Finding the right ecommerce reports and uncovering customer insights could mean the difference between slow and steady growth or skyrocketing sales. Yet an endless amount of useful data to mine can be a problem. In the words of Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist, “most businesses are data rich and information poor.”
To guide you, we asked both our in-house ecommerce experts and a handful of our partners — like Grow, Looker, Mode Analytics, Stitch Data, and Zaius — to give you the inside scoop on how to get the most out of your analytics.
Most-Valuable Ecommerce Reports on Shopify Plus
1. Overview Dashboard
This report gives you a holistic view of your products and conversion funnel, which can be used in conjunction with Google Analytics. You’ll get a quick snapshot of traffic, orders, visitor data, and sales. It’s important to look at this dashboard on a regular basis to monitor your store’s performance across all sales channels.
It’s also helpful to compare timeframes and forecast future business growth. For example, you can look at the last 30 days of the report, and then compare it to the same month of the previous year. Pay particular attention to your returning customer rate:
If you’ve been running your business for a few years but still generate a high percentage of revenue from new customers, you may need to develop a retention strategy or invest more heavily in a loyalty program. On the flipside, if your business generates most of its revenue from repeat customers, it may be time to invest in acquiring new ones.
Jessica Kohl, Merchant Success Manager at Shopify Plus, recommends that you also keep an eye on your online store conversion rate and conversion funnel.
“Checkout funnel analysis helps to identify the percentage of customer drop-offs at different stages of the checkout. Doing so indicates different barriers and areas that need improvement to increase their trust, reduce fear, or investigate strange occurrences like shipping costs being higher than the product cost when you have a sale,” says Kohl. “If you discover specific barriers to conversion, you can use Shopify Scripts to customize and solve for different issues, like offering free standard shipping for VIP customers or first-time customer discounts.”
Insights for Optimizing Sales Growth
2. Sales Reports
Accessible through your admin under Analytics > Reports, Shopify Plus “Sales Reports” provide helpful insights on sales and product details that reveal your customers’ buying habits based on criteria that is important to you. For example, you can look at sales over time, by product, SKU, vendor, point of sale (POS) location, or by staff reports to see the orders that have been placed on a particular day, week, or month. The information gleaned can reveal seasonal sales trends and influence future product promotions.
In addition, you have access to sales information based on campaigns you’ve run, billing countries, customer details, and more to help inform future business decisions — like where to open a new retail store, or which customer segments to target for future business growth.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the Sales Reports to check regularly …
3. Sales by Channel or Traffic Referrer
These two Sales Reports help you see what channels and sources of traffic contribute the most to your revenue. The data in the Sales by Channel report will help you identify which channel sources are successful or underperforming — so you can adjust campaigns and sales strategies accordingly. Go to the Sales Channels settings page in your admin to add any sales channels that aren’t yet enabled in the report — so you can track everything in one place.
Similar to Sales by Channel, the data in the Sales by Traffic Referrer reportprovides a high-level overview of the top sources of traffic (or websites) that are driving the most revenue. The data from this report can help to inform where to invest in future paid ad campaigns, or which sites you might want to approach to set-up an affiliate program.
You can also determine findings such as if your brand recognition is high (e.g., if a lot of your traffic is direct which means people remember your URL), or if your SEO is working (e.g., if your search engine referral traffic is doing well or not).
4. Sales by Billing Country
By viewing this report, you’ll learn what countries contribute the most to revenue. The information can help you determine where to invest in new markets. You can also drill down into a country to see what province or state performs best for targeting ads in the future.
5. Sales by Product
This report, which is broken down by total sales, will help you identify your best-selling products by season or time period and can guide product discounts or promotions. You can also see which products are returned most often which can inform future inventory planning.
6. Sales by Customer Name
Improving customer brand loyalty can lead to significantly increased average profit per customer. You can use the Sales by Customer Name report to find out who your best customers are, overall or over a certain timeframe, so that you can target and tailor any loyalty programs to them.
You can nurture your relationships with these brand loyalists or ambassadors by curating special discounts, user-generated content, memorable experiences, outreach, and rewards. You can also export this data to create a list of remarketing or lookalike audiences to identify more shoppers who share their characteristics.
Behavior Reports to Monitor Customer Buying Habits
The behavior section under Analytics > Reports via your Shopify Plus admin can help you learn more about your customers and their buying habits to increase conversions and average order values.
7. Sessions by Device
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