Important questions small business retailers should ask POS software companies

What should a small business retailer ask a POS software company as part of your process of considering whether to use their software?

The important part of this question is small business retailer. What small business retailers need differs to what big business retailers need.

What may look good in a video or an online pitch may not be good when you need help or a specific facility or access to an integration to help you grow your business.

Beyond the functionality of the POS software itself there are questions you can ask that could inform a better business decision on what is right for a business.

To help you think about possible questions, we have put together twenty-six for your consideration. Read through these and start to think about questions that could be useful for you.

The answers to these questions will better inform you, they will help separate software companies you are considering. The answers will help you see the software company that is a better fit for your specific business today.

Take your time. The right software company will be a long-term partner of your business.

  1. Will you come my business to assess my needs?
  2. Will you come to my business and demonstrate your software?
  3. If you know your software is not a good fit for my business will you say so?
  4. Is your company Australian?
  5. Is the software developed in Australia?
  6. Is your help desk based in Australia?
  7. Is your company Australian owned?
  8. Are you selling software you developed yourselves?
  9. Can you convert data from other software?
  10. Do you sell to big businesses, 25 shops or more?
  11. Does your software link with Xero, MYOB & Quicken?
  12. Can I access your software from home and elsewhere?
  13. Do you own and run retail businesses as test sites?
  14. Can I connect your software to a website?
  15. Do you develop websites I can connect to?
  16. If you develop websites are the main platforms of Magento, Shopify or WooCommerce?
  17. Can I rent your software?
  18. Can I lease your software?
  19. Can I purchase your software outright?
  20. Is your software designed specifically for my retail channel?
  21. Will you train me on your software in my business?
  22. Will you train my staff in how to use the software?
  23. Is software support included for the first year?
  24. Do you charge to help me uncover employee theft?
  25. Do you charge to assess the performance of my business?
  26. Do I have to buy my hardware from you?

The only Australian made and supported specialty software for jewellers

The Tower Systems POS software for jewellers is unique. It is the only POS software for jewellers made, enhanced and supported in Australia, for Australian jewellers.

Evolving thanks to valuable software updates, this software gets better with age.

Jeweller users of the software have a direct say in the development and enhancement of the software thanks to a transparent process established by Tower Systems.

Australian software serving Australian niche retail businesses is vital for the local economy and the local points of difference being leveraged in the retail businesses.

Jewellers and their employees love the Tower software for many reasons:

  1. No one tells you how to run your business. We’re jeweller software experts who give you the tools with which you can make the decisions that are best for your business.
  2. This is software designed specifically for jewellers.
  3. The software is updated regularly to include enhancements suggested by jewellers and their employees.
  4. There are excellent shopper loyalty and marketing facilities to help drive basket size and return shopping.
  5. Training is delivered live, in-store.
  6. There are more than 130 training videos for refresher training.
  7. Live help desk support where you talk to a human on the phone. No faceless email type support here.
  8. Electronic invoice and stock file connections with your suppliers.
  9. Free weekly online user workshops offering group training and networking opportunities.
  10. Australian made.

Serving 300+ jewellers with our specialist jeweller software, our service is personal:

  1. We train you in your business, face to face.
  2. Our support is Australian based, 24/7 and specialist to your needs.
  3. We develop the software. We are not agents.
  4. Our software is developed for you. It is not US or Chinese software.
  5. You have access to more than 130 training videos.
  6. You have access to a comprehensive, self-serve knowledge base.

Facilities in our jeweller software include: sales, customer loyalty, integrated eftpos, repairs management, special orders, gift cards, employee tracking, inventory management, specials / catalogues / offers, web-store interface, Xero interface, product care instructions, customer follow-up marketing, performance reporting, theft management, second-hand goods management, bundling pricing, servicing assistance / management, employee rostering and plenty more.

Tower Systems is proud to support Australian jewellers with Australian developed software for jewellers.

