GA4: What subscription brands using Skio should know

Last year, there were discussions about Google Analytics transitioning users to Google Analytics 4, as Universal Analytics was going to be phased out completely. This shift towards event-based reporting instead of session-based reporting was not entirely new to brands that rely on data for analysis, reporting, and retargeting customers. Littledata has been working with brands that have been utilizing granular event-based data for some time now to enhance the user journey and increase conversions. This highlights the importance of subscription data in improving business outcomes. Adapting to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will require some adjustment, as with any new tool. Although it has a distinct appearance and user experience, it offers even greater capabilities for ecommerce managers. Littledata’s app connects automatically with BigCommerce and Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants to ensure precise subscription data in GA4, and in this article, I will outline the most beneficial features they have discovered thus far. Event based tracking Event-based tracking in GA4 captures specific actions or events on a website or app, providing more detailed data about user behavior than Universal Analytics, which focused on sessions and pageviews. This includes clicks, scroll depth, form submissions, video plays, and more. See Google’s full list of events that are tracked automatically.  Implementing event-based tracking in GA4 can help businesses understand user behavior and engagement, optimize their website, identify growth opportunities, and make data-driven decisions to improve their bottom line. This includes highlighting products and product groups based on granular browsing data captured through event tracking.  Automatically tracked events do not include important ecommerce actions like purchases, subscriptions, and refunds. Shopify's Google sales channel also does not provide complete tracking. Ecommerce sites need a custom setup or automated server-side tracking to ensure accurate conversion tracking. If you are using Skio events captured can be very useful for campaigns—for example using specific events to trigger workflows in Klayvio to drive higher engagement and AOV.  Flexible reporting GA4 has new features including no event collection limits, cross web + app tracking, explorations, and faster reporting. An early limitation was reporting, but Google has added an Explorations tab that makes it easy to deep dive into data by channels or demographics. Popular exploration types include free-form, funnel, and path. Creating an exploration by dimensions, metrics, or segments is now easier. Creating these for your unique subscription types, segments, or product types can do wonders for diving into data for analysis right in GA4. Remembering that the accurate data captured is key to the results.  The phrase garbage in garbage out applies here when you are only using client-side tracking or native store tracking. Littledata has gone to great lengths to enable merchants to have accurate data stitched together with server-side tracking so that the information you have in GA4 can be your single source of truth.  As mentioned, it takes time to learn a new tool but the Littledata team has made it incredibly easy with free GA4 courses that walk you through how to build your own ecommerce reports in GA4.  Here are our three popular setup videos for ecommerce reports in GA4: Sales performance report Checkout behavior report Creating segments for subscriptions Knowing how customers discover and interact with your brand can help with customer retention and acquisition. Identifying successful channels that drive subscriptions and high AOV can help ecommerce managers predict and allocate resources effectively. Streamlined audience building Google is encouraging users to link their Google Ad's account to GA4, which is seen as a better option than Universal Analytics in the long run. This will provide merchants with a direct view of the customer journey and allow them to create audiences from any combination of dimensions, metrics, and events found in GA4.  Google will automatically make two audiences for users based on purchases and all users, making audience building easier. Similar audiences or segments will be faded out by May 1st, 2023, to enable users to shift to using first-party data and Google's optimized targeting feature.  Littledata customers have been using their data to create audiences for years, and this connection is now even more important as GA4 data will guide Google Ad campaigns. The best part of sending this data directly to GA4 is that you will have the historical data from the time of implementation. Given that Google Analytics is not going anywhere this also gives brands piece of mind even if they are using alternative third party tools like Glew, Daasity, or Triple Whale to send their data for reporting purposes. Littledata benefits Skio brands by working with server-side tracking and third party integrations — helping sort out that the data is accurate and deduped before it reaches your GA4, Meta, TikTok, or Pinterest destinations giving you maximum control over your data for making better decisions.   Export raw data to BigQuery The ability to export from Google Analytics 4 (GA4) directly to BigQuery has opened up new possibilities for ecommerce managers to take their data analysis to the next level.The integration of Google Analytics 4 (GA4) with BigQuery has provided ecommerce managers with fresh opportunities to enhance their data analysis. Previously, these users were dependent on a GA360 account to obtain raw, row-level data and create unsampled reports or run their own algorithms. But now, with GA4 + BigQuery, users can access these features without requiring a GA360 account. This ability is particularly beneficial for ecommerce businesses, as it offers a robust data warehouse solution and provides an insurance policy for brands that want to own their own data for future analysis. With GA4 + BigQuery, users can harness the power of raw, row-level data to gain deeper insights into customer behavior, identify new opportunities, and optimize their marketing strategies. Ultimately, this new ability is a game-changer for businesses that want to take control of their data and leverage it to drive growth and success. Many brands are sending their data to GA4 from GA4 to BigQuery as a precautionary measure, even if they are not yet prepared to utilize or examine it in BigQuery. Reasons very but for the majority of brands they want the data collected and stored, so it is accessible in the future. Therefore, we highly suggest that anyone considering a data warehouse should begin using both BigQuery and GA4.  Third party apps are prioritizing GA4  GA4 only weeks away from being THE ANALYTICS TOOL — with sunsetting of Universal Analytics in July 2023 — for online merchants and brands. Providing more event based data than ever before that stands on privacy, first party data, and server-side tracking. Littledata helps top subscription brands track their data from Shopify and BigCommerce into GA4, ensuring accurate data and analytics by combining server-side and client-side tracking to combat cookie blockers from iOS updates and new privacy rollouts. Subscription tools like our partners at Skio come highly recommended by brands in all product vertical types: life food and beverage, fitness and health, and fashion. Having a tool like Skio to drive brand loyalty through new and robust subscription features is key for any brand looking to grow. Pairing this with Littledata for your conversion tracking into GA4 is the perfect way to level up your insights and data acumen. The benefit is that Littledata supports server-side tracking for brands to track all orders and give visibility to if those orders are one-time orders or recurring.  This adds tremendous value to subscription brands who want to drive campaigns based on high LTV and AOV—through accurate subscription data that can be missed completely with native tracking efforts or client-side tracking alone. For example, Littledata calculates LTV for brands automatically and sends it to your destinations like Google Analytics where you can filter by channel.  We've chatted with current and future Skio customers who rave about their platform for brands to drive more customer engagement and features to manage subscriptions. By combining Littledata with Skio you will get the most complete view and best attribution. Enabling you to take full advantage of the launch of Google Analytics 4 without the hassle of implementation or data maintence. Curious if you have any data tracking discrepancies?  Check out our free tool, GA4 Conversions Checker, to see if your ecommerce store is tracking the data properly, here. Or you can install Littledata instantly by connecting your store for a 30 day free trial. 


