The Ultimate Guide to Subscription Analytics
Now more than ever, subscriptions are a huge part of people’s daily lives. Not so long ago, ecommerce stores focused on one-off purchases to scale their businesses. But consumer buying preferences have shifted — brands and customers are focusing on relationship-driven ecommerce, and subscriptions are at the heart of that change. In fact, subscriptions are now the fastest growing area of ecommerce and show no signs of slowing down any time soon. The subscription ecommerce industry is projected to be worth over $246 billion by 2025 — scaling by more than 9,400% since 2016. In two years, Shopify Plus anticipates that 75% of direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses will offer subscriptions. In this post, we’ll cover... The benefits (and shortcomings) of adding a subscription service to your ecommerce storeHow to get accurate subscription tracking in Google AnalyticsHeadless tracking for subscription storesThe most important metrics and tools to get your subscription service off the ground Benefits of adding a subscription service If you're interested in growing your monthly sales and revenue, adding a subscription service is a great place to start. Subscriptions pose an exciting opportunity for ecommerce stores to unlock potential revenue, build long-lasting relationships with their customers, and create a community among consumers. One of the most notable benefits of subscription ecommerce is the consistent, recurring revenue. The predictable income that comes along with subscriptions allows management to: Plan and invest accordinglyOrder and manage inventory more effectivelyProject profits with ease and accuracy As Shopify Plus put it in their article on the benefits of subscription ecommerce, “on a deeper level, ecommerce subscriptions are about strong customer relationships. Subscriptions turn customers, who already see the value your company provides, into loyal followers who become reliable sources of recurring revenue.” In fact, the longer a customer uses your product or service, the more valuable they become to you. Plus, higher customer retention rates mean lower acquisition costs in the long term.” Where subscriptions fall short Unfortunately, Shopify stores offering subscriptions consistently fall short in one area — their analytics setups. Shopify Analytics gives you the baseline data, but doesn’t give you the full picture of your customer’s journey. That’s why many merchants rely on Google Analytics (GA) to dive deeper into their data. If you’re using Shopify’s native Google Analytics connection, you’ve probably run into a whole other set of issues. From data mismatches to aggregated orders, it’s evident that Shopify and Google Analytics don’t work well together on their own. We sampled a set of larger DTC brands on Shopify, processing over 50,000 monthly orders through a standard Shopify checkout, and found that on average only 88% of orders processed are recorded in Google Analytics. That’s a major loss; for every 100 Shopify orders, 12 go missing in Google Analytics. Subscription stores face even greater data discrepancies, with up to 70% of Shopify orders being tracked in Google Analytics on a good day and as little as 7% being tracked on, well, a not-so-good day. The major mismatches you see in subscription stores are due to the fact that orders are processed without any customer interaction. Data mismatches, no matter how big or small, hurt your bottom line. Whether it be marketing spend that can’t be attributed to sales or faulty retargeting campaigns, you can’t afford to make decisions based on inaccurate data. For data-driven DTC brands, accuracy is everything! Otherwise, you’re just leaving money on the table. Lucky for you, there is a solution to fix your subscription tracking in Google Analytics. Tracking subscriptions in Google Analytics Searching for a tool for tracking subscriptions that works right out of the box and ensures accurate reporting? Littledata is it. Using a combination of server-side and client-side tracking, Littledata captures data at every customer touchpoint. I know what you’re thinking — sounds too good to be true. So here’s the rundown on how the Littledata app works: Upon installation, Littledata adds a data layer onto your ecommerce site containing all Enhanced Ecommerce events — Google’s term for each crucial touchpoint in the customer journey. Littledata then adds a tracking script to capture each event as it happens.Finally, using combined client-side and server-side tracking, the app tracks all transactions and ensures 100% accuracy in reporting one-time orders, recurring payments, lifecycle events, and everything in between. We work with the top subscription services on Shopify and BigCommerce to empower your ecommerce store with complete data. Littledata automatically audits and fixes your data right at the source, bringing you complete and accurate data in Google Analytics, Segment, or any of your favorite reporting tools. Our plug-and-play solution is as simple as that. Minutes after installing, you’ll have access to truly meaningful data and the power to make your marketing dollars work better for your store. What does this mean for you? Make marketing and sales decisions backed by data that you can trustTrack one-time orders, first-time payments, and recurring transactionsAccurate marketing attribution data for one-time and subscription ordersMeasure LTV by product, channel, or sourceTrack multiple checkout funnels with 100% accuracyGet the full picture of your customers’ journey with tracking at every touchpointComplete tracking for headless setups Headless tracking for subscription stores Headless commerce doesn’t have to come at the cost of missing data. Whether your site uses a collection of headless landing pages or a full headless architecture implementation, Littledata's Shopify to Google Analytics connection is compatible with headless setups to capture Enhanced Ecommerce events and ensure a complete data match between Shopify and Google Analytics. What metrics are the most important for subscription stores? Analytics really matters when it comes to subscription ecommerce, which is why identifying key metrics is that