GA4: What Shopify stores should do TODAY to keep up with the new version of Google Analytics
Setting up Google Analytics 4 (GA4) on Shopify is easy with the right tools, but there is a lot of confusion in the marketplace right now. There are apps offering "GA4 setup" that can't actually help you with tracking (getting accurate data into Analytics), and there are agencies offering detailed GTM tag setup guides for GA4 without mentioning that there are automated solutions for GA4 conversion tracking. This is all very exciting...but also not necessary. The truth is that you don't need custom tagging or reporting, just the right Shopify tracking app for GA4. What is GA4? It's Google's answer to the modern data stack, in some ways a complement to it (eg. GA4's BigQuery connection, which used to be reserved for GA 360), and in others a replacement for multiple expensive tools that haven't always worked well together. The move toward GA4 started with Google's interest in offering better cross-device and cross-channel tracking, and has been refined with a focus on user privacy -- in other words a world without third-party cookies. As a result, using the right Shopify and GA4 connection now lets you start capturing data about your Shopify store performance that is by default more complex and dynamic than what you might be currently tracking in Universal Analytics (UA, the current version of GA). GA4 can save you time and money versus a complex analytics setup, while offering visibility into the entire customer lifecycle, from organic and paid channels through complex browsing behavior and -- essentially -- customer lifetime value (LTV) and purchase count. But at the very least you need to start capturing that data. [note]This doesn't only apply to Shopify stores! If you're on BigCommerce you can use our server-side BigCommerce to GA4 integration[/note] Google has also built in data-driven models for both comparative attribution reporting and predictive analytics, such as in-app purchase probability and overall purchase probability. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. First you need to capture the data. We expect some brands to just ignore GA4 until the last minute (I'm expecting some not-so-fun Memorial Day Weekend parties next year in NYC...), but we've also noticed that the top ecommerce managers and data scientists are all doing the same thing: tracking in parallel today, so they will have at least six months of data before making the full switch to GA4. Here's a quick guide to help you make the right moves too. 1. Stop procrastinating Is Google really getting rid of the old version of Google Analytics? The answer is a definitive yes. They are sunsetting the old version of Google Analytics in 2023. You need to be ready, but what does that mean exactly? Is there anything you can do today? Track in parallel today so you will have at least six months of data before making the full switch to GA4 Google formally announced the shift to a new version of Google Analytics back in November 2020, but many DTC brands are still putting off the shift to GA4. While moving to a different version of a tool most online marketers use weekly (if not daily) might sound a bit intimidating, there are two points to remember: Google is one of the most user-friendly companies on the planet and they have already added a bunch of functionality and default reporting templates in GA4 You need to capture data before you can analyze it! As our agency partner CXL writes in their ultimate guide to GA4: "Unlike previous upgrade iterations, GA4 is a brand-new product. This means starting afresh, with a new learning curve to navigate." But at the same time, as they say, "it promises to be the future of analytics, with cross-platform tracking, AI-driven data, and privacy-centric design." We couldn't agree more. Littledata's top 10 reasons to switch to GA4 include both custom funnels and predictive insights. This is especially important for ecommerce brands that want to building shopping funnel reports and LTV cohorts in GA4 that fit their particular business model and customer base. So what should you do today to take advantage of this powerful, free ecommerce reporting? First of all, create a GA4 property! 2. Create a GA4 property Google will not be allowing anybody to import historical data from UA into GA4, so you need to create a Google Analytics 4 (GA4) property today if you are serious about seeing performance over time. Luckily, adding a GA4 property is surprisingly easy. Current GA users (that's most of you) can just head to their Analytics accounts and use the setup assistant. You should add at least one data stream. (Don't worry, you can add more later.) Data Streams in GA4 replace Views in Universal Analytics, but they're a bit different . Data streams can be any website (or blog, microsite, country store, etc) or mobile app (iOS or Android), and they can be viewed in aggregate or individually. Adding a data stream might sound intimidating, but this can be as simple as adding the URL for your website (eg. "littledata.io"). [tip]Whether you're new to Google Analytics or a longtime user, we recommend turning on the Enhanced Measurement settings, which include useful defaults.