Category : Partners
Why doesn't Shopify match Google Analytics? [webinar]
Have plans this Thursday? Join me, Tamas Hanko, in a new webinar about why Shopify data doesn't always match Google Analytics -- and how to fix this. In this free webinar on Thursday, November 19th, hosted by our partners at Prisync, we will dive deep into the waters of Shopify and Google Analytics, and look at how to make this data play well together to power your ecommerce sales and marketing. There are lots of reasons why Shopify and GA might have a mismatch, and we'll run through the common ones plus a few outliers. Every site is unique, but there are common setup and tracking issues, especially with Shopify's checkout. In this free presentation, you will learn: Common issues with making Shopify data match Google Analytics dataUnderstanding the differences in how metrics are calculated in Analytics and ShopifyWhat server-side tracking can (and can't) do to help fix these issues Reserve your free spot today Can't make the live webinar? Sign up anyway and we'll send you a recording after the session. You can also check out Littledata's free ebook on Shopify and Google Analytics.
Going headless while keeping your Shopify Plus stack
It seems like everyone's considering going headless lately. What do you need to know before you make the leap? This year, in addition to optimizing Littledata for Shopify Plus (including headless Shopify setups), we have extended our headless tracking to include ReCharge and Segment in addition to Google Analytics. And we have collaborated with Nacelle as our preferred tech partner for headless builds. Led by CEO Brian Anderson, Nacelle has raised around $4.8M in funding so far, including angel investment from Shopify and Klaviyo execs. A growing number of successful online brands seeking to go headless are using Nacelle for the build and Netlify for deployment, and it's been great to see remarkable performance improvements with shared customers like Ballsy, who saw a 28% conversion rate increase across the board after moving to a headless Nacelle setup with Littledata for analytics. So we were excited to contribute some ideas to the new Nacelle ebook on how to get the headless experience without overhauling your Shopify Plus tech stack. If you are using Shopify Plus (or planning a migration), we highly recommend downloading the free guide and sharing with your team internally -- as well as any external partners like ecommerce agencies and growth consultants. In the free guide, you’ll learn: How a headless PWA works in combination with top solutions including Shopify Plus, email, SMS marketing, reviews and user-generated content, affiliate marketing, subscriptions, analytics, and customer serviceWhat industry leaders in these respective categories have to say about going headless and enhancing functionality (including Littledata for analytics and some of our long-term partners like ReCharge for subscriptions and Refersion for affiliate sales)Real-world examples of merchant success To learn more, download the free guide from Nacelle. What about headless tracking? At Littledata, we do not see headless ecommerce as a passing fad. PWA tech has caught up to the needs of larger DTC brands, who want best-in-class technology at each customer touch point (eg. social microsites, one-click subscriptions, multi-currency payments, upsell funnels) alongside custom design and a deep cross-device user experience to match their brand story. As Nacelle explains, headless ecommerce now offers the possibility of not just integrating your current tools but actually improving the functionality of your Shopify Plus stack. Together we can build a shopping experience that is better, faster, more reliable, and more highly personalized. But without server-side tracking, getting accurate data about your headless Shopify setup can be extremely complicated. Check out our headless tracking demo to see how to automatically get complete sales and marketing data about your headless Shopify site in Segment or Google Analytics.