much more important. The three most important metrics, which indicate your store’s performance, growth, and longevity are: Average order value (AOV)Customer lifetime value (LTV)Churn These metrics will guide your sales and marketing decisions and ultimately determine the fate of your store. Average Order Value AOV — the average amount spent by customers when they place an order — measures sales trends and reflects customer behavior and buying preferences. This can be one of the trickiest metrics to increase. Boosting AOV is a priority goal for ecommerce teams as it directly impacts profits (and customer lifetime value). Order value can be maximized with upsells and cross-sells, but there’s a fine line between encouraging and annoying your customers. Ecommerce tools like CartHook and subscription apps like ReCharge specialize in incorporating unobtrusive upselling into your customers’ buying experience, providing an easy solution to one of our customers’ biggest feats. Find out if your AOV is in good shape: benchmark your ecommerce store against thousands of other brands in your sector. Customer Lifetime Value LTV is considered a “universal indicator;” it’s a comprehensive metric that encompasses the overall health of your subscription store. LTV is the best indicator of churn, best projector of profit, and best aid in decision making. When it comes to marketing and sales decisions, LTV helps you easily identify which products and channels are your top performers and bring you your most valuable customers. Find out how you can use Littledata’s custom dimensions to calculate customer lifetime value with your data in Google Analytics. Churn For subscription stores especially, Shopify stores live and die by churn — the rate at which subscribers stop subscribing to your store. Churn is the flip side of your retention rate, revealing how many customers shopped with you and didn't return. Your churn rate is a critical indicator of the health of your subscription business, reflecting its overall viability in the long run. Where to see the data Data is everywhere. But at Littledata, we believe that you should have full ownership of your own ecommerce data. Unlike reporting tools that focus on external data storage or complicated interfaces, Littledata automatically audits your setup, fixes your tracking, and leaves it where it should be: with you. From discovery at the source to events throughout their shopping experience — our combined server-side and client-side tracking captures data at every touchpoint and sends that data directly to Google Analytics or Segment. If you’re using our Google Analytics app for Shopify, you can see that data directly in Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, or your favorite reporting tool that works with GA, like Google Data Studio. If you’re using our Segment app for Shopify, you can send data to hundreds of Segment destinations for analysis or remarketing. Apps to fuel your ecommerce subscriptions Both Shopify and BigCommerce have a wide array of plug-and-play subscription apps that make it easy to boost your store’s performance; Littledata has built connections with the top subscription services in ecommerce to equip your team with the tools needed to make data-driven decisions. ReCharge ReCharge is a leading subscription management app, designed to let your store offer subscriptions with a few clicks. Since 2014, merchants of all sizes have used ReCharge’s billing and payment solutions to grow their business by increasing customer lifetime value and reducing customer churn. ReCharge has helped to power the growth of industry-leading brands like Wild and Grind through their revenue-boosting tools like upsells, SMS and email notifications, and actionable subscription insights. Check out our interview with Teddy Robinson, CMO and Creative Director of Grind, and find out how they harnessed accurate data to grow their monthly subscriptions by 50x in just three months. Bold Subscriptions Bold Subscriptions helps merchants to generate predictable recurring revenue and build customer loyalty with a customizable subscription program that’s unique to your business. The app is compatible with multiple ecommerce platforms, integrates with over a dozen payment gateways, and allows merchants to craft any subscription program with API customization. Bold Subscriptions is widely used across ecommerce platforms by brands like Wulf’s Fish and Staples Canada. Ordergroove Ordergroove is a recurring billing solution that helps merchants maximize subscriber enrollment, grow their AOV, and boost customer retention. Ordergroove allows customers to create a personalized subscriber experience through promotions, rewards programs, and more. It’s a popular solution for larger brands — like Yankee Candle and Kind Snacks — and offers a range of integrations to help brands scale. Smartrr Smartrr’s subscription ecommerce app is designed for Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants to offer personalized subscriptions to their customer base, allowing subscribers to manage their recurring orders, providing gifting options, and offering upsell add-ons and product swaps that increase customer satisfaction. Their no-code approach makes it easy for early-stage ecommerce stores — like Misfits Market and Sanzo — to hit the ground running with subscriptions. Paywhirl PayWhirl provides powerful widgets & tools to manage your recurring billing. Paywhirl helps ecommerce stores sell subscriptions, pre-orders, payment plans, and more. Rebillia Rebillia makes subscription easy by giving customers the option to save payment information for future purchases, subscribe to their favorite products or services, and send powerful, automatic recommendation emails according to purchase history. Rebillia empowers major brands like Charmin and Gillette to sell by subscription. So what's next? The rise in subscription ecommerce is just heating up; what better time than now to launch your subscription store? From subscription management to analytics and more — there are tons of apps across Shopify and BigCommerce to help you scale your business.Take the first step towards making data-backed decisions with your 30-day free trial with Littledata.
