Top 5 ecommerce benchmarks to track during the holidays [free ebook]

Historically, early-through-late December is one of the biggest sales seasons of the year for ecommerce businesses. We recently took a look at some of the more popular ecommerce metrics and created 20+ benchmarks specifically tailored to the current sales season. With our Benchmark your site tool, compare your site's engagement and conversion metrics with over 10,000 other websites this holiday season. To give insight on your product and digital marketing, we gathered the data from Google Analytics from different industry sectors.  So why did we create the benchmarks? Let's take a quick look at last year's holiday sales. Holiday ecommerce sales in 2018 For ease's sake, let's define the holiday shopping period from November through the end of December. Last year, Digital Commerce 360 estimated shoppers spent $122.0 billion with online stores — a massive 17.4% jump from 2017. They also estimated total ecommerce sales grew ~5.6% over the same period, according to their holiday 2018 estimates report. From the same report, ecommerce represented nearly 17% of all holiday spending, up from 15.2% in 2017. Explaining the numbers Over the past decade as online shopping has become more of a preference for consumers (especially when it comes to gift-giving), shoppers have browsed more sites for gift ideas, deals, discounts and more. Shoppers are exercising their options (and taking advantage of stiff seasonal competition between stores), which often leads to increased spending volume across multiple stores — though this may cause stores to see a drop in average order value (AOV)  per customer. Of course, stores tend to also increase their digital marketing spend during hot sales periods and peak shopping seasons, which leads to more online sales. What about this December? This past weekend alone (Black Friday Cyber Monday), Shopify reported record-breaking global sales numbers ~$2.9 billion. On the Shopify network alone — which now boasts over 1 million merchants — merchants across 175+ countries sold $2.9+ billion, up from last year’s $1.8+ billion. While the holiday shopping period (which is underway) does not necessarily stack up to BFCM weekend by sheer sales alone, it's a terrific chance for companies to finish out the year strong or get rid of extra inventory from BFCM. Since December will yield massive sales figures to round out 2019, it's crucial to track the metrics that matter to your store. If you don't know where you stand among the stores you compete with, what's the point? That's why we created a free ebook to help you stack up: Top 5 ecommerce benchmarks to track during the holidays. [subscribe heading="Download the top 5 benchmarks free" background_color="green" button_text="get the ebook" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/app/top-5-holiday-benchmarks"]

by Nico
2019-12-09

4 tips for Shopify Plus merchants selling internationally

Cross-border ecommerce for businesses using Shopify Plus is a simple and effective way to grow your business, boost sales and expand your brand’s global reach. However, a common mistake of many companies is quickly jumping into international ecommerce without taking time to develop a proper strategy for selling internationally (comparing couriers, targeting customers on a local level, etc.).  Fortunately, top solutions like Easyship make cross-border logistics frictionless and simpler, as we partner with Shopify and offer access to a global network of shipping solutions with discounted rates.  Here are 4 tips to help your Shopify Plus business sell internationally in a way that’s smarter and more cost-effective. Use multiple couriers to cut shipping costs In most cases, international shipping is naturally more expensive than domestic shipping.  This means grappling with import taxes, duties, additional paperwork and other expenses that can quickly add up.  Fortunately, there are solutions! To cut shipping costs and better protect your profits, you should always use multiple couriers to find and leverage the best shipping solutions available.  Transparency with taxes and duties at checkout is also important, as they can quickly cut into your profits fast and complicate cross-border transactions for you and your buyers.  Depending on the following factors, courier shipping costs can vary dramatically: the tax and import duty regime of the destination country delivery time and parcel size, weight and dimensions However, by comparing couriers transparently to see which offers the best deal for international shipping, you can lower your shipping costs and boost your bottom line in a simple, effective way. Offer global tracking When it comes to cross-border ecommerce and logistics, gaining customer trust is key.  Because your products are being shipped internationally, the chances of delayed deliveries and potential damage to your shipments admittedly increase. This can cause buyer concern, which is no surprise.  However, you can give your customers peace of mind and earn their trust by offering international parcel tracking.  By leveraging tracking service apps like Aftership, you can effectively track shipments worldwide and relay the information to your customers, building a sense of trust and security as their orders move across country borders. Target shoppers on a local level When you target shoppers with familiar messaging (language, cultural isms, and local advertising) including the use of country-specific stores, you’re drastically increasing your chances for conversion. There are a few simple ways to do this: Create local versions of your online store Redirect your paid advertising channels  Your advertising efforts on Google Ads and Facebook Ads can be redirected to send international shoppers to the specific store version of their country. This means shoppers can browse products and checkout in their native currency, increasing your chances to record a purchase.  Local versions of websites can help make your online store feel more accessible for potential customers depending on their location. Online merchants should always use different URLs for different versions of their site as well as hreflang annotations and sitemaps to mark country-specific pages appropriately.  Language localization is also critical for reaching international shoppers. Be sure your store visitors are able to access multiple languages. This is a feature specific to Shopify Plus.  Airinum, an Easyship client, makes it simple to switch between languages and currencies on their website. Make sure your digital marketing efforts are also localized with language-specific email marketing campaigns and local SEO campaigns. Langify and Yappn Translation System are two viable services to use for effective language translation, though hiring native language writers often worth the added cost to ensure a more accurate translation of your website copy and marketing content. Accept local currency payments Finally, be sure that your online store can accept payments in local currencies.  Forcing shoppers to pay in a currency they’re not familiar with could make them feel uncomfortable, especially when import taxes and duties are involved in conducting cross-border transactions. However, offering local currency payment options can help to build a sense of security and reassurance for international visitors by creating a localized, buyer-friendly user experience. More importantly, it’s an effective way to boost sales. 🚀 As a Shopify Plus user, you can use Shopify's payments feature to make transactions safe and easy. It gets even better — if your store presents prices in multiple currencies, Littledata’s Shopify app is 100% compatible with multi currency. Go global with Shopify Plus International ecommerce may seem complex and intimidating, even for experienced businesses with vast resources.  But by implementing a strategy for cross-border ecommerce — including the use of multiple couriers to cut shipping costs, offering global tracking, targeting customers on a local level and accepting local currency payments — you can better prepare your business for global scale. By focusing on these areas, your business can appeal to shoppers on a hyper-local level while boosting your store revenue through increased sales and lower shipping costs. After all, that’s the key to success in the competitive world of international sales.   This is a guest post by Steve Longo, the Content Writer for Easyship, the leading all-in-one shipping platform trusted by more than 40,000 clients worldwide to lower their shipping costs and break down the barriers of cross-border eCommerce and logistics.

