Category : Shopify
The Ultimate Guide to Subscription Analytics
Now more than ever, subscriptions are a huge part of people’s daily lives. Not so long ago, ecommerce stores focused on one-off purchases to scale their businesses. But consumer buying preferences have shifted — brands and customers are focusing on relationship-driven ecommerce, and subscriptions are at the heart of that change. In fact, subscriptions are now the fastest growing area of ecommerce and show no signs of slowing down any time soon. The subscription ecommerce industry is projected to be worth over $246 billion by 2025 — scaling by more than 9,400% since 2016. In two years, Shopify Plus anticipates that 75% of direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses will offer subscriptions. In this post, we’ll cover... The benefits (and shortcomings) of adding a subscription service to your ecommerce storeHow to get accurate subscription tracking in Google AnalyticsHeadless tracking for subscription storesThe most important metrics and tools to get your subscription service off the ground Benefits of adding a subscription service If you're interested in growing your monthly sales and revenue, adding a subscription service is a great place to start. Subscriptions pose an exciting opportunity for ecommerce stores to unlock potential revenue, build long-lasting relationships with their customers, and create a community among consumers. One of the most notable benefits of subscription ecommerce is the consistent, recurring revenue. The predictable income that comes along with subscriptions allows management to: Plan and invest accordinglyOrder and manage inventory more effectivelyProject profits with ease and accuracy As Shopify Plus put it in their article on the benefits of subscription ecommerce, “on a deeper level, ecommerce subscriptions are about strong customer relationships. Subscriptions turn customers, who already see the value your company provides, into loyal followers who become reliable sources of recurring revenue.” In fact, the longer a customer uses your product or service, the more valuable they become to you. Plus, higher customer retention rates mean lower acquisition costs in the long term.” Where subscriptions fall short Unfortunately, Shopify stores offering subscriptions consistently fall short in one area — their analytics setups. Shopify Analytics gives you the baseline data, but doesn’t give you the full picture of your customer’s journey. That’s why many merchants rely on Google Analytics (GA) to dive deeper into their data. If you’re using Shopify’s native Google Analytics connection, you’ve probably run into a whole other set of issues. From data mismatches to aggregated orders, it’s evident that Shopify and Google Analytics don’t work well together on their own. We sampled a set of larger DTC brands on Shopify, processing over 50,000 monthly orders through a standard Shopify checkout, and found that on average only 88% of orders processed are recorded in Google Analytics. That’s a major loss; for every 100 Shopify orders, 12 go missing in Google Analytics. Subscription stores face even greater data discrepancies, with up to 70% of Shopify orders being tracked in Google Analytics on a good day and as little as 7% being tracked on, well, a not-so-good day. The major mismatches you see in subscription stores are due to the fact that orders are processed without any customer interaction. Data mismatches, no matter how big or small, hurt your bottom line. Whether it be marketing spend that can’t be attributed to sales or faulty retargeting campaigns, you can’t afford to make decisions based on inaccurate data. For data-driven DTC brands, accuracy is everything! Otherwise, you’re just leaving money on the table. Lucky for you, there is a solution to fix your subscription tracking in Google Analytics. Tracking subscriptions in Google Analytics Searching for a tool for tracking subscriptions that works right out of the box and ensures accurate reporting? Littledata is it. Using a combination of server-side and client-side tracking, Littledata captures data at every customer touchpoint. I know what you’re thinking — sounds too good to be true. So here’s the rundown on how the Littledata app works: Upon installation, Littledata adds a data layer onto your ecommerce site containing all Enhanced Ecommerce events — Google’s term for each crucial touchpoint in the customer journey. Littledata then adds a tracking script to capture each event as it happens.Finally, using combined client-side and server-side tracking, the app tracks all transactions and ensures 100% accuracy in reporting one-time orders, recurring payments, lifecycle events, and everything in between. We work with the top subscription services on Shopify and BigCommerce to empower your ecommerce store with complete data. Littledata automatically audits and fixes your data right at the source, bringing you complete and accurate data in Google Analytics, Segment, or any of your favorite reporting tools. Our plug-and-play solution is as simple as that. Minutes after installing, you’ll have access to truly meaningful data and the power to make your marketing dollars work better for your store. What does this mean for you? Make marketing and sales decisions backed by data that you can trustTrack one-time orders, first-time payments, and recurring transactionsAccurate marketing attribution data for one-time and subscription ordersMeasure LTV by product, channel, or sourceTrack multiple checkout funnels with 100% accuracyGet the full picture of your customers’ journey with tracking at every touchpointComplete tracking for headless setups Headless tracking for subscription stores Headless commerce doesn’t have to come at the cost of missing data. Whether your site uses a collection of headless landing pages or a full headless architecture implementation, Littledata's Shopify to Google Analytics connection is compatible with headless setups to capture Enhanced Ecommerce events and ensure a complete data match between Shopify and Google Analytics. What metrics are the most important for subscription stores? Analytics really matters when it comes to subscription ecommerce, which is why identifying key metrics is that much more important. The three most important metrics, which indicate your store’s performance, growth, and longevity are: Average order value (AOV)Customer lifetime value (LTV)Churn These metrics will guide your sales and marketing decisions and ultimately determine the fate of your store. Average Order Value AOV — the average amount spent by customers when they place an order — measures sales trends and reflects customer behavior and buying preferences. This can be one of the trickiest metrics to increase. Boosting AOV is a priority goal for ecommerce teams as it directly impacts profits (and customer lifetime value). Order value can be maximized with upsells and cross-sells, but there’s a fine line between encouraging and annoying your customers. Ecommerce tools like CartHook and subscription apps like ReCharge specialize in incorporating unobtrusive upselling into your customers’ buying experience, providing an easy solution to one of our customers’ biggest feats. Find out if your AOV is in good shape: benchmark your ecommerce store against thousands of other brands in your sector. Customer Lifetime Value LTV is considered a “universal indicator;” it’s a comprehensive metric that encompasses the overall health of your subscription store. LTV is the best indicator of churn, best projector of profit, and best aid in decision making. When it comes to marketing and sales decisions, LTV helps you easily identify which products and channels are your top performers and bring you your most valuable customers. Find out how you can use Littledata’s custom