Why work at Littledata?
Many of us have a similar idea when picturing the perfect job. A role with opportunities to grow, a stimulating work environment, caring coworkers and, of course, a reliable income that we feel meets our value. Finding that ideal fit, however, isn’t easy. That’s true for companies looking to hire the perfect candidate, as well. In the end, it comes down to a focus on company culture. One where employees lift each other up. Where each team member feels valued and sees how their work adds to the company’s overall goals. Our team at Littledata spans across the globe, but we’re still a very tight-knit group. We believe that comes from our commitment to bringing on team members who fit their role both technically and culturally. Finding that perfect fit is challenging when we’re competing against industry giants for our top candidates. There’s no denying that there are lots of perks to working at a big tech company like Apple or Google. But working for a successful analytics startup like Littledata has many special perks of its own. Not least of which is that everyone’s voice is heard, and every team member contributes key ideas to our product growth and partner community. "We work toward shared goals at Littledata, and that's been a key to both customer success and employee happiness," says Littledata co-founder Ari Messer, who leads our remote US team. Any one of our employees could have just as easily joined a bigger company, but chose Littledata instead. And they choose Littledata, again and again, every day. We asked our team why they decided to work at Littledata and what they love most about being a part of our family. Here are some of the top reasons they gave us, in their own words. If Littledata sounds like a team you’d like to be a part of, we want to hear from you. We list our open opportunities on our careers page. Don’t see the right fit? Stay in touch for future roles; we're scaling quickly and new job opportunities pop up almost weekly. Great work begins with great values Our core company values have remained the same since launch and continue to guide our proverbial ship. They weave throughout our day-to-day work, team offsite trips and design sprints, and continue to play a massive role in our success. Littledata founder and CEO Edward Upton defined these values early on, and they remain an essential part of our work culture. 1) New technologies Littledata is a next-gen data connector. We develop super-fast analytics apps using the latest web services and tools. Our apps empower top direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands to use modern data stacks without sacrificing speed or flexibility. 2) Happy people We believe a happy staff translates into happy customers. We employ happy and productive people with flexible working hours, engaged learning plans, and fun outside of work. 3) Collaboration We believe that true innovation comes from an environment marked by challenge, curiosity, and communication. We emphasize cross-team collaboration and share Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) across the company. Working remotely, together Littledata has had a remote, distributed team since the beginning. When COVID-19 hit, companies all over the world grappled with the sudden transition to working outside the same office. Our team didn’t skip a beat because we’ve been working this way for years. Most importantly, working remotely allows us to be flexible in more ways than one. We encourage our team to work where they want, when they want, and how they want. In fact, we've found that when done right, remote work is more productive. Work where you want Getting the most out of your work comes down to your own productivity and routines. We encourage our team to work wherever they feel the most productive that day—whether that be at home, a coffee shop, a co-working space or a more traditional office. Work when you want Many of us have families to take care of, errands to run, and outside interests to explore. Our team members live dynamic lives. That’s part of what makes them so amazing to be around—inside and outside of the workplace. Work shouldn’t consume your life or dictate how you live each day. Aside from scheduled meetings, at Littledata your time is yours. We encourage our team to work at their own pace, meaning that they can take back ownership of their day-to-day routines. Time is our most valuable resource, it’s best we spend it wisely. Our team works when they feel most productive—which doesn’t have to be from 9 to 5. Work how you want Keeping a strong work-life balance is essential at Littledata. That’s why our remote work culture only helps to promote finding an equilibrium between your work and everything else outside of it. We encourage our team members to find a balance between their work responsibilities and their responsibilities outside of the “office.” We know that life happens, so we give our team the freedom to be present in their personal lives. That’s how we build happy employees empowered to do their best work. Being remote also means that we can hire the best talent from around the world, not just one specific area. Littledata’s international team has members across the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., with hubs in Nashville, New York City, London, Cluj, and Bucharest (plus more cities coming soon!). Completely remote work isn’t for everyone, though. Some people do work best in an office setting with a fixed, "regular" schedule. That’s why we support co-working spaces and collaborative offices as needed. Never stop learning Each month, our employees receive dedicated “learning days” to further develop their skills. This time helps us explore our areas of interest while building up the skills we need to master our work. Those learning days have included all kinds of things: Online courses in Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, data visualization, data science, and more Project-based learning around new programming languages and tools like Netlify Speaking and participation at conferences such as Google I/O, Shopify Unite and Measurecamp (we're looking forward to