Tower Systems helps independent bike shops compete with online bike discounters

Tower Systems works closely with bike retailers, to help them compete with online bike retailers. Through our Bike Shop Software we help in a range of practical ways.

Here are five ways local bike shops can compete with online

  1. Track every contact. Treat every contact as a customer. Know who they are. Explain that it’s part of your service – to offer advice and keep in touch. This will qualify them as a customer from their very first question. While it may scare some off, better that you do it early before you give away your expert advice.
  2. Give them a gift for listening to you. Every customer who spends time taking in your advice should be given a voucher for them to spend in-store in a purchase above a certain value. This shows that you value their attention. Presented well it can better connect them with you for the longer term.
  3. Subtly share stories about the risks of online shopping. There are documented stories you can find about people being ripped off – what they ordered is not what they received, credit card fraud and the like. Arm your team with these stories … maybe a story about a customer who bought from you following an expensive rip off online.
  4. Reward loyalty with a front-end approach. Ensure that every purchase over, say, $10, comes with a voucher offering a discount off the next purchase. Factor this into your mark-up model. Cash rewards showing on a receipt can be a powerful lure to bringing a shopper back.
  5. Personalise your service. Arm all sales staff with personal business cards. Place follow up calls or emails to shoppers spending over, say, $100. Host networking events in-store. Connect with and support local clubs. Add value through personal contact at every possible opportunity. Structure regular, value-adding, contact with your customer base.

The difference between a bricks and mortar bike shop and an website selling bikes is that your business, the bricks and mortar business, is real, it can be visited, it’s personal. Everything you say and do needs to reinforce this and build trust based on this.

Be open about price

Don’t be afraid to say that online businesses can sell for less. That’s because they do less and care less. You could do this too but that’s probably not the business you want to run.

Competing on price really comes down to changing the game. This is where a properly structured and consistently run loyalty program offering an amount of cash off the next purchase based on the current purchase can make a difference for you.

Being consistent

Online businesses through the software behind their websites are consistent if nothing else. This is where good bike shop software can help a bike shop compete. It can drive consistency in the bricks and mortar business on pricing, loyalty rewards, customer marketing, buying, pricing and employee performance tracking and motivation.

Good bike shop software is designed specifically for bike shops to leverage the difference bike shops offer over online retailers. When used to the fullest, it can drive sales and bring customers back more often. It can play a key role on competing with online.


Why the Tower Systems bike shop POS software is unique

The Bike shop POS software from Tower Systems is unique in that it is purpose-built for bike retailers, especially independent bike retailers.

  1. Our bike shop software is fit for purpose. It has been built for bike shops in close consultation with owners, managers and workers from bike shops. Changes to the software are developed in close consultation.
  2. We understand the value of a bike customer for life.
  3. We get the passion of cyclying.
  4. We appreciate cycling is part lifestyle, part sport, part business and part relaxation.
  5. We are a software company, not a consulting business using software as a mechanism for driving consulting fees.
  6. We are in your business. Not a contractor we hire, not over the phone, when we install the system we do it in your business, working with you.
  7. We support all bike suppliers. Our software can load electronic invoices from many suppliers – we do not link to just one supplier.
  8. Second-hand goods. These facilities have been developed with bike retailers and authorities so you have the right records on hand.
  9. These facilities have been developed to help you streamline workflow and keep in close contact with customers throughout.
  10. Manufactured goods. From concept to manufacture, you can manage and track what you make for whom and when. This is a billing and management asset.
  11. Lay-by. Our Lay-by facilities have been developed in close consultation with bike retailers, making them unique and comprehensive.
  12. We offer more facilities than any other system. These offer you flexibility for driving purchases in the current visit and for bringing shoppers back more often.
  13. You have access to extraordinary customisation through settings, enabling you to represent your business how you want.
  14. Embedded in our software are facilities for tracking how the software is used. This enables us to help you reduce employee theft.
  15. Retail focussed. A challenge of retail is to uncover opportunities early. Smart reports in the Tower software unlock information about opportunities in your business on which you can rely for business planning.

