How to get the most out of your Google Analytics setup

There are seemingly countless analytics solutions on the market today for ecommerce merchants to choose from. None, however, have overtaken the undisputed leader in the data world—Google Analytics. In order to get the most out of GA, though, you have to know a thing or two about what capabilities the tool affords you. As you may have noticed if you've read our content before, we're big fans of GA here at Littledata. Our team of experts help clients get accurate, reliable data through the platform every day. To help you decide where to begin optimizing your GA setup and improve the reporting you're capable of, here are three blog posts answering questions we recommend you ask yourself about GA. Is now the time to move to Google Aanalytics 4 (GA4)? YES! Google has already announced they are sunsetting Universal Analytics (UA), a.k.a the old version of GA, for good on July 1, 2023. If you're just starting a GA property now, GA4 is the way to go. But the coming deprecation of UA isn't the only reason to embrace GA4—far from it. We have 10 reasons you should make the switch now and the benefits GA4's new features offer from an analytics expert's perspective. https://blog.littledata.io/2021/02/04/10-reasons-to-move-to-ga4-for-ecommerce-analytics/ [note]Littledata's GA4 connection gives you complete and accurate data in your GA4 property in just one click. Find out how to set it up on your store.[/note] Should I use GA to track my email campaigns? Email campaigns are a frequently used promotional tool for ecommerce merchants. The name to know when it comes to ecommerce email is Klaviyo, as it's one of the most popular marketing platforms in the entire industry. The best way to optimize your email campaigns for success is of course to track their performance. Google Analytics is not only a dynamic solution for this but an easy one to set up too. In this article, Littledata CEO Edward Upton walks you through how to get your email campaign reporting up and running in GA so you can get the most from your campaigns using data-driven decision-making. https://blog.littledata.io/2020/11/25/how-to-track-klaviyo-flows-and-email-campaigns-in-google-analytics/ Should I get a Google Analytics expert to help with my Shopify data? Google Analytics is the leader in analytics reporting, so of course, that means it's easy to use—right? In most cases, if you've armed yourself with a bit of data knowledge, this is true. However, if you're looking to really unlock the full capabilities of the platform, you need more than just the standard level of GA know-how. While gaining that knowledge is a great learning experience, it also takes a lot of hours—time that busy business owners and marketing teams don't always have. If you want to go beyond the basic revenue/transaction checks and ad campaign monitoring to unlock deeper insights into your customers' behavior, a GA expert could be just the right solution. We have a full article explaining everything a GA expert can help you gain access to in your reporting so you can see if it's the right next step up for your analytics setup. https://blog.littledata.io/2020/02/25/do-you-need-a-google-analytics-expert-to-help-with-your-shopify-data/ [subscribe]

by Greg
2022-05-13

Working remotely, together! A recap of our Spring 2022 company offsite

As a remote team, our normal workdays at Littledata consist of lots of Slack messages and quick video chats. From sharing ideas to celebrating sales, offering help to posting memes—our team’s strong connection is fostered in the virtual world first. Twice a year, though, we’re treated to a company offsite where each employee gathers together to work in person. While we usually embark on a design sprint during offsite events, our most recent one was set up as a chance for our team to focus on both working together in person and learning from each other. I’m coming up on completing my first full year with Littledata, and the offsites are without a doubt one of my favorite perks I’ve enjoyed at any company I’ve worked for. To show you exactly why these experiences are so special—and why they mean so much to me and the rest of our team—here is a recap of our latest offsite. Bringing remote work to the real world Our offsite took place in the beautiful city of Athens, Greece. We stayed as a team at a hotel in a town on the outskirts of the city called Vouliagmeni. Aside from the amazing hotel complete with conference rooms, meals throughout the day, and outdoor coworking areas to enjoy the weather, the location gave us access to some truly amazing views of the Greek coast. After welcoming a few new joiners and enjoying the first night of dinner together as a team, we jumped into the “working together” part of the offsite. In the first half of the week, that took the form of several 45-minute learning sessions conducted by team members from different departments. The learning sessions covered specifics about our product and roadmap, new challenges on the horizon, and best practices from each department. Usually, we’d spend the first few days of an offsite design sprint mapping out a problem and thinking creatively to sketch potential prototypes that solve it. Essentially, we’re working together in teams and stretching our design muscles to ideate and improve on the group’s best ideas. This offsite, we still focused on working together, but by sharing our great ideas and knowledge with the rest of our team. Because team members from different departments conducted the learning sessions, our whole team got the opportunity to attend talks that helped them learn new skills or gain deeper insight into key areas of our industry. Among my favorite sessions were the deep dives on Google Analytics 4, Shopify Plus, and our current connections. I was also able to add to my own personal skills by learning about thought leadership on social media from my teammate and social media superuser Blake Wisz. Overall, the learning sessions were a big hit across our team. Many of us had similar feedback when recapping the offsite that they were a great chance to deepen our knowledge of the Littledata product, the ecommerce analytics industry, and how we can each grow our own skills. Feeling the Littledata culture—in person! The second half of the week, we set aside time to just work together as colleagues. Kind of like you would picture working in an office with teammates—if that office was a resort on the picturesque Greek coast with nothing but sunshine, that is. This time together helped us not only truly feel the deep connection we have as coworkers, but build on it. When working, we talked through problems just as we would on Slack or in calls, with the added bonus of being able to feel each other’s energy in person. Our wonderful HR team set up fun activities for us to enjoy while on the offsite that also helped us stay relaxed, like morning yoga. We also broke up the collaborative work time with some well-earned R&R, specifically to visit the amazing sights and scenery Athens has to offer. We took an open-top bus tour and stopped to take in the city, see the famed Acropolis, and enjoy other historic sights. Each night after we’d wrapped up for the day and had dinner together, we’d gather outside to share a few drinks and swap stories, learn about each other’s cultures, and just enjoy being together as one big family. In my opinion, though the sights and atmosphere in each destination we choose for our offsites are second to none, these end-of-day hangouts are truly the most special moments. Being able to come together as an international team, learn about each other's lives, find common interests, and build lasting friendships is what makes Littledata more than just a company you work for. It truly is a family. Want to join us on our next adventure? This offsite experience was just one of two that we’ll get to enjoy as a team in 2022. We’re back to running a design sprint in our next offsite, and we’re excited that we’ll have even more new team members to welcome joining us. Want to be a part of a workplace that goes beyond the regular 9 to 5 and offers something more? Somewhere to grow professionally and personally, surrounded by teammates who make you feel at home wherever you are in the world? Check out our open positions and apply to become part of the special culture we’ve fostered at Littledata!