[/tip] When you add a data stream, you will have the option to enabled Enhanced Measurement settings. This is highly recommended. Here's more info on what Littledata lets you track automatically in GA4 -- examples include product views, product list views, checkout funnel events and purchases -- and which events are tracked with Enhanced Measurement, such as page views, site search and form interactions. Now that you have set up a GA4 property, it's time to set up your ecommerce tracking. [tip] Use our complementary instant order checker for GA4 to check your property [/tip] 3. Track in Parallel Tracking UA and GA4 in parallel means that you can send data to both destinations at the same time. This lets you capture browsing behavior and sales performance in both places, so you can analyze the data, build comparative attribution models and start to get a sense for how Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4 are different -- as well as where they converge. The most accurate way to do this is to use an ecommerce data platform like Littledata to capture ecommerce events by default, including both sales/conversion tracking and marketing attribution (stitching sessions together). We send data directly to GA4. Because we have a pre-built GTM data layer, you don't need to add tags manually! Use a pre-built data layer for GA4 so you don't have to add tags manually Littledata's tracking schema works out of the box to capture both major and minor touch points in the ecommerce journey. When you install Littledata, we instantly start tracking all of the key ecommerce events for you in both UA and GA4, so you'll have the data you need when you're ready to dive into week-on-week and month-on-month analysis. Here's a quick video on tracking in parallel. To get something similar to Enhanced Ecommerce reporting, you'll need to build reports yourselves, so we've also put together a few videos on building ecommerce reports in GA4. These reports are more flexible and dynamic than anything available in UA. It's like having Google Data Studio within Google Analytics for complete reporting. There's even more free content available for subscribers in the app :) Wait, so GA4 is pretty different? GA4 is based on a different type of tracking called event-based tracking, which is is exactly what it sounds like: a more flexible and comprehensive way of tracking everything so you can build granular reports and predictive models based on the endless flow of events and attached parameters. The UA data model focused on sessions and pageviews. GA4 focuses on events, and sessions are no longer broken by a change in campaign "source" (GA4 continues tracking the same session as well as the change in source). But those sessions will not be stitched together automatically with purchase data and Shopify customer IDs. And many Google Tag Manager solutions for GA4 are missing out on the basics, like purchase events, revenue and conversion tracking. If you aren't capturing purchases, how are you supposed to know if your marketing is working? Using Littledata's solution is quick and easy, with both low-code and no-code options. Our ecommerce tracking is deep and comprehensive. When you start a free trial you can choose to send data to both UA and GA4 at no additional cost, with server-side tracking to guarantee accurate data. [subscribe heading="Top-rated GA4 tracking for $99 a month"] Want to know more? Book a free data audit with one of our Google Analytics experts today!
Top 5 data tracking mistakes to avoid as a DTC brand
First-party data and server-side tracking is no longer an afterthought for DTC brands and ecommerce managers—rather, it is a centrepiece to their tech stack. But how do you make sure you aren’t “reinventing the wheel” when it comes to 1st party tracking? With the increasing number of “data platform” options it is often challenging to know what is truly needed for accurate attribution. With over 1500+ stores using Littledata’s Shopify and BigCommerce tracking app, we’ve learned a thing or two about the mistakes brands can often make. Allow us to help set the record straight and be a helping hand as you scale up your efforts in 2022. 1. Making data a lesser priority when launching We’ve talked to entrepreneurs across industries and one thing is certain—all are motivated to grow their business and many are managing multiple efforts across the business. One that often gets skipped in launching and updating a Shopify store is setting up data as an afterthought or using default or native tools that miss the mark. Some of the common replies we receive from customers that find out they have a data problem is that they planned on getting to it later or we thought we were getting all the information with pixel tracking (client-side) and the classic it just wasn’t in the budget. The first two we understand, because until folks know this can be automated with a tool like Littledata, the time for learning APIs, implementation, and maintenance can be overwhelming. However, we’ve seen brands give Littledata a shot as a temporary solution and report hours of time saved in an increase in their retention efforts like skincare brand Geologie. When it comes to budget we know the difference between those who do not prioritise data and those who truly can’t add this additional line item. That is why our Client Services team launched a new Littledata Startups program specifically for those just getting going. We have already offered a generous 30 day trial for merchants but realised some teams need a longer runway after seeing companies like Flux Footwear soar in the first year of getting started. 2. Thinking that fancy reporting will fix your data issues There are a lot of nifty reporting and visualization tools out there. But none of them actually fix your tracking. When reviewing how the platforms work be sure to ask about how the data is tracked and reported. While many reporting of these tools offer merchants a great UI/UX experience or insights they can also miss on the most important step, tracking. We are excited to see Google Analytics 4 offer free reporting tools and improved user experience in explorations. This will allow merchants to get more granular insights in GA4 which many consider their single source of truth. Littledata isn’t the new kid on the block. We got our start helping brands first hand get up and running with their data solutions. Then in 2017 we launched our app on Shopify that solved a big problem merchants were facing—accurate data and attribution. The issue we are hearing from partners and customers is that newly launched data