Helping retailers prepare for BOXING DAY SALES

discoubtWe’ve had plenty of POS software help desk calls this week from retailers asking questions about setting their businesses up to handle Boxing Day sales.

Using our software it’s easy and flexible to setup for handling special event sales – retailers have many options for sales from individual to price to volume and mix and match discounts – that run by date and by time. flexibility is discounting is important in retail today as retailers compete with each other – especially at these major sale times.

Our smart POS software makes managing discounting easy and secure for our partner businesses.

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POS software customer displays help drive sales

cdispThis photo shows how one newsagency is using the smart customer display through our POS software by having ads play between customers and then the screen share the ad with details of purchases being scanned.

Being able to manage the serving of ads to customers at the counter is an important feature of our software, something that has been enhanced as hardware has evolved. The latest HP all in one registers are particularly good to work with thanks to their small footprint and smart customer display technology.

Small business owners love that thanks to the HP technology and our software they can offer a customer-facting IT solution that is competitive with bigger businesses.

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POS software training workshops help retailers save money

Pos software company Tower Systems has announced details of three new live and interactive half hour POS Software training sessions for december, offering small business retailers excellent opportunities for learning in a time efficient way.

Here are the three new workshops the company has developed in association with partner retailers:

  • Using Catalogues for Christmas – 30 Minutes, Tuesday 2nd December 2pm AEST. Quickly and easily setup automatic discounts for a Christmas sale.
  • Applying Discounts In Retailer – 30 Minutes, Tuesday 9th December 2pm AEST. Discount stock in Retailer at Point of Sale.
  • Free up cash in your business – 30 Minutes, Tuesday 16th December 2pm AEST. Find and quit dead and slow moving stock in retailer.

Participating in the training is free to all Tower POS software customers.

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Permit to acquire facilities in Firearms retail software set to help Australian gun shop owners cut costs

The development of Permit to Acquire facilities within the Tower Systems firearms retail management software has entered a new phase with initial in-house testing commencing. The PTA facilities have been designed in close consultation with regulatory authorities as well as representatives several gun retailers.

This close industry and government consultation has resulted in a design that is a first for Australia.

The resulting software will deliver to gun retailers Permit to Acquire facilities that will enable them to save money in the operation of their businesses as it will eliminate paperwork and processes that are manual today.

Delivering a responsible structure of managing the Permit to Acquire process, the new facilities will further strengthen the leadership position of the Tower Systems firearms retail management software.

Specialisation is key to the future of software companies serving specific retail niches. In the various solutions for specialist retail marketplaces Tower Systems continues to innovate specific to the needs of those retailers.

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POS software helps retailers sell packs, hampers, singles and bulks

nxjewellThe smart POS software from tower Systems is helping more and more retailers to sell bulk items broken into singles, single items scaled up into bulk, hampers, packs, gift packs and many mixtures within these opportunities.

Jewellers use our pack facilities to sell two or three items in a set as well as singles – with ease.

Confectionery shops and chocolate shops use our software to sell bulk packs and singles easily with complete and easily managed inventory control.

Gift shops use these facilities to sell Christmas hampers.

Garden centres use these facilities to sell plants as singles and more packaged together.

It’s fast and easy to handle.

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A behind the scenes look at how our POS software company rolls our a major software update

Here is an internal communication sent by our Managing Director to all Tower Systems team members last week in advance of wider release of a major POS software update. We share this here to show how internally we are committed to the quality and engaged customer services we promote in our marketing pitch:

The next two months will present us with many challenges and opportunities as our customers load and engage with 2.6. For many in the company you will face new experiences as this is the biggest update ever in the history of the Retailer product.

There will be people who blame things on the update that have nothing to do with the update.

Many will not read the instructions prior to loading the update.

Most will be nervous.

Plenty will be happy with what’s in the u0date and some will want more changes urgently.

Others will say their systems are slower as a result.

Some will realise that they need to upgrade their hardware.

Please actively listen to what people have to say, make sure they know you are listening to them – even if what they are saying has been said to you many times before by others. People calling about the update is what we are here for. We promise them we are not your average software company. We promise to listen to them and serve their needs. This is where your contact, each contact, is vital.

