Category : Ecommerce
Do Shopify's new Commerce Components fit the modern data stack?
We are off to the races in 2023 already with Shopify officially launching Commerce Components by Shopify (CCS), an improved offering for large retailers. CCS allows enterprise retailers to access Shopify's foundational, high-performing components, such as its checkout, along with flexible APIs to build dynamic customer experiences that integrate seamlessly with a retailer's preferred existing services. But larger brands don't just want composable commerce. They also want -- actually, need -- complete, accurate, actionable data. Have Shopify's new Commerce Components been designed with the modern data stack in mind? There are lots of good things to say about Commerce Components. Enterprise retailers can take the components they need and leave those they do not, and developers are “free to build with any front-end framework they choose”, says Shopify. CCS uses Shopify's global scale infrastructure, which has over 275 network edge points to enable fast storefronts and checkouts no matter where customers are located -- and in a year where consumers are savvier than ever and demand a great experience. While we are excited about how this will attract larger brands to the Shopify ecosystem, we feel the Data Analytics component is underwhelming -- and won’t allow enterprise brands to track full server-side event data for building marketing attribution, product recommendation, or personalization data models. This component uses ShopifyQL, launched in mid-2022, as a neat query language for charting. But data analysts using ShopifyQL to query Shopify’s own data tables can only query the current state of the customer or order, and not understand the customer journey that led to that order. Popular reports such as marketing attribution by campaign or channel are just not possible from this data set. Furthermore, most enterprise brands we talk to want to own their own data warehouse and have the flexibility to use best-in-class tools like BigQuery, Looker, and dbt to store and analyze the data. Littledata provides a raw event data feed, directly sourced from Shopify’s servers to power just such a modern data stack -- and gives analysts the flexibility to build their own data models. Littledata is excited to work with brands using Commence Components (including headless stores), but we think Shopify will need to lean on its partner network to provide the breadth of functionality, especially in data analysis, that enterprise brands require. For now brands on our Littledata Plus plans are skeptical about the initial release of Commerce Components, just as they have been about Shopify's new Web Pixel and overall Shopify Theme changes.
How to track ecommerce conversions in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
Have you mapped out a data plan for 2023 yet? If you’re selling on a major DTC platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, GA4 is probably on your mind. With the sunsetting of Universal Analytics (GA3 or the “old version” of Google Analytics) on the horizon, it’s time to get going with event-based tracking. Many brands have been procrastinating about setting up GA4 – or, worse, only setting it up halfway so that browsing behavior is tracked but revenue and conversions are missing. But can you blame them? Shopify isn’t planning to release native GA4 integration until March 2023 at the earliest (and nobody’s expecting it to work well for serious DTC brands) BigCommerce released a beta version of their GA4 integration in November, but it’s extremely minimal, tracking only begin_checkout and purchase events Manual setup is costly and confusing (and has to be maintained every time you change your site or checkout flow) GA4 revenue tracking should be your top priority, but there’s a lot of confusion around GA4, made worse by Shopify apps that claim to offer GA4 integration but only offer client-side tracking. It shouldn’t be so complicated. At Littledata we’ve already fixed GA4 tracking for hundreds of top DTC brands. In this post I’ll show you how to check if you’ve set up GA4 correctly to capture orders and revenue, and how to start tracking ecommerce conversions today in the most secure and reliable way possible. Follow this guide to GA4 and you’ll be on your way to ecommerce data tracking in no time. We’ll look at how to get from this: To this: How to check if you’re tracking GA4 revenue and conversions After creating a new GA4 property and following the setup assistant to create a new data stream, you might have noticed that you’re instructed to copy and paste the Google tag (gtag.js) script on every page of your ecommerce site. Once you’ve added the Google tag to your site and linked your GA4 property, everything will just start tracking automatically, right? Wrong. With the basic script all you get are engagement events such as page_view, session_start, view_search_result, and click. Obviously these “automatic events” are super important, but they don’t tell you what happens post-click. Here’s how to check if your GA4 ecommerce setup is working or not. 1. Check your Acquisition reporting in GA4 There are two places to look to see if you’re capturing ecommerce conversions. First, the Acquisition reports. You’ll see user and traffic engagement details grouped by channel, but no conversion or revenue data exists. You’re seeing which organic or paid channels are bringing visitors to your store, but you can’t tell if you’re generating any revenue from these visitors. GA4 revenue reporting not showing is one of the most asked questions by merchants and performance marketers. 