The state of mobile ecommerce for Shopify stores
Is mobile a better channel than your current data suggests? We recently caught up with Will from Underwaterpistol and Claudia from Klevu to chat about the state of mobile ecommerce. The average mobile conversion rate tends to be only 1-2% for Shopify stores. But that's just the beginning of the story. Optimizing for mobile is an ongoing process. There isn't just one solution. In addition to technical factors like page load speed (time to first paint, etc.), you have to consider the entire user journey and optimize the flow accordingly. This includes social presence, the details of browsing behavior (eg. on-site search, product list views), and checkout funnel tracking, which can be difficult to do manually for Shopify stores. That said, unless you get marketing attribution right in the first place, you might be beating a dead horse. [note]How do you compare? Check out our list of essential benchmarks for Shopify stores, including average order value (AOV) and bounce rate from mobile search.[/note] Multi-touch attribution models are useful, but it's important to fix basic tracking issues first (such as cross-domain tracking in the checkout flow), and even once you get that tracking set up correctly, it's essential to understand how users are behaving at each touchpoint, rather than just giving each touchpoint a certain percentage of credit for the conversion. This is especially true for Shopify stores and DTC brands where popular mobile channels such as Instagram and Pinterest are a strong draw. For example, if your best (highest LTV) customers are actually coming from Instagram Ads on mobile devices, and then purchasing on desktop once they get into your brand story on a deeper level, then maybe your mobile site should focus on visual brand stories with an email signup CTA, instead of discounts and cart abandonment campaigns aimed at direct ecommerce conversions. Thanks to Underwaterpistol (UWP) for putting together the video chat! UWP is one of our Shopify Plus agency partners at Littledata. Do you run a team of Shopify experts that would like to use Littledata to fix tracking for your clients? Learn more about our partner program.
Lunch with Littledata: Q&A with Anshey Bhatia, CEO of Verbal+Visual
This week, we're continuing our Q&A segment: Lunch with Littledata! We sat down (virtually) with Anshey Bhatia, founder and CEO of Verbal+Visual, to chat about the Shopify world, good design, and where things are going. V+V is one of our fantastic agency partners here at Littledata. They work closely with thoughtful brands that are dedicated to a seamless, user-centric experience on Shopify Plus. We share a number of customers with the agency and it was great to catch up during these crazy -- but also inspirational -- times here in NYC. Let's dive right in! Q: How has COVID-19 impacted your clients overall? Have they seen a boom in orders or AOV, or has order volume been normal? Our clients with higher cost per units for non-home items have been much more affected than everyone else. While no client has seen a major boom, only one client has seen a significant loss, and they are a high-ticket, night-on-the-town apparel company that launched in February. All in all, while there was a slight dip for most in March, ecommerce rebounded quickly. Q: How has V+V adapted to the pandemic era? We have taken on some new client work that is smaller in scope than our typical projects. We’ve done this to help the immediate needs of brands that were not positioned to adapt to the acceleration of e-commerce shopping that we’ve seen. When we saw the need for smaller development projects that could save brands thousands of dollars a day in lost sales, we realized it’s more efficient to solve those short term problems before addressing a full site redesign. We saw the need for smaller development projects that could save brands thousands of dollars a day in lost sales Harley Finkelstein, the COO of Shopify, recently referred to Shopify as a “Retail Operating System”, and we agree with that definition. Our agency is not just building ecommerce websites; we create the infrastructure needed for a brand to scale across many different online and offline channels. [note]Wondering how Littledata has adapted? Here's what we're doing in response to the crisis.[/note] Q: If you were going to start a DTC brand right now, what would it sell? We partner with brands that are mission-driven and are thoughtful about their supply chains and materials. We also love working with brands focused on other mission-driven areas such as health and wellness, and empowerment / equality initiatives. With that in mind, we would start a DTC brand that sources non-perishable ingredients from local restaurants and merchants. Restaurants have come up with inventive ways to sell food and other products while their establishments are shut down, so bringing locally sourced products like sauces, spices, and seasonings to a larger audience is a huge opportunity. For example, Bread makers have seen the second largest increase in purchases from March 2019 to March 2020 as a result of COVID-19, and I have a feeling our team could design a pretty kick-ass bread maker! Q: Sounds delicious! So you're a group of ecommerce design experts — visual design, experience design, etc. What's the most challenging part of creating great design experiences for businesses running on Shopify? Two important issues come to mind. Firstly, brands always want experiential sites, however they also want high conversion rates and AOV. The two don’t always go well together. It’s important that while going through the design process, the tightrope between brand equity and conversion focus is walked across gently and that we don’t go too far in either direction at the risk of losing the other. This is not endemic to Shopify necessarily, however most brands that are on Shopify care deeply about their brand. Secondly, all ecommerce sites need to be accessible to