Category : Integrations
How to calculate lifetime value (LTV) for subscription ecommerce in Google Analytics
Many of Littledata's subscription customers come to us with a similar problem: how to calculate return on advertising spend, considering the varying lifetime value (LTV) of subscription signups. Calculating marketing ROI for subscription ecommerce is a big problem with a number of potential solutions, but even the initial problem is often misunderstood. In this post I break down what the problem is, and walk through two proven solutions for getting consistent, reliable LTV reporting in Google Analytics. The problem I work with all kinds of subscription ecommerce businesses: beauty boxes, nutritional supplements, training courses and even sunglasses-by-the-month. All of them want to optimise customer acquisition costs. The common factor is they are all willing to pay way MORE than the value of the customers' first subscription payment... because they expect the customer to subscribe for many months. But for how many months exactly? That's the big question. Paying for a marketing campaign which bring trial customers who cancel after one payment - or worse, before the first payment - is very different from paying to attract sticky subscribers. A marketing director of a subscription business should be willing to pay WAY more to attract customers than stay 12 months than customers who only stay one month. 12 times more, to be precise. So how do we measure the different contribution of marketing campaigns to lifetime customer value? In Google Analytics you may be using ecommerce tracking to measure the first order value, but this misses the crucial detail of how long those shoppers will remain subscribers. With lifetime customer value segments we can make more efficient use of media, tailor adverts to different segments, find new customers with lookalike audiences and target loyalty campaigns. There are two ways for a marketing manager to see this data in Google Analytics: one is a more difficult, manual solution; the other is an easier, automated solution that ties recurring payments back to the original campaigns. A manual solution: segment orders and assign a lifetime value to each channel It's possible to see the required data in GA by manually segmenting orders and assigning a lifetime value to each channel. For this solution you'll need to join together: (a) the source of a sample of first orders from more than a year ago, by customer number or transaction IDand (b) the LTV of these customers The accuracy of the data set for A is limited by how your Google Analytics is set up: if your ecommerce marketing attribution is not accurate (e.g. using Shopify's out-the-box GA scripts) then any analysis is flawed. You can get B from your subscription billing solution, exporting a list of customer payments (and anonymising the name or email before you share the file internally). To link B to A, you'll need either to have the customer number or transaction ID of the first payment (if this is stored in Google Analytics). [subscribe] Then you can join the two data sets in Excel (using VLOOKUP or similar function), and average out the lifetime value by channel. Even though it's only a sample, if you have more than 100 customers in each major channel it should give you enough data to extrapolate from. Now you've got that LTV by channel, and assuming that is steady over time, you could import that back into Google Analytics by sending a custom event when a new customer subscribes with the 'event value' set as the lifetime value. The caveat is that LTV by channel will likely change over time, so you'll need to repeat the analysis every month. If you're looking to get away from manual solutions and excessive spreadsheets, read on... A better solution: tie recurring payments back to the original campaign(s) What if you could import the recurring payments into Google Analytics directly, as they are paid, so the LTV is constantly updated and can be segmented by campaign, country, device or any other standard GA dimension? This is what our Google Analytics connection for ReCharge does. Available for any store using Shopify as their ecommerce platform and ReCharge for recurring billing, the smart connection (integration) ties every recurring payment back to the campaigns in GA. Here's how the connector works The only drawback is that you'll need to wait a few months for enough customer purchase history (which feeds into LTV) to be gathered. We think it's worth the wait, as you then have accurate data going forward without needing to do any manual imports or exports. Then, if you also import your campaign costs automatically, you can do the Return on Investment (ROI) calculations directly in Google Analytics, using GA's new ROI Analysis report (under Conversions > Attribution), or in your favourite reporting tool. Do you have a unique way of tracking your marketing to maximise LTV? Are there other metrics you think are more important for subscription retailers? Littledata's connections are growing. We'll be launching integrations for other payment solutions later this year, so let us know if there's a particular one you'd like to see next.
What's the real ROI on your Facebook Ads?
