Tower Systems small business POS software on show at Melbourne Gift Fair in August

We are excited to be showing our latest POS software packages for gift shopsjewellersbike shopspet shops,  toy shopsfishing/outdoorsgarden centres/nurseriesnewsagentsproduce stores and firearms retailers at the gift fair in Melbourne in a few weeks.

Having done this fair for many years, we understand the value retailers in a range of specialty niches place on the large event.

Many regard it as the best gift fair in Australia.

Tower Systems has been the most consistent POS software supporter of the fair and those who attend.  It has certainly been valuable for us, helping us reach many prospects who have become customers.

This gift fair is valuable because it serves a range of specialty software niches in which we serve. This makes it more interesting than single marketplace shows. It makes it far more interesting than trade shows run by a wholesaler serving one retail niche.

This year our Melbourne Gift Fair  stand is located at the showgrounds, where attendees will see a terrific mix of gist, homewares, toy, fashion and personal grooming products.

We’d be thrilled to say g’day if you stopped by.

Understanding the value of specialist software for jewellers

There are jewellers and then there are speciality jewellers, jewellers who provide speciality services such as repairs, one-off manufacturing, insurance claim services, professional valuations and the handling of quality second-hand goods.

These are some of the services of a specialty jeweller.

Such jewellers tend to not be in the mass marketplace. Their businesses are niche, local and professional.

It is in this space where our speciality jeweller software shines, where it offers deep and valuable services for jewellers in a way that helps them harness their specialisation valuably and efficiently.

Here is a brief video we made that details some of the specialisation in our specialty jeweller software.

Jeweller software explained from mark fletcher on Vimeo.

POS software Xero link helps small business retailers drive sales

newsXpress Southland is a card, gift and collectibles shop in the sprawling Westfield Southland shopping centre in south east Melbourne.

With rent increasing faster than foot traffic to the 300+ store shopping centre, the manager of the business needed to connect with shoppers outside.

Online was the obvious choice but time was limited. The goal was to find a solution that enabled the business to get online without any additional management or accounting time involved.

Xero POS software partner Tower Systems provided an integrated Point of Sale solution for in-store and well as online. This seamless link, coupled with complete xero integration, provided the time-saving solution the business was looking for.

“In the first six month, online revenue passed A$75,000”, commented the Manager of the store. “This is a direct bottom line benefit for the business as there is no additional labour cost and no capital expenditure.”

“We could not have done this without the xero link as that enabled us to effectively open a second outlet without what in the past was additional accounting or bookkeeping cost.”

As the business has become more familiar with the Tower Systems and xero solutions it has evolved the online offering to be more comp0etitive against big retailers in the online space.  This has seen click and collect and online LayBy launched.

It is with online LayBy where the business has benefited from the xero integration in that the shopper is able to pay over time, interest free, and the retailer is paid immediately. There is no additional accounting or bookkeeping work involved as the data flows from the website to the POS to xero without being touched by human hands.

A shopper adds items to their shopping cart, they select online LayBy, provide basic instant credit check data and fine the application approved or otherwise in seconds. The retailer is paid less a small handling fee with the finance company taking full responsibility for collecting payment.

With click and collect, the payment is handled online. This works best as to commits the shopper and turns the in-store visit to an easy collection. Experience has shown this is what shoppers prefer rather than having to worry about payment in-store. It also means one person can purchased while another can collect, with appropriate secure authority.

Doing this, flowing data from shopper through to xero in this way eliminates mistakes that can be made when data is re-keyed. It also saves considerable time and this is a tangible business benefit.

“Control and transparency of data at each step in the line is key for our business because like any small business every cent of margin is important” commented the store manager. “The solution needed to be easy and neat for us and for our customers. Xero was a key part of achieving this.”

In addition to the xero integration, Tower Systems POS software integrates with Shopify, magento and WooCommerce – the three leading e-commerce platforms in the world. The web development team at Tower has enhanced these to offer a multi-store solution whereby independent retailers can trade under a single branded website rather than needing their own website.

“The xero integration is the back-office piece where real labour costs are reduced”, commented Gavin Williams, Tower Systems COO. “We only sell to independent small business retailers in selected retail niches such as bike shops, jewellers and garden centres. Having the xero integration is vital as they are all competing with big business and every saving, no matter how small, is loved.”

Tower Systems is an Australian based POS software company currently serving in excess of 3,500 small and independent business retailers. The company can be explo9red at www.towersystems.com.au.

