Top 10 post-holiday Shopify marketing strategies

Organizing your ecommerce marketing strategy following the holidays can feel like going to the gym after finishing a marathon.  You’ve just survived the craziness of holiday marketing, an extra high volume of orders, and the early January returns and exchanges. Come January, your marketing muscles are still pretty sore.  However, Q1 is ripe with opportunities to plan new strategies for slower seasons. Here are our top 10 post-holiday marketing strategies for Shopify merchants:  Take advantage of the “fresh start effect”  The “fresh start effect” is a phenomenon that suggests people are more likely to take action on their goals during a time that marks the start of something new (i.e. the start of a new workweek or new semester). Of course, it also includes one of the most powerful “fresh starts” of all: the new year. Encouraging customers as they work toward their goals with renewed gusto is one of the best ways to do this. The key is positioning your products as a way to help customers achieve their goals.  Here are some examples of how brands have successfully tapped into the fresh start effect: 1) Post-holiday mail marketing by Pact and 100% Pure Both Pact and 100% Pure used email marketing to encourage customers to work toward their New Year’s resolutions. Both brands highlighted how their products can actually help customers more easily achieve their goals. Take a look at the following subject lines and see if you notice a pattern: Let’s highlight some of the words that appear more than once in these subject lines:  Start New Year 2020 Change Using words in your subject lines that are connected to the idea of starting over (a fresh start) is a simple but powerful way to increase the open rate of your emails after the holidays.  2) Resolution blog posts by Veestro and Thought Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Even if you didn’t, there’s an excellent chance many of your customers did.  Create content related to how to set or maintain resolutions related to your products, and tap into the fresh start effect in a memorable way. In addition, these posts are designed to be shareable, which means more exposure for your brand.  For inspiration, check out the resolution articles by Thought and Veestro.  3) Playful social media posts by Pura Vida Starting over doesn’t have to be serious. Pura Vida used their Instagram feed after the holidays to drum up excitement for the new year while managing to keep the tone light: 4) Humanize your brand with post-holiday personal content Personal content, such as an end-of-year reflection, is more expected following the holidays than during other times of the year.  Personal content reminds customers that your company is made up of real people, just like them. This type of content is especially beneficial for smaller companies, emerging companies, or startups because customers love to support entrepreneurs.  Sharing something personal can be scary, so steal some courage from the founders and entrepreneurs who’ve done it before you.  5) Passion Planner’s “Letter from the CEO” This frank letter to customers shares both the highlights and the “lessons learned,” such as “You can’t please everyone.” And the letter ends with a genuine thank you to all of Passion Planner’s loyal fans.  6) Skully’s Beard Oil’s Instagram gratitude post Skully’s Beard Oil  is another brand that took the after-holiday opportunity to share something personal with customers. They posted a candid shot of the founders with the following message of gratitude:  Start marketing for Valentine’s Day Last year, shoppers set a record for Valentine’s Day shopping at $20.7 billion spent. While the holidays are probably your real high-traffic days, Valentine’s Day is a huge sales period for ecommerce. Don’t wait until the week before the 14th to start marketing for Valentine’s Day. Start now! Here are some creative ways to use the post-holiday time to prep your customers for Valentine’s Day purchases:  7) Create a special “Valentines Day” category in your shop Make it easy for customers to choose a Valentine’s Day gift from your store by creating a special product category. This whittles down the choices customers have from your whole store to a single page of items.  Not only does this reinforce the idea that your products are good Valentine’s Day gifts, the reduced number of options paradoxically makes customers more likely to purchase.  For example, take a look at how Kate Spade has designed its Valentine’s Day category. The fashion brand goes a little further to call the category a “gift guide.”  8) Implement a home page Valentine’s Day banner Start reminding website visitors that your products make good Valentine’s Day gifts with a home page banner. Hopefully, they’ll remember your store when Valentine’s Day arrives, or maybe they’ll purchase in advance.  Man Crates has already launched its Valentine’s Day home page banner:  9) Capture Valentine’s Day search traffic with Google Ads You might not be able to compete organically with global brands for high-converting searches like “Valentine’s Day gifts for husband,” but you can siphon some of that traffic with paid advertising on Google.  To make your ad dollars count, don’t send traffic to your store home page or a product page. Instead, create a specific landing page for your Valentine’s Day ad. This way, there’s no disconnect between the ad copy and the landing page.  For example, check out how Minted connected their Google ad to a dedicated, Valentine’s-Day-specific landing page. Here’s their Google ad:  And here’s their landing page: 10) Use similar strategies for other Q1 and Q2 holidays If you find that a strategy was successful for Valentine’s Day, try repeating it for other holidays or events that take place in the first half of the year.  Here are some holidays and events to be thinking about: The Super Bowl (February 2) The first day of spring (March 19) Easter (April 12) Mother’s Day (May 10) Memorial Day (May 25) Father’s Day (June 21) You can also review the list of fun “national days” in 2020 to find days that might be hyper-relevant to your brand. Accurate tracking for marketing attribution The most effective marketing strategy is one that enables better decision-making for your Shopify storgae – accurate tracking for marketing attribution. Littledata's Google Analytics app for Shopify allows you to connect your data from Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Google Optimize and Refersion (affiliate marketing) so you can easily and accurately track the source and channel from which your shoppers arrive at your store. [subscribe heading="Try Littledata free for 30 days" background_color="green" button_text="Get Started" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/app/get-free-trial"] Wrap up: Plan for the slow season  As you roll out the immediate post-holiday marketing strategies shared here, we’ll leave you with one final way to leverage this time: planning for the slow season.  For most ecommerce stores, the slowest sales period is during the summer months. People are preoccupied on vacation, customers have more time to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, and the summer doesn’t have any major commerce periods like Black Friday Cyber Monday.  That’s why ecommerce merchants should plan ahead, building marketing strategies to boost sales and brand awareness during slower months.  Fortunately, the post-holiday period is the perfect time to start planning for summer.   This is a guest post by Krista Walsh of Electric Eye. Krista is a copywriter for ecommerce small businesses. Her writing and messaging strategies help her clients speak to their customers’ values and emotions for more sales.

