Small businesses that have an understanding of their customer relationships, sale points and overall business productivity are in an excellent position to thrive. This is especially true as we come out of perhaps one of the most difficult trading periods of our lifetime. And, understanding analytics could help put your business in the best position it could be.

Technology is now readily available to small businesses looking to gain insight into customer data. Previously this was only available to large corporations building their own data and business intelligence and data systems. Advanced point of sale equipment now readily available makes it possible for small businesses to take advantage of physical and online sales data to make informed decisions on marketing, production, sales and operations in a similar way.  They can use this data to sell to other customers, or to help with customer retention. Here, we look further at what analytics are, how they can help and why they really do matter.

What are analytics?

Basically, analytics are a systematic computational collection of data and statistics from your business activity, providing you readily with facts and figures to inform you on a variety of matters. They could include statistics for sales, products and marketing success and failures. Small businesses can use them to highlight patterns, peaks and troughs without the need to trawl sales records, customer records and production reports manually.  

Why they matter and how your business can benefit

For a small business to be successful they must understand their customers. They need to know how they spend, what they think and what they need now or may need in the future.  Businesses can gain this information by understanding previous figures and spotting patterns and habits. Then businesses can tailor a business to anticipate these trends, providing products and services accordingly. Customer complaints, goods exchanges and refunds, as well as sales figures and positive review ratings all provide an insight into your business position.  POS systems can now seamlessly handle exchanges and refunds and their data capturing ability can help you identify the ‘why’. Knowing the ‘whys’ not just the ‘what’s’ will be the key to driving your business forward.

Accurate transaction information is collected through modern POS systems to offer intuitive user interfaces, giving you reliable information you can rely on.  Choosing a system with the ability to act to limit user mistakes by offering educated customer-based solutions, will help maintain integrity.

Using Analytics Properly

Being able to identify top buyers, marketing campaign integration and conversion rates through data is easily achieved with the right POS system. Opting for one that generates unique identifiers for each unique customer, and can de-duplicate customer information to give you useful customer buying insight and customer updates makes for analytical data you can use to increase earning potential, maximise profit and production for your business. 

Data is already helping businesses to improve efficiency, showing that focussed marketing to retain existing customers is equally as important as attracting new business.  To retain customers, understanding the facts and figures behind their past purchases can show what they are buying when, how much and even who from.  You can then use this information to focus marketing strategies and sales training effectively.  Where you sell a physical product you can adjust supply chains with invaluable historic insight to provide a more streamlined business approach.