“I think I should do e-commerce reporting, but I don’t know where to start.”
Does that sound like what’s on your mind right now?
e-Commerce reporting is an important part of running an online business. Unfortunately, it’s not something that they teach in business schools.
Following, we’ll dive into the topic of reporting for e-commerce. We’ll talk about what it is, why it’s important, types of e-commerce reports and tools to help you on e-commerce reporting. Let’s get started!
- What is e-commerce reporting?
- Why is e-commerce reporting important?
- 5 common types of e-commerce reports
- 5 must-have e-commerce reporting tools
- Some last words
What is e-commerce reporting?
e-Commerce reporting refers to the process of collecting, reporting and analyzing data for your online business. It’s also known as e-commerce tracking or analysis.
The goal of reporting in e-commerce is to provide data-driven insights into different facets of your online business, such as customer relationships, finance, products and marketing.
Why is e-commerce reporting important?
e-Commerce reports document the performance of your business over different time periods, giving you accurate visibility into how it grows over time.
With e-commerce reports, you’ll be able to make forecasts and act based on facts and data rather than feelings and guesses. Data-driven decisions can accordingly be made to inform your business’s growth strategy.
Types of e-commerce reports
“What should be included in an e-commerce report?” This is a common question asked by digital merchants.
However, as mentioned, e-commerce reporting involves various facets of your online business. Each calls for tracking of different e-commerce metrics, consolidating and visualizing data in a way that will give you insights into your business’s performance.
While there’s no exhaustive list of e-commerce reports that apply to every business, below are 5 types of reports commonly used by e-commerce businesses. Now let’s take a look at each of them in detail.
- Sales analytics reports
- Product analytics reports
- Behavior analytics reports
- Inventory reports
- Marketing reports
1. Sales analytics reports
A sales analytics report should provide an overview as well as breakdown of historical sales performance of your e-commerce site.
There are many metrics that can be included in a sales report. Here are some common ones:
- Sales volume: Total number of product units sold
- Sales revenue: Amount of revenue generated from sales
- Order volume: Number of orders received
- Average order value (AOV): Average amount of money that customers spend in an order
- Sales revenue by channel: Breakdown of where your revenue comes from
- No. of customers: Total number of customers who make a purchase at your online store
- No. of unique customers: Number of unique individuals who make a purchase at your online shop
- No. of repeat purchasers: Number of customers who make more than one purchase in a given period of time
2. Product analytics
With a product analytics report, you should be able to view the performance of different products at your online store over past periods of time.
The quantity and revenue of products sold are common metrics presented in this report:
- No. of products sold: Total number of product units sold at your online shop
- Revenue by product: Amount of revenue generated by each product item
3. Behavior analytics
A behavior report should tell you how shoppers interact with your site, hence helping you identify areas for optimization.
For instance, analyzing customer drop-off points would help you understand the causes of shopping cart abandonment and devise ways to improve the conversion rate.
On top of that, below are some metrics that you can track in a behavior analytics report:
- No. of visitors: Total number of people who visit your e-commerce site
- Conversion rate: Percentage of visitors who actually make a purchase
- Cart abandonment rate: Percentage of users who add items to shopping carts without completing checkout
- No. of abandoned carts: Total number of shopping carts that are abandoned
- Abandoned cart value: Total value of merchandise in abandoned carts
- Abandoned cart items: Product items found in abandoned carts
- Top product combinations: Product items that are most commonly bought together
- Top searches: Queries and keywords that users type into your store’s search bar
4. Inventory reports
As its name suggests, an inventory report tells you everything about your stock.
A baseline inventory report should provide key information such as current inventory levels for each stock keeping unit (SKU). More sophisticated ones would include analysis for historical periods and inventory forecasts.
5. Marketing reports
Last but not least, marketing reports are essential for any digital merchant who has an ambition to grow their e-commerce business.
They measure and visualize the performance of your marketing campaigns, so you can identify those with high return on investment (ROI) and stop pumping money into those that don’t work.
Depending on the types of campaigns and programs that you run, below are some metrics that a marketing report may include:
- No. of orders with coupons: Number of orders in which coupon codes are applied
- Sales with coupons: Sales revenue from orders in which coupons are used
- Coupon usage: Number of times that each discount code is applied
- Coupon value: Aggregate value of coupons applied by customers
- Sales by source or medium: Amount of sales attributed to organic search, paid search, advertising, referral (e.g. affiliate marketing), etc.
e-Commerce reporting tools
Sales, products, user behavior, inventory and marketing are five aspects of an e-commerce business that you’d want to pay close attention to.
