5 things that change in Google Analytics when you install Littledata

In the modern ecommerce landscape, data is power. Making sure that your data is as accurate as possible, though, can give you the ultimate leg up on your competitors. As a Shopify store owner, ecommerce, or marketing manager using both Shopify analytics and Google Analytics, you're surely aware of the numerous benefits of using Shopify as your ecommerce platform and GA as your analytics platform. However, you’re also probably aware of the fact that these two platforms don’t really play well together, and that Shopify’s native connection with GA has quite a few shortcomings. This disconnect is what inspired us to create Littledata. We built a tool that resolves data dilemmas, restores your trust in the data from GA, and offers accurate ecommerce and marketing insights — no questions asked. Even better, many of the most critical fixes and enhancements that come with Littledata’s tracking are available right out of the box. In this post, we’ll show you five such fixes and detail how they will improve in your Shopify store’s analytics. 5 benefits you’ll get from Littledata right after install 1. Accurate attribution metrics When checking referrals to your store, you might have noticed a lot of your traffic coming with “direct/(none)” listed as the source/medium. Oftentimes, this number is a lot higher than expected (over 30%), and paid traffic channels are underrepresented. That means you have a marketing attribution problem. As soon as Littledata starts tracking sessions and events on your Shopify store, accuracy for these metrics instantly improves. That’s because the app uses a combination of two different kinds of tracking to capture full customer behaviour data: Client-side tracking, or customer data gathered from web browsers and mobile devices Server-side tracking, or customer data gathered from web pages that fulfil clients’ requests on browsers/mobile devices Tracking both together ensures data coverage across clients’ sessions without interruption. Plus, UTM parameters alongside the GA ClientID are always passed into Google Analytics, giving you an accurate source for each visit along with previous interactions visitors may have had with your store. If you’re spending significantly on social ads and marketing campaigns, this data fix will have an immediate positive effect for calculating your return on ad spend (ROAS) and overall return on investment (ROI). Even if you’re just starting out and need to learn more about attribution to find your most valuable leads, accurate attribution stats will pay dividends for your store. 2. Revenue, transactions, and refunds One of the more well-known shortcomings of GA for Shopify stores is that it does not capture all transactions happening in Shopify, and Shopify doesn’t send refund data to GA. This creates a big revenue discrepancy between platforms and leaves you unable to trust GA’s accuracy for data about your store. To bridge this gap, Littledata relies on Shopify’s webhooks to create all transactional events server-side, making this particular problem a thing of the past. What will change in GA specifically, you ask? All purchases will show up in your GA reports with the correct order and revenue details, refunds will be tracked, and most importantly revenue in GA will match with Shopify. 3. Checkout funnel One of the biggest features of GA’s Enhanced Ecommerce is support for checkout steps. GA uses a funnel navigation path to follow your website users from the time they initiate the checkout up to the final purchase. Shopify does not track these interactions natively in GA, so it’s hard to tell where customers drop-off before buying — or even include them in a retargeting campaign. Thanks to Littledata’s server-side tracking using Shopify’s checkout webhooks, you can see those interactions and understand your customers’ behaviour in the checkout. After you install Littledata on your Shopify store, you’ll see GA’s Checkout Behaviour report now displays the correct number of users who navigated through the funnel, at each step, with the corresponding drop-offs. 4. Order affiliation There are times when seeing an ecommerce transaction event alone in Google Analytics isn’t enough. That’s especially true when you’re trying to measure the performance of third-party apps you use to manage subscriptions, upsells, product exchanges, and affiliate marketing. In these cases, you need to get more granular when analyzing a transaction using a metric like order type. Littledata shows this additional transaction data by collecting Shopify’s order tags, then making use of GA’s Affiliate Code report and Ecommerce Affiliation dimension. This is especially useful when you’re trying to count new subscribers and manage subscription analytics, measure LTV, identify product upsells, and track affiliate referrals. 5. Product List performance Many stores typically use GA’s ecommerce reporting to measure checkout performance or product revenue. However, with Littledata installed on your Shopify store, there are many more insights to be unlocked around product list performance than those basic metrics. By analyzing events at the top of the funnel, Littledata lets you identify which products need better images, descriptions, or pricing to improve conversions. Space on product listing pages is a valuable commodity, and products that get users to click on them – but don’t then result in conversion – need to be removed or amended. Equally, products that never get clicked within the list may need tweaking. Littledata tracks product list impressions on any Shopify storefront, using Google’s standard product list event properties. How to get Littledata set up for your Shopify store Littledata’s platform makes a significant positive impact on your metrics reporting right from the first time you use it. Having correct attribution, a clear picture of revenue sources from different order types, and full view of checkout funnels and product performance can make a major difference in your ROI right away. Perhaps best of all, you can see the benefits Littledata can bring to your store for 30 days without paying a cent. Plus, when you sign up for the Littledata 30 day free trial, you’ll also get custom benchmarks to target based on leaders in your industry. Sign up for Littledata to fix your analytics reporting in a snap and set your store up for the most successful year yet. [subscribe]