Lunch with Littledata: Q&A with Anshey Bhatia, CEO of Verbal+Visual
This week, we're continuing our Q&A segment: Lunch with Littledata! We sat down (virtually) with Anshey Bhatia, founder and CEO of Verbal+Visual, to chat about the Shopify world, good design, and where things are going. V+V is one of our fantastic agency partners here at Littledata. They work closely with thoughtful brands that are dedicated to a seamless, user-centric experience on Shopify Plus. We share a number of customers with the agency and it was great to catch up during these crazy -- but also inspirational -- times here in NYC. Let's dive right in! Q: How has COVID-19 impacted your clients overall? Have they seen a boom in orders or AOV, or has order volume been normal? Our clients with higher cost per units for non-home items have been much more affected than everyone else. While no client has seen a major boom, only one client has seen a significant loss, and they are a high-ticket, night-on-the-town apparel company that launched in February. All in all, while there was a slight dip for most in March, ecommerce rebounded quickly. Q: How has V+V adapted to the pandemic era? We have taken on some new client work that is smaller in scope than our typical projects. We’ve done this to help the immediate needs of brands that were not positioned to adapt to the acceleration of e-commerce shopping that we’ve seen. When we saw the need for smaller development projects that could save brands thousands of dollars a day in lost sales, we realized it’s more efficient to solve those short term problems before addressing a full site redesign. We saw the need for smaller development projects that could save brands thousands of dollars a day in lost sales Harley Finkelstein, the COO of Shopify, recently referred to Shopify as a “Retail Operating System”, and we agree with that definition. Our agency is not just building ecommerce websites; we create the infrastructure needed for a brand to scale across many different online and offline channels. [note]Wondering how Littledata has adapted? Here's what we're doing in response to the crisis.[/note] Q: If you were going to start a DTC brand right now, what would it sell? We partner with brands that are mission-driven and are thoughtful about their supply chains and materials. We also love working with brands focused on other mission-driven areas such as health and wellness, and empowerment / equality initiatives. With that in mind, we would start a DTC brand that sources non-perishable ingredients from local restaurants and merchants. Restaurants have come up with inventive ways to sell food and other products while their establishments are shut down, so bringing locally sourced products like sauces, spices, and seasonings to a larger audience is a huge opportunity. For example, Bread makers have seen the second largest increase in purchases from March 2019 to March 2020 as a result of COVID-19, and I have a feeling our team could design a pretty kick-ass bread maker! Q: Sounds delicious! So you're a group of ecommerce design experts — visual design, experience design, etc. What's the most challenging part of creating great design experiences for businesses running on Shopify? Two important issues come to mind. Firstly, brands always want experiential sites, however they also want high conversion rates and AOV. The two don’t always go well together. It’s important that while going through the design process, the tightrope between brand equity and conversion focus is walked across gently and that we don’t go too far in either direction at the risk of losing the other. This is not endemic to Shopify necessarily, however most brands that are on Shopify care deeply about their brand. Secondly, all ecommerce sites need to be accessible to everyone, everywhere. We need to design sites with accessibility as a priority, as it’s not only the law, it’s the right thing to do. The trick is retaining a unique experience, ensuring shoppability, and allowing equal access, all at the same time. Q: What are some underrated elements of great ecommerce design that merchants should pay more attention to? We spend a lot of time thinking about the design elements that are not immediately noticeable. A lot of the new brands we see have certain elements that are trendy or in line with an agency’s signature style. For us, we focus our energies on creating scalable design systems that will bend but not break as a company grows their enterprise. Sometimes that means we have to question the brand’s assumptions and really dig into their brand identity. It’s not always clear and then our job becomes designing a set of guidelines that can not only be applied to the digital experience, but elsewhere. While we don’t specifically focus on branding, it’s important that we understand the fundamental building blocks of the brands’ visual identity, so that we can bring that brand to life across digital touch points. We also pay attention to interactions, animations, and page transitions. These animations are not always noticeable and sometimes they are designed to be that way. If a PDP is image-heavy by design, we’ll create loading animations for those images, with the understanding that it will take a little longer to load some of those images as users scroll down the page. Q: What's your advice for merchants who may not realize that a great shopper experience is stalling their growth? A lot of brands are selling a great product, they’re creating compelling ads on Facebook and Instagram which tells the story of the