How to Leverage Audience Insights to Grow Your Business

If you’re an entrepreneur or a small business owner, this guide will show you why these insights from Square are important and how they can help you.

Having easy-to-use data gathering tools that give you insight into what your customers like, what they buy and when they buy is key to growing a business. Growth and decisions often used to rely on an entrepreneurs’ instinct, with much trial and error. Now you can be scientific and gather understanding of a larger audience much quicker thanks to technology. In this guide, we’ll talk you through Square Analytics – a tool that links to your point of sale system – and how to use it for business success.

How to make the most of Square Analytics

Square Analytics is a free tool that links to our point-of-sale systems and gives you masses of dashboard insights into your business’s headline statistics. It’ll show you – in easy to digest tables and graphs – what your best selling products are, what time of day you’re making most sales and how sales have grown month-on-month or year-on-year. Square Analytics supports decisions on stock management and staffing levels. It also helps you to spot opportunities and challenges and build on what works.

This whole audience customer insight adds greater depth to things like your web page analytics and Facebook insights, which provide another valuable layer of detail on what the people who interact with your online channels like.

Statistics on sales

Want to know what’s flying off the shelves today or what your top selling product was this time last year? These insights are crucial for small businesses to help you plan what to stock and when. You can access your business audience insights in real time from anywhere and in great depth.

See which day you make most sales and when you tend to be quiet to help with staffing and team management. Spot trends relating to busy seasons or moments in the day. See how many sales are linked to a promotion. Which of your team is making the most sales? Could they train up others in techniques they use?

Square Analytics provides auto-generated, simple-to-absorb graphs on these subjects. With a few clicks, you can manipulate them to show and compare the data you want.

Know your stock

Dashboard insights can help you to see what stock you have, what’s running low, what’s selling fast and what needs to be replenished. You can see what items sold well historically in a comparable period last week, last month or last year to help inform you what you need. It’ll help you to avoid buying too much of items that are going to hang around and ensure you buy enough of the things that are popular to assist your overall inventory management.

On the go

Running a small business is rarely a 9-5 endeavour – it’s about passion and picking things up when they need to be done. Having real-time sales analytics that you can access anytime from anywhere on a multitude of devices – your phone, laptop or tablet – is a massive gamechanger. It allows you to solve problems, spot opportunities and keep your finger on the pulse regardless of whether you’re on a sun lounger or in your home office. When an idea strikes on how to use audience insights to make a real difference, you can access them and act there and then.

How to Use Square Customer Insights

Accepting card payments means you can get to know your customers better via your point-of-sale analytics. On your dashboard you’ll be able to see what percentage of your customers are new and how many are returning. You can see average spend and the number of times that a customer shops with you.

This customer level information can help to shape loyalty schemes and promotions as well as inform your overall [business plan](https://squareup.com/gb/en/townsquare/how-to-create-a-business-plan}.

New vs. returning customers: total visits and sales

Dashboard insights show your breakdown of new versus repeat customers. When a customer pays with a new card they are classed as a new customer. Repeated uses of the same card means they are classified as a returning customer. What is an average customer spending with you per visit and what is the typical repeat visit rate? A sudden surge of new customers? Did it coincide with a marketing campaign? Real data informs what works and what doesn’t and helps you put effort into the things that do.

Customer visit frequency

Are you doing all you can to get people to regularly return? Now you can see in a second. Repeat custom is good for business so having insight on whether you are doing everything possible to nurture it is valuable. What could you do to reach out to those customers who don’t visit regularly in order to remind them you’re there? Your dashboard will help you see if your customers aren’t coming back frequently and begin thinking of solutions.

Gift card: value and usage

Gift cards are a great way to promote your business to new customers by allowing people to introduce you to their friends and family. Our dashboard lets you see how many cards you’ve issued and the total value outstanding on them. This helps you to plan and assess how well promotion campaigns have gone.

Reports

Knowledge is power and having so much data at your fingertips about exactly how your business is performing is a massive asset. With the reports function on your Square Dashboard you can pull off detailed analysis on specific aspects of your business. They include:

  • overall sales summaries
  • specific product or product category sales data
  • sales trends
  • team member sales
  • detail on what payment methods are popular
  • gift card activity

This level of insight can help shape the day-to-day running of your business, decisions about how to expand and proceed and support a convincing argument to secure loans or investment.

Get All the Small Business Insights You Need Today

Dashboard insights come as standard and for free when you start working with Square, whether via our £16 Square Reader – that enables you to take Chip & PIN, contactless and mobile payments – or as a Square Register customer.

Historically businesses may have paid massive sums for market research companies to gather data about their customers. Accountants may have been enlisted to trawl spreadsheets to see sales trends. Now, it’s all available at your fingertips, automatically collated as you serve your customers. All you have to do is click through and start using it.

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