2020-01-31

What's new in our Shopify apps for Google Analytics and Segment

Littledata is always improving. Over the last 6 months, we’ve worked on numerous features to enhance the accuracy and availability of our ecommerce data analysis for Shopify merchants. Littledata's smart connections make it easy to get accurate data in Google Analytics or Segment. The changes below affect both of our Shopify apps (Segment and Google Analytics for Shopify), marking the biggest major update to our Shopify tracking script and server-side tracking since we released V8 last year. [tip]Check out our release notes for regular updates![/tip] Attribution for email marketing signups In order to provide enhanced email attribution, we've linked 'customer created' and 'customer updated' events back to the original source. Stores building a customer email list can now analyze where those email signups originally came from. By linking customer creation or update events on Shopify’s servers to the original campaign or referrer to the store, Littledata customers can now accurately track the source of email signups. Merchants can now also segment these signup events by whether or not the customer opted into marketing. Checkout steps Tracking checkout steps is essential for ecommerce analytics, but Shopify's native tracking is incomplete and inaccurate. Littledata's Shopify connections solve checkout tracking issues automatically. With recent updates, we’ve made the tracking of checkout steps even more reliable, coping with situations where a user is already logged in, or abandons the cart and then returns later. [note]Did you know by sending the data to Google Analytics, you can easily track your Shopify payments gateway during checkout?[/note] With the help of the full Enhanced Ecommerce specification, you can: track exactly which products follow in each step calculate the value of opportunities to improve each step [subscribe] ReCharge connection, recharged As subscription ecommerce sites continue to scale, they need even more detailed data about the user journey, especially lifecycle events. [tip]Do you trust your subscription tracking in Shopify? Learn how to get accurate tracking for repeat orders[/tip] With our new ReCharge v2 connection, subscription stores can now track the full subscription lifecycle including: subscription updates cancellations failed payments product edits customer profile / information edits [note]See the full slate of ecommerce events you can now track with ReCharge v2[/note] Geolocation of server-side events Stores need accurate information on the location of their customers to retarget campaigns around top-performing regions or cities. The extra events above, plus all the standard order data, are sent from our servers in Virginia, US. But, of course, in your analytics, you want to see them linked to the customers' real location. We now have a belt-and-braces solution for correctly geolocating customer events, passing on the browser's IP address where known, or else sending the shipping address (default customer address) to Google Analytics as a 'Geographical Criteria ID'. CartHook and Bold Cashier We've always supported other checkouts for Shopify, as we know some stores need flexibility with payment, upsell and recurring billing options. And for the most popular checkout solutions, we're always looking at ways to provide advanced tracking automatically. So in the past 6 months Littledata has launched more robust integrations with CartHook and Bold Cashier. New Google Optimize connection Google Optimize is a powerful A/B testing and personalization platform used within and beyond ecommerce. [note]Connect your Shopify store to Google Optimize to test your product pages, store content and messaging with 100% accuracy.[/note] Now, we have an out-of-the-box setup for Shopify, including an anti-flicker snippet. And coming soon... In Q1 2020, we're working on connections for Iterable's email marketing platform, plus a more consistent way of handling Segment's anonymous ID for stores which don't use Google Analytics. Is there something you're eager to see in Littledata? We're always happy to hear feature suggestions — get in touch with our team today!

