What Is Shopify Reporting and Why Is It Important?

Shopify reporting offers merchants insights into their stores. This guide explains what reporting is, the difference between reports and analytics, and why it's critical for ecommerce success.

Can an e-commerce business survive without reports and analytics? Of course, it’s possible, but it would be like a sea captain navigating waters without a compass.

E-commerce merchants around the world use reports on finances, marketing, sales, and inventory, to track their store growth, make important business decisions, and run day-to-day operations. They’re a fundamental resource for online sellers.

Failure to review these reports may result in flawed decision-making, affecting the store in the long and short term future.

Understanding this reality, Shopify has provided its millions of customers with some of the best e-commerce reports online. From finances to inventory and everything in between, Shopify enables a wide range of report features of which a merchant can take full advantage.

In fact, we’ve created an extensive guide on these reports explaining what they are, how they work, and how you can use them to get the best results.

Here it is The Complete Guide to Shopify Reports.

Now, let’s look at what Shopify reporting is and why it is important.

What is Shopify Reporting?

Shopify reporting is a feature from the world’s largest managed e-commerce platform that provides a suite of tools to analyze day-to-day store activities. It is built-in functionality available for all Shopify plans.

Let’s look at a quick plan comparison:

Shopify Reports Plan Comparison

As you can see, Basic and Lite stores have limited access to reports, whereas ShopifyAdvanced, and Plus stores have access to most (or all) reports. Please note that Custom reports are an exclusive feature that’s available only to Advanced and Plus stores.

To access these reports in Shopify, click on Analytics in the left sidebar of the admin screen, and then select Reports.

Accessing Reports in Shopify

Once you’re there, you can view all the reports available for your store on the right-side panel.

Some advance warning: we’re not going to cover specific reports here, as we’ve already done so in our article, The Complete Guide to Shopify Reports. But we will focus on the significance of Shopify reporting. So, let’s get started.

Why is Shopify Reporting Important?

To understand the importance of Shopify reports, let’s take an example of a store selling keto dietary items. We’ll call the store owner Jim for our illustration.

Jim and his team have been doing an exceptional job selling keto merchandise  to health-conscious customers. So much so that they’ve become quite popular in their community, and are now opening a retail store in a neighboring area.

While success is definitely trending upward, Jim seems anxious about getting his day-to-day finances in check. Everything from sales and marketing to inventory, leaves him disoriented as he keeps track of the many details.

Jim considers whether he needs to manually update spreadsheet data or hire a business analyst to do it for him. The latter option seems convenient, albeit expensive. So, poor Jim decides to stressfully grind away at his daily data chores.

But… What if Jim could get his data without the nerve-racking manual effort? What if he could just click a few buttons and gather all the relevant information?

Seems wonderful, right?

Well, that’s exactly what Shopify reporting does. Shopify enables the summarized data collection from a store’s daily e-commerce activities, as well as any POS (Point of Sale) retail locations.

As for Jim (our example), all he needs to do is configure his online store and POS locations, and Shopify takes care of the rest.

If Jim wants to know the gross sales recently made by his new local keto dietary store, he just needs to do the following:

Head to the Reports section > Scroll to Finances > Select Summary > Choose Gross Sales from Sales section > Select the date range > Choose the channel (ie Point of Sale) from All Channel > download the report by using the Export option in the top right corner. That’s it – Super easy!

Not only do Shopify reports make Jim’s job easier; he can now concentrate on more important decisions, rather than worrying about mundane tasks.

Of course, there may still be some custom reports for which Jim needs help, even if he subscribes to Shopify’s Advanced or Plus plans. In such situations, established Shopify reporting apps like Report Pundit can lend a hand.

Now that we understand why Shopify Reports are important, let’s quickly undo the confusion around reports versus analytics in Shopify.

Shopify Reports Vs Shopify Analytics – What’s the Difference?

Shopify Reports give in-depth details of a particular business metric, whereas Shopify Analytics gives a bird’s eye view of similar information.

If you’re confused about reporting and analytics, take comfort in knowing others have experienced disorientation by Shopify’s admin dashboard.

So, let’s decipher the difference between these two insight methods. We’ll start with Analytics.

As mentioned earlier, Shopify Analytics is an overview that gives you high level insights about important e-commerce metrics and their trends. This data is presented as a visual dashboard, so you can quickly glance at your store’s business performance.

You can see in the above screenshot that Analytics displays total sales, store sessions, returning customer rate, conversion rate, average order value, and total orders for a chosen time period. If Shopify Reports are like scuba diving into deep blue waters, the Analytics dashboard is like scanning the water’s surface in a speeding jet boat.

You may also notice that one of the metrics has a View Report option.

View Reports from Analytics

Any dashboard with a View Report option indicates you can “dive” deeper into those insights and find more records pertaining to them.

In the above-referenced screen, you can see the View report option for Online store sessions. By accessing this report, you’ll further understand sessions over time data like bounce rate, page view, conversion rate, etc., for the chosen time period.

Returning to our Analytics topic: the only option to customize the dashboard is by changing the date range (along the top). Doing so will fetch trends for your selected time period. Unfortunately, there are no other available options.

If you need advanced analytics, then you can choose analytics apps from the Shopify App Store that give you granular data insights and trends to meet your custom needs.

However, Shopify Analytics is quite useful when you have less time and need immediate info.

For example, let’s say you’re in a weekly team meeting and need to know the total sales for last week. You can go to Analytics, select the time range, and finally pounce on any low-performing sales.

Conversely, with Reports, you can get complete data for each unique order, product, customer session, or transaction (and then tackle low-performing sales even harder).

So, you can simultaneously use Reports for precise e-commerce decisions, while routinely viewing Analytics to monitor ongoing performance trends.

