Here is one of our marketing videos, produced in-house, in our own studio. We are proud of the video and the value pitch it presents for small business retailers. The video speaks to our creativity, style and currency.
Here is one of our marketing videos, produced in-house, in our own studio. We are proud of the video and the value pitch it presents for small business retailers. The video speaks to our creativity, style and currency.
Thanks to smart facilities in our POS software it is easy for retailers running a website as well as their retail shop to load images to the website. This loading of images is simpler and easy direct for our software as part of our one stock file approach – having a single stock file between the physical high street store and the online store.
This smart online retail management – managing inventory in the one location.
This is efficient for small business retailers. Indeed, it is how we handle online ourselves in our own retail businesses with online operations.
We load images easily and these images can be quickly and easily loaded into our POS software from supplier files provided.
A good example is the work we do with Thomas Sabo working with and for our jeweller software customers. The Thomas Sabo images file loads into our software, providing beautiful images attached to inventory items in our sock files. These can then be accessed from a store’s online webstore thanks to the links and data feeds we provide.
This is one example of smart visual inventory management for online and offline retail provided through the Tower Systems POS software.
As an authorised partner of respected hardware company, we are thrilled to have been able to show off the HP RP9 all in one POS terminal to prospects at several events recently.
While we have an RP9 exclusively for an event last week, we filmed this short clip showing it in all its glory.
Not all POS software companies selling HP branded hardware are authorised resellers, not all sell new equipment backed by the respected HP warranty. At Tower Systems you ave access to the real thing.
Business birthdays are important – for you and for your customers, especially in a locally owned small retail business.
Embrace the opportunity of your business birthday for a celebration. But be sure to not make it all about making more money. Take time to embrace the achievement and love it.
Here are practical tips for celebrating the birthday of your business:
A key aspect of these ideas is to remind people that your business is stable, can be trusted, is locally connected and knows how to have fun.
When it comes to POS software, small business retailers want an easy life. This means hassle free, straightforward.
Key to achieving an easy life with POS software, besides the software itself being easy to use, is the ease with which parts of the software not often used can be learned and understood in the context of business operation.
Whereas in the past, a user manual was the key learning tool, today, the key learning tool is a good online, searchable and constantly evolving knowledge base, a knowledge base that keeps up to date with the software, evolving as the software evolves. A good knowledgeable includes how to text, step by step guides and instruction videos. It facilitates access to all these resources from anywhere including mobile, tablet and computer – at work, home and elsewhere.
This is what best practice user documentation looks like for smart POS software for small and independent retail businesses.
Whereas a printed manual is hard to update and not easily searched, evolving online searchable documentation is different, more useful and more valuable for engaged users who want to achieve more from their software.
Yes, the printed manual is so last century.
At Tower Systems we provide access to our documentation through a searchable knowledge base. This is setup in such as way so as to make searching easy for non technical people, so they can search based on plain English terms and find what they are looking for. The knowledge base is interactive too, allowing users to add comments and provide feedback. This makes it a customer driven resource and open to two-way communication.
Our experience is that small business retailers love the accessibility of the knowledge base and the documentation it contains. Better still, they love the ability to request enhanced coverage on this or that topic and then seeing us deliver this enhanced content.
Helping users enjoy easy use of our software is vital to their success and the commercial value of the software. So, to us, good documentation starts with easy to use software. Screen designs, data field descriptors, on-screen information and more combine to make using the software easy. The online documentation through the knowledge base makes it easy to, to learn more about the software.
Our approach to POS software user documentation is that the job is never done. Just as our software evolves so does the documentation supporting our software.
Now, more than ever, retail businesses are not bound by strict borders in terms of what they sell. You only have to look at what pharmacies sell today compared to ten years ago to realise the value of change.
But this type of change, retailers trading outside what is usual for their type of business, is common. There are successful coffee shops today that started out as a customer service experience in vehicle repair shops, fashion outlets and more.
What is it you could sell in your business that does not fit neatly into what is usual for your type of retail business?
In our work in a range of specialty retail channels we see successes where retailers play outside what is usual for their type of business, where they ignore the borders of tradition.
