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. [tip]Don't reinvent the wheel. See the top 5 data tracking mistakes made by DTC brands[/tip] 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 Ads integration, Flux built lookalike audiences based on their highest-spending customers, leading to a boost in both conversion rate and monthly revenue. There were three parts to this: Making Facebook Ads data match Shopify for actual conversions (real purchases instead of just clicks) Tracking checkout funnel events Getting the right LTV data to build high-value lookalike audiences in Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads All three were accomplished using Littledata's Conversions API connection. Conversion API (or "CAPI" for short) is a powerful way to get complete, accurate data about purchases and repeat buying behavior (shoppers who come back to buy again). Lots of brands don't even know about CAPI at all, but those that do often end up hiring agencies to do expensive manual implementations. Flux Footwear took the smart route and used an automated CAPI connection instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. The results were big and fast! 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.
Heading to IRX? Catch our panel on data-driven ecommerce strategies
Fun fact: Littledata started in the UK! We've continued to expand around the world, but we've retained a core team around London, including Littledata CEO Edward Upton. So some of our team didn't have to travel for to get to the IRX event in Birmingham (in the UK not Alabama...) this week. It's already in full swing and it's been great for our team to catch up with friends and Shopify partners old and new, including tech partners like Klaviyo (they're a headline sponsor of IRX this year) and agency partners like Swanky. We're especially excited for Ed's May 25th panel appearance on developing a data-driven loyalty strategy that drives conversion and customer satisfaction. He's appearing alongside in-house experts from Trinny London, Avon and EvolveYou to chat about how data-driven retention strategies can change the game when it comes to both loyalty, upsells and ultimately customer happiness. Stop by and say hi! Loyalty and retention are common themes these days, as brands of all sizes adapt to CAC constraints and increased online competition from both new digitally native brands and legacy brands that finally made the leap online (often stimulated by the pandemic context). But do you know how to use data to optimize results? The most successful Littledata customers are all using data to improve loyalty and retention. Their top strategies are: Understanding LTV by channel. Knowing AOV, purchase rate and customer lifetime value (LTV) by channel is essential, especially for subscriptions, so you can target customers who will naturally be more loyal. Building out data-driven personalization. Using first-party data to optimize engagement and provide a better customer experience automatically Leveraging customer data and analytics to create targeted and engaging loyalty initiatives. This is where popular apps like and Yotpo, Smile and Loyalty Lion come in. In today's highly competitive Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) landscape, building customer loyalty is crucial for sustainable growth. Brands are using data for everything from product testing to audience building in Facebook and Instagram, and as DTC brands continue to proliferate across a wide range of industries and verticals, implementing effective loyalty programs can provide a competitive edge. If you can't make the panel, feel free to reach out to our data team for a demo of Littledata, a free GA4 data audit, or check out the refcent case study with skincare mavens Geologie, who used Littledata's ecommerce data platform to drive a 25% increase in subscriber retention. Now that's what I call optimization -- whether you spell it optimize or optimise :) PS. Missed the Birmingham show? We'll also be at the London event in October. Stay up to date with our events listing.