The easy way to compare small business POS software companies

Small business retailers can be bamboozled by claims made by POS software companies. Here is a guaranteed way to find the best POS software company for you in a comparison:

  1. Ask the companies you are interested in to visit your shop, to show you live and in person how their software handles questions you have about it.
  2. Speak with the owner of the POS software company. Ask them why your business matters. Ask them for details of retailers like you they have using their software.
  3. Get login access to their customer knowledge base. Look at th resources they provide.
  4. Look at their business blogs, compare the content and professionalism.
  5. Compare the written quotes. Ensure everything you require is included.
  6. Ask if software support coverage is mandatory. Get their answer in writing, from a director of the company.
  7. Ask for a total cost of ownership projection for three, four and five years.

These six points alone will offer a complete comparison outside of the software itself. It will force some companies to confront topics they would rather avoid.

Advice for small business retailers on how and why own run LayBys in retail

Offering Lay-by services is essential if you want to grow sales revenue in almost any time of business.

Big  businesses usually have strong LayBy offerings. It takes commitment and discipline. Once the processes are in place, staff trained and your system setup, it can run like clockwork.

Lay-Bys provide shoppers an opportunity to purchase today what they are unable to fully pay for today.

Key to your success with Lay-bys is having a streamlined and consistent process for processing Lay-bys, storying lay-by product, collecting payment and tracking customers.

One mistake with managing Lay-bys can be expensive.

Use software in your business to track Lay-bys. Do not do it manually. Of course, we recommend the Tower Systems POS software – it has LayBy facilities ready to go.

Use the software to capture the sale, record customer details, document your terms and conditions, record the deposit, track payments, chase late payments and finalise the sale. Again, to not attempt to do this manually.

Be complete in what you record. Only Lay-by stock for which you have records in your software, always enter full customer details such a full name, complete address and an ID number such as a driver’s licence number.

If you are not complete in your records keeping at some point this will cost you money.

In your software set your deposit requirements, payment requirements and other Lay-by terms. This provides a foundation of consistency for you and your employees.

IMPORTANT: Before you begin, familiarise yourself with LayBy regulation as set by the ACCC: https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/contracts-agreements/lay-by-agreements

Also, check the website of your state Consumer Affairs office to familiarise yourself with local requirements. Information there will help you determine your own terms.

Meeting regulatory requirements is vital. For example, if someone cancels a LayBy you must refund their payments less a termination fee. You can set this fee and advise as part of your terms and conditions.

Our practical advice guides you through key rules and steps to success with Lay-bys.

  1. WHAT TO LAY-BY. Set a minimum item and or purchase value. We’d suggest $80.00.
  2. DATA REQUIRED. Always ensure you are satisfied you know who your customer is. Require proof of ID from a driver’s licence or similar legal ID document.
  3. 20% of the total GST inclusive purchase price.
  4. Only Lay-by to people 18 and over.
  5. Lay-bys should run for between eight and twelve weeks. You could run for longer pre Christmas to get early toy sales.
  6. PAYMENT CYCLE. Require payments to be made weekly or fortnightly.
  7. PAYMENT METHOD. Accept any payment form you choose.
  8. Do not allow someone to take home a single item from a group of items on Lay-by together in one purchase. It’s all or nothing.
  9. Have a LayBy termination policy you are comfortable with. We suggest a 20% termination fee. Alternatively, set a dollar amount to reflect the work. Also, consider setting the LayBy to auto terminate if it extends beyond a period of time you nominate. Note that you could equally choose to have no cancellation given that Lay-by product may not be able to easily re-sold.
  10. Decide what you would consider a breach. This has to be something you stand by. We suggest two missed payments without reasonable excuse or rectification. On breach, cancel and charge the cancellation fee.
  11. We suggest a no-exchange policy.
  12. When a customer Lay-bys, print two dockets – one for them to take immediately and one to be placed with the goods. Have your customer sign both copies, accepting your terms and conditions.
  13. Set aside a clean and secure storage location for Lay-bys in your business where locations are coded for easy finding. Place Lay-by goods into a single clear plastic bag per transaction for clean and safekeeping. Staple to this a copy of the Lay-by docket. Let your customers see you do this so there is no doubt when it comes time to collect the products.
  14. Have one person responsible for Lay-bys to ensure product care, track payments and contact customers.
  15. TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Enter these into your software so they are included on every Lay-by docket. Points 2 through 11 above are a good example of what to include in your terms and conditions.
  16. COMPLETE PAPERWORK. To not over complicate things, rely on your software’s Lay-by docket as your complete paperwork / contract. Get that right and Lay-by management will be easier.