Tower Systems is engaged with bike retailers and cyclists to ensure the software serves the community in a way that is respectful and enjoyable.


Tower Systems: software for bike shops

Bike shops have specialist needs when it comes to business management software and services. Specialist bike shop software company Tower Systems serves these services with fit for purpose best practice software – developed with bike retailers in Australia and New Zealand.

Check out a new brief introductory video we have made in house for bike retailers:


Independent bike retailers benefit from specialist bike shop software helping with repairs, shopper loyalty and supplier relationships

The latest release of the Tower Systems bike shop software offers independent bike retailers even better tools for serving customers, nurturing loyalty and making the business more valuable.

As the largest specialist bike shop software supplier in Australia and armed with new stronger bike shop software Tower Systems is set to help even more bike retailers drive efficiency and compete through high street stores with aggressive online bike retailers.

We back our specialist bike shop software with specialist bike shop software training – developed specifically for this purpose to help bike retailers learn more from their software and to extract more value for their businesses. This is core to our service as a vertical software company – ensuring we deliver tools unique to the needs of our customers so they may, in turn, deliver services that are unique to their customers.

Our customers love that in dealing with us they are able to deal directly with the software development company. We develop our software. When we promise a change we deliver it. We are not relying on another company to deliver this. This is important as our customers can trust us to deliver tools that help them build trust with their customers.

To consider the Tower Bike Shop Software for your business, call one of our account managers and they will arrange a personal face-to-face demonstration where you can have your questions answered and where you can see the software for yourself in your own situation.

Bike retailers love the Tower Bike Shop Software for many reasons:

  1. It is software designed specifically for bike retailers.
  2. Includes bike workshop management facilities.
  3. Excellent shopper loyalty facilities with four different loyalty approaches available.
  4. Regularly updated software. You choose when you update – to suit your business.
  5. Software enhancements based on bike shop user suggestions.
  6. Live in-store face-to-face training.
  7. More than 130 training videos for refresher training.
  8. Live help desk support where you talk to a human on the phone. No faceless email type support here.
  9. Electronic invoice and stock file connections with bike shop suppliers.
  10. Free weekly online user workshops for bike shop owners and staff offering group training and networking opportunities.
  11. Large user community. More users = more value for you.
  12. Australian made.

No matter what size your bike shop, this software is certain to be ideal given that it’s already in use in large and small bike retail businesses.


Sharing insights from UK bike shops with bike retailers

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 9.14.40 pmWe are proud to have shared a special report of insights from several UK bike shops with Australian bike retailers.

The insights have been well received.

Our report covered marketing, maintenance and community service aspects of a range of different bike retailers in Leeds and Manchester – sharing photos and information that could be put to practical use by bike retailers in Australia.

The report demonstrates a support for the bike retail channel that is unique to Tower Systems – the company behind excellent bike shop software.

We’re here to help.


Comparing Tower Systems Bike Shop software to Lightspeed

Tower Systems has been recently asked to compare its bike shop software to the Lightspeed software also being promoted to bike retailers. here are headline differences from what we can see:

The Tower Systems bike shop software is:

  • Australian developed software.
  • Developed with Australian and New Zealand Bike retailers.
  • Offering direct supplier links with Australian and New Zealand suppliers.
  • The people installing the software are from the company that writes the software.
  • The people who support the software are from the company that writes the software.
  • Our Aussie based help desk is available 24/7.
  • You can run the software from your desktop or through the cloud.
  • Our users can speak directly with our software development team.
  • We have a transparent user forum for the suggestion and discussion of bike software enhancements.
  • Company management and owners are Australian based.

Tower systems serves close to 200 local bike shops today.

Anyone looking at software for their bike shop should thoroughly research the software and the company. This is best done in your business, starting with a discussion of your business needs. A good software company will work hard to ensure they meet your needs.