2021-12-14

How to make data-driven decisions for Shopify plus stores [ebook]

As your ecommerce store grows and your revenues increase, knowing where to spend and how to scale your customer base becomes crucial. Getting the biggest decisions right — from choosing marketing channels to determining your most valuable customers — comes down to how accurate and reliable your data is. Of course, you're more than likely already using some kind of reporting tool to analyze your buyers' behavior and make improvements to your store. But Shopify's own reporting tools can be inaccurate, with orders going missing and attribution data lacking the clarity you need to plot a profitable path forward for your store. More importantly, if you're not tapping into the power of the wide array of data tools available to you as a Shopify store, you're leaving money on the table. To get a complete picture of your sales and marketing data and capture actionable metrics from each customer touch point, your store can rely on adding smart connections with the help of Littledata. Through a combination of server-side tracking and tools that analyze shopping behavior and offer multi-channel marketing attribution, Littledata's smart connections show you the full picture of your shoppers' behavior. No matter if you're using a headless setup, offer subscriptions, or focus entirely on Facebook and Google ads, the connections shared in this guide will give you truly accurate data to inform the most important decisions you make for your store. Free ebook on accelerating Shopify store growth by leveraging 100% accurate data Adding proven integrations to your data stack, channeled through the 100% accurate tracking Littledata provides, can be the key to unlocking sales and exponential growth for your store. In the free Shopify smart connection guide, we'll show you how to: Optimize your Shopify product pages Track major ecommerce events on your store (adds to cart, checkouts, etc.) Calculate accurate marketing attribution Segment your orders by marketing channel You'll also learn how to compare your store against industry benchmarks that will help you set realistic targets for growth. The tools in this ebook are used by successful DTC Shopify businesses worldwide, and can help you accelerate your store's growth just as they have. Download the free ebook>>>

