How to add Google Analytics to Shopify

Google Analytics is the world’s most popular marketing analytics platform, used by 98% of online stores. Shopify is the world’s most popular ecommerce platform, used by over two million active merchants. But these two popular platforms don't work together automatically. We’ll show you how to get Shopify to work with Google Analytics, and some of the common problems and solutions when adding Google Analytics to Shopify. Read on to learn step by step how you can add Google Analytics to Shopify, or jump to the section that answers your question in the guide below. 1. What are the options for adding Google Analytics to Shopify?2. The First Step: Creating a Google Analytics property for Shopify3. Option 1: Shopify’s in-built tracker4. Option 2: Using Littledata5. Option 3: Adding GA tags within Google Tag Manager (via GTM)6. Handling refunds and recurring orders7. Top seven things to check after adding Google Analytics Why add Google Analytics to Shopify? With the advent of Shopify Analytics, some of our customers ask why they need Google Analytics (GA) at all. Yet, GA has continued to be the most popular choice for web analytics since launching in 2007. [tip]Download our free ebook to learn why Shopify Analytics data doesn’t match Google Analytics[/tip] Shopify Analytics can answer some questions about products and revenue on your store. But, there are many important questions Google Analytics is better at answering. Things like: How your orders correspond to multiple marketing touchpoints Who your web visitors are, segmented by location, demographics, and page interactions Which shopping behaviors and ecommerce funnels drive revenue (with more detail than Shopify Analytics) How to sync audiences or conversion data with Google Ads to improve ad targeting How your Shopify store’s performance compares with previous years on another ecommerce platform To get all that juicy extra reporting, you will need to first add Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce tracking to your store. What is Enhanced Ecommerce tracking? If you want to track your customers in Google Analytics, you don’t just need to track the page views—which is easy. You also need to see key parts of the buyer’s journey, especially the purchase itself (with the order value). Google calls this Enhanced Ecommerce tracking: measuring the full customer journey—and what products got to which stage of the journey—from the product listing page, through adding to cart, all the way to checkout and purchase. This type of ecommerce tracking is a bit harder to set up. You need data about your product variants, SKUs, prices, and quantities available to send to Google. Enhanced Ecommerce is Google’s best solution for ecommerce analytics. It gives you a way to analyze not just the campaigns that led to pageviews, but how users interacted with products and payments. What are the options for adding Google Analytics to Shopify? For Universal Analytics Universal Analytics (UA) was the default for GA prior to 2020. You can tell if your store has Universal Analytics already because your web property ID will start `UA-` and then a string of numbers. To connect Shopify to Universal Analytics, your options are: Using the built-in tracking in Shopify’s store preferences Using Littledata’s advanced Shopify to Google Analytics app (which we’ll explain more later) Adding GA tags within Google Tag Manager (via GTM)—which is possible in combination with option 1 Pasting the gtag snippet directly into your store layout (not our recommended option as it makes maintenance of the tracking hard) Adding Google Analytics 4 Since October 2020, GA4 has been the default when setting up any new Google Analytics properties. GA4 brings a number of advantages, including faster, smarter reports, but unfortunately GA4 is not yet supported by Shopify—so using their built-in tracking is not possible. Note: There is still a way to create a new Universal Analytics property (see below) so you can choose any option above. What is the best way to add Google Analytics to Shopify? The method you choose for adding Google analytics to Shopify depends on your need for data completeness and accuracy as well as how much time you have to configure the setup. Achieving a good GTM implementation can take many days of experimentation. Even then, it can be liable to break when making edits to your theme.   Time to set up Completeness of data Who maintains it Shopify in-built tracking MINUTES LOW - * Littledata’s app MINUTES HIGH LITTLEDATA Via GTM DAYS MEDIUM YOU * We haven’t seen any updates to Shopify’s GA tracking since they launched enhanced ecommerce reports back in 2016 The First Step: Creating a Google Analytics property for Shopify Whichever route you take, you’ll need to set up the web property in Google Analytics to receive the data. To do this, follow each step listed below: Under the admin settings (cog in the bottom left), click on the blue +CREATE PROPERTY button. If you don’t see the button, you need someone with edit permissions on the account to set this up for you Add a name for the property, and set the currency and timezone to match the currency and timezone in your Shopify store. This will ensure daily revenue and metrics closely match Shopify’s Click on the Show advanced options link and then toggle the switch on the right to Create a Universal Analytics property Then enter a website URL and opt to create a GA4 property as well if you need it Next, complete GA’s simple survey Once complete, Google will take you to the GA4 property first. So navigate back to the admin page, and find Property … Tracking Info … Tracking code Now you can copy the tracking ID starting with “UA-” Now that you have your GA property set up to receive data, it’s time to add Google Analytics to your Shopify store. Option 1: Shopify’s in-built tracker If you want to use Shopify admin to set up the tracking, you can paste that tracking ID straight in by following these steps: From Admin, go to Sales Channels .. Online Store … Preferences Paste in the tracking ID to Google Analytics account section and SAVE Note: You can ignore the "latest version" of Google Analytics. They mean Universal Analytics… see what I mean about it not being maintained? Option 2: Using Littledata You can follow Littledata's Getting Started guide to add Google Analytics to your Shopify store in a few minutes.  