tools are not fixing the tracking and analytics but rather they are pulling the data (which is likely inaccurate) and reporting through visualisation tools. We know this because our customers who use these other tools do so after fixing the tracking and attribution issues they are facing with Littledata. Then they use these reporting tools and dashboards in order to analyse the data or generate reports from the insights and recommendations of these tools. Or focus on fixing the tracking and conversion data. Nearly 1 of 5 orders is missed using Shopify’s native tracking tool. Littledata’s engine stitches together client-side and server-side tracking, without server setup and fees needed by merchants, to report end-to-end tracking. This includes important events like add_to_cart, one_time vs. recurring subscriptions, refunds, purchases, and more. We also calculate from these events Lifetime Value (LTV) and Average Order Value (AOV) so that merchants can understand what is really happening in their business—right in Google Analytics. If that wasn’t enough we also work out-of-the-box with many of the SMS, Subscriptions, and post-purchase upsell apps merchants are already using in their store or checkout. Making it easy to find out which channels or tools are working or not. 3. Short-term thinking about setup costs and maintenance This one is self explanatory but often gets missed. Because of our deep integrations with Shopify and BigCommerce our team is always making updates, improving the product, and implementing best practices for the Littledata app. Supercharging your store and functionality without having to outsource which often leads to scope creep. When you get started with Littledata you know exactly what you will be paying month to month with our tiers based on your order volume and not the revenue you bring in. Meaning you are paying for the data you are using and getting access to the same tools 100M GMV companies are using. This predictability makes it easy for merchants to budget for data tracking without having to account for surprises of outsourcing on your own. The best part is that Littledata has partnerships with some of the top agencies in the ecosystem like Swanky, Underwater Pistol, and Ragnarok. Recently, Steven Aldrich the Co-CEO of Ragnarok said on this topic: Merchants not aligning their tracking plan to their actual use cases; building your tracking plan on common sense and legacy schemas with no application is a surefire way to get little to no value out of your tools We don’t think there should be surprises when it comes to pricing. You can learn more on how we structure pricing here or by booking a chat with our Client Services team. 4. Missing the golden opportunity of creating audiences Creating audiences has to be one of the top priorities of any marketing team for retargeting and creating lookalike audiences. We know when you can understand your audience demographics through reporting and build and target your audience by metrics like LTV and AOV it can do wonders for brands. We’ve already seen Google Analytics 4 improve this by tightening up the relationship between Analytics and Ads. Now using event based tracking vs. session based tracking we will be able to understand customer behaviours even more and develop effective strategies to run ads and reduce wasted spend on the wrong audience. One area we are excited to see expanding within our own customers tracking portfolio is the implementation of Meta Conversions API which enables browser and server side tracking of your events in Facebook Ad Manager. Here you review events and create new campaigns based on this advanced implementation of server-side. The best part is Littledata reports many of the most needed ecommerce events right out of the box that you would have to set up manually through other means of connection. 5. Regular data health checks When maintaining your data stack it is important to know your data is flowing properly from your store to Google Analytics or Segment from your decisions like Shopify or any third party apps you use like Recharge Payments. Manually checking and testing these connections outside of Littledata can be a hassle and time consuming. With Littledata we show your live processed orders and connection details are active. This can help with any troubleshooting that might occur and as a normal check that the data is flowing properly. Merchants can often overlook this small detail but it can be a good habit to instill for any size organization. Any missed orders or transactions could amount to a lost opportunity for merchants or missed insights in your analysis. Recently, we caught up with Littledata’s Head of Client Services, David Pascu, who shared how this plays out in action for brands: Imagine it's the end of the quarter, and you're preparing to analyze a new product's purchase activity compared to a similar product launched in the previous quarter—only to find that the new theme you launched a couple of months ago broke the event tracking on the product detail pages, it went unnoticed, and you don't have the right data to work with. Frustrating, right? I stopped counting how many teams at top DTC brands have voiced their frustration about such situations. This is why tools like Littledata are valuable so that you have complete data without any unpleasant surprises. Let's be realistic, mistakes can happen within any business but it's our responsibility to limit those mistakes where possible. At Littledata we pride ourselves on building an app that can help your business thrive and grow through accurate data and analytics. Don’t make another mistake by missing out on 30 days with no strings attached to try our app with your store. P.S. Worried your conversions are not tracking well in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)? Use our GA4 conversion checker to see in a few clicks if your property is set up properly.
