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!
Littledata Shopify app featured on Shopify Dropify podcast
We're at it again with another podcast episode! Following last year's appearences on Honest Ecommerce and Ecommerce Fastlane, we joined our friends at The Cut this time around. A few months ago, our team traveled to LA for #ChargeX, a conference for Shopify subscription businesses and agencies, hosted by our partners at ReCharge. [note]Check out our CEO's ReCharge talk on calculating LTV with accuracy[/note] Before heading to California, I joined The Shopify Dropify podcast, hosted by The Cut, a group of Shopify Experts and a creative agency based in Perth, Australia. Check out the 30 min podcast below. If you have questions about how how we can help your store get accurate data, be sure to get in touch with support or our team of Google Analytics experts. Main points How our Shopify app helps merchants measure the core metrics for your business, such as average order value (AOV), customer lifetime value (LTV), etc. The most common mistakes we see Shopify stores make Why it's vital to have complete, accurate tracking at each step of the buying funnel Differentiating first-time purchases from recurring purchases via our revamped ReCharge connection for subscription Shopify businesses How merchants using our Shopify ReCharge connection have been able to predict their subscription sales performance Where many Littledata customers find themselves in the path to scale The questions we get most often Why doesn't my Shopify data match what's in Google Analytics (or what's in my bank account)? How can I get advanced analytics support? The unique challenges we think ecommerce businesses face the most How ecommerce is (ironically) driving the re-opening of physical storefronts Data trends for Shopify stores (e.g. POS systems, pop-ups, new data touch points, etc.) The one thing we suggest merchants do right now to improve your store [tip]Try our Google Analytics app for Shopify free for 30 days[/tip]
Here's what Shopify merchants need to know about CCPA compliance
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is now in effect, and every serious ecommerce site doing business in the USA should take note. So what do you need to know? The CCPA comes on the heels of a year rocked by privacy scandals and data inhibitions (e.g. Facebook and now Google), and California is the first US state to enact a complex online privacy act that appears to be up-to-date with how businesses actually transact online these days. Other states are expected to follow suit. In the words of the California Department of Justice itself: The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), enacted in 2018, creates new consumer rights relating to the access to, deletion of, and sharing of personal information that is collected by businesses. It also requires the Attorney General to solicit broad public participation and adopt regulations to further the CCPA’s purposes. We certainly aren't lawyers here at Littledata. But we do help Shopify sites audit their analytics and ensure that no personally identifiable information (PII) is collected by Shopify stores in their Google Analytics setups, including Google Tag Manager (GTM). So while we don't have specific features aimed at CCPA compliance, we do have a number of features designed to help Shopify merchants follow best practices for data collection and reporting. Here's a quick guide to what you need to know about CCPA. My first dine-in restaurant CCPA notice. Not sure how I feel about it. pic.twitter.com/vU6ZiTCF8o — Jad Boutros (@secplusplus) January 4, 2020 What is CCPA compliance? In short, the CCPA is an attempt at limiting what can be done with consumer data, and making sure that companies don't use it without consumer knowledge. The media has often described the CCPA as California's version of GDPR, the European regulations that went into effect in 2018 (has it been that long already?), but in my view it's actually quite a bit different — both more comprehensive in terms of targeting what's actually done with consumer data after it's been harvested, and more specifically aimed at larger merchants, which in Shopify's case generally means successful DTC brands and others using Shopify Plus. It's clear that the act was written in a state known for both technical innovation and political hardball, though how it will be enforced is an open question. Initially it looks like civil penalties will be limited to $2,500 USD per 'violation' or $7,500 USD per each 'intentional violation'. The act has continued to go through a number of revisions and clarifications, including a number of new modifications posted for review on February 10th 2020. Some of the most interesting, in my view, are attempts at trying to define a 'household' that uses a website. The recent revisions suggest changing this: “Household” means a person or group of people occupying a singledwelling To this: "Household” means a person or group of people who: (1) reside at the same address,(2) share a common device or the same service provided by a business, and (3) are identified by the business as sharing the same group account or unique identifier. It makes sense that they're trying to clarify the end users here. But I wonder: are we going to get to a place where devices are 'people' under the law, corporations are 'people' under the law, and people are...ones and zeros? But I digress. You can read the complete law text of the CCPA online, and the California DoJ has also posted a legal overview with all versions of the law. But I've also included links to useful summaries below — the written law itself is pretty confusing if you aren't a lawyer! Who needs to comply? In short, if you're a larger ecommerce site with customers in California, you need to pay special attention to the CCPA. You are subject to the CCPA if you meet one of these conditions: Have an annual gross revenue of more than $25 million USD Annually buy, sell, receive for commercial purposes, or share for commercial purposes the personal information of 50,000 or more California consumers, households, or devices Derive 50% or more of your annual revenue from selling California consumers’ personal information (yikes!) And if you're selling globally, as are an increasing number of our larger customers here at Littledata, remember that you need to pay attention to privacy laws everywhere you do business. So if you have customers in the