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.
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.
Table of Contents
- By the Numbers: The Current POS Market
- What is a POS Report?
- 6 Common Types of POS System Reports
- POS Reporting Systems
By the Numbers: The Current POS Market
The POS software market is already worth nearly $12 billion and is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 10.8% from 2023 to 2030. Retail businesses are the prime users of POS software and account for more than 34% of overall revenue.
51% of retailers say POS transaction data is the most valuable data source their businesses can have. They get this data through the right POS report — and the right underlying system — which can make all the difference in leveraging collected consumer data to drive customer conversion and retention.
What is a POS Report?
A POS report is a collection of data pulled directly from your POS that breaks down specific aspects of your business activity, like credit card sales. This data helps you make informed business decisions so you can continue to satisfy your customers.
Each system defines its reports differently, but most center around key areas like sales and profits, inventory and stock handling, employee management, and details about your customers and their behavior.
|POS Report||purpose||example included metrics|
Sales Summary Report
These reports outline your business’ overall sales.
Gross profits and profit margins, average transaction value, or sales by specific category
These reports outline what you’ve sold during a set period.
Lists of best-selling and worst-selling products, trending items, revenue per product
Purchase History Report (also called customer report)
These reports give insight into your customers and their level of loyalty to your business.
Overall customer spend, loyalty program insights, customer lifetime value
Employee Tracking Report
These reports outline employee performance and activities.
Commissions per employee, tip pools, staff productivity levels
Inventory Optimization Report
These reports help you monitor incoming and outgoing products.
Total inventory counts, stock-to-sales comparisons, low stock notices
Stock Levels Report
These reports help you avoid overstocking or running out of key products.
Value of in-stock inventory, low inventory totals, underperforming products
Let's dive deeper into the different types of POS system reports.
6 Common Types of POS System Reports
- Sales Summary Report
- Product-sold Report
- Purchase History Report
- Employee Tracking Report
- Inventory Optimization Report
- Stock Levels Report
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, how they can potentially benefit your business, and the important metrics they include.
1. Sales Summary Report
Sales drive your business’ growth, and POS sales summary reports outline factors like gross profits, average transaction value, or the products you make the most profit from.
Sales POS Report Metrics
Common sales POS metrics are:
- Sales totals during a specific period, like a daily sales breakdown
- Gross profits and profit margins
- Sales by specific category, like takeout vs. delivery sales or type of item sold
- Average transaction value
- Sales per payment method (cash, credit, gift card, etc.)
- Most popular payment method
- Voided sales, discounts, returns
2. Products-Sold Report
Any business needs to know what’s been sold every day.
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 product-sold reports. Even though you don't typically have an inventory to worry about, you should be interested when your customers purchase upgrades or buy 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.
Products Sold POS Report Metrics
Product-sold POS metrics to track are:
- Best selling products
- Worst selling products
- Trending items
- Total value of products sold
- Most returned products
- Revenue per product
3. Purchase History Report
Repeat customers are incredibly valuable to your business. To identify these repeat customers, you need access to purchase history reports (also called customer reports).
You’ll learn about your customers and their preferences to better serve them whenever they come around. If a repeat customer suddenly stops interacting with your company, your marketing or customer service team can re-engage them before they churn.
A CRM can help you create purchase history reports and compile data like customer names, addresses, phone numbers, and even satisfaction scores. The image below is a customer profile with an overview of a customer's interaction history with a sales rep.
Some businesses have more use for a POS system than a CRM.
Purchase History POS Report Metrics
Important purchase history POS report metrics to track are:
- The products repeat customers purchase most often
- Overall customer spend totals
- Reservation insights or reservation summaries, like the average amount spent per visit
- Loyalty program insights, like reward point balances
- Purchase and return history per customer
4. Employee Tracking Report
Your employees make a substantial impact on the success of your business. They deliver your products and services and create delightful experiences for your customers. Employee reports can highlight who's selling the most and receiving the highest customer satisfaction scores.
Employee Tracking POS Report Metrics
Employee tracking POS report metrics include:
- Commission rates
- Tip pool totals and tips per employee
- Sales per employee
- Staff productivity
- Compare staffing levels to products sold to ensure you have enough employees to always meet demand
- Scheduling, attendance, and shift reports
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 knowing.
Inventory reports are up-to-date reports about your stock levels, which makes all the difference in ensuring you always have the products customers are looking for or even working with an unhappy customer seeking an exchange for a broken or unused item.
Inventory Optimization POS Reports
Inventory optimization POS metrics are:
- Total inventory counts
- Stock-to-sales comparison
- Automated reorder notifications
- Stock transfers
- Days or times you most often sell out of items
- Expected vs. actual inventory
6. Stock Levels Report
Ineffective inventory management leads to profit losses and harms your business’s cash flow.
POS systems have stock-level reports that help you avoid overstocking or running out of products. You’ll learn what items to order more of or what items are underperforming so you can seek opportunities to offer new or better-selling items to introduce to your customers.
