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How to Build and Use a Shopify Dashboard?

Dashboards are an excellent tool for analyzing the current state and the general picture of a business. It’s no different for a Shopify dashboard that’s widely used to track orders, monitor site visits and conversions, and stay on top of what sells best.

Shopify offers a built-in dashboard functionality, available out-of-the-box for all users. Those looking to build something more custom also have plenty of options.

How to access Shopify dashboard?

You won’t find any mention of a dashboard in the Shopify interface. That’s not to say that it’s not there. You can access the dashboard by clicking on the Analytics tab in the menu.

Here, you’ll see about 20 charts and other visual representations of your store’s data. Unfortunately, the set of charts is fixed and cannot be adjusted. 

Another aspect of the Shopify dashboard is the Live View tab also visible in the menu. We’ll get to that in just a few moments.

Features of Shopify dashboard

The dashboard is actually a visual representation of various reports available on Shopify. Currently, the following reports are featured in the dashboard:

  • Total sales
  • Online store sessions
  • Returning customer rate
  • Online store conversion rate
  • Average order value
  • Total orders
  • Top products by units sold
  • Online store sessions by 
    • Location
    • Device type
    • Traffic source
    • Social source
  • Sales by
    • Traffic source
    • Social source
  • Sales attributed to marketing
  • Top referrers by sessions
  • Top landing pages by sessions

If you want to dig deeper into either report, just click View report in the respective box and you’ll be taken to a more detailed report. For more Shopify reports, head to the Reports menu as usual.

You can adjust the reporting period in the top-left corner and choose what the data should be compared to. The settings will be saved, so you should also see the previous reporting period on the next visit.

How to change your Shopify dashboard?

As we mentioned earlier, you can’t add nor remove charts (reports), nor even reposition them, so it’s not an ideal Shopify dashboard solution. 

The only change you can make to the default dashboard is updating the reporting period. Everything else – the choice of reports, order, or the way the data is presented – is unfortunately beyond your control.

If you’re looking for any kind of customization, you’ll need to opt for building a custom Shopify report that we’ll describe shortly in the How to create a Shopify dashboard chapter.

Shopify live dashboard

Under the Live View tab, you can see what’s happening on your store’s website. You’ve got a map where the locations of your recent visitors and orders are visible. 

(Our sample sandwiches store doesn’t get to see many visitors, so the real map certainly looks a lot more colorful;-))

What’s more, you can see the count of visitors and sessions and the volume of orders placed on a given day. Below, you can view the top products, the quantity of returning customers, and the sales funnel. The latter shows the number of active carts, shoppers checking out, and those that already purchased in the last 10 minutes.

If you’re up for streaming your store live traffic in, for example, a YouTube video, you can use the Streamer Mode button below the globe, to the left of the full-screen toggle. This will hide your stats and zoom in on the auto-updating map.

How to export Shopify dashboard?

You can’t export an entire dashboard, unfortunately. Instead, you may export particular reports as .csv files if you’d like. To do so, click on the View report button for a specific report. Then, click on Export and confirm.

This is probably not the handiest method if you want to export an entire dashboard or a number of reports. This is why we’ll provide you with an alternative approach that relies on automatically exporting Shopify data to, for example, Excel or Google Sheets. With each of these tools, you can build a self-updating dashboard for Shopify and share it with your colleagues.

More about it in the How to create a Shopify dashboard chapter.

Shopify dashboard tools

There’s no denying that the level of customization offered with the default dashboard (or should we say lack thereof?) is pushing many users to try third-party solutions. With these alternatives, they can calculate advanced business metrics, draw custom charts, obtain insights into their pricing strategy, or even predict future outcomes.

There are a number of apps capable of building a dashboard of some sort. Some of the top-rated options include:

  • Lifetimely: Profit & LTV. Useful app that in real-time calculates the profitability of your business, deducting all associated expenses. It’s also used for fetching the lifetime value and acquisition costs at any given time.
  • Conversific Store Analytics. The app presents various metrics of your store and shows how you stack up against industry benchmarks. It also comes with 10+ custom reports you won’t find in Shopify.
  • By the Numbers. This solution offers a customizable dashboard to keep better track of your business. It’s also capable of emailing you weekly reports, including future prognosis and tips.
  • Coupler.io. This handy tool imports the data from your store and into Excel, Google Sheets, or BigQuery file. You can build a custom dashboard and perform any type of analysis there. You can also automatically pull data from other apps, such as QuickBooks, Hubspot, Pipedrive, or Airtable, and freely blend it with your Shopify information.

How to create a Shopify dashboard?

