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': gtag('config', 'GA_Property_ID', {   'linker': {     'domains': ['siteA.com']   } }); 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: gtag('config', 'GA_Property_ID', {   'linker': {     'accept_incoming': true   } }); 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. gtag('config', 'GA_Property_ID', {   'linker': {     'domains': ['example-1.com', 'example-2.com']   } }); 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: LittledataLayer = { transactionWatcherURL: 'https://transactions.littledata.io', referralExclusion: /true/, googleSignals: true, anonymizeIp: true, productClicks: true, extraLinkerdomains: ["domain1.com", "domain2.com"] persistentUserId: true, hideBranding: false, ecommerce: { currencyCode: '{{shop.currency}}', impressions: [ ] } }; 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

My ReCharge talk: which marketing channels bring you profitable customers?

This past September, our team attended #ChargeX in LA, an annual conference for the Shopify ReCharge community. There were agencies, app developers, and a ton of Shopify Plus stores using ReCharge to power their subscription ecommerce. Day 1 of the conference was mainly focused on partner agencies looking to build off the ReCharge platform, while day 2 was designed for Shopify merchant success. We saw plenty of familiar names and faces, but perhaps the highlight of the weekend was sharing my talk which orbited around lifetime value: which marketing channels bring you profitable customers? Check out my full talk below. If you have questions, be sure to get in touch with support or our team of Google Analytics experts. If you have questions about our advanced Google Analytics connection for ReCharge stores, we're here to answer those too. Enjoy the talk! https://youtu.be/ubFDTY1M6HU Main points How agencies can measure which marketing channels bring in the most profitable customers Current fragmentation for marketing attribution – customer purchase data and browsing data in seperate silos Overview of the many channels that all funnel into calculating lifetime value from pre-checkout through subscription renewal How to predict which visitors will be high value, and experiment with what content you push to them Three levers that impact Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

2019-10-30

Top 6 coffee brands using ReCharge for Shopify

In a recent post, we discussed the top four benefits of a Shopify ReCharge connection. As mentioned in that post, ReCharge helps Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants sell subscriptions easily and smoothly. When you connect ReCharge to your store (it works for both Shopify and Shopify Plus), 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? The ReCharge and Shopify APIs allow ecommerce managers and developers 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] For Shopify Plus merchants, ReCharge also has full compatibility with top-rated apps like Klaviyo and Smile.io. However, without hiring expensive Google Analytics consultants, ReCharge customers don't have a way to get full lifetime value reporting for ecommerce subscribers — until recently. [subscribe heading="Get Littledata's ReCharge connection for Shopify" background_color="green" button_text="get the connection" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/connections/recharge"] Using Google Analytics to sell more subscriptions From first-time transactions and repeat orders to marketing campaigns at every stage of the funnel, Littledata's advanced Google Analytics integration for ReCharge merchants lets you capture the entire subscriber journey and segment first-time from recurring purchases. Littledata connects your Shopify store and ReCharge data automatically, so data from every step your customers take is reeled into Google Analytics: There's a reason ReCharge is a highly-rated tool for Shopify merchants — it really works! One of the newer industries where subscriptions have quickly become popular is coffee. Below, check out 6 coffee subscription brands that currently use both Shopify and ReCharge for ecommerce success. 1. Groundwork Coffee A Littledata customer, Groundwork Coffee is an organic coffee roaster based in Venice Beach, CA. For over 30 years, Groundwork has valued local community impact and pushed global, responsible coffee sourcing through its popular cafés and online store. While Groundwork sources from nearly every major growing region in the world, the roaster's mission is to "ensure that none of those offerings come at the expense of the farmers who brought them to market." 2. Dripkit Dripkit sells coffee beans, coffee gear and gift sets online through its popular Shopify store. One of the better known "gear brands" in the industry, Dripkit partners with esteemed roasters to pair their top roasts with Dripkit's single-serve pour-over. Take barista-quality coffee on your morning commute to work, enjoy it at home, or even take it on a camping trip! Dripkit also offers a coffee quiz to help first-time customers and new coffee drinkers narrow down their choices. 3. La Colombe La Colombe is a large roaster and wholesale coffee brand originally based in Philadelphia, PA with locations throughout the US. La Colombe offers online brew guides, a popular coffee subscription and a signature canned draft latte that can be found in grocery stores like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Publix. 4. VitaCup A Littledata customer, VitaCup offers infused coffee and tea with vitamins and superfoods. From coffee grounds and espresso pods to tea bags and quick caffeine shots, VitaCup has a wide product selection for coffee consumers of all kinds. 5. Heart Coffee Roasters Heart Coffee Roasters is perhaps Portland's biggest household name among coffee connoisseurs. Known for its high-rated coffee and premium coffee products, Heart's impact stretches far beyond its three physical locations. Heart has a popular coffee subscription where customers can enjoy a new bag of beans every one, two or four weeks. 6. Brio Coffeeworks  Brio Coffeeworks is a specialty roaster, retail boutique and espresso bar located within the Southend Arts District of Burlington, VT. Brio sells a variety of blends, decaf and single origin coffee from across Africa and Central America. Brio also sells apparel, coffee gear and even educational books for those new to the coffee world.