Revenue and retention via Life Time Value (LTV) ft. Swanky
LTV, or customer lifetime value, is a key metric in ecommerce that measures the total amount of revenue a customer has generated for a brand. Merchants knowing their LTV is important because it allows ecommerce businesses to make better decisions about customer acquisition, retention, and pricing. In this article we partnered up with Swanky to give you a breakdown on how you can do this yourself. Before we dive in though — here are some specific reasons why LTV is important in ecommerce: 🎯 Better customer acquisition decisions: Brands are looking to stretch their budgets and get the most out of their ad dollars. Knowing the LTV of customers can help merchants build audiences or target look-a-like audiences that are more likely to engage and buy again. One example is when merchants know the LTV of their customers is high, they generally are willing to spend more money upfront to acquire them because they know they will generate more revenue over time from that customer. 🛍 Improved customer retention: Understanding LTV can also help ecommerce merchants grow and improve their customer retention. By identifying customers with a high LTV brands can create targeted retention strategies or campaigns to keep these customers engaged and coming back for more. We share some ways to take action on this below. 💸 Pricing decisions: LTV can also help brands make better pricing decisions. If the LTV of customers is low, brands may need to lower their prices to remain competitive and attract more customers or build a strategy to move those customers to a higher AOV or priced product. On the other hand, if the LTV is high, merchants may be able to charge a premium price or offer a subscription because customers are willing to pay more. These are great things to A/B test on your website or ad campaigns to see how your low or high LTV customers respond. Overall, LTV is a critical metric for ecommerce businesses to track. The Littledata app does automatically through our Shopify/BigCommerce to Google Analytics 4 connection. Which provides valuable insights through accurate attribution that shows customer behaviour and lifecycle events. This tracking helps merchants analyse and create action plans for their customer acquisition, retention, and pricing. What LTV tracking looks like in action by setting up an audience based on high customer values Recently we caught up with Tom Cox of Swanky, a leading Shopify Plus agency with offices in the UK, Australia & France who said, “By tracking CLTV, you can see which customers are generating the most value for your business. This information can be used to target your marketing efforts and sales strategies more effectively. Importantly, identifying high value customers makes it easier to target them with marketing campaigns.” LTV is an important focus for Swanky and their clients but how do they execute? Here is one way they use Littledata to drive their LTV efforts in Google Analytics 4: 1. Create custom dimensions in GA4 to report on Customer Lifetime value of users ( https://help.littledata.io/posts/customer-lifetime-value-google-analytics/) 2. Calculate the LTV of your top 10% of customers. 3. Create an audience in GA4 by going to Admin → Audiences → New Audience 4. In the audience definition, choose the parameter lifetime_revenue_littledata 5. Then using the LTV figure you calculated earlier, specify a filter to only include users whose LTV is higher than that value 6. You can now use this audience to sync to Google Ads, and also understand which channel acquired those customers. Using behaviour reports, funnels and path exploration reports you can observe how valuable customers are interacting with your brand There are several reasons how this targeting can really fuel growth for brands but as we’ve seen the global market dictate—brands are focusing heavily on their customer retention rates this year. On the topic of retention Tom said, “By understanding why high value customers have churned, you can take steps to prevent them from leaving.” tactics like, “loyalty programs, improving customer service experiences, and providing more personalised marketing” you can really move the needle. If you’ve yet to create an audience using the handy walkthrough above now is the time to give it a go. Merchants who know their customers LTV and can attribute the channels they are coming from such as organic or paid performance like Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok ads will have an edge on retargeting and creating lookalike audiences based on accurate data and analytics. How LTV and CAC enables better decision making No matter how good your customer acquisition strategy is, all marketers are looking to increase LTV of their customers and decrease Cost of Acquisition Costs or CAC for short. For those new to the term it is the total cost that a business incurs to acquire a new customer. It can be calculated by dividing the total cost of acquiring new customer over a specific period (such as a month or a quarter) by the number of new customers acquired during that same period. This will give you the average cost of acquiring a single new customer. For example, if a DTC brand spends $10,000 on marketing and sales activities in a month, and acquires 100 new customers during that same period, the CAC would be $100 ($10,000 / 100). This is a big topic among marketers looking to optimize their existing channels and ad spend. When chatting about CAC Tom mentioned, “by knowing how much it costs to acquire a new customer, you can make more informed decisions on how to allocate your marketing budget” and as many marketers know running campaigns proof is in the pudding when it comes to forecasting and maintaining ad budgets in any organization. Tom recommends those using Littledata to head over to GA4 and use the parameter purchase_count_littledata that is automatically generated by Littledata’s tracking script! 1. Create custom dimensions in GA4 to report on purchase_count_littledata parameter ( https://help.littledata.io/posts/customer-lifetime-value-google-analytics/) 2. In most standard reports, there is an option to “Add comparison” 3. Then choose the purchase_count_littledata dimension (that you created earlier), and choose dimension value 1 to select only new customers. 