For the past decade Facebook’s revenue growth has been relentless, driven by a switch from TV advertising and online banners to a platform seen as more targetable and measurable. When it comes to Facebook Ads, marketers are drawn to messaging about a strong return on investment. But are you measuring that return correctly? Facebook has spent heavily on its own analytics over the last three years, with the aim of making you -- the marketer -- fully immersed in the Facebook platform…and perhaps also to gloss over one important fact about Facebook’s reporting on its own Ads: most companies spend money with Facebook 'acquiring' users who would have bought from them anyway. Could that be you? Here are a few ways to think about tracking Facebook Ads beyond simple clicks and impressions as reported by FB themselves. The scenario Imagine a shopper named Fiona, a customer for your online fashion retail store. Fiona has browsed through the newsfeed on her Facebook mobile app, and clicks on your ad. Let’s also imagine that your site -- like most -- spends only a portion of their budget with Facebook, and is using a mix of email, paid search, affiliates and social to promote the brand. The likelihood that Fiona has interacted with more than one campaign before she buys is high. Now Fiona buys a $100 shirt from your store, and in Facebook (assuming you have ecommerce tracking with Pixel set up) the sale is linked to the original ad spend. Facebook's view of ROI The return on investment in the above scenario, as calculated by Facebook, is deceptively simple: Right, brilliant! So clear and simple. Actually, not that brilliant. You see Fiona had previously clicked on a Google Shopping ad (which is itself powered by two platforms, Google AdWords and the Google Merchant Center) -- how she found your brand -- and after Facebook, she was influenced by a friend who mentioned the product on Twitter, then finally converted by an abandoned cart email. So in reality Fiona’s full list of interactions with your ecommerce site looks like this: Google Shopping ad > browsed products Facebook Ad > viewed product Twitter post > viewed same product Link in abandoned cart email > purchase So from a multi-channel perspective, how should we attribute the benefit from the Facebook Ad? How do we track the full customer journey and attribute it to sales in your store? With enough data you might look at the probability that a similar customer would have purchased without seeing that Facebook Ad in the mix. In fact, that’s what the data-driven model in Google Marketing Platform 360 does. But without that level of data crunching we can still agree that Facebook shouldn’t be credited with 100% of the sale. It wasn’t the way the customer found your brand, or the campaign which finally convinced them to buy. Under the most generous attribution model we would attribute a quarter of the sale. So now the calculation looks like this: It cost us $2 of ad spend to bring $1 of revenue -- we should kill the campaign. But there's a catch Hang on, says Facebook. You forgot about Mark. Mark also bought the same shirt at your store, and he viewed the same ad on his phone before going on to buy it on his work computer. You marked the source of that purchase as Direct -- but it was due to the same Facebook campaign. Well yes, Facebook does have an advantage there in using its wide net of signed-in customers to link ad engagement across multiple devices for the same user. But take a step back. Mark, like Fiona, might have interacted with other marketing channels on his phone. If we can’t track cross-device for these other channels (and with Google Marketing Platform we cannot), then we should not give Facebook an unfair advantage in the attribution. So, back to multi-channel attribution from a single device. This is the best you have to work with right now, so how do you get a simple view of the Return on Advertising Spend, the real ROI on your ads? Our solution At Littledata we believe that Google Analytics is the best multi-channel attribution tool out there. All it misses is an integration with Facebook Ads to pull the ad spend by campaign, and some help to set up the campaign tagging (UTM parameters) to see which campaign in Facebook brought the user to your site. And we believe in smart automation. Shhhh...in the past few weeks we've quietly released a Facebook Ads connection, which audits your Facebook campaign tagging and pulls ad cost daily into Google Analytics. It's a seamless way to pull Facebook Ads data into your overall ecommerce tracking, something that would otherwise be a headache for marketers and developers. The integration checks Facebook Ads for accurate tagging and automatically pulls ad cost data into GA. The new integration will normally only be available in higher-tier plans, but we're currently offering it as an open beta for ALL USERS, including Basic plans! For early access, just activate the Faceb|ook Ads connection from your Littledata dashboard. It's that easy! (Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for a free trial on any plan today.) We believe in a world of equal marketing attribution. Facebook may be big, but they’re not the only platform in town, and any traffic they're sending your way should be analysed in context. Connecting your Facebook Ads account takes just a few minutes, and once the data has collected you’ll be able to activate reports to show the same kind of ROI calculation we did above. Will you join us on the journey to better data?