2020-01-21

How to optimize your Shopify conversion rate for fashion ecommerce

Fashion consumers are buying more online than ever have before. In fact, Forrester even predicted the number of worldwide online fashion buyers will surpass 910 million in the next two years, making fashion & beauty the largest ecommerce industry overall. Naturally, like any industry with a slice of the ecommerce pie, fashion is dynamic — continuously changing the way products are presented to shoppers and innovating in order to stand out among sky-high shopper expectations. This effects marketing, sales and every stage of the buying funnel. And that's not even mentioning social marketing, with growing social commerce and the meteoric effect that influencer marketing has had on fashion ecommerce. Bottom line: with the landscape only growing larger, how can your Shopify store rise to the challenge and compete with top fashion ecommerce sites in 2020? 1. Know your KPIs In October 2019, to help stores compare their marketing and sales performance with others in their industry, our team at Littledata came up with several benchmarks for fashion and beauty stores based on industry data. Check out some of the more interesting KPIs for fashion stores: After surveying 455 stores a few months ago, we found the average conversion rate for Style and fashion was 1.3%. What's a good conversion rate? Anything more than 2.6% would put you in the best 20% of Style and fashion stores we benchmark for conversion rate, and more than 3.6% would put you in the best 10%. What's a not-so-good conversion rate? On the other hand, a conversion rate (both mobile and desktop) less than 0.5% would put you in the worst 20% of style and fashion stores, with less than 0.2% placing you among the worst-performing stores. How do you compare? If your store has a conversion rate between 0.5% and 2.6%, then your store is average compared with this benchmark. With less than 0.2%, your fashion store is certainly underperforming. 2. Optimize your store for conversions To give your store a better chance at converting visitors, have you tried: more attractive product displays improving the checkout process ensuring your product pages load and respond quickly Thankfully, tools like Enhanced Ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics can help you identify where your potential blockers lie. But even before getting too deep in the data, it's important to look at the basics — are there areas for quick wins and easy improvements? [subscribe] Let's take a look at 3 areas: Navigation OROS is a terrific example of simple, clean navigation that makes it easy for shoppers to find what they're looking for. As you can see, OROS's main sidebar menu is organized by apparel type.  Product pages They also nail it with their product pages, with pricing and reviews front and center, plus prominent descriptions and features listed below. Shopping experience Buck Mason creates a seamless shopping experience, with simple filters and a "quick add" feature where shoppers don't even have to be on a product page to add an item to cart. If you like an item, you can simply select a size from the image and it adds it to cart. Features like this create an enjoyable experience for shoppers, which helps boost retention and encourages repeat purchases. 3. Create a smooth checkout process More often than not, customer checkouts serve as a "checkpoint" for stores in terms of measuring shopping experience. If your cart abandonment rate is low and your checkout completion rate is high, it's fair to assume your CRO efforts are succeeding. However, many stores find themselves performing below par. Luckily, there are a number of helpful tools to smoothen your checkout process and give yourself the best possible chance for completing the highest number of purchases. First, Littledata's Google Analytics app fixes tracking automatically for Shopify stores. Your customers won't be the the only ones checking out with confidence — with the app, you can track shopper behavior and ecommerce events with accuracy and ease. Shopify apps like CartHook also help the checkout and post-checkout process run smoothly for shoppers. With customizable one-page checkouts and post-purchase upsells you can set up with one click, tools like CartHook can help maximize your conversion rate at the end of the funnel. [tip]Littledata's advanced Google Analytics connection for CartHook helps you accurately track every sale, refund and checkout step in your Shopify store.[/tip] What if you sell by subscription? CRO (conversion rate optimization) for subscription stores works similarly, in that on-page optimizations are where you'll get the most ROI. Where subscription CRO differs is how you measure conversions. Crucial metrics for subscription stores include: churn rate (the rate at which your customers drop their subscription) AOV (average order value per subscription box, etc.) CLV/LTV (customer lifetime value, which requires a different type of calculation) Tools like Littledata's ReCharge connection help you not only optimize conversions, but accurately track them. Are you drawing more new subscribers? Are you retaining your current ones? Are you convincing subscribers "on the hinge" to stay on for an extra month? [tip]Get accurate tracking for repeat orders with the ultimate Shopify ReCharge guide.[/tip] Shoot for repeat customers Box of Style, a Shopify customer and user of the Littledata ReCharge connection, is a popular fashion & beauty brand that uses a unique subscription system. They offer boxes with exclusive seasonal clothing styles for women, which are delivered to your door four times per year. Subscribers can choose a "pay as you go option" in order to pay quarterly, or they can pre-pay for one year: Just below their add to cart button, the company has added a "what's inside" section to their product pages, giving shoppers a glimpse of what they're getting: The brand's modern web design, simple navigation and transparency give shoppers every opportunity to subscribe to a box. Like many subscription brands, the company offers the option to save money per box by pre-paying or paying annually. 4. Get Shopify reporting you can trust Unfortunately, Shopify tracking within the Shopify analytics platform is not the most reliable system for merchants. And while Google Analytics' robust, free platform is widely used and filled with helpful features, data traveling from Shopify checkouts to your GA account is a broken system. Thankfully, we built a better way. With Littledata's Google Analytics app for Shopify stores, the tracking is fixed automatically for your store, from marketing attribution (including connections for Facebook Ads, Google Ads, affiliate marketing, etc.) to buying behavior. With fixed tracking and accurate reporting, you're free to focus on what you do best – promoting and selling your products to fashion aficionados online!

by Nico
2020-01-17

How to calculate customer lifetime value in Google Analytics for Shopify subscription stores

