Using buyer personas to adjust Facebook ads

Facebook isn't just a social platform anymore. Even though the vast majority of users come to Facebook to keep up to date with news from friends, advertisers are finding in Facebook a real revenue stream and a platform to mine for more accurate data about their ideal customers. Around this time last year, I was struggling to use Google Analytics APIs and Google Sheets to identify user profiles for one of my top clients. This process was both tedious and time-consuming, but there was no alternative to doing it manually. I was basically making user personas by hand, and once I had established this user profile service, other customers began requesting it. By presenting it to them in my portfolio I found out just how little most companies actually knew about their user profiles and the invaluable data they provide. From a marketing perspective, most companies can’t afford not to know this information. These personas can dramatically improve ad performance because they’re based on accurate, useful consumer data. Littledata is committed to automating the most time-consuming parts of your day, so we started work on a Buyer Personas algorithm. The resulting Buyer Personas feature shows you which type of customer, on which type of marketing channel, is most likely to convert -- so you can spend smarter, not just more, on Facebook ad campaigns. Here's how to use those personas to get higher ROI on Facebook. Why it can be difficult to improve Facebook ad performance The first question you ask yourself when setting up a new ad campaign is: Who is the target audience? It seems simple, but companies often struggle to come up with an answer. I faced the same problem when I was working with Pufushop and was asked to help them set up a new Facebook ad campaign. I've set up many campaigns on Facebook, but usually the website has had a target audience in mind or the site had installed a Facebook Pixel so long ago that I could have found this out from Facebook Analytics. But for this particular project I needed to find the target audience based only on Google Analytics data. If you've read any of my blog posts you know that "feeling" is not a metric for me. We all know that Facebook and Google Analytics have different ways to define demographics and interests. And that’s okay, sometimes it’s even beneficial. On one side we have Facebook's audience definition, which is sourced from how users self-identify in their profiles and also what content they interact with. On the other hand, we have the Google Analytics audience definition, which is based on presumptions about user behaviour and less rooted in user-generated data. I created the Buyer Personas profile below directly in the Littledata app. Our algorithms generate accurate personas based on your conversion goals and ecommerce setup, broken down by specific marketing channel (in this case, Facebook ads). Using our Buyer Personas feature I was able to find out the demographics and interests of Pufushop buyers -- in under 3 minutes. That persona is the result of tens of automated permutations. Note that this sample website has relatively low volumes, so four user characteristics stand out. For higher-volume sites, more categories appear automatically. Creating effective Facebook Ads from Buyer Personas Once I had the required data, I was ready to start my campaign. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can set up a Facebook ad campaign based on your Buyer Personas. Go to your Ads Manager in Facebook and click on "Create" to start a new campaign In my case, I used a catalog sale because the campaign was promoting some items that were sold out and all of my products were part of a Collection and had the same target audience. Once I've chosen the catalog for the products and added the campaign name, I can click "Continue" and move on to the next step. Define the Ad set and the audience I found out using Littledata's Buyer Personas that my highest conversion rate is with users from Oradea, who are bargain-hunting females aged 21 to 30, have their browser set up in Romanian, and like to shop on Monday evenings. So I will set up that exact same audience for this ad set. Using all this insight as well as my specific need to present a 5-day sale with a minimal budget, I've successfully set up an audience that should convert at a higher rate. I click ‘Continue’ and on the next screen I add the creatives for the advertisement (image and text) and then, just like that, I’m done. To top it all off, this discovery and set up was done in less than an hour! [subscribe] The many uses of Buyer Personas As you get to know Buyer Personas, you can also use them to: Create new campaigns when you're running on a low budget Narrow down your audience based on specific factors Reduce the frequency of your ads by choosing the best hour to deliver them Create a better re-marketing strategy by knowing when your abandoned carts are more likely to be converted into purchases Run territorial marketing campaigns, taking into consideration the interest and potential of each area Plus many more insights and discoveries to dramatically improve your conversion rate (doing something unique? Let us know!) At first glance a buyer persona like the sample above may seem to be only "four lines in a table," but if you look beyond the text you’ll start to really understand how users from a specific category interact with your website. And once you use your Buyer Personas to adjust and customize your Facebook ads, you'll come to the same conclusion I did: "This is so obvious, how did I miss it?" Facebook campaign reporting in Littledata If you're advertising on Facebook and want to see how your Facebook efforts are paying out, check out Littledata's Social traffic pack. The pack pulls from your Google Analytics data to create automated reports on social traffic and top-performing campaigns. Included in the pack are reports that will show you landing pages for untagged traffic from social networks, an overview of traffic from social media sources, and top campaigns from social networks that help you monitor your campaigns, enabling you to track how your traffic is being split between social channels. We've also recently launched a Facebook cost import feature (more details coming soon). The feature links your Facebook data with Google Analytics so that you can ensure accurate tracking of your Facebook Ads spend -- yet another way that Littledata helps you make informed, data-driven decisions. How are you using Buyer Personas and Facebook Ads? Leave a comment below! The buyer personas data in this blog post has been modified for illustrative purposes.

