POS software knowledge base continues to evolve

Every week we add and revise content at our POS software knowledge base. This work is on-going as we expand the range of self-serve resources available to our growing customer base.

We let our customers know about changes inner weekly email. Here are some of the changes delivered in the last few days.

  • Retailer 2.7.2 Update Notes
  • New PC / Windows Configuration – Operating System Configuration
  • Stocktaking In Retailer 2.6.1 Onwards
  • Performing A Full Store Stocktake In Retailer 2.6.1 Onwards
  • Performing A Spot Stocktake In Retailer 2.6.1 Onwards
  • Performing A Custom Stocktake In Retailer 2.6.1 Onwards

This list is not complete by any means as we do not want to give too much away here for competitive reasons.

We take care with our knowledge base as it is the one location for all user-facing knowledge about our software. It drives consistency in help desk advice and ensures all of our customers have access to common advice and guidance.

We can tell from usage stats the topics that are of most value and this information guides further enhancement.

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Another way Tower Systems helps small business retailers

On our website we offer free and open access to marketing collateral small business retailers can use to promote their businesses to the local community. This is another example of service beyond our POS software company.

We are proud to help small business retailers more successfully compete in their local community. Here is a screen shot of the free marketing tools page of our website.

Screen Shot 2016-11-19 at 9.13.49 AM

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What are reasonable small business retail benchmark goals?

Benchmarks are vital in every retail business. They provide the business performance goals to aim for, target of aspiration.

In our work with small business retailers beyond our smart POS software we often help with benchmark suggestions. We offer the as a starting point, to guide.

While the data points are common, the numbers can vary by retail channel.

Here are benchmark data points and the values we have suggested to transforming newsagency business owners – these are hybrid businesses that are part newsagency, part toy shop, part gift shop. See what you think:

BENCHMARK GOALS

I am often asked for benchmark goals newsagents ought to aim for. Here are some benchmarks I have developed in my work with newsXpress and through Tower Systems:

  1. Gross profit: this is the goal gross profit for all product sales not taking into account any revenue or costs related to any agency business. The traditional newsagency average sits at 28% to 32%. For a newsagency focused on the future, the goal has to be at least 45%.
  2. Ratio of Gift revenue to Card revenue: 50% minimum. The goal ought to be 100% or more. If you do $100K a year in cards, target to do $100K in gifts, or more.
  3. Revenue per employee – $250 an hour minimum not including agency revenue.
  4. Revenue PSQM $4,500 – $8,500 depending on country vs. city / high street to shopping centre and depending of product mix. Higher GP lower revenue required.
  5. Overall revenue mix percentage targets: Cards: 25%; Gifts/toys/plush: 25%; Stat: 10%; magazines/newspapers: 20%; other: 15%.
  6. FLOORSPACE ALLOCATION: Cards: 25%; Gifts/toys/plush: 25%; Stat: 8%; magazines/newspapers: 15%; other products: 15%; office/back room / counter: 12%. It’s rare you make money from an office or store room.
  7. Mark-up goals: Stationery: 125%; Gifts 110%; plush: 110%.
  8. Occupancy cost: between 9% and 11% of revenue where revenue is product revenue plus commission from agency lines. Location and situation are a big factor in this benchmark. For example, a large shopping centre business will have a higher cost than a high street situation.
  9. Labour cost: between 9% and 11% of revenue where revenue is product revenue plus commission from agency lines. Labour cost should include fair market costs for all who work in the business. (See above).

We are sharing these benchmark goals here as a guide for other retailers to contemplate appropriate numbers for the measurement points for their businesses.

Tower Systems is not your average POS software company. We engage beyond the software, to help our small business retail partners to run more successful and enjoyable businesses.

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40 Christmas marketing ideas for any independent retail business anywhere

Tower Systems works with more than 3,500+ small business retailers in speciality retail niches including jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, gift shops, newsagents, pet shops, adult shops and more. We offer these ideas as our Christmas gift to you.