How retailers can continue to trade if the internet is down

Here is a question we are often asked by retailers:

In a cloud environment what happens when the Internet is unavailable? The offering is for an external cloud provider, can we leverage our own cloud provider? How are hosting charges calculated, i.e. data storage charges?

Here is our answer:

Our POS software system is very configurable.  Users have the ability, if they wish, to run without being hosted.  This solves any Internet stability questions, particularly for rural/regional Australian where this may be an issue.

The other challenge with cloud is the costs. Our experience is some small business owners are not happy with the monthly hosting cost for a cloud service. However, the customer can choose the approach that is best for their specific circumstances.

These are the reasons we have configured our software to suit whatever situation a customer prefers.

Alternatively, if users want, we can host the system in the cloud, 100% in the cloud.  This can be hosted on our secure dedicated infrastructure (additional costs will apply) or on infrastructure of their choosing.  We will provide guidance on the configuration so the ideal environment is created.

If hosted on our infrastructure customers are charged on a per user per month basis.

If the user runs in a hosted environment and the internet drops out the user can switch to a facility we call Outpost Mode.  OUTPOST mode allows for basic trading, scanning sales, until such time as Internet access is restored.

The level of software access in the event of internet access being down, blocked or otherwise hampered does depend on choices made by the customer. Our customers can be secure in the knowledge that we support multiple choices, we make it easy for them transact if that is the core goal of their business.

Can you continue to trade if the internet is down? Yes!

Crucially, we can train our customers on how to be ready for this in advance of any problem occurring. This is important since customers might otherwise scrambling too get up and running in the middle of a problem could be too disruptive for the business,

Planning ahead of any incident or disaster is important in our view.

Practical website advice for small business retailers – how online rules have changed

How people use websites for retail businesses has changed, not overnight, but gradually over time.

If you have a website created more than three years ago, which has not been structurally changed or updated since it is probably not helping your business.

Online, the world moves fast, often faster than many small business retailers understand and plan for. Our advice here is designed to help you catch up.

Even if a website is there merely as an online business care, it needs to been certain criteria today to be found and of use to shoppers.

Here are some useful ‘rules’ I offer as  guidance for any retailer with (or planning) a business website:

  1. Ensure the site is mobile phone friendly. If it is not, Google will downgrade its ranking of the site.  Google announced red this more than a year ago. If you are not sure if your site is mobile friendly, access it from a phone and see if it is easily used without having to move the screen around. The site should automatically resize for the phone.
  2. Be clear about your online operation. Do not think you have to bring to online everything you do in your high street business. It could be your voice and persona online is completely different to in-store.
  3. Do not overload the site with stock. Include on the site products people will want to buy, products people will want to search for.
  4. Nail delivery. By this I mean make it certain for customers and easy for staff to run, for any staff member to run, to ensure deliveries are actioned asap.
  5. Make contact easy. the more human your site the more people you will attract.
  6. Pitch your brands. Your shoppers will be searching by brand more than they will search by the trading name of your business.
  7. Connect product pages to social media, make it easy for browsers to leverage your online content socially.
  8. Offer click and collect.
  9. Offer online LayBy.
  10. Ensure you take payment in a range of forms including PayPal.
  11. Promote the site in-store and on your social media pages.
  12. Get your pricing right. Online and in-store should match.
  13. Be prepared to completely replace the site in 18 months. That is the lifespan of a website as suggested by web experts and retailers who are successful in this space. While replace may be drastic, a complete visual and structural refresh may suffice.

These new ‘rules’ are a start. The represent the most significant changes from websites that small business retailers, including newsagents, were doing just a few years ago.

I think a website for a retail business is best approached as an opportunity for the business to sell to people the business would otherwise not reach. This thinking helps you focus on the site and its purpose as being different, broader than the website. It also helps you learn more about borderless retail.

