10.12.2020

POS Reports to Help you Prepare for the Retail Holiday Season

Written by Kadence Edmonds

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As most business owners know, it’s never too early to start planning and preparing for the holiday season. Christmas spending often accounts for a large percentage of annual sales, which means the holidays could make or break your year.  

When it comes to preparation, one of the key elements is the data held in your POS system.  The reports and metrics that a good POS system generates can provide businesses with valuable insights and allow for accurate forecasting for those busy days.  

So which reports should you take a look at prior to the holiday season? 

Forecast a Trend 

If your store uses a cloud-based POS system, then you should be able to look at your year-on-year sales data. It’s important that you’re aware of how your business is trending.  This can form your baseline on performance, and form the starting point for determining how your holiday sales will go. 

If your sales are up 20 per cent year-on-year, do you expect the trend to continue? Establishing this general baseline will help you understand your expected goals for the holiday season.  

Use Epos Now Time Comparison Report 

This report is great for seeing how your business is performing compared with a previous time period. This report has complete flexibility and allows you to select from predefined date ranges, or input a completely custom range to suit. 

How to generate a Time Comparison Report for trend forecasting

  1. Open your Epos Now Back Office > Reporting > Sales Report 
  2. Select Time Comparisons from the drop down menu 
  3. Select the appropriate metric from the Metric drop down box > Sales inc. Tax.
  4. Choose the Date Range from the drop down menu and then choose a date range to Compare to 
  5. Select the appropriate Interval from the next drop down menu and the report will generate. 
  6. With the report you can choose to view or export via CSV, Word, Excel or print. 

Use past reports to optimise holiday rosters

Great customer service is critical for your businesses long-term success. And great customer service depends on being properly staffed so that service quality isn’t affected by the large number of holiday shoppers in your store. With competition high, your service and the great in-store experience you provide may be your one unique selling point. Don’t let this down by understaffing your venue over the holiday season. 

A great insight into how to appropriately staff your store for the holidays is to review the transaction quantities over those days in previous years. Times like the week prior to Christmas will see a significant increase in transactions compared with normal days. So reviewing the jump in transaction quantities will give you a guideline on the number of transactions you can expect and how much staff you will need to accommodate.  

Use Epos Now Time Comparison Report 

This report is great for seeing how your business is performing compared with a previous time period. This report has complete flexibility and allows you to select from predefined date ranges, or input a completely custom range to suit. 

Alongside reviewing the transaction quantity, you can also use the report to see other metics like refunds, voids customers, discounts and promotions. 

How to generate a Time Comparison Report for Transaction Quantity

  1. Open your Epos Now Back Office > Reporting > Sales Report 
  2. Select Time Comparisons from the drop down menu 
  3. Select the appropriate metric from the Metric drop down box > Transaction Qty.
  4. Choose the Date Range from the drop down menu and then choose a date range to Compare to 
  5. Select the appropriate Interval from the next drop down menu and the report will generate. 
  6. With the report you can choose to view or export via CSV, Word, Excel or print. 

Identify your top sellers 

Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for retailers, so it’s important that you know exactly what your top sellers are when going into the busy Christmas season.  

Most POS systems will allow you to quickly pull a report that identifies your top selling items from previous years. Analysing this data will help you understand and make an educated guess on how much inventory to order — and of what — this year. 

This data is invaluable and will allow you to accurately forecast so you can order enough inventory and possibly even take advantage of any discounts from suppliers.  

Use Epos Now Top Selling Products Report 

Generating a view of your business’ top selling products is another extremely insightful report. With the flexibility to generate this report by a custom date range, location, device or staff member you will be able to access the exact data you need.

How to generate a Top Selling Products Report 

  1. Open your Epos Now Back Office > Reporting > Sales Report  
  2. Select Sales by Product from the options 
  3. Input the relative date range, Location, Device, Staff, or Wet/Dry and hit Refresh
  4. From the header options, click QTY and it will update the report to show the items that have sold the most in the time period. 
  5. With the report updated you can choose to view or export via CSV, Word, Excel or print. 

Determine what inventory is not selling 

This can be just as important as identifying your top sellers. Stock that hasn’t sold in a long period of time can be a potential space waster. Not only is precious cash flow tied up in stagnant stock, but shelf space could be better assigned to faster moving items.

The holidays, though, are a great time for running promotions. Once you have your slow-moving stock identified, you can run a promotion to clear it out. There is a higher chance of moving the stock in the busiest time of the year and it will allow you to free up warehouse space for the higher sellers.  

Use the Epos Now Non-selling stock report 

With the flexibility to change the date range to the pre-set definers, or a custom range, you’ll be able to see exactly which products have not sold, in any given period, and their current stock on hand. 

How to generate the Non-selling Stock report 

  1. Open your Epos Now Back Office > Reporting > Stock 
  2. Select Non-selling Stock report from the options 
  3. Input Date range required, select location and device then hit Refresh
  4. The report will generate and you can choose to view or export via CSV, Word, Excel or print

Determine Opening Hours 

Optimising your stores opening hours is crucial during the holidays. You want to make sure you are open at times that benefit your customers, and not when you struggle to attract foot traffic. 

Use Epos Nows Hourly Sales Trend Report

Reviewing previous years sales reports broken down into an hourly trend report will give you a breakdown and allow you to work out if there are higher hourly sales patterns at certain times.  

How to generate a Hourly Sales Trend Report 

  1. Open your Epos Now Back Office > Reporting > Sales Report  
  2. Select Time Intervals from the drop down 
  3. Determine the date range you want the report to show, then filter by Location, Device, Staff or Wet/Dry categories or leave it as All if you want the report to display all. 
  4. In the Show by Time Interval drop down box select hourly and hit Refresh
  5. The report will generate and you can choose to view or export via CSV, Word, Excel or print

Plan promotions ahead of time 

The holiday shopping season is synonymous with promotions and sales. Some retailers even run their biggest promotional campaigns of the year at this time to capture more sales through the holiday gift shoppers. 

Working out the best promotions to run during this period is crucial, as improperly run sales can lead to large losses. To work out what promotions to run over the holidays use previous promotion reports and determine which ones were successful.  

Epos Now Promotion Report

The Promotion Report allows you to view the promotions that have been put through between selected dates ranges. This is a handy report to generate so you can review a certain promotion's success. 

You can see each of the promotions which have been used, the number of promotions that have been processed, the average amount of discount given for each promotion, and the total amount that has been given in the promotions.

How to generate a Promotion Report 

  1. Open your Epos Now Back Office > Reporting > Sales Report 
  2. Select Promotions from the drop down menu 
  3. Choose the date range from the Show Data from the drop down menu, then filter by Location or Device and hit Refresh. 
  4. The report will generate and you can choose to view or export via CSV, Word, Excel or print

Prepare for the holidays with Epos Now

Your point of sale system is crucial to your business, but it can do much more than simply process transactions. With the Epos Now POS system, you can:

  • Connect with 100+ apps to help with items like marketing, customer loyalty, and accounting
  • Accept credit, debit, gift cards, and contactless payments
  • Manage your store from anywhere with 24/7 cloud access

Contact a consultant to learn more about Epos Now!