Why Littledata is using Shopify's Web Pixel

Updated article based on the latest iteration of Web Pixel from Shopify in May 2023. Shopify tracking is our bread and butter here at Littledata, so we were excited to learn that Shopify has released a new Web Pixel extension API to help stores track key customer events via tracking ‘pixels’, and a Shopify pixels manager to manage these pixels. Together this is Shopify’s Web Pixel feature. There are a couple of things to clarify at the outset. Firstly, Shopify’s Web Pixel is not really a pixel at all, but a way of managing and triggering pixels across a merchant store. Most websites today use some type of Web Pixels to track customer behavior, but Shopify’s standardization and centralization of their own Web Pixel tools is a big deal for both merchants and the partners who work with them. The new Web Pixel signals a change in both how client-side events are tracked, and in how related technologies, such as Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics, can access those events. I welcome the move to standardize the data layer for Shopify tracking, and remove some of the challenges for stores using GTM to trigger events. In short, I think Web Pixel is now the best way to track the Shopify checkout. But there are a number of problems with tracking customer behavior in modern browsers that Web Pixel can’t solve. Web Pixel is now the best way to track the Shopify checkout...but there are a number of problems with tracking customer behavior in modern browsers that Web Pixel can’t solve. In this post I look at what Web Pixel is, how it does (and doesn’t) change customer tracking for Shopify stores, the benefits and challenges of different approaches to tracking and what we’re looking forward to as Web Pixel evolves. Let's dive in. Does Web Pixel change customer tracking for Shopify stores? Shopify merchants can track customer events in a variety of ways. Firstly, Shopify captures these events in Shopify Analytics. Almost every Shopify merchant uses third party marketing platforms like Facebook Ads, TikTok or Pinterest to drive traffic. And they all want to improve ROAS by sharing customer actions from the storefront and checkout (product views, checkout steps such as Add-to-Cart, etc.) back with those marketing platforms for retargeting and audience building. Historically, this has been done via a client-side browser tracking library: gtag for Google Ads and Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel for Facebook & Instagram Ads, the Pinterest Tag for Pinterest, etc. And there were three main ways stores could get these ‘pixels’ firing on the page: Via a Shopify app Triggered by Google Tag Manager (GTM) A developer adds the tag directly to the store theme In all cases, the challenge was both triggering the events at the correct time (e.g. listening for the click of ‘Add to cart’ button and sending the event before the page reloaded)  and having access to the right page, product and customer details at that time (e.g. product price, variant ID). What is Shopify Web Pixel? Shopify has seen stores struggle to implement tracking over the years, and wanted to make it easier for stores to track in any marketing platform without Shopify directly supporting the data destinations. In comes Web Pixel. In Shopify’s own words, using the Shopify pixel manager allows: Access to a stream of customer events on your online store, including checkout events An additional layer of security for your online store and your customers, including greater control over the customer data that you share with third-party services Prevention of third party code running non-performing Javascript, or interfering with your online store and checkout Built in tools for privacy compliance Let's look at each benefit in detail, with my commentary. Access to a stream of customer events: this is solving the challenge of triggering the right event. This was always most difficult for the checkout, and will become impossible for the new Shopify checkout (see "Common problems tracking Shopify’s new checkout", below). However, Littledata already offers proven server-side tracking for any Shopify checkout, including headless builds. An additional layer of security. Yes, restricting access to the storefront by loading the pixels in a sandbox removes the risk of rogue scripts scraping personal data. But it makes it much harder to populate all the data fields that need to be shared with third parties. Littledata’s solution to do that product and customer enrichment server-side is both secure and comprehensive. Prevention of third party code running non-performing Javascript. I've previously written about the 'Wild West’ of stores using the Additional Scripts field. I'm all for removing this risk, but again there’s a trade-off between security and the richness of the data captured. Built in tools for privacy compliance. Shopify launched the customer privacy API back in 2020, and updated that in 2023 to support different consent levels, but it wasn’t mandatory for tracking apps. With Web Pixel, Shopify is making every pixel respect the customer cookie consent (as managed by a cookie banner app). This is great, but Littledata already respects customer privacy with complete cookie banner integrations. For stores and app developers I see the key benefit of Web Pixel is robustly triggering standard events and data context for common customer actions. Web Pixel removes the need to build a GTM data layer with an app like Elevar, or set up GTM to use this data layer in the tags. But this, too, is not without complications. What can you track with Web Pixel? Web Pixel currently supports 5 pre-checkout customer events: page_viewed collection_viewed product_added_to_cart product_viewed search_submitted And 6 checkout events: checkout_started checkout_contact_info_submitted checkout_address_info_submitted checkout_shipping_info_submitted payment_info_submitted Checkout_completed Of these the most useful are