5 apps you need to have in your Shopify Plus tech stack and why you'll love them

As marketers, we are always looking at top tools the pros use—or the ones folks with the little blue checkmarks next to their Twitter handles recommended to the masses. In my experience, while it is crucial to test new tools to help move the needle forward and find new solutions, choosing the right ones can present the biggest challenge. These are the top five tech tools that stand out to me after chatting with merchants, attending conferences, and working in the ecommerce space. Set Up Accurate Tracking Using Littledata (let's start with a shameless plug) Well, you knew this one was coming. Data is not in the WANT category of apps for your Shopify store. It is a NEED. I am all in on making decisions from experience and intuition as a marketer. But you become even more dangerous and equipped when you add accurate data to the mix. Having reliable metrics in your arsenal allows you to tear apart your funnel to see what works and doesn't. Tracking user behavior gives you an up-close look at your customer's needs. Accurate marketing attribution data gives you a predictable revenue forecast using LTV, AOV, and order volume. Before jumping into other apps, set up your tracking in Google Analytics for proper monitoring, reporting, and remarketing. Littledata makes this a breeze taking the average store about 10-mins to set up automatic tracking. [tip]Littledata also offers a 30-day free trial so you can see the difference before you spend a dime![/tip] Master Recurring Orders with Recharge You've probably heard the saying, "it's six times more expensive to qin a new customer than to retain an existing one". Many merchants would probably say it's much higher than that. This is where subscription tools like Recharge come into play in a big way. Making it wicked easy for a customer who loves your product to buy it on a recurring basis can help you achieve increased sales and maintain customer relationships. Recharge works with over 15,000 brands and helps them increase LTV and customer engagement while reducing churn—two things we all talk about in the ecommerce ecosystem. They even offer a fancy-free LTV Calculator so that merchants can get an idea of how they can grow their business using subscriptions. Another perk is that Littledata integrates with Recharge! Customer Success Engaging with your customers and providing first-class support is incredibly important for any business. When you are doing it virtually, though, things can be missed. That's why automating your support workflow the best place to start. We recommend our friends over at Gorgias who pride themselves on helping ecommerce brands with their app.     Recently, they worked with popular DTC fashion brand Princess Polly to improve their customer support. Gorgias reports in their recent customer success story that "Princess Polly increased their efficiency by 40%, increased their resolution time by 80%, increased first response time by 95%, and improved one-touch tickets by 15%. This allows the brand to quickly connect with customers on a personal level and strengthen customer loyalty." A foundation built on a great team of people combined with customer success tools can help protect and grow the brand you've worked diligently to create while providing a great customer experience. A solid SMS tool Engaging your prospects and customers using SMS is a must in my opinion. There are many stats on how open rates of SMS far exceed email, but as many marketers know, we use different channels for a range of outcomes and communications. A stat that recently caught my eye was from our friends over at Attentive. Recently they shared a case study reporting a 900% increase in year-over-year SMS-driven revenue for their new client, Thrive Market. The basis for this growth was implementing a few things you can easily try with your ecommerce business: Text to join or sign up Welcome Campaign Free gift with purchase Custom landing pages for direct SMS Check out their integrations page to see how you might be able to leverage their tool for your brand. Drive Reviews for Social Proof Getting reviews can be a huge pain in the neck and often is an afterthought for ecommerce brands. Outlining and creating a “review strategy” is a healthy place to start. Start by asking yourself questions like "What products do I want reviews on?" or "Should I frame the request to highlight a specific product or attribute about the brand?" These are among the most important things to consider when asking for a good review. Once outlined, pair that “review strategy” with Okendo, which is built to capture high-impact customer reviews and showcase them on your site to build trust and drive conversions. These reviews help create social proof, which often means an action taken in light of one seeing the action of another. In this case, a purchase from another would impact the likelihood of someone trusting but then also desiring to make a purchase themselves. Reviews are also an amazing way to secure user-generated content from your customers. Seeing your product in action in everyday life is heartwarming as a merchant, but can also impact those looking to buy—which can lead to better conversion rates. Conclusion The bottom line when it comes to tool selection? Don't stress too much. These are the top tools I've found merchants recommend (and ones I stand by myself), but in the end it's most important to make sure that your tools not only fit your overall product vision, but fit with each other as well. That last point can be a bit of a sticking spot if you aren't using the right connector to bring everything together. Littledata does this very well. In fact, we have a whole case study you can check out to see how apparel brand johnnie-O leveraged our analytics app to do just that.

