Lunch with Littledata: How to take a Smartrr approach to subscriptions

Subscription ecommerce is booming. Sales in the industry are on pace to double since 2019, and Shopify expects the global subscription market to continue to skyrocket to $246 billion in worth by 2025. In addition to enormous growth, one of the most attractive aspects of subscription selling for merchants is the dependability it provides through recurring revenue. But to win customers, retain them, and secure your piece of that giant subscription sales pie, you need to delight your customers using the right strategies. In this edition of Lunch with Littledata, we talk about how to do just that with the team that knows best—Smartrr. Founder and CEO Gabriella Yitzhaek Tegen shares the mission behind Smartrr, how to best retain customers, what the future of subscriptions holds, and how stores can leverage data to ride the subscription wave to amazing heights. Greg from Littledata: Can you tell us the Smartrr story? Gabriella from Smartrr: Before Smartrr, I was working at a commercial real estate prop-tech company. Loved it. I scaled the sales org and got to work cross-functionally with product and engineering and marketing. But when COVID hit, it just started to feel slightly unfulfilling, as you can imagine selling commercial real estate data to Fortune 500 companies might. It felt like I wasn't necessarily appreciating the opportunity that I had to make a difference in the world. Not saying that subscriptions are making a huge difference. But at the foundation (of Smartrr), we wanted to try to help small businesses impacted by COVID. Even just locally, we thought about what shops were being affected, and that kind of pivoted and grew into me interviewing founders to understand what I could learn about Shopify, BigCommerce, and all these ecommerce platforms to try to help those small businesses turn their business online. But that brought light to a larger issue—subscriptions were really cumbersome, very expensive to launch, challenging to manage, and quite archaic in how they were being processed. As a salesperson, that really intrigued me. So Smartrr started off with the idea of “Let's try to help the small businesses,” and we definitely still try to do that. But we’ve also realized that we can help really large companies with the same issues. It's kind of crazy that companies of all sizes are facing the same problem. So that's how we started building our solution. Greg: What has it been like to see the subscription boom that's been happening over the past few years? Gabriella: I mean, it's happened everywhere. Recurring billing has blown up. B2B, B2C, you even see brick and mortar shops doing a ton of recurring purchases—floral shops, grocery companies, meal delivery companies. I think it's fascinating. It's showing us that people want convenience and they want to be loyal to a brand. For a while, shopping was about having as many choices as possible, like the “Amazon model” of being able to pick one out of a thousand soaps or one out of a thousand dog foods. But now, people want that singularity. So if we can help strengthen that brand affinity, then that obviously really helps brands overall. It's been interesting to watch, for sure. Greg: For stores that want to start selling subscriptions, do you have any advice on how they should go about it? Gabriella: Oh, man, I don't know if we have enough time. I feel like the guides out there now are very one-size-fits-all. That's likely in part due to how limited the tech stack has been pre-Smartrr. Not to toot our own horn here, but a lot of these online resources say to start with things like offering multiple products with a 20 percent discount, then launch and it will grow. But in reality, we've seen that that's not how it works, right? You really have to be in touch with what your business is. What about it is subscribable? Is it the experience that you provide? Is it convenience? Is it perk-related? Is it community-related? Then build on top of that. So what you'll see is a subscription business model that's successful for a cleaning company is going to be very different than for a caviar company, and you should be aware of that. "You really have to be in touch with what your business is. What about it is subscribable? Is it the experience that you provide? Is it convenience? Is it perk-related? Is it community-related? Then build on top of that." But high-level quick tips would be definitely free shipping, which we see converting at a really strong rate. Definitely setting up the engagement with that consumer and letting them have the flexibility to manage their subscription. And definitely rewarding them when they do prove that they have brand affinity, whether it's through referring the product to their friends and family, gifting it, or just being a long-term customer of yours. Greg: Dovetailing off that a little bit—what are the most successful subscription strategies you've seen besides the high-level ones you just mentioned? Anything specific brands have done that you’ve noticed really worked for them? Gabriella: Yeah, I mean, this one's very simple, but there is a direct correlation between the brands that have really great products and great customer service also having the most successful subscription business. It's not like turning on free shipping is going to magically make you be successful. Because you might convert those customers, but you're giving up AOV by giving a discount, and then not having them retain is actually worse for your business, right? So I would say having a great product is number one. Having a community is really powerful for brands, too. We work with a lot of women’s health and beauty companies, for example, that have this community where people are not only buying the product but then engaging with like-minded women and talking about their health stories or their fertility stories. It’s similar with pet products, too. You always want to kind of like have this community of pet owners, so that has been really interesting. And then gifting has been huge for our brands. This is not really the convenience-oriented companies like cleaning supply companies, for example, but more so jewelry companies or apparel companies or fun products that are now gifting subscriptions. So terminal subscriptions that end after three months or six months have been really powerful. "There is a direct correlation between the brands that have really great products and great customer service also having the most successful subscription business." Greg: How important would you say data is for subscription selling and for Smartrr users specifically? Gabriella: Great question. I think it goes back to brands thinking it's really easy to get customers to set up subscriptions and just forget that they exist, right? Which is kind of again touching on the low bar of expectation that has been set by the existing tech stack. Now you see companies like Smartrr and like Littledata showing that by understanding your business through both micro and macro levels, you can make for a smarter subscription business… Greg: (laughs) Nice. Gabriella: But no, jokes aside, we talk to brands all the time that don't know what products are more successful in their subscription business than others. So if we talk to, let's just say, a smoothie company or a meal delivery company that has no idea if they're Chicken Marsala or their Chicken Parm are liked by their consumers. So other than generic reviews that are just touching on the high-level subscription, they have no idea if it's a successful product for them. They're not looking at margin necessarily or LTV or AOV. They're not looking at churn by product or by subscription type. They don't know if a six-week delivery of product or a four-week frequency is more successful. So, having that insight into your business can, if anything, just accelerate the rate at which you perfect your subscription model. Tip: See how you can connect Smartrr with Google Analytics on your store to make smart decisions using truly accurate data. Greg: Right. Just going back and looking at your methods, always learning and improving. Gabriella: Right, but also cutting down on the time. You could say that theoretically, with enough time, anyone can figure out what works for their business. But if we can cut down on that time, that could make or break a business. Greg: True, that's a great point. Especially for smaller bootstrapped ecommerce businesses, they don't have a lot of time to dedicate to those things. Gabriella: Exactly, exactly. And you don't have a lot of resources, right? Some of our larger brands have a data manager or an analyst. But a lot of brands, even brands, frankly, that have 10,000 or 20,000 subscribers that are using Smartrr don't have someone internally for that. So having tools that can also just simplify the data they're getting and make it more accessible for the average user has been really powerful, too. Greg: Do you see any of your users—maybe your more data-savvy users—leveraging personas at all, maybe by identifying their top buyers and then trying to retarget them? Gabriella: Yeah, that’s interesting. Like you said, it’s definitely for the more sophisticated client base. I think even just having basic information, which we provide, such as attribution around subscription is helpful. Knowing that X amount of sales came from Facebook as a