New bike shop software facilities embraced by bike retailers

Bike shops participating in the beta release program of new Bike Shop Software are loving new facilities in our software. Their feedback has been helping us further tweak the latest release of the software to go beyond even what we had expected to achieve through the new facilities.

Having a professionally managed beta release program in partnership with engaged retailers helps us drive better outcomes for our retail partners. What has been happing over recent weeks with the beta release of our new bike shop software is evidence of this.

Using our industry standard Bike Shop Software, bike retailers have tools through which they can better serve customers, more efficiently manage repairs, resume the cost of inventory and have easy access to accurate data for business planning.


How POS software helps small business retailers from the front door to the back office

Software is only as valuable to a business as the contribution it makes. This contribution can be measured in time and money for its from these two that all other benefits flow. Here are ways our point of sale software will help gift shops, jewellers, bike retailers, pet shops and more make more money and free time

  1. Better customer service. Our software guides the sales process and gathers all necessary information, freeing retail staff for selling.
  2. Saving time. Using our software, sales are processed quickly. As retailers ourselves we have focused on delivering fast and efficient processing for sales.
  3. Reducing theft. Stores without a POS system are more susceptible to employee theft. In fact nearly 50% of retail shrinkage comes from employee theft. Our software can help to significantly reduce or eliminate these occurrences. We draw your attention to suspicious behaviour. For more security, you can password protect any area that you do not want employees to be able to access.
  4. Better decisions. We provide access to real-time information. Whether you have one store or 30 stores, you have instant and up to the minute access to sales numbers, stock, margins and more. This ability to have instant and accurate information enables you to make the absolute most out of your investment.
  5. Increased sales. In many ways throughout the business we help with this.
  6. After sales marketing. Using our loyalty program you send targeted letters, emails, and direct mail to customers based on purchases and other criteria. We have several loyalty options.
  7. Payment integration. With integrated Eftpos you can un clutter the counter, streamline sales processing and make record keeping easier. Time and money saved.
  8. Reduced mistakes. Using our software you can cut paperwork and this cuts mistakes. You can rely on the software to advise sales data and thereby stop you buying products which are not selling. Good retailing begins with good buying.
  9. Better integration with suppliers. Thanks to the supplier links in our software you are able to give suppliers data in return for better deals. There are many case studies in our files of this working to the benefit of our retail customers. Good retailing begins with good buying.

Sunday retail management advice: don’t pay too much for POS software support

Here at Tower Systems, paying annual software support is optional. We want our POS software customers to pay to access support because they value it rather than because it is a tax imposed which must be paid for them to access the software.

Our support fees are transparent and consistent.

If you use other POS software, before you pay your bill check what others are paying. In one case recently one business was paying around $1,000 while another nearby using exactly the same software purchased at the same time was paying over $3,000. The second business was being grossly overcharged.

One way you can save money on POS software support is by shopping around.


Sunday retail business management tip: small steps matter

We often see small business retailers focus on grand plans, big moves they intend to make to lift their business. Our experience is that many small steps deliver a better result to a retail business and for a lower cost.

Using our retail management software, retailers are able to uncover and nurture small steps to growth in their business.

Every retail business has small steps they can take to drive traffic, achieve a better margin from products, get shoppers purchasing more, reducing wastage, reducing theft and more. Each of these alone done in a step step strategic way will compound on the other and deliver a greater than the sum of the parts benefit to the business.

Beyond its terrific POS software, Tower Systems helps retailers to see what they may be missing, to understand the opportunities for growth through a small steps strategy.

Leveraging our own retail experience and our intimate knowledge of what our software cal do, we can help retailers to lift their businesses through co-operative partnership.

Not all POS software companies are the sale. We’re here to help.


Bike shop software users to benefit from Tower Systems US retail tour insights

nybikesLearning from US bike retailers and how they engage with bike fans is one of the takeaways from Two weeks in the US for two Tower Systems executives. The trip culminated in almost a week in New York including attending the National retail Federation annual conference. While in New York at the conference and on the streets meeting with bike retailers, insights were shared that will help position tower Systems to further improve on its already popular and widely-used bike retail management software.

