Google Analytics or End-to-End Analytics. What will work for you?

4 min readNov 29, 2019

If your business’s financial performance depends on online sales, you are probably already on the path of looking for stable analytical solutions. They help track data about user actions on your website, evaluate marketing effectiveness, and later make thought-throw decisions about your company’s future. In this article, we will talk about the exact cases where your company needs end-to-end analytics, and where you can succeed with just Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is the most popular and most used web-analytical instrument on the market. Despite the fact that its functionality is somewhat limited, GA can be a great choice for tracking user activity on simple web-pages where complicated marketing mechanics and advertising channels are not involved.

As for end-to-end analytics, it allows you to build attribution to evaluate the “weight” of each of the channels in the conversion chain, follow people’s actions on the website along with tracking their offline activity. All of these lead to unobvious insights about your audience. What are the advantages of each of the options? When do you need end-to-end, and when to consider Google Analytics as the best choice?

Here are some of the advantages of Google Analytics

  • Simple integration. Most of the events can be set up using basic improvements in the code of the website or using Google Tag Manager;
  • User-friendly interface;
  • A large number of options for premade dashboards, for example, with the information about how many people came to your website from each of the channels, how many sessions were registered at certain periods of time, what are the bounce rates and how much time people spend on your website;
  • Relatively simple e-commerce section installation, where you would see the information about sales, customer journey, and revenues.

When Google Analytics is enough

1. If the only conversion activity on your website is filling in the form, sending in contact details, a simple transaction or a one-click purchase. In this case, you can get away with the correct implementation of Google Analytics or Yandex Metrica’s counters, setting up the targets and tracking it later. Analytical systems will be enough for drawing basic conclusions about your audience and where it comes from.

2. If you only use one traffic channel. The minimum number of channels is the case when Google Analytics is the way to go: you don’t have to evaluate the contribution of each of the channels to the customer journey, thus you don’t need sophisticated analytical mechanisms.

3. If you don’t want to track your client’s offline activities. Google Analytics is a good option if you’re only interested in their direct interaction with the website. GA is the right tool if your business doesn’t imply user behavior analysis on third party platforms or offline activity.

And what happens if the whole process is more complicated? Customer journey consists of multiple consecutive conversions, traffic is coming from several channels, and to interact with clients you use services like CRM, payment widgets, or e-mail? In this case, we recommend considering end-to-end analytics.

You will need end-to-end analytics:

1. If your customer journey requires outside-the-website actions

If your business entails a complicated sales funnel, end-to-end analytics is crucial for the correct estimation of conversion. For example, for an online-story we can highlight the following conversions:

  • Registration and authorization;
  • Scrolling through product cards;
  • Adding to favorites or to trash;
  • Several steps of filling in personal information;
  • Checkout: adding payment information, applying promo codes, choosing the delivery option and payment methods;
  • Confirmation of order via phone call or e-mail.

In this scenario, you use several widgets for payment and newsletters along with CRM. The thing is, that when setting up “basic” analytics, the counters can only be installed on your website. Therefore, user actions away from the website become a blind spot. If you work with newsletters, offline sales, you have third party widgets, for example, payment systems, all of the information about them needed for future analysis will be stored in a united database.

Why can’t you just open analytical systems, apps, CRM and compare the numbers? Well, mostly because you will not be able to connect user IDs from multiple systems and track their actions correctly. End-to-end analytics is there for you when you need to see the same people coherently acting on the website, offline, and in the application.

2. Plenty of marketing channels

Large marketing budgets, various traffic channels, CRM for data collection, and newsletters are the signals to end-to-end analytics implementation. Why?

Before actually purchasing a good or service, your potential clients will see your ads on different marketing platforms. Here comes the question: which of these stages has contributed more to the conversion? The answer is in the attribution model that will be chosen. Where analytical systems only offer standardized versions of attribution models, such as first- and last-click, it can lead to wrong conclusions about channel effectiveness. To estimate each one of them right, you need end-to-end analytics. In Room42 we prefer to build our own custom attribution models.

3. Several marketing mechanics

Your marketing traffic isn’t just the reach or conversion campaigns, but it’s also your remarketing activity. It implies targeted campaigns with a specific audience that has already acted in a certain way: for example, looked at the items or fill in the forms. In this situation, end-to-end analytics will assist in the personalization of advertisements based on a complex set of data about each of the user segments.

Learn more about end-to-end analytics on our website.