Segment Recipe: Create Facebook lookalike audiences of your top-spending customers

The promotional power of Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads is no secret. All of our customers use them. Smart ecommerce marketers, however, know that beyond their wide reach, the true value of these ads comes in using them to reach specific buyer personas. Targeting those who are most likely to make a purchase is a great way to boost sales, but how do you reach that audience over time? In short: How do you find more customers like your highest LTV customers? Littledata has worked with top DTC brands using Shopify and Segment, such as Rothy's and Sheertex, to enable data that lets you do exactly that. One key way is lookalike audiences. To help you dive into utilizing these audiences for your store, we've created an analytics recipe along with our partner Segment. The recipe is made to help you stop wasting time building audiences manually while still allowing you to reach your highest-value customers — the ones who are ready to buy and more likely to make bigger purchases over time. It explains step by step how to continuously target a similar audience to your top-spenders, so you'll start getting your ads in front of eager potential buyers. Lookalike audiences such as these are a staple in successful ecommerce brands' promotion strategies, as they widen your audience while ensuring you get the most value out of the advertising dollars you spend. Read the full post on Segment's blog to learn how you can start utilizing this recipe in your Facebook Ad strategy. We look at how to: Create an audience in Segment Personas of highest spending customers Automatically sync that audience with Facebook Ads Create a lookalike audience in Facebook Ads to find more high-value customers If you've wondered how to use rule-based audiences to increase revenue, this is the recipe for you. Do you know how accurate your ecommerce reporting is? Get a clearer picture with a full data audit from Littledata as part of our 30 day free trial to start owning your data and make decisions off truly accurate data. [subscribe]