Many of Littledata's subscription customers come to us with a similar problem: how to calculate return on advertising spend, considering the varying customer lifetime value (CLV) of subscription signups. Calculating marketing ROI for subscription ecommerce is a big problem with a number of potential solutions, but even the initial problem is often misunderstood. In this post, I'll break down what the problem is and walk through two proven solutions for getting consistent, reliable customer lifetime value reporting in Google Analytics. [tip]Get accurate tracking for repeat orders with the ultimate Shopify ReCharge guide.[/tip] What is customer lifetime value? I work with all kinds of subscription ecommerce businesses: beauty boxes, nutritional supplements, training courses and even sunglasses-by-the-month. All of them want to optimise customer acquisition costs. The common factor is they are all willing to pay way MORE than the value of the customers' first subscription payment. Why? Because they expect the customer to subscribe for multiple months. But for how many months exactly? That's the big question. Paying for a marketing campaign which bring trial customers who cancel after one payment – or worse, before the first payment – is very different from paying to attract sticky subscribers. A marketing director of a subscription business should be willing to pay WAY more to attract customers that stay 12 months than customers who only stay one month. 12 times more, to be precise. So how do we measure the different contribution of marketing campaigns to customer lifetime value? In Google Analytics, you may be using ecommerce tracking to measure the first order value, but this misses the crucial detail of how long those shoppers will remain subscribers. [subscribe] As you can see below, with lifetime customer value segments, we can: make more efficient use of media tailor adverts to different segments find new customers with lookalike audiences and target loyalty campaigns There are two ways for a marketing manager to see this data in Google Analytics: the first is a more difficult, manual solution. The other is an easier, automated solution that ties recurring payments back to their original campaigns. Manual solution: segment orders and assign a lifetime value to each channel It's possible to see the required data in GA by manually segmenting orders and assigning a lifetime value to each channel. For this solution you'll need to join together: (a) the source of a sample of first orders from more than a year ago, by customer number or transaction ID and (b) the CLV of these customers The accuracy of the data set for A is limited by how your Google Analytics is set up: if your ecommerce marketing attribution is not accurate (e.g. using Shopify's out-the-box GA scripts) then any analysis is flawed. You can get B from your subscription billing solution, exporting a list of customer payments (and anonymising the name or email before you share the file internally). To link B to A, you'll need to either have the customer number or transaction ID of the first payment (if this is stored in Google Analytics). Then you can join the two data sets in Excel (using VLOOKUP or similar function), and average out the lifetime value by channel. Even though it's only a sample, if you have more than 100 customers in each major channel it should give you enough data to extrapolate from. Now you've got that CLV by channel, and assuming that is steady over time, you could import that back into Google Analytics by sending a custom event when a new customer subscribes with the 'event value' set as the lifetime value. The caveat is that CLV by channel will likely change over time, so you'll need to repeat the analysis every month. If you're looking to get away from manual solutions and excessive spreadsheets, read on... Calculating customer lifetime value Subscription ecommerce is huge, and continuing to grow around the world. But Shopify Plus stores (in particular) selling products by subscription have a unique problem: how do I link the recurring customer payments back to the marketing campaign or channel that led to them subscribing? Unlike standard ecommerce, it’s not enough to track the payment upon a first signup. It is the customer lifetime value (CLV) which counts in any marketing calculation. “The great thing about a subscription businesses is that you don’t have to rely on one-time purchases.”-- Rob Hoxie, co-founder of Tiege Hanley (read the full interview). I've already laid out the time-intensive manual solution for subscription tracking. But before we get into the automated solution, let's discuss why you need to track customer lifetime value in the first place (and the various problems with tracking it in Google Analytics). I'll also get into Littledata's solution, which will work for you whether you’re using Bold or ReCharge as your Shopify subscription app. [note]Check out my ReCharge talk in full from the ChargeX conference in September 2019, where I discussed a similar topic.[/note] Why you must track lifetime value Let’s imagine a simple store selling a single subscription product for $50 per month. On average, it takes them $70 to acquire a new subscriber via Google Ads. Now let’s think about 3 fictional customers of that store: Claire, Eric and Luke. These 3 offer very different values to the business, and differentiating them (or the customer segment they represent) in Google Analytics is critical to business success. In the graphic below, you’ll see that Claire is costing the business money, as her lifetime value is less than the cost of acquiring her as a customer. Eric pays something, possibly buying twice from the business, but still has a short ‘lifetime’. Only Luke continues for a reasonable time (and may continue subscribing). Which of them brings the company profit? The answer is only Luke. Many subscription businesses only make money on customers who subscribe for over 3 months — but the loyal customers are immensely valuable, and may go on to pay for years. This also speaks to the immense value of customer retention among Shopify Plus stores.   The problem with subscription analytics Measuring and attributing this lifetime value is hard. The events happen in three different places, and need to be linked back to give a net value to be properly tracked: Unfortunately, by default, the customer who chooses a subscription in Shopify may not be linked to the user that actually commits to a payment in ReCharge. In other words, transactions are often left improperly tracked and attributed; in many cases, the refund or cancellation is not tracked at all. Take this Google Analytics screenshot from one of our customers (before fixing): Although 19% of the traffic comes from paid search, none of the ecommerce transactions are attributed to paid search. Instead, they are linked to a totally different group of users from ‘direct’ traffic. Littledata’s solution  Littledata’s Shopify app combines the three steps in the customer lifecycle to bring together a unified view of the customer in Google Analytics.  Once that customer has gone through the checkout, we can also track each subsequent recurring payment back to that same pre-checkout user journey (including the marketing campaign from which they came), along with other custom dimensions in Google Analytics to help you analyse lifetime value. How subscription stores can use data to optimise marketing campaigns  Once you have recurring payments feeding into Google Analytics, you can begin segmenting your marketing channels by those that bring a higher quality customer — ones that nearly or exactly match your target personas. By using Littledata’s smart PPC connections for Facebook Ads and Google Ads, you can also pull in advertising costs to calculate Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS). So do you know which marketing channels bring you customers with the highest lifetime value? Maybe you have one stand-out channel that brings the majority of Lukes, and some that only bring you Claires. A better, automated solution: tie recurring payments back to the original campaign(s) What if you could import the recurring payments into Google Analytics directly, as they are paid, so the CLV is constantly updated and can be segmented by campaign, country, device or any other standard GA dimension? This is what our Google Analytics connection for ReCharge does. Available for any store using Shopify or Shopify Plus as their ecommerce platform and ReCharge for recurring billing, the smart connection (integration) ties every recurring payment back to the campaigns in GA.  Then, if you also import your campaign costs automatically, you can do the Return on Investment (ROI) calculations directly in Google Analytics, using GA's new ROI Analysis report (under Conversions > Attribution), or in your favourite reporting tool. [note]Now, with a revamped ReCharge connection — ReCharge v2 — you can track subscription lifecycle events with ease![/note] Do you have a unique way of tracking your marketing to maximise CLV? Are there other metrics you think are more important for subscription retailers? Littledata's connections are growing. We'll be launching integrations for other payment solutions later this year, so let us know if there's a particular one you'd like to see next. Quick recap Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the one metric that matters for a subscription business To scale using metrics like Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS), you need to have accurate CLV calculations first  Getting that data into Google Analytics allows you to segment by marketing channel or campaign Littledata’s advanced Google Analytics integration for ReCharge stores provides an easy way to stitch the data together

