This is a very common question asked by a lot of consumer facing businesses as it helps them understand where their customers are coming from. It's a very simple question but if the data is used correctly it can provide crucial insight when shaping marketing campaigns.
By knowing the sources of conversion, you are able to shape your future marketing campaigns to get maximum impact. If you have a lot of conversions coming from social media, this will tell you it’s a highly effective sales channel and you should continue to push activity and maybe even increase it.
Equally, if you're running a marketing campaign or spending money on a particular channel you can cross reference the spend with the true return.
Finally, this data will identify the poor performing channels and allows you to take appropriate action. This could be either focus more efforts and resource to improve that channel or cut budgets and focus on the high performing channels.
Campaign or source tracking is very hard these days due to the number of devices and methods a customer can find you. Sometimes a tracking code doesn't tell the whole story. For example, your customers could be seeing an advert on their phone from a social media page. But wait until they get home and search for you on their tablet or laptop. This would therefore be tracked as direct or organic search. But in reality, it was that social advert which brought the traffic. That customer would be able to tell you exactly how they found you and the channel can be correctly identified.
Also, sometimes it's nicer to connect with your customers and ask them the question directly. The insight you get from your customers is always going to be better than tracking ID's and pixels
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