When I was studying for my MBA, my most challenging class was statistics. And even though I managed an A- in the class, it took every one of the few analytical brain cells I had to do so.
So imagine my pleasant surprise when I sat down to analyze the statistics of my business over the last 12 months and found myself engrossed, fascinated, excited and practically dancing for joy. Armed with this critical data, now I know exactly where to spend my time and efforts going forward to receive the highest and best rate of return!
I ran a total of about 10 reports, but let me share some of what I learned specifically from my shopping cart's reports:
Shopping Cart Stats
The shopping cart system I use (1ShoppingCart) has the ability to run sales reports in a variety of ways. Below are four of the reports I ran, what my results were, and how you can apply the results to your business:
a. My Monthly Sales Totals…
…showed me how many sales I made each month, and from that information, I discovered that my best month financially was this past January, followed by March.
I reviewed my marketing and sales activities (in other words, the offers I made) for that month, and what I found was this:
In January, I launched my Platinum Coaching program, which generated $43,450 in sales.
In March, I offered my 21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success Take Action Group 10-week coaching program, which is one of my bestselling programs.
Both of these programs have higher price points, so if you've already developed some products or programs at the lower-priced end of your marketing and product funnel, consider adding a more comprehensive program at a higher price to your offerings to in^crease your bottom line.
b. My Sales by Ad Campaign…
… showed me which special offers were the ones you were most interested in taking advantage of. Now I know which offers to consider repeating, or offering on another product or program in the future.
This is something you can do as well. Guessing if a special campaign you ran worked well or not doesn't make good business sense. Tracking actual numbers does, however, and it's super-simple to do in 1ShoppingCart.
c. My Sales by Clients/Customers…
… showed me who my top clients/customers are, what they've bought, and how much they've invested in my offerings. And since I know that one of the most effective ways to grow a business is to make additional offers to those who have already bought from me, you can bet that not only will I do that, but I'll do it in a way that makes them feel special – because they are to me – by offering them special access or discounts or additional benefits as my way of thanking them for their continued business and loyalty.
If you track this information, you can do the same and increase your sales and your customer loyalty at the same time.
d. My "Where did you hear about us" Report…
… showed me that even though I thought that some of my online networking efforts weren't really paying off, mainly because I didn't think I was focusing enough time on them, I was wrong. It seems even the small amount I had been doing was making an impact.
So now I know the top three places to really focus those efforts going forward. If you've found online networking to be a struggle for you, tracking this information makes what can seem like an overwhelming marketing activity (some lists are SO active) into an extremely managable and once-again enjoyable one.
I gleaned all of this information from just four reports from my shopping cart. And this doesn't include the reports I ran from my email list service (Aweber) or from my web stats (Google Analytics).
Measuring the results of your business activities is critical to your success, and anyone can do it (it's really one of those "if I can, anyone can" kind of things). I really want to encourage you to take a look at where you've been over the past 6-12 months, analyze that data, and make some strategic decisions about where you want to focus your efforts going forward to get where you want to be.