Without any extra effort on your part, Littledata gives you much more complete data in GA and weekly updates to your tracking as Google and Shopify launch new features. If you want to also send data to GA4, then simply reach out to Littledata’s support team after installing. [tip]See how Littledata's Google Analytics connection helps you fix your tracking while integrating with your other Shopify apps.[/tip] Option 3: Adding GA tags within Google Tag Manager (via GTM) If you prefer total control of how you add Google Analytics to Shopify, then using GTM could be the best option. Set up a new web container in GTM Copy the GTM container code to use in your store EITHER… Add the GTM container snippet to the theme.liquid file, just before the closing </head> tag. This will include the container in all pages except for the checkout and order confirmation page. (Note: Shopify Plus stores can also add the snippet to the checkout.liquid file to add to the checkout page) OR... use the box for ‘Additional Javascript’ to add it to all pages, including the order confirmation page (though this is being phased out for new stores). You need to leave out the starting <script> and ending </script> tags as this box is for Javascript, not HTML Create a new Google Analytics settings variable and paste in your Google Analytics tracking ID from above Enable Enhanced Ecommerce tracking for that variable Create a trigger for when the page DOM loads. This is considered a more reliable measure of the user ‘viewing’ a page than just firing it when GTM first loads Create a pageview tag using those settings and a trigger Tracking the “thank you page” with GTM The “thank you page” (or order completed page) is most critical to track; not just the pageview but the purchase value itself. First, you have to add the GTM container. In Shopify store preferences, if you still see the Additional Javascript box you can add the container code there. If not, you can also add the container in the Additional Scripts section of the checkout page. From your Shopify admin, go to Settings > Checkout Under Order processing, go to the Additional scripts text box Paste in the GTM container To send ecommerce data such as the order value and product SKUs to Google Analytics as well, you need to build a data layer based on the Shopify Order object. That is out of scope for what this guide covers. For a valid enhanced ecommerce transaction event, you’ll need at least the following fields: Order ID Order value Product IDs (or SKUs) [tip]Did you know? Littledata's app provides a GTM data layer for the order object, and a ready-made variable template to use that data in GTM.[/tip] Handling refunds and recurring orders Some customer events (like refunds) happen without an accompanying page view and are impossible to track with GTM, as there is no browser trigger to hook into. The only way to send them to Google Analytics is with a server-side Google Analytics integration—which is how Littledata works. This is also true for subscriptions, where recurring orders are sent directly to Shopify’s servers and are not part of a web session. If you want to track the Customer Lifetime Value from a subscription, not just the first subscription order, then Littledata handles recurring orders too. Handling GDPR consent management One more topic to consider if you want to add Google Analytics to Shopify using GTM is how to respect customers opting out of tracking, as is their right under European GDPR legislation (Shopify and Littledata’s tracking handle GDPR cookie consent already). Google released some support for Consent Management this year, but there is no standard integration with Shopify’s customer privacy API. So, you would need to set up triggers for when customers have opted into cookies manually. Again, this is out of scope for this guide. Top seven things to check after adding Google Analytics to Shopify Whichever method you choose, here are my tips to make sure you get the most accurate tracking.  Do you have duplicate tracking? If you add more than one Google Analytics tracker (maybe one via Shopify admin and one via GTM), then you’ll see an artificially low bounce rate (usually below 5%), since every page view is sent twice to Google Analytics. Is Google Analytics added to every page? This can be hard to check, but you can run through a typical shopping journey and view the real-time pageviews in Google Analytics. The most common issue is with landing page builders (e.g. Gem Pages and Zipify) which don’t use the same Shopify layout. Are you using the same Currency and Timezone as Shopify? Check your currency and timezone settings in Shopify by going to “Settings” > “General”. For any view in Google Analytics, use these currency and timezone settings. We have seen several store owners worry their sales were inaccurate in Google Analytics compared to Shopify, when the problem was actually that sales were pushed differently between days due to the disparity in these settings. Are all your country stores tracked? If you have multiple country stores for your brand, then we recommend adding the same Google Analytics property ID to all your stores. You can then create segments in Google Analytics to look at customers in just one country/domain. Do you see revenue attributed to your top marketing campaigns? Accurate marketing attribution could be blocked by certain third-party checkouts or payment gateways. Go to Acquisition … All Traffic … Channels report in GA and check that all the top campaigns you would expect to be generating sales have sales recorded against them. Is your internal traffic skewing the reports in GA? Your web developers, content writers and marketers will be heavy users of your own site. You need to filter this traffic out from your Google Analytics data to get a view of genuine customers or prospects. Have you set up filtered views for reporting? So you can still test the data capture, we recommend you set up a “Raw data” view in GA without filters, then add filters (for spam, internal traffic, etc.) in a reporting view. How to get the most from connecting Google Analytics to Shopify Whichever method you choose to get the reporting in Google Analytics, remember that good analytics is not a one-time activity. Every time you make a change to your store layout, traffic acquisition, or checkout options, you need to think about how this will impact your data collection—and the ability to report on your website performance. For a maintained, robust tracking solution you can try out free trial of Littledata’s Google Analytics app. For even greater setup support, talk to us about account management on a Plus Plan.

