How to Use Shopify Analytics: A Complete Guide
Uncovering customer insight from your eCommerce analytics is one of the most critical parts to selling more online. But for many store owners and marketers, finding the right reports and information is a challenge, with data spread across multiple analytics tools and platforms. If you’re still learning how to start an eCommerce business, you might be new to the Shopify platform.
If you’re an online retailer using Shopify’s platform, you want answers to questions like:
- What products are people searching for in my store?
- Where are my customers coming from?
- What sources are referring traffic to my store?
- How are my marketing campaigns performing?
The answers live right inside your Shopify analytics account. It’s full of data and reports that can help you uncover key customer insights and make better decisions for your online store.
Follow this Shopify tutorial to learn how you can use analytics to sell more online and improve your eCommerce business.
Why use Shopify analytics?
Smart business decisions are made when you take a data-driven approach and tie it to your eCommerce marketing efforts and overall company goals.
Shopify analytics gives you information that you’ll need to track your store’s activity and analyze transactions to help you make strong, strategic decisions. Making these strategic decisions will guide your business to having one of the best eCommerce websites out there.
Understanding how your shoppers behave and interact with your content can help you:
- Improve the shopper interface.
- Market your product catalog better online.
- Upsell to your best audience.
- Create product bundles and special promotions.
- Increase average order value in your store.
Whether you have questions about your customers, financials, or marketing efforts, you can find the answers in Shopify analytics.
How to use Shopify analytics
To access your Shopify analytics, go to Analytics > Dashboards from your Shopify admin account. You’ll land right into the Overview dashboard that shows data for today compared to yesterday.
The Overview dashboard shows you the most valuable metrics to give insight into your store’s performance and customer behaviors.
If you want to see data for a different date range, click the date menu and select the date range. You can choose a preset range, such as Quarter to date, or you can set any custom range by selecting dates on the calendars.
From the overview of the Shopify dashboard, you can:
- Review recent sales and compare them previous time periods
- Compare the performance of your sales channels
- See your average order value
- Track where your store visitors are coming from
You’ll see a set of graphs with metrics for a number of categories:
- Average order value: The average dollar amount spent each time a customer places an order in your Shopify store.
- Online store conversion rate: The percentage of sessions that lead to a purchase.
- Online store sessions by device type: The number of sessions and what kind of device the visitor was using.
- Online store sessions by location: The number of sessions in your store by country.
- Online store sessions by traffic source: The number of sessions in your store by how people accessed your site.
- Online store sessions from social source: The number of sessions in your store originating from social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.
- Repeat customer rate: The percentage of customers who came back for another purchase.
- Sales by social source: The amount of sales made from social media channels.
- Sales by traffic source: The amount of sales made through each traffic source.
- Top landing pages: The website pages where visitors started their session in your store.
- Top products by units sold: The top selling products in your store.
- Top referrers by sessions: The top five external websites from which traffic came to your store.
- Total store sessions: The number of sessions in your store over a period of time.
- Total orders: The number of orders made across all sales channels.
- Total sales: The net sales (gross sales minus discounts and returns) plus taxes and shipping from all sales channels.
- Sales attributed to marketing: The total number of sales that can be attributed to traffic driven to your online store by marketing efforts.
If you want to look deeper into a specific report, you can click View Report in the graph to get more detailed information about the specific metric.
The second tab under analytics is Reports. In this tab, you’ll see all your Shopify reports divided into categories based on the information they display. You can see different types of reports depending on your Shopify plan.
The third tab under analytics is Live View. In this tab you can see a real-time view of the activity in your store. It includes a world map to show where activity is coming from and key metrics to show you what’s happening in that exact moment.
Use Live View to track all activity in your store and sales from all channels. Live View is useful during big shopping seasons, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so you can see the results of your marketing campaigns and promotions.
This information is important because it will inform you about how your online shop is doing. It can provide important information, such as if your payment gateway online is user friendly, or if you should consider another Shopify payment method.
Maybe you’ve been unaware of all of the Shopify features that are available or have been using them incorrectly. However, viewing your analytics can help you get a better idea of how you’re utilizing your online shop and how you can improve.
Shopify analytics tips
What to watch in Shopify analytics
Shopify analytics can help you answer critical questions about your online store:
- Sales growth: What channels are performing and underperforming? Where should you put more paid ad campaign dollars? What are your best selling products? Which products are returned most often? Who are your best customers?
- Customer behaviors: What percentage of visits and sales come from desktop, mobile, or tablet? What’s the bounce rate and conversion rate for each device?
- Profit margins and finance: Which products or variant SKU are most profitable? What are sales, payments, liabilities, and gross profit looking like this month?
Using Shopify analytics reports will help you create a data-rich analytics system for your online store. It’s important to remain consistent with what you analyze over time. Measuring your store’s performance against clear KPI’s can help you make smarter decisions for your store and improve your business over time.
Tips for getting the most from your Shopify analytics
Finding the right information and customer insights is the difference between a high growth store and one that becomes stagnant.
Here’s how you can use different eCommerce reports to make better decisions and improve your eCommerce business:
1. Learn where your store visitors come from
Do you want to know how people are finding your online store? Want to know your biggest traffic sources?
Use Shopify analytics Acquisitions report to learn where store visitors originated from, so you know where to put more time and money to grow traffic and sales.
You can find this report under Acquisition in the Reports tab:
The Acquisition report focuses on three different sub-reports: sessions over time, sessions by referrer, and sessions by location.
Sessions over time
The Sessions over time report shows the number of visitors and sessions over a given time range.
You can change the date range to compare week-over-week, month-over-month, quarter-over-quarter, etc. Then group the data by hour, day, week or hour of day.
