How to choose the best POS software for your retail business

Choosing POS software for a retail business is a daunting task. The software companies usually make it difficult to compare.

Tower Systems is a software company. Our goal is to make it easier for you.

We don’t want you to choose our software if our software is not the right fit for your business.

This is why our first advice is to make this decision about the software first. Make sure that you compare what each software package does. However, before you do this, ensure you know what you want out of software for your business and the amount you are prepared to pay for what you want.

Knowing what you want is as important as is knowing what you are prepared to ay for what you want.

The reality is there are cheap POS programs out there. You get what you pay for, every time. The cheapest product is the cheapest because they have either not invested as much in the development of the software or because they do not back the software with the same level of service.

Yes, you get what you pay for. This is why you haver to be realistic about the amount you are prepared to invest.

In considering software, start with the functionality. Look at each software package. Compare how it works against what you want from software you purchase.

Once you have a list of software packages that do what you want, dive deep into support coverage. Look carefully at how support is delivered, how you can access this, the training opportunities and how your business can be helped with the training and support.

If you are not sure what to look for in support, consider this wish list:

  1. Easy access on the phone, through human to human conversation.
  2. Locally based. i.e. not offshore where people don’t understand your business.
  3. Help beyond the software. Is there an accountant you can talk to or a retail business specialist.
  4. Regular free group training.
  5. Easily accessible personal one on one training.
  6. Regular updates but with you controlling when to install these rather than having them forced on you.
  7. An escalation process if you are not happy.
  8. The contact details for the owner of the business.

Ultimately, only you can know the best POS software for your type of business and your business. The value of the decision  you make will reflect the approach yo7u took in making the decision. The old maxim of measure many times and cut once is true here.

Welcoming new POS software customers to Tower Systems

We are thrilled to welcome new customers using our small business POS software. We have a welcome page on our website, which is part of our structured approach to welcoming new customers.

The welcome is sincere and personal:

Welcome to Tower Systems. This page welcomes new customers to our business, small business retailers switching to our POS software.

Thank you for your business, for your faith in our software and our services. We appreciate it.

Our goal is to help you make your business more valuable and more enjoyable through your use of our POS software.

Here in our website you have access to a knowledge base, available 24/7, which contains excellent advice and articles about how to use the software. It is like a live and evolving user manual – but searchable. Log into the customer side of the site and you can immediately access the knowledge base.

Our help desk is based in Melbourne Victoria. There we have a team of skilled IT professionals, with good retail experience, available to help with your queries. You can contact them through our national help line – 03 9524 8000 – of through your local Tower office number or by email: support@towersystems.com.au

We release software updates every few months. We announce by email when these are available. You choose when you wish to install each update. This gives you control.

If you have suggestions on changes you would like to see in our software, please use our Software Ideas page on this website. Through here other customers using our software can vote on your idea.

Every week we will send you a customer email with tips, ideas and inspirations. This is another touch point designed to help you get more from the relationship.

As a customer, you have access to free training. To schedule free one on one training, please email bookings@towersystems.com.au.

Welcome as a new customer of Tower Systems. Our motto is we’re here to help. Please, let us know how we can help your business.

Thank you for reading.

Mark Fletcher
Managing Director
0418 321 338

There is also a video welcoming our new customers:

Small business retail management tip: embrace the opportunity of hiring older employees

Older employees can being terrific value to a retail business that is keen bring change to the business. Young employees cost less and this is a common appeal among retail business owners.

An older employee could bring more value to the business, they could leverage a better return on labour investment for the business. Here are other benefits that can be available depending on the background, skill set and work interest of the older employee:

  1. Maturity. An older employee understand work.
  2. Appreciation. If they have been to of work for a while they are more likely to appreciate then job and could therefore invest more in it.
  3. Experience. An older employee could have experience in a field from which the business can benefit. I am not thin king here about retail experience. rather, they may have business management skills, special interests or experience that you can leverage as you change the business.
  4. Flexibility. With less focus on establishing themselves and a social life they cold be more available and this could help the roster.
  5. Communication. An older employee is more likely to be better with oral communication given they has less tech when they were younger. While this is a rash generalisation, I’d back it to be likely.