4. The report will now show the comparison between the segments you have created Knowing the costs and the channels that contribute to that first time customer can be an incredibly powerful tool and insight to campaign management, acquisition strategies, and a/b testing of new tactics or channels. There is a fine line betweening knowing your channels which many marketers do—and having the data to back it up! A few points to take away on the importance of CAC for your brand: Helps measure effectiveness of campaigns Allows for better budgeting and financial planning Helps determine LTV of customers—allocate those resources accordingly Helps Identify areas of improvement—prevent high CAC to wrong target customer In conclusion We would be remiss if we didn't highlight a real brand who has put these solutions into practice and at scale—Geologie. Geologie's implementation of Littledata has yielded impressive results for their subscription business. Over the past three years, they have experienced continuous growth of over 150% without any additional expenses on customer acquisition. Moreover, their data-driven approach has led to a remarkable improvement in retention rates, increasing by 25% year-over-year. Clearly, Littledata has been instrumental in driving Geologie's revenue and LTV to new heights. Swanky reminded us that most of the data is right in front of us and while we can take action now it's important to view how CAC is changing both on the regular and over the course of time. Knowing what channels are driving high LTV customers isn’t a cure all but it will give you the insights you need to target, build, and manage effective campaigns. For many—this is one of many data problems blocked by lack of an inhouse data team—fortunately agencies like Swanky have the experience to partner with your brand. We at Littledata couldn’t ask for a better crew — they put into action the accurate data and tracking we provide for merchants of all sizes across the globe. For more information about Swanky you can visit their website. If you have any questions on tracking, attribution, or otherwise please reach out to Littledata for a free data chat. In the meantime, stay curious and be inspired by data. It is one of the best ways to understand your customers.
How to Increase AOV By Focusing On Adding Value to Customers
What if we told you that the best way to boost Average Order Value (AOV) is to stop focusing on AOV? Yes, it’s counterintuitive. But when your brand tries to increase AOV just for increasing AOV’s sake, it can often be ineffective and even off-putting for consumers. After all, nobody wants to feel like they’re being pressured to spend more money. Luckily, there’s an easy solution to combat this — and it all boils down to intention. Your subscribers are human first and foremost, and as is the case with any other relationship, they need to feel valued and appreciated. By shifting your brand’s attention away from solely increasing AOV and instead focusing on adding real value to your subscribers, you can organically heighten engagement, improve your customer retention, and ultimately increase your AOV. [note] Don’t miss crucial subscriber data by using Littledata’s app with Smartrr to capture checkout events through client-side and server-side tracking. [/note] Here are the retention-driving, value-adding components that your eCommerce brand should target, which will subsequently lead to increased AOV: Utilize Personalized Recommendations & Exclusive Add-ons Cross-selling and upselling are the two main strategies that typically spring to mind when anyone talks about increasing AOV. When considering a value-adding approach for your subscribers, a different and more effective way to think about cross-selling and upselling is through personalized product recommendations. In general, personalization is becoming more essential (and powerful) for eCommerce businesses. About 71% of consumers are expecting a more personalized experience from the brands they interact with — so playing up an individualized approach is an effective way to keep subscribers engaged (and organically encourage them to spend more). Lean into your subscriber data to make specific, personalized recommendations to your subscribers based on products they’ve purchased in the past as well as products that other subscribers have previously purchased together. This way, you’re only recommending highly-relevant products that are significantly more likely to delight each subscriber. And the best part is that happy subscribers are proven to spend more — which increases your AOV. 54% of retailers reported that product recommendations were a key driver of AOV, and leaning into personalization has been shown to account for a 25% revenue boost for DTC brands. In other words, prioritizing the end consumer is an evidently lucrative move. As for an effective location for cross-selling and upselling — a good tactic is to display one-time add-ons in your customer account portal. And to take your add-ons to the next level, you can add a layer of exclusivity. A key component of keeping subscribers engaged is by reminding them as often as possible that being a subscriber unlocks perks that one-time purchasers don’t get. Featuring a subscriber-only exclusive one-time add-on creates the sensation for subscribers that they’re VIPs, thereby increasing the likelihood that they’ll want access to the product. We’ve seen some businesses even offer merch as a one-time add-on as an additional way to level up the overall brand experience. ARMRA offers a branded tote bag as one of their one-time add-ons. Lean Into a Loyalty Program Loyal customers are the bread and butter of subscription brands, and that’s because they’re accurately known for being the most profitable. Just a 5% increase in customer retention rates has been shown to cause profits to spike by 25% to 95%, and loyalty programs specifically have been proven to increase AOV by about 14%. Of course, loyalty isn’t something that can be created with the snap of your fingers; it has to be earned, and that takes time. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t strategies to help the process along. Loyalty programs are one of the easiest and most effective ways to encourage retention. A strong loyalty program provides valuable rewards as subscribers continue to stay and spend money. Consumers can accrue points with each purchase and exchange them for free products, discounts, exclusive items, and more. Loyalty programs also put subscribers in control of their experience, allowing them to select whatever is most valuable to them. Take L’AMARUE, for example. Subscribers can decide to redeem 100 points to quickly unlock $10 off, or they can delay gratification and choose to save 475 points for The Face Cream. By associating spending more money with tangible rewards, you create a positive feedback loop each time your loyal subscribers buy additional products. Much like the name implies, this encourages subscribers to remain loyal to your brand and keep coming back for more. Offer Free Shipping Free shipping is a low-lift strategy to add value to your customers, and the ROI is significant. Consumers are fairly adamant about despising shipping costs. One study found that 77% of consumers have previously abandoned a purchase altogether if they weren’t pleased with the shipping options, whereas 84% went through with a purchase specifically because shipping was free. Additionally, a different study found that 90% of online consumers said that the ability to unlock free shipping directly motivated them to buy more. For one-time purchases, one of the best value-adding strategies is to institute a free shipping threshold. If you provide free shipping for orders over $50 and a consumer spends only $43, they’re way more likely to toss on an additional $15 product to access free shipping. Looking beyond one-time purchases, it’s a good idea to offer free shipping for all of your subscribers. For one, this creates a sense of exclusivity associated with your subscription offering, which is a great way to foster loyalty. But it also gives subscribers a sense that they’re saving money with each purchase, especially if you’re transparent about these savings. Chillhouse lists “Free Shipping, Always” as the first bullet beneath their PDP. Strikethroughs or clear deductions are an excellent way to illustrate savings. At every chance you get, be sure to highlight the amount of money subscribers save by not paying for shipping. This subconsciously makes your consumers feel as if they have a little extra money to spend, and it encourages them to add on another item. Once again, beginning from a place of providing consumers with real value results in the opportunity to boost your AOV. Implement Product Bundling Product bundling is the ultimate paradox. By grouping products together and offering a discount, you give subscribers the perception that they’re getting more for less — when in actuality they usually wind up spending more than they would have if the products weren’t bundled. That’s because the concept of saving money incentivizes consumers to buy a bundle even if it includes a product or two that they wouldn’t have purchased separately. And an added perk of getting subscribers to try a product they might not have tried is you increase the likelihood that they’ll love the new product and come to rely on it, purchasing it again in the future as a result. Here are a few strategies to help optimize your product bundles: Just like with free shipping, be sure to make your subscribers’ savings evident on your PDP with strikethroughs and/or different colored fonts. Allow subscribers to customize their bundles. This way, you can play into personalization, flexibility, and ensure subscribers get exactly what they need. Monitor your analytics to see which items are commonly bought together to identify future bundles. Product bundling has repeatedly been shown to increase sales, and optimizing your bundles to provide your consumers with the best value will only further drive revenue. Highlight Trending Products While we’re on the topic of customer account portals, another way to drive engagement and boost AOV is through utilizing trending upsells. Generally speaking, tacking the word “trending” next to a product automatically adds value to it by tapping into social proof. If subscribers believe there’s buzz around an item, they’ll be more likely to want to try it. The exciting part is that there are myriad ways to creatively leverage trending products in a way that adds value to your subscribers. For example, Wholesome Story took advantage of trending upsells to provide educational factoids about a lesser-known product. This “Did You Know” angle spreads necessary awareness before subscribers buy a new product, taking out the need for any research. Nooma, on the other hand, used their trending upsells as a way to promote a rotating flavor of the month in order to keep subscribers on their toes and give them the chance to sample something new. This adds a level of freshness to subscriptions and keeps customers returning to their account portal each month to see what the new flavor is. You can also go in another direction and feature a relevant influencer’s favorite products. The endorsement will only further boost social proof, which automatically adds value to your brand as a whole. After all, 61% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations. Wrapping Up: Adding Value to Consumers Leads to a Higher AOV All in all, the best way to approach increasing your average order value is by prioritizing and delighting your end consumer. By creating the best possible experience for your subscribers every step of the way, you’ll encourage retention, grow customer loyalty, and naturally drive revenue as a result. This post is the product of a partnership between Littledata and Smartrr. Check out Littledata to optimize and scale your DTC brand with key data insights including subscription data, and visit Smartrr to level up your subscription offering and increase customer engagement. – Written by Gaby Tegen Bio: Gaby Tegen is the Co-Founder & CEO of Smartrr, the leading Shopify subscription app built to increase LTV. In addition to offering out-of-the-box subscription models and a branded customer account portal, Smartrr elevates the post-purchase experience with loyalty rewards, referrals, bundles, and more. Recently, Smartrr raised $10M in Series A funding to further their mission of becoming the first comprehensive LTV platform in the Shopify ecosystem. For more information, visit https://smartrr.com/.
