Black Friday discounting increases next season’s purchasing

Black Friday Cyber Monday appears to be big business for ecommerce merchants. But what happens after the promotions? I knew Black Friday had reached ‘late adopter’ stage when a company I’d bought fencing panels from – fencing panels – emailed me their holiday season promotions. But the real question is this: will all these promotions actually drive customer loyalty, or only attract bargain hunters? Looking at the data At Littledata, we looked at aggregate data from 143 retailers who participated most in 2016 Black Friday, versus 143 retailers who did not. For the first 23 days of November 2017 – before Black Friday – the median year-on-year increase in sales was 13% for those pushing discounts the previous year, versus only 1% growth for those avoiding Black Friday discounting *. Our conclusion is that retailers who discounted most heavily on Black Friday 2016 saw a lasting benefit in extra sales a year after the sales period. However, we don’t know whether these extra sales were profitable enough to pay for the seasonal promotions. Another possible explanation is that higher-growth retailers are more active in marketing Black Friday, but in either event the discount season has done them no harm over the following year. Looking at 2016, it seems Black Friday was bigger than the year before for our cohort of 270 UK retailers – but at the expense of sales later in the season. Yet in the UK, we are not close to US levels of hysteria yet, where a much greater proportion of the last quarter’s sales are done on that weekend. What sectors does Black Friday affect? The other interesting question is what sectors does Black Friday affect? It may be a surprise that the biggest boost of over 100% average increase in sales comes for Health & Beauty stores, whereas technology and computer stores saw an average boost of 40% for the week. The graph below shows the difference with the average sales volumes in November & December 2016, by sector, for 3 selected weeks: Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised by those fencing panels: business and industrial sites saw a big boost too! Interested in tracking online sales activity for your own site this holiday shopping season? Littledata's ecommerce analytics software provides accurate data and automated reporting to help you track promotions and drive conversions and customer loyalty. [subscribe] *The statistical detail I took a group of 573 retailers we have tracked for at least 2 years, and looked at the ratio of Black Friday weekend sales (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday) to the 2 month average for November and December. Those in the top quartile (trading 2.6 times above average during the Black Friday season) were deemed to have participated; those in the bottom quartile, showing a dip in trading over that weekend were deemed not to have participated. I then looked at the year-on-year growth in revenue between November 2016 (first 23 days) and the same period in November 2017, for the discount versus non-discount group. A t-test between the groups found an 18% probability that the two groups had the same mean, not allowing us to dismiss the null hypothesis. [note]This Black Friday ecommerce strategy post was originally published in November 2017 but has since been updated.[/note]

2019-11-11

How Shopify stores can get the most out of Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, often referred to as BFCM, make up the biggest weekend in the calendar year for ecommerce stores. With sales topping $10B in 2018, that number is widely expected to increase in 2019, especially with this year’s dates falling much closer to payday. The pie is very large indeed, and every Shopify and Shopify Plus merchant wants a piece. But to reap the benefits of BFCM and enjoy a big sales weekend, there is much preparation necessary, including using the entire ecommerce marketing toolbox.  Here are four foolproof tips for a successful BFCM weekend for your Shopify store. These tips are especially relevant for Shopify Plus merchants, as the competition is really heating up this year, with more money on the table--to win or to lose. Especially with the help of accurate reporting, you can make the largest gains without drowning under increased customer demand. Make data-driven decisions to drive ROI With increased competition to gain the attention of potential customers, tight marketing budgets and high customer acquisition costs, the dependence on high-quality data has never been more crucial. The foundation of your planning should be driven by analysis on your customers, their personas, their buying habits and their digital behaviour.   Using historical data of your customers with the highest lifetime value (LTV) and the lowest customer acquisition cost (CAC), you can refine your target audience ahead of BFCM in order to drive high-volume, targeted traffic to your store with campaigns that have the highest potential ROI. Google Analytics is a great place to start your digging. With the raw data in GA, you can build reports in Google Data Studio, which will display the metrics you need to build your audiences.  Littledata’s Shopify app does just that. By ensuring your store data is 100% accurate when you see it in Google Analytics, the app helps Shopify and Shopify Plus stores make better, data-driven decisions before, during and after BFCM sales. [subscribe] Focus on remarketing campaigns It’s more than likely your prospective customers are already shopping around and conducting product research ahead of BFCM.  Most online shoppers in 2019 make smarter purchasing decisions and spend more time finding both the right product and the best deal before making purchases.  Engaged customers who have already visited your store and are familiar with your brand are more likely to purchase from you. They’ll also have a lower CAC and higher conversion rates.  Data-driven retargeting campaigns on Facebook Ads, Google Display Network and Twitter Ads will give you the best ROI, which is why planning ahead and collecting accurate data in the weeks leading up to BFCM is crucial.  Pay particular attention to recent email subscribers, abandoned cart users and frequently returning visitors — these are the people with your product fresh in mind. Optimize your site with A/B tests Test, test and test again. Whilst many ecommerce businesses make large changes once or twice a year, the most successful stores are continuously testing and optimising small changes, which lead to big results over time.  Optimising your Shopify or Shopify Plus store in the weeks leading up to BFCM is critical; spend time running A/B tests with tools like Google Optimize, which allows you to seamlessly run multivariate tests and property tests. With these types of test results for your product pages and CTAs, you’ll have sufficient data to either prove or discount your assumptions on user behaviour and web design elements like button color, calls to action, site copy and more.  The best marketers never assume or guess shopper tendencies; instead, use measurable data from A/B testing to make data-driven decisions. You data should also inform the types of tests you run. For example, if 70% of your traffic is coming from mobile, then spend most of your time optimising and testing for mobile.  If you actually are optimising for mobile, some quick tips: make sure your navigation is clear and easy to use and the checkout is smooth. Shopify data shows that more purchases were made on mobile than desktop in both 2017 and 2018. Supercharge your page speed Website speed is incredibly important for BFCM.  Shoppers are looking to get in quick and are more likely to leave your store with a load time over three seconds. To combat slow-loading pages (including your Shopify product pages), use tools like Google Lighthouse and Page Speed Test to get a loose idea of your average site performance.  [note] For a more in-depth benchmark and for step-by-step tips on improving page speed, check out this recent case study.[/note] Small fixes such as compressing images and videos can help, but some stores go further — shutting off all non-essential apps or creating superfast AMP landing pages just for BFCM weekend.  The oft-forgotten speed metric? Your customer support response time. With a mammoth increase in traffic and more orders coming through your pipeline, you’re bound to see a spike in customer inquiries. It may be necessary to increase your support team size for BFCM in order to deal with these requests quickly. This will help ensure that no inquiry goes untouched and your cart abandonment rate is minimised.   [note] Cart abandonment is no joke, especially on the biggest day of the year for online retail. Check out these 8 tips for minimising your cart abandonment.[/note] Get the most out of BFCM with data you can trust In order to make the most of BFCM, Shopify stores and Shopify Plus stores need to plan ahead this month to ensure they’re working from trustworthy data.  Not only does data drive persona building and decision-making, but it’s the bedrock for successful ecommerce.  Littledata’s Shopify app provides the data solution that merchants need for everyday store performance, accurate marketing attribution and user behaviour trends.  Try Littledata for free today so you have plenty of time to operate with accurate data before BFCM — it’s just around the corner! Installing the app takes just 5 minutes, and you’ll see accurate numbers in Google Analytics within 24 hours.  [subscribe]

