- Access to the right information will help you make strategic business decisions that will boost sales
- Organizing sales data into reports that provide actionable insights requires special tools
- Advanced point-of-sale systems can help deliver valuable reports with accuracy and speed
Making the right decisions for your company depends on having accurate information, but in order to make sense of all the data that is available from your POS systems and ecommerce platforms, you need a solution that can help organize it into reports that tell the real story of what’s going on in your business each and every day.
Any business owner knows that growth doesn’t just happen. It takes careful planning, strategic development, and a keen sense of what’s happening in the market that might guide the decision-making process in one direction or another. To do this effectively, it is crucial to understand all types of critical business data that can inform and direct your strategy down the right path at the right time to achieve the greatest gains from each move. However, without accurate reporting and the necessary tools to compile and analyze the available information, your business will be at a disadvantage. This is why the payment processing reports and sales analytics tools that are built-in to modern POS solutions are so essential to building a solid business strategy.
Before your business can truly start leveraging these tools, it’s essential that you have a firm understanding of the types of data that can be obtained from these systems, and how this data can be sorted, filtered, and organized to yield the actionable insights you need to guide your strategy.
Types of Data Available from Sales Analytics Tools and Ecommerce Reporting
First and foremost, point-of-sale reports should be able to provide accurate tallies of sales totals that can be broken down into individual segments with increasing granularity. Using an example of a fictitious multi-location retail chain to help illustrate this, starting with the total sales for the day, you’ll want to be able to drill down to how individual stores performed. Next, you may want to look at the product type or category breakdown per location. Lastly, you may want to examine sales of a particular product or category by a variety of different criteria, such as time of day when sales occurred, average order value of sales containing these items, name of the sales rep associated with the orders, or if any special offers or promotions were applied at the time of sale.
In addition to revenue reports, inventory control data is also highly valuable in planning business strategies. Knowing exactly how many units of a particular product move through your inventory, where they go, and how efficiently restocking can occur will help your business optimize and improve the supply chain from end to end. This type of analysis is of critical importance for businesses that utilize high volumes of consumables as part of their operations, such as outdoor car washes or unattended vending suppliers, where ensuring adequate stock of the most in-demand products and frequently needed materials so the customer experience is as consistent and reliable as possible.
Reports on revenue values and inventory performance are necessary in order to accurately gauge profitability, which tells a more complete story on the success of your business. For example, even though a particular retail location or unattended vending station may have a high total sales value, if the inventory moving through that location are all low-margin products, then the overall profitability could be less than other locations which achieved lower unit sales of higher-margin inventory. Alternatively, slow-moving inventory could be taking up valuable space that could be better utilized to move other types of products that sell better and have higher margins, thereby driving overall profitability up.
While the types of data obtainable from POS reports certainly does not end with just these examples, they clearly illustrate the types of factors that are vital to consider when making strategic and tactical decisions on when, where, and how to act to best achieve the goals of your business.
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Benefits of Payment Processing Analytics and Reporting
Once you realize the impact that data and analysis can have on your ability to make smart decisions for the future of your business, chances are that your mind will start to contemplate all the different situations were having access to these kinds of reports can be beneficial. Let’s consider a few of the most common ways that payment processing analytics can be leveraged in industry verticals of all types.
Understanding Customer Purchasing Behaviour
Perhaps the most powerful use of POS analytics is to better understand the diverse array of factors that influence customer behaviour. Business data obtained from point-of-sale reports can reveal many valuable insights on what could be driving customers to make their purchases, including the mix of products bought, day and time of the purchase, promotions that were applied, whether they are a new or returning customer, their location, and much more. By knowing who’s buying what, and under what set of circumstances, businesses can then interpret this information to help determine what criteria they may want to adjust in an effort to improve sales performance.
There are many different dials that can be turned and levers that can be pulled to change the sales conditions for any business, including pricing, marketing and promotions, customer loyalty programs, inventory control, or customer service training, to name just a few. For example, a business such as an amusement park or arcade could use analytics like these to determine which rides or attractions see the most activity, and which see the least. From there, decisions could be made to make changes such as replacing or upgrading the poorest-performing attractions, and implementing strategies to alleviate bottlenecks and long waits at the most popular ones.
Reducing Costs of Reconciliation and Counting Errors
Another significant advantage of detailed point-of-sale reports is reduction of costs associated with speeding up reconciliation processes and minimizing counting errors. Accounting teams can utilize the real-time dashboards and custom reports available through the POS analytics apps to dramatically increase the efficiency of many bookkeeping tasks, allowing accountants and bookkeepers to accomplish much more in far less time.
Gauging Product, Brand and Category Performance
Purchasing and inventory control will also see substantial benefits by effectively measuring and comparing the performance of individual products, brand lineups, and category segments against each other. At a glance, they can see exactly what lines are driving results and which are lagging behind, thereby enabling smarter selection of which products, brands, or categories to carry in each individual location or market area. By stocking each location with the optimum mix of products, sales can be maximized and inventory costs can be kept to a minimum.
Rapid Access to Historical Sales Data and The Ability to Predict Trends
There’s an old adage that says, “to know where you’re going, you’ve got to remember where you’ve been”. In business, this is particularly relevant in the strategic planning process, as a thorough understanding of what’s worked (or not worked) in the past can help you develop more impactful strategies that can be employed to drive future business growth. Looking back week after week, month after month, and year after year, you can start to see trends you can capitalize on and anomalies that you can investigate further.
For example, in some cases these abnormalities can highlight previous promotions that worked extremely well and could be built upon, or perhaps bring clarity to sales events that fell flat and are now cautionary tales to avoid. In either case, POS reporting can be the key to unlock more powerful marketing and sales tactics that can propel your business forward.
Powerful Reporting Enabled by MONEXgroup Technology and Expertise
It is clear that the benefits and advantages of POS analytics are too significant to simply brush aside. Your business needs these tools in order to gain competitive advantage and bring forth a strategy that works to achieve your short-term and long-term goals. However, successful deployment of point-of-sale analytics tools depends on having the right payment processing partner to help your business with setup, configuration, and ongoing support so you can truly make the most of your sales data.
Along with a full suite of powerful POS technology solutions for in-store payment processing, online and ecommerce payment portals, contactless unattended and vending terminals, and mobile on-the-go credit card processing units, MONEXgroup also brings comprehensive customer service and technical support to our clients. This includes working directly with you to determine exactly which POS metrics are most important to you, and configuring customized reports and real-time dashboards that you can use to keep your finger on the pulse of your business. Our expert team of payment processing professionals has the experience and knowledge to help you maximize the impact of your sales reports on your bottom line.
Reach out to the team at MONEXgroup today to find out how your business can use smart sales reports and insightful analytics tools to improve the performance of your retail stores, online ecommerce platform, and unattended vending kiosks. With MONEXgroup in your corner and powerful reporting capabilities in your hands, you’ll be poised to win in your market.
Contact us now for a free quote and learn more about POS reporting and analytics!
Author: Layal Scheirich, Head of Sales at MONEXgroup
Bio: With 18 years of experience in payment processing and merchant services, Layal has seen in-store POS technology evolve from its humble beginnings to contactless, unattended, mobile and online alternatives. Today, Layal is an inspiration to the MONEXgroup’s team and a go-to source of information related to payment processing. She is enthusiastic to share her knowledge with audiences interested in cutting-edge technologies available today, such as unattended payment for self-serve kiosks, e-commerce online payment gateways, virtual terminals, and contactless and mobile payment solutions.
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Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
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