You may think of your point of sale system, software or hardware as a means to an end: make sale, take payment – done! But smart business owners know that there is a wealth of information gathered by a POS system, and it's what you do with that information that can really make a difference for your business.
There's More to Your Point of Sale
With each and every transaction you make with your point of sale, your POS is picking up multiple chunks of information that you could use to improve your business and even raise your bottom line. POS data contains so much valuable information: data that can assist you with your marketing, your business insights, inventory and more–and it's just sitting there, waiting for you to make use of it.
Here's how to use your point of sale intel to work smarter.
1. Make Use of Your Customer List
The most cost-effective group you can advertise to is your existing customer base. If you have a loyalty program or similar app for collecting customer information (which hopefully you do), consider this your warm market.
It's funny how so many retailers and restaurant owners can focus so much on bringing in new business, they forget that willing consumers are right under their nose. Make use of your customer list. Your point of sale software collects that information for a reason and there is SO much you can do with it.
Before we get into exactly how you can leverage your customer list, here are a few ways to build it in order to make your efforts that much more powerful...
How to Grow Your Customer List
Prior to working to leverage the customer information your POS saves, make sure you're building that list to the best of your abilities. If you haven't been doing a great job collecting your customers' information, here are a few ways to quickly build that list so you can make the most of it:
- Have a contest. Conduct a contest on your website, social media accounts or in-store (perhaps even all three!) and require that entrants provide you with information like their email address to enter. You can even take this further by developing a questionnaire about their favorite brands and products.
- Conduct a giveaway. There's no better way to have throngs of people giving their information to you than by offering something for free. You'd be surprised what a giveaway can do to build your customer list, just make sure you're promoting effectively.
- Create a loyalty or rewards program. Customers will be more likely to give you their information when there's a benefit to it. If you don't already have a rewards or loyalty program in place, now's the time to start. Give your customers a reason for signing up, whether it's 10% off purchases or something as simple as being the first to know about deals and promotions.
2. Track Your Employees' Productivity
Almost every point of sale system gives you the opportunity to have unique sign-ins for your staff members. Doing so give you insight into how productive they are during their shift and how many sales they make. You'll also be able to gauge what products they are successful at promoting and selling. What's more, you'll be able to track if they are taking advantage of your time or your money.
Here's how to use your employees' sales data to better your business:
- Provide training. If you notice one of your employees is lacking in sales, there's an opportunity for improvement. Provide training to boost their productivity and increase your bottom line.
- Give kudos and rewards. Give your employees a reason to excel. Implement a rewards system and you'll be surprised how much that will boost productivity and engagement on your team. How will you know who's rocking their shift? Simple. Your POS will tell you.
3. Monitor and Report on Sales Trends
You may be thinking, "duh", as the whole point of a POS system is to track sales, but there are so many reporting techniques you can utilize to gain valuable, game-changing insights from your sales data. You can...
- Adjust your staffing based on foot traffic and sales data. With the right insights you can tweak your staffing to ensure you're not overstaffed at your slowest points of the day or understaffed during your busiest.
- Monitor promotions to ensure they’re benefitting you. A great POS system will allow you to monitor your promotions vs. gross margin to determine what promotions are actually making you money so you can decide which to run again in the future.
4. Gain Insight into Your Inventory
Knowing what products are making you money is just as important as knowing what products are falling flat. Smart point of sale software will assist you with monitoring and managing your inventory so you can...
- Track returns and exchanges. Returns, exchanges and refunds are a normal thing for any retailer to encounter (similar to food being sent back to the kitchen in a restaurant), but if you can track exactly what products are being returned and exchanged, you can avoid this hassle (and loss of time and money) in the future.
- Get ahead of dead stock. Measuring the layers of dust on an item is no way to track your dead inventory. Your point of sale software should be doing that for you and helping you avoid the dead stock debacle . A few simple clicks on your POS software should be able to help you differentiate, control and eliminate your dead stock.
- Respond to your sell-through rate. Any decent point of sale system will alert you when you’re low in inventory on an item, but a dynamic system will tell you much more than that. For example, your POS alerts you that you’re out of something and you reorder say, 20 cases … but how do you know if it took you 2 months or 22 months to run out of your first order? Knowing the sell-through rate of your items will help you avoid over-stocking an item and tying up capital that can be spent on something else.
The First Step
The first step to using your point of sale data as your best business intelligence tool is to use a trusted point of sale company with the right hardware, software and services to maximize success for your business.
Find out how Epos Now can partner in your success: schedule a free, 15-minute demo with one of our friendly and helpful sales reps. We’ll show you how our system can be tailored to your business and how you can leverage all the data your point of sale software collects to turn a profit.