While Ben owns 2.6, it is on all of us to serve our customers as they install, learn and start to use 2.6. Their experience will depend on each of us. What they think about Tower Systems for the future will depend on each of us.

Thank you in advance for your commitment through what will be a busy and challenging time.

We are committed to providing an enjoyable experience for our customers. This email and the considerable training of our team which preceded it is further evidence of that commitment.

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POS software helps retailers engage shoppers in competitions

hmkbbqThanks to receipt options and other facilities in our POS software, retailers can help drive shopper engagement in competitions – such as the Hallmark cards competition offering the opportunity to win a $500 BBQ in participating stores that’s running at the moment.

Retailers can promote competitions like this on their receipts. They can also promote it on customer displays. This type of promotion is free. It is excellent use of existing retail management infrastructure – manages by our POS software as directed by our retailers.

Connecting shoppers on receipts and at other touch points with in-store promotions such as the BBQ prize adds value to the in-store promotion and drives the likelihood of shopper engagement in the promotion.

Smart use of our smart POS software drives better outcomes for our retail partners.  Our help desk enjoys helping retailers to leverage these opportunities.

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Helping small business retailers save time on POS software data backups

kb-backupOur rich content POS software knowledge base is full of advice and assistance for retailers using our Point of Sale software on how to do safe and fast backups of business data. This advice includes information on off site backups for speed and security in any size and scale of business.

The image shows some of the backup specific content on our knowledge base that can be searched by our customers. This rich resource is in addition to live help desk support available to our users as well.

Offering access to a range of backup options including cloud based services retailers partnering with us have choice available to them.

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Firearms retailers appreciate firearms software specialisation

ptaFirearms retailers can rely on our Firearms retail software to continually improve to better serve their businesses.

Thanks to advice from several firearms retailers and state based regulators we are creating a new firearm permit to acquire (PTA) tracking facility.

Firearms retailers and their staff have directly guided this software development project.

Coupled with our advanced serial number tracking tools, you will be able to track a specific firearm back to a permit.

Where regulators permit, our software will create a file you can upload to meet regulatory reporting requirements.

We are ensuring that through this software we help you meet all published regulatory standards in anywhere in Australia.

As the owner of Tower Systems I stand behind our software. We will continually improve our firearms retail software to ensure it serves your needs well into the future.

Call one of our Firearms retail software experts today an obligation free in-store demonstration:

  • NSW/ACT/TAS: Nathan Morrison – 0417 568 148.
  • VIC: Mike Hill – 0423 848 482.
  • SA/WA: Tim Batt – 0401 833 917.
  • QLD/NT: Rohan Genn – 0434 072 417.
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POS software helps retailers better serve collectors of all types of collectibles

collectCollectors come in all shapes and sizes. They are important customers to many types of retail businesses. Some businesses identify them as collectors and others do not. Some bring in product on a regular basis that builds collections over time and to a calendar while others serve special orders driven by customer requests.

Regardless of the types of collectors served and how you may serve them, Tower Systems has facilities within its Point of Sale software to serve the needs of retailers serving collectors. From personal barcodes on products to tracking orders, to tracking collection to managing product shelf life, the collectible product facilities are used extensively within the Tower Systems retail business user community.

The facilities serving the collectibles area is another example of the value of specialist software developed ion close association with retailers in the space.

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POS software training studio busy for EOFY

studio-trainingThe video / online training studio we have at our head office is getting heavy use these weeks as we broadcast hours of free online training for retailers on making the most of End of Financial Year opportunities.

Our live and interactive online workshops are streamed from this studio using the internationally respected Web Ex service. the studio itself is equipped with a camera, professional quality microphone, sound proofing and lighting – all to help for a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

The production facilities aside, the real asset is the knowledge shared by our experts as they speak with fifteen os so of our customers in each session.

It is a thrill to see retailers from around the country and in different situations connect and network with each other.

Access to this live training is free.

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Firearms retailer software helps with business compliance

Tower Systems is grateful to the advice and support from some of Australia’s best firearms retailers as the company has worked diligently to bridge the firearms sales regulatory requirements across multiple jurisdictions. This work is resulting in powerful software that helps firearms retailers comply with record keeping requirements.

Tower Systems is committed to maintaining compliance with the regulations and through this belong our retail business partners to meet their obligations in an efficient and trusted way.