Aim to compare different time periods to spot developing trends. Comparison gives data more context, and can help you decide whether you’re progressing or regressing over time. You can correlate the trend with marketing or ad campaigns to understand their impact on your Shopify store.
Sessions by referrer
The Sessions by referrer report shows you whether visitors come to your store directly, from search, or by a referral. It’s similar to the information in the overview of your Shopify dashboard, but goes more in-depth.
You can use this report to find where visitors are coming from. This is important for choosing where to invest your time and money for traffic growth. You could double down on high-performing sources, or experiment with new sources and easily track the results.
Sessions by location
As you may expect, the Sessions by location shows you the number of visitors and sessions by country.
This report can help improve your Facebook ad targeting. For example, when you go to run Facebook ads, you can send them to the top countries found in your Sessions by location report. It can also help inform the type of ad copy you write, creative you use, and how you incorporate cultural references into your ad.
2. Focus on actions people take on your site
The Shopify analytics Behavior reports focus on how people interact with your eCommerce store. You can find these reports under Behavior in the Reports tab.
There are many different reports, but if you’re new to reports, start with these four key ones to improve your Shopify website.
1. Top online store searches
If you have a Shopify theme store with a search bar, you can access the Top online store searches report. A search functionality is useful because it shows you what shoppers search for in your store.
You can use this information to understand the words visitors use when searching for a product in your store. Then, adjust or add product titles and descriptions so they can find what they’re looking for, quickly.
2. Top online store searches with no results
Another report you could use is Top online store searches with no results. This report shows you the terms shoppers used when searching for a product in your store, but didn’t get any results.
Knowing what people are looking for in your store can help you understand product demand and can help you weave different terms into your product titles and descriptions.
3. Sessions by landing page
Sessions by landing page shows you how many sessions started with a specific landing page on your eCommerce website.
You can use this data to learn more about which pages are working, and which aren’t. Aim to look at this report over a time frame of 30 or 60 days to measure long-term performance and improve future marketing campaigns. If a landing page used to perform well, and it starts to slack, you want to know so you can fix the page and improve your conversions.
Maybe you need to customize the copy or call-to-actions on those pages to give visitors a memorable first impression on your eCommerce website. Maybe you’re running an A/B test and want to see which page performs better over time. You’ll know exactly where to place your time and money to drive better results..
4. Online store conversions over time
Online store conversions over time is something you want to keep an eye on in your Shopify analytics. It’s a useful report that shows the percentage of site visitors that make a purchase over a period of time.
In this report, you can track:
- Sessions: The number of sessions in your store.
- Added to cart: The number of sessions where a shopper added a product to cart.
- Reached checkout: The number of sessions a shopper reached check out with a product in cart.
- Sessions converted: The number of sessions a shopper purchased a product.
- Conversion rate: the percentage of sessions that ended in a purchase.
You can use this information to figure out where a shopper drops off in your conversion funnel.
For example, if you notice a drop off after someone reaches checkout, you could put a Customer Live Chat widget by ManyChat on check out pages to help answer any last minute questions and encourage a sale.
If you find people aren’t even adding products to cart, you may need to increase trust and reduce fear on your Shopify website. You could use an opt-in Growth Tool to offer first-time visitors a discount and engage in a conversation with them on Homepage, Product, or Collection pages to start building a relationship right away.
3. Integrate with Google analytics
If you want to take your eCommerce tracking to the next level, setup Google analytics with Shopify’s eCommerce platform. Google analytics tracking will help you better understand the traffic that’s coming to your site such as:
- How many visitors your store gets.
- The city or state a visitor is from.
- How long they stay on your page.
- How many visitors complete a goal in your Google analytics funnel.
Connecting your Shopify data with Google analytics also gives you the ability to enable Enhanced Ecommerce and use Google Tag Manager (if you’re a Shopify Plus store) to create sales funnels and get the most from your eCommerce data.
To set up Google analytics with your Shopify analytics, read this support article by Shopify.
4 best Shopify analytics apps and integrations
1. Conversific – Profit analytics
Conversific is a profit analytics tool for Shopify users that helps you optimize traffic and conversions, gather better data, and grow sales and profits.
The Shopify app brings all your important profit metrics in one place to make faster business decisions. You can also put your numbers into perspective by benchmarking against your competitors, including revenue, conversions, bounce rates, and site performance.
2. ManyChat – Chat Marketing Platform
The ManyChat and Shopify integration makes selling on Shopify easy. It lets you add ManyChat widgets to your Shopify store to grow your customer base and send automated messages through Facebook Messenger and SMS.
You can also:
- Recover lost sales with abandoned cart re-engagement.
- Notify your customers about placed orders and shipment updates.
- Collect reviews and feedback post-purchase.
- Create opportunities for repeat purchases.
ManyChat also helps Shopify users know exactly what lead generation flows generate revenue for their store.
3. Lifetimely Profit & LTV
Lifetimely is an advanced profit dashboard and customer lifetime value analytics tool for Shopify’s platform. It helps you track your customer lifetime value and repurchase rate, plus, provides insight into how your best customers behave.
Lifetimely also brings all your data — from sales to cost of goods sold (COGS), advertising spend (Facebook & Google Ads) and finalized shipping costs — under one roof to show your metrics in real-time and help make smarter decisions for your store.
4. Google analytics Assistant by Invenire
Want to connect your Google analytics account to Shopify with confidence? The Google analytics Assistant is your best choice. Rather than pour through documentation and checking off all the boxes manually, you can use this Shopify app to get set up in minutes. It’s automatic, free, and fast.
Improving your business with Shopify analytics
As you can see, Shopify analytics shares a ton of information you can use to improve conversions and sales in your store. These reports help uncover insight in how your marketing campaigns are performing, and which aren’t, so you can become a Shopify expert, double down on the tactics that work, and drive more qualified traffic to your store.