dimensions to calculate customer lifetime value with your data in Google Analytics. Churn For subscription stores especially, Shopify stores live and die by churn — the rate at which subscribers stop subscribing to your store. Churn is the flip side of your retention rate, revealing how many customers shopped with you and didn't return. Your churn rate is a critical indicator of the health of your subscription business, reflecting its overall viability in the long run. Where to see the data Data is everywhere. But at Littledata, we believe that you should have full ownership of your own ecommerce data. Unlike reporting tools that focus on external data storage or complicated interfaces, Littledata automatically audits your setup, fixes your tracking, and leaves it where it should be: with you. From discovery at the source to events throughout their shopping experience — our combined server-side and client-side tracking captures data at every touchpoint and sends that data directly to Google Analytics or Segment. If you’re using our Google Analytics app for Shopify, you can see that data directly in Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, or your favorite reporting tool that works with GA, like Google Data Studio. If you’re using our Segment app for Shopify, you can send data to hundreds of Segment destinations for analysis or remarketing. Apps to fuel your ecommerce subscriptions Both Shopify and BigCommerce have a wide array of plug-and-play subscription apps that make it easy to boost your store’s performance; Littledata has built connections with the top subscription services in ecommerce to equip your team with the tools needed to make data-driven decisions. ReCharge ReCharge is a leading subscription management app, designed to let your store offer subscriptions with a few clicks. Since 2014, merchants of all sizes have used ReCharge’s billing and payment solutions to grow their business by increasing customer lifetime value and reducing customer churn. ReCharge has helped to power the growth of industry-leading brands like Wild and Grind through their revenue-boosting tools like upsells, SMS and email notifications, and actionable subscription insights. Check out our interview with Teddy Robinson, CMO and Creative Director of Grind, and find out how they harnessed accurate data to grow their monthly subscriptions by 50x in just three months. Bold Subscriptions Bold Subscriptions helps merchants to generate predictable recurring revenue and build customer loyalty with a customizable subscription program that’s unique to your business. The app is compatible with multiple ecommerce platforms, integrates with over a dozen payment gateways, and allows merchants to craft any subscription program with API customization. Bold Subscriptions is widely used across ecommerce platforms by brands like Wulf’s Fish and Staples Canada. Ordergroove Ordergroove is a recurring billing solution that helps merchants maximize subscriber enrollment, grow their AOV, and boost customer retention. Ordergroove allows customers to create a personalized subscriber experience through promotions, rewards programs, and more. It’s a popular solution for larger brands — like Yankee Candle and Kind Snacks — and offers a range of integrations to help brands scale. Smartrr Smartrr’s subscription ecommerce app is designed for Shopify and Shopify Plus merchants to offer personalized subscriptions to their customer base, allowing subscribers to manage their recurring orders, providing gifting options, and offering upsell add-ons and product swaps that increase customer satisfaction. Their no-code approach makes it easy for early-stage ecommerce stores — like Misfits Market and Sanzo — to hit the ground running with subscriptions. Paywhirl PayWhirl provides powerful widgets & tools to manage your recurring billing. Paywhirl helps ecommerce stores sell subscriptions, pre-orders, payment plans, and more. Rebillia Rebillia makes subscription easy by giving customers the option to save payment information for future purchases, subscribe to their favorite products or services, and send powerful, automatic recommendation emails according to purchase history. Rebillia empowers major brands like Charmin and Gillette to sell by subscription. So what's next? The rise in subscription ecommerce is just heating up; what better time than now to launch your subscription store? From subscription management to analytics and more — there are tons of apps across Shopify and BigCommerce to help you scale your business.Take the first step towards making data-backed decisions with your 30-day free trial with Littledata.
Shopify Analytics: Everything You Need to Know
Every good business runs on good data. It doesn’t matter if you’re choosing a store design, analyzing your marketing, or setting revenue targets, it all comes back to what the data tells you. On the flip side, running on bad data can lead to your store whiffing on those big decisions. That’s where, if you’re a Shopify store, Shopify Analytics (and other analytics options) come into play. In this post, we’re going to: Break down what Shopify Analytics does Discuss Shopify Analytics’ limitations Share tools that can give you deep, accurate data and drive revenue Show you how to add powerful data tools to your ecommerce store What does Shopify Analytics do? Built within its platform, Shopify has an analytics tracker that allows you to generate data based on your store’s performance. This data includes high-level metrics like your total store sessions, number of sales, returning customers, and the average value of orders placed. [caption id="attachment_13280" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Shopify Analytics' overview dashboard gives you a snapshot of your store's high-level metrics.[/caption] Metrics like these help you get a snapshot of how visitors are interacting with your store. That way, you can pinpoint elements of your website to tweak or update based on what the data is telling you and continue to improve your metrics overall. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more popular metrics that Shopify Analytics displays within its overview dashboard: Total Sales: This metric displays the total revenue your store has generated over a specific date range minus costs like shipping and taxes. Online Store Sessions: The online store sessions metric counts the total number of customers who visited your site in a given date range, including repeat visitors. Returning Customer Rate: Returning customer rate shows the percentage of customers who have purchased from your store more than once. These customers are valuable due to their loyalty and subsequent higher lifetime value. Online Store Conversion Rate: Conversion rate tracks the number of visits that led to a purchase. Average Order Value (AOV): Average order value is calculated by taking your total order revenue and dividing it by the number of orders. The first step to using these metrics to improve your store is knowing where to find them. How to use Shopify Analytics Shopify displays data and reports about your store’s performance within its “Overview Dashboard.” The Overview Dashboard also allows you to carry out a range of basic data analyses. This includes: Comparing the value of your current sales to a previous date range Tracking how many sales you receive from a variety of marketing channels Generating your AOV Tracking your site trends over time To access this Overview Dashboard, start from your Shopify admin page and go to Analytics > Dashboards. The dashboard will display data generated from today and compare it to the day before. You can change this date range by selecting the date menu. You can also change the comparison period for this data by clicking compare to previous dates, then Apply and