30 Christmas marketing ideas for any independent retail business anywhere – Sunday retail management advice

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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Make your shop smell like Christmas.
  9. 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.
  10. Host a Christmas party. For shops nearby. You are all in the season together – let your hear down before things get crazy.
  11. 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.
  12. Stocking stuffers. At your counter always have one or two stocking stuffers for impulse purchase.
  13. Offer gift vouchers – for someone to give when they are not sure what to give.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Keep it fresh. Every week make significant change to your Christmas displays and promotions to keep your offer fresh.
  18. 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.
  19. Free wrapping. Sure, many retailers offer this. Make your offer better, more creative and more appreciated.
  20. This is essential in any business. Manage it through your computer system with strict rules.
  21. Work the floor. Increase time on the shop floor. Be present to manage shopper flow and to facilitate purchases.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Free assembly. If you sell items that require assembly. Offer to do this for free.
  25. Free delivery. Offer free Christmas Eve delivery for items purchased for kids for Christmas.
  26. Sell training. Leverage the specialist knowledge you have in your business by selling as gifts places at classes you run sharing your expertise.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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/QLD – Nathan Morrison .. 0417 568 148;
  • SA/WA – Tim Batt .. 0401 833 917.

How Xero is changing how small business retailers use POS software

Small business retailers are loving Xero and retailers using the Tower POS software are loving our approved Xero integration. Saving time, cutting keystrokes and cutting accounting fees are some of the benefits being delivered to plenty of retailers partnering with us in the use of our POS software / Xero integration.

Using this ourselves in our own retail business, we have personal experience on which to draw when providing advice to our customers. It places us in a unique position for a software company and allows us to provide a level of service customers love.

Our own experience is that Xero does change a business forever. The time saving and other benefits claimed are real. We can speak to these and ensure our customers are able to leverage the time savings.


Loyalty software helps #smallbusiness retailers

The small business loyalty software in our POS software is helping more and more specialist retailers such as jewellers, bike retailers, garden centres, pet shops, newsagents, gift shops and homewares shops to compete with big business.

Indeed, smart loyalty facilities in small business software are crucial to helping independent and small retail businesses to win against ferocious national competitors.

The small business loyalty facilities in our software are flexible and powerful, offering:

  1. Points based loyalty.
  2. $$$ off the next purchase.
  3. Buy X, Get Y.
  4. Preferential pricing.
  5. And, a mixture of the above configurable to the needs of a business.

The flexibility and options embedded in our small business loyalty software win us ne customers and help existing customers derive better outcomes from their own customer relationships.


How specialist gift and homewares shop software from Tower Systems helps small business gift shops to compete

Gift shops are unique businesses. They offer a carefully selected range of products, supported with personal service and displayed in a locally appropriate way. Gift shop owners take pride in being different, offering an experience unique compared to department stores and national groups.

It is these local gift shops offering personally selected products for local shoppers on which Tower Systems focuses its services in the gift shop management space.

The Tower gift shop software has been developed specifically for locally owned gift shops. It is specialist software, packed with tools aimed to serve unique needs of these specialist retail businesses.

It is this commitment to specialisation that helps Tower Systems to be in such a strong position with gift shops, serving hundreds of businesses in this specialist retail space. These retailers help us further develop the software to provide even deeper connections with the specialist requirements of gift and homewares businesses.

In addition to providing excellent gift shop software, Tower Systems also provides sound advice to help gift and homewares retailers improve the in-store experience.

One example of gift software management advice is this advice on shop floor product rotation:

  1. Rotate gifts at least fortnightly. By rotate, we mean major change, so the gift department and every gift display looks completely fresh.
  2. Each placement / display ought to tell a story. By this, we mean it ought to appeal to the same shopper. There is no point in putting gifts mixed in with gifts for guys.
  3. Follow a treasure hunt principle: place displays to encourage people further into your shop. Displays themselves should present surprise to shoppers. Do not place gifts in a line on shelves. Be creative with displays that are visually enticing.
  4. The more targeted each display the better chance it will work.
  5. On a daily basis, through a structured (rostered) plan, clean gifts and shelves. Dust blocks sales.
  6. At least weekly, call out a gift on Facebook with a carefully written post about why the gift is useful.
  7. Be disciplined about quitting gifts that are not working for you. The longer you carry an underperforming item in your business the more its costs you.
  8. Manage your gift displays to drive traffic, not to leech off existing traffic.