Although most e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify, WooCommerce and Shopline, offer the basic tools and dashboards for tracking some of these metrics, a single platform is often inadequate to provide a 360-degree view of your business.
That’s why many digital marketers and merchants have the following tools in their marketing stacks. Some of the most popular e-commerce reporting tools are introduced below:
- Google Analytics
- Growth Insight by Choco Up
1. Google Analytics
As of 2022, over 33 million website owners are using Google Analytics (GA), which provides a wealth of data on how visitors interact with your website. Offered by Google itself, Google Analytics (GA) is the go-to destination for anything web-related.
Key features of Google Analytics
- Acquisition reports (e.g. where your visitors come from)
- Audience reports (e.g. demographics, interests and location of website visitors)
- Behavior reports (e.g. pages that people visit, how long they stay, where they exit)
- Conversions reports (e.g. number of transactions, conversion rate, product revenue)
- Real-time reports (e.g. number of visitors and their activities on your website at any given moment)
Pros of Google Analytics
- Easy to set up
- Enormous amount of data available
- Many pre-configured reports available for use
- New features and updates are regularly launched
- Free to use (for websites with 10 million hits or less)
- Lots of how-to guides and resources available online (e.g. Google Analytics Academy)
Cons of Google Analytics
- Absence of customer support
- The learning curve could be steep (there’s a lot to learn!)
- The free version only tracks up to 10 million “hits” per month (you’ll have to use Google Analytics 360 and pay for it by then)
Google Analytics pricing
Google Analytics is free for websites with less than 10 million monthly hits. The paid version, called Google Analytics 360, starts at $150,000 per year and is billed at $12,500 a month.
Hotjar is an integrated analytics solution designed to help product managers and designers better understand the behavior of website users.
It visualizes users’ behavior with heatmaps, gathers on-site feedback, and captures session recordings to let you know how visitors are navigating your site.
Advanced Hotjar users can even make use of filters, segments and comparison features to carry out quantitative analysis and improve the web UX.
Key features of Hotjar
- Heatmaps & session recordings
- Feedback collection & user surveys
Pros of Hotjar
- Easy to set up
- Valuable insights into user experiences
- Intuitive user interface (hence easy to use)
- Large collection of social and marketing integration options (e.g. Google Analytics, Salesforce, Hubspot)
Cons of Hotjar
- Limited features available (only four key features)
- Less powerful tracking and attribution functionality compared with other reporting tools
- Primary function of integration is for sending data to third-party apps, not consolidation
For starters, the basic plan is free of charge for tracking up to 1,050 sessions per month. Anything more than that calls for a paid plan, which starts at $32 per month.
3. Matomo (formerly Piwik)
Previously known as Piwik, Matomo is a web analytics platform that provides data and insights into your website visitors’ behavior.
It comes in an open-source option, which users can download and use for free, as well as a cloud package which is available for paid subscription.
Equipped with most of the features that Google Analytics has, Matomo is considered a powerful alternative to Google’s own reporting tool.
Further, the GA rival would find favor with those who value privacy — a problem for which Google comes under fire in Austria, France, Italy and other European countries.
Key features of Matomo
- Web analytics (e.g. user behavior, acquisition, heatmaps, session recordings, etc.)
- e-Commerce reports (e.g. purchasing behavior, conversion)
- Performance tracking for search engine optimization (SEO)
- Advanced features (e.g. form analytics, A/B testing, roll-up reporting)
Pros of Matomo
- Offers an open-source option with ample flexibility and no subscription fees
- Also provides a cloud package where hosting and customer support are available
- Comes with pre-configured reports designed for e-commerce sites
- Complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Allows web owners to retain full ownership of their data
Cons of Matomo
- Requires technical knowledge to set up and maintain (for the open-source option)
- Doesn’t yet have integration with some major e-commerce platforms, such as Shopify (you have to install a tracking code manually)
Anyone can download and use the open-source software for free, whereas the cloud package is available at 19 Euro per month.
Mixpanel is a product analytics platform that reveals web and mobile users’ behavior.
Through analyzing where people drop off, how they interact with your products, and which types of users are most likely to come back, this tool helps you better convert, engage and retain loyal customers.