Doing this successfully starts with looking at the type of customers you currently attract and considering this with the capacity of the business to offer other products and services within the space and capital restraints of the business.
A good place to start is to analyse basket data in your software and, through this, to build up a better understanding of what people purchase. Using departments, categories and tags, you can build an understanding beyond what you recall from serving customers.
Use your data to explore possibilities beyond what you sell today.
Data analysis shop could uncover a niche interest among customers that could be served by the business carrying something you may not usually see in a your type shop.
We see this activity as important. If you rely on traffic that is usual for your type of business your results will most likely be usual for your type of business. Whereas if you attract traffic beyond what is usual, your results ought to be beyond what is usual.
Retail today is more borderless than ever. While it is important your business can be easily understood, you can do this and reach beyond what is traditional with careful management and attention.
Winter can be tough for some people. It can be tough for retail too as traffic is often down. Independent retailers have an opportunity to leverage the season, to make it more enjoyable for you and your customers.
Here are six suggestions to get you thinking abut winter differently:
If your shop is in a really cold area consider an outer door to keep the warmth in. They do this a lot in Europe and the US in Winter.
Winter is a seasoning which you can show off your point of difference and get people seeing your retail business differently.
We have used MYOB, Quick Books and xero in retail businesses we operate. It is this experience with all three from a bookkeeping through to a finalized accounts perspective that has helped us reach a view that xero is the best solution.
Each professional position in our company agrees from bookkeeper to management to our in-house CPA. xero is the best accounting solution for small business retailers.
There is an ease of use backed by excellent support as well as an easy and direct integration between our POS software and xero that helps us save time and money.
Retailers using xero can see this for themselves.
So this is how we came to our preference, our recommendation, through our own experience on a range of levels.
While our software supports MYOB, Quick Books and xero, our experience with xero is roe complete and our integration more direct. It is an integration tested and endorsed by xero, something the company gives out only after it is satisfied.
The above commentary from us aside, xero don’t just connect with any POS software company. They check out the business and their software. They research whether they want to partner with a business. I am aware they say no, that they reject proposals of integration. That we are integrated is a valuable point of difference for us.
The best way to assess a POS software company is to see first-hand how they interact with their customers.
Starting next week, Tower System is hosting its first round of free face to face retail business user meetings for users of its POS software.
We invite you to attend – without obligation or cost – to check us out. CLICK HERE TO BOOK.
Come and see how we work with small business retailers from a range of channels to help them drive more value from their technology investment. At these sessions we will talk about shopper loyalty, business intelligence reporting. webcore integration and retail trends we have seen overseas.
Launceston User Meeting
Date: 07/03/2016 Time: 8:00am
Venue: Quality Hotel Colonial Launceston
Address: 31 Elizabeth St Launceston TAS 7250
Breakfast: Coffee, Tea and Egg & Bacon Muffins on arrival
Parking: Limited Free onsite parking
Hobart User Meeting
Date: 08/03/2016 Time: 8:00am
Venue: Hotel Grand Chancellor
Address: 1 Davey St Hobart Hobart TAS 7000
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee and Swiss cheese and ham croissants on arrival
Melbourne User Meeting
Date: 09/03/2016 Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Hawthorn Art Centre, Mayor’s Room
Address: 360 Burwood Rd Hawthorn VIC 3122
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee and mini tomato and cheese croissants on arrival
Brisbane User Meeting
Date: 10/03/2016 Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Quality Inn Airport Heritage
Address: 620 Kingsford Smith Drive Hamilton QLD
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee, selection of biscuits, slices, cakes and muffins on arrival
Date: 11/03/2016 Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Rydges South Park
Address: 1 South Terrace Adelaide SA 5000
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee, egg and bacon muffin as well as fresh fruit served on arrival
Parking: Limited Free onsite parking as well as 2 to 3 hour free street parkingSydney User Meeting
Date: 15/03/2016 Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Novotel Sydney Olympic Park
Address: Olympic boulevard Sydney Olympic Park NSW 212
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee and ham and cheese croissants on arrival
Parking: Hotel car park fees apply: All day rate $25.00, or $13.00 for 1 hour, every additional hour charged at $5.00.