by Greg
2021-12-03

An open letter to Mark Zuckerberg from Littledata Founder, Edward Upton

Dear Zuck, You’re a developer. I’m a developer. And I thought Facebook was a developer-friendly company to work with — after all, you’re trying to recruit tens of thousands of engineers to work at Meta. But our experience trying to integrate with Facebook Ads makes me really doubt that. It’s been frustrating. At times, eyeball-gougingly frustrating. Littledata runs a popular data integration, allowing hundreds of ecommerce brands spending a LOT of money on Facebook Ads to export their cost and click data to better calculate return on advertising spend. Until October this Facebook app was running just fine, and our mutual customers were happy social marketers. The trouble started when Facebook needed to verify our business manager account earlier this year. We’ve heard that Facebook needs to know their business customers better — some of those Russians spending big on election Ads were not quite who they said they were. We understand. Littledata is trusted by thousands of Shopify stores around the world, so we’d be happy to show Facebook our company paperwork. The problem is the app in question is linked to a legacy business manager account with no admin user. Hands up, that was my fault — as someone who’s led a hyper-growth startup I hope you’ll see why sorting out a duplicate Facebook account never got prioritised. So, we never got the memo back in February 2021 that the business manager account was unverified and suspended. No Facebook message, email, push notification or carrier pigeon. Nada. This time bomb carried on ticking until 5th October when we needed to add back app permissions after an update to Facebook’s marketing API. But we were not able to do so without — you guessed it — a verified business manager account. On 5th October you probably had bigger fish to fry with Facebook’s network meltdown, but I hope a coder like you couldn’t fail to spot the classic infinite loop: Littledata can’t verify the Facebook business manager account, because there is no admin user with access to that business Facebook can’t add an admin to an unverified business when it's been inactive for more than 60 days We can’t move the app to another Facebook business, as there is no admin user with accesss Since October, I’ve been in contact with Facebook business support nearly every day because our Facebook advertiser customers are complaining every day. And over 8 weeks — EIGHT WEEKS — I have felt like I’m head-butting a concrete wall. Since this scenario isn’t one that was imagined by the business verifications team, it apparently just can’t be fixed. Maybe this is how those data centre managers felt on 5th October, locked out of their own building because Facebook’s authentication systems were offline? So now our app can’t be used. So advertisers spending tens of millions with Facebook Ads are upset too. I’m just a developer wanting to work with Facebook. Can you or anyone else get us out of this verification Meta-hole? Best regards, Edward Founder, Littledata P.S. If you can take a short break from the metaverse, it's support ticket 622162645450139

2021-11-30

Track Ordergroove subscriptions in Google Analytics [ebook]

Ordergroove is a popular tool for ecommerce stores, especially those interested in scaling their subscription services faster and smarter. But fast-paced growth is nearly impossible when you're making strategic decisions based on bad data.  Ordergroove sets itself apart from other subscription solutions by focusing on growing your subscription service, which has made them a favorite among larger direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, like Yankee Candle and Love Wellness.  Despite Ordergroove’s tools designed to boost your store’s average order value (AOV) and customer retention, Shopify’s native Google Analytics (GA) integration stands in the way of many merchants' goals to achieve data-driven growth. While Shopify Analytics satisfies the need for basic analytics metrics, Shopify’s faulty integration with GA prevents merchants from diving into a deeper analysis of their data.  On top of that, for every 100 orders in Shopify, 12 go missing in GA. This has major implications for DTC brands, who find themselves making decisions based on incomplete and incorrect data. Unfortunately, the results are even worse for stores selling by subscription, who face aggregated orders in addition to even larger data discrepancies.  Subscription analytics can be intimidating, which is why we wrote the complete guide to tracking Ordergroove subscriptions in Google Analytics.  Free ebook on tracking Ordergroove subscriptions in Google Analytics Fine-tune your tracking setup so subscription analytics pose no threat. In this ebook, we dive into our Ordergroove + Google Analytics connection and how it can help your store achieve data-driven growth in no time.  The Ordergroove Smart Connection Guide covers how to:  Track one-off, first-time and recurring ordersCalculate customer lifetime value (LTV) with our custom dimensionsTie subscription orders back to the original sourceGet complete marketing attribution insightsMake data-driven decisions for your store Download the free ebook>>>

2021-11-11

Podcast: Turbocharge Your Growth With Trusted and Accurate Data

Before you make any big decisions for your Shopify store, you need to know if you're making them based on the best possible data. Having 100% confidence in your store's analytics leads to you making the right decisions to improve your store design, offerings, and promotion methods. It's also the backbone of a growth plan that will help you reach your store's revenue targets faster. In the 200th episode of the eCommerce Fastlane podcast, our CMO Ari Messer sat down with eCommerce Fastlane's Steve Hutt to talk about why there's a discrepancy between Google Analytics and other analytics sources, how that bad data can lead you down a wrong decision-making path, and what to do so you set your store up for growth instead. The episode also touches on: How to finally have 100% confidence in your data accuracy First-party, zero-party data, and why they're important to your store How to audit and fix Google Analytics to ensure accurate tracking How to get accurate marketing attribution (including cross-domain and multi-currency) How to get accurate Facebook campaign tagging and campaign cost imported to Google Analytics Get a free analytics audit just for listening eCommerce Fastlane listeners can get a hands-on look at how to use Google Analytics, Segment, or any connected reporting tool to get more accurate data on their Shopify store. Get benchmarks for your store that help you analyze your place in the market, identify areas of improvement, and then plan a roadmap for building a better data stack that will supercharge your growth. [subscribe]

