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What Is POS Reporting? (& How It Can Boost Your Small Business)

How cool would it be to have a crystal ball to help run your business?

Well, point of sale (POS) reports aren’t quite a crystal ball, but they do reveal your top sellers, struggling inventory, and who your VIP customers are — which is close enough.

If sales are stagnant and inventory is piling up, you might be making just enough to get by. But your hard work deserves more reward! With the right POS software features, you can get insights that will help your store thrive, not just survive

This article breaks down the most valuable reports that are at your fingertips. From sales customer service and employee management, let’s dive into POS reporting and how you can make the most of it today.

What Is POS Reporting?

As a store owner, one of the most effective tools in your arsenal is your POS system. POS reporting simply means generating reports from your POS system to uncover sales data and business insights.

Analytics and reporting might sound complicated — perhaps you’re hesitant to dive in — but with the right POS software, you can automate reports and get a true pulse on key metrics. At a glance, you can see top-selling items, the busiest time of day, and even your most frequent customers.

Why should your small business take advantage of POS reporting? Because the road to success in modern retail is paved with data. Customer data, sales data, inventory data — it’s all at your fingertips. Without it, you’re flying blind.

If you don’t know your sales numbers, how will you know what’s profitable? When you don’t monitor customer data, how can you improve your service? And without store reports, are you missing out on seasonal trends and growth opportunities?

If you want to compete as a small business, you can’t fall behind. Become a data-driven store owner and watch your store thrive.

Types of POS Reports

There are various reports you use to boost your retail store. We’ll start with sales.

Sales Reports

Do you want to make smarter purchasing decisions? Dig into your sales reports! You can track transaction history daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. This complete view makes it easy to spot trends, such as seasonal spikes and which products are more popular.

For example, raincoat sales might double in September, so you make sure to stock more next year. You might also notice that 15 percent of your raincoat sales come from a particular brand. Perhaps you can work out a discount with that brand next time you order.

Other ways sales reports help:

  • Looking at sales by the hour shows that 1-4 p.m. is your busiest time of day. You can schedule more staff during peak hours.
  • Seeing which employees ring up the most sales allows you to reward your top performers.
  • Comparing sales reports weekly helps you spot micro issues and successes. You can correct small issues and try to replicate successes.

With visibility into customer purchasing patterns, employee performance, and overall trends, you can make smarter decisions.

Related: 5 Steps for Creating an Effective Daily Sales Report

Inventory Reports

Your inventory can be organized and automated, or it can be messy and overwhelming. With POS reporting, you can keep a careful eye on what’s in stock, what’s selling, and what needs reordering.

Granular inventory reports show how many units of each product you have on hand at any given time. Let’s say you sell raglan shirts in various colors. Your latest report shows you have 84 blue shirts, but only 12 white shirts left. You can use this report to prevent running out of hot items and decide whether you want to keep stocking slow movers.

Related: Retail Inventory Management Software: 5 Top Solutions and Providers

Modern POS systems let you set reorder alerts when specific items hit a threshold. Next time white shirts drop below 15, you’ll be prompted to order more.

Other ways inventory reports help:

  • Track your inventory value to see your total cost of goods sold and inventory turnover. For example, if you make novelty mugs, but they’ve been collecting dust for six months, it might be time to mark them down or discontinue them.
  • Monitoring inventory turnover by product category can also help. Maybe your cosmetics section turns over inventory three times faster than accessories; use this information to make better purchasing decisions.

With detailed inventory reports, you can ensure you only stock what you need. When inventory is tied to sales and visible on your POS system, it’s much easier to make better decisions for your store.

Customer Reports

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Keeping them happy and ensuring loyalty should be your top priority as a small business owner. POS reporting gives you valuable insights into purchasing behavior and shopping habits.

Related: 3 Essential Ways a POS Can Improve Retail Customer Management

Modern POS systems track names, order history, and purchase details for each customer in your store. You can generate reports by customer or by groups and segments.

Insights include customer preferences. For example, you can see one of your customers buys a new pair of running shoes every six weeks. You can send an email offering a 10 percent discount on their next pair. 

Segments help you serve various demographics. For example, maybe college students spend differently from families. You can also see which products customers frequently purchase together, and spot changes and trends.

A great way to use customer insights is to inform your loyalty programs:

  • Identify VIP shoppers by segmenting your top spenders and encourage them to enroll in your loyalty program.
  • See which customers redeem their rewards and discounts and which aren’t as active. You can try to re-engage inactive members with targeted offers.
  • Look at the purchase history of members to offer personalized rewards they would find valuable.
  • Segment members into tiers like gold, silver, and bronze based on spending levels. Offer each tier different rewards.
  • Compare members and non-members to gauge if your program is working.

Using customer data is a great way to improve the store experience — just make sure you’re doing it safely.

Employee Reports

You can’t provide stellar customer service without your employees. Tracking their performance through detailed employee reports is essential.

You can find out who your top sellers are. You can then reward standout employees with recognition, bonuses, and additional responsibilities. Friendly competition should encourage everyone to upsell and cross-sell more — sales contests are a great way to incentivize staff!

With customizable reports, you can tailor the information you need. For example, you can identify potential theft and process issues, and then set employee permissions to mitigate problems. Problems might include:

  • Unusually high void or refund transactions, indicating an employee is processing fake returns and pocketing the cash.
  • A high rate of discounted sales, indicating an employee is giving unauthorized discounts to friends and family.
  • Inventory shortages, suggesting an employee might be stealing when managing stock.
  • Time clock discrepancies, showing an employee might be clocking in when they’re not actually working.

Related: 5 Employee Theft Laws Business Owners Need To Be Aware Of

Anomalies don’t always guarantee theft or misuse; they warrant a deeper look. You can also look into customer satisfaction scores, product knowledge, and punctuality. Establish the metrics that matter to your store and evaluate them regularly.

Make the Most Out of POS Reporting

One mistake to avoid is investing in POS reports only to not use them! Maximize reporting capabilities by:

  • Training employees: Your team should know the importance of accurate data. Train staff on properly recording sales, entering customer info, sticking to pricing guidelines, following inventory procedures, and anything else tied to your reporting.
  • Automating emails: Great reports shouldn’t be hidden in your POS system. Set up email delivery of key reports so you can evaluate them. Think daily sales numbers, weekly traffic reports, and inventory alerts.
  • Tying data together: Link your POS to accounting software, marketing integrations, e-commerce stores, and other business systems so you have a 360-degree view of your business. A central dashboard gives you insightful reporting across sales, financials, inventory, customers, online orders, and more.
  • Reviewing your data: Carve out time to interpret and analyze your data. From sales trends to customer behavior, you can turn insights into action.

  • Making better decisions: Reporting provides the visibility you need to eliminate guesswork. No more ordering what you think you need — and getting it wrong. It’s time to make more data-driven decisions.

Related: E-Commerce Integration With Your Point of Sale: 4 Benefits

Set your small business up for success by making the most of POS reporting.

POS Reporting: Your Not-So-Secret Weapon

Without POS reporting, you’re flying blind and making decisions based on gut feelings. With custom POS reports, you can make the most of your data and drive profitable growth in your business.

The best POS systems come with reporting features. The trick is finding a POS system that provides the reports you really need.

For example, Comcash provides point of sale software that empowers small retail businesses to reach their full potential. We provide custom reports, scheduled promotions, and various POS features that make running your retail business easy.

See for yourself how a solution designed specifically for retailers is the way to go. Schedule a demo today.

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