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Shopify Analytics: The Secret Sauce To Growing Your Online Business

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Lost in the chaos of running an online shop and overwhelmed by the innumerable decisions you must make? Let Shopify Analytics save the day! 

Shopify Analytics is an online analytics platform that enables you to track the performance of your online store, discover how customers move through your website, and find out exactly which products they're drawn to. 

With the right information at your fingertips, you'll have no problem discovering patterns- allowing you to optimize your store for better conversion rates and growth, and implement approaches that will boost sales in no time.

Outline

Why do Online Businesses Use Shopify Analytics?

Shopify Analytics

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Shopify Analytics provides easy-to-read dashboards and reports for shop owners to track product performance, assess customer behavior, and pinpoint your most profitable shoppers. In a nutshell, Shopify Analytics helps you to make informed decisions about your business.

On top of that, this tool is completely user friendly – so you don’t need to be a rocket scientist (or even a data analyst) in order to decipher the numbers presented in front of you.

Ultimately, this type of data is invaluable as it provides businesses with an accurate overview of their store’s ability to successfully serve customers in today's fast-paced environment.

How to Use Shopify Analytics?

The first step into understanding how to use Shopify Analytics is to log into your Shopify account and click on ‘Analytics’. This will take you to the Shopify Analytics dashboard- the central hub of all insights for your store.

Shopify Analytics

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The dashboard shows key performance indicators such as total sales, customer orders, new customer registrations, and customer lifetime value.

Shopify Analytics

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If you are freshly starting out with Shopify Analytics, the first step is to have a clear idea of what you are trying to understand. Numbers alone won’t make a lot of sense if you are out of context of how you want your store to perform, or lack basic benchmarks. 

Overlooking at hundreds of statistics for your store can be intimidating at first, so having a general idea of the kind of trends you want to analyze, the potential problem areas your store is facing, and the strategies you want to implement, can help you in deciding the exact ‘analytics’ you’d want to measure or look. 

Shopify also gives you the option to filter your data to narrow down the information you want to analyze. This can be done using the filter function to put on data with respect to your preferred data range- time period, products, countries, and other segments you want to look at.

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Changes in key performance indicators such as sales, customer retention, and costs can also be easily monitored over time. For instance, by comparing sales data over time, you can identify changes in buyer behavior patterns and shifts in overall customer demand. The retrospection allows you to put measures in place so fluctuations are minimized when possible.

These Shopify Analytics insights can be leveraged to map every defining aspect of your store virtually. Armed with such knowledge, you're better equipped to properly price items, craft targeted ads, develop content strategies, manage inventory, modify existing campaigns, and design landing pages for maximum conversions. 

Shopify Analytics Features You Should Not Miss

Here is the list of features in Shopify Analytics that every online store owner should leverage to make the most out of your Shopify store: 

Live view

shopify live view feature

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The Live View feature of Shopify Analytics is an invaluable resource for businesses who want to keep an eye on their shop's activity in real-time. With this feature, users can be provided valuable insights about the number of visitors entering their store, the popularity of different products, and customer demographics. This data helps business owners determine the effectiveness of recent promotions or campaigns and make quick decisions, resulting in increased efficiency and profitability. 

Reports

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The reporting capabilities provide deep granularity in the form of metrics such as top searches on your website, sessions by device, customer loyalty, source of customers and conversion over time. The Reports feature also allows clients to compare data over different periods and check how their online store is performing against key performance indicators. 

Product Analytics

Through Product Analytics, store owners can gauge customer interest in product categories, track the performance of individual items over time, and analyze the effectiveness of pricing tiers, allowing them to craft more successful strategies, upgrade weak-performing products, invest in strong-performing products and increase sales efforts.

Orders

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You can gain important statistics about customer behavior and orders using shopify analytics, including information about returning customers, number of order completions within a specific time period, average order count of customers, and detailed order reports. 

This goes above and beyond standard analytics monitoring and provides a deep understanding of customers’ habits and preferences, enabling businesses to anticipate customer needs more precisely. 

Profit

Shopify analytics also allows you to monitor profit margins and find out how profitable each product is, so you can focus on making smart decisions about what areas to invest in. Plus, the profit report gets you fancy charts and graphs to use in powerpoint presentations or trade shows - and who doesn't love a good graph? 

Sales

Shopify Analytics

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Shopify generates key sales reports which provide information about gross and net sales, discounts, taxes, total sales and order history, which can all be accessed within minutes.

Finances

Shopify Analytics

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The finance report is like your very own pocket-sized CFO - it takes care of your finances with ease and helps you make smart financial decisions.

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With features to:

  • track spending and taxes
  • automatic accounting, and 
  • transaction tagging to organize your data, you'll never have to worry about money management again!

Shopify users have different levels of visibility with Shopify Analytics based on their plan and support options. The Shopify lite package comes with only the basic Analytics, Finance, and Product Analytics. Meanwhile, the Shopify starter pack- the most used price support structure, comes with almost all Analytics features, except custom reports. Find more details about Shopify Analytics features that come with each subscription pack here. See the below table for more information:

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Top Shopify Analytics Tools

While Shopify’s inbuilt analytics offer users a comprehensive view of the performance of their store, third-party shopify analytics tools can also provide in-depth insights: 

Conversific

Conversific tool

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Providing clear, comprehensive insights into how you are performing, Conversific also allows you to compare your performance with your competitors. It's suitable for small and mid-size businesses, and offers both free and subscription plans.