your data will be generated. You can then select “View report,” which gives you a more detailed analysis of your chosen metric. Be aware, however, that not all metrics will generate in your report. The metrics you can see will depend on the Shopify plan you are currently on. What analytics are in Shopify If your store uses Shopify Lite, your analytics report will show you a basic range of metrics, including the overview dashboard, finance reports, and analytics about your products. To access detailed reports like visitor behavior analysis or marketing and sales reports, you will need to upgrade to the Basic Shopify plan or higher. Shopify Analytics can generate a few other metrics beyond the most high-level ones mentioned above. Incorporating these into your data strategy is also important to maximize marketing attribution and revenue. Sales Metrics Some of the most valuable sales metrics generated through Shopify Analytics include: Total sales - the amount of revenue that was generated through your online store or your Point Of Sale if you have a physical storefront. Sales Source - this lists the sources from which your sales generated (i.e. social media channels, ads, or direct traffic.) Total orders - this metric displays the total number of orders generated through both your ecommerce store and your physical store. Customer Metrics Top products by units sold - This metric shows the items in your store which sold the most by volume, helping you identify your most popular offerings. Top site landing pages - This indentifies the most frequent landing pages on your site where visitors started a session. Returning customer rate - This gives the percentage of customers who have bought from you repeatedly in a selected time period. Shopify Behavior Reports Shopify also provides behavior reports which record customer actions on your site and allow you to: Track how your online store conversions have changed over time. Determine the top online searches for your product. Track how your product recommendations change over a given period. [caption id="attachment_13295" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Shopify Analytics' behavior reports help you drill down into how key metrics have changed over time.[/caption] All these metrics can play a key part in your overall marketing strategy and help you improve marketing attribution. But to make the best decisions for your business, you need truly accurate data — something Shopify Analytics has a spotty record with. Is Shopify Analytics good? Shopify Analytics is a good tool overall for what it is: an out-of-the-box solution for basic analytics tracking on your ecommerce store. Shopify Analytics provides the top-level metrics to give you a broad snapshot of your store’s health and customer behavior. But it lacks the detailed reports of a more robust analytics service like Google Analytics. What is Shopify analytics lacking? Unfortunately, Shopify Analytics also has a poor history when it comes to accuracy. Shopify Analytics’ tracking has shown to be both unreliable and incomplete. In fact, an analysis conducted of Shopify Analytics found that for every 100 orders tracked in Shopify Analytics, 12 go missing. There are a handful of other shortcomings those who rely on Shopify Analytics as their main data source face, as well. These include: Cross-domain tracking being setup incorrectly Server-side tracking is missing Sales data doesn't segment between first-time purchases and recurring transactions (subscriptions) Refunds not included in Google Analytics Many of Shopify Analytics’ shortcomings obscure traffic sources and disrupt attribution tracking. As an example, when customers check out on your Shopify store they’re redirected to a Shopify domain, causing the visitor’s session to end suddenly — even if they are in the process of buying an item. This affects what Shopify Analytics shows as their last click and takes away from the power of the data you’re collecting. So, is there a better way to track referrals sources, collect customer behavior metrics, and ensure accurate analytics? Yes: using a more powerful analytics tool like Google Analytics. Shopify Analytics vs. Google Analytics Google Analytics (GA) is a household name for analytics reporting across nearly every industry. In fact, it’s the world’s most popular marketing analytics platform, used by 98% of online stores. While both Shopify Analytics and GA offer unique benefits, store owners who opt for GA get more data for their dollar. We can see this first hand on a metric like sales by traffic source. [tip]Read our full ebook on why Shopify Analytics and Google Analytics don't match, plus how to fix it for your store.[/tip] Littledata looked at 180,000 orders from 10 Shopify stores, and the marketing channels in Shopify Analytics were as follows: Direct 83.5% Social 9% Search 4.5% Unknown (other websites, not social or search) 3% Email ~0.1% The Direct channel sticks out like a sore thumb, mainly because it dwarfs every other source of traffic. Compare this with the last-click attribution of sales from GA, and the difference in accuracy becomes clear: To put it simply, Shopify Analytics lacks both the accuracy and specificity of data that a tool like GA provides. How to add Google Analytics to Shopify While GA doesn’t work automatically with Shopify, it’s not difficult to set up for your store. There are multiple ways you can add Google Analytics to Shopify, and the method you choose will depend both on your technical skill and the time you have to dedicate to set up. Once you’ve created a Google Analytics property for Shopify, you can follow your preferred method to add GA to your store and start getting full, accurate data. Read on to discover which method will work best for adding GA to your store. For Universal Analytics Before 2020, Universal Analytics was the Google Analytics default. To find out if your store has Universal Analytics, check your web property ID. A universal analytics web property ID will start with ‘UA’. If you’re using Universal Analytics, the two options we’d recommend to connect GA to your Shopify store are: Using Shopify’s built-in tracking, found in-store preferences Using Littledata’s advanced Shopify to Google Analytics app For Google Analytics 4 Since late 2020, GA4 has operated as the default Google Analytics property. There are a handful of benefits to using GA4, not least of which being that it provides more thorough reports delivered within a faster timeline. Shopify does not yet support Google Analytics 4, so the built-in tracking feature is not an option here. However, you can try using GA4 and Shopify Analytics in parallel to test the performance of both and see the differences yourself. The “least hassle” option If you want to add GA to your store and you’re looking to save time and get things done correctly, implementing Littledata is likely your best bet. Littledata provides a Getting Started guide to help you add Google Analytics to your Shopify store. Once connected, the Littledata app gives you a thorough data overview and sends weekly updates as Google and Shopify add new features. [tip]Try Littledata's Google Analytics connection free for 30 days to see how it can fix your tracking while integrating with your other Shopify apps.