everyone, everywhere. We need to design sites with accessibility as a priority, as it’s not only the law, it’s the right thing to do. The trick is retaining a unique experience, ensuring shoppability, and allowing equal access, all at the same time. Q: What are some underrated elements of great ecommerce design that merchants should pay more attention to? We spend a lot of time thinking about the design elements that are not immediately noticeable. A lot of the new brands we see have certain elements that are trendy or in line with an agency’s signature style. For us, we focus our energies on creating scalable design systems that will bend but not break as a company grows their enterprise. Sometimes that means we have to question the brand’s assumptions and really dig into their brand identity. It’s not always clear and then our job becomes designing a set of guidelines that can not only be applied to the digital experience, but elsewhere. While we don’t specifically focus on branding, it’s important that we understand the fundamental building blocks of the brands’ visual identity, so that we can bring that brand to life across digital touch points. We also pay attention to interactions, animations, and page transitions. These animations are not always noticeable and sometimes they are designed to be that way. If a PDP is image-heavy by design, we’ll create loading animations for those images, with the understanding that it will take a little longer to load some of those images as users scroll down the page. Q: What's your advice for merchants who may not realize that a great shopper experience is stalling their growth? A lot of brands are selling a great product, they’re creating compelling ads on Facebook and Instagram which tells the story of the brand. Then potential customers click on those ads and end up on a site that does not align with the touch points they’ve had with the brand so far. A digital experience that doesn’t align with the brand’s identity will immediately reduce trust between the customer and the brand. It’s important to have a seamless customer journey from delivering ads, to the website, to emails and even into the receipt of the packages. If parts of the customer experience don’t feel connected, you are more likely to lose your customer or lose their potential LTV. Q: How does ecommerce look different for standard Shopify stores vs. Shopify Plus stores right now? There are so many new brands appearing in different verticals right now. Shopify does a great job of giving brands the tools to get off the ground and running. However, when brands need to start to differentiate themselves, they break out of the templated design that Shopify is best for. From a design perspective, you can accomplish pretty much anything you want on a Shopify store all the way up to a Shopify Plus store. Shopify Plus stores, though, are able to elevate the holistic digital experience to another level. Shopify Plus offers significantly more functionality for brands that are going international and are expanding via physical retail or other channels. Shopify Plus is built to provide an entire commerce infrastructure, while Shopify is built for a starter level e-commerce experience. Shopify Plus also offers white glove customer service, which is hugely important for brands serious about their long term growth. Q: Is omnichannel selling a thing of the past? On the contrary, omnichannel is the future of commerce. Some people think of omnichannel as the relationship between offline and online shopping. We view omnichannel as any touch point your customer can buy at. COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of ecommerce, but ecommerce still sits at under 30% of total commerce. While most first-time ecommerce shoppers are going to large marketplaces like Amazon, Target, and Walmart, many of them are also exploring DTC brands for the first time. Brands are looking to shift to big marketplaces while also experimenting with new channels like TikTok and mobile gaming platforms. Additionally, we’re seeing traditionally offline businesses like restaurants looking for additional revenue streams. Shopify’s updates for Shopify POS have addressed the short term safety issues surrounding COVID-19, and we believe these updates will also help to improve the dynamic between online and offline, and make more shoppers comfortable with the idea of omnichannel. Ultimately, brands want to be where their customers are. We don’t always know what channels are going to be popular, but we do know all brands need a strong digital infrastructure in place to adapt and scale. Q: How crucial is it for Shopify Plus merchants to trust their tracking? In other words, how important is accurate Shopify tracking and reporting to a store's success? We use data to drive our design process, inform the user experience, and our ecommerce strategy recommendations. As mentioned before, one of the main problems we see with brands is the misalignment between their marketing campaigns, creative content, their website, and the unboxing experience. We use data to drive our design process and inform the user experience It’s critical for us to know where customers are coming from, how they are converting, how much they are spending, and their lifetime value. This not only helps our clients’ marketing efforts, but it allows their ecommerce team to make informed decisions. We can understand what changes need to be made to landing pages, PDPs, and path to purchase, and we can attribute customers to the correct marketing channels so that teams can align around shared goals. Accurate Shopify reporting ultimately leads to clarity around ownership of the data and accountability, so we can’t stress enough the importance of being able to read and interpret these data points. Thanks again to Anshey and the Verbal+Visual team for hanging out with us online. Looking for more Lunch with Littledata? Last month we sat down with Chad Rubin, CEO of Skubana (and a Shopify seller too!).
