Tactics every brand needs in 2023 to combat market volatility [Webinar]

The ecommerce industry is ever-changing and in today’s increasingly unpredictable market, it’s more important now than ever before for brands to be on top of the latest trends. In 2022, rising inflation, privacy regulations, and continuous supply chain issues changed the ways many direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands do business. What trends does 2023 have in store, and how can you best prepare your brand to overcome these challenges? Littledata is joining forces with the ecommerce experts at Ordergroove, ShipBob, Checkout.com, and Avex to arm you with the insider knowledge every brand needs to supercharge their ecommerce strategy and make for a fruitful 2023. Join us for a live webinar on Thursday, January 26 at 3 PM EST as we dive into the tactics you need to combat market volatility in 2023: Register now. [tip] ICYMI, watch the webinar on-demand here [/tip] In this webinar, you’ll learn: Ways top brands are leveraging technology to keep up with consumer demands Little-known ecommerce insights that will impact your brand in a big way  Actionable hacks to supercharge your 2023 strategy Claim your spot >>> About Littledata In today’s uncertain market, brands need to take a data-driven approach to their marketing.  Littledata’s combined client-side and server-side tracking captures data at every touchpoint, from discovery with accurate marketing attribution insights to post-purchase events like subscriptions and upsells, to empower Shopify and BigCommerce with a holistic view of the customer journey. Littledata's Ordergroove integration is just the beginning — it's what you do with the data that counts. Our plug-and-play connections send 100% accurate data to the top reporting tools, including Google Analytics (Universal Analytics and GA4) and Segment.  Check out our Shopify app for Google Analytics and GA4 Check out our BigCommerce app for Google Analytics and GA4 Get our free Ordergroove ebook to learn how to track recurring orders in Google Analytics, Segment, or the reporting tool of your choice See how to automatically improve Facebook Ads performance with the Conversions API (especially powerful for brands selling by subscription!)

2023-01-19

Do Shopify's new Commerce Components fit the modern data stack?

We are off to the races in 2023 already with Shopify officially launching Commerce Components by Shopify (CCS), an improved offering for large retailers. CCS allows enterprise retailers to access Shopify's foundational, high-performing components, such as its checkout, along with flexible APIs to build dynamic customer experiences that integrate seamlessly with a retailer's preferred existing services. But larger brands don't just want composable commerce. They also want -- actually, need -- complete, accurate, actionable data. Have Shopify's new Commerce Components been designed with the modern data stack in mind? There are lots of good things to say about Commerce Components. Enterprise retailers can take the components they need and leave those they do not, and developers are “free to build with any front-end framework they choose”, says Shopify. CCS uses Shopify's global scale infrastructure, which has over 275 network edge points to enable fast storefronts and checkouts no matter where customers are located -- and in a year where consumers are savvier than ever and demand a great experience. While we are excited about how this will attract larger brands to the Shopify ecosystem, we feel the Data Analytics component is underwhelming -- and won’t allow enterprise brands to track full server-side event data for building marketing attribution, product recommendation, or personalization data models. This component uses ShopifyQL, launched in mid-2022, as a neat query language for charting. But data analysts using ShopifyQL to query Shopify’s own data tables can only query the current state of the customer or order, and not understand the customer journey that led to that order. Popular reports such as marketing attribution by campaign or channel are just not possible from this data set. Furthermore, most enterprise brands we talk to want to own their own data warehouse and have the flexibility to use best-in-class tools like BigQuery, Looker, and dbt to store and analyze the data. Littledata provides a raw event data feed, directly sourced from Shopify’s servers to power just such a modern data stack -- and gives analysts the flexibility to build their own data models. Littledata is excited to work with brands using Commence Components (including headless stores), but we think Shopify will need to lean on its partner network to provide the breadth of functionality, especially in data analysis, that enterprise brands require. For now brands on our Littledata Plus plans are skeptical about the initial release of Commerce Components, just as they have been about Shopify's new Web Pixel and overall Shopify Theme changes.