2020-01-14

3 Shopify apps every Shopify Plus store should use in 2020

Finding the right tools for your ecommerce business can be a daunting task. Luckily, Shopify’s app store provides easy access to hundreds of tools (including enterprise level analytics tools) for Shopify Plus stores. While manny of these tools are designed to make life easier for store owners, not all Shopify apps are created equal. Some stand above the rest. Below are 3 top apps for Shopify Plus, with consideration to different marketing and sales goals. Refersion Refersion is “advanced affiliate marketing made simple.”  In other words, Refersion helps stores manage, track, and grow branded promotions and a strong affiliate network. The popular Shopify app is also known for offering Plus stores full setup support and help “every step of the way.” They offer webinars, comprehensive guides, API documentation and community support to help Plus stores launch, manage and grow a profitable affiliate program (or multiple programs for multi store businesses).  Pricing starts at $89/mo, but they offer a 14-day free trial. Quick benefits Track any digital sale your affiliate refers Automate commissions (with unlimited commission structures) to save time Improve affiliate relationships with a personalized affiliate portal and an analytics performance dashboard Enquire Enquire is a popular new Shopify app that offers post purchase surveys for customers.  Based on data that the fastest way to customer feedback is on the order confirmation page, Enquire has built a twofold solution — customer surveys for marketing attribution data, and post purchase surveys directly following the checkout page.  Enquire also helps Shopify Plus stores marry their survey responses with existing data, including referral source and UTMs. Pricing begins at $10/mo, but they offer a 14-day free trial. Quick benefits Gain deeper insights into your marketing channel distribution Simple survey builder with responsive design and high response rates (60%+) Simple integrations for popular Shopify apps like ReCharge, Klaviyo and Shopify Flow Littledata Ecommerce analytics are broken, so we built a better way. That’s the line that started it all at Littledata, our one-of-a-kind tracking solution for Shopify Plus businesses.  Littledata’s smart analytics Shopify app connects your Shopify store with Google Analytics to automatically fix your tracking across the board, from marketing channels to buying behavior. The app also provides a seamless connection between your Shopify site, Google Analytics and popular Shopify apps platforms such as:  Segment to use Shopify as a Segment source (often in addition to Google Analytics) ReCharge for managing subscription ecommerce and tracking recurring revenue CartHook to capture every sale, refund and checkout Facebook Ads and Google Ads for accurate marketing attribution [tip]Now, with a revamped ReCharge connection — ReCharge v2 — you can track subscription lifecycle events with ease![/tip] For Shopify stores that sell in multiple countries or currencies, Littledata offers tiered enterprise plans including include personal support from a Google Analytics expert, a dedicated account manager and custom setup and reporting.  Pricing begins at $59/mo for a Standard plan, but we offer a 14-day free trial. Quick benefits With complete Shopify tracking (and when your data is automatically fixed), you’re able to make better decisions for your store Your Shopify data is 100% accurate within 24 hours — don’t wait months for data you can trust Free & frequent data audits, plus a powerful ecommerce benchmarking tool to identify areas for improvement [subscribe heading="Try the Littledata Shopify App free" background_color="green" button_text="Try it free" button_link="https://apps.shopify.com/littledata"]