  1. Make it easy. People often talk about how hard Christmas is. Be the local business that makes it easy. The ways to do this are with easy Lay-By, free wrapping, better shop floor help, guide buying advice or tips on perfect gifts no one else will think of. Consider making Christmas easy as being a key part of your messaging.
  2. Be thrilled people are in your shop. Your personal smile or greeting is something they may not see in a big business where employees are less invested in each shopper and where the owner is usually thousands of kilometers away.
  3. Make the giving easy. If people purchase items from you to send somewhere else. Offer a one-stop shop. Save them the trip to the post office.
  4. Make the shop less about Christmas. Consider pulling back on the Christmas visual noise. Go for something simple, muted, respecting the season but making a calm statement. Consider declaring the shop a Christmas carol free zone – not because you hate carols but because you want to help customers take a break.
  5. Help people rest and recharge. Create a Christmas shopping rest and recovery zone. Offer free tea, coffee, water and something to eat. Encourage people to take a break in your shop – without any obligation for them to spend money with you.
  6. Let your customers help each other. Setup a whiteboard or sheets of butcher’s paper, yes keep it simple. Get customers to write gift suggestions under different age/gender groups. For example: Girls 18 – 25, Boys 55+. Encourage your customers to help each other through their suggestions.
  7. Make price comparison difficult. If you sell items people are likely to price compare with other businesses, package them so price comparison is not easy. Put items into a hamper as a perfect Boy 8 to 12 bundle for example. Or offer the item with pre packages services if appropriate for an item.
  8. Less is more.  The stack em high watch em fly mantra can be wrong. Indeed, it is often wrong in retail. Shoppers can be store blind because a shop is too full or a display is too busy. Consider creating simpler less cluttered displays and window promotions. Draw attention to what you want people to see by promoting that one thing. Every time someone asks if you have something that you think through should be able to find easily – take it as a challenge for you to address rather than a commentary on a facility of the customer.
  9. Change. Christmas season in your shop should evolve. Major change weekly is vital for people to see what you have that they could buy.
  10. Be socially engaged. On Facebook, Instagram, twitter and elsewhere, be the calm voice, the person people enjoy reading or seeing photos from. Provide entertainment this Christmas rather than the usual retailer shrill of come and shop here!
  11. Be community minded. Choose a local charity or community group to support through Christmas. Consider: a change collection tin at the counter; a themed Christmas window display; promotion on your social media pages; a donation to their work; a collection point for donations from customers.
  12. Facilitate sharing stories. Find space in your shop for customers to share their Christmas stories. It could be a story wall inside or in front of the shop. This initiative encourages storytelling by locals and better connects the business with the community.
  13. Award a prize at a local school. Fund a year-end prize at a local school. Attend a school assembly to award the prize. Work with the school leadership on a prize appropriate to your business.
  14. VIP preview. Host a VIP shopper preview night when you show off your Christmas ranges ahead of being available to the general shoppers. Respect and reward your local shoppers with deals and the opportunity to preview ahead of others.
  15. Leverage Christmas traffic. Encourage the Christmas shopper traffic surge in after Christmas. Give them a reason to come back. A coupon promotion or a discount voucher on receipts could be the enticement to get shoppers back in-store. Note: the Tower POS software produces discount vouchers to rules you establish.
  16. Become a gallery. Work with a school, kindergarten, community group or retirement village to bring in local art for people to come and see through Christmas. A small space commitment can drive traffic from family and friends of those with art on show.
  17. Dress the shop. Fully embrace Christmas. Create a Christmas experience such that shoppers know they have stepped into somewhere special this Christmas. Go for more than some tinsel and a tree. Fully embrace the opportunity.
  18. Make your shop smell like Christmas.
  19. Send cards. Send Christmas cards early in the season to suppliers, key customers and local community groups. This connects you with Christmas. Invite all team members to sign each card.
  20. Host a Christmas party. For shops nearby. You are all in the season together – let your hear down before things get crazy.
  21. Ensure you have gifts targeted at occasions. For example: Kris Kringle, by price point and by recipient. Make it easy for people to know what they could give.
  22. Stocking stuffers. At your counter always have one or two stocking stuffers for impulse purchase.
  23. Offer gift vouchers – for someone to give when they are not sure what to give.
  24. Be local. Ensure you have a selection of locally sourced products available for purchase. Make it clear in-store that these products are sourced locally.
  25. Tell stories. On your Facebook page, talk about what is important to you at Christmas. Personalise the season and deepen the connection with those who could shop with you.
  26. Offer a free gift. Bulk purchase an item to offer those who spend above a set amount. For example, spend $65 and receive XX where XX may have cost $5.00 but could have a perceived value of $20.00.
  27. Keep it fresh. Every week make significant change to your Christmas displays and promotions to keep your offer fresh.
  28. Share Christmas recipes. Each week for, say, four weeks, give customers a family Christmas recipe. This personalises Christmas in your business, creates a talking point and makes shopping with you different to your bigger competitors.
  29. Free wrapping. Sure, many retailers offer this. Make your offer better, more creative and more appreciated.
  30. This is essential in any business. Manage it through your computer system with strict rules.
  31. Work the floor. Increase time on the shop floor. Be present to manage shopper flow and to facilitate purchases.
  32. Christmas is crazy busy I most retail situations. Give yourself and your team members sufficient time to recharge so the smile greeting shoppers is heartfelt.
  33. Keep a secret. If yours is a business selling gifts a partner may purchase for their loved-one, create some mystery with a closed off display for the shopper to see the products.
  34. Free assembly. If you sell items that require assembly. Offer to do this for free.
  35. Free delivery. Offer free Christmas Eve delivery for items purchased for kids for Christmas.
  36. Sell training. Leverage the specialist knowledge you have in your business by selling as gifts places at classes you run sharing your expertise.
  37. Hold back. Don’t go out with everything you have for Christmas all at once. Plan the season to show off what you have as the season unfolds. This allows you multiple launches.
  38. Share a taste. Regardless if your type of business, bake a family recipe of Christmas cake, Christmas pudding or Christmas biscuits and offer tastings to shoppers on select days. This personalises the experience in your shop.
  39. Offer hampers. Package several items together and offer them as a hamper. Time-poor shoppers could appreciate you doing this work for them. We have seen this work in many different retail situations.
  40. Buy X get Y. Encourage people to spend more with a volume based deal. Pitched right, this could get customers purchasing items for several family members in order to get the price offer you have. Use your technology to manage this.