[/tip] Using Google Analytics with Shopify Analytics GA and Shopify Analytics can be used in conjunction with one another, as each have their uses. As an example, you could use Shopify Analytics as a quick overview dashboard for store performance while relying on GA for a complete analysis of sales and marketing efforts. In depth data decisionmaking will still most likely be coming from what you see in GA, but you can still rely on Shopify Analytics to capture big picture metrics. Connecting dashboards and reporting tools The most successful modern DTC stores operate not with GA alone, but with a full data stack that helps them cover each step of the customer journey. They increase the scope of their data coverage by connecting other data dashboards and tools. ReCharge A great tool to connect to your store, especially if you offer subscriptions, is the ReCharge Connection. This connection is an advanced GA integration that helps you to track subscription ecommerce behavior. Connecting Shopify and ReCharge with Google Analytics allows you to obtain accurate sales data, including first-time orders, recurring payments, and subscription lifecycle events. It also allows you to obtain accurate marketing attribution for first-time orders, recurring payments, and subscription lifecycle events. Segment A further tool you could use to track your Shopify data is the Segment app connection, which allows you to track each customer touchpoint within your website, including the checkout steps taken by customers, sales information, and the lifetime value of a specific customer. Segment is a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that makes it easy to combine customer data with marketing data, then send that data to other platforms you use, whether that’s a data warehouse or an email marketing tool. As such, Segment isn’t just for analysis. It’s also a popular way to build new marketing audiences, such as building lookalike audiences in Facebook from your highest-spending Shopify customers. Google Ads and Facebook Ads Online advertising is a major source of traffic for modern DTC brands. To ensure your making the best decisions in your advertising strategy, you need accurate data. That’s where the Facebook Ads and Google Ads connections can play a key part in your overall analytics stack. The Facebook Ads connection fixes campaign tagging and allows for importing ad costs so you can drill down marketing attribution costs. The Google Ads connection is ideal for tracking sales expenses in reports and connecting marketing data with ecommerce performance. Wrapping it all up Now that you know exactly what Shopify Analytics can provide for you, what analytics strategy will you implement to ensure you’re making smart business decisions for your store? Using Google Analytics with your Shopify store gives you: a thorough view of the data a complete snapshot of the entire customer journey advanced metrics you need to improve attribution and boost revenue Using these, you can plan changes to your store and product offerings based on accurate data while improving your visibility by taking control of your analytics tracking. And once you’ve connected other powerful reporting tools and dashboards like Littledata’s ReCharge and Segment apps, you’ll have all the information you need to dial up your store’s growth. Take the first step by getting a free data audit when you start your 30-day free trial with Littledata. [subscribe]
Tracking Subscriptions in Shopify Checkout: Everything You Need to Know
The checkout is one of the most important steps in the ecommerce buying process for merchants. “Of course,” you might say, “it’s where I get paid!” But there’s a lot more to a good checkout strategy than simply completing transactions, especially if you sell products by subscription. Many modern DTC brands sell by subscription. Whether offering everyday items such as deodorant or custom monthly offerings such as fashion boxes or craft beverages, ecommerce businesses use a subscription model to increase customer lifetime value (LTV), referrals, and retention. Shopify noticed this trend and made some major moves this past year to push subscriptions into the native checkout. Most importantly, the change allows Shopify app developers to build tools with greater support for subscription business models. You probably have a lot of questions about what this means for your business, especially if you are focused on data-driven growth. We’re happy to announce that Littledata now offers plug-and-play solutions for tracking subscriptions in the native Shopify checkout, including for headless builds. Our ecommerce data platform works seamlessly with apps like ReCharge, Ordergroove, Smartrr, and Bold, and you can send the data to Segment, Google Analytics (GA), or any connected reporting tool. In this post, we’ll answer common questions about subscriptions in the native Shopify checkout — from what this really means (what is a “unified checkout” anyway?) to what data is available or “exposed” for your ecommerce marketing team. This post covers: I. Why Shopify moved to a unified checkout II. The state of subscription ecommerce III. Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) in the subscription industry IV. Tracking subscriptions in the Shopify checkout V. Subscription apps supported by Littledata I. Why Shopify moved to a unified checkout In the past, Shopify merchants who wanted to offer subscription products had to use third-party apps, such as ReCharge or Bold Subscriptions, where payment data can be stored and subscriptions managed. As a result, customers had to go through a different checkout process for subscriptions versus one-time orders. For example, customers would be redirected away from a Shopify store site to a separate ReCharge checkout, then return to the initial store they were on after completing payment. Last year, Shopify introduced new subscriptions APIs with the aim of creating a more seamless checkout experience for subscribers. Now, customers can start product subscriptions without leaving the store’s website, while the post-purchase management of the subscription is still handled by the subscription app. These new APIs bring a handful of additional benefits as well: Complete subscription data is stored by Shopify, allowing for improved reporting and analytics A faster, more streamlined checkout process for your customers More flexibility, so you can experiment with new subscription models Native checkout security provided by Shopify Shopify’s payment gateway does come with some limitations around product sales and region-based availability. If your store sells products that are outlawed in certain major markets (like cannabis) Shopify’s payment gateway will not offer support for your store. Likewise, if your store is not based in one of the countries Shopify lists under their umbrella of coverage, you’ll need to use another payment gateway to complete transactions. You can find more information on payment gateways to use by following the directions Shopify provides for stores outside their main regions of coverage. Note: Make sure to read both Shopify’s guide to setting up subscriptions and Littledata’s analytics setup guide for subscriptions in the Shopify checkout. There are several steps you need to take in each of a) Shopify’s admin, b) the subscription app you installed from the Shopify App Store, and c) Littledata in order to track everything correctly. II. The state of subscription ecommerce Not so long ago, ecommerce businesses focused on single transactions to grow their business. But the landscape has changed. Shoppers and brands are now focusing on relationship-driven ecommerce, and subscriptions are at the heart of the change. Many ecommerce customers now see the benefits of becoming a subscriber. It helps them stay ahead on the latest updates related to their favorite products and services. It also gives them flexibility to set up a steady flow of products when they want them, and the option to pause or swap subscriptions from a customer portal. Brands obviously see the value in loyal subscribers. Subscription ecommerce has never been growing so fast. Subscription payments app ReCharge analyzed data on more than 9,000 of their subscription customers and found an average of 90% growth in subscribers across all verticals, with