How people shop, when and where they shop and why they shop has fundamentally changed in recent years. A good website can help any retail business, including there Aussie newsagency, to reach new customers and through this drive greater commercial efficiency from the physical retail business.

Tower Systems offers POS software integrated website development services. We are an excellent portfolio of sites to share.

Free POS software ecommerce workshop for small business retailers in Sydney

We are bringing our free workshop: Connecting online and in-store, how to make ecommerce work for your small business to Sydney next month. Click the links below to book. each session will run for 2 hours. Refreshments provided:

  • August 10, 8am. Figtree Conference Centre: Mission Room, 5 Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park NSW.
  • August 10, 11am. Figtree Conference Centre: Mission Room, 5 Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park NSW.

We will demonstrate live websites that are connected to our Retailer software in local businesses. we will also show how to transfer stock to a website and how to manage images. We will answer all your website related questions. Bookings are essential.

More accountants join the Tower Systems POS software Xero list

We are thrilled to welcome more Xero skilled accountants and bookkeepers to our list of professional resources, listed on our website. This is another service for our small business retail friends. We are grateful to our customers for their feedback on the usefulness of this service. What you can see below is only a fraction of the list.

Easy LayBy for online retailers using Tower Systems POS software

LayBy for websites is easy thanks to the Tower Systems web development team and their expert integrations with Oxipay for Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento.

POS software linked websites with the Oxipay facilities enable retail stores to transact online easily and quickly,l offering shoppers interest free payment terms.

Tower Systems is a leader in the Oxipay integrations, delivering fast and seamless solutions between physical and online store experiences.

Check out this from the Oxpipay website:

Buying the things you love has never been easier.

With Oxipay find the items you want instore or online and pay for them in 4 easy payments with no fees and no interest.

Oxipay makes it simple to shop with 100’s of your favourite online stores. Just checkout, select Oxipay and have the items you want today.

Breathe easy with Oxipay.

Add this to the wonderful Tower Systems POS software and bring it online through Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce and you have a best practice solution shoppers and retailers love.

We are thrilled to be playing at the edge of technology development for our retail partners.

Five free to implement marketing tips that will work for any small business retailer

Each of these five small business marketing tips has worked in a variety of retail businesses. They are fast to implement, easy to implement and are cost free based on the success they generate for small business retailers.

We have developed these five ideas through our many years only serving small and independent retail businesses. They are the best, easiest and fastest to engage:

  1. Immediate rewards. On your receipts. $$$. This gets shoppers spending more per visit. With the right settings, over the counter pitch and policies you can expect double digit growth for little effort. This loyalty program is a game changer for independent small retail businesses in that big businesses will not follow you, they will not be able to match what you pitch. This sets you apart. It excites shoppers and that is what drives the value you get from the program. We have it running in many hundreds of small retail businesses.
  2. Email marketing. Capture email addresses and email shoppers to pitch offers tuned to their interests. With an average response of 30% to the right pitch you can drive repeat visits.
  3. Product knowledge. Share this in receipts, automatically served based on products in a purchase. Shoppers will appreciate your help and extra-mile assistance. This is a perfect way to pitch one of your points of difference.
  4. Change the price narrative. If you have a nearby competitor, make price comparison difficult through multi-buy or BOGO pricing. Both are supported in our software. Make price comparison hard and increase sales as a result, of a perception of value.
  5. Smart placement. Your existing data can indicate what is best placed with what in your business. Leverage this data, make better placement decisions and increase sales. The deep dive basket analysis data insights can change your approach to product placement and increase shopper efficiency as a result.

Tower systems serves only independent small retail businesses in selected product niches. This is our mission and we are grateful every day for the opportunity.

How Tower Systems helps Jewellers stay on top of supplier inventory changes

Pandora, Thomas Sabo and other respected international jewellery brands confidentially provide to Tower Systems sock files with details of each inventory item so these can be easily maintained in the jeweller management software used by jewellers.

