How to use Shopify Analytics

Shopify Analytics

Shopify has a native set of website performance reports (called Analytics) which is accessed from The LHS menu.

Shopify Analytics enables sellers to understand the behaviour of their customers and make adjustments to their store to increase sales.

Analytics has three main sections

  1. Dashboard.  Overview of your store’s performance, e.g. sales, orders, conversion rate over a specified time period.
  2. Reports.  A range of reports which give detailed information on your store’s performance
  3. Live.  Performance of the website right now (e.g. number of visitors currently on the site) or in the last 10 minutes

Analytics terminology

These basic web performance metrics make up the basic building blocks of understanding what users are doing on your website.

Sessions

A session is a period of user activity on a website. For example, a user may come to your site, browse some pages and then make a purchase. If they are inactive for 30 minutes, the session ends.

Note: that a second session will be recorded if the user returns later that day.

How to use this metric: Sessions is an excellent metric to understand how attractive your site is and how well you are doing as a marketer to attract users to your site.

Users

This is the number of visitors with at least one session on your website within a given period. If a visitor returns twice in a day, they will be recorded as one user.

How to use this metric: User number is a measure of the number of people who are visiting your to your website.  It can be used to measure the effectiveness of your marketing activities.  Broadly speaking, more users means more sales.

Pageviews

The number of pages visited on your site in each period. It is a measure of how sticky your site is, i.e. how much the content appeals to users.  More pageviews mean that users are viewing more of your site

Pages per Session

The average pages viewed during a session on your website, calculated as page views divided by sessions.

How to use this metric: More pages per session mean that users are more engaged and visiting more of your site.

Average Session Duration

The average duration of visitors’ sessions.

How to use this metric: Longer sessions indicate that are more engaged.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of visits where users viewed only one page and left.

How to use this metric: A high bounce rate suggests that people leave your site because they are not finding what they are looking for. You can minimise bounce rates by ensuring that landing pages are relevant to the advertising campaigns.

Percentage of New Sessions

The percentage of new visitors to your website. A successful website will have a mix of new and returning visitors.

Conversion

A conversion (a.k.a. Goal) is the completion of a user action on a website, e.g., making a purchase. The website owner defines conversion types that they wish to track.

Dashboard

The dashboard gives an overview of the performance of your site. Some of this information is a summary of a report, and some can only be seen on the dashboard page.  Sections include:

  • Total sales. Net sales (gross sales minus discounts and returns) plus taxes and shipping. Includes orders from all sales channels
  • Online store sessions. The number of sessions on your online store. A session is a period of continuous activity from a visitor.
  • Returning customer rate. The percentage of customers that have placed more than one order from your store, out of customers that placed an order within the selected date range
  • Online store conversion rate. Percentage of sessions that resulted in orders, out of the total number of sessions.
  • Average order value. Total value of all orders- including taxes, shipping, and discounts, without subtracting the value of returns – divided by the total number of orders.
  • Online store sessions by traffic source. Number of online store sessions grouped by the type of traffic source.
  • Sales by social source. Total online store sales that came from a social referrer source.
  • Sales by traffic source. Total online store sales grouped by the type of traffic source.
  • Online store sessions by social source. Number of sessions on your online store that came from a social referrer source.
  • Top referrers by sessions. External websites from which the most sessions came to your online store.
  • Top landing pages by sessions. The top pages where visitors entered your online store and the number of sessions associated with each landing page.
  • Sales attributed to marketing. Total sales that can be attributed to traffic driven to your online store by marketing efforts.

Reports

The reports section has a large number of reports which help you to dig down in the performance of your site.  Note that not all reports are available on the basic plan.

Reports are divided into the following sections:

Acquisition

These reports show how you acquired your customers. 

  • Sessions over time
  • Sessions by referrer
  • Sessions by location

They are helpful for gauging the effectiveness of your promotional activity.

Finances

These reports give information on the performance of your business. View your store’s finances, including sales, returns, taxes and payments.

  • Finances summary.  Total sales minus refund and discounts.  Gross profit calculation
  • Total sales
  • Taxes
  • Tips
  • Payments

Behaviour

These reports show the behaviour of customers on your site. Improve your store by understanding how visitors move through your site.

  • Online store conversion over time
  • Top online store searches
  • Top online store searches with no results
  • Product recommendation conversions over time
  • Sessions by landing page
  • Sessions by device
  • Online store cart analysis (Premium report)
  • Online store speed

Marketing

The marketing reports give insights into where your online store customers are converting from.

  • Sessions attributed to marketing
  • Sales attributed to marketing (Premium report)
  • Conversion by first interaction (Premium report)
  • Conversion by last interaction (Premium report)
  • Attribution model comparison (Premium report)

Inventory

Track and understand the movement of your products for more efficient inventory management.

  • Percent of inventory sold
  • ABC analysis by product
  • Average inventory sold per day
  • Month-end inventory snapshot
  • Month-end inventory value

Live

The live board shows the performance of your site right.  This is useful if you think you have a problem with your site, or have recently made a change e.g. send out an email. Metrics displayed are:

  • Visitors right now. Number of online store sessions that were active within the last five minutes.
  • Total sales. Total sales (gross sales plus shipping, taxes, discounts, and returns) from all sales channels so far today.
  • Total sessions so far today. Total number of visitor sessions on your online store so far today.
  • Total orders.  Total number of orders from all sales channels so far today.Page views in last 10 minutes
  • Customer behaviour. Sessions within the last 10 minutes that had items in the shopping cart, reached the checkout, or completed a purchase.

There is also a globe showing where today’s customers and orders have originated.