product_added_to_cart (which is really hard to do without interrupting clicks of the add to cart button) and the checkout events (see below). What’s wrong with Web Pixel? There are several issues with Shopify's Web Pixel as it exists today. Firstly, it is not solving the key problem in modern web analytics: the increasing gap in client-side tracking due to ad blockers, browser restrictions on cookies and handling customers opting out of tracking. The solution to this is fully server-side tracking, which Littledata is launching in Q4. I believe Shopify is launching server pixels to address this problem later in 2023, but I don’t currently have details on how this will work. From a technical perspective, there’s a limitation with how you could use the tracking library (e.g. gtag) within the Web Pixel callback. To send data to Google Analytics, you would need to load the gtag library on the parent page (either from the theme or a script-tag) and, after the library has loaded, and the cookies have been set, get the cookie or local storage value in the web worker in which the Web Pixel runs. Shopify's Web Pixel doesn't solve the key problem in modern web analytics: the increasing gaps in client-side tracking. This removes some of the speed & security benefits Shopify is touting (not loading additional scripts) and complicates setup of custom pixels. You’ll need to add third party scripts to the theme to use the tracking libraries, and wait for them to run before the web pixel can fire. For the checkout pages you can get away with not running the tracking library Javascript, as checkout pages are almost never landing pages - so the cookie and session data should have been set on a previous page. Although for Google Analytics, you'll have to create your own tracking URL without the help of the gtag library. And then there are gaps in the standard events currently tracked via Web Pixel. I know Shopify intends to patch some of these, but it’s not there yet: collection_viewed event is in the documentation, but doesn’t seem to fire No product list impression events No product list click events No remove from cart event No post-purchase events (refunds, cancellations, fulfillments) Why do you need Web Pixel to track Shopify’s new checkout Shopify has long said it wants to lock down scripts running in the checkout to protect customer security and privacy. The latest version of the checkout, rolling out for Plus stores in 2023, does this by allowing more checkout customization via API but removing customizations and scripts in checkout.liquid. So if you're a Plus store, and added a GTM container to the checkout.liquid file, these tags will stop working later this year. You have three options to continue to track the checkout: Use Littledata’s server-side checkout tracking Use another app making use of the Web Pixel extension Build a custom pixel using Shopify pixel manager Why is Shopify restricting scripts on the checkout? Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a powerful tool to manage marketing tags, but i’ve written before about how it provides a backdoor for malicious code to be injected into the checkout. For example, hackers can add a keystroke tracking script which relays credit card details as they are typed to the hacker’s server. Or in another hack we saw, the user was directed away from Shopify’s checkout to a similar-looking bogus checkout. Shopify has signaled that they see checkout as core to the ‘OS of ecommerce’ and they want to protect their brand from association with such scams. If that means blocking safe tags like Google Analytics or Google Ads, then that’s a worthwhile trade off for better security in their view. Should your store use the Shopify pixel manager? Yes - for tracking the checkout at least. That's what Littledata is using it for. The main use for adding Web Pixel right now is tracking the checkout, although Web Pixel is difficult to implement pre-checkout via a custom pixel for landing pages (for example, loading the tracking library and passing through that library to the sandbox). If you want to remove Google Tag Manager from your storefront for performance or security reasons that is understandable, but I’d suggest you make more use of server-side tracking, which will also speed up your site Web pixel would be useful next year for stores moving to Shopify Hydrogen. For headless Shopify stores Web Pixel could make it easier to track pre-checkout events like page views, product views and add to carts - in addition to the server-side events Littledata tracks for headless stores. In the meantime, Littledata offers an SDK to make pre-checkout tracking easier for headless stores. Some predictions for the future From our conversations with Shopify, I think the ability for apps to add script-tags to the Thank You page might be removed in 2023. That would make Web Pixel the only way to track purchase events on the Thank You page – but it wouldn’t impact purchases tracked server-side. I predict the impact on the tracking app ecosystem will be similar to when Shopify opened up subscriptions in the checkout in 2021 - a proliferation of apps offering generic functionality, and a race to the bottom in app pricing. I’d expect to see many more free tracking apps - for common platforms, like Facebook, and for niche ones like Roku and Verizon Media - because the technical complexity of launching client-side tracking is reduced. This is especially true for Google Analytics 4. There are many apps which offer ecommerce tracking (plus Shopify’s Google Channel) but few that offer the accuracy of server-side tracking. [tip]See what Shopify stores can do today to prepare for GA4[/tip] I expect an increased demand and perceived value for apps that solve the real challenges of data accuracy and marketing attribution, through server-side tracking and other innovations. I know many brands willing to pay for quality data, and Web Pixel is just one part of what’s needed for complete Shopify tracking. [subscribe]


