Are you ready to grow your ecommerce business and drive more revenue? One way to do this is by understanding the data behind your operations. That’s where ecommerce reporting can really help!
But what exactly is ecommerce reporting?
This guide provides a comprehensive overview of ecommerce reporting, from what it is, what it contains, common KPIs to track, and more! We’ll also take a deeper look at how data integration plays a major role in delivering success to your analytics process.
Understanding ecommerce reporting
Here is an interesting statistic:
Ecommerce has been growing annually and is expected to grow by 10.4% in 2023.
Analytics plays an important part in generating such growth. In fact, leading ecommerce companies leverage data and analytics to gain a competitive edge.
These businesses collect data about visitors, which includes page visits, marketing channels, user behaviors, product views, and promotions used. Other pertinent information includes order value, product price, shipping method, payment info, and customer data.
Reporting goes next.
All of that collected data is presented in an easy-to-digest way through visualization with charts, graphs, or in more detailed information such as a data table containing individual transactions. These deliverables can be used to guide storytelling with the data to help ecommerce businesses figure out their performance.
What is an ecommerce report?
In short, an ecommerce report is a data presentation highlighting various insights about your ecommerce business.
It helps you gain an overall understanding of your online store, including your products, orders, customers, and more. This powerful tool allows you to identify any potential weaknesses and capitalize on any growth opportunities effectively.
An accurate and well-designed ecommerce report is a valuable asset providing greater visibility—helping you make crucial decisions.
The importance of ecommerce reports
So, what makes ecommerce reports important?
Well, generally speaking, they provide information you need to know about your online business that can help in improving future decisions.
In more detail, here are some important points that can be discovered through ecommerce reporting:
- Comparison. You can compare data to find similarities and differences. For example, you can compare data across time periods or compare two metrics side by side in a report.
- Relationship. You can see how data is connected or could be connected. For example, with reports, you can understand if the number of page views is related to conversion rates.
- Distribution. It shows how often something happens in a group of data points. We can look at distributions across one, two, or three dimensions. For example, we might look at lifetime value by city by customer.
- Composition. It shows the elements or pieces that make up a whole. For example, the composition of your generated revenue might be from 38% paid search and 62% organic search.
What should be included in an ecommerce report?
An ecommerce report tells you important things about your ecommerce business. These include:
- Metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to your business. Some examples include cost per acquisition, revenue, customers, visits, conversion rate, and average order value. We’ll focus on this part in detail in the next section.
- The conversion funnel. It helps to show how many people follow a linear path that leads to buying something.
- Abandoned cart data. It helps to figure out what items people are leaving behind when shopping. Helpful measurements include abandoned cart rate and revenue.
- Lists of frequency, rank order, or popularity. For example, you can see the top products and marketing channels, revenue per user, conversion rate, and average lifetime value per user.
KPIs to track in your ecommerce analytics reports
The list of possible KPIs is large.
It’s hard to recommend which ones are the best for your business because they should help you reach your goals.
Of course, there are a few shared goals across all ecommerce businesses: conversion rates, gross profit, cost and revenue-per metrics, and other useful measurements.
Now, let’s talk about some of the KPIs below.
Page or screen views
The “page views” measures how many times a page is seen by a user. This metric helps you understand how popular a page is on your ecommerce site.
You can use this metric to see if changes to the page lead to more visits or less.
Its derivative KPI, called page views per session or per user, tracks how many pages people view in one visit, which is a useful way to indicate how engaging the content on your site is.
The bounce rate tells you the percentage of people who came to your website and then left without doing anything.
Google Analytics 4 defines the bounce rate as the percentage of visits that were not in engaged sessions. An “engaged session” is a visit that lasts 10 seconds or longer, has one or more conversion events, or has two or more page views. So, if someone views your page for more than 10 seconds and then leaves, the session does not count as a bounce.
Different tools might have different definitions.
However, the basic principle is the same: bounce rate is a way to measure visit quality. A high bounce rate generally means that the site page isn’t relevant to the visitors.
Visits or sessions
A session starts when you visit a website or open a mobile app.
Sessions vary in length depending on the company’s data definition. Most commonly, a session automatically ends after 30 minutes of inactivity. Information about sessions can help you create more engaging experiences and increase conversions.
Revenue is the money collected from customers when they purchase things or services from you during a given time frame.
This metric shows the results of all your efforts—from website operations, marketing, analytics, conversion optimization, and so on. Thus, knowing the accurate amount of revenue you make is an important goal. You’ll also need to consider the third party’s payment processing states of approval (such as authorized, charged, approved, settled, etc.) when defining revenue.
Ensure you have consistent definitions across all selling channels.