2021-07-20

Lunch with Littledata: How Wild built an industry-leading brand in 2 years

Want to learn from DTC founders and entrepreneurs shaking up their industries? Check out the other entries in our Lunch with Littledata series. Lunch with Littledata is back! This time, we sat down with Charlie Bowes-Lyon, co-founder of natural deodorant brand Wild. Founded by industry veterans, Wild became a Littledata customer early on to supercharge their growth. Through savvy market moves and a strong growth vision, Wild became the biggest brand in the UK natural deodorant market. They’ve added more than 140,000 customers in just two years after launch, with plans to build on their impressive growth. In our Q&A below, Charlie shares his thoughts on choosing growth channels, going global, and which data points are crucial for any DTC business to be on top of. [tip]Learn how to track every order on your subscription store and tie them to your marketing campaigns with our guide to complete ReCharge data in Google Analytics.[/tip] LD: Wild has grown a ton since you signed up. When we first talked it was right after you’d closed the funding round. CBL: Yes, I think it was when we were launching International, right after we'd raised funding. So it was early days last summer. Back then you just had one country store? Yeah! It feels like a long time since then… (laughs) Are you mostly reliant on paid spend for growth strategy overall? Yes, we're very performance-led as a business. We operate over a variety of different marketing channels and, as a result of those channels, gain brand awareness. We've also operated a very community-centric and “social first” approach. So, when we initially designed the product we made sure that, at least from our point of view, we were creating something that was very shareable over channels like Instagram. Something that people would really want to talk about and show off to their friends.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Wild (@wildrefill) And I think we achieved that in quite a good way. We've managed to grow on social pretty quickly. In the space of a year and a couple of months, we’re coming up to about 115,000 followers on Instagram. The other side of that approach is nurturing the community. So we have VIP Facebook groups for people who really want to stay involved and be a part of the decision making. For example, we often have polls on things like what scent we should put out next. I think that's been big in helping people to feel like they're involved in decision making. So, it's not just us guessing what customers actually want. It's based on a more data-led approach. A lot of our customers at Littledata want to build those communities, but it’s hard to get the initial traction. Are your engagements mostly coming from current customers or from new customers too? It's both. Referrals account for about a third of all of our sales. So, it's about nurturing that community, being very genuine with them, and really involving them in everything we do. Then as a result of that, people are happy to share and recommend us to their family and friends. That's the organic growth side of it. But at the same time, we're constantly building growth heavily into our CRM. We have landing pages, and we do ads to push that growth along. Do you offer a gifting option? We're not big on gifting, to be honest. In our referral program, if you refer a friend, they get a free case. So it’s really an intro offer. Yes, essentially. Because it can be expensive for people who haven’t heard of our brand to pay £12 for a deodorant. So, letting them see what the product's all about and test it first is a good way. Then we rely on the product being high quality and good enough to retain them as customers. “We rely on the product being high quality and good enough to retain (free trial users) as customers.” Hopefully the ReCharge tracking add on has been helpful to you. Yeah! Without it, we can't see anything on Google Analytics or anywhere. So yeah, it's pretty vital. Who on your team uses the data that Littledata sends to GA? Well, it's used across a variety of things. Myself and the marketing team use GA for top-line statistics and data on different marketing campaigns and so on. It's also hooked into our analytics platform, so a lot of the data that they gather obviously comes from GA as well. That’s being used for things like measuring LTV, but also looking at the operations side of the business and working out different cogs and margins on products we’re selling. Have you built one core dashboard, or is it more of an ad hoc process where you dive into the data and build reports as needed? Yeah, there's a couple of different dashboards we use. Generally, we've got pretty good oversight of data. And Littledata definitely connects that bridge between Shopify and ReCharge for us, which when it's off everything goes completely wrong and doesn't work. So it has been quite important for us. [tip]Learn how to connect ReCharge with Google Analytics for accurate data about your recurring transactions.[/tip] Wild has focused on sustainability since the beginning. I've had a lot of talks with founders recently here in the US who feel like they're having a hard time. Sustainability is definitely a buzzword here, but putting it into practice is a whole different story. Some DTC verticals have caught on, but in a way Europe in general is more progressive in terms of customers backing that commitment up with their purchasing behavior. Yeah—it's a funny one because I think you're right in terms of sustainability. I think Europe and the UK are ahead and people are a little bit more aware. It's a bigger subject that we're constantly focused on, both in politics and our wider society. There's been a lot of quite good changes that have been made. But likewise, in the US with the likes of Elon Musk and Tesla, for example, there's a lot of companies that are doing some quite good awareness around it. On the flipside for us, the US has had good natural deodorant companies for four or five years. We were the first one in the UK launching just over a year ago. So the US market is probably a bit more developed when it comes to what natural products are and why they might be better. It’s all still pretty new for us over here, so that means we have a lot more education that we have to do for potential customers. Whereas potentially in the US, that piece of education's already been done to some extent. And was that part of the impetus for choosing this concept as your brand alone? Yeah, definitely. We saw some successful companies in the US who had done a great job with a fundamentally good product (i.e. natural deodorant that worked). But outside of that, their packaging was very simple and plastic. The brand was pretty bland. We looked at it and thought: “we can add in sustainability and create a better, fun-looking product.” Do you have a community of other brands and founders doing similar things that you personally interact with, or are you more lone wolves? Yeah, we speak to a lot of different people every week really. Both my co-founder Fred and I are lucky that we have pretty good networks from our previous jobs. We certainly get really good oversight of what other companies are doing and how they're doing it and what's working for them. Sometimes, though, what works for others won't work for us and vice versa. It's an interesting time at the moment. I think to be honest, we've probably just been through the best year of ecommerce that anyone's going to see for some time. And I imagine that the next year is going to be quite difficult as a result because, you know, everyone's coming out of lockdown, iOS 14 updates on Facebook, all these kind of small things are adding up to make life a little bit more difficult. And people are heading back into traditional stores as well. So, it'll be interesting to see what happens. But in a way, it's a good thing for us. We see it as hopefully a competitive advantage if things get a bit more tricky and we're able to execute better than others. [tip]Use Littledata’s guide to GDPR cookie banner compliance to ensure your store isn’t hit with a non-compliance fine.[/tip] Do you expect the business model to change at all, maybe to pull in wholesale? Yes, we've just gone live about a month ago into retail in the U.K., and we're now Sainsbury's. I think it's been a really good start so far. Potentially that will be a big channel for us. But really, we're very focused on two things. One is delivering the best natural deodorant we can and always iterating on that. The second is diversifying both our marketing channel mix and our strategy by going properly international. We're already in Europe, but we're dabbling in the US and Australia as well and testing other markets.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Wild (@wildrefill) I think the danger that’s present for ecommerce companies at the moment is that we could see a channel just stop working one day. Something like Facebook, suddenly people's customer acquisition costs could double on Facebook. For example, the UK has had really high adoption of the iOS 14 update from Facebook. I believe it’s somewhere around 30 percent of people (in the UK) are opting in for ads, whereas in Europe it's closer to 60 percent of people opting in. But because we have that diversification of countries we can advertise in, we can immediately move some of our advertising spend to Europe and we'll probably get better customer acquisition costs as a result. Being in Sainsbury's and hopefully other retail outlets in the future just gives us another channel where we can focus, spend on marketing, and diversify. And I think as well, to be honest, once we can, we'll probably do a lot of events and try to get out and get to offline channels. It just gives us another angle of approach. Is the goal that in-store shopping will be the first touchpoint for new online subscribers? Not necessarily, no. We're fairly channel-agnostic. So we don't really mind if someone's online buying from us or shopping in brick-and-mortar retail. “We're fairly channel agnostic. So we don't really mind if someone's online buying from us or shopping in brick-and-mortar retail.” Wild offers a slightly complex product where some explanation is required to kind of understand who we are and what we're doing. And often if you go into a retail store, you're not really looking for something new. You’ve basically got a second where you glance at the products on a shelf. So it's hard to know. But I do think that the brand awareness we've created over the last year has massively improved the retail results that we've had today. Plus, they both will just feed off each other. Some people don't like to order online, or they forget about it. They might want to just go into the shop and grab a refill. Likewise, some people might make their first purchase in a shop and then sign up on the website and get an online subscription. I think the key is just giving customers options. Do you plan to expand globally? And if so, do you plan to hire specific country managers? There are lots of subtle things that can make a difference. Yeah, massively so. We're barely touching the surface of the potential in Europe. And there's a huge market in the US and Australia for us as well. That said, we plan to choose a couple of markets, focus in on them, and make it work there before trying to do too much at once. We’re hiring a German country manager at the moment, so that's going to be our starting point. Quick links Littledata's partner program for Shopify Plus agencies and tech partners Headless Shopify tracking with Littledata Ensuring GDPR cookie banner compliance for your ecommerce store Calculate customer lifetime value for ecommerce using Google Analytics data

