Optimize as A/B Testing Migrates to GA4

Posted January 24th on Search Engine Roundtable

According to Search Engine Roundtable:

“Google will be sunsetting, killing off, the Google Optimize product on September 30, 2023.”

Here’s the news, directly from Google:

Google Optimize and Optimize 360 will no longer be available after September 30, 2023. Your experiments and personalizations can continue to run until that date. Any experiments and personalizations still active on that date will end.

We launched Google Optimize over 5 years ago to enable businesses of all sizes to easily test and improve your user experiences. We remain committed to enabling businesses of all sizes to improve your user experiences and are investing in A/B testing in Google Analytics 4.

This will come as a bit of a shock for many. Google Optimize was a really interesting and unique product, which allowed users to A/B test content and on-page conversion-oriented alterations very effectively.

However, all is not lost:

We remain committed to enabling businesses of all sizes to improve your user experiences and are investing in A/B testing in Google Analytics 4. We are focused on bringing the most effective solutions and integrations to our customers, especially as we look toward the future with Google Analytics 4.

Above, a few more comments from Google. Google are not looking to wind-down A/B testing for their users. Instead, Google are looking to boost the A/B testing offering which currently sits within GA4.

Main takeaway: You can already connect A/B testing created in Google Optimize, to GA4 for further analysis. Assumedly, Google’s comments mean that the core functionality of Google Optimize will also be migrated to GA4 (so that it’s all under one roof).

Adobe Releases UK Online Retail Insights for 2022

Posted January 23rd on Retail Technology Innovation Hub

Why is this relevant, in terms of Analytics news? Well, Adobe’s UK online retail insights are produced via data from Adobe Analytics. The data covers billions of visits to online retailers, so the data is really rich and insightful.

Here is some information, directly from Retail Technology Innovation Hub:

The total amount spent online by consumers decreased by 8.6% compared to 2021, falling to £110.6 billion last year.

Despite the decline in annual spending – primarily driven by heavy discounting from retailers and consumers seeking out deals in response to the cost-of-living crisis – basket sizes grew.

The average number of items in each online order increased from 3.3 in 2021 to 3.4 in 2022.

According to Adobe, this points to a growing consumer preference for shopping online, notably during a year when physical retail rebounded strongly after extended Covid-19 restrictions. Online spending increased by 42.3% compared with 2019, the last year with no restrictions on retailers.

So, although online spending fell in the UK in 2022 (against 2021), there are some positive signs for online retailers. The average basket size is growing, and there is an increasing preference for online shopping.

This trend will help to drive a volume of transactions for online retailers in 2023. Whilst UK consumers are grappling with the cost-of-living crisis, they’re also looking for deals and for all the products that they need.

Typically, consumers can find better deals online. Whilst this is troubling news for the Highstreet, it does mean that online retails could see strong growth, if they are able to adapt and be efficient with their pricing (making profit more on a volume basis).

Main takeaway: It’s true that online retailers struggled to make progress in 2022, against the total amount spent online in 2021. Whilst that is true; more and more consumers are looking to the web for savings, there is a trend of offline consumers moving online – looking for deals. For those who can provide them, growth is distinctly possible in 2023.

Gear Up for GA4: Universal Analytics will Soon be Gone

Posted January 12th on Real Business

It’s interesting to see such a large, non-technical publication (Real Business) commenting on Google Analytics deployment. This is what Real Business have to say:

Google Analytics 4 is just around the corner, so it’s time to prepare for a strategy switch-up. On the back of Google’s announcement to replace Universal Analytics on the 1st of July 2023, the way we track our site success is about to evolve.

While we still have a few months before the big switch, it’s time to start gearing up your marketing team for a GA4 future. Bringing new complexities to data collection, new levels of software security and multi-device accessibility, the shift from Universal Analytics to GA4 will not be an overnight process.

This information is spot-on. Here’s the information first-hand from Google:

Until July 1, 2023, you can continue to use and collect new data in your Universal Analytics properties.

After July 1, 2023, you’ll be able to access your previously processed data in your Universal Analytics property for at least six months. We know your data is important to you, and we strongly encourage you to export your historical reports during this time.