Christmas is the perfect time to plan for next year. It is the time to do everything possible to leverage bonus Christmas traffic to benefit your business through next year.

Tower Systems offers Point of sale / retail management software tailored for your specific type of retail business. Our software can help you leverage Christmas traffic for year-long benefits.

We provide you with loyalty facilities that are fresh and small-business focussed, loyalty facilities through which you can pitch a point of difference compared to big business competitors.

One of our retail experts can help:

  • VIC/TAS – Mike Hill .. 0423 848 482;
  • NSW/ACT – Nathan Morrison .. 0417 568 148;
  • SA/WA – Tim Batt .. 0401 833 917;
  • QLD – Justin Randall .. 0434 365 789.
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More Xero skilled accountants list with our POS software co.

Tower Systems is grateful that more accountants have provided their details for including on our website where we list the details of xero skilled accountants.

Connecting our small business retail customers with Accountants skilled in xero helps our customers and helps the growing bro community.

As Xero users ourselves we understand the value of working with like-minded service providers. Xero is innovative and time-saving. We are thrilled to have made the switch for our own shops and to be accessing the benefits we pitch to our sales prospects.

Using our POS software and the Xero add-on, our customers are able to easily, seamlessly and in the background share data between the POS and Xero, reducing bookkeeping costs, improving data accuracy and feeding more informed business decisions. This is a win for our customers.

Not all POS software companies are approved to partner with Xero. This can lead those not approved to be critical of Xero. Those of us in the room are grateful for the recognition and support of the company as we help retailers to pursue more efficient and successful businesses.

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Tower Systems helps local small business retailers with free shop local marketing collateral

LocalPosters2015_Page_3POS Software company Tower Systems is helping small and independent local retailers to promote the support of local retailers through an innovative campaign of collateral created by the company for its retailers.

We are thrilled to be investing our creative resources in support of our retailer partners in this way.

This artwork is part of a series we developed in-house through our amazingly creative marketing team to give our retailers different voices and platforms through which to pitch their shop local credentials.

This is another Tower AdvantageTM.

More free collateral is available on the Tower website.

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How discount vouchers help small business retailers beat big business at loyalty

This is a personal story about small business retail and the value achievable from a smarter and more customer respectful approach to rewarding loyalty … but in a different way, a way that is counterintuitive in that it front-ends the approach.

Here is our story…

I want to share with you a true story of what happened recently in my own retail business. It is a story of how a small everyday purchase led to something bigger and how this happened as a result of fundamental changes in how the business is run.

While this story is about what happened in my newsagency, it could happen in any type of business. This newsagency, by the way, is not your typical newsagency. Close to 70% of what we sell is non traditional. It is high margin higher price point items that sit at the core of this unique business.

At its core, this is a story about shopper loyalty, especially shopper loyalty in a retail situation where between 25% and 30% of shoppers visiting the business are not local and therefore not likely to engage with the old-school points-based loyalty program.

A customer passing the shop noticed our greeting card range and stepped into make a purchase because of a specific need. They purchased two cards. On their receipt was a voucher for almost $2.00. As they are not usually in the shopping centre they looked around for something in which to spend the $2.00.

This is the key: the customer came in to make a quick destination purchase. The type of business we were did not matter. They were on the way to the car park and happened to pass buy our shop. Point 1: location is in our favour. The stepped in because they saw our greeting cards. Point 2: the floor placement of cards was key in getting them in the shop.