2019-10-04

Does Littledata work with my ecommerce reporting tool?

We often get asked if Littledata works with certain reporting tools that are popular among merchants. Here's the short answer: if your tool can pull data from Google Analytics or Segment, then our smart connections will help you get accurate data to use with those reporting or data insight tools. Here’s exactly how we work with each platform. The Establishment These are the main ecommerce reporting tools. If you're using one of these tools, you're in luck. Littledata integrates with them automatically. These products include: Google Analytics Google Data Studio Tableau Segment Power BI Read on to see how Littledata works with these data insights tools to improve the accuracy of your data and the usefulness of your reporting. Google Analytics The world’s most popular analytics tool gets even better when paired with Littledata’s smart connections and full audit to enhance the ecommerce event data captured from your store. GA is the core tool to which Littledata connects, allowing you to connect to other dashboards below, such as Tableau and Data Studio. [subscribe] Segment Segment’s data pipeline is a trusted way to get analytics from one platform into dozens of others without complex engineering. Our source for Shopify and Shopify Plus helps you automatically send ecommerce events into any of Segment’s hundreds of destinations. Once the Segment connection is set up, you never lift a finger. Google Data Studio Data Studio is our dashboard tool of choice for more custom-designed reports.  Because Data Studio integrates with Google Analytics, Littledata’s connections can all be exported from GA into Data Studio. While it can be slow to generate reports at scale, its unlimited free reporting makes it hard to beat for ad-hoc analysis. [note]Have you done something unique with Data Studio and Littledata? We'd love to hear about it. Reach out and let us know.[/note] Tableau Tableau, now part of the Salesforce family, was one of the first tools to provide a smart, easy setup dashboard. Their connection with Google Analytics is well established, and as with Data Studio you can access the Littledata events from there. Power BI Microsoft’s popular reporting tool can also import data from Google Analytics, so anything Littledata pushes to GA is available in Power BI. Power BI is especially useful if you want to visually explore your ecommerce data, as the platform offers interactive visualizations and a range of business intelligence (BI) insights. They also allow on-premises report deployment (behind a firewall), which is great for larger brands with large in-house teams. Newer solutions In addition to the 'establishment' above, Littledata seamlessly integrates with a number of newer reporting tools that offer Google Analytics insights and visualizations. These apps and reporting tools include: Glew Glow Yaguara These tools are especially popular with Shopify and Shopify Plus stores. Glew Glew provides some cleverly-curated ecommerce reports, but any of the underlying data on marketing attribution or customer behaviour pulled from Google Analytics will require Littledata’s improved tracking for full accuracy. Here’s a more detailed guide of the differences between Glew and Littledata. Grow Grow is a newer dashboard tool with hundreds of reporting sources, of which Google Analytics is their ‘most popular’. While some of the detail from Littledata’s connections may be lost in ‘basic reporting’ from GA, their multi-channel marketing reports are useful. Yaguara Yagura provides a series of templates to gain insights into your ecommerce business. One of their key integrations is with Google Analytics, and so the extra insights from Littledata’s tracking can be pulled into a Yaguara dashboard. Tools we don't work with directly The following tools don't connect with Littledata, and we aren't planning an integration. Conversific Conversific is an analytics tool for Shopify, with similar reporting to Littledata. While Conversific doesn’t offer the same smart connections as Littledata, it’s unlikely you’d need to use the two together. Metrilo Metrilo offers to optimize marketing channels for ecommerce. While their guide says Metrilo is a good alternative to Google Analytics, it won’t replace the reporting that Littledata provides. Zaius Zaius is an ecommerce CRM, allowing you to personalise and automate marketing based on customer interactions. As such, it needs its own event data capture, and can’t integrate with Littledata reporting. [note]Have you built custom reports using Littledata? We'd love to hear about it. Give us a shout and let us know.[/note]