brand. Then potential customers click on those ads and end up on a site that does not align with the touch points they’ve had with the brand so far. A digital experience that doesn’t align with the brand’s identity will immediately reduce trust between the customer and the brand. It’s important to have a seamless customer journey from delivering ads, to the website, to emails and even into the receipt of the packages. If parts of the customer experience don’t feel connected, you are more likely to lose your customer or lose their potential LTV. Q: How does ecommerce look different for standard Shopify stores vs. Shopify Plus stores right now? There are so many new brands appearing in different verticals right now. Shopify does a great job of giving brands the tools to get off the ground and running. However, when brands need to start to differentiate themselves, they break out of the templated design that Shopify is best for. From a design perspective, you can accomplish pretty much anything you want on a Shopify store all the way up to a Shopify Plus store. Shopify Plus stores, though, are able to elevate the holistic digital experience to another level. Shopify Plus offers significantly more functionality for brands that are going international and are expanding via physical retail or other channels. Shopify Plus is built to provide an entire commerce infrastructure, while Shopify is built for a starter level e-commerce experience. Shopify Plus also offers white glove customer service, which is hugely important for brands serious about their long term growth. Q: Is omnichannel selling a thing of the past? On the contrary, omnichannel is the future of commerce. Some people think of omnichannel as the relationship between offline and online shopping. We view omnichannel as any touch point your customer can buy at. COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of ecommerce, but ecommerce still sits at under 30% of total commerce. While most first-time ecommerce shoppers are going to large marketplaces like Amazon, Target, and Walmart, many of them are also exploring DTC brands for the first time. Brands are looking to shift to big marketplaces while also experimenting with new channels like TikTok and mobile gaming platforms. Additionally, we’re seeing traditionally offline businesses like restaurants looking for additional revenue streams. Shopify’s updates for Shopify POS have addressed the short term safety issues surrounding COVID-19, and we believe these updates will also help to improve the dynamic between online and offline, and make more shoppers comfortable with the idea of omnichannel. Ultimately, brands want to be where their customers are. We don’t always know what channels are going to be popular, but we do know all brands need a strong digital infrastructure in place to adapt and scale. Q: How crucial is it for Shopify Plus merchants to trust their tracking? In other words, how important is accurate Shopify tracking and reporting to a store's success? We use data to drive our design process, inform the user experience, and our ecommerce strategy recommendations. As mentioned before, one of the main problems we see with brands is the misalignment between their marketing campaigns, creative content, their website, and the unboxing experience. We use data to drive our design process and inform the user experience It’s critical for us to know where customers are coming from, how they are converting, how much they are spending, and their lifetime value. This not only helps our clients’ marketing efforts, but it allows their ecommerce team to make informed decisions. We can understand what changes need to be made to landing pages, PDPs, and path to purchase, and we can attribute customers to the correct marketing channels so that teams can align around shared goals. Accurate Shopify reporting ultimately leads to clarity around ownership of the data and accountability, so we can’t stress enough the importance of being able to read and interpret these data points. Thanks again to Anshey and the Verbal+Visual team for hanging out with us online. Looking for more Lunch with Littledata? Last month we sat down with Chad Rubin, CEO of Skubana (and a Shopify seller too!).
Everything you need to know from Shopify Unite 2019
It's been a busy week in Toronto. We're still here at Shopify Unite, but yesterday's announcement day was chock-full of exciting new updates and experiences for Shopify Partners, merchants and agencies. With the most popular Google Analytics app for Shopify merchants and a new Segment app live in the app store as well, our ears perked up and stayed up! We chatted with our agency partners to get some feedback about which announcements might have the biggest impact on their business, from design and development to growth marketing for Plus stores. Here are six major changes: 1) New online store experience (updated design) Shopify's new store design experience will make it easier for merchants to personalise their storefronts without having to write any code. Later this year, Shopify will also introduce a feature that helps agencies provide the "highly valuable skills and services needed to take a merchant's business to the next level". What that feature set looks like is unclear at the moment, but what is clear are the following five design updates: Sections for each page: Sections-based editing is now enabled on every page of a merchant's online store, offering more space for creative freedom and personalisation. Master pages: Merchants can now dictate content