2018-03-28

Introducing Buyer Personas

This week we're excited to introduce Buyer Personas, a game-changing new feature for marketers and ecommerce teams that are serious about hacking growth at a major scale. Do you know which types of customers are most likely to convert? Gathering customer data is one thing, but turning it into actionable insights is another. We've found that Littledata users are often struggling to find the exact differences between web visitors that buy and those that don't buy, especially when it comes to particular marketing channels. Littledata's new Buyer Personas feature automatically generates user personas based on your particular Google Analytics ecommerce setup or conversion goals, making it easier than ever to target your marketing and on-site content at those shoppers most likely to engage, convert, and grow with your online business in the long term. For example, if you know that users who arrive on your site on the weekend, in the afternoon are more likely to buy, then you should allocate more of your budget to those times. Or if users on tablets are most likely to convert, then target campaigns and ad formats most relevant for that screen size. [subscribe] Accurate Data If you have a decent Google Analytics setup it is possible to look at how different attributes of the user (age, browsing device, time of visit, etc.) affect their likelihood of converting. The better the data setup for your 'people analytics', the more detailed the report can be – when's the last time you audited your website's Google Analytics setup? Buyers or Users? We’re calling the new feature Buyer Personas since this is often requested by retail customers, but it is equally relevant if you have another conversion goal (eg. registrations, event bookings). In all of these cases, your customers are essentially 'buying in' to your product or service. You can switch the conversion metric at the bottom of the Buyer Personas page in the app. Marketing Channels Buyer personas give you actionable insights on particular channels, such as paid search, while also improving your overall understanding of your ideal customer base. The feedback is split out by channel so you can action it more easily: how you would re-organise your paid search marketing is very different to how you re-target your email marketing, but both are needed. The reality is that most smaller websites won’t have any of the ideal people of their site. We are not saying that only that exact profile will convert but that, by targeting the marketing on those who convert most easily, you can improve your return on investment. Pick the category with the biggest potential audience first. The first iteration of the new feature is live in the app this week. We look forward to hearing your feedback! Note that to generate Buyer Personas, you will need an active conversion goal or ecommerce tracking setup, and a minimum of 50 conversions in the previous month. Don't have a Littledata account yet? Sign up today to fix your Google Analytics setup for free and start generating buyer personas.

