There are many aspects of running a successful business, but one of the most important things to consider is taking advantage of POS reports.

Analyzing sales data, employee sales and inventory performance are a make-or-break aspect of running a retail business.

What is a Point of Sale Report?

Point of sale (POS) reports are reports created based on the data gathered by a point of sale system. Register data and activity is tracked at the point of sale terminal and that data is stored for future analysis via POS reports. The reports provide detailed information in a variety of formats to help retailers track revenue, analyze sales, evaluate employee performance, make informed inventory purchases, and monitor the overall health of their retail business.

As a retail business, knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are is key to making sure that you stay in business for years to come. Strengths or weaknesses could come in the form of items that are top selling, underselling, lost or damaged inventory, or employee over or underperformance. POS reports provide a breakdown into these areas of your retail business. Using the knowledge gained from reports, make informed business decisions based on what’s working and what isn’t. After those decisions are made, reevaluate them to ensure that those changes have been beneficial. Access to a point of sale system that offers robust reporting features is crucial to keeping track of this data.

While there are a wealth of POS reports available to retailers, there are three main categories of reporting that merchants should keep top of mind — store sales, transactions by employee, and inventory. Using the data from these core business areas empowers retailers with greater knowledge of sales volume trends, insight into how funds flow in and out of the business, and a comprehensive account of the supply of inventory items. Using these reports together provide in-depth analysis that allows a business to make necessary to improve gross margins and overall productivity.

Let’s review some of the key POS reports and how they can be used to impact the growth of your business.

Simplifying Sales Reports with POS

We’ll start by dissecting how sales reporting works with a mobile point of sale system like ShopKeep.

The sales process is more than just the bartering of goods or services for cash. In retail, sales also include returns, discounts and the sale of liabilities such as gift cards. Quality point of sale terminals report on each; the sale of goods, cost of goods sold (COGS) quantity of returns, applied discounts.

Track Employee Success with POS Reports

Effectively managing staffing levels can have a significant impact on the success of your business. Staff reports help you identify what’s selling and who’s selling it, allowing you to identify your top employees easily. POS staff reports not only help you measure staff productivity and, if necessary, calculate commissions, but you can also use hourly reports to determine your busiest hours so that you can staff accordingly. Additionally, a POS system like ShopKeep helps mitigate the risk of employee theft by keeping a record of each and every transaction, along with cash drawer adjustments such as pay ins and payouts.

Maximizing Inventory Management with POS Reports

POS inventory reports provide retailers with stock level data, accounting for sold and unsold inventory items as well as changes in inventory such as items removed as display items or damaged goods. Improper inventory management can trigger profit losses and have a negative impact on cash flow. Therefore it’s imperative to establish an internal process for inventory management.

Point of sale systems offer inventory reporting tools that catalog your business’ stock items. The data provided often includes the value of inventory items, how many items are in stock, and profit margins.

It is prudent for retailers to use inventory reports in conjunction with the other POS reports to understand the value of their inventory. Item prices and margins can be shifted based on top selling items and items that don’t sell as well. The cost of keeping items that you are unable to move adds up long term. Being able to identify underperforming products makes room for the introduction of new or better-selling items.

SEE ALSO: How Do POS Systems Work? Let ShopKeep Break It Down For You

Not All POS Reports Are Created Equal

Beware of data overload! Many of us would like to think that the more data we have, the more empowered we are to make smarter business decisions, but too much of a good thing can actually turn out to be counterproductive. This is especially true if the data isn’t presented in a way that is easy to digest.

When choosing a point of sale system, you not only want to opt for a product that offers you the standard reporting metrics necessary to measure the success of your business, you also want to choose a product with intuitive backend features and simplified reporting.

Some of the data any standard POS product should be able to offer includes:

Top-selling/worst-selling items
Top customers
Sales activity by time-frame
Sales by employee/product/department/location
Returned items
Gross profits
Transaction tender (type)
Tips and gratuities
Voided sales
Liabilities (gift cards)
Employee payouts

Hours worked
Shift reports
Sales by employee
Commissions by employee

Inventory value report
Inventory reorder report
Real-time inventory tracking report

Where ShopKeep comes in

ShopKeep offers a huge database of reporting information that provide insights into store sales, employee sales, and inventory performance. With ShopKeep’s point of sale system, reporting data is cloud based and your store data is kept in one place, the BackOffice.

ShopKeep has a range of sales reports in BackOffice to analyze retail sales and cash flow. BackOffice displays sales reports with ten different variables to choose from. Each variable allows you to view sales data from contrasting aspects, including item, department, category, location, and even customer. Choose a report, and when retrieved, dive deeper into the specifics. The data retrieved by reports is customizable, so once that data is fetched, apply filters to simplify and find the exact data you are looking for. You can view bar charts, a table and filter additional details by showing or hiding columns to focus only on the details you are interested in seeing. This lets you see which areas of your business are doing well, and which have room for improvement.

To examine sales of staff members, the Sales by Employee report is the place to go. It includes a total sales count for each employee (As with all sales reports, filters can be applied to display specific employees), total sold amount, discounts applied, tips, and more. After an evaluation of staff sales, you can staff based on who and how many employees should be scheduled for a particular time.

There are several ways ShopKeep merchants track inventory. Let’s start with the basics, the Items List. The items list is where items are added to inventory, and also where quantities can be tracked. Item counts on the Items list are an up to date look at inventory stock totals. It is imperative that accurate stock totals entered here when adding new inventory, for stock levels to correctly calculated. The Inventory Value Report is also a vital resource. Use the report to view values of basic items, items with variants, raw goods and also see a total of all inventory items. It also displays the quantity on hand, cost and total value for each item, allowing you to quickly determine the cost of your unsold inventory at the end of an accounting period. This can help you make decisions about what inventory to keep in stock and if the cost of keeping the particular item is worth it. Go ahead and update reorder triggers for those popular, top-selling items to be added to the inventory reorder report.

Now that you understand how POS reports can add value to your business, contact us to learn how you can take advantage of ShopKeep’s robust reporting features.

Coretta Stembridge

Coretta Stembridge

Coretta Stembridge is a Product Documentation Specialist at ShopKeep, the #1-rated iPad Point of Sale System. She enjoys sharing helpful, in-depth information about hardware and software through the ShopKeep Support site.