When trends matter more than absolutes for store analysis

When managing your Shopify store's metrics, oftentimes the trend is more important than the absolute value.

With a trend you can see improvements (or problems) which can tell you the underlying story about what's happening.

If I told you that water in the pool was 70 degrees F, that might help you decide if you want to jump in right now. But it tells you nothing about the future you can use to make decisions. If you then learn that the pool is heating up 5 degrees per hour, now you can plan when to go swimming.

Similarly, it's useful to know that your Average Order Value (AOV) is $100. If your trend is reporting that it has dropped $5 every month for the last three months, that tells you something critical is wrong. Perhaps a bad campaign, coupon, or some incentive is out there that's causing lower order sizes.

This might sound simple but trends are supposed to be simple to watch.

In Repeat Customer Insights many metrics include graphs so you can see how the metrics are trending over-time. Year-over-year is probably best to spot long-term trends while the quarter-based ones are good for short-term (without the randomness that comes from monthly trends).

Next time you're looking up a metric, take some extra time to do a quick check of its trend.

Eric Davis

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Topics: Metrics

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