A Crash Course in Getting Started With Analytics

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Learn the basics of using Shopify Reports and Google Analytics to improve your Shopify store

Many people selling on a Shopify store start out with an inspired product and plenty of passion for their business. But sometimes being enthusiastic about your product isn’t enough to really get the right exposure and marketing. One of the best features of hosting a store online is that we can learn so much more about our customers. Data analytics helps you take some of the guesswork out of marketing and user experience.

What Can I Learn With Data?

Data you collect from your customers and website traffic can tell you all sorts of information, including some basic demographics about your customers, particular times they shop, and where they are coming from. By learning more about your customers and their habits, you can improve your targeting to market to potential new customers or raise your conversion rate.

Collecting data helps you understand relationships between two types of events. For example, with the right data you might be able to see that your customers abandon their cart more often when they’re shopping early in the morning. You can then take actions such as emailing customers with an abandoned cart reminder in the late evening when they are more likely to be home.

Data collection helps you test new products or marketing tools out. You can see exactly how much sales have risen or fallen when you ran a particular campaign, how many clicks a particular product is getting, or what similar items people are clicking on in one shopping trip. Before you scale up a product or marketing campaign, it’s a good idea to pilot it and learn from your historical data rather than solely relying on intuition, opinions and copying the competition.

And of course, the more you understand what’s going on in your business the better for you. Understanding exactly how your profits change monthly can help you attract investors and let them know you’re serious and viable.

What Can I Do With Shopify Reports?

Every Shopify store owner receives some level of analytics with their Shopify Reports, with membership level determining how much information you’re given.

Shopify Lite and Shopify Basic Accounts

You’ll get two main features: a store dashboard and some financial data.

Your Store Dashboard lets you know basic indicators like conversion rate, number of visitors, top selling items, and gross sales.

Your Financial Reporting goes into a bit more detail and generates basic sales reports (how much you’re making, and whether it’s from direct purchases or gift vouchers) as well as a tax report that tells you how much your customers are paying in sales tax (VAT/GST)

Standard Shopify Accounts

In addition to your dashboard and finance data, you’ll get the following:

Sales Reports which track the number of orders by product, month, vendor, staff, marketing campaign, etc. Sales do not track income, just the number of items being sold and returned.

Acquisition Reports help you understand the number of visits you’re getting, where they’re coming from, and if they were referred from a marketing campaign. These reports don’t tell you how many people are buying; just how many people are looking at your website.

Behaviour Reports are particularly useful in finding out what search terms customers are using to find your store and what they’re entering into your search bar when they look for products. You can also see what kinds of devices your customers are using. The “Website Cart” feature helps you see what products people put in their carts together most often, and can be used to improve your marketing.

Customer Reports are available to help you figure out more about who is “walking” into your online store. You can find out what countries they are from, if they are shopping once or more frequently, and the average spend per customer. While standard Shopify accounts give you basic customer information, Advanced and Plus accounts provide detailed data on customer loyalty and at-risk customers.

Custom Reports With Shopify Advanced and Shopify Plus Accounts

When you join an Advanced or Plus membership, you’ll of course receive a Shopify dashboard, finance, sales, acquisition, behaviour, and customer reports. You’ll also receive the option to learn more detailed information about your customers and download reports that overlay multiple dimensions. For example, say you want to know how many of your customers who bought product X used a mobile phone to purchase it. Standard Shopify accounts will only let you see Behaviour and Sales reports separately, while an Advanced account lets you overlay these variables.

What Can I Do With Google Analytics?

Google Analytics takes your data analysis up a few levels by telling you exactly what your customers are doing on your site, including who your customers are and how they found you. There are a few important features you can use Google Analytics for, including:

  • Improving your Search Engine Optimisation by adjusting the keyword tags you use on your site that help make it appear more frequently on Google searches.
  • Seeing real-time views of what’s happening on your site
  • Getting detailed reports about your audience, behaviour, acquisition, and conversion that go further than Shopify Reports
  • Creating data visualisations with charts and graphics that make it easy to spot trends and relationships in your data
  • See the impact of your mobile app for your Shopify Store
  • Generate product reports that tell you which products people are buying, what their conversion rates are, and a bit about what’s been driving their sales.

Google Analytics allow users with Shopify stores to integrate enhanced ecommerce features within their store. Want to try it out? Google Analytics has a demo you can use to see what it does. Here is a detailed guide on using Google Analytics for beginners. Elkfox customers also get a Google Analytics account set up for them and running smoothly with their Shopify store.

Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Data

Look for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Key Performance Indicators are indicators you use to see your progress. Start with a few that are important to you, and build up as you get used to working with data. You can get some KPInspiration here.

Make it a habit.

Checking your data analytics regularly can make it a powerful tool when it comes to making business decisions. Seeing trends over time rather than just a snapshot gives you much more room for making educated guesses. Set aside half an hour every week to check in on your KPIs.

Learn from good performance

With data analytics, you can find out which of your staff is making the most sales, which revenue streams are bringing in the most, and which marketing tools have been working. Use this information as a starting point to find out what’s really working, and scale it up.

Two heads are better than one

If you’re just getting started with data analytics, grab a colleague to pour over your data. One of you might spot trends another misses.

Remember that it’s not everything

Using data wisely is just one aspect of succeeding in business. You’ll find out which online search streams are converting customers, it doesn’t mean you should ignore other channels of sales and marketing.

What’s The Next Step?

There are plenty of resources for getting the most out of your data. Take a look at this free manual from Shopify that helps you scale up, improve efficiency, and save money with data analytics. You can also dig through the Shopify App Store to find data analysis integrations that can help boost your performance or tailor reports to your needs. Elkfox can help you make the most out of your data and get you set up with Google Analytics. Contact us today to learn more.