Cost: $29/month

Power BI

Power BI tool

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Power BI offers an affordable analytics alternative. Features included are excel integration, interactive visualizations and data connectivity, allowing you to connect with up-to 1000 data sources. 

Cost: starts at $9.99

LittleData

LittleData tool

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LittleData allows you to connect different tools to each other in order to have access to more accurate statistics. It also allows you to directly connect your store to Google Ads and Facebook Ads, allowing you to streamline your marketing.

Cost: starts at $29/month

Grow

Grow tool

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Grow offers detailed data visualizations and high levels of customizability. It also has brilliant out-of-the-box connectivity and can be merged with other tools you utilize for your shop. 

Cost: Customized based on business requirements

How to Find the Right Shopify Analytics Tool? 

The most important thing to consider when trying to find the right analytics tool is your own needs and requirements in terms of the goals you want to achieve and the type of data that you want to gain from the tool. Are you looking for customer purchasing trends? Or perhaps you need data on website visits or conversion rates? Once you identify what type of information is key, you can easily locate an analytics tool that meets all your criteria. 

Additionally, ensure the tool can scale with your growing business by verifying it has an API that will work with your current setup. Using a third-party integration tool like Zapier might work if you have a high marketing and sales budget. However, if you are not looking to spend $$$ in input costs and want to focus more on your product, create customizable APIs with help of your team techie. The step is easy and just requires 5 minutes to configure. 

The third parameter should be user-friendliness to make sure anybody within the team can quickly understand and access data insights when needed. Ultimately, read reviews of various tools, try a demo before committing to purchase and ask questions to compare different products until you find something that fits all your needs.

Google Analytics vs Shopify Analytics

Google Analytics vs Shopify Analytics

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What is right for your business? Both analytics tools offer their own unique benefits, and the answer depends on the nature of the business and its needs. Both platforms allow users to track key website metrics and KPIs, and provide detailed segmentation and reporting capabilities. 

Google Analytics is a more general-purpose platform, while Shopify Analytics is specifically designed for merchants running on the Shopify platform. Shopify’s dashboard is ideal for businesses that track sales heavy metrics like AOV, sessions by location, conversion rate, and traffic sources for starters. However, GA is more SEO-heavy and is used for the purpose of inspecting ‘what’ part of your store appeals the most to your customer and generates high traffic. 

Google Analytics is ideal for businesses with larger websites and those who want to monitor data from external sources. It is also the best choice for organizations which require more granular control over their data. Shopify Analytics is best suited for smaller businesses with Shopify stores, as it offers a more streamlined view of customer data and allows for easy tracking of store performance.

But here’s a catch. Recently, reports have come out about Shopify Analytics’ accuracy issues, especially for LTV and AOV. On the other hand, GA, too has its disadvantages- GA has limited view options for merchants. Owners have to use external plugins via third-party apps to have access to: overall customer behavior, right from entry to exit, customer turnover, and discount reporting. Employing a third-party app might add extra cost to already expensive Google Analytics.  

Depending on the business bandwidth, it is better to find ways to integrate both Shopify Analytics and the latest GA4 to monitor your store’s performance. Shopify Analytics and Google Analytics shouldn’t be seen as compliments to each other, but as substitutes to optimize your store’s looks, content, sales, marketing, and success channels. 

Tips to Get the Most Out of Shopify Analytics

Now that we have covered the right tools, metrics, and features, let’s talk about the basic hacks to keep in mind before using Shopify Analytics: 

  • Learn the source of your store visitors. With this secret source of knowledge, you can sharpen your marketing strategies by understanding exactly where and how your customers are discovering your store, helping you to specifically target your efforts for maximum effect.
  • Create quarterly questions for yourself that are your store’s pressing challenges. High customer retention, but low AOV, or low monthly traffic despite a superseding product? Figure out what problems you want to solve with your analytics. 
  • Having a context is important when you analyze data. Checking numbers in isolation can be counterproductive to your overall sales strategy. If you want to analyze overall store finances, don’t forget to take a glance at customer acquisition RoI, and behavior analytics to figure out a sustainable way for cost optimization. 
  • Create monthly benchmarks for your team beforehand.   
  • Focus on what people are searching for. As trends change rapidly, the power of being granted a window into which products are flying off shelves or gathering digital dust allows businesses to capitalize on this intelligence for maximum profit.
  • Integrate shopify analytics with your toolstack to reach maximum efficiency and gain insightful results.

Parting Note

Shopify Analytics is an incredible tool for entrepreneurs and business owners alike! With great insights into sales, customer experiences, marketing results and more, it's no wonder Shopify analytics is rapidly becoming a go-to when it comes to tracking progress. So whether you're selling sock monkeys or server stacks, turn to Shopify analytics to have data driven confidence in your decisions! 

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