Like many SaaS companies (and Shopify app developers), we get a LOT of merchants writing in with questions. Big, small, new, old, Shopify Plus, Shopify basic, headless Shopify, platform migrations from Magento...you name it. But some questions stand out for every Shopify store.
For those of you who've gone through a demo with our support or sales team, it is highly likely that you asked one of the following questions about Littledata, Shopify and Google Analytics (GA):
- When's the right time to install Littledata?
- Do you fix marketing attribution?
- Should we use Segment?
- Why doesn't my Shopify data match what I see in GA?
- How do you capture complete revenue data?
- What's included in enterprise plans?
And there's a reason why — these are the questions we get the most from merchants like you. In this post, we'll break down the answers as clearly and directly as possible. Plus, we'll give you the resources you need for more detailed answers. (Rather talk directly to a human? Book a demo).
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1) When's the right time to install Littledata?
In short, it really depends on your internal process.
What do we mean by process? Let's put like this: why do you need accurate data? What will you do with it?
If you're still working on your checkout architecture, it's probably not the right time.
If you generally don't trust data to help make decisions about CRO, marketing plans, online product merchandising, retargeting, etc., then it's definitely not the right time (nor a good fit in general). But if you just don't trust your Shopify data in Google Analytics and want to trust it, then it definitely IS time.
And if you're still shopping around for Shopify Plus development agencies, it's probably not the right time (though we can help recommend one).
But in most cases, the time is NOW! Every ecommerce site and DTC brand has their own internal process for moving toward data-driven decision making, and whether you're ju or already en route to scale insanely fast, we're here to help.
But don't take it from us. Here are some of the cases where clients have said they were really glad they started a free trial of Littledata then and didn't wait to fix their tracking:
- Migrating from another ecommerce platform (most often Magento) to Shopify
- Ramping up paid spend and want to make sure the data is accurate (most often Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads)
- Recently redesigned the site or checkout -- or added products by subscription -- and want to ensure complete sales data and better segmentation in Google Analytics
- Recently launched multi-currency (multiple "stores" in Shopify-speak) and looking for a way to segment marketing campaigns and track sales in Google Analytics
And one of my favorites:
- "We were actually already loving Littledata but upgraded for analytics training and extra support!"
Tip: Testing your new setup in a dev store or production site before moving to a live site? Let us know and we'll set up a free test account
2) Do you fix marketing attribution?
Yes. Littledata is uniquely suited to stores that really care about getting their data right, and that's especially true if you want accurate marketing attribution.
Our app fixes attribution for Shopify stores automatically with a combination of server-side and client-side tracking. We stitch sessions together to make sure nothing's lost, so you can rely on Google Analytics or Segment (our current data destinations) as the single source of truth for both pre-click and post-click data, as well as more complex stuff like segmented remarketing, comparative attribution models and LTV calculations for subscription ecommerce. Our script uses gtag and GTM data layer, and can easily supplement and improve your GTM setup (though many clients find that they no longer need GTM).
So if you're asking questions like "Why is an absurd amount of my traffic showing as Direct?" or "Is it possible to see the LTV by channel for our Shopify store?", we've got you covered. As our CEO puts it, "What's the real ROI on your Facebook Ads?"
As an added bonus, we have ecommerce benchmarks in the app. So once you have accurate data, you can see if your Facebook referrals are higher or lower than average, as well as if there are technical factors such as page load speed affecting conversions.
3) Should we use Segment?
If you're considering different data pipeline and customer data solution, we highly recommend Segment. It's a powerful, clean way to track customer data alongside anonymous browsing behavior, ad performance and more.
In fact, we love Segment so much that we built the only recommended Segment connection for Shopify stores. Here's what one customer has to say about it:
"This app seamlessly integrated Shopify with Segment. All of our data is flowing seamlessly from Shopify into all of our destinations via Segment."
If you're comparing Segment against other CDPs like mParticle and Stitch, we're happy to chat about the pros and cons and give you an honest opinion about what's best for your ecommerce business. One thing our larger Segment users find particularly useful about Segment is that once a source is set up, it tends to run really smoothly. So Segment becomes a single source of truth in a way that few other data platforms can offer, with literally hundreds of destinations for using, acting on and modeling that data.
Note: Using a Headless Shopify setup? Littledata fixes tracking for headless Shopify in Segment or Google Analytics. See the headless tracking demo for more details.
4) Why doesn't my Shopify data match what I see in Google Analytics?
Tip: There's a free resource for that! Learn how to fix Shopify <> GA data differences in our free ebook
The truth is that Google Analytics (GA) and Shopify need a little help to play nice. Most marketers use GA to track performance, but having a good data setup — even for bare essentials like transactions and revenue — is harder than it looks.