by Greg
2022-04-29

How Velir and Littledata helped johnnie-O build a delightful customer experience

Creating a truly special customer experience—in today’s market—comes down to knowing your customers well. You can collect data to learn about your buyers in a number of ways. But without the tools to analyze these insights and act upon them, you won’t get much farther than where you started. A customer data platform (CDP) like Segment is a good place to start, but without using an ecommerce data platform on top of your CDP, you will inevitably hit a wall. Ideally, the pieces in your stack will each serve a clear purpose and play nicely together as well. This is where many stores -- maybe even your own -- run into unexpected limitations. You could have your ecommerce platform, email/SMS tools, analytics tracking, and A/B testing platforms all up and running. Getting them all integrated and talking to each other, though, is another beast entirely. Popular apparel brand johnnie-O found themselves in this exact spot. As our agency partner Velir explained in their case study on the brand, using Littledata's Shopify source for Segment, they aligned their tools and leveraged their improved stack to develop a truly special experience for their customers. Leveraging Littledata’s Shopify source for Segment Velir explains in the case study that johnnie-O knew they needed to address their customer data challenges, but weren’t sure how. After uncovering all of johnnie-O’s relevant data sources, data destinations, and use cases, Velir put together a custom data stack for the brand using complementary tools. The lineup of tools included Klaviyo and Fivetran, among others. But a key piece was Segment, which allowed real-time website interaction data to appear in Snowflake, their data warehouse. To get that tracking up and running, Velir turned to Littledata’s Shopify to Segment connection. “Segment's native connector to Snowflake meant that real-time website interactions could appear in the data warehouse within seconds.This real-time integration leveraged Littledata's Shopify-Segment connector which saved johnnie-O the effort of coding the Shopify event tracking."- Velir on Littledata’s Shopify to Segment connection In addition to powering their interaction data reporting, Velir says “Segment’s catalog of over 300 out-of-box connectors was useful in integrating tools like Google Ads and Klaviyo.” How the Shopify to Segment connector can fit in your tech stack As Velir shows in their setup for johnnie-O, adding Segment gives your store a powerful tool to capture accurate data at every touch point while connecting other key integrations of your tech stack. But that's not where the benefits of Segment end. Create Facebook lookalike audiences of your top-spending customers The world of ad tracking may be rapidly changing. But even in the new first-party data world, social ads are a major promotional tool for successful businesses. In one of Segment's most popular recipes, they detail how you can find more customers just like your highest lifetime value buyers, then retarget them through social ads. Using rules-based audiences, you can increase revenue by pinpointing new customers who profile just like your best existing ones. Read the full recipe to learn how to: Create an audience in Segment Personas of your highest spending customersAutomatically sync that audience with Facebook AdsCreate a lookalike audience in Facebook Ads to find more high-value customers Want a hand in trying the Shopify to Segment connector for your store? Have an analytics expert walk you through how to set it up and the benefits you’ll see as soon as it’s live on your store. Try Littledata free for 30 days, including our Shopify-Segment connector and see the benefits it can bring to your store.

by Greg
2022-04-26

The rise of Google Analytics 4 and sunsetting of Universal Analytics

Last week, Google formally announced that they will be “sunsetting” Universal Analytics and pushing all users to move to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) by the second half of 2023. Does this mean that you should drop everything now and start fully embracing GA4? Actually, things are a bit more complicated. Like everything in the world of data, we recommend a methodical approach to the change. We’ve already outlined Littledata’s approach to GA4 for ecommerce stores. So in this article, we’ll take a deeper look at what Google just announced, what this means for your analytics setup, and recommend next steps for merchants using Google Analytics with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce. What’s happening to Universal Analytics? The summer of 2023 may very well be remembered across the ecommerce industry for the rise of GA4, as Google is officially sunsetting its predecessor, Universal Analytics (aka UA, GA3, or the “old version” of Google Analytics). Google’s official announcement, which you can read in full on their blog. This announcement may have come as a bit of a surprise to some. GA4 has been available for a while but wasn’t made a priority before. Fortunately, moving from UA to GA4 doesn't have to be a headache for your team—as long as you have the right setup in place. Littledata already has a GA4 connection in beta that select customers have been using for months. Google promises GA4 will bring an adjustment to more granular data, giving users more insights and better control over customers' privacy. That second point is especially important as the industry makes a major shift away from cookies toward embracing first-party data across platforms. What we know about GA4 On July 1, 2023, Google will stop standard Universal Analytics properties from processing data. Your Universal Analytics reports will remain visible for a short period after the change (Google hasn't specified how long) but new data will only flow into GA4 properties. In other words, if you haven’t already, you need to create a GA4 property ASAP. With the switch to GA4, Google promises several significant changes aimed at making its Analytics tool more “consumer-focused” overall. This, among other features, includes: A privacy-centric design to maintain key insights despite cookie blockers and privacy regulationsA new UI designed to showcase customer behavior through key events, and out-of-the-box capability to track those events (without requiring set up through Google Tag Manager)Machine learning models that automatically identify trends in data, such as churn probability, potential revenue from customer groups, and demand increasesMeasurement of both app and web interactions to snapshot the effectiveness of each of your marketing effortsData export to your BigQuery data warehouse Tip: See Littledata’s 10 reasons to move to GA4 for ecommerce analytics. At the heart of GA4, Google says, is your customer—and more specifically how they interact with your business. This marks a move away from the old platform-centric measurement to instead track via User ID. The change should give a better picture of what actions customers took after discovering your business and track the whole lifecycle from first impression to final sale more effectively. Potential GA4 user concerns While there’s a lot to be excited about with GA4, the change from UA brings a few uncertainties for longtime users. Early versions of GA4, while positively received, did contain their share of bugs. As the platform won’t be rolling out at 100% perfection, we’ll help answer a handful of the most frequently asked questions we’ve seen around GA4. Will I be able to import historical data from UA to GA4? Most likely, the answer here is no. While you can run UA and GA4 in parallel as you make the switch, Google is launching GA4 as a new platform completely separate from UA. How difficult will it be to use the new interface? There’s no doubt users will experience a learning curve when migrating to GA4’s new UI. In essence, it will come down to thinking differently about what data you’re looking for and then creating reports around that. While this was a common concern in the early beta launch of GA4, Google has already added a number of template reports on funnels, user paths, and cohort exploration. We’re excited to see what’s next! To help our customers with the transition, we’ve already begun building our own Monetization and Retention reports in GA4 that will take over from Enhanced Ecommerce reporting in UA. Google does provide help documents and introductory courses on using the new interface. However, an easier (and more time-efficient) solution may be to have an analytics expert help set up a GA4 integration directly to your Shopify or BigCommerce store. Is GA4 going to be a privacy law compliant, long-term solution for my business? This is one big area where GA4 is not just a solution right now, but in the future as well. Many of the changes made—from the new event-based UI to the learning machine-powered core—are built to adapt and grow alongside the global expansion in privacy laws. In other words, as you venture into the world of first-party data, GA4 will be your loyal guide along the way. What you should do now Our Shopify and Big Commerce stores and agency partners know that when it comes to Google Analytics, you can always count on Littledata as a single source of truth for truly accurate ecommerce data. This will remain true with GA4, and we’re excited about the flexible reporting capabilities in the newest version of Google Analytics. Our recommendation is to add a GA4 property now, but not to rely on it entirely. Instead, Littledata recommends continuing to use UA and GA4 in parallel until at least early 2023. This means that you will be able to explore GA4 while still having accurate, actionable data in Universal Analytics, including Enhanced Ecommerce reports, lifetime value reporting, and subscription analytics. All Shopify and Shopify Plus stores will soon be able to activate both UA and GA4 connections directly from their Littledata dashboards. Note: Littledata’s GA4 connection for Shopify is currently in private beta. Subscribe to our newsletter and watch this blog for updates about the public beta release.