If the default dashboard template is too limiting for you, you’ll need to build a custom one. Don’t worry, though – you won’t have to start from scratch or engage a data analyst to do the job for you. You can achieve plenty with the available tools or with just a bit of expertise in working with a spreadsheet.

As a matter of fact, we’ve prepared for you a Google Sheets dashboard template that you can use and customize to your needs. 

In the next few chapters, we’ll explain:

  • How to use and customize the template
  • How to import the data from your store and use it on a dashboard

Shopify dashboard template

Here’s the Shopify dashboard template you can use for monitoring your own business.

Our dashboard calculates:

  • The volume of orders and, separately, the number of orders shipped abroad
  • Total sales for each month
  • Total discounts applied for orders placed in a given month

If you’d like, you can freely adjust the type of data to be shown in the tables and on charts. We’ll show you how to do that shortly.

For now, open the template, go to File -> Make a Copy. This will create a separate copy of the template that you can freely edit.

As the first step, let’s import some Shopify data into our spreadsheet using Coupler.io’s Shopify integrations with Google Sheets.

Importing data from Shopify

Coupler.io offers importers capable of automatically fetching data from various apps. What’s more, the data is refreshed at a chosen frequency so that you always work with fresh numbers.

  • Now onto the Shopify configuration. Paste the link to your store first. Then, insert your API credentials, following our Shopify importer documentation.
  • You should have an idea of what you want to show on a dashboard at this stage. Sales data? Stock levels? Shipment or fulfillment details? Or perhaps all of it? Pick the data that interests you the most and select it in the Data entity field. We’ll then copy the importer to fetch the remaining data too. Here’s a sample configuration using an API token:
  • You can filter the data next – e.g., choose orders placed after a certain date, only those with ‘open’ status or not yet fulfilled. Since we’ll be analyzing the data further in the spreadsheet, it’s best not to set any filters at this point and import all the available data.
  • Next, let’s connect your Google account. Authorize Coupler.io to import the data on your behalf. Then, find the dashboard template in your Google Drive and choose to import the data there into a new tab.
  • As the final step, choose when and how often the data should be refreshed and hit the Save and Run button. 

The Shopify data will be fetched right into your spreadsheet.

Fetching even more data

In our example above, we picked the Orders with shipping items data entity which brought us lots of information about orders placed in our store and the shipping details of our customers.

This will do for us, but if you also want to fetch other data entities, it’s easy to set up another importer.

  • Jump to your importers’ list.
  • Click the three dots next to your newly-created importer and choose Copy.
  • Here, there are three things to amend:
    • Name each new importer accordingly to easily distinguish them in case you need to, for example, update the refresh schedule or data destination for either of them.
    • In the Source section, change the Data entity to the desired one.
    • In the Destination section, choose a different sheet that the data should be imported. If you don’t, the previously fetched data will be overridden.
  • Afterwards, click Save and Run again.
  • Repeat the process for as many data entities as you need. 

Shopify custom dashboard explained

In the Orders with shipping lines tab of the template, you’ll find a bunch of sample data exported from our store. It serves solely demonstration purposes so you can remove it at any time.

To the left of the template, you can adjust the start month (B2) and the number of subsequent months to be displayed (B4). 

Note that the Start Month field is used solely to determine the start month. Thus, the specific day chosen is ignored. Choosing e.g. January 31st rather than 1st will still fetch all orders placed in January. 

Here’s the formula for calculating orders received:

={
"Orders received"; ArrayFormula(IF(LEN(D2:D)=0,, IFERROR(
  VLOOKUP(
    D2:D, QUERY(
      TEXT('Orders with shipping lines'!T2:T, "YYYY-MM"), 
      "SELECT Col1, COUNT(Col1) GROUP BY Col1", 
      0 ), 2, false))))}

Word of explanation:

  • Orders with shipping lines'!T2:T corresponds to the created_at field in the Orders with shipping lines tab, which tells us when an order was placed.
  • The QUERY formula returns the month when an order was placed and the total number of orders. We choose to return only the second value, thus 2 towards the end of the formula.
  • You can use this formula for summing up any other Shopify data. For example – import only the unpaid or fulfilled orders into another tab and reference this data in the formula above.

We can also add the criteria directly in the formula, and that’s what we do in the Foreign orders column. Here, we refer to shipping_address.country_code field of our import (column ER). We want to count only the orders where the field value is different than US. So we use the following formula:

={
  "Foreign orders"; 
  ArrayFormula(IF(LEN(D2:D)=0,, IFERROR(
    VLOOKUP(
      D2:D, 
      QUERY(
        {TEXT('Orders with shipping lines'!T2:T, "YYYY-MM"), 'Orders with shipping lines'!ER2:ER}, 
        "SELECT Col1, COUNT(Col1) WHERE Col2 <> 'US' GROUP BY Col1", 
        0
      ),
      2,
      false
    )
  )))
}

Here:

  • We use the QUERY formula to pull the column with country codes
  • We then use a simple SQL to pull only orders WHERE Col2 <> 'US'

In the Total sales field, we refer once again to the column with dates (created_at – column T). On top of that, we use the column BU (total_price) and sum up the values for all orders placed in a particular month.