Using the Tower Bike Shop Software, retailers are able to manage warranties, track serial numbers, manage repairs and provide a whole of customer life experience and thereby drive (ride) more value for the business. Our intuitive bike shop software is world class as we have seen in this most recent overseas marketplace study.

For commercial reasons we will not share any comprehensive outcomes here as these are best deployed to our customers for their and our commercial advantage.


Comparing specialist bike shop software to Retail Manager from MYOB

The Tower Systems specialist bike shop software plays in a completely different field to MYOB’s Retail Manager software.  While both software packages offer Point of Sale facilities, only our software offers facilities which serve the needs of today’s specialist bike retailer.

MYOB’s Retail Manager is a successful mass market package and therefore remains generic in the services it provides.  This is how they keep their price down, by not offering specialist facilities.  It is a business model which has served them well.

We have gone the other way and created specialist bike shop software because we understand that this will help bike retailers make more money from their businesses.  Bike retailers can leverage our specialist facilities to drive revenue and build businesses of greater value for when they decide to sell.

Specialist bike retailers see themselves and quite different to mass merchant bike retailers.  One way of leveraging their specialist focus and services is through specialist bike shop software.  Those who don’t see their business as different opt for mass merchant software and miss an opportunity to drive their unique selling proposition at every opportunity.

Here are some of the bike shop specialist areas where our software is quite different to the generic MYOB and other software:

  • Loyalty marketing.  Bike customers are more valuable than the first tracking.  By tracking purchases through a robust loyalty management and marketing system, bike retailers using our Tower Systems software are able to extract greater value from each customer.
  • Text message customer communication.  Letting customers know when repairs are ready to be collected, special orders have arrived in-store and special offers are available helps better connect specialist bike retailers and their customers.  MYOB does not have these facilities.
  • Multi store facilities.  Centralised internet based multi store facilities.  What we offer beats the current MYOB offer hands down.
  • Supplier connection.  By connecting with key bike shop suppliers, processing electronic invoices and creating electronic orders, we are helping bike retailers cut labour costs.  This makes our software considerably more valuable than generic software when it comes to managing business payroll.
  • Theft management.  By connecting the bike shop software with a sophisticated security camera system, bike shop owners are able to leverage better management of the employee and customer theft risks.  This is another difference between generic POS software and our specialist bike shop software.
  • Serial number tracking.  A full service bike shop wants to provide a more professional and complete service to the mass merchants.  Serial number tracking is one such example.  This can help with insurance claims.  It can also ease the registering of the purchase with the manufacturer.
  • Repairs management.  Tracking a repair from when it is presented to when it is collected can be a real time saver for a bike shop.  Doing this work manually costs time and leads to mistakes.  MYOB offers no such facility.
  • Managing custom built products.  Being able to track the assembling of a number of items and labour into a saleable product is important for a specialist bike retailer.  MYOB cannot handle this.

Bike retailers who see their business as different to that of a mass merchant selling bikes prefer software which respects and supports their difference.  This is the Tower Systems AdvantageTM.


Bike shop software users benefit from enhanced loyalty facilities

The latest Bike Shop Software released by Australian POS software company Tower Systems delivers enhancements bike retailers will like including a completely fresh approach to receipts – enabling bike retailers to customise receipts beyond what has been traditional for POS software. These enhancements coupled with Lay-By developments, extended marketing tools and a raft of bike specific changes make this software a game change for bike retailers.

Bike shops competing with online need a solutions developed specifically for the high street retail situation. That;s what this latest Tower Systems Bike Shop Software is all about.


Bike shop software helps manage repairs

Item & Customer DetailsThe repairs management facilities in the Tower Systems bike shop software are an excellent example of the value of software personalised to a specific retail channel.

Developed by Tower Systems in consultation with bike retailers, the repairs management facilities are part of a suite of facilities developed specifically for bike retailers to enable them to provide specialised services that set them apart from online businesses – and thereby more effectively compete.

