April 4, 2020
Ep. 21 – How To Track Shopify Sales & Marketing – With Ari Messer

Ep. 21 – How To Track Shopify Sales & Marketing – With Ari Messer


You don’t want to start redesigning the site
or changing your product line based on a really limited sample, because it could be just random.
So the more data you can get, the more you can make sophisticated decisions. Welcome to Honest eCommerce where we are dedicated
to cutting through the BS and finding actionable advice for online store owners. I’m your host, Chase Clymer And I’m your host, Annette Grant. And we believe running an online business
does not have to be complicated or a guessing game. If you’re struggling to scale your sales,
Electric Eye is here to help. To apply to work with us. visit electriceye.io/connect
to learn more. And let’s get on with the show.
. On today’s episode of honest eCommerce, we
welcome the co-founder of Littledata, Ari Messer. He’s going to explain to us that our data
is broken and how to fix it. Hey everybody, welcome back to yet another
episode of Honest eCommerce. I do want to take one second to say thank you to everyone
that’s actually listening to it. (laughs) I’ve gotten so many emails from people or
just correspondence where people are like, “We actually listened to your podcast” or
“I learned something from your podcasts.” So now I have proof that I’m not just talking
into the cloud. Well, Chase, I hate to bring it to you. That’s
me. I’ve made a lot of aliases and I’m emailing you to make you feel good about yourself. (laughs) Cool. Well, then… (laughs) That’s a bummer. (laughs) Anyways, welcome
to Honest eCommerce. I’m Chase Clymer. My co-host, Annette Grant. And today we welcome
to the show Ari, from Littledata. He is going to kick our butts into gear with Google Analytics.
Welcome to the show Ari and let us know how you know so much about analytics. It’s good to be here. And I actually have…
I haven’t created any aliases, but I have liked the show that I’ve heard so far. (laughs) Thank you. I think it’s great to have something here
that merchants really find useful. And I bet other agencies and tech partners, too. So… Yeah. I just don’t like to blow smoke up people’s
butts. I like it to be honest and real. For sure. It takes hard work. Yes. Yeah. I mean, I think there’s a lot more space
for that now. If you can speak intelligently to people, they’ll pay attention. Absolutely. Anyway. Yeah. I don’t. I wouldn’t… The more
you learn about analytics, the more there is to know. Basically, I joined Littledata
as a co-founder a few years ago and we’ve been on Shopify since about two years now
and adding a lot of Connections, the main ones to Google Analytics. So what I knew before joining was really about
how analytics could be used to help people grow a SaaS app. Because I’d really worked
in the startup space a lot and now I have learned more and more about analytics for
eCommerce. So, that’s what we’re here to talk about today. Awesome. Awesome. So, I guess, What was that
transition like? How did you go from helping SaaS companies to building Littledata? Yeah, I’d It was really a natural transition.
I mean, I guess as we all know that eCommerce is just huge. It’s growing in all directions.
It’s continuing to grow, not just in the US but all around the world. So yeah. I’ve had
some cool gigs helping SaaS companies build out any integrations. I mean, I used to work
mostly on the product marketing side. Now being this close with the company, I did
all kinds of things. But it was really… A lot of those integrations were either directly
eCommerce-related or something that was peripheral eCommerce-related like helping build out an
integration to do retargeting for cart abandonment. Stuff like that. And then with Littledata, I met Edward –the
original founder– in London, actually and came on as a consultant at first. And I just
thought, “Oh, wow, this is a really cool idea. You’re actually helping people fix their data,
not just report on it.” So what is one of those common mistakes that
you guys were seeing out there with the data? What’s broken with my data? Yeah. I’m nervous that I need fixing. (laughs) (laughs) We do have an audit tool, I will
just say upfront, that people can plug in and get a sense for what might be tracked
correctly (and) what’s not. So there are all kinds of things that can go wrong. I think, for Shopify stores, in particular,
there’s often a mismatch between how sales are being calculated. So that includes different
parts of the checkout funnel. When types of products or product groups (that) people are
adding to cart that maybe eventually not purchased, all the way through actual sales and refunds. I can agree with that. I noticed there’s always
a mismatch between the number in Google Analytics and the number that’s in Shopify. Absolutely. And with our app, we basically
fix that issue. Sometimes you have to do a few more Connections and activate some of
our plugins. If you’re using Recharge to do subscription
sales (or) whatever it might be. But basically what the app does… I mean, not to get too
geeky, but what it does is use server-side tracking, so that every single user action
and every sale is tracked in Google Analytics. So then what you see in Shopify, the actual
numbers will match what you see in GA. Wait, so you can get yours to match spot-on? Yeah. Well, I would say 99.9%. (laughs) Wow. Okay. Yeah. Because I know that doesn’t
happen. Annette’s mind is blown. Yeah, I’m already… (laughs) So if people… If things aren’t tracking
properly, is this (because) the developer didn’t set the Google Analytics up right?