2022-06-17

We're partnering with Dwight Funding to help brands scale the smart way

Littledata is excited to announce a new partnership with Dwight Funding, a leader in the DTC funding space, to help brands scale faster with flexible funding and hands-on support. Founded in 2015, Dwight provides capital to growth-stage ecommerce businesses to build out inventory, bridge gaps in the cash conversion cycle, and extend runway ahead of an equity raise. Having worked with brands like Cleancult and Chubbies, Dwight has remarkable industry knowledge and relationships, making it a natural fit with Littledata's customer base, which includes brands like Athletic Brewing and Laundry Sauce. What’s more, Dwight and Littledata both take a data-driven approach to helping brands scale. "For best-in-class businesses, being well-funded and spending sustainably go hand in hand. Littledata shares our commitment to data-driven growth and has been successful in giving DTC brands an accurate view across Shopify, GA and Facebook so that their marketing yields the best results." - Ben Brachot, Dwight Funding Co-Founder & Managing Director As privacy standards and the economic environment shift, Littledata and Dwight are here to help. Our shared mission is to empower growing DTC brands to thrive by providing them with seamless access to the tools they need—whether it be capital, expertise, or data to drive decision-making and growth strategy. Whether or not you're already a Littledata or Dwight Funding customer, contact us to learn more about: Optimizing marketing ROI with server-side tracking to "beat the ad blockers" and syncing Shopify data with GA Shoring up your financing in today’s economy How to create a high performing, data-driven culture “We're delighted to welcome Dwight Funding to the Littledata family as we team up to bring thriving DTC brands the tools they need to reach new heights. Littledata itself is in part financed by debt, and we understand the value of borrowing against tomorrow's revenues to fund growth today. Equally, these same fast-growing brands need accurate data to make decisions — accurate data that Littledata can provide for any brand using Shopify or BigCommerce.” - Edward Upton, Littledata CEO We're especially looking forward to collaborating with the Dwight team on resource development around best practices for optimizing cash flow across the balance sheet, from inventory management to marketing spend, including paid channels like Facebook Ads and email channels like Klaviyo. In the coming months, we'll be sharing updates on the blog and in our email newsletter. Ready to scale the smart way? Learn more about Littledata and Dwight Funding.

by Ari
2022-06-16

3 resources to set your BigCommerce store up for success

If you're running a BigCommerce store, you know that data is key to making decisions that will drive revenue. But we can all use a little help sometimes when it comes to analyzing our data setup to ensure we're getting truly accurate insights. To help you make the most of your data, we're sharing three resources that can help set your store up for success. BigCommerce Analytics: The key metrics you need to grow When we're talking about data-driven decision-making, of course we need to start with the right metrics. CAC, ROAS, LTV—the acronyms are endless. But which metrics are actually valuable for you to know and which are just noise? We broke down five key metrics you need to be paying attention to in order to fuel your BigCommerce store's growth so you can stay focused on the numbers that move the needle. https://blog.littledata.io/2021/11/05/bigcommerce-analytics-key-metrics-you-need-to-grow/ [tip]Running campaigns on Facebook? Capture data on every step in the customer journey using the first-party-data-powered Facebook Conversions API, now live in public beta from Littledata![/tip] Do you need to process customer data in-house to be truly data secure? Data security is right alongside data accuracy in terms of importance in your overall setup. Many stores these days, when faced with the many data security options available, are weighing the cost of outsourcing vs. handling everything in-house. The right solution depends on a number of different factors about your store, your team, and your long-term growth goals. To help you choose, our CEO Edward Upton breaks down the different paths you can walk and lends his advice on which way to go. https://blog.littledata.io/2022/06/01/processing-customer-data-in-house-data-security/ A plug-and-play solution to get you accurate BigCommerce subscription analytics Subscription sellers know that gathering metrics on recurring purchases is a different ballgame than one-off sellers. And, as with any unique game, subscription selling also demands a unique set of tools. To help you get granular data about online subscription orders, marketing channels, and subscriber behavior, we launched a simple solution—the Littledata and ReCharge BigCommerce integration. Adding this powerful tool to your tech stack lets you: Track browsing behavior Track shopping cart events, orders, recurring orders, and refunds Improve marketing attribution Differentiate one-off orders, first-time subscriptions, and recurring orders in Google Analytics Read the full post to learn how you can set this integration up on your store today. https://blog.littledata.io/2021/12/21/new-recharge-integration-for-bigcommerce-stores/ [tip]Think you can work with Littledata to help BigCommerce merchants get the most from their metrics? Join the Littledata partner program today.[/tip]

