Category : Shopify
Shopify Marketing Events vs Google Analytics
At the Shopify Unite conference today I heard plenty of great ideas such as ShopifyPay but the most interesting for me as a data specialist was the marketing events API. Since we launched our Fix Google Analytics Shopify app earlier this year we’ve known that reporting was a weak spot in Shopify’s platform offering, and they admit that ‘understanding marketing campaign performance’ is one of the biggest challenges of Shopify merchants right now. The ability for other Shopify apps to plug their campaign cost and attribution data into Shopify (via the marketing events API) is a logical step to building Shopify’s own analytics capability, but I don’t believe it will be a substitute for Google Analytics (GA) anytime soon. Here’s why: 1. Google Analytics is the industry standard Every online marketer has used Google Analytics, and many have favourite reports they’ve learned to interpret. Moving them to use a whole new analysis platform will take time– and it’s taken GA 10 years to achieve that dominance. 2. GA provides platform-agnostic data collection For a store using Shopify as their only source of insights, moving away from Shopify would mean losing all the historic marketing performance data – so it would be very hard to make like-for-like comparisons between the old platform and the new. Many of our customers have used GA during and after a platform shift to get continuous historical data. Which ties into my first point that over 85% of businesses have a history of data in GA. 3. Incomplete marketing tagging will still cause issues Making valid analysis on multi-channel marketing performance relies on having ALL the campaigns captured - which is why our GA audit tool checks for completeness of campaign tagging. Shopify’s tracking relies on the same ‘utm_campaign’ parameters as GA, and campaigns that are not properly tagged at the time cannot be altered retrospectively. [subscribe] 4. Google is rapidly developing Google Analytics I’d like to see the Shopify marketing event collection evolve from its launch yesterday, but Google already has a team of hundreds working on Google Analytics, and it seems unlikely that Shopify will be able to dedicate resources to keep up with the functionality that power users need. 5. More integrations are needed for full campaign coverage Shopify’s marketing analysis will only be available for apps that upgrade to using the new API. Marketing Events has launched with integrations for Mailchimp and Facebook (via Kit) but it won’t cover many of the major channels (other emails, AdWords, DoubleClick for Publishers) that stores use. Those integrations will get built in time, but until then any attribution will be skewed. 6. GA has many third-party integrations Our experience is that any store interested in their campaign attribution quickly wants more custom analysis or cuts of the data. Being able to export the data into Littledata’s custom reports (or Google Sheets or Excel) is a popular feature – and right now Shopify lacks a reporting API to provide the same customisations. You can only pull raw event data back out. That said, there are flaws with how GA attribution works. Importing campaign cost data is difficult and time consuming in GA – apart from the seamless integration with AdWords – and as a result hardly any of the stores we monitor do so. If Shopify can encourage those costs to be imported along with the campaign dates, then the return on investment calculations will be much easier for merchants. I also think Shopify has taken the right pragmatic approach to attribution windows. It counts a campaign as ‘assisting’ the sale if it happens within 30 days of the campaign, and also whether it was ‘last click’ or ‘first click’. I’ve never seen a good reason to get more complicated than that with multi-channel reports in GA, and it’s unlikely that many customers remember a campaign longer than 30 days ago. In conclusion, we love that Shopify is starting to take marketing attribution seriously, and we look forward to helping improve the marketing events feature from its launch yesterday, but we recommend anyone with a serious interest in their marketing performance sticks to Google Analytics in the meantime (and use our Shopify app to do so).
3 reasons you should be using Google Tag Manager for Shopify
Anyone running a Shopify store knows there are hundreds of Shopify apps, integrations and connections in the ecommerce world that can help you grow faster. But from Google Ads, DoubleClick, and Facebook Ads to custom plugins, many tools require you to insert scripts on the pages that need tagging, and for a lot of store owners, this can be a huge hassle without asking for developer help. Google Tag Manager (GTM) can launch new tags with just a few clicks. As the world's most popular enterprise-grade tag management solution, Google Tag Manager supports both Google and third-party tags. We've written quite a few articles on Google Tag Manager (including a full FAQ) and how to use it, but until now, we haven't dug deep into why you should use GTM. Here are 3 reasons why: 1. Reliable and accurate ecommerce data When your tags aren’t working properly, they can hurt your site performance, resulting in slow load times, website unavailability, or a loss of functionality. That’s