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Essential Retail Buying Reports to Boost Profitability

Posted by Emily Fanning on Jun 14, 2018
Emily Fanning

Being a successful retail entrepreneur depends on having the right product, at the right price, at the right time. It stands to reason then that using your retail purchasing and receiving software to understand what products your customers respond to is essential. But in addition, being able to pull metrics about each individual vendor you work with will also give you the power to control the transaction and the confidence to negotiate.

Information is power. With performance metrics in hand, you are prepared to buy strategically and ask for terms that can boost your profitability. Here are the key retail buying reports you should be running to selland buymore, profitably. 

Vendor Sales Margin Performance
By running this key report, you can start to understand which brands are performing for you and in which category. Add sell-through metrics and you can get a high level look at which brands your customers are responding to and whether or not they are performing for you. This report serves as a powerful tool to critically understand which brands you should go deeper in and which brands you may want to drop.

retail buying reports

Key questions to ask:

  • Is the brand I love the best actually performing for me?
  • If my customer’s favorite brand is not performing for me, how can I negotiate better terms?
  • Are there any brands that I should consider retiring?

Product Returns
Clearly you want to identify trends that are not serving your business well, like merchandise that keeps getting returned for defects. Running a report on product returns can not only help you aggregate data in order to deal head-on with vendor issues, but can also serve to identify sizing issues that you can communicate to sales associateslike item X runs small or item Y is very difficult to assembleallowing them to be more proactive up front. This is a great report to run prior to any buying trip.

Product return percent can be calculated manually; # of returns / # of items sold x 100

retail purchasing reports

Key questions to ask:

  • If there one item that has high return percentage, how can I negotiate a refund with the vendor?
  • What products need a little sales or marketing help to generate more excitement? 
  • Which brands should I avoid due to high return rates? 

Total Open on PO
Sometimes you just need a little reminder of what you’ve already ordered, especially when you’re planning to buy more! Having this metric at a moment’s notice will keep you agile when you need to replenish or cancel an order. Noticing a trend and already have an order placed? Maybe it’s time to add a few more units before the order ships, or vice versa. This is a simple but important buying report to pull from your retail POS, and your marketing and merchandising teams can also use it to plan campaigns well in advance of the merchandise arriving. When the shipment hits, boom, they are ready to go!

retail purchase order reports

Key questions to ask:

  • Do I have enough merchandise on order to replenish my inventory?
  • Do I need to add more to an order to accommodate a hot trend?
  • Should I cancel a reorder because the product is not selling?
  • Is the product overdue? If so, should I cancel it or ask for a discount?

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Topics: Retail Buying, Retail Analytics

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