How to Create Powerful Audiences in GA4

2023-08-24 | Article | Insights

At a Glance

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) offers a range of new tools that redefine how e-commerce businesses analyze their user behavior. One of its standout features is its improved audience builder, which provides users with much more flexibility to define their audiences. This allows marketers to create user groups that are better aligned with their marketing goals.

GA4 Audiences: Definition and Tool Enhancements

An "audience" refers to a group of users who share specific characteristics or behaviors. Audiences can be created based on dimensions, metrics, and events to include practically any subset of users. Their audience memberships are updated based on new Analytics data. If they don't meet the defined criteria, they are removed.

GA4's audience builder is more dynamic and flexible compared to the one in Universal Analytics (UA). The main differentiators are:

  • Event-based audiences: Users can be included in an audience based on any tracked event, providing more granularity.
  • Predictive metrics: Based on machine learning, GA4 can predict user actions based on past behaviors, allowing businesses to target users who are likely to make a purchase.
  • Cross-platform tracking: You can seamlessly integrate and track user behavior across websites, apps, and other digital platforms.

All users' and 'Purchasers' are predefined audiences. However, there are several ways to define new audiences: You can create custom audiences from scratch, select from suggested audiences like '7-day inactive users', or use one of the available templates.

Linking Analytics to Google Ads makes audiences available for ad campaigns, enabling remarketing to current users and targeting similar audiences. Corresponding lists in Ads for your audiences can store up to 30 days of data. Additionally, when linking Analytics with Display & Video 360 or Search Ads 360, your Analytics audiences are automatically exported, as long as Google signals are activated and the default setting for personalized advertising is kept. Besides their primary role in targeted marketing, audiences also allow for easy comparisons between different user groups in GA4 reports.

E-Commerce Examples and Use Cases

Consider a fashion boutique – aiming to stand out in the competitive e-commerce world. They focus on cultivating a loyal customer base, encouraging repeat purchases, and reaching new customers. With investments in special collections and targeted marketing, understanding user behavior becomes vital. Notably, those who visited the “Festival Looks” category without making a purchase present a key opportunity for boosting sales.

To set up this specific audience, you should include users who viewed the category page featuring festival style pieces. Additionally, exclude any user who has made a purchase, whether on your website or mobile app. The screenshot below shows how this is configured via the GA4 interface.

Once this audience is populated, it can be used for retargeting with ads showcasing top-selling festival outfits. Alternatively, marketers might choose to offer a limited-time discount to this user group.

More examples can be found in the following table:

Note: For the conditions outlined above, several aspects should be considered to complete the audience configuration through the GA4 audience builder:

  • Scope: When defining conditions, you set the scope for when those conditions must be met: across all sessions, in a single session, or in a single event, with a limitation of setting up to 10 conditions.
  • Static vs. dynamic evaluation: Conditions can be either static or dynamic. Static conditions include users if the condition has always been true for them. On the other hand, dynamic conditions change based on whether users currently meet the condition, including them when they do and excluding them when they don't.
  • Sequences: Sequences help organize conditions by setting the order in which they should be met, such as sometime after a previous step or right after it, or within a certain time frame. Sequences also let you set the scope for the entire sequence.
  • Time-windowed metrics: For sequences, you may also add a time constraint that lets you choose if a condition is always true during a user's activity or only true for specific times, such as certain days in a week.

Benefits of Using GA4 Audiences in E-Commerce

Leveraging user data by building, analyzing, and targeting specific user subsets offers several advantages, including:

  • Personalization: By understanding and segmenting users, businesses can offer tailored shopping experiences, leading to better user engagement and loyalty.
  • Efficient Ad Spend: By retargeting specific audiences, businesses can ensure their ad spend is used efficiently, targeting users most likely to convert.
  • Improved Product Strategy: Understanding user behavior at a granular level helps e-commerce businesses make informed decisions about inventory, product placements, and promotions.
  • Enhanced User Experience: By understanding user preferences and behaviors, e-commerce businesses can design their website or app interfaces to enhance user experiences.


In today's digital-first shopping environment, understanding and leveraging user behavior is essential for e-commerce success. GA4's advanced audience capabilities offer businesses an unmatched level of granularity and flexibility, enabling them to engage users more effectively and drive conversions. Whether you're a small boutique or a large online store, GA4's audiences can revolutionize your marketing strategies.

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