Heading to IRX? Catch our panel on data-driven ecommerce strategies

Fun fact: Littledata started in the UK! We've continued to expand around the world, but we've retained a core team around London, including Littledata CEO Edward Upton. So some of our team didn't have to travel for to get to the IRX event in Birmingham (in the UK not Alabama...) this week. It's already in full swing and it's been great for our team to catch up with friends and Shopify partners old and new, including tech partners like Klaviyo (they're a headline sponsor of IRX this year) and agency partners like Swanky. We're especially excited for Ed's May 25th panel appearance on developing a data-driven loyalty strategy that drives conversion and customer satisfaction. He's appearing alongside in-house experts from Trinny London, Avon and EvolveYou to chat about how data-driven retention strategies can change the game when it comes to both loyalty, upsells and ultimately customer happiness. Stop by and say hi! Loyalty and retention are common themes these days, as brands of all sizes adapt to CAC constraints and increased online competition from both new digitally native brands and legacy brands that finally made the leap online (often stimulated by the pandemic context). But do you know how to use data to optimize results? The most successful Littledata customers are all using data to improve loyalty and retention. Their top strategies are: Understanding LTV by channel. Knowing AOV, purchase rate and customer lifetime value (LTV) by channel is essential, especially for subscriptions, so you can target customers who will naturally be more loyal. Building out data-driven personalization. Using first-party data to optimize engagement and provide a better customer experience automatically Leveraging customer data and analytics to create targeted and engaging loyalty initiatives. This is where popular apps like and Yotpo, Smile and Loyalty Lion come in. In today's highly competitive Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) landscape, building customer loyalty is crucial for sustainable growth. Brands are using data for everything from product testing to audience building in Facebook and Instagram, and as DTC brands continue to proliferate across a wide range of industries and verticals, implementing effective loyalty programs can provide a competitive edge. If you can't make the panel, feel free to reach out to our data team for a demo of Littledata, a free GA4 data audit, or check out the refcent case study with skincare mavens Geologie, who used Littledata's ecommerce data platform to drive a 25% increase in subscriber retention. Now that's what I call optimization -- whether you spell it optimize or optimise :) PS. Missed the Birmingham show? We'll also be at the London event in October. Stay up to date with our events listing.

