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Data Analysis: Understand Your Retail Business

3 min read
data analysis

The power of data is an essential tool that businesses have access to and are investing in. The underlying issue is – are they really taking advantage of what data analysis has to offer? The short answer is no! Most retailers are so caught up in the day-to-day running of their business, that they simply do not find the time to use their data or are just overwhelmed with the enormity of data reporting.

Embrace and Use Data Analysis

Data reports provide business owners with facts and figures that allow them to investigate how well their business is doing and where it needs to focus its attention to improve performance. Smart business owners base strategic decisions on facts and have embraced retail data analytics tools to improve their information gathering and reporting. The problem that most retailers face is that they have all the data they need, but even more that they
don’t. The key issue for retailersis knowing the difference and knowing which reports are most beneficial and relevant to their own business.

Helpful Retail Data Analytics:

POS Systems

Your point of sale system is typically your cash register. The types of data gathered by a POS include:

  • Types of items sold
  • Prices of items sold
  • Total sales for the day
  • Total sales by category
  • Customer data

This data can be used to identify your best customers, determine which items are selling the best and which ones you might want to consider discontinuing. It also tells you which days of the week are the busiest and which times of day are your best for turning a profit. Use this report to maximise customer service by scheduling breaks and meal times to maintain staff coverage.


Merchandising reports allows businesses to analyse the effectiveness of merchandising strategies. The use of key performance indicators (KPIs) provides detailed analysis of various merchandising techniques to maximize profit, increase sales opportunities and enhance product performance. Use these reports to analyse merchandise performance, profits, sales, and trends.

People Counters

People counting sensors keep a running count of how many people come into the store on any given day. This data can help you determine whether you should have your business open during certain hours and on certain days. Sensors are a simple way to monitor the traffic in your retail stores.

Video Cameras

If you have video cameras installed, they can be used for more than just safety and security. Use the video to monitor the number of people coming into the store and their buying habits. You will be able to see what areas of your store are the most widely visited and how customers navigate through your store. This allows you to strategically place your merchandise to ensure that popular and promotional items are easy to find and also to determine the best placement for upsell items.

Data Analysis to Boost Store Performance

The amount of data you have coming in must be looked at for patterns and action steps. The whole point of collecting all these data points is to allow you to improve in-store conversions of shoppers into buyers. Analysing your data can provide valuable insight as to how well your store is performing and what you can do to boost your bottom line and improve overall performance.

With the help of retail analytics, you can fully understand how multiple variables are affecting your store revenue and make effective modifications that will give your store the performance boost it needs to stay competitive and thrive long-term.

All of the data you choose to gather allows you to develop sound marketing strategies and operating decisions. These areas include:

  • Store layout.
  • Product mix and stock levels.
  • Staffing levels.
  • Promotions.
  • Managing customer wait times.

“Data Reports are only useful if you are using them!”

Find the Time for Data!

With so many different options available to monitor your retail analytics, you must decide where to best invest your time and efforts to help your business succeed. Don’t overlook all of the possibilities available to you and your business. By combining various sources together, you can create a detailed report that can help increase your sales. When you know where your business is failing and where it is succeeding, you can help to increase performance and minimize loss. Once you embrace retail analytics and fully understand what your business needs, you will begin to see a difference in your bottom line.

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