When you are looking to fill a vacancy or a new role in the business, consider older person for these and other reasons you can think of. The could bring to the business skills and interest the you can leverage more valuably than the skills and interest of a younger lower cost employee.

Of course, the value of any employee depends on your hiring, training, management and motivation of them.

The post of this post is to suggest that next time you hire you think about an older employee.

Note: The federal government jobactive restart program can help Australian businesses that hire older employees financially:

Restart is a financial incentive of up to $10,000 (GST inclusive) to encourage businesses to hire and retain mature age employees who are 50 years of age and over.

Older employees can bring new insights and energy to a business. The right hire could be just want the business needs to explore new traffic opportunities.

At the Atlanta Gift Fair

Some of our team have been at the Americasmart gift fair in Atlanta this past week looking at new trends in the gift and homewares retail spaces.

It has been a busy few days of networking, learning and making new connections.

We appreciate the opportunity to learn and bring some of this back to our growing customer based on retailers in the gift and homewares spaces.

2018 is looking like a most exciting year.

Xero POS software link helps small business retailers compete with big business

It can be tough for a small business to compete with big business. Those who do so successfully have access to excellent quality up to date business data. They leverage this to fuel quality business decisions.

The best business data is that which flows immediately between POS software and accounting software. Tower Systems provides to small business retailers a beautiful, easy to setup and easy to use link between its POS software and the cloud based Xero accounting solution.

The Tower Systems Xero POS software link is ideal for small business independent retailers. It helps small business retailers compete through:

  1. Timely access to accurate business data.
  2. Data that is operational and financial.
  3. Data that is not manipulated.
  4. Data you can trust.
  5. Data that flows from the shop floor to the accounting function without impediment.

The most effective ways small business retailers can compete with big businesses and online is through efficient operation, accurate data and customer service touch-points that add appreciated value.

Tower Systems only sells its POS software to small business retailers.

We believe in small businesses, their importance to local communities and their broader economic value.

Through our software, our personal in-store training, 24/7 human and locally based help desk service, regional user meetings, weekly online workshops and other touch-points we help small business retailers beyond what is usual for POS software companies.

Our company motto is we’re here to help. We take this seriously. Everyday, out motto challenges us to help our customers in ways they do not expect, ways beyond the software itself.

Founded in 1981, Tower Systems has evolved as technology has evolved. The software we sell today is generations away from where we started. We are proud to have served some of our customers for decades.

More than 3,500 specialty small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand use our specialty POS software.

To us, a specialty retailer is one that offers services unique to the channel, services that define the business.  We embed in our software for each retail channel facilities that serve needs unique to that channel. We take pride in doing this and enhancing these channel-specific facilities as the needs evolve.

Xero POS software interface helps small business retailers cut mistakes

Mistakes can be expensive in small business retail, especially mistakes made in accounting.

The Tower Systems POS software Xero link helps small business retailers cut mistakes. The link eliminates tasks by automating the flow of data from the POS software where data is received into the business in the form of invoices for inventory, returns notes for products going back to suppliers. sales data, LayBy data and plenty more.

Capturing this data at the source, at the point of sale, and flowing the data without additional human intervention to Xero, to the right part of Xero, eliminates time, cuts mistakes and provides small business retailers with more control.

Every error made in accounting has a cost. In fact, there can be multiple costs – labour and financial. This is why it is better to get it right the first time.

The Xero integration designed by Tower Systems, working with the folks at Xero, makes it easy for small business retailers to cut accounting paperwork and thereby tap into time and money saving benefits.

We use our Xero integrated POS software ourselves. This enables us to provide practical advice on how to benefit the most from Xero and our POS software working together.

Our customers have access to our in-house CPA, to provide a professional accounting perspective on the link and how to get the most from it.

Setting up the Xero link is easy. You map the data flow from invoice entry through to the chart of accounts managed by Xero. Once this is done, supplier invoices, sales, credits, LayBys and other everyday business transactions flow from the POS software to Xero.

This makes business accounting easier, more certain, less expensive and more useful to the business.

By cutting mistakes we help bring certainty to business reporting and management. This posts confidence.

Tower Systems is keen to help small business retailers cut mistakes. We know the more we can do this the more our customers will appreciate the practical benefits a relationship between our businesses can deliver. With our software support being optional we know that our customers can switch any time. The best way for us to keep them is for us to deliver practical benefits at each touch point.

