3 deep dives into customer lifetime value for ecommerce sites
Subscription ecommerce has continued to scale throughout the pandemic, with consumables like beverages and meal kits rising particularly fast in North America. Shopify sites selling by subscription have always been a core part of our customer base at Littledata, and with even traditionally brick-and-mortar retailers moving online and trying out subscription ideas, we've got our hands full with new subscription sites these days. It might be easier than ever to start a subscription box (companies like Bulu have transformed the market), but getting accurate data about marketing attribution and customer lifetime value is difficult without the right data setup. So with Black Friday Cyber Monday coming up, we thought it would be useful to share some of our top posts this year about subscription analytics. Here are our top three posts this year. Enjoy! 1. How to calculate LTV for ecommerce subscriptions Lifetime value is a core metric for many online companies these days. This is especially important for ecommerce sites, because whether you're focusing on repeat purchases or actual subscriptions, marketing to (and product alignment with) the highest LTV customers can make or break a DTC brand today. In this post, our founder breaks down the basics of LTV calculations for ecommerce, focused on Shopify stores using ReCharge for subscriptions. https://blog.littledata.io/2020/01/14/how-to-calculate-lifetime-value-ltv-for-subscription-ecommerce-in-google-analytics/ 2. How to use Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics to increase subscription sales Custom Dimensions are a remarkably powerful feature in Google Analytics, often overlooked because they can be complicated to set up manually (also, they "sound complicated"). But the truth is that with a little background research, custom dimensions are easy to understand, and -- more importantly -- to apply to your daily, weekly and monthly reports in order to get a clear view of different order types, repeat purchasing behavior, and more. https://blog.littledata.io/2019/09/19/quick-tips-for-subscription-stores-using-custom-dimensions-in-google-analytics/ In this detailed post, our lead analyst dives into the complications of modern DTC brands selling a mix of product types and subscriptions. He focuses on how to reconcile differences in different reporting tools, and how to create segments and reports to fit your unique business model. After all, talk is cheap. How can you put LTV calculations to work for your business? [note]Did you know? Littledata automatically tracks first-time and recurring purchases and ties them back to the original marketing source.[/note] 3. The ultimate guide to LTV tracking In this popular guest post on the Shogun blog, we take a look at everything you need to know about LTV. When you know your LTV, you can: Know which kinds of products your high-LTV customers want more of Know how much to spend to acquire a “similar” customer and still make a profit based on their projected buying habits Promote the products with the highest profitability Increase your marketing budget and inbound efforts to attract your most profitable types of customers [subscribe]
Ecommerce events not to miss this September
It's that time of year again: ecommerce conference season. And despite the "new normal," there seems to be more going on than ever. Even the best virtual events seem now to be totally free to attend, where in the past there would have been a ticket cost plus travel and expenses. At Littledata we've adapted to COVID-19 by going totally remote (we were already remote-first, and were lucky to have an easy transition), and for our customers we've presented a range of offers, including a full 30-day trial on all analytics plans for Shopify stores. But like many of our customers and partners around the world, the Littledata team all went through a bit of a virtual burnout earlier this year. Or rather, a real burnout from virtual-interaction overload -- too many video calls and online events. But now we're feeling a surge of new energy, and next week we're doing our first totally virtual design sprint. [subscribe] We always look forward to doing design sprints in person, as it's a chance to get to know our teammates from around the world, as well as sketching, building and testing some new ideas (our Why Littledata? page is an example of a great design sprint outcome, not to mention numerous aspects of our Google Analytics Shopify app UX design). But we're excited for the online collaboration too -- it's a chance to really hone in, focus, and work together to create something new and useful. And if you're like us, you're ready to start getting back into the swing of online events too. Shopify has been hosting some great online events and meetups, but you probably already know about those. So we wanted to focus on some free events from leading apps and platforms in the extended Shopify ecosystem. Don't miss these online DTC ecommerce events There are a number of events we'll be checking out this fall. Here are some highlights from our partner network. ChargeX (September 2nd - 3rd) Headless Ecommerce Summit (September 3rd) Retail Renaissance (September 15th - 17th) Women in Subscription (September 24th) ChargeX (September 2nd - 3rd) ReCharge is taking their popular user conference online this year. ChargeX includes an agency day on September 2 and a merchant day on September 3. There will be speakers from brands