These rules and steps may feel complex. They are necessary for the small number of times something goes wrong and you need to rely on them to help you deal with a situation.

Happy Lay-bys.

POS software Shopify link helps small business high street retailers sell online

Tower Systems offers direct integration between its small business POS software and Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce, as well as a generic link that retailers with web stores in other platforms can use.

The Tower Systems platform specific links have been developed to the standards of Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce. We have taken great care to ensure that we link as they intend, sharing the right data for a seamless connection between the physical store POS software and the o line store experience.

This drives shopper confidence and saves retailers time. It helps drive revenue too.

As operators of retail businesses as well as online businesses, Tower Systems is well placed to provide a whole of business physical store and online =store solution that is integrated, safe, easy and shopper outcome focussed.

Each link is different.  Here is information abut the Tower Systems POS software Shopify link:

What is Shopify?

Shopify is one of the easiest ways to setup and run an ecommerce store. We think it provides you with the ideal place to create you first website and gain experience in the world of ecommerce. You have complete control over the look and feel of your online store and can instant access fantastic look themes to reflect the personality of your business. For more information visit www.shopify.com.au.

What is the Retailer to Shopify Link?

The Tower Systems Retailer POS software to Shopify Link uses the Tower Advantage Link platform to allow Retailer to connect directly to your Shopify store. The Tower Advantage Link platform is a subscription-based service that acts as an intermediary between Retailer and the Shopify API.

How does the link work?

The link works by using the TALink platform platform to connect to the shopify API and synchronise your data.

Stock. Retailer is your master stock database. You flag what stock items you want to appear on your shopify store. Descriptions and extended descriptions are added as your titles and descriptions in Shopify. Newly flagged products are automatically added and if you edit items in Retailer you have field level control over how these are handled in Shopify.

Department and Categories. Your Retailer Departments and Categories become collections in Shopify. You can have a chose of either Department level collections or category level, but not both. If you choose to synchronise either a department or category, your existing structure will be mirrored and managed in Shopify automatically. If, however, you decide not link your Department and Categories in Shopify, you can allocate collections manually to products once they are added.

Classifications. Shopify does not have a mechanism to manage classifications.

Prices and Quantity On Hand. You have control over your webstore pricing from within the Retailer Stock Screen. Bulk updates of the webstore prices can be performed in Stock Manager. Once new prices are set, your web store is updated automatically.

Quantity on hand is also managed automatically, when your sell or arrive an item into stock these adjustments are sent directly to Shopify. If the quantity on hand of an items drops to 0, the item is marked as out of stock in Shopify.

Images. The images you set against stock items in Retailer are automatically uploaded to your website. If images change, then old one is removed and the new one is added. You can upload as many images as you like per stock item.

 

Customers. Customers that purchase off your webstore are added as customers in your Retailer database, allowing you to track what they buy and market to them if you desire. Existing customers with an email address will also be added to your web store to facilitate easy sales if you choose.

Sales. Sales are downloaded on a periodic basis and imported into Retailer. They are imported into our Customer Invoice Maintenance facility allowing you to place orders and print invoices if needed. Once sales are imported it reduces your quantity on hand so you maintain accurate stock control. Sales can be allocated to a specific location or merged to you main sales data, giving you excellent control over how you report on your webstore sales.

I don’t have a website but want one. Can Tower help?

Yes! We are expert in POS software and web store development and deployment.

Awesome free POS software training for small business retailers

Here at Tower Systems we are grateful to the small business retailers and those who work in small business retail who support and engage with the weekly free live online training workshops we run.

Thank you!

We love sharing insights. Better still, we love your questions and feedback as they provide fertile ground for enhancements to our POS software and to the services we provide.

Here are free POS software training opportunities for the rest of this month:

How a small discount voucher from our POS software led to a $1,500 purchase

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

This story could happen in any retail business – city, country, large, small, shopping mall, high street. I make that point so you do not dismiss the story and think it could not happen in your business. The elements of the story work together in any size business. In writing about it here I’m not getting you to do anything other than to consider that you could achieve the same in your business.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The discount vouchers are disruptive. People respond in unpredictable ways.

Best of all, the discount vouchers are profitable.

