In this episode of BTW w/ BTM we’re discussing a shake-up in the Shopify ecosystem, specifically as it pertains to store analytics and those operating in European markets. On November 1st there was an unexpected and poorly communicated policy update on customer data collection. We’re unpacking what happened, the impact, discussions on transparency and future proofing attribution of marketing strategies. Give it a listen below, or feel free to see the highlights in the show notes.

The Redirect Podcast · [EP.10] BTW with BlackTruck – Shopify Analytics Outages & The Future of Marketing Attribution

Welcome to BTW with BTM, where we talk about the latest in digital marketing and what’s impacting the visibility of your brand online. I’m Jason Dodge, Founder & CEO of BlackTruck Media + Marketing – Today we’re discussing a significant shake-up in the Shopify ecosystem: the unexpected and poorly communicated policy update on customer data collection. Let’s unpack what happened, its impact, transparency in communications and a marketing attribution in the future.

What happened with Shopify Analytics?

First, let’s set the scene. Shopify, a major player in e-commerce, recently rolled out a policy update that blindsided many. Effective from November 1st, this update profoundly affected analytics within Shopify stores in Europe, disrupting how businesses track and analyze their online performance. And here’s the kicker: the announcement was subtly tucked away in a changelog with just two weeks’ notice.

What’s this mean for Shopify merchants?

Now, imagine you’re a Shopify merchant or an app partner. You rely heavily on analytics to understand customer behavior and the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Suddenly, this capability within Shopify is virtually wiped out, especially for European stores. We’re talking about an 80-100% reduction in analytics like UTM and session tracking. This change, primarily due to Shopify’s approach to GDPR compliance, has left merchants scrambling.

The fallout in the community has been significant. Merchants are asking questions like, ‘Why is my customer journey data missing?’ or ‘Why is there a huge drop in traffic reported by Shopify analytics?’ This confusion highlights the widespread impact of the changes.

But here’s where it gets even more concerning. The way Shopify communicated this update raises serious questions about transparency and effectiveness. Communicating such a significant change solely through a changelog? That’s a troubling lack of transparency from Shopify. It demonstrates a disconnect between Shopify and its user base, leading to confusion and unpreparedness.”

A lesson in corporate communications

So, what should have Shopify done differently? And what can merchants and app partners learn from this scenario? For Shopify, the lesson is clear: communicate significant changes more effectively. This means direct notifications with ample notice and detailed explanations. For merchants and partners, it’s a reminder not to rely too heavily on a single platform’s systems. Diversifying strategies and staying informed about such updates is crucial.

The broader implications of this policy update are also worth noting. Shopify’s blunt approach to GDPR compliance and the all-or-nothing settings have significant consequences for e-commerce analytics and digital marketing strategies, not just within the Shopify ecosystem but potentially beyond.

Recap & Action

As we wrap up, it’s clear that this situation is more than a mere technical hiccup. It’s a wake-up call to the importance of agility and awareness in the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce and Big Tech. For Shopify merchants and app developers, the journey ahead is challenging but also an opportunity for growth and adaptation.”

That’s all for today’s episode. Thank you for listening in to BTW w/BTM. If you found this episode valuable, please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and check out the show notes at Until next time, good luck.