2017-07-04

How to quickly build user personas for PPC campaigns

Buyer personas. User personas. PPC personas. Are these just marketing buzzwords? Do they mean months of planning before you can even begin your PPC campaigns? The answer to both questions is a straightforward no. 'User personas' don't require months of extra work to build, and they aren't just another marketing buzzword. If you follow my suggestions below, you can quickly create personas to help target and optimise your next PPC campaign. Start with brainstorming Brainstorming should come at the very beginning of your process. What do you already know about your audience? This can be old-school brainstorming with a pen and paper, or a more business-like approach with a whiteboard in your conference room. If you do this with a team, hand out some Post-it notes for jotting down ideas. The Post-it notes approach makes it very easy to move your notes around and begin grouping by identified themes. Quickly create simple personas The key here is simplicity.  There is great content out there on creating more complex personas, by using a resource such as Hubspot’s 100 Questions. For the simple approach, I look at three areas to kick things off. Describe the audience by their demographics: gender, location, age, parental status, income, etc.. Identify the biggest problems they want to solve. If you are unsure how to define this one, start with 'I want' or 'I need' to put yourself in the position of your audience. For example, as a marketer, my ongoing problems include automating mundane tasks and creating simple personas. Ask how your offering specifically solves the identified problems. When it comes to creating personas, Littledata can help by automatically building personas with existing Google Analytics data. With this information, create a very short narrative with the key descriptors and needs of each identified persona. [subscribe] Find the perfect image Do this after you finish the above steps. You do not want to start with image and then create a persona to look like that person. (There’s some great discussion on that on UX Mastery). One step I often recommend is to look at images of people in existing marketing materials to see if they represent the personas created from this exercise. Digital tools to help you create user personas After you do some brainstorming and jot down initial notes about personas, you can next turn to digital tools to help you. MakeMyPersona.com is aptly named because it helps you do just that.  It is a way to organize some of the thoughts that came up in the earlier steps. Those in the B2B market can try Up Close & Persona. It meets my criteria of simple and takes you through questions that help you think of appropriate messaging for your audience. However, some of the questions have only a few preset answers so I would not start this tool. It could box you into narrow thinking. Littledata’s buyer personas feature helps you identify the website visitors that are most likely to convert.  We know that Google Analytics does not do all the work for us, but there is a lot of data available for analysis. Compare these findings to what was uncovered during brainstorming. Develop your PPC campaign around the user persona Take your 'I want' and 'I need' statements and pull out some of those phrases as keywords. When it comes to choosing PPC keywords, stay away from your corporate lingo, and instead think about how your prospects talk about you. These keywords will help you match your message to each persona. Is your persona trendy with a sense of humor? Maybe you will get a little snarky with your messaging.  Is the need something serious, such as a health issue? Stay away from the snark and instead be really clear about your benefits. Create an offer that matches the persona. An intellectual, highly educated executive may take the time to download and read your white paper. A busy single parent with four young kids wants a solution. And wants it quickly. Segment personas by channel. I like Littledata's buyer personas because they let you see how to adjust your ad spend based on specific marketing channels beyond Paid Search. PPC is not the only place to reach your audience. You will - hopefully - have a multi-channel approach and need to understand Organic Search, Email, Referral, and Social in addition to PPC. Unless you have an unlimited marketing budget, you may not be able to reach every persona and on every channel. One consideration for your PPC spend is to focus on the longer tail or brand name keywords. This is definitely a smaller audience, but it will capture people further down the funnel who are more likely to buy. What to do next I hope that you find this simplified approach to developing personas useful in kicking of the next stage of your digital marketing! My goal is to provide steps for you to take action and not get bogged down by the prospect of developing personas before kicking off a campaign. You may want to refine this approach over time, but the important thing is to get started now. Even with the best planning, you may find some surprises in your campaigns after you get started which is why I always watch new campaigns closely, especially in those first few days. Monitor your performance by channels in Google Analytics and be prepared to adjust your ad spend. Your ROI will vary by offer and user persona, so focus on actionable analytics from this wealth of data to make the right decisions for your particular business.   Want to know more? Get in touch with Tina's agency, 360 Internet Strategy, and follow her on LinkedIn.

2018-03-15

Segment Recipe: Create Facebook lookalike audiences of your top-spending customers

The promotional power of Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads is no secret. All of our customers use them. Smart ecommerce marketers, however, know that beyond their wide reach, the true value of these ads comes in using them to reach specific buyer personas. Targeting those who are most likely to make a purchase is a great way to boost sales, but how do you reach that audience over time? In short: How do you find more customers like your highest LTV customers? Littledata has worked with top DTC brands using Shopify and Segment, such as Rothy's and Sheertex, to enable data that lets you do exactly that. One key way is lookalike audiences. To help you dive into utilizing these audiences for your store, we've created an analytics recipe along with our partner Segment. The recipe is made to help you stop wasting time building audiences manually while still allowing you to reach your highest-value customers — the ones who are ready to buy and more likely to make bigger purchases over time. It explains step by step how to continuously target a similar audience to your top-spenders, so you'll start getting your ads in front of eager potential buyers. Lookalike audiences such as these are a staple in successful ecommerce brands' promotion strategies, as they widen your audience while ensuring you get the most value out of the advertising dollars you spend. Read the full post on Segment's blog to learn how you can start utilizing this recipe in your Facebook Ad strategy. We look at how to: Create an audience in Segment Personas of highest spending customers Automatically sync that audience with Facebook Ads Create a lookalike audience in Facebook Ads to find more high-value customers If you've wondered how to use rule-based audiences to increase revenue, this is the recipe for you. Do you know how accurate your ecommerce reporting is? Get a clearer picture with a full data audit from Littledata as part of our 30 day free trial to start owning your data and make decisions off truly accurate data. [subscribe]

2021-08-27

How to calculate customer lifetime value in Google Analytics for Shopify subscription stores

