There is a quote in the Sherlock Holmes novels where the titular character exclaims, “Data, data, data! I can’t make bricks without clay!” While the original book was definitely published before the advent of the digital age, this quote reads different in a time where data analytics is king.
Collecting data and analyzing it has become a powerful industry in and of itself, while providing support to countless other industries. From manufacturing to marketing to customer service to retail, it feels like everyone wants more insight through data. That being said, the data useful for different kinds of businesses differ.
In this article, we will be focusing on the data we feel is absolutely essential to obtain when running a store. Here’s 3 types of essential data that you need to keep tabs on while running your store.
1. Total Sales
This one is the most obvious and is likely being tracked by your store even now. Being able to keep track of total sales is essential. It helps calculate profit, manage inventory or stock, and it can even help calculate commissions for your staff.
One key point here is that this data differs by the timeframe you look at it through. For instance, daily sales, weekly sales, monthly sales, quarterly sales, and yearly sales all offer different insights when analyzed. Daily sales might help you and your staff know what times of the day are rush hours or busy times at the store. On the other hand, yearly sales can help you and your staff determine what types of products are popular at which points in the year.
The ability to collect, store, and analyze data on total sales for different timeframes is considered essential to the running of any organized store.
2. Stock Information
Knowing how much of any product was given by supplies, was sold to customers, and currently remains in stock is the bread and butter of any retail business. The issue here is not that this information needs to be tracked, but that it needs to be done quickly and efficiently.
In the modern world of business, it is expected that competing businesses will be able to keep track of stock information on a scale larger than ever before, at a speed faster than ever before. The days of manually counting stock and updating a series of logbooks or ledgers are a thing of the past.
So, any modern business that buys and sells goods of any sort must have some form of automated or digital inventory management system. Most POS systems provide this option but the effectiveness of the systems vary wildly. (Check the end of the article for our recommendation for a POS system, just for you.)
3. Customer Information
Being customer-oriented is a somewhat modern way of thinking. That being said, the positive effects of this approach have been documented enough times for the practice to be adopted far and wide as conventional wisdom; if you want more customers, you need to take care of the customers you already have. As such, knowing a thing or two about who visits your store and what they purchase can be very helpful.
Demographics is the statistical study of populations, particularly people. When you observe customers of a certain age group over a certain amount of time (for example, 1 year), you start seeing patterns in their consumer behavior. The same goes for customers of certain genders, ethnicities, financial status, and/or religious beliefs.
These patterns can be immensely useful for you and your staff. For instance, it can help you stock up on what people need for certain times of the year. This can include allergy medication during allergy season or umbrellas during the rainy season. Demographics-based data can also help you figure out what types of products are favored by your customers based on a number of variables such as gender, age, and income. This information is useful for marketing, promotions, and for bringing in new stock.
To paraphrase a quote from Sun Tzu in the Art of War, “If you know your customer and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred sales.” Being able to collect and analyze customer data goes a long way towards that.
And there you have it! Three essential types of data that you need for your store. Some of these, you already collect and some might be new. That being said, it is important to collect this data in a reliable and efficient way. And that’s where Ewity comes in.
Ewity is our easy-to-use, highly customizable cloud-based POS service. It can be tailored to the specific needs of your business and can integrate some of the existing software you may use such as QuickBooks or WooCommerce.
Additionally, Ewity has robust data analytics features. It can easily provide you with the three types of essential information listed in the article and that’s just the tip of the data iceberg. Our inventory management system alone can account for different types of products such as batches or unique items or variants of the same item.
The best part is that since we are cloud-based, all this power is available for you and your staff to use from the comfort of a web browser and a WiFi connection.
Let Ewity take care of your data analysis as you and your store move forward in this digital age!
So, with the spirit of “new year, new me”, visit our website and try out product for FREE today!