Having made the purchase, the customer then noticed, for the first time, what else we sold – because of the $2.00 discount voucher on their receipt. Point 3: we got them to look around and see what else we sold.

The customer did a 180 degree turn and saw a locked glass cabinet of beautiful collectible bears. This was in the right place at the right time as they had been looking for a gift for a child. Money was not an issue. They wanted something to last a lifetime. They purchased a $500.00 bear.

This purchase would not have been made had they not been given the $2.00 voucher on their receipt. The voucher is what got them to notice what else we sold.

Fast forward several weeks and this customer who said they don’t usually come to the shopping centre was back for another $500.00 purchase. Now, several more weeks later, the customer has another $500.00 order placed.

I can directly trace more than $1,500.00 in sales back to the $2.00 voucher.

The software produced the voucher based on rules I established. The initial staff member serving the customer made a brief professional pitch highlighting the voucher. These are both important factors as they are at the core of a structured consistent approach to what has become the most lucrative loyalty program I have seen in my 30+ years involved in retail as a retailer myself and working with retailers in many different channels.

While most times vouchers are handed out they are not redeemed, they are redeemed enough to make them worthwhile. They are redeemed for good margin product as they get people looking at the shop for the first time and discovering items to purchase they were not in our four walls to consider.

The discount vouchers are disruptive and this is why I love them. People respond in unpredictable ways.

Best of all, the discount vouchers are profitable.

For this story to work in any retail business you need to have the right products, placed strategically in-store. Your employees need to make the right pitch. Plus, you need to be attracting people who don’t know and probably don’t care what shop they are in.

Tower Systems offers not only excellent software but also the business acumen, experience and drive to help you make the most of the opportunities in the software.

From points on a purchase to buy X and get Y FREE to Discount Vouchers, the Tower software offers flexibility in loyalty offerings that enable you to make the pitch right for your business to bring shoppers bag to spend more than might usually be the case.

Mark Fletcher, managing Director. Tower Systems. M: 0418 321 338.

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Delivering a POS software help desk experience retailers love

How can small business retailers be sure they POS software company they choose will deliver the support they need to get the best value from the software?

This is a tough question because too often you will not know if a customer service experience is working for you until you are well into using it.

Here is how POS software company Tower Systems has structured its business to deliver personal service small business retailers love. We say love because of the retention numbers of Tower customers over many years.

Here is what we strive for and deliver in our POS software help desk experience:

  1. Personal service. No scripts. Our help starts with a conversation.
  2. Accessible service. No waiting days for a call back. We are here, in the moment, when you need.
  3. Follow up. Advice is followed up with an email with supporting material to help beyond the call.
  4. Escalation. If you want to take the call outside the help desk we are happy to do this.
  5. Management access. To anyone. At any time.
  6. Democracy. Software update content is voted on by our customers.
  7. Transparency. Through social media we are accountable to our customers.
  8. Freebies. Weekly live training, one on one training … added value often.

Through these things and more we are grateful for opportunities to serve our customers with personal service.

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More retailers are embracing omnichannel retailing with Tower Systems

We were thrilled to see another retailer turn on a beautiful website connected to our POS software tidy as the next step in their well-considered omnichannel retail strategy.

We are glad to be part of this journey. Directly, too … not relying on another web company to do the work.

The depth of skill in our POS snd web development teams and the vision of the leadership of these teams enables us to deliver the type of solution we have delivered today.

We are proud of another win for small business retail and proud to be leading more to genuine 24/7 trading through beautiful POS software integrated websites.

Our web portfolio is brimming.

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Customer appreciation is appreciated by the POS software help desk

We are thrilled with notes from customers over the last couple of weeks. here is  small selection:

  1. I just wanted to send you a little note about one of your support staff – Trav. Trav is very helpful, easy to talk to, returns calls and is a pleasure to deal with him. We always get great service from him. (That’s not to say that we don’t get good service from the rest of the team but I just thought Trav deserved a mention).
  2. Hi Mark, Just a quick email, I am guessing you may have heard about the huge amount of problems I have, maybe not. Well they have upset the whole works and I have been beside myself with only two years in. I hear of people who have negative things to say but never good, so hence my email, there have been numerous helpers but to date I would sincerely like to acknowledge the efforts of Travis and Michael, they stuck in there and with me and at no time did I feel or be made feel that I was a nuisance, as sometimes you hear the undertone in a voice but in fact they tried to humour me as I was getting upset, so please pass on my gratitude to them as they worked so hard to make things right.
    Thankyou
  3. This from a supplier we helped get data from one business to another business: Just wanted to drop you a note to sincerely thank you.  As a result of your support we were able to minimise any disruption to these customers in what were fairly unusual circumstances.
  4. Hi Mark, I have been wanting to do this for some time……& just never get around to it….so today is the day. I just wanted to comment about how fabulous the above staff member is to deal with.(not suggesting they all aren’t). He is always patient, helpful, always ready to get to the bottom of the problem & always up for a very quick giggle about something that has happened in our day !! I love dealing with him.
  5. Wow you guys are amazing. Thank you so much for your help. I am glad we changes software to Tower Systems. Thank you thank you.