2019-11-26

What you can track with Littledata's Google Analytics app for Shopify

Here at Littledata we believe that everyone should have access to professional-level analytics tools for tracking, reporting, and improving sales and engagement. That's why we built the ultimate Shopify app. Shopify is one of the best ecommerce platforms, but Shopify's native analytics are limited and the platform's standard integration with Google Analytics is incomplete and unreliable. In contrast, our Shopify connection uses a combination of client-side and server-side tracking to ensure 100% accurate data about your Shopify store in Google Analytics. Littledata automatically integrates with Shopify and Shopify Plus sites to capture every customer touchpoint, including sales, marketing and product performance data. Below is a table outlining the differences in tracking. What you can track with the Littledata Shopify app for Google Analytics [subscribe heading="Top Shopify app for Google Analytics" button_text="Learn more" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/shopify"] * Orders can be attributed back to a marketing channel or campaign, and linked to multiple previous visits by the customer using multi-channel attribution in Google Analytics The Littledata app makes all of this remarkably easy. It guides you through the correct Google Analytics setup for your Shopify store, then provides curated reports and analytics to help you make sense of your new stream of reliable data. In addition to 100% accurate sales tracking, Enhanced Ecommerce events and advanced marketing attribution, our Shopify app includes ReCharge integration for subscription analytics. After all, how can you grow a business unless you understand what share of your sales comes from repeat buying versus new customers? You don't have to be a Google Analytics expert to use Littledata's Shopify app. In fact, the app works best for product and marketing teams that are eager to learn about the big power of little data. We simplify the setup process and streamline the reporting process. It's that simple. Try it today for free in the reporting section of the Shopify App Store and see for yourself!