If you haven’t already created a new Google Analytics 4 property before early 2023, the Setup Assistant will create one for you. This new Google Analytics 4 property will have some of the same basic features, such as goals/conversions and Google Ads links, that you have in your corresponding Universal Analytics property. You will be able to opt out of this directly in the Setup Assistant or in the notification banner that will soon appear.

Universal Analytics will stop tracking and cease to be effective after 1st July 2023. There’s only around five months until this deadline, so if you haven’t already – you need to be moving now to address the sunsetting of GA3 / Universal Analytics. The only exception to this, is that the sunsetting of Universal Analytics 360 (a separate / paid Google product) has been pushed back to 2024.

Were currently running a promotion to help you make the jump, learn more about that here. Otherwise, contact us immediately and we can support your GA3 to GA4 migration.

Main takeaway: If you haven’t already made the jump, time is getting short to move from GA3 to GA4. It’s really important to make the leap as soon as possible, if you want to continue tracking goals and conversions (or even visits) on your website.

Google Adds New Ecommerce Dimensions and Metrics to GA4

Posted January 11th on Search Engine Land

Whilst Google Analytics 3 (Universal Analytics) is winding down, Google Analytics 4 is still winding up. Recently, Google have added twelve new ecommerce metrics and dimensions to GA4:

  • Item affiliation
  • Item variant
  • Items added to cart
  • Items checked out
  • Items clicked in list
  • Items clicked in promotion
  • Items viewed
  • Items viewed in list
  • Items viewed in promotion
  • Shipping amount
  • Shipping tier
  • Tax amount

You can read about these new dimensions and metrics within Google’s official documentation here:


Note that Google’s documentation lists the old ecommerce metrics and dimensions, in addition to the twelve new ones (so you will have to search for them). Note that you will also have to move between the “Analytics dimensions” and “Analytics metrics” areas of the linked document.

These new metrics and dimensions mostly seem focused around Items. Items are usually your products and their various linked parameters / values. For example, “item_id” is usually populated with a product’s SKU, and “item_brand” is populated with the brand of the product.

Now we have some new item parameters / dimensions to play with, such as item affiliation. Item affiliation will enable you to specify a name or code of an affiliate partner, and specifically link that to an item / product.

Main takeaway: Whilst GA3 is on its way out, GA4 is still increasing in scope and granularity as a next-generation analytics platform. Google have recently made twelve ecommerce metric and dimension additions to GA4, so clearly, they are interested in improving GA4 as an ecommerce-first analytics suite.

Search Engine Roundtable Poll: Most SEOs Not Using GA4

Posted January 10th on Search Engine Roundtable

Some really interesting news, based on a poll run by the people at Search Engine Roundtable. Most SEOs (people working in the Search Engine Optimisation field) know to check Search Engine Roundtable on a regular basis, so that they can keep up with Google’s various organic (non-paid) algorithm changes and ranking updates.

Most SEOs worth their salt, also know their way around Google Analytics. The data provided by Google Analytics is usually an essential input when crafting and refining SEO strategy. So why is it, that SEOs have mostly seemed unable to make the transition to GA4? There are only around five months left until GA3 becomes an ineffective product and ceases all tracking operations.

Here are the poll results (collected via Twitter):

Search Engine Roundtable have this to say:

It seems like most SEOs, well, the 300 or so who responded, said they are just collecting data and not doing more with it.

The author does not expand or dig into the reasons why. Here at Anicca, we’re ahead of the curve. One of our SEO experts (actually, me!) works between the SEO and Analytics disciplines, so we’re always up-to-speed. It’s interesting that so many SEOs have just installed GA4 and are allowing it to collect basic data.

Here at Anicca, we have migrated many of our client’s sites over to GA4 already. We have already begun producing bespoke GA4 dashboards for Google Data Studio, and we’re already reaping those insights.

Main takeaway: It is slightly shocking that more SEOs aren’t exploring GA4, other than in basic data collection terms. Don’t worry, at Anicca we’re ahead of the rest. We’re already producing custom metrics and dimensions within GA4, we’re already building GA4 reports and deriving real insights for strategic input.

Here at Anicca, we stay up-to-date on all Google Analytics, web-analytics and data developments and apply them to our clients’ campaigns. You can check out our Analytics services here. Impressed with our knowledge and coverage of analytics? Give us a call on 0116 254 7224 (or fill out our contact form).


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