2019-09-12

Top 10 ecommerce sites using Refersion

By now I'm sure you've heard of Refersion. They're on a mission to make advanced affiliate marketing accessible to every online store. Littledata's Refersion integration quickly became one of our most popular connections since first launching it in the early days of our first Shopify app. Why? Because... It works automatically The need for accurate data grows exponentially as your affiliate campaigns take off! If you're thinking of using Refersion or getting started with Littledata (or both), I'll offer a brief overview plus 10 great examples of ecommerce sites using Refersion to outperform the competition. What is Refersion? Refersion is smart affiliate marketing. They make it easy to manage, track and grow your affiliate network and promotions. Refersion offers: A personalised affiliate portal Unlimited commission structures Easy ecommerce platform integrations Automatic approvals for affiliates & orders And much more... ...which is all really awesome. But how do you know if those affiliate campaigns are leading to the right kinds of sales? What's the lifetime value from each campaign or affiliate? [subscribe heading="Integrate Shopify, Refersion and Google Analytics"] The answer is simple: the most successful sites using Refersion also use Littledata to power their analytics. Littledata's Refersion connection makes it easy to track affiliate marketing ROI in Google Analytics, so you can do whatever you want with the data. Benefits of the advanced Refersion-Google Analytics integration include: Accurate tracking for affiliate marketing channels and campaigns Detailed analytics about sales, refunds, user behaviour and product performance Smart audit to check for accurate tracking Benchmarks against other ecommerce sites Without further ado, let's get into some great examples of top ecommerce sites using Refersion. [note]Did you know that Littledata and Refersion both now integrate with Segment?[/note] 10 merchants using Refersion for ecommerce growth 1. Bokksu Bokksu is a popular Japanese snack subscription that handpicks snacks Japanese people eat regularly and curate them into themed monthly box deliveries. Bokksu is also the only Japanese subscription box that includes a Tea Pairing designed to complement each month's snack selections.  2. Primally Pure Primally Pure is a skincare company offering 100% natural and toxin-free products that support "radiant skin, a healthy body + a happy self." The company sells a variety of body oils, natural deodorants, facial sprays and more. They also have a flourishing influencer community which they use to promote product incentives, referral programs, loyalty programs and more. 3. Athletic Greens Athletic Greens spent 10 years of research to develop a tasty supplement drink with better nutritional density than anything else on the market. With 75 vitamins, minerals and carefully sourced ingredients, the company is a leader in the fast-growing nutritional supplement industry.  But here's what really sets them apart. As a subscription-based company, they only sell their product online to monthly subscribers, which they call ‘long term nutritional insurance plans’. They also run their online storefront on Shopify and use ReCharge for managing subscriptions, which helps them maintain a smooth operations flow and make decisions based on consistent, accurate data. Learn more about how Athletic Greens continues to grow. 4. CultureFly For fans of pop culture both casual and extreme, CultureFly creates subscription boxes, collectibles, and apparel. They also sell apparel for both men and women, valuable collectibles and accessories from pet outfits to headwear. Partner brands include Pusheen, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Game of Thrones and more. 5. Rocketbook Rocketbook, AKA "The Neverending Notebook" is designed for classrooms, offices and personal work items. The company's most popular product, The Fusion, is a reusable pen and paper notebook with seven different page templates that connect to cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Slack, iCloud, Apple Mail and more. The notebook has "42 pages packed with calendars, to-do lists, and notetaking layouts." 6. Pura Vida Pura Vida is a jewelry store founded in Costa Rica that helps provide full-time jobs for "artisans worldwide." Many of company's bracelets, rings, necklaces and accessories are handmade. 7. Dry Farm Wines Dry Farm Wines make and sell artisan, handcrafted wines that are "the only health-focused Natural Wines in the world." Their wines are free of chemicals and artificial additives, sugar-free and contain low alcohol content. 8. DX Racer DX Racer manufactures and sells popular gaming chairs and office chairs. They also offer a line of computer desks, branded accessories and apparel.  9. KontrolFreek KontrolFreek develops performance gaming gear and controller accessories for serious gamers. They sell performance thumbsticks and gear for PlayStation, Xbox and other popular gaming systems. 10. Luxe Fitness Luxe Fitness is an Australia-based collagen protein supplement for women. The company sells supplements, such as vegan protein powder, keto-friendly powder, an ice cream mix, a matcha mix and daily protein capsules. 

by Ari
2019-09-06

How to create customer loyalty strategies for each customer segment

Understanding and leveraging customer data to provide a curated service is the key to ecommerce success.  One study found that 53% of customers would give up personal data for a personalised shopping experience. This starts by diving into what makes your target customer tick – the types of products they like, their average spend and previous purchases.  When merchants use this information well, more customers will come to trust your brand, enjoy engaging with your brand, purchase from you more and tell others about you (brand advocacy). Beyond purchasing behaviour and demographics, channeling your customers into a loyalty program allows you to categorise them into three distinct customer segments: Loyal: Customers who purchase from you often and have a high customer lifetime value (CLV) At-risk: Those who have shopped with you before but haven’t made a purchase within an expected timeframe – this could be weeks or months depending on your business Lapsed: If they haven't made a purchase in a certain number of days, weeks or months, they qualify as lapsed In this post, we’ll look at the ways to leverage loyalty data. In other words, you’ll learn to target customers with appropriate content at the right time to improve the customer lifetime value of your store visitors. Loyal customers Quite simply, loyal customers are your best and most ideal customer type.  They typically spend more and are worth up to ten times the value of their first purchase. They’ll also tell others about their positive experience with you through referrals and online reviews. This is especially significant since customers acquired through referrals tend to spend 200% more than the average customer.  Once you have identified your loyal customer base, you can encourage these customers to repurchase in a variety of ways.  First, you can nudge them to refer friends to earn points. This proves that you’re willing to reward them even if they don’t purchase.  Meanwhile, you’ll acquire new customers with 16-45% more loyalty as a result. You can also offer a free gift on their birthday to show that you value them not just as a buyer, but as a person.  Wildish, an outdoors and adventure apparel company, have orchestrated a brilliant referral strategy. They offer referred friends 20% off their first purchase, plus a chance for the existing customer to earn 500 “coins” (loyalty points) if the referred friend spends over $20 (an amount that’s both reasonable and achievable).  At-risk customers At-risk customers might have purchased from you in the past, but it’s been a while since they’ve returned.  Your job is to draw them back and remind them why they bought from your store in the first place. To start, try sending loyalty emails between purchases to keep your brand top-of-mind. Let your email recipients know how many loyalty points they have accumulated and have ready to spend.  You can also tailor these emails based on product interests or past browsing and shopping behaviour — you can find all this info within Google Analytics. [subscribe] Beauty Bakerie sends a loyalty email to their customers when their points are about to expire, nudging those customers to return and re-spend:  Alternatively, you can surprise and delight these customers by helping them scale the ranks of your loyalty program. By moving at-risk customers up a tier, you can offer them more exclusive access to your experiential rewards and product offers. Gym Direct does this well by pushing customers on an upward trajectory to unlock more benefits. This way, customers want to return to your brand and re-engage with the new perks they’ve unlocked. These perks can include tutorials, free gifts or access to an exclusive community. Lapsed customers If someone hasn’t purchased from you in a while, it doesn’t mean they are lost causes. They might just need a pull in the right direction.  Re-engage lapsed customers by showing them why you’re set apart from competing stores. Make them feel like they’re discovering you for the first time. One way to do this is by notifying them via email of the recent changes you’ve made to your loyalty program.  Annmarie Skin Care uses loyalty emails to remind customers of their focus on environmental initiatives, connecting to these shoppers on an emotional level that goes beyond the product.  Customers are reminded why shopping with Annmarie Skin Care was important to them in the first place — this means they’re more likely to return to purchase: Alternatively, surprise these lapsed customers into returning by offering access to one-off double points events (as long as they’re a member of your loyalty program).  For example, Nashua Nutrition has run one-day-only double points events to encourage loyalty members to earn more loyalty points by spending within a certain timeframe: It boils down to data  Ultimately, retaining your existing customer base through data analysis and creating a personalised shopping experience is key to long-term ecommerce success.  This all starts by monitoring your shoppers in Google Analytics, optimising your product pages and understanding your customer segments to retarget with ease and design loyalty programs that convert.  To learn more strategies for improving your customer lifetime value and customer retention, check out the LoyaltyLion Academy. This is a guest post by the team at LoyaltyLion, a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform trusted by thousands of ecommerce brands worldwide. Merchants use LoyaltyLion when they want a fully customised loyalty program that is proven to increase customer engagement, retention and spend. Stores using LoyaltyLion typically generate at least $15 for every $1 they spend on the platform.