Gross profit margin
This metric shows the amount and percentage of money that remains after you subtract the cost of the things you sell (COGS) from the revenue.
This metric, or another “margin” metric such as net profit margin, can be important enough to track how your business is doing financially.
Things like sales, discounts, and promotions can impact gross margin, so it’s important to analyze it carefully.
Abandoned cart rate
Abandoned carts occur when a user adds items to their cart but does not buy them. This is one common frustrating issue in ecommerce.
The average rate for an ecommerce website is nearly 70 percent. The rate tends to be higher for small screens.
Reasons for cart abandonment can include unexpected shipping costs, website errors, a complex checkout process, a declined card, and customers not being ready to buy.
Conversion rate refers to the percentage of visitors who take an action on your website. This action can be anything that you think is valuable.
Many different types of conversion rates allow you to gain specific insights. Here are some common examples:
- Sales conversion rates
- Lead generation conversion rates
- Click-through rates
There are different ways to measure conversion rate, like based on visits, unique visitors, or customers. However, most people use visit conversion due to technical and conceptual challenges.
Understanding this metric will give you an insight into how well your marketing and sales strategies work, and whether their operations are aligned.
Cost per Customer Acquisition (CAC)
This metric shows how much money it takes to generate a new customer.
To calculate CAC, divide the total money spent on marketing and sales by the number of customers acquired.
Knowing CAC is important, as it can help plan and allocate marketing budgets appropriately. If CAC increases too much, your profits could decrease despite making more sales.
Average Order Value (AOV)
The AOV is an essential ecommerce metric that measures the average amount spent by customers per order.
AOV is calculated by dividing the total revenue by the total number of orders in a particular time frame.
Ideally, a high AOV number means that your business is doing well and making money.
Lifetime Value (LTV) shows the predicted value (usually revenue and net profit) that your customers will spend over the expected duration of their relationship with your ecommerce website.
This metric is referred to as Customer Lifetime Value (CLV or CLTV) for an individual customer. Calculating lifetime value helps you understand how much you can invest in retaining the customer so as to achieve a maximal return.
Data integration & ecommerce reporting to drive strategies
An ecommerce business can have a lot of data to integrate—behavioral, customer, marketing, product, inventory, shipping data, and more. The data might be scattered in different systems or platforms.
When they’re brought together via data integration, a more detailed analysis can be created, which leads to richer business insights. You can then use such insights to refine your strategies for the success of your business.
Pulling your data from different sources into a single repository will make it accessible for reporting. To do this, you’ll need to perform an ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) process, which covers the following steps:
- Extracting data from different platforms, such as from ecommerce, marketing, CRM, accounting, HR, and project management platforms.
- Transforming the extracted data, which is important for preparing raw datasets for loading. Common data transformations include formatting data types, removing duplicates, filtering, joining, etc.
- Loading the transformed data into a single destination for reporting and analysis. The destination could be an Excel spreadsheet file or a data warehouse system like BigQuery.
With Coupler.io, you can set up an automatic data refresh schedule (hourly or daily, etc.), which is pretty useful for making your ecommerce reports always contain timely data. This tool offers plenty of data sources you can connect to, such as:
- Analytics & marketing platforms include Google Ads, Google Analytics 4, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Google Search Console, etc.
- CRM platforms include HubSpot, Zoho CRM, PipeDrive, and Salesforce.
- Ecommerce & retail platforms include Shopify, Etsy, eBay, WooCommerce, etc.
- Email & customer service platforms include MailChimp, Mailgun, Twilio, etc.
- Accounting platforms include ChartMogul, Xero, QuickBooks, etc.
- HR management platforms include BambooHR, Keap, and Humaans.io.
- Project management platforms include Asana, Trello, Slack, etc.
- And many more.
The end-to-end data integration process might be complex to manage on your own. Especially, if after that you need to create advanced and custom ecommerce reporting using a visualization tool such as Looker Studio, Power BI, or Tableau. In this case, hiring a data analytics consulting service may be the best option for you.
Coupler.io offers a data analytics consulting service that handles advanced data management cases, such as data automation, custom reporting, data visualization, and everything related to helping you with your data tasks. Many successful businesses recommend their services. So, contact our team of experts to start a free call to discuss how they can help you with attaining your business goals.
Types of reports in ecommerce
There are many types of ecommerce reports based on the data and sets of metrics they display.
Many ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, etc., enable reporting. While the number of reports each of these platforms offers may be different, generally, they provide standard ecommerce reports to successfully monitor your business.
Now, let’s discuss several types of ecommerce reports that may benefit you.
Ecommerce full report (overview dashboard)
This type of report gives you a bird’s-eye view of your ecommerce KPIs in one place. KPI tracking involves are monitoring the most important metrics related to your business goals.