Segment recipe: Build an effective win-back campaign with Shopify and Klaviyo
If win-back campaigns aren’t a part of your retention strategy, you’re leaving money on the table. But how do you build the targeting for those campaigns? As acquisition costs continue to soar, brands are honing in on retention more than ever before. There’s no better way to keep customers engaged and coming back for more than with a win-back campaign that’s backed by data. In our new Segment recipe on win-back campaigns, we teach you how to: Send Shopify events to Klaviyo with Littledata’s Shopify source for Segment Identify a group of inactive customers to reactivate Build and schedule automated campaigns in Klaviyo to run systematically and optimize for efficiency Zeroing in on retention can have a massive uplift to your bottom line. On average, it’s five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, and improving your customer retention by as little as 5% can boost your revenue up to 25%. At Littledata, we have been honored to see the number of high-value use cases that have come out of our Shopify source for Twilio Segment. Using our Shopify source with a trusted CRM destination like Klaviyo, brands are able to push accurate sales, marketing, and customer data to Klaviyo, build data-driven email and SMS win-back campaigns, and retarget their churned customers with hyper-targeted messaging in the perfect timing. The key to building an effective win-back campaign lies in complete customer data. To have a real impact, your definition of customer data must include core data points like purchase history, average order value, and products a customer has been interested in but not bought yet. With these insights, you can reach the right audience at the right time and serve them the right piece of content to reactivate them. With brands like Rothy’s, Lick, and Sheertex using Littledata’s Shopify source for Segment, we’ve seen first-hand how top DTC brands on Shopify Plus use the data we track to target customers more effectively, reducing CAC while improving LTV. Our latest Segment recipe leverages Twilio Engage to help you build an audience of inactive customers and re-engage them in Klaviyo.To go a step further, we’ve added insights into how you can create a computed trait to continually refine your audience – in this case, based on average order value (AOV). Want to send Shopify data to Segment? Littledata's Shopify source for Segment enables you to automatically send ecommerce events to any of Segment’s hundreds of destinations. Capture data at every touchpoint and attribute results from your marketing campaigns with 100% accuracy thanks to our server-side tracking. Did we mention that we also handle identity resolution? Get started for free with a 30-day trial or book a demo today!
