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How to Master Shopify Sales Reporting - 5 Key Numbers You Need to Know

Don’t drown in data - here’s EXACTLY what you need to focus on👀

Has Shopify sales reporting got you drowning in data? Well I’m here to help you out girl!

In this post I’m going to cover the 5 key numbers you need for Shopify sales reporting.

Rather than trying to keep track of  everything in your Shopify Analytics, I’ll help you filter out what you don’t need to know, so you can focus on what really matters!

I’m also going to share a super handy tool I developed to make this extra clear for understanding your sales reports.


Why do we get so overwhelmed with Shopify sales reporting?

Here’s why.

Between you and me, there’s a billion Shopify reports you could look at:

  • sales volume
  • Net sales
  • Profit margin
  • Sales by vendor
  • Sales by SKU
  • Sales by day, month, quarter, year...

Not to mention...

  • % growth
  • Revenue
  • customer acquisition costs
  • Cost of goods sold
  • And any other KPIs

OMG. Is your head spinning yet?🤪

So here’s how to avoid that overwhelm to keep your attention on what really matters →

With so many numbers to look at and measure yourself against or aim for, it’s easy to get confused and end up down a rabbit hole.

And then it’s easy to track the wrong metrics - numbers that don’t actually shift the needle in your biz and just distract you.

Or worse still, it’s all just so overwhelming that you just ❌ don’t ❌ look ❌.

At all.

All of these things can take your business in a trajectory that you don’t really want to go, or get you stuck and take your energy and attention away from what is really important.

And I’m here to get you focused girl, so listen up.

⭐Why Sales Reporting is Important⭐

There’s a few reasons why you want to focus in on specific numbers for sales reporting and put blinkers on for everything else:

#1 You want to be reporting the right numbers when it comes to doing your  taxes. Each state and city is different - but you need to get this right: your numbers are critical for doing your taxes.

#2 Having the right numbers helps  inform your growth strategy. Knowing what numbers you’re tracking means you can easily identify where to focus efforts and what to double down on to leverage growth so that you aren’t just piling on lots of effort trying to push  everything uphill.

#3 Lastly just generally knowing your numbers helps you make better business decisions, e.g. what products to run with, which to ditch, or better understanding the reasons why you had a good or bad month, or quarter, or year. Um, hello, 2020!

And this isn’t just about you and your biz either….

Experts estimated that eCommerce retail sales are set to increase globally to $4.9 trillion by 2021.

Next year, eCommerce sales will account for 17.5% of the overall retail sales worldwide.

In other words, ecommerce is blowing up.

That’s why it’s super important you do 👏 not 👏 get 👏 distracted 👏 . Keep your eyes on the prize. Be the CEO of your own business.

And that’s exactly what we are here to help you out with at Hot Mess.

So… to recap!

You don’t need to know the ins and outs of ALL your data. You just focus on what matters.

So what does that look like?

These 5 numbers:

  1. Total Sales

  2. Online Store Sessions

  3. Conversion Rate (bearing in mind the industry average is 2%)

  4. Average Cart Total

  5. Revenue Goals

#1 Total Sales

You’ll find this in your Shopify dashboard under Analytics. We recommend looking at the last 90 days. This is because things vary from month to month, but looking at it over 90 days gives a smoother picture.

As always, do what’s right for your business, but we like to say look back over the last 90 days.

# 2 Online Store Sessions

So this is your traffic. I can’t stress this enough. You need to know your TRAFFIC numbers right? This is ultimately where your sales come from - you’ll only get sales, if you get visitors to your store.

And if you want to  increase traffic to your Shopify or ecommerce store, you have to know where you’re starting from.

#3 Conversion rates

This is the % of visitors to your website that you can convert into a specific behaviour - e.g. buy something.

The average in this industry is 2% conversion, but it varies across industries and even within niches. There are definitely things that you can do to improve your conversion rate - if you want to know more about this, check out my last video on  conversion rate optimization.  