Littledata named a 'Top Seed Company to Watch' by e.ventures
Ecommerce is growing faster than ever before, and Littledata is here to support Shopify merchants around the world. We're happy to be included in e.ventures' Top Seed Companies to Watch for May 2020. Littledata is featured alongside startups including Checkly (total raised: $2.25M) and Wise ($5.7M). A truly global VC fund, e.ventures has offices in San Francisco, Berlin, Beijing, Tokyo and Sao Paolo. Founded in 1998, they are known for their founders-first investment philosophy, with a major portfolio that includes such luminaries as Groupon, Sonos, The RealReal, and Littledata tech partner Segment. In the Top Seed Companies feature, Brendan Wales notes that there are no viable competitors for what Littledata is doing with fixing ecommerce tracking from the ground up. Wales sees a particularly strong market opportunity for ecommerce analytics in the current climate: Full funnel visibility has always been difficult within Shopify. Littledata solves that problem and also layers on consulting services for when people hit a roadblock. Large growing market opportunity. Despite these uncertain times, Littledata continues to scale. We are supporting merchants throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of our clients are actually doing better than ever (here's a look at the data). We recently scaled up our solutions for subscription ecommerce and headless Shopify setups, and revamped our agency partner program and Enterprise Plus plans for Shopify Plus stores. Last week we also announced a major acquisition of two Shopify apps for Facebook marketing. Best-in-class customer support remains at the core of our mission. Littledata's Shopify apps for Segment and Google Analytics continue to receive 5-star reviews, most recently from Jimmy Joy, Biomel and Snow Teeth Whitening, with merchants noting the 'must-have' tech for 'insights' and 'accurate data' in Google Analytics, as well as the 'top notch' support and account management. If you are interested to learn more about Littledata's growth strategy, please get in touch.
Littledata acquires Facebook Feed and Pixel Perfect apps for Shopify
Littledata is pleased to announce the acquisition of two Shopify apps focused on Facebook advertising: Facebook Feed and Pixel Perfect. As customers increasingly turn to Facebook and Instagram for a seamless shopping experience, we're here to help stores give customers what they want: the right product at just the right time, no matter which marketing channel brought them in. Pixel Perfect automatically sets up an accurate Facebook Pixel for Shopify stores, along with numerous features to support dynamic product ads -- including a product catalog feed. If you're only looking to sync the Shopify product catalog, Facebook Feed is a smart product feed that supports unlimited products without timeouts or delays. Our expert analytics team is already providing customer support for both apps, and our product team is working to improve functionality for Facebook Pixel and Facebook catalog feeds, which are essential parts of running dynamic product ads across the Facebook network -- in other words, the keys to automated personalization. To quote Littledata's CEO, Edward Upton: "We believe stores investing tens of thousands in Facebook Ads need more reliable tools to target that spend. Littledata is able to improve upon the integration announced with Facebook and Instagram this week, and enable enterprise-scale stores to track their customer journey on Facebook." Shopify and Facebook Shopping Facebook and Shopify made major announcements recently about the many ways that customers find (and now purchase) products on Facebook and Instagram. They've emphasized that these new features will help small businesses succeed, and that's definitely a potential benefit. But let's be honest -- we all knew this was coming, COVID-19 or otherwise. There's just too much ad spend at stake. These updates and new features include: Facebook Shops: a new, complete storefront experience, integrated with Shopify (among other platforms, such as BigCommerce and Woo, Shopify is clearly the most significant: Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke was on the video call with Mark Zuckerberg) Instagram Checkout: a previously closed beta experience for direct shopping and checkout, now slowly rolling out for everyone At Littledata we're most excited about Instagram Shopping. It's not just a little experiment. Instagram's Vishal Shah told TechCrunch that almost 1 million stores are already signed up and ready to implement Instagram Checkout, so it's much more than its previous incarnation as a beta test with large brands like Zara and Adidas. Shopify is deprecating the Facebook Shop channel and will be pushing merchants to create these new Facebook shopping experiences (either ad campaigns or the full FB storefront). Stores that had product tagging set up through the Instagram channel before the announcement can already access Facebook Shops (the new feature -- different from the previous Facebook Shop channel, ahem...this is starting to get confusing). But like many Shopify announcements of the past, the overall timelines are unclear. And while they have improved the setup for their default Pixel implementation, we still see the same common issues like Product ID and revenue mismatches. Either way, these new features aren't necessarily a great fit for larger DTC brands by default -- they'll need something more reliable and customizable. That said, why not just go direct to the source? Facebook Dynamic Ads are already open to everyone, and they're a proven model for high-ROI retargeting and engagement. What do you need to run Dynamic Ads on Facebook for a Shopify store? Actually just a few things, which don't take long to set up if you haven't already: Facebook Business manager account Facebook Pixel (or SDK) on your site Product catalog feed That's where the new apps come in. Pixel Perfect Pixel Perfect is a popular Shopify app for automatically configuring a Facebook Pixel on your Shopify