POS software helps retailers sell to customers who love particular ranges

IMG_8899Retailers using the Tower Systems POS software can rely on the software to track who purchases what from a single store or many stores in a group.

This information is used by the software when creating a list of shoppers to email or write to about new products in the range or that would appeal to purchasers of the range.

Our specialisation is in managing the data for use externally. The export file can then be used with specialist email and other software, such as MailChimp – to provide you with the best marketing outcome for the business.

Tracking purchases by customer using our POS software is easy thanks to smart setting facilities that enable efficient and accurate data capture at the sales counter.

The facilities enabling creating of a marketing list based on customer purchase history is one of multiple facilities in our Marketing Tools and part of the valued Tower AdvantageTM.


Sunday retail management tip: leverage a point of difference on loyalty

11800610_722882817857496_9022396491198622984_n (1)More and more retailers are switching from the old school points based loyalty programs to our discount vouchers. They are finding the vouchers are driving more immediate and more valuable outcomes for retailers – they are driving a better bottom line. We are hearing new success stories daily.

It is thrilling hearing success stories of how businesses have switched from points to $$ loyalty offers. It’s exciting and invigorating hearing of small and independent retailers achieving excellent outcomes for their businesses and knowing that we have played a role in this.

This is our retail management tip today – chase a point of difference, leverage new age discount vouchers and stop using the old points based loyalty offers.

Retailers can call the vouchers what they like. They can also choose how the value on a voucher is calculated and what it can be redeemed for.


Smart POS software takes stock performance measurement and management to a higher level

We are thrilled with the feedback on a new report we are trialling in our POS software. Developed with a senior business consultant for a group of retailers in the high ticket price item space, this report provides an alternative view on inventory performance, a view we think many of our customers will find useful as they look to extract more value from their businesses.

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 3.39.36 pm

This latest report reflects further enhancement of the Tower Systems software along a path of continuous improvement and in response to customer requests.

Engaging our development team direct with customers is a most useful exercise for any software company.


Retailers loving our free POS software training

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 12.41.31 pmWe keen addicting additional free live training sessions for our POS software customers and they keep filling up. So, guess what, we are adding more.

These sessions are more about leveraging the software in the business than how to do this or that. They contain considerable retail business management and operational advice.

We are thrilled with the support from ur customers and grateful to be in a position to offer this training by our skilled training team.

This is POS software customer service at its best. This is the Tower AdvantageTM


Sunday retail management advice: keep your loyalty pitch simple for success

A loyalty program is only as good as the over the counter pitch through which you seek to engage shoppers. Check out this brief video we created to train retail employees on what has to be the easiest to use over the counter shopper loyalty offer.

Tower Systems leads with professional employee training videos which help retail employees leverage more value for the business from our software.


POS software training video library helps retail employees gain skills

Retailers using the Tower Systems POS software have access to a training library of more than 130 training videos. These videos are professional in production and valuable in the content offered.

The videos can be accessed from any computer, anywhere and at any time.

The video training resources are comprehensive. They are also loved by our customers.

Regularly enhanced, the Tower Systems POS software video training library is a real asset to our business – allowing us to show a point of difference which wins us business.

In addition to POS software training, our library also includes training on business use of the software – covering how to engage on the shop floor. This is an area many POS software companies neglect in their training.


Tower Systems helps small business retailers benefit from the immediate asset write-off in the federal budget

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 8.58.58 pmTower Systems has begun an education campaign for small business retailers in Australia in selected specialist retail channels outlining how they can benefit from the immediate asset write-off opportunity announced in the federal budget last night.

Retail businesses turning over $2 million a year or less can immediately write off the purchase of our Point of Sale solution.

Our software delivers the productivity benefits the federal government is keen to see small businesses access.


The new approach to stock take using POS software

Demonstrating its commitment to innovation, the latest release of POS software from Tower Systems offers a completely new stock take facility.

Completely re-designed from the ground up, this new stocktaking facility works as well with tablets as it does on your traditional desktop.

Packed with new features, this new stock take facility is available for the end of financial year stock take retailers will undertake over the next two months.