Date: 16/03/2016 Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Mercure Canberra
Address: Cnr Ainsille & Limestone Ave Braddon ACT 2612
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee and a chefs selection of breakfast items on arrival
Perth User Meeting
Date: 17/03/2016 Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Assured Ascot Quays Apartment Hotel, Marina Room
Address: 150 Great Eastern Highway Ascot WA 6104
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee, whole fruits and warm muffins served on arrival
Gold Coast User Meeting
Date: 05/04/2016 Note date change.
Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Mantra Twin Towns
Address: Wharf Street Tweed Heads NSW
Breakfast: Coffee, Tea, Mini ham and cheese croissants and mini Danish on arrival
Geelong User Meeting
Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Mercure Geelong
Address: Cnr Gheringhap & Myers St
Breakfast: Coffee, Tea and Breakfast muffin on arrival
Yesterday was fascinating seeing the range of products here and understanding the opportunities with and for retailers and jeweller suppliers.
This is an extraordinary event companies like ours benefit from in terms of how we can better serve our customers – through understanding more about their businesses.
The more time POS software companies look and work outside their businesses the more their customers benefit.
Several weeks ago Tower Systems launched a direct Magento e-commerce platform link, in addition to the excellent web-store link in our smart POS software.
The Retailer to Magento Link uses the Tower Advantage Link platform to allow Retailer to connect directly to Magento. The Tower Advantage Link platform is a subscription-based service that acts as an intermediary between Retailer and the Magento API.
What is Magento?
Magento is one of the world’s most popular e-commerce or webstore platforms. Being built on open source technology provides a flexible shopping cart system, giving you control over the look, feel, content and functionality of your online store. Magento offers powerful marketing, search engine optimization, and catalog-management tools. Find out about Magento at www.magento.com
How does the link work?
The link works by using the Magento API allowing the TALink platform to connect to Magento and synchronising on a periodic interval or request basis.
Retailer becomes your master stock database. You flag what stock items you want to appear on your web store. Descriptions and extended descriptions are added as your product names and descriptions in Magento.
Department and Categories
Your Retailer Departments and Categories become Categories and Sub-Categories in Magento. If you choose to link these, your existing structure will be mirrored and managed in Magento automatically. If, however, you decide not link your Department and Categories in Magento, you can allocate Categories manually to products once they are added.
Retailers Classifications are treated as Attributes in Magento. If you choose to link these in Magento your existing Classifications will be mirrored and managed in Magento automatically. If, however, you do not want this to occur you can manually manage your own Magento Attributes.
Prices and Quantity On Hand
You have control over your webstore pricing from within the Retailer Stock Screen. Bulk updates of the webstore price can be performed in Stock Manager. Once new prices are set, your web store is updated automatically.
Quantity of hand is also managed automatically, when your sell or arrive an item into stock these adjustments are sent directly to Magento. If the quantity on hand of an items drops to 0, the item is marked as out of stock in Magento.
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 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.
These are downloaded on a periodic basis and imported into Retailer. These are imported into our Customer Invoice Maintenance facility allowing you to place orders and print invoices. 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 added to you main sales data, giving you excellent control over how you report on your webstore sales.
This is just some of the information we have to share about this exciting and leadership innovation from Tower Systems.
The Tower Systems Jeweller Software helps independent jewellers increase business by bringing shoppers back for important life event purchases. It is easy to set this up, to remind shoppers to come shop with you. Date related reach-outs to customers are another way we help retail jewellers to personally invite shoppers back into the business. But don’t rely just on this as it is one of many ways you can use this software to personally connect with your customers and through which you can demonstrate a care and attention from your business that is heartfelt and useful.
The Tower Systems training, support and retail business management teams can help with implementing these and other retail business growth opportunities that are embedded in the Tower Systems Jeweller Software.
With hundreds of jewellers using this software, Tower Systems is able to draw on experiences gained from years of service in-store with jewellers to help others deepen shopper engagement with the result of increasing sales. This is vitally important in the competition with online businesses. Being personal matters yet it can have a high cost. By leveraging smart tools in the software, your jeweller business can appear personal without the labour cost of being personal. Helping you achieve this is part of what Tower Systems offers its customers every day.
