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How Distil makes insights easier for Shopify users

Shopify store analytics is hard. It doesn’t have to be.

Data is everywhere. And many companies have made it their mission to make sense of it: wrangling it into shape, connecting different sets of it together, applying intelligence to the mass of it to extract ideas and insights. But there’s a problem a lot of data-driven dashboards share: what consultants call “analysis paralysis”.

It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the data. Or even with the applications that use it. It’s just that there’s too much of it all. Complex features you’ll never use … metrics that mean nothing … results presented out of context. 

You’re floating on an ocean of information, yet you can’t find a good place to fish.

So for 99% of users, what’s needed is simplicity. One application famed for its simplicity is Shopify – the popular e-commerce platform used by millions of websites and hundreds of millions of customers. At distil.ai we’re a big fan – so much so we’ve built a free application for it! A plug-in that enables deeper insights from your data by making it easier to understand – based on a simple concept. 
We call that concept Analytics Cards. Let’s look at how they work.

You segment your week – now segment your Shopify insights

If you’re like most working people, the week has a certain rhythm to it. Maybe Monday is for catch-ups and four-hour meetings from hell. (Groan.) Tuesdays for client outreach, making sure your customers are happy. And you keep Fridays free of calls, so you can clear your To-Do list and enjoy the weekend.

Why not do the same thing with your data analysis?

This is the idea behind distil.ai’s plug-in for Shopify. It uses our technology to connect various sources of data and apply intelligent algorithms to it, seeing relationships that put it in meaningful context. But that happens behind the scenes. The innovation here is in what you see: a set of cards, one for each day of the week. Each giving you just the right amount of information to understand what’s happening and take effective action.

Why one each day of the week? Because we discovered that there are five key areas of analytics that Shopify people find most useful. And because we don’t like working weekends any more than you do. (Why there’s not seven!) But there’s a broader reason. Giving you one separate and definable piece of analysis, every day, just makes it easier for you to plan your week in an order that makes sense. And we’re all about making data make sense. One thing to note, Distil.ai’s plug-in for Shopify is a free application, which is different from a full customer data platform (CDP) – find out why.

Let’s start the roll-call – with a quick look at each day’s Analytics Card.

Distil Analytics Card For Briefing Monday, With Shopify Sales Data From The previous Week And An Insightful Forecast

Monday’s child: the Big Briefing

It’s Monday morning, and you want to get everyone up to speed and back into work mode. So the Monday Card is a shot-by-shot briefing. An easy-on-the-eyes update on where you stand compared to last Monday, what the data suggests will happen this week, and a look ahead to how your 12-month forecast stands.

The big figure looms large: your sales last week, a total of all purchases made through your Shopify account. Below it you’ll see a bird’s-eye-view of the breakdown – how many orders, and how many customers were responsible for them. There’s also a steer on the makeup of those customers – with percentages for new and returning – and that all-important note on how you performed versus the forecast. Average order value is in the picture, too, with how that figure compares to your 12-month average. There’s a chart, showing you how last week ranked among your last 20. 

Where Briefing Monday comes into its own, though, is the forecast. Gathered from data with a bit of AI stirred in, it projects what your sales should be in the week ahead – so you can make plans if it sounds a bit lowball. With that same metric projected out for the next quarters and full year, too. 

And that’s your Monday Card. Short and sweet? Yes. Deliberately. Everything you need to prepare for the week – and nothing you don’t. 

Distil Analytics Card For Segmentation Tuesday, With A More Granular View Of Shopify Analysis And Store Analytics

Tuesday’s gone: slicing and dicing Shopify data

Slice it. Dice it. Put the parts together. Yes, it’s Segmentation Tuesday! Let’s drill down and get granular. (And any other 90s buzzwords you can think of.)

First up is another bird’s-eye-view: the whole kit-and-caboodle figure of total customers and what they spent. But there’s also a view of at-risk customers: those who haven’t bought as much as they used to. Perhaps they’re right for a special offer to persuade them back? You decide. Point is, you’ve got the data to do it. 

The Tuesday Card then breaks down those topline figures into high-value, average-value, and low-value customers – useful segments for deciding your marketing spend on each one. How big a part of your customer list they are; how much they bought and how often they buy. 
Most useful of all are your top products – the 5 most popular items they buy, which may not be the same for each segment. Rejigging your product mix to focus on most profitable items? These insights will help. And that’s Tuesday.

Distil Analytics Card For Marketing Wednesday, Analysing New Customer Cohort Data To Unlock Shopify Sale Data Insights

Wednesday’s news: the Shopify marketing snapshot

Put on those red-rimmed glasses and unleash your creativity. It’s Marketing Wednesday!

The Wednesday Card is so important it’s the subject of its own article, so we won’t go through every feature here – let’s just agree it’s awesome. The basic idea is that it looks at the current cohort: not all customers but new customers this month. Because looking at this specific set of data can give you a great deal of insight into what’s happening in your store as a whole. 

You’ll see counts of your new customers and how much they spent. You’ll see (thanks to distil.ai’s AI) how much of that revenue can be attributed to your marketing efforts … and what channels led to their purchases. All brought together in a chart you’ll recognise: the good ol’ sales funnel, with a few bells and whistles that let you see what proportion of new customers are at each stage of the customer journey and who might benefit from a nudge. 

It’s Wednesday – but don’t let Hump Day give you the hump. Let’s get marketing. You know what to do.

Analytics Card For Product Thursday, Simplifying Shopify Product Performance From Best to Worst, Repeats, Restock, And More.

Thursday’s child: let’s talk Shopify product, baby

What’s new and shiny? It’s the products you sell, all those glorious must-haves on display in your Shopify store. That’s the thinking behind Product Thursday!

This is where you see the week’s big winners … and losers. Which products are flying off the shelves … and which seem glued to them.  Yes, it sounds harsh. But so is life. There are figures on what’s moving up and down in popularity, and – this bit’s really useful – products bought more than once, in the last three months, by the same customer. This suggests you’ve got a hit on your hands. 

Time to stock? Restock? Stir the product mix? Product Thursday has a card for that. 

Analytics Card For Wrap-up Friday, Analysing Shopify Performance For The Week, Comparing This To The Forecast From Monday.

That Friday feeling: end the week on a high

How did you do? Find out at Wrap-up Friday. Just as Monday began the way it should – with a briefing to get people in the know – the Friday Card ties a bow on the week, with a look in the rear-view mirror. 

You’ll see your sales for the week … and how you performed against forecast. (Both for the week, and for the year beyond.) You can see if you’re meeting your sales targets, and, if not – well, you now know it’s time to do something about it. 

People are looking forward to the weekend, so the Friday Card is short and snappy. And that’s your week of cards done!

In conclusion: Keep Shopify data analysis simple – with distil.ai Analytics Cards

Retail isn’t an easy business – so why make it any harder by tolerating bad analytics? The distil.ai Analytics Cards for Shopify keep things tight, with clarity at every step.

In years of working with this stuff, we’ve discovered the value of a smaller number of well-chosen insights and metrics can punch far above its weight. Because they focus you on what matters. Let you see the forest for the trees, without cataloging every branch and leaf. (Let our AI do that for you in the background. Life’s too short.)

And that’s why we’ve taken this approach with our plugin for Shopify – the world’s most popular third-party e-commerce platform. It’s FREE, by the way. Why not add it to your Shopify install today and start seeing what the Analytics Cards can do for you?