New help center articles on Shopify tracking and ReCharge integration
We recently launched the Littledata Help Center to make it easier for customers to find the most relevant answers to their analytics questions. You can think of it as the more formal, technically-minded cousin of our popular analytics blog (which you're reading right now). With detailed new articles on Shopify tracking and how our ReCharge integration works, the Littledata Help Center is a go-to resource for current customers and ecommerce managers looking for a clearer view of how to use Google Analytics effectively. About our Help Center Like many startups, we began by using our blog as the main support resource, with articles on everything from Google Analytics to GDPR. Yet as we've grown, so have the number of setup guides and technical details we feel we should provide for a seamless user experience. In short, our support articles have outgrown the blog! Not to worry, blog fans. The blog will continue to be a resource for anyone interested in ecommerce analytics. We've been honoured at all the industry attention our blog has received, and we look forward to growing both resources side-by-side in the coming years. Shopify tracking Until you know what to look for, choosing the right Shopify reporting app can seem like a daunting process. There are a number of apps that are good at tracking just one thing, or helping you visualise some of the tracking you already have set up. Littledata's Shopify app is different. It's become especially popular with Shopify Plus stores and medium-sized Shopify sites on the enterprise growth path because it fixes your tracking and provides a full optimisation suite, including automated reports, benchmarks and buyer personas, to help optimise for dramatically higher revenue and conversions. New support articles help break down how this all-in-one solution works, including what you can track with our Shopify reporting app and setup guides for basic and custom installations. ReCharge integration Advanced Google Analytics integration for stores using ReCharge is one of our most popular integrations. It's a streamlined way to get accurate subscription analytics, including marketing attribution and LTV reporting. New support articles break down how ReCharge integration works with Littledata. You'll find guides on everything from how to check if the integration is working, to FAQs and more technical articles about tracking first-time versus recurring payments with GA views. We hope you take full advantage of Littledata's Help Center. Of course, you can always reach out to our support team directly from the Intercom popups on our blog, public site and app. We're available Monday to Friday in time zones around the world. Don't hesitate to get in touch, and remember -- your success is our success!
CartHook integration for tracking one-page checkouts and upsells
We're excited to announce that Littledata now fully integrates with CartHook. The integration provides automatic tracking for sales from CartHook's one-page checkout and connects that data to marketing channels and shopper behaviour. Littledata -- CartHook integration is the easiest way to get accurate data and smart reporting to improve sales and marketing ROI. All you need is a Shopify store with CartHook Checkout installed (even for just one product) and a Google Analytics account! What is CartHook? CartHook makes it easy for Shopify stores to add customisable one-page checkouts and post purchase one-click upsells. Their intuitive funnel builder lets any store customise the checkout process to increase conversions and decrease abandonment. Features include: Customisable one-page checkout One-click post-purchase upsells, including for subscription products (works great with our ReCharge integration) Product Funnels allow you to send traffic to a pre-loaded checkout page from any landing page Native Shopify integration means no custom coding required! How it works Integrating CartHook with Littledata ensures that all sales activity is tracking correctly in Google Analytics. Littledata weaves together your Shopify and CartHook data and connects it with your marketing channels and campaigns. Why spend developer time on custom scripts and events when you can just activate the integration in a couple of minutes? Benefits of CartHook integration: Sales tracking - Get automatic tracking for sales from CartHook, seamlessly synced with sales made via standard Shopify checkout Marketing attribution - Connect marketing channels and campaigns with shopping cart activity and buyer behaviour Optimisation - Scale the smart way with Littledata's industry-leading optimisation tools, including a personalised dashboard, report packs, benchmarks and buyer personas It's all about accurate data. Littledata's script runs in the background, pulling from CartHook, Shopify, and any other source you've connected to your analytics. If you're an advanced Google Analytics user, you can dig into the improved data collection directly in GA. Read more about why CartHook customers should use Littledata. Setup guide For the Littledata -- CartHook integration to work, you need to have both apps installed for your Shopify store, then connect them by activating the integration. Install CartHook and Littledata Follow these steps to activate the integration Yes, it's that easy! Shopify Plus If you run a larger Shopify store on Shopify Plus, we're here to help you scale. Both Littledata and CartHook offer enterprise plans that include custom setup and a dedicated account manager. Larger stores looking for an enterprise plan or managed services are encouraged to sign up directly and then contact us for a free consultation. If you're a digital agency with multiple customers on Shopify using CartHook, even better! Check out our agency partner program for Shopify experts.