store. Facebook Pixel allows you to measure the impact of Facebook Ads on revenue, and calculate Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). It also allows you to build website custom audiences based on what users have seen or added to their shopping carts. Shopify has a native Facebook Pixel integration, but as noted it has numerous known issues, in areas such as product and revenue matching. Pixel Perfect fixes this automatically. Key benefits include: Send data to up to three Pixels (e.g. to use a backup pixel) Includes a matching catalog feed to serve Facebook Dynamic Ads 'Niche' product tags for building custom Facebook Audiences Order logs for comparative attribution Questions about Pixel Perfect features or how Shopify works with Facebook Ads? Read the Facebook Pixel Perfect FAQ in our help center. Facebook Feed If you're looking for a free product feed that works automatically with your Shopify product catalog, check out Facebook Feed. There are a number of Facebook catalog feed apps out there, but we were drawn to Facebook Feed because it is extensible and reliable. The app makes it easy to launch dynamic retargeting ads for Facebook users who engaged with your Shopify store. It works for product ads and catalog ads and it can support huge catalogs for Shopify Plus stores. Key benefits include: Up-to-date XML product catalog in the exact format recognized by Facebook Unlimited numbers of products and SKUs (no timeouts for large product sets!) Sync many products with Facebook and avoid pagination Compatible with Facebook page shops and Instagram Shopping Questions about setup or features? Read the Facebook Feed FAQ in our help center. What's next Littledata purchased Facebook Feed and Pixel Perfect from Tony Redfearn, an entrepreneur based in the UK. Tony is excited to see where we take the apps: "I am delighted to hand over the reigns to ensure success in this increasingly complex area. Littledata was the natural partner to take this tech to the next level!" As Littledata's Shopify customer base continues to grow, we are always looking at new connections and integrations. Our plan has always been to integrate Facebook Ads and Facebook Pixel more deeply into the Littledata ecosystem, and these popular apps turned out to be a great starting point. Our immediate plans are to improve both apps to make them even more powerful and extensible. Over time, we plan to fold this functionality into our core analytics app for Shopify merchants. For now, we are working closely with a broad range of merchants to understand their needs and how Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics can work in tandem for better ecommerce analytics, segmentation, remarketing and personalization. Audience building is one of our focuses, but we're also looking into the improved shopping experiences announced (ie Instagram Checkout), to see where events from our server-side Shopify tracking might best improve ROAS, AOV and customer LTV on these new channels and checkout experiences. Is there something you just can't wait to do with Shopify and Facebook? Let us know.
Resources for COVID-19 and ecommerce
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world appears to have changed dramatically. But remember: we're all in this together. With hundreds of Shopify apps and agencies around the world joining forces to make a difference, there are plenty of free resources available to help you stay afloat and try to get a handle on what to do -- and what comes next. In this post we look at where merchants can turn for help, share some resources for honest projections about the industry, and ask what the crisis really means for ecommerce, especially Shopify stores that rely on subscriptions for revenue. Ecommerce trends John Kenneth Galbraith once said that the function of economic forecasting is "to make astrology look respectable." In the wake of the chaos invoked in markets by the novel coronavirus, nobody knows for sure what will happen, but there are many in the ecommerce world who are looking closely at the data on a daily basis to figure out where the overall trends might be. At Littledata, we've been analyzing our own benchmark data in more detail (see our open access ecommerce benchmarks), broken down by industry sector. In our first round of analysis we found that around 30-35% of Shopify stores overall are actually seeing an uptick in revenue & order volume, especially in the Food & Drink and Health & Fitness sectors -- even if revenue is growing at a slower pace. This matches Klaviyo's findings below, where about a third of ecommerce sites were seeing higher revenue after the first month of stay-at-home orders and social distancing. Yet there are still a few unknowns, as well as a range of outliers in certain verticals, like seemingly random successes in online fashion during the crisis. That said, the major unknown in my view is still the supply chain timeline: When will we feel the first major "supply chain hit" across sectors? As brands adapt wholesale strategies to the new environment, will over-discounting or confused omnichannel strategies come back to bite them? On the flip side, can independent warehouses like Perishable Shipping Solutions (PSS), which focuses on food and beverage, and even Shopify's own fulfillment network, handle the major uplift in demand? Even if customers adapt to purchasing gift certificates, exclusive pre-orders and other "delayed" products, will restaurants and retailers be able to fulfill the demand once things open up again? And some labels are flexible. Pantry staples are growing in several categories and there's been a lot of industry chatter about "DTC pantry" products, especially among millennials and wealthy urbanites. But this is pretty broad. What defines a DTC pantry staple? Subscription coffee brands like Dripkit and Groundwork should obviously be there, but what about adult beverages like Kin? [subscribe heading="A note about Littledata and COVID-19" background_color="grey" button_text="Read More" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/app/covid19"] So maybe