by Ari

Revenue and retention via Life Time Value (LTV) ft. Swanky 

LTV, or customer lifetime value, is a key metric in ecommerce that measures the total amount of revenue a customer has generated for a brand. Merchants knowing their LTV is important because it allows ecommerce businesses to make better decisions about customer acquisition, retention, and pricing. In this article we partnered up with Swanky to give you a breakdown on how you can do this yourself. Before we dive in though — here are some specific reasons why LTV is important in ecommerce: 🎯 Better customer acquisition decisions: Brands are looking to stretch their budgets and get the most out of their ad dollars. Knowing the LTV of customers can help merchants build audiences or target look-a-like audiences that are more likely to engage and buy again. One example is when merchants know the LTV of their customers is high, they generally are willing to spend more money upfront to acquire them because they know they will generate more revenue over time from that customer. 🛍 Improved customer retention: Understanding LTV can also help ecommerce merchants grow and improve their customer retention. By identifying customers with a high LTV brands can create targeted retention strategies or campaigns to keep these customers engaged and coming back for more. We share some ways to take action on this below. 💸 Pricing decisions: LTV can also help brands make better pricing decisions. If the LTV of customers is low, brands may need to lower their prices to remain competitive and attract more customers or build a strategy to move those customers to a higher AOV or priced product. On the other hand, if the LTV is high, merchants may be able to charge a premium price or offer a subscription because customers are willing to pay more. These are great things to A/B test on your website or ad campaigns to see how your low or high LTV customers respond.  Overall, LTV is a critical metric for ecommerce businesses to track. The Littledata app does automatically through our Shopify/BigCommerce to Google Analytics 4 connection. Which provides valuable insights through accurate attribution that shows customer behaviour and lifecycle events. This tracking helps merchants analyse and create action plans for their customer acquisition, retention, and pricing. What LTV tracking looks like in action by setting up an audience based on high customer values Recently we caught up with Tom Cox of Swanky, a leading Shopify Plus agency with offices in the UK, Australia & France who said, “By tracking CLTV, you can see which customers are generating the most value for your business. This information can be used to target your marketing efforts and sales strategies more effectively. Importantly, identifying high value customers makes it easier to target them with marketing campaigns.” LTV is an important focus for Swanky and their clients but how do they execute?  Here is one way they use Littledata to drive their LTV efforts in Google Analytics 4: 1. Create custom dimensions in GA4 to report on Customer Lifetime value of users ( 2. Calculate the LTV of your top 10% of customers. 3. Create an audience in GA4 by going to Admin → Audiences → New Audience 4. In the audience definition, choose the parameter lifetime_revenue_littledata 5. Then using the LTV figure you calculated earlier, specify a filter to only include users whose LTV is higher than that value 6. You can now use this audience to sync to Google Ads, and also understand which channel acquired those customers. Using behaviour reports, funnels and path exploration reports you can observe how valuable customers are interacting with your brand There are several reasons how this targeting can really fuel growth for brands but as we’ve seen the global market dictate—brands are focusing heavily on their customer retention rates this year. On the topic of retention Tom said, “By understanding why high value customers have churned, you can take steps to prevent them from leaving.” tactics like, “loyalty programs, improving customer service experiences, and providing more personalised marketing” you can really move the needle.  If you’ve yet to create an audience using the handy walkthrough above now is the time to give it a go. Merchants who know their customers LTV and can attribute the channels they are coming from such as organic or paid performance like Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok ads will have an edge on retargeting and creating lookalike audiences based on accurate data and analytics.   How LTV and CAC enables better decision making  No matter how good your customer acquisition strategy is, all marketers are looking to increase LTV of their customers and decrease Cost of Acquisition Costs or CAC for short. For those new to the term it is the total cost that a business incurs to acquire a new customer. It can be calculated by dividing the total cost of acquiring new customer over a specific period (such as a month or a quarter) by the number of new customers acquired during that same period. This will give you the average cost of acquiring a single new customer. For example, if a DTC brand spends $10,000 on marketing and sales activities in a month, and acquires 100 new customers during that same period, the CAC would be $100 ($10,000 / 100). This is a big topic among marketers looking to optimize their existing channels and ad spend. When chatting about CAC Tom mentioned, “by knowing how much it costs to acquire a new customer, you can make more informed decisions on how to allocate your marketing budget” and as many marketers know running campaigns proof is in the pudding when it comes to forecasting and maintaining ad budgets in any organization.  Tom recommends those using Littledata to head over to GA4 and use the parameter purchase_count_littledata that is automatically generated by Littledata’s tracking script!  1. Create custom dimensions in GA4 to report on purchase_count_littledata parameter ( 2. In most standard reports, there is an option to “Add comparison” 3. Then choose the purchase_count_littledata dimension (that you created earlier), and choose dimension value 1 to select only new customers. 4. The report will now show the comparison between the segments you have created Knowing the costs and the channels that contribute to that first time customer can be an incredibly powerful tool and insight to campaign management, acquisition strategies, and a/b testing of new tactics or channels. There is a fine line betweening knowing your channels which many marketers do—and having the data to back it up!  A few points to take away on the importance of CAC for your brand: Helps measure effectiveness of campaigns Allows for better budgeting and financial planning  Helps determine LTV of customers—allocate those resources accordingly  Helps Identify areas of improvement—prevent high CAC to wrong target customer In conclusion  We would be remiss if we didn't highlight a real brand who has put these solutions into practice and at scale—Geologie. Geologie's implementation of Littledata has yielded impressive results for their subscription business. Over the past three years, they have experienced continuous growth of over 150% without any additional expenses on customer acquisition. Moreover, their data-driven approach has led to a remarkable improvement in retention rates, increasing by 25% year-over-year. Clearly, Littledata has been instrumental in driving Geologie's revenue and LTV to new heights. Swanky reminded us that most of the data is right in front of us and while we can take action now it's important to view how CAC is changing both on the regular and over the course of time. Knowing what channels are driving high LTV customers isn’t a cure all but it will give you the insights you need to target, build, and manage effective campaigns. For many—this is one of many data problems blocked by lack of an inhouse data team—fortunately agencies like Swanky have the experience to partner with your brand. We at Littledata couldn’t ask for a better crew — they put into action the accurate data and tracking we provide for merchants of all sizes across the globe.   For more information about Swanky you can visit their website. If you have any questions on tracking, attribution, or otherwise please reach out to Littledata for a free data chat. In the meantime, stay curious and be inspired by data. It is one of the best ways to understand your customers.


