Bakery using POS software to improve operations.

Merchants have a wealth of information at their fingertips that can help them understand their business and customers better. However, many retailers do not have a quality reporting system in place and are missing out on a great way to improve their decision making and the bottom line.

A recent article from Small Business Trends profiled Butter Lane, a bakery with two locations in New York City. The cupcake specialist, like many other businesses, had a customer database, but it was only used for marketing email blasts.

It was not an ideal solution, so the owners decided it was time to improve operations with a store management software solution. This included integrating with the point of sale hardware to capture more in-depth customer information, including tracking credit card numbers to help separate returning patrons from new ones and making a loyalty program more functional.

“By collecting data on your customers through loyalty programs, you can discover what products or services they prefer and which customers tend to spend above a certain threshold,” the article reads. “You can use this information to segment your customer list and target specific customers with offers most suitable to them.”

An integrated software solution does more than just provide better sales reporting numbers. With more data, retailers are able to better serve every customer who comes through the doors. This also helps create new revenue streams through targeted promotions and provides better feedback from existing promotions to find out what works and what can be improved upon.