Analytics is essential for every business, be it an eCommerce store, a specialized blog, a portfolio website, or the official website of a company. Citing from the almighty Wikipedia, we can help you better understand what analytics means and why it is a crucial part of the performance of your business. So here we go: analytics is the automatic computational analysis of data or statistics. It is used for the monitoring of KPIs, as well as for the interpretation, and transposing of meaningful patterns into customer data. It also means applying data patterns for more effective decision-making. It is mandatory in information-rich areas; analytics depends on the application of statistics, automation, and operations research to quantify performance and monitor KPIs.
There is an eCommerce reporting tool for anybody. You just need to find the right one for you. For starters, it’s useful to know that every eCommerce platform has its own analytics reports, which are much easier to read and interpret than the Google Analytics ones and enable eCommerce business owners to better understand the overall performance of their store and product portfolio, as well as the customer behavior. Be it Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce- they all have a wide range of reports, from standard overview dashboards to more detailed reports, depending on the nature of your subscription.
Today we will focus on Shopify and Reveal by Omniconvert. We will start by presenting the reports included in the Basic Shopify plan, then we will move on to the reports offered by Reveal to show you how you can unlock and leverage the full potential of your eCommerce store data.
Basic Shopify Reports
The report helps users compare data and spot trends in one single report. If you want to compare the data to a specific period or to the same date range from the previous year, you can do that by checking the “Compare to previous dates” option and by selecting the dimensions for comparison. Additionally, if you have point-of sales-locations, you can see the number of sales in each of them, as well as the number of sales handled by each member of your staff.
In addition to the metrics shown in the picture below, you also have access to your top referrers by sessions (it shows you how many of the sessions on your online store came from other websites. Only the 5 most popular websites are shown. This metric applies to your Online Store channel only and does not include the visitors that came to your website by entering the URL in the search bar or by clicking on your store from the results page of a search engine, nor the email or social referrer sources.)
The overview dashboard makes it easy for you to understand what traffic sources are the most powerful, how your marketing campaigns are performing, how your AOV changes depending on the actions you take (or don’t take), and what your current repeat customer rate is so that you can act on this insight and consider implementing some retention strategies.
This report shows your sales, payments, liabilities, and gross profit reports. It organizes your sales and returns, as well as the taxes you need to pay in order to make it easier for you to do the bookkeeping. You can select the timeframe that interests you and get the data for that month or quarter ready to export as a spreadsheet or print for accounting purposes.
You can also add or remove metrics, dimensions, and filters and customize the reports to better fit your needs. If an order contains more than one product, then each product shows in the report as a separate sale or return. The same goes for shipping charges. The details of an order become available as you click on its order number.
The product analytics reports show you how various products from your portfolio have been performing for the last 90 days. This way you can find out who is buying what, which sources drive the most sales for a specific product, as well as details about the historic performance.
This report includes the following metrics:
- Net sales (this value can be found by multiplying the price of each product unit by the total units sold, then subtracting the discounts and the returns; you can then compare this value to the value of the net sales from the previous 90-day period)
- Sales breakdown (a breakdown of all the values that, taken together, result in net sales)
- Net sales by channel (the channels responsible for the most net sales of the given product)
- Net units sold by traffic source (monitors the highest-performing traffic sources that brought customers to your online store, i.e.: the traffic sources that generated the most sales for a specific product; you can get back negative values when there were more items returned than sold)
- Customers (the number of customers that purchased from your store for the first time compared to those that have made at least one purchase before)
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4. Live view
Who wouldn’t like to know what’s going on on their eCommerce store’s website right as it happens? With live view, Shopify users get real-time insights from around the world. On the map, you will see two types of dots: some white ones and some orange ones. The white dots are signs of a recent session, while the orange ones stand for recent sales. The dots constantly pulsate, then fade away after a certain period of time. Every 10 minutes, Live View will present a visual of your customers’ behavior throughout their checkout process. This kind of visualization is especially important during busy periods, such as the holiday season or Black Friday. What’s more, it can significantly improve your decision-making process and your advertising strategies (you can better target audiences that are concentrated around the “hot spots” across your map, for example).
The following metrics are available for the live view report:
- Visitors right now (how many visitors have been active on your online store in the past 5 minutes; to remain active, the visitor needs to engage in a certain way with your website- view a page, click a button, add something to their cart, etc. N.B.: This number might be different from what you see in Google Analytics, as Google doesn’t reveal the mechanism according to which they estimate the real-time visitor count.)
- Today’s totals (all the sessions, orders, and sales for today. The count restarts at midnight in your store’s time zone. The total value of sales is based on the orders on your online store and from other sales channels since midnight and is equal to gross sales − discounts − returns + shipping + taxes.)
- Current behavior on your store
- Active carts: how many visitors have added one or more products to their carts in the last 10 minutes. It’s natural for this number to be lower than the number of visitors because most people simply browse the website and view products without adding anything to their carts.
