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Resources for COVID-19 and ecommerce
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world appears to have changed dramatically. But remember: we're all in this together. With hundreds of Shopify apps and agencies around the world joining forces to make a difference, there are plenty of free resources available to help you stay afloat and try to get a handle on what to do -- and what comes next. In this post we look at where merchants can turn for help, share some resources for honest projections about the industry, and ask what the crisis really means for ecommerce, especially Shopify stores that rely on subscriptions for revenue. Ecommerce trends John Kenneth Galbraith once said that the function of economic forecasting is "to make astrology look respectable." In the wake of the chaos invoked in markets by the novel coronavirus, nobody knows for sure what will happen, but there are many in the ecommerce world who are looking closely at the data on a daily basis to figure out where the overall trends might be. At Littledata, we've been analyzing our own benchmark data in more detail (see our open access ecommerce benchmarks), broken down by industry sector. In our first round of analysis we found that around 30-35% of Shopify stores overall are actually seeing an uptick in revenue & order volume, especially in the Food & Drink and Health & Fitness sectors -- even if revenue is growing at a slower pace. This matches Klaviyo's findings below, where about a third of ecommerce sites were seeing higher revenue after the first month of stay-at-home orders and social distancing. Yet there are still a few unknowns, as well as a range of outliers in certain verticals, like seemingly random successes in online fashion during the crisis. That said, the major unknown in my view is still the supply chain timeline: When will we feel the first major "supply chain hit" across sectors? As brands adapt wholesale strategies to the new environment, will over-discounting or confused omnichannel strategies come back to bite them? On the flip side, can independent warehouses like Perishable Shipping Solutions (PSS), which focuses on food and beverage, and even Shopify's own fulfillment network, handle the major uplift in demand? Even if customers adapt to purchasing gift certificates, exclusive pre-orders and other "delayed" products, will restaurants and retailers be able to fulfill the demand once things open up again? And some labels are flexible. Pantry staples are growing in several categories and there's been a lot of industry chatter about "DTC pantry" products, especially among millennials and wealthy urbanites. But this is pretty broad. What defines a DTC pantry staple? Subscription coffee brands like Dripkit and Groundwork should obviously be there, but what about adult beverages like Kin? [subscribe heading="A note about Littledata and COVID-19" background_color="grey" button_text="Read More" button_link="https://www.littledata.io/app/covid19"] So maybe it's not actually about the sector at all. Brands that have paid attention to truly speaking directly to consumers (not just in their product marketing but literally in their messaging) -- along with those who have moved production and fulfillment closer to home -- are doing the best right now. Maybe they'll even give Amazon a run for its money. Key resources for ecommerce news during the pandemic Perhaps it's ironic that there actually is a lot of fake news out there. And that's not the worst of it. Everyone on Facebook is suddenly an armchair epidemiologist, and economists are changing their predictions every few minutes. So where can you turn for accurate ecommerce news? In addition to essential ecommerce newsletters like LeanLuxe and 2PM, these five online resources are absolutely essential for brands that want to stay on top of Shopify news and ecommerce trends during the crisis: Shopify's COVID-19 response page Shopify's COVID-19 response has been really amazing. They're offering $200 million in small business funding, a community forum, plus extended features like gift cards and localized delivery options. They have also set up a dedicated weekly email newsletter for case studies and insights relating to COVID-19 (You can sign up on the main page linked above). Klaviyo insights Klaviyo is a popular email marketing tool used by many of our enterprise customers. Through surveys and analysis, Klaviyo is "taking a daily pulse on what’s happening in the ecommerce world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic". The best part: you can submit your own info to take part in the analysis. See daily trends and how it all fits together. Modern Retail Modern Retail always does a stellar job keeping track of major trends, especially for larger DTC brands and innovators. And that reporting power continues through the crisis. They are paying attention to everything from warehouse conditions to high-ticket DTC exercise brands and the remarkable surge in alcohol delivery in the US (it's been a long time coming). Flow.io blog As we see an increasing number of merchants moving toward multi-currency sales, Flow Commerce has become an essential Littledata integration partner. Flow's blog is an excellent resource for anyone wondering how international payments, shipping and supply chains will be affected by COVID-19. WeMakeWebsites blog WeMakeWebsites isn't just one of our favorite agency partners, they're also insightful analysts of their own data as one of the best-known Shopify Plus agencies in London and New York City. On the WMW blog, they have been paying special attention to purpose-driven brands are differentiating themselves in the current climate. How we're adapting at Littledata At Littledata we've always been a remote-first culture, but now, like many, we've gone totally remote. We're dedicated to sharing as much of our knowledge as possible via this blog and our ebooks and other public resources, like our podcast interviews and help center. We've made some significant changes very quickly: Extended free trial from 14 to 30 days on all plans Free consultations for merchants on any platform Involvement in multiple agency relief programs for struggling brands and the Offline2On initiative, helping merchants get online fast Curating lists of brands giving back during coronavirus (is your brand doing something unique to help? Get in touch!) During the time of coronavirus, we're adapting our products, services and work culture, and supporting our customers and employees in every way possible. Find out more about Littledata's response to COVID-19.