Let’s peel it back for our listeners. If they’re looking at their Google Analytics, what are
some red flags right there that they could take a look at where they would be in need
of 16 of that and your app. So walk me through because I look at my Google
Analytics sometimes with glazed-over eyes because it gets very confusing. And so what
are the top things to look at especially that might need to be fixed there? For sure. Well, yeah, I would say the main
thing is just… Like Chase was mentioning that just raw sales numbers, when you look
at the number in your bank account, maybe it doesn’t match with Shopify shows. (laughs)
And that doesn’t match what’s in Google Analytics. So that’s definitely a red flag. Because then if you’re looking at any set
of marketing campaigns… I know we’re all getting more and more sophisticated about
using audiences and all this stuff. Fancy stuff for retargeting and trying to sell people
stuff that they’re more likely want to buy. But then often, you go in there and look and
say, “Well, this campaign… It seems to have worked really well and yet the overall sales
numbers not matching (to) what should be for the number of conversions that we thought
we got.” So it’s any mismatch like that, when you’re like, “This just doesn’t seem right.”
(laughs) And then, of course, as you grow those, being
off by a couple of percent can means more and more amount of money. So any mismatch
is the thing to look for. Yeah. I mean, it’s just a snowball effect.
Like, “Oh, it’s just a few dollars, but… For sure. …that can add up. And yeah. I mean, I wouldn’t… Don’t blame
the developers. Some of it’s just that Shopify’s native tracking and their native Google Analytics
integrations are fine, but they’re just not that sophisticated. And as we all know, part of that’s because
they have this really awesome app ecosystem. So you have to find the right tools to make
sure it works so that nothing’s going missing. And I mean, I’ve been guilty of it too, for
sure. (I’m) Maybe not tagging campaigns consistently when you’re making your Facebook campaigns
and then you start to add more and then… Yeah, totally a snowball effect. Then suddenly,
you have a whole bunch. How do you really organize them? Or make sure everything’s tracked
right? There’s just so much in there. So I just want
to bring it down to simplify it a bit for our listeners. So I’ve got Joe’s shoe shop.
We’re selling sneakers… It’s a real business. This isn’t a side-hustle, this is my full-time
job. What are the KPIs I should be looking at in Google Analytics? Let’s just try to
educate people about Google Analytics a bit. Sure. Yeah. So, one thing you should be looking
at is how detailed… I would say you can… If you started to wonder, “Oh, is this product
group performing well?” Stuff that outside of just normal questions about overall how’s
the business doing? Yes. So stuff like payment, cart abandonment, products being added to
the cart or particular pages getting more views than other pages to some of the other
basic things. Does that make sense? Are the details, if you think about merchandising…
Are you thinking about the next season or what you’re going to do for a promotion? If
you want to go in and look in GA to try to figure out a data-driven view of what to sell
or what to promote or things that might sell more get more subscriptions. If you have…
Let’s say that the shoe business had subscription running shoes, where you got a new one every
month or every quarter or something, you’d want to go into GA and be able to see the
type of product that you should promote. Hey, if you’re in the product making business
then we’ve got great news for you. Katana is here to make your life easier. There’s
now a Shopify app built and designed for merchants that make their own products. Manage your sales, orders, raw materials,
production schedule, inventory, and material purchasing all from one dashboard. The name
of that app is Katana. Katana is designed for makers, crafters, and
small manufacturers selling on Shopify. Until now, product makers selling on eCommerce have
had to settle with messy spreadsheets or regular inventory management software. We know they both usually suck if you need
to make your own products. Fortunately, Katana is built from ground-up with the needs of
a small manufacturer in mind. Production, scheduling and inventory management has never
been this easy for Shopify merchants. A recent survey shows that 93% of Katana users
say they love it because of the ease of the setup and how intuitive it is. To try Katana for free sign up at www.katanamrp.com
or search Katana on the Shopify App Store. There’s a 14-day free trial. You do not need
a credit card. And when you’re signing up, use the promo code honest to get 30% off your
first three months of a paid subscription, Check out Katana today. I think that usually, a common oversight with
any analytics is, “It’s just data. It’s just a bunch of numbers.” You have to extrapolate
from those numbers and make inferences. You gotta use that data to drive your business.