- Checking out: how many visitors have added something to their carts in the last 10 minutes, then proceeded to the checkout and submitted their contact information. As in the previous case, the number of checkouts will likely be lower than the number of “Active carts” because not everybody who adds products to their carts also proceeds to the checkout.
- Completed: how many visitors have added something to their carts, proceeded to the checkout, and then actually purchased the items in the last 10 minutes. The number might be lower than the “Checking out” one since some visitors abandon the checkout process and leave the website without buying what’s in their cart.
- Real-time page views (how many pages of your website have been viewed by visitors over the past 10 minutes; each bar depicts the number of page views for a time unit of 1 minute; the last bar shows the page views occurring in the current minute.)
5. Acquisition reports
Not to be confused with Sales by traffic referrer source, which shows converted sales or the number of orders and is available within the Sales reports (for Shopify, Advanced Shopify, or Shopify Plus subscribers), the acquisition reports monitor the sessions over time, sessions by referrer (how users come to your store: directly, from search, or by a referral; this metric is also included in the overview dashboard, but the Session by referrer report offers you more detailed information and insights), and sessions by location.
It’s important to know where your visitors are coming from- this way you can better target potential new customers. As for the number of sessions over time- this is an important metric to consider while analyzing the overall performance of your eCommerce store: do you get enough visitors? Are you keeping up with the industry benchmarks? Are there any changes you can make to attract more visitors (and retain or convert them)?
At the end of the month, the inventory reports might come in handy, since you can use them as an overview of the inventory and track the quantity and percentage of the stock units sold each day.
- Month-end inventory snapshot– shows the quantity of each product variant you had in stock at the end of each month and includes 4 columns:
- Product title
- Variant title
- Variant SKU– the stock keeping unit identification code for the product variant option
- Ending quantity– the trackable inventory quantity of a product variant at the end of the last day of the selected period; if you have inventory tracking enabled and you oversell a variant, the number will be negative)
- Average inventory sold per day (includes the same dimensions as the Month-end inventory snapshot, plus the Quantity sold per day– the average number of items of the product variant sold per day during the selected period)
- Percent of inventory sold
- Product title
- Variant title
- Variant SKU
- Quantity sold during the selected period (without returns, manual adjustments, or transfer receipts)
- Starting quantity
- Percent sold (the percentage of the product variant sold during the selected period, out of the total starting quantity)
- ABC analysis by product (available on the Shopify plan or higher)
- A-grade – your top-selling products that collectively represent the source of 80% of your revenue
- B-grade – the products that, taken together, represent the next 15% of your revenue
- C-grade – the least popular products that, taken together, make up for the last 5% of your revenue
Knowing your customers’ behavior opens up endless possibilities for optimization, retention strategies, and marketing tactics improvement.
The following behavior reports are available under the Shopify Basic plan:
- Online store conversion over time: it shows you the percentage of visitors that made a purchase on your website over a specific period; you can select the timeframe, then see the sessions that occurred during that timeframe and, out of these sessions, how many of them have led to a product being added into the cart; then, out of the sessions that have resulted in a product being added to cart, you can see how many of them have led to the checkout page; further on, out of the sessions where the checkout page has been reached, you can measure how many customers have successfully completed an order; finally, you can see the conversion rate- the percentage of sessions that resulted in a purchase.
- Online store speed: this factor is important for the customer’s experience but it is also a criterion taken into account by Google when it chooses how to index and rank web pages.
- Product recommendation conversions over time: if you have enabled Shopify product recommendations on the product pages of your stores, in this report you will see how well these recommendations are performing and how many of them lead to sales. The report goes like this: it shows you the number of times a customer has clicked on a product recommendation; out of these clicks, you can then see how many customers have decided to add the recommended product to their cart within a session, as well as how many times a product has been purchased by a customer who has added it to their cart after clicking on the product recommendation page. Finally, you can see the overall Clicked to purchased conversion rate (the percentage of clicks on product recommendations that converted into purchases).
- Top online store searches: this report shows you what terms your customers used most frequently to search for a product on your online store. You can use them to update the names and descriptions of your products, if need may be so that your customers can find more easily what they are searching for. This report helps you understand the specific terms that people are entering into your store’s search bar and it’s a great way to “meet them halfway”. Moreover, they may also reflect trends in search queries on search engines so this report can also be used as a great material for search engine optimization. If you notice repetitive patterns, you may also use these terms in your ads.
- Top online store searches with no results: just like the report above, this one shows you a breakdown of the search terms your customers used to search for a product that didn’t give back any results. If you do have products in your inventory that contain those terms, you can adjust their descriptions so that customers find them more easily.
- Sessions by landing page: this report shows you where (on which page) sessions on your website start.
