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You always have a ton of questions as a Shopify merchant, don’t you? It’s no surprise that most of these questions are analytics-related, and they are mostly mind-boggling:

  1. Where do my visitors come from?
  2. What is my conversion rate?
  3. What channels do I generate the most traffic from?
  4. How is my recent marketing campaign performing?

And so on…

Well, Shopify Analytics and the reports provided are designed to clear your mind off some questions as you see above. Let’s have a look at what Shopify Analytics is, and what it is not.

What Does Shopify Analytics Provide?

Shopify Analytics allows you to monitor your store’s recent activity, offering insights into your visitors, your online store speed, transactions and etc. Overall, you get a better understanding of how your store is performing considering some key metrics.

As stated by Shopify, what you get from Shopify Analytics depends on how you use the platform. While the Analytics page is accessible and available for everyone, some sort of reports such as the ones that demonstrate orders or sales are only available for Shopify Plus users.

Here is a quick overview of what is available under which plan:

What Does Shopify Analytics Provide?

As you can see, you are provided with a bunch of reports even under the Basic plan, however, you may find it insufficient to have a thorough understanding of your Shopify store’s performance. To see more detailed reports & data, Shopify requires you to upgrade your plan.

On the other hand, you can export your data to a different tool, use a third-party software, or set up another analytics service such as Google Analytics 4 if you want to edit or examine your data in different & more effective ways.

Shopify Analytics Reports

You can get your hands on the Shopify Analytics reports once you click Analytics > Reports on the left-hand menu. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect from the reports provided.

Acquisition Reports

These reports highlight visitors to your website under three important metrics:

  1. Sessions over time: This displays the number of visitors over a certain period of time.
  2. Sessions by referrer: This indicates the number of visitors and sessions brought in by a specific source, like a Facebook advertisement or affiliate link.
  3. Sessions by location: This shows the countries and places from which users are visiting your online store.

Here, you should keep in mind that it utilizes client-side tracking which depends on the cookies, meaning that almost every action occurs on the visitor’s browser. In addition, a visit automatically ends after 30 minutes of no activity or at midnight UTC.

Behavior Reports

Behavior reports lets you analyze users’ shopping behavior, providing insights into actions they take on your store’s website. This way, understanding how customers engage with your store might help you make better decisions.

By monitoring and analyzing the data provided in this section, you can improve your product marketing both online and offline, upsell to your best target audience, and increase your average order total by creating promotional pricing and product bundles.

Customer Reports

You can learn more details about your clients by taking a look at the reports generated in the customer reports section. These details include average order count, average order totals, and expected purchase value.

It’s important to note that these reports are limited to 250,000 customers, though. You should go for other solutions such as Google Analytics if you want to access customer data for more than 250,000. In addition, they are only available to Shopify, Advanced Shopify, or Shopify Plus plans.

Inventory Reports

With inventory reports, you are provided with a monthly overview of your inventory which helps you monitor the amount and percentage of inventory sold per day. Inventory changes may take up to 72 hours to reflect in reports.

Marketing Reports

With marketing reports, you can analyze your conversions monitoring what attracts consumers to your online business and what converts them into paying customers. Based on their interactions with your online store, the statistics can demonstrate which of your marketing channels is bringing in the most people and the most valuable customers.

Order Reports

Order reports provide you with valuable data on your order volume, shipping times, and returns. These can help you determine your best-selling products and the ones that get returned frequently which might add to maintaining customer satisfaction.

Profit Reports

Profit reports offer important details on the costs, margins, and profit of your online store. It’s important to track all these in an effort to better manage your accounting.

You can click here to discover more about other reports and what each one of them presents.

Shopify Analytics vs. Google Analytics

The first thing to mention about Shopify Analytics is that your tracking starts automatically – without you needing to perform any additional setup. You can go to ‘Analytics’ on the left when you open your Shopify dashboard to see these reports.

However, there are a ton of disadvantages of relying on Shopify Analytics reports only. For example, your data and reports depend on the Shopify plan you use. If you choose the basic plan, you either pay $79 a month for standard Shopify reports or you just get the most basic sales reports.

Another important point to consider is that Shopify does not support cross-domain tracking. If you need to compare data between two related domains, you have to go for Google Analytics, which allows you to do that with some adjustments.

Shopify gives you the option to monitor your overall pageviews, but Google Analytics offers more precise data by distinguishing regular and unique pageviews. You may get a better understanding of how many pages your users are viewing by counting unique pageviews. If there is a remarkable difference between total pageviews and unique pageviews, it may suggest that users are having difficulty locating what they are looking for.

In addition to that, Shopify’s Live View provides you with four key metrics in real-time: visitors, daily totals, page views, and shopping cart behavior. Google Analytics, however, takes things to another level by offering the most up-to-date access to the number of visitors on your site, where your current visitors are located, the keywords that referred your current organic visitors and etc. It’s important to note that Shopify real-time data is updated every 5 to 10 minutes on Shopify whereas it gets updated within seconds in Google Analytics.

Over and above, Shopify doesn’t allow you to benefit from other powerful tools. With Google Analytics, you can perform integrations and get the most out of the likes of Google Search Console, Google Ads, Google Optimize, and some other third-party integrations.

In conclusion, Shopify provides you with some valuable analytics tools, but if you want the most powerful and comprehensive data and reports for your Shopify store to get a thorough understanding of how things are going, you will need to rely on Google Analytics.