such as Smol and Myro, and merchants who attended last year include Dr. Axe, Manscaped, and Lola. This year ChargeX will focus on how to create rich user experiences for your customers, what data you should be tracking every day to maximize revenue, and how to adapt using real takeaways from live customers to grow your business. ReCharge is one of our most popular analytics integrations at Littledata. A number of our customers and Shopify Plus agency partners will be attending ChargeX again this year, and we look forward to catching up with everyone! Headless Ecommerce Summit (September 3rd) The Headless Ecommerce Summit, presented by Netlify, is a free four-hour event covering modern headless stacks, no matter what checkout you'll be using (BigCommerce, SAP, Salesforce CC, Shopify, etc). Everyone knows that headless sites are super-fast. But how does it all fit together? Join decision makers, technologists, and e-commerce experts for a one-day deep dive into how you can leverage the Jamstack to take advantage of this new headless approach. Whether you’re just learning about headless e-commerce, you’ve already started to go headless, or you're a Jamstack pro, this conference will give you insights and actionable information to make your site and your business move faster. For more about how to how to track checkouts for headless Shopify setups, see our headless tracking demo. Retail Renaissance (September 15th - 17th) Retail Renaissance is the flagship conference from Emarsys. This year they're going big and going global (including talks en français!). We have re-imagined the conventional conference, creating a digital-first festival to help marketers, ecommerce and digital leaders in retail across the globe learn from their peers, engage with the wider community and contribute across a 3 day, timezone busting, global agenda. We're looking forward to a lot of high-level Shopify Plus content about omnichannel ecommerce and personalization. Which makes sense, as Emarsys is an omnichannel customer engagement platform popular with larger Shopify merchants (including many Littledata customers). [tip]Should you attend that ecommerce event? Check out our free conference checklist[/tip] Women in Subscription (September 24th) The Women in Subscription conference is a free virtual event with talks from leading innovators in the subscription industry. It's the industry's first woman-focused subscription event, with speakers from Bulu, All Girl Shave Club and more. If you haven't looked into Bulu, check it out -- really smart productization of the subscription box concept, from Paul and Stephanie Jarrett. If you're doing subscription ecommerce and interested in combining the latest trends in subscription boxes with data-driven subscription analytics to power your growth, Women in Subscription is an event not to miss. SUBTA, the subscription trade association, did an excellent job with their last virtual event, and we're looking forward to another engaging experience. https://subta.com/women-in-subscription/
Lunch with Littledata: Q&A with Casey Armstrong, CMO at ShipBob
This week, we're continuing our Q&A segment: Lunch with Littledata! We recently caught up with Casey Armstrong, CMO at ShipBob, to chat about the Shopify world, fulfillment, decision-making during COVID, Shopify analytics, and more. ShipBob is a tech-enabled 3PL that fulfills ecommerce orders for DTC brands; their mission is to make Shopify stores feel more successful online by providing reliable fulfillment solutions, warehouses near customers to help transit times, shipping costs, and the overall delivery experience. ShipBob also has a strong Shopify integration. [tip]Check out Littledata's top-rated Shopify app for Google Analytics -- with advanced tracking for Shopify Plus[/tip] Let's dive right in! Q: Has ShipBob’s core market changed during the crisis? Our core market has not changed since the COVID-19 pandemic started, but our core market has grown considerably. The reliance on selling direct-to-consumer and ecommerce has been steadily increasing year-over-year and now everybody who was hesitant or putting it off has to adapt immediately. "The reliance on selling direct-to-consumer has been steadily increasing" In addition, buyers are creating habits and becoming more comfortable buying online. This will impact retail forever. There is no going back to the percentage of retail occurring offline in the US. Q: Are you still seeing a big uptick in AOV when customers migrate to using ShipBob's fulfillment solution? This varies greatly by merchant, but by offering free shipping, fast shipping, or fast and free shipping, we have seen merchants see increases in AOV from 17% and up to 98% in extreme cases. Q: If you were personally to start an ecommerce business in North America right now, what would you sell? Happiness :) Q: What's the most common misconception ecommerce businesses have about fulfillment, or just 3PL solutions in general? The biggest misconception is that they have to be doing a lot of volume. That is not the case. In fact, ShipBob was built to democratize fulfillment for all ecommerce merchants. We have customers that are doing 50 shipments per month and customers that are doing well over 50,000 shipments per month. They both have access to the same fulfillment center network, run by the same warehouse management system, and they see everything in the same merchant application. Plus, we charge $0 for all of our software, including all integrations and our analytics tools. Q: Are a number of your Shopify merchants selling by subscription? Which apps are they using? Yes, we have a lot of merchants utilizing subscription offerings, so they can increase customer LTV and have a more predictable revenue stream. The most common applications we see now are ReCharge and Bold Subscriptions. [tip]See how you can track your subscription data with complete accuracy.