channel, or that X amount came from direct traffic allows them to invest more into the channels, not just with spend but with an understanding of something like “OK, 50 percent of our business is coming from gifting.” Converting into subscribers like that is the kind of insight that has been game-changing for brands that might not be at that stage where they have the capability of understanding personas. Greg: Right, that makes sense. To make personas, you have to know your attribution and which channels are working before you can segment buyers. Gabriella: Yeah. So most commonly, our users are looking at what their top products are, both from a sales and a retention standpoint. We have a really cool retention matrix that lets them see based on cohort how products—and in general their subscription business—is doing. They're looking not only at how many subscribers they have at any given moment but also how that trend has grown or not over time. Another thing our customers look at often that we recently came out with is smart cancellation. It gives brands the ability to ask customers for specific reasons why they want to cancel a subscription. So let's say my product is flavored water, and one of the reasons a customer canceled is that they don't like their flavor. Another might be that they have too much product already. Or maybe they’re going on vacation. Now, through the Smartrr dashboard, customers are able to cancel their subscription, but before doing so, it'll ask you select the reason why. So, for the person receiving too many products, it’ll prompt them with the option to skip an order or delay by three months. For the customer who would select that they don't like their flavor, it'll ask them if they want to swap. For the customer going on vacation, it'll ask them if they want to gift their item to a friend or family member. And we now collect data on each of those cases so our brands can see what is causing churn and what exit prompts have actually been successful in retaining customers. That's been really helpful for our users. One other one I can mention is Smartrr users being able to see what frequency and price are most successful for a subscription. It's almost like A/B testing, but instead of having them both run congruent, you can see in one six-month period versus another six-month period that subscriptions were healthier when you charged three dollars less, for example. Greg: Do you see any major challenges that subscription merchants are facing right now? Or any that you see on the horizon? Gabriella: Yeah, I think firstly the transition from the “subscribe and forget” model to what we're trying to do with Smartrr, which is create better engagement with the consumer to better understand who our consumers—both for one-time and subscription purchases— are. There are other issues that really face all DTC brands but heavily hit the subscription side. One very obvious one is around supply. We have a lot of our clients selling out of products, which sounds like a good issue to have on the surface level. But in actuality, it’s stopping their growth. It’s cool from a PR perspective, but ultimately, if you can sell product, obviously you prefer to do that. We have one client that we launched with and in a couple of days, they sold over 100,000 units, which was their entire first batch. It was supposed to last them for months, but they went viral and that was that. So now they have to wait for a new product to be built and made, and they don't know how long that will take. Greg: That's an interesting one—definitely something that could happen if you grow more quickly than planned or if you're limited by something that's outside your control. Do you have advice for a business that’s put into that situation? Gabriella: Yeah, that's a great question, actually. Another one of our brands that recently sold out is doing something quite interesting—which we can do for brands across the board—but they're developing a waitlist for their subscription. So they’re a subscription-only business, and you can only buy their product with a refill involved. What they're doing is rather than charging customers now for the full amount, given that they don't have the product, they're going to charge one dollar upfront that locks you in for the refill. Then when the product is back in stock and they start shipping again, that consumer gets charged the full amount and their subscription begins. So I think creating hype around the lack of supply is good. Then on top of that, making sure that you're not missing out on the hype at the moment because you don't know who's going to remember your brand when you are back in stock. Get them on the hook now for a dollar or samples or a free trial. If you have something else that you can provide them, that’s the best idea to follow. Greg: Right, and just keeping them in the community. Gabriella: It's just being transparent with your customers. That adds to brand affinity and allows people to be more loyal to these brands initially. They are aware that there’s a waitlist and this is a pre-order, but they're so excited and so bought into that brand that they want to stay engaged and the merchant’s helping them understand why they don't have a product quite yet. It's just about being super transparent and helping your customers know that you're going to keep them in the loop about everything to have a more honest relationship. Tip: Learn about your community of buyers and build a stronger relationship with them using data from Littledata and Smartrr's native integration. Greg: Have you seen any significant trends taking over in subscription ecommerce? Gabriella: We build Smartrr functionality based on what brands are striving for. So just speaking to what we have seen, there are a lot of trends around digital subscriptions. You're seeing physical products come out with an app component. Another big one is gifting. A terminal subscription can be a good idea for engaging the kind of outlier network of your consumers. For example, Sock Fancy is a brand that we launched where you can gift a subscription directly to your friends and family. So for Valentine's Day, I gifted my husband a subscription to socks. They're beautiful socks, super high quality. It's a great experience. He received an email that I had put together days ahead but that was sent on Valentine's Day. Then he was able to redeem his gift and loved the surprise. From the brand's perspective, it's interesting because they then collect not just my email address, but my husband’s as well. So obviously when that subscription ends, they can target him to buy an auto-renewal subscription. Plus that approach works nicely with the majority of products. Greg: What's your hiring strategy at Smartrr? Do you focus on recruiting people with previous ecommerce experience? Gabriella: Hiring is definitely important for us. I would love to have a team of experts, but honestly, I don't think it's required. What we're building at Smartrr and what our community, in general, is built around is something that's very intuitive in my mind: we're all consumers. We all experience what it is to buy something online—what it is to manage something online. We all have subscriptions, right? So that feels like a natural fit, regardless of whether or not someone worked in ecommerce. My experience was as a real estate director, and I actually worked in fintech before that.For us, honestly, we want really smart people. I have no doubt that a smart person can learn everything that I learned in the last year or two by diving in. We’ve also learned so much through our partners and through events where we've gone to meet partners and form relationships. Everyone is so willing to jump on a call and just chat through different situations. That makes the learning curve so much easier because again, we're hiring motivated individuals and, intrinsically, they are excited to learn more. It really creates a best-case scenario for moving from a different industry into the space. So I don't necessarily think ecommerce experience is a requirement for us. It's more about finding out—are you smart? Are you driven? Are you fun to work with? We want a good group of people and we've been (knock on wood) really, really fortunate in being able to hire people that fill all of those things for us. Greg: I've noticed that myself coming from a non-ecommerce background. The industry is so welcoming and people really want to help each other out. As they say, a rising tide lifts all boats. Gabriella: Yeah, I love that. Greg: Last question, anything coming down the road for Smartrr that you’d like to share? Gabriella: Oh, man, we have a lot. We've made some recent vendor portal enhancements to make it easier for our clients to do more with subscriptions for their business. We launched new functionality like full-on gifting and prepaid subscriptions. And we have a couple more surprises coming down, but I won't spoil them quite yet. Tip: Book a demo with an analytics expert to find out how you can fit Smartrr in your subscription tech stack and power growth with Littledata's data platform. Quick links: Elevar vs Littledata: which is right for your store?Learn how $1 billion digitally native brand Rothy’s uses data to growSee We Make Websites “perfect” headless tech stack, Littledata includedGet the step by step guide to running dynamic Facebook ads using Facebook’s conversions API