by Nico
2020-01-08

Why every Shopify store should offer a "Buy Now, Pay Later" payment method

There are so many aspects that go into running your ecommerce store — finding the right combination of products, creating eye-catching product pages with tasteful images, reaching relevant customers with your marketing efforts, managing inventory and shipping, to name a few. The decision of which payment option to use likely falls to the bottom of your list. A payment is a payment, right? Wrong! Selecting a payment method is one of the most critical elements of the customer journey, and offering the right assortment of payment options is one of the most direct ways to impact your conversion rate. Think of it this way: by the time a prospective customer has reached the payment phase of the checkout, they have already made a purchase decision. They’ve found your site, chosen a product, selected the right size and color, etc. They’ve already done the main leg work. At this point, any friction in the payment process can result in a lost sale. A customer is not a customer until they click that pay button. Your job as an online store is to make clicking that button as easy as possible. By now, you've probably heard of “buy now, pay later” solutions, like Sezzle. This new wave of alternative payment methods make optimizing conversions at this critical juncture especially easy. By allowing shoppers to pay for purchases over time (rather than all up front), this new payment solution has opened doors for consumers all over the world that fear the use of traditional credit.  What is a “buy now, pay later” solution? Retailers have long provided shoppers the ability to pay over time with installments. “Buy Now, Pay Later” solutions offer a new twist on financing for Shopify merchants (and any online retailer) with simple installment plans.  Layaway options became popular in the United States after the Great Depression, when retailers began offering them as a way to generate sales with cash-strapped consumers. In the old layaway model, shoppers would physically go to the store and put down installment payments for merchants to hold an item they wanted. Once a shopper had made enough payments to cover the purchase, the sale was complete. But in the 1950s, a new innovation was introduced that allowed shoppers to pay over time: the credit card. Credit cards allowed shoppers to swipe, receive their items immediately, and then pay the credit card company back at a later date. Credit cards quickly expanded to the nearly ubiquitous presence they are in retail today. Of course, the downside of paying with credit cards is that they are only available to those who are approved for credit; as many of us know, they also carry the threatening potential of exorbitant interest and fees. Luckily, new fintech solutions offer a modern alternative to credit cards designed for the modern consumer. Sezzle, for instance, allows shoppers to pay for ecommerce purchases in four equal, interest-free installments.  With this solution, shoppers pay only a fraction of the purchase price during checkout and merchants ship their orders right away. The buy now, pay later platform then pays the merchant upfront for the full amount, less a small processing fee. The remaining installments are automatically collected from the shopper every two weeks, with no interest or additional cost to the consumer. In short, buy now, pay later options provide a new way for shoppers to buy now, get their item now, and pay over time, at no additional cost. Why offer a “buy now, pay later” option? Buy now, pay later solutions are a proven way to increase sales for merchants. There are many benefits to adding an installment payment solution to merchants, including: 1. Reaching new customers To maximize your reach, it's no longer sufficient to offer only credit card options. Credit cards are a great purchasing tool, but only for customers who have them. However, the number of credit card holders in your target audience might be far fewer than you think; only one in three millennials own a credit card, according to a 2016 bankrate study.  There are many underlying factors driving this statistic — from the credit crisis of 2008, to mounting student loan debts for young people, to regulatory changes that made it more difficult for credit card companies to extend offers to those under the age of 21.  The key point for merchants is this: payment behaviors are changing dramatically for young consumers who have increasingly come to expect to be able to pay with a digital wallet, alternative payment platform, or an installment plan. In fact, over 87% of consumers want a simpler way to pay over time that is not a credit card. By not providing these options, you are leaving potential money in the cart. 2. Increasing conversions More than two-thirds of all online shopping carts are abandoned, according to the Baymard Institute. The second most commonly-cited reason was the cart becoming too expensive.  When customers see the total tallied up, they get sticker shock. Offering an installment payment solution that lets shoppers check out now and pay over time dramatically reduces cart abandonment rates.  On average, for stores that have added a buy now, pay later method, checkout conversions have increased by almost 40% for first time visitors. Reducing sticker shock of a one time purchase reduces cart abandonment, which means more sales! [note]There are other effective methods for reducing cart abandonment, too.[/note] 3. Reducing return rates High return rates are a pain point for merchants. When customers are consistently returning their purchases, it can add a lot of unwanted and unneeded stress to your store. For merchants that use interest-free installments, return rates have decreased dramatically — some stores even drop down to 1% in returns by adding this alternative payment method. Through lowering these returns rates, buy now, pay later solutions can keep you and your customers happy.  4. Tapping into a millennial trend Buy now, pay later solutions have exploded in popularity in recent months. In other parts of the world, similar payment methods have become the predominant form of payment, with young shoppers mainly driving this trend. Young shoppers like the freedom of paying over time, without the financial pitfalls that credit cards pose. For them, they see these solutions as a kind of layaway on-demand or layaway for the digital age. As more and more major brands accept these payment methods, the trend will only accelerate. Why not get ahead of the curve by implementing this solution for your store now? Global expansion of “buy now, pay later” The rapid customer acceptance and adoption of buy now, pay later solutions led to Sezzle’s first international expansion into Canada in 2019. This market was chosen given the similar customer profile and online shopping habits of American and Canadian consumers. Much like their American neighbors, Canadian consumers have an aversion to credit cards and a desire for more flexible and lenient payment methods, making this move a logical extension of Sezzle’s platform. This entry gives Canadian merchants the opportunity to offer a new payment solution to their customers. As Kappa Canada CEO stated, Sezzle is essential to delivering “flexibility in the buying process” to customers and gives them a platform to extend their brand reach. This expansion also opens up an entirely new market of consumers. The market of Canadian online shoppers is growing at an unprecedented rate and is anticipated to increase by more than 25% by 2021, making this the opportune time to expand into this space.  This rapid global expansion of the buy now, pay later space has proved very beneficial to those merchants that sell in multiple countries or use differing currencies. [note]If you have stores on Shopify Plus, learn how you can easily track your multi-currency sales with 100% accuracy.[/note] The US is brimming with merchants that sell their products worldwide, making it difficult when a payment platform only serves US shoppers. However, as the buy now, pay later space maintains its global growth, this problem will continue to diminish. Since its expansion in Canada, Sezzle has seen success with global merchants that now have the ability to sell to both US and Canadian consumers, in both American and Canadian currencies. For merchants looking to expand internationally, it will be important to note the aggressive growth that the buy now, pay later space has seen in recent years and the rapid growth that is expected to continue moving forward. As this alternative form of payment expands, so will its acceptance into international countries, making it an innovative move for every type of merchant.  The best pay later solution for small businesses Buy now, pay later payment solutions are a proven way to reach new consumers, increase conversions, and tap into what Visa has called a trillion dollar market. The right payment solution can have a dramatic impact on your sales and customer lifetime value (CLV / LTV). As you consider which payment methods to use, think of the customer first. In the customer’s mind, the payment process is an extension of the store. A bad payment experience — whether it involves high interest rates or getting hit with hidden fees — equals a negative shopping experience.  Therefore, it’s important to integrate payment options on your store that fit with the values and customer experience standards of your high-potential customers and buyer personas.   This is a guest post by Kevin Wild of Sezzle, a payments disruptor that allows shoppers to budget their payments over time by splitting purchases into four interest-free installments over six weeks. By offering its ‘buy now pay later’ solution, Sezzle provides consumers with the financial freedom to buy what they want without having to fall back on high-interest credit cards. 

