In today’s time, the customers’ trends and requirements are changing in a fraction of a second, and thus it has become highly important for the e-commerce businesses to keep a close watch on the performance of these trends. Earlier companies should focus only on offering the best quality products and deals. Still, today’s business growth highly depends upon showcasing the best products at the right time and adapting to trends and offering deals as users’ behavior changes.

And the Best or Only Way to Do This Is Crunching Numbers Which Many D2 C Brands Fear.

However, if your store is built on Shopify CMS, it becomes easy for your business to be data-driven. It offers in-depth Analytics and Reports dashboard. This article will go through the Shopify Analytics feature and how you can leverage it to grow your business.

Also read: Shopify Review: Features, Pricing To Build an eCommerce Store

Shopify Analytics: What It Is, And Why Do You Need It?

Shopify Analytics is an in-built reporting dashboard of the e-commerce CMS. The store owners can quickly check their store’s performance and metrics such as recent activity, visitors’ insights, store speed, ongoing transactions, and much more.

You can consider this analytics dashboard just like Google Analytics in which you don’t have to switch platforms to know how your business is performing. You may be thinking about why business analytics is such a big thing. Here are a few reasons:

  • Better business decisions making
  • Marketing and advertising expenditure optimization
  • Marketing of your brand on the proper sales channels
  • Best selling products both online and offline
  • Understanding customer requirements and demands
  • Better inventory management
  • Increase the profit margins with data-driven planning
  • Keep the finances in control
  • Better management of taxes
Note: if You Are Running an Online Store, You Can Have Access to The Basic Analytics Version. but If You Are Running Your Store on Shopify Basic or Higher Plan, You Can Access More Reports.

Shopify Analytics Features

Now let’s go through the features of analytics and reports of Shopify and how they are useful for running a successful business.

  • Live View
  • Reports
  • Analytics
  • Behavior
  • Acquisition
  • Finance
  • Inventory
  • Marketing
  • Order
  • Profit
  • Retail Sales
  • Sales
  • Product Analytics

We will go through each of these features in more detail.

a)  Live View

Live View shopify analytics

As the name suggests, the live view gives you a real-time view of every activity going on in your store.

There is a world map and a globe present as well by which you can know from which place the activity on your store is coming and many other key metrics. All the information will be displayed at the local time of your store.

Important Metrics Of The Live View

MetricWhat Does It Mean?
Visitors, Right NowIt simply shows the number of active visitors who are to your store in the past 5 minutes. An active visitor is one who has made either a click or viewed a page on your store.
Total SalesTotal sales value includes sales of your store and other channels since midnight (local timezone of your store which you set during the store setup). The simplistic formula is (gross sales − discounts − returns + shipping + taxes).
Total SessionsIt includes the number of sessions made by all the users on your store since midnight.
Total OrdersAn order occurs when the customer adds a product to the cart and completes the payment.
Top LocationsThis chart displays data of the locations from where the maximum number of visitors comes to your store.
Top ProductsThese are the products that have had the highest sales percentage in total sales since midnight.
First-time customersCustomers which are making the orders for the first time in your store.
Returning CustomersCustomers that have previously made an order on your online store.
Customer BehaviorIt includes sessions of the last 10 minutes which should be either add to the cart, triggered checkout process, or order completion. Active Carts: In the last 10 minutes, sessions of adding one or more products into the cart. Checking out:  In the last 10 minutes, sessions of customers proceeding to checking out and submitting the checkout information. (Note: It includes both unsuccessful and successful orders).Order Completion: The sessions of the successful checkout with payment in the last 10 minutes.

Usage Of Live View

1. Storefront Optimization

If you will know how the coming visitors are interacting with your site, what they find most engaging, the moments when they proceed to add the product to the cart or complete the purchase, and what leads them to abandon your store then you can take actions for optimizing visitor’s shopping journey on your store.

2. Identify Customer Demographics

Shopify Analytics allows you to know the location of your incoming visitors by which you can get more insight into your target market. Thus, you can narrow down the ideal customer persona especially if you are selling in multiple countries.

3. Marketing Efforts Optimization

As you are getting a real-time view of the activities in your store, you can optimize your marketing or advertising campaigns for better ROI> For e.g. if you find that your incoming traffic is more from the US than any other country then you can shift your marketing efforts to US audience.