A deep dive into Shopify's Google channel for GA4
You might have seen the message below in your Shopify store settings about setting up the Google Channel app. What should you do when you see this message? Shopify offers a number of sales channels to make it easy to sell products on different online channels like Facebook and the Shop app. The Google sales channel is a bit different, since 1) it now also includes Google Analytics 4 (GA4) tracking, and 2) it is now managed directly by Google. Although we work with larger merchants at Littledata, who typically use external apps and agency partners to manage sales channels and analytics, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about the recent updates. Here’s a first look at what the Google Channel app does, and how that compares with other ways to set up Google Analytics 4 (GA4). What is the Google Channel app? Shopify launched the Google Channel app back in 2017 to provide an easier way for stores to sell on Google, using Google Ads and Google Shopping. It’s free to install, though of course you pay for the Ads ;) “Sync your products to Google Merchant Center, list products for free on Search, YouTube and more and even run paid Performance Max campaigns.” In the relaunch in March 2023 Shopify/Google added tracking for GA4, along with better support for Google PMax (Performance Max) campaigns. Shopify wants to offer you with a no-code install process for GA4, but adding the Google Channel won’t “avoid any data disruptions” for all stores. [subscribe] Why Shopify is moving GA4 tracking to the Google Channel Universal Analytics - the previous GA version - will stop collecting data on 1st July 2023, so Shopify was under pressure from customers to offer in-built GA4 tracking ahead of that deadline. GA4 is also Google’s preferred way of tracking conversions in Google Ads, and PMax campaigns need conversions (purchases) tracked to maximize Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). I also think Shopify wants to push support for GA4 onto Google by moving all of the Google connections out of their core platform and into a ‘third party’ app. What’s included in Google Channel tracking? The Google Channel app allows a store to pick a GA4 property and copies most of the ecommerce event tracking available from Shopify to Universal Analytics: Page views Product views (including product name and price) Add to cart Checkout started Purchase (Order completed) [note]Are you tracking conversions in GA4? Find out in 5 minutes with our free order checker app[/note] What are the limitations of Google Channel for tracking GA4? Firstly, the Google Channel is built to work with Google Ads. However, there’s many other reasons to use Google Analytics other than for Google Ads targeting: tracking all marketing channels, understanding on -site conversion, checkout conversion, product performance and more. Shopify hasn’t optimized the tracking for that. So there are some limitations with the events sent to GA: No tracking of product list views or clicks No checkout steps, beyond begin_checkout * No currency field on Product Detail views No reporting on product SKUs No tracking of coupons and discount codes No server-side tracking for accurate orders and revenue No Enhanced Conversions for cross-device tracking of Google Ads * Theoretically, an event is triggered when users add payment info, but we couldn’t get this to fire in multiple tests. See a full comparison with Littledata tracking. Secondly, the GA4 tracking is tightly coupled with the implementation of Google Shopping feed (which has some bugs, judging by the thirty 1-star reviews from the last month) so while you can just use the GA4 part of the Google Channel app, you run the risk of disrupting Google Analytics when you edit Google Ads settings. Thirdly, there are no settings to adjust the Google Channel tracking - so if you want only certain events tracked, or integrate with third-party apps, your hands are tied. "There are no settings to adjust the Google Channel tracking. So if you want only certain events tracked, or integrate with third-party apps, your hands are tied." Lastly, Shopify does not provide full support for GA4 tracking via the Google Channel app. The app is theoretically supported by Google, but Google only provides technical support if you pay $50k+ a year for Google Analytics 360. Other than that you’d need to pay a consultant to check the set up for you. What is the best way to set up GA4? You need to start getting data into GA4 by July this year - not just for analysis, but also for building audiences and retargeting your own customer base in Google Ads. So beyond this app, you have two options: 1. Add Google Tag Manager to your store theme Pros: Reliable page view tracking, simple to customize settings, free to run Cons: No tracking of the checkout steps (even for Plus stores), revenue in GA won’t match revenue in Shopify, lots of time (and developer cost) required to set up all the shopping behavior events 2. Use a proven, highly rated app like Littledata Pros: Reliable tracking of the whole customer journey in GA4, 100% match between orders and revenue in Shopify, no implementation effort, no developers needed, instant data quality; and Littledata is optimized for Shopify Plus, including headless tracking, Shop App tracking and multi-currency tracking