by Greg
2021-08-27

Lunch with Littledata: Why a headless build is right for your store with Nacelle

Want to learn from DTC founders and entrepreneurs shaking up their industries? Check out the other entries in our Lunch with Littledata series. Ecommerce stores need to have a storefront build that’s not just engaging and aesthetically pleasing, but technically sound. Add to this the growing interest in headless setups, and choosing the right site architecture becomes one of the most critical decisions for a store owner to get right. Littledata partner Nacelle powers storefronts that stand out from the competition, offering headless website builds backed by a robust data stack. Focused on Progressive Web App (PWA) technology, Nacelle builds super clean, fast and responsive sites for modern DTC brands. They secured $50 million in Series B round funding from Tiger Global, proving investors see a promising future ahead. In this installment of our Lunch with Littledata series, we sat down with Devin Saxon, Senior Sales Engineer at Nacelle, to talk through the benefits of headless setups, when the right time is to try one, and how ecommerce is still evolving due to the COVID shift online. LD: In one sentence: what is headless? DS: Headless commerce is a flexible ecommerce architecture where your website’s back-end systems are fully decoupled from your website’s storefront (what your shoppers interact with). [tip]Littledata and Nacelle have partnered to create a build that gives you the full headless experience while keeping your Shopify Plus tech stack intact.[/tip] What exactly does Nacelle do? Nacelle is an easy way to build high-performing headless sites. Nacelle acts as the “abstraction layer” within a headless commerce architecture. Our product fully removes all interdependencies between the back end and the front end. It uses graphQL API endpoints with no rate limits for first indexing data (i.e. products, collections, and content), then delivering that data to your storefront. This ensures that you don’t run into any eventual consistency issues and dramatically decreases the complexity of a headless build. Nacelle is not an all-in-one, end-to-end solution. It’s structured to enable a true “headless” architecture, designed — and priced — for flexibility. It allows for customization and the opportunity for merchants to embrace their best options across the board. That includes everything from their ideal digital ecommerce agency partner to their preferred CMS system, third-party applications, hosting, and ecommerce platform at the core for their business. Is the headless build process dramatically different for brands with a good number of SKUs/products (like Something Navy) vs. stores with a few products selling by subscription (like Ballsy)? Every headless build is unique. Not because of catalogue size, but due to what the merchant’s goals and needs are for their front end and overall architecture. The process itself is not dramatically different. We align with the customer on the build scoping process, including their goals, integration, and workflow needs, which can be the biggest determinant of the timeline. It’s best to work this out far before they start building, though, to mitigate any issues from coming up during the build. When should you NOT move to a headless build? I would say it largely depends on the merchant’s goals and how they view their technology. Going headless can be a big expense upfront. So it’s beneficial to understand if you have the development resources to support the build itself, maintain your current site, and then maintain the headless site once complete. This is where it’s beneficial to work with a headless commerce platform. You’ll save time and resources while building out an efficient frontend and systems to differentiate your brand from the piping and plumbing of your headless architecture. “If a brand views their technology and engineering resources as ways to differentiate vs. a cost center, they are ready to make the move into headless.” You can also outsource development resources through an agency. We have typically seen success with brands who are $10-20m over annual revenue, or venture-backed and technology-forward. If the brand views their technology and engineering resources as ways to differentiate vs. a cost center, they are ready to make the move into headless. How has COVID affected your work at Nacelle? It seems like you’ve been hiring quite a bit! We are currently completely distributed as a company, and we have been hiring rapidly! We recently passed the 50 employee mark and we’re going to continue to grow that through the rest of the year. COVID’s effect on the ecommerce space has forced many businesses to reevaluate their tech stacks, which has led to a lot of positive opportunities for us. What about your merchants? Are things getting back to "normal"? The pandemic has definitely accelerated the conversation as ecommerce brands see the need to truly invest in their online presence. With that, headless really aligns with the philosophy of enabling DTC brands to better tell their story through their web storefront and shape the customer experience. Nacelle aligns well with DTC brands here because we remove the complexities of connecting your storefront with your back end. Instead, we allow you to completely focus on your front end with better development practices and less tech debt. Conversations have been really positive and engaging with merchants. It seems like things are actually cranking up more so than returning to normal. [tip]DTC brands with the right strategy can harness Shopify Plus to multiply their revenue and drive growth. Check out these 5 DTC stores fueling their success on Shopify Plus[/tip] Are agency partnerships a big part of your business model? Yes. We believe a strong technical implementation is best for any merchant going headless, and agencies are part of that equation. The agencies we work with have tremendous experience with headless builds and using Nacelle proves to be invaluable to brands who partner with them. What data points are important for your customers? I'm guessing site speed is a big metric? Site speed is always one that’s top of mind for customers. I’d also say conversion rate, average order value, pages per session, mobile conversion rate, and page-to-page speeds come up frequently. “Site speed is a data point that’s always top of mind for customers.” To give an example, Something Navy uses a drop model so their site will get aggressive amounts of traffic when they release something new. So, they wanted to see the number of unique sessions supported within the first 30 minutes of that product drop. We have a lot of different case studies with current customers that cover these points of data. What's the best resource for a Shopify store wanting to explore headless options? Hard to answer this and not be a little biased! Our marketing team put together some great content around this since we have a good amount of current customers on Shopify. Here’s a handful of links to some of my favorite resources they’ve created: Lessons From Over 20 Shopify Plus Headless Commerce Builds Get The Headless Experience Without Overhauling Your Shopify Plus Tech Stack What is Headless Commerce (And is it right for your store?) 7 Reasons to Consider a Headless Commerce Solution Going Headless on Shopify for the ecommerce Developer 5 Common Headless Commerce Questions, Answered Lastly, a bit technical, but what is the relationship between Nacelle and Netlify — or the "Jamstack"? Nacelle and Netlify work in tandem. Netlify delivers your online storefront to your customers' browsers by taking your website’s HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files and making them available online. Nacelle connects your back-end systems, syncs all of the data, and delivers it to the front end. Your Progressive Web App (PWA) calls Nacelle’s graphQL API endpoint in order to get all of the content and product/collection data for your site’s build. As for how we pair with the “Jamstack” — we help manage your back-end infrastructure and make static generation for the modern ecommerce store a breeze. With our back-end API, we are able to integrate directly with your systems (or ecommerce platform) that handle your PIM, OMS, CRM to index your products, and collect information for your front-end build. We also have pre-built integrations into Contentful and Sanity, so developers can leverage that same back-end API to integrate the CMS of their choice. With the front end, our APIs and Javascript SDK are robust and flexible. Our direct integrations into Nuxt and Next are intuitive and easy to use, and our API pairs flawlessly with Gatsby. Finally, we are compatible with over 30 popular ecommerce tools and easily integrate with new systems through APIs to keep up with evolving needs. Quick links: Dive deeper into headless tracking for Shopify Learn step by step how to add Google Analytics to your Shopify store Shopify Analytics vs. Google Analytics: Why don't they match? Try the Littledata Grow plan — for stores focused on data-driven growth