2019-08-21

Littledata featured on the Honest Ecommerce podcast for Shopify stores

I recently stopped by the Honest Ecommerce podcast to give listeners the lowdown on ecommerce analytics. Check it out to learn how to fix tracking for Shopify stores! Get the free podcast episode here: Ep. 21 - How To Track Shopify Sales & Marketing (In A Way That Is Accurate & Useful) Honest Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing podcasts for Shopify and Shopify Plus store owners, from the good folks at Electric Eye agency in Columbus, Ohio. While the episode is focused on tips for Shopify stores, we chat about ecommerce tracking for every type of store, whatever platform and business model you're using, and how to do more with less, rather than getting bogged down in too much -- or inaccurate -- data. In the episode we cover: Why we started Littledata and the journey so far What is wrong with your data? (Does your Shopify data match what you see in Google Analytics?) What KPIs should you be looking at in Google Analytics? Using data to drive your business Analytics audits & ecommerce benchmarking How our integrations work, including Facebook Ads, ReCharge and Refersion Littledata's new Segment app for Shopify stores How to connect Facebook Ads data with Google Analytics automatically Which types of ecommerce sites get the most out of Littledata? And much more! :) Check it out and let us know what you'd like to hear about in our next podcast appearance. Haven't tried Littledata yet? Explore our connections or sign up for a free trial today. Transcript [00:00:01.750] - AriYou don't want to start redesigning the site or changing your product line based on a really limited sample because it could be just random. So the more data you can get, the more you can make sophisticated decisions. [00:00:16.300] - AnnetteWelcome to Honest Ecommerce, where we are dedicated to cutting through the b.s. and finding actionable advice for online store owners. [00:00:24.000] - ChaseI'm your host, Chase Clymer [00:00:26.050] - Annetteand I'm your host, Annette Grant [00:00:28.660] - Bothand we believe running an online business does not have to be complicated or a guessing game. [00:00:33.160] - AnnetteIf you are struggling into scaling your sales electric I is here to help to apply to work with us. Today's episode of Honest Eommerce. We welcome the co-founder of Littledata, Ari Messer. [00:00:53.930] - ChaseHe's going to explain to us that our data is broken and how to fix it. [00:01:04.310] - ChaseHey everybody welcome back to yet another episode of Honest Ecommerce. I do want to take one second to say thank you to everyone that's actually listening to it. I've gotten so many e-mails from people or just correspondents where people are like "we actually listened to your podcast. Like I learned something from your podcast." So now I have proof that I'm not just talking into the cloud. [00:01:23.240] - AnnetteWell Chase I hate to break it to you. That's me. I've made a lot of aliases and I'm emailing you to make you feel good about yourself. [00:01:29.360] - ChaseCool. Well then that's a bummer (laughs). Anyways welcome to Honest Ecommerce. [00:01:34.730] - ChaseI'm Chase Clymer, this is my co-host Annette Grant. And today we welcome to the show Ari from Littledata. He is going to kick our butts into gear with Google Analytics. Welcome to the show Ari, and let us know how you know so much about analytics. [00:01:49.130] - AriIt's good to be here. And I actually have I haven't created any aliases but I have the show that I've heard so far. I think it's great to have something here that's, you know, merchants really find useful and find that other agencies and partners too. [00:02:02.910] - ChaseSo yeah I just don't like to blow smoke up people's butts I like it to be honest and real. It takes hard work. [00:02:09.320] - AriYes. Yeah I think there's a lot more space for that now. If you can speak intelligently to people, they'll pay attention. [00:02:17.360] - AriThe more you learn about analytics, the more there is to know (laughs). Basically I joined Littledata as a co-founder a few years ago, and we've been on Shopify for about two years now. We're adding a lot of connections, the main ones being to Google Analytics. So what I knew before joining was really about how analytics could be used to help people grow a SaaS app, because they really were in the startup space a lot and now have learned more and more about analytics for ecommerce. So that's what we're here to talk about today. [00:02:53.150] - ChaseAwesome. So what was that transition like? How did you go from helping SaaS companies to building Littledata. [00:03:00.230] - AriYeah, it was really a natural transition. As we all know, ecommerce is huge. It's growing in all directions, it's continuing to grow and not just in the US, but all around the world. I'd had some cool gigs helping SaaS companies build out integrations. I used to work mostly on the product marketing side. Now, being this close to the company, I sort of do all kinds of things. It was really a lot of those integrations were either directly ecommerce-related or something that was sort of peripherally commerce-related, like helping build out an integration to do retargeting for card abandonment and stuff like that. [00:03:41.390] - AriAnd then with Littledata I met Edward Upton, the original founder in London, and kind of came on and as a Google Analytics consultant at first and just thought, "oh wow, this is a really cool idea — you're actually helping people fix their data, not just report on it." [00:03:57.590] - ChaseSo what is one of those common mistakes that you guys were seeing out there with the data? What's broken with my data? [00:04:08.370] - AriWe do have an audit tool that people can plug in and sort of get a sense for what might be tracked correctly and what's not. So there are all kinds of things that can go wrong. I think for Shopify stores in particular, there's often a mismatch between how sales are being calculated. So that includes different parts of the checkout funnel, when types of products or product groups people are adding to cart that are not purchased, and all the way through actual sales and refunds. [00:04:42.870] - ChaseI can agree with that. I noticed there's always a mismatch between the number in Google Analytics and the number in Shopify. [00:04:49.790] - AriAbsolutely. And with our app, we basically fix that issue. You know sometimes, you have to do a few more connections and activate some of our plugins (like if you're using ReCharge to do subscription sales or whatever it might be). But basically, what the app does, (not to get too geeky) is use server-side tracking so that every single user action and every sale is tracked in Google Analytics. So what you see in Shopify will match what you see in GA. [00:05:22.170] - AnnetteSo you can get yours to match Google Analytics? [00:05:26.610] - AriYeah, I would say 99.9%. [00:05:30.780] - AnnetteWow. So if people if things aren't tracking properly, is it because the developer didn't set up Google Analytics correctly? Let's kind of peel it back for for our listeners. If they're looking at their Google Analytics, what are some red flags where they would be in need of "pick your theme and get it in the app." Google Analytics sometimes gets very confusing, so walk me through what are the top things to look at and what needs to be fixed? [00:06:13.260] - AriThe main thing is just like Chase was mentioning that just raw sales numbers like when you look at the number in your bank account maybe doesn't match what's Shopify shows. And that doesn't match what's in Google Analytics. So that's definitely a red flag because if you're looking at any sort of marketing campaign — I know we're all getting more and more sophisticated about using audiences and all this stuff like fancy stuff for retargeting and trying to sort of sell people stuff that they're more likely to want to buy — often, you go in there and look and say "well this campaign seems to have worked really well, and yet, the overall sales number is not matching what should be the number of conversions that we got. So it's any kind of mismatch like that, when you're like "this just doesn't seem right." And then of course as you grow, being off by a couple percent can means more and more amount of money. So any kind of mismatch is kind of the thing to look for. [00:07:15.670] - ChaseYeah I mean it's just a snowball effect. Like "oh it's just a