What's new in our Shopify apps for Google Analytics and Segment
Littledata is always improving. Over the last 6 months, we’ve worked on numerous features to enhance the accuracy and availability of our ecommerce data analysis for Shopify merchants. Littledata's smart connections make it easy to get accurate data in Google Analytics or Segment. The changes below affect both of our Shopify apps (Segment and Google Analytics for Shopify), marking the biggest major update to our Shopify tracking script and server-side tracking since we released V8 last year. [tip]Check out our release notes for regular updates![/tip] Attribution for email marketing signups In order to provide enhanced email attribution, we've linked 'customer created' and 'customer updated' events back to the original source. Stores building a customer email list can now analyze where those email signups originally came from. By linking customer creation or update events on Shopify’s servers to the original campaign or referrer to the store, Littledata customers can now accurately track the source of email signups. Merchants can now also segment these signup events by whether or not the customer opted into marketing. Checkout steps Tracking checkout steps is essential for ecommerce analytics, but Shopify's native tracking is incomplete and inaccurate. Littledata's Shopify connections solve checkout tracking issues automatically. With recent updates, we’ve made the tracking of checkout steps even more reliable, coping with situations where a user is already logged in, or abandons the cart and then returns later. [note]Did you know by sending the data to Google Analytics, you can easily track your Shopify payments gateway during checkout?[/note] With the help of the full Enhanced Ecommerce specification, you can: track exactly which products follow in each step calculate the value of opportunities to improve each step [subscribe] ReCharge connection, recharged As subscription ecommerce sites continue to scale, they need even more detailed data about the user journey, especially lifecycle events. [tip]Do you trust your subscription tracking in Shopify? Learn how to get accurate tracking for repeat orders[/tip] With our new ReCharge v2 connection, subscription stores can now track the full subscription lifecycle including: subscription updates cancellations failed payments product edits customer profile / information edits [note]See the full slate of ecommerce events you can now track with ReCharge v2[/note] Geolocation of server-side events Stores need accurate information on the location of their customers to retarget campaigns around top-performing regions or cities. The extra events above, plus all the standard order data, are sent from our servers in Virginia, US. But, of course, in your analytics, you want to see them linked to the customers' real location. We now have a belt-and-braces solution for correctly geolocating customer events, passing on the browser's IP address where known, or else sending the shipping address (default customer address) to Google Analytics as a 'Geographical Criteria ID'. CartHook and Bold Cashier We've always supported other checkouts for Shopify, as we know some stores need flexibility with payment, upsell and recurring billing options. And for the most popular checkout solutions, we're always looking at ways to provide advanced tracking automatically. So in the past 6 months Littledata has launched more robust integrations with CartHook and Bold Cashier. New Google Optimize connection Google Optimize is a powerful A/B testing and personalization platform used within and beyond ecommerce. [note]Connect your Shopify store to Google Optimize to test your product pages, store content and messaging with 100% accuracy.[/note] Now, we have an out-of-the-box setup for Shopify, including an anti-flicker snippet. And coming soon... In Q1 2020, we're working on connections for Iterable's email marketing platform, plus a more consistent way of handling Segment's anonymous ID for stores which don't use Google Analytics. Is there something you're eager to see in Littledata? We're always happy to hear feature suggestions — get in touch with our team today!
How COVID-19 has affected Shopify stores so far
In the wake of COVID-19, things in the ecommerce world are hanging in balance. We've been encouraged by businesses and agencies in the Shopify ecosystem stepping up to pool their resources and talents to help more vulnerable store owners (e.g. see how Shopify is helping, as well as Offline2On, an initiative we're involved with at Littledata). But, since we're analysts at heart, we wanted to take a closer look at recent sales trends among Shopify stores to see the impact COVID-19 is actually having on shopping behavior. Shopping behavior during COVID-19 While some stores have seen a surge of shopping activity and orders, others have struggled to match their normal volume. With no end in sight to the global pandemic, many shoppers are choosing to be frugal with non-essential spending. To find out how many Shopify stores were either surging or struggling to stay afloat, we broke down the data, week over week, from Q1 2020 (8 weeks total). We focused on: Order volume Average order value (AOV) We chose these metrics in particular because they're two of the strongest indicators of overall shopping behavior. We sampled 200 Shopify stores from across 5 different industries: Beauty Food and drink Health and fitness Pets Style and fashion But before we drill down data by industry, let's look at ecommerce as a whole. Global ecommerce trends and observations While global ecommerce has experienced an increase in order volume over the past 2 months, you can see the recent, steady decline in AOV during the same period (though it has mostly remained unchanged since Feb). It's possible the spike in order volume is due to social distancing, as country after country institutes their own version of stay-at-home orders. Interestingly, AOV's decline could be due to shoppers squeezing their wallets a bit tighter during the pandemic. With uncertainty looming in just about every area of life, some marketers believe shoppers are more reluctant to spend more per order; they're mostly sticking to "essential" purchases. Shopify order volume & AOV by industry The first graph below shows change in order volume by industry. The second graph illustrates changes by average order value, also segmented by industry. Beauty From the middle of February to now, the beauty industry seems to have leveled out in terms of orders. This is a pretty standard showing for beauty, which does not seem to be drastically affected by COVID-19 so far. The beauty industry's AOV may have seen an early drop, but has been steady since. Food and drink Food and drink likely experienced the rise in order volume the past few weeks due a the surge of worrisome shoppers; global uncertainty about the pandemic means grocery stores and supermarkets were packed for weeks as people stocked up as much as possible. Many subscription boxes (and meal replacement brands such as Soylent and Huel) have also seen a surge in order volume. However, the industry has hit a steep decline in the week since. A slight increase in order value overall, but nothing alarming or surprising here. Health and fitness Similar to food and drink, health and fitness saw a spike in AOV a few weeks ago that has since led to a steady decline. With no end in sight to the pandemic, this may continue as people opt to do their workouts at home and spend less on non-essential nutrition supplements and apparel. Pets Interestingly, the pets industry sank into a trough through most of February and March in terms of order volume, but has remained steady in terms of AOV. Style and fashion Style and fashion is looking like the "trendiest" industry (bad pun, I know) since early February, with a sudden spike in order volume (about a month ago) followed by a sudden drop. Style and fashion stores may see a resurgence soon, but it's too early to tell if this shopper behavior was due to COVID-19. As you can see, average order value has increased over the past few months in this space. So what's next? Over the next few months, we'll analyze the data from Q2 for a bigger picture of COVID-19's affect on Shopify stores. In the meantime, check out our benchmarks for Shopify stores and general website performance benchmarks. These tools are designed to help you gauge your site performance, as well as metrics like AOV, ecommerce conversion rate, mobile search bounce rate, server response time, and more. Stay tuned for new Shopify data analysis soon!