4. Key Sales Channels Identification

In the online business, if you are selling on multiple channels, then you must know which channel brings the most traffic to your store. Live View makes you understand which sales channel is giving the best results when you launch a new product.

5. Best Selling Product Identification

Generally, no two products have the same pace of selling or demand and the orders can vary on what you are offering or what is trending in the market. Live View lets you know which product is selling most in your store during a particular interval of time, season or when you launch a specific sale/discount/offer/perk.

6. Inventory Planning

As you can know which products are in most demand and which are in the least, this will help you to manage the inventory in a better way. You can prevent the stock-outs of most selling products and over-fulfillment of a product that is not in demand.

b) Analytics

shopify analytics

On the analytics page, you will get the highly important or valuable metrics giving your store performance insights and traffic behavior coming on your site.

You can check the data in a particular data range. Unlike Live View, this is not real-time and has been recorded to completion in a previous time span other than ‘now’. These are metrics that you can check in Analytics:

MetricWhat Does It Mean?
Average Order ValueThe average order value is equal to the total value of the orders divided by the number of orders containing at least one product. The order value will include taxes, shipping, and discounts.
Online Store Conversion RateThis is the percentage of sessions that results in placing a successful order on the online store.
There are 3 different stages in a conversion: Added to Cart: Percentage of sessions in which buyer added at least one item to the cart.
Reached Checkout: Percentage of sessions in which the buyer is proceeding to checkout from the cart. Sessions Converted: Percentage of sessions in which buyer make the payment successfully to the proceeded checkout items.
Online Store Sessions by Device TypeThis is the number of sessions on your store and the device used to access your online store. The common devices are mobile, desktop, and tablet.
Online Store Sessions by LocationIt represents the number of sessions defined by the country of the users.
Online Store Sessions by Traffic SourceThe most common traffic sources areSearchDirectSocialEmail
Online Store Sessions from The Social SourceIt represents those sessions which are originated from a social media platform that you use for marketing purposes.
Repeat Customer RateIt shows the percentage of customers who have placed an order at least 2 times in your store. It is calculated as customers making orders at least 2 times divided by the total number of customers.
Sales by Pos LocationIf you have a point of sale or a physical store, then this metric tells you the number of sales that originated from that location.
Sales by Social SourceIt tells you the number of sales that happened on social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Sales by StaffIf you have POS then this metric tells you the number of sales handled by each staff member at a particular location.
Sales by Traffic SourceIt tells you the number of sales that came from each traffic source.
Top Landing PagesIt tells you those pages from which the maximum number of customers start their buying journey.
Top Product by Units SoldIt identifies the best-selling, trending and top products on the basis of the units sold.
Top Referrers by SessionsThese are the number of sessions on your store that came from other websites directly. These are generally:·        
Direct: When the customers come to your site by searching your URL on the browser·        
Search: The customer reaches your store from the search engine’s results page·        
Email: The customers landed on your store by clicking on a button in a mail· Social: The customers clicked a link on social media.
Total Online Store SessionsIt represents how many different sessions happened in your store within a specific date range.
Total OrdersIt tells the number of orders placed in a particular time interval.
Total SalesIt tells the number of sales, sorted by sales channel in a time interval.
Sales AttributedIt measures the total sales value generated by traffic that can be associated with your marketing efforts.

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Analytics Usage

1. Identify Your Ideal Customer Personal

In Live View, you were getting real-time insights to know who must you target through marketing efforts at the moment, but Analytics gives you a vast amount of data for creating documented customer personas. This data can be used in different instances to know where your traffic comes from, their interaction behavior, average order value, and create multiple personas for creating personalized campaigns.

2. Product Pricing Optimization

You can know the average order value at different times i.e. how much an online shopper is generally spending on your store. Thus you can price your products to suit their budgets for more sales while keeping profits.

3. Optimize Discounts, Deals, Etc

Every buyer has different priorities and in online business, you must keep experimenting with different sorts of deals & discounts. This includes percentage discounts, amount discounts, and benefits like free shipping. By tracking the conversion rates, you can know which offer works best.

4. Optimizing the Marketing Expenditure

It is tough to be where your customers are. And most importantly, it results in increasing promotional spending. With insights on marketing channels that actually result in sales, you can streamline the efforts to drive higher ROI.

