Retailers loving cloud based POS software backup service

backupRetailers are loving the cloud based backup service launched by POS software company Tower Systems.

This new safer approach to backups offers retailers using the Tower software double protection with a local safe backup as well as a cloud based safe backup.

these backups are taken during the day without interruption to the business.’

retailers are able to reduce rostered hours as a result of embracing the new approach to backups. The net saving is considerable and the business as more backup protection for their all-important business data.

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POS software Xero link helping more retailers save time & money on business accounting

xerolinkThe direct link between the Tower Systems POS software and the cloud-based Xero accounting facility is being embraced by more retailers as they compare the benefits of Xero over MYOB.

Using the link ourselves 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.

The Tower Systems POS software / Xero link saves us time and money. It also facilitates data accuracy.

Tower backs the link with training and live personal 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.

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Sunday retail business management tip: use your POS software to balance your register

The end of shift balancing should take only a few minutes using the Tower Systems Point of Sale software.

Once you enter the count for each denomination of notes and coins you’re done and the software does the rest of the key work: banking sheets, business performance comparisons, sales by department and other reporting as may be selected by the business.

The Tower approach is deliberately safe for the retailer in that it reduces the opportunity for theft. It is also fast and structured – helping businesses breeze through the end of shift with speed and certainty.

Good POS software gets these every day tasks right from the outset.

This is our management tip today – use your POS software to guide and manage your end of shit process.

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Xero POS software interface interest encourages retailers

xerolinkOur soft launch here of our POS software / Xero cloud based accounting software interface is exciting plenty of retailers and their accountants. We have a growing group of existing and prospective new customers keen to leverage the link to help small independent retail businesses grow.

This week we have finalised documentation explaining the seamless POS software to Xero link and outlining the low-cost for access to it through our software.

We are very excited for the commercial release once we are through the current beta process.

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Tower Systems delivering Paypal payment option in another first

Tower Systems has been working with Paypal since last year on an innovative in-store payment option for small business retailers in the Tower Systems community. This work has resulted in an interface between the Tower Point of Sale software and a new consumer App being from Paypal.

Having passed tests, trials and rigorous acceptance testing, the next release of the Tower software will support Paypal as a method of over the counter payment for shoppers shopping in retail businesses using the Tower software.

This is genuine innovation that has come about as a result of professional development between Tower Systems and Paypal.

We are thrilled to be the partner chosen by Paypal for this work last year – giving Tower Systems customers a wonderful commercial advantage.

We will announce sign-up details shortly.

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Tower Systems offers POS software to Xero link

Tower Systems has been using a direct Tower POS software to Xero cloud-based accounting software link for weeks now. This new link has passed Xero acceptance testing.

The live use has been with one of our own retail businesses which we switched to Xero from MYOB for the testing.

The results have been excellent: considerable time savings and cost savings compared to the MYOB link.

Whereas we used a third party to facilitate sales data flow from our POS software to accounting software including Xero in recent years, this new link is direct and is available for a considerable cost savings to Tower customers.

We are still in beta release and anticipate full commercial release shortly. In advance of this we are adding bonus additional functionality to extend the benefit opportunities of the Tower Systems Xero link over the more traditional MYOB link.

Having our own retail stores and an in-house CPA has made it easier for us to get this POS software to Xero link right.

The innovation we are releasing with our Xero link demonstrate our commitment to ensuring the relevance of our product in a world of considerable change. Xero has become a leading accounting solution as a result of excellent software design and wonderful customer service. We have found the Xero team a delight to work with through this project.

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Where is the box for this? POS software helps retailers find the box!

packaginglocationRetailers using our smart POS software are able to have the software indicate on the sales screen when scanning an item where the box for the item is located in-store. This is invaluable at a busy sales counter and in a business where casual employees are used. It helps anyone at the counter find the box or pother packaging quickly and easily. It shows the business as being professional.