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

If you have read this post and thought it does not relate to you, that you could not do this in your business I say you are wrong. I am certain the approach I have shared with you could work in any newsagency in any situation. I urge you to not hold your business back.

Using POS software to cut employee theft in small business retail

Theft is retail can be expensive, particularly employee theft. Tower systems has a structured and proven approach for dealing with employee theft in retail businesses where the Tower Systems POS software is used.

The Tower POS software has tools for reducing the opportunity for theft. Better still, the software has hidden tools for tracking theft, tools that provide evidence police and prosecutors have used to successfully deal with theft situations.

It is the secret and secure facilities where our software provides retail business owners the evidence necessary to achieve successful resolution, as we have found in many employee theft situations where our help has been called upon.

Discovering theft by an employee can be debilitating and destabilising. To help you through this, Tower Systems provides advice and support on what to do once you discover employee theft. The goal is to offer straightforward steps to help you get through as it is on the other side of this where you can find the opportunity to move on from the feeling of violation that often accompanies employee theft in small business.

In addition to being a support, we provide practical advice an help for use our our POS software to reduce  the opportunity for employee theft and shopper theft.

Follow this advice on how to use our specialist retail software to hamper opportunities for theft and bolster the certainty of detecting it before it’s too late:

  1. Employ stock control for high volume items. Enter new stock as it comes in, scan all sales and only reorder based on what the software says. Perform a stock take regularly each month. High volume item stock discrepancies are an indicator of theft.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department tracking only – your data needs to be granular to prevent employees taking advantage of loose stock on hand quantities. Not scanning individual stock items is unfortunately an invitation to dishonest employees.
  3. Use the software-based end of shift procedure and have a zero-tolerance policy on cash balance discrepancies. Reconcile banking to your computer software at end of shift. We have seen businesses failing to do this: one was being skimmed regularly of $200 a day.
  4. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One business owner needing to perform banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to the discovery of systematic theft.
  5. Mix up your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  6. 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. Our software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  7. Check GP by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, always research further.
  8. Publish a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. At the bottom of this page is a sample theft policy.
  9. Keep the store counter area clean. A better organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft. Reducing nooks and crannies makes detection of any cash hoarding easier.
  10. Have a “no employee bags” at the counter policy. This makes it harder for dishonest employees to hide stolen cash.
  11. 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.
  12. Beware of calculators and mobile phones at the counter. Employees can use these devices to track how much cash could be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not processed.
  13. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If an employee wants to purchase something ensure they purchase it from the customer’s side of the counter.
  14. 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. Do not take cash handling lightly; if you respect your business procedures your staff are more likely to too. Never take cash from the till for your own personal use, i.e. to buy lunch.
  15. 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.

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

How to connect your POS software to your website

Connecting your high street retail business POS software to a website is straightforward if you are connected with software businesses that understand the importance and value of such a connection.

Tower Systems offers POS software to webstore direct connections for Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce – directly between its software and each of these e-commerce platforms. We have used the development APIs for each of the platforms to create three separate links.

For retailers using a lesser known webstore platform, we have a generic link that also works well to sync transaction and inventory data across two technology platforms.

The best link is tight, accurate and driving online and in-store business. We can demonstrate the value of this through many store connected websites we have crated for single businesses as well as for group businesses. We can shop the value of implementing online LayBy, click and collect, carious payment options, handling freight, handling customer special orders and handling preorders for highly sought after lines.

All of these things and plenty more have been addressed in the POS software webstore integrations that we have delivered to our small business friends.

As a POS software developer with a terrific team of web developers we are well positioned to provide a complete one-stop solution for in-store and online. This ensures small businesses are not lost in a battle between two software companies that point at each other as the cause of any issue. Providing both the website and the POS software there is one go-to place, one way to make the relationship work, one business responsible.

The Tower web team is also skilled at SEO and SEM services that help raise the website rankings in key search engines, ensuring the site is found ahead of others.

But best of all, Tower Systems provides professional advice and guidance to small business retailers keen to build their online presence. Our commitment is honest transparent advice on which any small business retailer can rely.

The Tower Systems web development team is Australian based, working out of the company’s head office in Hawthorn. This is important as many web development businesses are overseas. While you might have a locally based contact person development too often is done overseas, leading to challenges with delivery and usefulness.

Go to our website to find out more about our POS software webs store integrations.