it's not actually about the sector at all. Brands that have paid attention to truly speaking directly to consumers (not just in their product marketing but literally in their messaging) -- along with those who have moved production and fulfillment closer to home -- are doing the best right now. Maybe they'll even give Amazon a run for its money. Key resources for ecommerce news during the pandemic Perhaps it's ironic that there actually is a lot of fake news out there. And that's not the worst of it. Everyone on Facebook is suddenly an armchair epidemiologist, and economists are changing their predictions every few minutes. So where can you turn for accurate ecommerce news? In addition to essential ecommerce newsletters like LeanLuxe and 2PM, these five online resources are absolutely essential for brands that want to stay on top of Shopify news and ecommerce trends during the crisis: Shopify's COVID-19 response page Shopify's COVID-19 response has been really amazing. They're offering $200 million in small business funding, a community forum, plus extended features like gift cards and localized delivery options. They have also set up a dedicated weekly email newsletter for case studies and insights relating to COVID-19 (You can sign up on the main page linked above). Klaviyo insights Klaviyo is a popular email marketing tool used by many of our enterprise customers. Through surveys and analysis, Klaviyo is "taking a daily pulse on what’s happening in the ecommerce world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic". The best part: you can submit your own info to take part in the analysis. See daily trends and how it all fits together. Modern Retail Modern Retail always does a stellar job keeping track of major trends, especially for larger DTC brands and innovators. And that reporting power continues through the crisis. They are paying attention to everything from warehouse conditions to high-ticket DTC exercise brands and the remarkable surge in alcohol delivery in the US (it's been a long time coming). Flow.io blog As we see an increasing number of merchants moving toward multi-currency sales, Flow Commerce has become an essential Littledata integration partner. Flow's blog is an excellent resource for anyone wondering how international payments, shipping and supply chains will be affected by COVID-19. WeMakeWebsites blog WeMakeWebsites isn't just one of our favorite agency partners, they're also insightful analysts of their own data as one of the best-known Shopify Plus agencies in London and New York City. On the WMW blog, they have been paying special attention to purpose-driven brands are differentiating themselves in the current climate. How we're adapting at Littledata At Littledata we've always been a remote-first culture, but now, like many, we've gone totally remote. We're dedicated to sharing as much of our knowledge as possible via this blog and our ebooks and other public resources, like our podcast interviews and help center. We've made some significant changes very quickly: Extended free trial from 14 to 30 days on all plans Free consultations for merchants on any platform Involvement in multiple agency relief programs for struggling brands and the Offline2On initiative, helping merchants get online fast Curating lists of brands giving back during coronavirus (is your brand doing something unique to help? Get in touch!) During the time of coronavirus, we're adapting our products, services and work culture, and supporting our customers and employees in every way possible. Find out more about Littledata's response to COVID-19.
6 FAQs you may have asked during a Littledata demo
Like many SaaS companies (and Shopify app developers), we get a LOT of merchants writing in with questions. Big, small, new, old, Shopify Plus, Shopify basic, headless Shopify, platform migrations from Magento...you name it. But some questions stand out for every Shopify store. For those of you who've gone through a demo with our support or sales team, it is highly likely that you asked one of the following questions about Littledata, Shopify and Google Analytics (GA): When's the right time to install Littledata? Do you fix marketing attribution? Should we use Segment? Why doesn't my Shopify data match what I see in GA? How do you capture complete revenue data? What's included in enterprise plans? And there's a reason why — these are the questions we get the most from merchants like you. In this post, we'll break down the answers as clearly and directly as possible. Plus, we'll give you the resources you need for more detailed answers. (Rather talk directly to a human? Book a demo). [subscribe] 1) When's the right time to install Littledata? In short, it really depends on your internal process. What do we mean by process? Let's put like this: why do you need accurate data? What will you do with it? If you're still working on your checkout architecture, it's probably not the right time. If you generally don't trust data to help make decisions about CRO, marketing plans, online product merchandising, retargeting, etc., then it's definitely not the right time (nor a good fit in general). But if you just don't trust your Shopify data in Google Analytics and want to trust it, then it definitely IS time. And if you're still shopping around for Shopify Plus development agencies, it's probably not the right time (though we can help recommend one). But in most cases, the time is NOW! Every ecommerce site and DTC brand has their own internal process for moving toward data-driven decision making, and whether you're ju or already en route to scale insanely fast, we're here to help. But don't take it from us. Here are some of the cases where clients have said they were really glad they started a free trial of Littledata then and didn't wait to fix their tracking: Migrating from another ecommerce platform (most often Magento) to Shopify Ramping up paid spend and want to make sure the data is accurate (most often Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads) Recently redesigned the site or checkout -- or added products by