in GA4 Cons: Ongoing app charge to maintain data quality [note]Are you tracking conversions in GA4? Find out in 5 minutes with our free order checker app[/note] Why server-side tracking? The basic limitation of the Google Channel is client-side tracking -- which means all the events to Google are sent from the end user’s browser. This isn’t a reliable way to attribute sales to marketing campaigns in an age when many browsers and ad blockers limit tracking. The world of web analytics has changed a lot since Shopify added GA via the Shopify store preferences back in 2014 - but Google Channel isn’t changing how the event data is actually tracked. In contrast, server-side tracking allows apps like Littledata to hook into what is happening on Shopify’s servers from the add to cart onwards. This means 100% of revenue can be tracked and the vast majority (~90%) of that can be linked to a pre-checkout user journey and marketing campaign. There’s many apps that promise to ‘fix’ marketing attribution (Rockerbox, Northbeam, etc), but the only way to get truly reliable tracking of orders and revenue is server-side tracking. What your store should do today While I understand that Shopify wants to provide an out-the-box integration with Google Analytics for smaller stores, this Google Channel won’t be suitable for any scaling brand spending heavily on online customer acquisition and retention. You DO need to start tracking in Google Analytics 4 ASAP! If your brand turns over less than $1M a year, and you don’t have the time to dive into marketing attribution and targeting, then the Google Channel may be enough right now. And that's great! But if you are doing $1M+, or need to dive into the details of what drives customers to purchase, then I don’t think the Google Channel will be robust enough for you. If you're ready to be truly data-driven this year, consider applying for a Littledata Plus plan so we can support you fully with higher SLAs and analytics training for your team. Shopify has reason to launch limited free apps (eg reviews, email and geolocation) to address the concern that their sticker price doesn’t reflect all the paid app add-ons you need to run a store. Yet professionals at growing brands know you need paid apps to guarantee quality and support. Littledata’s Google Analytics connection is no exception -- try it for free in the Shopify App store today!
How to create segments for subscription orders in Google Analytics 4
The key to growing your ecommerce subscriptions is understanding your customers — why they subscribe, pause, churn, or upgrade their subscription. Accurate subscription tracking has always been a challenge for Shopify and BigCommerce stores, and that hasn’t changed in the newest version of Google Analytics, GA4. Shopify’s newly released GA4 integration tracks “certain ecommerce events” after applying tags, but subscription events are missing. Luckily, first-party tracking has come a long way since the early days of Shopify. For brands interested in capturing data across the entire customer journey, the solution is easier than you may think. No, you don’t need custom GTM — that can be time-consuming and costly to maintain — you just need the right app that tracks subscription events in GA4 automatically. [tip] Try our free GA4 Conversions Checker to make sure your GA4 property is tracking complete conversion and transaction data. [/tip] Once you’ve successfully tracked your recurring orders in GA4, you’ll need to build out reports to understand your subscription sales performance over time. Building segments in GA4 sets the foundation for deeper analysis. In the latest installment of our GA4 courses, we walk you through how to build segments for first-time and recurring orders in GA4. How to create segments for subscriptions in GA4 GA4’s segments feature allows users to slice and dice their data into smaller subsets, empowering data-driven brands to understand trends between customers with similar characteristics, including whether or not they’re subscribed to your product. This is true whether you’re selling individual products by subscription, or product bundles. Get started by creating a new custom dimension in your Google Analytics 4 property — ‘affiliation.’ By adding ‘affiliation’ as a custom dimension, you’ll be able to analyze subscription data and answer specific questions to your business’s needs. Add these custom dimensions to a copy of your sales performance report with custom event segments, and you’re off to the races! Use the insights from your first-time orders and recurring orders segments to understand your subscription sales performance, analyze the real return on investment (ROI) of your subscription sales, and build out in-depth reports with actionable data. [note] Users can also use the custom dimension for affiliation in a filter and apply it to a custom report. [/note] Follow our step-by-step guide below to take a deep dive into your subscription sales performance: https://youtu.be/aLRsAp3EhWM Get more GA4 With GA4’s deadline quickly approaching, check out the rest of our free resources to jumpstart your GA4 journey: Extending our Recharge integration to work with GA4 and Facebook CAPI GA4: What Shopify stores should do TODAY to keep up with the new version of Google Analytics How to track ecommerce conversions in GA4 10 reasons to switch to GA4 GA4 Glossary of Terms: What you need to know to get started