Many of Littledata's subscription customers come to us with a similar problem: how to calculate return on advertising spend (ROAS), considering the varying customer lifetime value (LTV) of subscription signups. Calculating marketing ROI for subscription ecommerce is a big problem with a number of potential solutions, but even the initial problem is often misunderstood. In this post, I'll break down what the problem is and walk through two proven solutions for getting consistent, reliable customer lifetime value reporting in Google Analytics. [tip]Get accurate tracking for repeat orders with the ultimate Shopify ReCharge guide.[/tip] What is customer lifetime value? I work with all kinds of subscription ecommerce businesses: beauty boxes, nutritional supplements, training courses and even sunglasses-by-the-month. All of them want to optimise customer acquisition costs. The common factor is they are all willing to pay way MORE than the value of the customers' first subscription payment. Why? Because they expect the customer to subscribe for multiple months. But for how many months exactly? That's the big question. Paying for a marketing campaign which brings trial customers who cancel after one payment – or worse, before the first payment – is very different from paying to attract sticky subscribers. A marketing director of a subscription business should be willing to pay WAY more to attract customers that stay 12 months than customers who only stay one month. 12 times more, to be precise. So how do we measure the different contribution of marketing campaigns to customer lifetime value? In Google Analytics, you may be using ecommerce tracking to measure the first order value, but this misses the crucial detail of how long those shoppers will remain subscribers. [subscribe] As you can see below, with lifetime customer value segments, we can: make more efficient use of media tailor adverts to different segments find new customers with lookalike audiences and target loyalty campaigns There are two ways for a marketing manager to see this data in Google Analytics: the first is a more difficult, manual solution. The other is an easier, automated solution that ties recurring payments back to their original campaigns. Manual solution: segment orders and assign a lifetime value to each channel It's possible to see the required data in GA by manually segmenting orders and assigning a lifetime value to each channel. For this solution you'll need to join together: (a) the source of a sample of first orders from more than a year ago, by customer number or transaction ID and (b) the LTV of these customers The accuracy of the data set for A is limited by how your Google Analytics is set up: if your ecommerce marketing attribution is not accurate (e.g. using Shopify's out-the-box GA scripts) then any analysis is flawed. You can get B from your subscription billing solution, exporting a list of customer payments (and anonymising the name or email before you share the file internally). To link B to A, you'll need to either have the customer number or transaction ID of the first payment (if this is stored in Google Analytics). Then you can join the two data sets in Excel (using VLOOKUP or similar function), and average out the lifetime value by channel. Even though it's only a sample, if you have more than 100 customers in each major channel it should give you enough data to extrapolate from. Now you've got that LTV by channel, and assuming that is steady over time, you could import that back into Google Analytics by sending a custom event when a new customer subscribes with the 'event value' set as the lifetime value. The caveat is that LTV by channel will likely change over time, so you'll need to repeat the analysis every month. If you're looking to get away from manual solutions and excessive spreadsheets, read on... Calculating customer lifetime value Subscription ecommerce is huge, and continuing to grow around the world. But Shopify Plus stores (in particular) selling products by subscription have a unique problem: how do I link the recurring customer payments back to the marketing campaign or channel that led to them subscribing? Unlike standard ecommerce, it’s not enough to track the payment upon a first signup. It is the customer lifetime value (LTV) which counts in any marketing calculation. “The great thing about a subscription businesses is that you don’t have to rely on one-time purchases.”-- Rob Hoxie, co-founder of Tiege Hanley (read the full interview). I've already laid out the time-intensive manual solution for subscription tracking. But before we get into the automated solution, let's discuss why you need to track customer lifetime value in the first place (and the various problems with tracking it in Google Analytics). I'll also get into Littledata's solution, which will work for you whether you’re using Bold or ReCharge as your Shopify subscription app. [note]Check out my ReCharge talk in full from the ChargeX conference in September 2019, where I discussed a similar topic.[/note] Why you must track lifetime value Let’s imagine a simple store selling a single subscription product for $50 per month. On average, it takes them $70 to acquire a new subscriber via Google Ads. Now let’s think about 3 fictional customers of that store: Claire, Eric and Luke. These 3 offer very different values to the business, and differentiating them (or the customer segment they represent) in Google Analytics is critical to business success. In the graphic below, you’ll see that Claire is costing the business money, as her lifetime value is less than the cost of acquiring her as a customer. Eric pays something, possibly buying twice from the business, but still has a short ‘lifetime’. Only Luke continues for a reasonable time (and may continue subscribing). Which of them brings the company profit? The answer is only Luke. Many subscription businesses only make money on customers who subscribe for over 3 months — but the loyal customers are immensely valuable, and may go on to pay for years. This also speaks to the immense value of customer retention among Shopify Plus stores.   The problem with subscription analytics Measuring and attributing this lifetime value is hard. The events happen in three different places, and need to be linked back to give a net value to be properly tracked: Unfortunately, by default, the customer who chooses a subscription in Shopify may not be linked to the user that actually commits to a payment in ReCharge. In other words, transactions are often left improperly tracked and attributed; in many cases, the refund or cancellation is not tracked at all. Take this Google Analytics screenshot from one of our customers (before fixing): Although 19% of the traffic comes from paid search, none of the ecommerce transactions are attributed to paid search. Instead, they are linked to a totally different group of users from ‘direct’ traffic. Littledata’s solution  Littledata’s Shopify app combines the three steps in the customer lifecycle to bring together a unified view of the customer in Google Analytics.  Once that customer has gone through the checkout, we can also track each subsequent recurring payment back to that same pre-checkout user journey (including the marketing campaign from which they came), along with other custom dimensions in Google Analytics to help you analyse lifetime value. How subscription stores can use data to optimise marketing campaigns  Once you have recurring payments feeding into Google Analytics, you can begin segmenting your marketing channels by those that bring a higher quality customer — ones that nearly or exactly match your target personas. By using Littledata’s smart PPC connections for Facebook Ads and Google Ads, you can also pull in advertising costs to calculate Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS). So do you know which marketing channels bring you customers with the highest lifetime value? Maybe you have one stand-out channel that brings the majority of Lukes, and some that only bring you Claires. A better, automated solution: tie recurring payments back to the original campaign(s) What if you could import the recurring payments into Google Analytics directly, as they are paid, so the customer LTV is constantly updated and can be segmented by campaign, country, device or any other standard GA dimension? This is what our Google Analytics connection for ReCharge does. Available for any store using Shopify or Shopify Plus as their ecommerce platform and ReCharge for recurring billing, the smart connection (integration) ties every recurring payment back to the campaigns in GA.  Then, if you also import your campaign costs automatically, you can do the Return on Investment (ROI) calculations directly in Google Analytics, using GA's new ROI Analysis report (under Conversions > Attribution), or in your favourite reporting tool. [note]Now, with a revamped ReCharge connection — ReCharge v2 — you can track subscription lifecycle events with ease![/note] Do you have a unique way of tracking your marketing to maximize LTV? Are there other metrics you think are more important for subscription retailers? Littledata's connections are growing. We'll be launching integrations for other payment solutions later this year, so let us know if there's a particular one you'd like to see next. Quick recap Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) is the one metric that matters for a subscription business To scale using metrics like Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS), you need to have accurate LTV calculations first  Getting that data into Google Analytics allows you to segment by marketing channel or campaign Littledata’s advanced Google Analytics integration for ReCharge stores provides an easy way to stitch the data together

