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

by Ari
2020-08-20

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.

2020-07-02

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.

2020-06-08

Top 6 fashion and beauty brands using 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!

by Nico
2020-03-04

How to track subscriptions on Shopify with 100% accuracy

At least in the last few years, subscription ecommerce has become one of the most popular business models. The numbers don't lie: the return on investment, value per customer and buying frequency are higher for subscription businesses charging a recurring fee. Everything in this article can be applied to subscription businesses, but Shopify stores already using ReCharge and Littledata's Google Analytics app will especially benefit! [tip]Trust your subscription tracking with the ultimate ReCharge guide for Shopify[/tip] Getting started with ReCharge ReCharge is the most widely-used recurring billing solution for Shopify, powering thousands of stores and processing tens of thousands of orders daily. To create a "complete" recurring billing cycle for merchants, we built out a ReCharge smart connection within our Shopify app to provide accurate sales attribution via Google Analytics. In other words, our app: Fixes your data collection Offers accurate marketing insights within Google Analytics (or Segment) Provides the full Enhanced Ecommerce experience [note]Easily track your subscription lifecycle events with ReCharge v2[/note] Install the ReCharge app to get: Proper marketing attribution in Google Analytics Product views and shopping behavior Checkout conversion funnels (including voucher usage) Better understanding of repeat buyers The initial steps to install the Google Analytics tracking for Shopify are illustrated here. If you want advanced analysis of your buyers and their shopping behavior, you'll need to make the following setup: Step 1 – Enable the feature in Google Analytics First, go into Google Analytics (both your normal Google Analytics property and the property that has been created by Littledata) and enable the User-ID feature by going to Admin > Property > Tracking info > User-ID. Click On, next, On, next, give the new view a name, and you're done. Note: The new view will start to collect data from the point of creation so you will need to wait a bit to use this report. The sources of the purchases will be collected from the point of creation so most of the orders will be shown in the first month from direct / (none). Step 2 – Enable the Enhanced Ecommerce feature in Google Analytics In Google Analytics, click Admin. In the right side under View, choose the new Registered Users view that you've created earlier and click Ecommerce Settings. Toggle to On and then click Next step. Toggle On for Enhanced Ecommerce, and click Save. Finding the initial source for recurring subscriptions Using the Registered view, navigate on the sidebar to Acquisition -> All traffic -> Source/Medium or Channels. This report will show both new customers and recurring ones. We need to apply a segment to this report in order to show only the recurring users. This is how you set up the segment to exclude first time buyers: Now, with the above segment applied, you can check the original source of the sale for all transactions from repeat buyers. The other helpful report is the Audience -> Cohort Analysis report. In this report, you can see user retention for each day, week or month. Combining this report with an advanced segment that excludes first-time buyers AND includes only buyers that had their first transaction in December will: provide number of users that started the subscription package in December measure the actual retention of this group Tracking subscription lifecycle events ReCharge has always been one of Littledata’s most popular connections for ecommerce analytics. The new version of our ReCharge connection captures subscription lifecycle events for even more detailed tracking and attribution. What’s new with v2 Track subscription lifecycle events, including subscription updates and cancellations Get accurate marketing attribution for subscription lifecycle events Include subscription lifecycle events in LTV calculations Automatically track the following subscription lifecycle events: Subscription Created Subscription Cancelled Subscription Updated Order Processed Customer Updated Charge Failed Payment Method Updated Max Retries Reached Advanced ReCharge tracking (such as LTV tracking and a separate view for recurring purchases) are still included in the ReCharge connection — we’ve simply expanded the functionality to capture even more data points. Learn more about the connection with our ultimate ReCharge guide for Shopify.

by Nico
2020-02-13

Do you trust your subscription tracking?