How Grind boosted their sales by 50x
Grind had 11 brick and mortar stores in the UK before they dove into ecommerce on Shopify. It was not until the COVID lockdown that they moved from strictly brick and mortar to the ecommerce ecosystem. Before then, only half of a percent of their business was online! After they added subscriptions and built a data stack to inform the launch of new promotion methods, the business scaled to 50x revenue in just a couple of months. THE CHALLENGE Over the years, Grind built an incredible brand through their popular brick-and-mortar stores and newsletters, going beyond coffee to become a part of their customers' lives in a meaningful, authentic way. Grind is gaining awareness not just in their local region of London but celebrating subscribers from around the globe. After losing their offline (physical location) business practically overnight, Grind needed to quickly pivot to ecommerce and get an accurate picture of their online customer lifetime value (LTV) for “one-time” and “recurring” orders. They needed to see and report on customer behavior happening on their Shopify store to improve the checkout flow, build ideal customer profiles, retarget the right customers using dynamic social ads, and make crucial decisions using accurate data at the core of these efforts. THE SOLUTION Littledata's Recharge connection made it easy to get accurate sales data and marketing attribution across the subscriber journey. This smart technology connected Grind’s Recharge checkout with Google Analytics for accurate data about subscription revenue, including first-time payments, recurring transactions, and subscription lifecycle events. They were able to see LTV by channel and—critically—to predict where high- value subscriber growth was most likely to happen. It all came down to “measuring the difference in LTV for subscribers versus one-time purchasers” says Grind CMO Teddy Robinson. “Subscription revenue and return on ad spend (ROAS) were really the biggest top-line metrics for us.” RESULTS Subscription selling has created an exciting opportunity for the Grind ecommerce store to unlock potential revenue, build long-lasting relationships with their customers, and create a community among consumers. Building on their existing loyal customer base, Grind’s introduction of sustainable at home coffee pods— and tracking checkout events accurately with Littledata’s Recharge connection—Grind saw massive subscriber growth across paid and organic channels. They went from £10k to £500k monthly ecommerce revenue, and are have expanded internationally. A few takeaways of what Grind accomplished with Littledata: • 50x Subscription revenue in three months • 100% Recharge orders captured in Google Analytics • 28 Event types tracked in the checkout
GA4 Auto-migration: Why and how to opt-out
If you haven’t migrated to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) by now, you’re likely flooded with reminders from Google to get to it! But what does auto-migration mean? And can it break your Shopify data? With Universal Analytics’ July deprecation date coming soon, the pressure is on. To encourage UA users to make the switch, Google began auto-migrating UA properties to GA4 on March 1, 2023. While this may sound helpful, you actually do not want to rely on Google’s auto-migration to GA4. For data-driven ecommerce brands, Google’s “basic” configurations aren’t going to cut it, and Google’s auto-migration could actually hinder your data quality. The same goes for Shopify’s Google sales channel. With a few simple steps, you can opt out of GA4 auto-migration and set up your GA4 property correctly. There’s a lot of confusion in the marketplace right now, especially when it comes to tracking ecommerce stores in GA4. Whether you’re on Shopify, BigCommerce, or another ecommerce platform, it’s a must to track checkout steps and conversions, but auto migrations don’t cover that at all. So in this post, we’ll be clearing up: Why you should opt out of auto-migration (and how to do it) How to ensure data quality in GA4 How to track ecommerce events in GA4 Why you need to opt-out It’s important to note that GA4 is a completely new reporting tool, built from the ground up for faster reporting, increased flexibility, and streamlined audience building. GA4 relies on a new data model — event-based tracking, rather than session-based tracking — and doesn’t track data like-for-like with UA. To avoid any data disruptions and ensure data integrity, brands need to manually set up their GA4 properties. [tip] Watch our recent webinar to learn more about the differences between UA and GA4 [/tip] Problems with GA4 auto-migration Google’s auto-migration runs deep and migrates several parts of your account. If you’ve already set up a GA4 property, you may think this doesn’t apply to you, but even if you have manually created a GA4 property, it’s crucial that you switch off the auto-migration toggle to avoid further issues. Duplicated orders We’ve seen Shopify stores face duplicated orders and inaccurate data after missing this key step. Even with the proper data tech stack, brands are struggling with data quality issues because they have not opted out of auto-migration. Event