EPOS systems don’t just make transactions seamless and streamline day-to-day business operations.
One of the most powerful functions of an EPOS system is the ability to glean critical information and create customisable reports. EPOS systems can help small businesses to predict everything from their peak times to their best sellers, and SMEs can use that information to increase their profits and grow their enterprises.
Business owners and managers can use EPOS system reports to make critical decisions about personnel, inventory, marketing and pricing based on what they know is going to happen. By effectively tracking the past, an EPOS system allows you to look into the future and make decisions now for next week, next month and next year.
Crucial Sales Insights
Sales reports can be generated using a ton of filters and variables, and at any time of the day or night. These reports can give you important sales insights based on parameters such as dates, items, transactions and payment types, ranging from one day to a whole year.
Using customised sales reports, you will be able to analyse which are your top-selling products, which products sell well on which days or at which price, and which promotions work best. Monitoring sales reports gives you a detailed view of past and current sales so you have a true overview of where your business was, where it is now and what strategies you need to employ now for future growth.
Predictive Inventory Management
Managing inventory is one of the most labour-intensive aspects of running a small business, but it’s an essential part of optimising your sales. Unlike traditional till systems that require you to manually adjust your stock levels, EPOS systems can provide you with accurate stock accounting in real time.
It doesn’t just alert you when you need to re-order stock, a big reason why small businesses choose EPOS systems is that by analysing your previous sales data, you can make better informed decisions about product reordering for future need. You will know when to expect an increased demand for certain products and can place orders at the right time to ensure you have sufficient stock in your inventory.
Inventory ranking reports also rank products in order of gross margin generated and can give you a good idea of the product’s profitability. You might decide to increase your order or drop a product altogether. If you have more than one location, your EPOS system can show you if its more practical to transfer stock between locations, rather than order more. Having an EPOS system that can automatically track, control and analyse your inventory can give you huge insights when you’re making these decisions.
Managing Staffing Levels
Proper staffing is crucial when you’re running a business – whether it’s a shop, cafe or restaurant. No one like to wait in long queues or wait ages for their meal. When you’ve got tracked data that shows you how busy you are at specific periods across the week, month or quarter, then you can put the right staff in place well in advance.
Not only can you ensure you have the right number of employees at your venue at the right time, but you can make sure you have the most appropriate ones for that shift. That, in turn, can help you assign the ones who might be quicker on their feet at busier times, and the ones who tend to spend more time with the customer to periods when things are slower.
When you know how busy you’re going to be, you can truly optimise your scheduling and maximise your business resources.
Understanding Your Customers
One of the keys to running a successful business is to know your customers. EPOS systems help you capture vital customer information and behaviour in real time. You can store contact details, delivery addresses, preferences and purchase history, and get a greater understanding of what makes them tick. You can identify your most loyal customers and your most valuable ones and determine the ones you need to make a special effort with in order to retain them. After all, it’s easier to maintain current customers then attract new ones.
You can glean more information from customer loyalty cards which can be integrated into your EPOS system. By checking out their history, you can predict which kinds of promotions and offers they are likely to take up. These days, people expect personalised interaction with companies they make purchases from, and they expect individually tailored advertising and deals. They might not know what they want right now, but with the help of an EPOS system, you do!
Pricing Decisions and Best Sellers
If you’ve dropped or raised the price on something or offered a special discount on a product, you need to know if it’s been effective. What’s the net return? Did the increase in sales justify the price cut? All of an EPOS system’s pricing, inventory and sales data can be used to gauge the effectiveness of your pricing decisions and customers’ responses.
You can clearly see what has worked and what hasn’t and plan to make similar pricing alterations or run similar discounts. This information arms you with a helpful insight into future product lines you should invest in, or might prompt you to pull a stock item that didn’t perform as well in the past, so more than likely won’t in the future either.
Creating a ‘best-sellers’ report identifies the most popular products in each of your product groups. You want to know what’s working well and what items you should invest more time and money in. Filters like sales amount, sales quantity and profit amount keep track of what’s selling like hotcakes, and also shows how much you’re making on each product.
Maximise Your Marketing Through Trends
Historical sales data can help you identify opportunities where you can pick up more business. By generating these reports, you can accurately predict that Tuesdays are slow, or that sales drop off in winter, and accordingly adjust your marketing strategy.
Perhaps your forward strategy is to promote a special deal on a Tuesday, or offer a whole new product line in the colder months. You could even offer a one-day-a-week discount to certain target demographics.
Looking at data from your sales should give you some clues as to why a certain day or time isn’t as profitable as others. Maybe you need to change things up by reducing your prices or offering special deals. Your EPOS system will record the data and by seeing what works and what doesn’t, you can plan your future strategy around it. Reports will also show you the time of year when certain products spike, so you can get ahead of the game and organise a promotion ahead of time to maximise sales.
EPOS systems have evolved enormously and are used for far more than simple transactions and accounting. They are now a strategic tool that should be essential to any SME. With sales data and trends at your fingertips to the profitability of a new line of stock, it’s never been easier to forward plan for your business.
An EPOS system might not exactly be a crystal ball, but it does give you a huge advantage in being able to predict the future in terms of sales and trends that will help your business boom.
So, what time is better than now to get investing in an all-seeing, all-knowing EPOS system that can help to take your business to the next level? Start your 2018 off right, and get in contact with us to make this year your most prosperous year yet!
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