by Greg
2022-03-25

Lunch with Littledata: How to take a Smartrr approach to subscriptions

Subscription ecommerce is booming. Sales in the industry are on pace to double since 2019, and Shopify expects the global subscription market to continue to skyrocket to $246 billion in worth by 2025. In addition to enormous growth, one of the most attractive aspects of subscription selling for merchants is the dependability it provides through recurring revenue. But to win customers, retain them, and secure your piece of that giant subscription sales pie, you need to delight your customers using the right strategies. In this edition of Lunch with Littledata, we talk about how to do just that with the team that knows best—Smartrr. Founder and CEO Gabriella Yitzhaek Tegen shares the mission behind Smartrr, how to best retain customers, what the future of subscriptions holds, and how stores can leverage data to ride the subscription wave to amazing heights. Greg from Littledata: Can you tell us the Smartrr story? Gabriella from Smartrr: Before Smartrr, I was working at a commercial real estate prop-tech company. Loved it. I scaled the sales org and got to work cross-functionally with product and engineering and marketing. But when COVID hit, it just started to feel slightly unfulfilling, as you can imagine selling commercial real estate data to Fortune 500 companies might. It felt like I wasn't necessarily appreciating the opportunity that I had to make a difference in the world. Not saying that subscriptions are making a huge difference. But at the foundation (of Smartrr), we wanted to try to help small businesses impacted by COVID. Even just locally, we thought about what shops were being affected, and that kind of pivoted and grew into me interviewing founders to understand what I could learn about Shopify, BigCommerce, and all these ecommerce platforms to try to help those small businesses turn their business online. But that brought light to a larger issue—subscriptions were really cumbersome, very expensive to launch, challenging to manage, and quite archaic in how they were being processed. As a salesperson, that really intrigued me. So Smartrr started off with the idea of “Let's try to help the small businesses,” and we definitely still try to do that. But we’ve also realized that we can help really large companies with the same issues. It's kind of crazy that companies of all sizes are facing the same problem. So that's how we started building our solution. Greg: What has it been like to see the subscription boom that's been happening over the past few years? Gabriella: I mean, it's happened everywhere. Recurring billing has blown up. B2B, B2C, you even see brick and mortar shops doing a ton of recurring purchases—floral shops, grocery companies, meal delivery companies. I think it's fascinating. It's showing us that people want convenience and they want to be loyal to a brand. For a while, shopping was about having as many choices as possible, like the “Amazon model” of being able to pick one out of a thousand soaps or one out of a thousand dog foods. But now, people want that singularity. So if we can help strengthen that brand affinity, then that obviously really helps brands overall. It's been interesting to watch, for sure. Greg: For stores that want to start selling subscriptions, do you have any advice on how they should go about it? Gabriella: Oh, man, I don't know if we have enough time. I feel like the guides out there now are very one-size-fits-all. That's likely in part due to how limited the tech stack has been pre-Smartrr. Not to toot our own horn here, but a lot of these online resources say to start with things like offering multiple products with a 20 percent discount, then launch and it will grow. But in reality, we've seen that that's not how it works, right? You really have to be in touch with what your business is. What about it is subscribable? Is it the experience that you provide? Is it convenience? Is it perk-related? Is it community-related? Then build on top of that. So what you'll see is a subscription business model that's successful for a cleaning company is going to be very different than for a caviar company, and you should be aware of that. "You really have to be in touch with what your business is. What about it is subscribable? Is it the experience that you provide? Is it convenience? Is it perk-related? Is it community-related? Then build on top of that." But high-level quick tips would be definitely free shipping, which we see converting at a really strong rate. Definitely setting up the engagement with that consumer and letting them have the flexibility to manage their subscription. And definitely rewarding them when they do prove that they have brand affinity, whether it's through referring the product to their friends and family, gifting it, or just being a long-term customer of yours. Greg: Dovetailing off that a little bit—what are the most successful subscription strategies you've seen besides the high-level ones you just mentioned? Anything specific brands have done that you’ve noticed really worked for them? Gabriella: Yeah, I mean, this one's very simple, but there is a direct correlation between the brands that have really great products and great customer service also having the most successful subscription business. It's not like turning on free shipping is going to magically make you be successful. Because you might convert those customers, but you're giving up AOV by giving a discount, and then not having them retain is actually worse for your business, right? So I would say having a great product is number one. Having a community is really powerful for brands, too. We work with a lot of women’s health and beauty companies, for example, that have this community where people are not only buying the product but then engaging with like-minded women and talking about their health stories or their fertility stories. It’s similar with pet products, too. You always want to kind of like have this community of pet owners, so that has been really interesting. And then gifting has been huge for our brands. This is not really the convenience-oriented companies like cleaning supply companies, for example, but more so jewelry companies or apparel companies or fun products that are now gifting subscriptions. So terminal subscriptions that end after three months or six months have been really powerful. "There is a direct correlation between the brands that have really great products and great customer service also having the most successful subscription business." Greg: How important would you say data is for subscription selling and for Smartrr users specifically? Gabriella: Great question. I think it goes back to brands thinking it's really easy to get customers to set up subscriptions and just forget that they exist, right? Which is kind of again touching on the low bar of expectation that has been set by the existing tech stack. Now you see companies like Smartrr and like Littledata showing that by understanding your business through both micro and macro levels, you can make for a smarter subscription business… Greg: (laughs) Nice. Gabriella: But no, jokes aside, we talk to brands all the time that don't know what products are more successful in their subscription business than others. So if we talk to, let's just say, a smoothie company or a meal delivery company that has no idea if they're Chicken Marsala or their Chicken Parm are liked by their consumers. So other than generic reviews that are just touching on the high-level subscription, they have no idea if it's a successful product for them. They're not looking at margin necessarily or LTV or AOV. They're not looking at churn by product or by subscription type. They don't know if a six-week delivery of product or a four-week frequency is more successful. So, having that insight into your business can, if anything, just accelerate the rate at which you perfect your subscription model. Tip: See how you can connect Smartrr with Google Analytics on your store to make smart decisions using truly accurate data. Greg: Right. Just going back and looking at your methods, always learning and improving. Gabriella: Right, but also cutting down on the time. You could say that theoretically, with enough time, anyone can figure out what works for their business. But if we can cut down on that time, that could make or break a business. Greg: True, that's a great point. Especially for smaller bootstrapped ecommerce businesses, they don't have a lot of time to dedicate to those things. Gabriella: Exactly, exactly. And you don't have a lot of resources, right? Some of our larger brands have a data manager or an analyst. But a lot of brands, even brands, frankly, that have 10,000 or 20,000 subscribers that are using Smartrr don't have someone internally for that. So having tools that can also just simplify the data they're getting and make it more accessible for the average user has been really powerful, too. Greg: Do you see any of your users—maybe your more data-savvy users—leveraging personas at all, maybe by identifying their top buyers and then trying to retarget them? Gabriella: Yeah, that’s interesting. Like you said, it’s definitely for the more sophisticated client base. I think even just having basic information, which we provide, such as attribution around subscription is helpful. Knowing that X amount of sales came from Facebook as a channel, or that X amount came from