2019-12-18

The Shopify merchant's guide to Google dynamic remarketing ads

As a Shopify merchant, you probably use a number of marketing strategies to drive unique traffic to your store.  With the help of SEO marketing, PPC ads, and even influencer advertising, you will notice a significant increase in traffic to your site. However, not all new visitors ensure a conversion (most don't), and not all Shopify marketing strategies are created equal. In fact, over 75% of all online businesses report that new visitors hardly convert or commit to making a purchase.  If you're finding many of your shoppers stop midway through the purchase funnel (either after adding an item to cart or not purchasing after multiple store visits), thenGoogle dynamic remarketing ads  sounds like the perfect solution for you. Campaigns from these types of ads result in increased sales and greater visibility among potential buyers. With the full guide below to creating dynamic remarketing ads that drive higher-quality traffic to your store, you'll give shoppers the extra push they need to convert.   What are Google dynamic remarketing campaigns? Google’s dynamic remarketing campaigns are special Google Ads campaign types that target users who have already visited your Shopify store at least once. These campaigns are fully customizable; different ads can be used for different visitors based on their interaction with your store. As a concept, remarketing ads were born from the idea anyone who has visited your store or clicked on a product must be interested in a purchase. While this may seem like an assumption, the stats don't lie. The main job of remarketing campaigns is to follow up with visitors and remind them of their initial interest, which inducing them to make the purchase. For example, let's say you sell sports apparel on your Shopify store. A visitor on your site looks up a pair of Nike shoes, reads the product description, stays on the page for 45 seconds, and then exits the tab. With a Google dynamic remarketing campaign, you can send targeted ads for Nike shoes to that visitor based on the product page they visited. You can create these campaigns with multiple iterations as well. For instance, you can split your visitors into customizable audience lists and have Google send out custom ads based on the list they belong to. These lists include shoppers who visited your home page, product pages, added an item to cart, and more.  Why Shopify merchants need Google dynamic remarketing campaigns  There are many advantages of using Google dynamic remarketing ads in order to meet your sales goals and increase your business’s growth. There are many advantages of using Google dynamic remarketing ads in order to meet your sales goals and increase your business’s growth. Here are a few of the best reasons for you to sue such a campaign using a Google ads dynamic remarketing guide.   Reason 1: Encourage shoppers to return to their carts About 75% of shopping carts are abandoned without a completed checkout. This is where remarketing ads can make a difference. Most shoppers simply browse or add things to their cart for a purchase at a later date. You can create a campaign that targets such kinds of visitors and remind them of their interest which will nudge them into making a sale. If your store has a special offer, you can also add this to the ad which sweetens the deal for the customer. Reason 2: Personalized ads Recent studies by Accenture show that customers prefer personalized ads. Not surprisingly, the chances of a shopper making a purchase increase significantly following a "personalized" ad. Google dynamic remarketing campaigns are tailor-made for ads that feel personal and highly targeted.  One way to do this is sending customized emails based on past shopping behavior on your site. This creates a personal connection with the customer and makes them feel like you care about their experience and patronage. Reason 3: Returning customers Returning customers tend to spend more money than any other type of shopper. A remarketing campaign wades through the sea of choices and reminds customers of their previous spending history. These types of targeted ads will boost your sales and create a stronger bond with your customers. Reason 4: Updating shoppers One of the top advantages of a remarketing campaign is showing new products to past (interested) visitors.  For example, if you have recently expanded your product line to sell plus-size clothing for women, creating a campaign about this update will keep you relevant. A shopper who couldn’t find her right size (but liked the style of clothes at your store) has a better chance of returning to your store. You can also use the campaign to promote customer loyalty programs. Reason 5: Great ROI Blue Mist Marketing found remarketing campaigns cost 56% less than other types of marketing strategies. Google dynamic remarketing campaigns give you relevant data to show exactly how much you are profiting with respect to your time investment. Based on this data, you can create more effective marketing ads. How to create a dynamic remarketing campaign in Google Ads Even with minimal coding experience, dynamic remarketing is fairly easy to set up. Google automatically creates 5 different customer match lists based on the pages shoppers have visited on your store. These include: Converted customers Homepage viewers Product Page viewers Shopping cart abandoners Category Page viewers You can also customize these lists. However, if this is your first time using dynamic remarketing, we suggest you use Google’s list and make changes later. Creating a remarketing campaign is a simple 3-step process. For success, carry out the following steps in order: Make sure that your Google Merchant Account is linked with your Google Ads account Using the right tag, add the Google remarketing pixel to your online store Set up a bid after you have created your desired dynamic remarketing ads Step 1: Link your Google Ads account with your Google Merchant account 1. Go to the Google Merchant Center. Click on the three small dots in the top right-hand corner next to your icon. Click on Account Linking. 2. Add your Customer ID for Google Ads, and then click on ‘Send link request’. 3. Select the Settings to a cog in your Ads account, and click ‘Linked accounts’ from the drop-down menu 4. Select the Google Merchant option 5. You will see a request in your Google Merchant Center like the screenshot below: 6. Select ‘View request’, and click on ‘Approve’. It will say ‘Approved’. Your Google Merchant Center will be now linked with Google Ads. [note]If you want to audit your Google Merchant Center, check out the Google Merchant Center audit guide.[/note] Now that you've linked your Google Ads account with your Google Merchant Account. Let’s move on to Step 2. Step 2: Use the right tag & add the Google remarketing pixel to your Shopify store Go to ‘Shared Library’ in Ads, and select ‘Audiences’. Select website visitors and click on ‘Set up remarketing’. Check the “use dynamic search ads” box and select the type of business from the dropdown. Click on 'Set up remarketing'. Select ‘View Ads tag for websites’ and then add the code to have the remarketing pixel on your website. For Google to build the lists, you'll need to first identify your category pages, home page, checkout pages and product pages. Step 3: Create your dynamic remarketing ads Now that your Ads account is linked and you've added the Google remarketing pixel, the next step for you is to create your Dynamic Remarketing Ads: Use the Google Display Network to create a new campaign. Select the option that says ‘Take action on your website’. Name your campaign and fill the settings as you would do for a search campaign. Tick the box next to ‘Use dynamic ads’ to confirm that you want to use dynamic ads. Select the business area and the merchant feed you choose for your dynamic ads. Save the campaign, and create your first ad and relevant ad groups. How to create Google dynamic remarketing campaigns with AdNabu  AdNabu dynamic remarketing app is a convenient app that helps Shopify merchants simplify  process of creating customized and targeted remarketing ads. It takes out all the guesswork and offers full customer support while merchants install and run their ad campaigns.  AdNabu automatically creates the remarketing tag on its own, saving you the effort of doing it yourself. It applies this tag to all of your site pages, scans each relevant visitor profile for matching campaigns and ensures audiences are properly created in Google Ads.  Here is how to easily install the AdNabu dynamic remarketing app: Login in to the Shopify app store Use the search bar to find AdNabu Dynamic remarketing App Select the Google Ads Dynamic Remarketing App Select Add App Link your Google Ads account Login with your Gmail address linked with your Google Ads account Read the terms & conditions and allow permission Your Shopify store will show a success page. Google Dynamic Remarketing app is now live! Google Ads conversion tracking for Shopify success Remarketing ads are a great strategy for stores of all sizes. But if you can't track how ther ads are performing or converting, what's the point? Linking Google Ads with Google Analytics is the easiest and best way to track your campaigns to make adjustments and improvements over time. But only one tool connects them with 100% data accuracy. Littledata's smart connection for Google Ads automatically pulls your Shopify data into your Google Ads account, so you can retarget ecommerce segments and track your sales easily. To name a few, the connection: Increases your Google Ads ROI with Shopify data for smarter retargeting Get back visitors who abandoned cart Retarget your users who viewed product details but didn't buy Prevents you from wasting money acquiring visitors who have previously purchased Get consistent data across both platforms View Google Ads costs in Google Analytics Connect Littledata's Shopify app for accurate tracking of checkout steps [note]You can try Littledata free for 2 weeks and test out the connection for yourself![/note] Wrapping up Google dynamic remarketing campaigns have proven to be a cost-effective, sales-boosting marketing move. One of the biggest advantages of using these campaigns is the ability to capture returning shoppers. Without a loyal customer base, your store can't survive in a market where merchants live and die by churn. Capturing the attention of shoppers is vital tom Shopify success, and Google dynamic remarketing does just that!   This is a guest post by AdNabu. AdNabu helps improve sales in Google Ads for ecommerce companies. If you are running search, shopping or display campaigns in Google Ads, their software will be able to increase your sales. Sign up today for a 14-day free trial.