How to Increase AOV By Focusing On Adding Value to Customers

What if we told you that the best way to boost Average Order Value (AOV) is to stop focusing on AOV?  Yes, it’s counterintuitive. But when your brand tries to increase AOV just for increasing AOV’s sake, it can often be ineffective and even off-putting for consumers. After all, nobody wants to feel like they’re being pressured to spend more money. Luckily, there’s an easy solution to combat this — and it all boils down to intention. Your subscribers are human first and foremost, and as is the case with any other relationship, they need to feel valued and appreciated. By shifting your brand’s attention away from solely increasing AOV and instead focusing on adding real value to your subscribers, you can organically heighten engagement, improve your customer retention, and ultimately increase your AOV.  [note] Don’t miss crucial subscriber data by using Littledata’s app with Smartrr to capture checkout events through client-side and server-side tracking. [/note] Here are the retention-driving, value-adding components that your eCommerce brand should target, which will subsequently lead to increased AOV: Utilize Personalized Recommendations & Exclusive Add-ons Cross-selling and upselling are the two main strategies that typically spring to mind when anyone talks about increasing AOV.  When considering a value-adding approach for your subscribers, a different and more effective way to think about cross-selling and upselling is through personalized product recommendations.   In general, personalization is becoming more essential (and powerful) for eCommerce businesses. About 71% of consumers are expecting a more personalized experience from the brands they interact with — so playing up an individualized approach is an effective way to keep subscribers engaged (and organically encourage them to spend more).  Lean into your subscriber data to make specific, personalized recommendations to your subscribers based on products they’ve purchased in the past as well as products that other subscribers have previously purchased together. This way, you’re only recommending highly-relevant products that are significantly more likely to delight each subscriber.  And the best part is that happy subscribers are proven to spend more — which increases your AOV. 54% of retailers reported that product recommendations were a key driver of AOV, and leaning into personalization has been shown to account for a 25% revenue boost for DTC brands. In other words, prioritizing the end consumer is an evidently lucrative move.  As for an effective location for cross-selling and upselling — a good tactic is to display one-time add-ons in your customer account portal. And to take your add-ons to the next level, you can add a layer of exclusivity.  A key component of keeping subscribers engaged is by reminding them as often as possible that being a subscriber unlocks perks that one-time purchasers don’t get.  Featuring a subscriber-only exclusive one-time add-on creates the sensation for subscribers that they’re VIPs, thereby increasing the likelihood that they’ll want access to the product. We’ve seen some businesses even offer merch as a one-time add-on as an additional way to level up the overall brand experience.  ARMRA offers a branded tote bag as one of their one-time add-ons. Lean Into a Loyalty Program Loyal customers are the bread and butter of subscription brands, and that’s because they’re accurately known for being the most profitable. Just a 5% increase in customer retention rates has been shown to cause profits to spike by 25% to 95%, and loyalty programs specifically have been proven to increase AOV by about 14%.   Of course, loyalty isn’t something that can be created with the snap of your fingers; it has to be earned, and that takes time. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t strategies to help the process along.  Loyalty programs are one of the easiest and most effective ways to encourage retention. A strong loyalty program provides valuable rewards as subscribers continue to stay and spend money. Consumers can accrue points with each purchase and exchange them for free products, discounts, exclusive items, and more.  Loyalty programs also put subscribers in control of their experience, allowing them to select whatever is most valuable to them. Take L’AMARUE, for example. Subscribers can decide to redeem 100 points to quickly unlock $10 off, or they can delay gratification and choose to save 475 points for The Face Cream.  By associating spending more money with tangible rewards, you create a positive feedback loop each time your loyal subscribers buy additional products. Much like the name implies, this encourages subscribers to remain loyal to your brand and keep coming back for more.  Offer Free Shipping  Free shipping is a low-lift strategy to add value to your customers, and the ROI is significant. Consumers are fairly adamant about despising shipping costs. One study found that 77% of consumers have previously abandoned a purchase altogether if they weren’t pleased with the shipping options, whereas 84% went through with a purchase specifically because shipping was free. Additionally, a different study found that 90% of online consumers said that the ability to unlock free shipping directly motivated them to buy more.  For one-time purchases, one of the best value-adding strategies is to institute a free shipping threshold. If you provide free shipping for orders over $50 and a consumer spends only $43, they’re way more likely to toss on an additional $15 product to access free shipping.  Looking beyond one-time purchases, it’s a good idea to offer free shipping for all of your subscribers. For one, this creates a sense of exclusivity associated with your subscription offering, which is a great way to foster loyalty. But it also gives subscribers a sense that they’re saving money with each purchase, especially if you’re transparent about these savings.  Chillhouse lists “Free Shipping, Always” as the first bullet beneath their PDP. Strikethroughs or clear deductions are an excellent way to illustrate savings. At every chance you get, be sure to highlight the amount of money subscribers save by not paying for shipping. This subconsciously makes your consumers feel as if they have a little extra money to spend, and it encourages them to add on another item. Once again, beginning from a place of providing consumers with real value results in the opportunity to boost your AOV.   Implement Product Bundling Product bundling is the ultimate paradox. By grouping products together and offering a discount, you give subscribers the perception that they’re getting more for less — when in actuality they usually wind up spending more than they would have if the products weren’t bundled. That’s because the concept of saving money incentivizes consumers to buy a bundle even if it includes a product or two that they wouldn’t have purchased separately. And an added perk of getting subscribers to try a product they might not have tried is you increase the likelihood that they’ll love the new product and come to rely on it, purchasing it again in the future as a result.  Here are a few strategies to help optimize your product bundles:  Just like with free shipping, be sure to make your subscribers’ savings evident on your PDP with strikethroughs and/or different colored fonts.  Allow subscribers to customize their bundles. This way, you can play into personalization, flexibility, and ensure subscribers get exactly what they need.  Monitor your analytics to see which items are commonly bought together to identify future bundles. Product bundling has repeatedly been shown to increase sales, and optimizing your bundles to provide your consumers with the best value will only further drive revenue.   Highlight Trending Products  While we’re on the topic of customer account portals, another way to drive engagement and boost AOV is through utilizing trending upsells.  Generally speaking, tacking the word “trending” next to a product automatically adds value to it by tapping into social proof. If subscribers believe there’s buzz around an item, they’ll be more likely to want to try it.  The exciting part is that there are myriad ways to creatively leverage trending products in a way that adds value to your subscribers.  For example, Wholesome Story took advantage of trending upsells to provide educational factoids about a lesser-known product. This “Did You Know” angle spreads necessary awareness before subscribers buy a new product, taking out the need for any research. Nooma, on the other hand, used their trending upsells as a way to promote a rotating flavor of the month in order to keep subscribers on their toes and give them the chance to sample something new. This adds a level of freshness to subscriptions and keeps customers returning to their account portal each month to see what the new flavor is.  You can also go in another direction and feature a relevant influencer’s favorite products. The endorsement will only further boost social proof, which automatically adds value to your brand as a whole. After all, 61% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations.  Wrapping Up: Adding Value to Consumers Leads to a Higher AOV All in all, the best way to approach increasing your average order value is by prioritizing and delighting your end consumer. By creating the best possible experience for your subscribers every step of the way, you’ll encourage retention, grow customer loyalty, and naturally drive revenue as a result.  This post is the product of a partnership between Littledata and Smartrr. Check out Littledata to optimize and scale your DTC brand with key data insights including subscription data, and visit Smartrr to level up your subscription offering and increase customer engagement.  – Written by Gaby Tegen  Bio:  Gaby Tegen is the Co-Founder & CEO of Smartrr, the leading Shopify subscription app built to increase LTV. In addition to offering out-of-the-box subscription models and a branded customer account portal, Smartrr elevates the post-purchase experience with loyalty rewards, referrals, bundles, and more. Recently, Smartrr raised $10M in Series A funding to further their mission of becoming the first comprehensive LTV platform in the Shopify ecosystem. For more information, visit