by Greg
2022-06-10

How Littledata Helps Velir Shorten Time to Value and Improve the Odds of Project Success

As the VP of Data Activation at Velir, I always encourage my team of analysts and analytics engineers to demonstrate the business value of data as early and often as possible. This helps avoid the ‘data death spiral’ where lack of understanding in a data project’s value can lead to reduced investment and further difficulties in showing value. That’s why Littledata’s ability to reduce the time to value for data integrations has been a critical input to success for Velir and our clients. There’s no better demonstration of this than our joint work building out johnnie-O’s customer data infrastructure. Building the stack johnnie-O is a leading men’s apparel brand that blends East Coast prep with Southern California surf style. After a surge in ecommerce sales, johnnie-O uncovered cracks in its marketing technology stack that were holding it back from its full potential. Its analytics reports were unreliable, and most of its shoppers received a static, non-personalized experience. In response, johnnie-O engaged Velir’s Data Activation team to deploy the customer data platform, Segment, and connect it to Shopify to produce advanced analytics and personalization capabilities. Littledata’s Segment connector saved the day by streamlining the integration and allowing us to bypass what would have been months of planning and development work implementing an ecommerce tracking plan from scratch. The final solution allowed johnnie-O to ingest high quality data into its CDP and revolutionize how johnnie-O understands and interacts with its customers. Getting a deeper dive into data Like many other businesses seeking to become more data-driven, johnnie-O doesn’t have any full-time data engineers on staff. For this reason, Velir recommended tools that provide turn-key integration over those that would require custom development. Included in this recommendation were Twilio Segment, Fivetran, and Littledata. Each of these tools focuses on making high-quality, timely data available to downstream systems with as little setup and maintenance as possible. Similarly, Snowflake was selected as a cloud data warehouse platform because of its low administrative overhead. The final data infrastructure shown below allows johnnie-O to flexibly handle both real-time and batch data workloads with ease. How Littledata links apps together Like other ecommerce retailers, johnnie-O faced challenges in coordinating the number of tools needed for its marketing operations. Twilio Segment is well-known for its ability to seamlessly synchronize data across marketing tools, but building and implementing an ecommerce tracking plan can take several months. During that time, no data is flowing into the CDP which means that no business value can be derived until after the data collection phase is complete. Littledata stepped up to the challenge by providing a full implementation of Segment’s ecommerce tracking specification from day one. This included tracking for events such as: Pageviews Product impressions and clicks Checkout steps Add to cart (server-side) Orders (server-side) Refunds (server-side) With these events in place, johnnie-O was able to forward them to tools such as Google Analytics for website reporting, Klaviyo for personalized messaging, and Power BI for business intelligence reporting. Why server-side tracking matters in data reporting Littledata’s server-side tracking capabilities were especially important to johnnie-O's reporting goals. While collecting order data through client-side JavaScript (like Google’s gtag.js) is possible, the quality can suffer due to variations in user browsers and behaviors. As a consequence, businesses like johnnie-O are often stuck jumping between different reporting systems to view ad performance, revenue, and behavior metrics. With Littledata’s server-side order tracking in place, johnnie-O was able to consolidate reporting in Power BI which had full visibility into orders, returns, behavior data, as well as shipping and other costs. This meant fewer places to look when stakeholders needed to answer questions and higher reliability in the data being presented. [tip]Learn how to create powerful, dynamic ads on Facebook using server-side tracking.[/tip] Conclusion Today, johnnie-O enjoys easy access to customer data for personalization and reporting. Segments of users like "high AOV boys clothing shoppers”, or "gift-givers" can be easily created and targeted with emails, SMS messages, and advertisements. The johnnie-O marketing team is able to unleash their creativity in crafting sophisticated, cross-channel personalized journeys without having to worry about the underlying data integrations. As a result, johnnie-O has seen increased engagement with personalized content and has been able to make smarter decisions about marketing spend and product purchasing. Importantly, johnnie-o has an enterprise-class solution that will keep up with their ambitious growth targets over the years to come. This is a guest post from Adam Ribaudo, who leads Velir's Data Activation Services. His group is focused on helping businesses convert data into business value through data engineering, advanced analysis, and data strategy. He holds a Master's degree in Data Science from Northeastern and has 16 years of experience helping marketers make the most of their marketing technology and customer data.

