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Review of Shopify's Analytics Platform

I created a website and briefly reviewed the basic analytics platform on Shopify. I also compared the features available in Shopify to those found in Google Analytics.

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Review of Shopify's Analytics Platform

  1. 1. REVIEW OF SHOPIFY’S ANALYTICS PLATFORM ARVIN RAMLAKHAN DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY NOVEMBER 2017
  2. 2. AGENDA • Starting A Shopify Business • Things Shopify Does Well • Things Shopify Doesn’t Do Well • Comparison to Google Analytics
  3. 3. PROPOSAL • 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 customers. • 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 Analytics platform.
  4. 4. FREE TRIAL • 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.
  5. 5. PICKING A PLAN • I picked the basic plan $29 without reading the plans very closely. • 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 later.
  6. 6. BECOMING PROFITABLE • A few days after launching I realized this store would never be profitable. • 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!
  7. 7. SHOPIFY CAN BE FUN BUILDING A WEBSITE ON SHOPIFY IS AS EASY AS THEY MAKE IT SOUND.
  8. 8. SHOPIFY CAN BE CONFUSING
  9. 9. SHOPIFY HOMEPAGE • It’s filled with lots of useful insights about your store and web traffic. • Unfortunately that information is buried on the page. • This information should really be prioritized or at least emailed since most people won’t scroll through the homepage.
  10. 10. SHOPIFY DASHBOARD • Shopify is guilty of doing too much on one page. • 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 important.
  11. 11. GA HOMEPAGE/DASH • 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 numbers. • Google also includes a search / intelligence feature which has the potential to be very useful in the future.
  12. 12. SHOPIFY CAN LACK DEPTH
  13. 13. LACK OF DEPTH EXAMPLE • Shopify’s dashboard teases you with a lot of useful information. • Unfortunately you can’t dig into further without upgrading.
  14. 14. SHOPIFY REPORTING • Shopify reporting is focused on 4 key themes. • 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 depth.
  15. 15. 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 time spent. • As a result you’re often stuck analyzing generic visit data using different dimensions. • It can be useful to understand where your consumers are coming from but you have no ability to understand what they do.
  16. 16. BASIC SHOPIFY REPORTING
  17. 17. ACQUISITION REPORTING • Focuses on very high level reporting on where your users came from. • 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 SEO Reporting. • Shopify relies on third-party apps for SEO Reporting.
  18. 18. BEHAVIOR REPORTING • Focuses on very high level visitor data and on-site search data. • Doesn’t explain how users move through your site.
  19. 19. GA BEHAVIOR REPORTING • Focuses on site search, speed, content, events and user behavior. • Behavior Flow explains how users flow through your website. • It also let’s you run experiments such as A/B Tests.
  20. 20. MARKETING REPORTING • Only focuses on visitors by campaign which is problematic. • Your unable to measure your sales by campaign which is the main reason you do marketing. • All of these marketing reports can be found in GA.
  21. 21. LACK OF BENCHMARKS • 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 metrics.
  22. 22. GA BENCHMARK REPORTING • The benchmark tab in Audiences helped me identify that I had an unusually high bounce rate.
  23. 23. APP INTEGRATION • Shopify relies on third party apps for different functions and features. • Unfortunately these apps aren’t integrated very well into the platform.
  24. 24. APP REPORTING • Some of the key metrics for my business such as photo downloads and customer reviews are not in the dash, analytics or reporting sections. • This information can be found in the apps section of Shopify which isn’t very easy to find. • This could be really problematic if you rely on multiple apps since the data is silo-ed. • You can never get a full picture if all of your data isn’t centralized.
  25. 25. APP REPORTING EXAMPLE 1 • Only 11 of the 28 photos purchased were downloaded. • That means 61% of my orders were never fulfilled. • When you rely on third- party apps for certain functions this can happen.
  26. 26. CONCLUSION • Shopify’s analytics is limited but it can surprise you with great insights if you can find it. • Shopify’s reliance on third party apps and de-centralized reporting is troubling. • Shopify’s current analytics lacks depth and consumers using basic packages deserve more. • 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.

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