few dollars" but that can add up. [00:07:20.760] - AriAnd I wouldn't blame the developers for a lot of it. Some of it's just that Shopify's native tracking and their native Google Analytics integrations are fine, but they're just not that sophisticated. And as we all know, part of that's because they have this really awesome app ecosystem. So you kind of have to find the right tools to make sure it works so that nothing is missing. I mean, I've been guilty of it too, not tagging campaigns consistently, like when you're making your Facebook campaigns and then you start to add more, like the snowball effect. Like how do you really organize them or make sure everything's tracked right? [00:08:03.980] - ChaseThere's just so much in there. So I just want to bring it down to simplify it a bit for our listeners. So, you know, I've got Joe's shoe shop. We're selling sneakers and we're real business. This isn't like a side hustle, this is my full time job. What are the KPIs I should be looking at in Google Analytics? Let's just try to educate people about Google Analytics a bit. [00:08:28.600] - AriSo one thing you should be looking at is how detailed...like if you start to wonder "is this product group performing well?" so stuff that's sort of outside normal questions about overall how's the business doing. So stuff like payment cart abandonment, products being added to the cart, particular pages getting more views than other pages. What are some of the basic thing is that make sense? Like it's the sort of details if you think about merchandising or you're thinking about the next season or what you're going to do for a promotion if you want to go in and look in GA to try to figure out a data-driven view of of what to sell or what to promote or things that might get more subscriptions. [00:09:26.500] - AriLet's say the shoe business is on subscription, running shoes where you've got a new one every month or every quarter or something. You'd want to go into GA and be able to see the type of product that you should promote. [00:10:55.390] - ChaseI think a common oversight with analytics is "it's just data." It's just a bunch of numbers and you have to extrapolate from those numbers and make inferences. You use that data to drive your business and if there isn't like a on-size-fits-all approach to it, it's definitely business-specific. [00:11:20.650] - AriYeah for sure. And so for us, you know with Littledata, what the app does is first, fix the tracking, so then for your particular business, you can go in and figure out the key metrics to to pay attention to. With ReCharge, I'm sure you have a lot of clients doing subscription business. And we're definitely seeing a lot of people that are either experimenting with subscriptions or that's like all of what they do, you know for like athletic supplements or workout clothes or whatever it is. [00:11:52.240] - AriI'm just bringing it up but I think it's a really good sort of case study in how a basic fix in analytics can really help. And you might want to just see if your advertising campaigns are leading to more first time purchases or recurring purchases, like people signing up to get stuff every month. And unless you've set up tracking correctly for the checkout flow, you'll go into Google Analytics...you could be running your company for years and go in (to GA) and suddenly realize there's no way to see that that split. [00:12:29.870] - ChaseYeah that's definitely important information. [00:12:32.720] - AnnetteThis might be a left field question, but can the app at all help with search engine optimization like work the organic there if things are behind the scenes are running smoother? Like could it help you notice things that would help you rise to the top a little bit more? [00:12:51.440] - AriIt's definitely not the main focus, but we do have some fixes (both sort of audit checks) and actually website benchmarks against other sites which you can also see in the app, against Shopify stores and things. For technical performance stuff like page load speed, it actually does have a big effect on SEO. [00:13:12.810] - AnnetteOh cool. So just to make sure I understand this, inside the app, you will have competition in there and I could see like their page speed load compared to mine? [00:13:22.070] - AriExactly. [00:13:22.170] - AnnetteOh that's awesome. OK. Now that's that's a huge value. [00:13:26.460] - AriYeah. We have those benchmarks broken down by sector, so you could look and say (obviously you can't see the actual stores it's all anonymized, I should say that upfront) but you could go in and say against other people selling shoes with an average order value around one hundred dollars per purchase, "is this a good page load speed, is this a good conversion rate?" stuff like that. [00:13:53.300] - AnnetteThat's really valuable. [00:13:53.410] - ChaseIt is. So there's data everywhere. Is it only Google Analytics you guys are taking a look at? [00:14:00.220] - AriSo the main app does connect with Google Analytics. Our main Shopify app is called Google Analytics by Littledata. By the time this podcast comes out, hopefully we will have launched an app for Segment. So Segment is sort of a connector between all kinds of different apps and platforms. And what this app will do is pull Shopify data, and again making sure everything's tracked correctly (checkout steps, sales, etc.) and pull that into Segment, so then you can connect it from Segment to any destination, which includes Google Analytics. [00:14:46.640] - ChaseThat's wonderful. Yeah I'm over here on the website and I see there's so many connections you guys have set up. [00:14:51.160] - AriCool, yeah. We're building out more, so to the listeners, if there are things you'd like to see, or if you've found a particular analytics problem, let us know and maybe we can fix it or help you find a way to automate or automatically check if it's working or not. [00:15:11.540] - AnnetteDo you want to explain those connections. Like I'm actually looking at your site right now too. So if I were to call in to see if I could get the app, what are some of those things that you would talk, about like the Facebook Ads connection that you have? [00:15:22.710] - AriSure yeah. So basically, for all the connections other than Segment, first you connect to Google Analytics. We're using that as sort of the ultimate source of truth. We always recommend to clients that it's good to gather lots of data and you want to be able to get detailed, but you really want to focus on just a couple of core metrics that are most important (like we were saying earlier) to your business. [00:15:59.700] - AriSo for some people, that will be how their Facebook Ad cost contributes to a particular detail about sales for one kind of product or a new product type or sales type or whatever it is. So what the Facebook Ads connection does is actually pull your ad costs and campaign details into GA so that then you don't have to rely on what Facebook is telling you in terms of how well the ad has performed and how many conversions you got. Instead, you can look and say "oh this campaign actually led to people adding a bunch of this type of product to the cart" or "it ended up leading to X amount of subscription revenue" [00:16:41.740] - ChaseSo you can drill down to the product level to see what had been added to the card from that campaign. [00:16:48.590] - AriExactly. Google makes that pretty easy to do with their own products, but they make it fairly complicated for people using other platforms. And so what a connection like that does is pull in the Facebook data and then suddenly plug that in along with everything else. [00:17:04.710] - ChaseCan I use this app to also see that information from Google AdWords and Google Shopping? [00:17:09.600] - AriYou can. The AdWords connection works a little different whereas it's pulling...I mean the effect is similar, but it actually lets you pull your Google Analytics data into AdWords so you can see sales again...like product sales next to campaign performance. [00:18:20.720] - ChaseWell I'm one hundred percent going to do a demo of this app. This is awesome. [00:18:25.160] - AnnetteYeah I have a question...Chase, you might be able to answer this too. So for instance, are my Facebook Ads currently connected to Google Analytics automatically, or do you have to have an app like Littledata to do that for you? [00:18:41.420] - AriI'd have to take a look at yours in particular, but in general, unless