Category : Recharge
New Recharge integration for BigCommerce stores
In the DTC world, subscription ecommerce used to thrive mainly on Shopify or custom solutions. But times have changed. Although Cyber Week was flat or down for many online retailers, BigCommerce merchants saw a year-over-year GMV increase of 15%. We're excited to announce that Littledata's BigCommerce app for Google Analytics now includes a plug-and-play integration with Recharge, the leading subscription payments solution. The new connection makes it easy for subscription brands on BigCommerce to get granular data about online orders, marketing channels and subscriber behavior in Google Analytics. The subscriptions analytics connection for BigCommerce lets you: Track browsing behaviorTrack shopping cart events, orders, recurring orders, and refundsImprove marketing attributionDifferentiate one-off orders, first-time subscriptions, and recurring orders in Google Analytics Data-driven growth has to start with accurate data. Littledata's magic combination of client-side and server-side tracking works behind the scenes so you can get back to business. We're here to help subscription analytics be less complicated and more useful. Recharge is now used by over 15,000 brands around the world. Our Recharge integration for Shopify is one of our oldest — and most popular — integrations at Littledata. We're eager to keep helping Recharge merchants get accurate, actionable data, whichever ecommerce platform or custom setup they might be using. Tip: The BigCommerce Recharge integration works automatically without any extra setup steps (if you're using Recharge and BC, we'll automatically track subscriptions for you). Try it for free today! For the data geeks out there, we've also added data pipeline settings such as a domain linker and IP Anonymization (or IP masking). And yes, Littledata works with custom themes and headless BigCommerce setups! Adapting to the new world of first-party data and hurdling obstacles like iOS changes and Facebook Ads' switch to a Conversions API becomes much easier with the powerful server-side tracking of Littledata's analytics connection. The app is designed for Universal Analytics (UA), but coming soon for GA4. Not sure where to start? See 5 things that change in Google Analytics when you install Littledata.
Lunch with Littledata: How Wild built an industry-leading brand in 2 years
Want to learn from DTC founders and entrepreneurs shaking up their industries? Check out the other entries in our Lunch with Littledata series. Lunch with Littledata is back! This time, we sat down with Charlie Bowes-Lyon, co-founder of natural deodorant brand Wild. Founded by industry veterans, Wild became a Littledata customer early on to supercharge their growth. Through savvy market moves and a strong growth vision, Wild became the biggest brand in the UK natural deodorant market. They’ve added more than 140,000 customers in just two years after launch, with plans to build on their impressive growth. In our Q&A below, Charlie shares his thoughts on choosing growth channels, going global, and which data points are crucial for any DTC business to be on top of. Tip: Learn how to track every order on your subscription store and tie them to your marketing campaigns with our guide to complete ReCharge data in Google Analytics. LD: Wild has grown a ton since you signed up. When we first talked it was right after you’d closed the funding round. CBL: Yes, I think it was when we were launching International, right after we'd raised funding. So it was early days last summer. Back then you just had one country store? Yeah! It feels like a long time since then… (laughs) Are you mostly reliant on paid spend for growth strategy overall? Yes, we're very performance-led as a business. We operate over a variety of different marketing channels and, as a result of those channels, gain brand awareness. We've also operated a very community-centric and “social first” approach. So, when we initially designed the product we made sure that, at least from our point of view, we were creating something that was very shareable over channels like Instagram. Something that people would really want to talk about and show off to their friends. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Wild (@wildrefill) And I think we achieved that in quite a good way. We've managed to grow on social pretty quickly. In the space of a year and a couple of months, we’re coming up to about 115,000 followers on Instagram. The other side of that approach is nurturing the community. So we have VIP Facebook groups for people who really want to stay involved and be a part of the decision making. For example, we often have polls on things like what scent we should put out next. I think that's been big in helping people to feel like they're involved in decision making. So, it's not just us guessing what customers actually want. It's based on a more data-led approach. A lot of our customers at Littledata want to build those communities, but it’s hard to get the initial traction. Are your engagements mostly coming from current customers or from new customers too? It's both. Referrals account for about a third of all of our sales. So, it's about nurturing that community, being very genuine with them, and really involving them in everything we do. Then as a result of that, people are happy to share and recommend us to their family and friends. That's the organic growth side of it. But at the same time, we're constantly building growth heavily into our CRM. We have landing pages, and we do ads to push that growth along. Do you offer a gifting option? We're not big on gifting, to be honest. In our referral program, if you refer a friend, they get a free case. So it’s really an intro offer. Yes, essentially. Because it can be expensive for people who haven’t heard of our brand to pay £12 for a deodorant. So, letting them see what the product's all about and test it first is a good way. Then we rely on the product being high quality and good enough to retain them as customers. “We rely on the product being high