by Ari
2021-07-14

Focusing on data-driven growth? There's a plan for that

We've spent a lot of time on the blog lately focusing on Littledata's Plus plans made for larger DTC brands, including headless setups. But what about those merchants who are not quite there yet, but poised for rapid growth? You guessed it, there's a plan for that. Littledata's new Grow plan is now available for Shopify stores sending data to Segment or Google Analytics. It comes with some solid perks, including priority support and the ability to track up to three country stores for one low price. [subscribe] How do you know if it's the right plan for your Shopify brand? As a modern data platform focused solely on ecommerce, Littledata tracks over 5 million orders per month for ecommerce brands around the world. So you might say we've seen it all. But there's no one-size-fits-all solution. There are a few different things to consider before choosing a modern data platform, and it's important to pick the right plan on that platform to make sure you have the support you need without any hidden fees or surcharges. Grow isn't designed for account management or analytics training. Those are only available on Littledata Plus. But it is designed to unlock the full potential of our data pipeline, at a lower cost. The ideal Grow plan user has a solid customer base, a proven product mix, and is ready for the next phase of growth. You are probably a good fit for Grow if: You have identified accurate data as a KPI or OKR (ie. have a company initiative to take data seriously, whether that came from identifying a Shopify/GA mismatch or a more general drive to make data-driven decisions this year) You have an in-house analyst or ecommerce manager who can make use of the data we send You are doing 7-10k orders per month (the Grow plan currently supports anywhere from 6-12k monthly orders, and in our experience 10k is the "sweet spot", an inflection point for DTC success) Are prepared (or preparing...) for rapid growth! Maybe you're planning a global expansion or getting ready to launch a long-awaited subscription product. Maybe you're just doubling down on marketing spend, but aren't yet sure how to track and understand your customer lifetime value. Grow plans are here to help you get accurate data so you can make better decisions, eliminate wasted spend, and double down on the ecommerce marketing that's working best. (How do you know what's working best? That's why we built Littledata). Learn more about Littledata pricing and find the plan that's right for you.

