Reviewing Your 2015 Site’s Success
It’s exciting to think about the future when the New Year rings in! But its just as important to look into the past. Reviewing your success in 2015 can aide you with your success in 2016. But with all the options Volusion provides for us, where does one start?
Volusion offers various reporting features that come FREE (yup, I said free!) with every store. These features include multiple levels of data than help track data and inform you about your business. In this blog post, we’ll review Reporting, Abandoned Carts and Smartstats, to help your business learn from the past for a more successful new year.
Let’s begin with sales report. You can access this in your store’s admin under Reports > Reporting. This is where you’ll see a basic report, showing you the major trends of the past year. Want it broken down monthly to get more specific so you can see which “season” your store did the best?
To access this, click the Create/Edit Report button. Select Orders from the Choose Report menu, then edit Based on Order Date or Shop Date, which ever you prefer. For Time Period select 2015, and set the first By filer to Month.
In the Advanced Options below, set the first filer to Payment Amount, give it an Axis Title if you’d like, and select Currency from the last drop down. Click Generate, and ta-da! A month by month breakdown of sales will generate. This will include useful stats that you can view or save in CSV format.
This is just one example of the power of the Reporting section, and there are many other reports that can be useful in a yearly review. Using an Order Detail report will allow you to see the best selling products in your store, or a Category View report will help determine what is standing out to your customers and catching their eyes. Don’t forget you can always save the reports you generate for later, saving you time this year and in the future!
Another great way to review patterns occurring in your store is abandoned carts. Reviewing the customers that don’t stick around can be important if you suspect there is a particular reason why more customers aren’t checking out. Such as, a features product with a technical issue, high shopping fees or prices.
Unfortunately, there is no Volusion workaround that will compare your prices with competitors, but the Order > Abandoned Carts section can show you the number of times a customer decided not to continue to the checkout (as well as the most recent “live” carts).
If a customer has logged into their account, it will show their account info, their IP address, item count, and the last time they were on your site. You can click the Setting button, select Enable Quick Edit and then click various Cart IDs to see more details in the Quick Edit window, including the specific items they has in their cart.
If you see a reoccurring product being abandoned in a lot of the carts, you may want to revisit it to determine why people are changing their minds. For customers that have logged in, you can always send them an email asking if they need help finishing up their order, or complete the order for them using the Phone Orders function.
If you are seeing a lot of abandoned carts, don’t panic! Instead, click the IP addresses. If you see a lot of the same IPs popping up, and the orders have been placed shortly after each other, it is likely the by-product of a web crawler, or bot. When search engines “crawl” your site, they collect information which often includes adding a few items to the cart repeatedly to see how things work.
If you’ve looked at the IP addresses and concluded it was a bot, remember this behavior is not harmful to your store and useful as search engines crawl your site. However, if you are experiencing other issues, it is important to keep in mind you are able to block the IP or reduce the bots’ ability to index your store.
Volusion uses an analytics service internally for store traffic data that is called SmartStats. This powerful tool is accessed through your MyVolusion account by clicking View Stats link under the My Stores section.This is a useful tool for many kinds of traffic data and reports, everything from where your store’s bandwidth usage is coming from to your most popular pages, images, and biggest fans! The tabs down the left side organize the information for specific purposes, but to track trends of 2015. focus on the first one, Site Activity.
It is important to understand the difference between Page Views, Visits, and Hits, since many sections in SmarterStats use them.
A visit describes one individual visitor who arrives at your site and proceeds to browse around. These visitors are often tracked by IP addressed, new visits and return visits. When a visitor arrives, they will often browse a few more pages. Each individual page they view is a page view. On average, a visitor will look about 2 and a half pages before leaving the site. Because of this, it is a always generally a good idea to keep your important pages (such as important products) within three clicks (give or take) of your homepage.
Finally, we have a hit which refers to the number of files downloaded from your site. This includes images, graphics, buttons, and so on. So a single visit could generate multiple page views and hits.
The Site Activity section offers a variety of ways to track your store’s progression over time. Traffic and Visitor Trends show the big picture, while stats like Top Pages and Top Images can show you what your customers are hitting the most.
In addition the basic information, you can create a custom report on any page in SmarterStats. To accomplish this, set the date range, chart type, sorting and number of rows and click Generate Report. This will display items you’ve selected and the date range will you choose will remain for later reports. You can even set it to 2015 and run all your annual traffic reports in a quick succession!
You can also run Paths report to see how customers are reaching your site or if a recent social media post made the impact. And much like your store’s Reports > Reporting area, you can export this report as a CSV file.
By default, each SmarterStats account begins its data collection on the day a store goes live, giving you access to a treasure trove of traffic trends. It also tracks your admin activity, so you will probably see things like your own IP showing up in the “top” reports. If you’d rather see only customer traffic, you can navigate to Settings > Site Settings > General Settings, and in Import Filters, click Add to exclude your own IP from the statistics.
Hope this blog was informative and useful for reviewing all your great success! If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to drop a comment down below!