Have you ever struggled to gather accurate insights about your customers or to make data-driven decisions that truly resonate with your target audience?🤔
Fear not! Our special guest on the AMA session, Blake Wisz, Head of Marketing at LittleData, is here to shed light on the latest tactics that modern DTC brands are using to connect with their customers through data and marketing.
🗣️: When you get so much information, how do you decide which data is more important than others?
💬 Blake: Focus on conversions and Life Time Value (LTV). Information is good and the more the better. However, it is important to have a proper data strategy in place to be able to understand and use that data for action. Having worked across industries I've learned the importance of data for any organization. I recommend setting up tracking as soon as possible if you haven't already. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) which is replacing Universal Analytics in July of this year is changing up the game by focusing on event-based tracking vs. session-based tracking.
These events including conversions, purchases, form submissions, scroll depth, or other noteworthy events can help you prioritize where to focus. Having tracking and data collection in place first will give you the accuracy to make data-determined decisions you can trust. Once tracking is in place you can use Google Analytics Exploration Reports to filter by metrics and dimensions that make an impact on your page. Or you can connect GA4 to many other reporting tools including some fun Ai products to get insights and ideas about what the data might be telling you. If all of this sounds like too much find an Agency that focuses on data in their offerings to get you on the right footing.
🗣️: What are the legal requirements and guidelines for obtaining and managing customer consent for data tracking and marketing communications, and how can I ensure I'm meeting these requirements?
💬 Blake: Follow the changes on consent and privacy or consult legal to be above reproach. Start by understanding the privacy laws that apply to your business. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States are two significant examples, but there may be other regulations depending on your jurisdiction. Then follow consent best practices with a banner explaining what is being tracked in a way that the users understand.
Littledata automatically integrates with many common cookie consent apps to respect customer privacy and comply with data regulations such as the ePrivacy Directive. Make sure to keep your privacy page updated as well so it's clear the information you are tracking and how you might be using that data.
🗣️: What are the tracking implementations and metrics that every ecommerce should implement and track the same way and how to implement that(tag manager, GA4...)?
💬 Blake: As I mentioned briefly in the first question I am a big fan of Google Analytics. It is free, connects with many tools, and easily implements tracking. At Littledata this is our specialty for ecommerce brands selling on Shopify or BigCommerce. We stitch together server-side and client-side tracking so that no lifecycle events or steps are missed in the customer journey. What I've learned from our team and consulting calls with clients is that use cases for tracking can be quite different in application but always come back to two things: Retention and Acquisition.
The metrics that can help support these in the ecommerce world are focusing on Life Time Value, Cost of Acquisition Costs, Source/Medium (what channels are sending traffic), purchases, and add to cart. Focusing on the steps in your funnel will allow you to optimize the journey and use those events to build audiences for retargeting. For example, one area we see DTC brands do this very well is subscription analytics. Being able to track one-time vs. recurring orders allows brands to create different messaging or advertising to bring back in a one-time customer to convert to a recurring customer to grow the overall LTV and scale their business.
Then the game of retention starts. This is where a tool like Klavyio or Segment comes in handy for building our workflows and campaigns that are segmented by the type of customer or demographics that your brand sees the most engagement from or needs to retain.
🗣️: I've noticed a high bounce rate on my website. What data tracking strategies can help me identify the pages or elements that are causing visitors to leave, and how can I improve their experience?
💬 Blake: This is a good one. For years I was always looking at Bounce Rates and Time On Page to determine if content and flow were hitting right for target personas. Being a big fan of Google Analytics it's always been easy to show a comparison month over a month giving you the ability to see what has changed, good or bad, and A/B test to see if adjustments or changes are solving issues. However, many have shifted thinking in regards to Bounce Rate and Time On Page to not being as important because if you have an optimized page the user could move quickly to your CTA or offering—this is case by case basis and depends on the page type or goals you have for the page. What Google Analytics 4 offers now is Engagement Rate—I find this to be super insightful when reviewing page performance and each channel (organic or paid) that is generating the traffic to that page.
🗣️: What role does a Data Protection Officer (DPO) play in ensuring data privacy and compliance within an eCommerce business, and at what point should I consider appointing one?
💬 Blake: DPO's in my experience would be recommended if you are in ecommerce and handling a lot of personal or sensitive data like health information for example. These folks will ensure that you are also compliant based on regions and would allow your organization to be more proactive in risk assessment and mitigation. It can be wise to have someone like this at the helm for data breaches and legal requirements that might apply to your business.
From my perspective hiring for this role would make sense for a company that wants their customers to see how important protecting their data is for the brand—it is a signal to the marketplace. And if you are working with lots of data or growing rapidly to ensure proper strategies and limit possible liabilities. I could also see this as an advantage for organizations that plan to license to other companies or organizations. Today, as many know data is being called the new oil and that value can come with lots of requirements and management.
🗣️: What data tracking methods can help me identify the specific steps or friction points in the checkout process that lead to cart abandonment, and how can I optimize those areas?
