Catalog-based reports on Shopify: what are their types and why do you need them

In a variety of reports you have for your Shopify business, there’s a separate group based on your product catalog. On one side, you need inventory reports to track how well different products perform across your stock locations, and on another side, you need Shopify product reports to analyze your sales by vendor, product types, parameters like color and size, etc.

These insights combined will help you rethink what products to sell and how to present them: which ones to include in bundles, which ones to promote more actively, etc.

Although there’s a great variety of product reports on Shopify, you don’t need all of them all the time. Let’s discover the major types of catalog-based reports so that you can decide what to monitor at different sales stages.

Types of catalog-based product reports for Shopify

We’ll talk about reports centered around sales statistics, fulfillment status, and analytical insights.

Shopify sales reports based on catalog parameters

The most obvious thing you can do in catalog-based reporting is to measure your sales by different product parameters. Native Shopify capabilities only allow for sales by product reporting, while with a custom solution, you can have your actionable information on a more granular level.

Let’s explore what different catalog-based sales reports can provide you with.

→ Sales by Product

As we’ve mentioned, this data can be extracted from Shopify with no additional effort. Knowing how well different products perform will help you plan future collections, make improved replenishment arrangements, etc.

If you’re relying on a dropshipping vendor, sales by product analysis will help you evaluate your cooperation and pick the best-performing products for future sales.

→ Sales by Variant

For items that have different variants, using a general product sales report isn’t enough.

Use case: Say you’re selling t-shirts in a multitude of colors, and commonly worn colors like white and gray are selling fast, while yellow and pink ones are moving slower (it can be the other way around as well, based on your target audience). With a sales by variant report on your hands, you can plan future replenishments with higher precision and understand your customers a little better.

Also, if you have product variants with customization options, you can analyze if it’s worth it to go the extra mile with product customization. If most customers go with default variants, customizations might not be beneficial. But if most customers choose it compared to default variants, then you can double down on promoting product customizations on your store’s pages.

Plus, when you see that certain variants are at risk of being left as dead stock, use those exact variants in social media ads or other promotions to attract shoppers looking for this particular color (or size, material, etc.).

→ Sales by Vendor

This only applies to stores that cooperate with multiple third-party suppliers and brands. With a breakdown of sales by product vendor, you can see how beneficial are your supplier relationships. This, in turn, will help you switch vendors when it makes sense to or rethink retail pricing compared to wholesale pricing set by suppliers.

Use case: For instance, you see that one brand is outperforming all others. This is a clear sign for you that you need to dig into similar styles to cater to the needs of your audience. Order more products from this vendor, search for other vendors that match its idea or style, etc.

→ Sales by Collection

Shopify lets you work with a site structure where collections typically serve as product categories. You can create collections in different ways: for example, with home decor items, you can divide them by home areas (kitchen, bedroom, etc.) or by particular product types (shelves, lamps, etc.). Whatever approach you choose, tracking sales by collection will help you assess how your categories contribute to sales.

Use case: If you see that certain collections don’t receive as many orders as others, you can think of incorporating a discount or promoting them more actively. But don’t hurry to make a decision before checking your traffic data. If some collections are underperforming, maybe they are just hard to find through search or when navigating the store. Consider search optimization for those collection pages and check if your site structure and internal linking make them visible enough.

With trending and fast-selling collections, you can actually do the same: optimize those pages to get even more traffic and more sales.

→ Sales by Product Type

Similarly to collections, you can measure what share of sales is attributed to different types of products. This will give you an understanding of the direction to take in shaping your collections and product pages.

→ Sales by Product Tag

Use case: You can put practically anything related to product characteristics under tags. For instance, you want to combine some inventory insights directly with product sales reports so you set a certain stock location as a tag.

Or, you have items that don’t belong to one category or type but are connected by some other criteria: for example, you’re selling body care products and set a tag for organic items. Based on the sales success of products with that tag, you can decide if you need to dedicate a separate collection page and create marketing campaigns for these items.

Operational reports based on product data

In this group of reports, you have:

→ Products Pending Fulfillment

With a customizable reporting tool like Mipler, you can track the quantity pending fulfillment by different product criteria: product variant, its measurements, packaging requirements, etc.

Use case: Knowing the total number or products that are ordered but not fulfilled, together with their details, will help you make the packaging and delivery processes easier. Plus, by analyzing this report over time, you can set up predictions for ordering the right amount and type of packaging

Analytical reports based on your Shopify catalog

Some of the catalog-based reports will give you ideas for improving your sales campaigns:

→ Products Bought Together

Knowing what items customers tend to combine within a single order can help you better understand their purchasing behavior.

Use case: If you don’t practice cross-selling or you’re not sure what to offer in these sales techniques, going through such a report can give you an idea of what products go well together. Use the insights in designing the “Frequently bought together” section on your product pages and crafting bundle or cross-sell offers to attract more sales.

→ Repeat Purchases

Retention is way more affordable than the acquisition of new customers so you shouldn’t miss opportunities to analyze repeat purchases. In a customizable reporting tool, you can combine customer order data with product data and view products included in the first, second, and further purchases for each customer individually or for a chosen segment.

Use case: Knowing what items repeat purchases contain, you can tailor more personalized order follow-up messages with relevant product suggestions, individual promo offers, or other motivation boosters.

→ Product Return Rate

Returns are inevitable for any e-commerce business, but you can work on minimizing them. Having a report on return rates by product will help you re-evaluate the quality of different items you’re selling and your overall unique value proposition.

Use case: When you know what products are returned most often, you should take a closer look at them and the ways they are represented on your website. Since the common reasons for returns are unmet expectations, analyze if your product pages show the items realistically and from different angles, plus consider implementing videos and partnering with influencers that can show your products in real life settings.

To sum up

When running a Shopify store, you have to deal with a number of reports on a weekly if not daily basis. Not to get lost in the abundance of information, choose the most important metrics to track regularly. For the metrics connected to your catalog and product details, use a flexible reporting tool like Mipler to extract data from Shopify and view it in the precise context you need.

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