2019-11-26

9 ecommerce benchmarks to track during Black Friday Cyber Monday

With #BFCM (Black Friday Cyber Monday) just a week away, we wanted to share recent data findings that should help you stay on track with your weekend sales goals. Whether you run your store on Shopify, Shopify Plus, Magento, BigCommerce or another platform, the following ecommerce performance metrics are prevalent to your store. From top-of-funnel shopper behavior to conversions and everything in between, know where you stand before the year's biggest sales weekend hits: Shopper behavior benchmarks Average add to cart rate Littledata surveyed 564 stores in October 2019 and found the average add-to-cart rate was 5.2%. What is a good add to cart rate? Anything more than 9.0% would put you in the best 20% of stores we benchmark for add-to-cart rate, and more than 12.4% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor add to cart rate? Add-to-cart rate of less than 2.3% would put you in the worst 20% of stores, and less than 1.7% would put you in the worst-performing stores. How to optimize / Things to consider If your site is above 9.0%, you have an above average proportion of users adding products to their cart. If they are not following through with checkout, could they be checking prices or delivery options on other sites? To sell more, you must first boost the number of browsers considering purchasing. Reevaluate some of the more common problem areas: Pricing Images User reviews Delivery options Checkout completion rate Checkout completion rate is essentially the inverse (opposite) of add to cart rate, as it measures how many checkouts actually went through and were recorded as successful sales. Littledata surveyed 543 stores in October 2019 and found the average checkout completion rate was 45.2%. What is a good checkout completion rate? Anything more than 63.1% would put you in the best 20% of stores we benchmark for checkout completion rate, and more than 71.3% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor checkout completion rate? Checkout completion rate (all devices) of less than 27.3% would put you in the worst 20% of stores, and less than 21.9% would put you in the worst-performing stores. Desktop vs. mobile If your site has a checkout completion rate (desktop) of between 34.1% and 66.1%, then you are average compared with this benchmark. With less than 25.9%, your store is definitely underperforming. For mobile, a rate between 23.9% and 57.5% is average, while any rate under 18.3% is underperforming. How to optimize / Things to consider If your checkout completion rate is hovering somewhere above 63.1%, you can focus more on  increasing adds-to-cart. On the other hand, losing customers at the last hurdle is costly for your store. If you find your store below 27.3%, look in detail at payment options, delivery options and usability to ensure customers in all countries can complete the process. [subscribe] Ecommerce conversion rate benchmarks Average mobile conversion rate Littledata surveyed 1,107 stores in October 2019 and found the average mobile conversion rate was 0.9%. What is a good mobile conversion rate? Anything more than 2.2% would put you in the best 20% of stores we benchmark for mobile conversion rate, and more than 3.3% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor mobile conversion rate? Mobile ecommerce conversion rate of less than 0.3% would put you in the worst 20% of stores, and less than 0.1% would put you in the worst-performing stores. How to optimize / Things to consider If your store's mobile conversion rate is already above 2.2%, trying to improve conversions beyond this rate may yield diminishing returns. If your current rate is lower than you'd like (whether before or after Black Friday sales), consider: Increase the conversion rate with more attractive product pages and product images Improve your checkout process and checkout flow Install Enhanced Ecommerce tracking to identify exactly where your blockers lie Average desktop conversion rate Littledata surveyed 1,095 stores in October 2019 and found the average desktop conversion rate was 2.0%. What is a good desktop conversion rate? Anything more than 4.8% would put you in the best 20% of stores we benchmark for desktop conversion rate, and more than 7.1% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor desktop conversion rate? Desktop ecommerce conversion rate of less than 0.8% would put you in the worst 20% of stores, and less than 0.3% would put you in the worst-performing stores. How to optimize / Things to consider Similar to mobile conversions above, trying to improve conversions beyond a rate of 2.0% may yield diminishing returns. However, the same tips above for mobile also apply to desktop conversation rate optimization, including installing Enhanced Ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics. Average revenue per customer Littledata surveyed 1,087 stores in October 2019 and found the average revenue per customer was $98 (USD). What is a good revenue per customer? Anything more than US$ 252 would put you in the best 20% of stores we benchmark for revenue per customer, and more than US$ 558 would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor revenue per customer? Revenue per customer of less than US$ 49 would put you in the worst 20% of stores, and less than US$ 36 would put you in the worst-performing stores. How to optimize / Things to consider If you're averaging more than $252 (USD) revenue per customer, your product price may be high. This does not necessarily skew the data, but is probably the reason you're in the top 20% of stores for this metric. On the other hand, if you find yourself making less than $49 (USD) per customer, consider doing the following: Increase the average checkout value by cross-selling other products? Offer free shipping above a minimum threshold Increase pricing on selected products Add and manage post checkout upsells through popular apps like CartHook [note]If you're looking to optimize your post checkout experience, our new and improved CartHook connection accurately segments your sales by source, medium and affiliation with 100% accuracy. 