6 FAQs you may have asked during a Littledata demo
Like many SaaS companies (and Shopify app developers), we get a LOT of merchants writing in with questions. Big, small, new, old, Shopify Plus, Shopify basic, headless Shopify, platform migrations from Magento...you name it. But some questions stand out for every Shopify store. For those of you who've gone through a demo with our support or sales team, it is highly likely that you asked one of the following questions about Littledata, Shopify and Google Analytics (GA): When's the right time to install Littledata? Do you fix marketing attribution? Should we use Segment? Why doesn't my Shopify data match what I see in GA? How do you capture complete revenue data? What's included in enterprise plans? And there's a reason why — these are the questions we get the most from merchants like you. In this post, we'll break down the answers as clearly and directly as possible. Plus, we'll give you the resources you need for more detailed answers. (Rather talk directly to a human? Book a demo). [subscribe] 1) When's the right time to install Littledata? In short, it really depends on your internal process. What do we mean by process? Let's put like this: why do you need accurate data? What will you do with it? If you're still working on your checkout architecture, it's probably not the right time. If you generally don't trust data to help make decisions about CRO, marketing plans, online product merchandising, retargeting, etc., then it's definitely not the right time (nor a good fit in general). But if you just don't trust your Shopify data in Google Analytics and want to trust it, then it definitely IS time. And if you're still shopping around for Shopify Plus development agencies, it's probably not the right time (though we can help recommend one). But in most cases, the time is NOW! Every ecommerce site and DTC brand has their own internal process for moving toward data-driven decision making, and whether you're ju or already en route to scale insanely fast, we're here to help. But don't take it from us. Here are some of the cases where clients have said they were really glad they started a free trial of Littledata then and didn't wait to fix their tracking: Migrating from another ecommerce platform (most often Magento) to Shopify Ramping up paid spend and want to make sure the data is accurate (most often Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads) Recently redesigned the site or checkout -- or added products by subscription -- and want to ensure complete sales data and better segmentation in Google Analytics Recently launched multi-currency (multiple "stores" in Shopify-speak) and looking for a way to segment marketing campaigns and track sales in Google Analytics And one of my favorites: "We were actually already loving Littledata but upgraded for analytics training and extra support!" [tip]Testing your new setup in a dev store or production site before moving to a live site? Let us know and we'll set up a free test account[/tip] 2) Do you fix marketing attribution? Yes. Littledata is uniquely suited to stores that really care about getting their data right, and that's especially true if you want accurate marketing attribution. Our app fixes attribution for Shopify stores automatically with a combination of server-side and client-side tracking. We stitch sessions together to make sure nothing's lost, so you can rely on Google Analytics or Segment (our current data destinations) as the single source of truth for both pre-click and post-click data, as well as more complex stuff like segmented remarketing, comparative attribution models and LTV calculations for subscription ecommerce. Our script uses gtag and GTM data layer, and can easily supplement and improve your GTM setup (though many clients find that they no longer need GTM). So if you're asking questions like "Why is an absurd amount of my traffic showing as Direct?" or "Is it possible to see the LTV by channel for our Shopify store?", we've got you covered. As our CEO puts it, "What's the real ROI on your Facebook Ads?" [tip]Get accurate campaign tracking and know your true ROAS with our connections for Facebook Ads and Google Ads[/tip] As an added bonus, we have ecommerce benchmarks in the app. So once you have accurate data, you can see if your Facebook referrals are higher or lower than average, as well as if there are technical factors such as page load speed affecting conversions. 3) Should we use Segment? If you're considering different data pipeline and customer data solution, we highly recommend Segment. It's a powerful, clean way to track customer data alongside anonymous browsing behavior, ad performance and more. In fact, we love Segment so much that we built the only recommended Segment connection for Shopify stores. Here's what one customer has to say about it: "This app seamlessly integrated Shopify with Segment. All of our data is flowing seamlessly from Shopify into all of our destinations via Segment." If you're comparing Segment against other CDPs like mParticle and Stitch, we're happy to chat about the pros and cons and give you an honest opinion about what's best for your ecommerce business. One thing our larger Segment users find particularly useful about Segment is that once a source is set up, it tends to run really smoothly. So Segment becomes a single source of truth in a way that few other data platforms can offer, with literally hundreds of destinations for using, acting on and modeling that data. 4) Why doesn't my Shopify data match what I see in Google Analytics? [tip]There's a free resource for that! Learn how to fix Shopify <> GA data differences in our free ebook[/tip] The truth is that Google Analytics (GA) and Shopify need a little help to play nice. Most marketers use GA to track performance, but having a good data setup — even for bare essentials like transactions and revenue — is harder than it looks. In some cases, you may need the help of a Google Analytics consultant or GA expert. For other stores (especially teams