2022-06-08

3 ways to better your subscription sales

Subscription selling has taken over the collective focus of ecommerce selling in the past couple of years. Yes, the pandemic accelerated our newfound obsession with getting products delivered regularly right to our doors. But, in truth, this boom had been brewing long before now. Whether you're brand new to the subscription ecommerce business or a veteran looking for ways to get a new edge, we have three blog posts to help you better your subscription sales. Tracking Subscriptions in Shopify Checkout: Everything You Need to Know Ah, the mighty checkout. It's where the most important part of the shopping experience happens—and where you as a store owner get rewarded for all your hard work. A lot goes into creating the best checkout experience, especially if you're selling by subscription. The best way to ensure you're getting the most out of your checkout is data-driven decision-making. So to help you out, we broke down the most common questions merchants have about tracking subscriptions in the checkout. The post has everything you need to know, including: Why Shopify moved to a unified checkout The state of subscription ecommerce Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) in the subscription industry Tracking subscriptions in the Shopify checkout Subscription apps supported by Littledata https://blog.littledata.io/2021/09/02/tracking-subscriptions-in-shopify-checkout/ How to take a "Smartrr" approach to subscriptions The subscription ecommerce industry's growth is nothing short of staggering. With sales on pace to hit $246 billion in worth by 2025, it's no wonder there are so many merchants entering the arena. Before you can grab your slice of the subscription ecommerce pie, you need to follow the right strategies to build a dependable customer base and get the recurring revenue flowing. To get you started on the right foot, we called up our friend, Smartrr Founder and CEO Gabriella Yitzhaek Tegen. She's seen it all when it comes to subscription businesses of many sizes. In our Lunch with Littledata interview, she broke down how merchants can best retain customers, what the future of subscriptions holds, and how to leverage data to become a subscription-selling superstar. https://blog.littledata.io/2022/03/21/lunch-with-littledata-smartrr/ How to win with subscription selling on BigCommerce Customer retention is key to the success of any ecommerce merchant. For subscription sellers relying on recurring revenue, however, it’s essential. If you're using BigCommerce as your ecommerce platform, we have just the guide you need to drive strong recurring revenue and win repeat business. It starts with having the right tools in your tech stack—so to walk you through the setup you need, our friends at ReCharge put together a post on how to win big with subscription selling on BigCommerce. https://blog.littledata.io/2022/02/11/how-to-win-with-subscription-selling-on-bigcommerce/ [tip]Looking to do an audit of your tech stack to optimize for subscription selling? Chat with one of our analytics experts to see where you can improve your setup[/tip]

by Greg
2022-06-03

Do you need to process customer data in-house to be truly data secure?