Segment recipe: Build an effective win-back campaign with Shopify and Klaviyo

If win-back campaigns aren’t a part of your retention strategy, you’re leaving money on the table. But how do you build the targeting for those campaigns? As acquisition costs continue to soar, brands are honing in on retention more than ever before. There’s no better way to keep customers engaged and coming back for more than with a win-back campaign that’s backed by data. In our new Segment recipe on win-back campaigns, we teach you how to: Send Shopify events to Klaviyo with Littledata’s Shopify source for Segment Identify a group of inactive customers to reactivate Build and schedule automated campaigns in Klaviyo to run systematically and optimize for efficiency Zeroing in on retention can have a massive uplift to your bottom line. On average, it’s five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, and improving your customer retention by as little as 5% can boost your revenue up to 25%.  At Littledata, we have been honored to see the number of high-value use cases that have come out of our Shopify source for Twilio Segment. Using our Shopify source with a trusted CRM destination like Klaviyo, brands are able to push accurate sales, marketing, and customer data to Klaviyo, build data-driven email and SMS win-back campaigns, and retarget their churned customers with hyper-targeted messaging in the perfect timing.  The key to building an effective win-back campaign lies in complete customer data. To have a real impact, your definition of customer data must include core data points like purchase history, average order value, and products a customer has been interested in but not bought yet. With these insights, you can reach the right audience at the right time and serve them the right piece of content to reactivate them. With brands like Rothy’s, Lick, and Sheertex using Littledata’s Shopify source for Segment, we’ve seen first-hand how top DTC brands on Shopify Plus use the data we track to target customers more effectively, reducing CAC while improving LTV. Our latest Segment recipe leverages Twilio Engage to help you build an audience of inactive customers and re-engage them in Klaviyo.To go a step further, we’ve added insights into how you can create a computed trait to continually refine your audience – in this case, based on average order value (AOV). Want to send Shopify data to Segment? Littledata's Shopify source for Segment enables you to automatically send ecommerce events to any of Segment’s hundreds of destinations. Capture data at every touchpoint and attribute results from your marketing campaigns with 100% accuracy thanks to our server-side tracking. Did we mention that we also handle identity resolution? Get started for free with a 30-day trial or book a demo today!


How Grind boosted their sales by 50x

Grind had 11 brick and mortar stores in the UK before they dove into ecommerce on Shopify. It was not until the COVID lockdown that they moved from strictly brick and mortar to the ecommerce ecosystem. Before then, only half of a percent of their business was online! After they added subscriptions and built a data stack to inform the launch of new promotion methods, the business scaled to 50x revenue in just a couple of months. THE CHALLENGE Over the years, Grind built an incredible brand through their popular brick-and-mortar stores and newsletters, going beyond coffee to become a part of their customers' lives in a meaningful, authentic way. Grind is gaining awareness not just in their local region of London but celebrating subscribers from around the globe. After losing their offline (physical location) business practically overnight, Grind needed to quickly pivot to ecommerce and get an accurate picture of their online customer lifetime value (LTV) for “one-time” and “recurring” orders. They needed to see and report on customer behavior happening on their Shopify store to improve the checkout flow, build ideal customer profiles, retarget the right customers using dynamic social ads, and make crucial decisions using accurate data at the core of these efforts. THE SOLUTION Littledata's Recharge connection made it easy to get accurate sales data and marketing attribution across the subscriber journey. This smart technology connected Grind’s Recharge checkout with Google Analytics for accurate data about subscription revenue, including first-time payments, recurring transactions, and subscription lifecycle events. They were able to see LTV by channel and—critically—to predict where high- value subscriber growth was most likely to happen. It all came down to “measuring the difference in LTV for subscribers versus one-time purchasers” says Grind CMO Teddy Robinson. “Subscription revenue and return on ad spend (ROAS) were really the biggest top-line metrics for us.” RESULTS Subscription selling has created an exciting opportunity for the Grind ecommerce store to unlock potential revenue, build long-lasting relationships with their customers, and create a community among consumers. Building on their existing loyal customer base, Grind’s introduction of sustainable at home coffee pods— and tracking checkout events accurately with Littledata’s Recharge connection—Grind saw massive subscriber growth across paid and organic channels. They went from £10k to £500k monthly ecommerce revenue, and are have expanded internationally. A few takeaways of what Grind accomplished with Littledata: • 50x Subscription revenue in three months • 100% Recharge orders captured in Google Analytics • 28 Event types tracked in the checkout