by Greg
2022-03-21

We Make Websites features Littledata in ideal headless tech stack

We Make Websites is one of our trusted agency partners at Littledata. The geniuses behind beautiful ecommerce experiences for Lauren Conrad Beauty, PANGAIA, and countless other Shopify Plus sites, We Make Websites are experts in headless builds. We were honored to be included in their new outline of a "perfect" headless tech stack for ecommerce merchants! Littledata's ecommerce data platform now supports any headless Shopify build, and we work together with top Shopify Plus agencies like WMW to help brands get accurate data to fuel their growth. The "perfect" headless tech stack Headless ecommerce isn't new, but the technology has improved across the board in recent years. With the rise of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and increasing popularity of React frameworks, it seems like headless platforms are everywhere you turn these days. Many brands are turning to sites that act like apps, and headless is a great way to do that. Even Shopify seems ready to go all-in with the launch of Hydrogen, which is focused on integrating React server components. As the WMW team explains, headless isn't for everyone. To really do it right (and keep maintenance costs down), you'll need a developer or agency with experience in Node.js and React/Vue as well as the Shopify ecosystem. When done right, headless sites like Recess and ILIA Beauty are lightning fast and provide personalized experiences for shoppers. In "Creating the Perfect Tech Stack for Your Headless Build", the We Make Websites team highlights top apps that work well in a headless environment, work well together, and "harmonize" with the wider tech stack. Here's their recommended stack. ShopifyLoyaltyLionKlevuYotpoNacelleNostoShogunRechargeLittledata Littledata is featured alongside some of our longtime integration partners Recharge (for selling by subscription) and Nacelle (for fast, flexible headless builds), as well as our friends at LoyaltyLion. So, this is an ideal stack for a customer-driven brand that is selling by subscription (at least in part) and is serious about data-driven growth. Note: Littledata also integrates with landing page builders like Shogun, Zipify Pages and Gem Pages Our headless tracking ensures that sessions are stitched together and linked to ecommerce events. We have also added default integrations with every major landing page builder, whether those pages act as your front-end or you're running hundreds of top-of-funnel landing pages. Should you go headless? As the WMW team puts it, one of the biggest reasons for going headless in the first place is the ability to pick and choose from modern commerce tools, including data platforms and CDP integrations: A headless architecture [lets you] employ a “best of breed” technology strategy. By harnessing the power and agility of APIs, headless websites allow you to create a tech stack that’s unique to, and perfect for, your business. We have certainly found that to be true in practice, especially with our merchants using Nacelle and Netlify. For the most part they have managed to keep their Shopify Plus tech stacks while improving speed and engagement . As Devin Saxon, senior sales engineer at Nacelle put it in our interview last year: Every headless build is unique. Not because of catalogue size, but due to what the merchant’s goals and needs are for their front end and overall architecture.The process itself is not dramatically different. We align with the customer on the build scoping process, including their goals, integration, and workflow needs, which can be the biggest determinant of the timeline. It’s best to work this out far before they start building, though, to mitigate any issues from coming up during the build. In our view, chief among those goals and workflows should be your data vision: what do you want to track, how do you want to track it, and who will be using the data? Check out our headless tracking demo to get sense for what's possible. If you're ready to start planning a headless build — or you've already launched are are ready to take data more seriously — let's chat.

by Ari
2022-03-17

How to protect your ecommerce website from cyber threats

Among the many positive things to have increased online since 2020, like entrepreneurship and ecommerce demand, cyberattacks unfortunately remain among the negatives to have increased as well. In fact, the average cost of a single attack increased in 2021 to $4.24 million per breach — in total costing the global economy around $1 trillion. While some companies—ecommerce merchants included—have searched for skilled developers to beef up their cybersecurity, McAfee found in 2020 that only 44% of companies had a response plan ready in case of an attack. With the ecommerce industry continuing to see record growth, strategies on how to protect not only customers but online stores as a whole from cyberattacks have become must-haves for store owners. Below we will discuss why cybersecurity is an essential part of a successful ecommerce website, the most common types of cyberattacks, and learn about the possible solution your business can implement to withstand cyberattacks. Why cybersecurity is important for the ecommerce industry It’s hard to overstate the importance of cyber security because so many things depend on it. Beyond vulnerable company information, your store also holds data on credit cards and other sensitive customer information. The frequency and severity of data breaches have significantly increased since the COVID pandemic, as most companies moved fully remote. IBM found when remote work was a factor in a cyberattack, the cost of the damage increased by $1.07 million compared to attacks when it was not a factor. You might already be familiar with some of the most high-profile cyberattacks, like when hackers gained access to Microsoft and the US Department of Defense’s SolarWinds servers, giving them remote access to users’ devices and sensitive data. In 2020, hackers exposed almost 500,000 Zoom accounts and posted them for sale on the dark web, including customer emails, passwords, personal meeting URLs, and even host keys. Taking everything into account, it’s clear how essential it is to pay attention to cybersecurity and not underestimate the dangers of poor cyber protection. Building a dependable cybersecurity infrastructure brings peace of mind to both your store and your customers. Cybersecurity threats for ecommerce websites Cyberattacks can take on many different disguises, but here are a few of the most common to keep watch for. Financial fraud Financial fraud happens when a hacker accesses your bank account, meaning they can steal money directly or use it for illegal purchases. This kind of fraud also takes place when hackers create fake return requests, leading stores to spend heavily on fraudulent delivery charges. To prevent financial fraud, it’s important not to allow any customer credit card or bank information to be visible at any step in the buying process. Phishing Phishing has long been one of the most popular types of cyberattacks. This kind of fraud uses mass email campaigns with senders pretending to be a legitimate website—most commonly a popular brand or even a social networking site. The emails are designed to trick recipients into entering sensitive data into a fake login or form, handing hackers access to whatever sensitive information lies behind the profile login, and in some cases even bank account details. The best way to help your team avoid this problem is by teaching them how to distinguish fraud messages from legitimate emails and avoid opening them. SQL injection Hackers use an SQL injection—or an injection of malicious code to a website—to get access to a database, then change records or steal sensitive data from it. This type of attack most commonly occurs using a malicious form or link. Because SQL injections pass through existing security measures, they allow hackers to modify, move, or even delete data from your database. Malware and ransomware Malware is a virus that hides in plain sight, pretending to be a legitimate application. Relying on undetectability, they give hackers access to a device and provide a pathway to steal sensitive data. Ransomware specifically is a type of malware that limits or locks users completely out of their access to files—and in some cases, an entire device or network—until the victim pays a ransom to the hacker to remove it. Using a good firewall is a strong deterrent for malware, and it never hurts to add a malware-checking program like Malwarebytes to scan your device for existing viruses. Designated Denial of Service (DDoS) attack DDoS attacks flood a victim's website with requests, making it impossible to access. Regular DDoS attacks can harm a website’s reputation and, in turn, the amount of real traffic it receives. Using a DDoS protection service, like Cloudflare, is the best deterrent here. E-skimming The attacks listed so far are common for many different kinds of websites, but e-skimming is the most popular among ecommerce websites. This occurs when hackers add skimming code to the payment processing page of a store. When a customer enters their payment details on the checkout page and proceeds with payment, hackers capture the information, including all personal data, card details, and account numbers. Preventing e-skimming comes down to keeping your store’s software up to date and strong data management, which we’ll touch on again later. Cross-site scripting Hackers use cross-site scripting attacks (XSS attacks) to insert malicious scripts into websites. These scripts can extract sensitive user data that must be protected by the web application. Often, these scripting attacks are not used for theft exactly, but instead to find out if a website has any vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity solutions to protect your ecommerce website Now that we're aware of the threats, the first step toward protection is done. Next, we need to know how to protect our ecommerce websites and keep both our stores and our customers safe. Here are some of the easiest—and most effective—prevention methods you can use to protect your store. Secure payment gateway If you want to keep your clients’ payment data secure, it’s best not to keep that information in your own database, unless you are sure you have strong security protecting it. Instead, use options like PayPal, Stripe, or Shop Pay, as they have invested in high levels of security for their databases. Multi-factor authentication Multi-factor authentication (MFA) helps keep user data safe by requiring not only a password to log in but additional information only the true account owner would have. Some of the most popular options for MFA include fingerprints, one-time passwords, and authentication codes. SSL certificates Adding an SSL certificate to your website (aka getting the https:// instead of http:// in your URL) encrypts all information shared between your website visitors and your store website. It’s not only essential to avoid browser-based warning screens telling visitors your site may be unsafe, but also helps to decrease the chances of fraud and other cyberattacks on your site. DDoS mitigation DDoS mitigation services like Cloudflare (mentioned above) protect your website from possible DDoS attacks by using specific network equipment connected to the cloud. This helps offload the effect of a DDoS attack to keep your site up and running. Data backup One of the best ways to protect your data is by backing it up regularly. It’s safest to do this on a separate server not located in your company’s office. It’s also a good choice to automate your data backups so you don’t lose anything in case of an emergency. Device encryption Keep your devices updated to the latest software version and encrypt them for better security. The keeps your devices ready and ahead of new potential threats and cyberattacks. Some devices have symmetric encryption that uses one key for the encryption. Using an asymmetric key increases the level of security of your device. Wrap up For ecommerce companies, protecting clients' data is essential. The more secure your store, the more trustworthy you are to any customer. Remember, being aware of the cyber threats described in this article is just the first step. Once you’ve educated your employees on cyber protection, prevention by backing up data, enabling website encryption, and using secure payment methods, should be high priority items for any store that has not already taken care of security. This is a guest post from Iryna Bilyk. Iryna is an expert content marketing manager at YouTeam — a marketplace for instant engineering team extension. She passionately discovers and writes about technology, innovations, and software development solutions.