Through partnership with these respected jewellery companies, we are able to help our customers to maintain stock files to current standards. This saves time in the retail businesses. It also facilitates greater data accuracy. Plus, it better connects the jeweller retail businesses with the suppliers.

Our work, done closely with suppliers, builds strong and valuable bonds. Better still, it helps the local independent jewellers run more professional and world-class businesses.

The work done here by Tower Systems is offered pro-bono by the company as part of its commitment to helping small business retailers.

To find out more about how Tower Systems helps small business jewellers connect for a data feed with jeweller suppliers, please speak with one of our jeweller software experts today.

Tower Systems at Atlanta Gift Fair where gets, homewares, jewellers and toys were on show

The Atlanta Gift Fair that wraps up this week has been extraordinary for us and our small business POS software in terms of insights gained into gift and homewares trans as well as valuable supplier connections made.

Attending international trade shows like this Atlanta event broadens our knowledge of retailers, suppliers and market trends and this is reflected in software with a broader perspective. We urge other POS software companies to attend.

We are grateful to those who shared their insights with us in Atlanta. The connections made will be insightful.

Looking back on 2016 we can see benefits in our software as a result of attending the Atlanta Fair in January 2016.

2017 is going to be an exciting year.

Australian developed jeweller software for Australian jeweller businesses

Tower Systems offers the only Australian developed jeweller software created specifically for Australian small business jeweller shops. Using our software, jewellers can manage their businesses efficiently, focus on greater year on year success.

Thanks to the support of hundreds of jewellers, the tower Systems jeweller software is best practice.

Small business retailers understand the importance of being local. This is where the local pitch from Tower Systems works as our software genuinely is the only Australian developed software for specialty jeweller retailers.

There is a considerable difference between the software packages being promoted to Australian jewellers. The biggest difference is the heritage of the software.

Tower Systems is a software company. We specialise in developing excellent software specific to the needs of jewellers. We are not using the software to try and sell you consulting services.

It is our duty to provide you with software facilities and reports you can use without having to pay consultants to interpret the reports for you. This saves you money. Our Tower AdvantageTM service provides you with expert help.

Tower Systems is an Australian software company. The jeweller software we sell is what we develop ourselves, here in Australia.

Talk to us and you can speak with the IT professionals directly in our business who develop the software we want to sell you.

Jewellers have a direct say in all software enhancements we deliver.

These things separate Tower Systems from Retail Edge, ARMS and Swim.

Serving 300+ jewellers with our specialist jeweller software, our service is personal:

  1. We train you in your business, face to face.
  2. Our support is Australian based, 24/7 and specialist to your needs.
  3. We develop the software. We are not agents.
  4. Our software is developed for you. It is not US or Chinese software.
  5. You have access to more than 130 training videos.
  6. You have access to a comprehensive, self-serve knowledge base.

Facilities in our jeweller software include: sales, customer loyalty, integrated eftpos, repairs management, special orders, gift cards, employee tracking, inventory management, specials / catalogues / offers, web-store interface, Xero interface, product care instructions, customer follow-up marketing, performance reporting, theft management, second-hand goods management, bundling pricing, servicing assistance / management, employee rostering and plenty more.

Our commitment is to provide jeweller software you can use to guide more profitable control over your business – without the need to hire a consultant.

Here are 9 ways this software can help your business:

  1. Report smart. Our easy to read yet comprehensive reports help you better understand your business without having to hire an expensive consultant to do this for you.
  2. Receipts, invoices and other documents can be customised toreflect the taste and style of your business.
  3. From repairs to serial number tracking, we help you deliver consistently professional and personal service.
  4. Get customers spending more. Our loyalty facility tuned to the unique spending habits of jewellery customers improve the spend per visit.
  5. Easy LayBy. You can LayBy with certainty thanks to professional facilities backed by good documentation to your customers.
  6. Cut your bookkeeping and accounting fees. From GST reporting to having an up to date P&L, we can save time and money by linking to software like Xero.
  7. Connect your online with your shop. Our Web Store facility handles this.
  8. Cut theft. We you are not there, our software tracks behaviour. Our free Theft Check service has been successful to catching theft before it is too late.
  9. The Tower AdvantageTM. Our professional and friendly help from training to support to business advice. We are not your average software company.