direct traffic allows them to invest more into the channels, not just with spend but with an understanding of something like “OK, 50 percent of our business is coming from gifting.” Converting into subscribers like that is the kind of insight that has been game-changing for brands that might not be at that stage where they have the capability of understanding personas. Greg: Right, that makes sense. To make personas, you have to know your attribution and which channels are working before you can segment buyers. Gabriella: Yeah. So most commonly, our users are looking at what their top products are, both from a sales and a retention standpoint. We have a really cool retention matrix that lets them see based on cohort how products—and in general their subscription business—is doing. They're looking not only at how many subscribers they have at any given moment but also how that trend has grown or not over time. Another thing our customers look at often that we recently came out with is smart cancellation. It gives brands the ability to ask customers for specific reasons why they want to cancel a subscription. So let's say my product is flavored water, and one of the reasons a customer canceled is that they don't like their flavor. Another might be that they have too much product already. Or maybe they’re going on vacation. Now, through the Smartrr dashboard, customers are able to cancel their subscription, but before doing so, it'll ask you select the reason why. So, for the person receiving too many products, it’ll prompt them with the option to skip an order or delay by three months. For the customer who would select that they don't like their flavor, it'll ask them if they want to swap. For the customer going on vacation, it'll ask them if they want to gift their item to a friend or family member. And we now collect data on each of those cases so our brands can see what is causing churn and what exit prompts have actually been successful in retaining customers. That's been really helpful for our users. One other one I can mention is Smartrr users being able to see what frequency and price are most successful for a subscription. It's almost like A/B testing, but instead of having them both run congruent, you can see in one six-month period versus another six-month period that subscriptions were healthier when you charged three dollars less, for example. Greg: Do you see any major challenges that subscription merchants are facing right now? Or any that you see on the horizon? Gabriella: Yeah, I think firstly the transition from the “subscribe and forget” model to what we're trying to do with Smartrr, which is create better engagement with the consumer to better understand who our consumers—both for one-time and subscription purchases— are. There are other issues that really face all DTC brands but heavily hit the subscription side. One very obvious one is around supply. We have a lot of our clients selling out of products, which sounds like a good issue to have on the surface level. But in actuality, it’s stopping their growth. It’s cool from a PR perspective, but ultimately, if you can sell product, obviously you prefer to do that. We have one client that we launched with and in a couple of days, they sold over 100,000 units, which was their entire first batch. It was supposed to last them for months, but they went viral and that was that. So now they have to wait for a new product to be built and made, and they don't know how long that will take. Greg: That's an interesting one—definitely something that could happen if you grow more quickly than planned or if you're limited by something that's outside your control. Do you have advice for a business that’s put into that situation? Gabriella: Yeah, that's a great question, actually. Another one of our brands that recently sold out is doing something quite interesting—which we can do for brands across the board—but they're developing a waitlist for their subscription. So they’re a subscription-only business, and you can only buy their product with a refill involved. What they're doing is rather than charging customers now for the full amount, given that they don't have the product, they're going to charge one dollar upfront that locks you in for the refill. Then when the product is back in stock and they start shipping again, that consumer gets charged the full amount and their subscription begins. So I think creating hype around the lack of supply is good. Then on top of that, making sure that you're not missing out on the hype at the moment because you don't know who's going to remember your brand when you are back in stock. Get them on the hook now for a dollar or samples or a free trial. If you have something else that you can provide them, that’s the best idea to follow. Greg: Right, and just keeping them in the community. Gabriella: It's just being transparent with your customers. That adds to brand affinity and allows people to be more loyal to these brands initially. They are aware that there’s a waitlist and this is a pre-order, but they're so excited and so bought into that brand that they want to stay engaged and the merchant’s helping them understand why they don't have a product quite yet. It's just about being super transparent and helping your customers know that you're going to keep them in the loop about everything to have a more honest relationship. Tip: Learn about your community of buyers and build a stronger relationship with them using data from Littledata and Smartrr's native integration. Greg: Have you seen any significant trends taking over in subscription ecommerce? Gabriella: We build Smartrr functionality based on what brands are striving for. So just speaking to what we have seen, there are a lot of trends around digital subscriptions. You're seeing physical products come out with an app component. Another big one is gifting. A terminal subscription can be a good idea for engaging the kind of outlier network of your consumers. For example, Sock Fancy is a brand that we launched where you can gift a subscription directly to your friends and family. So for Valentine's Day, I gifted my husband a subscription to socks. They're beautiful socks, super high quality. It's a great experience. He received an email that I had put together days ahead but that was sent on Valentine's Day. Then he was able to redeem his gift and loved the surprise. From the brand's perspective, it's interesting because they then collect not just my email address, but my husband’s as well. So obviously when that subscription ends, they can target him to buy an auto-renewal subscription. Plus that approach works nicely with the majority of products. Greg: What's your hiring strategy at Smartrr? Do you focus on recruiting people with previous ecommerce experience? Gabriella: Hiring is definitely important for us. I would love to have a team of experts, but honestly, I don't think it's required. What we're building at Smartrr and what our community, in general, is built around is something that's very intuitive in my mind: we're all consumers. We all experience what it is to buy something online—what it is to manage something online. We all have subscriptions, right? So that feels like a natural fit, regardless of whether or not someone worked in ecommerce. My experience was as a real estate director, and I actually worked in fintech before that.For us, honestly, we want really smart people. I have no doubt that a smart person can learn everything that I learned in the last year or two by diving in. We’ve also learned so much through our partners and through events where we've gone to meet partners and form relationships. Everyone is so willing to jump on a call and just chat through different situations. That makes the learning curve so much easier because again, we're hiring motivated individuals and, intrinsically, they are excited to learn more. It really creates a best-case scenario for moving from a different industry into the space. So I don't necessarily think ecommerce experience is a requirement for us. It's more about finding out—are you smart? Are you driven? Are you fun to work with? We want a good group of people and we've been (knock on wood) really, really fortunate in being able to hire people that fill all of those things for us. Greg: I've noticed that myself coming from a non-ecommerce background. The industry is so welcoming and people really want to help each other out. As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats. Gabriella: Yeah, I love that. Greg: Last question, anything coming down the road for Smartrr that you’d like to share? Gabriella: Oh, man, we have a lot. We've made some recent vendor portal enhancements to make it easier for our clients to do more with subscriptions for their business. We launched new functionality like full-on gifting and prepaid subscriptions. And we have a couple more surprises coming down, but I won't spoil them quite yet. Tip: Book a demo with an analytics expert to find out how you can fit Smartrr in your subscription tech stack and power growth with Littledata's data platform. Quick links: Elevar vs Littledata: which is right for your store?Learn how $1 billion digitally native brand Rothy’s uses data to growSee We Make Websites “perfect” headless tech stack, Littledata includedGet the step by step guide to running dynamic Facebook ads using Facebook’s conversions API

by Greg
2022-03-21

Elevar vs Littledata: Which is right for your store?