2022-03-14

How to run dynamic Facebook ads with Facebook Conversions API

It is rare that we speak to a customer at Littledata who isn't spending a majority of their PPC budget on Google and Facebook, and this hasn't changed with browser and OS privacy changes and the renewed focus on first-party data. It has just become more complex. Facebook Ads are used by top DTC brands to find new customers and retarget shoppers, and dynamic ads are one of the secrets to success on that paid channel. But without the right tools, dynamic ads can be difficult to run correctly — let alone optimize for higher ROAS. In this post, I look at what dynamic product ads are, the main use cases for DTC marketers, and how to use tools such as the Facebook Conversions API (CAPI) to improve your ecommerce advertising. What are dynamic product ads on Facebook? Dynamic ads, or specifically dynamic product ads, allow you to show a Facebook user an advert for the same (or similar to) the product they browsed on your store. This dynamic product ad is typically displayed to an audience that has added a product to their cart but has not yet purchased. Facebook has shown using this strategy increases click-through rate (CTR) on ads and reduces your cost per acquisition (CPA). In one example, Inch Blue, a children’s shoe manufacturer, more than doubled their return on Facebook Ads spend by using dynamic product ads and lookalike audiences (another technique described here). What do I need to set up dynamic product ads? To enable dynamic product ads, you need to feed four things from your store to Facebook: An event telling Facebook which users have viewed a productAn event telling Facebook which users added which products to their cartAn event telling Facebook which users have completed purchases (so they can be excluded from the audience)A product feed matching the product ID viewed, with the image and description you want to be displayed in the dynamic ad It's important to send all of this data to Facebook Ads, because otherwise you could waste a lot of money targeting shoppers with the wrong products, or retargeting customers who already bought the item! Using Facebook Conversions API to run high-performing ads The four necessary events above are increasingly being blocked by anti-tracking technology in web browsers when tracked via Facebook Pixel. Ad accounts missing the “add to cart” event will have a smaller audience to target. Those missing the “purchase” event will be advertising to users who already purchased. Both of these problems increase CPA. Facebook Conversions API (CAPI) solves this problem by sending the events from server to server, where they cannot be blocked, and so they can contain more complete customer data to match to a Facebook user. This increases the relevance of the audience on Facebook and reduces CPA. This is a big uplift — many brands report a 20% to 30% increase in purchase tracking after using Facebook CAPI, meaning they can save up to 30% of their ad budget since they avoid retargeting customers who purchased already. Shopify stores report a 20% to 30% increase in purchase tracking after using Facebook Conversions API, meaning they can save up to 30% of their ad budget. Some Facebook CAPI solutions only send the purchase event server-side — which only solves part of the problem. Littledata’s connector for Shopify to Facebook CAPI also sends the add-to-cart event server-side. This means that it is captured every time and can be sent to Facebook automatically. Note: Littledata’s Facebook Conversions API connection is in private beta for Shopify stores. Sign up for early access. What’s the best way to retarget product ads? Facebook recommends targeting an “add to cart” event with a broad product group. So, you can either retarget based on a product ID or a product category. Retargeting using the SKU or product variant is less successful, because the user is likely looking for something like (but not exactly the same as) the product they abandoned in the cart. In addition to using add to cart events, you could also target a broader audience who viewed the product details page (see below the ‘Viewed or added to cart but not purchased’ option). It depends on the type of product you are selling. How do I set up dynamic ads with Littledata? Littledata’s Facebook CAPI integration sends all the required events you need for product targeting via Facebook CAPI. The only limitation is that the Product Viewed event (from the product details page) is still sent client-side (via Facebook Pixel). This means some product views might be missing due to browser cookie blocking, although in a future iteration this will also be moved to Facebook CAPI. You will also need a product catalog feed for Facebook: Facebook Feed by Littledata reliably performs this role. How do I configure the dynamic ads within Facebook? To configure dynamic ads, you will first need to create a new campaign with Facebook Ads manager. Start with a Catalog Sales campaign. Next, link the campaign with the product catalogue you set up. Then name the campaign and edit how it interacts with your product catalog. Then link the event data source you configured Facebook CAPI to send to. Finally, you are ready to configure the audience rules. In this case, I have chosen to retarget users who viewed or added to cart but did not purchase. What are the other options for setting up Facebook dynamic ads for a Shopify store? As we wrote last year, there are a couple of other options for connecting Shopify to Facebook CAPI. The options are: Shopify’s inbuilt Facebook channelServer-side Google Tag Manager (sGTM) But both have their limitations. Shopify’s Facebook channel has problems with order duplication — so revenue and order volumes are double-counted, making ROAS hard to calculate. It also doesn’t send add-to-cart events server-side, resulting in lower retargeting rates. Server-side Google Tag Manager is more reliable but puts all the onus on you to maintain the integration. Facebook’s marketing technology changes every month, and we believe paying for a constantly maintained connection is a better long-term solution. Of course, if you just want to prospect new customers with selected products from your catalog, you could do this without sending events to Facebook—but then you’d be blind to whether the campaigns were really working or not. What to do next to set up dynamic ads Are you ready to boost the effectiveness of your Facebook Ad spend? What would a double-digit uplift in your ad spend effectiveness mean for your brand? You can get started today with just three things: A Facebook Ads accountA product catalog feed from Shopify to Facebook AdsAn event data feed (also known as Facebook CAPI) Happy retargeting! Note: Littledata’s Facebook Conversions API connection is in private beta for Shopify stores. Sign up for early access.