New webinar: Google Analytics for Shopify stores
Have you ever been browsing the Shopify app store and wished that you could hear directly from founders and app developers about how their products work? Our new free webinar lets you do exactly that! We're dedicated to providing free learning tools for Shopify stores. In the webinar recording below, you'll hear directly from our CEO and Product Director about how the Littledata reporting app works for Shopify sites on the growth path. Interested in automating your Google Analytics reporting? Great. Confused about how to connect your marketing campaigns to checkout steps and buying behaviour? No problem - we've got you covered. Problems are our business :) Google Analytics made easy for Shopify stores Join Edward Upton to get the lowdown on optimising Google Analytics for Shopify. Put on your thinking caps and get ready for Shopify Reporting 101. In the recorded webinar, Ed gives a product overview and covers a range of FAQs: Common issues with Shopify's native reporting How to get accurate data across the customer life cycle with Google Analytics Who uses Littledata How our automated reporting works The connection between marketing and revenue Our live webinars are designed for ecommerce sites, marketing agencies and everyone in between. We adapt the content based on questions from participants, so please don't hesitate to reach out with questions and suggestions. Ready for smarter growth? Sign up for a free trial of our Shopify reporting app today! The trials extend to all plans, so you can fix your analytics and fully test our feature set. PS. If you're looking for info on our Shopify app integration partners, check out these posts on ReCharge and Refersion.
Our top 5 posts from 2017
We're an ecommerce analytics company, so it's no surprise that Shopify and Google Analytics top the list of topics in our most-read and most-shared posts of 2017. But what continues to surprise us is how many online businesses know that their analytics setup needs to be fixed, but put off the decision to take action. Luckily tools like our Shopify reporting app are making it easier than ever to get accurate data and automated reporting that really drives revenue. If fixing your tracking and making decisions based on trustworthy data wasn't your main new year's resolution for 2018, it should be! Here are the top 5 posts from our analytics blog in 2017. They should provide some inspiration. 1. Is Google Analytics compliant with GDPR? From May 2018 the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will come into force in the European Union, causing all marketers and data engineers to re-consider how they store, transmit and manage data – including Google Analytics. This popular post looks at basic and full compliance. The rights enshrined by GDPR relate to any data your company holds which is personally identifiable: that is, can be tied back to a customer who contacts you. 2. Shopify Marketing Events vs Google Analytics The ability for other Shopify apps to plug their campaign cost and attribution data into Shopify (via the new marketing events API) is a logical step to building Shopify’s own analytics capability, but is it really a viable substitute for Google Analytics? Google already has a team of hundreds working on Google Analytics, and it seems unlikely that Shopify will be able to dedicate resources to keep up with the functionality that power users need. 3. Is Google Analytics accurate? 6 common issues and how to resolve them How do you know if your Google Analytics setup is giving you reliable data? In this much-linked blog post we look at common problems and explain what can be done to make your tracking more accurate. If the journey of visitors on your site proceeds via another payment processor or gateway, you could be losing the link between the sale (or goal conversion) and the original marketing campaigns. 4. How to increase revenue with Refersion and affiliate marketing Affiliate marketing consistently outperforms other channels for ecommerce businesses. In this special guest post, our integration partner Refersion shares essential tips about how Littledata customers can get a piece of the action. When customers come through affiliate channels, their average customer revenue is 58% higher than other channels. 5. What you can track with our Shopify app Here at Littledata we believe that everyone should have access to professional-level analytics tools for tracking, reporting, and improving sales and engagement. That’s why we built the ultimate Shopify reporting app. This much-shared post outlines 'Shopify’s Standard Tracking vs Littledata for Shopify'. It's a match we're betting on! Shopify is one of the best ecommerce platforms on the planet, but their standard analytics are extremely limited.