why it’s critical to have a tag management solution in place that allows you to quickly determine the status of your tags. Easy-to-use error checking and speedy tag loading in Google Tag Manager means you know for certain that every tag works. You can rest assured knowing your mission-critical data is being collected reliably and accurately! Your IT team will also feel confident that the site is running smoothly, so everyone's happy, even during busy holidays or the launch of a new campaign. Large brands have implemented GTM to launch their tags exactly for this reason: reliable and accurate ecommerce data. PizzaHut, Made.com, AgeUK and many other brands running on Shopify use GTM to manage their tags for Google and third-party platforms. Setting up Enhanced Ecommerce via GTM In Google Analytics, the main benefit of using Enhanced Ecommerce tracking (EEC) over standard ecommerce implementation is the amount of valuable reports you have access to as a merchant with EEC. But that's not all—you can also segment data based on ecommerce events, such as: Which users visited your product pages Where your shoppers hit a roadblock in the customer journey (e.g. a shopper viewed a product but never added to cart) Which step of the checkout process a shopper abandoned cart This kind of data helps you zoom in on your sales funnel and update the parts of the process that either stall conversions or slow down the path to purchase. Enchanced Ecommerce implementation is no walk in the park, but it does depend on a few things: How large is your store? How many Google Analytics custom dimensions do you need to add? What type of custom dimensions? etc. Without question, Google Tag Manager is the easiest way to enable Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics — and we can help with that! Do you already use GTM? If you already use GTM to track page views, you must send ecommerce data via Google Tag Manager. If you don't already use GTM...It’s a simple setup: activate EEC within your Google Analytics tags and use a dataLayer as an ecommerce data source. Just make sure the dataLayer contains all ecommerce data! 2. Quickly deploy Google and third-party tags With so many tracking tools out there, marketers need flexibility—whether that’s changing tags on the fly or having the ability to easily add tags from other sources. In GTM, marketers can add or change their own tags as needed. Google Tag Manager supports all tags and has easy-to-use templates for a wide range of Google and third-party tags for web and mobile apps. Don’t see a tag listed? You can add it immediately as a custom tag. With this much flexibility, your campaign can be underway with just a few clicks. Even if you are using Google Ads (Adwords), Adroll, Facebook, Hotjar, Criteo or your own script, you can implement it with Google Tag Manager. Even if you're a publisher as, let's say, nationalgeographic-magazine.com, sell furniture at Made.com, sell event tickets as eventbrite.com or organise courses as redcrossfirstaidtraining.co.uk, GTM is the best way to organise all the scripts your partners provides. 3. Collaborate across the enterprise and make tag updates efficiently Collaboration across a large team can be a challenge. Not having the proper tools can stall workflows, which decreases productivity and efficiency. Workspaces and granular access controls allow your team to work together efficiently within Google Tag Manager: Multiple users can complete tagging updates at the same time and publish changes as they’re ready Multi-environment testing lets you publish to different environments to ensure things are working as expected I don't know about you, but every time I need to add a new script on my website, I hesitate out of fear my website will break and I wouldn't know how to fix it. I wanted a solution where I could add a script on my own, test it and then publish it without any developer help. And then I found Google Tag Manager. GTM lets you collaborate and work independently, at the same time, on the same website. You can publish a tag at the same time your teammate is creating an A/B testing experiment, all in the same GTM container. Adding Google Tag Manager to Shopify will help increase the value of your store and the accuracy of your Shopify tracking. GTM is free, it's reliable, and you can find plenty of how-tos on online so you can start using it right away. Google Tag Manager currently provides out-of-the-box integrations with: Google Analytics AdWords Conversion Tracking AdWords Remarketing (aka Google Ads, which we integrate with for accurate marketing attribution) DoubleClick Google Optimize (which we have a connection for!) Google Surveys Website Satisfaction - Google Surveys AdRoll Crazy Egg Hotjar LinkedIn Yieldify and more This out-of-the-box integration doesn't require any special knowledge. And, for any other script that you might have, we can walk you through the process of integrating Google Tag Manager and Shopify. Questions about GTM? Get in touch with our team of Shopify experts and Google Analytics consultants! Quick links Building funnels and triggering other marketing tags in GTM How to set up Enhanced Ecommerce tracking via GTM Google Tag Manager FAQ Connecting your Google Analytics store for accurate Shopify tracking
Why do I need Google Analytics with Shopify?