3 reasons your product pages are underperforming
According to Baymard, 69.57% of online shoppers abandon their cart. That means that for every three people that add an item to their cart, two of those people end up not purchasing. As a store owner, this can be extremely frustrating. You’re running a business, so you want to see sales — not abandoned carts. On the other side of the coin, however, I can assure you that your customer was frustrated, and this is exactly why they abandoned their cart. While there are a million reasons why a customer would abandon their cart, there are a few common threads and factors for mounting frustration. The good news? They’re all easily measured with data and improvable with some common sense. [subscribe heading="Try Littledata free for 14 days" background_color="grey" button_text="start my free trial"] 1. Your mobile site experience sucks As an agency owner, I see a lot of websites. Yet it still surprises me how many ecommerce brands suffer from this issue. Over 50% of all traffic to ecommerce sites is coming from a mobile device, yet many brands are perfectly fine with letting their customers suffer through an almost unusable mobile experience. This is an extremely common cause of cart abandonment. If you’re curious, you can look within Google Analytics to see how many people abandon carts on different devices. While most websites are ‘responsive’ these days, that does not mean they’re usable or easily navigable. Have your parents, your siblings, or your significant other run through your online experience and try to purchase a product, and you’ll see the shortcomings in your mobile experience. Responsive design hardly considers the goals of an ecommerce website. When a store design is not user friendly, this leads to higher abandoned cart rates. 2. Your product pages don’t provide enough information The next commonality with cart abandonment is all too simple, but it’s one of the leading causes. It boils down to the customer having a question about the product: How big is it? What is it made out of? How much does shipping cost? How long until I can get it? What’s your return policy? Is it waterproof? Your product page needs to answer every question a shopper could ever have about your product. There are so many advantages to ecommerce, but the main disadvantage is that the customers are not holding that product in their hand. So, they can’t answer a lot of those questions on their own. You need to be their five senses in describing that product and your policies so that the customer can make a completely informed purchase decision. If I have more questions than answers, I’m not buying. (Not sure how to fix your product pages? You can get my 8-point guide on product page improvements by joining our mailing list here.) Some of the questions your customers have might not be obvious. Being so close to the product and the brand often puts blinders on business owners. An easy way to solve that is by asking your customers! You can use apps like Hotjar to ask your customers questions on why they’re leaving a product page. 3. Your apps, files or images are slowing down your page load speed The last issue to tackle: your page load speed. This is something that is often overlooked by people new to online businesses. If your website takes too long to load, I’m out of there. There are quite a few reasons why this would happen, but the main reasons are typically 1) too many apps and 2) content not sized properly for web. Apps are amazing, and I frequently recommend them to our clients to solve requests. What's not amazing about apps is their tendency to add bloat to your website. That’s why I highly recommend never installing an app unless you absolutely need it. The more apps you have installed, the more data that is being loaded on every page, and the slower your website will be. Uninstalling apps does not necessarily mean that the underlying code is deleted either. Take this as a warning. Additionally, oversized video and photos kill load times. I know that lifestyle photography you shot for your new collection is beautiful, but a five megabyte photo on my mountain 3G connection takes entirely too long to load, and I’m now browsing Twitter because I got fed up with your store. People are impatient. They do not want to wait, they want things instantaneously. You can view and track your site speed in Google Analytics to get some ideas on where you can improve those metrics. Ecommerce reporting and data tracking is key. Fix customer frustrations, fix your cart abandonment problem Customer frustration is the root of most abandoned carts. Your customers want a quick, mobile-friendly, simple experience — so create one! This is a guest post by Chase Clymer, Co-Founder at Electric Eye and Host of Honest Ecommerce. Chase is an ecommerce expert making brands more money every day. He's also a fan of islands, tacos, and Magic: The Gathering.
Littledata updates: new funding, new Segment connection...and we're hiring!
What an amazing year it's been already! With a focus on smart connections for ecommerce analytics, Littledata is scaling quickly. We recently closed a new funding round and are firing on all cylinders, ramping up our agile product development, marketing outreach, career opportunities and conference participation. Here's the latest news from Littledata HQ. Littledata closes new angel funding round We're excited to announce that Littledata has closed a new angel funding round. We will be using the new funding chiefly to enhance product development and inbound marketing. Funding is a tricky thing. Too many companies make big claims without building a viable product, or estimate markets that don't actually turn out to exist. We've taken the opposite approach, building automated tools that solve real problems faced by major ecommerce brands. After all, the fanciest reporting in the world is useless if you can't trust your data! In other words we've been conservative with our funding because we believe in establishing deep product-market fit, and this new round comes at a perfect time. I've long said that bootstrapping builds better startups. For a bit of Littledata history, check out CEO Edward Upton's appearance on the Ecommerce Fastlane podcast, and his take on six challenges in developing a Shopify integration. New connection: Shopify to Segment We worked closely with the Segment team to create the ultimate Segment connection for Shopify and Shopify Plus. Segment offers a powerful Customer Data Infrastructure (CDI) that lets you clean, collect and control customer data. Our Shopify app for Segment users fixes tracking automatically, and lets you use Shopify as a Segment source. Benefits include: Server-side tracking for 100% accuracy Capture every customer touch point, including checkout steps, sales data and customer lifetime value (LTV) Push Shopify customer data to hundreds of Segment destinations Set up in minutes for any Shopify store We're hiring! With great things on the horizon, Littledata is seeking the best talent across departments in London, NYC and Romania. Check out our job postings for an up-to-date list. Our values include: Agile development New technologies Open collaboration Happy people We're looking for brilliant team players who are ready to build the next generation of analytics apps. Google Analytics knowledge is essential. Ecommerce experience is a plus! Conference season We all might live online these days, but our team culture values meetups IRL. If you're heading to Shopify Unite in Toronto this June, or ReCharge's ChargeX conference in LA in September, send us a note - we'd love to see you :) Should you go to that ecommerce conference? How to decide. There's never been a better time to join the Littledata family, whether as a partner, customer or team member. Growth has never been stronger - and customer happiness continues to be our most impressive statistic. Thank you for joining us on the journey to better data!
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