Free POS software training for Tower Systems POS software users

Tower Systems is thrilled to announce its first free online training workshop for 2017. This is next week, Wednesday at 2pm. This session is on custom stock takes – the efficient and friendly way to count stock and eliminate the need for the end of year stock take.

January is a perfect time for retailers to learn how to do this time efficient type of stock take and we are glad to be able to help.

This free POS software training from Tower Systems is a differentiating service from us.

All ready for Boxing Day sales in small business retail

BoxingDaySaleA4In keeping with tradition and our help for small business retailers beyond the POS software w develop and support, we are posting here artwork for A4 and A4 Boxing Day sale posters for anyone to use.

Click here for the A4 PDF.

Click here for the A3 PDF.

Boxing day is massive in some states. It can be as valuable as the two weeks before Christmas.

We are thrilled to help small business retailers attract new shoppers through marketing like this.

What are reasonable small business retail benchmark goals?

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

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

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

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

BENCHMARK GOALS

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

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

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

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

Extraordinary small business retailer e-commerce success

Wow!  Thank you! We have the best customers!

We are on cloud nine as a result of extraordinary sales success being achieved by retailers connecting through one of our new e-co0mmerce sites.

Tens of thousands of dollars of business generated for partner small business retailers in a few short weeks. This is cream revenue – on top 0of what these retailers are making even day in their businesses, bonus revenue, unexpected revenue for which they have had to pay nothing to achieve.

Our website has done all the work – found the customers, processed the sales, provided fulfilment guidance and delivered extraordinary customer service.

Here is a comment from one retailer who resisted being part of the Tower Systems created website:

We have just gone live on Monday, this week. It took me ages to get organised and do a stocktake. I had too many other things to do. It was the last thing on my list. Well I REGRET not doing it earlier, please hang back tonight or on the weekend and do a customised stocktake. The stocktake is NOT hard and it only took me a couple of hours and I have lots and lots of stock. But do the stocktake, then contact head office and go live. This week, not next month, not next year, THIS WEEK.

Here are comments from another small business retailer.

I am shocked. You have given us a thousand dollars in extra revenue in just two weeks. You cannot understand how important this is to me and my small business.  Thank you form the bottom of my heart.  I feel re-energised thanks to you.

And then this from another retailer.

O H  M Y  G O D!!!! It is like you turned on a tap in the middle of a drought and gave my business water. Thank you thank you thank you.

We love helping small business retailers find new customers.  8ur smart POS software connected to websites we have developed is one of the many good news stories that put wind in our sales.  We love what we do here at Tower Systems.

New approach to jeweller software helps jewellers grow sales

Tower Systems is proud to offer the only Australian developed and supported software specifically for jewellers.

We are a software company first. What this means is we are not consultants with a prime focus on earning consulting fees.

We make good software you can use without having to pay someone to analyse this for you.

Since we make the jeweller software ourselves we have the very best control over the software. This means we are able to deliver more user-suggested changes more quickly than software that is developed overseas or from a company owned by overseas interests with more of a focus on overseas needs.

Australian software for Australian based jewellers matters as it serves local needs.

And retail is changing locally quickly.

Using the Tower software, Jewellers have access to terrific tools for today’s marketplace:

  1. Easy handing of special orders.
  2. An elegant solution for managing the manufacturing process.
  3. A comprehensive repairs management solution.
  4. The easy ability to fine tune marketing to reach customers when you want and need to deliver the service level you hope for. Easy website integration.

WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT TOWER SYSTEMS?