Customer service is important to us. Every day we talk to several hundred small business retailers and employees. Each contact is as important as the other.

We are grateful for the opportunity to be of service.

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Accessibility is key to good small business POS software support

Hi My name is Mark Fletcher. I am the owner of Tower Systems. My mobile number is 0418 321 338. My email is mark@towersystems.com.au.

The best was for a POS software company to demonstrate its commitment to accessibility of help for its customers is for the owner of the company to share their contact details.

This is what we do at Tower Sys6ems. In our correspondence. On our website. In our weekly customer email.

By demonstrating accessibility to the owner of the company we set the tone for accessibility throughout the company.

Small business owners and team members appreciate the personal. Retail is personal after all. We appreciate the personal here too. That is why our team members use real names and engage in real conversations.

Being real, being personal is key to a good POS software customer service experience.

Here is a video we shot in house about being personal in the context of POS software and what we do here at Tower Systems:

This video is another example of open and accessible communication. We have a large library of videos available for our customers to assist with training and business advice. The videos help our customers get more value from their relationship with us.

Our approach to being accessible is a differentiator for us. We are thrilled to be able to offer this to our customers.

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Helping accountants find small business retail customers

We have been helping Xero skilled accountants and small business retailers using Xero connect as part of our integrated Xero POS software engagement.

Through a free listing on our website and in our weekly email communication to our customers, we are happy to list accountants with terrific Xero skills. This is how the Xero community works – people passionate about this wonderful accounting software supporting each other to bring more to the community.

We use Xero ourselves in our own businesses. We love it.

Here is a note we sent to Accountants recently as part of this project:

Help us help small business retailers find good accountants.

We are grateful to serve 3,500+ with our POS software for: gift shops, jewellers, toy shops, fishing/outdoors shops, pet shops, garden centres/nurseries, bike shops, produce stores, firearms shops and newsagents.

We are a Xero partner, having integrated our POS software with Xero.

We also use Xero for retail shops we own and run. We operate these businesses so we can walk in the shoes of our customers.

We want to help small business retailers find Xero skilled accountants. We have a page on our website where we list this. We also include the list in our weekly customer email. Click here to see this week’s email.

To be included on our list, please email me your details. There is no cost, no obligation. Our sole objective here is to help small business retailers find Xero skilled accountants.

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Practical POS software help for small business retailers

Show don’t tell. This is the best way to sell in retail. Retailers who have staff on hand to show customers how to use a product can expect better sales results from showing rather than telling.

This is why retailers in homewares stores set tables for seasons and dinners. It is why toy shows have toys out for kids to play with. It is why garden centre create beautiful gardens for people to aspire too.

Here at Tower Systems we believe in show don’t tell too.

We host weekly online training workshops that are live, interactive and engaging.

Our topics are small business compatible. We focus on business outcomes that small business retailers will love based on the feedback they have given us.

In the coming weeks we are running a series of workshops that will deliver excellent outcomes to retailers by offering practical help and support in ways they can use the software to differentiate their businesses.

This is where we are genuinely different.

  1. We are consistent in running these free workshops.
  2. In the workshops we show how to do something rather than telling about it.
  3. We take questions.
  4. We let our customers guide the training.
  5. Plus we provide after training follow-up and feedback opportunities.

We are grateful to customer support that encourages our business building training for without their support we would have o attendees and that would see us stop running the sessions.

That we continue to deliver these opportunities years after we announced them is all down to our wonderful customers.

Life is good.

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Small business retail management advice: custom stock takes eliminate the annual stock take

The annual stock take is not necessary in small business retail. Thanks to smart custom stock take facilities and tight inventory management made easy, POS software company Tower Systems makes it easy for small business retailers to change their approach to stock take forever.

  1. Save time by eliminating the annual stock take.
  2. Save money by eliminating the annual stock take.
  3. Improve inventory accurate by eliminating the annual stock take.
  4. Cut shopper theft by eliminating the annual stock take.
  5. Cut employee theft by eliminating the annual stock take.