This screen shot shows one of the screens used by bike shop staff to track repairs and provide certainty of service.

Tracking in-house and externally undertaken repairs enables a bike shop to track in one place the details important to the repair, the customer and the business itself.

The Tower Systems bike shop software is widely used throughout Australian and New Zealand.


POS software Xero link helps retailers cut mistakes & save time

xerolinkThe  Tower Systems POS software / Xero accounting link is being embraced by more retailers.

Using the Xero link in our own retail businesses and having had it vetted and approved by our own Financial Controller, we can speak from experience about the value of the Xero link to a busy independent retail business.

This link cuts mistakes, eliminates workload and results in more timely and accurate accounting information.

Tower backs the link with training and live support. We also back it with access to our in-house accounting experts who can provide insights from their own use of the back end.

It’s our use of our software and Xero as retailers ourselves that really sets us apart.


Xero / POS software link moves to expanded beta release

The link between Xero and our Point of Sale software will benefit from advancement in our beta release program with another major retailer coming on board as they transition their business from MYOB or Xero accounting.

We have been using the link for some time in our own retail business under the guidance of our in-house CPA and in association with Xero, serving their QA requirements.

The expanded beta release brings us even closer to full commercial release and link between our software and the cloud based Xero accounting software.


Bike shop software users love access to Specialised inventory data

Bike retailers using our specialist bike shop software can rely on Tower Systems to make available access to more supplier stock files as well as electronic invoices.

Our work, for example, with Specialized where we are adding compliance to their requirements to our bike shop software shows we are expanding our offering.

Indeed, our commitment is we will provide a data feed link to any supplier we have a request for. This is how our work with Specialized came about.

With well over one hundred bike retailers using our bike shop software we are sure to have a solution for almost any bike retail situation.


Helping bike shop owners enjoy bike shop software

While the Tower Systems specialist bike shop software offers a points-based loyalty program, it also offers a more immediate loyalty option that will help your customers spend more each visit.

Called discount vouchers – but you can call it whatever you prefer – this program offers shoppers cash they can spend immediately or within a time period you stipulate.

You can compete with online with immediate rewards for those who shop with you.

Through software settings you determine the value of vouchers and rules around redemption that are best for your business.

You can expect between 12% and 30% of vouchers to be redeemed and up to 30% of redemptions to be on the day of the initial purchase. We have excellent data we can share with you where this is being used today.

If you have customers who visit once only or infrequently, expect discount vouchers to encourage them to spend more in their visit. This is why they are ideal for a bike shop.

We have seen one business increase average customer spend in a visit by 30% as a result of this program. We have seen another increase overall sales by 14% year on year.

Call today for a business discussion on how we can help your business for a few dollars a day for hardware, software, training and support:

  • VIC: Anthony Franklin 0403 189 379;
  • WA/SA: Tim Batt – 0401 833 917;
  • NSW/ACT/TAS: Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148;
  • QLD/NT: Paul Slater 0434 365 789..

Use discount vouchers immediately love how your customers react.

If you want to grow traffic and sales in your bike shop we can help.


Massive interest in shop floor POS solution drives POS software further

handyRetailers are responding with haste to the portable wireless shop floor POS terminal we launched earlier this year and just started talking abut here a week back. They love the portability, ease of use, warranty coverage and price. They also love that they have access to all our software through our Retailer Tablet Licence facilities thanks to our smart software integration.

Being retailers we have been able to test this product in a more proactive way than most software companies.

We are thrilled that retailers can open an additional retail lane easily, sell from the shop floor and undertake more work in the business without being tethered to the counter or back office.

The HP ElitePad is a true Retail tablet. This device is the perfect POS unit perfect for interacting with your customers on your shop floor. Containing an inbuilt 2D barcode scanner and additional battery allows you to work for hours without being tethered to your desk or counter. Included is a full licence and copy Retailer transforming this device into a full service computer allowing you to perform stock takes, invoice arrivals and returns live via your wireless network.


