2 Simple Hacks To improve Your Shopify Analytics In 2022
November 23, 2021
November 23, 2021
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It doesn’t matter if you’re choosing a store design, analyzing your marketing, or setting revenue targets, it all comes back to what the data tells you.
On the flip side, running on bad data can lead to your store whiffing on those big decisions. That’s where, if you’re a Shopify store, Shopify Analytics (and other analytics options) come into play.
In this post, we’re going to:
Built within its platform, Shopify has an analytics tracker that allows you to generate data based on your store’s performance. This data includes high-level metrics like your total store sessions, number of sales, returning customers, and the average value of orders placed. Shopify Analytics' overview dashboard gives you a snapshot of your store's high-level metrics.
Metrics like these help you get a snapshot of how visitors are interacting with your store. That way, you can pinpoint elements of your website to tweak or update based on what the data is telling you and continue to improve your metrics overall.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the more popular metrics that Shopify Analytics displays within its overview dashboard:
The first step to using these metrics to improve your store is knowing where to find them.
Shopify displays data and reports about your store’s performance within its “Overview Dashboard.” The Overview Dashboard also allows you to carry out a range of basic data analyses.
To access this Overview Dashboard, start from your Shopify admin page and go to Analytics > Dashboards. The dashboard will display data generated from today and compare it to the day before. You can change this date range by selecting the date menu.
You can also change the comparison period for this data by clicking compare to previous dates, then Apply and your data will be generated.
You can then select “View report,” which gives you a more detailed analysis of your chosen metric. Be aware, however, that not all metrics will generate in your report. The metrics you can see will depend on the Shopify plan you are currently on.
If your store uses Shopify Lite, your analytics report will show you a basic range of metrics, including the overview dashboard, finance reports, and analytics about your products. To access detailed reports like visitor behavior analysis or marketing and sales reports, you will need to upgrade to the Basic Shopify plan or higher.
Shopify Analytics can generate a few other metrics beyond the most high-level ones mentioned above.
Incorporating these into your data strategy is also important to maximize marketing attribution and revenue.
Some of the most valuable sales metrics generated through Shopify Analytics include:
Shopify also provides behavior reports which record customer actions on your site and allow you to:
Shopify Analytics' behavior reports help you drill down into how key metrics have changed over time.
All these metrics can play a key part in your overall marketing strategy and help you improve marketing attribution.
But to make the best decisions for your business, you need truly accurate data — something Shopify Analytics has a spotty record with.
Shopify Analytics is a good tool overall for what it is: an out-of-the-box solution for basic analytics tracking on your ecommerce store.
Shopify Analytics provides the top-level metrics to give you a broad snapshot of your store’s health and customer behavior. But it lacks the detailed reports of a more robust analytics service like Google Analytics.
Unfortunately, Shopify Analytics also has a poor history when it comes to accuracy. Shopify Analytics’ tracking has shown to be both unreliable and incomplete. In fact, an analysis conducted of Shopify Analytics found that for every 100 orders tracked in Shopify Analytics, 12 go missing.
There are a handful of other shortcomings those who rely on Shopify Analytics as their main data source face, as well.
Many of Shopify Analytics’ shortcomings obscure traffic sources and disrupt attribution tracking. As an example, when customers check out on your Shopify store they’re redirected to a Shopify domain, causing the visitor’s session to end suddenly — even if they are in the process of buying an item. This affects what Shopify Analytics shows as their last click and takes away from the power of the data you’re collecting.
So, is there a better way to track referrals sources, collect customer behavior metrics, and ensure accurate analytics? Yes: using a more powerful analytics tool like Google Analytics.
Google Analytics (GA) is a household name for analytics reporting across nearly every industry. In fact, it’s the world’s most popular marketing analytics platform, used by 98% of online stores.
While both Shopify Analytics and GA offer unique benefits, store owners who opt for GA get more data for their dollar. We can see this first hand on a metric like sales by traffic source.
