Managing a business is a relentless job. Between balancing internal operations, keeping customers happy, and working towards long-term growth, you're always solving one problem or another. And, if you want to be successful, you need to leverage every tool at your disposal to acquire and retain new customers.
One tool that businesses are using to grow their customer base is point of sale (POS) systems. POS systems are much more than checkout software. They provide data about your inventory, hold customer records, and generate reports that help you analyze customer behavior. If used correctly, these systems can be a valuable resource for customer information that can help you acquire and retain customers and significantly grow your business.
Sales summary reports are incredibly important for retail businesses. They outline how the business is performing, what marketing and sales strategies are most effective, and what acquisition tactics aren't working in the company's favor.
This report can also give you a snapshot of your team's sales performance at any point in time. You can look at the cost of goods sold, most-selling items, profit margins, and even the taxes on your sales. This information will tell you which products your customers are buying the most and which ones you're making the most profit from. That way, you can adjust your marketing, sales, and customer service strategies to promote products with a higher profit margin and retain customers that buy them.
2. Products-Sold Report
If you have a limited inventory of products, then you need to know what you've sold at the end of each day. Not only do you need to know what to reorder, but you should be looking at what your customers are buying the most and adjusting your future orders based on their habits.
For example, if you know your customers buy more of your products around the holidays, then you should stock up a few months beforehand so you can meet seasonal demand. With an advanced point-of-sale system, you can easily identify these products and set reminders to restock your shelves before it's too late.
Even if you're a SaaS business, you should still pay attention to products-sold reports. Even though you don't typically have an inventory to worry about, you should be interested in when your customers are purchasing upgrades or buying additional products. This will give you a better idea of the customer's journey so you know when the best times are to upsell and cross-sell.
3. Purchase History Report
Repeat customers are incredibly valuable to your business. In fact, Harvard Business Review estimates that it costs anywhere from five to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.
To identify repeat customers, you need to have access to purchase history reports. These reports tell you what each customer has bought and when each purchase took place. That way, you know who shops the most frequently at your business and which products they buy the most. If a repeat customer suddenly stops interacting with your company, your marketing or customer service team can re-engage them before they churn.
In most cases, you'll need a CRM to create purchase history reports. Whenever a customer buys from you, your CRM will help you collect and store information. This includes data like customer names, addresses, phone numbers, past purchases, and customer satisfaction scores. This information will help you learn about your customer base and stay connected with those who interact the most with your business.
Here's an example of customer profile where a sales rep reach out about a potential deal. When the customer didn't seem interested, the rep logged the interaction on the profile and put a note to follow up at a later time.
4. Employee Tracking Report
Your employees make a substantial impact on the success of your business. They deliver your products and services, and they create delightful experiences for your customers. Employee tracking reports can highlight who's selling the most and who's receiving the highest customer satisfaction scores.
Additionally, if you manage stores at multiple locations, a POS system not only helps you measure productivity (and, if required, calculate commissions), but you can also use it to determine the busiest hours at each location. That way, you can staff your teams accordingly to meet customer demand at every store.
5. Inventory Optimization Report
According to the 2020 Small Business Survey, almost half of the businesses surveyed don't track their inventory using a POS system or manual method. These businesses don't have a way to monitor incoming and outgoing products, so a lot can go wrong without their teams even knowing.
With the right inventory management software, your business doesn't have to be a part of that statistic. POS systems help you manage your stock, so you know where your products are at all times.
Some features of these systems include:
Stock Checks at Different Stores
Refunds and Returns
Automated Reorder Points
From creating purchase orders to selling products to your customers, when you use your POS system to track stock levels all of your data is kept in a single database. Most importantly, the POS data you receive will let you know if your stock levels are optimized or not. Automated reorder points, stock transfers, inventory counts, and other vital features enable you to have the right products at the right time. This makes all the difference when you're working with an unhappy customer who's seeking an exchange for a broken or unused item.
6. Stock Levels Report
Improper or ineffective inventory management can lead to profit losses and harm your business's cash flow. Therefore, it's crucial to establish an internal report that monitors stock levels for efficient inventory management.
POS systems offer stock level reports that help you avoid over-stocking and going out of stock. These reports tell you which items to order more of and how much revenue they generate for your business. If you want to retain high-value customers, you'll need to make sure your most popular products are readily available.
You can also combine POS reports with inventory records to better understand inventory value. Item prices and margins can shift based on top-selling items, and the cost of keeping items that you don't sell adds up over time. Identifying these underperforming products makes room for new or better-selling items that you can introduce to your customers.
Growing Your Customer Base With POS Reports
Growing a business requires insight into your operations, and with POS reports, you get a better idea of how your business is performing and what it needs to do even better over time.
Using the data from these reports, you can learn about your customer's buying habits, form effective marketing strategies, and tailor your customer experience to appeal to the needs of your target audience and grow your customer base.