You think your online sales are growing and you feel like things are going well for your business but are you actually taking the time to look at the data and see where things are going well and where you may have some room to make improvements?
With so much going on when running your own business, and sometimes just keeping your head above water, the monthly or even weekly reporting that may happen in larger companies or agencies is often overlooked.
Although totally understandable when time is so precious and so short, it is essential to any product based online business to analyse results on at least a monthly basis to see what has or hasn’t worked in that month and to be able to then make changes or test further improvements in future months. It not only helps to look at what has happened in the past, but will leave you with tools and ideas to tackle the future and even help you prioritise what little time you may have to make changes.
And it isn’t difficult to do, you can use the analytics dashboard within Shopify, which gives a great overview of how things are going or you can dive deeper into the metrics by using the reports within Shopify or going one-step further by looking at your Google Analytics data (if you have this set up properly, give me a shout if you need help with this).
Below are some of the key performance indicators I would suggest looking at, as often as you can, but ideally monthly:
Probably the best place to start, and something you are hopefully already aware of. Your total sales revenue within Shopify will let you know how much money you're taking through your online store, it breaks it down based on different channels so if you are using certain apps you will be able to see this breakdown. You can also view your sales broken down by gross or net sales.
Looking at how many orders you have taken in a month, can start to help you set targets for growth and also analyse how you are going year on year, which can often be a better comparison when you are starting out. You may find that your revenue is growing faster than your orders, which would mean that you are getting customers to buy more in each order.
Average Order Value
Which leads me onto AOV. This is one of the most important factors in your reporting and can influence lots of your marketing decisions, like Facebook ads, as a higher AOV is going to help with return on spend. Every business will have a different AOV and there are ways we can try to increase this, the important thing is getting it where you want it and maintaining it.
Traffic & sources
Look at how much traffic you are getting, is this going up or down month to month, and are you seeing growth from last year? It is also important to look at where this traffic is coming from. Are you seeing most your traffic organically through search engines or is social the biggest driver of traffic to your website. Knowing this can help you plan where you may focus some of your time and what platforms to utilise for marketing.
New vs old customers
Next look at your returning customer rate, this is incredibly important when trying to reduce your costs for acquiring new customers. We all know it is cheaper to keep a customer than to keep paying to get new ones! So you want to see this number rising each month, and hopefully by utilising tools such as email marketing you are keeping your current customers happy, whilst still attracting new ones.
Something that can be surprisingly overlooked by ecommerce business owners is their conversion funnel. How many people that visit your website are actually purchasing? If you aren’t looking at driving up your conversion rate, you could be wasting your money and time trying to get more people to visit. You also want to focus on your add to cart and reached checkout metrics, to see where the drop off is happening before actually converting. We would expect these figures to half, so anything more could be cause for concern. If you want to learn more about industry averages for these metrics let me know.
There are plenty more metrics within Shopify or Google Analytics which you could utilise to help grow your business, we really are just scratching the surface. If you want to learn more about ecommerce reporting or need some help understanding the numbers, then please do get in touch.