Littledata looked at 180,000 orders from 10 Shopify stores, and the marketing channels in Shopify Analytics were as follows:
The Direct channel sticks out like a sore thumb, mainly because it dwarfs every other source of traffic. Compare this with the last-click attribution of sales from GA, and the difference in accuracy becomes clear:
To put it simply, Shopify Analytics lacks both the accuracy and specificity of data that a tool like GA provides.
While GA doesn’t work automatically with Shopify, it’s not difficult to set up for your store. There are multiple ways you can add Google Analytics to Shopify, and the method you choose will depend both on your technical skill and the time you have to dedicate to set up.
Once you’ve created a Google Analytics property for Shopify, you can follow your preferred method to add GA to your store and start getting full, accurate data.
Read on to discover which method will work best for adding GA to your store.
Before 2020, Universal Analytics was the Google Analytics default. To find out if your store has Universal Analytics, check your web property ID. A universal analytics web property ID will start with ‘UA’.
If you’re using Universal Analytics, the two options we’d recommend to connect GA to your Shopify store are:
Since late 2020, GA4 has operated as the default Google Analytics property.
There are a handful of benefits to using GA4, not least of which being that it provides more thorough reports delivered within a faster timeline. Shopify does not yet support Google Analytics 4, so the built-in tracking feature is not an option here. However, you can try using GA4 and Shopify Analytics in parallel to test the performance of both and see the differences yourself.
If you want to add GA to your store and you’re looking to save time and get things done correctly, implementing Littledata is likely your best bet. Littledata provides a Getting Started guide to help you add Google Analytics to your Shopify store. Once connected, the Littledata app gives you a thorough data overview and sends weekly updates as Google and Shopify add new features.
Tip: Try Littledata's Google Analytics connection free for 30 days to see how it can fix your tracking while integrating with your other Shopify apps.
GA and Shopify Analytics can be used in conjunction with one another, as each have their uses.
As an example, you could use Shopify Analytics as a quick overview dashboard for store performance while relying on GA for a complete analysis of sales and marketing efforts. In depth data decisionmaking will still most likely be coming from what you see in GA, but you can still rely on Shopify Analytics to capture big picture metrics.
The most successful modern DTC stores operate not with GA alone, but with a full data stack that helps them cover each step of the customer journey. They increase the scope of their data coverage by connecting other data dashboards and tools.
A great tool to connect to your store, especially if you offer subscriptions, is the ReCharge Connection. This connection is an advanced GA integration that helps you to track subscription ecommerce behavior.
Connecting Shopify and ReCharge with Google Analytics allows you to obtain accurate sales data, including first-time orders, recurring payments, and subscription lifecycle events. It also allows you to obtain accurate marketing attribution for first-time orders, recurring payments, and subscription lifecycle events.
A further tool you could use to track your Shopify data is the Segment app connection, which allows you to track each customer touchpoint within your website, including the checkout steps taken by customers, sales information, and the lifetime value of a specific customer.
Segment is a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that makes it easy to combine customer data with marketing data, then send that data to other platforms you use, whether that’s a data warehouse or an email marketing tool. As such, Segment isn’t just for analysis. It’s also a popular way to build new marketing audiences, such as building lookalike audiences in Facebook from your highest-spending Shopify customers.
Online advertising is a major source of traffic for modern DTC brands. To ensure your making the best decisions in your advertising strategy, you need accurate data. That’s where the Facebook Ads and Google Ads connections can play a key part in your overall analytics stack.
The Facebook Ads connection fixes campaign tagging and allows for importing ad costs so you can drill down marketing attribution costs. The Google Ads connection is ideal for tracking sales expenses in reports and connecting marketing data with ecommerce performance.
Now that you know exactly what Shopify Analytics can provide for you, what analytics strategy will you implement to ensure you’re making smart business decisions for your store?
Using Google Analytics with your Shopify store gives you:
Using these, you can plan changes to your store and product offerings based on accurate data while improving your visibility by taking control of your analytics tracking.
To design is much more than simply to assemble, to order, or even to edit: it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify.
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