And it there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to it. It’s definitely business-specific. Yeah, for sure. And so for us with Littledata,
what the app does is first fix the tracking. So then for your particular business, you
can go in and figure out what are the key metrics to pay attention to. So I mean, I
guess with Recharge… I’m sure you have a lot of clients doing a subscription-based
business. Mm-hmm. Now, is that true? Yeah. And we’re definitely
seeing a lot of people that are either experimenting with subscriptions, or that’s what they do
like athletic supplements or workout clothes, whatever it is. And so they went and might
want to see… I’m just bringing that up because I think it’s a really good case study in basics
in analytics can really help. And you might want to just see if your advertising
campaigns are leading to more first-time purchases or recurring purchases, like people signing
up to get stuff every month. And that unless you’ve set up tracking correctly for the checkout
flow, you’ll go into Google Analytics. You could be running your company for years and
go in and suddenly realize there’s no way to see that. That split. Yeah, that’s definitely important information. This might be a left-field question but Ari,
can the app at all help with search engine optimization or the organic there if things
that are behind the scenes are running smoother? Could it help you notice things that would
help you rise to the top a little bit more in search? That’s definitely not the main focus… Right. …but we do have some fixes. Some sort of
audit checks. Okay. And actually benchmarks against other sites,
which you can also see in the app… Ooh. Okay. …against Shopify stores and things for technical
performance stuff like page load speed that actually does have a big effect on SEO. Oh, cool. So you have, –just to make sure
I understand this– Inside the app, you will have competition in there. And I could see
their page speed load compared to mine if my… Exactly. Oh, that’s awesome. Okay. No, that’s something
a huge of value then. Yeah. So we have those benchmarks broken down
by sector so you could look and say… Obviously, you can’t see the actual stores. It’s all
anonymized. I should say that upfront. Okay. But you could go in and say against other
people selling shoes, with an average order value around $100 per purchase, whatever it
is. Is this a good page load speed? Is this a good conversion rate? Stuff like that. That’s really valuable. It is. So there’s data everywhere, is it
only Google Analytics that you guys are taking a look at? So the main app does connect with Google Analytics.
Our main Shopify app is called… Well, we call it Google Analytics. (laughs) But we
also are about to launch, –well, I guess by the time this podcast comes out, hopefully–
where we will have launched an app for Segment. So, Segment is a connector between all kinds
of different apps and platforms. And what this app will do is pull Shopify data and
again, making sure everything’s tracked correctly –so all the checkout steps and sales and
etc.– and pull that into Segment. So then you can connect it from Segment to any destination,
which includes Google Analytics but also Mixpanel, Heap, all kinds of other stuff on there. That’s wonderful. Yeah, I’m over here on the
website and I see there are so many Connections that you guys have set up. Cool. Yeah yeah. We’re trying to… We’re
building out more and more. So definitely, listeners, if there are things that you’d
like to see or if you found a particular analytics problem, let us know. And maybe we can fix
it or help you find a way to automatically check if it’s working or not. Do you want to explain those Connections?
