Many retailers don’t take advantage of a powerful tool right under their noses…

In June, I presented at the Local Shop Summit on the power of data to grow sales. I started with some stories about retailers using data to influence their business decisions.

The first involved a retailer who identified mint sauce as a slow seller to delist during a range review. But using EPoS reports he saw it was usually one part of a much bigger basket of ingredients. Without one vital ingredient, he risked losing the entire basket if customers went to another shop to buy everything for their meal. This would be worth much more than the few pounds for the mint sauce.

The second involved a retailer looking to buy a new shop. He visited a prospective site and asked the owner to print out that day’s sales figures. The owner ran an end-of-session report and it spanned four weeks, meaning he hadn’t checked what was selling, or even reconciled the cash in his till, for a month.

He had an invaluable business tool at his fingertips, but didn’t know it. And he’s not alone – retailers using a top-of-the range system as a scanning till is an industry-wide problem.

The feature in this issue is packed full of tips for using your system’s full capabilities, from taking control of news and magazines ordering to planning staffing effectively.

My advice to the Local Shop Summit was spend half an hour a week in the report suite, look at what’s there and think about what you can use it for. For example, how many transactions did you have in your last hour of trading and did it justify the cost of staying open?

You’re forever looking for the next thing to give your sales and margin a welcome boost. One solution is right under your nose. So make sure you use it properly.