2. Check your Engagement and Monetization reporting in GA4Taking a step further, check your Engagement and Monetization reports. Do you see GA4 reporting data about cart updates, interactions with the checkout flow, or any purchase or revenue data? If revenue is missing in GA4’s monetization overview, you need to start tracking ecommerce activity ASAP. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lot of data points that lead nowhere and you will not have an accurate understanding of your ecommerce store’s performance. [tip] Use our complementary instant order checker for GA4 to check your property [/tip] How to track ecommerce conversions and revenue in GA4 After landing on your store, online shoppers interact with collections and products before adding items to their carts and going through the checkout process. These web interactions must be captured as events and linked with customers and marketing data in GA4 to get a complete picture of your business. We have looked at what data can be missing from your GA4 events and which enhanced ecommerce events you should track. But how can you get all these ecommerce events in GA4? Google Tag Manager (GTM) has always been the most common tracking method for Universal Analytics, and the setup process can be carried over to GA4. However, for a lean team, the setup process can be quite time-consuming and complex, having to create a Data Layer In Shopify, and then for each event, you must create: Firing Triggers in GTM Data Layer Variables in GTM Ecommerce Tags in GTM Needless to say, there are quite a few maintenance pitfalls if you're going down this route. Setup is just the beginning. To make matters worse, Shopify is removing GTM from the checkout for Shopify Plus stores (standard Shopify stores never had access). So even if you take the time to add all your own events to tracking visitors before they make a purchase, you’ll no longer be able to track checkout steps (add-to-cart, etc) with GTM. If you want to save time and money while still having confidence in the accuracy of your GA4 data, Littledata is the perfect solution for you. Our proven app is used by over 1500+ brands and can help you track your ecommerce conversions with ease, giving you the reliable data you need to make informed decisions about your business. Littledata’s data layer uses a unique combination of client-side and server-side tracking to ensure accurate, complete ecommerce data in GA4 and any connected data warehouse or reporting destination. Littledata captures complete ecommerce data automatically in GA4 for Shopify and BigCommerce stores. We can break down those events into seven general categories: Marketing channels Browsing behavior Checkout steps Conversions Revenue Recurring orders Upsells Of course, each reporting category has useful data, but brands that really want to scale link it all together to look at revenue and LTV by channel, splitting out first-time purchases from repeat purchases or recurring orders (subscription analytics). As I mentioned earlier, Acquisition reports are some of the most valuable sets of data GA4 offers. They show which of your team’s marketing efforts bring the most results, from traffic through engagement and conversions. The difference between having accurate or questionable ROI data in these reports rests on how the purchase event is tracked. It is useful to have the engagement metrics grouped by channel, but the difference between having accurate or questionable ROI data in these reports rests on how the purchase event is tracked. Get started with Littledata today so you will have the data you need to scale faster the smart way. We recommend tracking in UA and GA4 “in parallel” as soon as possible.
3 ways to start using first-party data for ecommerce
First-party data is the buzzword floating all about the ecommerce world—and for good reason. As you probably know already, third-party cookies are soon to be no more. Add in the overhaul that iOS 14's tracking opt-out and other intelligent tracking prevention brought about, and getting accurate metrics on attribution and customer behavior looks a whole lot different to marketers than ever before. That's where first-party data collection comes to the rescue to save your campaign reporting. First-party data is data you collect directly from a user, and it's about to become the standard for data collection across the ecommerce landscape. To help you learn more about first-party data—and start using it yourself—we have three helpful posts covering different first-party data solutions and how they fit into your marketing strategy. 10 reasons to switch to server-side tracking for ecommerce analytics Server-side tracking is a method of collecting first-party data via a cloud-based server rather than by taking data directly from a website visitor's browser (known as client-side tracking). In addition to being a more secure way to process data, server-side tracking complies with new privacy regulations and is not disrupted by ad blockers. There are numerous benefits server-side provides, and we've got 10 of them for you to check out in this blog post. https://blog.littledata.io/2022/07/23/10-reasons-to-switch-to-server-side-tracking-for-ecommerce-analytics/ How to run dynamic Facebook ads with Facebook Conversions API While there are plenty of promotion methods available to ecommerce store owners today, PPC and social ads still reign supreme as the top option. From top DTC brands to small startup