🚀[/note] Marketing campaign benchmarks Average bounce rate from email campaigns Littledata surveyed 2,110 sites in October 2019 and found the average bounce rate from all email campaigns was 44.9%. What is a good email campaign bounce rate? Anything less than 30.3% would put you in the best 20% of sites we benchmark for bounce rate from all email campaigns, and less than 22.2% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor email campaign bounce rate? Bounce rate from all email campaigns of more than 60.5% would put you in the worst 20% of sites, and more than 69.4% would put you in the worst-performing sites. Desktop vs. mobile If your site has a bounce rate from email campaigns (desktop) between 55.5% and 25.5%, you're within the industry average. If your campaign bounce rate is above 66%, your campaigns are underperforming. On the other hand, if your campaigns on mobile are experiencing bounce rates between 63.5% and 36.2%, you're in the middle of the pack. Any bounce rate over 72% is underperforming for this benchmark. How to optimize / Things to consider If your campaign bounce rate is under 30%, chances are you either you have a highly engaged email list, or your messages and landing pages are well-designed and written; your visitors are sticking around! If your bounce rate is worse than 60.5%, your emails may be driving traffic, but quality of traffic is far more important than quantity of traffic. If you're not driving high-potential buyers through your campaigns and to your product pages, you're not giving yourself the best chance at a conversion. Average bounce rate from Google Ads Littledata surveyed 1,351 sites in October 2019 and found the average bounce rate from Adwords on desktop device was 39.7%. What is a good Google Ads bounce rate? Anything less than 22.8% would put you in the best 20% of sites we benchmark for bounce rate from Adwords on desktop device, and less than 15.8% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor Google Ads bounce rate? Bounce rate from Adwords on desktop device of more than 60.6% would put you in the worst 20% of sites, and more than 70.0% would put you in the worst-performing sites. How to optimize / Things to consider If your site's desktop bounce rate is sitting below 23%, a solid portion of your Google Ads traffic are engaging on your landing pages (which means your chances for conversion increase). However, if your Google Ads bounce rate is above 60%, there are a few things to focus on: Improve the first impressions of your landing pages (copy, product listings, images, etc.) Move key content higher up the page Increase the page load speed [note]With a smart analytics audit from Littledata, you can see where you stand with key performance metrics like page load speed.[/note] Average referral rate from Facebook By 'referral rate from Facebook', we're referring to a certain volume of traffic, either from Facebook's website or tagged with Facebook (Facebook is now the second biggest referrer after Google). Littledata surveyed 2,035 sites in October 2019 and found the average referral rate from Facebook was 2.9%. What is a good referral rate from Facebook? Anything more than 9.0% would put you in the best 20% of sites we benchmark for referrals from Facebook, and more than 20.1% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor referral rate from Facebook? Referrals from Facebook of less than 1.4% would put you in the worst 20% of sites, and less than 1.2% would put you in the worst-performing sites. How to optimize / Things to consider If your Facebook referral rate is above 9%, you may have an underestimated figure. Unfortunately, Google Analytics tracks untagged Facebook app traffic as "Direct". Luckily, our Shopify app fixes this problem by properly attributing marketing traffic and conversions so you exactly which channels are working for your store. On the other hand, if your referral rate is less than 1.4%, consider your ad spend on Facebook: is it targeted at the right type of shopper? Are you utilizing retargeting to bring visitors back to your site? Average referrals from Twitter Littledata surveyed 189 sites in October 2019 and found the average referral rate from Twitter was 2.0%. What is a good referral rate from Twitter? Anything more than 4.1% would put you in the best 20% of sites we benchmark for referrals from Twitter, and more than 7.8% would put you in the best 10%. What is a poor referral rate from Twitter? Referrals from Twitter of less than 1.3% would put you in the worst 20% of sites, and less than 1.2% would put you in the worst-performing sites. How to optimize / Things to consider If your referral rate is less than 1.3%, go back to social marketing basics: are you targeting the right audience? Are you utilizing retargeting or perhaps lookalike audiences? Twitter targeting is slightly more precise than Facebook (since you can target specific keywords, keyword groups or actual account followers). During #BFCM, don't just take these benchmarks as arbitrary numbers — treat them as goals! Just a week from the chaos, remember to track your progress closely. You can even try Littledata free for 14 days to test its powerful tracking fixes during even the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

