A group of translucent blue jellyfish at the bottom of the ocean, representing the depth of retail POS data

Clock icon 6 min read Calendar icon Nov 22, 2022

Retail POS Data: The Key to Deeper Consumer Insights


Retail point of sale (POS) data is like an ocean. The surface is teeming with life and activity, but the deeper you go, the more interesting things you find. And with the right tools, you can turn those discoveries into exciting opportunities.

What is Retail POS Data?

Retail POS data is the information you capture during a customer transaction using your retail POS systems. This covers all major channels across in-store, online, and mobile.

For retailers, POS data provides a reliable stream of information on everything from inventory levels at individual stores to regional sales performance. For brands, POS data offers unparalleled insight into customer preferences, behaviors, and shopping habits.

The global POS terminals market is forecast to be worth $181bn by 2030.

How Do You Access POS Data?

There are two main ways brands can access retail POS data:

  1. Integrate your CRM directly with a retailer’s POS system
  2. Use a receipt processing tool to scan receipts submitted by consumers (e.g. in exchange for a reward)

1. Integrate with Retailer POS Systems

Every major retailer uses digital POS systems, like self-service checkout kiosks, to streamline the shopping experience and easily collect consumer data. These systems integrate with a wide range of martech solutions, including your customer relationship management (CRM) software.

Connecting your CRM with retailer POS systems lets you passively collect huge volumes of customer data that power today’s hyper-personalized, omnichannel shopping experiences. However, integrating with multiple retail POS systems can be challenging and expensive. You may also find that smaller retailers don’t collect POS data, which can leave gaps in your datasets.

2. Use a Receipt Processing Platform

Receipts are far more than an itemized list of products. Customer receipt data is a marketing goldmine.

The average receipt contains detailed information on customer shopping habits, product performance, basket share, and more. But to access it, you need a receipt validation platform.

Receipt processing platforms allow you to capture retail-agnostic POS insights by incentivizing customers to share their receipts as part of a promotion, contest, or loyalty program. The way it works is simple. When a customer buys a product, they scan or take a picture of their receipt and upload it for the chance to win a prize or reward.

This approach helps to engage customers directly with your brand and, because most people own a smartphone, it's quick and easy to take part.

52% of corporate organizations already use cloud-based POS systems, with a further 40% planning to adopt them in the coming years.

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What Insights Can You Get from Retail POS Data?

Retail POS data can be retail-specific or aggregated from across your network to provide more macro-level insights, such as regional trends. It can also provide detailed insights about specific customers and branches.

Here are some of the main categories POS data falls into:

Behavioral Data

  • Average order size
  • Favorite brands
  • Purchase history
  • Lifetime value

Sales Data

  • Average spend
  • Most popular products
  • In-store vs online purchases
  • New vs repeat customers

Brand Data

  • Basket share
  • Preferred brands and retailers
  • Preferred shopping channels and payment methods

Time Data

  • Favorite time to shop
  • Favorite day to shop
  • Seasonal shopping trends

Geographical Data

  • Location the purchase was made
  • Product performance by country, region, or city
  • Regional shopping trends

Promotion Data

  • Customer engagement
  • Campaign performance
  • Most popular conversion points

What Can You Do with POS Data Insights?

Provide More Personalized Interactions

Retail POS data tells you a lot about your customers. From the products they buy to average spend, favorite brands, and preferred shopping times, it gives you access to a wide range of first-party customer insights. This helps you segment your audience and deliver personalized shopping experiences, based on individual purchase histories and shopping habits.

Over 70% of consumers expect personalization as standard. So, if you’re not providing tailored experiences, you’re disappointing your customers.

Example #1: Coca-Cola

Global drinks brand Coca-Cola combines POS data insights with advanced AI algorithms and image recognition technology to see who consumes their drinks, where, and when. This allows them to deliver targeted ads that have 4 times better click rates than traditional ads.

Make Data-Driven Decisions

Retail POS data complements traditional market research channels, like surveys and focus groups. It provides in-depth business intelligence that offers a window into consumer shopping habits, such as the popularity of specific products or how customers perceive your brand. It also reveals insights that help you measure the effectiveness of everything you do – from your overarching brand strategy to specific promotions and initiatives.

Brands that use customer analytics are 23 times more likely to outperform their competitors. They’re also nine times likelier to score better in customer loyalty metrics. A big part of this is that the insights you receive are based on hard data, instead of gut feelings or assumptions. So, you can invest in your top-performing products or create limited-time offers to capitalize on a new trend with confidence.

Example 2: Walmart

Walmart uses retail POS data to find patterns in shopper behavior. This enables them to provide more accurate product recommendations. Harnessing POS data has increased Walmart’s conversion rates and revealed fascinating insights, like the fact that strawberry pop-tart sales increase seven times before a hurricane.

Get On Board with Your Customers

Just as deep-sea explorers need state-of-the-art submersibles to reach the ocean depths, brands need the right shopper marketing technology to go deep into customer data. This includes finding an intuitive CRM that can integrate with retailer POS systems and a receipt processing platform that captures valuable first-party customer data in real-time.

Contact us to discover how our customer acquisition, retention, and engagement platform can help you make the most of retail POS data.