💬 Blake: Great question. This is something we get excited about at Littledata because our app tracks each checkout step for merchants to identify where there might be a drop-off. I attended an awesome workshop led by my friends over at Prismfly which specializes in Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) for brands and really liked their approach. They develop an action plan for each customer based on the user experience and what the data is telling them. This could include things such as rearranging sections, changing payment options, or a/b testing a flow and logging the experience. Of course, they have the proper tracking set up at the onset to ensure their data is accurate.
You could run these experiments on your own as well with proper tracking, heatmaps, and live screen recordings of customers on your website. This might be old school but apparently, they call it "Zero Party Data" now... just ask your customers with a survey or quick call. What did you like about the experience? What was horrible? Lastly, if you are tracking the steps properly you can re-target those who might have dropped off. Your assumption could be they changed their mind or price friction—but many know often it's a distraction like a phone call, notification, or on to the next thing. Reminding a customer with Google, Meta, TikTok, or Pinterest ads or targeting can be a huge win for brands.
🗣️: What data tracking tools or platforms would you recommend for conducting effective A/B tests?
💬 Blake: You have to go with Google Analytics as your hub. The benefits are there are so many integrations, performance marketing is built in with Google Ads, free to set up, and generally, there are many marketers that know how to use Google Analytics in one way or another.
Over at Littledata we always recommend using Google Optimize for A/B testing which is planning to sunset but we are hopeful that they might roll the app into the new Google Analytics 4 suite of features. What I'll do if Optimize does sunset though is go to G2, a software review platform, to see what vetted users are saying about alternatives for testing. Looking at tools that integrate well with your ecommerce platform is key to avoiding the need for custom setup costs and maintenance.
🗣️: My brand operates on multiple eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Amazon. How can I consolidate and analyze data from these various platforms to gain a comprehensive view of my business performance?
💬 Blake: This to me is a tricky one without chatting more. I would have a few questions like is it all the same product, brand name, etc. My first recommendation would be that you can consolidate where you can in regards to ecommerce platforms. Putting Amazon aside because that is a different distribution channel moving to one platform would give you the ability to really focus on CRO and overall brand experience for the user. You can also then build audiences and ads off of that platform and the paid or organic channels that feed into it.
If you are looking to create a dashboard though or have a tool we recommend Looker Studio as a free option. Here you can connect whatever data streams you want, within reason, and build one complete dashboard. I would be curious to see if certain products sell better on one platform or the other and what is leading to that so I can replicate it across the platforms or roll it into one unified experience. We offer a free ecommerce Looker Studio template here.
🗣️: I want to implement customer segmentation strategies based on behavior, demographics, or purchase history. What data should I track and analyze to effectively segment my customer base and personalize marketing campaigns?
💬 Blake: You can't manage what you can't measure. Once your tracking is in place and you have data you can trust without missed events or steps you will be able to target with more resources and confidence. What is great is that we live in the best time ever for segmentation and building audiences off of events, traits, or points in the customer journey. There are many great tools you can push this data to for segmentation.
Many of our customers use Klaviyo for email and SMS to personalize the experience. Take for example an abandoned cart campaign. Take the event add_to_cart but didn't check_out to trigger an email after two hours to remind them of what was left in their cart. This can be an easy way to bring folks back using the information you know about what they were shopping for to personalize the email with the item.
Based on the action they take open, click, or unopened you can also send another email or be more assertive with an SMS that includes an incentive or discount. Creating unique workflows based on specific event types will allow you to get more granular on your targeting and customization of campaigns.
🗣️: I'm considering expanding my target audience and entering new markets. How can I use data tracking to assess market demand, understand customer preferences in different regions, and tailor my marketing strategies accordingly?
💬 Blake: Go for it! This sort of expansion and building gets me really excited as a marketer. Finding new opportunities while managing what is working well now is key to growth. Good for you! By combining internal data with meticulous external market research you will set sail in the right direction. Evaluate your existing data to identify patterns and trends in market demand. Look for geographic variations in customer behavior, such as differences in purchasing patterns, popular product categories, or responses to marketing campaigns. Then set your goals/KPIs for the launch so you can gauge what is successful. Remember, building brand equity in new markets can take time. One shortcut I've seen work well if you are a product is to partner with similar brands to gain new customer emails so you start with a base.
A tactic that I did was to create a giveaway for the best backyard products on the market with about six noteworthy brands—not all were massive at the time but today some are public. We made it easy for people to enter to win the bundle of prizes and co-marketed each other well enough across multiple channels. The result was 10,000 fresh emails for my client to reach out to knowing they were already interested in winning their product. Now, this was a big win due to choosing the right brands to partner with but can help lead into another market with the backing of others in the industry.
One more quick note for anything regional or new sector is to consider partnering with a company like Mini Social which can help you target micro-influencers—think more about all the User Generated Content you can get and put ad money behind vs. affiliate sales. Make sure your tracking is in place—at Littledata we offer server-side tracking for Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, and Instagram so you don't miss vital events.
Want to control your customer journey?
Our single sales funnel gives you full control over the customer journey, leading to better shopping experiences and higher conversions.