and apply changes to all pages by simply editing the master page. Starting points: Shopify themes will offer "starting points", which will be pre-configured content sections to help accelerate store setup. Merchants can choose their starting point and easily fill it with content. Content portability: Store managers rejoice — content is no longer stored in themes, meaning merchants can make changes to their store without duplicating themes. Drafts: Merchants can draft changes on their store without making the changes go live. Merchants can play with design, content, etc. and only publish when they please. UX/UI: A new Shopify interface means (hopefully) a better merchant experience. Shopify says creating a store will now be a more intuitive experience, thanks to the new UI. In light of a new storefront app extension for agency partners, Shopify is unlocking a new feature that lets partners add apps to their storefront. [subscribe heading="Top Google Analytics app for Shopify" button_text="Learn More" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/connections/shopify"] 2) New Shopify Plus admin dashboard (multiple stores, multiple shoppers) Out with the old, in with the new Shopify Plus. The large-scale update will help large, multilayered businesses to manage multiple stores, shoppers and automation — all from a sleek new admin dashboard. The new design will offer brands: Robust insights across all of their stores The ability to manage multiple stores and user permissions from one place A better space to facilitate better store operations Shopify also continues to add more possibilities for what you can do with Shopify Flow, a smart way to automate workflows within Shopify Plus. For example, user admins and assigned staff members will soon be able to copy flows across all of your stores. [subscribe heading="Top Google Analytics app for Shopify Plus" button_text="Learn More" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/connections/shopifyplus"] 3) New checkout app extension for subscriptions [Coming soon] This is a big one, though the details are not yet clear. Later this year, Shopify Partners will be able to access the company's very first checkout app extension. The extension will mainly focus on improving purchase flow for subscriptions. The idea is to keep everything within Shopify's checkout flow, rather than sending shoppers to other apps. In Shopify's words: Buyers will no longer be routed outside of Shopify’s checkout to complete their transactions. Developers will be able to integrate their subscription apps into the checkout experience, surface their app’s information into Shopify’s checkout, and give merchants the ability to process transactions for subscription goods and services within one seamless checkout experience. If you or your clients are using ReCharge for selling subscriptions in your Shopify store, don't worry. Nothing changes now. You can still use Littledata's advanced Google Analytics integration for ReCharge to get accurate data about subscription sales and marketing channels, and we'll keep you in the loop about accurate tracking for checkout app extensions, once those get closer to going live. 4) Custom storefront tools, including multi-currency for non-Plus stores Because the customer journey is about more than an attractive website and pretty design, Shopify has taken the headless commerce approach by creating custom storefront tools for niche and complex ecommerce businesses. They're calling this "flexible commerce" and it promises to have a big impact on key Shopify benchmarks. These flexible commerce tools help merchants: Create a beautiful front-end experience Play a bigger role in a more personalised shopper experience (i.e. connecting to a CMS tool to share more dynamic pieces of content) Engage with shoppers through voice shopping, smart mirrors, smart fridges, etc. Leverage the scaling ability and speed of a headless commerce model Merchants and agencies can also now access the following through the Storefront API: Selling in multiple currencies New product recommendations Shopify Scripts All Shopify merchants now have the ability to sell in multiple currencies with Shopify Payments. This feature was previously only available to Shopify Plus merchants. 5) POS cart app extensions for loyalty and promotions Checkout is now faster and easier for both merchants and customers. Store managers can now see details about customer loyalty and promotions "directly in the cart without having to click away". The POS cart app extensions provide merchants with the "loyalty and promotion app functionality (they) want, where they need it: within the customer cart". With a more seamless checkout experience, merchants and customers can now enjoy better: Speed: The time it takes to apply a discount code is now down from 15 to 5 seconds Visibility: Store managers don’t need to remember to visit the apps section of POS Recognition: Customers feel more appreciated, no matter where a purchase is made The new POS app extensions helps both merchants and development teams improve the user experiences of the storefront(s) they manage. [Coming soon] Shopify's updated POS app will prioritize "quick and seamless workflows, helping store staff focus on what’s most important to them: human-to-human customer interactions and making each sale a positive experience". 6) New order editing APIs Shopify's brand new order editing features of the GraphQL AdminAPI enables apps to add, drop or replace items "before the line item has been fulfilled". This offers merchants increased flexibility after a purchase. 