by Nico
2019-10-29

Optimizing Littledata's enterprise plans for Shopify Plus

Here 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. The most successful Shopify Plus stores are using Google Analytics as the single source of truth, so we've built out connections to solve their Shopify analytics issues with tremendous attention to detail. But when it comes to extra support, there's a lot more involved. Since launching our first Shopify app in 2017, we've grown both our feature set and our enterprise plans to make it easy for Plus stores to make data-driven decisions around online sales and marketing, from major marketing channels like Facebook Ads to product mixes, custom checkout flows and multi-currency payment options. The path hasn't been short or straight. Here's how it all started, and where we are now. Shopify's growth Shopify is growing fast with no signs of slowing down (the stock price might level off, but growth remains strong). This year, significantly, Shopify's market cap surpassed eBay's and, as we noted at Shopify Unite, the annual developer conference in Toronto, the company will be pumping over a billion dollars into developing their own fulfillment network to help SMBs take aim at Amazon. It's not that Shopify is the only solution out there. There actually are viable competitors for DTC brands in certain niches -- BigCommerce, Spree Commerce, and Magento come to mind -- but I'll save those thoughts for a longer article on the state ecommerce platforms globally, including 'headless' APIs and open source solutions. As Shopify Plus has become the most recognized solution, larger brands are realizing that plug-and-play doesn't mean too-many-limitations, or at least that those limitations are changing. Larger brands -- especially when managed by ecommerce veterans who've had to maintain, not just build, an ecommerce solution by hand in the past -- are seeing the inherent limitations to the slickest UI and building blocks on the market, as a blessing not a curse. Shopify Plus now clearly excels at: Usability. Shopify Plus makes it easy for merchants to create slick, responsive sites. It's been that way from the beginning, but as the capabilities have expanded, that usability has become a key value prop for larger brands. Multi-currency sales tools. It's now easy to sell in multiple currencies with multiple 'stores' or Shopify Plus instances. Selling in US dollars but want to launch a new brand experience in France or Japan? Shopify Plus makes this relatively painless with Shopify Pay. Everything Instagram. While larger brands rely on a variety of social networks for sales and marketing, Instagram has quickly risen to the top. Shopify has made it easy to integrate Instagram into your shopping experience and make any Instagram post or story a shopping experience. Customizable without being easily breakable. Thanks to Shopify Scripts, available only to Plus stores, and (an increasing number of) ecommerce APIs, Shopify Plus is now an excellent option for customization that doesn't require a team of developers to build or maintain.  A vibrant app ecosystem. The Shopify app store is an industry-leading approach to solutions built in response to real merchant needs. This allows for a thriving community around what Paul Rogers calls the 'app' approach, where the core of the platform is "managed" by Shopify and set in stone, so you can build flexible customer experiences on top of it. Automation. With Shopify Flow connectors, it's easy to build automations (when this happens, trigger this other thing). Name recognition. Let's face it. Name recognition is something that's often overlooked in industry analysis about the growth and churn for ecommerce platforms, but it's no small feat. Top agencies are finding that even if they try to recommend a different platform to a merchant, it can be an uphill battle. But there's also a consistent problem: questionable analytics. Shopify Plus stores often find out even after a much faster launch process than they might have found with a different platform, and a seamless design experience, their Shopify data doesn't match Google Analytics. That's where Littledata comes in. How we've adapted Are Plus stores really that different from 'regular' Shopify stores? Well, yes and no. The needs for ecommerce growth hacking -- using analytics to make data-driven decisions to scale an ecommerce site consistently -- are remarkably similar for both Shopify and Shopify Plus stores, and the core tracking issues are the same for any store with a Shopify checkout , whether you're doing 100 orders per month or 10,000+. The difference often comes from more subtle issues with Google Tag Manager implementation, or custom setup and reporting, like the need for a comparative attribution model or lifetime value reporting segmented in a way specific to your landing pages, product groups or checkout flow. To fit the needs of Shopify Plus stores we have honed our main analytics connectors and tested and improved them for ease-of-use and scalability. Here are some of the enhancements specific to Plus stores: Server-side tracking for Shopify. Complete sales tracking, including checkout steps and refunds, is the core of our business and we've continued to improve this for Plus stores, whether you're sending the ecommerce data directly to Google Analytics, or to Segment first. We're here to help you track every checkout step and marketing channel, no matter how custom your setup. Smart connections. The success of our app with Plus merchants has led to a wide range of improvements to additional connections, such as plug-and-play tracking for custom checkouts with our ReCharge and CartHook connections, and ensuring that the Facebook-Ads-to-Google-Analytics connection works for Instagram Ads too! Lifetime value (CLV/LTV) reporting. Customer lifetime value reporting is essential, but it's hard to do manually. So we now automatically include custom dimensions for calculating lifetime value in Google Analytics. Data ownership. After testing a reporting dashboard in the app, we found that Plus stores wanted more direct data ownership. So now you own the data completely, in Segment or Google Analytics. On an enterprise plan, we can help create custom reporting specific to your business in tools like Data Studio and Tableau, or even directly in Google Analytics. Segment.com integration. Segment is increasingly used by Plus stores. So over this past year, we worked with Segment to launch their only officially recommended Shopify connector. You can now use Shopify as a Segment source and get consistent, reliable data. Google Tag Manager. Our script now uses gtag and is easy to customize for any GTM setup. On enterprise plans, Littledata customers are able to get help with planning, testing, implementing a custom Tag Manager setup, plus optimizing site design and online marketing using that data. Multi-currency tracking. We offer multi-currency tracking for all of the payment gateways we support. If you're using Google Analytics, you can also use Littledata to segment all of your orders (and customer behavior before purchase) by payment gateway. Subscription ecommerce. The subscription ecommerce market continues to grow rapidly, now totalling more than $12 billion in the US alone. We've honed our ReCharge and Bold integrations to offer Shopify Plus stores advanced tracking for subscription sales, automatically. Expert support. We now offer enterprise plans to fit any DTC brand budget, so you don't have to be lost in the dark about analytics. One thing I really love about Littledata is how 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. How do we do it? With the power of our own tech, plus a top-rated team in terms of both customer happiness and analytics expertise. Enterprise plans What's included in enterprise plans today for merchants that want additional support? Here's how they break down. Littledata Enterprise We've always offered some form of support on enterprise plans, but early on we struggled as an organization to figure out how best to use that support time with our merchants. Now we have it down to both an art and a science. Especially popular with Shopify Plus stores that have started to get some brand recognition, such as Rachel Zoe's Box of Style subscription box, Craft Gin Club in the UK, and Dave Asprey's coffee lifestyle brand Bulletproof, Littledata's enterprise plans give you data when you need it and support when you want it. Basic enterprise plans can be paid monthly or annually. They include: Dedicated account manager Shopify Plus support Unlimited connections Unlimited data thresholds 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 We've also started to offer a specific set of additional services for Shopify Plus stores in customizable Enterprise Plus plans. Every Enterprise Plus plan is unique to your enterprise ecommerce needs, whether you're looking for advanced multi-currency tracking, Tag Manager support for custom ad campaigns or checkout flows, or custom LTV reporting for subscription ecommerce. Enterprise Plus plans include everything in basic Enterprise plans, such as support from an analytics expert, plus some combination of the following: Custom setup Custom reporting Manual data audits Segment support Google Tag Manager support Analytics 360 Suite support Optimization 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.  We've come a long way already, but this is just the beginning. The sky's the limit! If you'd like to apply for a Littledata Enterprise plan, the first step is to book a demo online.