you've gone through and set it up, no they won't be. You might have Facebook as a source, but that won't give you much detail. [00:18:54.640] - AnnetteRight because, specifically going back to what you guys just talked about, I have an ad running right now for a piece of equipment that's a higher dollar and I'm making sales not the ad, but I'm not selling that particular product and I want to drill down and see exactly what I'm selling off of the ad, but I can't do that in Facebook Ads but this would enable me to do that, correct? [00:19:18.940] - AriExactly. That's the perfect test. Yeah. [00:19:21.080] - ChaseAnd you can take it one step further and see if those people are viewing that expensive product for a long time or create a segment to retarget those people and educate those people. Set up some drip campaigns if you have their email? [00:19:37.360] - AriExactly super smart. It's kind of like maybe they're not buying it but they actually were really interested in it. They're like "oh I'll try this first" [00:19:46.890] - ChaseAnd then it's your job to market them and educate them. Here's the thing, I think with just any advertising campaigns, people go for the kill, like instantly it's "buy this buy this buy this." You need to explain what the product is first and educate them about the product, especially if it's an expensive product. No one's just going to drop one hundred dollars plus on something that they didn't know existed before your ad. [00:20:12.500] - AnnetteThey won't drop 500 not knowing what it is? (laughs) [00:20:15.150] - AnnetteI'm going to run this ad, new product 30 days and do it. But what's happening (exactly my issue, so sign me up for the Littledata app today) because I don't know what they're buying. They're not buying the high dollar, they're buying other products and I want to see how that ad is tricking down to that. That's something before we even started this conversation — I didn't know that that connection would do that. [00:20:42.740] - ChaseWe have clients ask all the time to drill down like, what are people doing from the ad if they're not...It's like yeah you made money off the ad your turned out fantastic but they're like cool, like what were they buying? There's no easy way to see that in Facebook. [00:20:56.000] - AriTotally. And even when we started Littledata, we didn't realize that at first. And as we started working with more companies, we were doing custom setups with Google Tag Manager to try to figure this out, and then we were like "wait a sec. If we could just build something that would pull this into Google Analytics, voila." [00:21:16.320] - AnnetteThat is so valuable. My brain is kind of rocked. That's awesome. [00:21:23.960] - ChaseYeah you just ruined Annette's weekend. Now she's going play with this. [00:21:31.610] - ChaseIt takes time to get data that you can make a decision from. You don't need to be looking your data everyday. Unless you're getting so many page views and sessions a day, which is top tier million dollar companies, you don't have enough data to make a decision from 24 hours ago. Even with ads, if you're not spending thousands of dollars a day you know your ads run for like a week before you see what the hell is going on. [00:22:03.040] - AnnetteActually Chase, you taught me that. Like this specific ad that I'm running right now...t's what, the twenty eighth of the month? We started running it at the beginning and I said "hey I'm not even going to look at this. Let's just let it roll, like let's not even look at." I looked at it yesterday and I was like "wait, what's happening here?" I would know if I sold that high dollar product. We didn't. And I'm like I'm just going to let this roll for a while just not even pay attention to it and focus on everything else. And when I looked at it yesterday...we're selling stuff, we're not selling that product, the ad is working, but how? [00:22:32.730] - ChaseYeah the attribution on Facebook is unique in and of itself...and honestly you can get some sketchy agencies that make that thing really long. And they get that attribution up and they're like "Yeah, we made you all this money" but you're like where is it? Where's that money? [00:22:52.300] - AriYeah. [00:22:52.370] - AnnetteBeing a store owner, I have wonderful developers that I work with but sometimes I try to do some of this stuff myself. So when I now, after my mind's been blown and I get the app, is this something that you need to have a developer connect for you, or is it easy enough for a DIY store owner to do themselves? [00:23:17.790] - AriYeah we've definitely tried to make it easy enough. And the good thing is for Shopify (and we do have clients on other platforms like Magento, BigCommerce) it's fully automated. So unless you have a really customized theme (in which case we do have separate setup steps where our support team can help you) it all should just happen automatically [00:23:39.020] - AnnetteAnd that is for Facebook Ads also? [00:23:41.340] - AriYeah. [00:23:42.560] - AnnetteOh wow. OK. [00:23:44.030] - AriIt'll give you a guide in the app. You'll have to make sure that the campaigns have been named in a certain way. There's some things we can't do automatically. But for those few things that we can't do it, it gives very clear steps. [00:24:00.760] - ChaseSo what size stores does this make sense for? [00:24:07.720] - AriI always say anyone who wants to grow should start tracking things early, because otherwise you'll get to a point where you can't go back and get a start date if the tracking wasn't set. Basically once you start to introduce traffic, our basic plan runs up to about five hundred orders per month. We have the pricing tiered based on sessions, orders or sales, but the number of orders is a pretty good indicator. So once you're starting to get traffic and have some orders come through, it's a good time to go with it. And then for our enterprise plans, where we do help with custom setup and reporting and things as needed, those are generally larger — you know, bigger DTC brands doing maybe five to 50 million a year. [00:24:55.020] - AnnetteAwesome. Just for our listeners (this is something I always like when apps offer this), Littledata offers a twenty five percent off discount if you pay the annual fee upfront so you can save some serious dollars. [00:25:09.330] - AriOh yeah. Hey you're doing my job for me! That's a good point. [00:25:13.420] - AnnetteIt's always nice to be rewarded if you're going to pay for something upfront, as a consumer. [00:25:22.160] - AriYeah. And we do find like Chase was saying, it takes a while to start gathering the data for advertising campaigns, and also just for understanding user flows on your site because you really need a lot of information. You don't want to start redesigning the site or changing your product line based on a really limited sample, because it could be just random. So the more data you can get, the more you can make sophisticated decisions. [00:25:47.740] - ChaseAwesome. I think that is the gem of the podcast right there. And with that I think we're going to wrap this one up. [00:25:54.700] - ChaseIs there anything that you want to leave with our guests? I know everyone probably want to go check out the app. It's Littledata.io slash Shopify (90 percent of our listeners are probably on Shopify). [00:26:05.430] - AriYeah, nothing in particular...ifyou're using ReCharge, our Shopify ReCharge connection is really powerful will probably solve a lot of tracking issues that you thought couldn't be solved. So check that out. And that's about it. It's a great podcast. Good to be here. [00:26:23.970] - AnnetteNo, thank you! I do appreciate it. You actually answered the question I was going to ask Chase after the podcast (laughs). [00:26:30.500] - ChaseI hate when we have podcasts when it's like a sales letter, but for this app, it's just so fancy — it works. It solves problems and that's what people want. [00:26:41.840] - AnnetteActually it's solving problems I didn't even know there was a solution for. So that's exciting. Thank you Ari. We appreciate having you on today. [00:26:52.690] - AriOh and you just one more thing...If anyone has questions, even if they don't need the app, we do a lot on our blog around analytics issues. So feel free to write to us with topics you'd like covered and we'll sort of investigate. [00:27:09.790] - ChaseOh cool awesome I'll check that. I'll check the blog out too. Awesome. Well thanks a lot.