Xero POS software interface from Tower Systems helps small business retailers cut costs

Managing operating costs is a key goal for small business retailers in this world of greater competition.

The Tower Systems POS software Xero link helps small business retailers cut costs. It does this in a range of practical ways that small business retailers can leverage without having to spend more money on software or professional services.

Thanks to the Xero POS software link retailers are able to eliminate bookkeeping work and have accounting data flow through accurately from the POS software where data originates to Xero where it is accessed for key business accounting functions.

Developed with careful oversight of CPA qualified accounting experience as well as current small business management accounting experience plus insights from experienced bookkeepers, this link is a true cost saver because of the accounting steps it eliminates and the mistakes it avoids. Both of these have costs to any small business. Eliminating them is a bottom line cost benefit for any business.

Setting up the Xero link is easy. You map the data flow from invoice entry through to the chart of accounts managed by Xero. Once this is done, supplier invoices, sales, credits, LayBys and other everyday business transactions flow from the POS software to Xero.

This makes business accounting easier, more certain, less expensive and more useful to the business.

Your BAS is easier. Your P&L and Balance Sheet are more up to date. This is a big win for any small business retailer.

Tower Systems uses the Xero POS software link itself for retail businesses it owns in the gift and homewares spaces. By using our software, especially the Xero link we are able to draw on broad practical experience when providing advice to our retail business owner customers. It means that our help desk advice is based on us walking in your shores more than is usual for a POS software company.

Tower Systems is keen to help small business retailers cut costs. We know the more we can do this the more our customers will appreciate the practical benefits a relationship between our businesses can deliver. With our software support being optional we know that our customers can switch any time. The best way for us to keep them is for us to deliver practical benefits at each touch point.

Welcome new customers

Reflecting on 2017, as the year draws to a close, we are grateful for all the new customers who joined us this year.

We are grateful to those installing our software as first time computer users in their businesses.

We are also grateful to those who switched to our software from other POS software – there has been plenty of this in 2017.

To help new customers settle in with our software and our customer support we have a structured welcome process, with assistance provided outside the usual help desk – until new customers reel well settled in their use of our software.

We understand the challenges small business retailers face and do all things possible to ensure their settling in with our POS software is gentle and useful.

Helping small business retailers reduce the impact of employee theft

For many, years Tower Systems has offered small business retailers access to professional help in detecting, reducing and prosecuting employee theft. In our small business POS software we have excellent services that support this.

In our management team we have skilled professionals who have helped police, prosecutors, insurers and others in situations of employee theft. Our approach is evidence based, professional, discrete and thorough.

Our theft mitigation and theft management services are handled at the leadership team level of the Tower Systems business as this is where the experience lies through helping retail businesses in a variety of retail sectors.

In our decades of experience, it is essential the business draw a line in the sand on the issue of employee theft. This is best done by the establishment of a theft policy. This is best done as a document that employees sign. We provide our customers with a template theft policy. We share this here today for anyone to see and consider for their business.

THEFT POLICY

  1. Theft, any theft, is a crime against this business, its owners, employees and others who rely on us for their income.
  2. If you discover any evidence or have any suspicion of theft, please report it to the business owner or most senior manager possible immediately. Doing so could save a considerable cost to the business.
  3. We have a zero tolerance policy on theft. All claims will be reported to law enforcement authorities for their investigation.
  4. From time to time we have the business under surveillance in an effort to reduce theft. This may mean that you are photographed or recorded in some other way. By working here you accept this as a condition of employment.
  5. New employees may be asked to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment. Undertaking the police check will be at our discretion.
  6. Cash is never to be left unattended outside the cash drawer or a safe within the business.
  7. Credit and banking card payments are not to be accepted unless the physical card is presented and all required processes are followed for processing these.
  8. Employees caught stealing with irrefutable evidence face immediate dismissal to the extent permitted by local labour laws.
  9. Employees are not permitted to remove inventory, including unsold, topped, magazines, unsold cards or damaged stock from the store without permission.
  10. Employees are not permitted to provide a refund to a customer without appropriate management permission.
  11. Employees are not permitted to complete sales to themselves, family members or friends.
  12. Every dollar stolen from the business by customers and or employees can cost us up to four dollars to recover. This is why vigilance on theft is mission critical for our retail store.