I’m actually looking at your site right now, too. So if I were to call you and see if I
could get the app, what are some of those things that you would talk about? Like the
Facebook ads Connection that you have? Sure. Yeah. So basically, for all the Connections
–other than Segment– What happens is, first you connect to Google Analytics… We’re using
that as the ultimate source of truth. And we want to make sure there is one ultimate
source of truth because we always recommend to clients, “Yeah, it’s good to gather lots
of data and you want to be able to get detailed but you really want to focus on just a couple
of core metrics that are most important.” Like we were saying earlier to your business,
right? So for some people that will be how their
Facebook ad costs contribute to a particular detail about sales for one kind of product
or a new product type or sales-type or whatever it is. So what the Facebook ads Connection
does is actually pull your ad cost and campaign details into GA. So then you can see… You don’t have to rely
on what Facebook’s telling you in terms of how well an ad has performed and how many
conversions you got. You can look and say, “Oh, this campaign actually led to people
adding a bunch of this type of product to the cart or it ended up leading to X amount
of subscription revenue.” So you can drill down to the product level
to see what had been added to the cart from that campaign. Exactly. Google makes it pretty easy to do
with their own products, obviously. They make it fairly complicated for people using other
platforms. And so what a Connection like that does is exactly is pulling the Facebook data
and then suddenly, you can just plug that in along with everything else. Can I use this app to also see that information
from Google AdWords and Google Shopping? Hmm. Good question, You can… The AdWords connection works a
little differently. Whereas you actually… It’s pulling… I mean, the effect is similar,
but it actually lets you pull your analytics data into AdWords, so you can see sales like
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trial at simplr.ai/honest. This is wild. I’m 100% going to do a demo
of this product. (laughs) Awesome. Yeah. I have a question then. And Chase, you might
be able to answer this, too. So for instance, are my Facebook ads currently connected to
Google Analytics automatically or do you have to do that or do you have to have an app Like
Littledata to do that for you to connect the two? Yeah, it’s… I mean, I’d have to take a look… Okay, …at yours in particular. But in general,
unless you’ve gone through and set it up, no, they won’t be. Ahh! You might have Facebook as a source but that’s
not… That won’t give you much detail. Right. Because I think specifically going
back to what you guys just talked about, I have an ad running right now for a piece of
equipment that’s a higher dollar and I’m making sales off the ad, but I’m not selling that
particular product. And I want to drill down and see exactly what I’m selling off of the
ad, but I can’t do that in Facebook ads, but this would enable me to do that correct? Exactly. Yeah. That’s awesome. There we go. That’s the perfect test. And you can take it one step further (and)
see, “Are those people viewing that expensive product for a long time?” (Then), create a
segment to retarget those people, educate those people, set up some drip campaigns if
you have either email… Yeah. Exactly. Super smart. Because it’s like, yeah,
maybe they’re not buying it but they actually were really interested in it. They’re like,
“Oh, I’ll try this first.” And then it’s your job to market them and
educate them. Here’s the thing. I think with just any advertising campaign is people go
for the kill instantly. It’s, “Buy this. Buy this. Buy this.” You need to explain what the product is first
and educate them about the product, especially if it’s like an expensive product. No one’s
just gonna drop $100 plus on something that they didn’t know existed before your ad. They won’t drop $500 not knowing what it is? (laughs) But that’s what… I actually am running the
ad strictly like, “Hey, I’m going to run this ad. New product. 30 days and do it.” But what’s
happening exactly? (That’s) my issue. So sign me up for the app today because I can’t forget…
I don’t know what they’re buying. They’re not buying the high dollar. They’re
buying other products and I want to see how that ad is trickle down. So that’s something
–before we even started this conversation– I didn’t know that that Connection would do
that. That… Or even existed in general. Yeah, that’s rad. We have clients ask all the time to drill
down like… What products sold on the ad… “Yeah, well, what are people doing from the
ad if they’re not taking one step back?” It’s like, “Yeah, you made money off the idea.
Return on ad spend is fantastic.” But they’re like, “Cool. What were they buying?” And there’s
no easy way to see that and Facebook Totally. Yeah, yeah. And even when we started
Littledata, we didn’t realize that at first and as we started working with more companies,
–we were doing custom setups with Tag Manager and stuff to try to figure this out– And
then we’re like, “Wait a sec. (laughs) If we could just build something that would pull
this into Google Analytics, voila.” That is so valuable. Yeah, my brain is rocked
at that. That’s awesome. Yeah, you just ruined Annette’s weekend. Now
she’s gonna purchase… No. He didn’t ruin it… Just sit there with the screen. This is what
we all do. (laughs) Well, actually, that’s something I want to
point out. It takes time to get data that you can make a decision from. You don’t need
to be looking at your data every day. Unless you’re getting so many page views and sessions
a day, which is top tier million dollar companies. Plus, you don’t have enough data to make a
decision on from 24 hours ago. Absolutely Even with ads, if you’re not spending thousands
of dollars a day… You have to have your ads run for a week before you can see what
the hell’s going on. Right. Actually, Chase, you taught me that
like this specific ad that I’m running right now… It’s what, the 28th of the month? We
started running it at the beginning and I said, “Hey, I’m not even gonna look at this,
let’s just let it roll.” Like, “Let’s not even look at it all.” I looked at it yesterday
and I was like, “Wait, what’s happening here?” Because I was like, “Ugh. We’re not… I would
know if I sold that high dollar product. We didn’t.” And I’m like, “I’m just gonna let
this roll for a while just not even pay attention to it.” Focus on everything else and when
I looked at it yesterday I’m like, “Wait, what’s going on? We’re selling stuff. We’re
not selling that product. The ad is working. But how?” The attribution on Facebook is unique in itself.
