How to adapt to a world without third-party cookies

The ecommerce data industry is going through unprecedented change. It seems every marketer, data scientist, and store owner has at least heard that privacy regulations like GDPR and major tracking prevention updates like iOS14 have broken the old system of collecting data about customers. But the most important question is how should you respond to these changes? The good news is there are still methods to collect critical information about your buyers and use it to target your niche and drive revenue. The main solution in a world without third party cookies—first-party data. Of course it's not enough to just be aware of first-party data. You need to know how to collect it, what insights you can glean from it, and the best methods to set up a first-party data strategy for your store. To help you with all of that and more, we have the only white paper you need on how to replace third-party cookies in your marketing. It's packed with everything you need to know about first-party data: what it is (and what it isn’t), how to collect it, and how to use it to optimize your marketing and make smarter decisions. We’ll also give you some helpful resources to set you on the path to success. How to replace third-party cookies with first-party data When it comes down to it, the biggest problem brands need to solve when replacing third-party cookies is preserving the insights they give into customer behavior. Fortunately there are a handful of ways that can be done with first-party data. In the white paper, we dive into each one, including how to set them up on your store, what insights they provide, and what overall benefits they have over third-party data. The customer insights you can gather from the methods we discuss in the white paper will make a significant difference when it comes to revenue and decision-making. You'll learn strategies to gather some of the biggest ticket metrics, like: Return on ad spendCustomer lifetime valueProduct engagementAdds to cartHighest value customers by demographicMarketing attributionAccurate sales data We also dive into the importance of using the right reporting tools, complete with a section on the newest version of Google Analytics—GA4—and why it matters to start tracking metrics there ASAP. Get ahead of your competitors by making the switch to first-party data with the insights in our white paper and you'll have the tools you need to drive revenue and secure steady growth. Dowload your copy>>> [subscribe]

by Greg
2022-09-21

How to set up Meta’s Facebook Ad Manager and Facebook Conversions API

Targeted ads have become essential for modern brands who want to find buyers in their niche and attract them with unique, engaging messaging. There's a wide range of content and delivery formats you can try, too. Video ads, carousel ads, dynamic product ads, user-generated content—the sky is the limit on how creative brands can leverage social ads to drive reach, conversions, and revenue. Just check out Facebook’s Ad Libary to see what we mean.   But, due to many well-documented changes to third-party data, users of these ads have had to adapt to a new digital landscape and adjust the way they collect buyer data. In this guide, we will walk you through how to set up a Meta Facebook Manager Account and create ads using Meta's new first-party data solution—the Facebook Conversions API. Follow these simple steps below and you'll be ready to start tracking customer behavior and put that data to work for your Shopify store. How to set up Meta Facebook Ad Manager Step 1: Create your Meta Business Account Head over to Meta’s Business Suite and set up your account by clicking “create account” if you have not already done so using your Facebook login. This will allow you to request and manage page permissions to create a Facebook Ad Account. You will need to have permission to the page to connect your store to Facebook Ads Manager.  Step 2: Connect a Facebook Ads account to your Meta Business Account Now that you’ve connected your business page from the dashboard, you can add, request access to, or create an ad account. This is where you'll create ads for your business, monitor spending, and execute your overall ads strategy. Step 3: Add Google Analytics to your Shopify store Next, you'll need to set up reporting to see the effectiveness of your ads. There are a couple of ways to add Google Analytics to your Shopify store, but we'll be sharing a solution here that both works for store owners of any expertise level and is one of the fastest—using the Littledata Shopify to GA connection. [tip]Don’t have a Littledata account yet? Sign up here for a free 30-day trial on us![/tip] Setup for using Littledata's Shopify to Google Analytics is as easy as signing up, installing the app from the Shopify app store, and following the self-serve onboarding flow to add Littledata's tracking script to your store. We have a complete detailed guide you can follow as well. Once you’ve connected, you will be able to see the following applicable events in your Facebook Ad Manager Account:  Great job! You are on your way to starting to run your ads based on accurate data from your Shopify store. Next, we'll set up the Conversions API to run those powerful dynamic ads. How to set up Facebook's Conversions API on your Shopify store Once you're set up in Ad Manager, have Littledata installed, and have your reporting ready in Google Analytics, adding the Conversions API only takes a few steps. First, you'll add the connection from the Littledata dashboard and approve the change to your plan. CAPI uses a combination of client-side and server-side tracking to increase event match quality and Facebook Pixel attribution, so the next step is to enter your Facebook Pixel ID into the app. Finally, in your Business Manager account under the Events Manager section, you'll generate an access token to include with your Pixel ID and finalize the connection. And voila! You're ready to start running dynamic ads and reach your ideal customers using Facebook CAPI. Conclusion Social ads might be changing in our new cookie-less world, but by leveraging the power of server-side tracking and first-party data through tools like Facebook's Conversions API, you can still gain crucial insights about your audience and create ads that will delight them. Now that you know how to get your Meta Business Manager and Facebook Ads accounts up and running, plus how to set up the new Facebook Conversions API, the only next step is to make sure you have the best possible reporting for your data so you can make decisions based on a single source of truth. Try Littledata free for 30 days to see the difference it makes having a truly accurate data layer for your store, plus access to connections that help you manage subscriptions, paid ads, headless setups, and more. [subscribe]