2020-01-14

Why every Shopify store should offer a "Buy Now, Pay Later" payment method

There are so many aspects that go into running your ecommerce store — finding the right combination of products, creating eye-catching product pages with tasteful images, reaching relevant customers with your marketing efforts, managing inventory and shipping, to name a few. The decision of which payment option to use likely falls to the bottom of your list. A payment is a payment, right? Wrong! Selecting a payment method is one of the most critical elements of the customer journey, and offering the right assortment of payment options is one of the most direct ways to impact your conversion rate. Think of it this way: by the time a prospective customer has reached the payment phase of the checkout, they have already made a purchase decision. They’ve found your site, chosen a product, selected the right size and color, etc. They’ve already done the main leg work. At this point, any friction in the payment process can result in a lost sale. A customer is not a customer until they click that pay button. Your job as an online store is to make clicking that button as easy as possible. By now, you've probably heard of “buy now, pay later” solutions, like Sezzle. This new wave of alternative payment methods make optimizing conversions at this critical juncture especially easy. By allowing shoppers to pay for purchases over time (rather than all up front), this new payment solution has opened doors for consumers all over the world that fear the use of traditional credit.  What is a “buy now, pay later” solution? Retailers have long provided shoppers the ability to pay over time with installments. “Buy Now, Pay Later” solutions offer a new twist on financing for Shopify merchants (and any online retailer) with simple installment plans.  Layaway options became popular in the United States after the Great Depression, when retailers began offering them as a way to generate sales with cash-strapped consumers. In the old layaway model, shoppers would physically go to the store and put down installment payments for merchants to hold an item they wanted. Once a shopper had made enough payments to cover the purchase, the sale was complete. But in the 1950s, a new innovation was introduced that allowed shoppers to pay over time: the credit card. Credit cards allowed shoppers to swipe, receive their items immediately, and then pay the credit card company back at a later date. Credit cards quickly expanded to the nearly ubiquitous presence they are in retail today. Of course, the downside of paying with credit cards is that they are only available to those who are approved for credit; as many of us know, they also carry the threatening potential of exorbitant interest and fees. Luckily, new fintech solutions offer a modern alternative to credit cards designed for the modern consumer. Sezzle, for instance, allows shoppers to pay for ecommerce purchases in four equal, interest-free installments.  With this solution, shoppers pay only a fraction of the purchase price during checkout and merchants ship their orders right away. The buy now, pay later platform then pays the merchant upfront for the full amount, less a small processing fee. The remaining installments are automatically collected from the shopper every two weeks, with no interest or additional cost to the consumer. In short, buy now, pay later options provide a new way for shoppers to buy now, get their item now, and pay over time, at no additional cost. Why offer a “buy now, pay later” option? Buy now, pay later solutions are a proven way to increase sales for merchants. There are many benefits to adding an installment payment solution to merchants, including: 1. Reaching new customers To maximize your reach, it's no longer sufficient to offer only credit card options. Credit cards are a great purchasing tool, but only for customers who have them. However, the number of credit card holders in your target audience might be far fewer than you think; only one in three millennials own a credit card, according to a 2016 bankrate study.  There are many underlying factors driving this statistic — from the credit crisis of 2008, to mounting student loan debts for young people, to regulatory changes that made it more difficult for credit card companies to extend offers to those under the age of 21.  The key point for merchants is this: payment behaviors are changing dramatically for young consumers who have increasingly come to expect to be able to pay with a digital wallet, alternative payment platform, or an installment plan. In fact, over 87% of consumers want a simpler way to pay over time that is not a credit card. By not providing these options, you are leaving potential money in the cart. 2. Increasing conversions More than two-thirds of all online shopping carts are abandoned, according to the Baymard Institute. The second most commonly-cited reason was the cart becoming too expensive.  