by Ari
2021-07-09

5 DTC brands using Shopify Plus to fuel their success

Do you want to make more money with your ecommerce store? Of course! The better question is: do you know which services can get you over the hump?  The Shopify Plus plan is an enterprise-level platform designed to be the launchpad for your ecommerce business. Whether you’re launching a new brand or migrating to Shopify from a custom build or a platform like Magento, Shopify is a streamlined ecommerce option, and Shopify Plus offers even more functionality and support. Shopify Plus gives you access to:  Advanced apps designed for high growth Customized checkout and better control over branding Ability to sell globally in multiple currencies Shopify’s organization admin to manage all your stores from a single location These features could help you unlock sales and bring exponential growth to your store. Advanced app connections, specifically, can help you optimize key areas of your promotion strategy. Here at Littledata, we’ve seen many successful brands use these to their advantage.  So we thought, what better way to help you choose if Shopify Plus is right for you than by showing you who has already succeeded using it.  Here’s a look at five standout ecommerce stores that you can look to for inspiration when deciding if Shopify plus is right for your ecommerce store.  #1 - Rothy’s Popular San Francisco-based startup Rothy’s makes stylish machine-washable shoes and bags. Sustainability is key to their mission, so they use recycled and natural materials in manufacturing. That includes repurposing items like discarded plastic bottles and algae to craft shoe inserts and soles. Rothy’s offers a wide range of colorways and designs for their shoes and other products. So, customers browse the website longer and hit various touchpoints before checking out. With Shopify plus, Rothy’s were able to design a streamlined path for customers to follow on their buying journeys.  To ensure they capture valuable data on each touchpoint, Rothy’s uses Littledata’s Segment data destination. This gives full visibility of customer behavior through 100% accurate server-side tracking. Rothy’s can use the add-on to find what offerings grab the most clicks, use the data to make real-time product recommendations, and even adjust future designs and pricing based on popularity and customer engagement. They can also see customer activity during checkout and fine-tune the process to optimize their conversion rate. #2 - Sheertex One of the fastest rising ecommerce brands, Sheertex went from one founder’s bold idea to becoming one of TIME magazine’s best inventions. The company makes ultra-durable tights and pantyhose using award-winning fabric. They bring in a range of customers thanks to marketing their product as being “made for everyone.” Like many of the most successful Shopify Plus brands, Sheertex uses both Segment and Google Analytics in their data stack. They use Segment to personalize the customer experience, from emails to ads, and Google Analytics to analyze marketing data and make data-driven decisions.  Shopify Plus has been a great fit for Sheertex in general as they have a large number of products and product variants. Using the Shopify source for Segment helps them customize the user experience so shoppers get more of what they love! #3 - Athletic Brewing You might think, “beer for athletes, really?” But this brand is different. Athletic Brewing makes award-winning, non-alcoholic craft beer for more health-conscious beer lovers. Their brews earned them features in The Wall Street Journal, BBC, and Bloomberg, and partnerships with the Ironman and USA triathlon events. Testing different store layouts, marketing strategies, and new product lines is a staple of ecommerce. To get the most from their own experiments, Athletic Brewing uses the Google Optimize connection on their Shopify Plus store. This connection gives them accurate results from A/B tests, plus the ability to segment tests by products viewed, adds to cart, and other key metrics. The result is a fully optimized store crafted to drive sales and earn customers. The more data Athletic Brewing can capture about this diverse audience, the better they can optimize sales. That’s why they connected Google Analytics (GA) to their store. While Shopify offers a basic analytics option, for every 100 orders it tracks 12 go missing.  Littledata’s GA connection and advanced ReCharge tracking give subscription brands like Athletic Brewing accurate data about sales, buyer behavior, and customer lifetime value (CLV/LTV). They can also compare their site benchmarks against over 12,000 ecommerce sites and set goals for faster growth. #4 - SodaSense Homemade soda rose as a trend in the mid to late 2010s, and has continued to boast a passionate community since. As homemade soda drinkers know, the biggest hassle for this hobby is often getting more CO2 for your soda maker.  So, Shopify Plus user SodaSense stepped in with their own retail-based solution: a CO2 refill and exchange program. It gives subscribers the ability to exchange their CO2 canisters, no matter the brand, for freshly filled ones. For $12.99, SodaSense users can exchange empty canisters for a refilled canister of the brand of their choice. To manage these payments, which can be one-time or recurring, Sodasense uses the reCharge add on for their Shopify store.  This connection allows them to track first-time payments, recurring transactions, and subscription lifecycle events. It also captures the marketing attribution for their subscription revenue. This data is key for determining CLV/LTV and maximizing their overall revenue. #5 -  African Ancestry New DNA kits and ancestry test companies are arriving often as the genealogy industry has grown. Increased availability of genealogy kits for non-eurocentric people is one major benefit of the industry’s rise. African Ancestry is one great example of this. Their test kit uncovers the users’ country of origin and even the tribe they descended from. As with any growing industry, though, standing out from the crowd is essential to growth. Social media advertising can be a powerful tool for making that crucial impression with customers. Of course, the success of social ads depends on executing campaigns correctly.  To get this just right, African Ancestry linked their Shopify Plus store with the Facebook Ads connection. It allows them to ensure accurate campaign tagging and tracking, making sure they aren’t missing data and paying more for less reach. Should I get Shopify Plus for my ecommerce store? In short, the answer to this question depends on the goals you have.  If you’re in a growth stage and looking to increase revenue, then Shopify Plus offers crucial tools and connections that will help you achieve it.  As the stores above demonstrate, there are many functions of your business you can focus on to boost growth. Customer acquisition, attribution, and lifetime value are all key metrics to consider.  Leveraging Shopify Plus connections, along with the right approach to data evaluation, can be the key to unlocking your store’s true revenue potential.  Want to make sure you have the right data guiding your ecommerce growth journey? Give Littledata's 30-day free trial a spin and find where you can optimize your promotional approach for the best results. [tip]Did you know? Littledata Plus is a turnkey data pipeline designed specifically for Shopify Plus, with account management from an analytics expert[/tip]