If you haven't heard the news, we recently announced the launch of ReCharge v2, a revamped update to our popular ReCharge connection for Shopify. ReCharge v2 allows new and current Littledata users to track subscription lifecycle events with 100% accuracy, all within their preferred dashboard of Google Analytics or Segment. [tip]Download our free guide to advanced analytics for ReCharge and Shopify[/tip] Some of the ecommerce events you can now track are: Subscription created Subscription cancelled Order processed Charge failed and more! [note]See the full slate of events you can track with ReCharge v2.[/note] Advanced analytics for Shopify and ReCharge Even before v2, integrating Littledata with ReCharge lets you capture data about the entire subscriber journey, from marketing campaigns to first-time payments and recurring revenue.   And of course, Littledata connects that data from Shopify and ReCharge to your preferred data destination, either Google Analytics or Segment. Now, with a revamped connection for ReCharge users, we're offering something even juicier — a free guide to advanced analytics for Shopify and ReCharge. Download the guide for free today! [subscribe heading="Get the ReCharge connection guide" background_color="green" button_text="Free download" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/app/recharge-smart-connection-guide"]

by Nico
2020-02-06

Track subscription lifecycle events with ReCharge v2

It's time to supercharge your subscription analytics! We're excited to announce that the most advanced analytics integration for ReCharge stores just got even better. With version 2.0 of Littledata's ReCharge connection, you can easily track subscription lifecycle events and attribute them back to the original source. The enhanced integration is now in public beta, so if you're a current user you can upgrade in the app. New users (get an unrestricted free trial here) will automatically start with ReCharge v2. Here's a quick guide to what's new and why it matters for your ecommerce business. What can you track? ReCharge has always been one of Littledata's most popular connections for ecommerce analytics. The new version of our ReCharge connection captures subscription lifecycle events for even more detailed tracking and attribution. What's new Track subscription lifecycle events, including subscription updates and cancellations Get accurate marketing attribution for subscription lifecycle events Include subscription lifecycle events in LTV calculations Automatically track the following subscription lifecycle events Subscription Created Subscription Cancelled Subscription Updated Order Processed Customer Updated Charge Failed Payment Method Updated Max Retries Reached [note]See everything you can track with v2, and how the events are named for Segment and Google Analytics.[/note] Of course, all the advanced ReCharge tracking in 1.0 is still there too, including LTV tracking and a separate view for recurring purchases. We've simply expanded the functionality to capture even more data points! Where can you see the data? Data is everywhere. But at Littledata, we believe you should have full ownership of your own ecommerce data. Unlike reporting tools that focus on external data storage or sexy interfaces, our app actually audits your setup, fixes your tracking, and leaves the data where it should be: with you. So where can you see the subscription analytics from our enhanced ReCharge data? ReCharge v2 is an advanced analytics connection for Shopify and Shopify Plus stores using ReCharge to sell products by subscription Littledata uses a combination of server-side tracking and web-based tracking to capture the events and original customer source, then sends that data to Google Analytics or Segment If you're using our Google Analytics app for Shopify, you can see the data directly in Google Analytics (GA) or Google Tag Manager (GTM), or your favorite reporting tool that works with GA data, such as Google Data Studio If you're using our Segment app for Shopify, you can send the data to hundreds of Segment destinations for analysis or remarketing  Benefits .The number one question that drives new users to Littledata is this: why doesn't Google Analytics data match what I see in Shopify? So from Standard and PRO plans to enterprise plans, the number one benefit our customers find with any Littledata connection is still accurate data.  The benefits of our ReCharge connection have always covered three core areas: Accurate sales data, broken down by first-time and recurring payments Better marketing attribution Custom dimensions for customer lifetime value (LTV) calculations Industry benchmarks to help you take data-driven action With v2 of our ReCharge connection, all of those benefits have become even more powerful. For example, with v2, you can now: See how a particular Facebook campaign contributes to subscriptions to a particular product group over time Dive deeper into the data to see if that campaign is acquiring customers who then update their subscriptions in a particular way 6 months later. But don't take my word for it. Check out some of the successful Shopify and ReCharge merchants using a data-driven approach to scale the smart way. As I mentioned earlier, ReCharge v2 is now the default ReCharge connection for new users. If you're a current Littledata customer, just login to your account and you'll be prompted to upgrade to the latest version of the connection. As always, let us know if you have any questions. Let's make 2020 the year that independent DTC subscription brands give Amazon a run for its money!

by Ari
2020-01-22

How to calculate customer lifetime value in Google Analytics for Shopify subscription stores