Small business retailers ready for EOFY

Wow! What a build up it has been form small business retailers using our software. They are ready for the end of the financial year thanks to an extraordinary roster of free live group training, free one on one training and easy access to videos and online training documents.

No matter how, when and where our customers wanted to access EOFY training they have been able to.

Many years ago we committed to running weekly live online accessible training, using a the world-class WebEx platform. We continue to run these weekly training sessions, years later. But this year the weekly sessions were not enough. Some weeks we did five sessions, as so many of our customers wanted to learn more about the amazing new and easy stock take tools in our software.

We love providing training and we love that our customers engage with it. Indeed, we are grateful to our customers for their engagement.

This financial year, many more small business retailers thanks to the free training we have provided access to.

And the training continues. next week we have a terrific interactive and live session on reordering. We can help retailers cut mistakes through a faster and more accurate reordering process that can significantly improve the bottom-line performance of the business. Like all our training workshops, access is free.

Training opportunities cities never stop at Tower Systems.

Our approach to training is actions speak louder than words. While it is easy for any POS software company to announce they will offer training, it is another thing entirely to deliver.

Tower Systems offers small business retailers help with the Petya malware attack

We published to our small business POS software customers today reminder advice on the best steps to follow to protect the business against impact from malware. This is especially relevant today because of the overnight Petya attack in the UK and elsewhere, including in Australia.

Being early with consistent professional advice helps our small business customers protect their businesses.

Here is best practice advice on which any computer user can rely:

MALWARE WARNING.
A new malware attack on computers is sweeping the world. It has hit the UK government, big businesses (shutting down the Cadbury factory in Tasmania) and small businesses. Please protect your business. Here is our advice.

  1. Tell all who use your computers to not open any emails that look suspicious in any way.
  2. Do not click on any links unless you are 100% sure.
  3. Do not open attachments unless you are 100% sure.
  4. Make sure you have the latest Windows update running on every computer.
  5. Never connect a computer to your network unless you are sure it is clean.
  6. Advise all employees of these requirements.

The easiest way to recover is if you use a professional cloud backup.

Why retailers love the loyalty software in the small business POS software from Tower Systems

Shopper loyalty software needs to drive sales. If it does not do this then it fails the business and is of questionable value.

The only stat that matters in any assessment of loyalty facilities in any POS software is the incremental business delivered by using the loyalty facilities.

This is where the loyalty software facilities from Tower Systems come into their own. Offering a broad range of loyalty solutions, small business retailers can choose the approach that works best for them, included a blend of multiple approaches.

Most retail businesses using our specialist retail software love its points-based loyalty program that looks and feels as professional as the supermarkets’ programs. However, our software’s Discount Voucher facilities deliver even better results.

Discount vouchers are a very different approach to loyalty. They offer immediate rewards. They help shoppers spend more this visit. This is vital in businesses that see shoppers once, in tourist and similar locations. They genuinely change shopper behaviour in that visit to the business.

One of our own retail businesses reported growth of 10% in the three months. Much of the success comes down to smart use of Discount Vouchers.

Discount Vouchers don’t need a card – they print on sales receipts and offer an amount customers can spend right away. Our experience and the experience of hundreds of our customers is that Discount Vouchers drive faster and deeper engagement with the business – making a shopping visit more valuable right away.

  1. You name the voucher anything you like and can change this at any time.
  2. You set the rules on how the value of the voucher is calculated.
  3. You set the rules on what the voucher can be redeemed for.
  4. You set the rules on expiry dates.

Male shoppers are more likely to spend the voucher immediately and many customers use the voucher to purchase items more expensive than the items in the initial purchase made. Customers see the voucher as cash, often commenting that they like the direct approach better than a points-based system. They like the transparency and simplicity.

In our own retail experience, which sees us competing against major retailers in a Westfield shopping centre, several shoppers have stated they prefer Discount Vouchers over the rewards programs of our competitors.

We are confident that Tower Systems’ Discount Voucher facilities can help you:

  1. Get customers spending more in a visit.
  2. Bring existing customers back sooner.
  3. Attract new shoppers to your business.
  4. Drive impulse purchases at the sales counter.

Here is a video from us about Discount Vouchers:

Security warning for small business retailers

2017 has seen an extraordinary spike in attacks on computers and on websites. Our ability to help will depend on the care you have taken. Our advice is that you use a cloud backup service, like the Tower Backup service we offer. It works in the background, backing up without you having to do a backup. If your business is attacked, getting back to a clean and safe place is easy. Any reputable backup service should be able to offer similar to you.

