How to get complete ReCharge data in Google Analytics [ebook]
It's hard enough for Shopify stores to get accurate sales and marketing data. And if you're selling by subscription, this can seem even more complicated. In fact, 88% of Shopify stores have Google Analytics setup incorrectly, leading to a throughput of less than 90% (for every 100 orders in Shopify, 12 or more go missing in GA). I hate to break it to you, but for subscription merchants the reality is even harsher. Many brands can't even segment out first-time purchases from recurring orders, let alone tie them back to marketing campaigns! Luckily there's now a better way. Top subscription brands use modern data stacks to get the data they need to make informed decisions. This means understanding your checkout flow, yes, but also product lists, subscription bundles, discounts, returns, subscription lifecycle behavior, and top marketing channels for higher LTV customers. In this new ebook on ReCharge analytics, we show you how to do just that -- no developer skills needed! Free ebook on ReCharge analytics best practices Subscription analytics are a beast, and too many brands make one of these three common mistakes: Procrastination. "We know we have a data problem but will fix it next quarter...year...never..."The wrong tools. "We bought a fancy new dashboard, that will solve everything, right?" or "We bought this subscription analytics tool that works really well for SaaS companies. Why isn't it working well for ecommerce?"Completely manual approach. "Excel is my full-time job. I don't have time for data-driven growth." Top brands use modern data tools to tame the beast of analytics. In this new ebook, you'll learn how to get the data you need to accelerate growth. See how to automatically capture data at every turn: Track one-off orders and first-time subscriptionsTrack recurring payments and tie them back to the original marketing channelCalculate customer lifetime value ("CLV" or "LTV") and build more valuable cohortsCapture subscription lifecycle events like "Subscription updated"Get accurate marketing attributionUltimately make better decisions for your store Download the free ebook >>> Learn more about what you can track with Littledata's ReCharge connection. [tip]Advanced users can also now send data directly to Segment (and any connected data warehouse, email marketing platform or reporting tool).[/tip]
How to add Google Analytics to Shopify
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
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.
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]
Podcast: How to fix your Shopify analytics with Littledata
Is your Shopify cookie banner GDPR compliant?
Does Littledata work with Google Tag Manager?
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.
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