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Why do I see a difference in data between Shopify Analytics and Polar?
Why do I see a difference in data between Shopify Analytics and Polar?

This article walks through the steps to troubleshoot discrepancies between Shopify and Polar Analytics.

Abby Garland avatar
Written by Abby Garland
Updated over a week ago

If you notice a discrepancy in your data between Shopify Analytics and Polar, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot where this difference might be coming from.

Step 1) Check your Revenue & Orders Settings (under Settings > Data Settings > Revenue) to ensure you are applying the same formula as Shopify. Shopify Analytics' formula for Total Sales is:

Total Sales = Gross Sales - Discounts + Shipping + Tax - Returns.

Gift cards are excluded from this calculation.

To see more info from Shopify on why they exclude gift card sales, take a look at this article from the Shopify Community.

Step 2) If you see an issue with Total Sales, make sure you're looking at Total Sales in the Sales Report on Shopify Analytics, not the Shopify Homepage. On the Shopify homepage, the returns also include tax and shipping of the returned orders for that day; alternatively, Shopify Analytics does not include tax and shipping. When comparing to Shopify Analytics, make sure you select the filter "Sale Kind = 'order'" on Shopify.

For reference, this is the Shopify Homepage.

If you see a difference in New vs Repeat Customers, note that Shopify Analytics attributes "Customer type = N/A" to orders that should actually be new or repeat. In Polar, we don’t necessarily consider all those "Customer type = NA" (from Shopify) as new customers. Our purchase type field is recalculated (we don’t pull the customer type field directly) and we calculate it based on the customer’s order history.

  • You can check by looking at an order ID that has "Customer type = N/A" on Shopify

  • Click on their customer ID and check their history on Shopify

  • On Polar, on Custom report, pick a sales metric (for example Total Sales), then you can search that customer ID in the filter and add the dimensions "Purchase Type" and "Order ID"

  • You will see only the first order will be New, and the rest will be considered as Repeat. Remember to pick the correct time range to get all the history of that customer.

Step 3) Make sure you have no Views selected on Polar, and that the same filters are applied on Polar & Shopify Analytics.

Step 4) If the problem persists after you've verified the above, go to custom reports, select the same metrics you have on your Shopify Sales Report (Gross Sales, Discounts, etc) and select a small date range so it's easier to compare.

You can breakdown your report by different dimensions like order_id on Shopify and Polar, order by the highest monetary values and compare them.

If you notice a discrepancy, check the original order in Shopify under 'Orders'.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Order adjustments (such as item exchanges) can sometimes cause discrepancies in Shopify Analytics as these orders are counted twice: the day the order was processed and the day the order was edited. Returns are still calculated at the time they are processed like on Shopify Analytics. Polar pulls the original order data directly from the API which makes it 100% accurate.

  • Total Sales in Shopify Analytics can sometimes appear slightly inflated compared to Polar, as Shopify counts tax amounts for $0.00 orders, whereas Polar does not. These tax amounts will not show up or the original orders, but may still be included on the Shopify Analytics Total Sales metric.

  • If you are on the Free Plan, as Custom Reports are not available, you can add more Key Indicators to your homepage to have more detailed data. For example, you can add Shipping, Discounts, or Net Sales to take a deeper look.

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