There are many reasons for differences in tracking results, but let’s take a look at the top 6 reasons.
a) Orders are never recorded in Google Analytics
Usually, this happens because your customer never sees the order confirmation page. More commonly, this is caused by payment gateways not sending users back to the order "thank you" page.
b) The Analytics / Google Tag Manager integration contains errors
Shopify's integration with Google Analytics is a pretty basic one, tracking just a few of all the possible ecommerce events and micro-moments required for a complete picture.
Although Shopify’s integration is designed to work for most standard stores, there are those who build a more personalised theme. In this case, they would require a custom integration with Google Analytics. But with Littledata's Shopify app, here's what you can track.
c) A script in the page prevents tracking to work on your order thank you page
Many websites have various dynamics on the thank you page in order to improve user experience and increase retention. But these scripts can sometimes fail and create a domino effect, preventing other modules from executing.
d) Too many products included in one transaction
Every time a page on your website loads, Google Analytics sends a hit-payload to its servers which contains by default a lot of user data starting from source, path, keywords etc. combined with the data for viewed or purchased products (name, brand, category, etc).
This data query can grow quite long if the user adds products with long names and descriptions. But there is a size limit for each hit-payload of 8kb, which can include information for about 20 products. When this limit is reached, GA will not send the payload to its servers, resulting in lost purchase data.
e) Too many interactions have been tracked in one session
This inconsistency is not encountered as often, but it needs to be taken into account when setting up Google Analytics tracking. One of GA's limitations for standard tracking is that a session can contain only 500 hits. This means that interactions taking place after the hit limit is reached will be missed by Google Analytics.
5) How do you capture complete revenue data?
Or at least it might feel that way. Once you put our tracking script in your theme and install the relevant connections, Littledata uses a savvy combination of client-side and server-side tracking to capture every shopper interaction with your online store.
Because our server-side tracking sends revenue data with purchase and refund events directly to your chosen data destination (Google Analytics or Segment), it's much more reliable than waiting for an event to fire when a confirmation page loads completely, or trying to hack together a way to capture revenue data with GTM from third-party checkouts. Our app often fixes revenue variance of 20-30%, even for large retailers!
Behind the scenes the setup looks something like this:
Not only does Littledata capture complete sales data, including refunds, but our Shopify integration also sets up custom dimensions in your Google Analytics account for smarter segmentation and long-term tracking.
After all, smart ecommerce businesses know that revenue isn't just about the first purchase numbers -- you need to track what types of customers purchase more over time. For example, do customers who come from a particular marketing channel tend to make a number of smaller purchases that actually add up to higher lifetime revenue than those one-off big spenders?
So we add custom dimensions including:
- Lifetime value (LTV)
- Last order date
- Shopify customer ID
If you're using ReCharge for subscriptions, note that we also track subscription lifecycle events such as payment method updates and subscription updates, so you can do deep dives into not just revenue changes but the reasons for those changes.
Tip: Do you really know which marketing channels bring you profitable customers? Learn from our CEO how to accurately calculate lifetime value
6) What's included in Enterprise plans?
At Littledata, we've been lucky to have a chance to scale along with Shopify. Larger brands have been increasingly drawn to the platform's ease of use, and Shopify Plus merchants now include Leesa, Bulletproof Coffee, LeSportsac and Gymshark.
But even with Shopify's growth, there's a consistent problem: questionable analytics.
One thing I really love about working at Littledata is that we’ve managed to keep the core tracking tools extremely affordable, while also offering a wider range of enterprise plans at approximately 1/10 the cost of hiring outside consultants or someone in-house.
We have a range of options for enterprise plans to fit your needs and budget, grouped around two enterprise "tiers": enterprise basic and enterprise plus.
Basic enterprise plans can be paid monthly or annually. They include:
- Dedicated account manager
- Shopify Plus support
- Unlimited connections
- Unlimited country stores
Every account manager at Littledata is an analytics expert. They can help to ensure accurate setup of your Segment or Google Analytics tracking, and recommend proven implementation and optimization strategies for Shopify Plus.
After all, once you know that you can trust your data, focusing on the right metrics can make a world of difference.
Enterprise Plus plans include everything in basic Enterprise plans, such as support from an analytics expert, plus custom setup and training to fit your needs. Options include:
- Custom setup
- Analytics training
- Manual data audits
- Segment support, including solutions engineering
- Google Tag Manager support
- Analytics 360 Suite support
And a whole lot more. See what’s included in our enterprise analytics plans.
In short, we’re here to make sure that you can trust your data — and use that data for actionable results.