Choosing between Littledata and Elevar to get deeper insights into the data for your Shopify store? While both can offer data fixes to help you drive growth, each tool follows a different path to help you get there. Elevar vs Littledata: 1,000 foot view Littledata Littledata is an ecommerce data platform built for tracking the entire customer lifecycle and unifying these touchpoints in the most popular data destinations. With Littledata, you can: Automatically track every critical ecommerce event, including product clicks, refunds, and third-party checkouts via a “plug and play” solutionUse both server-side and client-side tracking to see how customers behave on your Shopify store with 100% accuracyGet accurate analytics in your preferred data destination (like Google Analytics or Segment)Collect data from a store built on any theme or a headless setupTry any plan completely free for 30 days, with support from an analytics expertUninstall without losing historic data You can see how it works yourself by watching a quick demo. Elevar Elevar provides a reliable source of ecommerce data through a Google Tag Manager setup built on top of Elevar’s data layer. With Elevar, you can: Use a custom-built GTM integration to send data to your chosen marketing channel tag integrationsSend data to Google Analytics via Elevar’s Google Tag Manager SuiteMonitor your GTM setup to fix broken conversion tagsPurchase one-time expert onboarding to migrate to Elevar’s service The differences between Elevar and Littledata While both Elevar and Littledata provide reliable ecommerce tracking in GTM, Littledata offers a quicker setup by going directly to Google Analytics, Segment, or your chosen destination — including server-side events. Littledata is a plug-and-play solution for modern DTC brands that value data accuracy. Littledata’s data layer for ecommerce tracking was developed over 5 years of working closely with top brands on Shopify Plus. When choosing a data platform or tracking solution, it’s important to think about what can be tracked automatically versus what requires a custom setup from an agency or developer. Here’s a quick breakdown of how each service tracks common ecommerce events. Littledata events Vs Elevar GTM Suite LittledataElevarPageviews✔✔Product view list✔✔Tracks product list views as you scroll✔-Product list clicks✔-Product detail✔✔Add to cart✔✔Remove from cart✔✔Product image clicks✔-Product social clicks✔-Orders✔✔Refunds✔-Checkout steps✔Shopify plus only3rd party checkout attribution✔- Plan comparison Elevar As detailed on Elevar’s pricing page, they offer everything from a free plan which includes their tagging Chrome extension and Google Analytics event tracking through Google Tag Manager, to a $250 advanced plan with all basic features plus monitoring for broken tags and server-side tracking support, to a $750+ pro plan including all previous benefits plus a managed tag service. Elevar’s free plan appears enticing to stores who want to get analytics tracking up and running on their store at a low price. However, it’s more accurate to say the plan is “free like a puppy.” It requires scripting in GTM to get up and running, plus regular maintenance that can remove time and resources from working on other areas of your store or tech stack. Littledata Littledata’s offering starts with a $99/month standard plan that includes: 100% accurate analytics set up to your preferred data destinationUnlimited connections for tracking subscriptions, checkout funnels, refunds, upsells/downsells, and moreMarketing channel tracking for comparative attribution, action and analysis, including Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads and Google AdsDetailed tracking for email marketing tools like Klaviyo and affiliate marketing platforms like RefersionPlug and play solution that doesn’t require setup or maintenanceServer-side tracking to maintain accurate data while complying with privacy regulations and avoiding cookie blockingHourly audit checks to ensure no data loss30-day free trial For stores processing more than 1,500 orders per month, Littledata offers Pro and Grow plans for $159 and $319 annually, which include all Standard benefits plus email support (or priority support for Grow.) If you’re an enterprise-level store processing tens of thousands of orders per month, Littledata offers an Enterprise Plan with unlimited connections and country stores, 72-hour priority expert support, and guaranteed greater than 98% uptime for tracking. Implementation Another significant area of difference between Littledata and Elevar is how each tool is implemented on your store. On Elevar’s side, as previously mentioned, you as a user will set up their GTM solution and add the tags you want to track. If you want expert help from their team to set up tags for you, you’ll need to upgrade to the most expensive plan. Littledata, on the other hand, is a plug-and-play integration. On any plan, Littledata’s data layer automatically adds to your store and begins fixing your tracking to give you accurate analytics. This saves both time and money, as you and your team could be losing hours of work time setting up Elevar’s solution on your own or be required to pay for the setup service. Server-side tracking Both Elevar and Littledata provide server-side tracking. The main difference is how they’re actually implemented. As mentioned above, Littledata is a plug-and-play app that adds the server-side tracking events automatically, while Elevar requires extra time to set up server-side GTM or a higher fee for a managed setup service. Subscription analytics Both Elevar and Littledata’s plans include subscription analytics tracking and enable sending data through services like Recharge to Google Analytics. However, only Littledata’s subscription tracking offers robust, real-time attribution of recurring orders to marketing campaigns. Littledata works automatically with any recurring order app on Shopify, including Recharge, Smartrr, Ordergroove, Skio, and Bold Subscriptions, plus Recharge on BigCommerce. Littledata is the top-rated Shopify app for subscription analytics and has become the go-to solution for merchants who want advanced Google Analytics tracking. Tip: Learn the ins and outs of subscription analytics in our complete guide. With Littledata, everything is captured automatically: One-off orders, first-time orders and recurring transactionsSubscription products and product mixesMulti-currency sales and subscription orders on different country storesSubscription lifecycle events such as Subscription Updated (Recharge only)Marketing attribution for subscription paymentsLTV data for cohort-building and lookalike audiences In addition, Littledata allows users to add custom dimensions that help calculate LTV by product, channel, or source. You can also track one-time orders, first-time payments, and recurring transactions while getting accurate attribution for each. If you use the Recharge connection, you can follow our guide to identifying which marketing channels bring your most profitable customers. What’s more, Littledata’s solution works with headless setups and allows users to send subscription data to other sources besides Google Analytics, like Segment, Glew, Google Data Studio, and Tableau. “Once [we] decided to rebuild [our] website, we were on a timeline. We were looking for services that could cover some of our gaps and maybe put some critical funnel events into place for us without having to spend a lot of internal time and resources doing it. That's really where Littledata’s Segment connection came in to help.” - Matt McLean, analytics engineer at Rothy’s Use cases for Littledata Littledata is ideal for stores that need a low-maintenance way to track one-time and recurring orders automatically. It was built specifically to help businesses automate the complex or frustrating parts of ecommerce tracking and reporting. Depending on the connections and setup you choose, Littledata has many different beneficial use cases. Typically, though, we see stores turn to Littledata for one of three main reasons: 1. Making better business decisions with a single source of truth In a sample set of larger direct-to-consumer (DTC) Shopify stores not yet using Littledata— together processing over 50,000 orders a month—we found that on average only 88% of their orders were tracked in Google Analytics. Stores with non-standard checkouts (using apps like ReCharge and CartHook) fared even worse, with as few as 9% and only a maximum of 70% of orders being tracked by Shopify. Missing that amount of orders in your tracking is going to have a serious effect on your decision making, not to mention skews your true revenue. Littledata was built to help stores get their data right, especially for key metrics like marketing attribution and LTV. Tip: Learn more about why Google Analytics often doesn’t match Shopify’s data, and how to fix it. Our app fixes attribution for both Shopify and BigCommerce stores automatically with a combination of server-side and client-side tracking that stitches sessions together to make sure nothing's lost. The result—you can rely on Google Analytics or Segment (or your preferred data destination) as the single source of truth for both pre-click and post-click data, segmented remarketing, and comparative attribution models. Our script uses a gtag and GTM data layer, and can easily (and automatically) supplement and improve your GTM setup. In fact, many clients find that they no longer need GTM. 2. Accelerating growth using first-party data New privacy regulations, cookie blockers, and major tracking changes through iOS 14 (and beyond) are removing traditional data collection methods as options for marketers. The solution to maintaining accurate metrics that drive growth is first-party data. Littledata uses server-side tracking to ensure you get accurate data sent to your chosen destinations without worrying about interruption from these roadblocks. Plus, Facebook Ads can still be a source of valuable metrics when you use Littledata’s Facebook Conversions API (CAPI), which clears up revenue discrepancies and shows who your most valuable customers are so you can retarget them. 3. Sending unified customer data to hundreds of destinations As brands scale, they often reach a tipping point where they need to set up a data warehouse like Snowflake or Redshift to manage their data, or add more sophisticated tags and triggers in marketing destinations like Klaviyo, Iterable, and Facebook Ads. The Segment CDP unifies funnel events and customer profiles, making it a powerful solution for these growing stores. Littledata’s Shopify source for Segment works out of the box, cutting down development and implementation time to days instead of months, ensuring consistent data on an ongoing basis. Segment also allows you to create personas of your most valuable shoppers, so you can hypertarget your best buyers and drive revenue and conversions. It all starts with a tracking plan consultation with our analytics experts. Tip: Learn the secrets to data-driven decision-making through a well-built tech stack. Use cases for Elevar The most common use cases for Elevar are clients who want a lot of customisation, or the ability to send data to unusual destinations. If you’re looking for a completely custom data collection setup that you control and set up yourself powered through GTM, then you may choose Elevar to build it. So — Elevar or Littledata? Littledata provides a more complete view of the customer journey, better subscription analytics tracking, all the data destinations you need to manage social campaigns, ads, data warehouses, and more. While Elevar and Littledata are very similar when it comes to server-side tracking and overall marketing attribution calculations, the Littledata ecommerce data platform comes as a plug-and-play solution that can be set up in minutes and starts working automatically as soon as you install. Plus, it doesn’t require spending work hours on regular maintenance of marketing tags or paying for an expert to handle it. If you’re looking to get truly accurate data across each customer touchpoint that will help you determine your most profitable marketing channels, audiences, and growth strategies, Littledata is the choice to help you reach your goals. Tip: Get a free store audit from Littledata and experience the difference for yourself.