Many brands with large customer bases are facing a similar question when it comes to storing data—is it time to bring all data processing in-house? Whether this is prompted by a data security audit, a data breach, or a desire to be more agile with data analysis, it's an important question that thankfully doesn't have a complicated answer. In this article, I’ll explore whether you should outsource or insource customer data processing for your brand. Quick side note—for Littledata’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, customer data is usually first-party data captured as part of the ecommerce checkout process, including post-purchase interactions with the customers and web browsing information such as IP addresses. Why you need first-party data to be secure First-party customer data is data the customer shares with you directly through the server connecting them to your website. By its very nature, first-party data is created by a contract—and more importantly, a bond of trust—between your brand and the end customer. Accidentally leaking that data is brand-damaging: 46% of organizations surveyed by Forbes suffered reputational damage after a data breach. In addition, GDPR and similar regulations impose large fines (up to 4% of global revenue) for data breaches—specifically, lax processes leading to a data breach. You might also be concerned about commercial espionage—how valuable could your customer purchase history be in the hands of a competitor or a fraudster? Or maybe your company has been burned by third-party data processors in the past whose security standards did not meet your own. Taking these concerns together, you may be thinking the only way to be truly data secure is to process and store first-party customer data on your own infrastructure. But there are downsides to this. Do you want to own your own data infrastructure? By data infrastructure, I don’t mean owning bare-metal servers that sit in the broom cupboard behind your office. I’ll assume you are comfortable with the concept of hosting data in a public or private cloud environment. However, even maintaining that cloud computing infrastructure brings costs and risks. Your company will be responsible for software patches, updates to use the latest API versions, monitoring for suspicious activity, and handling outages. Data engineering is complex, and great data engineers are in short supply. So, I suggest you are better off licensing a secure data pipeline than building it all yourself. Does your company control the data end-to-end? Frankly, processing company data in-house may be missing the point if you do not control the data processing end-to-end. Many of Littledata’s customers have made a deliberate choice by working with Shopify or BigCommerce to leave purchase and transaction processing to a cloud provider—signing data processing agreements (see DPAs for Shopify and BigCommerce) to store customer data on US cloud servers. Many brands also make a choice to share customer data with Google (pseudo-anonymized) or with Facebook (not anonymized) to improve their customer acquisition and Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS). In effect, these brands are outsourcing the data processing that happens between the ecommerce cloud and the marketing cloud to Littledata. Trying to do this processing in-house makes little sense when the start and end of the data processing chain are third parties. Does EU customer data need to stay in the EU to be secure? You may have read about regional courts in France and Austria ruling against sending EU customer data to Google Analytics—or indeed sending data to any US server. I think these rulings are extreme and will eventually be struck down. There is no practical or legal reason why data processing on servers within the EU is somehow more GDPR compliant than hosting on the cloud in the US. That said, data nationalism as a trend is here to stay, so there may be a future need to keep EU data siloed. All cloud computing networks have EU servers, and tools like Segment make it possible to split EU customer data processing onto EU servers. The limitation is that right now, none of our other partners (especially Shopify, Google, and Facebook) have the same ability to process in the EU. This makes regionalizing only one part of the data processing chain pointless. Is outsourced data GDPR compliant? Yes, you can subcontract data processing to a third party. But to be GDPR compliant, your data processors need to enable the right to rectification, the right to erasure, and the right to restrict processing. All the main partners that Littledata works with (Shopify, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, etc.) have API endpoints by which your customer can request their data to be updated or erased, and this request can be passed on to the downstream processors. If the customer requests to restrict processing (e.g. opting out of advertising retargeting using a cookie consent banner) your company needs to also pass along that choice to the downstream processors. Littledata’s tracking script makes that easy to do via integration with Shopify’s consent management, and plugins for OneTrust and TrustArc. Can you control outsourced data processing? Yes. Doing so is just a matter of working with a processing partner that a) is transparent on how they process the data, b) follows good practices in data security, and c) provides Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for the processing. At Littledata, we are clear about how we process customer data (and exactly what data points are stored where), have a public data security policy, and provide tight processing SLAs for Plus customers. [tip]Learn more about how Littledata protects your data while giving you 100% accurate analytics by booking a demo with one of our experts.[/tip] Conclusion I believe you can outsource data processing and still be truly data secure. In fact, I believe trying to bring data fully in-house is costly and pointless for most cloud ecommerce brands. Pick trusted partners to ensure your customer data processing is both super reliable and super secure, and get on with scaling your business!

