Understanding eCommerce Analytics

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Running a Shopify store can be hard. First, you need to dial in your products and pricing. Next, you need to work on your marketing, and finally, you need to make sure you’re watching your Shopify analytics to recognize any bottlenecks and improve the way your store works.

In this post, we’re going to examine two analytics platforms: Shopify’s analytics tool and Google Analytics. The focus will be on helping you understand how you can use them to improve the way you measure and improve your store’s success.

It’s standard for store owners to only look at their traffic and conversion. This can prove to introduce a massive blind spot. By the end of this post, you’ll be familiar with the best ways to leverage the platforms. 

Shopify Analytics

Shopify offers a built-in analytics dashboard that lets you look closely at overall store sessions, the total sales, how many of your clients return to make a supplementary purchase as well as your average order value. 

As a store owner, this information is priceless, especially at a dashboard level. It gives you a clear summary of how your store is performing and any elements you need to work on further. As an example, if you have a high returning customer rate, but your average order value is low, it might make sense to introduce an upsell app to the store to increase that average order value.

Alternatively, you could consider implementing a “subscribe and save” feature if you notice patrons keep returning to purchase the same item over and over. 

Being able to understand your store’s analytics is more than just examining the numbers and watching for trends. Understanding the data and leveraging that data to improve your Shopify store involves digging in and looking for connections. 

Shopify

One thing to keep in mind is that while Shopify’s built-in analytics are free for everyone, not all reports are included in every plan. Regardless of your Shopify plan, you’ll have access to the overview dashboard and finance reports such as taxes and payments. However, if you are on the Shopify Lite plan, you won’t have access to live view or additional reports such as acquisition, inventory, and behavior.

The reports availability alone is worth the upgrade to the Shopify plan tier.

Google Analytics 

Before venturing into your Google Analytics account and trying to navigate the maze of reports, it’s a great idea to make sure you know what you’re looking for. Google Analytics has a wealth of information on your website, and while this is great for people with lots of experience, however, if you’re getting started, it can rapidly become overwhelming. 

The following are the critical areas that all business owners should pay attention to:

Traffic 

Conversions 

Email traffic

Prepared with this data, you’ll be able to make informed choices to optimize your store further.

In a situation where you notice a significant drop in traffic arriving via email, you can then examine what may have caused a decline in effectiveness. This could indicate that your email call to action requires tweaking to increase open rates, or maybe the send volume has decreased, and you need to start sending additional email communications. 

If your analytics review points you to start reaching out to people you haven’t emailed in a while, it’s a good idea to reach out to them and confirm they still want to hear from you to ensure you remain GDPR compliant. Autotrader does a fantastic job of this.

If your goal is to drive traffic to your Shopify store, an opt-in email might not be the most effective approach. In this situation, you may want to consider offering everyone who reads you email a discount off their next purchase. Offering an incentive not only improves the number of people who click through to your website from your emails, but it also increases the chances of converting those visitors into sales.

Identifying Top Performing Pages

If you take a look at your top-performing pages and notice that a lot of people visit specific blog content, this gives you critical insight into potential sales opportunities. For example, including a link to a related product on that post can generate a significant boost in sales. Traffic coming to that post is looking for information relating to the product, and when you provide them with precisely what they’re looking for, the chance of conversion increases. 

Additionally, you can use the data from your top-performing pages to enhance those that don’t perform as well. Every page you have on your website should ideally rank for at least one specific keyword.

Mobile vs. Desktop

How many people are arriving on your website from their mobile devices vs. from their desktop devices? If you’re not sure, you’re not alone. Mobile performance is often overlooked as, generally, business owners only look at their website when they are building.

When it comes to your clients, you’ll lose out on sales by not optimizing for mobile. This can mean ensuring users aren’t required to zoom in on the screen to see specific pages or read the text.

When it comes to eCommerce sales, typically, more customers are purchasing on their mobile devices than on desktop. If your site isn’t yet enhanced for mobile, looking at your analytics can help you understand where you’re missing out on potential sales. 

On-site Search

Site search is an often-overlooked element of an eCommerce site build. An on-site search function allows your customers to quickly find what they are looking for and also provides you with that valuable data. The search data gives you a wealth of information regarding how people through your website. It’s also a goldmine for new product ideas. 

Many successful eCommerce stores use the site search to aid their customers in navigating their sites more easily. This provides two benefits. First, if the potential customer cannot find what they are looking for using the standard route of storefront > collection > product, they will use the search bar.

If you dig into your analytics and see that a significant number of people are searching for the same item, it provides an excellent opportunity to improve the way potential customers find this information by cleaning up your navigation. 

Furthermore, if in examining the analytics, it becomes clear that a large number of people searched for an item that’s not currently being carried, this can provide insight and validation into products that customers want. Not only is site search data useful for improving the UX of your site, but it’s also helpful in finding new product opportunities.

Final Thoughts

Once your Shopify eCommerce website is live, and you’ve made a few sales, it’s time to start looking at your analytics. Although there may not be as much data as you’d like initially, beginning to develop a habit of reviewing your Shopify data early and often will help you immensely in the long run. 

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