quality and good enough to retain(free trial users) as customers.” Hopefully the ReCharge tracking add on has been helpful to you. Yeah! Without it, we can't see anything on Google Analytics or anywhere. So yeah, it's pretty vital. Who on your team uses the data that Littledata sends to GA? Well, it's used across a variety of things. Myself and the marketing team use GA for top-line statistics and data on different marketing campaigns and so on. It's also hooked into our analytics platform, so a lot of the data that they gather obviously comes from GA as well. That’s being used for things like measuring LTV, but also looking at the operations side of the business and working out different cogs and margins on products we’re selling. Have you built one core dashboard, or is it more of an ad hoc process where you dive into the data and build reports as needed? Yeah, there's a couple of different dashboards we use. Generally, we've got pretty good oversight of data. And Littledata definitely connects that bridge between Shopify and ReCharge for us, which when it's off everything goes completely wrong and doesn't work. So it has been quite important for us. Tip: Learn how to connect ReCharge with Google Analytics for accurate data about your recurring transactions. Wild has focused on sustainability since the beginning. I've had a lot of talks with founders recently here in the US who feel like they're having a hard time. Sustainability is definitely a buzzword here, but putting it into practice is a whole different story. Some DTC verticals have caught on, but in a way Europe in general is more progressive in terms of customers backing that commitment up with their purchasing behavior. Yeah—it's a funny one because I think you're right in terms of sustainability. I think Europe and the UK are ahead and people are a little bit more aware. It's a bigger subject that we're constantly focused on, both in politics and our wider society. There's been a lot of quite good changes that have been made. But likewise, in the US with the likes of Elon Musk and Tesla, for example, there's a lot of companies that are doing some quite good awareness around it. On the flipside for us, the US has had good natural deodorant companies for four or five years. We were the first one in the UK launching just over a year ago. So the US market is probably a bit more developed when it comes to what natural products are and why they might be better. It’s all still pretty new for us over here, so that means we have a lot more education that we have to do for potential customers. Whereas potentially in the US, that piece of education's already been done to some extent. And was that part of the impetus for choosing this concept as your brand alone? Yeah, definitely. We saw some successful companies in the US who had done a great job with a fundamentally good product (i.e. natural deodorant that worked). But outside of that, their packaging was very simple and plastic. The brand was pretty bland. We looked at it and thought: “we can add in sustainability and create a better, fun-looking product.” Do you have a community of other brands and founders doing similar things that you personally interact with, or are you more lone wolves? Yeah, we speak to a lot of different people every week really. Both my co-founder Fred and I are lucky that we have pretty good networks from our previous jobs. We certainly get really good oversight of what other companies are doing and how they're doing it and what's working for them. Sometimes, though, what works for others won't work for us and vice versa. It's an interesting time at the moment. I think to be honest, we've probably just been through the best year of ecommerce that anyone's going to see for some time. And I imagine that the next year is going to be quite difficult as a result because, you know, everyone's coming out of lockdown, iOS 14 updates on Facebook, all these kind of small things are adding up to make life a little bit more difficult. And people are heading back into traditional stores as well. So, it'll be interesting to see what happens. But in a way, it's a good thing for us. We see it as hopefully a competitive advantage if things get a bit more tricky and we're able to execute better than others. Tip: Use Littledata’s guide to GDPR cookie banner compliance to ensure your store isn’t hit with a non-compliance fine. Do you expect the business model to change at all, maybe to pull in wholesale? Yes, we've just gone live about a month ago into retail in the U.K., and we're now Sainsbury's. I think it's been a really good start so far. Potentially that will be a big channel for us. But really, we're very focused on two things. One is delivering the best natural deodorant we can and always iterating on that. The second is diversifying both our marketing channel mix and our strategy by going properly international. We're already in Europe, but we're dabbling in the US and Australia as well and testing other markets. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Wild (@wildrefill) I think the danger that’s present for ecommerce companies at the moment is that we could see a channel just stop working one day. Something like Facebook, suddenly people's customer acquisition costs could double on Facebook. For example, the UK has had really high adoption of the iOS 14 update from Facebook. I believe it’s somewhere around 30 percent of people (in the UK) are opting in for ads, whereas in Europe it's closer to 60 percent of people opting in. But because we have that diversification of countries we can advertise in, we can immediately move some of our advertising spend to Europe and we'll probably get better customer acquisition costs as a result. Being in Sainsbury's and hopefully other retail outlets in the future just gives us another channel where we can focus, spend on marketing, and diversify. And I think as well, to be honest, once we can, we'll probably do a lot of events and try to get out and get to offline channels. It just gives us another angle of approach. Is the goal that in-store shopping