well-versed in GA tracking) don't need the help of an expert. There are many reasons for differences in tracking results, but let’s take a look at the top 6 reasons. a) Orders are never recorded in Google Analytics Usually, this happens because your customer never sees the order confirmation page. More commonly, this is caused by payment gateways not sending users back to the order "thank you" page. b) The Analytics / Google Tag Manager integration contains errors Shopify's integration with Google Analytics is a pretty basic one, tracking just a few of all the possible ecommerce events and micro-moments required for a complete picture. Although Shopify’s integration is designed to work for most standard stores, there are those who build a more personalised theme. In this case, they would require a custom integration with Google Analytics. But with Littledata's Shopify app, here's what you can track. c) A script in the page prevents tracking to work on your order thank you page Many websites have various dynamics on the thank you page in order to improve user experience and increase retention. But these scripts can sometimes fail and create a domino effect, preventing other modules from executing. d) Too many products included in one transaction Every time a page on your website loads, Google Analytics sends a hit-payload to its servers which contains by default a lot of user data starting from source, path, keywords etc. combined with the data for viewed or purchased products (name, brand, category, etc). This data query can grow quite long if the user adds products with long names and descriptions. But there is a size limit for each hit-payload of 8kb, which can include information for about 20 products. When this limit is reached, GA will not send the payload to its servers, resulting in lost purchase data. e) Too many interactions have been tracked in one session This inconsistency is not encountered as often, but it needs to be taken into account when setting up Google Analytics tracking. One of GA's limitations for standard tracking is that a session can contain only 500 hits. This means that interactions taking place after the hit limit is reached will be missed by Google Analytics. 5) How do you capture complete revenue data? It's magic. Or at least it might feel that way. Once you put our tracking script in your theme and install the relevant connections, Littledata uses a savvy combination of client-side and server-side tracking to capture every shopper interaction with your online store. Because our server-side tracking sends revenue data with purchase and refund events directly to your chosen data destination (Google Analytics or Segment), it's much more reliable than waiting for an event to fire when a confirmation page loads completely, or trying to hack together a way to capture revenue data with GTM from third-party checkouts. Our app often fixes revenue variance of 20-30%, even for large retailers! Behind the scenes the setup looks something like this: Not only does Littledata capture complete sales data, including refunds, but our Shopify integration also sets up custom dimensions in your Google Analytics account for smarter segmentation and long-term tracking. After all, smart ecommerce businesses know that revenue isn't just about the first purchase numbers -- you need to track what types of customers purchase more over time. For example, do customers who come from a particular marketing channel tend to make a number of smaller purchases that actually add up to higher lifetime revenue than those one-off big spenders? So we add custom dimensions including: Lifetime value (LTV) Last order date Shopify customer ID If you're using ReCharge for subscriptions, note that we also track subscription lifecycle events such as payment method updates and subscription updates, so you can do deep dives into not just revenue changes but the reasons for those changes. [tip]Do you really know which marketing channels bring you profitable customers? Learn from our CEO how to accurately calculate lifetime value[/tip] 6) What's included in Enterprise plans? At Littledata, we've been lucky to have a chance to scale along with Shopify. Larger brands have been increasingly drawn to the platform's ease of use, and Shopify Plus merchants now include Leesa, Bulletproof Coffee, LeSportsac and Gymshark. But even with Shopify's growth, there's a consistent problem: questionable analytics. One thing I really love about working at Littledata is that we’ve managed to keep the core tracking tools extremely affordable, while also offering a wider range of enterprise plans at approximately 1/10 the cost of hiring outside consultants or someone in-house. We have a range of options for enterprise plans to fit your needs and budget, grouped around two enterprise "tiers": enterprise basic and enterprise plus. Basic enterprise Basic enterprise plans can be paid monthly or annually. They include: Dedicated account manager Shopify Plus support Unlimited connections Unlimited country stores Every account manager at Littledata is an analytics expert. They can help to ensure accurate setup of your Segment or Google Analytics tracking, and recommend proven implementation and optimization strategies for Shopify Plus. After all, once you know that you can trust your data, focusing on the right metrics can make a world of difference. Enterprise Plus Enterprise Plus plans include everything in basic Enterprise plans, such as support from an analytics expert, plus custom setup and training to fit your needs. Options include: Custom setup Analytics training Manual data audits Segment support, including solutions engineering Google Tag Manager support Analytics 360 Suite support And a whole lot more. See what’s included in our enterprise analytics plans. In short, we’re here to make sure that you can trust your data — and use that data for actionable results. If you’d like to get started with the app, you can try it free for 30 days. We're also happy to walk you through the app — just book a demo with us online!
