Use Shopify’s sales channels to find where loyal repeat customers are coming from

The executive-level goal of your marketing should be to secure at least one marketing channel that regularly brings you buying customers. This is your foundational channel.

You can and should experiment with new channels too, but those are only experiments to see if you can get the channel to stabilize and produce that regular flow of customers. If it can’t or if it’s outside your wheelhouse, the channel should be abandoned to focus on other channels.

Shopify doesn’t track marketing channels, they track sales channels which are a close proxy (e.g. the Facebook app is a Facebook advertising marketing channel).

The problem is that some sales channels are overly broad and will contain multiple marketing channels. like how the Online Store sales channel is your entire public store and includes your SEO, referral, and any advertising from a non-Shopify app.

Shopify does track some marketing channel stuff in the Online Store but it’s miles behind tools like Google Analytics and the data is poorly attributed.

(When I looked at Shopify’s Online Store attribution I found less than 1% of orders had any web attribution and the majority of those attributed the sale to the homepage which was a misattribution)

Though not a perfect proxy for marketing channels, the sales channels are pretty good for measuring repeat customer performance. The amount of data that needs to be analyzed means you want very broad channels without getting into the details too much like campaign-level performance. Those details are great for analyzing the initial acquisition but are worthless years later when the customer makes their 10th purchase and that campaign is long-gone.

That’s why Repeat Customer Insights uses the initial sales channel to measure where customer came from (the customer acquisition). With the many reports that filter based on that, along with the new metrics graphs I added, this makes it much easier to see which of your sales channels attract the most valuable and loyal customers.

Being able to say a specific sales channel is sending you long-term customers is the attribution you want to find.

Your job then is to keep the strongest of those channels as your foundational channels, focus on growing their performance, and experiment here and there with new channels to see which create loyal customers.

Eric Davis

Use cohorts to find out who the best customers are in your Shopify store

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Repeat Customer Insights will automatically group your customers into cohorts based on when they first purchased. This will let you see how the date customers bought would impact their behavior.

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