5. Improving Conversion Rate or Reducing Bounce Rate

As you are getting insights into traffic, conversion sources, top landing pages, and others, you can use this data to improve the customers’ buying journey. You should customize the text, UI, CTAs and other elements on your store for a better first impression. After a period of time, it will reduce the bounce rate on your store.

6. Know the Product Trends

You can identify your most selling products at different time intervals. Find the purchase patterns for different occasions such as festive days, holidays, Christmas, etc. These insights can be helpful for marketing campaigns and better inventory management.

7. Create Strategies for Low Selling Periods

In every business, there is a peak season and a low selling season. You must recognize when you see the most traffic and when things got to slow down in your business. These insights let you create strategies for the low-selling time for both inventory planning and marketing expenditure.

8. Improve Customer Engagement & Retention

The customer retention rate matters more than the conversion rate as it is simpler to retain your existing customers than to acquire new ones. In today’s fierce competition market, you must find people who become your patrons and choose you first. Create a strategy using insights that are focused on keeping existing customers engaged with your brand.

c) Reports

shopify Reports

If you want more detailed information on your store’s performance, conversion data, marketing results, etc. then you must start checking the reports generated by Shopify Analytics. These reports are of different types and are smartly segmented based on different aspects of a consumer journey as well as the business journey. Here are the different types of reports generated by Shopify analytics:

1. Acquisition Reports

This report generates the data of sessions and visitors numbers on the store over a period of time. It doesn’t include converted sales or orders total amount but other metrics like

  • Sessions over time: Number of visitors and sessions in a time period.
  • Sessions by referrer: Number of visitors coming from different channels like direct, search, social, and referral.
  • Sessions by location: Display locations from where visitors are reaching your store.
Usage
  • Find top traffic sources to create better marketing campaigns
  • Create localized campaigns or offers for the audience which is coming in vast from a geographical location

2. Behavior Reports

As the name suggestions, these reports give emphasis on sessions interacting with your brand. You can know what customers are looking for, what they generally search for, what obstacles they face in their buying journey, and much more. This report includes the following:

  • Conversion Over Time: The percentage of visitors who made a purchase in the selected period of time. It includes multiple metrics like conversion rate, add to cart rate, checkouts initiated, number of sessions, and sessions converted.
  • Online Store Speed: It is the speed of the store which varies by the number of incoming visitors to your site. It increases when the visitors are fewer in number and vice versa. Speed plays a very important role in all the other metrics.
  • Product Recommendations Conversions: If you are using the product recommendations feature to showcase certain items to the buyers during search and other ways, then this metric is highly useful. It tells you how successful those recommendations were in converting customers. It includes data on clicks on recommendations, add-to-cart, and successful purchases.
  • Top Searches:  This gives you the data of top searched keywords on your online store.
  •  Top Searches with No Results: This gives you data on those searches which doesn’t yield any results.
  • Sessions by Landing Page: It tells you about those pages on which the visitors landed first in their shopping journey.
  • Sessions by Device: Identity what devices are being used by the incoming visitors to access your site.
  • Online Store Cart Analysis: It makes you understand the customer’s behavior and preferences by showing you products added to the same cart in the last 30 days.
Usage
  • Write detailed & relevant product descriptions for an informed purchase
  • Optimizing customer journey from landing page to final checkout page
  • Marketing & advertising campaigns personalization based on customer behavior
  • Upsell & Cross-sell strategies for more sales
  • Create product bundles and promotional pricing by identifying purchase patterns
  • Deliver seamless buying experience on all devices

3. Customer Reports

This report contains data from different customer segments on the basis of their interaction with the brand. It gives you data on average order count, average order totals, and expected purchase value from each segment. Here is the different type of data you will get in this report:

  • Customers Over Time: Number of visitors who made a successful order in your store
  • 1st Time vs Returning Customers Sales: A breakdown of the first-time order value and returning customer’s order value.
  • Customers by Location: Data of new customers acquired on the basis of geo-location.
  • Returning Customers: Number of customers who have made at least 2 orders in your store.
  • One-Time Customers: Number of customers who made only 1 order in your store.
  • At-Risk Customers: Potential customers who may make an order from your store but haven’t placed an order for 30 days.
  • Loyal Customers: Show customers who tend to make frequent orders in your store.
Usage
  • Segment the customers on the basis of purchases made and interaction with your brand
  • Identify loyal customers and introduce them to loyalty programs and personalized campaigns
  • Re-engage risk-buyers with campaigns or deals & offers.
  • Create strategies to encourage one-time buyers to engage with your brand more actively.