Our Point of Sale software has offered this facility for many years. It’s a tiny part of what our software does yet for some retailers that we do this is huge – tremendously valuable. It’s all about helping retailers save time. It’s also about helping them enjoy their businesses more. This function reduces stress.

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Ways small business retailers can refresh their view of their business

WARNING: This blog post has some crazy ideas you’d not expect from a POS software company.

In our work with small business retailers we often hear about burnout, retailers being tired and over the grind of opening the shop working all day, closing, getting little sleep and doing it all again. They are often too tired to be innovative in their approach to business.

Call us crazy but we have some ideas designed to help small business retailers reconnect with their businesses. They are unconventional. They are free. They are fun. They are designed to get you looking, hearing and smelling your business differently. They are designed to open your eyes to opportunities you may be missing.

Are you ready? Here are our unconventional ideas for refreshing your views of your small retail business – in the hope that you find opportunities you were not seeing.

  1. Go to your shop at night time. Leave the lights off. Put a chair on the middle of the shop floor. Sit down. Take your shoes and socks or stockings off. Put a blindfold on. Soak it up. What do you smell? What do you hear? Is there any sense of place that you get from being there.  Be still for fifteen minutes or so thinking about this. Breathe deeply. How does your shop smell? Does it have a smell? If not, why not? Then take the blindfold off and look around you for another fifteen minutes. Finally, get up – with your shoes and socks or stockings still off – and walk around the shop. Take in the environment you are in control of. Let the ideas flow. If you want to take it to a deeper level, lie down on the floor on your back and look up and around – kind of up-skirt your own shop while it’s empty!
  2. Get a stool or fold up chair, pack a lunch and spend at least three lunchtimes in a week sitting opposite the entrance to your shop watching customers. Don’t write anything down, just watch. Preferably do this without people noticing you. Wear a disguise if necessary. Watch intently. See where people go, what they pick up, what they buy if possible. Try and predict what they will do. Watch and think. Watch and think.
  3. Get a small desk and a sign for the desk that says CUSTOMER SERVICE. Place the desk near the front door of your shop. Set yourself up at the desk, sitting behind it. Dress formally, old school. Like in a 1950s movie preferably. Sit up straight. Look the part. Sit and wait and see what comes your way. Have fun interactive with customers. The desk should look out of place but it should also look fun. The idea is that your customers, your staff and you will be a bit shaken up by the change. See what comes your way.

We have more crazy ideas. These barely scratch the surface of the crazy idea cupboard. Just ask.

We’re here to help small business retailers create and run successful independent small local retail businesses. Our help goes beyond our software. Were retailers too and love being able to talk retail with anyone.

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How retailers can break free from the old school approach to loyalty and give shoppers loyalty rewards they love

Close to a year ago we started secretly experimenting with a completely fresh approach to shopper loyalty. For many months we had been working on our discount vouchers facility, evolving it from an idea into a robust solution backed by excellent reporting while at the same time maintaining support for our traditional points-based VIP card and other loyalty offerings in our Point of Sale software.

In discount vouchers we wanted to deliver something genuinely unique, something that our customers could use to guide shopper loyalty. To achieve this it needed to be sophisticated yet easy to use. It also needed to be easily understood by customers. Oh, and it needed to have obvious value in the hands of shoppers. Finally, we need to undertake the final phase of development while it was being used in retail, so we could respond to retailer and shopper feedback.

While we knew the value of the old-school points-based VIP cards was falling rapidly since they no longer offered a point of difference, we committed to maintaining our support for this approach for those retailers who wanted to remain in this space.

Today, close to a year on from our first trial site, we are thrilled with the results achieved by discount vouchers – or whatever retailers call them … yes, they can give them their own name thanks to naming flexibility in the software. Also a year on, no one has delivered what we have. Sure they have tried, even explicitly saying they have what we have. but they don’t. What we have is unique because it can’t be copied by looking at it from the outside.