2022-09-14

Six reasons to start using Meta’s Conversions API now

One of the biggest marketing areas hit by iOS14 updates, and tracking prevention in general, is social ads. As Meta’s main moneymaker, the company of course wasn’t going to stand by and have their best feature for brands become unusable. Enter Facebook's Conversions API (CAPI), a solution that complies with new tracking and privacy laws by letting Facebook and Instagram Ads users share customer actions from the servers directly to Facebook. Facebook Ads via Conversions API work alongside Facebook Pixel to help you improve the performance, measurement, and data collection of your campaigns for Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads. But Facebook CAPI isn’t a replacement for Facebook Pixel. Instead, it’s an enhancement that enables deeper first-party data to help you understand performance in more detail and run more effective ads. Using Littledata to set up CAPI on your store makes this data more accurate and reliable so that your campaigns reach the right shoppers at the right time. When using Littledata and Facebook CAPI together, you can: Automatically improve Event Match Quality Score Run dynamic product ads based on accurate shopping data Make revenue data in Shopify match revenue data in Facebook In this post, we’ll share six reasons why you need to add this powerful advertising tool to your toolbelt ASAP. Why use Facebook CAPI? 1. Facebook CAPI solves for VPNs and ad blockers Originally, Facebook Pixel provided us with all the information we needed to build powerful audiences for our ads. Then, VPNs, ad blockers, and other privacy software began causing some discrepancies in the data. This is where the Facebook Conversions API came in. Facebook CAPI sends events “server-side” instead of “client-side” through the third-party browser a customer is using to access your site. That means they aren’t interrupted by the web browsing and privacy trends mentioned above. Even better, you can share almost 100% of purchases from your store with Facebook via CAPI. [tip]Learn how to use Facebook CAPI to run dynamic Facebook ads and target your top buyers.[/tip] 2. Facebook CAPI is iOS14-friendly With iOS 14 privacy changes, we’re not just dealing with discrepancies in the data, but gaps. Those gaps negatively impact Facebook ad targeting because iOS 14 limits what data advertisers can collect through client-side (pixel) tracking and allows users to turn tracking off entirely through app tracking transparency (ATT). Facebook CAPI sends user data directly from your server (not the user’s device) to Facebook instead of relying on the cookie and browser data the Facebook Pixel collects. Even if the customer has opted out of marketing cookies — meaning the purchase cannot be attributed via Facebook’s Pixel ID — Facebook CAPI can send some extra user identifiers like email address, physical address, and phone number. These give Facebook a better chance of linking the purchase to a user, and from there to the ad the user clicked on. We’ll talk more about user data below. 3. Facebook CAPI captures important lower-funnel activity Facebook CAPI allows you to send more than just website behavior to Facebook. Not all server-side events happen and/or are recorded directly on your site. They may happen on your app, a free tool, a third-party payment tool, a support hub, or offline (like through phone calls). If you record this data in your CRM, you can send additional data to Facebook through Facebook CAPI. Events in payment and shopping cart tools are often lower-funnel, making them particularly important to track. 4. Facebook CAPI will be necessary when cookies are gone Perhaps most importantly, when third-party cookies are gone, Conversions API will be our only source for conversion tracking and ad performance data. Google has already announced the phase-out of third-party cookies, and as the market leader, every other service using them will almost surely follow suit. Enabling Facebook CAPI on your store now protects the accuracy of your data, even after third-party cookies have been thrown out. 5. Get a complete picture of your conversion data Facebook Conversions API helps you to see information that the Facebook Pixel can’t see as a result of ad blockers, iOS 14, ATT, and cookies. This includes website events, offline events, and ad CRM data. On the other hand, Facebook Pixel helps you to see information that Facebook CAPI can’t, such as demographic, psychographic, and other behavioral data from around the web. That’s how they work together and why each covers gaps the other has. 6. Get more out of your budget With both Facebook Pixel and Facebook CAPI working together to give you the most accurate data possible, you can: Understand exactly who is interacting with your ads Better understand the customer journey Build strong audiences and generate leads on Facebook, even with iOS 14 Make data-driven optimizations and allocate the budget accordingly Now that you know why you need Facebook CAPI, it's time to get it set up on your store. Get in touch with our data experts and they’ll help you set it Facebook CAPI, show you how to track events, and ensure you get accurate data on your ads in the new age of first-party data. [subscribe]