Please do not put this off. Get protection for your business and your business data. You don’t want to be the person who does this after you have been attacked.

At the very least, backup every day, onto a USB stick for that day. While this is an old-school approach, it is better than nothing at all.

But let’s be clear, cloud backup is our recommendation. Our service provides you with a local backup and an offsite backup, in the cloud. This gives you two backups, excellent protection. We monitor the backups to ensure they are working. If we find an issue, we proactively call you. This is rare from a cloud backup service provider.

Here at Tower Systems we take data security seriously. We provide best-pracie advice. Our customers are welcome to use our service or another, our recommendation, however, is that they do something – to be protected.

Too often small business retailers think about data security after they have been affected. Hence this advice here and in our weekly emails and elsewhere in our touch points with customers.

Regional small business POS software user meetings demonstrate customer care

We are grateful to our customers and prospective customers who attended regional face to face small business POS software training and user meetings in New South Wales this week.

As we criss-crossed the north of New South Wales by plane and car we covered plenty of ground and met with plenty of small business people, from different specialty retail sectors.

Every encounter in our sessions and after in private Q&A added to our knowledge of small business retail and provided us an opportunity to preach Tower.

100% committed to only selling to small business retailers, we demonstrated through the sessions a commitment to transparency, welcoming customers and prospects to one session in each town. It was terrific hearing the blend of questions and sharing solutions that are well covered in our software today.

It is hard work putting together regional in-person user meetings like these. And expensive. These are reasons most POS software companies do not do it. That we do run these sessions is a genuine differentiator for Tower Systems. Plus, for those unable to attend, we host weekly online workshops, without fail.

Next week, we hit top far north Queensland with four sessions. We are looking forward to learning more and sharing more with small business retailers from a range of channels.

Click and collect helps small business retailers win more online sales

Tower Systems has been offering click and collect for its various developed online websites for months. It is a ripper of a success, both in terms of sales and attracting new shopper traffic.

Our POS software connected website solutions in magento, Shopify and WooCommerce deliver valuable new traffic solutions. Click and collect is one of several enhancements key to this.

Click and collect is where people shop online and visit a physical store to pick up the goods purchased. It is a major focus of big business retailers like David Jones, Myer, Officeworks, Coles and others. Offering it shows online shoppers how current you are in your online approach. It builds trust.

Customers like that they can shop online at any time, pay online, and be certain that what they purchased is set aside for them to collect at any time.

It is shop online at any time that matters in that the majority of transactions are done outside usual shopping hours. This gives click and collect businesses an advantage – they can win the sale and bank the revenue while their nearby competitors are closed.

Another benefit of click and collect is that it introduces new shoppers to a business. Two thirds of click and collect shoppers surveyed visit the shop from where they collected the goods for the first time. Half purchased other items while in the store. Close to half came back for more purchases, having discovered what the store sells.

Around a quarter of click and collect shoppers use interest-free online LayBy… meaning they buy now, pay later and get the goods right away. The retailer is paid right away less a tiny processing fee that is not much more than the usual credit card fee.

Click and collect is not a massive game changer. Rather, it is a small step in a series of steps that make up a successful comprehensive online strategy.

A comprehensive online strategy is key to competing with other online businesses as well as with other high street businesses.

The way we help our small business retail customers leverage click and collect is through offering access to absolutely current stock on hand data for sought after brands. Having this, updated every 5 minutes 24/7 is what shoppers want when shopping online. It is hard to achieve – this is a reason many small and independent retailers and retail groups have not done it.

Online is big and growing. You only have to look at data from any of the online giants to understand this.

Tower Systems is thrilled to offer leadership on this.

Tower Systems brings POS software / webstore workshop to regional Australia

Launching today, small business POS software company is bringing training, insights and inspiration to small business retailers in regional Australia through a series of thoughtful and interactive live workshops in towns and cities in New South Wales and Queensland.

Each session is free and each will be attended by senior folk from ur business, sharing the latest insights from Australia and overseas.

  1. Coffs Harbour. June 19. 10am. Novotel.
  2. Tamworth. June 20. 10am. Leagues Club.
  3. Newcastle. June 21. 10am. Mercure.
  4. Dubbo. June 22. 10am. Quest.
  5. Wagga Wagga. June 23. 10am. International Hotel.
  6. Cairns. June 26. 2pm. Novotel.
  7. Townsville. June 27. 10am. Mercure.
  8. Mackay. June 28. 10am. Mackay Grande Suites.
  9. Rockhampton. June 29. 10am. Quest.
  10. Gold Coast. July 5. 2pm. Sofitel.