subscription -- and want to ensure complete sales data and better segmentation in Google Analytics Recently launched multi-currency (multiple "stores" in Shopify-speak) and looking for a way to segment marketing campaigns and track sales in Google Analytics And one of my favorites: "We were actually already loving Littledata but upgraded for analytics training and extra support!" [tip]Testing your new setup in a dev store or production site before moving to a live site? Let us know and we'll set up a free test account[/tip] 2) Do you fix marketing attribution? Yes. Littledata is uniquely suited to stores that really care about getting their data right, and that's especially true if you want accurate marketing attribution. Our app fixes attribution for Shopify stores automatically with a combination of server-side and client-side tracking. We stitch sessions together to make sure nothing's lost, so you can rely on Google Analytics or Segment (our current data destinations) as the single source of truth for both pre-click and post-click data, as well as more complex stuff like segmented remarketing, comparative attribution models and LTV calculations for subscription ecommerce. Our script uses gtag and GTM data layer, and can easily supplement and improve your GTM setup (though many clients find that they no longer need GTM). So if you're asking questions like "Why is an absurd amount of my traffic showing as Direct?" or "Is it possible to see the LTV by channel for our Shopify store?", we've got you covered. As our CEO puts it, "What's the real ROI on your Facebook Ads?" [tip]Get accurate campaign tracking and know your true ROAS with our connections for Facebook Ads and Google Ads[/tip] As an added bonus, we have ecommerce benchmarks in the app. So once you have accurate data, you can see if your Facebook referrals are higher or lower than average, as well as if there are technical factors such as page load speed affecting conversions. 3) Should we use Segment? If you're considering different data pipeline and customer data solution, we highly recommend Segment. It's a powerful, clean way to track customer data alongside anonymous browsing behavior, ad performance and more. In fact, we love Segment so much that we built the only recommended Segment connection for Shopify stores. Here's what one customer has to say about it: "This app seamlessly integrated Shopify with Segment. All of our data is flowing seamlessly from Shopify into all of our destinations via Segment." If you're comparing Segment against other CDPs like mParticle and Stitch, we're happy to chat about the pros and cons and give you an honest opinion about what's best for your ecommerce business. One thing our larger Segment users find particularly useful about Segment is that once a source is set up, it tends to run really smoothly. So Segment becomes a single source of truth in a way that few other data platforms can offer, with literally hundreds of destinations for using, acting on and modeling that data. [note]Using a Headless Shopify setup? Littledata fixes tracking for headless Shopify in Segment or Google Analytics. See the headless tracking demo for more details.[/note] 4) Why doesn't my Shopify data match what I see in Google Analytics? [tip]There's a free resource for that! Learn how to fix Shopify <> GA data differences in our free ebook[/tip] The truth is that Google Analytics (GA) and Shopify need a little help to play nice. Most marketers use GA to track performance, but having a good data setup — even for bare essentials like transactions and revenue — is harder than it looks. In some cases, you may need the help of a Google Analytics consultant or GA expert. For other stores (especially teams well-versed in GA tracking) don't need the help of an expert. There are many reasons for differences in tracking results, but let’s take a look at the top 6 reasons. a) Orders are never recorded in Google Analytics Usually, this happens because your customer never sees the order confirmation page. More commonly, this is caused by payment gateways not sending users back to the order "thank you" page. b) The Analytics / Google Tag Manager integration contains errors Shopify's integration with Google Analytics is a pretty basic one, tracking just a few of all the possible ecommerce events and micro-moments required for a complete picture. Although Shopify’s integration is designed to work for most standard stores, there are those who build a more personalised theme. In this case, they would require a custom integration with Google Analytics. But with Littledata's Shopify app, here's what you can track. c) A script in the page prevents tracking to work on your order thank you page Many websites have various dynamics on the thank you page in order to improve user experience and increase retention. But these scripts can sometimes fail and create a domino effect, preventing other modules from executing. d) Too many products included in one transaction Every time a page on your website loads, Google Analytics sends a hit-payload to its servers which contains by default a lot of user data starting from source, path, keywords etc. combined with the data for viewed or purchased products (name, brand, category, etc). This data query can grow quite long if the user adds products with long names and descriptions. But there is a size limit for each hit-payload of 8kb, which can include information for about 20 products. When this limit is reached, GA will not send the payload to its servers, resulting in lost purchase data. e) Too many interactions have been tracked in one session This inconsistency is not encountered as often, but it needs to be taken into account when setting up Google Analytics tracking. One of GA's limitations for standard tracking is that a session can contain only 500 hits. This means that interactions taking place after the hit limit is reached will be missed by Google Analytics. 