Getting Started: Account Setup Walkthrough
Welcome to Lifetimely! We're excited to have you with us, and we'll do whatever we can to help you get the most out of our app.
Before diving into the reports, let's take a moment to finish setting up your account. There are a few steps to complete in these three areas:
- Reviewing and entering cost data to make sure that your profit metrics are as accurate as possible
- Connecting external accounts such as Facebook Ads and Google Analytics to track marketing costs and unlock new filters on your reports
- Setting report pre-filters to exclude any categories of outlier data from your reports
Reviewing and entering cost data
To start, click on the Cost & expenses tab in the left navigation menu. You’ll see a new list of tabs across the top of your screen. This is where you will access and manage all of your cost data. Let’s go through these tabs one-by-one to make sure your data is as complete and accurate as possible.
Step 1: Review product costs imported from Shopify and enter new costs where necessary
Clicking Product Costs will pull up a table listing each of your products. For now, let’s just focus on the product costs imported from Shopify, which you’ll find in the “Shopify Cost” column.
Take a minute here to go through your products and make sure that there are no missing or incorrect values in this column. If you find any data that needs updating, then click the pencil icon in the “Lifetimely Product Cost” column to the right. A window will pop up where you can enter a new product cost for your product. Values you enter in the “Lifetimely Product Cost” column will be used for all your reports, overriding any values in the “Shopify Cost” column.
Step 2: Set a default COGS margin
What if you don’t have reliable product cost info on hand? Or what if you accidentally let a few products slip by without setting a product cost in either Shopify or Lifetimely? This is where it’s useful to set a default COGS (cost of goods sold) margin. When generating reports, it replaces missing product cost data with a reasonable estimate based on a standard margin, which prevents your reports from skewing too heavily in any direction.
To set a default COGS margin:
- Click on the Default COGS margin tab in the top menu.
- Enter the margin you’d like to apply whenever a product is missing product cost data. Your default margin will be subtracted as a percentage off of the full price of your product.
- Click the blue “Save changes” button.
Step 3: Enter transaction costs
Continuing through the tabs along the top of your screen, let’s take a look at transaction costs. Transaction costs are the fees that Shopify charges to process an order. These fees vary based on your Shopify plan and on the payment gateways that customers use to place orders (i.e. Shopify Payments vs. PayPal, Stripe, or another payment provider).
First, take a look at your Shopify transaction costs and verify that they are correct. If they need updating, then click on the small pencil icon to enter new values.
When an end customer uses Shopify Payments for checking out, Lifetimely will automatically sync the exact cost that Shopify takes as a transaction fee. But to help us calculate transaction costs for any other payment gateways, we need to know the fee that they assess per order.
Follow these steps to enter your transaction costs for your other payment gateways:
- Click on the blue “+ Add gateway” button.
- In the pop-up window, click “Select a gateway”. This will show you a list of all payment gateways that have been used by your customers in past orders.
- Select a gateway and then enter the correct percentage fee and the fixed fee that the payment provider charges for each order.
- Click “Add and continue”, then return to Step 2 and select a new gateway.
- Once you’ve completed this info for all of your payment providers, click “Add and close”.
Step 4: Enter handling costs
If you use a warehousing service, your handling costs are probably assessed on two levels: cost per order (packing cost) and cost per item (picking cost). You can account for both of these costs in the Handling costs tab. Just don’t forget to click the blue “Save changes” button!
Step 5: Enter shipping costs
To accommodate the different factors that play into your orders' shipping costs, you can enter/integrate your shipping costs into Lifetimely in the following ways:
- If you use Shopify Shipping or ShipStation, then we can automatically import shipping costs from your account.
- If you use real-time shipping rates from carriers like DHL and customers pay 100% of shipping, then you can set shipping costs equal to what customers are charged for shipping.
- You can set flat shipping rates based on the country you ship to.
- You can set specific shipping rates for individual products.
- You can upload a CSV file that matches shipping costs to specific Order IDs.
Let's look at all of these options in a bit more detail:
Integrating Shopify Shipping or ShipStation
If you use Shopify Shipping or ShipStation, then we can automatically import and apply your shipping costs.
- To enable integration with Shopify Shipping, check the "Use Shopify Shipping for shipping costs" option in the Shipping Costs tab:
- To enable integration with ShipStation, find Connect ShipStation tab in the left-hand menu, then enter your ShipStation API key and secret where prompted and click "Save".
Setting shipping costs to equal Shipping Charged
If your customers pay 100% of shipping costs, then check the "Use Shipping Charged for shipping costs" option in the Shipping Costs tab:
Setting flat shipping rates by country
If most of your products ship at a flat rate dependent only on the country you ship to:
- Click Shipping costs in the top menu.