How to engage returning visitors on your Shopify store
As a store owner, you’ve probably already heard the arguments for engaging returning visitors. You know that it costs 25 times more to win a new client than to win repeat business. You know that increasing customer retention by a mere 5% can boost your sales by 25% - 30%. And you’ve also heard that returning visitors are more likely to add products to the cart, complete the purchase, and even spend more than first-time visitors. The problem? How do you ensure that it all happens on your site? How do you engage returning visitors and convince them to continue buying from you? [subscribe] In this guide, I’ll show you 5 strategies that will help you engage returning visitors and strengthen their connection with your store. Before we dive in, let’s take a look at how Shopify stores typically engage visitors. The state of visitor engagement on Shopify stores Close to the end of 2018, we conducted a research study to identify the level of visitor engagement among Shopify stores. We were pleasantly surprised that 62% of stores use at least one engagement strategy. Brilliant! The most popular strategies include popups, live chat, and social proof notifications. But we also discovered that the majority of stores do not use these strategies to their full potential. For example, 76% of the stores we researched fire off a popup immediately after a visitor lands on their site. At the same time, we know that timing and segmentation can multiply conversion rates and drive more signups. Similarly, for many stores, a live chat is nothing but another customer service channel. Yet, those who use it as a sales tool tend to report better results and conversion rates. To maximize your potential to convert returning visitors, try out these 5 strategies: Strategy #1. Acknowledge the returning visitor This is a simple trick that can drive conversions. When setting up your call to action, acknowledge the person’s return visit, and use it to engage them with your brand. Medium, although not an ecommerce brand, does this wonderfully. Take a look at the popup example below. Note how candid the company is about its intentions. After all, since the visitor has been on the site before, why not openly ask them to create an account? A similar strategy in ecommerce would involve creating a “Welcome back” popup, acknowledging the return visit and offering value to the visitor. Strategy #2. Evoke the returning visitor’s curiosity When you think about it; engaging returning visitors is as challenging as ensuring that anyone visiting your site for the first time wants to buy from you. Now, it’s true; returning visitors don’t feel anxious about buying from you anymore. But because they have bought from you before, it’s also harder to fire up their interest. At the same time, it’s that same interest that can keep them engaged with your store… Luckily, there is a way to do it – Evoke the shopper’s natural curiosity. You don’t have to do much to achieve it, either. Ask a returning visitor about themselves, for example. This will naturally make the person’s antennas go up. They might think whether you’re asking because you know something about them they don’t know. And that natural curiosity will engage them with your offer. (Note, whether they’ll convert will rely on the offer, of course. But the curiosity will get them to notice.) Here’s a popup using this strategy to get a visitor to read the rest of the offer. Strategy #3. Create special offers for returning visitors only Another powerful strategy. This one, however, relies on you showing returning visitors how much you care about them and their repeat business. In this strategy, the goal is to engage those visitors by rewarding them for their loyalty. How, by creating an offer - a discount, typically - that applies to them only, and rewards them for their subsequent purchase. PureCycles, for example, displays a popup offering a hefty 15% discount for the next purchase. But your offer doesn’t have to involve discounts, of course. At Wisepops, we've found offers to attract the highest engagement. Still, you could offer access to exclusive product lines before anyone else is able to purchase those. Or even the ability to purchase products that will never be released to the public store. The key is to offer returning visitors something unique for them, something they can’t get unless they do come back to the site over and over again. Strategy #4. Run a contest aimed at returning visitors Contests are one of the most popular ways of engaging visitors. They’re fun, promise getting something in return, and offer you a chance of your brand going viral. But what if you run a contest designed for returning visitors only? What if you advertise it as such, and present it only to people who visit your site for the nth time? I’d imagine they’d be quite intrigued by the concept (and engage with it immediately, at that.) Native, who uses Littledata's Google Analytics connection, ran this time-limited contest on their site, promoted with a clever Shopify popup. Strategy #5. Show returning visitors the downside of not buying from you The final strategy works particularly well on visitors who tend to sit on their purchase. Instead of completing it, they add products to the cart, then wander off, contemplating their next action. It happens all the time, sadly. One way to engage them and gently “push” towards the sale is by showing the downside of not acting now. Gaiam, for example, uses a simple scare tactic. The site tells visitors how popular a product is (one the shopper is thinking about buying), and how likely it is to sell out before they get it. Many hotels and travel sites use a similar strategy to convince visitors to act now in a similar way. They display the current interest in a given property or a room to evoke fear in visitors and push them to act. Trust your Shopify tracking This isn't technically in the top 5 strategies, but it's perhaps the most crucial part of the shopper re-engagement process. Tracking your returning visitors tells you exactly which of your marketing channels are working (and which are not), which campaigns are converting, and the re-engagement methods (email campaigns, etc.) that work best for your store. Without proper tracking, you're stabbing in the dark. Unfortunately, many Shopify merchants rely on the broken tracking of Shopify's native analytics or the incomplete attribution in Google Analytics. Have you experienced these data discrepancies between Shopify and GA? They can be extremely frustrating, especially since they have a negative impact on your decision-making. [note]Here's why your Shopify data doesn't match what you see in Google Analytics[/note] Luckily, Littledata provides an ideal solution. Their Shopify app, which automatically fixes your tracking. That means accurate data for shopper behavior, marketing attribution and more. [tip]Get a full month of accurate data — try Littledata free for 30 days[/tip] Not to mention, the app offers daily data audits and ecommerce benchmarks, so you can know exactly how your store stacks up against similar products. Wrapping up Returning visitors offer an incredible business opportunity. They are far more likely to buy and spend more on their purchases at that. However, to increase those repeat purchases, you need to engage returning visitors and keep them close to your brand. All that’s left is to start implementing the ones you liked the most in your store. Good luck! This is a guest post by Greg d’Aboville, Head of Growth at WisePops, a popup app. Greg has helped major brands like Fender, Nissan, and Skechers maximize lead generation strategies and 10X their results.