by Nico
2019-11-22

How to set up cross-domain tracking in Google Analytics

Cross-domain tracking makes it possible for Google Analytics to track sessions on two related sites (e.g. an ecommerce site and a separate shopping cart site) as one single session. This is also known as site linking. In other words, with cross-domain tracking, you can see a user in a single Google Analytics account throughout their journey across multiple domains you control (e.g. mysite.com and myshoppingcart.com). It’s a seamless shopping and checkout experience for your online shoppers, so shouldn’t you track it seamlessly? Why you need to set up cross-domain tracking Here’s what it looks like with a standard configuration of the Google Analytics script on your site:  Every time a user loads a page on a different domain, a new session is generated even if the branding looks seamless to the user and the previous session has ended.  Even if the customer is still active and continues to generate events and page views on the other domain, the sessions are still interrupted.  Until you implement the cross domain tracking on your site, you won’t have an accurate customer journey. For example, let’s take a standard website, www.siteA.com, and its blog, www.blogB.com. To track sessions, Google Analytics collects a Client ID value at every hit. Client ID values are stored in 1st party cookies, and these cookies are only available to web pages on the same domain.  When tracking sessions across multiple domains, the Client ID value has to be transferred from one domain to the other. To do this, the Google Analytics tracking code has linking features that allow the source domain to place the Client ID in the link URL, where the destination domain can access it.  First, the source domain needs to ensure all URLs pointing to the destination domain contain the Client ID of the source domain. Second, the destination domain needs to know to check for the presence of a Client ID in the URL once a user navigates there. If you're using gtag.js, cross domain tracking can be done by adding a linker parameter containing the Client ID (as well as the current timestamp and browser metadata encoded within it) to URLs pointing to the destination domain.  When a value is configured for the domains property of the linker parameter, gtag.js will check for linker parameters in the URL. If the linker parameter is found and is valid, gtag.js extracts the client ID from the parameter and stores it. By enabling cross domain tracking with gtag.js, you have the option to add the linker parameters either automatically or manually to URLs in links and forms on the page. Setting up cross-domain tracking by modifying the tracking code To set up cross domain tracking for multiple top-level domains, you need to modify the Google Analytics tracking code on each domain. You should also have basic HTML and JavaScript knowledge (or work with a developer) to set up cross domain tracking. The examples in this article use the Global Site Tag (gtag.js) framework. To get started, within the source domain you’ll need to configure the Domains property of the Linker parameter in your property's config for URLs pointing to the destination domain.  After that, gtag.js will listen for selections on links that point to the destination domain(s), and it will automatically add the linker parameter to those links before the navigation starts. You can also set the optional decorate_forms property of the linker parameter to true if you have forms on your site pointing to the destination domain. For example, this code will append the linker parameter to any links on the page that point to the target domain 'siteA.com': [dm_code_snippet background="yes" background-mobile="yes" bg-color="#0fa69d" theme="dark" language="javascript" wrapped="no"] gtag('config', 'GA_Property_ID', {   'linker': {     'domains': ['siteA.com']   } }); [/dm_code_snippet] If the destination domain is not configured to automatically link domains, you can instruct the destination page to look for linker parameters by setting the accept_incoming property of the linker parameter to true on the destination property's config: [dm_code_snippet background="yes" background-mobile="yes" bg-color="#0fa69d" theme="dark" language="javascript" wrapped="no"] gtag('config', 'GA_Property_ID', {   'linker': {     'accept_incoming': true   } }); [/dm_code_snippet] Bear in mind, there are sometimes cases where it is unclear which domain your users will see fist.  In such cases, there is also the option to implement "bi-directional cross domain tracking". With this config, each domain is configured to work as either the source or the destination.  To implement bi-directional cross-domain measurement, enable auto linking on both domains and configure them both to accept linker parameters and automatically link domains. To keep the same code snippet on every domain, you can add all possible domains you want to track in the domains property of the linker parameter. [dm_code_snippet background="yes" background-mobile="yes" bg-color="#0fa69d" theme="dark" language="javascript" wrapped="no"] gtag('config', 'GA_Property_ID', {   'linker': {     'domains': ['example-1.com', 'example-2.com']   } }); [/dm_code_snippet] Setting up cross-domain tracking with Littledata's Shopify app If you use Shopify or Shopify Plus and have already installed one of Littledata's Shopify apps to fix your analytics tracking, then the cross-domain linker implementation will be even easier. We offer versions for Google Analytics and Segment, but they work in basically the same way. When you install Littledata, the app replaces Shopify's integration with Google Analytics with its own improved tracking script (LittledataLayer). This script contains the extraLinkerDomains property where you can add extra sites for domain linking, keeping everything very robust: [dm_code_snippet background="yes" background-mobile="yes" bg-color="#0fa69d" theme="dark" language="javascript" wrapped="no"] LittledataLayer = { transactionWatcherURL: 'https://transactions.littledata.io', referralExclusion: /(paypal|visa|MasterCard|clicksafe|arcot\.com|geschuetzteinkaufen|checkout\.shopify\.com|checkout\.rechargeapps\.com|portal\.afterpay\.com|payfort)/, googleSignals: true, anonymizeIp: true, productClicks: true, extraLinkerDomains: ["domain1.com", "domain2.com"], persistentUserId: true, googleAdsConversionIds: ['AW-12345'], hideBranding: false, ecommerce: { currencyCode: '{{shop.currency}}', impressions: [] } }; [/dm_code_snippet] How to test your cross-domain tracking setup One of the easiest ways to test if the new cross-domain tracking is set up properly, is to check if the same client ID (cid) is tracked on all available page sessions using Tag Assistant Recordings.   Get help from Littledata enterprise If you’re an enterprise customer, just ask your account manager to help add the secondary domains and audit your set up. This is the easiest way to do it and one of the time-saving benefits enterprise customers enjoy.  Using filters to report on cross-domain tracking By default, Google Analytics only includes the page path and page title in page reports - not the domains name. For example, you might see one page appear in the Site Content report like this: /contactUs.html Because the domain names aren’t listed, it might be hard to tell whether this is www.siteA.com/contactUs.html or www.blogB.com/contactUs.html. To get the domain names to appear in your reports you need to do two things: Create a copy of your reporting view that includes data from all your domains in it Add an advanced filter to that new view. The filter will tell Google Analytics to display domain names in your reports. Follow this example to set up a view filter that displays domain names in your reports when you have cross-domain tracking set up. For some fields, you need to select an item from the dropdown menu. For others, you need to input the characters here: Filter Type: Custom filter > Advanced Field A: Hostname Extract A: (.*) Field B: Request URI Extract: (.*) Output To: Request URI Constructor: $A1$B1 Click Save to create the filter. You can validate that filters are working as you expect using Google Tag Assistant Recordings. Tag Assistant Recordings can show you exactly how your filters change your traffic. In your Google Analytics reports, you should start seeing the domain names populated alongside the page path.  Want to double check to ensure it's working? When you sign up for a trial, you can check your full setup with our  smart analytics audit. Get started today with a 14-day free trial! [subscribe heading="Get my smart analytics audit" background_color="green" button_text="audit my site" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/features/audit"]