If the lack of consistency between Shopify’s dashboards and the audience numbers in Google Analytics is confusing, you might conclude that it’s safer to trust Shopify. There is a problem with the reliability of transaction volumes in Google Analytics (something which can be fixed with Littledata’s app) - but using Shopify’s reports alone to guide your marketing is ignoring the power that has led Google Analytics to become over by over 80% of large retailers. Last-click attribution Let’s imagine your shoe store runs a Google AdWords campaign for ‘blue suede shoes’. Shopify allows you to see how many visits or sales were attributed to that particular campaign, by looking at UTM ‘blue suede shoes’. However, this is only capturing those visitors who clicked on the advert and in the same web session, purchased the product. So if the visitor, in fact, went off to check prices elsewhere, or was just researching the product options, and comes back a few hours later to buy they won’t be attributed to that campaign. The campaign reports in Shopify are all-or-nothing – the campaign or channel sending the ‘last-click’ is credited with 100% of the sale, and any other previous campaigns the same customer saw is given nothing. Multi-channel attribution Google Analytics, by contrast, has the ability for multi-channel attribution. You can choose an ‘attribution model’ (such as giving all campaigns before a purchase equal credit) and see how much one campaign contributed to overall sales. Most online marketing can now be divided into ‘prospecting’ and ‘retargeting’; the former is to introduce the brand to a new audience, and the latter is to deliberately retarget ads at an engaged audience. Prospecting ads – and Google AdWords or Facebook Ads are often used that way – will usually not be the last click, and so will be under-rated in the standard Shopify reports. So why not just use the analytics reports directly in Google AdWords, Facebook Business, Twitter Ads etc.? Consistent comparison The problem is that all these different tools (and especially Facebook) have different ways of attributing sales to their platform – usually being as generous as possible to their own adverting platform. You need a single view, where you can compare the contribution of each traffic source – including organic search, marketing emails and referrals from other sites – in a consistent way. Unfortunately, Google Analytics needs some special setup to do that for Shopify. For example, if the customer is redirected via a payment gateway or a 3D secure page before completing the transaction then the sale will be attributed to a ‘referral’ from the bank - not the original campaign. Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) Once you iron out the marketing attribution glitches using our app, you can make meaningful decisions about whether a particular form of marketing is driving more revenue that it is costing you – whether there is a positive Return on Advertising Spend. The advertising cost is automatically imported when you link Adwords to Google Analytics, but for other sources, you will need to upload cost data manually or use a tool like funnel.io . Then Google Analytics uniquely allows you to decide if a particular campaign is bringing more revenue than it is costing and, on a relative basis, where are the best channels to deploy your budget. Conclusion Shopify’s dashboards give you a simple daily overview of sales and products sold, but if you are spending more than hundreds of dollars a month on online advertising – or investing in SEO tactics – you need a more sophisticated way to measure success. Want more information on how we will help improve your Shopify analytics? Get in touch with our experts! Interested in joining the list to start a free trial? Sign up! Get Social! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and keep up-to-date with our Google Analytics insights.
Top 5 Google Analytics metrics Shopify stores can use to improve conversion
Stop using vanity metrics to measure your website's performance! The pros are using 5 detailed metrics in the customer conversion journey to measure and improve. Pageviews or time-on-site are bad ways to measure visitor engagement. Your visitors could view a lot of pages, yet be unable to find the right product, or seem to spend a long time on site, but be confused about the shipping rates. Here are the 5 better metrics, and how they help you improve your Shopify store: 1. Product list click-through rate Of the products viewed in a list or category page, how many click through to see the product details? Products need good images, naming and pricing to even get considered by your visitors. If a product has a low click-through rate, relative to other products in the list, then you know either the image, title or price is wrong. Like-wise, products with very high list click-through, but low purchases, may be hidden gems that you could promote on your homepage and recommended lists to increase revenue. If traffic from a particular campaign or keyword has a low click-through rate overall, then the marketing message may be a bad match with the products offered – similar to having a high bounce rate. 2. Add-to-cart rate Of the product details viewed, how many products were added to the cart? If visitors to your store normally land straight on the product details page, or you have a low number of SKUs, then the add-to-cart rate is more useful. A low add-to-cart rate could be caused by uncompetitive pricing, a weak product description, or issues with the detailed features of the product. Obviously, it will also drop if you have limited variants (sizes or colours) in stock. Again, it’s worth looking at whether particular marketing campaigns have lower add-to-cart rates, as it means that particular audience just isn’t interested in your product. 3. Cart to Checkout rate Number of checkout processes started, divided by the number of sessions where a product is added to cart A low rate may indicate that customers are shopping around for products – they add to cart, but then go to check a similar product on another site. It could also mean customers are unclear about shipping or return options before they decide to pay. Is the rate especially low for customers from a particular country, or products with unusual shipping costs? 4. Checkout conversion rate Number of visitors paying for their cart, divided by those that start the process Shopify provides a standard checkout process, optimised for ease of transaction, but the conversion rate can still vary between sites, depending on payment options and desire. Put simply: if your product is a must-have, customers will jump through any hoops to complete the checkout. Yet for impulse purchases, or luxury items, any tiny flaws in the checkout experience will reduce conversion. Is the checkout conversion worse for particular geographies? It could be that shipping or payment options are worrying users. Does using an order coupon or voucher at checkout increase the conversion rate? With Littledata’s app you can split out the checkout steps to decide if the issue is shipping or payment. 5. Refund rate Percent of transactions refunded Refunds are a growing issue for all ecommerce but especially fashion retail. You legally have to honour refunds, but are you taking them into account in your marketing analysis? If your refund rate is high, and you base your return on advertising spend on gross sales (before refunds), then you risk burning cash on promoting to customers who just return the product. The refund rate is also essential for merchandising: aside from quality issues, was an often-refunded product badly described or promoted on the site, leading to false expectations? Conclusion If you’re not finding it easy to get a clear picture of these 5 steps, we're in the process of developing Littledata’s new Shopify app. You can join the list to be the first to get a free trial! We ensure all of the above metrics are accurate in Google Analytics, and the outliers can then be analysed in our Pro reports. You can also benchmark your store performance against stores in similar sectors, to decide if there are tweaks to the store template or promotions you need to make. Have more questions? Comment below or get in touch with our lovely team of Google Analytics experts! Get Social! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and keep up-to-date with our Google Analytics insights.
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