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Sell-Through Report with Square for Retail

The Square for Retail Inventory Sell-Through Report provides you with an organised daily snapshot of all of the information you need to effectively manage your inventory – making purchasing decisions and price adjustments, and identifying deadstock more easily.

Calculate Sell-Through

Sell-Through is a percentage that compares the amount of inventory you receive from a vendor against what’s actually sold over a given period of time. The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of items sold in the selected time period by the quantity of items on hand at the start of the period plus the quantity received or adjusted during the period. Then multiply that number by 100 to find your percentage.

Although Sell-Through rates vary by industry and item type, a general rule of thumb is that any item at or above 80% is excellent and any item below 40% is concerning. A Sell-Through rate over 100% means the item or variation has been oversold and inventory has gone negative.

View and adjust your Sell-Through Report

To view your Sell-Through Report:

  1. Go to your online Square Dashboard.

  2. Select Reports > Inventory Reports > Inventory Sell-Through.

Within the report, you can search by name, SKU or GTIN and filter by location, category, vendor and time frame. To expand or collapse variations, click the blue arrow by the left of the Item column header. To change how the table is sorted, click the column headers that have up or down arrows next to them. To change which columns are visible in the table, click the plus sign. Visible columns may include Sell-Through, On Hand, Sold, Sales Velocity and more. For variations that have multiple sell-by options, the Sell-Through Report will only display the stock by unit. Once you have adjusted your Sell-Through Report, you can also export your report by clicking Export. The exported report will include any filters or sorting applied. 

The Sell-Through Report also includes different actions you can use to update items generated in the report. By navigating to Reports > Inventory Reports > Inventory Sell-Through > Actions, you’ll be able to make quick adjustments to your items with actions such as:

  • Order more

  • View purchase order

  • Apply a discount

  • Create a marketing campaign

  • Reprice item

  • Edit low stock alert

Note: Inventory tracking must be turned on under Items > Settings > Inventory and the item or variation must have either been sold or had an inventory adjustment in the last 365 days for a Sell-Through Report to be generated.

Understand and use your Sell-Through rate

Restock items with a high Sell-Through rate

A high Sell-Through rate is a good indication of popular items that sell well and may be understocked. Monitor Quantity on Hand, Sales Velocity and Out of Stock to determine when you should be restocking.

Promote and discount overstocked items

A low Sell-Through rate can indicate an item is overstocked or not selling well. You may want to promote this item, move it around in-store or offer a discount to reduce your supply and raise your Sell-Through rate.

Discontinue items with a low Sell-Through rate

Items that constantly have a low Sell-Through rate may be items you want to consider discontinuing or replacing.

Automatically generate a new Purchase Order online

Auto POs let you know which of your items could be running low on inventory. At a high level, Square makes decisions based on a few pieces of information:

  1. The current inventory amount of an item, both in stock and on order

  2. A sales prediction for that item

  3. A lead time prediction for that item

Square will suggest reordering an item if, based on those pieces of information, we predict you will sell out before more items will arrive from your vendor.

For example, you have an item ‘XL Levi Slim Fit Jeans’ with a current inventory of six in stock, and six on order. We predict based on past POs that this item will take seven days to arrive from your vendor if you order today. We also predict that you will sell two per day. This means that in the next seven days, you’ll sell 14 units. However, you only have 12 in stock and on order. This means the item will show up on Auto POs.

To enable automatic purchase orders:

  1. Go to Items > Settings > Inventory > Enable auto-generated purchase orders on your online Square Dashboard.

Note: A banner for automatic purchase orders will appear in the Purchase Orders portion of the Dashboard after it is enabled in settings. For items to be considered in Auto POs, they must have a default vendor and sales history. Auto POs are independent of low stock alerts.

Sell-Through Report Glossary

  • Sell-Through: the percentage that compares the amount of inventory received against what’s actually sold in the selected time period.

  • Quantity on hand: the number of items or variations sold in the selected time period.

  • Sales velocity: the average number of items sold per week over the last 30 days.

  • Last sold: the date the item or variation was last sold.

  • Last received: the date you last received stock for an item or variation.

  • Out of stock: a prediction that an item is no longer available in your inventory based on your sales and inventory history.

  • On order: the number of items or variations on order as documented in a purchase order.


Will the sell-through report update live throughout the day as I add, sell or transfer items in my inventory?

No, the sell-through report is a snapshot of your inventory activity and will not reflect live changes. The report will update and refresh nightly every 24 hours and will have a timestamp stating the last time it was updated.

How will transferring items between my location affect my sell-through report?

Stock transfers will be treated as if the stock was already at the destination location at the start of the period.

For example, suppose you have two locations and the following actions happen in a seven-day period:

  1. Location A has 10 shirts, and
  2. Location B has 3 shirts.
  3. Location A sells four shirts and
  4. Location B sells three shirts.
  5. Seller transfers five shirts from location A to Location B.
  6. Location B sells 5 shirts.

In this case, sell-through at Location A would be (4 sold) / (10 initial - 5 transferred) = 4/5 = 80%.

Sell-through at Location B would be (5 sold + 3 sold) / (3 initial + 5 transferred) = 8/8 = 100%.

How does seasonality affect my sell-through rates?

Sell-through rate does not account for seasonality, so keep in mind the time of year when monitoring performance of certain items – for example, pumpkin spice sells better in October than it does in March.

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