EU, remember to pay attention to GDPR for ecommerce sites too. CCPA for Shopify Plus Shopify has put together a number of resources to explain how Shopify complies with the CCPA, including a timeline and white paper. Here are some of the most useful links from Shopify itself: CCPA timeline CCPA thresholds Shopify’s position on sale of personal information How CCPA affects you Processing CCPA data requests And Segment too! A number of Littledata's enterprise users are also using our Segment connection for more accurate Shopify data. Check out Segment's quick guide to CCPA compliance, including an outline of their privacy portal and an API for user deletion and suppression (to make sure that you honor customer requests about privacy). Again, it's unclear whom they'll be targeting. California is now the world's fifth largest economy, surpassing even the UK, but nobody's sure if the state will be using CCPA to clamp down on successful DTC brands, for example, or if it will be taking a strategic line against larger fish like Facebook and Google (i.e. what happened in 2018 when seven consumer groups filed GDPR complaints against Google in Europe). Confused? You're not alone. The increasing number of cookie popups and disclosures seems to only be confusing consumers, and nobody — including the businesses putting them in place — is interpreting them in a consistent manner. Part of this is being called a 'plague of popups' and (a la GDPR) 'banner blindness'. But even if you aren't doing $20M a year yet, it's worth a read through the law so you can refer to it with your internal team. Just like how Littledata doesn't fix historic data for your Shopify store — only your data collection going forward — it's essential to be forward-thinking about potential privacy regulations that might be enacted in the future, taking steps today to ensure smooth sailing later on. Google Analytics consultants are a good place to start. Plus, sometimes it just comes down to common sense. When you're the consumer, how do you want your data handled?
How to track subscriptions on Shopify with 100% accuracy
At least in the last few years, subscription ecommerce has become one of the most popular business models. The numbers don't lie: the return on investment, value per customer and buying frequency are higher for subscription businesses charging a recurring fee. Everything in this article can be applied to subscription businesses, but Shopify stores already using ReCharge and Littledata's Google Analytics app will especially benefit! [tip]Trust your subscription tracking with the ultimate ReCharge guide for Shopify[/tip] Getting started with ReCharge ReCharge is the most widely-used recurring billing solution for Shopify, powering thousands of stores and processing tens of thousands of orders daily. To create a "complete" recurring billing cycle for merchants, we built out a ReCharge smart connection within our Shopify app to provide accurate sales attribution via Google Analytics. In other words, our app: Fixes your data collection Offers accurate marketing insights within Google Analytics (or Segment) Provides the full Enhanced Ecommerce experience [note]Easily track your subscription lifecycle events with ReCharge v2[/note] Install the ReCharge app to get: Proper marketing attribution in Google Analytics Product views and shopping behavior Checkout conversion funnels (including voucher usage) Better understanding of repeat buyers The initial steps to install the Google Analytics tracking for Shopify are illustrated here. If you want advanced analysis of your buyers and their shopping behavior, you'll need to make the following setup: Step 1 – Enable the feature in Google Analytics First, go into Google Analytics (both your normal Google Analytics property and the property that has been created by Littledata) and enable the User-ID feature by going to Admin > Property > Tracking info > User-ID. Click On, next, On, next, give the new view a name, and you're done. Note: The new view will start to collect data from the point of creation so you will need to wait a bit to use this report. The sources of the purchases will be collected from the point of creation so most of the orders will be shown in the first month from direct / (none). Step 2 – Enable the Enhanced Ecommerce feature in Google Analytics In Google Analytics, click Admin. In the right side under View, choose the new Registered Users view that you've created earlier and click Ecommerce Settings. Toggle to On and then click Next step. Toggle On for Enhanced Ecommerce, and click Save. Finding the initial source for recurring subscriptions Using the Registered view, navigate on the sidebar to Acquisition -> All traffic -> Source/Medium or Channels. This report will show both new customers and recurring ones. We need to apply a segment to this report in order to show only the recurring users. This is how you set up the segment to exclude first time buyers: Now, with the above segment applied, you can check the original source of the sale for all transactions from repeat buyers. The other helpful report is the Audience -> Cohort Analysis report. In this report, you can see user retention for each day, week or month. Combining this report with an advanced segment that excludes first-time buyers AND includes only buyers that had their first transaction in December will: provide number of users that started the subscription package in December measure the actual retention of this group Tracking subscription lifecycle events ReCharge has always been one of Littledata’s most popular connections for ecommerce analytics. The new version of our ReCharge connection captures subscription lifecycle events for even more detailed tracking and attribution. What’s new with v2 Track subscription lifecycle events, including subscription updates and cancellations Get accurate marketing attribution for subscription lifecycle events Include subscription lifecycle events in LTV calculations Automatically track the following subscription lifecycle events: Subscription Created Subscription Cancelled Subscription Updated Order Processed Customer Updated Charge Failed Payment Method Updated Max Retries Reached Advanced ReCharge tracking (such as LTV tracking and a separate view for recurring purchases) are still included in the ReCharge connection — we’ve simply expanded the functionality to capture even more data points. Learn more about the connection with our ultimate ReCharge guide for Shopify.