will be the first touchpoint for new online subscribers? Not necessarily, no. We're fairly channel-agnostic. So we don't really mind if someone's online buying from us or shopping in brick-and-mortar retail. “We're fairly channel agnostic. So we don't really mind if someone's onlinebuying from us or shopping in brick-and-mortar retail.” Wild offers a slightly complex product where some explanation is required to kind of understand who we are and what we're doing. And often if you go into a retail store, you're not really looking for something new. You’ve basically got a second where you glance at the products on a shelf. So it's hard to know. But I do think that the brand awareness we've created over the last year has massively improved the retail results that we've had today. Plus, they both will just feed off each other. Some people don't like to order online, or they forget about it. They might want to just go into the shop and grab a refill. Likewise, some people might make their first purchase in a shop and then sign up on the website and get an online subscription. I think the key is just giving customers options. Do you plan to expand globally? And if so, do you plan to hire specific country managers? There are lots of subtle things that can make a difference. Yeah, massively so. We're barely touching the surface of the potential in Europe. And there's a huge market in the US and Australia for us as well. That said, we plan to choose a couple of markets, focus in on them, and make it work there before trying to do too much at once. We’re hiring a German country manager at the moment, so that's going to be our starting point. Quick links Littledata's partner program for Shopify Plus agencies and tech partnersHeadless Shopify tracking with LittledataEnsuring GDPR cookie banner compliance for your ecommerce storeCalculate customer lifetime value for ecommerce using Google Analytics data
How to get complete ReCharge data in Google Analytics [ebook]
It's hard enough for Shopify stores to get accurate sales and marketing data. And if you're selling by subscription, this can seem even more complicated. In fact, 88% of Shopify stores have Google Analytics setup incorrectly, leading to a throughput of less than 90% (for every 100 orders in Shopify, 12 or more go missing in GA). I hate to break it to you, but for subscription merchants the reality is even harsher. Many brands can't even segment out first-time purchases from recurring orders, let alone tie them back to marketing campaigns! Luckily there's now a better way. Top subscription brands use modern data stacks to get the data they need to make informed decisions. This means understanding your checkout flow, yes, but also product lists, subscription bundles, discounts, returns, subscription lifecycle behavior, and top marketing channels for higher LTV customers. In this new ebook on ReCharge analytics, we show you how to do just that -- no developer skills needed! Free ebook on ReCharge analytics best practices Subscription analytics are a beast, and too many brands make one of these three common mistakes: Procrastination. "We know we have a data problem but will fix it next quarter...year...never..."The wrong tools. "We bought a fancy new dashboard, that will solve everything, right?" or "We bought this subscription analytics tool that works really well for SaaS companies. Why isn't it working well for ecommerce?"Completely manual approach. "Excel is my full-time job. I don't have time for data-driven growth." Top brands use modern data tools to tame the beast of analytics. In this new ebook, you'll learn how to get the data you need to accelerate growth. See how to automatically capture data at every turn: Track one-off orders and first-time subscriptionsTrack recurring payments and tie them back to the original marketing channelCalculate customer lifetime value ("CLV" or "LTV") and build more valuable cohortsCapture subscription lifecycle events like "Subscription updated"Get accurate marketing attributionUltimately make better decisions for your store Download the free ebook >>> Learn more about what you can track with Littledata's ReCharge connection. [tip]Advanced users can also now send data directly to Segment (and any connected data warehouse, email marketing platform or reporting tool).[/tip]
How to integrate ReCharge with Segment for advanced analytics and retargeting
Many merchants use Littledata's advanced ReCharge integration to track recurring orders and calculate lifetime value in Google Analytics, but did you know that our ReCharge connection can also send data to Segment? Our Shopify source for Segment makes it easy to push that same customer event data on to hundreds of marketing and data platforms. As an increasing number of top DTC brands on Shopify are building analytics stacks to enable advanced personalization and segmentation in addition to marketing analysis and data warehousing. Subscription analytics has been a core part of our product development since the beginning at Littledata, and the continued development of our Shopify source for Segment has unlocked a new realm of possibilities here. Benefits of integrating ReCharge with Segment Here are some of the ways that Littledata + Segment + ReCharge can improve your event data pipeline and power your analytics. An added benefit from our recent updates (Segment v2) is the ability to improve customer engagement with tags and triggers based on subscriber behavior. Push ReCharge subscription events into your data warehouse Joining your ReCharge and Segment data is a seamless way to get all of your ecommerce data into a data warehouse, automatically cleaned and deduped. Littledata’s Segment connection (combined with our ReCharge connection) syncs a range of common customer events from Shopify and ReCharge to any of Segment’s 34 supported raw data destinations. The events that we send include: Subscription CreatedSubscription UpdatedSubscription CancelledOrder ProcessedCharge FailedCharge Max Tries ReachedPayment Method UpdatedCustomer Updated All of these events are sent with shopifyCustomerId, subscriptionId