You can set the window up to be whatever you want. And honestly, you can get some sketchy
agencies that fucking makes that thing really long. Yes. They get that attribution up. And they’re
like, “Yeah. We made you all this money.” But you’re like, “Well, where is it? Where’s
that money?” Yeah, yeah. (laughs) Alright. I have a question again, as being
a store owner. I do have wonderful developers that I work with. Sometimes I try to do some
of this stuff myself. When I now –after my mind’s been blown– I get the app, is this
something that you need to have a developer connect for you? Or is it really easy enough
for a DIY store owner to do themselves? Yeah, we’ve definitely tried to make it easy
enough. And the good thing is that for Shopify… –We do have clients on other platforms like
Magento, Bigcommerce. But for Shopify, it’s fully automated now. What? Nice! Unless you have a really customized theme,
in which case, we do have separate setup steps where a support team can help you. It also
just happens automatically. And that is for Facebook ads also? Yeah. Oh, wow. Okay. That’s nice! I mean, it’s the same like… You’ll have
to manually… It’ll give you a guide on the app. You have to make sure that the campaigns
have been named in a certain way and stuff. There’s some things we can’t do automatically.
But for those few things that we can’t do, it gives very clear steps. Cool. So what size stores does this make sense
for? Yeah. Well, really… I mean, I always say,
anyone who really wants to grow should start tracking things early. Because otherwise,
you’ll get to a point where you can’t go back and get historic data if the tracking wasn’t
set up. But yeah, once you’re… Basically, once you start to introduce traffic, our basic
plan runs up to about 500 orders per month. We have the pricing tiered based on sessions,
orders or sales, but the number of orders is a pretty good indicator. So once you’re
starting to get traffic and have some orders come through, it’s a good time to go with
it. And then for enterprise plans where we do help with custom setup and reporting and
things as needed, those are generally larger, bigger DTC brands doing maybe 5 to 50 million
a year. Awesome. I do see too just for our listeners…
This is something I always like when apps offer this. They offer a 25% discount if you
pay the annual fee upfront. So you can save some serious dollars there. Oh yeah. Hey, you’re doing my job for me.
(laughs) (laughs) It’s a good point. Yeah, no. I’m taking a peek at it. So I’m
like, “Oh, that’s that’s just…” It’s always nice to be rewarded if you’re going to pay
for something upfront as a consumer. Yeah. And we do find like Chase was saying,
it takes a while to start gathering the data for advertising campaigns, and also just for
understanding user flows on your site because you really need a lot of information. You don’t want to start redesigning the site
or changing your product line based on a really limited sample, because it could be just random.
So the more data you can get, the more you can make sophisticated decisions. Awesome. I think that is the gem of the podcast
right there. And with that, I think we’re going to wrap this one up. Is there anything
that you want to leave with our guests? I know everyone probably wants to go check out
the app. It’s littledata.io/shopify for 90% of our listeners who are probably on Shopify. Yeah, cool. No, yeah. Nothing in particular
we do. If you’re using Recharge, our Recharge Connection is really powerful and will probably
solve a lot of tracking issues that you thought couldn’t be solved. So check that out. And
that’s about it. It’s a great podcast. Good to be here. Awesome. No, thank you so much. Thank you. We appreciate it. You actually answered the
question I was going to ask Chase after the podcast. (laughs) I hate it when we have a podcast and this
is going to go on the podcast. I hate it when it’s like a sales letter for the app. But
this app is just so fancy. It works. It solves problems. And that’s what people want. Oh well. (laughs) For sure. Oh, good. Yeah. Actually, it’s solving problems I didn’t even
know there was a solution for. So that’s exciting. That’s super exciting. Cool. So thank you. We appreciate having you on
today. No problem. Oh. Just one more thing along
the line of questions. Yeah. If anyone has questions, even if they don’t need the app,
whatever. We’re always… We do a lot on our blog around analytics issues. So feel free
to write to us with topics you’d like covered and we’ll investigate. Oh, cool. Awesome. I’ll check that. I’ll check
the blog out too. Awesome. Well, thanks a lot. Thanks a lot. Alright. Bye. We can’t thank our guests enough for coming
on the show and sharing the truth. links and more will be available in the show notes.
If you found any actionable advice in this podcast that you’d like to apply to your business,
please reach out at electriceye.io/connect. Please make sure to subscribe to Apple Podcasts,
Spotify or your podcast app of choice.

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