- Sessions by device: this report shows you the devices used to access your website. Both the Sessions by landing page and the Sessions by device report are also available in the Overview Dashboard.
8. Marketing Reports
Only the Sessions attributed to marketing report are available under the Shopify Basic plan. This report shows you the number of visits to your store that come from your marketing efforts, such as UTM campaigns, social media ads, or Google Shopping ads. Marketing campaigns are still to be tracked in Google Analytics and Shopify also offers you some advice on how to do the tracking.
Reveal is the eCommerce Analytics platform from Omniconvert, that offers you an in-depth overview of the necessary eCommerce KPIs you need to generate more valuable customers. Because, even if we know that acquisition matters, there is solid proof that retention matters (and pays off) more. This is why Reveal offers you the tools to understand, monitor, and nurture your best customers. Its enhanced eCommerce reports focus on all the eCommerce metrics that really matter to your business, enabling you not only to see your total revenue and where it comes from but also to uncover “hidden” patterns in your customer data that can be used to craft smarter, more effective digital marketing strategies.
Through its features, namely- Customer Analytics, Customer Value Optimization, Customer Experience, eCommerce Analytics, and Product Performance, Reveal helps you increase the number of loyal customers, improve Customer Lifetime Value, and maximize profits with automated RFM segmentation and actionable insights for your eCommerce business.
1. Business Overview Dashboard
The Business Overview Dashboard offers you a quick glimpse into what matters most for your eCommerce business: your revenue, margin, all-time customers, all-time orders, average order count per customer, average order value, the average number of days between the first order and the last order of your customers, as well as your NPS score.
Right from the start, you can get a good impression of how your eCommerce store is performing. You’ve got all the key metrics in one place, easy to visualize and interpret. Below, you can find a short walk through the Overview dashboard:
The Average Retention Rate card calculates the percentage of customers with more than 1 order, out of your total customer base, based on your selected timeline. By default, it is set to show you a month-to-month comparison over the timeframe of a year but you can select a monthly timeframe to see your daily retention rate or a period of over two years to see your yearly retention rate. You can place your cursor on any point of the red curve to see what the retention rate looks like in that given moment:
The Revenue vs. Margin by Customer Type card, on the other hand, calculates the revenue and the profit margin distributed between your first-time customers versus your repeat customers and displays the results in an extremely simple visual format. This can help you realize which type of customers is more valuable to your business and take your business decisions accordingly.
The retention curve graphically displays the distribution of customers by the number of orders placed. Out of the total number of customers, you can see how many of them have come back to your store to place a second, a third, or a fourth order, and so on. The Chances to buy again card displays the likelihood of a customer placing another order. This is important if you want to accurately predict the trends in customer behavior
One of the most special and useful eCommerce reports (that you won’t find easily elsewhere, especially not in this simple and personalized form) is the RFM segmentation report. Based on the consumer behavior, Reveal segments your customer base into the following categories:
- Soulmates: These are your most valuable customers. They bought most often, of the highest values. Their latest order has been recently placed.
- Lovers: These are Active customers, they placed a couple of orders, the last one being placed recently.
- New Passion: These customers placed 1-2 orders with an average value.
- Flirting: These customers are active on and off. They placed a couple of orders of very high values.
- Potential Lovers: These are active customers, they placed a couple of orders of high values. They have the potential to become Lovers.
- Platonic friend: These customers are active but they placed very few orders or small / medium values.
- About to dump you: These are inactive customers, having placed their latest order more than 6 months ago.
- Don Juan: These customers have placed only one order, but of high value.
- Ex-lovers: These are your former True Lovers or Soulmates. They abandoned your website, being inactive. You don’t know why they decided to stop buying.
- Apprentice: These are the new customers who barely placed their first order.
- Break-up: These customers are inactive. When they used to buy they bought items of small values.
The method is simple: Reveal evaluates your customers based on the recency, frequency, and monetary value of their orders. Reveal gives them a score on each of these three dimensions depending on the values associated with each one of them. RFM segmentation, therefore, creates clusters of customers with similar behaviors that are used by eCommerce stores to increase their customer base through Customer Value Optimization.
A soulmate, for example, is just like the “straight A” student from high school or college: this kind of customer has a 5-5-5 score (in Recency, Frequency, and Monetary Value), meaning that they have placed a big amount of orders and spent a big amount of money on your store compared to other customers. This is your ideal customer profile so you should closely monitor the lifetime value of the customers that fit into this category.
Using this method, you can better understand your customers, their shopping behavior, and the value of each segment, prioritize them based on your business goals, and tailor their experiences in a way that encourages long-term retention. You can identify the people who are likely to leave you in the following period and reengage them through personalized e-mails or you can ask for feedback from those “about to dump you” so that you can learn from your mistakes and improve their experience.