and other fields to enable them to be aggregated into user-journey reports. So you can build your own data warehouse integration with ReCharge’s APIs and end up dealing with deduplication, high throughput and low latency. Or you can just trust Littledata and Segment’s experience in processing billions of events to handle that for you. Many of our larger customers on Littledata Plus plans are experimenting with data warehouses, and we are happy to discuss our solution to see if it's a good fit with your data needs. Feel free to book a demo to learn more. Track recurring orders and Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) on any platform Calculating LTV for subscription ecommerce can sound complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Littledata pushes every recurring order processed by ReCharge into the destination of your choice, so you can run analyses of where the long-term, high-value customers came from - and know if those customers interacted with your brand previously, as well as the original marketing channel or touch point. And it's not just about analysis. Integrating ReCharge with Segment allows for more sophisticated cohort-building and retargeting. Imagine you could spot the common patterns that link your top 100 most valuable customers, and then automatically build a lookalike audience to target 10,000 people just like them. That’s exactly what Littledata + Segment’s Facebook Custom Audiences destination allows you to do! [subscribe] Analyze subscription behavior with Kissmetrics or Mixpanel Kissmetrics and Mixpanel made their name as analytics for subscription businesses, with features focussed on analyzing customer churn and retention. Littledata’s connection can push subscription events to either platform, linking them with all the pre-purchase, pre-registration events to understand how the customer was acquired. Combining Shopify and ReCharge events in one analytics platform gives you the complete picture of the customer journey. [note]Wondering which unique identifier to use for your Segment setup? Confused about Cloud Mode vs Device Mode? Check out Littledata's Segment developer docs for Shopify[/note] Build custom email funnels Segment can also send events to email marketing platforms such as Klaviyo and Iterable. You can use recurring order events, or subscription cancellation reasons, to create highly segmented email campaigns. Here’s an example of how you could use those events in a Klaviyo report: Post-purchase events from Shopify like Fulfillment Updated or Order Cancelled could also trigger transactional emails that match your brand messaging. For example, an email could notify a customer of an upcoming delivery and include the tracking number from Shopify’s fulfillment service. Reduce scripts loaded on the ReCharge checkout Adding extra tracking scripts (Google Analytics, Facebook, etc.) to the ReCharge checkout slows down the pages and increases risk of checkout abandonment. Littledata + Segment allows you to have zero tracking scripts on your checkout (we listen out for checkout update webhooks instead) and yet send checkout step events to any of over over 50 advertising and analytics destinations. [tip]Using a headless ReCharge setup? See our headless Shopify tracking demo[/tip] Working with Shopify unified checkout Are you thinking of moving to Shopify’s new unified checkout for a more seamless customer experience? The events we track will work in the same way - and you can track like-for-like checkout funnel drop-off across ReCharge and Shopify checkouts. [subscribe]
Lunch with Littledata: Q&A with Casey Armstrong, CMO at ShipBob
This week, we're continuing our Q&A segment: Lunch with Littledata! We recently caught up with Casey Armstrong, CMO at ShipBob, to chat about the Shopify world, fulfillment, decision-making during COVID, Shopify analytics, and more. ShipBob is a tech-enabled 3PL that fulfills ecommerce orders for DTC brands; their mission is to make Shopify stores feel more successful online by providing reliable fulfillment solutions, warehouses near customers to help transit times, shipping costs, and the overall delivery experience. ShipBob also has a strong Shopify integration. [tip]Check out Littledata's top-rated Shopify app for Google Analytics -- with advanced tracking for Shopify Plus[/tip] Let's dive right in! Q: Has ShipBob’s core market changed during the crisis? Our core market has not changed since the COVID-19 pandemic started, but our core market has grown considerably. The reliance on selling direct-to-consumer and ecommerce has been steadily increasing year-over-year and now everybody who was hesitant or putting it off has to adapt immediately. "The reliance on selling direct-to-consumer has been steadily increasing" In addition, buyers are creating habits and becoming more comfortable buying online. This will impact retail forever. There is no going back to the percentage of retail occurring offline in the US. Q: Are you still seeing a big uptick in AOV when customers migrate to using ShipBob's fulfillment solution? This varies greatly by merchant, but by offering free shipping, fast shipping, or fast and free shipping, we have seen merchants see increases in AOV from 17% and up to 98% in extreme cases. Q: If you were personally to start an ecommerce business in North America right now, what would you sell? Happiness :) Q: What's the most common misconception ecommerce businesses have about fulfillment, or just 3PL solutions in general? The biggest misconception is that they have to be doing a lot of volume. That is not the case. In fact, ShipBob was built to democratize fulfillment for all ecommerce merchants. We have customers that are doing 50 shipments per month and customers that are doing well over 50,000 shipments per month. They both have access to the same fulfillment center network, run by the same warehouse management system, and they see everything in the same merchant application. Plus, we charge $0 for all of our software, including all integrations and our analytics tools. Q: Are a number of your Shopify merchants selling by subscription? Which apps are they using? Yes, we have a lot of merchants utilizing subscription offerings, so they can increase customer LTV and have a more predictable revenue stream. The most common applications we see now are ReCharge and Bold Subscriptions. [tip]See how you can track your subscription data with complete accuracy.[/tip] Q: Any tips for merchants who might be new to ecommerce? Know your numbers: COGS, customer acquisition costs, and fulfillment costs. Sounds basic, but if you don’t know your numbers, you can't efficiently scale your business or know which levers to focus on! Quick links Littledata's partner program for Shopify Plus agencies and tech partners Free ebooks about how to improve Shopify analytics Headless Shopify tracking with Littledata