by Greg
2021-08-13

Shopify Analytics vs. Google Analytics: Why don't they match?

If you're a Shopify store owner using both Shopify analytics and Google Analytics, you're probably familiar with the often large discrepancies between the two tracking systems. What you might not know is that this happens in part because Shopify's default analytics misses tracking on 12 out of every 100 orders. That leaves you unaware of your true sales performance and marketing attribution, and what actions your customers are taking at key touchpoints along their buying journey. Layering expensive data dashboards and connectors on top of this, as many stores often do, just compounds the problem and leads to more wasted marketing spend. It's never a good idea to make decisions based on bad data. An insider's guide to fixing your Shopify store analytics The first step to fixing your Shopify tracking is understanding where it fails. You know the data is missing, but what's going on behind the scenes to cause it? And is there a better way? Fortunately, there is. Our free guide on why Google Analytics doesn't match Shopify analytics dives into: The main reasons why transactions go missing in GA How a data mismatch affects your bottom line A comparison of different tracking methods What you can do to fix Shopify analytics Read the ebook >>> Adding Google Analytics to Shopify If you're not already using Google Analytics with your Shopify store, getting it set up should be your first step toward improved data accuracy. Though Shopify does have a default GA integration, it misses tracking many key metrics.  We have a full walkthrough on setting up Google Analytics on your Shopify store, which covers what to look out for after you've set up GA as well. Using the methods in our guide will help you ensure you get a full and accurate picture of your data in GA. For a fast way to connect them automatically, try out Littledata's GA to Shopify connection for free. The trial allows you to get an accurate snapshot of your key metrics, and you'll still own that data in GA whether you continue using our advanced data connections or not. [subscribe]