by Greg
2021-10-26

Why we migrated to microservices from Meteor

Growth always means change. As Socrates once said, “the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” At Littledata, we’re always innovating our app and building the new. To us, that means finding better and faster ways to make necessary improvements and changes. Our app relies on a sophisticated combination of backend and frontend technologies. The biggest challenge for us right now is upscaling the app so we can integrate with other ecommerce platforms. At the moment, our platform consists of separate services and one monolith, the Meteor app, as depicted below: The architecture worked well for us for a while, and we enjoyed the speed of engineering Meteor offered to us. But, at the same time, we faced many limitations which became obstacles in our path to scaling. What are the problems with Meteor? There’s a handful of limitations we’ve faced using Meteor that pushed our decision to switch away. 1. Overall architecture and maintainability The idea of having the overall architecture communicate easily from frontend with backend definitely has many benefits. This includes only requiring a low level of necessary code-writing knowledge, as well as speed of delivery on new solutions. However, in the long term, it causes many problems with maintaining the app — things like code readability, hard unit testing, and slow production bundle deployment. The deployment slowness is a good example of the architecture problem overall. We recently migrated to CircleCI in order to fix the problem, but are stuck with a meteor limitation. 12 minutes to build and deploy … that’s a lot of time when you need fast iteration and delivery. 2. The Meteor community is isolated Meteor moves via a self-defined path, quite differently from standard industry tendencies. In some ways, that’s a good thing. But if you want to add a new approach or library to your Meteor setup, you could face a handful of unexpected problems. One limitation we’ve encountered is that, instead of promises, Meteor surprisingly uses a callback to async functions with the following syntax: Another is its old school template system based on the traditional template approach. That was great for 2000-2010, but in 2021 and beyond, we have much more efficient techniques to work with frontends such as React, VueJS, and Angular. Moreover, it’s becoming harder and harder to find an engineer who wants to work with a traditional template system nowadays. 3. Difficulty finding engineers to work with Meteor It’s a challenge to find engineers willing to stick with Meteor. They usually tend to work with newer, more well-known tools — ones with more perceived value in the market. When evaluating the labour market for front-end and back-end engineers today, we’ve seen that Meteor is not the main framework for JavaScript development. Frontend engineers have consistently preferred to work with frontend-oriented frameworks like React, Angular, and Vue.JS because they provide a wide range of instruments. Unlike the Meteor template system in Vue.JS, we can use the whole power of JavaScript inside our frontend applications without being limited to a mere few template commands. Moreover, we can use many helpful engineering tools such as autocomplete, linting, and type checking in Vue.JS in order to make our engineering process more efficient and enjoyable. The biggest benefit for us, though, shows in Vue.JS’ much better scaling. It has robust routing management, which is important for a large application like ours. Meteor, on the other hand, has been steadily losing its popularity as a framework for backend technology since 2016. That makes it harder and harder for us to find engineers willing to work with Meteor in the future. How did we migrate away from Meteor? Though rewriting everything away from Meteor sounded like a good solution in theory, we realised that path significantly postponed our main objectives. So, we had only one solution: to rewrite portionally. Like many software companies today, and especially fellow startups, we decided the best solution was to use separate microservices to maintain and scale our platform. In part 2 of this post, I’ll share which microservices we chose, how we use them, and detail the full migration process away from Meteor. [wonderplugin_popup id=8]

2021-10-20

Shopify Analytics vs. Google Analytics: Why don't they match?