2022-03-09

Visual Testing: The new way for engineers and designers to collaborate

Have you ever shipped a bug to the production environment, even though it passed all the unit tests? If you said yes, visual testing could've prevented this. If not yet, that means visual testing can definitely prevent this. What is Visual Testing? Automated visual testing evaluates the appearance of your components or web pages, typically by comparing your builds’ visual appearance against its original design. It’s in essence the same as an “eye-test” that a frontend engineer will do after making changes to code. Tests check if everything is in the correct place and that the output generally looks how it’s supposed to. Having automated visual testing in your workflow doesn’t just help you detect visual problems in your application in a systematic way, though. It’s also a great way to catch visual bugs earlier and saves time with cross-browser testing by automatically taking care of what you’d normally do manually. Plus, you reduce your risk of deploying a visually bugged application to the production environment. In the end, visual testing gets you better alignment between your design system and your actual design. How we use visual testing Many applications in our analytics platform product at Littledata use the same atomic components. Each time we need to make a change to an atomic component—or to a component that uses an atomic component—we need to check each instance in our host applications where we use the changed component. As you can guess, this is time-consuming work and very much prone to human error. From time to time, small details regarding the visual appearance of components are overlooked in our pull requests. That’s why we integrated the Chromatic visual testing tool into our deployment pipeline. To show a real-world example of the value this tool—and visual testing overall—can bring, I’d like to share how we integrated Chromatic into our pipeline and how we fit visual testing in our workflow at Littledata. Integrating Chromatic into our pipeline Setting up the chromatic workflow and integrating it into your deployment pipeline is pretty straightforward. One of the reasons we chose Chromatic is that it's built for Storybook workflows, which we already use for our design system. To start setup, sign in on Chromatic’s website however you prefer. In our case, it’s GitHub. Next, Click “Choose from Github” The menu on the right side allows you to choose any project you want to start visual testing on. After you select your project, you’ll be prompted with instructions on how to get your Chromatic build started. At this point, you’re just 2 steps away from having your first Chromatic build! Next, go over to your projects directory and add the Chromatic library to your project. If you’re using npm, enter: npm install --save-dev chromatic If you’re using yarn, enter: yarn add --dev chromatic After you installed the package, you can publish your first deployment by simply running this command: npx chromatic --project-token= And voila! You’ll see your first build in your Chromatic dashboard. While that was very easy to accomplish, we don’t want to have to run the same publish command each time we deploy new code. So instead, let’s integrate Chromatic into the deployment pipeline. In Littledata’s case, we use CircleCI for our CI/CD pipeline. How to integrate Chromatic with CircleCI Assuming that you already have your project on CircleCI, you’ll first need to add your Chromatic token as an environment variable to your project to get started. To do this, open your project’s settings at CircleCI, then select open environment variables. Then, click “Add Environment Variable.” Enter CHROMATIC_PROJECT_TOKEN as the name and your project’s Chromatic token as the value, then hit “Add Environment Variable.” Now, we need to add the Chromatic publish step to our pipeline by modifying our .circleci/config.yml file. Add this job under jobs: chromatic-deployment:docker:- image: circleci/node:12steps:- checkout- restore_cache:keys:- v1-dependencies-{{ checksum "package.json" }}- v1-dependencies-- run: yarn install- run: yarn chromatic --project-token=${CHROMATIC_PROJECT_TOKEN} Then add this workflow under your workflows: chromatic-deploy:jobs:- chromatic-deployment Please note that you may want to change your Node version depending on your project’s node version. If you run the Chromatic job after you’ve already installed the packages, you don’t need to run the yarn install command in Chromatic deployment, so you can remove that command. After you have a Chromatic job in your CircleCI pipeline, each time you push new code that changes the layout of your components, you’ll see the CI/CD check-related Chromatic in your GitHub pull requests (like in the below image.) In the Chromatic dashboard, you can add collaborators that don’t have access to the GitHub repository like product managers, designers, and QAs. To add collaborators, open the Manage section in the left side menu, then click the Collaborate section. You can use a special link to invite them or send an invitation via email. Once they accept the invitation, they can review your builds, approve or deny the changes in the components. How Littledata integrates visual testing in our workflows The first benefit of implementing visual testing for us was the alignment it created between our codebase and the design system, as we’ve had conflicts between them in the past. Creating that single source of truth also pushed us to make decisions on some unclear cases in our components. Because we already have an atomic shared components library created, we find it helpful to use Storybook to quickly preview any type of change in our components. Having Storybook already set up made it easier to both install Chromatic in our project and integrate it into our pipeline. The only downside I could mention is that visual testing is not only another step in the work pipeline but something you need to embrace as a process and spend time on. Each time you make a new build, you need to get approval from designers or product managers. While it might feel like visual testing slows down the process at first, I feel in the long run you’ll see that it pays off—just as we did. Tip: Want to join us in building the future of ecommerce analytics and empowering entrepreneurs around the world? Check out Littledata’s open positions.

by Ali
2022-03-04

Elevar vs Littledata: Which is right for your store?