stores, ads are a great way to get your product in front of ideal buyers using personalized ads to convert leads into sales. Of course, ad blockers and tracking prevention has changed the way brands can leverage this tool. To help you learn how to keep personalized ads that return on spend, we have a guide on how to create dynamic Facebook ads using Facebook's Conversions API (CAPI). https://blog.littledata.io/2022/03/09/how-to-run-dynamic-facebook-ads-with-facebook-conversions-api/ How to build customer behavior reports in Google Analytics 4 Marketing methods aren't the only things that need changing in our new first-party data world. Reporting on your marketing efforts requires the same overhaul—and we can show you how to do it with the newest version of Google Analytics (GA). GA4 comes with tons of new custom reporting features and advanced capabilities previously only available to paid users. That includes the ability to use more custom dimensions to build detailed reports on customer behavior. One of the more helpful reports we recommend using is behavior reports. They allow you to see what customers are doing once they make it to your store, and what they do when they're at the checkout. Plus, setting these reports up in GA4 only takes a few minutes, as you'll see in our how-to video on creating shopping and checkout behavior reports. https://blog.littledata.io/2022/07/01/how-to-build-customer-behavior-reports-in-google-analytics-4/ [subscribe]
4 tips for creating a powerful subscription experience
Creating and delivering a memorable subscription experience is a must in today’s competitive ecommerce subscription market. Not only is the market competitive, but the ecommerce subscription model is growing. It's estimated that 54% of online shoppers have subscribed to an ecommerce subscription box. Every touchpoint that a subscriber sees and engages with is an opportunity for your brand to impress your subscribers and drive a lasting impression. Building a strong subscriber experience will help your ecommerce subscription business in a number of areas, including: Growing your brand loyalty. It is estimated that existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more on average compared to new customers. By creating a powerful brand experience, you instill trust in your brand with subscribers, leading to more loyalty. Differentiating your offer. A generic subscriber experience does little to separate you from the thousands of other competing brands. By creating an engaging subscription experience, you stand out from the crowd and become memorable. Driving growth. By deploying a beautiful, frictionless subscription experience for your subscribers, you make it easier for them to shop with you. Thus, you're driving the growth that you need to take your business to the next level. While working on bringing an ecommerce subscription model to life and building out an experience may seem time-consuming and costly, it is actually just the opposite. Apps like Upscribe help your subscription business deliver a great customer experience and grow through out-of-the-box tools (more on that later). Here are four tips that you can follow to deploy a beautiful, memorable customer experience that drives brand loyalty and growth. 1. Match your subscription experience to your “regular” shopping experience When building an ecommerce subscription experience, you want to make certain what you're creating is connected to the rest of your brand's overall shopping experience. A disjointed experience could create confusion and friction in the eyes of the customer, hindering your ability to convert sales and drive brand loyalty. A mismatched subscription vs. one-off purchasing experience could lead to a few challenges for your brand, including: A decrease in the number of customers signing up for your subscription offering. Consumers could be confused as to what brand they are shopping with or may encounter friction going through the checkout process if the subscription experience feels different than the “regular” checkout process they're accustomed to. Increased churn. The enemy of any ecommerce subscription model is churn. If you're deploying a fragmented customer experience that makes it challenging for a subscriber to get what they want when they want it—they're more likely to churn from your subscription offering too. Less brand advocacy. If your ecommerce subscription model is delivering a sub-par experience, your subscribers will be less loyal to your brand and will be far less likely to tell their family and friends about it. Referrals play a large factor in growing your revenue, as it is estimated that customers acquired through referrals have a 37% higher retention rate than those acquired through other mediums. Having a brand that drives a high number of referrals puts less strain on your acquisition funnel which saves your brand valuable budget. Creating an ecommerce subscription model for your business may seem daunting, but it's actually rather easy to do. Assuming that you have an existing ecommerce business, you don’t need to build an entirely new website when adding a subscription model to it. Think of creating a subscription model the same way that you would think about adding a new product. Make sure that new product is part of the brand that you have built and that purchasing the new product (or in this case the subscription) follows the same process and path as purchasing any other item on your site does. The more connected your experiences are, the more seamless it will be for your existing customers to become subscribers. [tip]Learn how to track subscriptions in the Shopify checkout and improve the shopping experience for your customers.