How to Recreate Google UA’s Source/Medium Report in GA4 for Ecommerce

by Matt Bahr

How to Recreate Google UA’s Source/Medium Report in GA4 for Ecommerce

If you run an ecommerce business, you know how important it is to track and analyze your website traffic. One of the most useful reports for understanding your website visitors is Google Universal Analytics' (UA) Source/Medium report. However, if you've recently made the switch to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you may be wondering how you can recreate this vital ecommerce report in the new platform.

In this blog post, we'll show you two different methods for recreating Google UA's Source/Medium report in GA4 for ecommerce. We'll also explain the benefits of rebuilding this report for brands, and provide an overview of the similarities and differences between the two methods.

Benefits of UA's Source/Medium Report in GA4 For Ecommerce:

Google UA's Source/Medium report is a valuable tool for ecommerce companies to understand where their website traffic is coming from. With this report, you can see which sources are driving the most traffic to your site and which sources are underperforming. This information can help you optimize your marketing efforts and improve your website's overall performance.

However, the Source/Medium report is not available in GA4 by default. To access this report, you'll need to recreate it using one of the following methods.

Method 1: Adjusting Your "Traffic Acquisition: Session Default Channel Group" Report

The first method involves adjusting your existing "Traffic Acquisition: Session Default Channel Group" report. This method is quicker to set up and can be saved as a report in your Reports section with the ability to create Summary cards for a snapshot of your report. However, this method doesn't offer as much customization as the second method.

To start, open your "Traffic Acquisition: Session Default Channel Group" report and click "Customize Report" in the top right corner.

Then, click on "Dimensions" and change your default dimension to "Session Source/Medium" (add it if it's not already there and set it as the default), and click "Apply."

From the "Customize Report" menu, you can navigate to the Metrics section where you can add, remove, or rearrange metrics.

In the "Customize Report" menu you can also add filters to adjust the data.

Lastly, save the report by either replacing the current "Traffic Acquisition: Session Default Channel Group" report or creating a new one.

However, keep in mind that this method doesn't provide a high degree of customization with the data in the visuals. So, let's take a look at the second method.

Method 2: Creating an Exploration with a Greater Degree of Customization

The second method is a bit more complex, but it offers a greater degree of customization.

To do this, go to “Reports” in GA4, then open the “Acquisition” tab on the right-hand side. Select “Traffic Acquisition” from the drop-down, then click “Edit comparison”.

Once you have the “Edit comparison” window open, hit the “Explore” button in the bottom right-hand corner. This rebuilds the data in the Traffic Acquisition report in the Explore section, which saves you the time of having to build a starting point yourself. This allows you to move the data around and put filters on it in a way that makes sense to you.

You can then change the data points you see by adding or removing metrics from the “Metrics” section to the “Values” section on the left-hand side of your view. You can also change the order of the columns by rearranging the “Values” section.

By default, the report will be organized by “Session default channel grouping”. You can change that by clicking to add a Dimension on the right-hand side, then searching for “Session Source / Medium” and importing that into the staging area. Once you have “Session Source / Medium” in the staging area, you can replace the value in the “Rows” section by dragging over “Session Source / Medium” and removing “Session default channel grouping”.

You’ll notice that by default, it has bar charts on the values in the columns. You can change that by adjusting the “Cell Type” value below the Values section. Your options are Bar chart, Plain text, and Heat map.

On the other tabs, you can see the visualizations that were in the Traffic Acquisition report. If you just want to look at one value in the line graph visualization, you can just remove the value in the “Breakdowns” section. And it rebuilds the visualization without that Breakdown.

Once your breakdowns are removed, you can also add in Anomaly detection by changing the Training period to the last 90 days or whatever time frame makes the most sense to you. Then you’ll be able to see when you have abnormally low or high traffic by if it leaves the range shown.

From then on, your Session Source / Medium exploration will be available in the “Explorations” tab in GA4.


While the UA’s Source / Medium report is no longer available in GA4, it can still be recreated using the Report and Exploration tool. We hope this blog has been helpful in outlining the steps involved in recreating this report, and that it will prove useful to ecommerce businesses looking to measure and analyze their online performance.

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