Choosing between Littledata and Elevar to get deeper insights into the data for your Shopify store? While both can offer data fixes to help you drive growth, each tool follows a different path to help you get there. Elevar vs Littledata: 1,000 foot view Littledata Littledata is an ecommerce data platform built for tracking the entire customer lifecycle and unifying these touchpoints in the most popular data destinations. With Littledata, you can: Automatically track every critical ecommerce event, including product clicks, refunds, and third-party checkouts via a “plug and play” solutionUse both server-side and client-side tracking to see how customers behave on your Shopify store with 100% accuracyGet accurate analytics in your preferred data destination (like Google Analytics or Segment)Collect data from a store built on any theme or a headless setupTry any plan completely free for 30 days, with support from an analytics expertUninstall without losing historic data You can see how it works yourself by watching a quick demo. Elevar Elevar provides a reliable source of ecommerce data through a Google Tag Manager setup built on top of Elevar’s data layer. With Elevar, you can: Use a custom-built GTM integration to send data to your chosen marketing channel tag integrationsSend data to Google Analytics via Elevar’s Google Tag Manager SuiteMonitor your GTM setup to fix broken conversion tagsPurchase one-time expert onboarding to migrate to Elevar’s service The differences between Elevar and Littledata While both Elevar and Littledata provide reliable ecommerce tracking in GTM, Littledata offers a quicker setup by going directly to Google Analytics, Segment, or your chosen destination — including server-side events. Littledata is a plug-and-play solution for modern DTC brands that value data accuracy. Littledata’s data layer for ecommerce tracking was developed over 5 years of working closely with top brands on Shopify Plus. When choosing a data platform or tracking solution, it’s important to think about what can be tracked automatically versus what requires a custom setup from an agency or developer. Here’s a quick breakdown of how each service tracks common ecommerce events. Littledata events Vs Elevar GTM Suite LittledataElevarPageviews✔✔Product view list✔✔Tracks product list views as you scroll✔-Product list clicks✔-Product detail✔✔Add to cart✔✔Remove from cart✔✔Product image clicks✔-Product social clicks✔-Orders✔✔Refunds✔-Checkout steps✔Shopify plus only3rd party checkout attribution✔- Plan comparison Elevar As detailed on Elevar’s pricing page, they offer everything from a free plan which includes their tagging Chrome extension and Google Analytics event tracking through Google Tag Manager, to a $250 advanced plan with all basic features plus monitoring for broken tags and server-side tracking support, to a $750+ pro plan including all previous benefits plus a managed tag service. Elevar’s free plan appears enticing to stores who want to get analytics tracking up and running on their store at a low price. However, it’s more accurate to say the plan is “free like a puppy.” It requires scripting in GTM to get up and running, plus regular maintenance that can remove time and resources from working on other areas of your store or tech stack. Littledata Littledata’s offering starts with a $99/month standard plan that includes: 100% accurate analytics set up to your preferred data destinationUnlimited connections for tracking subscriptions, checkout funnels, refunds, upsells/downsells, and moreMarketing channel tracking for comparative attribution, action and analysis, including Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads and Google AdsDetailed tracking for email marketing tools like Klaviyo and affiliate marketing platforms like RefersionPlug and play solution that doesn’t require setup or maintenanceServer-side tracking to maintain accurate data while complying with privacy regulations and avoiding cookie blockingHourly audit checks to ensure no data loss30-day free trial For stores processing more than 1,500 orders per month, Littledata offers Pro and Grow plans for $159 and $319 annually, which include all Standard benefits plus email support (or priority support for Grow.) If you’re an enterprise-level store processing tens of thousands of orders per month, Littledata offers an Enterprise Plan with unlimited connections and country stores, 72-hour priority expert support, and guaranteed greater than 98% uptime for tracking. Implementation Another significant area of difference between Littledata and Elevar is how each tool is implemented on your store. On Elevar’s side, as previously mentioned, you as a user will set up their GTM solution and add the tags you want to track. If you want expert help from their team to set up tags for you, you’ll need to upgrade to the most expensive plan. Littledata, on the other hand, is a plug-and-play integration. On any plan, Littledata’s data layer automatically adds to your store and begins fixing your tracking to give you accurate analytics. This saves both time and money, as you and your team could be losing hours of work time setting up Elevar’s solution on your own or be required to pay for the setup service. Server-side tracking Both Elevar and Littledata provide server-side tracking. The main difference is how they’re actually implemented. As mentioned above, Littledata is a plug-and-play app that adds the server-side tracking events automatically, while Elevar requires extra time to set up server-side GTM or a higher fee for a managed setup service. Subscription analytics Both Elevar and Littledata’s plans include subscription analytics tracking and enable sending data through services like Recharge to Google Analytics. However, only Littledata’s subscription tracking offers robust, real-time attribution of recurring orders to marketing campaigns. Littledata works automatically with any recurring order app on Shopify, including Recharge, Smartrr, Ordergroove, Skio, and Bold Subscriptions, plus Recharge on BigCommerce. Littledata is the top-rated Shopify app for subscription analytics and has become the go-to solution for merchants who want advanced Google Analytics tracking. Tip: Learn the ins and outs of subscription analytics in our complete guide. With Littledata, everything is captured automatically: One-off orders, first-time orders and recurring transactionsSubscription products and product mixesMulti-currency sales and subscription orders on different country storesSubscription lifecycle events such as Subscription Updated (Recharge only)Marketing attribution for subscription paymentsLTV data for cohort-building and lookalike audiences In addition, Littledata allows users to add custom dimensions that help calculate LTV by product, channel, or source. You can also track one-time orders, first-time payments, and recurring transactions while getting accurate attribution for each. If you use the Recharge connection, you can follow our guide to identifying which marketing channels bring your most profitable customers. What’s more, Littledata’s solution works with headless setups and allows users to send subscription data to other sources besides Google Analytics, like Segment, Glew, Google Data Studio, and Tableau. “Once [we] decided to rebuild [our] website, we were on a timeline. We were looking for services that could cover some of our gaps and maybe put some critical funnel events into place for us without having to spend a lot of internal time and resources doing it. That's really where Littledata’s Segment connection came in to help.” - Matt McLean, analytics engineer at Rothy’s Use cases for Littledata Littledata is ideal for stores that need a low-maintenance way to track one-time and recurring orders automatically. It was built specifically to help businesses automate the complex or frustrating parts of ecommerce tracking and reporting. Depending on the connections and setup you choose, Littledata has many different beneficial use cases. Typically, though, we see stores turn to Littledata for one of three main reasons: 1. Making better business decisions with a single source of truth In a sample set of larger direct-to-consumer (DTC) Shopify stores not yet using Littledata— together processing over 50,000 orders a month—we found that on average only 88% of their orders were tracked in Google Analytics. Stores with non-standard checkouts (using apps like ReCharge and CartHook) fared even worse, with as few as 9% and only a maximum of 70% of orders being tracked by Shopify. Missing that amount of orders in your tracking is going to have a serious effect on your decision making, not to mention skews your true revenue. Littledata was built to help stores get their data right, especially for key metrics like marketing attribution and LTV. Tip: Learn more about why Google Analytics often doesn’t match Shopify’s data, and how to fix it. Our app fixes attribution for both Shopify and BigCommerce stores automatically with a combination of server-side and client-side tracking that stitches sessions together to make sure nothing's lost. The result—you can rely on Google Analytics or Segment (or your preferred data destination) as the single source of truth for both pre-click and post-click data, segmented remarketing, and comparative attribution models. Our script uses a gtag and GTM data layer, and can easily (and automatically) supplement and improve your GTM setup. In fact, many clients find that they no longer need GTM. 2. Accelerating growth using first-party data New privacy regulations, cookie blockers, and major tracking changes through iOS 14 (and beyond) are removing traditional data collection methods as options for marketers. The solution to maintaining accurate metrics that drive growth is first-party data. Littledata uses server-side tracking to ensure you get accurate data sent to your chosen destinations without worrying about interruption from these roadblocks. Plus, Facebook Ads can still be a source of valuable metrics when you use Littledata’s Facebook Conversions API (CAPI), which clears up revenue discrepancies and shows who your most valuable customers are so you can retarget them. 3. Sending unified customer data to hundreds of destinations As brands scale, they often reach a tipping point where they need to set up a data warehouse like Snowflake or Redshift to manage their data, or add more sophisticated tags and triggers in marketing destinations like Klaviyo, Iterable, and Facebook Ads. The Segment CDP unifies funnel events and customer profiles, making it a powerful solution for these growing stores. Littledata’s Shopify source for Segment works out of the box, cutting down development and implementation time to days instead of months, ensuring consistent data on an ongoing basis. Segment also allows you to create personas of your most valuable shoppers, so you can hypertarget your best buyers and drive revenue and conversions. It all starts with a tracking plan consultation with our analytics experts. Tip: Learn the secrets to data-driven decision-making through a well-built tech stack. Use cases for Elevar The most common use cases for Elevar are clients who want a lot of customisation, or the ability to send data to unusual destinations. If you’re looking for a completely custom data collection setup that you control and set up yourself powered through GTM, then you may choose Elevar to build it. So — Elevar or Littledata? Littledata provides a more complete view of the customer journey, better subscription analytics tracking, all the data destinations you need to manage social campaigns, ads, data warehouses, and more. While Elevar and Littledata are very similar when it comes to server-side tracking and overall marketing attribution calculations, the Littledata ecommerce data platform comes as a plug-and-play solution that can be set up in minutes and starts working automatically as soon as you install. Plus, it doesn’t require spending work hours on regular maintenance of marketing tags or paying for an expert to handle it. If you’re looking to get truly accurate data across each customer touchpoint that will help you determine your most profitable marketing channels, audiences, and growth strategies, Littledata is the choice to help you reach your goals. Tip: Get a free store audit from Littledata and experience the difference for yourself.

