Analytics - Eliminate the guesswork and make informed decisions
How to make smarter data-driven decisions to help boost productivity, sales and profits.
Think about it, you don’t make big life decisions without considering all the facts. So, why should your business decisions be any different? Business data, reports and analytics should form part of your everyday decision making. Perhaps they already do, but if you’re having to trawl through pages of spreadsheets or use guesswork then you could be risking valuable resources.
Let’s take a closer look at where you may be going wrong, and the business benefits of getting it right – every single time.
How do you measure your store's performance? Perhaps it’s by turnover, profit margin or by some other Key Performance Indicator (KPI). Whichever method you use to benchmark how well your business is performing, if it takes more than a couple of clicks of the mouse to gather the data you need to check your KPIs, then it’s taking far too long. And, if you rely on manual calculations in order to get the numbers you need, then you’re always at risk of human or computer error which means you could be making key decisions based on misleading information – it’s a recipe for disaster! Add to that any other sales channels you use, such as eCommerce, an online marketplace or another physical store and you can multiply the potential for errors several times over.
Imagine this: you have all the data you need, complete with comparisons over time and other variables, all at the click of a button. If that sounds too good to be true then your current methods must be laborious and outdated and it’s definitely time to take a look at a new solution.
Does your existing system differentiate performance by your salespeople? If you’re still using an old fashioned cash register-type till then probably not, but even some newer ePOS systems can’t tell you who sold what.
You may wonder why that’s even important, particularly if you’ve never been able to collect this information in the past. However, if you could see who your top sellers are, you could reward them and set targets for your team so that everyone strives to sell more – which is infinitely better for your bottom line! With a modern solution you can also see which staff are processing more discounts and refunds which could highlight training issues, or worse, who is losing your business money.
Ever wonder if you’re over or understaffing your business at specific times of the year, month, week or even day? You may assume that the days with the largest turnover require more staff but this may not be the case.
With detailed analytics, you may find that Saturdays are the highest turnover day, but that they also have the highest average transaction. Without that insight, you may overstaff your business, opening more tills an having more staff in-store than you actually need. You may even discover that rather than opening more tills, you could assign one member of staff to the shop floor with a mobile ePOS device so that they can continue normal shop floor duties, such as shelf replenishment, while also pausing to serve customers at busier times for maximum staffing efficiency.
You probably have a good idea which products are your top sellers simply because you have to order them more often than others, but can you see if they are also your most profitable products? Imagine for a moment that they’re not, but the next best-selling item is and it’s a very similar product; what would you do differently with that knowledge? Perhaps you’d run a promotion with a view to introducing the most profitable product to the customers who buy the alternative – but where on earth do you start when you simply don’t have that level of data?
Now imagine that you have two stores, both selling exactly the same product range. Would you benefit from insights into which location sells more of a particular product? Of course you would, because you could use this information to distribute your stock in favour of the store which sells more, thus avoiding stock outages in one store and overstocking the other!
Customer Buying Habits
Even with a modern till system, you may be missing out on the benefits of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This is sometimes referred to as a customer database, but in reality a CRM is much more than that because it gives you detailed information about each individual you sell to. While you may think this is unnecessary in a typical retail environment, you’d be surprised at the benefits this type of data can offer.
With a retail CRM you can uncover detailed customer buying habits, including how often someone shops, what they buy, how much they spend, and more. While this may seem a little OTT for a retail store, it’s invaluable to your business because it enables you market effectively to these individuals and offer them a tailored shopping experience which will keep them coming back time and time again. Tie this in with a loyalty programme and you have retail gold!
Retail loyalty programmes can take many forms, the most basic being the card which is ‘stamped’ every time you make a purchase such as the original Costa Card or the McDonald’s coffee bean card. While this type of loyalty programme clearly works, it’s also open to fraud which is exactly why McDonald’s recently ditched the coffee bean stickers and upgraded to their new loyalty app. A modern solution technically doesn’t even require a card as details can be tied to a customer’s address and postcode, or their email address or mobile phone number.
Benefits of a well-run loyalty scheme include repeat business, but it goes much deeper than that. With a sophisticated programme the retailer can track purchases and send personalised offers to individual customers based upon their preferences and buying habits. This type of programme is invaluable, but in order to be truly effective it must be part of your ePOS solution or you’ll find yourself pouring over spreadsheets in order to get the insights you need to make this a successful endeavour for your business.
Having access to accurate, live data on your business’ performance has become vital for the modern retailer. Whether you’re downloading spreadsheets and performing manual calculations, or you don’t have any performance data beyond turnover and profitability, you’re missing out on the opportunity to take control over your business decisions. And, as we’ve demonstrated, this can make a serious impact on your profitability and overall performance.
If this all sounds a bit pie in the sky and you’re wondering how much a system which can do all of these things will cost you, fear not. Saledock’s monthly subscription is affordable and flexible so you can upgrade or downgrade your subscription depending on your business needs. It’s easy to get started and our team is on hand to provide a demo tailored exactly to your business, just get in touch on 01904 405 989 to get the ball rolling or set up a free trial.
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