Making data-driven decisions with your POS
Your Point of Sale (POS) system contains a wealth of information about what's working for (and against) your business' success. Here are three questions to ask of your business to understand how to leverage POS data for a competitive advantage.
Are there more efficient ways to market?
According to a marketing channel preference study conducted by ExactTarget, 94 percent of consumers prefer to receive at least one form of marketing communication through email, provided they know the sender. Likewise, consumer preference for receiving text messages is on the rise. Not only does your POS system allow you to execute targeted marketing programs through both of these inexpensive tactics, they allow you to reach your customers with highly targeted and timely messages that directly impact your bottom line.
If quarterly cash flow is limited because of inventory you can't sell, for example, your POS data can indicate which customers have purchased products from that vendor in the past, so you can offer them a “flash sale” opportunity by way of SMS text message or email. Perhaps you're hosting a special event that isn't quite sold out: An email blast with a “last-minute” discount, targeted to customers whose purchase history indicates they love a sale, can help you fill the event. As you experiment, your POS data can help you further refine your strategy to ensure you communicate with customers in the way they “tell you” they want to receive promotions, based on message open rates.
Am I ordering the right amount of inventory?
Your POS data can capture information about your inventory, cash on hand and sales, so you can optimize your processes for maximum cash flow and profitability. During business cycles that your POS data indicates are strong for a certain vendors' products, for example, you may be able to realize buying efficiencies in the form of bulk order discounts with the vendor, as well as shipping advantages. Likewise, your POS data can signal when customer demand for certain types of inventory tends to wane, allowing you to better forecast the amount of inventory you need.
Am I empowering my staff?
Based on your POS data, you can determine if your staffing levels are appropriate, based on sales and customer demand. Additionally, POS data on a customer's past purchase history can help your teams direct customers toward the products that are most likely to fit their preferences.
(Photo by Kenny Louie.)
Chris Allen Chris Allen, director of Demand Generation, joined Vantiv Integrated Payments (formerly Mercury Payment Systems) in 2014 tasked to create merchant demand for the channel. He has over a decade of marketing leadership experience as an entrepreneur and executive within the point-of-sale space. www