2021-07-01

Podcast: How to fix your Shopify analytics with Littledata

How do you know if you're seeing the whole picture when it comes to your ecommerce analytics? Our CEO Edward Upton joined Keith Matthews, founder of Milk Bottle Labs, on their Shopify podcast to share how stores can conquer their data dilemmas and achieve exponential growth using accurate metrics. Listen to the full episode: Episode #48: Fix your analytics with Littledata As Shopify experts, Milk Bottle understands the critical role that analytics play in building a successful Shopify store. They're Ireland's only fully dedicated Shopify agency, but like many of our Shopify agency partners at Littledata, they help clients from around the world find the tools and information needed to craft the best Shopify store possible. During their chat, Edward and Keith discuss: How Littledata's years of experience as a fully remote company have helped us thrive What Littledata' Google Analytics connection brings to your store that Shopify's analytics dashboard doesn't What customer activity is important to track leading up to an order The importance of knowing your customers' lifetime value How General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy policies have impacted ecommerce stores What does Littledata show that Shopify's analytics dashboard doesn't? Early in the episode, Edward and Keith discuss why a store should add Littledata in the first place. The answer? It gives you critical information about the customer journey that Shopify's analytics dashboard doesn't. As Edward explains, Shopify's dashboard "does give you all the basics, like which products are sold, how many, how much you earned. But the problem is that it doesn't really give you enough detail on the actual customer journey to do serious conversion rate optimization or any sort of marketing mix analysis. So you just don't get deep enough about what series of events led up to an order and what were the different customer touchpoints. Yeah, you can see the last click that pulled (a customer) to an order. But, if someone buys a thousand-dollar couch, they don't just click on a Google ad and pay. It's a very considered decision, typically 15 or so touchpoints on average before someone would make a purchase. So knowing the last thing that pulled the customer there is almost useless. What you need to do is look at the whole journey in the marketing mix, all the different kinds of prospecting, retargeting, and engagement campaigns that got them to the eventual sale. And this is true for subscription e-commerce businesses, as well. It's very unlikely to be a sort of impulse purchase." How do cookie-blocking policies like GDPR affect Shopify store owners? New privacy policies like the EU's GDPR and California's Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) have restricted the ability for store owners to use cookies that track important customer activity. While the industry has been hurrying to adjust, Edward says that Littledata's server-side tracking is a strong solution for compliance. "Apple's basic belief — and I think Google's a bit on the fence, but may go down that path for Chrome as well — is that basically by default, users shouldn't be tracked. That as much of the sort of analytics-type tracking should be blocked as possible, which from the store owner's point of view is a disaster. Because, yeah, they don't want to track personal information about the user necessarily, but they do want to know in aggregate, 'how is my store performing?' and what [advertising] spend leads to sales. I think this is driving more and more stores into our arms because Littledata offers something quite different, which is server-side tracking, which doesn't rely on any of these. It bypasses these browser limitations." [subscribe] The Shopify podcast that helps you supercharge your store's analytics tracking Edward and Keith's conversation is filled with actionable insights that Shopify store owners can implement straight into their marketing efforts. Listen to the full episode to see how you can apply their advice to your store, or reach out to set up a demo with Littledata and learn how our powerful data connecters can springboard your ecommerce sales. After all, what good is a data-driven decision without accurate — or complete — ecommerce data?

2021-06-24

Is your Shopify cookie banner GDPR compliant?

