Shopify Sales Reports Explained for Better Understanding

Shopify sales metrics are many and hard to analyze. Learn how to make it easy to Interpret with reports and analytics.

Sales data isn’t just numbers—it’s the source of valuable insights into your Shopify store’s performance. And there’s plenty of sales data to manage, with each sale adding to the heap. Shopify Sales Reports can organize that data into comprehensive records, complete with multiple features to gather insights from it easily. 

 

Let’s uncover what Shopify sales reports can deliver for your business, and how you can take it further. 

 

Shopify Analytics, Sales Reports and Your Shopify Plan

Before getting into Shopify Sales Reports, let’s understand Shopify Analytics better, and how your choice of subscription plan affects it. 

 

In a nutshell, Shopify Analytics is the platform’s data metrics center. It’s here that you access your store data, either as visualizations in the Analytics page, or as organized reports under Reports. You can view store activity, gain market and customer insights, track website performance, keep tabs on store transactions, etc. via KPIs. 

Shopify Analytics - Dashboard

Navigating to it is straightforward – click on Analytics in your Shopify account’s left panel. All Shopify plans have this page, so no worries here. 

 

Under Analytics is Reports, which is where you find the sales reports. Here’s a bit more on them:

shopify reports categories

  • Clicking on Reports opens a page with all your reports, showing both custom and Shopify default ones. 
  • At the top, click on Categories and select Sales in the drop-down menu. 

Note: If you have POS sale points, then you should also select Retail Sales.

  • Click on Authors and select Shopify. 

 

That’s it! The table below will now show you the available default Shopify sales reports. You can access these reports under any Shopify plan. 

 

And about the plan-based limitations, only those on Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus plans can create custom sales reports.  

With that done, let’s get into Shopify sale reports.

 

Shopify Sales Reports

Shopify has these default reports under the Sales category:

  • Sales over time
  • Sales by product
  • Sales by product variant SKU
  • Sales by product vendor
  • Sales by discount
  • Sales by traffic referrer
  • Sales by billing location
  • Sales by checkout currency
  • Sales by channel
  • Sales by customer name
  • Average order value over time

 

Shopify sales report types

As their names suggest, each report gives data on a specific aspect of your sales. Many data columns are common between them, with some unique ones setting the reports apart from one another. 

 

Take a look at this table to familiarize yourself with the common data columns: 

Units per transaction

The net quantity / total orders.

Average order value

Equals gross sales minus discounts, divided by the number of orders, excluding adjustments from edits, exchanges, or returns made post-purchase.

Orders

The count of orders placed on a specific date.

Gross sales

Represents the product price multiplied by quantity (before taxes, shipping, discounts, and returns) for a group of sales. Includes pending and unpaid orders but excludes test, canceled, and deleted orders.

Gross profit

The total profit made on a product sale during the monitored period. Calculated as Net sales – Product cost.

Discounts

  • It’s the sum of line item discounts and proportional order level discounts for a group of sales.
  • This represents the total reduction in dollar value from discounts applied to specific products, collections, or entire orders.
  • Discounts applying to all items in an order are distributed proportionally across the order’s sales.
  • All discounts are applied pre-tax.
  • Discounts result from discount codes, not compare-at prices.

Returns

The value of a customer’s returned goods, recorded as a negative number on the return date.

Return fees

The charge customers pay for returning goods. The returned item value isn’t included.

Net sales

Actual number of goods sold. Calculated as Gross sales – Discounts – Returns.

Shipping

Calculated as shipping charges – shipping discounts – refunded shipping amounts.

Tax

The total tax amount based on the orders.

Duties

The total duties applicable based on the orders.

 

Duties are shown on reports for stores that collect them at checkout. Duties are missing in the following reports:

  • Sales by product
  • Sales by product variant SKU
  • Sales by product vendor
  • Sales by discount

Total sales

Total sales are positive for sales and negative for returns, based on the order date.

 

Calculated as: Gross sales – discounts – returns + taxes + duties + shipping charges + fees.

Now, let’s go over those reports one-by-one.

 

Sales Over Time

The Sales Over Time report shows your order and total sales data from a point in the past that you can choose. Use the Group by drop down menu to select the time period of your sales data. You can even compare data between different periods. 

 

Note that if an order is edited after the day it’s placed, the report will show both the original and edited versions. 

 

Sales by Product

This report gives a breakdown of your product sales performance. You can get insights into your product lineup strategy to revamp it for better sales. 

 

Shipping fees and tax are missing here as an order can have multiple products but a single shipping charge that can’t be broken down for individual products.  

 

Along with many common data columns, this report contains these additional ones:

Product vendor

The OEM/source of your product, if purchased from a third party.

Product type

The type of product you are selling. Ex: Hats.

Product title

Name of your product.

 

Note: If you spot a dash (—) in a data column, it means there was no data when the order was placed.

 

Sales by Product Variant SKU

This report includes variant details and SKU for precise item identification and data analysis. It mirrors the Sales by Product report in not displaying shipping and taxes while sharing several data columns with it. The Product vendor and Product type columns are swapped for Variant title and SKU.

 

Sales by Product Vendor

The Sales by Product Vendor report displays which vendor supplied a particular product that you’ve sold. The additional data columns in this report are Product Vendor and Net quantity.  Clicking on the vendor name shows all the products they’ve supplied. 

 

Sales by Discount

This report breaks down sales by discount type and frequency, helping you gauge the success of your discount campaigns. Your sales are grouped by discount name to easily identify the specific discount codes that brought them.