[/tip] 2. Build an on-brand customer portal As a fast follow to creating a connected experience, the subscriber customer portal that you deploy must match your brand aesthetics. This includes adding your brand's fonts, colors, and logos. We don't advise deploying a customer portal that has a different look and feel than the rest of your website experience. If you go down this path, it will negatively impact your brand loyalty as subscribers will be confused about what your brand looks and feels like. Creating an on-brand subscriber portal allows you another opportunity to build brand recognition and drive loyalty by enforcing what your brand looks and feels like. Plus, creating this on-brand customer portal for your ecommerce subscription business is relatively straightforward. As an example, by leveraging Upscribe's WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, a merchant can easily select their brand colors, logos, and fonts to deploy a beautiful customer experience in a matter of minutes. No need to worry about complicated, time consuming and costly coding customizations to the portal. Because Upscribe was built from a subscriber's perspective, all of the tools in the Upscribe tool kit are designed to make merchants look professional and save time. [tip]Discover 3 ways to better your subscription sales through a combination of the right strategies and tools.[/tip] 3. Make the subscription experience frictionless While aesthetics are important and highly visible, it’s just as important that the actual subscription experience is as frictionless as possible. Not only will this make subscribers' experience better—it also helps to reduce the customer support debt your team could face. We’ve all been locked out of an account or forgotten a password. In fact, a recent survey indicated that 65% of respondents will forget a password unless they write it down. Prevent this issue from happening in the first place by enabling Passwordless Login for subscribers in just a few clicks. Once enabled, when a subscriber wants to get into their account, they will get a secure email sent to their inbox and with a click they can login to their account, no password or headaches required. Similarly, it’s important that you meet subscribers where they are and let them manage their subscriptions directly from email or SMS. This reduces the friction of them needing to navigate complicated processes to add or edit a product in their subscription. Removing as many hurdles as possible so that buyers get what they want fast is the key to creating a frictionless and memorable experience. By implementing these tactics, you will be doing your part in creating a loyal and growing subscriber base. You'll also be more likely to see a jump in the metrics that matter most for your ecommerce subscription business, including average order value (AOV) and customer lifetime value (LTV) since you will be making it simple for your subscribers to add items to their subscription. [tip]Learn to leverage these metrics and more with our complete guide to subscription analytics.[/tip] 4. Leverage your data to deliver subscribers smart recommendations Whether you use Klaviyo or another email service provider, customer data is more readily available than ever. However, it is not enough just to have access to the data. It’s important that you use your customers' data to deliver smarter, more personalized recommendations to them to make their subscription experience better. Doing so will not only grow your business, it will make your subscribers more loyal. Here are a few examples of ways you could engage with your subscribers to deliver them a more personalized and memorable experience: Send them a message on the anniversary of the first time they purchased a subscription from your brand. This small engagement point can go a long way in making a subscriber feel special and is a great way to differentiate your ecommerce subscription model from other competitors. Provide subscribers a discount on an item that goes well with their subscription. For example, if they subscribe to receive a pound of coffee every month, send them a coupon for a new coffee mug. In the message with the promotion, talk about how the mug is the perfect accessory to go along with their coffee. Give subscribers access to an exclusive pre-sale only for subscribers. This will not only make them feel wanted and special, but it will also give you the opportunity to increase subscriber LTV—a metric that every ecommerce subscription business is after. These touchpoints and sample engagement tactics are ways to show your subscribers that they matter. Even better, they allow you to prove to them that they aren’t just another “one” of your customers. These tactics are simple to try, but go a long way in building your brand, developing loyalty, and creating an experience that subscribers won't forget. Creating a memorable experience that fosters loyalty from subscribers and charges your ecommerce subscription experience has never been easier than with Upscribe. Upscribe gives you all of the tools that you need to grow your subscriber business and deploy a beautiful customer experience in a matter of clicks. Dan is the Marketing Lead at Upscribe. Prior to Upscribe, he spent time at Klaviyo and Shopify. When he is not working, he likes to run, golf and work on his side hustle business, a sock brand named Neon Bandits.