The business analysis and software development work is considerable but the result well worth it.

Firearms retailers are professional retailers. We know that the better their software the more successful their businesses and the happier the regulators.

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Firearms shop software helps manage compliance

Firearms retailers use our Firearms retail software to improve their businesses. From easier selling at the counter to more accurate stock ordering, to bringing shoppers back more often to more careful oversight of staff.

Thanks to advice from several firearms retailers and state based regulators we are close to releasing a new firearm permit to acquire (PTA) tracking facility.

Coupled with our advanced serial number tracking tools, you will be able to track a firearm back to a permit.

Where regulators permit, our software will create a file you can upload to meet regulatory reporting requirements.

We are ensuring that through this software we help you meet all published regulatory standards in any state or territory of Australia.

We have firearms retailers using the software today who will attest to its usefulness in their businesses.

Call one of our Firearms retail software experts today an obligation free in-store demonstration:

  • NSW/ACT: Nathan Morrison – 0417 568 148.
  • VIC/TAS: Mike Hill – 0423 848 482.
  • SA/WA: Tim Batt – 0401 833 917.
  • QLD/NT: Rohan Genn – 0434 072 417.
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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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More EOFY POS software training for small business users

eofytrainingPOS software expert company Tower Systems is scheduling more EOFY POS software training for retailers using its software following the filling of already scheduled sessions.

The free online training workshops from Tower Systems continue to be enjoyed and embraced by the Tower user community. Run with consistency and transparency by the company, the workshops cover broad range of topics.

The EOFY training is available in several topic areas. The information covered is also accessible at any time from the company’s knowledge base – making it easy for Tower retail management software customers to learn about End of Financial year requirements and opportunities when and where it suits them.

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Sunday small business retail management advice: gift cards help you win the sale

elitefishWhile more and more retail businesses are offering gift cards, the commercial success depends on the confidence of customers in the gift card product. A more professional looking gift card the more a customer is likely to trust the card.

This is where Tower Systems can help.

Thanks to our professional in-house gift card design and production service we are able to help independent small retail businesses to have a card that looks professional, trustworthy and valuable. Retailers we partner with often are thrilled with the cards supplied and the sales that result from their use.

Any small retail business can compete with major retailers by offering professional plastic cards that make the business look great. Done well, a gift card can help you win business you might otherwise not have won.

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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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Free QR code marketing tools for small business retailers and others

Here at our Point of Sale software company we seek out opportunities to support small businesses, especially small and independent retail businesses as part of a whole of business social responsibility commitment.

We often invest our own time and money in projects where we feel we can help these businesses grow. It is part of our pro-bono work helping small business without an expectation of any revenue benefit for us.

QRki, a QR code generation and content access platform for retailers and other small businesses as part of our social responsibility commitment.

Retailers and other small business operators can make videos, files, competition entry forms, Facebook links and other online content accessible through a unique QR code they generate using the QRki website.

We created QRki to help small businesses harness the opportunity of QR codes without needing to invest in software of their own.

QRki is free.

Developed in Australia but for use from anywhere in the world, QRki is another example of cloud based innovation for small businesses.

QRki is available now for anyone from anywhere to use regardless of POS or other software used in the business.

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POS software helps retailers identify their most valuable products

The most valuable products may not be those that you sell the most. Sometimes they are, but not always. This is where smart retail business reporting can help a business owner look at product performance differently and discover gold within the data that helps you leverage products more.

Thanks to reporting in the Tower Systems Point of Sale software, retailers can analyse shopping basket performance of a product – what it sells with. This can be assessed with in-store adjacencies. Combining these views can help a business make shop floor moves that drive even better outcomes.

Another view of product performance could be sales over a period of time. This can help you better understand the return on retail space. Given that the lease for a retail business is one of the biggest costs for the business, knowing retail space return is key to determining the financial return you are getting from a product.

Tower Systems provides access to a broad range of views of the performance of products in your business. We back this with helpful business support and analysis.

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POS software helps retailers know their best trading hours

Small and independent can save labour costs by carefully rostering employees based on the performance of the business across its opening hours.

Thanks to detailed trading hour performance reporting in the Point of Sale software from Tower Systems, our retail partners can tap into data that will help them trim roster hours.