Come and see how small business retailers around the world are using website connected POS software to win online sales.

We will explain how to get to the top of Google search results. In fact, we will show it with live search.

We will demonstrate the connection between social media posts (Facebook, Twitter etc) in-store sales and online sales.

At our FREE workshops near you and find out more about how you can equip your retail business to confront the changes in retail, transact online and compete with big businesses, including Amazon.

There will be no hard sell. Our goal is to share practical information to help you better plan for the future of your regional retail business.

Anyone is welcome including people on whom you rely for advice, such as accountants and mentors.

If you have sales queries prior to these events please talk with your local account manager:

  • QLD: Justin Randall. 0434 365 789.
  • NSW: Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148.

We hope to see you at one of these workshops. I am keen to share with you what I have seen and learnt in this rapidly changing space.

There will be plenty of time for questions on any topic connected with retail.

We have software for: gift shopsjewellersbike shops, pet shops,  toy shopsfishing/outdoorsgarden centres/nurseries, newsagentsproduce stores and firearms retailers.

5 ways online appointment software helps small business retailers

Online appointment software is helping retailers and service providers in a bunch of ways. Here are the top five we hear about when we talk with people who love online appointment software:

  1. 24/7 trading. In this online and forever connected world, people what they want when they want it. In the area of personal services and anything else for which appointments are essential, businesses that offer online appointments can win businesses ahead of those businesses that do not offer such services. 24/7 trading gives you the edge, the ability to lock in an appointment when peopler want to do that. Imagine the benefits compared them having to wait to call or wait for an email response. Online appointments are fast and easy.
  2. Save time. You save time and the customer saves time. No paperwork. Auto checking of the appointment. It is wins all round.
  3. Customer certainty. With the confirmation provided to the customer in the form they choose, they have certainty and you have certainty. That builds confidence in your business.
  4. Easy resources scheduling. Thanks to also scheduling rooms, people and equipment, everything is done in the one appointment booking process. Yo are covered and the customer knows exactly what they are booking.
  5. Competitive advantage. Your business with an online appointment facility looks different, more current, to competitors without such facilities.

Available as stand-alone as well as integrated with the Tower POS software, the new appointment facility enables people to make an appointment with a business from anywhere and at any time.

Located at www.makemyappointment.com.au  this new facility offers a full suite of appointment facilities including:

  1. Easy appointment making as well as changes – from any device, anywhere.
  2. Text message and/or email notification.
  3. Send reminders of appointments.
  4. Schedule staff, rooms and equipment based on the type of appointment being made and staff and resource availability.
  5. Australian developed and supported.
  6. Data located on a secure server in a purpose built data warehouse facility.
  7. Low monthly access cost. Paid 30 days in advance. Easily cancellable.
  8. Tower Systems POS software integrated to make processing payments easy.
  9. Business management back end to see the schedule of appointments by staff member and overall and to efficiently manage resources.

Developed initially for pet groomers, this new appointment facility has been designed to serve a variety of needs including managing appointments for product repairs, professional services and other businesses.

Each business has its own public-facing landing page that can be found through search engines. There is also a website plug-in to enable appointments to be seamlessly made form your website.

Tower Systems is thrilled to release MakeMyAppointment to retailers and service providers as a genuine cloud based appointment facility developed for small businesses across a range of retail sectors.

Tower Systems is well established in the POS retailer community with high-value POS software for a range of specialty retail niche.

Free POS software & e-commerce workshop for regional QLD small business retailers.

Retail is changing at a rapid rate. Changes in-store and online are making 2017 an important year.

We have see these changes first-hand at international retail conferences this year. We play with the changes in our own shops where we use our POS software and our website technology to find new customers and drive a higher average spend.

Come to one of our FREE workshops near you and find out more about how you can equip your retail business to confront the changes in retail, transact online and compete with big businesses, including Amazon.

Here are the dates for our free POS software / website workshops. Click on the city name to book your place:

  1. Cairns. June 26. 2pm. Novotel.
  2. Townsville. June 27. 10am. Mercure.
  3. Mackay. June 28. 10am. Mackay Grande Suites.
  4. Rockhampton. June 29. 10am. Quest.

We will share insights on how small business retailers around the world are using website connected POS software to win online sales.