Many of Littledata's subscription customers come to us with a similar problem: how to calculate return on advertising spend (ROAS), considering the varying customer 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'll break down what the problem is and walk through two proven solutions for getting consistent, reliable customer lifetime value reporting in Google Analytics. [tip]Get accurate tracking for repeat orders with the ultimate Shopify ReCharge guide.[/tip] What is customer lifetime value? 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. Why? Because they expect the customer to subscribe for multiple 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 that 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 customer lifetime 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. [subscribe] As you can see below, 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: the first is a more difficult, manual solution. The other is an easier, automated solution that ties recurring payments back to their original campaigns. 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 ID and (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 to either have the customer number or transaction ID of the first payment (if this is stored in Google Analytics). 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... Calculating customer lifetime value Subscription ecommerce is huge, and continuing to grow around the world. But Shopify Plus stores (in particular) selling products by subscription have a unique problem: how do I link the recurring customer payments back to the marketing campaign or channel that led to them subscribing? Unlike standard ecommerce, it’s not enough to track the payment upon a first signup. It is the customer lifetime value (LTV) which counts in any marketing calculation. “The great thing about a subscription businesses is that you don’t have to rely on one-time purchases.”-- Rob Hoxie, co-founder of Tiege Hanley (read the full interview). I've already laid out the time-intensive manual solution for subscription tracking. But before we get into the automated solution, let's discuss why you need to track customer lifetime value in the first place (and the various problems with tracking it in Google Analytics). I'll also get into Littledata's solution, which will work for you whether you’re using Bold or ReCharge as your Shopify subscription app. [note]Check out my ReCharge talk in full from the ChargeX conference in September 2019, where I discussed a similar topic.[/note] Why you must track lifetime value Let’s imagine a simple store selling a single subscription product for $50 per month. On average, it takes them $70 to acquire a new subscriber via Google Ads. Now let’s think about 3 fictional customers of that store: Claire, Eric and Luke. These 3 offer very different values to the business, and differentiating them (or the customer segment they represent) in Google Analytics is critical to business success. In the graphic below, you’ll see that Claire is costing the business money, as her lifetime value is less than the cost of acquiring her as a customer. Eric pays something, possibly buying twice from the business, but still has a short ‘lifetime’. Only Luke continues for a reasonable time (and may continue subscribing). Which of them brings the company profit? The answer is only Luke. Many subscription businesses only make money on customers who subscribe for over 3 months — but the loyal customers are immensely valuable, and may go on to pay for years. This also speaks to the immense value of customer retention among Shopify Plus stores.   The problem with subscription analytics Measuring and attributing this lifetime value is hard. The events happen in three different places, and need to be linked back to give a net value to be properly tracked: Unfortunately, by default, the customer who chooses a subscription in Shopify may not be linked to the user that actually commits to a payment in ReCharge. In other words, transactions are often left improperly tracked and attributed; in many cases, the refund or cancellation is not tracked at all. Take this Google Analytics screenshot from one of our customers (before fixing): Although 19% of the traffic comes from paid search, none of the ecommerce transactions are attributed to paid search. Instead, they are linked to a totally different group of users from ‘direct’ traffic. Littledata’s solution  Littledata’s Shopify app combines the three steps in the customer lifecycle to bring together a unified view of the customer in Google Analytics.  Once that customer has gone through the checkout, we can also track each subsequent recurring payment back to that same pre-checkout user journey (including the marketing campaign from which they came), along with other custom dimensions in Google Analytics to help you analyse lifetime value. How subscription stores can use data to optimise marketing campaigns  Once you have recurring payments feeding into Google Analytics, you can begin segmenting your marketing channels by those that bring a higher quality customer — ones that nearly or exactly match your target personas. By using Littledata’s smart PPC connections for Facebook Ads and Google Ads, you can also pull in advertising costs to calculate Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS). So do you know which marketing channels bring you customers with the highest lifetime value? Maybe you have one stand-out channel that brings the majority of Lukes, and some that only bring you Claires. A better, automated 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 customer 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 or Shopify Plus as their ecommerce platform and ReCharge for recurring billing, the smart connection (integration) ties every recurring payment back to the campaigns in GA.  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. [note]Now, with a revamped ReCharge connection — ReCharge v2 — you can track subscription lifecycle events with ease![/note] Do you have a unique way of tracking your marketing to maximize 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. Quick recap Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) is the one metric that matters for a subscription business To scale using metrics like Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS), you need to have accurate LTV calculations first  Getting that data into Google Analytics allows you to segment by marketing channel or campaign Littledata’s advanced Google Analytics integration for ReCharge stores provides an easy way to stitch the data together

2020-01-14

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