4. Finance Reports

This report contains financial aspects and details of your business such as expenditure on the bill, Shopify fee, and other financial data like

  • Financial Summary: Summary of sales, payments, liabilities, and other data within a time frame.
  • Sales: Overview of sales reports including gross sales, discounts, returns, net sales, shipping & taxes.
  • Payments: Payment methods overview which is used by customers for making orders.
  • Liabilities: Overview of the gift card sales and tips received.
  • Total Sales: This includes sales value equates to gross sales – discounts – returns + taxes + shipping.
Usage
  • Make better financial decisions
  • Manage the business expenses
  • Tracking additional or unnecessary expenses
  • Sales & profit margins monitoring
  • Product pricing optimization
  • Manage the taxes as per the government rules & regulations

5. Inventory Reports

An inventory report consists of a month-end snapshot of your inventory and lets you manage the quantity and percentage of inventory sold per day. There are the following insights in that report:

  • Month-End Snapshot: Quantity of each item available in stock at the end of the month.
  • Average Inventory Sold per Day: Average no. of items sold per day by product variant.
  • Percentage of Inventory Sold: Percentage of the items sold from the total initial quantity within a period.
  • Abc Analysis: Products that give you 80%, 15%, and 5% of the revenue.
  • Inventory Remaining Days: Estimated number of days of how long the inventory can last on the basis of average sales per day.
Usage
  • Track the most selling products with variants
  • Find out the high profit-margin inventory
  • Prediction of inventory stocks required for a particular season/month
  • Plan your inventory to meet the customer demand

6. Marketing Reports

If you are also using marketing campaigns to bring the audience to your store, then you must know their effectiveness. Marketing reports make it easy to check how effective the strategies are in conversions and sales. These are the insights you will get in a marketing report:

  • Referrers: Different channels which are driving traffic to your store
  • Interactions: If the customer landed on your store through a referrer, you can find that at each stage.
  • Sales Attributed to Marketing: Sales associated with trackable marketing efforts (including the UTMs)
Usage
  • Identify top channels from which most traffic come to your store
  • Identify top conversion sources to invest more in channels
  • Attribute clear average order values to referrers

Apart from these, you will also get other types of reports like order reports, profit reports, retail sales reports, sales reports, etc.

d) Product Analytics

Product Analytics

After starting the online business, you must track those products which are selling fast and those that are struggling for even a single sale. A product analytics report gives you many such insights into product performances over a 90-days period. It includes the following for each product in the store:

  • Net Sales: Total sales (Units sold x Each product price) – discounts and returns
  • Sales Breakdown: A breakdown of all values that factor into sales like discounts, cashback, returns, etc.
  • Net Units Sold by Traffic Channel: Traffic sources that brought customers to a product, resulting in getting a unit sold.
  • Net Sales by Channel: Sales channels that generated the most net sales.
Usage
  • Find your top-selling and least-selling products
  • Create better marketing campaigns focused on certain products
  • Create upsell, cross-sell, and product bundles to get slow-selling products sold

Shopify Analytics vs Google Analytics

Shopify allows you to track total page views, but Google Analytics provides more accurate data by differentiating between regular and unique pageviews.

Frequently-Asked Questions about Shopify Analytics

1. Does Shopify Offer Analytics?

Yes, Shopify gives you a complete dashboard of analytics and reports. You can view almost every activity of your store on this dashboard along with the performance of your store. It is available for everyone who has set up a Shopify ecommerce store.

2. Are Shopify Analytics and Google Analytics the Same?

An analytic solution is focused to measure the performance and growth of your store but these two solutions are fundamentally different in terms of data collection. Shopify analytics would be better as it is directly linked to your ecommerce CMS while Google analytics gives you an approximation.

3. Is Shopify Analytics Accurate?

Yes, it is highly accurate as it is pulling data directly from the store. Whether these are page views, store visits, search queries, transactions, or any other information, the data is gathered directly instead of from multiple sources which eliminates any chance of errors.

Author

CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.