How to scale your business faster using first-party data [Podcast]

Data matters now more than ever for ecommerce store owners. It forms the backbone of any strong decision-making process and gives an invaluable look at customers you can't find anywhere else. But data collection is changing, with new privacy regulations and major tracking changes through iOS 14 (and beyond) adding hurdles to gathering truly accurate data. The solution to maintaining good data? Server-side tracking. To shed more light on the topic, Littledata CEO Edward Upton appeared on two podcasts to show listeners the power that data has on stores' future prospects, why it's so critical to focus on, and how to make sure you're using good data to guide your store. Keeping your ecommerce data accurate in a first-party data world Ed appeared on the 2X eCommerce podcast to chat with host Kunle Campbell about the big changes facing ecommerce data managers today. They dive into new restrictions on third-party data and how data managers can use tools like the new Facebook Conversions API (FB CAPI) and server-side tracking apps like Littledata to maximize ROI through data-backed decision-making. The conversation is a must-listen for any ecommerce store owner or data manager, particularly those spending significantly on acquiring customers through ads. They dive into: What events you should be tracking to get to know your customers betterHow you can still get the data you need without violating privacy lawsWhat the future of ecommerce tracking will look like, and how to prepare for it Hear the entire episode to get the guidance you need to make the right calls for your store. Listen on SpotifyListen on Apple PodcastsListen on Soundcloud How to use first-party data to improve loyalty and lifetime value Speaking with Flavilla Fongang from Tech Brains Talk, Ed shared how being able to analyze customer data correctly — using accurate metrics, of course — shows you the best paths to take for building both customer loyalty and lifetime value. Listen to the full conversation to hear how you can learn from your customers' behavior and make adjustments to your store design and promotion methods to drive more revenue and win more business. Listen on SpotifyListen on Apple Podcasts

by Greg
2021-12-08

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 pagesTrack major ecommerce events on your store (adds to cart, checkouts, etc.)Calculate accurate marketing attributionSegment 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 businessFacebook can’t add an admin to an unverified business when it's been inactive for more than 60 daysWe 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

Is your data haunted? [Guide]

For ecommerce stores, nothing is scarier than wasting money and effort following decisions made using bad data. But, integrating Google Analytics with Shopify or BigCommerce doesn't have to be a horror story. Our Halloween-themed Google Analytics guide will help you banish the phantoms in your data and get 100% accurate analytics for your store. Don't let your data keep you up at night The best way to combat inaccurate and rotten data is to arm yourself with the right knowledge and tools.  In this Google Analytics guide, we share: How to fix your ecommerce trackingThe top tools to help you do itThe most common issues we see in analytics setupsHow to start making data-driven decisions for your store That includes our Google Analytics 101 guide which covers everything from why Shopify Analytics doesn't match Google Analytics to how to calculate customer LTV and track subscriptions in the Shopify checkout. See the full guide>>> Get the checklist to banish demons from your data While ecommerce analytics can seem a scary challenge at first, remember that many Shopify stores have been in your shoes before. The checklist in our guide will show you what ghouls stores most often find lurking in their data so you can rid them from your tracking and trust that you're using truly accurate analytics. Ready to claw the inaccuracies from your data? Get the full guide.

by Greg
2021-10-29

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 accuracyFirst-party, zero-party data, and why they're important to your storeHow to audit and fix Google Analytics to ensure accurate trackingHow 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.

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.

by Ari
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 GAHow a data mismatch affects your bottom lineA comparison of different tracking methodsWhat 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.

by Greg
2021-07-30

Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

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