A new set of privacy rules have transformed companies' online relationships with European clients. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is here to stay, and whether you currently trade in Europe or plan to in the future, you need to make sure your website cookie usage complies with it. Fail, and your company could face some very big fines. How big, you ask? The penalties for getting GDPR compliance wrong are huge: the greater of €20M or 4% of your company's annual revenue. In one case, Vodafone Spain received €8M in fines in 2020 for violations relating to improper marketing data usage. The good news is that Littledata has you covered; GDPR compliance is as easy as installing our app. We'll show you exactly how Littledata helps you comply with GDPR and protects you from a major financial headache. But first, let's dive into the details of GDPR for ecommerce sites: how it works, what good and bad compliance look like, and how to check that your store is GDPR compliant. How does GDPR govern cookie usage? The European Union ePrivacy Directive (2009), together with GDPR (2018), make it compulsory to ask European internet users for informed consent before using cookies to store their personal data. In other words, a user needs to opt-in by clicking on a cookie banner or popup before a website can track their activity with analytics tools. This also gives the user the right to opt-out of their previous consent for cookie usage, and stop any tracking (known as revocable consent). How does GDPR cookie consent affect Google Analytics tracking? Each time a user triggers the Google Analytics script to load on your website, it adds a cookie (the _ga cookie) with an identifier to track the user across multiple pages and sessions. Next, it sends that cookie identifier to Google's servers, along with each page view and event. To be compliant with GDPR, you can't allow Google Analytics to add that cookie before the user has opted in. The problem here is that many online stores track users on Google Analytics before they consent to cookie usage. If they didn't, they could lose valuable marketing attribution by not tracking the user after they opt in. Littledata now has an easy way to get this right. How cookie banner consent should work Right now, the most common way to get informed consent from a user is to show them a cookie banner or popup explaining that your store uses cookies, then allow them to accept or reject being tracked. See this webinar for more discussion on the legality of different wording and displays you can use. Shopify's app store lists many such cookie banner apps, but just having the Accept Cookies button is not enough. Remember, you need to make sure that you do not track users before they opt in. To use the example given by Shopify's own banner app, when a visitor first lands on Kay Nine Supply's website they're shown a banner, and any tracking or setting of cookies has to wait. After the first page of the visit loads, the user has a choice: OK or No thanks. Users who click OK can be immediately tracked (even though it happens after the page load), and users that click No thanks must not be tracked. How Shopify's Customer Privacy API helps with cookie consent Shopify recognized stores had a problem trying to integrate with these myriad cookie consent apps. So, they created a Customer Privacy API where apps can share whether and when the user consented to be tracked. If you want to integrate Littledata's tracking with your cookie consent app, you need to make sure it's using this Customer Privacy API. That way when the user clicks to consent or not, their choice is shared first with Shopify, then with Littledata's tracking script. You will also need to change your store settings so that your store waits for the user to grant consent before tracking. Here's how to set that up: In your Shopify admin, click Online Store. Click Preferences > Customer privacy. Click Limit tracking for customers in Europe. How to configure Littledata to use the Customer Privacy API If you're already a Littledata customer, you can change to respectUserTrackingConsent in the LittledataLayer settings. We don't enable this by default due to the changes below. Our tracking script waits for the user to grant consent, then whenever that happens — on the first page or later — we send the tracking calls to either Google Analytics or Segment. The downside of GDPR cookie compliance for marketing attribution Complying with GDPR does come at a cost to marketing attribution, which is why Shopify and Littledata let you opt into this feature. For example, if your landing page contains UTM parameters in the link to track a campaign, and the user does not consent to tracking, then you will lose the source of the user's visit. If the user continues to checkout and purchase, Littledata's server-side tracking will record the sale without any link to the marketing campaign which brought them. In Google Analytics, these non-consenting users will appear in the "Direct" marketing channel (although in a future feature we are planning to clarify that they Opted Out). In reality, most users do consent for sites to track them, so this feature will limit but not remove all marketing attribution in Google Analytics or other tools. What more can your store do to comply with GDPR? Many of the cookie banners I've seen lack an option for the user to revoke consent or adjust their preference after the first page. I don't believe this has been tested in court, but some stores may want to go further and use a tool such as OneTrust PreferenceChoice to give users finer control over which cookies they want to allow and when. Littledata also integrates with OneTrust, making use of Shopify's Customer Privacy API. So, when the user consents to 'Cookies for performance' (category 2), we will start tracking on Google Analytics and stop when the user revokes consent. This requires the addition of another script. Here's an example of OneTrust setup with Age UK. When the user clicks "Accept all Cookies" Littledata's tracking starts. Then, if the user opts out of "Cookies for performance," the tracking stops. How does cookie consent relate to CCPA compliance? The California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) does not require you to get cookie consent prior to tracking. CCPA does require stores to disclose what data they collect through cookies and what they do with the data (i.e. in your cookie policy) so users can opt out of their data being sold. Since there is no way you can sell personal data from Google Analytics, CCPA doesn't apply here. How can you check if your store is GDPR compliant? You'll need to be familiar with Chrome's developer tools to run these checks. Firstly, open your store landing page in an incognito window to make sure no cookies were previously stored. Next, leave the cookie banner or popup open and check that there is no _ga cookie... ...and that there is no network request to Google Analytics by searching for collect URL that Google uses: Then click to "accept cookies," but stay on the same page. You should now see: 1. The _ga cookie is present 2. A network request is sent to Google Analytics Didn't pass all these checks? Then you'll need Littledata's help to avoid those GDPR fines.