How to improve multichannel order fulfillment
Going multichannel is an important step for any growing ecommerce business. Whether you start on Shopify, Etsy, BigCommerce, or your own direct-to-consumer store, diversifying to other channels allows you to spread risk, find new markets, meet new customers, and secure your business against changing platform requirements. At the same time, that diversification can introduce a nightmare of logistics issues. Selling through multiple channels can mean overselling, needing overstock to prevent overselling, and other warehousing issues. You might quickly find that your job changes from store manager to warehouse manager. Taking steps to streamline the process will save you time, reduce inventory management headaches, and ensure your customers have a consistent and positive experience – no matter which channel they buy from. In this article, we’ll talk about leveraging outsourced solutions, mastering your distributed order management data, and other fulfillment best practices. [tip]Related reading: 4 tips for Shopify Plus merchants selling internationally.[/tip] Leverage outsourced solutions As your ecommerce store scales, you’ll have to make a decision between investing in inventory and order fulfillment infrastructure or outsourcing it. For most small-to-midsize stores, outsourcing is the way to go. It’s cheaper thanks to economies of scale, faster thanks to enhanced efficiency, and scalable thanks to wider warehouse networks. Many ecommerce organizations don’t have the budget or the resources to set up a fulfillment and distribution network. Relying on a partner that specializes in fulfillment enables you to quickly leverage infrastructure to enable the kind of fast, traceable, and reliable order fulfillment your customers want. Third-party logistics providers Third-party logistics (or 3PLs) include a range of services—all basically amounting to paying for logistics as a service. Often, this includes warehousing, pick and pack, fulfillment, and returns handling. 3PL providers may also maintain a network of geographically distributed warehouses, allowing them to ship products from closer to the point of order. In other cases, they’ll use their own shipping networks as well. 3PLs also offer other advantages, like: Existing warehouse management software and infrastructure Shipping volumes high enough to offer negotiated postage rates from shipping providers Integrated order tracking with automated pick and pack and warehousing management Affordable packaging and labeling capabilities The ability to meet packaging requirements per channel – e.g., Amazon boxes for Amazon sales and Walmart boxes for Walmart sales. Of course, not all 3PL offer the same services. Not every provider will offer a good trade-off between control of inventory and costs. However, you can research and choose an option that suits your business well. How to find the right fulfillment partner Your fulfillment partner should be a partner to your organization. This means they should be able to adapt and make changes for your business, should meet all existing needs, and should have a growth plan in line with your own. In addition, you’ll want to look for: A warehouse management or inventory management system that integrates into your own software solutions AND sales platforms Order tracking capabilities in every market you sell in Support for features/offerings you need (geographic locations, type of inventory, certifications, returns, etc.) Flexible order fulfillment options (so you can offer different types of shipping, different packaging, etc.) Packaging and labeling options (for custom branding, packaging inserts, discounts, return labels, etc.) Data-driven inventory management/analytics (so you can see costs, rate of sale, inventory flow, etc., to better inform your own inventory automation and planning You’ll also want to look for an organization that is communicative, able to respond to your growth, able to adapt features to meet your needs, and otherwise able to be a partner rather than solely seeing your business as another revenue stream. [tip]Littledata provides accurate and deep analytics on every aspect of your store, from the customer journey through to fulfillment and subscription order tracking.[/tip] Marketplace fulfillment solutions In addition to 3PLs, many marketplaces provide their own fulfillment solutions exclusively for purchases made on their platforms. Of these, the most popular comes from Amazon. Fulfillment by Amazon Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is Amazon’s in-house logistics service, which operates globally and is famous for lightning-fast delivery speeds. In addition to excellent customer experience, FBA provides advantages when selling on Amazon. Quality guarantees, boosts to product visibility in search, Amazon returns, and the ability to easily expand to a global market are just some of the benefits. For example, FBA listings can get the Prime badge, indicating the fast fulfillment speeds that consumers look for. However, whereas many 3PLs can accept shipments directly from your manufacturer or provider, Amazon has specific packaging and labeling requirements, so you’ll still have to be hands-on about FBA prep. Master your inventory management While a 3PL will cover fulfillment, you’ll still have to stay on top of inventory and order management. Doing so means adopting good software, deciding on an order management system, and optimizing that over the long term. While there are many options for managing inventory across multiple sales channels, you’ll normally either have to choose between splitting that inventory or using software to synchronize sales in as close to real-time as possible. To split or not to split inventory Splitting inventory is the process of creating a separate inventory or stock per channel you sell on. In some cases, this can be a good idea. For example, if you make sales on Amazon using FBA, you might run into FBA stock limits, especially during the fourth quarter. In addition, stockout events could harm your listing. Plus, if you don’t utilize Amazon’s multi-channel fulfillment solution, FBA only ships to Amazon. In this case, retaining at least some stock to ship from your own warehouse or another provider would be a good idea. You can sell at a higher volume than FBA allows – while preventing selling