Tower Systems has been actively engaged with retailers, accountants and the tax office on this project and the result is a beautiful approach to stock take in small business retail the improves the shopper experience. It also provides valuable small time frame tasks for employees to do on the shop floor that help the business improve and employees know more.

Thanks to use of proprietary tags and other smart tools, the custom stock take facilities in the Tower Systems software are revolutionary, in a good way and in a time saving way.

Our advice for small business retailers today is to eliminate the annual stock take. replace it with the more efficient and business friendly approach.

The Tower Systems software continues to offer full stock take facilities as well as other stock take options. However, the custom stock take facility is the most valuable in terms of category management, supplier management and time management in any retail business.

Retailers can choose how and when to stock take. The tags facility in the Tower Systems software takes the custom stock take options to a new height. Tags are a genuine differentiator.

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Small business retailers loving the POS software e-commerce workshops

IMG_0131We are grateful for the opportunity to meet with many small business retailers around Australia over the last two weeks for our POS software e-commerce workshops.

The support for the sessions has been terrific as has been the discussion.

We demonstrated how our POS software links seamlessly to Shopify and Magento as well as other platforms. We also showed live how to create a Shopify site – empowering small business retailers to have more control over their online presence.

Providing a stable in-store platform from which to populate a website, the Tower Systems software can play a key role in helping small retailers get online in a cost effective way. This enhances the value and relevance of their POS software investment.

By doing all of this in-house from Tower we are not bouncing our customers to an external business that may not understand our customers as such as we do.

The free workshops are part of our commitment to delivering continuous learning opportunities to our small business retail partners.

The photo was taken toward the end of our Sydney session last week.

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Enhancements in Tower Systems small business retail management software

The latest release of the Tower Systems POS software includes more than 130 changes with the majority of these suggested by users looking to evolve the software they use as they evolve their own businesses.

Our democratic and transparent process for considering software enhancements is paying off for our customers and for us as we work together to ensure our software evolves with customer businesses.

Here are headline enhancements in the latest update:

Layby Receipts
This new feature brings our Layby Receipts into line with the recently revamped Sale and Invoice Receipts. The new format contains clearer and more discernible information as well as the ability to customize. We have also made sure the new receipts meet any TRS requirements.

As part of this work we have also added Layby Notes which will allow users to add notes on a per item basis for use in things such as storage locations.

Eftpos Receipts
This new feature allows users to prompt for receipt printing for sales where EFTPOS was used as the payment type. This is an optional setting and is available for those using our integrated EFTPOS platform with Tyro, DPS, PC EFTPOS etc.

Enhanced Shopify Website Integration
This new feature gives users a tight link between Retailer and their Shopify based Webstore. Including integration of Stock, Customers, Sales and Product Images. The key feature is the time saving of not having to double entries in multiple platforms.

Special Customer Orders
As a result of extensive customer feedback and Software Ideas submissions we have made further improvements to the Special Customer Orders module to provide a cleaner and more coherent approach. For a detail list of the changes made to Special Customer Orders please see below.

Multi-Store Ordering, Order by Sales and Multi-Store Transfers
As a result of extensive customer feedback and Software Ideas submissions we have made significant improvements to these modules to provide a cleaner and more coherent and retailer friendly approach. For a detailed list of the changes made to Multi-Store Ordering please see below.

Custom Menus
Users now have the ability to show which items show in the Customer menu and the Payment menu. For example if you wanted to only show the Pay Specific Invoice and the Pay Layby options all the others can be easily hidden. This feature can be accessed by double clicking on the blue menu bar at the top on the menu screen.

All Tower customers are being advised the full site of enhancements in advance of them deciding if they would like the update installed for their business.

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Five ways small business retailers are better off using Tower Systems POS software

Of course we would say small business retailers are better off using the Tower Systems POS software. We are Tower Systems and so you would expect us to back our own product.

But our claim is more than marketing spin. The claim has its roots in what we stand for as a business, it has its roots in our relentless support of small business retailers.

We only sell our POS software to small business retailers. We serve well over 3,000 of them. We are growing. Our commitment is in our own numbers.

So, considering these points, here are Five ways small business retailers are better off using Tower Systems POS software … based on what small business retailers tell us they love about our software and about us.