naming If you’ve auto-migrated your UA events into GA4, your event naming can majorly skew conversion tracking, if not done properly. GA4 limits event names to 40 characters or less, so any UA events automatically migrated to GA4 that are 40+ characters will not be reported as a conversion because the appended “_c” will be missing. Managing users With great power comes great responsibility. There may be users you don’t want to migrate to GA4 so it’s best to review account and property users and the access they’re granted during migration. How to opt out of GA4 auto-migration It’s easy to opt out of auto-migration. Simply access the GA4 Setup Assistant via the Admin panel and scroll down to ‘Automatically set up a basic Google Analytics 4 property’ and ensure that the toggle is switched off, as pictured below. As an added measure, ensure that you have “Collect Universal Analytics events” toggled off in your data stream’s tag settings, as shown below. How to ensure data quality in GA4 Check that all pages and conversions are being tracked Mistakes and inconsistencies in your Google Tag Manager (GTM) tracking can result in missing data, with Littledata’s data layer, you won’t have to worry about that. Unlike alternatives, Littledata’s data layer works automatically, eliminating the risk of human error so you can finally trust your Google Analytics data. As mentioned above, GA4’s event naming requirements could interrupt your conversion tracking. To avoid any interruptions, make sure that your event names are below 40 characters, otherwise, you could face some issues in reporting. Check your transaction and purchase data Tracking complete transactions, revenue, and purchase data is essential for any ecommerce brand. Many of the apps that offer “GA4 setup” for Shopify or BigCommerce stores do not fix your tracking. Find out if your GA4 setup is up to speed with our free GA4 Conversions Checker. Connect your Google Analytics account and the Conversions Checker will automatically audit your GA4 property for any data discrepancies, explains why they exist, and how to get more accurate ecommerce reporting in just a few clicks. Build out your data tech stack Using the right Shopify or BigCommerce app can help make your transition to GA4 much easier. Littledata’s GA4 integration works seamlessly out of the box, automatically tracking the entire customer journey — from discovery at the source, through the checkout funnel and post-purchase events — pushing events into Google Analytics 4, Facebook Conversions API, Segment, and any connected reporting tool. How to track ecommerce events in GA4 Shopify’s GA4 integration is now available through the Google Sales Channel App, but as with Shopify’s native integration with UA, it comes with a few core limitations. Beyond this app, you have two other options: Google Tag Manager (GTM) GTM is a common tracking solution for ecommerce stores. And while GTM itself is free to use, it comes with a price — GTM is very time-consuming, complex, and often costly to maintain, especially for a lean team. Plus, Shopify’s recent updates removed the ability to add scripts to checkout.liquid, no longer permitting brands to track the checkout funnel with GTM. A trusted app, like Littledata Within minutes, fix your ecommerce tracking in GA4 — no implementation or developer needed. Littledata’s app uses a combination of client-side and server-side tracking to capture the entire customer journey, including complete marketing attribution and post-purchase events, like subscriptions and upsells. Start your GA4 journey on the right foot with hands-on support from our team of analytics experts. [tip] Read our step-by-step guide to tracking ecommerce conversions in GA4 [/tip] Next steps The good news is that there’s still time to fully migrate your ecommerce analytics to GA4 before the July deprecation date. But don’t delay — the sooner you set up a GA4 property that checks all the boxes, the better equipped you’ll be in the future with a treasure trove of historical data, custom-built reports to answer your business's top questions, and a BigQuery export to turn data into marketing magic.
Product Hunt Launch: GA4 Conversions Checker!
We’re excited to announce that Littledata launched it’s second app, GA4 Conversions Checker, today on Product Hunt, a community where people find great apps and tools. Littledata has created a free GA4 conversions checker to help ecommerce managers track missing transaction data in Google Analytics 4. The tool can identify missing key conversion data and ensure that data is flowing correctly, allowing for more informed decisions and better audience building. Most importantly you can also make sure you are not missing conversion data. The tool is free to use and can be accessed through a Google account or by looking up a Measurement ID. Littledata also offers a 30-day free trial for their app, which connects Shopify and BigCommerce stores to GA4 and allows for the monitoring of customer behavior and conversion data. Product Hunt will help us bring more visibility to Littledata’s data platform—but we could use your help. Jump into our launch to engage with the community and try out the app for yourself.