 

Note that the report shows the total order value, and not just the discounted items. If multiple discount codes are applied to an order, then each code is displayed separately. Also, the report takes 12-72 hours to update your discounted sales information. Data history starts from May 1, 2017, 12:00 AM UTC, no matter the time zone of your store.

 

The additional data columns in this report are:

Discount name

Name assigned to the discount during creation via the admin account.

Discount ID

The discount ID in the admin URL.

Discount class

‘Shipping’, ‘product’, ‘order’ or ‘unknown‘.

Discount method

How the discount is applied during checkout. Ex: automatically or manual code entry.

Discount type

Percentage, fixed amount, free shipping, buy X get Y, or App.

Discount code

The code applied to receive the discount.

Automatic discount title

The name of the automatically applied discount.

Discount amount

The total value of the discount.

Other discounts

The total value of additional discounts applied to a discounted order.

Other non-shipping discounts

The total value of all non-shipping discounts used with applied discount in orders.

Other shipping discounts

Total value of shipping discounts applied to orders that include the named discount.

Non-shipping discounts

The total value of all non-shipping discounts on orders with a particular discount.

Shipping discounts

The total value of all shipping discounts on orders with a particular discount.

Non-shipping script discounts

The total value of product discounts generated by scripts from the Script Editor app.


This column appears only for Shopify Plus users. It shows script discount amounts for an order only if a discount code was also applied.

Shipping script discounts

The total value of shipping discounts from scripts run by the Script Editor app. These discounts are shown only for Shopify Plus users if a discount code was also used on the order.

 

Sales by Traffic Referrer

The Sales by Traffic Referrer report records where a customer came from, like social, email, website, etc. You can view the traffic referrer host specifically, like Instagram for Social.

 

This report adds these data columns to other common ones:

Traffic referrer source

Shows how a customer found your online store. Possible values are:


  • Direct: The customer typed your store’s URL directly into their browser.
  • Search: The customer accessed your store via a search engine results page.
  • Email: The customer followed a link to your store from an email.
  • Social: The customer followed a link to your store from social media.
  • Unknown: The referrer source doesn’t match any of the above categories.

Traffic referrer host

Displays the referral site, like www.google.com for Search referrers, and outlook.live.com for Email referrers. If the referrer can’t be determined for direct sources, a line is shown. Reasons for this including:


  • A link clicked from an email, mobile app, instant message, or bookmark.
  • The user’s web browser has Do Not Track enabled.
  • Referrer data blocked by a proxy or firewall.
  • Use of a shortened URL link.

 

Sales by Billing Location

This report identifies the region and country of a sale based on the order’s billing address. 

 

Sales by Checkout Currency

If you use Shopify Payments and have customers paying in different currencies, you can view a breakdown of it in this report. The Total Sales column here displays values in your local currency.

 

Sales by Channel

Want to know how much sales a channel brought in? This report gives you that data. It even marks draft order sales. Unknown sales channels are marked as ‘Other’.

 

Sales by Customer Name

This report reveals the list of orders a customer has placed over a specific period with the customer’s name and email ID used for each. 

 

Average Order Value over Time

This report makes sure you won’t miss changes to your Average Order Value (AOV) over a specific period. You can select the time range to group your data by, like day, month, hour of day, hour of week, quarter, year, etc. via the Group by option, and also compare the different data groups.

 

Note: How the average order value is calculated has changed since December 23, 2022. 

 

The previous formula was: 

AOV = ((gross sales-discounts + taxes + duties + shipping) / orders)

 

Now, it’s:

AOV = ((gross sales- discounts) / orders)

 

Customizing Reports and Adding Gift Cards

Customizing a sales report is convenient in Shopify thanks to multiple filters and editing options. You can find the filters under the Manage filters option across reports. For data columns, simply check or uncheck the box next to one to add or remove it. 

 

Some of the columns you can add are AOV, Ordered Quantity, Returned quantity, Purchase option (whether the sale happened from a subscription or a one-time purchase).

 

Regarding Gift Cards, here are the details:

  • The gift cards you issue or sell via your Shopify admin accounts aren’t shown in any sales report. 

 

  • The ones you sell will be in the Gift Card sales finance report. 

 

  • The Payments finance report shows the amount a customer paid for a gift card, along with the payment method used. It also shows refunded gift card amounts. 

 

  • Gift cards used by customers for purchases are included in sales reports. The total value combines the direct payment and gift card amounts.

 

  • The Gift cards balance finance report tells you the remaining balance on a gift card after reducing the amount paid using it. This doesn’t apply to imported orders. The report also shows the outstanding gift card balance after the card expires. Deactivating a gift card removes that outstanding balance, but not its historical data. Deactivations take 24 hrs to update.

 

  • A gift card custom report can have related gross sales, no. of cards sold, and card-specific discount data. 

 

Summing Up

Shopify provides diverse reports that effortlessly enhance your understanding of sales data through customizable options. Categorizing data by product, customer, discount, and more, it streamlines your data management for clear insights into your sales and orders.

 

With that said, there are some things Shopify sale reports can’t do for you, like automatically exporting the report file in a custom format, adding data columns not available in Shopify (such as metafields, tags, product properties,calculated fields, etc), among other things. For these additional features, you can go for a third-party reporting app like Report Pundit.

 

How Report Pundit Helps

Report Pundit gives you 20+ pre-made reports with plenty of customization options just for sales and orders. Along with Sales by product, channel, etc. data, you get info on refunds, draft orders, staff, and more. 

 

Once created, you can schedule your desired sales report to be sent to a destination and file format of choice at a particular time. Add to that third-party app connection to get sales and relevant store data in your reports. And it’s all just the tip of the iceberg of what Report Pundit can do.

 

Take your Shopify sales data analysis and insight gathering to new heights.

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