Revenue vs. Margin by RFM group
See how much of your revenue and profit comes from each RFM group and choose the right communication strategy for each one of them. Reward loyal customers accordingly (they make for a great deal of your revenue and profit) and reengage those who are less active but have the potential to bring you more sales in the future.
These insights are presented in the simplest form possible so that you can base your decisions on actionable information right away, without going through complicated spreadsheets or reports that you have to combine in order to get a better picture of your customer segments and the value they have for your business.
Enhanced eCommerce is all about customer engagement. And the NPS is one of the most important metrics to track by any eCommerce business since it’s the only one that can give you insights into the level of satisfaction of your customers and future customer behavior. The likelihood of your customers recommending your products or services to their peers is a form of peak engagement. Reveal allows you to calculate the NPS score in two key moments: before and after delivery. By using this method, you can see how your “underpromise & overdeliver” principle is respected throughout the customer journey, as well as how customers’ expectations match with the reality you propose.
In this section of the platform, you will find many graphs that track the NPS for various dimensions, such as brands, categories, RFM groups, and different customer or order attributes.
Reveal also offers you recommendations on what to do next, once you have this kind of information about your customers:
This is a crucial metric to track because only by knowing the value that your customers have can you further create value for them. Focusing on growing customer value and loyalty can pay off more in the long run rather than focusing on sales campaigns and constant customer acquisition. It’s a strategy used by leaders in the retail industry, such as Amazon and Costco, for example, and it’s also the factor that propelled them as global leaders in customer centricity and loyalty.
Sustainable growth can only be carried on if you focus on retention and loyalty. Customer acquisition only gives the illusion of business growth, while sucking the marketing budget dry and keeping you caught in a vicious circle of spending money on channels that are ultimately unsustainable.
By using the insights provided by these reports, you can create loyalty, referral, or word-of-mouth programs that are relevant to your customers and get on top of your retention game.
This report can give you an insight into how effective your customer acquisition efforts are by looking at your customers from the moment of their very first purchase and seeing how many of them stuck with you during the following months. You can monitor the order count, customer count, revenue, and margin on a monthly basis. Further on, you can learn which are your best cohorts (that have the highest “second-month stickiness”) to be able to replicate them and bring more high-potential customers to your eCommerce store.
Cohort analysis helps you understand specific groups of customers based on actions taken (or not taken), allowing you to understand how their unique behavior affects the conversions, revenue, churn, and retention, among many other things. One of the most important things that cohort analysis can help you with is your conversion funnel optimization – you will be able to accurately determine how your user experience has affected your conversion rate from the top of the funnel to the bottom.
This report shows you which brands from your portfolio bring you the highest profit margin and revenue, as well as the biggest volume of customers and orders. You can sort them by order count, revenue, or margin. You can also see the NPS score for each brand that was bought by the customers who answered the survey. Additionally, you are able to view the Order Return Split by Brand report and see which brand has the highest return rate, as well as the trend in time.
Buying Habits report
This report highlights the revenue, brands, number of customers, number of orders, and margin for each product. It also highlights how many orders, number of customers, revenue, and margin have been brought by each RFM group on that specific product. You can filter the information by any available criteria or export the report for future use.
In the Catalog section you will find 4 types of reports:
- Top products
- Top categories
- NPS per category
- Order returns split by category
Top products and categories reports show you which products performed best and which categories bring you the highest value in terms of revenue, margin, customers, and orders. You can sort them by order count, revenue, or margin. The NPS per category report shows you which categories perform best (or worst) in the eyes of the consumers that have answered the NPS surveys. As for order returns, you can see how many of the total order returns come from each category and which is the trend in time.
This is not a regular CRM report: apart from the regular customer data, Reveal’s CRM report also groups customers into the RFM categories that we have already talked about, while also showing their RFM score, the number of orders placed, the revenue, and the margin for each customer. You can filter them by RFM groups and download the lists.
If you want to find out more about a customer, you can click on their e-mail address to open an advanced view of their profile, which also includes details about the transactions, shipping information, order status information, and a timeline of their orders.
The customer distribution report shows you how many customers have placed a certain amount of orders. As for the NPS per customer attribute report, it works well if you have already gathered some data about your customers or their orders- these will appear as customer attributes and you will be able to check the NPS for each attribute.
As you can see, different platforms have different functionalities and different types of reports but cold, hard data lays at the basis of each and every one of them. In our opinion, what distinguishes them is the way they make the analytics friendlier to the end-consumers, namely: the eCommerce business owners. Another way to filter them is by thoroughly assessing the needs of your business and choosing the one best matches your goals.
Fortunately, the two platforms presented in this article work hand in hand so you can have access to both the reports from Shopify and the ones from Reveal by integrating the latter with your Shopify store. You can install it for free on Shopify or try it out for a month on other eCommerce platforms to see how its advanced reports can change the way you manage your business and help your store grow in a sustainable way.