When customers see the total tallied up, they get sticker shock. Offering an installment payment solution that lets shoppers check out now and pay over time dramatically reduces cart abandonment rates.  On average, for stores that have added a buy now, pay later method, checkout conversions have increased by almost 40% for first time visitors. Reducing sticker shock of a one time purchase reduces cart abandonment, which means more sales! [note]There are other effective methods for reducing cart abandonment, too.[/note] 3. Reducing return rates High return rates are a pain point for merchants. When customers are consistently returning their purchases, it can add a lot of unwanted and unneeded stress to your store. For merchants that use interest-free installments, return rates have decreased dramatically — some stores even drop down to 1% in returns by adding this alternative payment method. Through lowering these returns rates, buy now, pay later solutions can keep you and your customers happy.  4. Tapping into a millennial trend Buy now, pay later solutions have exploded in popularity in recent months. In other parts of the world, similar payment methods have become the predominant form of payment, with young shoppers mainly driving this trend. Young shoppers like the freedom of paying over time, without the financial pitfalls that credit cards pose. For them, they see these solutions as a kind of layaway on-demand or layaway for the digital age. As more and more major brands accept these payment methods, the trend will only accelerate. Why not get ahead of the curve by implementing this solution for your store now? Global expansion of “buy now, pay later” The rapid customer acceptance and adoption of buy now, pay later solutions led to Sezzle’s first international expansion into Canada in 2019. This market was chosen given the similar customer profile and online shopping habits of American and Canadian consumers. Much like their American neighbors, Canadian consumers have an aversion to credit cards and a desire for more flexible and lenient payment methods, making this move a logical extension of Sezzle’s platform. This entry gives Canadian merchants the opportunity to offer a new payment solution to their customers. As Kappa Canada CEO stated, Sezzle is essential to delivering “flexibility in the buying process” to customers and gives them a platform to extend their brand reach. This expansion also opens up an entirely new market of consumers. The market of Canadian online shoppers is growing at an unprecedented rate and is anticipated to increase by more than 25% by 2021, making this the opportune time to expand into this space.  This rapid global expansion of the buy now, pay later space has proved very beneficial to those merchants that sell in multiple countries or use differing currencies. [note]If you have stores on Shopify Plus, learn how you can easily track your multi-currency sales with 100% accuracy.[/note] The US is brimming with merchants that sell their products worldwide, making it difficult when a payment platform only serves US shoppers. However, as the buy now, pay later space maintains its global growth, this problem will continue to diminish. Since its expansion in Canada, Sezzle has seen success with global merchants that now have the ability to sell to both US and Canadian consumers, in both American and Canadian currencies. For merchants looking to expand internationally, it will be important to note the aggressive growth that the buy now, pay later space has seen in recent years and the rapid growth that is expected to continue moving forward. As this alternative form of payment expands, so will its acceptance into international countries, making it an innovative move for every type of merchant.  The best pay later solution for small businesses Buy now, pay later payment solutions are a proven way to reach new consumers, increase conversions, and tap into what Visa has called a trillion dollar market. The right payment solution can have a dramatic impact on your sales and customer lifetime value (CLV / LTV). As you consider which payment methods to use, think of the customer first. In the customer’s mind, the payment process is an extension of the store. A bad payment experience — whether it involves high interest rates or getting hit with hidden fees — equals a negative shopping experience.  Therefore, it’s important to integrate payment options on your store that fit with the values and customer experience standards of your high-potential customers and buyer personas.   This is a guest post by Kevin Wild of Sezzle, a payments disruptor that allows shoppers to budget their payments over time by splitting purchases into four interest-free installments over six weeks. By offering its ‘buy now pay later’ solution, Sezzle provides consumers with the financial freedom to buy what they want without having to fall back on high-interest credit cards. 