[/tip] Q: Any tips for merchants who might be new to ecommerce? Know your numbers: COGS, customer acquisition costs, and fulfillment costs. Sounds basic, but if you don’t know your numbers, you can't efficiently scale your business or know which levers to focus on! Quick links Littledata's partner program for Shopify Plus agencies and tech partners Free ebooks about how to improve Shopify analytics Headless Shopify tracking with Littledata
Tracking Bold Subscriptions in Google Analytics
With over 1,700 positive reviews in the Shopify app store, Bold Subscriptions is a popular solution for Shopify merchants selling by subscription. It's plug-and-play but highly scalable for Shopify Plus. In order to really scale your subscription business, you need complete sales and marketing data. This doesn't just help with improving marketing ROI, but also increasing engagement and delighting your customers, which in turn leads to higher AOV and LTV. But whether you're on Shopify or Shopify Plus, subscription analytics can be complicated to set up manually -- not to mention ongoing maintenance and QA of your custom scripts and GTM containers. With that in mind, we are especially excited to announce an updated Bold integration that works for both Bold Subscriptions and Bold Cashier. Littledata's Bold Subscriptions connection enables advanced Google Analytics tracking so you can make sales and marketing decisions based on accurate data. Setup takes less than 15 minutes. Bold Subscriptions tracking Subscription customers are notoriously difficult to acquire, so it's especially important to figure out how to predict which new subscribers will stick with your business for years to come. Sales and marketing decisions ultimately come down to data about sales channels and retention. But do you trust your marketing channel breakdown? What about your LTV cohorts? Littledata's Bold connection works in tandem with our main Shopify connection to ensure complete data about subscription sales. Our Shopify app for Google Analytics and Shopify app for Segment both use a combination of server-side and client-side tracking to capture everything that happens in your Shopify store. You can connect your Bold checkout with just a few extra steps to get complete tracking. This includes: First-time subscription orders One-off purchases (regular Shopify sales) Recurring orders Refunds Not only that, but we stitch sessions together automatically so that the first-time purchase and recurring purchases are tied back to the original marketing channel. During the integration setup, we'll also ask you to create additional Views in GA so you can easily analyze subscriber behavior (like how a particular cohort of subscription box customers behaves over time) vs. first-time purchases (which channels or campaigns led to that initial sale). [tip]Once you install Littledata, take advantage of our custom dimensions for tracking repeat repeat purchases and lifetime value. Learn more about our unique approach to LTV.[/tip] The data is available directly in Google Analytics or Segment (or any connected tools and platforms you might be using, such as Glew, Data Studio or Tableau). And our data layer works easily with GTM (Google Tag Manager). Marketing attribution The question we hear most often at Littledata is, "Why doesn't my Shopify data match Google Analytics?" This is just as true for Shopify as for Shopify Plus. As we've optimized our tracking solution for Shopify Plus (scalability, multi-currency tracking, cross-domain tracking, etc), we've found that marketing attribution is still a major pain point for stores that aren't using Littledata. Shopify is a phenomenal platform, it just needs a few extra integrations to make the plug-and-play apps work well with your data setup. Before Littledata Unless you have full-time developers who have built a custom solution for your Shopify tracking, you will likely see a lot of traffic attributed to "Direct" in Google Analytics, sometimes as much as 99%. We have found that 88% of Shopify stores have inaccurate data in Google Analytics, and the direct-traffic issue is especially bad, off by at least 20% for a majority of those stores! This means that without Littledata, your marketing analysis can feel a lot like guesswork (or endless hours piecing data together in Excel from all hour different ad platforms and sales tools). After Littledata Littledata's smart tech stitches sessions together automatically so that you'll see a much more accurate view of marketing channels, including email, PPC, paid search and referrals. Our Shopify apps use a combination of client-side and server-side tracking ensure that every user touch point is captured and sent back to Google Analytics. Adding the Bold Subscriptions integration extends this tracking to recurring Bold orders as well. See our help center for documentation about how Littledata's tracking works, or watch a quick demo video. [subscribe]
The state of mobile ecommerce for Shopify stores (VIDEO)
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.
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