the return of in-person events!) By investing in our team’s professional development and interests, we’re building the best brand ambassadors Littledata could ask for, who are also experts in their craft. Build something great All of our greatest ideas, updates, and designs are the product of collaboration. Our team members may call different countries home, but we are constantly working together online. The Littledata development team builds the backbone of our data platform, and their work helps power hundreds of ecommerce businesses around the world. Their code ensures the successful delivery of hundreds of millions of essential tracking events to our customers' analytics tools and data warehouses. Through collaboration with our marketing team, customer support team, and operations team, the dev team is able to build off shared ideas to develop cohesive, creative, and innovative solutions. The support, insights, and feedback they receive help them mold Littledata's analytics platform into the best version it can be. Annual offsite meetings It’s important for us to find time each year to put work aside and connect as a team. Our global team gathers annually for an offsite retreat—typically held in Europe. This provides us a great opportunity to collaborate, catch up, and relax alongside all of our team members. During week-long offsites we find a balance between work and leisure, taking advantage of the great opportunity to collaborate and bond as a team. Throughout the week, we run a design sprint. The process helps to spark innovation and align members under a shared vision. This gives us the chance to work in cross-functional teams, and gain a better understanding of the goals of each department. Some of Littledata’s greatest advancements were the result of design sprints, and they've helped place Littledata as the future of ecommerce analytics tools. Work hard, play hard! We find plenty of time to have fun during our offsites, exploring the city we’re visiting, lounging on the beach, and most definitely enjoying the amazing company of our co-workers. And it doesn't stop there. During monthly "sprint retrospectives," every team member has a chance to highlight what's been working best and also suggest improvements to company processes, whether that's about how we make feature requests or how we might improve cross-team communications. At the end of each quarter, we also take time as a company to reflect on the goals we set for the past 3 months, assess our performance, and create specific OKRs for where we want to be and what we want to achieve in the next quarter. Each of these OKRs aligns individual departments toward our overall company objective, guiding our team under common goals and uniting our vision for the future. Join the Littledata family While the greatest resource we can give to our employees may very well be time (and freedom over their time), our greatest resource is our team. Our product would be nothing without the people behind it that shape it every day. Our team is small but mighty, with each member playing an integral part in Littledata’s success. They are the backbone of our product, between our incredible support team to our skillful engineers, and everyone in between. Together we’re able to build a product that each and every one of us is proud to stand behind. Since our team collaborates from across the world, it’s even more important that we invest our time in building inter-team relationships. Something we value most about Littledata is our camaraderie; we support each other in all of our professional and personal endeavors. “We always blame the problem, not the person.” —David Pascu, Head of Client Services Here at Littledata, we’re surrounded by some of the most uplifting people, who encourage us to work harder every day for the betterment of our team as a whole. As David so wisely put it: “We blame the problem, not the person.” We investigate those problems head-on in our design sprints, often solving big problems in a short time. Some days that’s a product improvement for the install flow of a particular Shopify analytics connection. Other days, we’re crafting the perfect answer to the question “Why Littledata?” or prototyping a tool that visualizes analytics throughputs more succinctly. (Yes, those were real design sprint projects!) Our can-do attitude makes any challenge seem possible. Our bond as a team makes working together toward solutions and innovation an exciting task. Work as a team, win as a team As a startup, we understand that each one of our employees is taking a leap of faith in joining our team. That’s also part of what makes our team so strong. Every member of the Littledata team believes in the work that they do and the service they provide. While joining a startup can be a risky decision, great risks yield great rewards. Our team is 100% to thank for Littledata’s growth and success over the years. We’re the first to give thanks where it is due; when we hit milestones and reach our goals each quarter and annually, our team are the first ones rewarded. One of the greatest benefits of being part of a small team like Littledata is the lack of bureaucracy that many encounter in larger corporations. Each of our team members has what we like to call ‘flexible’ roles—and let’s be clear, flexible does not mean multiple. By ‘flexible’ we mean that we encourage our employees to explore other fields that interest them, but might be out of their "job description." Allowing our team to follow their passions, interests, and work in areas that they do best in creates a recipe for success. So, are you in? We’re always looking for motivated and talented team members to become a part of the Littledata family. If you want to be a part of building a market-leading analytics tool while also shaping a truly special team culture, we want to hear from you. Not passionate about ecommerce analytics yet? Join our team and you will be soon :) Check our careers page for the roles we have open. If you don’t see the perfect fit, reach out to us and share your skills and experience. Any of our team members would be happy to hear from you and see if we can make a match.
