How to evaluate business analytics data and seasonal performance

You can learn a lot about your business by tracking the right data. With performance analytics at your fingertips, you can monitor sales traffic, forecast expenses, and optimize marketing campaigns.

Tracking this data is especially important during the holidays when you might face an influx of customers, shipments, and invoices. The good news is you don’t have to be thrown off course by seasonal changes. You can use business performance analytics to understand and predict what your company needs — during the holiday season and into the new year.

But where can you find these metrics?

Start by reviewing the data available on your service partner platforms. If you have a PayPal account, for example, you can see how many payments are made through PayPal versus Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solutions versus credit cards. Remember: Becoming familiar with any available data before the holiday season begins will help prepare you to harness opportunities to drive revenue later.

Read on for three key strategies to track and use data to meet your business goals.

Forecast business expenditures and costs

Forecasting business expenditures can help you budget for the future. For instance, you may need an extra delivery truck to meet holiday demand, or you may need to hire new employees to cover seasonal store hours.

To track business expenses, start by looking at your past costs, such as:

  • Fixed expenses. Necessary and recurring costs like rent, payroll, insurance, and taxes.
  • Variable expenses. Costs that may change depending on your needs, such as new office supplies, marketing campaigns, and utility bills.
  • Unexpected expenses. One-time costs for issues that pop up suddenly, like equipment repairs or damaged inventory.

If you can add up these costs for past holiday seasons or times of increased traffic, you can better understand what your business will need for the coming months. For example, you can set up a contingency fund to cover any unexpected costs that are more likely to emerge in the winter, such as frozen pipes or store closures due to inclement weather.

Track business performance and sales with useful metrics

Track business performance analytics to clearly see where your sales are coming from and how much you earn in profit.

Not sure what to track? Start with:

  • Inventory. How much product are you receiving? At what frequency? Does this need to increase or decrease?
  • Revenue. How much are you earning before subtracting expenses? How much revenue do you earn each year, month, and quarter? Are there any noticeable changes over time?
  • Expenses. As noted above, how much are you spending each month, year, and quarter on costs like rent, payroll, supplies, and emergencies?
  • Payment types. How do customers pay for your products and services? Which payment types are they using most? Which types drive the most revenue?
  • Customer analytics. How do customers engage with your business? Do they visit your website, download your app, call your support line, or engage with your social channels?

With these analytics and sales performance metrics, you can identify your top-performing payment types, marketing channels, and customer segments. You can also make useful calculations like:

  • Net profit = revenue - expenses
  • Inventory turnover = sales / cost of inventory

Optimize marketing goals and sales for next year

Analyze your past marketing campaigns to see what worked and what fell short. Then use these insights to inform future strategies.

When auditing past initiatives, you may ask:

  • Did you come in, under, or over your budget?
  • What KPIs did you meet or miss?
  • Which audience segments were most responsive?
  • Which channels and creatives drove the most engagement and conversions?
  • Were there any major obstacles along customers’ paths to purchase?

Once you answer these questions, you can build a roadmap for optimizing your next campaigns and increasing sales.

May your metrics be merry and bright

Holidays can be hectic, but they can also bring important opportunities to drive sales. The good news is you don’t have to guess what the next festive season will bring. Just use business data analytics to make informed decisions and prepare for what’s ahead.

After all, the more you understand your business metrics, the easier it will be to optimize your strategies and improve performance.

To learn more about using business performance analytics to meet your goals, visit here.

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