The following is a guest post from Fattmerchant, a merchant account provider headquartered in Orlando, Florida. It has been published here in collaboration with CardPaymentOptions.com.
A Closer Look Could Save You MoreAs a small business owner, you understand the value of intuition. Trusting your gut has gotten you far, and no one knows your business better than you do! However, have you ever thought about the sorts of insights that might be hiding in all that transactional data? Having access to the right data could have a huge impact on your business – helping you make smarter decisions, save money, and reduce stress!
Along with its payment processing capabilities, Fattmerchant offers a robust data analytics platform that gives you the power to drill down into some often overlooked data points. Whether you process on one countertop terminal, or a mix of different solutions – all your transaction information is in one place…and the story that the data tells, is critical to your business.
Here are a few ways that you can use data to increase sales:
Monthly Sales Activity
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but having a visual representation of monthly sales activity will give you insight into long-term trends, allowing you to make more strategic timing decisions when it comes to promotions and sales. By taking a look at your monthly sales trends before setting up a promotion, you could avoid discounting items during a peak season and instead encourage buyers by leveraging discounts during a slower time of the year.
By taking a look at what percentage of your sales are from returning customers, you can get a better idea of the impact of your product or service. Increasing the lifetime value of a customer means enticing them to come back over and over again, so you may want to consider implementing a rewards program to increase that percentage. Already have a rewards program? Great! You can use your customer loyalty data to test its impact on your audience. If you’re not seeing the percentage return that you’re looking for, try out a new format and see if the percentage goes up!
Sales by Hour
Keeping on eye on your sales activity per hour could save you thousands in payroll per year! Stop guessing when it comes to staffing, or worse, scheduling the same number of people all of the time. Instead, take a look at sales volume per hour to determine when the most staff is needed, and where you can cut back. By getting a little more strategic with scheduling, you could reinvest that saved money back into other parts of your business.
Sales by Category
Drilling down into reports like sales by category will not only help you forecast inventory needs, but could also spark promotion ideas. You might notice that a certain product type is underperforming at your business – is it time to cut it? Offer it at a discount? Category sales reports are a valuable tool to help make sure you always have your most popular items in stock, and a plan to sell those less popular items faster!
Average Sales/Transaction Volume
Especially impactful for restaurant and retail businesses, average sale amount can give you some great insight into the behavior of your customers. If your average sale amount is lower than you want it to be, you may want to consider placing some upsell items near the register or promoting a specialty drink from the bar. If you’re still not seeing a change, it might be time to rethink your pricing – how do you stack up against your competition?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry! The Fattmerchant dashboard puts all of these insights in one, easy-to-use dashboard. You can even have reports emailed to you daily, making checking in on these data points easier than ever.
Trusting your gut has gotten you this far, but think about how much further you can go by really taking a look at the data from your processing solutions.