- Click “+ Add country”.
- Select a country from the drop-down menu, and then enter the general shipping rate for products shipped to that country. In the absence of product-specific shipping costs set in Lifetimely, this rate will be used to calculate an order’s shipping cost.
- Click “Add and continue” to repeat with other countries, or “Add and close” when you’re finished.
💡 Tip: To quickly set a rate that applies to all countries unless otherwise specified, select "Rest of the world" from the country drop-down menu and enter a baseline international rate.
Setting specific shipping rates for individual products
If your shipping costs vary based on which product is ordered:
- Return to the Product costs tab by clicking Product costs in the left-hand menu.
- Scroll through your products (or use the search bar) to find those that need a specific shipping cost entered.
- Click on the pencil icon in the far-right column ("Lifetimely Shipping Cost").
- Enter the product’s shipping cost. If the shipping cost varies by country, then you can specify how much it costs in each country. These rates will be used to calculate an order’s shipping cost over any general rates you've entered in the "Shipping costs" tab.
Importing exact shipping costs via a CSV file
To assign exact shipping costs to specific Order IDs:
- Click Shipping costs in the top menu.
- Click the "Download an example CSV file" link for a simple template of the format we need to import your data.
- Create a CSV file matching shipping costs to Order IDs and click the "CSV Import" button to upload it.
Step 6: Add any other miscellaneous costs
For any costs that haven’t been captured above and that won’t be accounted for by Google, Facebook, or Microsoft Ads (which we’ll cover next), there’s the Custom costs tab. You can add anything here - a recurring monthly payment to an influencer, a one-time payout to a supplier, etc.
To add a cost, just click the blue “+ Add custom cost” button, then enter a name, price, frequency, and date (or date range).
If you'd like the cost to be included in your marketing spend and CAC calculations, be sure to tick the "Include in marketing & CAC" checkbox before saving.
Connecting external accounts
We’re getting there! The next step is to add any external accounts that might help with capturing your ad spend or with further defining your customer base.
To start, click on the "Integrations" tab in the left navigation menu. You’ll see a new list of tabs across the top of your screen. This is where you will access and manage all of your integrations.
It’s OK if you only have one or two accounts to add here, and each integration shouldn’t take more than a few clicks.
Step 7: Connect your ad spending accounts (Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and/or Microsoft Ads)
To connect your Google Ads account:
- Click Google Ads in the top menu.
- Click the blue button that says “Connect a Google Ads account”. This link will take you outside of Lifetimely and prompt you to sign into your Google Ads account, where Google will ask you to verify that you’d like to integrate your account.
- After the accounts are linked, return to the “Connect Google Ads” tab in Lifetimely.
- If you have more than one Google Ads account, you’ll see each of them listed in Lifetimely. Select the one you want to use and click “Save selection”.
Step 8 (PRO users only): Connect your Google Analytics account
For pro users, one of the most powerful features of our reports is the ability to apply different filters that break your customer segments down to an even more targeted level. To access some of these filters, especially the marketing channels that are driving your orders, you’ll first need to integrate your Google Analytics account.
To connect your Google Analytics account, you can follow the same process in Step 7 above, except from within the Google Analytics tab.
Step 9 (optional): Connect your ReCharge account
If your store operates on a subscription model and you’d like to access the Subscriptions report in Lifetimely, you’ll first need to connect a Recharge account. You can do this in the ReCharge tab by entering your ReCharge API key. (If you don’t have an API key, this article will explain how to generate one: Connect ReCharge to Lifetimely)
Setting report prefilters
Almost there - just one more step! The last task is to decide which orders or customers (if any) to remove from your reports. To set your prefilters, click on the Prefilters tab in the left navigation menu.
Step 10: Apply prefilters to exclude any data categories from your reports
To remove a specific category of orders from your reports, just click on the checkbox next to the type of order you want to exclude. Available exclusions include:
- Unpaid orders (either in a “Pending” or “Authorized” state)
- Zero value orders (such as sample orders)
- Cancelled orders
- POS (Point of Sale) orders
- Draft orders
If you'd like to customize these filters even further, you can select from any of your individualized tags and options by clicking the following drop-down menus:
- Order tags
- Other channels
- Customer tags
You can apply as many prefilters as you like - just don't forget to click the blue "Save changes" button once you're done selecting!
And that's it! You're now finished with setting up your account. If you ran into any issues, have any questions, or can think of any areas for improvement, don't hesitate to send us a message at email@example.com.