2023-01-12

How to track ecommerce conversions in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)

Have you mapped out a data plan for 2023 yet? If you’re selling on a major DTC platform like Shopify or BigCommerce, GA4 is probably on your mind. With the sunsetting of Universal Analytics (GA3 or the “old version” of Google Analytics) on the horizon, it’s time to get going with event-based tracking. Many brands have been procrastinating about setting up GA4 – or, worse, only setting it up halfway so that browsing behavior is tracked but revenue and conversions are missing. But can you blame them? Shopify isn’t planning to release native GA4 integration until March 2023 at the earliest (and nobody’s expecting it to work well for serious DTC brands) BigCommerce released a beta version of their GA4 integration in November, but it’s extremely minimal, tracking only begin_checkout and purchase events Manual setup is costly and confusing (and has to be maintained every time you change your site or checkout flow) GA4 revenue tracking should be your top priority, but there’s a lot of confusion around GA4, made worse by Shopify apps that claim to offer GA4 integration but only offer client-side tracking. It shouldn’t be so complicated. At Littledata we’ve already fixed GA4 tracking for hundreds of top DTC brands. In this post I’ll show you how to check if you’ve set up GA4 correctly to capture orders and revenue, and how to start tracking ecommerce conversions today in the most secure and reliable way possible. Follow this guide to GA4 and you’ll be on your way to ecommerce data tracking in no time. We’ll look at how to get from this: To this: How to check if you’re tracking GA4 revenue and conversions After creating a new GA4 property and following the setup assistant to create a new data stream, you might have noticed that you’re instructed to copy and paste the Google tag (gtag.js) script on every page of your ecommerce site. Once you’ve added the Google tag to your site and linked your GA4 property, everything will just start tracking automatically, right? Wrong. With the basic script all you get are engagement events such as page_view, session_start, view_search_result, and click. Obviously these “automatic events” are super important, but they don’t tell you what happens post-click. Here’s how to check if your GA4 ecommerce setup is working or not. 1. Check your Acquisition reporting in GA4 There are two places to look to see if you’re capturing ecommerce conversions. First, the Acquisition reports. You’ll see user and traffic engagement details grouped by channel, but no conversion or revenue data exists. You’re seeing which organic or paid channels are bringing visitors to your store, but you can’t tell if you’re generating any revenue from these visitors. GA4 revenue reporting not showing is one of the most asked questions by merchants and performance marketers. 2. Check your Engagement and Monetization reporting in GA4Taking a step further, check your Engagement and Monetization reports. Do you see GA4 reporting data about cart updates, interactions with the checkout flow, or any purchase or revenue data? If revenue is missing in GA4’s monetization overview, you need to start tracking ecommerce activity ASAP. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lot of data points that lead nowhere and you will not have an accurate understanding of your ecommerce store’s performance.  [tip] Use our complementary instant order checker for GA4 to check your property [/tip] How to track ecommerce conversions and revenue in GA4 After landing on your store, online shoppers interact with collections and products before adding items to their carts and going through the checkout process. These web interactions must be captured as events and linked with customers and marketing data in GA4 to get a complete picture of your business. We have looked at what data can be missing from your GA4 events and which enhanced ecommerce events you should track. But how can you get all these ecommerce events in GA4?  Google Tag Manager (GTM) has always been the most common tracking method for Universal Analytics, and the setup process can be carried over to GA4. However, for a lean team, the setup process can be quite time-consuming and complex, having to create a Data Layer In Shopify, and then for each event, you must create: Firing Triggers in GTM  Data Layer Variables in GTM Ecommerce Tags in GTM Needless to say, there are quite a few maintenance pitfalls if you're going down this route. Setup is just the beginning. To make matters worse, Shopify is removing GTM from the checkout for Shopify Plus stores (standard Shopify stores never had access). So even if you take the time to add all your own events to tracking visitors before they make a purchase, you’ll no longer be able to track checkout steps (add-to-cart, etc) with GTM. If you want to save time and money while still having confidence in the accuracy of your GA4 data, Littledata is the perfect solution for you. Our proven app is used by over 1500+ brands and can help you track your ecommerce conversions with ease, giving you the reliable data you need to make informed decisions about your business. Littledata’s data layer uses a unique combination of client-side and server-side tracking to ensure accurate, complete ecommerce data in GA4 and any connected data warehouse or reporting destination. Littledata captures complete ecommerce data automatically in GA4 for Shopify and BigCommerce stores. We can break down those events into seven general categories: Marketing channels Browsing behavior Checkout steps Conversions Revenue Recurring orders Upsells Of course, each reporting category has useful data, but brands that really want to scale link it all together to look at revenue and LTV by channel, splitting out first-time purchases from repeat purchases or recurring orders (subscription analytics). As I mentioned earlier, Acquisition reports are some of the most valuable sets of data GA4 offers. They show which of your team’s marketing efforts bring the most results, from traffic through engagement and conversions. The difference between having accurate or questionable ROI data in these reports rests on how the purchase event is tracked. It is useful to have the engagement metrics grouped by channel, but the difference between having accurate or questionable ROI data in these reports rests on how the purchase event is tracked.  Get started with Littledata today so you will have the data you need to scale faster the smart way. We recommend tracking in UA and GA4 “in parallel” as soon as possible.

