Running a Shopify store is tough. First, you need to get your products and pricing right. Second, you need to work on your marketing and third, you need to make sure you’re looking at your Shopify analytics to identify any bottlenecks and improve the way your store works.
In this post, we’re going to walk you through two analytics programs: Shopify’s own analytics tool and google analytics to help you understand how you can use them to improve the way you measure your store’s success.
It’s common for store owners to only look at their traffic and conversion. After all, analytics tools are confusing, right?
By the end of this post, you’ll be clued up on the best ways to use the platforms to your advantage.
On its own platform, Shopify has an analytics dashboard that allows you to look closely at how many store sessions you generate, total sales, how many of your customers return to make an additional purchase as well as your average order value.
This information is invaluable for you as a store owner, especially on a dashboard level. It gives you a clear overview of how your store is running what elements you need to work on further. For example, if you have a really good returning customer rate but your average order value is still really low you could think about adding a Shopify plugin that allows you to upsell other products.
Alternatively, you could think about implementing a subscribe and save feature if you notice customers keep returning to make the same purchase over and over.
As you can see, being able to understand analytics is more than just looking at numbers and watching charts increase. It all comes down to understanding the data and actually using that data to improve your Shopify store.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that Shopify’s analytics are not free for everyone. No matter what Shopify plan you’re on, you’ll get access to the overview dashboard and finance reports (including taxes and payments).
However, if you only have Shopify lite, you won’t be able to make use of things like live view, acquisition reports, inventory reports behavior reports and more.
Luckily for you, though, this is where Google Analytics comes into play.
Before you begin trying to navigate your google analytics account, it’s a good idea to make sure you know what you’re looking for.
Google Analytics has a wealth of knowledge and while this might be good for people with lots of experience, if you’re just getting started it can quickly become overwhelming.
Ideally, you want to look for the following things
Armed with this data you’ll be able to make informed decisions about how to optimize your store further.
For example, if you look at your traffic via email source, you might see that it’s dropped significantly. This could highlight your emails need some work to increase open rates or perhaps you’re not sending as many emails as you used to.
If you’re reaching out to people you haven’t had communication within a while, it’s a good idea (in the wake of GDPR) to reach out to them in a similar way to how Autotrader does.
By asking for permission to continue emailing potentially lost prospects, you reignite the conversation in a nice way.
However, if you’re looking to drive traffic to your Shopify store, an opt-in email might not be the most effective. You could also consider offering everyone who reads that email a certain % off their next purchase. Not only would this improve the number of people who click onto your website from your emails, but it would also increase the chancel of a sales conversion too.
Top performing pages
If you look at your top-performing pages and notice that lots of people go to your blog content about “how to choose a fitness band”, you have really useful information about potential sales opportunities.
Imagine you sold fitness bands and included a link to your product on that page. How lucrative do you think that would be. People landing on that page are obviously looking for fitness bands and when you provide them with exactly what they’re looking for, the chance of conversion increases.
Another way to use the data from your top-performing pages is to optimize those that don’t perform as well. Each page you have on your website should ideally rank for a specific keyword.
Editors note: It’s fine for a page to rank for more than one keyword and leads to increased traffic.
Mobile vs desktop
How many people come to view your website from their desktop vs from their mobile device? Unsure? You’re not alone. Too often, people forget to check their site runs well on mobile as well as desktop.
It makes sense. After all, when you build the site, you probably look at it on your desktop to ensure you get the full experience.
But when it comes to your customers, you’ll miss out on sales by not optimizing for mobile. This means ensuring you don’t need users to zoom in on the screen to see specific pages or read the text more clearly.
As you can see, when it comes to e-commerce sales, more sales happen on someone’s mobile than the desktop. If your site isn’t yet optimized for mobile, look at your analytics to see where you’re missing out on potential sales.
It’s a shame so few people are really invested in using their site search (or even having site search enabled on their website.
First, it gives you a wealth of information about how people navigate themselves around your website. Second, it’s a goldmine for new product ideas.
Want to know how? Let’s look further.
Many successful e-commerce stores use the site search to help their customers navigate their sites better. This is useful for two reasons.
First, if someone cannot find something using the traditional route of storefront >> category >> subcategory >> product
They instead will try to use the search bar. This helps them go straight to the product they’re looking for.
If you look at your analytics and see that a majority of people have searched for the same thing, it gives you a good opportunity to improve the way potential customers can find this information.
However, if you look at your analytics and notice that a large group of people has searched for an item you don’t stock, you’ve now had some light validations that customers want this item. So not only is site search data good for improving the UX of your site, but it’s also good for finding new product opportunities.
Now that your Shopify store is up and running and you’ve made a handful of sales, it’s time to get your analytics in place. Although you might not have as much data as you’d like initially, starting to get into a habit of looking at your Shopify data early on will help you immensely in the long run.
What’s your favorite analytics tool?