Although there’s a big difference between the two tools, Shopify Reports and Analytics are more effective when used together.

But there’s one more neglected topic – the visualizations within Shopify Reports!

Shopify Reports Visualizations

At this point, we understand that Shopify Analytics provides an overview of multiple e-commerce metrics, but there are visualizations within individual reports, too.

Here’s an example of one:

The above line graph is part of Shopify’s Behavior reports section.

Likewise, there are multiple visualizations in the same style among other Shopify reports. These charts visualize the data of a specific report and provide insights about growth or decline in a visually appealing way.

We’ve written an extensive article on the various Shopify Reports Charts and Dashboards where you can learn more about them.

Let’s move on to the last but equally important subject: how to get enhanced reports in Shopify.

How to Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting in Shopify

Enhanced reports or enhanced reporting is another way of referring to Custom reports, and there are three ways to enable enhanced reporting (so to speak) in Shopify:

  • By using Manage Filters to generate specific reports
  • By upgrading to Advanced or Plus plan types to access custom reports
  • By utilizing Report Pundit to create detailed custom reports for a fraction of the cost.

Let’s look at how each of these three options work.

Manage Filters

Except for Finance reports, every other Shopify report type has an option called Manage Filters.

Manage Filters in Shopify

Using these filters, you can export well-defined data based on your needs. For example, suppose you own a clothing store and ran a discount campaign last month to attract customers. Now you want to learn the number of conversions from this ad campaign.

To get this info, you can visit the Behavior section of reports > click Online store conversions over time > select Last Month from the date range > open Manage Filters > select UTM Campaign name from the drop-down> click Apply Filters.

Now, Shopify will display this data and you can export it as a CSV file.

Advanced or Plus Plans

When you subscribe to Advanced or Plus account plan types, you’ll have access to Shopify’s custom reports.

Ironically, however, these custom reports have limited access to data and offer minimal customization options. 

To illustrate: let’s say you run a successful online grocery store and receive lots of daily orders. On one ill-fated day, many of your customers return angry about their paid but unshipped orders. So, now you’re desperate to know which orders aren’t yet fulfilled.

The not-so-good news: although it’s possible to get this information from Shopify custom reports, it takes considerable effort to capture the complete information.

That’s one of many reasons why Shopify Customers use Report Pundit to get mission-critical details. Some records are simply too difficult to retrieve and/or inaccessible from Shopify alone.

We know it’s a shameless plug, but we at Report Pundit are Shopify reporting fanatics! We’re also the top-rated partner (950+ 5-star reviews) at Shopify’s App Store for custom reports.

When you add Report Pundit to your Shopify store, you’re not just getting access to some of the best custom reports. We also fully integrate with brands you know and love PayPal, Facebook, Google Analytics, and other popular e-commerce-related platforms.

Report Pundit offers 164 different customizable reports for your Shopify store.  Our reports feature the following categories:

  •        Sales & Order Reports
  •        Inventory Reports
  •        Line-Item Properties
  •        Product & Variant Reports
  •        Fulfillment Reports
  •        Integration Reports
  •        Custom Inventory Level Indicator Reports
  •        Tax Reports
  •        Customer Journey Reports
  •        Best Selling SKUs reports
  •        Customer Reports
  •        Transaction & Billing Reports
  •        Abandoned Cart Reports
  •        Tags & Collections Reports
  •        Shopify/PayPal Reports
  •        Import Feeds & Templates

You may notice that many of our reports aren’t available in Shopify; creating these reports manually would require serious time and resources.

So essentially, Report pundit is not just an app to customize your reports but it helps merchants to pull data that is nowhere available in Shopify.

One good example of that is the Line-Item properties, which are common among Shopify merchants, but you cannot find them on Shopify. Yet you can access this information very easily in Report Pundit.

That’s why over 1000+ Shopify merchants find it super easy to generate advanced and custom reports.

You don’t have to take our word for it: try our 14-day free trial and experience it for yourself.

Get The Best From Shopify Reporting

Regardless of its limitations, Shopify’s own reports still provide some of the best insights to merchants around the globe.

If you’re just beginning your Shopify journey, then we recommend reading our extensive guide on Shopify Reports to understand how each report functions.

If you’re already familiar with Shopify reports or are a veteran Shopify merchant, it’s time to untap the potential of our fully customized Shopify reports.

We wish you all the best with your e-commerce journey!  If you ever have questions about Shopify reporting, then we at Report Pundit are here to help.

Thanks for reading!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Does Shopify Have Reporting?

A. Yes, Shopify is known for its large suite of useful e-commerce reports. You can also use third-party applications such as Report Pundit to get the best reports on your store.

Q. How to get reporting on Shopify Store?

A. To access Shopify Reports, go to your store’s Admin portal > choose Analytics from the left sidebar > click on Reports.

Q. What reports do I get with Shopify Basic?

A. In Shopify Basic plan you get access to Acquisition, Behavior, Finances, Marketing, and Inventory reports.

Q. What is Shopify Plus Reporting?

A. Shopify plus reporting refers to advanced and custom reports that Shopify Plus plan-type stores have access to. Shopify Plus plan types are quite expensive and yet there are multiple critical reports that are missing. You may want to consider third-party reporting apps.

Q. What are Shopify Standard Reports?

A. Shopify Standard reports can be accessed by stores that’re subscribed to the Shopify Standard plan type. The reports you can access in the Standard plan are Finance, Acquisition, Inventory, Behavior, Marketing, Order, Sales, Retail Sales, Profit, and (5 of 7) Customer reports.

Q. What are some best Shopify Reporting Apps?

A. Some of the best Shopify reporting apps are:

  1. Report Pundit
  2. Data Export
  3. Report Toaster
  4. Advanced Reports

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