7) Shopify Fulfillment Network Once this news broke, we watched Twitter run wild as store managers imagined the possibilities with Shopify's brand new Fulfillment Network. Designed to compete with the world's top fulfillment networks (Amazon, USPS, etc.), the network will be built across the United States at first before (hopefully) expanding across the Atlantic. Shopify will be pumping over a billion dollars into this infrastructure, expanding and improving the network. The network gives Shopify merchants access to tools and services previously only available to the biggest stores in the world. Benefits include: One back office: This will reduce both errors and frustration for store management teams Maintain inventory integrity: Made possible by scheduling rhythmic cycle counts Nearly 100% accuracy: Orders will be ready to go on-time without the risk of error regarding order contents, shipping addresses, etc. Your eyes at the warehouse: Shopify is providing merchants with dedicated account managers with "logistics and Shopify expertise". The Shopify Fulfillment Network will also support the following: Multiple channels — online store, retail, Instagram, eBay, Amazon, etc. Returns and exchanges Custom (branded) packaging Stores of all sizes — "shipping 10 to 10,000 products a day", aiming to get this to "3 to 30,000" per day in coming years Is there anything we missed? Let us know. Next up, Ed will break down the announcements and unpack what they mean not only for Shopify partners and agencies, but for teams that rely on Littledata's smart connections for marketing attribution and better business decision-making. Stay tuned! Photo credits: Littledata, Shopify
Uniting after Unite: Littledata sponsors De:brief event for Shopify partners
We’re proud to announce our sponsorship with De:brief., this week's exclusive, post-Shopify Unite event. We'll look at what was announced at the leading Shopify conference, and what it all means for Shopify partners, app developers, and ultimately for merchants. Every year we go to Unite. And every year we ask ourselves: wouldn't it be nice to have some time to just debrief about all the things that were announced, and what they really mean? De:brief is an essential post-Unite gathering for partners working at the forefront of the Shopify ecosystem. It will take place on Friday this week in Toronto, the day after Shopify Unite. De:brief will be a prime opportunity hear Shopify expert analysis, dive into the details of what was announced at Unite, and unpack what those announcements mean — especially to those within the Shopify partner ecosystem. With a ton of Littledata customers using our Google Analytics Shopify app -- and the upcoming release of our V8 Shopify tracking code -- we're especially excited to chat about how we can all work together to help stores scale faster and smarter. Who's coming? Over 150 data analytics experts and colleagues will also be joining networking and discussions around panels about Shopify updates and the impact they'll have on ecommerce going forward. We're happy to announce that our leading integration partner ReCharge will be leading a panel, and the good people at our agency partner We Make Websites will be there as well. Food for thought As official sponsors of the De:brief event, Littledata's co-founders Edward Upton and Ari Messer will be at the event and Ed will be on a panel about the app economy. A terrific opportunity to network with peers, discuss key industry trends and hear from ecommerce thought leaders, De:brief is an event you can't miss. For more details or to reserve your seat, check out De:brief's registration page.
New Klickly integration for Shopify stores
We're excited to announce a new integration with Klickly! Get ready for smarter analytics. Many Shopify stores know that their data isn't accurate, but they don't know where to start. Littledata tracks everything automatically. Our new Klickly integration offers full sales and marketing tracking, plus a free custom report to help you get higher ROI on Klickly campaigns. [note]*updated* Since dissolving the Klickly integration, we've enhanced our marketing attribution smart connections even more, including Google Ads and Facebook Ads.[/note] What’s Klickly? Klickly is an invite-only, commission-based advertising platform that enables ecommerce merchants to run unique buyable ads on thousands of well-known websites. With risk-free, commission-based pricing, you don't pay commission until Klickly gets you a sale. Setup takes less than 10 minutes, and there are no long-term agreements or fees. Stop paying for clicks + impressions that don’t lead to sales. Klickly lets you pay only when ads drive sales and set the commission that’s right for you. Benefits of Littledata's Klickly integration: Campaign reporting – Get automated reporting for sales from Klickly Ads Marketing attribution – Connect marketing channels and campaigns with shopping cart activity and buyer behaviour, with automated tracking for Shopify stores Optimisation – Make data-driven decisions with Littledata’s industry-leading analytics audit, smart connections and industry benchmarks Setup guide For the Littledata - Klickly integration to work, you need to have both apps installed for your store. Install Klickly and Littledata Ask the Littledata support team to activate the Klickly report for you Yes, it’s that easy! You can contact Littledata support from the Intercom widget in the app, or just reply to any of our onboarding emails :) Enterprise