As we exit lockdown and begin to reopen our economy, retail businesses are beginning to gain some momentum. It began at Level 3, where we saw an uptick in transactions that was larger than we anticipated – a really positive sign for our economic recovery.

Individual retailers now need to ramp up sales as quickly as possible. That means it’s essential to track sales, see what’s selling well, analyse your margins and focus on the most profitable items in this new retail environment. Business owners need access to real-time transactional data, day by day, and they need to be analysing their sales in detail.

 

Every promotional dollar counts

Marketing budgets and promotional specials are usually first on the chopping block when there’s a crisis. As the retail sector stages its comeback, it will be more important than ever to assess each sale, offer or special. Has it succeeded? Has it drawn in new customers or made existing ones spend more? You need to track both returning and new shoppers to understand how each promotion is working.

 

New systems: keep, ditch, or integrate?

For restaurants which began offering pick-up and/or delivery under lockdown, data analysis should be used to work out whether it’s worthwhile continuing. Having taken the leap, business owners must consider how to incorporate takeaways with their usual opening hours. For instance, run the numbers: should your restaurant stay closed on Monday and Tuesday but continue to offer the takeaway service for just those nights?

 

Getting online data in a hurry

We know from our data that online shopping has been growing rapidly, year on year, yet only around 10% of transactions are done online. We expect to see a huge uplift in online spending as a proportion of total transactions this year. A tool that collects real-time online transactions alongside in-store purchases will allow businesses to see what proportion of their sales are online, as well as comparing specials in-store and online: which sell better? What drives the two different categories of customer?

 

Demonstrating the drop, then showing growth

In March 2021, retailers that claimed the wage subsidy may need to prove they saw a 30% drop in revenue in at least one 30-day period between January and 9 June 2020. Clear transactional data will help your accountant to demonstrate that your business met the eligibility criteria of the subsidy.

Beyond May, data will also show how quickly your business bounces back, allowing you to predict with more accuracy whether you need to upscale staffing once again.

 

Free Insights tool for small businesses

From the start of lockdown, we made our Paymark Insights tool free for all small businesses in New Zealand until August 2020. It’s a simple, easy-to-use dashboard that gives business owners real-time transactional data both in-store and, for CLICK customers, online. If you’d like to know more about accessing Insights, or signing up for CLICK, call our 24/7 customer helpdesk on 0800 PAYMARK or email us at support@paymark.co.nz