Show & Tell: Who does subscription better? [webinar]
Who's setting the bar for subscription ecommerce in five core industries? Join our free webinar with UWP as we discuss and vote on industry-leading subscription brands, while sharing tips to help you keep up with the best! Five expert panelists from Littledata, LoyaltyLion, Underwaterpistol and ReCharge will do five rounds of website evaluations — one per industry — for fashion, beauty, food & drink, fitness and homeware. Each audience participant will get the chance to vote, helping our panelists decide on the final winner in each industry! Save your spot now to join the live webinar on the 15th of April, 4-5 PM BST: Save your spot https://youtu.be/4Q0Q7p03FmM About Littledata Littledata automatically fixes tracking for Shopify stores, offering complete marketing attribution, accurate sales data, and custom dimensions for lifetime value reporting. Littledata has been a leader in the subscription analytics space since we launched our first Shopify app in 2017, so this is an especially exciting opportunity to share not just our favorite subscription brands, but those who have been using data-driven strategies to accelerate growth. We now have advanced integrations with all of the top subscription apps, including ReCharge, Bold and Ordergroove. [tip]Ready for data-driven growth? Download our free ebook on ReCharge analytics[/tip] Whether they have focused on organic marketing and brand building (hello, Instagram!) or used cohorts and daily analysis to optimize paid channels for higher customer lifetime value (LTV), brands like Craft Gin Club and Dry Farm Wines are leaders in the subscription space. We look forward to debating the pros and cons of different subscription setups! Sign up for the free webinar >>> About UWP Underwaterpistol is one of Littledata's leading agency partners for Shopify Plus stores, specializing in design and development, growth marketing and Shopify migration. UWP does more than just launch a shop, they provide hands-on support to maximize their customers' ROI and build proven success strategies for each customer. Sign up for the free webinar >>>
Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking in Google Analytics (VIDEO)
By now you know that Littledata sends accurate ecommerce data to Google Analytics. But how does it work? In this new video, we cover Littledata's Enhanced Ecommerce tracking for Shopify stores. Littledata's Google Analytics connection for Shopify stores uses a combination of client-side and server-side tracking to guarantee 100% accurate data. During the automatic installation process, Littledata adds a data layer and tracking script to all your Shopify store pages. We also add a set of webhooks to make sure everything is captured. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c7ULfatrWU There are many advantages to this approach: On the client side... Works with Google Tag Manager (GTM) Faster page speed Consistent journey tracking On the server side... Ensures complete event capture for the checkout flow Safe & secure checkout process All sales & refunds are tracked Works with headless Shopify, multi-currency stores, and more! Accurate marketing attribution for Shopify & any subscription checkout [subscribe] Littledata sends these events to Google Analytics in three categories: Shopify Order Affiliation ReCharge (for stores that have a ReCharge subscription checkout) The Shopify (Littledata) event categories include the combined client-side and server-side tracked event actions, as follows: The Order Affiliation (Littledata) tracks each Shopify order as an event action, with the e-commerce affiliate type as its event label: For Shopify stores that use ReCharge, we send all customer lifecycle events in Google Analytics under the ReCharge (Littledata) event category: Analyze growth rates and subscriber behavior in greater detail. [note]In GA4, the latest version of Google Analytics, there are no default ecommerce reports. Learn more about ecommerce reporting in GA4[/note] Resources Watch a quick demo video Learn how to track the Shopify checkout funnel (and the ReCharge and CartHook checkouts) Check out our Shopify to Google Analytics FAQ Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more videos about ecommerce analytics
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