Collecting meaningful data at the point of sale is essential for retailers today, but reporting on it is often pretty far down the to-do list. Here’s the thing though: Retail is competitive, and data is armor that can give you that advantage. The most profitable retailers are using it to inform every business decision, from buying to staffing to marketing.
First though, you need sophisticated software that is able to take all of the collected data, be it product, customer or sales level, and analyze it dimensionally through custom reports. For instance, Heartland Retail POS allows users to alter, group, sort and compare the custom fields most relevant to their business. Your point of sale should also be able to save reports, allowing anyone on your team to access them quickly and easily.
Ok, POS powered up? Let’s get to it then: Here are five key retail reports that will boost profitability, productivity and performance.
Sales & Margin
At a high level, this report indicates how your customers are responding to merchandise and whether or not it is performing at a profitable margin. You can look at this by department, brand, vendor—all the way down to specific style name or color! Retailers often fall into the trap of making emotional decisions while buying—I’m excited about this brand...my customers love this style...floral prints are definitely “in”...and then when they actually dive into the data, they see that it’s not selling at the perceived volume; or maybe it is, but on sale only, killing margin. It starts a dangerous cycle of buying based on intuition.
Freshness is the name of the game, and this KPI can be run many different ways—by brand, category, class and more—in order to determine how well your merchandise is performing over a set period of time. After all, the goal is to move through inventory at a full-price margin before it gets stale. When you keep an eye on this data in real time, you’re able to pivot quickly when things aren’t selling.
Check out these five ways to keep inventory fresh and improve sell-through before resorting to markdowns.
Sales cycles vary for different types of businesses, but looking at inventory over a three-week period is usually a safe frame. Just remember to exclude any inventory that has been on the floor for less than three weeks in that case.
Total Open on PO
Sometimes you need a little reminder of what you’ve already ordered, especially when you’re planning to buy more! Having this metric at your fingertips will keep you agile when you need to replenish or cancel an order. Noticing a trend and already have an order placed? Maybe it’s time to add a few more units before the order ships, or vice versa. Your marketing and merchandising teams can also use this report to plan campaigns well in advance of the merchandise arriving. When the shipment hits, boom—they are ready to go!
This report is all about holding vendors accountable. It serves as a powerful tool to critically understand which brands you should go deeper in and which you may want to drop. Equally important, it makes for a fantastic negotiating tool—at buys, but also once the product is already on your floor. If their product isn’t moving, share the report with the vendor; they may be willing to accept a return-to-vendor or swap, or offer you a better discount on your next order.
Keeping an eye on your customer data is critical to engaging and expanding your clientbase. When 80% of your revenues comes from just 20% of your customers, the need to nurture that 20% is obvious. Exclusive events, handwritten notes and early access to sales are all effective ways to do just that.
Bonus customer report: Look at top spenders by last visit date. If you notice customers who are dropping off, consider re-engagement tactics, like an enticing email promotion.
Using your POS to collect the data, and then acting on it, is what will give you an edge in an increasingly competitive market. To learn more about Heartland Retail’s best-in-class reporting tools, watch a quick demo or book a consultation.