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Your Point of Sale Data is a Goldmine. Here's How to Make the Most of It

If we offered you one tool that could increase your store’s profits by 10 percent, 15 percent, or 20 percent, would you want it?

Of course you would! But here’s the thing. If you use a modern point of sale (POS) system, you already have this tool available. It’s your point of sale data, and it’s a goldmine of insights that’s just waiting to be discovered.

In this blog post, we’re going to define what point of sale data is, the types of POS data you should look for, and why it’s important. 

Finally, we’ll walk you through how you can take your valuable POS data and put it into action to grow your business.


The Basics: What is Point of Sale Data?

Point of sale data is all the information your POS system collects from transactions. Data from each transaction is categorized into five buckets:

  1. Inventory - inventory levels adjust automatically to reflect the number of each product left.
  2. Sales - each transaction contributes to gross sales, net sales, and other valuable data points.
  3. Product - cost, sales, and profit data that show up across a number of POS reports.
  4. Customer - how long they’ve been a customer, purchase histories, and, when combined with e-commerce data, what their buying preferences are.
  5. Employee - your employees are signed into your point of sale system, so transactions are attributed to them.

How is data collected? It can be done passively through a POS system, where the customer isn’t required to take any action, and data is collected simultaneously to their transaction. 

Active data collection occurs in e-commerce when you require a customer to take an action, such as fill out a registration form or answer a question (i.e., “How did you hear about us?”), as part of the checkout process.

Whether through active or passive means, point of sale data is incredibly valuable to all retailers, from small, single-location stores to multi-store retail operations. Retail POS System Buyers Guide

With that in mind, let’s look at the various types of data your POS software collects and how you can use them to grow your business.

Want to see how our POS software collects data in real-time? Schedule a Demo


What Products are Selling, and Which Are Not

Proper Inventory management is a necessity for any retail store. It can promote increased efficiency, cash flow, and accurate inventory forecasting. 

But what can you do with inventory data? You can identify potentially profitable opportunities, but you need to dig a little deeper.

For example, what types of products are selling, how fast, in what colors, styles, flavors, or other variations? On the flip side of that, you need to know what products aren’t selling as fast, or at all. This data can help you adjust your stock to appropriately meet your customers’ demand. 

How to put this POS data into practice:

  • Identify the types of products customers seem to like more
  • Procure/produce similar products
  • Create product bundles
  • Implement price discounts on products that aren’t selling to clear shelf space


Your Customers’ Email Addresses and/or Mobile Phone Numbers

Consumer contact information is incredibly useful and valuable. Customer email addresses and mobile phone numbers give you a way to market and communicate directly with existing customers. In fact, 61 percent of SMBs report that over half of their revenue comes from repeat customers. 

However, some companies have abused the privilege of having a direct line to their customers’ phones and email inboxes. Therefore, using this type of data from your POS system should be careful and with good judgment.

How to put this POS data into practice:

  • The key is specificity (related to their purchase history) and not overdoing it on frequency
  • Let them know about sales, special events, new products
  • Email addresses and phone numbers are valuable, so don’t spam them
  • Create separate lists and groups based on customer order history: by product, average transaction amount, related products, etc.

Related: How to Increase Sales in Retail: The Top Promotional Tactics


Customer Order History

Your POS system collects data every time a customer makes a purchase. With enough repeat purchases, you can get plenty of data to build a general picture of your customers.

How often do they make purchases?

What product or products do they purchase the most?

Do they stick to one price range, color, brand, etc.?

Customer order history helps you craft promotions, sales, and discounts that feel personalized. It’s what they want, according to Salesforce; 66 percent of consumers expect retailers to know and cater to their unique needs, and 52 percent expect all the offers they receive to be personalized.

When you combine customer order history with the ability to reach customers on their mobile phones or by email, you have a potent force for additional sales. Repeat sales and increasing average transaction amounts/order size are the results of smart segmentation using customer order history.

How to put this POS data into practice:

  • Offer discounts on products they purchased before
  • Create product bundles similar to or including products they’ve purchased before
  • Promote “sneak peeks” on new versions of products they’ve purchased before or on similar products
  • If the product is something with a limited number of servings or uses, send “You’re almost out” reminders


Sales Trends and Patterns

When are your busiest days of the week or times of the year? 

Is your staff proficient at turning foot traffic into sales? 

What percentage of sales come from in-store purchases vs. online? 

What products sell more or less during certain times of the year?

Sales trends and patterns are a treasure trove of insights for staffing, marketing, inventory, and more. Plus, modern POS systems can use artificial intelligence to identify patterns, trends, and opportunities to help your business grow.

How to put this POS data into practice:

  • Order extra stock of certain items based on seasonality
  • Schedule more staff on hand to help customers during busy periods
  • Identify where to invest marketing dollars to reach new and existing customers


Team Member Sales Productivity

When an associate rings up sales on your POS system, those sales are logged under that associate’s record in the system. In some stores, cashiers may also ask “Did a staff member help you at all today?” to attribute sales to staff members.

This type of data is key to tracking the productivity of in-store staff to identify both high performers and those who may need additional training or mentoring to improve. 

How to put this POS data into practice:

  • Track average order value, gross & net sales, items per order, number/dollar amount of returns or discounts processed for all employees 
  • Reward high performers
  • Train up lower performers


Does Your POS Provide the Data to Help You Grow?

Does your point of sale system collect the inventory, sales, product, customer, and employee data you need to optimize your business? If not, you could be losing out on insights that can increase revenue and profitability. 

Our retail POS software includes 55 pre-built reports vital to retail success right out of the box.

Schedule a demo today to see what POS data and other retail features our software provides that can help you grow your business. Retail POS System Buyers Guide


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Lynn Ellison

“POS Nation saved us about 30% on our credit card processing fees.”

Lynn Ellison, Owner Liquor Stop

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