PLEASE SIGN AND DATE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

Small business retailers love free one-on-one POS software training

Small business retailers who use the Tower Systems POS software have access to unlimited free one-on-one training.

The free training is scheduled at a time to suit and to cover areas of the software requested by the customer.

We have some customers who use the free training to top up their knowledge, others use it to train new staff members while others use it to be surprised at what they don’t know about the POS software. We even have some who take up the opportunity to have us review their business and provide strategic management advice on what we can see in their business data.

Delivered by one of our customer service experts, the training is tailored to each retail situation, to ensure it is useful to the person for whom the training is being provided.

Booked through our head office and managed in a structured way, this free training service provided was unique when first launched, it put us in a leadership position. Today, we maintain that leadership through the scope, professionalism and practical help provided through the training.

Here at Tower Systems our motor is we’re here to help. This free training service is another way we live the motto every day.

POS software Shopify link helps small business retailers enjoy Christmas

Small business retailers using the Tower Systems POS software Shopify link are reporting terrific engagement with shoppers they may not have otherwise found.

Thanks to a direct link between the POS software and Shopify, retailers have one place for managing inventory that is in-store and online. This saves time, reduces mistakes unbend makes management of the online presence easier.

The Shopify link is one of three direct POS software / e-commerce platform links in the Tower software. These three are in addition to a weblink that helps the POS software connect to any website.

Through the Shopify link, data is transferred – inventory and sales – in a structured standard way required by Shopify and in line with the requirements of that business. It is fast, easy and powerful.

Tower Systems is proud to have brought plenty more small businesses online thanks to its work with the folks at Shopify.

Christmas gift: small business POS software update launched

In plenty of time f0or Christmas, Tower Systems has commenced beta release of a beautiful POS software update that delivers access to three completely new facilities through which our customers can expand the reach of their businesses.

his update, like all of our POS software updates, will be available for o0ur customers to install when they choose. We don’t believe in surprising people with an unexpected update. hence, our process is advance-noticed, structured and considerate.

This latest update is a thrill for us thanks to the new tech areas we cover that we know will be loved by plenty of our customers as they seek to expand their small businesses.

The update is available to all Tower AdvantageTM customers at no extra cost.

Retail management advice on maximising the Christmas traffic opportunity

Every Christmas, retail businesses see more shoppers in-store, buying gifts and items for seasonal celebration. However, the shops are usually too busy for the retailer team members to engage with traditional loyalty programs that require sign up.

This is where our amazing discount vouchers loyalty program options work a treat.

Without any sign-up overhead, the vouchers work all by themselves, bringing shoppers back or, better still, getting them to spend more than expected in that visit.

Stores that want to connect with shoppers and understand who they are can do so with our discount vouchers, because they are smart and can work with card based loyalty. In fact, shippers who sign up and go that extra step for the business can get an extra reward as a result, if you wish.

Simply by offering discount vouchers this Christmas you will get a boost with monomial cost and zero labour overhead. You can enjoy the traffic, love the traffic, and do well with a loyalty offer that works brilliantly to make the most of Christmas.

Tower Systems offers the tech and business practices to back the tech into real revenue growth for small business retailers.

Helping small business retailers focus on what matters among the shrill reporting of Amazon’s arrival in Australia

We are frustrated with the world is ending type reporting relating to the arrival in Australia of Amazon. More stories have been published recently. Most stories are not reporting. Rather, they are ignorant fear-mongering. Unfortunately, the wrong people are often quoted, like the ever-shrill Gerry Harvey.

We shot this video to provide some thoughts on the arrival of Amazon and to offer suggestions for small business retailers.

Small business retailers have access to unlimited POS software training

As part of our Tower AdvantageTM customer service experience, we help small business retailers using our POS software to continuously enhance their knowledge of how to use our software and how to get the most for their business from our software.

Every business with our software has access to our unlimited free POS software training opportunity.

The training we provide, at no extra cost, is live, one-on-one, on the phone and online. It is the personal one-on-one training that our small business retail customers love the most.

In our weekly customer service email, print newsletter and through the help desk we promote access to free training.

We are grateful to be in a position to offer this free training and to make access easy.

