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What Are the Issues That Shopify Merchants Face in e-Commerce Analytics and How to Fix Them?


Shopify is one of the best e-commerce platforms which makes it very simple to start, manage and grow an online shop. Shopify is a user-friendly platform and it takes care of every aspect of operating an online store from hosting to customization.

You can set up your store yourself without any help from a developer or designer. There are customization options to meet the requirement of any type of businesses. There are plenty of themes and apps available on Shopify to make a store great.

Currently, there are 600,000 businesses powered by Shopify with over 1M active users. There are plenty of apps available to help businesses thrive on the Shopify platform. On an average, every Shopify store uses 4 apps. Still, there are some pain points which makes Shopify app developers busy. A lot of new apps are coming to the app store regularly to address those pain points.

Main pain points of Shopify Stores

At Unite 2017, Sarah Sui and Todd Coulthard of the Shopify data analytics team gave a data-driven presentation where they shared Shopify merchant trends, top performing apps on the Shopify app store and opportunities for new app ideas.

According to Unite 2017 and a merchant survey conducted by Shopify, there are top 3 pain points that drive merchants to the Shopify app store –

  • Understanding website traffic and trends
  • Updating products and inventory
  • Editing the look and feel of the store

In this article, we’ll discuss the first and most important pain point of Shopify merchants i.e. “Understanding website traffic and trends”. Analytics is one of the most important aspects of optimizing the performance of an e-commerce store.

Problems Merchants are Facing in e-Commerce Analytics

One of the main concerns for most online store owners is the lack of face-to-face customer interaction. This is one of the best and worst things about e-Commerce. These days, customers do a lot of research to avoid brick and mortar stores and shop online. So, store owners need a mechanism where, without having face-to-face interaction with their prospective customers, they can convince them to buy online.

This is the point when analytics comes into the picture. There are lots of analytics options available to the Shopify stores but still, there are some gaps which need to be filled.
Doing Analytics is a problem in itself - Not getting clear reports makes it worse
Here are a few issues which shop owners are facing in analytics:

Complexity in setting up Google Analytics for e-Commerce

One of the most used analytics solutions in the world is Google Analytics. But GA has its own pros and cons. It’s a complex process to set up Google Analytics for your Shopify Store. Plus, setting up enhanced e-commerce reports is another story. If you visit the Shopify forums, you can easily find a lot of people discussing how to make Google Analytics work for their store.

Shop owners are struggling with setting up GA which works fine and gives them some insights about their business. As we have already discussed, it is easy to set up your shop with Shopify. However, on the other hand, people are struggling with setting up Google Analytics. It simply takes away the user-friendliness of the Shopify platform.
google analytics enhanced e-commerce setting
From simple page tracking to event handling, you need to set up everything in GA. Then you must take care of Goals, Conversions and Enhanced e-Commerce tracking. This is too much work for a store owner and it takes away all the time s/he must focus on his/her business.

Problems Associated with Shopify Analytics

If you are a Shopify Store owner, then you must have seen that Shopify is providing an Analytics solution for its merchants. Shopify’s Analytics solution is a basic one and has limited e-Commerce data. Unfortunately, it looks unreliable for advanced e-Commerce analytics.

Although Shopify Analytics has some great analytics reports like customer reports, marketing reports, sales reports, acquisition reports among others, these all are not available to every Store owner. You have to be using higher plans offered by Shopify to access all these reports. For a small business owner, it’s a costly business to upgrade Shopify plans for using analytics.

Other Analytics Issues Faced by Store Owners

There are several apps listed on the Shopify app store which claim to provide better analytics solutions for merchants. However, most of them are just reporting apps that simply take the GA or Shopify Analytics data and show good-looking reports to the merchants.

Here are some of the issues which shop owners are facing with these analytics solutions:

  • Slow data reporting – These analytics tools including Google Analytics report data in a slow manner. First, they collect data from the website and then they process it on their server. It takes a lot of time ranging from a few hours to days to generate reports on this collected data. Although GA has incorporated a real-time section in their free analytics tool, the speed at which this data is processed can be annoyingly slow at critical times.
  • No clear direction on how to act on data – This analytics can throw up a lot of information in terms of reports, but the real challenge lies in acting on that data. Without some well-defined actionable insights, it’s difficult to implement changes on your Store to optimize the performance.
  • Lack of predictions on sales and traffic – As an e-commerce store owner, it is important for you to know about the sales and traffic predictions. If you know the volume of sales that you are going to get during the upcoming holiday season, then you can prepare yourself beforehand. The same rule applies to the marketing campaigns and their effect on traffic and sales. Almost all the existing analytics solutions are found lacking in this field. They don’t offer any kind of predictive analytics for Shopify Store owners.

how to improve sales

How to Fix These Analytics Issues for Merchants?

The online retail world is growing enormously; so is the volume of information that needs to be captured. The need for analyzing the information is growing along with businesses. It makes predictive analytics a crucial part of e-commerce.

Predictive analytics works on a principle of collecting and analyzing purchasing history, browsing patterns and similar types of a customer’s activity on the store.

This kind of data is later used to find out –

  • What kind of products do people want to buy and when?
  • What is the conversion probability?
  • How is the demand and supply pattern?
  • How many returns are expected?

Apart from predictive analytics store owners also want data in real-time and some actionable insights so that they can make some changes in their marketing, inventory etc to make the sales go high. Once merchants have the buyer’s information at hand it will be very easy for them to make changes.
Shopify merchants need an analytics solution/app which can work seamlessly with Shopify and provide real-time predictive analytics.

Here are some features of an analytics app that a Shopify Store owner is looking to have:

  • Works in real-time – provide data as events happen
  • Predict events and provide data patterns
  • Give actionable insights for the Store
  • Take care of all advanced e-commerce analytics aspects such as cart, checkout, offers, discounts etc
  • Gives enterprise-grade advanced e-Commerce analytics in cost effective manner
  • Provides AI and ML integration for future-aligned analytics
  • Gives an interactive and customizable dashboard

Now the question that arises is, where to find this kind of app for Shopify? We at IQLECT have the answer.

IQLECT is preparing to launch a new predictive e-Commerce analytics app which will work in real-time. We are aiming to address all the issues discussed here and provide many more features. Stay tuned to know more about the Shopify advanced e-Commerce app.

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