This article will show you how to use data to buy at the right price for your boutique.
While shopping at Dallas Market Center, The Boutique Hub’s Founder, Ashley Alderson, met up with Josh Orr from Streamline, a tech company helping retailers search out the right POS software, build websites, and manage ongoing tech support across all digital mediums. Together, they chatted about 3 ways Boutique Owners can become smarter buyers using data and reports from Point of Sale Software.
Processes are crucial to the success of a Boutique. The key to longevity is growing deep rather than wide. It’s important to understand that your inventory management, POS, and website are all interwoven. By streamlining your processes, it allows you to run your company in the most efficient way possible. Streamline is a retail tech company that helps owners organize their data all in one place. Josh recommends several tried-and-true sales reports that will help you to make informed decisions and be a better buyer.
Essential questions when buying right for your boutique.
What are your sales by category?
This seems obvious and we have spoken about this before. But as you have these sales that are driving your success, you want to continue to invest in these areas that your sales are the highest. On the flip side of that, you also want to look at your profit by category. You might be selling a ton of jewelry but if that has a low-profit margin it might really not be worth the store. You might want to use those items to drive traffic into the store and then upsell and cross-sell your pieces with higher profit margins. Your sales data gives you an action item for training your staff. Brake down your main categories into subcategories. For example, tops would be graphic tees, fashion tops, and camis. You can also track by brand and style. Find out what is driving sales!
What is your turnover by category?
This can be a challenging report, Josh claims. But it’s important to understand how quickly you are turning your items. You technically could sell a lot of jackets and your profit might seem high there. But if your turnover rate is 6-9 months it’s costing you money to keep them on the shelf. So they would not be a good investment for you. You want to make sure that you are purchasing items that turn quickly. Understanding what those fast-selling items are is imperative to making decisions on what to stock in your store.
Who are your best customers?
One of the most important reports that you can use is customer data. Remember this fact: 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your list. Understanding who your best customers are is crucial to your bottom line. The most expensive marketing you can do is targeted marketing. Throwing a billboard up is really cheap. But something that goes to a girl between 18-24 who is interested in stores like you. Your “gold” and who is the most valuable to you is your top customers.
The data you want to look at is the top revenue, profit, and visiting the most often. This allows you to retarget them, offer incentives, or rewards. One of the reports that Streamline uses is the top 10 customers for each quarter and if they have been in recently. Josh recommends sending a personalized email, with a reward (like a $25.00 gift card). You can also use that data to drive online customers to your brick & mortar or vice versa.
The 3 ways that Boutiques can become better buyers with data is to understand sales by category, turnover by category, and customer data. Knowing these figures will make you a savvy buyer and guarantee the long-term success of your Boutique.
This blog was assisted with the help of Tosha Schiffli, Owner & Creative Director | Willow Bend Design