by Ari
2019-05-29

Littledata Shopify App featured on Ecommerce Fastlane Podcast

Littledata's own Edward Upton is featured on a new episode of the Ecommerce Fastlane Shopify podcast! Check it out here:Episode 33: Get The Complete Picture Of Your Shopify Store's Performance With Deeper Marketing Insights .The eCommerce Fastlane podcast is the best in the business. It caters to ecommerce strategies, success stories, sales, traffic, and growth for Shopify Plus stores. In the new episode Ed discusses the Littledata Shopify reporting app and how you can make smarter business decisions for your Shopify store. As podcast host Steve Hutt puts it "It closes the loop on all of your data including your Shopify store orders, marketing channels, and lifetime customer value." In other words, your Google Analytics will never be the same. Littledata is a Shopify App Partner that has created an analytics platform that takes Google Analytics and literally puts it on steroids. It closes the loop on all of your data including your Shopify store orders, marketing channels, and lifetime customer value. Littledata offers a free connection with Google Analytics to make sure people get accurate reporting, more powerful marketing insights, and a more complete picture of ecommerce performance. Shopify's basic integration with Google Analytics doesn't capture all of the ecommerce journey events and attribution that stores want to have. That's where Littledata comes in, to make sure that you can get a better grasp of the customer journey. [subscribe] Our Shopify Plus connection automatically tracks the sales and marketing data you need to scale a Shopify Plus store. Here's a comparison chart between our tracking and the default tracking in Shopify. On top of fixing your data collection we've launched the first Shopify flow connector for Google Analytics. The connector enables Shopify Plus stores to automate tracking with custom events in Google Analytics. If you're a subscription business, we integrate with ReCharge to give you an accurate data stream. This means no more headaches when it comes to recurring orders and first-time orders. Say goodbye to the days when transactions from Shopify don't match Google Analytics, and say hello to accuracy! Littledata is the smart solution and we offer a free Google Analytics connection, plus a 14-day free trial on all of our plans - it's the smart way to connect Shopify Plus with Google Analytics. Don't forget to leave a review after subscribing to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or wherever else you like to listen!