=
{"Total sales"; 
ArrayFormula(IF(LEN(D2:D)=0,, IFERROR(
  VLOOKUP(
    D2:D, 
    QUERY(
      {TEXT('Orders with shipping lines'!T2:T, "YYYY-MM"), 'Orders with shipping lines'!BU2:BU}, 
      "SELECT Col1, SUM(Col2) GROUP BY Col1", 
      0), 
    2, 
    false
  )
 )))
}

We do the same in the Total discounts field, just this time summing up the values in the column BR (total_discounts).

In between the mentioned columns we put simple formulas for calculating month-to-month growth in each column. Depending on your use case, it may make sense to adjust the formulas to, for example, calculate the relations between columns instead (e.g., foreign orders vs. all orders).

Double-clicking on any charts will open up a configuration panel where you can choose what data should be shown and in which way.

Dashboard Shopify – frequently asked questions

We’ve browsed through the Shopify community forums and gathered the list of recurring questions related to a Shopify dashboard. We’ve decided to put together a brief FAQ section to answer them.

What is Shopify dashboard update frequency?

The data on the dashboard updates along with the reports that are featured there. According to Shopify’s documentation, the information is up to date up to the minute for most reports. So if you received an order 30 seconds ago, it might not be featured on the dashboard yet, but it will be very soon.

The exceptions are the online store sessions reports and the one featuring the online store conversion rate. Shopify analyzes this traffic more diligently to exclude irrelevant data (for example, bots crawling your site for SEO purposes). This may take up to 48 hours, and that’s the delay you can expect. 

If you’re analyzing traffic or conversion for a specific period, it’s best to wait for at least two days after the period has finished to get the most accurate numbers.

Naturally, the delays mentioned above don’t apply to the Live View, although from our experience, a lag of a few seconds is to be expected.

Why is Shopify dashboard reporting not accurate?

It’s natural to observe some discrepancies between the data on the Shopify dashboard and in other software – for example, Google Analytics. This is especially true for traffic data. 

It happens because every analytical tool approaches tracking in a slightly different manner. Google, for example, can only track visitors with JavaScript and cookies enabled. If they block either or both, they won’t be detected in Google Analytics but will appear on a Shopify dashboard with a high dose of probability.

There are plenty more reasons for potential discrepancies. You’ll find a comprehensive list on the Shopify help pages.

The update frequency mentioned in the previous chapter could also be to blame when it comes to traffic and conversion reports.

How to get to the dashboard in Shopify?

The dashboard is nested under the Analytics tab in the menu to the left. Below, you can also access all the reports available on your plan and the Live View of your store.

Why is the Shopify dashboard not working?

On some occasions, users report that the dashboard doesn’t work. It’s not a common issue at all, and most of the time, it will be connected to the entire Shopify website being down. Although it’s sporadic, having a dashboard outside of the platform may come in handy.

Another issue users have reported is seeing a black screen when accessing a dashboard. There aren’t many reports of that, and all signs indicate that the mobile connection could have been to blame. If you encounter such an issue, try to reset your router and reaccess the site – it should work!

Back in 2020, some users experienced an issue with the date selector – choosing a certain period would immediately switch the selector to a different period against the user’s will. Since there have been no recent reports of this, we believe it’s fair to assume the issue has been resolved. If you, however, encounter it, be sure to contact Shopify support.

Lastly, check the discrepancies chapters we just discussed moments ago if the Shopify dashboard works, but you’re convinced that something is off with the data. If this doesn’t help, Shopify support or help forums are the way to go.

In any case, to protect yourself from any malfunctions of the Shopify dashboard, it’s often a good idea to maintain a custom dashboard outside of Shopify – perhaps not even as the only option but as a backup and an enhancement of what you already have on the platform.

Shopify dashboard – sum up

There are many different ways to set up a dashboard for Shopify. The default method is effortless but limiting. It won’t hurt to look it up every now and then, even if you choose to build a great Shopify dashboard elsewhere, as it presents a number of valuable metrics.

The external options may take a bit more time to set up but offer a lot more customization. They’re recommended if you’re not getting the data you need from the built-in dashboard and wish to delve much deeper into your store’s information. With a bit of effort, they can offer a lot more insights into your business.

In the end, though choose what works best for you!

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