Key features of Mixpanel
- Conversion analysis (e.g. identifying drop-off points and where to re-engage)
- Engagement analysis (e.g. tracking and analyzing the behavior of daily, weekly or monthly active users)
- Retention analysis (e.g. identifying customer cohorts that are likely to return)
Pros of Mixpanel
- Covers the entire customer journey, from conversion to engagement and retention
- Provides custom alerts that notify you and your team of usage drops
- Offers customizable dashboards for tracking specific metrics
- Comes with a clean and intuitive user interface
Cons of Mixpanel
- Takes some time to set up as there aren’t a lot of ready-to-use templates
- Requires a bit of learning as the tool is quite complex to use
You can use its free plan to track up to 100K users. Price starts at $25 per month afterwards.
Some 70% of online shoppers leave their carts and not complete checkout, found Baymard Institute. If your e-commerce site’s cart abandonment rate is giving you a headache, Woopra may be your painkiller.
With a focus on customer journeys, Woopra helps businesses track and analyze shoppers’ behavior at different customer touchpoints. It’s said to help improve e-commerce conversion, customer retention and revenue growth.
Key features of Woopra
- Journey analytics reports (identify value-creating communication tools, such as blogs, live chats, email signups, along the customer journey and their impact on conversion)
- Trends analytics reports (monitor e-commerce metrics like the number of website visitors, revenue growth by product or location, etc.)
- Retention analytics reports (maximize customer retention rate by tracking churn rates and identifying the most profitable customers)
Pros of Woopra
- Effectively organizes and visualizes data in an easy-to-understand manner
- Offers segmentation options for analyzing the behavior of different customer groups
- Analyzes customer behavior in granular details (it builds an individual profile for every customer of yours)
- Easily integrates with a wide range of sales and marketing software and platforms (e.g. Google Ads, Shopify, WooCommerce)
Cons of Woopra
- The price lies a bit on the expensive side
- Custom funnels and reports coud be hard to set up
Woopra’s core features are accessible by registered users free of charge, but there’s a limitation to the number of actions tracked in a month. Paid plans start at $349 per month with more advanced features available.
6. Growth Insight by Choco Up (Bonus for Shopify and Shoplazza merchants!)
Sometimes it pains you to see that your e-commerce business isn’t growing, but it pains even more to not even know why the situation befalls you.
To help digital merchants identify pain points as well as growth opportunities with a data-driven approach, Growth Insight is a tool developed by Choco Up for Shopify and Shoplazza users.
Key features of Growth Insight
- Data integration (e.g. with sales platforms, payment gateways, marketing platforms and cloud accounting software)
- Growth insights (through analytics and reporting tools that cover business data from all channels)
- e-Commerce growth network (e.g. discounts, credits or other offers from Choco Up’s network of partners, such as Stripe, Airwallex and Boxful)
Pros of Growth Insight
- Easily integrates with different platforms to keep all business data in one place
- Helps identify business pain points and growth potential with comprehensive analytics reports
- Provides easy access to Choco Up’s growth funding with streamlined application process
- Unlocks access to a vast network of business partners for accelerating e-commerce growth
Cons of Growth Insight
- The Growth Insight app is available only for merchants using Shopify and Shoplazza
Growth Insight pricing
Choco Up’s Growth Insight app is completely free for Shopify and Shoplazza merchants. It can be found on the app stores of Shopify and Shoplazza.
Some last words
Growing and scaling a business is a process of critically reviewing past performance, identifying pain points and acting on growth opportunities.
While it’s true that business growth doesn’t occur overnight, you can certainly accelerate the growth trajectory with a little capital injection into your business — and Choco Up can help.
As a global technology and financial services platform, Choco Up provides e-commerce funding (known as revenue-based financing) and business growth solutions for digital merchants.
Our e-commerce funding can be used to fuel your business’s growth, such as scaling up marketing, paying for inventory, expanding to other locations, and many more.
But why Choco Up? You may ask.
We’ve worked with businesses like yours, and so we understand the pain points and needs of running an online business. In the past, we’ve helped clients like BuzzAR and eBuyNow grow their user base and revenue by 10X and 5X respectively.
Learn more about our e-commerce funding here, or claim your preliminary funding offer for free today!
About Choco Up
Choco Up is a global technology and financial services platform, offering revenue-based financing and business growth solutions for digital merchants and startups.
With data analytics and machine learning at its core, Choco Up employs vast integrations to automate fund deployment, providing fast-growing companies with zero-equity funding in a quick and seamless manner.
We currently have offices in Singapore and Hong Kong and serve clients worldwide, providing smart-growth analytics and global payment solutions to fuel their growth.