an average LTV growth of 11%. [caption id="attachment_13180" align="aligncenter" width="735"] Source: ReCharge payments State of Subscription Commerce report (2021)[/caption] Growth was not limited to one specific vertical, either. In fact, Recharge’s report shows that nearly every vertical saw subscription merchant growth double in 2020. [caption id="attachment_13181" align="aligncenter" width="606"] Source: ReCharge payments State of Subscription Commerce report (2021)[/caption] Subscription ecommerce growth isn’t simply an effect of buyers worldwide shifting online due to the pandemic, though. A 2019 study from the Subscription Trade Association (SUBTA) found that the ecommerce subscription market experienced annual growth of 17.33% in the last five years. It also predicts three-quarters of DTC brands will offer subscriptions by 2023, while global ecommerce subscriptions will account for 18% of the total market share. Another recent survey by McKinsey showed that there is a 40% increase in consumers’ intent to spend online even after COVID. All this research concludes that the groundwork is set for continual growth in LTV and overall revenue for stores targeting subscription customers instead of maximizing one-time purchases. And those purchases often start with a discount. In a recent study, Bold Commerce found that discounts on subscriptions actually fuel monthly revenue growth, and smaller discounts (not too big and not too small) see the biggest return over time. With great growth comes greater competition The rush of new subscription ecommerce merchants in recent years is of course a huge benefit for buyers. It offers greater product diversity and more flexible buying options. But for sellers both old and new, the increased competition means they have to make smart decisions and truly know their audience to survive. The proven most efficient and powerful way to do that? A promotion strategy founded on accurate data. That’s where crucial metrics like return on ad spend (ROAS), average order value (AOV), and especially customer LTV come into play. III. Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) in the subscription industry Customer LTV, or the value a customer contributes to your business over their lifetime, is the holy grail of ecommerce metrics. This stat begins tracking when a new customer first makes a purchase and ends with the “moment of churn,” when they decide to no longer buy. Focusing on LTV can help you define clear marketing goals and sales strategies to reduce acquisition costs, improve retention, and encourage existing customers to spend more over their lifetime with your business. Subscription customers add more to your store’s overall LTV as they make repeat purchases and can be upsold to add more revenue. Leading ecommerce stores know this, and are enjoying higher LTV as a result. The same ReCharge study referenced earlier found stores activated between 2019 and 2020 realized an average LTV growth of 11%. [caption id="attachment_13182" align="aligncenter" width="485"] Source: ReCharge payments State of Subscription Commerce report (2021)[/caption] Successful stores know to focus on metrics like LTV because it affords them the ability to deeply understand the needs of their customers. To do this well, though, you need accurate data and high engagement with buyers. As for calculating LTV for subscription customers, it isn’t difficult when using a powerful data tool like Google Analytics. In fact, we have a guide you can follow to calculate customer lifetime value in Google Analytics. If you’re looking for a true deep dive into LTV that covers calculation methods, multiple improvement strategies, and roadmaps for Shopify subscription success, jump into our ultimate Shopify guide to LTV tracking. III. Tracking subscriptions in the Shopify checkout Getting accurate data about your customers’ behaviour is especially difficult for subscription commerce. If you’re using Shopify’s default GA tracking, a significant percentage of your orders might be missing. This can lead you to form an incomplete picture of your marketing attribution and sales performance, and a lesser understanding of your customer’s behaviour. After sampling larger merchants on Shopify, we discovered that on average, for every 10,000 orders processed, 1,200 are missing in GA. However, these discrepancies look even worse for recurring orders, with the percentage of orders tracked ranging between 9% and 70%. This happens because recurring orders are processed without the customer interacting with your online store. Fortunately, there is a fix for this issue. Littledata’s Shopify app can repair these tracking disparities automatically upon install. It works by first adding a data layer onto your website containing all Enhanced Ecommerce events. Then, it adds a tracking script to capture each event as it happens. Finally, using robust server-side tracking, the app grabs all transactions and ensures 100% accurate ecommerce data. That allows you to see truly meaningful data that eliminates the worry of making incorrect decisions based on faulty numbers, while giving you the power to make your marketing dollars work better for your store. [tip]Try Littledata’s script on your store free for 30 days. Get a data audit of your current metrics and see the difference you could be missing on marketing attribution.[/tip] IV. Subscription apps supported by Littledata Stores using subscription apps to manage recurring orders set up in the Shopify checkout can track their recurring orders using Littledata’s Google Analytics and Segment apps in the Shopify app store. In fact, Littledata works automatically with all subscription apps used by Shopify stores. Here are a few of the most popular subscription apps to consider using for your store. ReCharge ReCharge is a subscription management app designed to let your store offer subscription products with a few clicks. In addition, it helps increase LTV by allowing customers to manage their own subscriptions while setting you up with revenue-boosting tools like upsells, SMS and email notifications, and actionable subscription insights. Bold Subscriptions Bold Subscriptions aims to help you establish predictable recurring revenue via better customer loyalty using customizable subscription programs. The app is compatible with multiple payment gateways, allows API customization, and features checkout integrations that further enhance your customizability, and in turn, the value you can provide to customers. Ordergroove Ordergroove is a tool to help you grow average order value (AOV) and maximize subscriber enrollment through promotions, retention rewards, and the ability to craft a custom subscriber experience. It’s a popular solution for larger brands and offers a range of integrations to help you scale. Smartrr Smartrr’s subscription ecommerce app offers a recurring revenue engine designed to help you offer curated subscriptions to members. That includes through methods like allowing subscribers to manage their recurring orders, gifting options, upsell addons, and even product swaps that increase consumer satisfaction. What’s next? Shopify’s new unified checkout has bolstered app developers to create more innovative products. Those apps in turn help you target subscriptions in your store checkout and use enhanced ecommerce metrics to get a full, accurate picture of your subscriber audience, then customize your checkout and promotion methods to reach your most valuable audience. But how can you scale a subscription store without accurate data? That’s where Littledata comes in. [tip]Take the first step in realizing the true potential of your ecommerce store and get accurate data from Littledata free in our 30-day trial.[/tip]
How to add Google Analytics to Shopify
