POS Reports: How to Use Them To Grow Your Customer Base

Sajjad Ahmad
Sajjad Ahmad



Managing a business is a relentless job. If you want to be successful, you need to leverage every tool at your disposal to acquire and retain new customers. POS reports offer a way to gain key insight into consumer behavior and drive repeat sales.

Cashier pulling reports from a POS System

Point of sale (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.

In this post, we'll look at several types of POS reports and discuss how each one can be used for customer acquisition and retention.

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By the Numbers: The Current POS Market

The POS software market is already worth more than $9 billion and is on track to top $18 billion in the next five years. Small and midsize businesses make up the bulk of POS system use: 79% of systems worldwide are deployed by SMBs.

And while 61% of businesses say they prefer to purchase POS systems that provide analytics to help understand customer preferences and 50% of companies say the reports they generate are crucial, 78% of companies lack the ability to identify customers until checkout, and 20% have no ability to identify customers at any point in the transaction.

The result? The right POS report — and the right underlying system — can make all the difference in leveraging collected consumer data to drive customer conversion and retention.

The large volume of data collected by POS systems means you can run reports on just about anything — but reports alone aren’t enough to provide insight.

Here’s a look at six common types of POS system reports and how they can potentially benefit your business.

1. Sales Summary Report

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 a customer profile where a sales rep reaches 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.

Purchase history report example

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 trackers and reports can highlight who's selling the most and who's receiving the highest customer satisfaction scores.

employee tracking report example

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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:

  • Inventory Counts
  • Stock Checks at Different Stores
  • Inventory Transfers
  • 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.

1. Clover

There are now a host of POS systems available to help manage customer data, but the best fit for your business depends on your needs. To help save you time, we’ve put together a list of 6 solid POS options.

Best POS Reporting System: Clover

Clover is one of the most popular mobile POS options available. The company offers a wide variety of POS hardware, from the smaller Clover Go card reader to full-fledged POS stations as business needs expand.

Clover technology is designed to work out of the box, lets managers access data anywhere, and include a host of apps to help customize functionality. This POS system lets you quickly create at-a-glance sales reports that keep you in the loop, and makes it possible to filter reports by item type sold, time of sale, and the number of items sold, in turn allowing you to discover both larger trends and drill down to granular details.

Pricing: First 30 days free, then call for detailed pricing.

2. Shopkeep

Best POS Reporting System: Shopkeep

Shopkeep by Lightspeed offers a way to centralize and streamline your POS reporting. With built-in reports on sales data and employee activity, companies can quickly access the information they need to make better business decisions. Shopkeep also offers cloud-based data management, which lets your team access inventory, sales, and employee data on-demand.

Pricing: Shopkeep comes with a free trial and also offers customized quotes for retail, restaurant, and golf businesses.

3. Square

Best POS Reporting System: Square

Square provides both POS hardware and software to help small businesses take point-of-sale payments. Known for its small, cost-effective “brick” POS devices, Square allows companies to take orders and make sales, online, over the phone, via email, and in person. The POS solution also offers both detailed and limited sales reporting options that allow you to customize what data is available to team members.

Pricing: Square offers a free POS software demo; businesses can then contact the company directly for customized pricing.

4. CardConnect

Best POS Reporting System: CardConnect

CardConnect isn’t a single POS solution. Instead, the company offers a variety of POS options — including Clover, CardPointe, Gateway, and Bolt — to help businesses manage all aspects of their merchant services. When it comes to reporting, tools such as CardPointe make it possible to pull real-time POS sales and customer reports.

Pricing: Companies can contact CardConnect directly for pricing.

5. Epos Now

Best POS Reporting System: Epos Now

Epos Now is an all-in-one POS solution that includes all the hardware and software companies need to get their point-of-sale systems up and running. Setup is easy — typically taking less than 15 minutes — and allows users to access data on the device of their choice. Systems can be used as standalone entities or connected to a variety of ePOS apps. When it comes to reports, companies can easily access real-time data on customers, sales, staff, existing inventory, and current margins.

Pricing: Epos Now regularly offers discounts on its hardware and software bundles, plus the cost of a subscription. Contact the company to learn more.

6. Toast

Best POS Reporting System: Toast

Toast is primarily a restaurant POS system and includes a host of features to help make life easier for small businesses. Companies can set up automatic marketing campaigns to help drive more sales, the solution provides self-onboarding to help staff get up to speed, and businesses can run payroll reports in 30 minutes or less.

Pricing: Toast offers multiple packages including New Restaurant Basics for $110 per month and Essentials for $165 per month.

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.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in January 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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