We were recently asked by a journalist to list other “unique” things about our software/service. Here is our answer:

  1. We are a software company, not a consulting business using software as a mechanism for driving consulting fees.
  2. Our software evolves based on jeweller needs. We have a transparent approach to learning and serving needs beyond what we do today.
  3. The proprietary TAGS facility in or software is a genuine technical point of difference jewellers have told us they love. We are grateful for their feedback.
  4. We serve jewellers, not groups. Jewellers are our customers. While we happily enhance the software to serve marketing and buying group needs, the needs of individual jewellers come first as in our experience they have the very best ideas.
  5. We are in your business. Not a contractor we hire, not over the phone, when we install the system we do it in your business, working with you.
  6. Second-hand goods. These facilities have been developed with jewellers and authorities so you have the right records on hand.
  7. These facilities have been developed to help you streamline workflow and keep in close contact with customers throughout.
  8. Manufactured goods. From concept to manufacture, you can manage and track what you make for whom and when. This is a billing and management asset.
  9. Lay-by. Our Lay-by facilities have been developed in close consultation with jewellers, making them unique and comprehensive.
  10. We offer more facilities than any other system. These offer you flexibility for driving purchases in the current visit and for bringing shoppers back more often.
  11. You have access to extraordinary customisation through settings, enabling you to represent your business how you want.
  12. Embedded in our software are facilities for tracking how the software is used. This enables us to help you reduce employee theft.
  13. Retail focussed. A challenge of retail is to uncover opportunities early. Smart reports in the Tower software unlock information about your business that too often is overlooked.

Jewellers are welcome to check us out. We are proud to serve hundreds of jewellers already.

Tower Systems software for jewellers the only Australian developed software for jewellers

The Jeweller software from Tower Systems is the only jeweller business specific software developed and supported in Australia. We have served jewellers with software for more than sixteen years and are proud to count hundreds of jewellers as customers.

Jewellers are local businesses, seeking support from locals. Being local matters to jewellers, and to us.

There is a considerable difference between the software packages being promoted to Australian jewellers. The biggest difference is the heritage of the software.

Tower Systems is a software company. We specialise in developing excellent software specific to the needs of jewellers. We are not using the software to try and sell you consulting services. we are not repackaging overseas developed software and passing it off as Australian software. We think this is important.

It is our duty to provide you with software facilities and reports you can use without having to pay consultants to interpret the reports for you. This saves you money. Our Tower AdvantageTM service provides you with expert help.

Tower Systems is an Australian software company. The jeweller software we sell is what we develop ourselves, here in Australia.

Talk to us and you can speak with the IT professionals directly in our business who develop the software we want to sell you.

Jewellers have a direct say in all software enhancements we deliver.

These things separate Tower Systems from Retail Edge, ARMS and Swim.

Serving 300+ jewellers with our specialist jeweller software, our service is personal:

  1. We train you in your business, face to face.
  2. Our support is Australian based, 24/7 and specialist to your needs.
  3. We develop the software. We are not agents.
  4. Our software is developed for you. It is not US or Chinese software.
  5. You have access to more than 130 training videos.
  6. You have access to a comprehensive, self-serve knowledge base.

Facilities in our jeweller software include: sales, customer loyalty, integrated eftpos, repairs management, special orders, gift cards, employee tracking, inventory management, specials / catalogues / offers, web-store interface, Xero interface, product care instructions, customer follow-up marketing, performance reporting, theft management, second-hand goods management, bundling pricing, servicing assistance / management, employee rostering and plenty more.

What being at Xerocon South means for our POS software co

FullSizeRender-1Being at Xerocon South is proving to be a wonderful experience. Spending all day talking with accountants and bookkeepers who help small business retailers run more successful businesses.

The discussions are detailed about small business challenges and opportunities, specific to specific niche retail channels that we serve such as toy shops, jewllers, garden centres and pet stores.

Talking business, talking Xero and talking smart cloud based software – we are loving it, loving the detail, loving the learning and loving the optimism.