2019-12-11

What you can track with Littledata's Google Analytics app for Shopify

Here at Littledata we believe that everyone should have access to professional-level analytics tools for tracking, reporting, and improving sales and engagement. That's why we built the ultimate Shopify app. Shopify is one of the best ecommerce platforms, but Shopify's native analytics are limited and the platform's standard integration with Google Analytics is incomplete and unreliable. In contrast, our Shopify connection uses a combination of client-side and server-side tracking to ensure 100% accurate data about your Shopify store in Google Analytics. Littledata automatically integrates with Shopify and Shopify Plus sites to capture every customer touchpoint, including sales, marketing and product performance data. Below is a table outlining the differences in tracking. What you can track with the Littledata Shopify app for Google Analytics [subscribe heading="Top Shopify app for Google Analytics" button_text="Learn more" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/shopify"] * Orders can be attributed back to a marketing channel or campaign, and linked to multiple previous visits by the customer using multi-channel attribution in Google Analytics The Littledata app makes all of this remarkably easy. It guides you through the correct Google Analytics setup for your Shopify store, then provides curated reports and analytics to help you make sense of your new stream of reliable data. In addition to 100% accurate sales tracking, Enhanced Ecommerce events and advanced marketing attribution, our Shopify app includes a ReCharge connection for subscription analytics. [tip]Now, with a revamped ReCharge connection — ReCharge v2 — you can track subscription lifecycle events with ease![/tip] After all, how can you grow a business unless you understand what share of your sales comes from repeat buying versus new customers? You don't have to be a Google Analytics expert to use Littledata's Shopify app. In fact, the app works best for product and marketing teams that are eager to learn about the big power of little data. We simplify the setup process and streamline the reporting process. It's that simple. Try it today for free in the reporting section of the Shopify App Store and see for yourself!

2019-11-26
Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

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