by Ari
2019-02-19

How to improve Google Ads retargeting using ecommerce checkout steps

In the ecommerce world, one of the smartest ways to improve ROI for marketing campaigns is to retarget customers who visited your website in the first place. These visitors are already in the market for the types of products that you sell, but how do you pull them back if they've dropped out of the checkout process? The most effective way to grab these customers is to target them based on where they dropped off. Luckily, Google lets you do exactly that: with the right analytics, you can set up retargeting campaigns based on checkout behaviour. At Littledata, we've helped online stores in over 50 countries improve marketing ROI using ecommerce tracking. In this post, let's look at three simple steps you can take to improve your AdWords retargeting (now Google Ads retargeting) based on ecommerce checkout behaviour. 1. Set up accurate product tracking for your store Enhance Ecommerce tracking has been available from Google Analytics for a few years now. If you're already using this Google Analytics feature, good for you! Having product data means you can take advantage of this and create Audiences that then can be shared with Google Ads (and other platforms). In order to improve Google Ads retargeting using checkout steps, you must have checkout tracking and Enhanced Ecommerce enabled in Google Analytics. Once it's enabled, you can follow this checklist to set up accurate product tracking to be used for Audiences in Google Ads: Check out this resource (or share it with your lead developer): Google's Guide to Measuring a Checkout. Repeat after me: "the fields must by dynamically populated!" This is important! Clarify where the checkout process starts and ends on your website (and again, if your developer is handling the setup make sure they're clear about each stage in your checkout funnel, including where the process starts and stops). Set up checkout tracking based on that process. Now, add account to Google Analytics. Once this data is successfully coming into GA, you're ready to create Audiences. Next, you can track the audience from AdWords and share each audience accordingly within Google Ads. At this point, it's important to mention that there are a lot of elements to Enhanced Ecommerce tracking and each part needs to be set up separately. For example, you will not automatically track product categories, listings and details. If you're not sure how to implement the full extent of Enhanced Ecommerce, we're here to help. If you're using the Shopify platform, you're in luck — our Shopify reporting app's audit feature checks for accurate product and checkout-step tracking, and automatically assists with setting these up for you. The app works directly with the Google Analytics setup for your Shopify store, so you don't have to deal with Shopify's native reporting (which doesn't let you see how users are progressing through the checkout process). 2. Analyse customer behaviour, including checkout steps Shopping cart abandonment is the most frequent complaint we hear from ecommerce marketers. Why does someone add products to their shopping cart and then just abandon it completely? This isn't common in brick-and-mortar stores, so why does it happen so often online? Remember that online shoppers don't want to leave those things behind. They were attracted to those products and have expressed the desire to buy. But with a bad checkout flow, too much information or too little, they'll fly away and leave behind only unloved products with high shipping costs or under-promoted benefits. One of the best Enhanced Ecommerce use cases is the Checkout Behaviour report. This is essentially a Shopping Cart Abandonment report, showing weaknesses in your checkout process and where to invest your time and money to convince users that have added-to-cart to go ahead and complete a purchase. Why is this important and relevant to Google Ads? Well, everything in marketing is about perspective. The above report doesn't only show you where you could improve your checkout flow, but also where you've lost customers. 'Lost' is the keyword here. If you're losing a significant percentage of customers at the shipping stage of your checkout process, this is an opportunity to improve — and to market those improvements using Google Ads. For example, you might look at that report and ask yourself: Are you charging customers too much for shipping? You can't really change that cost for all carts (we know that shipping costs are significant), but you could, for example, offer free shipping to shoppers with items in their cart over some profitability margin. Retargeting those users in Google Ads is an effective way to show them that you're ready to reward them for making large purchases from your online store. Are you limiting yourself to too few territories? Put your analysts to work to find out where customers that leave the purchase flow want their goods to be delivered. Can you extend your logistical capabilities, or do you have a brick-and-mortar store nearby where you can direct these shoppers? Use Google Ads retargeting to let them know. Of course, Google Analytics' native reports aren't for everyone. If you find them confusing or haven't worked extensively with Enhanced Ecommerce data, check out Littledata's report packs. These automated reports are an easy but comprehensive way to read and interpret ecommerce data without any hassle. For the purposes of tracking checkout steps to improve retargeting, I'd recommend our Ecommerce behaviour pack, which includes reports on shopping behaviour by marketing channel and checkout steps. [subscribe] 3. Set up retargeting campaigns based on that data How do you retarget users in Google Ads based on Google Analytics data? Fear not, brave colleagues! If you've made it to this step, you shouldn't have any trouble creating powerful retargeting campaigns. First, you'll need to create a new Audience. In your Google Analytics Admin, find Audience Definitions in the middle of the screen near the bottom. Click on New Audience. Click on Create New and on this screen go to Conditions and Filter Users to Include the steps you want to target with this Audience. Set the Shopping Stage to contain (equal) 'Checkout_Abandonment' or 'Checkout_1', 'Checkout_2', etc. - wherever your customers have been falling off and leaving a basket full of goodies without completing the purchase. (Note that this field is auto-completed, so give GA a second after you start typing to show the options here.) You'll then need to set a time period. Think about your specific business and how far back you want to go with the search. Once you're happy with your selection, pick which Google Ads account you'll want to link to this new Audience. That's it! You're now ready to run PPC promotions to a buy-ready audience that would otherwise have disappeared. I hope you've enjoyed this quick guide. Please drop me a line below and let me know how you use checkout steps in relation to Google Ads. I always love to hear how other specialists in the field combine platforms to create perfect marketing. PRO TIP: If you're in a country with Google Merchant available, you can benefit from dynamic remarketing. This does take some extra setup on the product level, so let us know if you have specific questions. (And stay tuned - we're planning some Google Merchant Center-related posts for the near future.)

2019-02-06

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