Our sales by time reporting can also help shift hours from one part of the roster to another – to a time when the business could achieve an increase in sales by having more people available on the shop floor.

This is where knowing sales by time becomes really useful – in chasing revenue growth through smarter rostering through the software.

Our helpdesk team is happy to help and retailer using our software – to create a more valuable roster.

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Busy Saturday for the POS software help desk

The day has really only just begun for many but our live office-based help desk has already been busy helping retailers with support and training as part of our Saturday support commitment.

We have offered this office-based service for many years and customers love it. Being office-based we have access to more facilities and services and this provides our customers with a better outcome for some calls that require more than knowledge.

Our Saturday support service is a point of difference that helps us win customers. We love it!

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Independent retailers benefit from loyalty choice in POS software

For years, retailers, especially independent and small business retailers, have been told to follow retail giants and reward loyal shoppers with points that can be redeemed for gifts and discounts.

Dutifully, many small business retailers acted on this – but without a thought-through strategy to achieve the best outcome for the business.

Without a financially rewarding outcome for a business, a loyalty program is worthless.

This is why retailers, in any retail channel and in any retail situation – high street, shopping mall, rural and or regional – need options in terms of shopper loyalty rewards. It is why Tower Systems offers valued options in its Point of Sale software.

While a points based program is useful, it could be that the business will benefit from a different approach.

Good POS software will offer flexibility. This flexibility can add thousands of dollars to the bottom line performance of a retail business each year.

The Tower Systems Point of Sale software supports multiple loyalty options that include: a traditional points based approach, interfacing to the respected Vii Accumulate loyalty platform, interfacing to the equally respected Transactor loyalty platform, interfacing to Flybys NZ and offering a unique and flexible front end loyalty solution.

Having so many options available provides Tower Systems retail partners with commercially valuable flexibility.

The loyalty platform selected by a business depends on the needs of that business. A business that chooses POS software without broad flexibility will be limited in what they can achieve for their business with their software.

Big system interfaces

Vii Accumulate – used by Qantas, BankWest, Clipsal and others – and Transactor – used by Westfield, Amcal, Goldmark, Prouds, Avanti, Subway and others – are both used by retail banner groups and national retailers to connect stores allowing point accumulation and redemption in any location.

The Tower Systems approach with these two platforms delivers maximum flexibility for the retailers and banner groups. Through our seamless interface you have access to the facilities of either Vii Accumulate and Transactor.

Groups with as few as four retail locations could benefit from either interface.

The traditional points-based approach

In the Tower Systems software, retailers can accrue points for customers easily.

This is done by customers presenting a loyalty card, usually called a VIP card, at any time during a sale.

This is the easiest loyalty program to setup in a small or independent retail business.

The software accrues points according to rules established by the business owner. Points can be used by customers to access rewards. They can also be used to generate gift vouchers for shoppers based on points accrued.

Many retail businesses using the Tower software use the points-based loyalty facilities to encourage shoppers to spend more.

Shopper loyalty is much desired yet harder to achieve in this world with more competition, more loyalty options and a greater desire for instant gratification.

Following carefully assessment of international trends and looking thoroughly at how large and national retailers used primarily points-bases systems to drive loyalty, Tower Systems invested in an alternative, a new software based facility to reward loyalty for an often forgotten shopper.

Change the game: front-end loyalty

By using an approach we at Tower call front-ending loyalty, retailers can achieve more from first-time and infrequent shoppers. Front-ending loyalty brings a reward to the front in an effort to engage shoppers in additional purchases sooner.

Too often loyalty has been all about total spend over a year whereas above average spend in just one visit can be more valuable to a business.

It’s an approach that can encourage those who do not shop with you to purchase something else right away, to get the value of the cash discount offered.

Regular shoppers can spend the cash discount right away or come back within any time limit you set.

We started trialling this front-ending loyalty strategy in February 2013 in several retail businesses. We did it using the Discount Vouchers facilities in the Tower Systems software.

Building the basket

From the first day we saw shoppers changing behaviour.

One chap came in to purchase a specific item. When he was handed the receipt the voucher was pointed out to him – offering $2.00 off his next purchase. He was not a regular and so spent the $2.00, and more, right away on another item. He received another voucher and purchased a third item. In all, he spent three times as much as the original purchase – all because of the Discount Vouchers he received.

