What does good point-of-sale data management look like? If the words ‘Excel spreadsheet’ have made it into your answer, let me stop you there. Manually recording and analyzing data may have worked well in the past, but in 2019 this method is a disservice to an automated approach for retailers.
Of course, if you’re a retailer, you are probably well aware of this notion. In fact, according to a 2018 survey by Askuity of nearly 500 brands, a staggering 92% of retail brands crave more insight from their point-of-sale (POS) data. Simultaneously, 63% are looking to move away from manual systems to help improve their POS reporting and analytics, and we don’t blame them.
Despite this positive shift in attitude, just over half of the retail brands surveyed still use spreadsheets to analyze POS data. The good news is that there’s an alternative for those looking to increase improvements and decrease manual work – an integrated POS data solution. In other words, software that unlocks the data your register collects, offering you valuable insight into what is being sold, where it is being sold, at what time and more.
This software comes in many different guises and from several companies, including RetailOps. In this article we discuss the benefits of using automated data at POS and how it can have a positive impact on the whole organization, from POS to warehouse to boardroom.
One of the first – and perhaps biggest – advantages that an integrated POS data solution has over a manual system is the access to real-time sales data and inventory over multiple locations.
One of the biggest headaches retailers face is trying to properly manage inventory if they receive an Excel file at the end of the day. Reviewing sales data and inventory levels in this format gives you no time to react to your operations as the day is already over.
The alternative is to have your POS connected to your data hub, whether it’s RetailOps or a different platform. With this system in place, your operations managers can instantly access minute-by-minute sales reports by store and current inventory level. Leveraging this power of data allows you to instantly transfer inventory from one location to another, before a selling opportunity is missed.
Here’s a puzzle for you. You have one warehouse and four stores – how many warehouses do you have? If you answered ‘one’, you have fallen for the trick question.
The answer is actually five. With automated POS data, retailers can allow storefronts to act as warehouses, allowing all stores to sell products across all locations. This is omnichannel retailing at its finest.
Ideally, every store you own would have all the stock, all the colors and all the sizes your customers want – at all times. In reality, you are more likely to be confronted with a scenario like the following: your customer walks into location one (let’s say it’s your flagship store) and wants a pair of snazzy purple golf shoes in size 10. Location one has purple golf shoes in size nine and 11, but no 10s – unlike location two (the new store you opened just ten minutes away), which is swamped with size 10s.
Provided that you are leveraging your POS data, your customer can pay for the item at location one, and then head to location two to pick it up or have location two ship the product. This gives your customer the lasting impression that you are on top of your game – which, by leveraging data on the POS, you are!
In addition to staying ahead of the curve when it comes to inventory, one concept that is often overlooked is the use of POS sales data to help with day-to-day staffing decisions.
For example, if you know that on Saturday your busiest store will have 20% more walk-in customers than any other day, you may decide to add another sales rep to that store. If, on the other hand, you know that your out-of-town store is always slow on Tuesday afternoons, you can easily remove a rep or two from that store at that time.
Retailers can also utilize POS data to set KPIs for each sales rep. If each employee uses a unique login for each transaction, a function that RetailOps provides, the operations manager will have instant access to valuable insight on the performance and productivity of each employee.
With this feature, they can instantly see which employees have the best sales numbers and what they excel at selling, as well as who may need further training to help increase their sales. Naturally, the information collected extends to areas such as abnormal void activity, as well as unusually high or frequent discounts, allowing you to also keep an eye on potentially suspicious activity.
Knowing where your inventory is at all times will turn you from a good retailer into a great one. However, knowing where to put your inventory — and when — will turn you from a great retailer into an amazing one!
For example, if you know that you always sell little black dresses at your main street store on a Friday afternoon, but barely any at your out-of-town outlet at that time, it would be smart to place the majority of your little black dress inventory at the main street store.
You don’t need us to tell you that one of the worst feelings is knowing you could have avoided a missed sales opportunity. Utilizing POS data to predict future performance all but eradicates this feeling. As it keeps you up-to-date on what’s selling and when, you’re can also make sure there’s enough inventory to keep selling it.
If you have been using Excel spreadsheets to analyze your POS data, you may feel like it would just be easier to stick with the tried-and-tested, despite its flaws.
However, you’re well aware of the headaches that come with having to make sense of end-of-day spreadsheets, as well as the lingering feeling that you are already too late to leverage the data.
Are you now curious about the other insights you are missing out on — insights that can increase profitability, staff productivity and customer satisfaction?
RetailOps is one of the software solutions available to you in your quest for better data management. We are specialists in data management and omnichannel retailing, offering retailers a purpose-built solution to help you record, analyze and improve your POS reporting and analytics, leveraging high-quality data to make your company more efficient and profitable.
About the Author
Randy Lough is the marketing manager at RetailOps. He’s a technology enthusiast who enjoys spending his time showcasing the ways retailers can overcome challenges by leveraging technology. RetailOps is an all-in-one platform covering warehouse management, order management, and point-of-sale, which integrates beautifully with PayJunction.