How to dramatically increase revenue with Refersion and affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing consistently outperforms other channels for ecommerce businesses. In this special guest post, Refersion's Robert Woo shares essential tips about how Littledata customers can get a piece of the action. Affiliate marketing is a powerful channel to drive sales, but is surprisingly overlooked by many small and medium-sized businesses. In a 2016 report by Heinz Marketing, referrals made the most positive impact on revenue for businesses, by far. As business owners know, the easiest sales come from customer recommendations to their friends and family. Especially for SMBs, word-of-mouth is often the backbone of how they acquire new customers. Now here’s another statistic: when customers come through affiliate channels, their average customer revenue is 58% higher than other channels. In other words, not only is it easier to get more customers via word-of-mouth, if they are referrals, but those customers also spend more. As you can see, getting into affiliate marketing is a double win for your business. But it can seem tricky to get started. The traditional way of doing affiliate marketing Online affiliate, or referral, marketing is as old as the internet. Here’s how it traditionally works: Research various affiliate networks that are accepting new merchants (that’s you). Pay a fee to join one (as high as $5000). Use this network to find affiliate partners to market your product/service. Pay out a commission to these partners. Pay out a monthly fee, and a portion of these commissions (15 to 25%) to the affiliate network. In this traditional way, you can see a clear trade-off for the benefit of joining an existing network. While you’ll have immediate access to many publishers waiting to market your product, there are a lot of fees for this privilege. So much so that for smaller businesses often find it hard to make a good profit from this model. On the other hand, you could start your own program up from scratch. But while you’d save a fortune in fees, the big trade off is your time investment. It takes time to put an affiliate marketing program in place. From creating a portal for your affiliates to use, to finding these influencers in the first place, to getting the hang of the metrics you need to monitor; it can all be a lot, especially for SMBs with a small team devoted to marketing. The better way, for Littledata customers Luckily, we here at Refersion have made it easy and affordable to forego joining an existing affiliate network and start your own. What we do is help businesses take a 'hybrid approach', taking the best of both worlds, making running a program cheap and simple. The best part? We’ve now integrated with Littledata to make data analysis even more insightful, so your business can easily maximize the ROI of your in-house affiliate marketing program. Used together, Littledata and Refersion are a supercharged toolbox for ecommerce entrepreneurs who have always wanted to launch a referral program, but was afraid to commit the time and energy. With Refersion, you can set up your business to start taking advantage of affiliate marketing in less than ten minutes. Connect your online shopping cart, create custom affiliate emails and coupon codes, and quickly find the right publishers to work with in the Refersion Marketplace. And if you’re already a Littledata customer, you’ll know that you can get all your affiliate marketing metrics and analysis in your dashboard and reporting. Don’t leave money on the table With the rise of ad blockers, many types of online marketing have taken big hits. But affiliate marketing isn’t subject to this limitation. Don’t ignore one of the best channels of getting new customers and higher sales! If you want to learn more about Refersion, watch this short intro video on how it all works. Ready to take the plunge? Here’s a special signup page for Littledata customers. Get a 14 day free trial today! Robert Woo is a Marketing Manager at Refersion.
ReCharge integration for subscription analytics
We're excited to announce that Littledata's Shopify app now integrates seamlessly with ReCharge! The integration makes it easy to get an accurate data stream about your ReCharge subscriptions in Google Analytics. What is ReCharge? ReCharge is the most popular recurring billing solution for Shopify stores. It lets you easily sell subscriptions on a Shopify store. ReCharge has a robust feature set for stores selling physical products on subscription, allowing for single product, mixed cart & entire cart subscriptions. The app powers thousands of stores processing tens of thousands of orders daily, including Littledata customers like Tiege Hanley skin care and BIOHM probiotics. Until we built this new integration, ReCharge customers didn't have a way to get a complete data collection in Google Analytics without hiring expensive GA consultants. How the integration works Integrating Littledata with ReCharge lets you capture data about the entire subscriber journey, from marketing campaigns to first-time payments and recurring revenue. The integration uses Littledata's magic sauce to connect Shopify and ReCharge data to Google Analytics. The reporting includes essential information for understanding business performance: End-to-end Google Analytics tracking for the subscriber journey Marketing attribution for subscription revenue, including first-time payments and recurring charges Segmentation by payment source, subscription plan type and product category With this integration plus the power of Littledata's analytics audit tool, you ensure accurate tracking of everything in your ecommerce funnel. You can then take advantage of automated reporting to help you increase revenue, including report packs built specifically for subscription analytics. Littledata's revenue optimisation tools pull directly from your GA data. Advanced users can can also use that data directly in GA - and connect it to dashboard tools like Data Studio and Supermetrics. And the price is right! Littledata provides Google Analytics for ReCharge stores at no extra cost. It's a free integration for any Shopify store using both apps! Setup guide For the Littledata - ReCharge integration to work, you need to install both apps for your Shopify store, then connect them by activating the integration. Install ReCharge Install Littledata’s Shopify app Follow these steps to activate the integration Note that you will activate ReCharge’s basic Google Analytics integration as part of the setup process, but you need to complete the Littledata integration to get full marketing attribution and to track recurring subscriptions (not just first-time payments). For more information about how our ReCharge integration works, check out our knowledge base. If you’re looking for custom setup or help with reporting, consider one of Littledata’s enterprise plans. Higher-tier plans include a dedicated account manager and support from analytics experts. We have many happy ReCharge customers, so please get in touch if you have any special requests! This post was updated in June 2018
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