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How One Big Online Retailer Successfully Integrated Power BI and Shopify: Use Case

Many companies from all over the globe use Microsoft Power BI to track and analyze their sales performance, as this tool gives almost unlimited data visualization, integration and processing possibilities. However, not all sales platforms have enough functionality to export data directly into the business intelligence tools. One of our customers needed to connect Power BI and Shopify. So let’s see what solution we could find.

Why Connect Shopify To Power BI?

There is no question why analyze sales data. Each business owner clearly understands that this is the best way to evaluate the performance of your sales team and operation processes against main goals. By analyzing sales data you can get a bunch of useful insights about the top-performing and underperforming products/services, the problems in logistics and communication, market opportunities, promos, and other sales activities that generate higher revenue, etc. No need to explain that all this information helps companies to optimize their operations and stock, improve communication with customers, or forecast sales, just to name a few.

When the business is big, e.g. a retailer with millions of items and several sales locations, the amounts of data are tremendous, and making all the assessments and calculations by hand may be a nightmare. And here Microsoft Power BI comes into play. This power solution makes it easy to connect to multiple data sources, visualize important aspects, prepare reports, and share the results with anyone interested. It allows not only generating insights from an Excel workbook or local database but also performing large-scale real-time modeling and developing customized solutions.

Shopify, in its turn, is one of the most popular sales platforms where at least 10% of e-commerce businesses host their online stores including the likes of Nestle, Budweiser, and Red Bull. It has an easy interface and multitude of features and allows not only selling goods but also planning stock and marketing. This means the platform is a wellspring of useful insights by itself. However, its inbuilt reporting features are poor and do not allow consolidating the data from multiple sources. That’s why you will definitely want to connect Shopify to Power BI to make a thorough data analysis.

How To Perform Power BI Shopify Integration

As Shopify has limited exporting options, to get data from the platform, you need a special tool like Power BI Connector by Alpha Serve. It helps to extract only the data you need from Shopify and transfer it directly to Power BI in an understandable format. You can also set up scheduled automated updates and have the required data in the time you need it.

Power BI Connector was developed with users not having any special skills in mind, and you need any additional training to start using it. You can install the app here.

For further information about Power BI Shopify Integration see the product’s documentation and our blog post.
Power BI Shopify

How Shopify Power BI Connector Helped Our Customer To Increase Net Profit

The Сustomer

A customer asked us to help deal with big amounts of sales data. It is a big online retailer of beauty and household products. The company operates and ships products in several countries and has multiple stores on Shopify. The stores are completely independent: each has a localized assortment, language, currency and payment methods.

The Problem

The Customer needed to have consolidated sales reporting on a daily basis. The sales data had to be reflected in a single currency (USD). As we already know, the stores have different currencies, local rates, and payment methods. This means that the currencies of each particular store had to be converted in US dollars throughout the whole sales data massive to bring it into accordance.

Spotify has no suitable functionality. It does not allow consolidating data from multiple accounts in a single report. Nor is it able to show data collected from several stores in a single currency. Only currencies in which the goods are sold can be reflected.

The customer used third-party software to monitor the warehouse processes, as well as to manage logistic operations and finances.

The company had already used Microsoft Power BI for data visualization and analysis. However, to do it effectively, it needed to turn to other solutions to consolidate all the data.
Shopify Power BI

The Solution

Our team recommended the company use multiple Shopify stores as data sources and export data from all Shopify accounts directly to Power BI for easier visualization and further processing. Therefore, we offered the customer to install a Power BI Connector from Alpha Serve, as it has all the required features and functionality.

On the first hand, the app allows creating multiple data sources for export. This means that all required information could be consolidated exactly as the customer needed.

The app makes it possible to choose what exactly you want to export, for example, the data on customers, orders, or inventory. Various filters and other options are available to help you do the precious selection. This means the customer could select specified Shopify fields and tables it wanted to use for further analysis.

The app allows transmitting raw data in an understandable format. No additional tools and means are required to prepare data for uploading in Power BI. Therefore, the company could save a lot of time. Moreover, taking into account that Power BI Connector has an easy interface and does not require special technical knowledge and skills, the customer could involve less staff in data transfer and processing.

The company needed insights on a daily basis, so the option to schedule automated data collection was also on the app’s plus side. The customer could configure an automated refresh and get data each day and in time.

Needless to say that the data in Power BI can be further compared and used for performance forecasting as well as other custom analyses.

In addition to all the benefits mentioned above, the customer could feel safe about its corporate secrets, personal data of its clients, employees, and other stakeholders, as well as other sensitive data, because our app does not collect any customer data.

Power BI Shopify Integration

How Did it Help?

So, as you can see, the customer’s expectations were fully satisfied. The company management now has sales reports prepared daily and in time. The data is consolidated as per the customer’s requirements and is ready for further use. The customer can now see each store's independent results along with the total company’s results, as well as the impact of each store and location on overall performance. And the firm’s management can compare each store's sales and timely make changes where needed. These options, in their turn, allowed for a more detailed comparison of stocks and pricing in each store and location, which finally resulted in a +4,5% growth of net profit YTD in 2021.
Power BI Connector Shopify

Conclusion

It goes without saying that sales data is essential for any business for a number of reasons. It helps to make the right decisions, improve performance, and understand your team and customers better, to name just a few. But if your company operates several stores in different countries, collecting, consolidating, and analyzing thу required data may appear to be quite a bit of a job. This means it is crucial for such businesses to have all the proper data extracted from the sales platform and exported into the suitable BI tool.

As the most common solution for sales is Shopify, and the most widely used BI software is Microsoft Power BI, it was not a question of if but when the proper solution for Shopify and Power BI integration will be found. And Power BI Connector by Alpha Serve is one of these magic tools. It allows the retailers to create multiple data sources, refine the data they want to export, and schedule automated data exports to have required reports prepared on a regular basis and in time. And Power BI is instrumental for further data visualization, analysis, and modeling. Working together, these two tools allow improving the company's efficiency and profitability as the case with our customer shows. And aren’t these the key goals of any business?!