Why remote work is more productive
The fast-spreading coronavirus is the last reason we want to be hyping up remote work. But alas, here we are. 2020 was deemed “the year of remote work" by LinkedIn leaders. More companies than ever were projected to make true strides in shifting to a more flexible, sustainable remote work model. As companies turn to remote work as a potential solution to minimize the spread of COVID-19, there are some other, very real concerns: According to Workplaceless, only 30% of business leaders feel their company is well prepared for the increase of remote work Less than 10% of employees strongly agree that their leaders have the skills needed to thrive in the digital economy Before the virus began spreading, 38% of remote workers received zero training on tips and strategies for effective remote work Tammy Bjelland, CEO of Workplaceless, even expressed concern about both employees and employers being extremely ill-prepared for this abrupt work culture shift: While remote work is a valid strategy to maintain business continuity in times of crisis like the outbreak of COVID-19, suddenly allowing remote work with no clear policy or processes in place will not have the same positive outcomes as investing adequate resources into preparing leaders and employees for success in a remote environment. And these are fair concerns. With the current public health crisis, a huge chunk of the workforce is starting to experience remote work for the first time. And the patterns don't lie: Employees generally enjoy it. But many larger companies are typically reluctant to change, especially to such a fundamental reshaping of the workplace. In spite of all of the bad consequences of the recent virus outbreak, remote work might be the best thing to come out of all of this. It might finally bring this work revolution to the mainstream, after years of slowly brewing only within small teams or freelancers. At Littledata, we have a fully distributed team in four different countries and six different cities. Here are some benefits of our global remote culture: 1. Shorter commute time Most remote workers do their work either at home or at co-working spaces or cafes (and the same is true of our team). These are usually closer to home. Compared to my last workplace, I now save 40 minutes every day when I go into our co-working space, or 70 minutes when I work from home. That might not seem like much, but 70 minutes saved every work day comes out to 24 hours saved per month (3 full work days). That wasted energy can be put to better use by focusing it on daily work tasks. 2. Less distractions An office is usually a loud place, and even more so in an open-space layout. Although I like talking to colleagues (even though I'm more of an introvert), it can be unproductive. It can take up to 23 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption. Most of the time, I only keep the essentials with me (laptop, charger and headphones). I don’t have to water any plants, I don’t have to rearrange my cat photos on my desk, I don’t even have a fixed desk to be emotionally attached to. :) My co-working space is specifically tailored to tech companies. So even when I do get distracted, the talks are mainly about new technologies, which could actually help solve some bugs at work. Every few days, we have tech meetups organized as well. 3. Everyone arrives in meetings on time This may seem counter-intuitive, but it's true; when the calendar alerts you of a meeting, everyone is usually on the conference call within a minute or two. Every teammate is very focused on the tasks at hand, so not much useless talk occurs. Sure, the connection might drop for someone, or someone might mute their microphone by mistake, but these things get better over time. Plus, getting everyone on the same page is easier by sharing your screen — not cramming the whole team into a conference room. 4. Mutual trust and empathy At the heart of every successful remote team is trust. Sounds almost too simple, right? It’s not. When employers trust their people and the people trust their employer, good things tend to happen. Companies tend to grow, cultures tend to strengthen, and productivity tends to spike. And this isn’t unique to remote work. It’s at the core of good leadership for any organization — government, schools, non-profits, sports teams, etc. Remote work as a result of COVID-19 isn’t a tropical vacation — it’s a stressful time, especially for workers living in urban areas. Your team leaders should empower you (and trust you) to do your best work, even during this coronavirus outbreak. We certainly feel this kind of trust and empathy from our leaders at Littledata! 5. Bonus: benefits for companies As companies embrace remote work, they often realize that there are more benefits than overhead cost-cutting: Recruiting: when you make your operations remote, you have a much larger talent pool to choose from. Global support teams: you probably provide some sort of support to your customers or partners, either by phone, email or live chat. Having support teams around the world helps your team cover any timezone, and faster response times means happier customers. Of course, working remotely is not for everyone. Reduced oversight and in-person communication can reduce productivity. However, at Littledata, we believe the opposite is often true: working remotely can not only increase productivity, but can also boon creativity, critical thinking and lead to happier employees. During this coronavirus outbreak, companies are trying to figure it out. But one thing's for sure; for many people, remote work is more productive — whether or not we're social distancing. [note]We're hiring at Littledata! Check out our job openings[/note]
Top 6 fashion and beauty brands using ReCharge for Shopify
In a past post, we shared a similar post about the top 6 coffee brands using ReCharge for Shopify. This time around, we'll take a look at some top beauty and fashion brands on Shopify that also use ReCharge. If you run a subscription store and you don't use ReCharge, check out some of the benefits of the Shopify ReCharge connection. As we mentioned in that post, ReCharge helps Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants sell and manage subscriptions with ease. [tip]Read about our new ReCharge v2 connection, which tracks your subscription lifecycle events automatically[/tip] When you connect ReCharge to your store, you’ll see ReCharge’s full feature set at work — track a variety of subscription types, including single product, mixed cart & entire cart subscriptions. Why connect ReCharge with Shopify? Whether you're an agency, ecommerce manager, marketing manager or part of a development team, the ReCharge and Shopify APIs allow you to: Customize the checkout experience for customers Personalize how those customers manage their subscriptions Automate product discount codes Order cancellation processes or updated pricing on select items And that’s just scratching the surface. Installing ReCharge on your store also means orders are processed faster (thanks to an increased API call limit). [note]Littledata’s Google Analytics app is designed for better subscription ecommerce, including accurate tracking for marketing attribution and checkout steps.