2019-11-19

5 things every Shopify merchant needs to know about customer retention

Every brand using Shopify needs to focus on customer retention if they want to thrive, not survive, long-term.  It’s not enough to only acquire customers or simply engage with customers.  Without retention marketing strategies to turn one-time shoppers into loyal, repeat customers, you’re missing out on the most valuable customers your Shopify business could have. Here’s why: Retained customers have a higher AOV It’s no secret: customers that spend more are better for your business. But did you know that with every purchase they make, your most loyal customers spend more each time? Research by RJ Metrics showed that of your loyal customers, your top 10% spend over 3 times more per order than the bottom 90% of your business. If that seems crazy, this is even crazier: your top 1% loyal spenders spend 5x more than your bottom 99%. Your most loyal and retained customers don’t just love you, they love buying from you! Retained customers are more likely to convert So if your repeat Shopify customers make more valuable purchases, it probably takes more effort on your end to make those more valuable purchases, right? Wrong! With customer retention strategies in place, your retained customers are actually more likely to convert than first time buyers.  To accurately track both first time purchases and repeat purchases (and all the events that lead up to the purchase), Littledata's ReCharge connection is the perfect integration for Shopify stores, particularly subscription stores. [subscribe] Customers that have purchased from you only two times previously arenine times more likely to convert when they land on your store. Even if you’re operating with a small average order value (AOV), you can make huge strides with your bottom line with the right retention strategies in place. Repeat customers have already been through your customer journey (i.e. from discovery through consideration through purchase and post checkout). This means they know and understand your total brand experience.  If you’ve done your part to make the customer experience exceptional, customers will be more motivated to add more products to their carts in the future (and re-live their positive shopping experience from before). Retained customers can’t help but talk about your brand Your user-generated content and other social proof can have a profound and lasting impact on your Shopify store’s traffic, conversion rates, and profits.  Customers that share their purchases and leave reviews will influence the buying habits of everyone who sees the content they create.  The more often customers shop with you, the more likely they are to refer their friends to a store, and with the power of a referral program, you can help motivate your most loyal brand advocates to spread the word about your products. By giving both types of advocates a reward for referring (and giving their friends a reward for accepting the referral) you turn your brand advocates into a self-powered marketing machine that churns out more loyal and retained customers exponentially. Win-win. Retained customers come back during your most profitable seasons As soon as BFCM campaigns come to a stop and the ROI is being analyzed, many Shopify businesses (particularly Shopify Plus stores) already begin planning for next year.  For your repeat customers, you never have to wonder if they’re going to come back during your busiest sales season. While most shoppers will spend an extra 17% more during the holiday season, your retained customers will spend 25% more all on their own!  While you might want to make sure you’re making the most of Black Friday Cyber Monday, your efforts should be focused on your top customers and making sure they remember that buying from your store is a top option.  Retained customers are more likely to return At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that retained customers are more likely to convert. However, before they convert, they have to first find their way back to your store.  Luckily, the odds of a customer making a purchase gets better and better with each sequential purchase they make.  After one sale, a customer has a 27% chance of converting again, but after a second and third sale, their chances increase to a staggering 54% chance of returning.  Tracking customer retention is...simple? Tracking customer retention may seem like a daunting and time-intensive task. Luckily, many of the key metrics that measure ecommerce success and retention are things you’re already keeping an eye on. No matter how intensely you focus on retention, perhaps the two most important metrics to track are:  Repeat purchase rate (RPR) - the percentage of your current customer base that has purchased for a second time. This metric is a solid indicator of the value you’re providing to your customers. Average order value (AOV) - the average dollar amount spent each time a customer places an order on your store. To calculate AOV, simply divide total revenue by a given number of orders. As your customers become more engaged with your brand and move from being simply acquired to retained, these metrics should give you a square idea of the affect more retained customers are having on your bottom line (and your customer lifetime value).  Two other significant metrics are referral traffic and customer churn rates.  Referral traffic - this is easy to see with a Google Analytics integration and easy-to-use loyalty and retention software. Referral traffic will help you know whether you need to hone your referral messaging or change the value of a referral offer. Churn rate - for subscription stores especially, Shopify merchants live and die by churn. This is the rate at which customers stop subscribing to your store (aka the rate of “come and go”). Churn is the flip side of your repeat purchase rate since it tells you how many of your customers shopped with you once but didn’t bother coming back. Knowing this number will help you accurately measure the success of your combined retention strategies. Retained customers are your best customers Even after landing sales, your work isn’t done. The more time and effort you invest in engaging with your existing customer base and motivating them to be loyal to your store, the easier it will be to bring them back and push them to make a repeat purchase.  Start building the brand loyalty that will make your Shopify store a success story.    This is a guest post by Tim Peckover, the Growth and Content Marketer at Smile.io who lives for a good book, strong cup of coffee, and building community. Smile.io provides easy-to-use loyalty programs to help businesses transform one-time sales into repeat, loyal customers. 