One of the best ways to help small business retailers to compete is to arm them with tools through which they can compete. One perfect too is our software software. Our free training helps them use the software in a best-practice way, so they are better equipped to compete, and win!

The training we provide is done outside the help desk, away from interruption and is focussed 100% on the business being trained. This ensures that our training is purposeful and useful. We know this fo0cus is what delivers loved outcomes.

Helping small business retailers reduce the opportunity of employee theft

At our POS software company we actively help small business retailers who use our software to reduce the opportunity of employee theft. We do this in a range of overt and covert ways, through our software and outside off our software.

As we have decades of experience running different types of retail businesses and through our work with, 3,500+ other retailers with our software we have a deep pool of knowledge and experience on which to draw.

Employee theft is something to be managed. By managed, we mean measured, understood and mitigated.

based on our own experiences and those of others we trust, we offer refined, thoughtful, advice on managing employee theft. Here we share it with all as a free community service for small business retailers. Together, we can cut the cost of employee theft in your retail business:

  1. Track your stock. Receive all stock into your business through your computer system so you know exactly what sock you have.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand. Using department keys is an invitation to steal.
  3. Track every sale by employees. Give your employees a card with a unique barcode or have them enter a code – to track every sale they make back to them. Change the code every six months or so.
  4. Do your end of shift through your software and have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift. One business where this was not done was being skimmed regularly for $200 a day.
  5. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One retailer needing to do a banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to discovery of systematic theft.
  6. Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  7. Check your Audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Good software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  8. Check Gross Profit by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
  9. Setup a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
  10. Keep the counter clean. An organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft. It makes detection easier.
  11. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  12. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  13. Beware of calculators with memories at the counter. One retail business employee used the memory function to track how much cash had to be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not rung up.
  14. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
  15. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
  16. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  17. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.

These steps work – based on decades of helping small business retailers to reduce and manage employee theft.

Theft, employee and customer, costs a typical small / independent retail between 3% and 5% of product sales revenue.  Management attention can cut this dramatically.  It does not take much time. No, it is more about having professional processes in place that everyone in the business follows.

Free Christmas marketing ideas for small business retailers

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:

  • SA/WA/VIC – Tim Batt 0401 833 917;
  • NSW/TAS – Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148;
  • QLD – Justin Randall 0434 365 789.

Yes, Amazon is coming. No, the world will not end.

We are frustrated with the world is ending type reporting relating to the arrival in Australia of Amazon. More stories have been published this week. Most stories are not reporting. Rather, they are ignorant fear-mongering. Unfortunately, the wrong people are often quoted, like the ever-shrill Gerry Harvey.

We shot this video to provide some thoughts on the arrival of Amazon and to offer suggestions for small business retailers.

Small business retailers love cloud based backup

The Tower Systems cloud backup service for our POS software customers is appreciated by the many using it. This service has plenty of advantages:

  1. It is fast.
  2. The backup is secure.
  3. You have secure onsite storage as well as offsite storage.
  4. Recovery is fast.
  5. It is low cost.
  6. Everything is backed up, you can be specific in selections.
  7. There is niobium’s operational overhead.

How Does Safe Backup Work?
The software performs an incremental backup every fifteen minutes. An incremental backup is a backup of files that have changed or are new since the last backup.

These incremental backups are catalogued on your NAS device. They are then collated to create your full system backup. This process allows access to backups from a particular point of time – even at the file level. Because backups are stored on the NAS device you have immediate access in-store as well as being sent to the Tower Systems Data Storage Centre in the cloud where a secure additional offsite copy of your data is kept.

How Does This Differ From My Daily Backup?
Retailer Backup ONLY backs up your Retailer Data leaving your other business data, accounting data, important documents and emails at risk. Safe Backup backs up your entire main PC, meaning all your business data is safe and secure. A copy of your business backup is also securely sent via the Internet to our secure data storage centre, giving you a safe off-site copy for protection.

Once Safe Backup is implemented you will no longer need to perform your daily backup. You or your staff will no longer need to wait for the daily backup to complete. The saving could be in excess of $150 per month if your backup is taking 15 minutes or more to complete.

Does Tower Have Access To My Data?
No. When you sign up for the service you must set a password which is assigned to your backup. We can only access your backup if you give us your password.