Knowledge is power. That’s especially true when using Shopify’s analytics and reports to find your next best customers (and keep your current ones coming back for more).
The better you know your customers and how they interact with your business, the more well-equipped, empowered, and prepared you are to tailor your marketing for maximum impact. How are customers finding your online storefront? Where are they located? What products are they looking for the most? Are they using mobile devices, tablets, or desktops?
This kind of information helps you optimize your storefront marketing and advertising strategy, so you can convert more shoppers into loyal, satisfied customers.
In this post, we’ll discuss how you can use Shopify’s data, analytics, and reports to find your next best customers (and keep your current ones happy, too). Let’s take a look!
Know Your Customers
When you know who your customers are, you get a much clearer picture of who your online store attracts—so you can pinpoint your marketing strategy to attract more of them in the future.
To start, go to your Shopify admin, and select Analytics > Reports.
In the Customers category, select the report that you want to see. You’ll soon be able to pin the reports you use most often.
Customers Over Time
The Customers over time report shows you how many customers placed an order over your selected time period. This report also shows how many first-time and returning customers purchased from your store during that period.
You can use this data to spot patterns such as seasonality in buying behavior. If your products are seasonal, you’ll want to ramp up your marketing efforts before your high sales period to attract more new and returning customers.
If your products are non-seasonal, dig into this report to find patterns during discount periods. For example, you can learn whether more new customers purchased from your store during last year’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.
First-Time vs. Returning Customer Sales
This report lets you dive deeper by comparing new and returning customers based on the dollar value of sales.
If your store’s strategy is focused on growth and expanding your customer base, this report will quickly show you whether you’ve been successful. And if your goal for this year is to increase sales from existing customers, you’ll be able to see that data too.
You can even compare first-time vs. returning customers to see which are more valuable for your business. Let’s say you discover that a high number of new customers bought from your store during Black Friday/Cyber Monday, yet they contributed less in overall sales compared to returning customers. That’s an interesting piece of information, right? You might want to consider ramping up your marketing for that period to reach more existing customers—and also to incentivize first-time buyers to return for higher-ticket purchases next time.
Both the first-time and returning customer sales reports allow you to visualize sales and customers during specific windows of time including by the hour, day, week, month, quarter, or year. Or you can aggregate purchases within buckets. For instance, these reports can track whether your sales are higher in the morning vs. the evening, whether Tuesday is a better selling day than Saturday, or exactly when your holiday sales peaked last year. Use these reports to make the most of your hottest sales moments.
Know Where Your Customers Are
Knowing more about your customers—how they landed on your website and where they’re located—can also help you improve your online sales.
Shopify has Acquisition and Behavior reports to put this information at your fingertips, so you can know exactly where and how to invest your marketing efforts.
Sessions by Referrer
On a surface level, the Sessions by referrer report gives you a snapshot of how your digital visitors are finding you—via search, direct, social, or other referral sources.
The real magic comes from this view’s flexibility, with myriad types of information to help you understand your traffic sources. Did you run a marketing campaign in a specific region? Add that region and UTM parameters to your report to see how many visitors came from each referral source. You can drill deeper into the performance of each source by reviewing the number of visitor sessions that converted and the conversion rate.
Once you know which sources drive the most conversions, you can focus your marketing efforts on your best referrers.
Sessions by Location
The Sessions by location report breaks down your customers by their default addresses’ geographical location, letting you pinpoint hotspots where your store is selling well, so you can better focus your marketing spend and improve operational efficiencies. You can also look at the bounce rate for each location to see where your online store is missing the mark for that area.
Sessions by Device Type
The Sessions by device type report shows you whether your customers are checking out your store on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device.
With this knowledge, you can make better-informed decisions about prioritizing your marketing and ad spending to reach top customers on their preferred devices.
Meet Your Customers’ Needs
Customers are telling you what they need with every search. Give them what they want! Shopify’s search reports show you their queries, so you can showcase the product information they’re searching for most frequently.
Top Online Store Searches
Want to see a breakdown of the most frequently searched terms in your online store? The Top online store searches report gives you a powerful view into what your customers are most interested in, as well as what words they use when searching for your products. This makes it easier to see what your customers want to buy and how to reference and promote them.
Top Online Store Searches with No Results
Now we’re getting into the advanced lessons. The Top online store searches with no results report reveals customer searches that came up empty for shoppers.
Why does this matter to you? Because it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have what they want (though if you don’t, you now know which products you should add), but simply which words they are using to describe and search for that item. For example, if customers fail to get results when searching for “violet handbags”—but you know you sell “purple purses”—you should update your product descriptions accordingly. How you describe a product in your listings can make all the difference in making the sale.
Reach More of the Right Customers
Let’s take a look at how you can use all this new data to hone your marketing efforts and reach even more customers.
Improve SEO for Your Top Searches
Once you know which search terms are most popular in your online store, focus your efforts on improving your SEO for those terms.
For example, if the Top online store searches report told you that customers arriving at your store are frequently searching for “red leather boots,” you can take steps to ensure your store ranks high for that search term. It’s a great way to build on your strengths and ensure customers can find their boots—and you.
Similarly, let’s say your Top online store searches with no results report reveals that customers in your store are searching for “seersucker shirts” but getting no results. Assuming that you carry them (but aren’t describing them this way), you’ll want to add that term to your relevant product listings’ tags. The next time customers search for that term, your search results will be buttoned up.
Examine Your Conversion Rates by Channel
Conversion rates give you a clear picture of which marketing channels perform the best.
This allows you to allocate your marketing budget with greater efficiency and impact. So, if you know that search advertising is very effective at driving sales, consider focusing more of your budget on this high-performing channel. At the same time, if you have identified growth in new channels as a top strategic priority, you can quickly see which ones may need a little more love in your budget.
Compare Conversion Rates by First and Last Interaction
Shopify's analytics offers the flexibility to pick the attribution model that makes the most sense for your business. If your goal is to attract more potential customers, choose the first interaction model to attribute conversions based on how visitors arrive at your online storefront. If you have enough traffic and your goal is to convert more visitors, choose the last interaction to see what makes visitors click the buy button.
Use data, not guesswork, to improve your sales
As we said at the beginning of this post, knowledge is power. And if you’re serious about finding the signal in the noise of all your marketing data, Shopify analytics and reports are key tools for understanding who your customers are, where they're coming from, and how you can attract more of them to your store. Shopify’s analytics take the guesswork out of your marketing campaigns with a data-driven approach that helps you focus your time, money, and energy on attracting more customers and driving more effective and efficient sales.