2023-01-05

12 Days of Tipmas

2022 has been an exciting year — we’ve helped over 1,400 DTC brands get accurate insights on their Shopify and BigCommerce store performance, launched several new connections and data destinations to empower merchants with complete data across the customer journey, and we’re not stopping there!  We’ve got big plans on the horizon for 2023, and there’s no doubt you do too! As we round out the holiday shopping season and prepare for 2023, we asked experts across the ecommerce industry to share their top tips to help you kick off the new year and make 2023 your best year yet. 1. Pivot your retention strategy With acquisition costs at an all-time high during the holiday shopping season, now is the perfect time to focus on keeping your current customer base satisfied and coming back for more. “Beat rising customer acquisition costs by pivoting to your retention strategy.  “2023 is the year of LTV. Weaving in more LTV touchpoints into your customer journey is going to be absolutely crucial. We see brands implementing this in some really creative ways, particularly in the customer account portal! Totally transforming their customer account portals into engagement hubs, our brands are adding subscription-led loyalty programs, referrals, upsells, and even opportunities to gift subscriptions all directly built-in to the account portal experience.  “Moreover, gone are the days of the standard ‘Subscribe and Forget’ subscription experiences. Brands are complementing these LTV touchpoints with total flexibility over their subscription experience. Be sure to give your loyal customers total control over their customer journeys enabling them to expedite next orders, skip next orders, add or swap new products in their next orders to create more of a membership-like experience.” — Gabriella Tegen, Founder & CEO at Smartrr 2. Run ads and scale them on Facebook If BFCM has proven anything to DTC brands it’s that Facebook Ads are back! Brands are seeing their Facebook ads convert more effectively (and more affordably), but the key is building strong campaigns with proven ads. “As marketers, we’re constantly adapting to changes, new trends, tactics, & best practices, but sometimes you just need to think more simply: run ads and scale them. “Every Facebook Ad account should have a ‘Cold ABO Testing’ campaign and a ‘Cold CBO Winners’ campaign. “Your ABO campaign should be used to test your new ads and determine whether they’re winners or not. Move the winning ads into your CBO campaign because you know these are going to convert. We do not want to test new creative in CBO because we are letting Facebook automate here. So let's give Facebook the strongest ammo we’ve got! “Following your cold campaigns, establish a ‘Warm Remarketing’ campaign to target all the people who engage with our brand, but did not convert. “The goal of Facebook Ads is to get out of the learning phase as fast as possible and stay out of it. Build a plethora of strong evergreen ads that you’re going to run for a long period of time. I like to call these ads your account’s muscle. If your ads are performing in your testing campaign, leave them on & scale them as well. “Run ads & scale them. It's easier than you’re making it seem.” — Tim Ferrar, Account Manager at Media Jet Marketing 3. Find the perfect moment to pop-up Amidst a rising ‘opt out’ culture, consumers have grown increasingly wary about who they share their contact information with. Finding the perfect moment to enroll customers in your SMS campaigns is crucial to understanding your customer base and growing your subscriber list. “Since SMS is a more personal and intimate channel (that’s part of its inherent value), it can make some consumers wary of opting in. If you find that to be the case among your target audience, take a value-first approach and wait until after they’ve made a purchase. This way you’ve been able to demonstrate value for them before asking for something as personal as their phone number, which builds trust and increases the engagement and long-term value of their contact. “Use the order thank you page here with an in-page promotion so that it appears native to your website or via a pop-up to collect SMS opt-ins. This is great for order information like tracking notifications so they can know exactly when their purchase will arrive. (No porch pirates please & thank you!)” — Michael Wadsworth, Partner Marketing Manager at Justuno 4. Send new subscribers a warm welcome Speaking of SMS, now that you’ve found the perfect time to get their digits, it’s time to give them a warm welcome to your SMS community. “SMS Pro Tip: 24 hours after a subscriber joins your SMS program, send a triggered message with educational content. You can share information like how your products are crafted, your brand’s values and mission, or how their purchases will make an impact. Include a link back to your brand’s “About” page so they can learn more.” — Elodie Huston, Content Marketing Manager at Attentive 5. Don't underestimate the power of marketing “The run-up to Christmas signals an end to the calendar year and so we believe it's an opportune time for ecommerce brands to position themselves strongly for 2023. The power of marketing during this time cannot be understated, those brands that put in the graft and double down on marketing efforts will have the most success going into the new year.  “Focus on diverse traffic acquisition (i.e don't focus solely on Facebook or Google Ads for example) and push hard to be unique and stand out from the competition so that customers choose your brand over others.  “It's also worth noting that it can cost five times as much to acquire a new customer compared to maintaining an existing one, highlighting the importance of retaining your relationship with customers once you’ve acquired them to ensure they're kept satisfied and come back all year round.” — Ross Adamson, Marketing & Partnerships Executive at Charle Agency 6. Reward your best customers at the end of the year The end of the year is the perfect time to show your top customers some love— after all, it is the season of giving. Running an RFM analysis with a reporting tool like Daasity makes it easy to identify which customers are your top performers, based on how recently they placed an order, how often they’ve made purchases, and how much they spent.  “Reward your best customers at the end of the year!  “At Daasity, we believe the best way to group customers by value (and ID your best customers) is via RFM Analysis. “RFM breaks down customers by three dimensions of behavior: Recency, Frequency, and Monetary.  “Almost every brand has RFM charts like this… “…Where you can see that the longest bar corresponds to RFM 1 customers (i.e., your top 10% of customers on an LTV basis), who are almost 40x more valuable than RFM 10 customers (i.e., your bottom 10% of customers on an LTV basis).  “Basically, your RFM 1 customers are the best-of-the-best-of-the-best: they’re the most engaged with your brand, spend the most, and (probably) love you the most. Shoot them a 10% end-of-year “Thank you for being you” discount, and you might just drive some extra purchases before 2023.” — Dave Swendemen, Senior Content Manager at Daasity 7. Get your budget ducks in a row To keep the momentum going into the new year, prioritize what needs to happen in Q1 and set aside a budget for this. This will allow your team to remain agile and start off strong at the head of the new year! “Get your budget ducks in a row. “As an agency, we often hear this side of the New Year that merchants would rather pick up certain conversations about projects or builds at a later date. While this is undoubtedly a very busy time for many, these discussions are then further delayed when merchants need to then reassess budgets. This leads to a brand delaying the start of a project from early January to some time towards the end of Q1 as a result of not focusing on any financial preparation activities ahead of time. These delays can be costly for brands that cannot afford to lose momentum. “Align with your team on what needs to happen in Q1 in relation to your ecommerce store, then designate a specific budget to this, or even push forward with conversations with suppliers so you can hit the ground running. If you get to grips with where your spend either is currently or what it needs to be from 2023 onwards, it means that you’ll have the ability to move quickly on activity that will be able to help you start the year strong. Avoid a Q1 lull by getting ahead!” — Nathan Abbott, Head of Growth at Underwaterpistol 8. Use data to prevent BFCM churn Many BFCM customers often yield a low LTV — whether they’re discount shoppers, or buying gifts for people on their holiday list, they don’t intend to come back for more. Using customer data, brands can better understand these customers and offer strategic incentives to help mitigate their churn.  “The most important strategy post-holiday season in my mind centers around customer retention.  “Typically, brands see a large influx of new customers and subscribers as a result of their BFCM marketing pushes and promotions. In addition to a nice bump in sales, you now have a treasure trove of data to analyze over the next several months. Use this data to track customer cohorts that signed up during the holiday season, and follow their short-term and long-term behaviors as it pertains to churn.  “It is common for businesses to see an increase in customer churn from this cohort, as a lot of savvy customers buy a product or sign up for a subscription just for the discount, and then churn. Mitigate this behavior by offering incentives at strategic junctures in a customer’s lifecycle with your brand. This could be free shipping (if you don’t already offer it), a one-time discount, or even a “surprise and delight” gift before the charge that your data shows most customers tend to churn on.  “Remember, even extending your customer lifecycle by one charge can have a massive impact on your bottom line!” — Paul Hughes, Senior Account Manager at Recharge 9. Personalize your SMS strategy Stand out from the crowd with personalized SMS messages. And no — that doesn't just mean calling your subscribers’ by their first names! With 96% of customers interested in receiving weekly text messages from the brands they love — up from 31% last year — now’s your chance to perfect your SMS strategy, understand what drives your customers, and build a community around your brand. “We all get dozens of texts each day — your messages need to stand out for recipients to pay attention. People are more likely to act on a text when it looks like you wrote it just for them. This means more than just including basic details like a first name — provide value to your customers by speaking to their unique needs and interests, or by sending exclusive offers aligned with their past purchases. “Strategically personalizing your texts helps you nurture relationships with customers by making them feel special. Plus it motivates them to take action immediately.” — Jessica Schanzer, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Klaviyo 10. Understand your top-performing channels The key to maximizing your customer retention and optimizing your acquisition costs — especially in uncertain economic conditions — is understanding which channels and campaigns are performing the best and bringing in more high-LTV customers.  With accurate attribution insights at your disposal, you can better allocate your marketing budget to campaigns that work, and spend less on those that don’t. “Based on Shopify’s 2023 ecommerce trends report, 73% of DTC brands plan to rely on external financing in the coming year to get closer to profitability. After a bumpy Q3 and Q4 we expected to see this, but perhaps not such a high percentage.  “For most of these brands, 2023 will be all about increasing customer net revenue retention and decreasing the cost of new customer acquisition as aggressively as possible.  “One of the key factors to steer these brands towards a positive outcome is having accurate product and purchase data linked with the complete marketing attribution data in your Google Analytics or other data destinations used by your organization.  “So for 2023, my advice to all DTC brands is to prioritize having accurate acquisition, ecommerce, and marketing data even over saving costs.” — David Pascu, Head of Client Services at Littledata 11. Re-engage your BFCM shoppers Your brand is more than the discounted rate you offered during BFCM. Build a loyal community by re-engaging your customers and incentivizing them to buy again. “Following BFCM, brands now need to focus on re-engaging with the customers who bought during this time.  “A solid strategy around capitalizing on the influx of new customers is imperative. You can start by looking into order quantities from these customers and comparing this with the average days between transactions. This will give you an idea of when they may reorder or replenish, meaning you can time your reorder or replenishment messaging perfectly. “Now is a great time to demonstrate value beyond just the discounted rate they got for BFCM. Start building brand value and loyalty by making them feel part of your tribe with some regular communication. By showing them some love, you’ll give yourself the best chance for them to return and pay full price next time. “Create engaging touchpoints to build trust. Why not ask them how the product they bought is performing? Are they enjoying the product? If the product was a gift, ask how it was received. “Lastly, why not surprise and delight your newly found customers with an unexpected gift or a thank you? This doesn't need to be expensive, but it does need to feel personal and relevant. After all, this is also likely to cost you less than acquiring a new customer.” — Jason Chappel, Head of Client Strategy at Blend Commerce 12. Leverage subscriptions to boost retention Between an unsteady economy and rising acquisition costs, brands have their focus on keeping their current customers satisfied. To keep customer lifetime value (LTV) high, integrate as many opportunities for upselling and recurring orders as possible. “With the days of cheap customer acquisition behind us, and many of the key ecommerce markets in recession, customer retention is now mission-critical for DTC brands. Increasing repeat order rate, repeat order frequency, cross-sell conversion, and minimizing subscription churn are all essential levels to pull in order to maintain a strong customer lifetime value in 2023 and win the DTC race.” — Harry Willis, Partnerships Lead at Relo by Blueprint And that's a wrap! As we wrap up 2022, take these tips with you to start off 2023 on the right foot. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop on all things ecommerce analytics with weekly updates from our analytics experts.

