Take A Deep Dive Into Your Data When Selling Products for WooCommerce

Data tells you a lot. That’s what my friend Patrick Rauland from Nexcess shared when I asked him for a tip for WooCommerce builders.

Data Can Tell You Anything

And my tip for you is this: data can tell you anything. So I’ll give you a 30-second story here. I was looking at some sales data from one of these clients. And at first glance I saw that basically we got a whole bunch of extra sales from my promotion. And basically the promotion increased our sales by roughly 10%. That’s pretty good. And based on the success of the sale, I’m like, “Great. We had a good sale. Let’s do some more on Black Friday. Let’s do some more around Christmas. Let’s do some more around Easter or whatever.”

And then a few months later, for a completely different reason, I was basically looking into adjacent data, data for a different purpose, but I decided to look at them again. And I noticed that one product increased sales by 20% and another product didn’t increase at all. And then I looked, once I realized this was weird, at the revenue, and I realized that not only did the sale not boost numbers, but because of that one product that didn’t move at all in terms of units, we didn’t sell more units of this product, I was basically giving away money by offering a sale on that product and no one extra was buying it, just the same people who would have normally bought it. Fun fact, that’s called a subsidy cost.

Take a Deep Dive Into Your Sales

So my tip for everyone out there is from time to time, and maybe right now, when it’s hopefully the holiday season and things are slowing down a little bit, do the occasional deep dive into your sales, make sure that your overall sales go up. That’s pretty obvious. Most people do this. Then make sure that you aren’t increasing your costs too much. So if I just see an extra 10% sales, you need to make sure your costs also don’t go up by 10%. Or in this case, basically, if I see sales go up by 10%, but then I’m giving away 10% of my revenue, that might even out to about a 0% increase in total revenue because the extra sales don’t offset the cost.

Make Sure Your Product is Contributing to the Sale

Make sure that each product is contributing. And this is something to think about because certain products … So basically sales are really good. When there’s people who are hemming and hawing, they’re like, “Do I want this product or not?” That’s when sales are great. It takes someone from a, maybe to a yes. But there’s many products that sometimes people just don’t need. Like, I don’t need an extra smoke alarm. So a sale and smoke alarms isn’t going to help me. So for people who sell different types of products, make sure that each product is contributing to the sale.

Learn How to Use Pivot Tables

And then I have a mini bonus tip here: learn how to use pivot tables, and pivot tables exist both in Google sheets and in Microsoft Excel. They will really help you uncover this data. They’re really good at taking one set of data and then being able to sort of visualize it and sort of combine the numbers in different ways on different sheets, but you still keep the original data in intact. So mini bonus tip, learn pivot tables, but the bigger tip here is from time to time, do those deep dives on your sales data. You want to see sales numbers go up. You want to see revenue go up. And you want to make sure that all of the products in the sale are contributing.

You can listen to this and more tips for building WooCommerce stores.