What's new for ReCharge tracking
Are you ready for ReCharge v2.3? The latest version of Littledata's popular ReCharge connection is more powerful and extensible than ever. Subscription ecommerce is booming right now, especially for consumables like wine and coffee. Many Shopify stores are even seeing Black Friday-level traffic. But there's also more competition than ever. ShipBob has noted that subscription discounts are especially popular right now, during the seemingly endless days of COVID-19, as a way to bring new subscribers to your brand. This is a major opportunity -- but it also means that there's a lot more competition. Data is more important than ever to understanding your store performance and benchmarking your site, choosing the best marketing channels for your products and targeting the best customers with a higher lifetime value (LTV). Data is more important than ever to understanding your store performance So what exactly can you track with Littledata's ReCharge integration? ReCharge integration for Google Analytics Our ReCharge connection has gone through a lot of updates over the years, based on feedback from our customers, including smaller Shopify merchants, larger DTC brands on Shopify Plus, and our agency partners around the world. Earlier this year, ReCharge v2 saw the addition of subscription lifecycle events. ReCharge v2.3 is now available to all merchants, with the addition of events to track the ReCharge checkout funnel -- and segment by product and marketing channel. So what's new? Clearer segmentation of first time vs recurring orders When you add Littledata's ReCharge connection we now add three Views in Google Analytics to help segment the data: One-time orders and first-time subscriptions - A good way to track initial purchases. We automatically filter out duplicate and recurring orders from this view. All orders - All orders placed on your store, including one-time orders, first-time subscriptions, recurring orders, and prepaid orders. Raw backup - A raw data backup with no filters! This separation enables stores to easily calculate Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) on one-time orders and first-time subscriptions. Furthermore, for all the subscriptions that started after you installed Littledata’s ReCharge connection, you can group them by subscriber (Shopify customer ID) or by marketing channel or campaign for insightful Return on Investment (ROI) calculations. Read more about how Littledata works with Views and Filters. Checkout funnel events Starting from June 2020, stores on ReCharge v2.3 can see checkout step events to match the checkout events sent from the Shopify checkout. Littledata’s checkout tracking works without the need to add Google Tag Manager or other tracking scripts to the ReCharge checkout, simplifying implementation -- and reducing the risk that 3rd party script interrupt or intercept the sensitive payment details. Excluding prepaid subscriptions Stores generating prepaid subscriptions were seeing duplicate orders when that subscription eventually got processed. In the new One-time orders and first-time subscriptions view, we filter these duplicates out automatically. Custom dimensions for LTV and more Our ReCharge customers benefit from the same user-scope custom dimensions in Google Analytics that we have for all Shopify stores, allowing you to segment and retarget audiences based on data such as their lifetime spend, date of first subscription, or number of subscription payments. Marketing attribution All of these ReCharge v2.3 updates work with our smart tech for accurate marketing attribution. What's the real ROI on your Facebook Ads? Do customers who pick higher-value subscription bundles come from a particular channel? See how Littledata fixes marketing attribution automatically for Shopify stores, with a combination of client-side (browser) and server-side tracking. [tip]Read our reviews to see what ReCharge customers are saying about Littledata! [/tip] ReCharge integration for Segment Our ReCharge integration is now fully compatible with our Shopify to Segment connection, so if you want to send Shopify and ReCharge events to Segment, we've got you covered. This is a seamless way for ReCharge stores to get revenue and customer information into Segment's hundreds of destinations. Headless Shopify tracking for ReCharge ReCharge Connection v2.3 is fully compatible with Littledata's headless tracking solution. Stores using ReCharge's new Checkout API can use Littledata's headless demo to show you how to get the same seamless customer journey from storefront, through checkout to purchasing. Littledata is the only tracking solution compatible with headless ReCharge setups, including those built by our amazing tech partners like Nacelle. ReCharge in-app analytics ReCharge has also launched a powerful in-app analytics feature available to all users. ReCharge launched Enhanced Analytics for Pro customers in 2019 to allow cohort and metric tracking. This is a powerful feature, but it’s different from what Littledata does. The most successful brands are using both tools. ReCharge’s analytics feature offers easy ways to visualize your ReCharge data in the app, while Littledata fixes sales and marketing tracking and sends that data to Segment or Google Analytics. What