2022-12-21

Littledata named a category leader on G2

We're happy to share that G2 has named Littledata a category leader in the E-Commerce Analytics category. G2 is the world’s largest and most trusted software marketplace, and we were honored to be awarded G2's Winter 2023 Leader badge. In the Winter 2023 G2 Grid® Report for E-Commerce Analytics, Littledata emerged as a leader with notably high satisfaction ratings, including a 98% likelihood to recommend the software. Highlights from Littledata's G2 reviews: Littledata named a Leader in the E-Commerce Analytics category Top analytics connector for mid-market brands (typically on Shopify Plus or BigCommerce Enterprise) 5-star reviews across the board, from both data scientists and ecommerce managers Littledata users have a 98% Likelihood to Recommend the software As the only complete, automated server-side tracking for Shopify and BigCommerce stores, Littledata has continued to lead the pack since launching our first Shopify app in 2017. But we aren't letting success go to our heads. “We're not resting on our 5 star laurels,” says Edward Upton, Littledata CEO. “Littledata continues to invest to beat the ad blockers and future-proof your e-commerce data. As recent G2 reviewers have noted, we already offer full support for Google Analytics 4, the new version of Google Analytics, without the need for custom tagging or Google Tag Manager (GTM) setup.” Bianca Dihoiu, Head of Customer Success, notes that the customer success team supports Google Analytics just as much as it supports the Littledata platform: “Accurate data is something every business desires, but it can become tedious to implement and maintain numerous apps and tools in this ever changing ecosystem. Littledata’s automated tracking eliminates the hefty maintenance time and costs typically associated with advanced Google Analytics setups for Shopify sites. As brands start to trust their data again in Google Analytics, our team is here to help with any questions around the new platform and assistance in how to use it.” Littledata achieved the Leader award by receiving positive reviews, from verified users compared to similar products in the E-commerce Analytics category. For inclusion in the quarterly report a product must have received 10 or more reviews, and in 2022 Littledata received 12 independent reviews from verified buyers. "Rankings on G2 reports are based on data provided to us by real software buyers," said Sara Rossio, Chief Product Officer at G2. "Potential buyers know they can trust these insights when researching and selecting software because they’re rooted in vetted, verified, and authentic reviews."  Learn more about what real users have to say (or leave your own review of Littledata) on G2’s Littledata review page!  

by Ari
2022-12-20

Is Shopify cutting off GTM support?