2019-11-14

Black Friday discounting increases next season’s purchasing

Black Friday Cyber Monday appears to be big business for ecommerce merchants. But what happens after the promotions? I knew Black Friday had reached ‘late adopter’ stage when a company I’d bought fencing panels from – fencing panels – emailed me their holiday season promotions. But the real question is this: will all these promotions actually drive customer loyalty, or only attract bargain hunters? Looking at the data At Littledata, we looked at aggregate data from 143 retailers who participated most in 2016 Black Friday, versus 143 retailers who did not. For the first 23 days of November 2017 – before Black Friday – the median year-on-year increase in sales was 13% for those pushing discounts the previous year, versus only 1% growth for those avoiding Black Friday discounting *. Our conclusion is that retailers who discounted most heavily on Black Friday 2016 saw a lasting benefit in extra sales a year after the sales period. However, we don’t know whether these extra sales were profitable enough to pay for the seasonal promotions. Another possible explanation is that higher-growth retailers are more active in marketing Black Friday, but in either event the discount season has done them no harm over the following year. Looking at 2016, it seems Black Friday was bigger than the year before for our cohort of 270 UK retailers – but at the expense of sales later in the season. Yet in the UK, we are not close to US levels of hysteria yet, where a much greater proportion of the last quarter’s sales are done on that weekend. What sectors does Black Friday affect? The other interesting question is what sectors does Black Friday affect? It may be a surprise that the biggest boost of over 100% average increase in sales comes for Health & Beauty stores, whereas technology and computer stores saw an average boost of 40% for the week. The graph below shows the difference with the average sales volumes in November & December 2016, by sector, for 3 selected weeks: Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised by those fencing panels: business and industrial sites saw a big boost too! Interested in tracking online sales activity for your own site this holiday shopping season? Littledata's ecommerce analytics software provides accurate data and automated reporting to help you track promotions and drive conversions and customer loyalty. [subscribe] *The statistical detail I took a group of 573 retailers we have tracked for at least 2 years, and looked at the ratio of Black Friday weekend sales (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday) to the 2 month average for November and December. Those in the top quartile (trading 2.6 times above average during the Black Friday season) were deemed to have participated; those in the bottom quartile, showing a dip in trading over that weekend were deemed not to have participated. I then looked at the year-on-year growth in revenue between November 2016 (first 23 days) and the same period in November 2017, for the discount versus non-discount group. A t-test between the groups found an 18% probability that the two groups had the same mean, not allowing us to dismiss the null hypothesis. [note]This Black Friday ecommerce strategy post was originally published in November 2017 but has since been updated.[/note]

2019-11-11

Shopify analytics vs Google Analytics: which offers better ecommerce data?

