Custom dimensions for calculating customer lifetime value

Updated on 2021-12-28

It is important to understand where your most valuable customers have arrived from. Calculating customer lifetime value (CLV or LTV) is essential for eCommerce businesses, but it can be difficult without the right analytics setup.

For Shopify merchants using Littledata this is easy because of the work invested to link Google Analytics to Shopify data in a meaningful way, especially for subscription businesses.

Which custom dimensions does Littledata use?

In addition to the complete enhanced eCommerce data our Shopify connection sends to Google Analytics, our app creates and tracks five custom dimensions to help you calculate CLV.

  • Littledata - Lifetime Revenue*:* Lifetime value of the user who made the transaction
  • Littledata - Purchase Count*:* Number of orders made by that user so far
  • Littledata - Shopify Customer ID: Customer ID of the user that made the purchase
  • Littledata - Last Transaction Date*:* Last order date
  • Littledata - Payment Gateway: the gateway used to process the last order’s payment

These custom dimensions are tremendously powerful for diving into your eCommerce data or segmenting customers for export, whether you're selling products by subscription or simply want a clearer view of repeat purchases over time, tied to the original marketing touchpoint.

Sample use case

Let's say that you want to find the lifetime value by channel. Based on the combination of standard info in Google Analytics (eg channel grouping) and the following custom dimensions

  1. Littledata - Lifetime Revenue
  2. Littledata - Shopify Customer ID

You can calculate what is the lifetime revenue by channel (the full picture).

Create audiences based on the last purchase and number of orders of the customer:

Using a segment in Google Analytics you can create (and export as audience) a segment that includes all users with the custom dimension:

  • Littledata - Last Transaction Date
  • Littledata - Purchase Count

You then can use that segment to retarget them on Google Ads.

This is an example for users that have purchased only once in the last month:


Since the transaction date is sent as custom dimension, you will need to use RegEx to match the date

Even though you can do a basic and inexact calculation using only the data found in Google Analytics, using Littledata's Recharge connection or Bold connection lets you see a complete picture of your marketing efforts over the entire customer cycle, because the recurring transactions are included.

Further reading