In 2022, almost $20 out of every $100 spent by consumers globally was online. U.S. online retail as a percentage of total retail sales is 15%, with the top markets China at 45%, the U.K. at 36%, and South Korea at 30%.
However, according to Forester, U.S. online sales will account for 30% of all retail sales by 2027, or $1.6 trillion out of $5.5 trillion in predicted retail sales. This trend means competition for online sales will only get fiercer. Managing inventory and marketing alone can be overwhelming for small businesses, and that’s before adding in analytics. Shopify’s analytics dashboard offers many data points but falls short on more advanced metrics.
Analytics, however, can be simple with the right tools.
Below, we’ll go over some of the best e-commerce analytics tools for small businesses and show you how you can effectively use them to gain an edge over your competitors.
Let’s get started!
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the standard installation for most webpage owners and provides fundamental metrics such as traffic acquisition sources, advertising data, engagement, demographics, and conversions.
There are many pros to Google Analytics, but Google aggregates the data, making it hard to draw insights. Google Analytics is also not optimized for e-commerce and does not offer the robust insights you may want to drive sales.
(Image: Google Analytics Dashboard)
- Easy to set up
- Freemium product
- Speed and power of Google
- Data is only a sample size
- No access to raw data (only aggregated)
- You don’t own any customer data
- Limited privacy frameworks
- Limited e-commerce features
- 10,000,000 hits/month limit (This a good problem to have, but once you reach a specific size, these limitations could cost you up to $150,000/year to unlock further insights.)
- Free up to 10 million hits
- Up to $50,000/yr + variable costs in the new Google 4 Analytics framework
- After 10,000,000 hits, the cost could go up to $150,000/yr for the current GA360 enterprise plan
- Google Analytics is suitable for anyone who wants to collect traffic data on their app or e-commerce webpage, but it could be better for e-commerce-specific metrics
Intelligynce is a robust competitor research and product analytics tool that crawls the web for the data on hundreds of thousands of Shopify stores and millions of e-commerce products.
The tool lets you filter competitor products by whether they have Facebook pixels (meaning they are spending money on ads) and their social media profiles by # of likes on the pages (how popular they are).
It also lets you track your competitor’s APIs and their keyword rankings. It’s possible to also sort the Shopify product data by bestsellers, traffic, currency, prices, daily visitors, daily sales, etc., to discover how your competitors are marketing or pricing their products.
(Image: Intelligynce Shopify Products Filter Page)
Intelligynce also lets you access the Google and Facebook ads currently run by competitor stores and the keywords they’re targeting on Google.
- Access on mobile and desktop
- Can save individual results to favorites
- Data is updated every two weeks
- Arbitrage price check tool
- Spy on competitor Google and Facebook ads
- Chrome extension for detailed store analysis
- Comes with Ali-inspector research tool for Aliexpress
- Research hot products on Aliexpress, Amazon, and eBay
- Powerful products research and search filters for 2.5+ million Shopify products
- No free trial or refunds
- Data based on estimates
- Alternatives with free trial periods are available (see Simplytrends)
- $39 (monthly)
- $79 (yearly)
- $99 (lifetime)
- Those who need to do e-commerce product research, pricing, and analysis
Woopra is a sophisticated customer journey analytics tool that offers advanced features, such as real-time trigger action and responses (e.g., trigger emails based on user interaction).
Woopra also integrates well with many SaaS software products, such as Mailchimp. By visualizing every step of the customer journey, Woopra lets you optimize every touchpoint for growth, conversions, or retention across channels in a non-linear way.
(Image: Woopra Company Dashboard)
- Very customizable funnels
- Builds profile of every single individual user
- Desktop and web versions are available
- Dynamically updates customers segments based on real-time data
- Syncs customer data across channels, apps, emails, help desks, and live chats
- Real-time and live user data (weekly, daily, hourly) by events and actions taken
- High learning curve
- Limited privacy frameworks
- Overlapping features with Mixpanel
- Gets quite expensive
- Hard to do anything without developers or to download complex reports with raw data at the user level
- $0 (500k actions/mo limit and 90-day data retention)
- $349/mo for 1 million actions
- $999/mo for 5 million actions
- $5,000/mo starting at 50 million actions/month
- Those who sell products with many customer touchpoints (e.g., SaaS products) or multiple marketing channels
Semrush is the gold standard of SEO analysis tools for your e-commerce business. It contains over 50 SEO tools that help your e-commerce business analyze how it can rank higher in search engines, which drives sales. Semrush also offers tools to create, measure, and manage content marketing, keyword research, PPC, and social media campaigns.
With Semrush, you can also find out which keywords your customer is discovering your brand with, conduct SEO audits of your page, find new link-building opportunities, and analyze competitor traffic, among other functions.
(Image: Semrush Pro Dashboard)
- Let’s you track SEO changes over time
- Great competitor SEO insights
- The gold standard for SEO keyword research
- Good for backlink analytics
- Includes social media toolkit
- Largest keyword database on the market
- UI is a bit cluttered
- It only covers data for Google
- Traffic analytics data isn’t always accurate (estimates)
- 7-day free trial
- $119/mo for the pro plan
- $229 for the guru plan
- $449/mo for the enterprise plan
- All plans come with tiered limits on # of projects, keywords tracked, and reports
- Content marketers and those who want to analyze everything SEO related on their page
SavvyCube is a no-nonsense e-commerce analytics software geared toward small online businesses. While not as robust in mapping out detailed customer journeys or trigger actions as Woopra, it offers you a beautiful-looking dashboard with all the top-level e-commerce metrics that should satisfy most small online merchants.
The feature sets are also a little richer than what you can find in the Shopify or Google Analytics defaults. The tools also help you build beautiful reports out of the box. The great thing about SavvyCube is it answers these questions below succinctly:
What are my best-selling products?How often do my customers buy?How many carts are abandoned?What’s my profitability?Who are my top customers?Where are my sales coming from?
(Image: Savvycube Dashboard)
- Budget-friendly for small businesses
- Provides sales forecasting based on existing data
- Allows you to link multiple Shopify stores
- Pulls data directly from sources (e.g., Google Analytics, PayPal, and Magento)
- Good-looking out-of-the-box sales reports and visualizations
- Delivers a list of channels/referrals that are the best and worst in driving conversions for specific products, customers, or groups of customers
- Detailed product-by-product reporting by order, product, collection, customer, country, marketing channel, etc.
- Delivers actual store data on revenue, refunds, net profit, taxes, shipping expenses, payment fees, etc.
- Limited integrations
- Offers basic e-commerce data a little better than Shopify but does not offer a sophisticated way to map or track individual customer journeys and actions
- $49/mo for the starter plan providing tracking for 1,000 orders/mo
- $99/mo growth plan for 3,000 orders/mo
- $119/mo pro plan for 10,000 orders; and
- $499/mo enterprise plan for 50,000+ orders
- Those with small and medium online businesses looking to track data with a little more detail than Shopify
Let’s discuss! Are there other analytics tools that you recommend? Drop a comment below.