2022-06-01

Google Veteran Margaret Sherer Joins Littledata Advisory Board

London, UK – May 26, 2022 – Littledata, an ecommerce data platform based in the UK, is expanding its advisory board with the addition of Margaret Sherer as Marketing Advisor. Sherer, who has held managerial positions at Google, Microsoft, and presently at MIRACL, is also founder and CEO of Cittadina Marketing, a full-service digital marketing agency based in London. “We couldn’t be more excited to bring on Margaret in a formal advisory capacity,” says Littledata co-founder and CMO Ari Messer. “She has a remarkable breadth of industry knowledge and shares our bias towards action. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together as we accelerate Littledata’s growth with brands and marketing agencies around the world.” Littledata is building a formal advisory board in order to help align its growing team on strategic goals, including go-to-market plans for new technical integrations such as Facebook Conversions API and GA4, the newest version of Google Analytics. The startup supports modern direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands selling on Shopify, and recently launched on BigCommerce as well. “Modern marketing success derives from rich data first insights. Littledata’s ability to reclaim data that goes missing in the ecommerce connection infrastructure in order to return insights to companies is invaluable. As first-party data and user insights grow in importance, Littledata will be a key player to enabling smarter, faster growth,” says Sherer. “I’ve loved working with the team so far and look forward to our continued collaboration as an Advisor.” "As first-party data and user insights grow in importance, Littledata will be a key player to enabling smarter, faster growth" After 15+ years working in marketing for Google and Microsoft and an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, Sherer founded Cittadina Marketing in 2017 with the aim to create and execute beautiful marketing campaigns led by strategy and supported with insight. Cittadina has worked with fast-growth tech companies such as Temporall, PepperSq, MIRACL and eDesk, and established blue-chip organizations like Google. Sherer also advises a range of startups and sits on the Advisory boards for Surrey IDEA and Westminster Business School. Learn more about Margaret Sherer, Cittadina Marketing and Littledata.

by Ari
2022-05-26

Google Analytics 4: Ready to make the switch?

Change is never easy. While some ecommerce merchants may be hesitant to make the leap to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), our customers are excited about what’s in store.  Google’s Universal Analytics (UA), GA4’s predecessor, has been trusted by over 30 million users worldwide since 2005. It’s proven to be an extremely useful tool, especially in the ecommerce world, allowing merchants to take a deep dive into their store’s sales, marketing, and product performance.  But like many 17-year-old systems, UA was due for a revamp. By now you’ve probably heard that Google will stop processing any data in UA on July 1, 2023. Beyond that date, GA4 will lead Google’s next generation of analytics, supplying ecommerce merchants with enhanced insights and tools to build out their DTC strategies.  Designed to be a more flexible, efficient, and “customer-centric” platform, GA4 comes equipped with several unique benefits aimed at enhancing your ecommerce analytics. Many of these key features were previously restricted to GA360 users (for the hefty price of $150k annually) and are now available to all GA4 users for free. To learn more about the benefits we’re most excited about, download 10 Reasons to switch to GA4. In this free download, we uncover: The top benefits GA4 has in storeHow GA4’s new features improve on UAHow to seamlessly send Shopify data to GA4 And the really exciting part? Things are just getting started. Google has been developing GA4 for a few years now and is continuing to roll out additional features. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear about the key benefits GA4 has to offer. Ready to make the switch? While Google is still ironing out a few of GA4’s kinks, we recommend that users start sending data to GA4 now. More specifically, we encourage our customers to track in parallel, sending data to both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4. “Why?” you might ask. The sooner you start sending data to GA4, the better. By getting started now, your team will have an additional year’s worth of historical data in GA4 to do year-on-year analysis in the future.  Shopify’s native integration with Google Analytics does not support GA4, but Littledata customers can send data to both Universal Analytics and Google Analytics 4, at no additional cost. Get started with a 30-day free trial. Learn more about Google Analytics 4: An expert's opinion on all things Google Analytics 4 with Google's former GA evangelist Krista Seiden10 Reasons to Switch to Google Analytics 4The rise of GA4 and the sunsetting of UA

2022-05-24

Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

Get a 30-day free trial of Littledata for Google Analytics or Segment