2019-12-18

Our top 5 posts from 2018

Happy new year! With a lot of big things on the way for Littledata this year, including new Connections to automate analytics for an even wider range of popular ecommerce apps and platforms, we wanted to take a moment to look back on the posts you found most useful with our current feature set. Last year we reviewed our top posts from 2017 and found that the focus -- not surprisingly -- was on Shopify and Google Analytics. This time around, our most-read and most-shared posts have really honed in on individual features and connections, especially for larger stores using one of our enterprise plans for full account management and unlimited automation. Interestingly, 4 out of the 5 top posts have a title in the form of a question. Perhaps a sign of 'plugged-in' (ie distracted) readers looking for a sense of engagement? 1. What's the real ROI on your Facebook Ads? For the past decade Facebook’s revenue growth has been relentless, driven by a switch from TV advertising and online banners to a platform seen as more targetable and measurable. When it comes to Facebook Ads, marketers are drawn to messaging about a strong return on investment. But are you measuring that return correctly? 2. Why don't my transactions in Google Analytics match those in Shopify? If we had a nickel for every time we hear this question! In this popular post, our partner manager breaks down common reasons for ecommerce data inaccuracy between Shopify and GA, and takes a look at how to fix those issues automatically. Find out the top 6 reasons for inaccuracy, including some orders never being recorded in Google Analytics! 3. New help center articles on Shopify tracking and ReCharge integration With detailed new articles on Shopify tracking and how our ReCharge integration works, the new Littledata Help Center quickly became a go-to resource for current customers and ecommerce managers this past year. Even before they become customers, many ecommerce industry folks are using the help center to get a clearer view of how to use Google Analytics effectively. We're happy to help! 4. Are you looking at the wrong Black Friday metrics? Paying attention to the right ecommerce metrics can help you establish the best customer base and shopping experience for long-term growth. But many retailers still focus only on the most popular metrics — especially during the online shopping craze of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (#BFCM). Over the next few weeks ecommerce managers will be obsessing over data, but which stats are the most important? Two popular metrics — ecommerce conversion rate and average time on site — may be misleading, so in this post our CEO recommends looking instead at longer-term benchmarks. 5. Average order value benchmarks 2018: how do you compare? Increasing average order value usually has a dramatic impact on profits and ROI from marketing spend. It is also a gift that keeps on giving, as optimisation in this area is something that can deliver ongoing results over the long term. The holiday shopping period in 2018 had us obsessed with one of our favourite ecommerce metrics: average order value (AOV). How does your site compare? This popular post includes a new infographic that breaks down the stats, using our set of private benchmark data about the ecommerce industry.  

by Ari
2019-01-08

Is it worth attending that ecommerce conference?