If you're a Shopify store owner using both Shopify analytics and Google Analytics, you're probably familiar with the often large discrepancies between the two tracking systems. What you might not know is that this happens in part because Shopify's default analytics misses tracking on 12 out of every 100 orders. That leaves you unaware of your true sales performance and marketing attribution, and what actions your customers are taking at key touchpoints along their buying journey. Layering expensive data dashboards and connectors on top of this, as many stores often do, just compounds the problem and leads to more wasted marketing spend. It's never a good idea to make decisions based on bad data. An insider's guide to fixing your Shopify store analytics The first step to fixing your Shopify tracking is understanding where it fails. You know the data is missing, but what's going on behind the scenes to cause it? And is there a better way? Fortunately, there is. Our free guide on why Google Analytics doesn't match Shopify analytics dives into: The main reasons why transactions go missing in GA How a data mismatch affects your bottom line A comparison of different tracking methods What you can do to fix Shopify analytics Read the ebook >>> Adding Google Analytics to Shopify If you're not already using Google Analytics with your Shopify store, getting it set up should be your first step toward improved data accuracy. Though Shopify does have a default GA integration, it misses tracking many key metrics.  We have a full walkthrough on setting up Google Analytics on your Shopify store, which covers what to look out for after you've set up GA as well. Using the methods in our guide will help you ensure you get a full and accurate picture of your data in GA. For a fast way to connect them automatically, try out Littledata's GA to Shopify connection for free. The trial allows you to get an accurate snapshot of your key metrics, and you'll still own that data in GA whether you continue using our advanced data connections or not. [subscribe]

by Greg
2021-07-30

Segment Q2 Updates

Shopify to Segment is one of our most popular connections, so we're always making improvements that give users the capabilities they need to optimize revenue. This update adds key tracking tools that give stores greater insight into customer checkout behavior, Facebook marketing attribution, recurring billing, and more. Supporting subscriptions in the checkout Littledata’s Shopify source is now fully compatible with most common subscription billing apps using Shopify’s checkout. Our app captures all recurring orders — linking them back to the user who first purchased if possible — and tags the events to differentiate between one-time purchases, first-time subscription orders and recurring orders. You can now use Littledata to send event data from subscription apps in the Shopify checkout, including: ReChargeBoldOrdergrooveSmartrr If you are using ReCharge you can take advantage of the subscription lifecycle event tracking as well. Learn more about the subscription lifecycle events we push to Segment for churn analysis, including Subscription Created, Subscription Updated, Subscription Cancelled and Payment Method Updated. Facebook Conversions API destination Segment’s cloud-mode Facebook destination is now out of beta, and becoming increasingly popular with marketers looking to more accurately target their Facebook Ads in the face of increasing browser limitations. Next month Littledata will be adding all the extra event parameters needed for Facebook CAPI, so please contact us if you’d like to join the private beta. Opting out of client-side events We understand some of our customers want to instrument their own event tracking (maybe using Littledata’s Google Tag Manager data layer), but retain the server-side events from Shopify. In this case, Littledata’s tracking script is still needed on the Shopify storefront to initialise Segment AnalyticsJS library and capture the anonymous ID for server-side events. But, you can add disableClientSideEvents: true or disablePageviews: true in a manual settings update. GDPR cookie compliance If your store is using a Shopify-compatible cookie banner (or using a consent management platform like OneTrust or TrustArc), the Littledata’s tracker can respect your users’ choices by switching just one setting. For OneTrust we also push the user consent choices as a user trait, so you can control which personas are shared with other platforms. Simpler accepts_marketing flag User traits for all events where the user is known now contain a simple true/false accepts_marketing field — useful in CRM destinations for email marketing. This is in addition to the marketing_opt_in_level field, which can give more detail on whether this was a single or double opt-in for marketing. How to get Littledata's Shopify source for Segment If you aren't yet a Littledata user, you can start a free trial directly from the Shopify app store. If you already have a Littledata account, you can activate the Shopify-to-Segment connection directly in the Littledata app. On Shopify Plus? Learn more about Littledata Plus.

2021-07-23

Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

Get a 30-day free trial of Littledata for Google Analytics or Segment