If your Shopify store is starting to pick up traction, you've probably wondered if you're better off using Shopify's native analytics platform or Google Analytics, the household name for cross-industry reporting. Truth is, both Shopify analytics and Google Analytics offer unique benefits and features of their own. The difference, however, is that one of them is inherently incomplete, leaving Shopify merchants without valuable insights to make well-informed decisions for their store. So, which of them is incomplete? Let's dive in. Shopify tracking Shopify's analytics dashboard (available to both basic Shopify stores and Shopify Plus stores) provides a birds-eye view of the "big ticket" metrics, including average order value (AOV), conversion rate, sessions by location, sessions by traffic source, etc. With Shopify analytics, merchants can do the following: check and compare the value of recent sales by time period compare sales channels by performance track average order value identify store visitors by source (social media channel, location, etc.) monitor shopper trends over time Break in the system However, Shopify analytics offers an incomplete and inaccurate view for merchants, including key metrics like average order value and customer lifetime value (LTV). How do we know this? Take an example from earlier this year, when our team analyzeddata from 10 Shopify Plus customers to see whether the sales by traffic source report within Shopify analytics could be trusted. [subscribe] Turns out, the sales by traffic source report was broken. Looking at 180,000 orders for 10 stores in Q4 2018, here are the marketing channels which Shopify Analytics says brought the traffic: Direct 83.5% Social 9% Search 4.5% Unknown (other websites, not social or search) 3% Email ~0.1% Clearly, the Direct channel traffic seems high — what channels was Shopify grouping under Direct? As you can see below, Shopify's data is all wrong. Here’s a comparison of Shopify’s attribution to Google Analytics last-click attribution of sales for one of these customers: Unfortunately for merchants primarily using Shopify analytics, the proof is in the pudding. Shopify users have frequently shown doubts as well — when we googled the keyword shopify analytics, the first Google-generated FAQ was is Shopify Analytics accurate? So is Google Analytics any more reliable for Shopify merchants? Google Analytics tracking With Google Analytics, merchants can do the following: Track number of sessions/purchases AND unique sessions/purchases Calculate accurate customer lifetime value (LTV) Dive deeper with acquisition reports — analyze campaign performance, referrals, etc. Segment by user type to evaluate your visitors (and potential ROI of retargeting them) Run conversion rate optimization (CRO) tests Analyze checkout funnel drop-offs Track which landing pages generate the most revenue Monitor your target keywords and optimize your store messaging accordingly Use custom segments to see the difference in revenue between search terms The list goes on. But beyond tracking site visitors, sessions, and other customer behavior on your store, Google Analytics provides a more complete picture of store performance within a more robust dashboard. Out with the old Without Enhanced Ecommerce reporting, GA still offers a somewhat limited view of shopper behavior. The EE plugin provides useful data about customer behavior before a purchase is made, giving you a better picture of the buying journey for your customers. Every stage is tracked — from research to consideration to purchase and even refunds. Enhanced Ecommerce does a little bit of everything: Customer behavior before, during, and after a purchase Detailed reports on: Average order value Add to carts Average order size Affiliate data records (number of transactions, affiliate revenue, etc.) Cart abandonment Track customer turnover — at what stage of the funnel are they walking away? Shopper engagement, including product views and purchases Coupon and discount reporting Even with EE, Google Analytics isn't a perfect platform. There is a problem with the reliability of transaction volumes within GA (luckily, this can be fixed with Littledata's Shopify app). But using Shopify’s reports alone to guide your marketing is ignoring the power that has led Google Analytics to be used by over 80% of large retailers. [note] See 4 reasons why you need Google Analytics for your Shopify store.[/note] GA's Enhanced Ecommerce plugin also offers a big step up from Shopify's basic reporting: Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce If you're a Shopify merchant using Google Analytics (either as your main reporting tool or in conjunction with Shopify analytics), make sure you enable Enhanced Ecommerce (EE) reporting on your GA dashboard, if you haven't already done so. [note] Learn more about EE reports and how to set them up here.[/note] EE offers Shopify merchants a gold mine of additional data. But while GA users have EE reporting functionalities by default, the biggest difference is that Shopify's tracker (in this case) does not accurately populate all the reports available with EE enabled. Bridging the data gap Littledata's solution comes packaged in a top-rated Shopify app, where you can get a complete picture of your Shopify store performance, all within the familiar Google Analytics dashboard. With the app, you won't have to worry about switching back and forth between reporting tools or crossing your fingers in hopes that the data you're seeing is accurate. The app offers 100% accurate data from every event (including page views, add to carts, purchases and refunds) that takes place in your Shopify store at every step of the customer journey. It also guarantees pinpointed marketing attribution, so you can track where your customers are coming from and exactly how they arrived at your store. Consider your tracking accurate and automated from here on out! [subscribe] A better question to ask While Shopify’s dashboards give you a simple, daily overview of sales and product data, if you're spending at least a few hundred dollars per month on online advertising or investing in SEO, you need a more robust way to measure success. So, Shopify analytics vs Google Analytics might be the common search query, but here's a better one: how do I ensure my Shopify tracking is accurate? For that, it's Littledata to the rescue. Shopify Plus users should stay tuned for Part 2: Do I need a Shopify Plus expert to help with Google Analytics?

by Nico
2019-11-05

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