Deep within our software retailers partnering with us have options they can set to deliver shopper rewards through discount vouchers that are truly unique to their business even if a retailer nearby is running the same software from us. This is the beauty of the flexibility and power we have built into the software. Settings are personal to each business and they can be changed easily and immediately. This provides retailers with flexibility. They can also change by day and by type of shopper. Indeed, the flexibility and power multiply with each layer of flexibility that we provide.

So, how can retailers using a points based system break free? With our PSO software it’s easy. They can convert points to a voucher value from and from then on run with the vouchers. Or, they can use both. Retailers have the flexibility they want at their fingertips.

Tower Systems backs its exclusive and best-practice shopper loyalty solutions with mature and considered advice to help retailers make the most of the opportunities – to drive shopper traffic and sales. Our experience as retailers helps us take retailers bend technical advice. We have a loyalty rewards specialist in our help desk who helps our retailers embrace the opportunity in these facilities inn our software.

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Why we believe in small business retail here at Tower Systems

We are often asked why our Point of Sale software company prefers to deal with small business retailers rather than big groups.

To focus only on small and independent retailers is a decision we made when we started this business.  It is a decision we are happy we continue to embrace today.

Here at Tower Systems we have made and continue to make a conscious choice to serve small business retailers.  While our Point of Sale software can be used by retail businesses of any size, it is in the small business retailer community where we are most comfortable.

So, why do we like small business retailers?

This is a question we confronted recently in a business review where we took some time for introspection about who we are, what we do and why we do what we do.

We believe in small business.

Small business retailers play a vital economic role, often punching above their weight in terms of economic contribution.

Small business retailers play an even more important social role, holding, sharing and even adding to the narrative of communities around the world as well as providing practical support for community based endeavours.

Small business retailers help local shoppers with a level of personal service which leads to better buying decisions.

Small businesses support the community and uphold what is important locally.

Small businesses are more likely to share valuable knowledge with shoppers and even browsers than a much bigger competitor.

It is this community connection and support which we feel is vital to the contribution small businesses make to Australia.

We like these points, especially that small businesses and small business retailers in particular are more likely to uphold and carry forward local customs, beliefs and stories.  Small businesses support the local voice.

Small businesses are important because they push back on globalisation and the risk of dilution of the local voice to a whisper.

Whereas with big business retailers shoppers are dealing with a person representing a corporation and focused on the goals of the corporation, in small business you are dealing with the owner or someone very close to the owner, reflecting the personal and connected nature of the business and the local community in which its serves.

We also feel that we can contribute more by working with small business retailers.  We are happy with our track record in this regard since starting in business in 1981.

As of today, we serve in excess of 2,500 small business retailers.  Each is as important to us as the other.  We love their differences, characters and what they teach us about many different retail businesses.

We enjoy serving small businesses and remaining a small business ourselves – yes, we are a small software company when you consider the likes of MYOB.

Being small and focused on small and independent retailers is where we think we can actively contribute and do the most good.

The value of a business is not only about financial performance.  It is also about the social contribution of the business.  In our view, this is more important as it is the foundation of communities.

There was a time when small was almost considered a dirty word in business.  Not anymore.  This is the time of small business.  It is a niche in which many of us choose to remain and make a difference.  It is a place of profitable businesses and businesses making a genuinely valuable economic and social contribution.

In addition to our passion for small businesses, we have a passion for helping retail channels benefit from technology.  We feel that we can help create greater success and enjoyment … but we will leave that sales pitch for another day.

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Free online POS training loved by retail employees

We have started receiving feedback from retail employees who are tapping into the online training we launched last week through our Training Academy. Thanks for letting me learn at home one retail employee said.  This is great, I love the opportunity to develop my skills said another.

In developing the training our goal has been to create training that is accessible by content and by access point. Our content is highly targeted to each task and work area in a retail business. We have specialist training for each of our retail niches too: newsagents, jewellers, gift shops, bike retailers, garden centres etc.  Our content is accessible in that any computer with internet access can access the training.

Accessing the training is free for retailers and their employees.