out of product. In most other cases, it doesn’t make sense to maintain separate inventory pools for each channel you sell on. Separate inventory pools increase costs, add overhead cost calculating delivery per channel, and increase complexity—aka the likelihood of things going wrong. For example, if your product sells more quickly on Walmart Marketplace than eBay, your product could sell out on Walmart. You’d lose sales while more inventory sits, unused, in your warehouse. Similarly, if you’re splitting inventory, you have to buy for peak sales across all channels – meaning you’ll overstock. If something goes wrong or the product loses popularity, you’ll be stuck with a lot more dead stock. For this reason, split inventory is generally avoided unless it has a practical purpose, like trialing a new channel or supplementing FBA. Utilize distributed order management software Distributed order and inventory management software is built to handle the needs of multichannel sales. Often, that means automation that uses API to synchronize inventory across channels – so sales show up in your central inventory management near real-time as possible. Here, tools like Flxpoint offer centralized product and inventory management complete with order fulfillment processes, automation, and data integration for both suppliers and sales platforms. Flxpoint also offers custom price points, categories, and product descriptions per channel, distributed order management to automatically select the warehouse nearest to the customer, and purchase order management with automation linked to total product stock. Tools like this allow you to track sales across channels – ensuring that you don’t oversell – by synchronizing and automating data import/export. When a product sells on Amazon, it updates the central inventory via API, which is then pushed out to update available inventory on all other channels. So, available inventory is always up to date. That same centralization also adds value in direct fulfillment, where orders are pulled into a centralized system and can be managed in one place. Even if you’re running your own warehouse, you can see everything in one location, making it less likely that you’d miss sales going through a less-busy channel. Eventually, that improves your full order fulfillment process, allowing you to get in control of incoming/outgoing, stock, and actual sales data across every channel. Keep an eye on sales trends A good order fulfillment solution and good inventory management software will solve most of the problems you might have with multichannel inventory management. However, there’s always room to improve by auditing sales and acting on predictive trends to optimize your logistics. Audit your sales regularly. Taking the time to understand where sales are actually happening can help you to optimize your warehousing and order fulfillment options. For example, if you know that one product most often sells on Amazon, you could move it to FBA. If you rarely sell it on Amazon, moving it out of FBA could save you significantly while improving your Inventory Turnover rating. If you know where sales are coming from, you can optimize fulfillment for that channel, that geographic location, and more. [tip]Tracking sales trends is easier when you have the right tools, like Segment's robust data reporting source which reports sales data along with detailed insights.[/tip] Invest in a cohesive buyer experience While many channels don’t require that you offer fast shipping, it’s important to offer a cohesive experience across every channel. Customers often research and look up brands across multiple channels. If you offer free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime, most customers will choose that unless you also offer free 2-day shipping on your other website. That holds true for other aspects of fulfillment like shipping options, free shipping thresholds, customer service offerings, return offerings and other aspects. These should be as cohesive as possible across every platform you sell on – because you’re building a brand not just meeting platform requirements. Wrapping up – streamline your multi-channel fulfillment for better results Ultimately, the key to good multichannel order fulfillment is having all of your inventory management in one place, having good infrastructure with which to support that, and ensuring you have traceability between orders and delivery on every platform. Utilizing a 3PL partner and implementing multichannel inventory management software will get you most of the way there – however, you’ll still want to invest in data management so you can make smarter decisions with that centralized data. Rachel Go is a content marketer and strategist at Flxpoint, an enterprise ecommerce operations platform. Flxpoint enables merchants and brands to unify and automate every aspect of your ecommerce operations, and scale without manual processes or custom development slowing you down.
3 ways to better your subscription sales
Subscription selling has taken over the collective focus of ecommerce selling in the past couple of years. Yes, the pandemic accelerated our newfound obsession with getting products delivered regularly right to our doors. But, in truth, this boom had been brewing long before now. Whether you're brand new to the subscription ecommerce business or a veteran looking for ways to get a new edge, we have three blog posts to help you better your subscription sales. Tracking Subscriptions in Shopify Checkout: Everything You Need to Know Ah, the mighty checkout. It's where the most important part of the shopping experience happens—and where you as a store owner get rewarded for all your hard work. A lot goes into creating the best checkout experience, especially if you're selling by subscription. The best way to ensure you're getting the most out of your checkout is data-driven decision-making. So to help you out, we broke down the most common questions merchants have about tracking subscriptions in the checkout. The post has everything you need to know, including: Why Shopify moved to a unified checkout The state of subscription ecommerce Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) in the subscription industry Tracking subscriptions in the Shopify checkout Subscription apps supported by Littledata