This is an exciting and motivating event, especially for those of us serving the small business retail space.

What this event mean for us is ne connections, with accountants and bookkeepers – people like us who serve small businesses to help them run more successful businesses. This shared goal brings is close together.

We are the only vertical market POS software company here, enabling is top delve deep into our specialisation with accountants to help them be more specialist with their clients.

We took the photo early this morning before the doors opened at 8am. We love the green look.

Jeweller shop software enhancements help independent jewellers compete

The latest jeweller shop software from Tower Systems delivers enhancements developed in close consultation with independent jewellers. These enhancements include even better facilities for professionally serving customers with elegant customer-facing documents as well as facilities unique to jeweller businesses.

Working closely with jewellers, our team continues to evolve our jeweller software to serve the unique needs of jeweller businesses, to ensure the software helps the jeweller businesses themselves evolve.

These things separate Tower Systems from Retail Edge, ARMS and Swim.

Serving 300+ jewellers with our specialist jeweller software, our service is personal:

  1. We train you in your business, face to face.
  2. Our support is Australian based, 24/7 and specialist to your needs.
  3. We develop the software. We are not agents.
  4. Our software is developed for you. It is not US or Chinese software.
  5. You have access to more than 130 training videos.
  6. You have access to a comprehensive, self-serve knowledge base.

Facilities in our jeweller software include: sales, customer loyalty, integrated eftpos, repairs management, special orders, gift cards, employee tracking, inventory management, specials / catalogues / offers, web-store interface, Xero interface, product care instructions, customer follow-up marketing, performance reporting, theft management, second-hand goods management, bundling pricing, servicing assistance / management, employee rostering and plenty more.

Sunday retail management advice: managing spinners for success

Retailers have a love-hate relationship with spinners. While some have a rule of no spinners, in many situations they are necessary.

Here is advice designed to help any retailer make the most of the spinner opportunity.

  1. Keep them tidy. Duh! This is very basic advice. But it needs to be said. Daily you should have your spinners checked and tidies. Move products to the front, keep products clean, pose products to show them off, if appropriate to the products.
  2. Keep them full. A half empty spinner will not work as well as a full spinner. This is retail 101.
    1. If you plan to keep a spinner for the long term, order stock regularly to keep it full. We know that a full spinner usually achieves around 20% more sales than a half empty spinner.
    2. If a spinner is a one-shot – get it in, sell it down, take it off the floor – once it starts to look empty, consider taking all stock off and placing it elsewhere in-store. Leaving it on the floor and half empty will hinder sales.
  3. Move your spinners. One a week tweak spinner locations to keep your shop floor story fresh. Have a plan. Don’t move them just to move them. Move them to drive sales – to get the products considered by people who may have missed them so far.
  4. Respect the brand. Never put product on a branded spinner that is not from the brand. Not only would such a move disrespect the brand it makes you look like an unprofessional retailer.
  5. Use thoughtful adjacencies. When placing spinners next to each other, think about the shopper and what they are looking for. This will encourage a shopper attracted to a spinner to consider the products on the spinner next to it.
  6. Avoid orphans. There is nothing sadder than a lonely spinner at the back of a shop. It’s usually half empty and looking tired and sad. It does nothing for the products or the business. Find it some friends or remove the stock and throw the spinner out.
  7. Spinners have a limited life. While a spinner for which you no longer have the original product can be useful for displaying other products, don’t work the poor thing beyond its useful life. Hideously bent wire, cracked and broken pockets, no signage, seriously chipped paint, broken casters … these are all indications that the poor old spinner ought to be tossed out.
  8. Leverage traffic hotspots. This only works with certain products on spinners – locate the spinner next to high traffic generating products such as weekly magazines, newspapers, lotteries etc. The products need to be products shoppers of the destination items will purchase.
  9. Leverage seasons. Around your cluster of cards for Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc place spinners with products appropriate to the season.