you can do ReCharge Enhanced Analytics Littledata + Google Analytics Littledata + Segment Look at trends in subscription sign-ups and cancellations ✔ ✔ ✔ Analyze churn rate by cohort or product ✔ ✔ * ✔ * Visualize cohort retention ✔ Fetch last-click source and medium (UTM parameters) from subscription API ✔ Analyze multi-channel marketing contributions to subscription sales ✔ ✔ ✔ Attribute recurring orders back to marketing campaigns ✔ ✔ ✔ Analyze Customer Lifetime Value including non-ReCharge spend ✔ ✔ Track charge failures by any customer attribute ✔ ✔ Track subscription cancellations or upgrades by any customer attribute ✔ ✔ Track customer updates by any customer attribute ✔ ✔ Track usage of the customer portal on our site by any customer attribute ✔ ✔ See how any ReCharge customer event connects to the pre-checkout behaviour of the user ✔ ✔ Look at cancelation rate by marketing channel ✔ ✔ ✔ Trigger transactional emails based on changes to subscriptions ** ✔ Retarget segments of ReCharge audience in common marketing destinations ✔ * Requires additional analysis in a spreadsheet** In Segment destinations such as Iterable How do you get all this? If you're already a Littledata customer, you can update to ReCharge v2 directly in the app (just login and you'll be prompted to upgrade if you haven't already). New to Littledata? We now offer a 30-day free trial on all plans, and setup only take a few minutes. If you are looking for more support, like account management or analytics training, please contact us about enterprise plans.
How to migrate your subscription business to Shopify
Migrating your website from any platform requires a well thought-out plan and strategy to ensure you continue providing a quality user experience and you don’t risk losing any acquisition channels in the process. This is especially true when migrating your subscription business to Shopify. In this article we'll discuss the benefits of moving from one platform to Shopify. We’ll also explore some of the pitfalls that brands make when migrating, how to avoid them and best practices when migrating. Why migrate your subscription brand to Shopify? Traditional ecommerce platforms such as Magento or WooCommerce require hosting and security updates to be done on a regular basis. When you factor the time required, the cost of maintaining a quality infrastructure and the inflexibility of hosting these platforms, many brands make the move to Shopify. This is because Shopify is a SaaS (Software as a Service) which means any hosting requirements are automatically applied to the site along with any security updates. This means less time and money invested in simply having an online store and more time and money invested in making it profitable. Using Shopify means less time and money invested in simply having an online store and more time and money invested in making it profitable. Shopify’s ecosystem of apps and technology partners means that integrating a marketing tool or specific functionality is much easier than other platforms. Combining Shopify’s platform with ReCharge for subscription management and payments creates a powerful online store that’s easy to manage and guarantees a quality user experience for your customers. [tip]Do you trust your subscription tracking? Littledata's ReCharge connection guide can help.[/tip] How to migrate your subscription store to Shopify Design The design of your site is important to your brand; it’s how you showcase your personality. The design will also impact the way that users interact with your site. When you migrate from a platform to Shopify or Shopify Plus, there’s no direct way of converting your site design. Rather, it requires choosing a theme from the Shopify theme directory, or rebuilding it using the help of a Shopify developer. However, the development cost of a Shopify site is often much lower than other ecommerce platforms. This usually gives brands the opportunity to take stock of their ecommerce site pre-migration and make design updates to their UX to further capitalise on their migration investment. Design and UX best practices are updated constantly, and if a brand is moving from an out-dated platform to Shopify then they’re likely to have outdated UX. Using the migration as an opportunity to refresh the user journey, design elements and the mobile experience will help boost the conversion rates of the new site. [tip]See how your store stacks up when it comes to conversion rates[/tip] Functionality An ecommerce site is not about just looking good, the functionality of the site has to be considered when migrating to Shopify. Similar to the site design, Shopify has its own template language called Liquid, which isn’t used by any other ecommerce platform. This means that any functionality within the code will need to be re-written. Again, this gives brands an opportunity to iterate and improve upon existing functionality and performance. To extend the ecommerce functionality even further, Shopify has a very active ecosystem of technology partners. This means implementing functionality such as loyalty points, deferred payments, personalisation, onsite search, UGC and more is very easy to set up. If you have specific requirements that can’t be fulfilled by one of the apps available on the Shopify market, then custom apps can be built to handle any of your requirements. Subscription functionality As a subscription ecommerce business, getting the subscription functionality right is absolutely paramount to the success of your platform migration. While there are various subscription tools available on the Shopify and Shopify Plus platform, none come close to the functionality and scalability as ReCharge. ReCharge has devised an easy 3 step plan to help merchants migrate over to their subscription solution. Step 1 - Setup ReCharge and test Without making the site publically available, set up all the products within ReCharge and optimise them until you’re happy with how they look. Make sure your shipping, taxes and payment details are correct. Once you’ve done this, run a test subscription transaction and