The training program has been put together and is fronted by Mike Hill – our Customer Service Manager and an expert in the best use of our software in any retail situation.

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The value of our own retail businesses

We are grateful that own four retail businesses in which we can play with our POS software, in advance of distribution of our beta pool customers.

Having our own different retail businesses in which to play is a commercially valuable point of difference for us, one we exploit to deliver better software to our customers.

For some weeks now we have been playing with new software designed to provide our retail customers with a fresh competitive advantage. We are able to play and tweak, ensuring that what we ultimately deliver is technical, operationally and business bottom-line superior.

Our experience in owning retail businesses for seventeen years is that testing first in our own businesses is bette than relying on the beta release pool of customers.

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Building the total bookshop POS software package

We entered the bookshops software space late, years late in fact.  Our attention was elsewhere while other software companies made the bookshop software space their own. Now, having been invited to the table, we have made it our business to develop bookshop management software of which we can be proud and which our customers can enjoy with pride.

We are enjoying learning more about the operation of bookshops, especially some unique services they provide to customers. Indeed, these customer service learnings are helping us in other marketplaces.

We appreciate the time being given to us by bookshops and some bookshops suppliers as we continue to evolve our software. We are several updates in and already the results are evident through customer satisfaction and pride among our team. We are building something really good here, something of which we can certainly be proud.

Our next bookshop software will be out in a couple of weeks.

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Title Page integration in bookshop software helps book retailers

Title Page is a terrific facility for book retailers, especially given that it is available from within our bookshop management software.  Our accessibility to Title Page is appreciated by bookshop staff working at the counter who need to access the valuable information Title Page manages.

Using our bookshop management software retailers are able to transact sales, place orders, handle special requirements and manage returns – all in a bookshop specific way. We have enhances this version of our software considerably in recent months thanks to wonderful insights from a group of book retailers who were very giving of their time.

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Integrating with Global Books In Print

From within our software, our bookshop customers have access to the Global Books In Print facility. This is an invaluable resource for book retailers and delivering this access made plenty of our book retailer customers most happy.

Using our bookshop management software retailers are able to transact sales, place orders, handle special requirements and manage returns – all in a bookshop specific way. We have enhances this version of our software considerably in recent months thanks to wonderful insights from a group of book retailers who were very giving of their time.

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Book shop software update out this week

The latest enhancements to our book shop software will be released later this week to our growing community of book shop retailers. This latest software delivers even more specialist book shop requirement integration. The development project is part of a longer-term project to serve independent and group book retailers, to help them drive efficiency, shopper loyalty and the quality of business decisisons.

Our in-house software development team has created the latest enhancements in close consultation with existing customers.

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Book shop software enhancements set for delivery

Following close with with book shop retailers we are barely a week away from the release of further enhancements to our book shop software.

The latest enhancements deliver an ever better customer service experience, empowering book shop employees to provide a level of personal and over the counter service which which separates the business from the online experience.

To be installed next week, this latest release of our book shop software will add value to our software and the businesses using it. It will also show off how we work with our customers, listening to their evolving needs and serving these through enhancements to our retail management software.

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Book shop software enhanced

We have released an update to our bookshop software delivering access to several new facilities for book retailers. The latest book shop software release includes enhanced TitlePage integration alone with other enhancements.

With more bookshops using our book shop software and therefore more users fro  which to draw ideas and suggestions we are looking forward to expanding software update plans.

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New software for bookshops

We are in the middle of releasing a series of updates to our Point of Sale software for bookshops, updates which deliver best-practice facilities for bookshops which are focused on delivering wonderful customer service at the sales counter which providing valuable and time-saving benefits at the business back end.

With an expanding trial of the new facilities under way, we are enjoying terrific feedback that is guiding this considerable software development project. The result will be better bookshop software, helping book retailers proudly add value to the retail shop book purchasing experience.

We have stand alone book shops as well as newsagents using our book software for this part of their business.

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