Custom dimensions for calculating customer lifetime value

Updated on 2024-05-27

Calculating LTV and building the GA4 customer lifetime value report is essential for ecommerce businesses, but it can be difficult without the right analytics setup.

Littledata makes this easier for Shopify stores, and especially for subscription businesses, by adding custom dimensions to Google Analytics.

In addition to the dimensions below, Littledata tracks subscription orders from any checkout and allows the LTV of these orders to be tied back to marketing campaigns.

Custom event parameters

For all the ecommerce events from the checkout onwards, we send the following user parameters to help you segment explorations, build audiences and analyze user behavior:

lifetime_revenue_ldTotal of revenue from current and all previous purchases for that customer on ShopifyUser
purchase_count_ldCount of current and all previous purchases for that customerUser
last_transaction_date_ldDate of customer's last orderUser
shopify_customer_id_ldCustomer ID as used on ShopifyUser
littledata_client_idClient ID: the cookie identifier Google uses to group events by userUser
affiliationA coma-separated list of order tags. Untagged orders use ShopifyEvent
store_nameThe name of the Shopify store generating the event. Useful when you have multiple country stores feeding into one GA property.Event
app_name_ldThe app name that generated the order (fallback on app ID).Event

User parameter naming was changed as of August 2023 to comply with GA4's 24 characters limit.

Automatic Custom Dimensions in GA4

In Google Analytics 4, each custom dimension that you wish to use in any report must be first configured based on user parameters that Littledata sends. One property can have up to 25 custom dimensions.

Littledata automatically sets up following custom dimension in your Google Analytics property

Custom dimensionDescription
Lifetime RevenueTotal revenue of current and all previous purchases for that customer on Shopify
Purchase CountCount of current and all previous purchases for that customer
Last Transaction DateDate of customer's current / last order
Shopify Customer IDCustomer ID as used on Shopify
App NameName of the app on which the order was made (fallback on app ID)
AffiliationA coma-separated list of order tags. Untagged orders use Shopify

Setting up a GA4 custom dimension

If you want to set up further custom dimensions based on the above event parameters, follow these steps.

Step 1

Go to Configure > Custom definitions > Create custom dimensions

Step 2

Name your dimension, select User scope, and select the desired user property from the drop down menu

You can now start using this custom dimension in the standard reports as well as in custom reports from the Explore section.

Sample use case

In order to use Lifetime Value to evaluate the performance of various marketing campaigns you should create user segments based on the lifetime spend, the parameter provided by Littledata

Here we'll provide the example of creating audiences based on the last purchase date 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:

  • last_transaction_date_ld
  • purchase_count_ld

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 last transaction date is sent as custom dimension, you will need to a regular expression to match the date

Further reading