plans for larger Shopify stores and Shopify Plus If you run a larger Shopify store on Shopify or Shopify Plus, we’re here to help you scale. Littledata offers enterprise plans that include custom setup and a dedicated account manager. This can include anything from GTM setup to custom reporting. Larger stores looking for an enterprise plan are encouraged to sign up for a free trial of Littledata, then contact us for a free consultation so we can take an in-depth look at your setup. If you’re a digital agency with multiple customers on Shopify using Klickly, even better! Check out our agency partner program for Shopify experts. If you're looking for accurate, actionable analytics, Littledata's new Klickly integration will help you scale the smart way. Say hello to a better way! [note]*updated* Since dissolving the Klickly integration, we've enhanced our marketing attribution smart connections even more, including Google Ads and Facebook Ads.[/note]
Introducing Shopify Flow connectors for Google Analytics
Littledata has launched the first Shopify Flow connector for Google Analytics, enabling Shopify Plus stores to analyse customer journey using a custom event in Google Analytics. In addition to Littledata's native connections with Shopify, Shopify Plus, Facebook Ads, ReCharge, etc., we have now launched a beta version of a Flow connector for Google Analytics. What is Shopify Flow? Flow is an app included with Shopify Plus, which enables stores to define automation pathways for marketing and merchandising. Think of it as an ‘If This Then That’ generator just for Shopify. For example, after an order is marked as fulfilled in Shopify’s admin you might want to trigger an email to ask for a review of the product. This would involve setting a ‘trigger’ for when an order is fulfilled and an ‘action’ to send an email to this customer. How do you use Littledata Flow actions? You install Littledata's Shopify app along with Shopify Flow Every time an order is created in your store we send it to Google Analytics, along with information about which customer ID made the order (nothing personally identifiable) You add Littledata's actions to your Flow Every time the order or customer event is triggered, even for offline events, the event is linked back to Google Analytics In Google Analytics you can then: Segment the customer base to see if these actions influence purchasing behaviour Visualise when these events occurred Analyse the customers making these actions: which geography, which browser, which marketing channel (in GA 360) Export the audience to retarget in Google Ads (in GA 360) Export the audience to run a website personalisation for using Google Optimize How do you set the actions up in Flow? Google Analytics customer event – can be used with any customer triggers, such as Customer Created Google Analytics order event – can be used with any order triggers such as Order Fulfilled, Order Paid, How else could I use the events? You can now link any of your favourite Shopify Apps with Flow connectors into Google Analytics. Some examples would be: Analyse if adding a product review leads to higher lifetime value Retarget in Google Ads after a customer's order is fulfilled - Download .flow file Set up a landing-page personalisation for loyal customers (using Loyalty Lion connector) - Download .flow file How much does this cost? The Flow connectors are included as part of Littledata’s standard subscription plans. You’ll need Littledata’s app to be installed and connected to link the events back to a customer – and to get reliable data for pre-order customer behaviour. [subscribe] Can Littledata set up a flow for a specific app? Our Enterprise Plans offer account management to help you configure the Littledata Shopify connection, including the Shopify Flow connectors. Get in touch if you have a specific app you'll like to make this work with.
Is it worth attending that ecommerce conference?
Ecommerce conference season is upon us. In the past few weeks, the Littledata team was at Shop.org in Las Vegas, Paris Retail Week, and the Google Expert Summit in Waterloo, Canada -- three very different events in three rather different countries. Then we also hit up Agile Cambridge and Technology for Marketing in the UK, the UPRISE fest in Dublin, TechDay LA in sunny Los Angeles and the BigCommerce partner summit in Austin. And while we unfortunately couldn't make ReCharge's Recur event for the subscription industry, or Hawke Media's Hawkefest, the ultimate anti-conference, many of our partners and merchants were there and had awesome things to say. But wait a second. Slow down! With so many exciting events to potentially attend during what is already one of the busiest times of year for those of us in the industry (Black Friday is just around the corner from a marketer's perspective), how do you choose? Is that conference you've been debating attending really worth it? If we've learned anything... Over the years I've had a mixed experience with conferences. But with Littledata we've found a good rhythm. Of course it helps that we're on the cutting edge of new technology, actually using AI and machine learning as opposed to just talking about it, and that we already have major customers around the world, even though we're technically still a 'startup'. This gives us a wide range of high-quality speaking and learning opportunities. But at the same time our productive conference experiences haven't happened by accident, whether for ecommerce or general tech events. We've found such a good conference rhythm -- a dance