Stock Levels POS Report Metrics
Common stock levels POS Metrics are:
- The total value of your current in-stock inventory
- Deadstock or underperforming products
- Low inventory totals
- Reorder points or notifications
With these key reports in mind, how do you actually get them? A POS system.
POS Reporting Systems
- Epos Now
There are a host of POS systems available, and below, we’ve compiled a list of 6 high-quality options to consider.
Each system mentioned includes the important reports for sales, product, inventory and stock, and employee management, and we’ll explicitly call out the key customer reports offered so you can make sure to leverage your data to retain customers and keep them satisfied.
Best For: Food service (table and counter), retail, professional or personal services, ecommerce, home and field businesses
Clover is a popular POS, offering various hardware and software options. You can easily create customizable reports in your dashboard for data like sales trends, daily revenue, employee shift reports, and inventory tracking so you always have enough stock.
Customer Reporting Features
- Automatically generate customer profiles within your POS after each credit card sale
- Track customer history and behavior to uncover preferred products and order history
- Offer an opt-in communication system to get permission to reach out to your most loyal customers
- Collect customer feedback to see how people are feeling after every interaction
- Software: Varies by industry, starter plans range from $0/mo - $160/mo; contact sales for custom pricing
- Hardware: One hardware system is included in most plans; additional cost for more units
Best For: Retail businesses and inventory management
Lightspeed’s POS is a centralized tool for creating POS reports that drive informed decisions. Its standard reporting features help you track sales and overall revenue and profits, monitor stock levels and place product orders, track commissions, and view tip pools after every shift.
Customer Reporting Features
- Compile customer purchase history and behavior in unique guest profiles that automatically update after every interaction
- Add custom tracking filters to customer profiles for deeper insight, like repeat purchases or time spent at store
- Visualize each customer's average customer lifetime value
- On-the-floor employees are notified at the POS when a repeat customer is checking out to further personalize their experience
- Software: Varies by business type and need; contact sales for pricing
- Hardware: Hardware sold separately; contact sales for pricing
Best For: Businesses of all sizes and types (retail, professional, pop-ups, seasonal, etc.)
Square POS software and hardware make it easy to take point-of-sale payments and generate detailed reports for sales by specific products, team member sales, and inventory management. Given its lower cost, it’s a valuable option for smaller businesses.
Customer Reporting Features
- Automated customer profiles contain stats like average spend and unique behavior
- New vs. returning customer graphs give a breakdown of each group to better understand the impact of loyalty
- Customers can opt-in to provide feedback on their experience
- Use the notes feature to record important customer information so you can always offer a unique and personalized experience
- Software: Free Square POS; Free - $60/mo per countertop Restaurant POS, Free - $60/mo per countertop Retail POS; Custom pricing also available
- Hardware: $49 - $799, varies by functionality
4. Epos Now
Best For: Hospitality and retail
Epos Now is an all-in-one POS solution with the hardware and software you’ll need to get your point-of-sale system up and running. You can easily access real-time data and reports about your business processes and set up stock alters to manage inventory, generate staffing hours reports, and sales and profit trends.
Customer Reporting Features
- Customer profiles are generated after every purchase that outline who customers are, what they buy, and how much they spend
- Create custom filters to visualize activity by customer type so you can solve for every kind of customer
- Set up loyalty schemes for returning customers for returning customers and track sign-ups and credits
Pricing: Discounts and bundling options regularly available; contact sales for pricing
Best For: Restaurants and other food service businesses
Toast POS offers business insights like product mix views to track menu and store inventory, overviews of sales trends, employee performance, and comparative reporting. With mobile-optimized reports, you can access information from wherever you are, whenever you need.
Customer Reporting Features
- Collect customer information via digital receipts
- Guest engagement reports track visits, timing of visits, and sales totals per visit
- The guestbook report outlines your biggest spenders, most loyal customers, and lifetime spend for all visitors
- View summaries of reward accounts, gift card usage, guest credits/loyalty point totals
- Software: $0/month Quick start bundle, $69/mo Core, $165/mo Growth; Custom plans and bundles also available
- Hardware: Quick start bundle includes one terminal or handheld kit; choose your hardware system for all other plans
Best For: Ecommerce, in-store, or omnichannel businesses of all types
Shopify POS system makes accessing various reports for ecommerce, in-person only, or omnichannel store performance easy. Analyze product reports, view automated inventory count updates and cash flow reports, and attribute individual sales to staff.
Customer Reporting Features
- Every order automatically generates a customer profile containing contact information, order history, and shopping habits
- Customer behavior predictions like predicted spending tiers and expected purchase value, and insight into average order count and first-time vs. returning customer sales
- Add tags to customer profiles based on unique characteristics of guest behavior and insights into each cohort
- Give customers the option to opt-in and provide emails and phone numbers for tailored communications
- Software: 3-day free trial; in-person POS $5/mo Starter - $89/mo Retail; Sell everywhere $39/mo Basic - $399/mo Advanced
- Hardware:Varies by system, capability, and accessories
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.