No cookies? No problem: How first-party data is transforming ecommerce
Digital marketing as we know it was built on third-party cookies, allowing businesses to build promotional campaigns based on user behavior data captured across their web activity. While many marketers are concerned by the death of third-party cookies, we can assure you that it isn’t actually a bad thing. Data-driven brands on platforms like Shopify Plus and BigCommerce can still capture data across the customer journey, understand their customers at scale, and build hyper-targeted marketing campaigns — they just need to shift their tactics. And by tactics I mean both strategy and the right tools to help you get there! Instead of tracking users’ activity across other companies’ websites, brands have had to discover new sources of insights into their target market’s demographics, buying preferences, and browsing behaviors. What better place to start than your own site? That’s where first-party data comes in. [tip] Want to see where your ecommerce tracking can improve? Book a data audit with one of our analytics experts. [/tip] First-party data is data that you own, collected directly from your customers through your website, app, or channels like email and SMS. This includes everything from contact details and purchase history to browsing behavior on your site and more. It can be used to build powerful marketing campaigns, create precise audiences for retargeting, and guide product and UI/UX decisions, all while respecting recent privacy regulations. Adapting to a world without cookies It’s not enough to know what first-party data is, understanding how to collect it in full and utilize it to fuel your marketing efforts is a whole other challenge. Lucky for you, our latest white paper covers everything you need to know about first-party data: What is first-party data? And what isn’t? How to track first-party data in the top reporting tools How to use first-party data to optimize your marketing and make smarter business decisions Learn what using first-party data looks like in practice with insights from industry experts in A World Without Cookies. Download your copy>>>
Using Postscript SMS to fuel your conversions
With a staggering 98% open rate, SMS marketing should be part of every DTC brand’s marketing strategy. The best part is that SMS marketing works well for both acquisition and retention. With Littledata’s new Postscript integration, you can better track which SMS campaigns are driving sales and exactly when and where customers are converting. Narrowing down campaigns to the channel level in Google Analytics 4 gives your business a single source of truth for attribution. 1 of every 5 orders is missed by merchants who rely solely on Shopify’s tracking, and this is getting even worse with recent privacy changes. With proper tracking of your SMS campaigns you can up your analysis of key ecommerce metrics gathered by Littledata like AOV, LTV, and more. Helping your team save time, money, and resources by setting up tracking or doing analysis manually. Littledata even lets you see which SMS campaigns perform best for different types of orders (e.g. subscription recurring orders, first time subscription orders, one off purchases, upsells). Merchants continue to dive into channel data in order to optimize their campaigns and understand customer behavior. Knowing how channels are performing and contributing to key ecommerce metrics enables merchants have a better understanding and build custom reports in Google Analytics 4's newly launched exploration tool. Allowing merchants to have better insight and control over their data. A popular example is Funnel exploration which allows you to see direct or indirect steps around efforts like SMS and how they play a role in the customer journey. Benefits of using Littledata with SMS include: Single source of truth in Google Analytics. See which SMS campaigns are driving sales and exactly when and where customers are converting. Better marketing attribution. Littledata’s app magically stitches sessions together so you can understand performance across paid and organic channels. And build better audiences in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and more. Audience building. Littledata captures complete data about browsing behavior, checkout steps and purchasing behavior (orders, refunds, repeat purchases) for more accurate retargeting campaigns and audience building. Complete subscription tracking. Many subscription ecommerce merchants use Postscript to power their SMS/text marketing, and Littledata integrates with leading subscription apps like Recharge, Smartrr and Ordergroove to track recurring orders directly in Google Analytics 4 and tie them back to customer touch points like email, SMS and Facebook Ads. Littledata’s no code solution offers easy setup without the need for developers. Simply add the correct UTM parameters when setting up your Postscript campaigns and our app will start stitching sessions together behind the scenes. See for yourself with a free 30-day trial. [note] Learn more about our Postscript connection here [/note] Curious about how to succeed in a world without third-party cookies? Learn more about why top DTC brands are moving to server-side tracking.