New Bike Shop software package helps bike retailers combat online

Tower Systems has just released a new Bike Shop Software package that is packed with facilities for helping bike retailers compete with online bike retailers. The new packaging comes with new competitive pricing to make it even easier for bike retailers to get bike shop specific software technology to ease the running of their business.

As the most widely used bike shop software in Australia and New Zealand, Tower Systems is positioned to leverage market knowledge and supplier connections for the benefit of new bike retailers joining its user community.

From the workshop to the sales floor to the e-commerce site to the management office, the Tower bike shop software helps bike retailers run more efficient and valuable retail businesses.


POS software Layaway LayBy features help retailers win this Christmas season

Retailers using The Tower Systems Point of Sale software have had access to LayBy / Layaway facilities for many years and over that time the facilities have been finessed in response to feedback.

Offering excellent flexibility for retailers who want to offer the Layaway / LayBy service, the Tower software handles all accounting and paperwork, making selling, payments and collection easy. It does it in a way that is professional and consistent – two important requirements when offering a Layaway / LayBy service.

It is this time of the year, Christmas time, when the facilities are put to the test with many collections being undertaken of pre-purchased Christmas gifts. Thanks to strong management facilities including excellent reporting, retailers using the Tower software are able to manage Layaways / LayBys with a minimum time investment. This helps the business make more from the opportunity.

The execution of the Layaway / LayBy facilities in the Tower Systems Point of sale software are another valuable differentiation for the company.


Tower Systems features in Bicycling Trade magazine

biketradeTower Systems features in a two page article on best practice bike POS software in the latest issue of Bicycling Trade magazine.

Our software is held up as a specialist solution for bike retailers in Australia and New Zealand. Our market share makes us the most widely used bike shop specifically developed for bike retailers.

We help bike retailer develop and run more successful retail and workshop businesses.


Bike shop software key to bike shop sales success

The latest bike shop software from Tower Systems will provide bike retailers with better specialist facilities with which to drive business efficiency and grow sales.

The latest enhancements to the Tower Systems bike shop software demonstrate the value of a bike shop channel and bike supplier connected software company as we deliver more of what smart bike retailers ask for as a result of our user-driven software enhancement program.

More and more bike retailers are looking for software solutions that help them bring back shoppers more often. The Tower Systems software does this in a measurable and powerful way. As the most widely used bike shop software in Australia, this software has with bike retailers need to help them combat online businesses and other start-up operations that are seeking to take away business from specialist bike retailers.

Tower Systems is committed to the bike retail marketplace by ensuring that its software provides up-to-date tools with which bike retailers can build even better businesses. Just as new bikes are released each season so is bike software enhanced each season. Anyone can develop POS software, it takes commitment, industry connections and financial investment to deliver the valuable bike shop software growing bike retailers in Australia and New Zealand need and want.

The latest bike shop software is moving to beta release this week.


Bike shop software a hit at Ausbike 2013 in Melbourne

Our bike shop software has been a hit at the Ausbike 2013 trade show in Melbourne. yesterday was the first day and was trade-only. The next two days are trade and public and typically we generate more good leads these days.

Day one was terrific for new leads as well as connecting with existing customers. As the bike shop  software company with more bike retailers than any other we’re in a strong position in this vitally important specialist retail channel.

Our bike shop is backed with live in-store training, live 24/7 support, webstore integration and specialist bike shop and workshop management facilities that are important to any competitive bike retailer.

We’re looking forward to the next two days.


Bike shop software ready for the Ausbike trade show

The latest Bike shop software is ready to go on show at the Ausbike 2013 trade show which commences this morning in Melbourne.

Bike shop owners will be able to see the most popular bike shop software in Australia in the Tower Systems stand. Plus they will be able to see how they can use this software and our webstore interface to compete with online bike retailers and improve customer service and engagement.

We’re excited for what is set to be a busy trade show.