The Sales report Plugin for Zen Cart is one of those great little tools. It won’t replace an accounting program but will answer many basic and some not so basic sales questions. As expected, you can run reports on sales this week, last month, year to date, etc. If you need some basic info on sales totals, this does a great job.
If that was all it did, it wouldn’t be worth mentioning. The reason this Sales Report plugin is worth mentioning is for two reasons
- Sorting capabilites
- CSV export
The sales report data can be broken down by Model Number, Product ID, Product Name, Manufacturer and a few others. A second column in the report allows for the same sort function so you can actually sort on two variables in the same report. This will tell you how many of which products sold in a given timeframe and at what cost. If you’re selling products online, and that’s probably everyone reading this, then know what sells is vitally important.
The sales data includes not only the total sales but breaks out product cost, shipping, tax and dscounts. Very helpful along but moreso when comparing time frames. Speaking of timeframes, the Timeframe Statistics report is a comprehenisve report of the timeframe you select. This report, shown here, provides some of the same order and timeframe totals mentioned earlier but also average order size, products per order and orders per customer.
The Order Stats section provides an overview of payment types, shipping methods and currencies (if you sell in more than one). All of this data is extremely useful in managing your business, evaluation what sells, how do people buy, etc. By itself, it is only data. But the data will allow you to make educated decisions. For example, if you want to test offer free shipping over $50. The goal is that the reduction in shipping revenue will result in higher average order values and more products ordered per order. This report, run before and after the promotion, will answer that question for you. Let me say that again, this report will tell you of your free shipping promotion is a good decisio or not.
Lastly, but equally important, is that all of these reports can be exported into a CSV file. This allows for even further comparisons and data manipulation to answer any questions that the reports can’t answer directly. Reports like these, traffic analytics and ad spending provide the hard data needed to make educated decisions about your business. Gut feeling has it’s place, but when data can be used to verify your gut you’ll know you are moving in the right direction.