Do you trust your subscription tracking?
If you haven't heard the news, we recently announced the launch of ReCharge v2, a revamped update to our popular ReCharge connection for Shopify. ReCharge v2 allows new and current Littledata users to track subscription lifecycle events with 100% accuracy, all within their preferred dashboard of Google Analytics or Segment. [tip]Download our free guide to advanced analytics for ReCharge and Shopify[/tip] Some of the ecommerce events you can now track are: Subscription created Subscription cancelled Order processed Charge failed and more! [note]See the full slate of events you can track with ReCharge v2.[/note] Advanced analytics for Shopify and ReCharge Even before v2, integrating Littledata with ReCharge lets you capture data about the entire subscriber journey, from marketing campaigns to first-time payments and recurring revenue. And of course, Littledata connects that data from Shopify and ReCharge to your preferred data destination, either Google Analytics or Segment. Now, with a revamped connection for ReCharge users, we're offering something even juicier — a free guide to advanced analytics for Shopify and ReCharge. Download the guide for free today! [subscribe heading="Get the ReCharge connection guide" background_color="green" button_text="Free download" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/app/recharge-smart-connection-guide"]
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.
Track subscription lifecycle events with ReCharge v2
It's time to supercharge your subscription analytics! We're excited to announce that the most advanced analytics integration for ReCharge stores just got even better. With version 2.0 of Littledata's ReCharge connection, you can easily track subscription lifecycle events and attribute them back to the original source. The enhanced integration is now in public beta, so if you're a current user you can upgrade in the app. New users (get an unrestricted free trial here) will automatically start with ReCharge v2. Here's a quick guide to what's new and why it matters for your ecommerce business. What can you track? ReCharge has always been one of Littledata's most popular connections for ecommerce analytics. The new version of our ReCharge connection captures subscription lifecycle events for even more detailed tracking and attribution. What's new Track subscription lifecycle events, including subscription updates and cancellations Get accurate marketing attribution for subscription lifecycle events Include subscription lifecycle events in LTV calculations Automatically track the following subscription lifecycle events Subscription Created Subscription Cancelled Subscription Updated Order Processed Customer Updated Charge Failed Payment Method Updated Max Retries Reached [note]See everything you can track with v2, and how the events are named for Segment and Google Analytics.[/note] Of course, all the advanced ReCharge tracking in 1.0 is still there too, including LTV tracking and a separate view for recurring purchases. We've simply expanded the functionality to capture even more data points! Where can you see the data? Data is everywhere. But at Littledata, we believe you should have full ownership of your own ecommerce data. Unlike reporting tools that focus on external data storage or sexy interfaces, our app actually audits your setup, fixes your tracking, and leaves the data where it should be: with you. So where can you see the subscription analytics from our enhanced ReCharge data? ReCharge v2 is an advanced analytics connection for Shopify and Shopify Plus stores using ReCharge to sell products by subscription Littledata uses a combination of server-side tracking and web-based tracking to capture the events and original customer source, then sends that data to Google Analytics or Segment If you're using our Google Analytics app for Shopify, you can see the data directly in Google Analytics (GA) or Google Tag Manager (GTM), or your favorite reporting tool that works with GA data, such as Google Data Studio If you're using our Segment app for Shopify, you can send the data to hundreds of Segment destinations for analysis or remarketing Benefits .The number one question that drives new users to Littledata is this: why doesn't Google Analytics data match what I see in Shopify? So from Standard and PRO plans to enterprise plans, the number one benefit our customers find with any Littledata connection is still accurate data. The benefits of our ReCharge connection have always covered three core areas: Accurate sales data, broken down by first-time and recurring payments Better marketing attribution Custom dimensions for customer lifetime value (LTV) calculations Industry benchmarks to help you take data-driven action With v2 of our ReCharge connection, all of those benefits have become even more powerful. For example, with v2, you can now: See how a particular Facebook campaign contributes to subscriptions to a particular product group over time Dive deeper into the data to see if that campaign is acquiring customers who then update their subscriptions in a particular way 6 months later. But don't take my word for it. Check out some of the successful Shopify and ReCharge merchants using a data-driven approach to scale the smart way. As I mentioned earlier, ReCharge v2 is now the default ReCharge connection for new users. If you're a current Littledata customer, just login to your account and you'll be prompted to upgrade to the latest version of the connection. As always, let us know if you have any questions. Let's make 2020 the year that independent DTC subscription brands give Amazon a run for its money!
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!
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
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