by Greg
2021-07-30

5 DTC brands using Shopify Plus to fuel their success

Do you want to make more money with your ecommerce store? Of course! The better question is: do you know which services can get you over the hump?  The Shopify Plus plan is an enterprise-level platform designed to be the launchpad for your ecommerce business. Whether you’re launching a new brand or migrating to Shopify from a custom build or a platform like Magento, Shopify is a streamlined ecommerce option, and Shopify Plus offers even more functionality and support. Shopify Plus gives you access to:  Advanced apps designed for high growth Customized checkout and better control over branding Ability to sell globally in multiple currencies Shopify’s organization admin to manage all your stores from a single location These features could help you unlock sales and bring exponential growth to your store. Advanced app connections, specifically, can help you optimize key areas of your promotion strategy. Here at Littledata, we’ve seen many successful brands use these to their advantage.  So we thought, what better way to help you choose if Shopify Plus is right for you than by showing you who has already succeeded using it.  Here’s a look at five standout ecommerce stores that you can look to for inspiration when deciding if Shopify plus is right for your ecommerce store.  #1 - Rothy’s Popular San Francisco-based startup Rothy’s makes stylish machine-washable shoes and bags. Sustainability is key to their mission, so they use recycled and natural materials in manufacturing. That includes repurposing items like discarded plastic bottles and algae to craft shoe inserts and soles. Rothy’s offers a wide range of colorways and designs for their shoes and other products. So, customers browse the website longer and hit various touchpoints before checking out. With Shopify plus, Rothy’s were able to design a streamlined path for customers to follow on their buying journeys.  To ensure they capture valuable data on each touchpoint, Rothy’s uses Littledata’s Segment data destination. This gives full visibility of customer behavior through 100% accurate server-side tracking. Rothy’s can use the add-on to find what offerings grab the most clicks, use the data to make real-time product recommendations, and even adjust future designs and pricing based on popularity and customer engagement. They can also see customer activity during checkout and fine-tune the process to optimize their conversion rate. #2 - Sheertex One of the fastest rising ecommerce brands, Sheertex went from one founder’s bold idea to becoming one of TIME magazine’s best inventions. The company makes ultra-durable tights and pantyhose using award-winning fabric. They bring in a range of customers thanks to marketing their product as being “made for everyone.” Like many of the most successful Shopify Plus brands, Sheertex uses both Segment and Google Analytics in their data stack. They use Segment to personalize the customer experience, from emails to ads, and Google Analytics to analyze marketing data and make data-driven decisions.  Shopify Plus has been a great fit for Sheertex in general as they have a large number of products and product variants. Using the Shopify source for Segment helps them customize the user experience so shoppers get more of what they love! #3 - Athletic Brewing You might think, “beer for athletes, really?” But this brand is different. Athletic Brewing makes award-winning, non-alcoholic craft beer for more health-conscious beer lovers. Their brews earned them features in The Wall Street Journal, BBC, and Bloomberg, and partnerships with the Ironman and USA triathlon events. Testing different store layouts, marketing strategies, and new product lines is a staple of ecommerce. To get the most from their own experiments, Athletic Brewing uses the Google Optimize connection on their Shopify Plus store. This connection gives them accurate results from A/B tests, plus the ability to segment tests by products viewed, adds to cart, and other key metrics. The result is a fully optimized store crafted to drive sales and earn customers. The more data Athletic Brewing can capture about this diverse audience, the better they can optimize sales. That’s why they connected Google Analytics (GA) to their store. While Shopify offers a basic analytics option, for every 100 orders it tracks 12 go missing.  Littledata’s GA connection and advanced ReCharge tracking give subscription brands like Athletic Brewing accurate data about sales, buyer behavior, and customer lifetime value (CLV/LTV). They can also compare their site benchmarks against over 12,000 ecommerce sites and set goals for faster growth. #4 - SodaSense Homemade soda rose as a trend in the mid to late 2010s, and has continued to boast a passionate community since. As homemade soda drinkers know, the biggest hassle for this hobby is often getting more CO2 for your soda maker.  So, Shopify Plus user SodaSense stepped in with their own retail-based solution: a CO2 refill and exchange program. It gives subscribers the ability to exchange their CO2 canisters, no matter the brand, for freshly filled ones. For $12.99, SodaSense users can exchange empty canisters for a refilled canister of the brand of their choice. To manage these payments, which can be one-time or recurring, Sodasense uses the reCharge add on for their Shopify store.  This connection allows them to track first-time payments, recurring transactions, and subscription lifecycle events. It also captures the marketing attribution for their subscription revenue. This data is key for determining CLV/LTV and maximizing their overall revenue. #5 -  African Ancestry New DNA kits and ancestry test companies are arriving often as the genealogy industry has grown. Increased availability of genealogy kits for non-eurocentric people is one major benefit of the industry’s rise. African Ancestry is one great example of this. Their test kit uncovers the users’ country of origin and even the tribe they descended from. As with any growing industry, though, standing out from the crowd is essential to growth. Social media advertising can be a powerful tool for making that crucial impression with customers. Of course, the success of social ads depends on executing campaigns correctly.  To get this just right, African Ancestry linked their Shopify Plus store with the Facebook Ads connection. It allows them to ensure accurate campaign tagging and tracking, making sure they aren’t missing data and paying more for less reach. Should I get Shopify Plus for my ecommerce store? In short, the answer to this question depends on the goals you have.  If you’re in a growth stage and looking to increase revenue, then Shopify Plus offers crucial tools and connections that will help you achieve it.  As the stores above demonstrate, there are many functions of your business you can focus on to boost growth. Customer acquisition, attribution, and lifetime value are all key metrics to consider.  Leveraging Shopify Plus connections, along with the right approach to data evaluation, can be the key to unlocking your store’s true revenue potential.  Want to make sure you have the right data guiding your ecommerce growth journey? Give Littledata's 30-day free trial a spin and find where you can optimize your promotional approach for the best results. [tip]Did you know? Littledata Plus is a turnkey data pipeline designed specifically for Shopify Plus, with account management from an analytics expert[/tip]