[/note] According to McKinsey, the ecommerce market has grown over 100 percent per year over the last three years, with 60% of those subscriptions purchased by women. 31% of millennials are also currently subscribed to a subscription box, and that number is expected to rise. According to Shopify, revenue for fashion ecommerce will rise from $481.2 billion to $712.9 billion by 2022. But while fashion and beauty brands continue to soak up every ounce of consumers' preference to shop online, the online fashion market has become extremely saturated, especially as brands use influencer marketing and focus their advertising efforts on Instagram. Let’s take a look at 6 of the top beauty brands on Shopify making a splash in the online subscription world. Keep in mind, these brands have found success using ReCharge to manage their subscriptions. From sustainable beauty products to customizable and personalized boxes, the market is filled with options for consumers — there's something for everyone. 1) Kopari Beauty Kopari Beauty is a California-based beauty brand specializing in coconut oil-based skincare products. Kopari launched its store in 2015 and have taken the beauty world by storm. The company uses 100% pure, organic coconut oil sustainably sourced from farms in the Philippines. Their products are paraben-free, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and vegan. 2) Ellie Activewear A Littledata customer, Ellie Activewear is an active wear brand tailored to women through their online lifestyle Shopify store. This subscription box has a focus on self-love with outfits that promote confidence so women can love the skin they are in. Ellie delivers high-quality activewear right to your door, so you can "smile with the time you save and feel good about what you’re wearing." 3) Box of Style Another Littledata customer, Box of Style is backed behind the fashion powerhouse Rachel Zoe. The American fashion designer, celebrity stylist and reality TV star launched this box in 2018 and it’s taken off since. It allows consumers to go through a preference list to get more insight before style boxes are carefully curated to fit each customer. 4) Laurel and Reed Laurel and Reed deliver a beauty box filled with all natural and non-toxic beauty products. The founder started the company after her father was diagnosed with cancer with the goal to provide products that are clean. They want their customers to have beautiful skin from products that are not loaded with chemicals. You get to choose the plan you want whether that’s 1x/3x/6x/12x or a one time not renewing box. You’ll receive 3 full size products that total to $100+. 5) Vegamour Vegamour is a plant-based beauty brand that specializes in brows, eyelashes, and hair growth. This clean beauty brand has been featured in Allure and InStyle and offers a starter kit so that you can try the products before committing to full size products. 6) Luxe Catch Luxe Catch is a fashion surprise themed mystery box that is filled with hand picked designer items. Customers fill out a style profile that helps cater items to each customer items. Luxe Catch fills boxes with designer wear from popular brands. The boxes begin at $50 ($200 value) and $250 ($1000 value). Track your subscription data with accuracy If you’re confused as to how the connection works (and which subscription events you can track), don’t worry — there's an ebook for that! Download it for free. ReCharge is a terrific Shopify app that will save you countless hours by automating and managing your subscription lifecycle from start to finish. If you’re a subscription store and you haven’t tried ReCharge v2, we highly encourage you to give it a go!
4 pricing optimization strategies for Shopify subscription stores
The subscription ecommerce market has an estimated worth of $12B-$15Bn. What’s more, 2018 was the year in which the highest amount of capital was invested into subscription box businesses. Fast-paced growth and yet-to-be-discovered niches attract numerous big retailers and new market entrants. To stay ahead of the competition, you must utilize pricing power to the fullest extent. Luckily, we’ve gathered four pricing optimization strategies for your Shopify store. But before jumping into that, let's figure out why the subscription business model is attractive to online retailers as well as shoppers. [subscribe] What makes people subscribe? People have recurring needs. Instead of shopping for everyday products over and over, they use subscription services that deliver everyday needs to their doorstep. While big retailers apply this model mostly on consumer goods, an increasing number of SMBs utilize it to send subscribers a selection of enjoyable lifestyle products to be discovered. The lifestyle products range from a french press to a book, from candles to clothes, and so on. From a retailer point of view, this model reduces the risks arising from uncertainty. SMBs often have a hard time estimating business costs and profits accurately, whereas subscription stores do not face uncertainty problems thanks to their steady customer base and stable costs. [tip]Trust your subscription tracking with the ultimate ReCharge guide for Shopify[/tip] More and more retailers either switch to this model entirely or apply it on certain products in their assortment. So, what’s a good pricing strategy to outshine the competition? 1) Measure Willingness to Pay (WTP) Willingness to pay is the maximum amount of money people are willing to give up in exchange for your products. Before setting the price of a product, measure WTP. Charge a price in line with customer expectations to substantially increase the likelihood of purchase. Surveys are the easiest way of measuring WTP, and they grant you a chance to get to know your audience better. Ask the value-adding qualities of your service and find out customers’ pain points: "Please rank order the product features below according to the value you see in each" "Which product feature(s) do you think should be improved?" Keep up the good work and improve the negative aspects identified by customers. Perhaps more importantly, customers will be happy to know that their ideas are appreciated and taken seriously. It’ll increase the chance that they refer your subscription store to their friends, and referrals are far more effective than traditional marketing channels. In turn, offer referral discounts to enhance customer loyalty. Out of WTP research, you'll obtain multiple price points around which people are clustered. The following step is to utilize that data to divide your target audience into several segments. 2) Offer a variety of options and pricing Naturally, people differ in their WTP for a product. Now that you've segmented your audience based on shoppers' WTP, it's time to target each segment at different price points. For example, if you sell lifestyle subscription boxes like Birchbox, make boxes of varying quality and charge more for high-quality ones. Tiered pricing structure entices both price-sensitive and luxury customers to subscribe to your boxes. WTP changes over time, but it’s impossible to conduct WTP research frequently. Instead, test different price points to see if they yield better results. Note that even though fewer people buy luxury products, they can generate higher profits. Since high-end buyers don’t look for cheap prices, provide them a truly premium service quality. When it comes to commodity goods, however, no one wants to pay extra money for toothpaste. If your Shopify store specializes in everyday essentials, offer competitive prices. Which brings us to our next point... 