https://blog.littledata.io/2021/09/02/tracking-subscriptions-in-shopify-checkout/ How to take a "Smartrr" approach to subscriptions The subscription ecommerce industry's growth is nothing short of staggering. With sales on pace to hit $246 billion in worth by 2025, it's no wonder there are so many merchants entering the arena. Before you can grab your slice of the subscription ecommerce pie, you need to follow the right strategies to build a dependable customer base and get the recurring revenue flowing. To get you started on the right foot, we called up our friend, Smartrr Founder and CEO Gabriella Yitzhaek Tegen. She's seen it all when it comes to subscription businesses of many sizes. In our Lunch with Littledata interview, she broke down how merchants can best retain customers, what the future of subscriptions holds, and how to leverage data to become a subscription-selling superstar. https://blog.littledata.io/2022/03/21/lunch-with-littledata-smartrr/ How to win with subscription selling on BigCommerce Customer retention is key to the success of any ecommerce merchant. For subscription sellers relying on recurring revenue, however, it’s essential. If you're using BigCommerce as your ecommerce platform, we have just the guide you need to drive strong recurring revenue and win repeat business. It starts with having the right sales tools in your tech stack—so to walk you through the setup you need, our friends at ReCharge put together a post on how to win big with subscription selling on BigCommerce. https://blog.littledata.io/2022/02/11/how-to-win-with-subscription-selling-on-bigcommerce/ [tip]Looking to do an audit of your tech stack to optimize for subscription selling? Chat with one of our analytics experts to see where you can improve your setup[/tip]
How to protect your ecommerce website from cyber threats
Among the many positive things to have increased online since 2020, like entrepreneurship and ecommerce demand, cyberattacks unfortunately remain among the negatives to have increased as well. In fact, the average cost of a single attack increased in 2021 to $4.24 million per breach — in total costing the global economy around $1 trillion. While some companies—ecommerce merchants included—have searched for skilled developers to beef up their cybersecurity, McAfee found in 2020 that only 44% of companies had a response plan ready in case of an attack. With the ecommerce industry continuing to see record growth, strategies on how to protect not only customers but online stores as a whole from cyberattacks have become must-haves for store owners. Below we will discuss why cybersecurity is an essential part of a successful ecommerce website, the most common types of cyberattacks, and learn about the possible solution your business can implement to withstand cyberattacks. Why cybersecurity is important for the ecommerce industry It’s hard to overstate the importance of cyber security because so many things depend on it. Beyond vulnerable company information, your store also holds data on credit cards and other sensitive customer information. The frequency and severity of data breaches have significantly increased since the COVID pandemic, as most companies moved fully remote. IBM found when remote work was a factor in a cyberattack, the cost of the damage increased by $1.07 million compared to attacks when it was not a factor. You might already be familiar with some of the most high-profile cyberattacks, like when hackers gained access to Microsoft and the US Department of Defense’s SolarWinds servers, giving them remote access to users’ devices and sensitive data. In 2020, hackers exposed almost 500,000 Zoom accounts and posted them for sale on the dark web, including customer emails, passwords, personal meeting URLs, and even host keys. Taking everything into account, it’s clear how essential it is to pay attention to cybersecurity and not underestimate the dangers of poor cyber protection. Building a dependable cybersecurity infrastructure brings peace of mind to both your store and your customers. Cybersecurity threats for ecommerce websites Cyberattacks can take on many different disguises, but here are a few of the most common to keep watch for. Financial fraud Financial fraud happens when a hacker accesses your bank account, meaning they can steal money directly or use it for illegal purchases. This kind of fraud also takes place when hackers create fake return requests, leading stores to spend heavily on fraudulent delivery charges. To prevent financial fraud, it’s important not to allow any customer credit card or bank information to be visible at any step in the buying process. Phishing Phishing has long been one of the most popular types of cyberattacks. This kind of fraud uses mass email campaigns with senders pretending to be a legitimate website—most commonly a popular brand or even a social networking site. The emails are designed to trick recipients into entering sensitive data into a fake login or form, handing hackers access to whatever sensitive information lies behind the profile login, and in some cases even bank account details. The best way to help your team avoid this problem is by teaching them how to distinguish fraud messages from legitimate emails and avoid opening them. SQL injection Hackers use an SQL injection—or an injection of malicious code to a website—to get access to a database, then change records or steal sensitive data from it. This type of attack most commonly occurs using a malicious form or link. Because SQL injections pass through existing security measures, they allow hackers to modify, move, or even delete data from your database. Malware and ransomware Malware is a virus that hides in plain sight, pretending to be a legitimate application. Relying on undetectability, they give hackers access to a device and provide a pathway to steal sensitive data. Ransomware specifically is a type of malware that limits or locks users completely out of their access to files—and in some cases, an entire device or network—until the victim pays a ransom to the hacker to remove it. Using a good firewall is a strong deterrent for malware, and it never hurts to add a malware-checking program like Malwarebytes to scan your device for existing viruses. Designated Denial of Service (DDoS) attack DDoS attacks flood a victim's website with requests, making it impossible to access. Regular DDoS attacks