Ecommerce conference season is upon us. In the past few weeks, the Littledata team was at Shop.org in Las Vegas, Paris Retail Week, and the Google Expert Summit in Waterloo, Canada -- three very different events in three rather different countries. Then we also hit up Agile Cambridge and Technology for Marketing in the UK, the UPRISE fest in Dublin, TechDay LA in sunny Los Angeles and the BigCommerce partner summit in Austin. And while we unfortunately couldn't make ReCharge's Recur event for the subscription industry, or Hawke Media's Hawkefest, the ultimate anti-conference, many of our partners and merchants were there and had awesome things to say. But wait a second. Slow down! With so many exciting events to potentially attend during what is already one of the busiest times of year for those of us in the industry (Black Friday is just around the corner from a marketer's perspective), how do you choose? Is that conference you've been debating attending really worth it? If we've learned anything... Over the years I've had a mixed experience with conferences. But with Littledata we've found a good rhythm. Of course it helps that we're on the cutting edge of new technology, actually using AI and machine learning as opposed to just talking about it, and that we already have major customers around the world, even though we're technically still a 'startup'. This gives us a wide range of high-quality speaking and learning opportunities. But at the same time our productive conference experiences haven't happened by accident, whether for ecommerce or general tech events. We've found such a good conference rhythm -- a dance that produces a consistently high ROI on in-person events -- by looking closely at our own data on a quarterly and yearly basis. Our strategy is always evolving, but some stats have been consistent. For example, we discovered that at the right events: Though we don't necessarily have a higher win rate for enterprise leads from conferences, the sales cycle is condensed, on average 3x faster from meeting to close. This saves our sales team valuable time chasing down leads, and also helps us improve our product, pitches and processes at a faster rate. Agencies we meet in person are 4x more likely to refer us a customer within the next 30 days -- even if we never did a formal product demo. What's your company's take on conferences? Here are a few insights that might help you get more out of the conference experience, whether that means big tech industry events or smaller, focused meetups. [subscribe] There is no such thing as a must-attend conference The great irony with ecommerce conferences is that they tend to be scheduled at what are already busy times for those of us in the industry. Whether it's the shows we attended these past 6 weeks that overlapped with everyone getting back to work after summer holidays, or European standbys like NetComm Suisse's later fall events and One to One in Monaco every March, right after SXSW in Austin, it's either an embarrassment of riches or -- depending on your perspective -- a really confusing hodge podge of hard-to-classify opportunities. There are simply too many choices, and it's especially hard to decide whether to attend a tech conference or meetup if your company has never attended that particular show before. One thing I love about our industry is that merchants (stores and ecommerce managers) and vendors (apps, platforms, consultants, designers and agencies) are all in the same boat. In short, we have no time for BS. We want events that focus on real information, emerging technologies and human connection. So how do you decide? First things first, make your own list. There are a ton of blog posts out there about 'must attend' conferences, those 'not to miss'. Give me a break! Every business is unique, and you're only as viable as your buyer personas. So make a list of conferences, events and meetups that might help connect you with your prime customers and best partners. Brainstorm, look online, ask around. Make your own list and plan to review every quarter. Then once you've made that list, on paper or Trello or however you work best, go through the following checklist with as many members of your team as possible, especially if you can bring in decision makers from both Product and Marketing. A simple checklist When deciding if you should attend a conference for the first or second time, it's useful to have a checklist for quick, consistent analysis. The checklist I use is deceptively simple. It has only 5 indicators. Would one significant sale pay for itself in terms of customer acquisition cost (CAC)? If the conference did work out, is it something you would attend every year? Would it be the right place for you to speak, either now or in the future? Is this your scene, your community? Are there companies, merchants, agencies, vendors etc. attending whom you wouldn't see any other time this year? (Even just one counts, if sufficiently high-value.) In short, if you can tick all five boxes then you should attend the conference. If you can only tick four, it's probably worth attending but needs more debate. If this is the case, then considering point number one in detail -- looking at your current LTV/CAC ratio and considering how the conference could help improve or at least maintain it -- is essential. For ecommerce tech companies like our own, this generally means one big sale or partnership. For ecommerce sites it can also take the form of discovering new tech (like Littledata, Klickly or ReCharge) that will help increase sales and marketing ROI. If you can tick all five boxes then you should definitely attend the conference The checklist works even if you've already attended the conference in the past. Just consider point two already covered and proven! If you're in the ecommerce space, definitely consider platform-specific conferences. Shopify and Magento have regular events and meetups around the world, and word on the street is that BigCommerce will be really ramping up their local partner events in 2019. Shopify Unite has consistently been that rare conference that ticks all the boxes for us here at Littledata, but that doesn't mean we're ignoring others that only tick four. We've cast our net wide (using the checklist of course) and are still seeing results. If you want to get a head start on conference browsing for next year,  Veeqo has created a calendar of best worldwide ecommerce conferences for 2019. Across the board remember this: success at a conference almost never comes in the form of expected outcomes. Yes, the best outcomes will be aligned with your sales and marketing goals, but sometime the biggest benefits will not be clear for 3, 6 or even 12 months down the line. That's why we do quarterly and yearly reviews of all in-person activities, from networking events to large conferences. I suggest you do the same. Most importantly, have fun! Gone are the days of boring trade shows. Show up. Make connections. And if we're there too, come say hi! Maybe nobody can make analytics sexy, but we at least promise to make them useful. And usefulness is a good place to start...

by Ari
2018-10-23

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