How Littledata handles User ID for Shopify and Segment
Is Segment a good customer data platform (CDP) for ecommerce? We hear that question a lot at Littledata, and are always happy to chat about the modern data stack. But the reality is that you should be asking more detailed questions: will your CDP be able to handle both anonymous browsers ("visitors") and customers ("users")? Will it enable both analysis and marketing automation? Will you need an entirely different stack to support your data warehouse? Our DTC ecommerce customers have found Segment to be a powerful solution because it offers a unified approach to customer data. As long as it's set up correctly, that is. Four options for user identity There are many different approaches to user identity, but the most important thing is to be consistent. Make sure the identifier you choose works with your current data destinations and those you know you plan to implement in the future. In Segment, every identify call must have a User ID or an Anonymous ID. Littledata's Shopify source for Segment is an easy way to ensure accurate ecommerce data, rather than building and maintaining the schema yourself to match Segment's detailed ecommerce spec. Our scope includes sales, marketing, and customer data, captured from a combination of client-side and server-side tracking. We agree with Segment's best practices in identifying users, including the use of static IDs whenever possible. To support a broader range of use cases, our app lets you choose which of the following fields you want to send as the userId for known customers: Shopify customer ID (default) – Recommended if you have a simple Shopify setup with minimal integrations. Hashed email – The MD5 email hash is useful if you have other marketing platforms sending traffic where you know the email of the visitor (e.g. email marketing like Bronto or Marketo), but not their Shopify customer ID. Email – Recommended when other platforms use the email and can’t hash it, and you are comfortable with the privacy implications. None (no identifier) – Recommended only if user identity is already handled by your Segment implementation and you only need the extra events powered by Littledata’s Shopify source. Learn more about what you can track with our Segment connection. Since we started offering identifier options beyond Shopify customer ID earlier this quarter, it's been interesting to see the uptake. Perhaps most surprising is that it's not just larger stores on Littledata Plus who are using alternative unique IDs. There are already merchants on our Standard and Pro plans using the option as well. [note]For merchants using Segment Personas, Littledata also sends shopify_customer_id as an External ID for advanced matching[/note] What is your approach to user identity? Are you planning for the future? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.
Introducing Littledata Plus plans for Shopify and Shopify Plus
As Shopify has continued to scale its Shopify Plus plans, Littledata has developed both technology and services to enable customer success. Today, we're pleased to announce new Littledata Plus plans to support modern data stacks for larger direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands. Our enterprise plans have been around in various guises since the beginning. But clients’ data needs—and the DTC market overall—have continued to evolve, from more sophisticated lifetime value analysis to connecting Shopify with data warehouses like Redshift and BigQuery. The coronavirus pandemic also forced many businesses that had been planning to move online to do so sooner than expected. Traditional consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) needed to try out DTC and ecommerce subscription models. And, to be blunt, they needed to speed up plans for finding ways to compete with Amazon. With more known brands moving to Shopify and BigCommerce, core data needs have skyrocketed. In fact, without Littledata, 12 orders still go missing in Google Analytics for every 100 orders in Shopify! It seems ecommerce in general is finally waking up to the fact that the key to growth is focusing on the right KPIs with accurate data to support them. The renewed focus on data has extended beyond PPC campaigns to channels like social and email marketing, as well. As merchants get "back to the basics", we've also started to see less customization and an increased focus on data accuracy and throughput. That goes for both our Google Analytics and Segment data destinations. All this illustrates what has been our outlook from the beginning: nothing is more important than data accuracy. So we're excited to now be opening up Littledata Plus plans to all DTC brands. Whether you're a recently funded scale-up with a headless Shopify site or you've been on Shopify Plus since the beginning. Options for Littledata Plus plans We have long optimized Littledata for Shopify Plus, from higher service level agreements and throughput metrics to multi-currency tracking for brands with multiple country stores (e.g. see how we handle order names). Our team has experimented with Littledata Plus features, tracking plans, and account management levels to ensure that our tech and support are as effective as possible. We've worked closely with top Shopify brands like Rothy's, Boll & Branch, and Craft Gin Club, as well as agency and tech partners supporting those brands to fine-tune our solutions. We don’t just want to be proactive, we want to be useful. "Don’t mistake the forest for the trees. Our ecommerce customers know that accurate data is essential for real growth." Littledata Plus plans are a must-have for any merchant processing over 10,000 orders per month (including recurring orders or subscriptions). They're also now available to anyone serious about data-driven growth. We now offer two distinct paths within the Littledata Plus journey: Plus: Plus plans give you access to a dedicated account manager to help with onboarding and data audits, and include tracking for any number of country stores. Enterprise Plus: Our higher-tier Enterprise Plus plans allow unlimited data thresholds, and can also include a custom tracking plan, solution engineering, analytics training, or other options to support your in-house team. [subscribe subscribe heading="Learn more about Littledata Plus" button_text="book a demo" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/app/demo"] All Littledata Plus plans include essentials like in-depth data audits and dedicated account management. But with Enterprise Plus, you get a deeper experience, more support time, and a custom tracking plan. We built Littledata around smart connections. A big advantage of using our data connectors is that we keep those connections up to date for you with an in-depth knowledge of APIs, webhooks, properties, and events. For example, our connections now support headless Shopify setups and subscriptions in the Shopify checkout—without any additional coding needed on your website. "All Littledata Plus plans include essentials like in-depth data audits and dedicated account management." Recent updates to our Plus plans include: Advanced headless setup support Unique identifiers Historic data import for Segment users For Google Analytics users, we now offer analytics training and a Measurement Protocol endpoint to make it easy to get complete ecommerce data into Google BigQuery. That said, we have many happy Littledata Plus customers who simply want to ensure accurate Shopify and ReCharge data in Google Analytics. Can you risk making decisions based on bad data? Put another way: how much faster could you scale if your sales and marketing data were accurate, reliable, robust, and complete? Whatever your data goals, Littledata Plus is here to help. Book a demo today and let's start the conversation.