5) How do you capture complete revenue data? It's magic. Or at least it might feel that way. Once you put our tracking script in your theme and install the relevant connections, Littledata uses a savvy combination of client-side and server-side tracking to capture every shopper interaction with your online store. Because our server-side tracking sends revenue data with purchase and refund events directly to your chosen data destination (Google Analytics or Segment), it's much more reliable than waiting for an event to fire when a confirmation page loads completely, or trying to hack together a way to capture revenue data with GTM from third-party checkouts. Our app often fixes revenue variance of 20-30%, even for large retailers! Behind the scenes the setup looks something like this: Not only does Littledata capture complete sales data, including refunds, but our Shopify integration also sets up custom dimensions in your Google Analytics account for smarter segmentation and long-term tracking. After all, smart ecommerce businesses know that revenue isn't just about the first purchase numbers -- you need to track what types of customers purchase more over time. For example, do customers who come from a particular marketing channel tend to make a number of smaller purchases that actually add up to higher lifetime revenue than those one-off big spenders? So we add custom dimensions including: Lifetime value (LTV) Last order date Shopify customer ID If you're using ReCharge for subscriptions, note that we also track subscription lifecycle events such as payment method updates and subscription updates, so you can do deep dives into not just revenue changes but the reasons for those changes. [tip]Do you really know which marketing channels bring you profitable customers? Learn from our CEO how to accurately calculate lifetime value[/tip] 6) What's included in Enterprise plans? At Littledata, we've been lucky to have a chance to scale along with Shopify. Larger brands have been increasingly drawn to the platform's ease of use, and Shopify Plus merchants now include Leesa, Bulletproof Coffee, LeSportsac and Gymshark. But even with Shopify's growth, there's a consistent problem: questionable analytics. One thing I really love about working at Littledata is that we’ve managed to keep the core tracking tools extremely affordable, while also offering a wider range of enterprise plans at approximately 1/10 the cost of hiring outside consultants or someone in-house. We have a range of options for enterprise plans to fit your needs and budget, grouped around two enterprise "tiers": enterprise basic and enterprise plus. Basic enterprise Basic enterprise plans can be paid monthly or annually. They include: Dedicated account manager Shopify Plus support Unlimited connections Unlimited country stores Every account manager at Littledata is an analytics expert. They can help to ensure accurate setup of your Segment or Google Analytics tracking, and recommend proven implementation and optimization strategies for Shopify Plus. After all, once you know that you can trust your data, focusing on the right metrics can make a world of difference. Enterprise Plus Enterprise Plus plans include everything in basic Enterprise plans, such as support from an analytics expert, plus custom setup and training to fit your needs. Options include: Custom setup Analytics training Manual data audits Segment support, including solutions engineering Google Tag Manager support Analytics 360 Suite support And a whole lot more. See what’s included in our enterprise analytics plans. In short, we’re here to make sure that you can trust your data — and use that data for actionable results. If you’d like to get started with the app, you can try it free for 30 days. We're also happy to walk you through the app — just book a demo with us online!
Littledata Shopify app featured on Shopify Dropify podcast
We're at it again with another podcast episode! Following last year's appearences on Honest Ecommerce and Ecommerce Fastlane, we joined our friends at The Cut this time around. A few months ago, our team traveled to LA for #ChargeX, a conference for Shopify subscription businesses and agencies, hosted by our partners at ReCharge. [note]Check out our CEO's ReCharge talk on calculating LTV with accuracy[/note] Before heading to California, I joined The Shopify Dropify podcast, hosted by The Cut, a group of Shopify Experts and a creative agency based in Perth, Australia. Check out the 30 min podcast below. If you have questions about how how we can help your store get accurate data, be sure to get in touch with support or our team of Google Analytics experts. Main points How our Shopify app helps merchants measure the core metrics for your business, such as average order value (AOV), customer lifetime value (LTV), etc. The most common mistakes we see Shopify stores make Why it's vital to have complete, accurate tracking at each step of the buying funnel Differentiating first-time purchases from recurring purchases via our revamped ReCharge connection for subscription Shopify businesses How merchants using our Shopify ReCharge connection have been able to predict their subscription sales performance Where many Littledata customers find themselves in the path to scale The questions we get most often Why doesn't my Shopify data match what's in Google Analytics (or what's in my bank account)? How can I get advanced analytics support? The unique challenges we think ecommerce businesses face the most How ecommerce is (ironically) driving the re-opening of physical storefronts Data trends for Shopify stores (e.g. POS systems, pop-ups, new data touch points, etc.) The one thing we suggest merchants do right now to improve your store [tip]Try our Google Analytics app for Shopify free for 30 days[/tip]
Here's what Shopify merchants need to know about CCPA compliance