Tower Systems is committed to providing its small business retail partners a continuously improving POS software experience through considerable investment in software development.


More suppliers join Tower Systems EDI community

Small business retailers are set from more suppliers joining the Tower Systems EDI user community offering access to electronic invoices, stock files and other benefits.

With someone dedicated full-time in our business to help wholesales and others connect with retailers, we are well positioned to be able to help overcome hurdles in suppler organisations. This service is one reason we have more suppliers connected with our customers through our software.

The latest supplier coming on board to offer electronic invoices will be a help to many customers as they trade in the newsagency and gift marketplaces – where we serve over 2,000 small businesses.

The moment they are ready we will announce to our customers.


POS software helps small business retailers sell more gifts

exchreceiptPeople purchasing gifts want to ensure that the recipient can exchange the gift if it is not quite right.

Retailers using the Tower Systems specialist gift shop POS software have the ability to print a gift exchange receipt detailing the items purchased but not the price paid.

This facility has been in our software for years. It was developed with retailers offering gift exchange services. The receipt printed was recently enhanced to connect with quality gift purchases.

This gift / exchange receipt facility is another point of difference for Tower in several of our retail channels it is am important pert of the Tower AdvantageTM.


POS software reports on KPIs for small and independent retailers

Few small business POS software products report on return on investment, stock turn, return on floor space and return on shelf space. The Tower Systems POS software delivers on reporting on these and other KPIs, enabling retailers to have a better understanding of business performance and through this the opportunity to make better quality business decisions.

Return on investment, stock turn, return on floor space and return on shelf space are the most vital of retail business Key Performance Indicators. That retailers using the Tower software can access these for themselves and easily demonstrates a valuable point of difference.

Since some small business retailers don’t understand the KPIs, the Tower help desk and business management teams offer assistance in understanding and guidance on decisions which can be made as a result of tapping into the KPIs.


Sunday retail business management advice: leverage your top sellers for more value

Every retail business can sell more to every customer. This is easy when you have good business data and use this to make good business decisions.

Making more money from every sale starts with you understanding shopper behaviour today.

Get a report from your Point of Sale software listing your top ten selling items, by unit sales for the last three months. Do not look at dollars. Unit sales is the far more valuable count since this is a discussion about leveraging volume.

In the Tower software the report is a 10×10 Report. This lists the top 10 items and the ten items selling with those 10 items. (You can set the number to anything besides 10.)

In a typical retail store, the top ten selling items will account for between 30% and 50% of revenue of the business.

Look at your top sellers report and concentrate on the top selling items. Consider these questions about the top selling items:

  1. Do you have appropriate impulse purchase products located on either side of each top item?
  2. Are the top items spread through the store, to maximize customer throughput?
  3. How often do you move the top items?
  4. Do you have the top ten items in multiple locations?
  5. What impulse purchase items do you have at the counter which will appeal to customers who purchase any of the top ten items?
  6. Has the list of top ten sellers changed in the last year? If so, how have they changed and what can you learn from this.
  7. Are there products which you do not currently carry which you could add to the store to sell with the top ten sellers?
  8. Do customers who purchase the top ten sellers ask for any other items?

The idea embedded in these questions is very simple. Use the top ten sellers, or top twenty or top thirty, to focus your attention on items with which you can work to achieve more sales in your business.

By focusing on the top sellers and what you can sell with them you can increase the size of the average shopping basket.

If you can’t see opportunities for achieving more sales by placing products next to or with the top sellers then speak with your team and speak with trusted customers. Don’t rest until you unlock suggestions to try.

There is plenty of additional money to be made from your top sellers. Invest time and attention on this project and get ready to bank the results.


Aussie POS software helps small business retailers grow

Small business retailers want to grow, who doesn’t? With rent and labour costs increasing each year, growth is mission critical. POS software company Tower Systems helps its customers grow by providing advice on how to use the software to grow.

As retailers ourselves we can provide practical advice on how to use the software to more than transact sales, we can help retailers use the software to grow their businesses. We do this every day on our help desk, through our consulting services, through our knowledge base and through our business mentoring assistance.

We encourage, guide, educate and support our small business retailer customers in their desire to grow their businesses. it’s something we take serviceably.

