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REVIEW OF SHOPIFY’S
• Starting A Shopify Business
• Things Shopify Does Well
• Things Shopify Doesn’t Do Well
• Comparison to Google Analytics
• My plan was to build a store and
drive traffic to it.
• I picked a photo store since
photos cost nothing to mass
produce and distribute to
• This meant I could sell my
photos for $0 and encourage
customers to make purchases.
• Once I had visitors and sales I
could then evaluate the Shopify
• My plan was to take
advantage of the free trial
offered by Shopify.
• Unfortunately the free trial
only allowed me to design
my store not launch it.
PICKING A PLAN
• I picked the basic plan $29
without reading the plans
• I knew I needed to launch a
store and I didn’t need a lot
of value added features.
• However that was a
mistake and I’ll explain why
• A few days after launching I realized this store would never be
• I was already $29 in debt and I had to pay 2.9% and $0.30 per sale.
• If I sold my photos for $1 each, roughly $0.33 would go to Shopify.
• If I relied on SEM, I would pay $2.50 per click on relevant keywords.
• If I increased my prices it would likely lower my conversion rate.
• The cost per sale and the cost of Shopify services was just too high.
• So Arvin’s Photo Store will close at the end of this project.
• Who knows it could pop up on Etsy next!
CAN BE FUN
BUILDING A WEBSITE ON
SHOPIFY IS AS EASY AS THEY
MAKE IT SOUND.
• It’s filled with lots of useful insights about
your store and web traffic.
• Unfortunately that information is buried on
• This information should really be prioritized
or at least emailed since most people won’t
scroll through the homepage.
• Shopify is guilty of doing too much on one
• Instead of focusing on a few KPIs there are 15
boxes. Most of which are tables and not
graphs. As a result nothing catches your eye.
• Most of the data is not organized by a theme
and information is hard to find.
• There’s no ability to customize the dashboard
to focus on your KPI or things you find
• Google’s homepage is much simpler to navigate
thanks to sub headings and the use of colors to guide
your eyes to content.
• The metrics are grouped by themes and most graphs
have tabs to explore. This cuts down on the number
of boxes on the page.
• If Google includes tables they often include
comparative measures to add context to the
• Google also includes a search / intelligence feature
which has the potential to be very useful in the future.
• Shopify’s dashboard
teases you with a lot
of useful information.
• Unfortunately you
can’t dig into further
• Shopify reporting is focused on 4
• Acquisitions, Finance, Behavior
and some Marketing.
• To access more “professional”
reports I would need to upgrade to
the $79 or $299 a month package.
• There’s something unfair about
having to pay to access to your data.
• As a result Shopify’s existing
analytics feels very shallow as it lacks
LACK OF SECONDARY DIMENSIONS
• Any metrics related to sales or orders are
not available as secondary reporting
dimensions. However you are able to
look at events such as page views and
• As a result you’re often stuck analyzing
generic visit data using different
• It can be useful to understand where your
consumers are coming from but you have
no ability to understand what they do.
• Focuses on very high level
reporting on where your users
• GA has a similar focus but digs
deeper allowing you to look at
more secondary dimensions.
• GA also has a Search Console
section within Acquisitions for
• Shopify relies on third-party
apps for SEO Reporting.
• Focuses on very high level visitor
data and on-site search data.
• Doesn’t explain how users move
through your site.
• Focuses on site search,
speed, content, events and
• Behavior Flow explains how
users flow through your
• It also let’s you run
experiments such as A/B
• Only focuses on visitors by
campaign which is
• Your unable to measure your
sales by campaign which is
the main reason you do
• All of these marketing
reports can be found in GA.
• I was disappointed to see that Shopify
didn’t include benchmarks within their
analytics dashboard or reports.
• This can be useful to help customers
understand what’s working well or
poorly in comparison to other stores of
your size or in your segment.
• This can be useful for new users who
have no idea what to expect reading
• The benchmark tab
in Audiences helped
me identify that I had
an unusually high
• Shopify relies on third party
apps for different functions
• Unfortunately these apps
aren’t integrated very well
into the platform.
• Some of the key metrics for my business
such as photo downloads and customer
reviews are not in the dash, analytics or
• This information can be found in the apps
section of Shopify which isn’t very easy to
• This could be really problematic if you
rely on multiple apps since the data is
• You can never get a full picture if all of
your data isn’t centralized.
• Only 11 of the 28 photos
• That means 61% of my
orders were never
• When you rely on third-
party apps for certain
functions this can
• Shopify’s analytics is limited but it can surprise you with great insights if you can
• Shopify’s reliance on third party apps and de-centralized reporting is troubling.
• Shopify’s current analytics lacks depth and consumers using basic packages
• Shopify customers need to use GA in tandem with Shopify to get the full picture.
• Before starting a store think carefully about your value proposition and products.