by Greg
2022-02-21

Here's why Littledata is the right next step for your career

Where we work — and the work we do — can have a huge impact on our overall wellness. Since the majority of us will spend 1/3 of our lives (roughly 90,000 hours) at work, it's only logical that it should be somewhere we can thrive and grow our skills alongside kind and helpful teammates. Littledata is hiring right now for positions in the Engineering, HR, Sales, and Product departments. Each role comes with the chance to join a global team that feels like a family while helping to shape the future of ecommerce data by building a platform that powers thousands of small businesses around the world. To prove why Littledata is the right next step for you, we've got three blog posts that go in-depth on how we get things done, why we do them the way we do, and what sets us apart from your average tech company. Why work at Littledata? What are you looking for in your next professional adventure? If it involves the freedom to try new and creative projects, a team of passionate and supportive co-workers, or the chance to join a company poised for growth in a flourishing industry, then Littledata is the perfect fit. Of course, knowing if a place is your ideal landing spot requires more than company highlights. So we shared the things we love most about our work at Littledata, and what makes it such a special place to work. From the flexibility afforded by remote work to the core values that keep us honest and hardworking. https://blog.littledata.io/2021/06/04/why-work-at-littledata/embed/#?secret=qo3PCvCdKo How Littledata’s product sprints fuel innovation Product sprints have become a staple in the startup world, and for good reason. They help organize work into weekly (or bi-weekly) chunks, set clear objectives for teams, and have proven to be great tools to drive ideation and problem-solving. At Littledata, we put our own unique spin on product sprints. The formula we've cooked up goes beyond simply keeping things organized — it pushes innovation among our teams. Our Head of Product broke down exactly why we've succeeded with this sprint formula, and gave an excellent look into our thought process as a company. If you're the kind of person who wants to know what the day-to-day is like before you join a new team, this post has everything you need to understand what makes daily work at Littledata so innovative. https://blog.littledata.io/2021/08/12/development-sprints-product-innovation/embed/#?secret=wWgpPD7Ohz Why we migrated to microservices from Meteor There are many different ways to build an app. From the design process itself to the tools and strategies used to build it, each component in the process affects the quality of the app and the team that's building it. Because we're always making improvements on our process at Littledata, we migrated to building our app with microservices instead of a Meteor monolith. We did this for several reasons, and our Head of Engineering wrote a post explaining why we made the switch and how we did it. If you're curious to see how the Littledata team continues to build the best data platform on the market, this post is for you. https://blog.littledata.io/2021/10/20/why-we-migrated-to-microservices-from-meteor/embed/#?secret=2Yhqc2f6av Ready to join the team? Our careers page has everything you need to learn how you can become a part of the Littledata family. You can also stay in touch with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well to get company updates and hear when new positions are posted.