3) Track competitor prices Millennials are financially worse off than older generations, and it's reflected in their shopping behavior. Price is the most influential factor when US shoppers decide where to buy a product. Thanks to the transparency of online prices and ease of using comparison shopping engines, shoppers effortlessly find the cheapest deal for their everyday needs. The only way to appeal to a price-sensitive and tech-savvy audience is by offering the cheapest deals for commodity goods. That's why you have to track competitor prices. You can try manual tracking, but the results won't serve the purpose. By the time you finish collecting competitor prices, the data will be irrelevant. Prices change far more frequently than we could track manually. Another option is building an in-house pricing engine. Since it'll only belong to you, you can customize it according to your needs. The important thing to note here is that the software requires maintenance. You'll devote a lot of time and resources to software development, and the expenses will keep coming up. And finally, you can use pricing SaaS with a monthly fee. Your activity is limited to the standardized service the company offers, but you don't spend hours on software development and maintenance. It's more affordable than maintaining an in-house engine. 4) Make use of predictive analytics Predictive analytics is a technique to predict future outcomes based on historical and real-time customer data. What does it mean for a subscription ecommerce store? You know that customer retention is far more important than customer acquisition. Returning customers account for more than 40% of US revenue even though they make up only 8% of all online visitors. What does it have to do with predictive analytics, or pricing to start with? Costs increase over time. Since you can’t sell at a loss, you have to increase prices. But price increases come at a cost. It’s highly likely that a portion of your customers will leave when faced with a price increase. Before making major changes in your pricing structure, use predictive analytics to determine which customers/segments will likely to churn after an increase. Don’t alienate the most price-sensitive customer segments with an increase. A small profit is way better than no profit. Final Words Subscription ecommerce is gaining popularity among online retailers. To stay ahead of the competition, retailers must utilize the power of pricing. Implement these optimization strategies to gain and maintain a competitive edge: Measure Willingness to Pay and take it into account when pricing Provide multiple products at different price points to target each segment Track competitor prices Make use of predictive analytics And of course, track with accuracy – the data never lies, and tools like Littledata's Shopify app for Google Analytics (or Segment) also help optimize your pricing strategy. With better data, you can price better! This is a guest post by Betül Parlak, Inbound Marketer at Prisync, which helps ecommerce companies increase sales by tracking prices automatically from any marketplace around the world.
Do you need a Google Analytics expert to help with your Shopify data?
At Littledata, we believe Google Analytics (GA) is one of the best free tools out there. Google Analytics is a great platform to access detailed data about your Shopify store’s user behaviour and sales performance. Regardless of your industry, as long as your Shopify store is in business, you need a platform where you can monitor your marketing performance and identify ways to increase your conversions. Google Analytics is the one of the most popular analytics platforms for a few reasons: It’s free. It can show nearly any metric you want to track, straight out of the box. But with a lot of data comes a lot of complexity. Even for experienced analysts, Google Analytics can be a hurdle at times. Your Shopify data needs constant monitoring since it's the single biggest factor in your marketing and sales decisions. And who better to do that than proven Google Analytics consultants! [subscribe] What to expect from a GA expert A Google Analytics expert will (or should) always know what to look for and where to find it, even before opening GA. Why? Because they’ve learned through experience to take the time and think through the data insights merchants need most. [tip]Here's what you should expect from a Google Analytics expert[/tip] On the other hand, if you’re taking the self-learning path and tackling GA by yourself, you’re really trying to achieve two things at the same time: become a web analyst and learn the GA platform. But are either of those time-efficient tasks to help grow your store? Probably not. Here's another thing: while a Google Analytics expert will help you make sense of your Shopify data, it's the digital implementation specialist who ensures you have the right Enhanced Ecommerce Conversion (EEC) data in your GA dashboard in the first place. Whether your EEC tracking will be implemented via GTM or other tools, the end game is the same: Get me the correct data in GA. And for this, Shopify and Shopify Plus stores are in luck — Littledata automates the EEC tracking so you don’t have to. Why get an expert? If Littledata automates tracking, why is it necessary to hire an expert? For things like Day to day checks on basic metrics like revenue and transactions Basic campaign monitoring for Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc. For the most part, you can do these on your own. But a tool like Littledata provides the raw data in Google Analytics for much more granular insights, and that’s where a GA expert will come in handy. Here's an example: With every transaction, Littledata accurately sends to Google Analytics a set of raw properties (e.g. Shopify CustomerID, TransactionID and campaign parameters). For this data, a Google Analytics expert will be able to link the source or campaign path with customerID’s and transactionID’s in a custom report. This custom report will show the true return on ad spend (ROAS) based on different attribution models. Determining which conversions are linked to a first interaction or an assisted interaction will help you measure and optimize your marketing campaigns with more accuracy. [tip]Find out the real ROAS of your Facebook Ads for your Shopify store[/tip] Metrics that matter One of the main metrics marketers want to know is Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) per channel. If you get that right, you’ll know exactly where to increase your marketing spend. And in doing so, you’ll probably acquire more customers for about the same fixed budget. A GA expert will be able to gather your (true) marketing costs from all your marketing campaigns over a given time period, and