Repairs software helps specialty small business retailers efficiently manage repairs

Small business retailers using the repairs management software from Tower Systems can rely on the software to streamline operations, reduce paperwork, improve customer service and deliver outcomes that help the businesses grow repairs revenue.

the repairs facilities in our software have been developed in close consultation with customers across a variety of retail channels. Plus, the repairs software is regularly enhanced – too deliver evolving solutions to meet evolving needs.

Tower Systems serve a number of specialist retail channels with repairs management software appropriate to the needs of businesses in those channels. Initially developed in response to the needs of our jeweller customers, these features are now utilised by clients in a number of different retail markets.

Some of the functions our specialist retail software’s repair features are being used for include:

  1. In Jewellers: Jewellery and watch workshop repairs, dated manufacturing.
  2. In Bike Shops: Bicycle and tricycle repairs, warranty returns.
  3. In Garden Centres: Landscaping services management.
  4. In Firearms Stores: Gunsmithy and equipment repairs, warranty returns.
  5. In Pet Shops: Aquarium installations.

Repairs management software is flexible, serving a range of needs outside managing the actual repairs themselves. The flexibility in the software enables it to be used in different businesses for different purposes – from job management, to workshop management and traditional repairs management.

The software tracks the labour and resources used from a billing and inventory management perspective. It also handles allocation of repairs or parts of a repair to venues outside the business (for contracting and supplier exchanges or repairs for warranty issues, for example) and tracks repair staff and couriers used in shipping repairs. Once the repair is ready for pick-up by the customer, the software finalises the billing and advises the customer by SMS or another preferred method. Payments are processed with the usual depth of our retail software’s point of sale functionality – customers can make multiple payments against a repair or a specialist manufacturing, pay through cash, EFTPOS, PayPal or other methods.

Tower Systems streamlines the repairs process, facilitates good communication and helps bring management certainty to the overall repairs process in your business. It helps local independent businesses provide the kind of professional, personal and efficient repairs services that major corporate stores and online-only offerings can only dream of.

Serving a number of specialist retail channels gives Tower Systems the opportunity to provide more comprehensive and flexible repairs/job/manufacturing management software. Our customers continue to provide feedback and influence the development and support of this software feature, from firearms stores to bike shops and more.

Sunday retail management advice: basket analysis helps retailers sell more

Basket analysis is the analysis of products purchased by transaction – shopping basket. Such analysis typically compares two trading periods overall and by day of week. It also includes this analysis by supplier comparing trading periods and day of week.

Using the Tower Systems POS software, retailers are able to dig deep into basket data in recent times and into the past, to gain insights into the performance of the business for the benefit of the business and those it serves.

Basket analysis shows the efficiency of product categories (departments). For example, see how many baskets include one category of item and nothing else. You can also see the numbers of times sales are single item sales.

Basket analysis underscores the value to the business of newer categories such as gifts and toys.

Basket analysis at a supplier level is equally insightful, allowing you to compare the basket efficiency and value of suppliers between two tradition periods as well as across each day of the week between two trading periods.

It is at the basket analysis level that you can determine product efficiency. A product is more efficient for you if it is purchased with other items in our view. You can drive this by careful placement on the shop floor, promotion at the sales counter and working with customers on the shop floor to guide their purchases.

It’s an example of how you can use comprehensive business data to drive your in-store actions. For example, knowing what we know about pop vinyls, Saturday is the day we really focus on them with secondary locations to do even better from the Saturday opportunity.

Basket analysis can also help you with rostering. With some category sales requiring more staff time that others, you can consider the product mix sold by day and adjust your roster accordingly. Trimming wages is an important cost saving focus in business.

The goal has to be deeper baskets (more items per transaction) and a greater spread across product categories – but with a focus on higher margin items so that also lift the overall GP performance of the business.

In the Tower Systems software the report to use for this analysis is the Basket Analysis Report. It provides an extraordinary insight into baskets.