Why doesn't Shopify analytics match Google Analytics? [ebook]
Shopify analytics is fine for what it is: a siloed data source that is good at tracking Shopify orders. But if you want to track the complete customer journey and get accurate marketing data, you need to look elsewhere. Because it's both free and flexible, Google Analytics has become a top choice for a "single source of truth" to supplement Shopify analytics and other tools you might be using. And GA4, the newest version of Google Analytics, promises to be even more powerful. In our experience with hundreds of customers at Littledata we've found that many merchants turn to overblown solutions outside of GA (eg. fancy dashboards and generic data connectors) and then come back around to wanting to just fix the data in Google Analytics. After all, what good is the data if you can't trust it? Free ebook on Shopify and Google Analytics It's well known that Shopify's own analytics connection misses out on key issues like product list views, repeat purchases and marketing attribution. But where exactly does the tracking go wrong? What's going on behind the scenes? This new ebook is an insider's guide to Shopify Analytics vs Google Analytics. You will learn: Why transactions go missing in Google Analytics Common issues for Shopify stores The difference between marketing tags and Google Tag Manager How to set up checkout funnel tracking And all of the main reasons why Shopify doesn't match GA Download the ebook >>> Top brands turn to GA for a single source of truth, but there are some common things that go wrong. Even if you don't have a custom setup, things go wrong quickly -- including the "basics" like tracking ecommerce orders. We built Littledata to fix these issues automatically, saving you time and money. (Here's a quick demo video and our complete spec). But before you get into the details of the solution, it's important to understand the problem and what might be going wrong for your store in particular, whether you're seeing a lot of traffic that appears to be "Direct" but is actually from marketing channels like Facebook Ads or Klaviyo email marketing, you're missing repeat purchasing data, or your checkout funnel tracking is somehow out of whack. Get the ebook today. How to add Google Analytics to Shopify You can set up Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics and then add Google Analytics to Shopify, but Shopify's default GA integration misses many key elements. [tip]With Shopify's default Google Analytics integration, 12 orders go missing for every 100 in Shopify. We highly recommend using an advanced data connector instead![/tip] If you would rather just get accurate data automatically, check out Littledata's 30-day free trial. It's the easiest way to avoid all of the known issues with Shopify's default Google Analytics integration. Plus, you still own the data in GA, whether or not you continue using our advanced data connections. [subscribe]
Top 7 rule-based audiences for ecommerce marketing
Rule-based audiences are customer groups or segments derived by customer activities. It sounds simple, but rule-based audiences can be a game changer -- and too many DTC brands miss out on the basics of this powerful type of customer segmentation. In ecommerce, rule-based audiences can be made using transactional activities (checkout date, coupon applied, etc.), marketing actions (email opened, promotion entered, etc.) or even product details (eg. type of product, color or type purchased). Ecommerce companies use the intersection of these events to group customers for the purpose of reporting, remarketing, targeting, and other customer enrichment activities. But one size doesn't fit all. Let's take a look at the top rule-based audiences and how they are used in ecommerce marketing. Benefits of rules based segmentation There are a number of benefits to deploying rules based audience recipes in your business. Whether you are a small-to-medium sized business, fast-growing startup, or have been around the block for some time like Littledata customers Dr Squatch and Rothy's, audience recipes are the building blocks for broader, innovative ways to segment your customers. Rule-based audiences can help you increase customer retention while improving product visibility in the crowded ecommerce marketplace Powerful tools like the Adobe Experience Cloud have highlighted rules-based personalization and audience building as a core part of their feature set. As they put it, "With rules-based personalization, you’re in the optimization driver’s seat." We agree, but with traditional enterprise tools that type of personalization can get really expensive. The good news is that brands using a modern data stack don't necessarily need to shell out for Adobe. Rule-based audiences can now be used by any ecommerce store, no matter how big or small. Here are some of the key benefits: Increase personalization through tailor-made product marketingImprove existing products and/or servicesIncrease upgrades and product upsellingEnhance profitability through the targeting of high-value customersIncrease retention with automation and buyer stage recognitionFurther marketing reach of customer types for remarketing, targeting and look-a-like audiencesEnhanced visibility and reporting of customer cohorts for tracking new acquisition and customer lifetime value Rule-based segmentation results in a hyper-personalized approach to directly influencing your customers’ experience. The ability to be attentive during each stage of the customer’s lifecycle allows for a better understanding of what drives good and bad experiences. Recipes for the top 7 rule-based audiences There are tons of different audiences you can build, but 7 always come up for successful DTC brands. In our case, we call them recipes, as they are the right number of ingredients to profile your customer base. X and Y in these examples will depend on your particular business: what you sell, how you sell it, and how often it makes sense for an ideal customer to come back and make a purchase or referral. Audience NameRecipe⭐️ First Time PurchasersCustomers who have made their first purchase in the last [X] number of days⭐️ Repeat PurchasersCustomers who have made at least 2+ purchases in the last [X] number of days⭐️ High SpendersCustomers who have made a purchase with order value greater than [$Y] in the last [X] number of daysAbandoned CheckoutsSite visitors that have added items to their shopping cart, but have not purchased in the last [X] number of daysBargain HuntersSegment of customers that have applied a promotional code on more than 1 purchase in the last [X] number of daysRecent BuyersCustomers who have made a purchase in the last [X] number of days⭐️ Inactive CustomersCustomers who have not made a purchase in the last [X] number of months*Additional segments include Loyal, Cancelled Customers, Location-based, Personalization (age, gender, preferences, income) Three audiences you should build today, with downstream activation examples All of these types of segmentation are potentially useful, even transformational, to your business. So where should you start? Today I will focus on the four most common and effective audience recipes that can generate immediate value to your store’s ability to identify, engage and enrich your customers’ experience. As highlighted above, those are: First-time purchasersInactive customersHigh spendersRepeat buyers To make things even clearer, we'll even combine High spenders and Repeat buyers into a high-LTV segment: your best possible customers, big spenders who are also loyal to your brand. 