Milestone Alert: Littledata’s Google Analytics 4 (GA4) connector is now out of beta!
It’s been reported that over 4,000,000 websites use Shopify for their ecommerce sales channels. From finding the right product to listing and selling—merchants are some of the busiest people in the world. And in a few short months they will all have a common problem when it comes to their Google Analytics accounts as Universal Analytics is officially deprecated. However, current Littledata users will not have this issue and in fact many are already starting to make the switch to Google Analytics’ next evolution and release of Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Littledata launched our Shopify and BigCommerce beta connection to GA4 in early 2022. We’ve seen hundreds of current and new customers install our app—which stitches together client-side and server-side tracking—we know pretty fancy stuff. On top of that, we launched GA4 Courses which is complimentary for ecommerce professionals to learn how to proactively setup and use GA4 reporting and explorations now built on event based tracking instead of session based tracking. Giving ecommerce brands the tools they need to track the customer journey from end-to-end in a matter of a few clicks. With that—we are excited to announce we are officially out of beta! Our team stands at the ready to help you as you migrate to GA4 or launch a completely new ecommerce business together. Available on both Shopify and BigCommerce it is a breeze for many businesses to set up and start viewing tracked events from first touch-point through the checkout process and even post-purchase events. “This is a pivotal moment for ecommerce analytics,” says Ari Messer, Littledata co-founder and CMO. “GA4 can seem intimidating from the outside, but once you start poking around you’ll find it to be far more powerful and flexible than Universal Analytics. We were the first to market with GA4 tracking, and over the past year we learned a lot from real test cases with top DTC brands on Shopify and BigCommerce. We can’t wait to see what merchants do with our new tracking – so far the results focus on finding higher ROI on organic channels while eliminating waste on paid channels.” [note] New to Littledata? Read our verified reviews on G2 [/note] Data-driven brands like Geologie have gotten around this Google Analytics roadblock early on and made the move to GA4—with success to tout in the industry they’ve used data as a key function of their business for acquisition and retention marketing to their subscribers. Citing recently the extensive work it would have taken to set up tracking manually, learn Shopify’s API in detail, developing, maintaining and more. Ultimately, in all businesses it comes down the resources you want to dedicate or deploy. If you are a small team this gives you access to the same tools that industry leaders like GRIND use. If you are a large scale enterprise ecommerce business it buys back hours of work for your developers and marketing team members to focus on putting the data into action vs. managing the conversion tracking. Celebrate with us by trying out our GA4 connection free for 30 days, no strings attached. In that time, we challenge you to set up new reports in explorations, build audiences for your Google Ads, and if you are still feeling ambitious try out our Meta Conversions API for Facebook and Instagram Ad campaigns. [tip] Don't know where to start? Book a demo with our specialists [/tip] As always, a special thank you to our customers who make it possible for us to continue to dream, build, and be inspired by data!
