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How to Use a Merchandising App to Simplify Retail Reporting

Retail reporting can be difficult because of all of the different tasks that have to be done to ensure the success of your business. While it may seem overwhelming at first, you can use software like a merchandising app on smartphones to make all of these jobs as simple as possible for everyone on your team.

Merchandising apps can help create smoother interactions and transactions between you and your retailers by providing important data and reports that will help you achieve all of your retail goals.

4 Types of Data You Can Track With a Merchandising App

These are the 4 different types of data you can track when you use a merchandising app:

1. Stock Requests

One of the biggest problems that retailers can face is your products running out of stock. If a product is not on  your shelf when consumers are looking for it, the chances are very high that they will look somewhere else.

Merchandising apps can track data regarding the situation of stocks for your products so that you can immediately correct the problem. These apps can identify patterns in stock levels, and can inform you of low stock situations immediately.

Related article: How Brands and Merchandisers Can Prevent Lost Sales due to Stockout

2. Retail Compliance

Having a merchandising app will help you with your retail compliance checking. The app can give you instant information about your current retail execution campaign.

If a sales rep finds any issues and can immediately document them with electronic devices, forms, and photos, you can be able to resolve these immediately.

3. Coverage Analysis

Through using a merchandising app, you can analyse a lot more than the data that field reps are explicitly reporting. These apps can collect time and location information along with photos and forms that the reps provide for you.

You can obtain information like which stores are getting visits, how long the visits usually take, what activities are being done, and when they are getting done.

You will need to know all this information so you can discover how well your outlets are being covered and how you can make decisions to motivate reps in the field.

4. Competitive Analysis

Merchandising apps do not just give your field reps information about your own business, but can also contain information about your competition. Your reps can help you collect information on the competitors while they are at the store.

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7 Types of Reports That Can Be Generated With a Merchandising App

Now that you have a deeper understanding of the different types of data that can be tracked, here are 7 types of reports that can be generated using a merchandising app:

1. Inventory On Hand Reports

An inventory on hand report is a summary that displays the amount of inventory which a business has on hand at a specific point in time.

It includes details like how much stock is available, which products are selling the fastest, and other important information about the status and performance of your inventory.

Well-made inventory on hand reports include information that is constantly updated with a high level of detail and can also use visuals to make it clear how many of a specific item is still in stock.

Why You Should Use This Report

Inventory on hand reports are crucial as they help you monitor the biggest and most expensive asset of your business.

Retail businesses heavily rely on inventory to generate their target revenues and profits so without it, they would not have anything to sell.

2. Low Stock Reports

A low stock report provides inventory data on all the active products which are low on inventory based on the defined minimum stock levels for each product. This is the best type of report for determining which products need to be ordered each when you are contacting your supplier.

This report works best when you have a specified low stock threshold and a reorder point for products so you can get notified to replenish as necessary.

Why You Should Use This Report

Always having an overview of your low stock reports can help you spot patterns around which products are often running low on supply.

If a certain product is always showing up on this report, this may indicate that you will have to increase your order quantities for it.

3. Product Performance Reports

A product performance report should tell you the number of products you have sold over a given time period as well as a summary of all items sold in a month or in a week.

These reports give you an overview of how fast items are selling and which products are making the most money for  your business.

Why You Should Use This Report

You can use this report to figure out which items should be worth investing in and which ones should not be reordered or prioritised for ordering.

Having a good product performance report can also give you information about the gaps of the first and last sale dates of certain products.

By looking at when sales are spiking and which products are selling the most, you will have a better understanding of how many units you should order in the future.

4. Sales Summary Reports

A sales summary report provides an overview of the state of the sales activities within a company. It shows the different trends that are happening in your sales volume over a specific time period.

These reports also include the cost of your goods sold, gross profit, tax, and margins, so you can have a better idea of how much money your business is actually earning.

Why You Should Use This Report

You can get a more general view of your retail sales in the sales summary reports. You can see how much you made in the last month or in the last year.

These figures on the reports will offer you some important insights on the health of your business, and can help inform your medium to long-term decisions going forward.

5. Sales Reports Per Product and Product Type

A sales report per product shows the quantities, profits, and additional financial summary for the sales by a certain product in a specific reporting period.

However, a sales report per product type is a bit different as it gives you all this information but from a specific product type or category.

Why You Should Use This Report

These reports should be used for your business as it makes it easy to identify the best and worst selling products. Knowing this should give you a clear idea of what the right course of action should be.

If you can check that a particular product is getting a lot of sales, you could consider ordering more of it in the future. However, you can also check if a product is not performing as well so you can run a promotion for it or lessen its orders next time.

6. Sales Reports Per Customer or Customer Group

Another important report that you can have is a sales report per customer or customer group. These reports will allow you to identify your most loyal customers as well as those that are not fully engaging with your business.

You will be able to check what their purchases are, what are the most common products they buy, and how often they make these purchases from you.

Why You Should Use This Report

Having these reports is a great way for you to determine what kind of actions you can take for specific types of customers.

You can create special events or programs for your loyal customers and for inactive customers, you can easily identify them and cater specific marketing and communications which can encourage them to purchase more.

7. Sell-Through Reports

Sell-through is a metric that is used to evaluate an item’s performance in terms of how it is selling. It is expressed as a percentage of units sold versus the number of units that are available to be sold.

Sell-through rates are usually evaluated daily for products that are fast-moving or weekly for slower-moving products. A higher value is better as it indicates your sales are good and your inventory is forecasted appropriately.

Why You Should Use This Report

Using a sell-through report helps you to identify the rising and falling demands for your products’ stock. It can help give you insight into what you should reorder and what needs to be marked down or featured in more marketing materials.

Knowing this information helps you understand how quickly products sell and gives you an opportunity to make smarter inventory purchasing decisions. This will assure you that you carry enough stock to meet consumer demand while not having too much.

All of these data and reports that can be made through a merchandising app shows how comprehensive these apps can be in terms of providing effective analysis and solutions for your retail business.

If you are looking for a merchandising app that can help your business, check out Optim Merchandising App solution. There’s a free 14-day trial, so get yours now.

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