The 26 report types you need from your reporting software
Business success relies on a lot of factors, and one of the most important is your data. When analysed correctly, data is your magic key to increasing revenue and taking your sales to the next level. It allows you to solve little problems before they become big problems, identify sales trends that you can make the most of, learn about your customers and how to market to them more successfully, manage inventory, and more.
In short, data helps you make more profitable decisions for your business. In order to analyse your data effectively, a reporting program or reporting software is necessary. Not only does this save you a lot of time by automating reports, it also displays data the way you need to consume it.
Types of reports
You will not necessarily need every type of report listed below. Review which ones are important to you or may be important to you in future and make sure your software provider offers them.
Sales reports (regular)
- Sales overview: This is your sales at a glance for a specified period of time. All reporting software should have an inbuilt sales overview report.
- Sales by day, week, month, and year: These kinds of reports are standard and should be included with any good reporting software.
- Sales by hour: A great option for figuring out your most profitable time of the day. This kind of data allows you to plan for extra staff during your busiest times.
- Sales by category: Allows you to see which categories are performing well and which ones need more work, or potentially need to be cut.
- Sales by product: If you’re selling a product that is doing really well, you may want to order other similar products or more of the same product in different colours or sizes.
- Sales by supplier: Very helpful for discovering which suppliers you can ditch and which ones to order more from.
- Sales by store location: Compare sales data by store and make sure none are falling behind. Super helpful for catching problems with a particular store that isn’t doing well.
- Sales by city or country: Find out why a particular city or country is performing well (or terribly).
- Sales by customer postcode: If the majority of your stock is purchased by customers living in a particular region, it can help to focus your local marketing efforts in that area.
- Sales by employee: Especially necessary if employees are paid sales commission.
- Bestsellers report: Bestselling items within a specified time period. This can be sorted by ROI, quantity of sales or whatever measure you prefer to go by.
- Compare data to same period in previous year: This is a great sales report and one that you should definitely use. Due to seasonality, it’s often not helpful to compare sales to the previous month. This function will allow you to compare the same month’s data from the previous year.
- Sales trends: A report highlighting new sales trends is always important.
Sales reports (discounted)
- Promotions: Find out how successful/not so successful your promotions have been. This is helpful for planning future promotions, too.
- Gift cards: Sales report for gift cards.
- Voucher usage: Data on voucher usage and profitability.
Reports for potential problem solving
- Refunds: See which products are being returned and find out why.
- Items not selling: If you can run a report to discover items that have not sold for a particular length of time, you’ll know that it’s worth ditching them from your line up.
- Timesheets: Ensure all is in order and your employees are clocking the correct number of working hours.
- Salaries/payroll: This report incorporates timesheet data and assists with paying your staff.
- Sales by employee: Mentioned above, this is necessary for calculating sales commission due to each employee.
- Sales by customer postcodes: Mentioned above and is great for focused local marketing efforts.
- Customer demographics, e.g. age, gender: Helps you to distinguish who your customers are and allows you to market to them more effectively.
Inventory management reports
- Stock status: The full low down on where your stock levels are at
- Order status: Reports for online orders or orders that are being posted out. This allows you to check which stage of the order process they’re in, whether it’s packing, in transit, or delivered.
- For more inventory management information, please see our other articles, Inventory management 101 and The ultimate guide to choosing inventory management software.
- This should be an option within any reporting software. Ensure that you can create your own reports using a variety of parameters.
Now that you know which report types you need, please check in with us next week for the next instalment on features you should look for in your reporting software.
Do you have any important report types you’d like to add to this list?