There have been rumors circulating about the latest version of Shopify checkout not supporting Google Tag Manager (GTM). Is Shopify cutting off support for GTM on the checkout completely? This might be the biggest announcement from Shopify this year, but also the most overlooked. We have been working with Shopify tracking since the beginning at Littledata and have followed these updates closely. So let me unpack what is and is not changing for GTM tracking on Shopify and Shopify Plus. What is Google Tag Manager? Many Shopify stores use Google Tag Manager (GTM) to deploy marketing ‘tags’ across their web pages, without the need to directly edit the store theme.The  free tool developed by Google has shot to popularity ahead of paid rivals such as Tealium. GTM makes it easy for these stores to track pageviews and on-site events in Google Analytics, Facebook Ads and other analytics and marketing platforms, but capturing checkout steps and transactions (orders) is more difficult. Until recently, Shopify Plus stores had the ability to also add GTM to the checkout pages, by adding the GTM container to the theme checkout.liquid file. This allowed tracking of checkout steps to power, for example, abandoned checkout retargeting via email or Facebook Ads. Even though there are automated solutions that track checkout steps accurately and securely without the need for GTM, some merchants and agencies still tried to do this manually via GTM. When will GTM be blocked on the Shopify checkout? Starting last month (November 2022), and accelerating after peak trading season (holiday shopping) ends, Shopify will no longer be allowing Google Tag Manager in the checkout for Shopify Plus stores. Shopify has been rolling out a new version of its checkout to Plus stores which will remove the ability to add scripts via checkout.liquid. The checkout.liquid file will still be present but be ignored. Shopify will no longer be allowing Google Tag Manager in the checkout Stores will get the ability to modify aspects of the checkout experience from within Shopify admin, but not the ability to add GTM to the checkout. This is not a temporary measure; it’s a long term solution to increase security in the checkout. You can still track completed orders on the order status (thank you) page via the Checkout Order Status Script section, but this client-side tracking is increasingly unreliable. Why didn’t merchants get a headsup? To be fair to Shopify, they have flagged extra scripts on the checkout as a security risk for a few years. They have been trying to close the Additional Scripts loophole since 2020, and have added a browser console warning about third-party scripts being blocked on the checkout. Their long term solution is the Web Pixels API, to allow tracking of checkout pages without access to the checkout pages - but this solution isn’t quite ready, and doesn’t include key steps of the checkout journey. How to replace GTM on the Shopify checkout If you run GTM on a Shopify Plus checkout you need to find an alternative to tracking the checkout steps. And you need to do so ASAP. Although GTM may still be running in your store, it won’t be for much longer. You have only two options I’m aware of: Use Littledata’s end-to-end tracking, which tracks tracks Shopify checkout steps server-side and automatically sends those events to data destinations such as Google Analytics, Segment, Facebook Ads (via Conversions API). This has the added advantage of tracking pre-checkout events server-side, which improves both page performance and data accuracy. Use an app that integrates with Shopify’s Web Pixel API. Apps like Elevar have taken this route, even though Web Pixel is still quite limited. Neither solution will provide quite the same level of customization as Google Tag Manager, but then it comes without the risks either. Can your store really take the risk of interrupting the checkout journey for the sake of some minor marketing optimization? Littledata tracks Shopify checkout steps server-side, without the need for GTM Why is Shopify restricting usage of GTM? GTM is loved by marketers for its ability to bypass developer blockers to get marketing tags live, but it is hated in equal measure by web security experts for the same ability to bypass security. With great deployment power should come great responsibility, but GTM allows a non-technical user to inject unknown JavaScript into all web pages on a site with minimal scrutiny. On pre-checkout pages of a store the worst impact is container bloat - multiple tracking tags from different vendors slow down the user experience for customers. The antidote to bloated GTM containers is to push most of the tracking server-side. Server-side tracking allows for faster page loads while improving data accuracy. But adding GTM to the checkout pages presents a much greater risk. As well as potentially interrupting a business-critical path to payment, rogue scripts loaded from GTM can scrape credit card details from the page and facilitate credit card fraud. The final straw for Shopify seems to have come in August when Shopify’s checkout was out of action globally for the best part of a day due to a conflict with GTM. I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about the @shopify checkout issue. 12 hours and massive stores are still affected with no announcement from shopifyHere’s a fix, if your store is affected pic.twitter.com/rkvr72AlBP— Matt Schroeder | 3PL Operator 📦 (@SchroedsBiz) August 31, 2022 With over $500M a day of GMV processed through Shopify checkout in Q3 alone, that is just too big an operational risk for Shopify to bear. Is GTM safe on the rest of my Shopify store? Yes, I can’t see why or how Shopify would restrict third-party scripts -- including GTM -- on the pre-checkout storefront. Shopify allows stores to add any functionality to the storefront as they want, even if that does make the pages load more slowly. That said, two advances in web tracking technology may make GTM redundant for your store: Enhanced Measurement in Google Analytics. This allows stores to track clicks, outbound links, video engagement and page scrolling without adding any code to the storefront. These were all events that required GTM to trigger previously. And it’s completely compatible with Littledata’s Google Analytics 4 connection. Server-side tracking across the customer journey. Browser-based tracking via GTM is increasingly unreliable as cookies and tracking scripts get blocked. Although Google Tag manager also supports server-side containers, the setup can be fiddly and requires you to run your own server infrastructure on Google Cloud. Littledata’s out-the-box server side solution provides all the benefits of server-side with none of the maintenance. So even if you’re quite happy with GTM - and not on Shopify Plus - I recommend you have a think about whether you really need GTM, or could find a lower maintenance solution. [subscribe]

2022-12-15

Littledata now integrates with Klaviyo SMS!