Even on the weekend. Take today, Saturday … we have been helping one business owner understand opportunities in their slow selling inventory pool to unlock cash and space for more productive use.

We are serious in our commitment to small business retailers from our software through to the practical advice and support we provide.


Small business retailers appreciate support in making the locally made pitch

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 3.57.45 amThe free marketing collateral we released for small business retailers is being appreciated. Retailers love that the collateral is available without strings, is free and is unbranded.

We are thrilled with the feedback and are working on adding to the suite of free collateral available from our website.

We are grateful to be in a position to give back to small business retailers.

Covering a range of themes, the example included with this post is most popular as it promoted LOCALLY MADE – a very strong message in any retail situation.


Sunday retail management advice: success today is important for tomorrow

Too often we see small business retailers running their businesses thinking that they will make their money when they sell. Our experience working with thousands of retailers is that focusing on today, on the right now, will ensure the best outcome for the future of the business.

Our strategy – Make every day your pay day – is simple and effective. It’s made up of basic points:

  1. Run with the leanest roster possibl Just about every newsagency business I review has capacity to lower labour costs.
  2. Have your best people working the floor, helping customers spend more.
  3. Stock what sells.
  4. Get rid of stock which is not selling.
  5. Have stunning displays that attract people from outside the shop.
  6. Have compelling displays in-store that encourage people to browse beyond their destination purchase.
  7. Always have impulse offers at high traffic locations.
  8. Charge more every time you can. Review your prices for products people come to yoo because of convenience.
  9. Buy as best you can.
  10. Grab settlement discounts every time you are able.
  11. Use your business data to guide your decisions.
  12. Promote outside your store.

Be responsible for the profitability of your business. Don’t blame your suppliers, your landlord, your employees or some other external factor … it all comes down to you – the decisions you make and the actions you take.

If you relentlessly pursue profit with a clear focus you’re likely to see profit grow. That’s better than waiting to make money when you sell because that’s less likely to happen in this market.


Homewares software cuts time for managing Maxwell & Williams inventory

Years ago Tower Systems developed a good relationship with the folks behind the respected and highly sought after Maxwell and Williams brand. Thanks to this work we offered homewares retailers using our homewares software the ability to import stock files and invoices. Other benefits flow from this work. We help homewares retailer to save time managing their engagement with the Maxwell and Williams brand.

Supporting the respected Maxwell and Williams brand is part of the assistance we provide here at Tower Systems to homewares stores using our software.

Special orders, LayBy, gift packs, seasonal offers, catalogue pricing, movement of stock between stores, serial number tracking and a host of other facilities service the needs of engaged homewares retailers.


POS software helps small business retailers with cloud backup option

bupThe cloud backup service launched last year by small business retail management software company Tower Systems is proving to be popular with retailers. The backup process is seamless, not taking any noticeable time thanks to the smart technology engaged. The result is double protection offering peace of mind to small business retailers.

While Tower Systems has supported external and automated backup services for years, this new even more hands-off cloud-based backup service that offers excellent protection to participating small retail businesses users of our POS software.

Run on a subscription basis and backing up to the cloud real-time through the day, this is a comprehensive replacement of the old end of shift backup approach for small and independent retailers.


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

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

Our support fees are transparent and consistent.

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

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


POS software drives retail sales

One of our POS software team members this week saw first hand the value of the latest loyalty facilities in ur software in a business which switched from MYOB to us and from a points based loyalty system to our $$$ based front end loyalty solution. Here is their story:

I popped in to see a client who swapped to our software late last year from MYOB, they were doing a points based loyalty system before, and changed to our discount vouchers on launch of our software.  The result is excellent sales growth. This is a good report to show you can still get engagement of vouchers, even at low customer numbers and low values.  Average voucher issued was $2.06.

We love hearing stories like this as they reflect on our value proposition of helping our customers. While we help in many ways, it is through the loyalty offer where we see excellent business growth results.


Free POS software training helps retailers improve productivity

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.34.16 pmThe weekly free POS software training opportunities offered by Tower Systems continue to attract retaill business owners and their employees who want to get more from their software investment.

Our outcome-focussed training is proving to be a hit with retailers as it offers practical advice without tech-jargon.

This session on productivity helps retailers where it matters: at the counter.

Tower Systems is grateful to wonderful customer support in participating in these sessions.