that produces a consistently high ROI on in-person events -- by looking closely at our own data on a quarterly and yearly basis. Our strategy is always evolving, but some stats have been consistent. For example, we discovered that at the right events: Though we don't necessarily have a higher win rate for enterprise leads from conferences, the sales cycle is condensed, on average 3x faster from meeting to close. This saves our sales team valuable time chasing down leads, and also helps us improve our product, pitches and processes at a faster rate. Agencies we meet in person are 4x more likely to refer us a customer within the next 30 days -- even if we never did a formal product demo. What's your company's take on conferences? Here are a few insights that might help you get more out of the conference experience, whether that means big tech industry events or smaller, focused meetups. [subscribe] There is no such thing as a must-attend conference The great irony with ecommerce conferences is that they tend to be scheduled at what are already busy times for those of us in the industry. Whether it's the shows we attended these past 6 weeks that overlapped with everyone getting back to work after summer holidays, or European standbys like NetComm Suisse's later fall events and One to One in Monaco every March, right after SXSW in Austin, it's either an embarrassment of riches or -- depending on your perspective -- a really confusing hodge podge of hard-to-classify opportunities. There are simply too many choices, and it's especially hard to decide whether to attend a tech conference or meetup if your company has never attended that particular show before. One thing I love about our industry is that merchants (stores and ecommerce managers) and vendors (apps, platforms, consultants, designers and agencies) are all in the same boat. In short, we have no time for BS. We want events that focus on real information, emerging technologies and human connection. So how do you decide? First things first, make your own list. There are a ton of blog posts out there about 'must attend' conferences, those 'not to miss'. Give me a break! Every business is unique, and you're only as viable as your buyer personas. So make a list of conferences, events and meetups that might help connect you with your prime customers and best partners. Brainstorm, look online, ask around. Make your own list and plan to review every quarter. Then once you've made that list, on paper or Trello or however you work best, go through the following checklist with as many members of your team as possible, especially if you can bring in decision makers from both Product and Marketing. A simple checklist When deciding if you should attend a conference for the first or second time, it's useful to have a checklist for quick, consistent analysis. The checklist I use is deceptively simple. It has only 5 indicators. Would one significant sale pay for itself in terms of customer acquisition cost (CAC)? If the conference did work out, is it something you would attend every year? Would it be the right place for you to speak, either now or in the future? Is this your scene, your community? Are there companies, merchants, agencies, vendors etc. attending whom you wouldn't see any other time this year? (Even just one counts, if sufficiently high-value.) In short, if you can tick all five boxes then you should attend the conference. If you can only tick four, it's probably worth attending but needs more debate. If this is the case, then considering point number one in detail -- looking at your current LTV/CAC ratio and considering how the conference could help improve or at least maintain it -- is essential. For ecommerce tech companies like our own, this generally means one big sale or partnership. For ecommerce sites it can also take the form of discovering new tech (like Littledata, Klickly or ReCharge) that will help increase sales and marketing ROI. If you can tick all five boxes then you should definitely attend the conference The checklist works even if you've already attended the conference in the past. Just consider point two already covered and proven! If you're in the ecommerce space, definitely consider platform-specific conferences. Shopify and Magento have regular events and meetups around the world, and word on the street is that BigCommerce will be really ramping up their local partner events in 2019. Shopify Unite has consistently been that rare conference that ticks all the boxes for us here at Littledata, but that doesn't mean we're ignoring others that only tick four. We've cast our net wide (using the checklist of course) and are still seeing results. If you want to get a head start on conference browsing for next year, Veeqo has created a calendar of best worldwide ecommerce conferences for 2019. Across the board remember this: success at a conference almost never comes in the form of expected outcomes. Yes, the best outcomes will be aligned with your sales and marketing goals, but sometime the biggest benefits will not be clear for 3, 6 or even 12 months down the line. That's why we do quarterly and yearly reviews of all in-person activities, from networking events to large conferences. I suggest you do the same. Most importantly, have fun! Gone are the days of boring trade shows. Show up. Make connections. And if we're there too, come say hi! Maybe nobody can make analytics sexy, but we at least promise to make them useful. And usefulness is a good place to start...
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