  1. Our help is live, based on a conversation, 100% focused on you and your business.  Too often POS software companies situate their help desks offshore and they run them using scripts that do not allow for conversation about the needs of a business. At Tower Systems you know the real name of the person helping you, the help is based on a plain English discussion of your needs. This ensures a more personal and useful outcome for you.
  2. Our software reflects your needs. We have a transparent software enhancement suggestion process. Two thirds of updates in the last year have come from user suggestions. We love your suggestions, respond to every one and are transparent on the process of inclusion. It is your software after all.
  3. We are retailers too. We walk in your shoes, use the software you use and test everything we offer our users in our own shops. Our experience as retailers ensures empathy software only businesses cannot provide.
  4. We only serve specialty retail. Our software is not designed for all retail businesses. We only serve selected retail channels. If we are not a good fit we wish you all the best and move on. Just as successful retail businesses specialise, so do we.
  5. We are not a start up. The world is full of POS software start ups. The problem with start ups is they serve their venture capitalists ahead of their customers – they have to. In our case we are long-established, debt free, stable and growing. Our growth trajectory gives you confidence we will serve you as long as you need us.

While there are plenty of reasons Tower Systems is a better POS software partner for specialty retail businesses, this list is the top five based on needs small business retailers explain to us.

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Tyro / Xero / POS software integration best practice for small business retail

Small business retailers integrating their POS software with Xero and Tyro unlock for themselves a beautiful partnership from which they can leverage valuable business benefits.

Tower Systems offers integration from its small business POS software with Tyro and Xero.

We are proud to be listed as partners of Xero and Tyro on their websites. This listing is key to building trust with retailers as it demonstrated respected partnerships.

Whereas software integrations are usually between two software products, the Tower Systems / Xero / Tyro integration leverages all three products into a comprehensive whole of business solution. Many retailers are already leveraging this for their benefit. Indeed, Tower Systems itself leverages the benefits in retail businesses we own and operate.

Our POS software Xero link is best practice offering a seamless integration between our POS software and the leading cloud based accounting solution.

Our Tyro broadband EFTPOS integration is also best practice with an extraordinary number of retailers using it with success and happiness at the time saving and mistake reduction being achieved.

Put the two together and you multiply the benefits considerably as we can demonstrate.

The mission of small business retailers to cut operational overheads and run their businesses to a higher level of efficiency is important as big business competitors muscle up themselves.

Tower Systems offers not only beautiful integrations with Tyro, Xero, Shopify and Magento, the company backs these with personal service and advice and retail smart training based on our own many years of experience as retailers. This is the difference, we speak from current personal experience, making our advice more relevant and understandable in small business retail circles.

The integrations are available in the Tower desktop products as well as the Tower cloud based products that are accessed through software as a service models for retail businesses in a variety of specialty retail channels.

Tower Systems offers specialty software for: gift shopsjewellerstoy shopsfishing/outdoors businessesgarden centres/nurseriespet shopsbike shops,produce storesfirearms businesses and newsagents.

Our sales team can show you our software:

VIC/TAS: Mike Hill. 0423 848 482.
WA/SA/NT: Tim Batt. 0401 833 917.
NSW/ACT: Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148.
QLD:  Justin Randall. 0434 365 789.
Managing Director: Mark Fletcher. 0418 321 338.

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Massive boost to Xero user numbers

We are thrilled to partner with Xero through our Xero POS software integration. because of the seamless link to the cloud based accounting solution. We are also thrilled because Xero continues to lead the market. here is news out just yesterday:

The dominant player in the Australian market, Xero, saw its Australian subscriber numbers grow 54 per cent to 312,000 in the year to March.

Xero is the product more accounts and small business retailers are preferring.

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Helping small business retailers cut employee theft in any type of business

Employee theft is a challenge for any small business retailer. The cost of theft depends on how the business manages the theft situation. To minimise the cost of theft, retailers are advised to follow these simple to implement strategies. They have been developed by our small business retail support team here at Tower Systems over many years of helping small business retailers through our POS software.

  1. Pay above award wages. The quality of your employees is up to you. If you’re doing your job you have good employees. Value them. Pay above award. HR and business psychology experts say this will reduce theft.
  2. Talk to them. Ask for their honest comments about the business.       The more they feel, genuinely feel, valued, the less likely they are to steal from you.
  3. No employee bags at the counter.
  4. Clear refund policy. Type the policy up and put it on the wall for customers and employees to see.       Cover, for example, age of transaction, management approval, that you need their name, address, phone number and signature – such requirements will stop abuse.
  5. Offer good discounts to employees. Let employees buy products from you at your cost or just above it. This respects them as part of your team and it reduces the chances of them being tempted to steal what they want from you.
  6. Don’t take cash out of the til yourself. If employees see you take money out for items like a coffee or your lunch they will feel invited to do the same.
  7. Roster mix up. Change your roster regularly. It is common that a roster change will show you a theft problem you never thought was there.
  8. Roster rules. Don’t have friends working with friends if they are the only ones rostered on.
  9. Speed humps. Have a day where you turn on receipts for ALL customers. Then a day where you require that everything is scanned (as opposed to using hot keys and the like). These changes will keep employees and customers off guard and make it easier for you to spot problems. It will also keep you on your guard and that’s good for the business.
  10. Spend more time at the counter. The further you are from the action in your business the greater the opportunity for you to be ripped off. Spend time where the action is – unexpectedly.
  11. Balance the register during the day. Do this every so often. Again to keep people on their toes. It is also good practice.
  12. Don’t let employees ring their own purchases up.
  13. Don’t let employees sell to family and friends.
  14. Your local council. Many local councils offer theft prevention training and help as do some local police.       (Local U.S. police stations are considerably more active in this area.)
  15. Beware of popularity. There is anecdotal evidence that the more popular the employee the more likely they are the one stealing from you.
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FREE e-commerce / website seminar for small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand

Join Tower Systems for a one of our free seminars in Australia and New Zealand (in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch)  where we will show our latest Australian developed POS software for specialty independent small business retail.

  1. Discover how to connect your retail business with Magento or Shopify direct from POS software.
  2. Learn how to be found through Google.
  3. Learn about creating beautiful websites for a fraction of the costs some charge.
  4. See the POS software integration that saves time and cuts mistakes.
  5. See a new approach to loyalty shoppers love and big businesses cannot copy.
  6. See the POS software to Magento and Shopify links LIVE with working websites.

This will be a truly interactive learning opportunity for small business retailers, an opportunity to see under the hood of website development, to discover is this is something any retailer could do for their business.

We will show you how to setup up a Shopify store that can be live in hours. Plus, there will be a Q&A opportunity so you can explore your specific needs. Book now by clicking on the city location you prefer.

  1. Adelaide. October 10. 10am. Rydges South Park.
  2. Sydney. October 11. 10am. Kogarah Golf Club.
  3. Brisbane. October 12. 10am. River View Hotel.
  4. Perth. October 13. 9am. Country Comfort Inter City Hotel.
  5. Melbourne. October 14. 10am. Hawthorn Arts Centre.
  6. Canberra. October 18. 10am. Vibe Hotel, Canberra Airport.
  7. Hobart. October 19. 11am. Rydges Hobart.
  8. Darwin. October 26. 2pm Mantra on the Esplanade.
  9. Auckland. Nov. 2. 3pm. Novotel, Auckland Airport.
  10. Wellington. Nov. 3. 10am. Intercontinental Hotel.
  11. Christchurch. Nov. 4. 10am. Novotel Christchurch.

We will share our experiences in the small business POS and e-commerce areas and outline what we learned when creating sites for our own retail businesses. This seminar could save you thousands in web developer fees.

If you have questions, please email mark@towersystems.com.au or call 0418 321 338. If you are in New Zealand, please call toll free on 0800 444 367.

Tower Systems is an Australian small business focussed POS software company based in Hawthorn Victoria with sales and support nationally. Our software is available to run locally or in the cloud and can be purchased, leased or rented for a few dollars a day. Our phone number is 1300 662 957.

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Small business POS software Xero link cuts time and mistakes

The link between our small business POS software and Xero cloud based accounting is helping small business retailers eliminate time-consuming and error prone bookkeeping steps … and this is money in the bank for small business retailers.

Our POS software Xero link runs in the background, delivering data to Xero so it is working for you rather than you being a slave to it as is often the case with older approaches to accounting software use in small business retail.

Using Xero ourselves in our own retail businesses, shops we own as live test beds for what we do here, we know the benefits, we see then and bank the benefits.

We have an in-house accountant who oversees our various businesses and he delights at the time saving from the PO software to Xero link. He also delights over the mistake elimination by cutting out what were manual processes.

This is the key of the link to Xero.

And when you overlay the Tyro broadband banking solution for small business retail you have an even better solution cutting more processes, freeing up more cash and empowering small business retailers for better outcomes.

What is Transferred to Xero?

Sales

End of Shift based department-level sales are transferred to Xero via a sales invoice. Each department can be assigned its own Xero account.

Invoices

Invoices received into Retailer are transferred to Xero at department level. No individual stock items are transferred.

Write Offs & No Sales

These are transferred to individual expense accounts depending on the transaction reason chosen.

Cost Of Sales

An option on sales exporting is to export Cost of Sales. While not a full implementation of COGS it does transfer over the cost price of items sold each day to reduce the value of Stock On Hand in Xero. If you use this option you will export Write offs, not as expenses, but as adjustment to your Stock on Hand. This makes processing stock adjustments for the End Of Month much easier.

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