can harm a website’s reputation and, in turn, the amount of real traffic it receives. Using a DDoS protection service, like Cloudflare, is the best deterrent here. E-skimming The attacks listed so far are common for many different kinds of websites, but e-skimming is the most popular among ecommerce websites. This occurs when hackers add skimming code to the payment processing page of a store. When a customer enters their payment details on the checkout page and proceeds with payment, hackers capture the information, including all personal data, card details, and account numbers. Preventing e-skimming comes down to keeping your store’s software up to date and strong data management, which we’ll touch on again later. Cross-site scripting Hackers use cross-site scripting attacks (XSS attacks) to insert malicious scripts into websites. These scripts can extract sensitive user data that must be protected by the web application. Often, these scripting attacks are not used for theft exactly, but instead to find out if a website has any vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity solutions to protect your ecommerce website Now that we're aware of the threats, the first step toward protection is done. Next, we need to know how to protect our ecommerce websites and keep both our stores and our customers safe. Here are some of the easiest—and most effective—prevention methods you can use to protect your store. Secure payment gateway If you want to keep your clients’ payment data secure, it’s best not to keep that information in your own database, unless you are sure you have strong security protecting it. Instead, use options like PayPal, Stripe, or Shop Pay, as they have invested in high levels of security for their databases. Multi-factor authentication Multi-factor authentication (MFA) helps keep user data safe by requiring not only a password to log in but additional information only the true account owner would have. Some of the most popular options for MFA include fingerprints, one-time passwords, and authentication codes. SSL certificates Adding an SSL certificate to your website (aka getting the https:// instead of http:// in your URL) encrypts all information shared between your website visitors and your store website. It’s not only essential to avoid browser-based warning screens telling visitors your site may be unsafe, but also helps to decrease the chances of fraud and other cyberattacks on your site. DDoS mitigation DDoS mitigation services like Cloudflare (mentioned above) protect your website from possible DDoS attacks by using specific network equipment connected to the cloud. This helps offload the effect of a DDoS attack to keep your site up and running. Data backup One of the best ways to protect your data is by backing it up regularly. It’s safest to do this on a separate server not located in your company’s office. It’s also a good choice to automate your data backups so you don’t lose anything in case of an emergency. Device encryption Keep your devices updated to the latest software version and encrypt them for better security. The keeps your devices ready and ahead of new potential threats and cyberattacks. Some devices have symmetric encryption that uses one key for the encryption. Using an asymmetric key increases the level of security of your device. Wrap up For ecommerce companies, protecting clients' data is essential. The more secure your store, the more trustworthy you are to any customer. Remember, being aware of the cyber threats described in this article is just the first step. Once you’ve educated your employees on cyber protection, prevention by backing up data, enabling website encryption, and using secure payment methods, should be high priority items for any store that has not already taken care of security. This is a guest post from Iryna Bilyk. Iryna is an expert content marketing manager at YouTeam — a marketplace for instant engineering team extension. She passionately discovers and writes about technology, innovations, and software development solutions.
How to scale your business faster using first-party data [Podcast]
Data matters now more than ever for ecommerce store owners. It forms the backbone of any strong decision-making process and gives an invaluable look at customers you can't find anywhere else. But data collection is changing, with new privacy regulations and major tracking changes through iOS 14 (and beyond) adding hurdles to gathering truly accurate data. The solution to maintaining good data? Server-side tracking. To shed more light on the topic, Littledata CEO Edward Upton appeared on two podcasts to show listeners the power that data has on stores' future prospects, why it's so critical to focus on, and how to make sure you're using good data to guide your store. Keeping your ecommerce data accurate in a first-party data world Ed appeared on the 2X eCommerce podcast to chat with host Kunle Campbell about the big changes facing ecommerce data managers today. They dive into new restrictions on third-party data and how data managers can use tools like the new Facebook Conversions API (FB CAPI) and server-side tracking apps like Littledata to maximize ROI through data-backed decision-making. The conversation is a must-listen for any ecommerce store owner or data manager, particularly those spending significantly on acquiring customers through ads. They dive into: What events you should be tracking to get to know your customers betterHow you can still get the data you need without violating privacy lawsWhat the future of ecommerce tracking will look like, and how to prepare for it Hear the entire episode to get the guidance you need to make the right calls for your store. Listen on SpotifyListen on Apple PodcastsListen on Soundcloud How to use first-party data to improve loyalty and lifetime value Speaking with Flavilla Fongang from Tech Brains Talk, Ed shared how being able to analyze customer data correctly — using accurate metrics, of course — shows you the best paths to take for building both customer loyalty and lifetime value. Listen to the full conversation to hear how you can learn from your customers' behavior and make adjustments to your store design and promotion methods to drive more revenue and win more business. Listen on SpotifyListen on Apple Podcasts
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