2022-09-02

4 ways to future-proof your business by using the right subscription tools

No one can predict the future. But as economic uncertainty and major data tracking changes loom, now is an important time for brands to prioritize future-proofing their businesses by developing strategies to minimize the effects of any potential downturns. Recurring revenue from subscription models can be a great way to generate predictable, long-term income. As a best practice, focusing on maintaining solid relationships with customers and ensuring a superior customer experience will help retain them in the long run. During hard times, it will be the most loyal customers who stay committed to your brand. Plus, with acquisition costs rising, focusing on retaining current customers is a much more sustainable option. In this post, we’ll share how you can future-proof your business by building a strong subscription model that attracts subscribers and show you the tools you need to do it. 1. Focus on Subscribers First, rely on subscribers, as they are the most loyal and valuable customers who chose your brand over numerous competitors. Keeping these customers is critical for brands, as it is much less resource-intensive than acquiring new customers. Build your growth strategy around gaining subscribers’ trust, delighting them with exclusive membership perks, and allowing them to advocate for your brand. Throughout the subscription experience, provide flexibility and transparency to establish trust with customers. Specifically, demonstrate transparency by displaying details of what the subscription program entails, emphasizing that customers have the authority to change, skip, or cancel their subscription at any time. You can offer the most relevant subscription options by analyzing customer buying behavior data; for instance, monitor your customer’s average frequency selection when deciding which subscription option should be defaulted on the product page. Offer flexibility from the beginning by allowing customers to adjust the cadence in which they would like to receive the product and how much of it. Letting customers choose the quantity and frequency of their subscriptions solidifies this trust. Your customer won’t feel like they have to fully unsubscribe because they can mold the subscription program to their specific lifestyle, ultimately increasing your retention. That way, you’ll avoid losing valuable customers just because they needed fewer products during a certain month. [tip]See how brick-and-mortar staple Grind scaled DTC sales 50x in 3 months through subscription selling.[/tip] 2. Create a Brand Engagement Hub Transform your brand’s customer account portal into an engagement hub to increase retention and lifetime value for subscribers. Providing access to a consistent, branded customer portal helps develop strong relationships with customers which plays a critical role in retaining them long-term. Customize your customer’s account portal to adhere to your brand guidelines and craft an experience that aligns with the products that you are selling. Intuitive, straightforward tools built directly into the portal empower customers to serve themselves independently and make them more likely to continue doing business with you rather than switching to a competitor. Frictionless account management gives customers the opportunity to manage their subscription journey the way they see fit with intuitive options to gift, skip, swap, or send now. Having an easy customer support function within the customer account portal is mutually beneficial for your brand and your customers, as it saves your Customer Service team’s time and leaves customers satisfied. Typically, customers would rather solve an issue on their own without needing to contact a customer service representative. So saving them time and avoiding any frustrations further decreases the likelihood of them churning. 3. Build Brand Champions Take your subscriber’s loyalty and expand on it as much as possible with customer loyalty features that give customers a reason to come back. This includes subscriber-only promotions and discounts, exclusive gifts, early access to new products, and one-time add-ons. As a best practice, use retention data to create a strategic subscription program. For example, use a retention cohort analysis to determine if you are offering too high of a discount on first subscription orders. Merchants may find customers canceling their subscriptions after the first order when the subscriber discount is too high. By keeping a pulse on these metrics, merchants are able to course correct by getting rid of large, upfront discounts and instead, reward subscribers based on loyalty. Help improve average order value by placing strategic upsells based on data that identified top-performing products or products commonly purchased together. Then recommend these products for a tailored customer experience. Offer early releases of new products and allow loyal subscribers to give feedback, making them feel even more special and valued as customers. Try giving subscribers “X% off of their X order,” free products with orders, or birthday gifts. Create brand awareness with referrals and gifting features built directly within the account portal. Aim to get loyal customers to continue to buy your products, buy more products, and gift products so that your brand awareness extends to friends and family. Many brands take advantage of referrals like “Give X, Get X,” where if you refer a friend, you each receive a discount. Not only does this ensure that subscribers directly benefit from their referrals, but also that friend now has the ability to try your product and later on subscribe themselves. This creates champions of your brand who continue to spread the word and love to friends and family. 4. Littledata and Smartrr Having subscription management software that fits with your main data reporting tool is critical in subscriptions. Google Analytics and server-side tracking give you the first-party tracking you need to understand your buyers and make data-driven decisions that benefit your store. You can use a subscription tracking service to see complete sales data, including one-off purchases, subscriptions, and refunds. Using Littledata and Smartrr as your subscription management and analytics stack allows you to: Calculate marketing attribution for all transactions, including recurring orders Set up custom dimensions to calculate LTV Use information to strategically use upsells, gifting, add-ons, and more Send Smartrr subscriptions data to Facebook Ads via the Facebook Conversions API Conclusion Each of these strategies helps to build a solid foundation to retain customers and ultimately, future-proof your business. Make strategic business decisions by tracking the key performance indicators that drive your business, such as average order value, sales by specific product, churn over time, lifetime value, and subscription revenue growth. Retain customers by crafting a seamless experience through a consumer-focused subscription program with an intuitive account portal that includes features to engage subscribers and build brand champions. Retaining your highest lifetime value customers will help solidify recurring revenue from subscription models and ensure predictable, long-term income. This is a guest post from Anna Jacobson, Marketing Associate at Smartrr—the premium subscription app for DTC Shopify brands. Built with your end consumer in mind, Smarter increases brand engagement and LTV with a variety of out-of-the-box subscription models, a beautifully branded subscriber account experience, member-only benefits, and more.

2022-08-30

Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

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