by Greg
2022-01-28

Lunch with Littledata: Get the tools to succeed from 1-800-D2C

One of the first — and most important — decisions ecommerce store owners make on their journey to success is choosing which tools will support their business. The ecommerce landscape is flush with great options to help with everything from email and user messaging to core requirements like analytics and attribution tracking. For many store owners, choosing the right tools can be a challenging process. Learning about how each tool stacks up against its competitors, identifying what tools you need at your current growth stage, and pushing past decision paralysis to pick the best one is no easy task. Fortunately, there’s a new service the ecommerce industry can call on to make smart tooling decisions by learning from others in the industry — 1-800-D2C. In this installment of our Lunch with Littledata series, we chat with 1-800-D2C founder Tim Masek to learn how he launched the directory, see what SaaS tool strategies drive growth, and discuss what the future of ecommerce tooling and the industry as a whole has in store. Greg from Littledata: Can you tell me the story of how 1-800-D2C started? Tim Masek: 1-800-D2C came from a need. I was a growth marketer for a long time helping different ecommerce businesses, and a big part of the job is to always recommend the right tools to different merchants. Because tools are changing so fast, though, I’d struggle to keep up with what the best solutions out there were. Instead of going on endless demo calls, I realized that by looking at the tool stacks of different brands I might be able to make a more informed decision on what the actual best tools to use would be. It clicked in my head that maybe there was a space on the internet for another DTC directory, but this time focused on tooling. So, toward the end of 2019 through to early 2021, I put together this Airtable spreadsheet with lots and lots of records of direct-to-consumer brands. Then I added a bunch of information about them — their URL, image, description, the category therein — and paired that with data about the stacks that they were using. That was my MVP, but I wanted to package it in a really nice way. So, I used Webflow to showcase it and my fiancee — the designer behind 1-800-D2C who has designed for a bunch of ecommerce brands — kindly helped me out on the presentation of the site. Her design gave the site a whole old-school feel of yellow pages. It gave something that could be seen as boring and stale when you're talking about essentially B2B SaaS and B2B software for e-commerce merchants a fun, fresh, and energetic feel. We went live in February 2021 and launched on Product Hunt, then that's when the word started to spread organically. There's never been any paid promotion behind 1-800-D2C. For me, now 10 months after launch, the biggest validation is people still sharing it amongst themselves and the community learning about it on their own. Greg: The website design definitely makes it very unique and memorable. How has business been going since launch? Tim: Thank you so much. Littledata is all over it because it's such an important tool for a lot of e-commerce brands on the directory. There are at least 50+ records of brands using Littledata, so it's great to have you guys on there. The business has been going really well. The site's opened up a lot of doors to speak with people on both sides of the equation — merchants who want to share their story about how they built their devices and also tool creators like Littledata who want to make sure they're connecting to their audience and communicating the benefits of their solutions vs. others. I recently spoke at the Webflow No Code Conference event. I've got some sponsors on the site. So really, really fun and I’m still loving it. Greg: Was the first time you heard about Littledata when you saw it in people's tech stacks? Or did you know about us before? Tim: I knew about it before, probably about a year and a half ago when I was working with a DTC brand called Bower Collective. It's a website where you can buy plastic-free home goods. They were using the first version of ReCharge and they didn't have much money to spend on software, so they weren't using anything crazy on the analytics front, just using Google Analytics. Because I was running the growth for that business when they were a part of Founders Factory, we took a look at some tools that would help us make sense of what was happening with discrepancies on the data side between Recharge and Shopify and Google Analytics. That's how I stumbled upon Littledata and was so excited. The product was super simple. The team was very nice, very switched on, and very operational. I didn't feel like I was talking to sales reps or anything like that. It felt like I was talking to geeks, which made us all feel comfortable. The data was flowing quite nicely and it helped us uncover a lot of insights. Tip: Try Littledata free for 30 days and use better data to drive revenue for your store. Greg: That's great to hear. I can vouch that our support team are definitely data nerds and not salespeople. They just love the ecommerce space. Tim: Yeah, it's niche, man. It's niche. There are a few people that get excited about this whole DTC space, you and me included, and there are not too many of us on this Earth like that. So it was just fun to meet them. Greg: Do you see any common problems ecommerce businesses face when they're building their tech stacks? Tim: I'd say probably the biggest mistake I see is someone picking tools that don't work in sync with the other tools they've already purchased. That racks up a large SaaS bill every month without any synergy amongst their apps. It's easy to rectify because it's oftentimes quite easy to switch from one app to another. But we're seeing a bunch of apps connecting the entire ecosystem together. For example, you're going to need somebody on the analytics and attribution front. That's where a tool like Littledata comes in, and Littledata works well with ReCharge and Shopify. So if you are already using ReCharge, it makes a lot of sense to be integrated that way. "It would be a mistake to see apps as individual problem fixers when they could actually be leveraged as part of a larger strategy, a larger ecosystem." Then you've got customer support. If you're using Gorgias, for example, that's going to sync very well with ReCharge because there's a native integration there. Then for reviews, Junip is super well integrated into the whole stack, and they might sync well with your texting solution. When the pieces start to come together, we've got really strong integrations across the board. It would be a mistake to see apps as individual problem fixers when they could actually be leveraged as part of a larger strategy, a larger ecosystem. Greg: Do you think that ecommerce owners are starting to notice the native integrations that are out there as they use more tools? Tim: Yeah, it's definitely catching on. The market's maturing very, very rapidly, and I could see how it becomes a no-brainer in the next year or two to have everything come together. I think it perhaps starts with agencies who have to be educated on what works well together, and we started to see more of that about a year ago. I've worked with a lot of different agencies. They may be inclined to build everything custom themselves, and the merchants may be the ones saying, “OK, but I've seen my friend who runs this other e-commerce store crushing it with upsells because they're using Rebuy instead of doing it custom. Can we just use that solution instead?” So there's got to be a bit of back and forth now between agencies and merchants to figure out what stack is recommended. But for sure, the whole ecosystem is becoming more and more aware of the right tools to recommend and how they all play together. Greg: You have a lot of interesting roundups on the site. Do you have one that's the most popular? Tim: There is one that I really liked, it’s a fun interview I did with Brandon Amoroso who runs an agency called electrIQ marketing. Brandon is a very young agency founder and a super impressive guy. That's the cool thing about what I do — getting to meet amazing individuals like that scattered around the web who I wouldn't have ever met otherwise. In my interview with him, I got him to break down his stack and tooling decisions for a coffee subscription business called Amora Coffee that they put on ReCharge which does some crazy sales volume. He was talking to me about how he used Loyalty Lion for a specific scenario of rewarding customers who bought bundles then letting them redeem those directly in one click from a Klaviyo email. It's all super niche, but he breaks down exactly why he made those decisions. I thought it was a really insightful story — a storytelling way to learn more about different apps. Greg: Are there any tools that you see DTC businesses using the most? Tim: I actually put together a page on the website called “The top 5’s” and it breaks down the top five tools within each category across the entire directory. That's a nice way to get a sense of the top tools. Other than that, one that comes to mind is Klaviyo because it’s used