by Greg
2022-02-21

How to win with subscription selling on BigCommerce

The era of subscriptions is upon us. Subscriptions are the fastest growing sector in the ecommerce industry and show no signs of stopping. If you’re not selling by subscription yet, now is the time to start. If you are selling by subscription, make sure you’re using the right tools to get the best return on your efforts. Recharge is the leading subscription payments solution to help launch and scale your subscription business on major ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce. Subscriptions help you build meaningful relationships with your customers; Recharge empowers you to make the most of those relationships. Is now the right time to start selling by subscription? The short answer? Absolutely. For a bit more detail why, we can look at a few industry statistics and trends. First, market projections point to the subscription ecommerce industry being worth over $246 billion by 2025 — a greater than 9,400% increase since 2016. Selling by subscription also provides a highly sought after benefit: consistent, recurring revenue. Having a predictable income source frees up time for your management team to focus on planning promotions, investing in future products, and maintaining inventory, all while more accurately projecting profits. What if I’m new to subscription selling? Thanks to the huge amount of growth in the space, there’s no time like the present to jump into subscriptions. In their 2021 State of Subscription Commerce report, Recharge identified that most successful subscription sellers each follow three strategy points: cultivating loyalty, offering flexibility, and choosing the right key integrations. Incorporate these traits into your store, then carve out your niche in the market. Compete on speed, agility, and innovation and you can challenge existing top brands with new, innovative products that make your store unique. Boost retention with flexible BigCommerce recurring billing Customer retention is key to the success of any brand—but for recurring revenue businesses, it’s particularly crucial for maximizing the benefits a subscription business model has to offer. You can increase the lifetime value for your BigCommerce store by reducing churn with Recharge’s subscription payments solution. With Recharge, you can: Reduce churn by allowing customers to freeze deliveries or edit their delivery scheduleAdd special one-time purchases and product swaps so customers get exactly what they needEmploy strategies to improve payment conversions and avoid involuntary churn, such as automatic payment retries and dunning Create custom workflows with powerful APIs What kind of subscription experience do you want to create for your customers? Whatever your vision, Recharge’s APIs help you make it a reality by allowing you to create workflows to customize your subscriptions as much as you like. Looking to incentivize shoppers to sign up for a subscription? Create a free trial workflow. Trying to increase AOV? Build a workflow that offers free shipping once customers hit a set minimum purchase amount. You can even customize the perfect customer portal for your online store. If you’re serious about subscription analytics, though, data and reporting will play an essential role in your success. Measure your performance with data and analytics Data-driven decisions are the most critical part of any strategy toward scaling and growth. Thriving ecommerce businesses depend on accurate analytics to assess customer acquisition strategies, inventory orders, potential product launches, and everything in between. Recharge’s analytics features give you greater insight into what your subscribers want and need so you can meet them where they are and achieve your goals. With Recharge’s enhanced analytics suite, you can: Assess the health of your BigCommerce store through key performance indicators like AOV, LTV, and churn rateAnalyze different customer groups using cohort selection capabilities so you can fine-tune your business strategy to better meet customer needsBuild dashboards to track trends in revenue and visualize your performance in new ways Advanced tracking and reporting in Google Analytics Littledata’s Recharge connection for BigCommerce is an advanced tracking solution for any merchant using GA to get granular data about subscriptions, customer behavior, marketing and customer lifetime value. Once activated, it unifies data in the background using webhooks from BigCommerce and Recharge. Littledata makes it easy and convenient to do Recharge subscription analysis in Google Analytics by setting up dedicated views for first and recurring subscription orders placed via Recharge checkout. Plus, it’s a flexible data platform. Many Recharge merchants use the data Littledata sends in connected tools such as Glew, Tableau and Data Studio. The connection is a plug-and-play solution for advanced analytics, letting you: Automatically track one-off purchases, first-time subscriptions and recurring transactions in Google AnalyticsCalculate marketing attribution for subscription revenueTrack browsing behavior and the check-out funnelImprove marketing attribution with Littledata’s unique combination of client-side and server-side tracking Tip: Learn more about how to take a data-driven approach to subscription commerce in Littledata’s Ultimate Guide to Subscription Analytics. Ready to get started? With the subscription selling market continuing to surpass growth milestones and consumer demand for subscription products skyrocketing, now is the time to establish your subscription selling channel and claim your share of the market. With Littledata and Recharge for BigCommerce, you can make that leap with the tools to power success now and in the future. It’s easy to install both Littledata for BigCommerce and Recharge for BigCommerce from the BigCommerce Apps Marketplace. Once installed, Recharge opens within your store (or you can access it via Apps and selecting Recharge Subscriptions). You’ll automatically be on Recharge’s Standard Plan with the Advantage support plan. Visit the Recharge pricing page to see what’s included in your plan, and to learn more about the Recharge Pro Plan or the Enhanced support plan. This is a guest post from our friends at Recharge.

