Many merchants view their POS reporting tools merely as a way of recording their past transactions. Undoubtedly, virtually any POS system can record transactions, order totals, tips, taxes, inventory and customer info.
Your POS System Can Give You a Glimpse of The Future
Not surprisingly, most business owners are happy to know how things were going last year, or last trimester. Few of them are aware of the obvious, yet not so easy to reach at idea of that all these reams of information can actually be used to forecast the future of their business.
For example, you can take a look at how much of a particular product you tend to use in the week, then use that info as the basis of your future orders. But that’s not the only application of the valuable information that your POS system collects and stores for you.
POS sales reports analysis comes in particularly handy if you are trading in FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), or if you are running a restaurant.
Here are some of the most common applications of POS record analysis:
1. Keep an Eye on Your Waiting Staff’s Performance
I am not talking about watching with hawk-like eyes when they punch in and out. That’s some basic stuff that any halfwit can handle with the help of a decent POS system.
If you analyze past transaction data, you can actually figure out how much money each waiter or waitress is making for you. Remember that your POS system allows you to track the average size of the checks they collect, and how much stuff they sell every day, week, or month.
Thus, you will know who of them deserve a rise, and who should be given the elbow. Looking at past sales reports, you can instantly spot underperformers and act accordingly.
Remember that staff who’s not making money for you is actually causing you to lose money. And when a waiter makes a mistake, this usually means that his customers’ drinks and food that evening are on the house.
These are all problems in their own right, but at least you will know about their existence and take the necessary measures before it’s too late.
Some extra training and performance incentives may work well, provided that the issue has not been going on for too long. If that’s the case, kicking out the lazy bastards is the only remedy.
2. Identify Your Hottest Items
By analyzing your last season’s sales, you can figure out which items on your menu, or in your inventory, generated the highest profits and stock up more of these this year.
In the same way, you can clear out those which are just sitting on the shelves in your warehouse, or your pantry.
What I mean is that you can use POS reporting to really understand how your food, drinks, or other items sell. Generate a report sorted from the most popular to the least popular items to find out which are your champions, and which are the losers. Then, make another report based on profit margin and, again, sort it from highest to lowest.
As a next step, make an array of those items that are both popular and profitable. They can make your customers come back to your place and recommend it to their friends, as well.
In addition, the hottest items you sell are the first to go on promotion every once in a while. In the same way, you should promptly get rid of the items that have just been occupying shelf space and replace them with some more sellable stuff.
3 POS Sales Reports Can Tell You About Your Customers’ Likes and Dislikes
Have you ever thought of that you can use your POS sales reports to figure out what the preferences of your customers are? Who always gets a salad? Who is crazy about your pork chops?
Who of your customers tend to order a glass of wine with their dinner, and who prefer a martini afterwards? You can find out a lot about your customers’ dining habits and offer them exactly what they want.
When it comes to email marketing, you do not want to send your burger promotion list to a vegan, or the one with your latest salads to a voracious carnivore. Such embarrassing situations can be avoided with a single look at your POS sales reports.
On the same note, people who only frequent your place for lunch will probably care little about your dinner promotions.
Finally, the ones who’ve liked your Facebook page shouldn’t get emails at all. You should reach out to them online.
4. POS Reports Can Help You Prepare for the Offseason
If you are running a restaurant by the sea or a swimsuit and bikini outlet, you’re probably already pretty aware of when your business hits a lull.
However, by making use of your POS reports you can figure out if this year the season’s going to be a bit shorter, or a bit longer.
On weekly basis, if you see that everything slows to a crawl on a Monday, you should probably start your week on Tuesday.
One more thing. When you figure out when the slowest time of the day is for your restaurant or café, you can introduce a happy hour to lure the crowd back in.
5. Accurate POS Sales Reports Can Minimize Food Waste
Above I showed you how POS reporting can tell you when your busiest and your slowest times are. Thus, you can adjust the amount of food you order from your purveyors accordingly and minimize food waste.
Final Words on POS Sales Reports and Profits
Sadly, many budding businesspeople tend to overlook the importance of POS sales report analysis. At the same time, this is one of the easiest ways to see which items are most profitable.
In an attempt to help you use them to your advantage, I highlighted five of their most common and at the same time easiest applications.