In order to follow and keep track the business operation, we need to use reports. Each industry has its own characteristics and operational flow, bringing the need of specific reports for each. Besides the general information such as profit, profit margin, cost of goods sold, inventory turnover ratio, a good report should contain exclusive news to help merchants detect in-depth aspects of the industry. (For retail managers, we have summarized top sales reports for your references). In the following, we would like to share some sample retail reports we have helped our clients build throughout the working time.

B2B Sales Forecast Dashboard

1.    Grocery or fresh food

In grocery store or fresh food store, please take note that there’re many short life-cycle products (usually within 1 day or a few days) such as vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, etc. Therefore, to guarantee that your product quantity is controlled efficiently while you still can provide the fresh food to customers daily, you have to check the expired products or the almost expired products every day. Therefore, you need to have a few following reports:

a.    Expired products or shrinkage report:

You count the products at the beginning and at the end of day to calculate how many you have to remove from the shelves each day. Thanks to this kind of reports, our client can figure out that a few products are not preserved properly by the negligent staff that lead to more loss than estimated.

Inventory-Shrinkage-for Grocery/Food stores
Inventory Shrinkage for Grocery/Food stores

b.    Warning for almost expired products

You can set up the average life-cycle for each SKU then whenever the product almost comes to the end of its life-cycle (1 day to come to the end for instance), the report can summarize and the system will notify you with a message. You can take action such as creating instant meals from these things or running promotional programs for these products to quickly push these products to be consumed.

2.    Fashion

One of the prominent characteristics of this industry is seasonality, thus, it requires specific retail reports. The profit margin can be very high at the beginning of the season or when a new collection is released and it’s gradually decreased at the end of season. The products are not the type that you can do replenishment after a period of time but are designed based on season.

Example of sell-through report – Photo from Sisense

R&D team will design and create the new collections, estimate the consumption from scratch then manufacture or buy new products based on the trend of that time. Therefore, it’s very important to have Sell-through report in which you can determine how many percentages you sold items to the customers against the amount of inventory you receive from suppliers or manufacturers. The period (usually one month) examined is useful when comparing the sales of one product or style against another. More importantly, comparing the sell-through of a specific product from one month to another can help examine trends.

3.    Products with Warranty or Repair service

These products include electronics or watches, hot tubs, musical instrument, etc. Let’s see how their retail reports are different from other industries.

a.    Report about warranty time

You have to suffer the fee of warranty or after-sales whenever customers request to repair items. If customers come to your store so many times to repair the items or request a warranty, that may cause the discomfort to customers. Moreover, the situation also indicates that those items may be underqualified. Therefore, you have to track down the activities efficiently with the metrics such as: how long each customer has to wait since the request of warranty or repair until it’s fixed, how many times one product is fixed, what is the warranty rate, etc.

Plus, when you work with some big brands such as LG, Samsung, etc., you also have to pay attention to the warranty time these vendors provide and the real warranty time your consumers can get. For example, many manufacturers calculate the warranty time as 12 months since they provide them to retailers. However, it takes 4 months on average for you to provide them to the end customers. Thus, these customers finally get only 8 months of warranty since the purchased date. Once they need to get a warranty and find out that their warranty time is shorten by this reason, they might not be happy and choose other retailers who can provide them with the longer warranty time.

b.    Installation service report

It’s very critical to the electronic retailers to provide the installation service to the end customers in the most comfortable manner. Therefore, if you fail to track down that activity, you might have to confront with the uneasy feeling and complaints from the customers later.

c.    COD, receivable reports, commission reports

This industry usually charges clients with the high fee or collect money only after retailers complete installation of products in customer’s addresses. Plus, with the high-value products in these industries, it’s very important to track down commission for salesmen. 

4.    Food and Beverage

In F&B industry, it’s very popular that you create the products based on the client’s request. Let’s take an example of a coffee shop selling macchiato made from materials such as water, ice, milk, coffee. In addition to shrinkage report, they also need to have retail reports to record the complete meals sold and calculate materials planning.

In summary, you should keep in mind the data-driven approach when making a report. Ask yourself first, what information I need and for what, then create the suitable reports to track down activities, figure out the issues, design the proper strategies. Visualizing information with graphs, diagrams, charts, etc. and coloring will bring you more enjoyable moments. If you want more specific support, our business consultants are willing for help. Let’s have a talk with them.


A tech-lover and a data-driven business consultant who deploys disruptive innovations to Magento retailers in Omnichannel Age

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