contact ReCharge to make sure it’s come through correctly. Biomel, for instance, is a Littledata customer using Shopify for their ecommerce platform and ReCharge for their checkout. In this case you'd want to check that the product and subscription type are correct after placing a test order. Step 2 - Compile all the data ReCharge has a handy spreadsheet template that you can use to fill in your existing subscription data. It’s imperative that this is filled in correctly and that all the customer payment information is correct. ReCharge will then review this data to ensure that this is correct. Step 3 - Set a date While your existing platform will continue to service the subscriptions until the point of switching over, ReCharge can advise the optimum date to avoid any interruption. On the day of the switch, you will cancel your existing subscription platform and ReCharge will go live. This ensures that none of your customers are double charged and there is a seamless transition between the 2 platforms. Migrating the data Once you’ve switched over your subscription data, the bulk of your work is done. But if you also sell one-off products, then you’ll want to migrate that data over too. While there is no quick way of migrating your data from legacy platforms to Shopify, it’s important that data fields are matched correctly. Within the data migration process, you can import past order history data, customer account data and much more. The only exception to this, is importing customer passwords. However, this does give brands an opportunity to reach out and ask customers to change their password, usually, this can tie in with a promotional campaign. Back office processes 3PL, stock management, warehousing and other back office processes can be a tricky task to get right. Thankfully, due to Shopify’s API and extensive ecosystem of technology partners, there is a solution out there for almost every brand. Automating these processes as much as possible will help brands save time, reduce the risks of mistakes and make it easier to scale. SEO One of the biggest worries that brands have when they migrate to a new platform is the impact it will have on their SEO efforts. For established brands that have invested a lot of time and effort into getting decent organic visibility, their SEO state could be the main source of income for the brand. The key to successfully maintaining and improving the SEO efforts of a site during a platform migration is planning. If it’s planned correctly, there should be no reason as to why a site would lose any ranking. Redirects No two platform URL structures are alike, and moving over to Shopify will likely change the structure of your site. If you don’t tell search engines that you’ve changed the URLs of your site, then it will assume that all of the new pages are new content and will try to rank them as such. It will then see a series of 404’s on the highly ranked pages, and demote them as they no longer offer quality content. However, if you invest your time and effort into a proper 301 redirect strategy, you can tell search engines that your new URL is in fact the old one. This will help maintain a steady organic traffic flow while Google updates its listings and will also serve a better user experience for anyone visiting a legacy link. It’s also worth noting that by putting in a 301 redirect link, you’re also passing over any backlink weight or “link juice” as it’s commonly known. Content Search engines try to rank sites that offer the best quality content for a specific query. By ensuring that your content on the new site closely matches the old platform, you’re ensuring the same quality content that was previously being ranked for. Brands will usually take the time to improve on their content at this stage, as it gives them an opportunity to invest more into their organic offering. Speed Speed is key to a good user experience and Google and other search engines recognize this. That’s why improving the speed of your site can help improve your organic ranking. Because Shopify is SaaS, the loading speed of the platform is handled by Shopify themselves. This means that the platform is always fast and will scale as more traffic comes onto the site. Usually, merchants moving from a self hosting platform, such as Magento, to Shopify will often see a huge difference in the performance of the site. Shopify is constantly improving the rendering engine, which means sites will actually get faster over time. [tip]Thinking about migrating from Magento? Here is a comparison of Shopify vs Magento.[/tip] Analytics Finally, no ecommerce site can be truly improved without first studying the analytics of the site. While Shopify itself has an inbuilt dashboard for internal analytics, the industry standard is to use Google Analytics. By using the same GA tracking code on the legacy site and the new site, you’ll be able to compare the difference data pre-launch vs post-launch. And of course, for a better understanding of your ecommerce data across subscriptions, install Littledata. This will ensure that the data you’re seeing is correct and consistent with what’s actually happening in your store, including subscription ecommerce events: The first part is just getting your tracking right, so you can make data-driven decisions about subscription packages and product marketing on your site. Then comes the fun part: increasing not just overall sales and conversions, but optimizing for customer lifetime value. At Underwaterpistol, we’ve had nearly two decades working at the forefront of ecommerce and as Shopify Plus partners. Our status only reinforces our knowledge of platform migrations, so do get in touch if we can help with your mirgration! This is a guest post from Will Lynch. Will heads up the partnership program at Underwaterpistol who have been building Shopify stores for over 14 years. Specialising in theme builds, custom development and high-volume SKU migrations, Underwaterpistol think outside the box, helping you build a brand as well as grow your business. Underwaterpistol (UWP) is a Littledata agency partner.
