When you have a column containing different string values you can write a query which calculates the number of occurrences of the different values.
The query sums the number of unique values in column A (replace with your own), before generating a grouped list of totals in descending order.
=QUERY(A2:A,"select A, count (A) where A <> '' group by A order by count (A) desc")
Visualize sales by items sold
After connecting your spreadsheet to Geckoboard, you could use a leaderboard or bar chart to track sales by item sold.