How to use POS Reports & Analytics to Make Better Business Decisions

There’s so much data in the modern world, it’s hard to know what to do with it all. Do you collect it? How do you collect it? And could it help you if you knew what to do with it? If you run a business, the answer’s a firm yes. Used correctly, all that data gives you valuable insights into your activities, helps you make better business decisions and ultimately leads to stronger sales.

What is a POS system?

Simply put, a Point-of-sale (POS) system is the point at which you physically sell your goods and services. In the past, this would simply have been a physical cash till. The customer would have paid and gone on their way; you’d have been happy to receive the sale but probably wouldn’t have much more information than that.

Modern POS systems merge hardware and software to create a more seamless, user-friendly and business-valuable experience. Basic POS software tracks each transaction and what a customer bought, and sophisticated POS software takes it to a completely new level, offering detailed business analytics and valuable insights.

For example, as well as recording items purchased, it tells you what time they were bought, when your peak selling times are and when stock is running low.

POS software is no longer static either. While you might think of a checkout in one fixed place, modern POS software means you can run it on an iPhone, laptop or iPad and in multiple locations too.

Six reasons to use a POS system

The data collected is extremely valuable and gives you insights into your business’s strengths and weaknesses, but there’s a whole host of other reasons why it could benefit you:

Saves time – One of the biggest reasons to use a POS system is the time it saves your business. It reduces the cost of regular admin tasks and automates many others.

Saves cost and improves revenue – A POS system is an investment which very quickly pays for itself in terms of usable data it provides. This improved efficiency leads to reduced operational costs, more sales and a higher turnover.

Better customer service – Because much of the heavy lifting is done by the POS system, you can provide a better checkout experience for your customer – quicker scanning of items, faster payments, mobile payment solutions and ultimately better customer service.

Cloud-based – Most POS systems are cloud-based which means you can access data anywhere and look at company activities in real time, even if you’re nowhere near your premises.

Mobile friendly – Modern POS devices mean you can take payment anywhere in your store, reducing waiting times and offering a more seamless experience.

Reduces errors – If you no longer have to enter items manually, this eliminates mistakes in inventory.

Four POS reports to help you level up your business

There are particular POS reports that a computerised system creates for you to really benefit your business:

Sales Reports – Helps you track sales and also lets you really drill down into those sales: how many, what time, where, most popular products, and types of customers buying particular products (demographics, location).

Inventory Reports – Manual stock inventory can be time-consuming and costly, but if it’s all digitised, all you do is scan products once and the system keeps track. This in turn makes your store more productive and efficient by alerting you when stock is low before it runs out.

Employee reports – With team management software, see immediately what hours your employees work, what their sales are like and when peak sales slots are. Use that information to optimise your employee schedules, increasing staff during peak hours and saving yourself unnecessary staffing costs when it’s quiet.

Store Reports – If you operate across multiple locations, the numbers tell you what works in each store. Design promotions specific to those areas, because maybe what sells brilliantly in one area is a total loss in another.

Use POS reports to make better business decisions

In a nutshell, POS reports help you optimise the data flowing into your business and ensure it works for you:

Leverage data to offer a personalised shopping experience

Use the data to direct your customers to products in line with their personal preferences and tastes. Your POS also integrates with your CRM so you can craft better marketing messages – which your customers will actually be interested in.

Not only that, but you can segment your audiences, discover how many are new buyers and how many are repeat, and what revenue each segment brings in, then adjust your marketing accordingly to suit new behaviours.

Track performance across multiple locations

A POS system tells you what’s selling well to which customers and what’s not, so you know what’s worth promoting. If you have more than one location, you may find diverse marketing strategies are needed for your shops and inventory requirements will be different, depending on the location.

Can help determine seasonality

Track data over a period of time and see trends emerging to help you discover when your biggest sales periods are daily, weekly, monthly and annually. Or it may show you a steady and regular footfall. Knowing when it’s busy leads to more efficient decisions around staffing and inventory.

Promotes more effective staffing decisions

Staffing is a huge business cost but if you know when your peaks and troughs are, you can staff accordingly, getting your best sales employees in on busy days and cutting back when it’s going to be quiet to reduce unnecessary expense.

How Square POS can boost your business performance

Integrating a point of sale with your existing operations will put you firmly in the driving seat of your business, enabling you to proactively make decisions around promotions, marketing, sales, staffing and inventory. Using your personalised dashboard, see at a glance what’s happening in your business in real time, wherever you are.
Its detailed analytics enable you to make effective business decisions which save time and money, allowing you to spend less time on paperwork and more time doing the things you love. Get started with Square POS