calculate the amounts by channel. This sounds easy, but things can get a bit more complicated when you're trying to find the CAC based on each attribution model. By now you should know your ROAS and CAC, but what about customer lifetime value (LTV)? In other words, you should know how much $$$ your marketing leads are spending with you, what your acquisition cost is per customer, and where to find the highest converting leads. But do you know how much time they are spending with your brand? Which channels are bringing the stickiest clients? Which channels bring the most repeat purchases (or subscriptions)? LTV is one of the most coveted metrics for ecommerce managers. A GA expert will help you calculate LTV by summing up the gross profit from all historic transactions for each individual customer, then splitting those conversions by channel and calculating the median for each. And if you want things laid out for you in plain english, at Littledata we provide the necessary custom dimensions you need to accurately calculate LTV. So what's the verdict? For Shopify merchants, Littledata is one of the best solutions to ensure reliable data for accurate marketing attribution and buyer behaviour. And since your Shopify store already needs fixing when it comes to data collection, an enterprise plan (with full support and a dedicated team of Google Analytics consultants) just may be an answer to your prayers. With Littledata enterprise, get all the analytics support you’ll ever need, for a fraction of the cost to hire an experienced Google Analytics consultant. Get in touch with our team today to see how an enterprise plan can accelerate your path to scale! 🚀
How Google Analytics dropping Service Provider & Network Domain info affects your Shopify tracking
On February 4th, Google Analytics removed two standard dimensions from reporting – Service Provider and Network Domain – and replaced them with the dreaded (not set) label. Although there’s been cries of anguish from some analytics companies, my view is that Google has sound reasons to remove the dimensions – and there are ways around many of the limitations. Shortly after Google added the above alert to the hover tip within the Google Analytics interface, data in reports stopped reporting the information. Moving forward (and unless Google reverses course on this decision in the coming days), you’re going to start seeing (not set) under the Service Provider and Network Domain dimensions: What are Service Provider and Network Domain? Every time a visitor is tracked on your website, Google captures the IP address in order to geolocate the user (generating Country, State and City dimensions). It also does a reverse DNS lookup to see which networks this IP address is linked with. Service Provider is either the ISP (for a consumer) or the corporate network (for a business internet user). Network Domain is the main domain by which the traffic was routed (e.g. Verizon, Amazon AWS etc.) So why did Google drop them? There’s been no official announcement from Google, but it’s likely to be a combination of three factors. CCPA Storing of any California consumer’s network details is a violation of the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). This is much more specific than previous regulations, and as a California-headquarted company, Google wants to stay safely within the law. [tip]Here's everything Shopify merchants need to know about CCPA compliance[/tip] Fingerprinting Even if the Service Provider itself is not identifiable to any individual, it may well be used to generate a unique fingerprint for an individual user, in combination with other dimensions in Google Analytics (browser version, operating system, screen size, pages visited, etc.). Fingerprinting is user identification by covert means, and as such Google also wants to clamp down on in. Lack of usage In ten years of advising high-growth businesses on Google Analytics setup, I've never seen a good use for these reports. Google tracks what are the most common reports used, and apparently they were already flagged for deprecation based on lack of usage. How the change affects your Shopify tracking Some analytics companies (and agencies) are worried about this change for a few reasons : Reason 1: Service Provider and Network Domain dimensions helped filter out spam and bot traffic, which meant less legwork for those doing the reporting. It was easier to sniff out bounce rates that looked too high (or low) to be "real". Take the screenshot below — which Service Provider do you think is probably legitimate and which one is probably a bot/spam? In short, most analytics companies would say before this change, it was easy to uncover bots/spam, and now it's not. Reason 2: Some larger stores used Server Provider and Network Domain dimensions as a quick & easy way to filter out internal traffic from monthly reports. And unfortunately, this change has killed these dimensions' ability to filter. Reason 3: Companies such as Leadfeeder and Leadberry used the Network Domain, plus a database of which companies and people used that domain, to offer a list of sales leads who visited your site. They can mostly work around the limitations by getting their clients to push another tracking script on the site, and looking up IP address themselves — which is OK, providing your website visitors are aware you are doing this in your terms and conditions. In other words, if you're filtering your GA views by network provider, it's possible you'll see internal traffic in your reporting this month. And it might not be obvious, since it's mixed in with all of your site traffic. That is, unless you look at the GA data with better tracking. How can you work around this? For those that really need the lost dimensions there are two solutions: Use Google Tag Manager and an IP lookup service to pass network onto Google Analytics as a custom dimension. Use the recently launched ipmeta.io service to do this.* What now? For some stores using Google Analytics, this sudden change will go unnoticed and won't really impact reporting. For stores that rely on these dimensions to filter out bots/spam and internal traffic for more accurate reporting, the loss of these dimensions will have somewhat of a negative impact. Of course, we'll continue to monitor these changes (and any other surprises that Google may have in store). Don't pay too much attention to the initial outcry — every change has a solution. Littledata users can rest easy — with our Google Analytics app for Shopify, your tracking won't be impacted by these dimensions. You'll continue to see accurate data for better reporting. 🚀 *The current version of ipmeta.io is free and will remain free. The premium version will add more custom dimensions with data on the company behind the visit (if its not an ISP or spider). For example, adding dimensions such as industry codes, company size, revenue, etc. In comparison to similar services, ipmeta.io will be much (about 10x) more affordable to cater to the SMB segment.
Subscribe to Littledata news
Insights from the experts in ecommerce analytics
Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores
Get a 30-day free trial of Littledata for Google Analytics or SegmentFree Trial