2022-02-11

Lunch with Littledata: How Rothy’s uses data across the company

Both visionary and practical, Rothy's is a digitally native brand that became a household name by selling beautifully designed, sustainable shoes, handbags, and accessories. They have continued to scale both online and offline, building a loyal customer base through personalized shopping experiences. Last year Brazilian footwear company Alpargatas acquired a large stake in the company, bringing their valuation to over $1 billion. But stellar growth doesn’t happen by accident. Both their decision-making when crafting their online store and choosing tools for their tech stack were critical to fueling success, as Rothy’s analytics engineer Matt McLean explains in the latest installment of our Lunch with Littledata series. Matt also shares his experience guiding the design and implementation of Rothy’s data strategy, the massive role data plays in their decision-making, and how Littledata has saved them time and enabled a more successful growth strategy. Ari from Littledata: How did you first find out about Littledata? From what I remember, Rothy’s was one of the first brands to implement our Shopify source for Segment. Matt: Once the company decided to rebuild the website, we were on a timeline. So we were looking for services that could cover some of our gaps and maybe put some critical funnel events into place for us without having to spend a lot of internal time and resources doing it. We work with external developers to build and maintain our website, and then I'm here to know what's going on, be familiar with the code, and then primarily to handle the analytics implementation. So that's really where Littledata came in to help. Tip: Get a free data audit for your ecommerce store and see how Littledata can help you drive revenue through accurate data. Ari: In short, what is the Rothy’s story? Matt: Our founders saw an opportunity to build a company that prioritizes sustainability and considers the entire product lifecycle — from far less wasteful manufacturing practices to life-extending features like washable products, without sacrificing style or comfort. Ari: Have you been on Shopify since the beginning? Matt: Yes, we’ve always been on Shopify. Ari: Are you using a custom theme? Has it been easy to get granular data about the checkout funnel? Matt: Our theme is pretty custom. But in the earlier days, we didn't always have resources to code and instrument with analytics. Now that we have that capability, I can go in and use Littledata to find those core funnel events — especially the ones that happen server-side. For an ecommerce website like us, there's a big emphasis on having those funnel sets be accurate. Things like adds to cart and order completed, of course, are events that happen on the server-side with Littledata. So we're always looking for that extra inch of accuracy. Then I can go in and supplement that in the theme code, like adding another event for something behavioral like a form submission or something specific to our theme UI that Littledata can't pick up. “Things like adds to cart and order completed are events that happen on the server-side with Littledata. Then I can go in and supplement that in the theme code, like adding another event for something behavioral like a form submission.” Ari: What would you consider your main Segment use case? Matt: We use Segment to deploy Google Tag Manager (GTM) so that Segment events and event data are available in the data layer. The other main use case is to send events and identifies to Iterable, where the info can be used to create better marketing communications. Ari: Are you tracking offline events at all? Matt: Luckily we use the Shopify POS platform for those purchases. Those reach us as well, so we don't have anything that's truly offline. Ari: With regard to products and the customer experience, how do you use Google Analytics? Matt: We tend to use GA for behavioral, clickstream-type events. As an example, if you have a product page and different types of content on it, we might track engagement with the content by tracking clicks or sometimes scroll depth. We’ll send those events to GA so that the Product, UX, and ecommerce teams can get a sense of what content is performing well. We do have enhanced ecommerce implemented for GA, and it's useful to be able to see things like if somebody interacted with the size chart on the Product Detail Page (PDP) because then we know that users who did that have [a particular] conversion rate. “It's useful (in GA) to be able to see things like if somebody interacted with the size chart on the Product Detail Page because then we know that users who did that have [a particular] conversion rate.” Ari: It's also interesting that you're using GTM for marketing tags like Pinterest. Has that been a limitation to Segment? Matt: I have personally found that to be a limitation. I think the Segment destinations are kind of designed to be plug-and-play. You just set it up, give your Pixel ID and you're off to the races. Which is great, especially for those with less technical aptitude or interest. I have just found that we often have pretty specific requirements for the type of data we want to send into those tags. And when you're using a Segment destination, you're often locked into the format they decided when they wrote that destination. Some of them have more configuration options to help you manage that and some of them don't. So it just becomes a bit of an inconsistent experience as a developer. Because what I want is — when I do my data layer push with everything that I need — to then just be able to pick and choose whatever each tag requires. Then on top of that, do whatever custom renaming of an event or combining of a couple of variables I need to do. I can do that as well with GTM. So it just gives me that extra-fine control that a Segment destination might not. Ari: For customers using our destination, we’ve built some templates for GTM for different marketing tags just to make sure they work with our event structure. But every client seems to have their own way they want to do it, and you were smart to do it in Segment to stitch sessions together across data destinations. Matt: I know our team at Rothy’s has made a lot of requests of the Littledata team because there are so many things that we do in a particular way. And your team is always really responsive with that sort of stuff, which we appreciate. Ari: That's good to hear. Actually, I think one of those requests to our CEO Ed was when we first started building identify calls so that you could use the events to trigger email campaigns. Matt: When we were looking to relaunch the site, that was one of our big feature requests for Littledata. Because we wanted that continuity, we wanted to make sure that if somebody had been identified prior to the site relaunch, they could be identified again after and be considered the same to ensure their record essentially makes sense. Rothy’s has opened retail locations around the country. Ari: So what's next for Rothy’s? It's obvious the brand has really been a success story in the DTC world. Anything exciting on the horizon you can share? Matt: One thing I do know is that because of our success online, we've been able to expand our retail operations. We've been able to open stores even though the pandemic has been happening. And that's all the other teams at the company doing excellent work. The ecommerce experience is still central, though, and that supports all of the other aspects of the business. Ari: It's like a whole new world where digitally native brands are now getting the best retail space. It's definitely like that here in New York. Every time I go for a walk downtown, I see more of our digitally native customers taking over boutiques that used to house legacy brands. Matt: Yeah. I mean, when I was a kid, it was always like, “Oh, do you have a website? Can I visit your website?” Now it's the other way around. You make your presence known, you offer a good product and a good company philosophy, and that’s what gets people talking about it. That’s what enables you to reach out into those other arenas. It’s really interesting. Quick links: See the full event schema with Littledata for Shopfiy and SegmentGet more from Facebook ads with this recipe to build lookalike audiences of your top spendersLearn about the top tools for ecommerce brands and how to build a tooling stack from 1-800-D2CSee why ecommerce stores are adopting Facebook’s new Conversions API

by Ari
2022-02-04

Try the top-rated Google Analytics app for Shopify stores

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