by, I think, 90% of the 1-800-D2C directory. Shopify, of course, because I love brands that are built on Shopify. For the most part, Shopify is number one, Klaviyo is number two. It’s absolutely crazy when you think about the value of Klaviyo and how unmatched it is. Some people talk about Omnisend or Drip or a few others that are in the conversation. But really, the go-to is Klaviyo, especially for young brands. A lot of people are using heat-mapping tools like Hotjar, too. Those are quite easy to just quickly install on the website and get valuable insights. Fullstory falls a little bit behind after that — also a great tool. Then customer support comes right after reviews, so Okendo, Junip, Stamped, Gorgias, Zendesk. Really, those are the core types of tools, and they rank really high on our top 5 tools list. Greg: We've seen the same thing as well with Klaviyo and Shopify. They’re the market leaders, so it makes sense that you'd see those in pretty much every stack. Tim: Just a quick point on that because it really is crazy. We try and come up with our own predictions about what's going to happen in the future with ecommerce, the Shopify ecosystem, etc. I don't see a world where ecommerce stores don't send emails. It’s always going to be there as step number one or step number two. So every store uses email, and Klaviyo just completely dominates that. It's just unbelievable. I hope there will be challenges to Klaviyo because it will keep pushing them to build a better product over time. But for now, they're just completely undefeated, sitting at the top, just enjoying it, crushing it. Tip: Get advanced analytics tracking on your store's email performance with Littledata's integration for Klaviyo and Shopify. Greg: Are there any trends in the DTC space you see that excite you the most? Tim: I love what Blueprint is doing. They’re really cool because they're an SMS-focused DTC tool aimed at driving retention. There's lots of machine learning that happens on the backend of the tool to learn about your customers, find when are they likely to repurchase again, and what kind of cross-selling opportunities you can identify. So you're not just looking at a platform to send broad messages and be an extra layer on top of email. You're looking at something to build a long-lasting relationship with the customer. It merges the world of marketing/communications with customer support because the whole philosophy behind Blueprint is to build one-to-one customer relationships. So, on the other end as a merchant, you can't wait for the moment when Greg decides, “I'm actually going to reply to this text and give some feedback.” Because then the person on the merchant side can start just talking to you and getting to know you a little bit more, which is a bit like customer support, but you’re not only chatting with them because you have an issue. It's a really nice trend in the world of SMBs. Greg: What advice would you give to an e-commerce store owner who is just starting to build a true tech stack? Tim: First, Start super slow. Don't overspend on tools, build up as you go. It's quite easy to graduate from one tool and get to the next. Then, do your research. Use 1-800-D2C, use whatever you can to find the best tools for you at your stage, and then build up from there. What we did with Bower Collective was really fun. We didn't have much of a stack in the beginning. But over time we started adding. Littledata I think was one of the first tools we added because we needed to see the attribution done properly. That was pretty core for the stack and it was lightweight to do since there’s no huge yearly contract, just an easy implementation. "Start (building a tech stack) slow and ramp up your app costs with your sales. Don't put too much burden on yourself in the beginning." Then we were looking at referral marketing solutions due to customer requests, so we implemented Conjured referrals. There are expert referral platforms out there like Friend Buy and Talkable, but Conjured is the most lightweight one that looks really good, is easy to implement, and can really be your first entry into the world of referral marketing. And if it works to get you an uptick on referrals, you're two years ahead at that stage and can move to those other platforms. Then we started looking at text messaging, then the next thing, and the next. So start slow and ramp up your app costs with your sales. Don't put too much burden on yourself in the beginning. Greg: You guys have a very active social presence. Who runs your social accounts? Tim: 1-800-D2C is really just me. I'm working with a really great intern called Emmy, she's based in New York and she helps me out a lot with Twitter. But for the most part, it's just me trying to stay not only top of mind, but also really provide value in the Twitter ecosystem. It's a great platform with great individuals who want to chat about ecommerce. I'm passionate about the space, so it's an easy way to communicate with the audience. Greg: That’s impressive, props to you for taking it all on by yourself! You mentioned earlier that you actually bootstrapped 1-800-D2C pretty much with all no-code tools. What do you think the power of the no-code movement is for the DTC industry? Tim: Good question, I don't know if I have a good answer for that. Shopify is your starting point in DTC and it's becoming more and more user-friendly, with fewer customizations to do on the coding side of things. So, in some ways, it's becoming more and more no-code-like. But if you're serious about building a successful DTC brand, you want to know a thing or two about how Liquid works or at least have some resources on hand to help you with that. That's actually what I'm working on now with Stuart Tasker — making those resources more available to everyday merchants to put you in touch with the best developers on Shopify and help you move at the speed that you want to. Greg: That’s a great service for store owners to tap into. Having just that one expert can be enough to solve a problem and help you bootstrap the rest of the way. Tim: That's it, man, that's the creator economy in a nutshell. It's also what's happening with the whole remote work movement. We live in a world where you can get a lot done on your own by pulling in extra resources from different experts scattered around the world. I'm a big believer in that. Greg: Are there any other brands that you look to in the DTC space for inspiration? Tim: I actually was asked this question recently for the first time, and I didn't have an answer for it besides one kind of funky, odd one, which I'll say again. They're called Darn Good Yarn. It's the type of business I love because they just sell yarn online for people who are into knitting. And finding yarn in a physical store is probably not the easiest thing to do in the world nowadays. So you’ll likely look online for it, and they've become a home for that. I also love it because the community is already so strong. People who frickin love knitting are going to go out of their way to find you online to shop from you. Those shoppers are going to not only be in a great position to love your brand because you're delivering directly on their needs, but then they're going to go out into the real world and create something beautiful that they can then share with you as a brand which you can repost on social and connect with the community. It's really nice ecosystem, and I imagine the yarn market's decently big. So if you can win that, then you’ve got something special. Greg: What's on the horizon for 1-800-D2C? Tim: I would like to do two things. First, I think there's a nice opportunity to create a job board for anybody in the world of ecommerce. Lots of the brands and tool owners that I speak with are trying to hire for a specific role on their teams. A lot of the people I interact with are hiring because the space is growing rapidly and they just need more people to work on interesting projects. There's a couple of resources on the internet that talk about ecommerce, but only a few that really specialize in ecommerce hiring. So I could see 1-800-D2C being a nice home for those types of opportunities. The second bit is getting more contributors to write on the one 1-800-D2C website for me. Right now it's a lot of me putting in the work and talking about what I'm seeing out there, which I'm totally fine with. I love it and that's why I do it. But there are so many bright minds in the world of ecommerce, and I want them to have a platform to share their ideas and their thoughts. So hopefully I can find a scalable way to get them to contribute to the website. Greg: Almost like an ecommerce clubhouse. That’s a great idea. We’d be happy to join you there! Tim: Yeah, exactly. Just read at your convenience — whether it's the newsletter, the blog content, or the job board— or just browse different DTC brands and their tools. Quick links: Find out how to make data-driven decisions for Shopify plus storesLearn how to scale your business faster using first-party dataDiscover 5 things that change in Google Analytics when you install LittledataConnect Smartrr subscriptions with Google Analytics

by Greg
2022-01-17

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