Top Three Report Retailers Need to Track Results
Visibility is crucial for retailers. Transparency into data and operations is a must for any business that wants to have an edge in this e-commerce landscape. The ability to analyze data allows retailers to make sound and forecast business decisions that align with the market and future business plans. On the flip side, businesses need reporting that is streamlined and effective, or that does not confuse or inundate teams with too much information. Without good reporting, retailers risk falling behind in a crowded market of competitors who may have more advanced systems.
So what reports are vital for retailers to use? To start, inventory, sales, and customer reports are incredibly significant to a retailer hoping to optimize their business.
Accurate inventory reporting helps retailers keep track of replenishment, and ensures that they never run out of popular items or oversupply other products. A good inventory reporting system will share how many products you have on hand, categorized by each store or channel, including their stock value. Knowing stock value can help retailers figure out how much capital they have associated with stock and help with seasonal or peak season planning. Businesses without proper reporting functionalities, whether that includes built-in reports within current supply chain technology or integrated solutions, can leave retailers confused about the amount of available inventory at any given time, leading to disorganization and an erosion of the bottom line.
Regarding inventory levels, it’s a no-brainer that being able to plan ahead is vital to good management. A robust inventory reporting system will include reports that tell which items are low in stock. To properly manage inventory levels by SKU, it’s good practice to assign a reorder notification for when items are low or that need to be prepared for replenishment. Moreover, if you see that one SKU is consistently out of stock, or another SKU is consistently not selling, the right inventory reporting can help rearrange your following season’s catalog accordingly.
To that point, it’s also important to invest in a product performance report, which can share the most popular products. A robust product performance report will identify how much inventory has been sold over a certain time period, such as each week or month. This type of analysis can provide key insights into what products should continually be invested in for good business performance. Ideally, a product performance report will also identify the window in which a product was selling. If that window is large, then a product may be a slow mover and not worth the additional budget
In addition to strong inventory reporting, a retailer must also invest in sales reporting to further analyze business data. The risk of not doing so may lead to poor decision-making and a lack of transparency about how much revenue the organization is actually making. In-depth sales reporting will make a clear distinction between the cost of items sold, margins, total profit, and tax. It will also help compare profits from last year or the previous month, which can provide some top-level information and help inform better decision making.
A thorough overview is vital for a retailer’s long-term growth, but even more important is possessing an in-depth sales per product report. The ability to zoom in per product can determine which specific product, versus category, is worth investing more in, or even discontinuing if sales aren’t up to standard.
Zooming in on each category, instead of product type, however, can provide more high-level consumer trends. If you’re a swimsuit retailer, for example, and a specific kind of bikini has been doing well season after season, this knowledge can allow you to invest in more of that product category for future peaks.
Good customer engagement is a retailer’s bread and butter. A proficient customer reporting solution provides insight into their most frequent shoppers, allowing retailers to create marketing campaigns and strategies that fit this type of consumer. Not knowing customer profiles can end up being a disaster for retail businesses, especially if you’re allocating budget to communication tactics that aren’t meeting the target base. Moreover, loyalty is key when it comes to shoppers, with 75% specifying that they prefer companies with reward programs. Having customer insights can help create VIP programs and help discover what new tactics can be implemented to find loyal shoppers to your brand.
Customer reporting requires good data procurement that allows retailers to dive into exactly what kind of engagement is necessary to keep shoppers happy and feel seen. A simple way to create a more personalized user experience for shoppers is to use customer profiles. This can greatly benefit your business. When a buyer shops on your site, for example, glean the info they provide you at check out and use that information to send curated emails about new, similar products to the ones they bought.
Streamline and Consolidate Reporting
As you can see, having the best reporting solutions can greatly impact a retailer’s business. For the most impact, consider investing in a platform that offers out-of-box reporting all in one place. This will help decision-making even more straightforward and seamless. This type of supply chain management system consolidates data for inventory and sales reports into a single interface for easy access, letting businesses see results in real-time, in addition to forecasting future sales cycles.
Good reporting is vital to any retailer’s bottom line. Without proficient and easy-to-read analytics, businesses risk falling behind in a crowded market by understocking items that are popular, overstocking on ones that aren’t, with no knowledge of their target demographic’s needs and wants. Utilizing a supply chain management platform with best-in-class reports or integrating the latest reporting tools within a technology ecosystem is a requirement for any growing retail business.