4 Reasons to use Littledata's Facebook Conversions API connection
Meta is pushing all ecommerce brands to implement the Facebook Conversions API. But what is it exactly? And what is the benefit of using an ecommerce data platform to push data back to Facebook? If you're running a Shopify store and you're not using Meta's Conversions API via Littledata, you're missing out on a lot of benefits that can help you drive more sales, grow your business and most importantly run higher converting Facebook Ad Campaigns. As Meta explains, the Conversions API can get you “closer to your customers” and help you “take advantage of first part data” from your Shopify store. But what does that all mean? Can’t you just add some extra code and be done with it? In fact, it’s not so simple. As with GA4 implementations, there are a lot of soft apps and integrations for Facebook Ads that work ok for very small merchants (less than $500k GMV). But serious brands need complete data in Meta — whether you’re focused on retargeting the checkout funnel, building better audiences, or just improving your overall top-line ad spend. Littledata has worked with several of the top DTC brands on Shopify and BigCommerce. Here are the top 4 reasons why you should reconsider your tech stack for advertising on Meta. These are the top benefits our most successful brands have seen after installing our Facebook Conversions API connection. 1. Better targeting of potential customers Meta's machine learning algorithm uses conversion signals to understand what type of people on their platform are likely to purchase products from your shop. By sending conversion event data to Meta, you're helping them understand your audience better and allowing them to target the right people with your ads. This can result in cheaper impressions and conversions for you. Think of this like training the platform to understand your ideal customer profile (ICP). Because Littledata tracks both one-off and repeat purchases (including subscriptions from apps like Recharge, Smarter and Stay Ai), you get complete data for both targeting and audience building (lookalike audiences with a higher LTV). 2. Improved ad performance Meta uses conversion signals to optimize your ads and find the highest quality potential customers within their user base. By sending Meta conversion complete event data and using it as the optimization event for your ads, Meta can show your ad to the right people at the right time, increasing the chances of them becoming your customer. This will cut down on wasted ad spend and increase overall conversions. 3. Better marketing attribution Meta's Conversions API allows you to send conversion event data to Meta from your backend systems instead of directly from the browser. This means that even if the user leaves the page quickly or has an ad blocker, the data is still being sent to Meta’s event manager. Using the Conversions API can improve the attribution of your conversions to your ads, which can result in better ad spend performance and audience building in the future. 4. More data to work with When you use the Conversions API, you can send personally identifiable information (PII) like email address, phone numbers back to Meta/Facebook. This allows Meta to match the user with their internal database and get a better understanding of who is converting on your site. It means that shoppers get better, personalized ads that fit their interests. You can also send Meta pseudo-anonymous data like IP address and user agent, as well as Meta's own cookies from the frontend. This gives Meta more data to work with and can help improve their targeting and optimization algorithms. How it works Littledata is the most advanced solution for Conversions API, but we didn’t get there by accident. Our Google Analytics integration has been the industry leader since 2017 and we used a similar framework to support CAPI so that brands can get complete, accurate data in Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads. In addition to the server-side tracking that’s automatically added by Littledata to capture everything that happens in your online store’s “lower conversion funnel”, such as checkout funnel activity and purchases, Littledata's integration with the Conversion API is superior to other solutions because of the way it sends the fbp and fbc cookies, which are crucial parameters for the event match quality score. Littledata ensures that an fbp is always available and automatically generates one in the event that the fbp parameter cannot be retrieved due to ad blockers. Additionally, the fbp and fbc parameters are passed with server-side events to ensure the highest event match quality. Why are the fbc and fbp parameters crucial for Meta CAPI? The event match quality score is an algorithm used by Meta to price impressions, choosing the right users within their user-base to target and provide you with the cheapest impressions and conversions. If the fbp and fbc parameters are not sent, the event match quality score will be negatively impacted, and Meta will not be able to optimize your ads to target the right users effectively. To overcome this, Littledata's integration with Meta Conversion API ensures that the fbp parameter is always available, even if it cannot be retrieved due to ad blockers. The fbp is automatically generated, and the user is attributed to it to ensure that the event match quality is not negatively affected. When using Littledata's integration with Meta's Conversion API, Shopfiy and BigCommerce brands can expect to see a boost in the number of conversions that Meta is able to attribute to their ads, resulting in significant ad spend performance and improvements to the overall ad campaign. Still wondering how these four reasons work out in action? Check out how Flux Footwear used Littledata to support multiple data destinations. A shoe brand that embraced data when they kicked off their business, Flux saw amazing six-figure growth by making data-driven decisions with data they could trust. On Shopify Plus? Book a Littledata Plus demo today. We’re happy to audit your Facebook data for free in advance of the call.
Subscribe to Littledata news
Insights from the experts in ecommerce analytics
Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores
Get a 30-day free trial of Littledata for Google Analytics or Segment