GA4 Auto-migration: Why and how to opt-out

If you haven’t migrated to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) by now, you’re likely flooded with reminders from Google to get to it! But what does auto-migration mean? And can it break your Shopify data? With Universal Analytics’ July deprecation date coming soon, the pressure is on. To encourage UA users to make the switch, Google began auto-migrating UA properties to GA4 on March 1, 2023.  While this may sound helpful, you actually do not want to rely on Google’s auto-migration to GA4. For data-driven ecommerce brands, Google’s “basic” configurations aren’t going to cut it, and Google’s auto-migration could actually hinder your data quality. The same goes for Shopify’s Google sales channel. With a few simple steps, you can opt out of GA4 auto-migration and set up your GA4 property correctly. There’s a lot of confusion in the marketplace right now, especially when it comes to tracking ecommerce stores in GA4. Whether you’re on Shopify, BigCommerce, or another ecommerce platform, it’s a must to track checkout steps and conversions, but auto migrations don’t cover that at all. So in this post, we’ll be clearing up: Why you should opt out of auto-migration (and how to do it) How to ensure data quality in GA4 How to track ecommerce events in GA4 Why you need to opt-out  It’s important to note that GA4 is a completely new reporting tool, built from the ground up for faster reporting, increased flexibility, and streamlined audience building. GA4 relies on a new data model — event-based tracking, rather than session-based tracking — and doesn’t track data like-for-like with UA. To avoid any data disruptions and ensure data integrity, brands need to manually set up their GA4 properties. [tip] Watch our recent webinar to learn more about the differences between UA and GA4 [/tip] Problems with GA4 auto-migration Google’s auto-migration runs deep and migrates several parts of your account. If you’ve already set up a GA4 property, you may think this doesn’t apply to you, but even if you have manually created a GA4 property, it’s crucial that you switch off the auto-migration toggle to avoid further issues. Duplicated orders We’ve seen Shopify stores face duplicated orders and inaccurate data after missing this key step. Even with the proper data tech stack, brands are struggling with data quality issues because they have not opted out of auto-migration. Event naming If you’ve auto-migrated your UA events into GA4, your event naming can majorly skew conversion tracking, if not done properly. GA4 limits event names to 40 characters or less, so any UA events automatically migrated to GA4 that are 40+ characters will not be reported as a conversion because the appended “_c” will be missing. Managing users With great power comes great responsibility. There may be users you don’t want to migrate to GA4 so it’s best to review account and property users and the access they’re granted during migration. How to opt out of GA4 auto-migration It’s easy to opt out of auto-migration. Simply access the GA4 Setup Assistant via the Admin panel and scroll down to ‘Automatically set up a basic Google Analytics 4 property’ and ensure that the toggle is switched off, as pictured below.  As an added measure, ensure that you have “Collect Universal Analytics events” toggled off in your data stream’s tag settings, as shown below.  How to ensure data quality in GA4 Check that all pages and conversions are being tracked Mistakes and inconsistencies in your Google Tag Manager (GTM) tracking can result in missing data, with Littledata’s data layer, you won’t have to worry about that. Unlike alternatives, Littledata’s data layer works automatically, eliminating the risk of human error so you can finally trust your Google Analytics data. As mentioned above, GA4’s event naming requirements could interrupt your conversion tracking. To avoid any interruptions, make sure that your event names are below 40 characters, otherwise, you could face some issues in reporting. Check your transaction and purchase data Tracking complete transactions, revenue, and purchase data is essential for any ecommerce brand. Many of the apps that offer “GA4 setup” for Shopify or BigCommerce stores do not fix your tracking. Find out if your GA4 setup is up to speed with our free GA4 Conversions Checker. Connect your Google Analytics account and the Conversions Checker will automatically audit your GA4 property for any data discrepancies, explains why they exist, and how to get more accurate ecommerce reporting in just a few clicks. Build out your data tech stack  Using the right Shopify or BigCommerce app can help make your transition to GA4 much easier. Littledata’s GA4 integration works seamlessly out of the box, automatically tracking the entire customer journey — from discovery at the source, through the checkout funnel and post-purchase events — pushing events into Google Analytics 4, Facebook Conversions API, Segment, and any connected reporting tool.  How to track ecommerce events in GA4 Shopify’s GA4 integration is now available through the Google Sales Channel App, but as with Shopify’s native integration with UA, it comes with a few core limitations. Beyond this app, you have two other options: Google Tag Manager (GTM) GTM is a common tracking solution for ecommerce stores. And while GTM itself is free to use, it comes with a price — GTM is very time-consuming, complex, and often costly to maintain, especially for a lean team. Plus, Shopify’s recent updates removed the ability to add scripts to checkout.liquid, no longer permitting brands to track the checkout funnel with GTM. A trusted app, like Littledata Within minutes, fix your ecommerce tracking in GA4 — no implementation or developer needed. Littledata’s app uses a combination of client-side and server-side tracking to capture the entire customer journey, including complete marketing attribution and post-purchase events, like subscriptions and upsells. Start your GA4 journey on the right foot with hands-on support from our team of analytics experts. [tip] Read our step-by-step guide to tracking ecommerce conversions in GA4 [/tip] Next steps The good news is that there’s still time to fully migrate your ecommerce analytics to GA4 before the July deprecation date. But don’t delay — the sooner you set up a GA4 property that checks all the boxes, the better equipped you’ll be in the future with a treasure trove of historical data, custom-built reports to answer your business's top questions, and a BigQuery export to turn data into marketing magic.


Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

Get a 30-day free trial of Littledata for Google Analytics or Segment