Reporting has always been important in retail – understanding sales tracking figures, inventory levels and the impact of marketing for example. But in today’s highly competitive, demanding retail world, the weekly or even end of day sales tracking reports that sufficed in the past just don’t cut it any more. Retail analytics has taken on an even more important role, and your retail POS software can track, analyse and make reports available in real time for super-smart, data-driven decision making.
iVend retail POS software helps retailers track key metrics.
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Why is tracking essential?
Shoppers have never been more demanding , and we’re seeing the rise of the ‘zero tolerance shopper’*. To meet these demands, retailers need to harness their POS integration to capture a crystal clear, real time picture of their business. Using your point of sale system to track performance, across every element of the retail operation, has never been more important.
Tracking is the barometer of your business. It tells you how you’re doing, and can be used to improve the quality of the decisions you make**.
The need for speed
The most insightful information in the world loses its value if it comes too late to take action. ‘Speed to insight***’ can enable businesses to leap ahead of their competition. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly playing a role too: the sheer quantity of data can make human analysis inefficient, compared to a machine’s superior capabilities when it comes to retail analytics +.
What data can your retail POS software track?
Your retail POS software is an incredibly rich source of data for retail analytics and valuable insights – here’s some of the key things it can offer:
Sales tracking data
– including sales tracking data by store, by product, and by associate
. This data can help you determine which products are your best – and worst – sellers, to inform your product assortment decisions and stock management. You can use this data to ensure best sellers are always in stock, and create discount programs to sell off the slow movers.
Customer data tracking
– understanding customer behaviour is the first step to creating personalised loyalty and marketing campaigns. Customer data tracking can show who responds best to which promotions, what drives loyalty customers
, and how customers use different channels
, helping you to create marketing campaigns that get maximum response and drive the best return on your investment.
– metrics such as stock turnover levels, and days of inventory remaining
can be used to accurately plan purchasing and replenishment strategies and minimise the chance of stock outs. Sell-through rates help to evaluate the efficiency of your supply chain and get timing right for replenishments.
Employee performance metrics – sales tracking data by employee can form the basis of an employee rewards or bonus program, helping to motivate staff, and increase retention and engagement. They can also help you to spot underperforming staff and provide coaching.
Financial reporting – the numbers that show which stores, employees, and products generate most revenue and profit, for decisions about product mix, employees and store investments. Operating cost analysis shows helps to identify areas for streamlining and automation and then assess the results. Retail analytics of financial reporting and inventory management data can help to pinpoint shrinkage and drill down into its location and cause, giving retailers a better chance of reducing it.
Sales trends and analysis – this helps to spot things that could become an issue, and address them early. Sales trends and analysis data shows if sales of a product or category been gradually moving up or down, allowing retailers to adjust stock levels, or run a promotion. Sales trends and analysis data shows the patterns that allow you to plan and forecast more accurately.
Multi-store management – data from the point of sale system in multiple stores helps retailers to compare performance and identify lessons learned from top performers and lower performers, which can then be fed back into operational processes.
Returns and refunds – it’s essential to understand which goods are most frequently returned or refunded, how fast they are getting back onto the shelves, or whether they have to be written off. This can inform product selection, supplier selection and returns processes.
Promotions – when you run promotions, you have to be able to measure their impact – which ones worked well, with which customers and locations. Data from your point of sale system helps you to do more of what works, and eliminate what doesn’t, to maximise the return from your promotions budget.
Your retail POS software is so much more than an operational tool – it is a vastly rich source of valuable data, which – with the right retail analytics and timely processing – can put you ahead of the pack.
How are retailers using AI in retail analytics?
Retail data is big data – and that can mean it’s hard for the human brain to take in and analyse. AI is designed to make sense of large volumes of data, to spot the patterns and trends. It can uncover insights that the human brain simply doesn’t see, and certainly can’t handle fast. Many organisations, not just in retail, are turning to AI as a ‘fast analytical brain’ to make sense of the vast quantities of data. Once the analysis is complete and presented, humans can still make the decision on what to do with the facts – but they will have those facts far faster and in time for their actions to have a greater impact.
What is the business value of tracking and reporting?
- Essentially, it boils down to being able to see three key things in your business.
Firstly – to see what is working well, so that you can continue to do it, nurture and protect the strengths within your business.
- Secondly, you can spot issues, and areas that are not working well. This gives you the opportunity to put actions in place to address them.
- The third thing is to spot trends – these could be opportunities or threats, but by spotting them early, you get a head start on actions to make the most of them, or shut them down before they become a big problem. making the most of them