An overview report renders a large volume of data, usually from multiple sources, into a meaningful, understandable, and actionable summary.
The following is an ecommerce overview dashboard – an omnichannel reporting example provided by Coupler.io. It features scorecards for goal tracking, line charts for sales and conversion trend tracking, and a stacked-bar chart for showing user composition.
Ecommerce sales report
An ecommerce sales report typically provides insights about the total sales generated by your ecommerce business, including details based on criteria such as sales over time, by product, by region, or by channel.
From this type of report, you might notice that every Friday your ecommerce sales increase to their highest point all week. You might also see which products and marketing channels generated high sales.
Ecommerce funnel report
This type of report helps you analyze your ecommerce marketing funnel.
It usually includes a funnel chart that displays a graphical illustration of the steps that lead to conversion within an ecommerce experience. A visitor may start viewing a list of products on your ecommerce site > select an item > add it to the Cart > checkout > payment.
The following ecommerce funnel report example shows the steps in a linear path.
Ecommerce customer report
This type of report helps you analyze your ecommerce customers.
It can be used to answer business questions related to customers, such as how to generate more revenue for existing customers, how to reduce costs for new customers, etc.
Analyzing customer data typically involves segmentation and clustering. See an example visualization of customer breakdown below:
There are special types of customer reports. For example, if you want to better understand customer behavior across time, you can use customer cohort reports—here is an example:
Ecommerce marketing report
This type of report helps you assess the impact of your marketing effort on your ecommerce business. It may show data about your campaigns, email analytics results, social media analytics results, search engine optimization (SEO) results, affiliates, and resellers.
As an example, here’s an ecommerce marketing report that measures activity across all marketing channels:
By understanding the data in this report, you can see what marketing channels are best contributing to conversion, then make decisions on how to optimize them to maximize your revenue.
Ecommerce product performance report
Products and orders are the financial core of ecommerce, and this type of report helps you explore these two elements, as they’re highly related.
With this type of report, you can do various kinds of analysis by answering questions such as:
- Which products are most frequently included and bought in orders?
- Which product categories drive the highest lifetime value?
- What brands are most popular?
- What brands are bought when other brands are bought at the same time?
- Do products with the highest prices drive the most orders?
- And so on…
Ecommerce carts report
This type of report helps you understand why people are not buying items they had in their shopping carts. It shows what the website might be missing out on.
Here is BigCommerce’s high-level overview cart report as an example:
Some helpful metrics displayed in this type of report may include:
- Total abandoned carts
- Total abandoned cart revenue
- Cart abandonment rate
- Top abandoned products, including their abandoned revenue and carts
How to analyze an ecommerce report
Creating ecommerce reports can be a challenge, but analyzing and interpreting the findings can be another difficult task.
So, here we share a few tips to help you with the analysis:
- Define the questions you want to answer
It’s best to start with a general question and then layer in more detailed ones. For example, to analyze behavioral data, you may want to consider this one:
What marketing channels drive the most revenue?
Then, some specific details may interest you:
What is the average time spent by channel?
What is the conversion rate by channel?
Do people who come from particular marketing channels abandon carts at a higher rate?
And so on…
- Understand KPIs or metrics for your analysis
Your analysis is measured by KPIs and other related metrics. So, understanding what measurements you need to analyze is crucial, because they are the means of judging success or failure.
- Understand the “calendar” of your ecommerce analysis
Ecommerce analysis frequently involves comparing data across different time periods. Time series data is common. But unfortunately, comparing time periods in ecommerce may not be an easy thing to do.
You may want to know how certain values compare to yesterday, last week, last month, last year, and so on. In addition, special days may impact your sales and this is also necessary to track.
By understanding your ecommerce’s “calendar”, you’ll be able to avoid data misinterpretation when there are changes or fluctuations in your report.
- Understand statistics for better analysis
Understanding basic concepts such as mean or average, and more advanced concepts such as data correlation, linear regression, etc., will surely help you correctly interpret certain data visualization elements in your reports.
Final words – Ecommerce reporting
Ecommerce reporting will continue to be an important activity for generating consistent growth and new levels of revenue.
The world of ecommerce is highly competitive! This is why it is important to leverage data to your advtange. By collecting data, generating reports from it, and analyzing the results, you’ll be able to make well-informed decisions to boost business performance and stay ahead of the competition.
In addition, automatic data integration plays an important role in the success of your ecommerce reporting. Fortunately, with a tool like Coupler.io, you can easily set up an automatic data flow for your custom reporting activity. If you need help with any data management task or advanced visualization, their data analytics consultation service is also perfect to hire!
Thanks for reading… and we hope you’ll find interesting insights from your ecommerce reporting.Back to Blog