A business’s success depends on its ability to make wise decisions. Good decision-making requires reliable, relevant, and up-to-date information. That’s why data analysis has become a key capability for businesses large and small. For a growing number of retailers, POS system data is the source of the insight that best informs their decisions.
Imagine finding in the data collected by your POS system the information you need to address the three primary reasons customers cite for not returning to a retail store:
- 85 percent likelihood that a customer will stop shopping at a store that is understaffed.
- 83 percent likelihood that they won’t return to a store if the item they want is out of stock.
- 82 percent likelihood that they won’t return if there’s a long wait at the checkout.
The sales reports generated by your store’s POS system help ensure sufficient staff are available when they’re needed. The system’s real-time inventory tracking provides retailers with the insight they need to maintain sufficient stock levels of popular items without having excess inventory taking up space and tying up valuable capital.
How POS Systems Facilitate Collection of Sales and Customer Data
To support data analysis, a POS system’s data collection and storage must be customizable to meet the needs of the business. This ensures that the reports the system generates are not only accurate but also relevant and timely. The goal is to go beyond identifying past and present trends to forecast customer needs and preferences in the future.
For example, a modern, cloud-based POS system can convert data on sales transactions and inventory levels into strategies for sales, promotions, and more effective inventory management. These are among the categories of data available from analysis of your store’s shopping trends and customer histories:
- Customer demographics
- Seasonal sales trends
- Effectiveness of promotions and special offers
- Popular product bundles and combinations to promote upselling
Similarly, by combining sales data with employee management, retailers gain insight that helps them identify their star sales performers on various days of the week and times of the day. This information helps stores determine the most effective employee schedules, including how to pair high-performing staff with employees who are doing less well, for example.
How Data Analytics Helps Shape the Customer Experience
In addition to combining sales data with inventory tracking and employee management, retailers benefit from POS system data that links customer activity with sales, inventory, and employee records. The capabilities of a POS system that help bring retailers closer to their customers encompass all aspects of the business’s operation:
- Predictive ordering and inventory controls
- Personalized sales and promotions based on the customer’s spending history
- Blending customers’ online shopping with their brick-and-mortar experiences
- Integrating all marketing and promotion across channels to offer a unified look and feel
- Customer-facing kiosks and tablet POS terminals to bring shopping to the customer
POS systems facilitate planning and holding special events, customer appreciation activities, and virtual shopping. They also allow employees to spend less time attending to administrative duties such as inventory checks, and more time interacting directly with customers.
How Data Analytics Helps Boost Restaurant Profitability
All retailers have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but restaurants face unique challenges in convincing customers that it will be safe to return to their establishments. The restaurant’s POS system can help by delivering the data the business needs to adjust inventory levels on the fly, prepare for the extra sanitation that will be required, and allow them to adopt new business models, such as operating a food truck or other mobile facility.
The real-time inventory tracking available in cloud-based POS systems becomes more important as restaurants look for ways to avoid food waste. The data also helps them identify ways to save money by improving the accuracy of their vendor orders, matching employee schedules with anticipated demand, and calculating the cost of all the ingredients included in each menu item.
Price setting depends on the ability to calculate the profit margin of each dish on a restaurant’s menu. POS system data makes it possible to pair high-profit menu items with low-profit ones to boost the bottom line. To avoid having to absorb more costs, restaurants may be required to raise the price of some items or begin charging for items or services that were previously offered to customers for free, for example.
POS Reports Help Separate the Meaningful Data from the Noise
As many retailers have learned, more data isn’t necessarily better data. In fact, being deluged with data from many different sources and in a variety of formats can do more harm than good. By adopting an all-inclusive POS software system, retailers get all the data they need to plan for the future from a single reliable source.
Imagine receiving a report that indicates a certain customer was recently browsing the store’s website and showed an interest in particular products but didn’t make a purchase. When that customer makes their next in-store purchase, the POS system can prompt the sales clerk to offer the person a special deal involving the items they looked at online, such as a bundling discount or two-for-one offer.
Not only do such capabilities make customers feel good about getting a personalized experience, store employees benefit by increasing their sales totals without having to do much heavy lifting. Happier customers and happier employees are a combination that’s tough to beat.There’s nothing new about retailers crunching numbers to make their operations more efficient and more profitable. What has changed is the wealth of data available to businesses and the ready access they have to it via modern integrated reporting and analytics tools. By tying analytics to POS system data, stores are able to base their decisions on the freshest and most relevant information available.
When you partner with talech for your retail technology needs, we devote our time to identifying your business challenges. We help you use your POS system to better-tailor your business to the needs of its customers and clientele. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.