by Greg
2021-07-01

Podcast: How to fix your Shopify analytics with Littledata

How do you know if you're seeing the whole picture when it comes to your ecommerce analytics? Our CEO Edward Upton joined Keith Matthews, founder of Milk Bottle Labs, on their Shopify podcast to share how stores can conquer their data dilemmas and achieve exponential growth using accurate metrics. Listen to the full episode: Episode #48: Fix your analytics with Littledata As Shopify experts, Milk Bottle understands the critical role that analytics play in building a successful Shopify store. They're Ireland's only fully dedicated Shopify agency, but like many of our Shopify agency partners at Littledata, they help clients from around the world find the tools and information needed to craft the best Shopify store possible. During their chat, Edward and Keith discuss: How Littledata's years of experience as a fully remote company have helped us thrive What Littledata' Google Analytics connection brings to your store that Shopify's analytics dashboard doesn't What customer activity is important to track leading up to an order The importance of knowing your customers' lifetime value How General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy policies have impacted ecommerce stores What does Littledata show that Shopify's analytics dashboard doesn't? Early in the episode, Edward and Keith discuss why a store should add Littledata in the first place. The answer? It gives you critical information about the customer journey that Shopify's analytics dashboard doesn't. As Edward explains, Shopify's dashboard "does give you all the basics, like which products are sold, how many, how much you earned. But the problem is that it doesn't really give you enough detail on the actual customer journey to do serious conversion rate optimization or any sort of marketing mix analysis. So you just don't get deep enough about what series of events led up to an order and what were the different customer touchpoints. Yeah, you can see the last click that pulled (a customer) to an order. But, if someone buys a thousand-dollar couch, they don't just click on a Google ad and pay. It's a very considered decision, typically 15 or so touchpoints on average before someone would make a purchase. So knowing the last thing that pulled the customer there is almost useless. What you need to do is look at the whole journey in the marketing mix, all the different kinds of prospecting, retargeting, and engagement campaigns that got them to the eventual sale. And this is true for subscription e-commerce businesses, as well. It's very unlikely to be a sort of impulse purchase." How do cookie-blocking policies like GDPR affect Shopify store owners? New privacy policies like the EU's GDPR and California's Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) have restricted the ability for store owners to use cookies that track important customer activity. While the industry has been hurrying to adjust, Edward says that Littledata's server-side tracking is a strong solution for compliance. "Apple's basic belief — and I think Google's a bit on the fence, but may go down that path for Chrome as well — is that basically by default, users shouldn't be tracked. That as much of the sort of analytics-type tracking should be blocked as possible, which from the store owner's point of view is a disaster. Because, yeah, they don't want to track personal information about the user necessarily, but they do want to know in aggregate, 'how is my store performing?' and what [advertising] spend leads to sales. I think this is driving more and more stores into our arms because Littledata offers something quite different, which is server-side tracking, which doesn't rely on any of these. It bypasses these browser limitations." [subscribe] The Shopify podcast that helps you supercharge your store's analytics tracking Edward and Keith's conversation is filled with actionable insights that Shopify store owners can implement straight into their marketing efforts. Listen to the full episode to see how you can apply their advice to your store, or reach out to set up a demo with Littledata and learn how our powerful data connecters can springboard your ecommerce sales. After all, what good is a data-driven decision without accurate — or complete — ecommerce data?

by Greg
2021-06-24

Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

Get a 30-day free trial of Littledata for Google Analytics or Segment