We're excited to announce that Littledata now integrates with Klaviyo SMS. The integration is designed to help merchants uncover revenue opportunities in their data -- whether you're doing 100 orders per month or 100,000. The enhanced functionality extends our Klaviyo connection to track SMS messages and campaigns in addition to Klaviyo email campaigns and automations. The best part? It works for any Shopify or BigCommerce store using Google Analytics: Get complete conversion tracking for Klaviyo SMS campaigns in Google Analytics  Compare Klaviyo performance against other channels, such as Facebook Ads Improve marketing ROI with granular LTV data and checkout funnel tracking Works with GA4, the new version of Google Analytics Klaviyo has long been the most popular email solution for Littledata's customers, and we couldn't be more excited to support SMS tracking for a complete Klaviyo integration. As Klaviyo notes, 1 in 3 consumers prefer texts over emails from their favorite brands, and combined email and SMS campaigns can drive ridiculously high revenue for data-driven DTC brands. Being able to see what campaigns are performing well as an Ecommerce Manager, PPC Manager, and Founder was crucial to our current customers and the continued evolution of Littledata's core offering of proving accurate data for DTC brands. To really unlock that revenue potential, merchants need data they can trust across every customer touch point. That's where Littledata comes in. With first-party tracking that works automatically, it's an advanced Google Analytics connection that can be set up in less than 5 minutes so you can get back to business. The most popular app stack we see is Shopify + Klaviyo + Recharge, and with this extended Klaviyo integration we now support granular tracking across that stack. Popular app stacks like this give merchants increased visibility and control over their campaigns, alongside a single source of truth in Google Analytics thanks to Littledata's smart tech.  The new SMS integration works with both Universal Analytics (GA3 or the "old version" of Google Analytics) and Google Analytics 4 (GA4). It's been optimized for GA4 because a) that's where everything is going, and b) the channel groupings and data-driven attribution reporting in GA4 are much more powerful and flexible. [tip]Follow our Klaviyo SMS tracking guide to ensure that your SMS campaigns are tracked correctly by Littledata in Google Analytics[/tip] What is Littledata? Littledata is the top ecommerce data platform for modern DTC brands. Our first-party tracking solution makes it easy to send complete, accurate, unified data to destinations like Google Analytics, Segment and Facebook Ads. We've partnered with Klaviyo, the top ecommerce marketing automation platform, to help you do more with your data. Learn more >>>

by Ari
2022-12-08

How to use GA4 for ecommerce analytics [Podcast]

With BFCM behind us, it’s time to push forward and begin planning for 2023. One of the biggest changes 2023 has in store for ecommerce brands is the deprecation of Universal Analytics and the rise of Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Many merchants are still struggling with their migration from UA to Google Analytics 4, and we get it — change is hard. Especially when it comes to a vital tool that your business relies on.  [tip]Get the free ebook on 10 reasons to switch to GA4[/tip] The good news is that switching to GA4 doesn't have to rack your nerves. Littledata’s Head of Client Services, David Pascu, shares his expert advice on building a strong foundation in GA4 on the Infinity Nation podcast. Whether you’ve been tracking in parallel for months, or you’re pushing off your migration until the last minute, you won’t want to miss this episode. Sending Shopify data to GA4 David joined Al Keck on the Infinity Nation podcast to discuss all things Shopify and GA4. David answers many of the most common questions users have about migrating to GA4, including: Myths and facts about GA4 for DTC brands Why Google is deprecating UA in change for GA4 When should you get started with GA4 How to start sending ecommerce data to GA4 Listen to the full episode >>>

2022-12-02

Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

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