1. First-time purchasers First Time Purchasers are a good starting point for audience segments. The ability to identify these customers early will pay big dividends into maturing their relationship with your brand and products. Also, first-time customers are always the most likely to engage with your content (for example, opening welcome emails or sharing on social media), which ends up increasing the return on your investment and the potential for longer life cycles. How to Create a Welcome Email Template via Omnisend How to identify? Utilizing Littledata's order event tracking from your Shopify store, you can identify Order Completed in the last [X] number of days with a Customer Created event in the same time frame. How to activate? A great opportunity is through personalized welcome emails. By connecting to your ESP (eg. Klaviyo, MailChimp, Iterable) and building a customized message to all first time customers can be the first step to long-standing customer relationships. 2. Inactive customers Inactive Customers are a great win-back opportunity to gain customers back that have been inactive (or not purchasing) in a particular period of time. When a customer has been deemed inactive it’s too late to start formulating a strategy on returning them to your active customer pool. Instead building a strategy to identify, entice, and track appropriately is a must in any customer-focused business. Drive Repeat Purchases To Your Shopify Store With Automated Emails via Privy How to identify? Utilizing Littledata's order event tracking from your Shopify store, you can identify customers who have (at one-point) had an Order Completed event and with no purchase activities in the last [X] number of days. How to activate? Winback or revive email campaigns catered towards time-sensitive discounts, hyper-personalization (reference specific product categories a customer engaged or purchased in the past), summaries of product improvements, and membership benefits are effective strategies. Utilizing your current ESP, SMS, or retargeting platform alongside these customer groups can push once-active customers to return. 3. Repeat buyers & high spenders Repeat Buyers & High Spenders are the backbone of your business. As the tenured marketer would attest: “It’s easier to keep a happy customer than to find a new one”. Building customer loyalty requires a business to deliver on what is promised and to do so with their highest-value customers in the right channels and messaging. How to identify? Utilizing Littledata's order event tracking from your Shopify store, you can identify customers that have completed Order Completed events and total purchase count, purchase total, and revenue collected, during a [x] period of time and [x] number of times. Google Analytics users can also export data based on specific custom dimensions for LTV: Littledata – Lifetime Revenue Littledata – Purchase Count Littledata – Shopify Customer ID How to activate? There are several options here, including email and SMS (texting). SMS is a great tool to continuously engage with your customers. Invitations for users to sign-up for a loyalty program to provide exclusive offers or to release product updates can come simply through a users’ most desirable medium - their phone. With SMS boasting a +95% open rate, it's the most effective way to have a two-way connection with your customer and showcase value-added services. For Littledata's Shopify Plus customers, the most popular platforms for this type of engagement are Yotpo and Loyalty Lion. Technology for activating rules based segmentation Leveraging modern technology furthers the ability to do so repeatedly and with best-in-class platforms. Here are two examples of leaders in that space: Segment (sometimes called Segment.com) and Hightouch. Hightouch Hightouch syncs the data from your data warehouse to the tools your business relies on. It’s called operational analytics and it allows customers to leverage their existing technology (ie. your data warehouse) to pipe customer data to downstream platforms for activation, engagement, and other business activities. Since Littledata's no-code event collection is captured downstream in your Google Analytics platform, customers can leverage that same data when it is stored in their data warehouse. Modeled inside the platform with out-of-box SQL logic, segments can be then pushed automatically (and scheduled) to deliver on the intended goals. In fact, that's one of Hightouch's taglines: No scripts. No APIs. Just SQL. Segment Segment is a customer data platform (CDP) that integrates cohesively with Littledata's no-code event collection. Segment allows customers to integrate data from a catalog of sources (including the Shopify source, maintained by Littledata) and activate to destinations for customer engagement, activation and reporting. Inside the platform there are features that allow customers to create personas or audience segments, deploy functions, and build out layers of automation to seamlessly leverage their platforms’ source data. [tip]See what's new in Littledata's Shopify source for Segment, including more consistent product properties and enhanced Personas matching [/tip] Littledata Littledata is designed for the modern stack, whether you're using just a couple of tools such as Google Analytics and Data Studio or a whole modern data pipeline (eg. Segment, Fivetran and Redshift). If you're using a Shopify or BigCommerce checkout, you can use Littledata's analytics connectors to capture complete sales and marketing data and send it downstream. It's the easiest way to ingest the data you need to create enriched audience personas, and the only way to get 100% accurate ecommerce data automatically with extensive, ongoing development efforts. Not sure which tools you need? Book a demo with our data experts to discuss your analytics plan.
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