2021-06-18

Does Littledata work with Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a popular solution for adding marketing tags to your ecommerce website. But, it can be complex and time-consuming to set up — not to mention the cost and hassle of ongoing maintenance. Using Littledata’s direct analytics connectors helps you avoid this hassle by replacing GTM tags on your Shopify store. We also provide a GTM data layer for reuse with less common marketing tags. For many ecommerce stores, including larger Shopify Plus brands on Littledata Plus plans, Littledata eliminates the need for custom GTM setup by automatically tracking common marketing channels and ecommerce checkout flows. The same is true for DTC subscription brands, as Littledata's tracking automatically integrates with apps such as ReCharge, Bold Subscriptions, and Ordergroove. To show you how Littledata can replace GTM for your store, let's look at the situations where it replaces GTM and what you get from the tool itself. When will you not need Google Tag Manager? As more DTC brands move to streamlined ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce, they are looking for automated tracking solutions instead of custom tracking plans. Littledata’s connections easily replace GTM tags for: Google Analytics Google Ads Thanks to our robust, server-side tracking, you no longer need to maintain tagging for these data destinations. You can also forget worries about breaking the data layer and tags or tagging system when you change store themes. Plus, Littledata’s Shopify source for Segment can relay data to hundreds of additional destinations, replacing GTM for many use cases. For example, our recent updates include support for a broader range of data destinations, such as email marketing tools and CRMs. When will you still need Google Tag Manager? Any further marketing tags (e.g. Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter) will still need to be set up in Google Tag Manager. If you are on a Littledata Plus plan, we can help set up those tags to ensure accurate tracking for these additional marketing channels. We're working on rolling out better support for Facebook's Conversions API soon. This is essentially a server-side Facebook Ads connection, so we're excited about the possibilities. In the meantime, we have an out-of-the-box Facebook Pixel connector in the Pixel Perfect app. What Google Tag Manager triggers are available with Littledata? Littledata’s tracking script for Shopify stores adds lots of detailed events which you can use to build funnels or trigger other marketing tags in GTM. For this client-side tracking, we support all the standard ecommerce events except for add to cart (which is hard to track on the browser) and checkouts. [tip]From add-to-cart through the checkout, Littledata uses server-side tracking. Learn more about how this works for the Google Analytics and Segment destinations[/tip] So for GTM triggers, Littledata does support: Product list viewed Product list clicked Product detail viewed Thank you page Customer login We enable this additional event tracking because most marketing platforms need specific ecommerce data to enable retargeting ads, not just the page views. With Littledata, every time something triggers one of these events on your storefront, our script adds the associated product data to the GTM data layer like this: { "event": "view_item", "ecommerce": { "detail": { "products": [ { "id": "AD-01-white-5", "name": "ADIDAS | SUPERSTAR 80S", "price": "170.00", "brand": "ADIDAS", "category": "all", "variant": "5 / white", "list_name": "/products/adidas-superstar-80s", "handle": "adidas-superstar-80s", "shopify_product_id": "4169037742142", "shopify_variant_id": "30293803139134", "compare_at_price": "0.00", "image_url": "https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0197/3698/5662/products/44694ee386818f3276566210464cf341.jpg?v=1571736156", "list_position": 4 } ] } }, } This helps with both marketing analysis and retargeting, as you can drill down to product-level data. Advanced users can get even more specific with GTM variables. What Google Tag Manager variables are available with Littledata? Littledata’s tracking script fetches product and customer data from Shopify and makes it available in the GTM data layer events (or the window.dataLayer array). To take advantage of this data, you can use GTM variables. What is a GTM variable? Google defines GTM variables like this: A variable is a named placeholder for a value that will change, such as a product name, a price value, or a date. We make it easy to choose the right variable for your tag using our GTM variable template. Common variables such as product SKU, price, and category are available with all product events. You can view the full list of variables here. [subscribe] What's the best practice for using Google Tag Manager with Shopify? Google Tag Manager works by first building a single container of all the triggers, tags, and variables, then loading that container on every page. This makes it easy to maintain, but on the downside every extra tag you add to the container increases the first-time page load speed for every visitor. Container bloat also makes GTM hard to maintain, as making a change might impact a lot of other tags. To keep your GTM container small and lean, we recommend you: Reuse variables across different tags where possible Reduce the amount of custom JavaScript variables (having a consistent data layer helps) Regularly review GTM to remove unused tags (quarterly works for most of our clients) If you have different country stores with very different marketing tags required, you might also consider having a different GTM container for each store and reusing Littledata's GTM variable. Is using Google Tag Manager on your Shopify store secure? I've written before about how to prevent GTM being hacked, and the tips are still relevant today. In short, GTM can be a security vulnerability — especially when you let untrusted 3rd party tracking providers load their own script on your checkout pages. You can reduce the risk by having a developer review your GTM setup and being especially careful on checkout pages. What's next for Littledata's Google Tag Manager support? We regularly add new events and properties to better support tagging, so please contact us if you have suggestions. We are also looking at supporting server-side GTM (sGTM). Server-side tagging has the advantage of reducing the code loaded onto web pages (see best practices above) and handles customer data more securely. Littledata's servers already process sensitive customer data on our servers, so server-side GTM is a good fit with our philosophy of making tagging more robust and secure. In the meantime, I recommend you check out the Shopify to Segment connection, which provides these same server-side benefits without maintaining your own servers to host the tracking.

2021-06-15

How Littledata handles User ID for Shopify and Segment

Is Segment a good customer data platform (CDP) for ecommerce? We hear that question a lot at Littledata, and are always happy to chat about the modern data stack. But the reality is that you should be asking more detailed questions: will your CDP be able to handle both anonymous browsers ("visitors") and customers ("users")?  Will it enable both analysis and marketing automation? Will you need an entirely different stack to support your data warehouse? Our DTC ecommerce customers have found Segment to be a powerful solution because it offers a unified approach to customer data. As long as it's set up correctly, that is. Four options for user identity There are many different approaches to user identity, but the most important thing is to be consistent. Make sure the identifier you choose works with your current data destinations and those you know you plan to implement in the future. In Segment, every identify call must have a User ID or an Anonymous ID. Littledata's Shopify source for Segment is an easy way to ensure accurate ecommerce data, rather than building and maintaining the schema yourself to match Segment's detailed ecommerce spec. Our scope includes sales, marketing, and customer data, captured from a combination of client-side and server-side tracking. We agree with Segment's best practices in identifying users, including the use of static IDs whenever possible. To support a broader range of use cases, our app lets you choose which of the following fields you want to send as the userId for known customers: Shopify customer ID (default) – Recommended if you have a simple Shopify setup with minimal integrations. Hashed email – The MD5 email hash is useful if you have other marketing platforms sending traffic where you know the email of the visitor (e.g. email marketing like Bronto or Marketo), but not their Shopify customer ID. Email – Recommended when other platforms use the email and can’t hash it, and you are comfortable with the privacy implications. None (no identifier) – Recommended only if user identity is already handled by your Segment implementation and you only need the extra events powered by Littledata’s Shopify source. Learn more about what you can track with our Segment connection. Since we started offering identifier options beyond Shopify customer ID earlier this quarter, it's been interesting to see the uptake. Perhaps most surprising is that it's not just larger stores on Littledata Plus who are using alternative unique IDs. There are already merchants on our Standard and Pro plans using the option as well. [note]For merchants using Segment Personas, Littledata also sends shopify_customer_id as an External ID for advanced matching[/note] What is your approach to user identity? Are you planning for the future? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

by Ari
2021-06-10

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