We will explain how to get to the top of Google search results.

We will demonstrate the connection between social media posts (Facebook, Twitter etc) in-store sales and online sales.

There will be no hard sell. Our goal is to share practical information to help you better plan for the future of your regional retail business.

Anyone is welcome including people on whom you rely for advice, such as accountants and mentors.

If you have sales queries prior to these events please talk with your local account manager: QLD: Justin Randall. 0434 365 789.

I hope to see you at one of these workshops. I am keen to share with you what I have seen and learnt in this rapidly changing space.

There will be plenty of time for questions on any topic connected with retail.

We have software for: gift shopsjewellersbike shops, pet shops,  toy shopsfishing/outdoorsgarden centres/nurseries, newsagentsproduce stores and firearms retailers.

Small business retail advice: how to organise your back room

The back room of a retail business is a window on the efficiency and focus of the business. This is a fair assumption because it is where the business is organized.. A disorganized back room reflects a likely disorganized business.

Organizing the back room is easy. Those who disagree are probably spending too much time thinking about it and not enough time creating an efficient and enjoyable work space.

Here are some simple tips for organizing the back room of any retail business.

Have defined areas. Separate, mark out and manage the areas for: inward goods, spare floor stock, returns, administration and employee rest space. Locate each area in a logical position.

For example, inward goods needs to be located inside the doorway away from main traffic but close enough to be convenient to delivery people. Create a defined process around this space – such as every delivery being signed for and even verified by a second person if the value of deliveries warrants this.

Administration documents and materials need to be located in an area more secure than the general back room space. It also needs to be in office cabinets and units which can be locked.

A place for everything. Pens, pencils, tape, box cutters, scissors, paper, boxes, packaging materials – everything in the back room should have its defined space. This creates a safer and more enjoyable work environment. The better organization also encourages all others in the organization to be better organized. Lead by example.

Communicate clearly. Setup a notice board or a white board onto which you can communicate with all employees. This should be located next to the door which leads from the room to the shop floor. The noticeboard can share important information about the business as well as required health and safety notices.

Don’t hoard. Retailers are notorious hoarders, handing on to everything in case they need it one day. While it is easy to say don’t hoard, the reality is different. Here is a simple tip for retailers with space available. Set aside some space, hopefully somewhat hidden – where you put anything which you are not using and don’t think you will need but are not prepared to throw out. Not the date you put it there. review this space every six months. Items you do not use in six months should be thrown out.

Structure and discipline are the keys to a good back room. get these right and the business itself will become more organized as a result.

This is an example of practical business advice we provide at Tower Systems to our retail customers, advice beyond our POS software, to help our retail business partners get more from their engagement with us.

Employee theft remains the biggest concern of small business retailers.

Employee theft in small retail businesses remains the biggest single concern among small business retailers and the biggest single cost to retail businesses.

We say this based on evidence of interaction with 3,500+ small business retailers in our user community and from working with plenty of retailers outside our user community, helping them to deal with the hurt and cost of discovering theft by retailers.

We have tried many approached to getting the attention of small business retailers on the issue of theft. One of the most successful means of engagement has been this cheeky video from us. It gets attention.

We have used it through YouTube as well as other platforms. It works a treat, gaining thousands of views.

Australian developed POS software for Australian specialty retailers

A good Point of Sale system pays for itself every day by helping retailers increase customer spend per visit, bring customers back more regularly, reduce the cost of slow or dead stock, reduce mistakes and make better business decisions.

Australian POS software company Tower Systems is grateful for the opportunity to help more than 3,500 independent small business retailers leverage more benefits from being part of the group.

Consistent stock files, electronic invoices, easier business-to-business comparison and more targeted business development assistance are just some of the benefits you can expect from a more consistent solution.

But being independent businesses we understand you need a computer system over which you have absolute control and security within your business.

That is what the Tower Systems solution offers – locally run software for your type of business in your business over which you have control yet that can be run in a manner that helps others you work with help you.

Tower Systems has a strategy for helping individual businesses as well as businesses that trade as part of a group.

From the sales counter to the back office to online, Tower Systems has comprehensive solutions to work with and for a business in a broad variety of ways. these solutions are available for a variety of retail businesses channels, with software designed specifically for the businesses in these channels.

We have software for: gift shopsjewellersbike shops, pet shops,  toy shopsfishing/outdoorsgarden centres/nurseries, newsagentsproduce stores and firearms retailers.