#4 Average Cart Total

This is also a number you get in your Shopify back office, and it’s important because this is what your average sale is.

Traffic x conversion x average cart total gives you a rule of thumb for your sales figures, and is the metadata behind your bottom line revenue or Sales figures.

And psst… If you want to know more about increasing your average cart total, keep an eye out for my next video where I dive right into this!

#5 Revenue Goals

OK so your revenue goal isn’t technically in Shopify - you might keep it in your head, your journal, or your team whiteboard… But this is why you’re in business right? You’re here to do something awesome in the world... and make some money.

Whatever your income goal or revenue goal is - that’s how you measure your success.

That’s what will guide you. If you don’t have that number in mind, it’s easy to get lost, off track, distracted, overwhelmed.

You also need to know this number for what I’m about to tell ya!

So these are the 5 numbers you need to really understand your sales reports and drive your business forward…. But how do you connect the dots?!

This is where my handy little tool comes in.


📣 The Boutique Revenue Calculator 📣

You can grab it at or also here because I’m nice like that!

There’s 2 versions:

  1. The first is a traffic calculator based on your  goal. You enter in your revenue goal and your data from Shopify - conversion rate, average cart total, and your traffic. Then this calculator will tell you how many  orders you need to hit that goal, and how much traffic you need. It breaks it down by comparison to your current traffic, and it can tell you how much you need to increase your marketing efforts to hit that number.

For example, it could tell you you need to increase your marketing efforts 5x - this means you need to do 5 times as much marketing efforts to get the traffic you need to hit that goal, based on the data you entered.

But wait - it’s not that straightforward! Remember - it’s not about upping the quantity. It’s about increasing the quality. So we’re not talking 5x harder, or posting 5x more.

You just need to be 5x more effective and smarter.

Or you could check out the alternate calculator…

  1. The Revenue calculator. You plug your numbers in to find what your expected revenue will be per month.

If you use your current data, this number shouldn’t be a surprise to you - it should be your average monthly revenue.

But you can play about with it to see what an increase in traffic would do to your revenue goal, or what difference it would make if you increase your average cart total.  

Smart, huh?

And SUPER simple.

But every business is different, and what these numbers and these tools mean will be different for everyone. Or in other words, what action you need to take totally depends on your business model, your current numbers, and your goals.

That’s why it’s so important to know these numbers!

And I always always always recommend focusing on ONE thing at a time. Manage your energy girl!

If your conversion is good, 2% or more, and your average cart total is ok, I would focus on boosting traffic.

If your traffic is already pretty high, say you’re doing a decent job driving traffic, maybe using paid ads, but your conversion rate is less than 2% - it would be smarter to increase the conversion rate rather than focus on increasing traffic, because you’re already getting traffic. The focus is on how to get more of the traffic that is already coming to your site to convert.

And if your traffic and conversions are already pretty solid, maybe you need to look at increasing that average cart total. Maybe adding a free shipping threshold. The focus is how to get your visitors to spend more in your store.

But if you’re not sure what would be good traffic numbers - keep this in mind:

if you’re getting 20 or 30 hits a day, that is just too low. You need to make traffic a priority. Get to 100 hits, then 200 hits, and work from there.

Sustainable growth, right?

So my lovelies, the bottom line is this → if you’re not tracking anything right now, you need to start tracking. And these are the 5 to focus on. And then make it your goal to increase these metrics.

That’s all I’ve got for you today on Sales Reporting - and I hope that it helps you get clear on what metrics to focus on, and what you can let go of.

But as with everything, always take business advice with a grain of salt - take these recommendations, let them sink in, and apply what is useful to your business - because that’s the one that matters.

And don’t panic when it comes to sales reporting. Don’t get overwhelmed.

Focus on those 5 numbers and you’ll be sweet! And if you want a website critique or need more support on strategy - hit us up!

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