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is now in effect, and every serious ecommerce site doing business in the USA should take note. So what do you need to know? The CCPA comes on the heels of a year rocked by privacy scandals and data inhibitions (e.g. Facebook and now Google), and California is the first US state to enact a complex online privacy act that appears to be up-to-date with how businesses actually transact online these days. Other states are expected to follow suit. In the words of the California Department of Justice itself: The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), enacted in 2018, creates new consumer rights relating to the access to, deletion of, and sharing of personal information that is collected by businesses. It also requires the Attorney General to solicit broad public participation and adopt regulations to further the CCPA’s purposes. We certainly aren't lawyers here at Littledata. But we do help Shopify sites audit their analytics and ensure that no personally identifiable information (PII) is collected by Shopify stores in their Google Analytics setups, including Google Tag Manager (GTM). So while we don't have specific features aimed at CCPA compliance, we do have a number of features designed to help Shopify merchants follow best practices for data collection and reporting. Here's a quick guide to what you need to know about CCPA. My first dine-in restaurant CCPA notice. Not sure how I feel about it. pic.twitter.com/vU6ZiTCF8o — Jad Boutros (@secplusplus) January 4, 2020 What is CCPA compliance? In short, the CCPA is an attempt at limiting what can be done with consumer data, and making sure that companies don't use it without consumer knowledge. The media has often described the CCPA as California's version of GDPR, the European regulations that went into effect in 2018 (has it been that long already?), but in my view it's actually quite a bit different — both more comprehensive in terms of targeting what's actually done with consumer data after it's been harvested, and more specifically aimed at larger merchants, which in Shopify's case generally means successful DTC brands and others using Shopify Plus. It's clear that the act was written in a state known for both technical innovation and political hardball, though how it will be enforced is an open question. Initially it looks like civil penalties will be limited to $2,500 USD per 'violation' or $7,500 USD per each 'intentional violation'. The act has continued to go through a number of revisions and clarifications, including a number of new modifications posted for review on February 10th 2020. Some of the most interesting, in my view, are attempts at trying to define a 'household' that uses a website. The recent revisions suggest changing this: “Household” means a person or group of people occupying a singledwelling To this: "Household” means a person or group of people who: (1) reside at the same address,(2) share a common device or the same service provided by a business, and (3) are identified by the business as sharing the same group account or unique identifier. It makes sense that they're trying to clarify the end users here. But I wonder: are we going to get to a place where devices are 'people' under the law, corporations are 'people' under the law, and people are...ones and zeros? But I digress. You can read the complete law text of the CCPA online, and the California DoJ has also posted a legal overview with all versions of the law. But I've also included links to useful summaries below — the written law itself is pretty confusing if you aren't a lawyer! Who needs to comply? In short, if you're a larger ecommerce site with customers in California, you need to pay special attention to the CCPA. You are subject to the CCPA if you meet one of these conditions: Have an annual gross revenue of more than $25 million USD Annually buy, sell, receive for commercial purposes, or share for commercial purposes the personal information of 50,000 or more California consumers, households, or devices Derive 50% or more of your annual revenue from selling California consumers’ personal information (yikes!) And if you're selling globally, as are an increasing number of our larger customers here at Littledata, remember that you need to pay attention to privacy laws everywhere you do business. So if you have customers in the EU, remember to pay attention to GDPR for ecommerce sites too. CCPA for Shopify Plus Shopify has put together a number of resources to explain how Shopify complies with the CCPA, including a timeline and white paper. Here are some of the most useful links from Shopify itself: CCPA timeline CCPA thresholds Shopify’s position on sale of personal information How CCPA affects you Processing CCPA data requests And Segment too! A number of Littledata's enterprise users are also using our Segment connection for more accurate Shopify data. Check out Segment's quick guide to CCPA compliance, including an outline of their privacy portal and an API for user deletion and suppression (to make sure that you honor customer requests about privacy). Again, it's unclear whom they'll be targeting. California is now the world's fifth largest economy, surpassing even the UK, but nobody's sure if the state will be using CCPA to clamp down on successful DTC brands, for example, or if it will be taking a strategic line against larger fish like Facebook and Google (i.e. what happened in 2018 when seven consumer groups filed GDPR complaints against Google in Europe). Confused? You're not alone. The increasing number of cookie popups and disclosures seems to only be confusing consumers, and nobody — including the businesses putting them in place — is interpreting them in a consistent manner. Part of this is being called a 'plague of popups' and (a la GDPR) 'banner blindness'. But even if you aren't doing $20M a year yet, it's worth a read through the law so you can refer to it with your internal team. Just like how Littledata doesn't fix historic data for your Shopify store — only your data collection going forward — it's essential to be forward-thinking about potential privacy regulations that might be enacted in the future, taking steps today to ensure smooth sailing later on. Google Analytics consultants are a good place to start. Plus, sometimes it just comes down to common sense. When you're the consumer, how do you want your data handled?
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