Around 33% of all vouchers redeemed are used the day they are received. This shows customers building the basket – adding to their purchase that day as a result of the voucher. This makes each visit more valuable to us.

Bringing shoppers back

Around 33% of redeemed vouchers are used within seven days of issue and the remaining 33% are redeemed up to four weeks after issue.

Here’s another real story: A month after we started trialling this new approach to loyalty, a customer came in and used a voucher she had picked up a couple of weeks earlier. She was happy to get $5.00 off a $45.00 item she wanted. This resulted in another voucher so she bought another item for $29.95.

This customer said she would be back. Two weeks later she was.

You control the business rules covering how vouchers are issued and redeemed. You control your financial exposure at all times.

Like any good loyalty program, you need good levers with which to drive shopper engagement and to deliver the benefits it needs to justify the investment.

The Discount Vouchers facilities in the Tower software have this.

You control the amount of each sale you are prepared to give away on the voucher.

You control the products the voucher can be used for.

You control how long the voucher is live for.  I suggest 28 days but I have some retailers setting this at 90 days.

You control what it’s called

We have shoppers calling their vouchers Bonus Bucks, Cash Off, Thank You Dollars and other names retailers feel are relevant to their businesses.

The software has been developed in a way that gives each retailer complete flexibility as to what they call their program. This localisation opportunity is important as it gives you ownership over your own program.

Helping your business

With big box and national offering their corporate loyalty programs, it’s important for retailers to offer a genuine point of difference.  Discount Vouchers offer this.

While their approach is very corporate, your approach can be more flexible and more focused on early rewards. Over the months of trialling we have seen changes shopper behaviour, it gets them spending more with you.

I’m confident this fresh approach to loyalty is a game changer for any garden centre business. The control you have enables you to easily manage the cost and the value you gain from the program.

This really is a new approach to bringing shoppers back sooner and getting them to spend more with you.

So, which loyalty program is right for your business? That choice is up to you.

Tower Systems provides you with options, some of which are unique to us in our various retail channels.

Thanks to our partnerships and interfaces we provide retailers with a depth of flexibility that is extraordinary.

That you have a choice is vitally important. Better still, that you can move between the options is even better.

Where we are at today in terms of loyalty will be different to tomorrow as change is inevitable. Our commitment is to continue to refresh our software to ensure it and those who use it are competitive.

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Sunday small business retail management advice: make sure you have the right friends with whom to discuss business

Who do you talk to about your retail business? Are the sympathetic? Do they challenge your perception of your business? Do they agree with everything you say? Do they offer pity as a response for you explaining your situation?

Good friends will challenge what you say. They will ask tough questions. They will not put up with a victim mentality. They will want to know what you are doing to improve your situation.

If your friends don’t challenge you when you talk about your business consider seeking out others you can talk to who do challenge you.

Owning a business of any size can be tough and lonely. In the business it is rare you will be challenged. In your immediately family, too often, you will not be challenged. This is why you need to seek out those who could and will challenge you. You need to be challenged. Your plans need to be tested through tough questioning.  While some good friend will do this for you many will not.

So, do you need to change your friends?

Seek out people who will give you truthful assessment of what you say, people who will have an opinion and be unafraid to share it. You want people who will actively listen to you and give you their insights.

Seek out people who will want the same from you.  The ideal friendship is one that is equal, open and honest in conversation.  This is what retail business owners need – people who can help them see what they may not be seeing for themselves.

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How smart POS software helps your retail employees achieve more

More knowledgable employees = a more valuable employees. While most POS software companies offer training for retail employees, only Tower Systems offers a mature professional suite of training in its smart POS software:

  • Live in store training for new users = learning through plain English training, learning by doing.
  • Regular live online workshops = keep learning long after you have installed the software.
  • More than 130 professional training videos = learn wherever and whenever you want.
  • Free additional live one on one training = learn any part of the software to help you do your job better.
  • Retail context advice / assistance / training = getting beyond the software and understanding how to better serve the business.
  • Content and feature rich knowledge base = save time finding answers on how to use the software.

All these facilities and more help retailers and their employees to learn and enjoy the Tower software more than they might any other software.

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