by Ari
2019-10-24

Advanced Google Analytics connection for CartHook

We're excited to announce a completely updated connection for Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants using CartHook. The smart connection makes it easy to track your unique CartHook funnel in Google Analytics. CartHook is a powerful one-page checkout and upsells app for Shopify stores, and Littledata's mission is to fix your tracking, automatically. The updated CartHook connection - available for the first time directly from your CartHook admin - heeds that mission in helping merchants track every sale, refund and ecommerce checkout step: Track your unique checkout journey, including CartHook Checkout, landing pages and one-click upsells Get complete marketing attribution thanks to Littledata's smart script Segment sales by payment gateway Own the data in Google Analytics, and connect to your favorite reporting tools It's an advanced Google Analytics integration for Shopify and CartHook, easy to set up in less than 10 minutes. What's new CartHook was one of our first integrations at Littledata - before we even had 'connections' in the app! But it had to be done manually, and some merchants needed a custom setup. Now any Shopify store using CartHook can activate our automated Shopify and CartHook connections.  And what's even better? We're honored to be one of the first CartHook apps available directly from their admin. You can enable the connections from the CartHook dashboard or from the Littledata dashboard. Either way, the app will guide you through the setup steps to get the data flowing. Seriously, it's that easy! How it works Littledata's advanced Google Analytics connection for CartHook merchants automatically tracks every sale, refund and checkout step, so you can focus on growing your business.  The integration makes it easy to get accurate data on all CartHook purchases, including upsells, with clear attribution from all traffic sources in Google Analytics. In short, whatever you're doing with CartHook Checkout, we can help you track it. The connection takes advantage of Littledata's smart script for Shopify stores, making it easy to get extra benefits like multi-currency tracking and gtag/Google Tag Manager support, plus free reporting on your sales and marketing data.  [note]The CartHook connection works in tandem with our Shopify connection, so you need to activate that one first.[/note] Support from an analytics expert Have questions about using CartHook with Google Analytics? Check out our new help center for a range of articles about scaling fast with accurate data, from technical documentation about how the Littledata app works with CartHook and Google Analytics, to Google Tag Manager setup and event mapping guides. And if you're looking for analytics support, we've got your back. Littledata Enterprise is a popular choice among Shopify Plus merchants who want custom setup and reporting, or maybe just a Google Analytics-certified account manager to help them scale.

by Ari
2019-10-08

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