Zero Party Data

How Your eCommerce Platforms Enable Data Analysis on Their Sites

by Bryan Teo

How Your eCommerce Platforms Enable Data Analysis on Their Sites

Today, we'll explore the ways eCommerce platforms empower data analysis and unlock the potential of customer data for businesses of all sizes. 

You could be a budding entrepreneur launching your first online store or an established retailer seeking to fine-tune your digital strategy. This guide discusses the tools the platforms provide to allow you to leverage your data. This aims to drive growth and profitability for your business.

From robust analytics dashboards and customizable reporting features to integration capabilities with third-party analytics tools, eCommerce platforms offer a plethora of resources to help merchants harness the power of data. Join us as we delve into the features and functionalities that enable merchants to track performance metrics, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions that drive success in the competitive eCommerce landscape.

In this blog, we'll delve into specific eCommerce platforms (Shopify and WooCommerce) and their respective data analysis capabilities. Whether you're a novice navigating the complexities of eCommerce analytics or a seasoned pro looking to take your data analysis efforts to the next level, this blog series is your roadmap to unlocking the full potential of data-driven decision-making in the eCommerce realm.

What are Shopify’s Data Analysis Capabilities?

If you’re in the eCommerce space, then you’ve definitely heard of Shopify or are currently using it as the platform for your business. Shopify empowers merchants with robust data analysis capabilities, providing an analytics dashboard that offers comprehensive insights into a variety of data such as store performance, sales trends, and customer behavior.

Shopify’s built-in eCommerce analytics platform features over 60 ready-made dashboards and reports and the ability to customize your own. This will enable you to tap onto the data that the platform has captured for you and analyze accordingly. The analytics page will display data such as key sales, online store sessions, AOV, and more for your purview to determine how your store is performing across all your sales channels and date ranges.

The data displayed is up to date, within about 1 minute, and can be refreshed to display newer data. However it is to be noted that for some metrics on your dashboard, the analytics page might update within a 48 hour period after it's initially processed and published.

For example, ‘Sessions over time’ and ‘Online store conversion over time’ reports might update because unwanted bot traffic can end up included in the data and tests are run to determine this type of traffic, and can take up to 48 hours to complete.

How do you use Shopify’s Data Analytics

To get access to Shopify’s dashboard, you have to have an online store where the traffic is then displayed on the Live View page. For greater flexibility and freedom, custom reports are available on Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus plans.

In more extensive plans like Shopify Plus, it allows for more effortless commerce management in one central place where you can control your entire business with Shopify’s suite of customizable and extensible solutions, designed to seamlessly integrate with your tech stack.

Through customizable reports and integration with third-party analytics tools, Shopify enables merchants to make informed decisions, optimize their eCommerce strategies, and drive growth in the competitive online marketplace.

What are Woocommerce’s Data Analysis Capabilities?

Woocommerce is another prominent platform used by many eCommerce merchants in today’s space. A WordPress-based eCommerce platform, WooCommerce Analytics is the platform’s reporting and data analysis tool to help merchants manage their store.

The suite comprises nine new reports along with tools such as advanced filtering and segmentation, the ability to download all data to CSV, and a customizable dashboard to monitor all the important key metrics of your site.

WooCommerce Analytics also includes a dashboard in their interface which has been designed to allow you to keep track of the statistics and data that matter most to your site. The dashboard consists of three main sections: performance indicators, charts, and leaderboards. Each section of the dashboard can be fully customized to meet the needs of your store, and also act as launching points for you to click and dive deeper into other Analytics Reports.

Reports in WooCommerce give you the ability to see your store’s performance from month to month using graphs and stats, and are largely categorized into four sections: Orders, Customers, Stock, and Taxes.

Zero-Party Data versus First-Party Data

Having gone through all the capabilities that both platforms present, it is evident that both of them provide primarily first-party data in their analytics platforms.

If you’ve forgotten our definition of first-party data: it is data one can collect from their own website, application, or other digital platform, which businesses can analyze to gain a better understanding of their own traffic and performance.

This isn’t a surprise considering the vast amount of data that the platforms collect and the endless value these metrics can provide for merchants. First-party data is deeply important and will continue to be, as it is a clear indicator of your business performance, can help evaluate your marketing efforts, and so on.

However, as mentioned in our data collection strategy guide a mix of data sources is preferred, and it is clearer than ever why here.

While the platforms does provide you valuable data that they’ve collected via their websites using tools such as first-party cookies, relying purely on this information has a few drawbacks: you are looking at your consumers from a singular perspective, you have to place your full trust in the accuracy and timeliness of the platforms’ data, and you are only able to study their digital behavior with no means of understanding their actual thought process or intentions.

Given the reasons mentioned above, it is evident that a mix of data forms is the most ideal for your data collection strategy. Now choosing to add between zero, second or third-party data into the mix might seem like a difficult decision, but we fully believe that zero-party data is where you can fully optimize your data. With zero-party data, you will be able to counter all the problems listed above, and you can utilize it to enhance your already existing metrics and numbers. Zero-party data gives you insight into WHY your numbers are what they are, and can provide a more qualitative perspective into your numbers. This data is directly communicated to you by your consumers and gives a glimpse into their thought processes that can help validate your theories.

Let’s take the “Online Store Conversion Rate” metric provided in your analytics, and say you see that you have a conversion rate of 40% - 45% added to cart, 55% reached checkout, and 40% sessions converted. You possess these numbers, but now you have to theorize and figure out why the numbers are what they are and how you could possibly boost your conversion.

This is why we suggest the integration of zero-party data, and particularly post-purchase surveys into your analysis, because with data direct from consumers you no longer need to simply theorize. By asking questions like “Who is this purchase for” (Check our list of the 24 Best Post-Purchase Survey Questions), you can now understand that perhaps your product is popular as a gift for your consumers’ spouses. This is important attribution data because with this information, you can more clearly understand where your customers stand and how you should brand your business and products.

How do I integrate Zero-Party Data into my eCommerce store?

The beauty of integrating zero-party data into your business is how seamless it is. For Shopify, tools such as Fairing’s Post-Purchase Survey can be simply downloaded into your applications and be implemented directly. You will be able to access these applications from your Shopify store under ‘Apps’, and just set up an account or subscription with the tool and you’ll be good to go.

For Woocommerce, given the nature of the platform, the process will require you to run a plug-in into your store. However, fret not if you think that this might be too complicated a process, because companies that care like Fairing will have in-depth and detailed guides on how to install these plug-ins.

Interested to find out more about zero-party data? Schedule a demo with us here.


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