Extending our Recharge integration to work with GA4 and Facebook CAPI
With the sunsetting of Universal Analytics (UA) right around the corner, we're especially excited to announce that Littledata now tracks the Recharge checkout in GA4 and Facebook CAPI. It's a super easy way to get accurate, granular subscription data in Google Analytics 4 (GA4), which powers better reporting and Google Ads performance, and Facebook Conversions API (CAPI), which powers better Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads. Recharge was one of our first app integrations after we launched the main platform integration for Shopify in 2017, and it's still one of our most popular data sources. With complete attribution data and LTV tracking that accounts for recurring orders, Littledata's server-side tracking is the secret to how successful Recharge brands improve engagement and conversions on organic channels like Klaviyo and ROI on paid channels like Google Ads and Facebook Ads. Data-driven brands like Grind Coffee and Geologie use Littledata to make better decisions every day. And with full support for GA4, Facebook (Meta) and Instagram Ads, it's now even better. What's new in this release: Recharge checkout steps tracked in GA4 Subscription lifecycle events tracked in GA4 Support for both Shopify and BigCommerce checkouts Option to send subscription events to Facebook Conversions API (CAPI) If you're using Recharge connection we recommend tracking in parallel in GA4. That way you'll automatically have historic data, plus a chance to start playing around with the new platform. Plus you'll save your team a lot of headaches when July rolls around. With GA4's powerful reporting in your hands, you can use Littledata to get a single source of truth about your subscription sales and marketing, from one-off purchases and first-time subscriptions through refunds, subscription updates and recurring orders. Eliminate the guesswork and find your most profitable channels for subscriptions. The updates to our Recharge integration focus on checkout tracking and subscription lifecycle events because our merchants have found this to be the ideal combination to combine data for analysis with data for action (more effective audience building, retargeting, and -- for our Segment users -- marketing automation). We've also made it super easy to automatically send subscription events to Facebook CAPI; brands that do that are cutting their acquisition costs in half! Not using Littledata yet? Get going today with a free 30-day trial. No strings attached. [note]Did you know that Littledata can track headless Recharge setups too? See how[/note]
The six-figure fix: How clean data fueled Flux Footwear's growth
SUMMARY As a company that values both data and creativity, Flux Footwear leveraged Littledata’s plug-and-play connections to Google Analytics (UA and GA4) and Facebook Ads to capture complete first-party data across the customer journey. Littledata’s automatic tracking solution not only saved them valuable time, but primed Flux for success with highly-targeted ads and in-depth customer insights as they scaled from launch to major DTC footwear brand. THE CHALLENGE Goal: Send complete Shopify data to Google Analytics (UA and GA4) and Facebook Ads The founders of Flux Footwear launched their Shopify store in July 2021, offering a minimalist shoe that works in harmony with the natural strength of bare feet. By embracing research on the positive effects of barefoot shoes and the value of sustainability, they created designs that feel just as good as they look. But after launching their Shopify store and installing Shopify’s native browser-side pixel, Flux’s team struggled with duplicate data, inaccurate attribution insights, and large data discrepancies between Shopify Analytics and Google Analytics. Unable to get an accurate understanding of their store’s performance, they needed to implement a data layer that tracks the entire customer journey across tools and platforms. The rollout of iOS14 made matters worse, inhibiting their Facebook Ad performance and limiting Flux’s reach to their target market. Their need for first-party data to maintain deep, accurate customer insights grew stronger than before. THE SOLUTION Fixing the data Within minutes of installing Littledata’s server-side tracking, accurate data was flowing seamlessly from Shopify to GA, capturing complete first-party data at every touchpoint and stitching together multiple sessions. In addition to connecting their Universal Analytics property, Flux started sending data in parallel to GA4. By building up historical data in GA4 now, Flux will be able to conduct year-on-year analysis to understand their business’s seasonality in years to come. Flux worked hand-in-hand with Littledata’s team of analytics experts, creating filters and views in GA to better interpret their data and build custom reports in GA4 based on their unique business goals. https://www.youtube.com/embed/plg4YWdJ97o Hear from Flux's co-founder, Benjamin Loschen on how Facebook Conversions API from Littledata improved their Meta Ad Campaigns. Integrating the tools Beyond the initial setup, Littledata made it easy for Flux to integrate their existing tech stack, see crucial insights in Google Analytics, and establish a single source of truth for customer data. With an accurate view of their Facebook Ad performance and marketing attribution, Flux is able to spend more on channels and campaigns that are converting at higher rates, and less on those that are falling short. Utilizing Littledata’s Facebook Conversions API integration, Flux built lookalike audiences based on their highest-spending customers, leading to a boost in both conversion rate and monthly revenue. RESULTS Flux Footwear cites Littledata’s seamless technology for helping them launch their brand with an accurate data layer. One of the most significant results, in their experience, is having “a team of people managing the data flow—a total no-brainer.” This helped to free up their most valuable resource—time—and allowed them to focus on their product. Since Flux relies predominantly on Facebook and Instagram ads to reach new customers, Littledata’s Facebook Conversions API integration plays a key role in Flux’s growth strategy. Seamlessly sending Shopify data to Facebook Ads and building powerful lookalike audiences for targeting and retargeting campaigns has fueled their recent growth—scaling their monthly revenue by 500% in under a year. They have also estimated over 30 hours of work were saved if they were to attempt to learn and set up tracking manually. With accurate data and a reinforced tech stack in place, Flux Footwear now has a complete picture of attribution, repeat orders, and conversions from customers and their affiliates.
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