Top 6 fashion and beauty brands selling by subscription with ReCharge for Shopify
In a past post, we shared a similar post about the top 6 coffee brands using ReCharge for Shopify. This time around, we'll take a look at some top subscription fashion and beauty brands running on Shopify and using ReCharge to manage their subscriptions. If you run a subscription store and don't use ReCharge, check out some of the benefits of the Shopify ReCharge connection. As we mentioned in that post, ReCharge helps Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants sell and manage subscriptions with ease. [tip]Learn about our new ReCharge v2 connection, which tracks your subscription lifecycle events automatically[/tip] When you connect ReCharge to your store, you’ll see ReCharge’s full feature set at work — track a variety of subscription types, including single product, mixed cart & entire cart subscriptions. Why connect ReCharge with Shopify? Whether you're an agency, ecommerce manager, marketing manager or part of a development team, the ReCharge and Shopify APIs allow you to: Customize the checkout experience for customers Personalize how those customers manage their subscriptions Automate product discount codes Order cancellation processes or updated pricing on select items And that’s just scratching the surface. Installing ReCharge on your store also means orders are processed faster (thanks to an increased API call limit). [note]Littledata’s Google Analytics app is designed for better subscription ecommerce, including accurate tracking for marketing attribution and checkout steps.[/note] According to McKinsey, the ecommerce market has grown over 100 percent per year over the last three years, with 60% of those subscriptions purchased by women. 31% of millennials are also currently subscribed to a subscription box, and that number is expected to rise. According to Shopify, revenue for fashion ecommerce will rise from $481.2 billion to $712.9 billion by 2022. But while fashion and beauty brands continue to soak up every ounce of consumers' preference to shop online, the online fashion market has become extremely saturated, especially as brands use influencer marketing and focus their advertising efforts on Instagram. Let’s take a look at 6 of the top beauty brands on Shopify making a splash in the online subscription world. Keep in mind, these brands have found success using ReCharge to manage their subscriptions. From sustainable beauty products to personalized subscription beauty boxes, the market is filled with options for consumers — there's something for everyone. 1) Kopari Beauty Kopari Beauty is a California-based beauty brand specializing in coconut oil-based skincare products. Kopari launched its store in 2015 and have taken the beauty world by storm. The company uses 100% pure, organic coconut oil sustainably sourced from farms in the Philippines. Their products are paraben-free, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, and vegan. 2) Ellie Activewear A Littledata customer, Ellie Activewear is an active wear brand tailored to women through their online lifestyle Shopify store. This subscription box has a focus on self-love with outfits that promote confidence so women can love the skin they are in. Ellie delivers high-quality activewear right to your door, so you can "smile with the time you save and feel good about what you’re wearing." 3) Box of Style Another Littledata customer, Box of Style is backed behind the fashion powerhouse Rachel Zoe. The American fashion designer, celebrity stylist and reality TV star launched this box in 2018 and it’s taken off since. Their store lets shoppers go through a preference list before shipping out subscription beauty boxes, carefully curated to fit each customer's style. 4) Laurel and Reed Laurel and Reed deliver a subscription beauty box filled with all natural and non-toxic beauty products. The founder started the company after her father was diagnosed with cancer with the goal to provide products that are clean. They want their customers to have beautiful skin from products that are not loaded with chemicals. You get to choose the plan you want whether that’s 1x/3x/6x/12x or a one time not renewing box. You’ll receive 3 full size products that total to $100+. 5) Vegamour Vegamour is a plant-based beauty brand that specializes in brows, eyelashes, and hair growth. This clean beauty brand has been featured in Allure and InStyle and offers a starter kit so that you can try the products before committing to full size products. 6) Luxe Catch Luxe Catch is a fashionista subscription box that packs a new surprise each month, each with hand picked designer items. Customers fill out a style profile that helps cater items to each customer items. Luxe Catch fills boxes with designer wear from popular brands. The boxes begin at $50 ($200 value) and $250 ($1000 value). Track your subscription data with accuracy If you’re confused as to how the connection works (and which subscription events you can track), don’t worry — there's an ebook for that! Download it for free. ReCharge is a terrific Shopify app that will save you countless hours by automating and managing your subscription lifecycle from start to finish. If you’re a subscription store and you haven’t tried ReCharge v2, we highly encourage you to give it a go!
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