Being personal matters in retail, especially small business local retail serving a local community. It matters in small business POS software companies too. This is why, when you speak with someone at Tower, you know who they are. It is also why you can connect with our leadership team, personally and on any business matter – beyond the software even. This retail business advice and management assistance is another differentiating service for Tower Systems. We take the assistance we provide beyond the usual help desk engagement seriously because we know that it is in this space where we can make the most positive impact on a jeweller business – using the software as a tool and layering this with smart business knowledge we can help in practical and valuable ways.
So what we do is about much more than helping you remember dates. We welcome opportunities to engage deeply and personally for the good of your business.
Good POS software gives you a range of options for managing, tracking and engaging employees using the software itself. In the Tower Systems POS software, there are plenty of employee touch points. Here are five we want to call out today as part of our Sunday tip series.
Being the only software company exhibiting at the Sydney Gift Fair has been terrific for tower Systems and we have two days to go. Already the company many new prospective customers looking at the software and even better connections with many existing customers.
The experience over the first three days is a reminder of the value of being at trade shows such as this to help small business retailers learn more abut the software and improve the returns they achieve from their IT investment.
While we are happy to have the show to ourselves, any POS software company serious about newsagents, gift shops, garden centres, pet shops or jewellers ought to be at this show given the mix of retailers we have already seen. It is good customer service to do so.
POS software company Tower Systems is proud to announce the release last week of a new software platform for small business retailers.
This new platform is a completely new product from the Tower development team. It leveraged data cultivated by the Tower Point of Sale software and makes it available anywhere, in a stimulating visual form and in a way than encourages the discovery of business performance insights.
Introducing the Retailer Visual Deck.
Retail business performance, seen differently.
The Visual Deck is a platform through which you can see the performance of your business, visually. Graphs replace reports, making trends obvious and a path ahead clearer to follow. Graphs that change with time and through which you can dive deeper into what is happening in your business.
Why did we call it the Visual deck? It is visual because, well, your business data is presented in a visual way. It is a deck because it is a platform off of which you can see far and wide. It is a perfect place to see what you cannot see when you are on the ground.
Retailers can access the Visual deck from anywhere, anytime, and through this access their business data in a way not previously accessible ninth small business retail world. You can compare periods, graph using a broad selection of formats, dive deep into the data as well as focus on data points that matter including transactions, revenue, grow profit and more.
Better still, the visual insights can easily be shared with colleagues.
The Retail Visual Deck is a fresh approach to sharing business intelligence and business performance insights with small business retailers. It is mass retailer computing in a small business retailer’s hands. This is the tool join which you can rely to grow your business.
This is 100% Tower Systems innovation.
Having been tested with data from a range of businesses and trialled for months on many different platforms, the Visual deck is ready for small business retailers to engage, to use it to better manage and grow their businesses.
Footnote: If things go as usual, at least on competitor will claim they had this before us and that we copied them. Such a claim is not true. Prior to our launched last week we checked all our competitors in each specialty marketplace in which we live and not one has a product like this.
For years, retailers using the Tower Systems POS software have had access to multi-store POS software – the ability to run POS software across multiple locations of the same business.
This cloud based POS software solution allows retailers to open and close businesses faster and with greater flexibility. It also enabled group wide performance reporting and data tracking.
Based in the cloud, on a central server, the software is accessible from stores connected via the internet. Multi-store operation facilitates:
Good multi store POS software is important for groups and this is what Tower Systems delivers. Used by a variety of groups in different specialty retail niches, the Tower Systems software has a strong customer base in this multi store environment.
We have a group of 14 stores in Queensland using the software in shopping centre situations. Nationally, we have a group of 16 stores using the software for products and services – leveraging consistency across the full needs of the group.
In a variation to the multi store software option, we have a group of seventy stores linked with a common stock file, common pricing, common shopper terms. Again, cloud based, delivering an excellent flexible solution for small independent stores with a common banner or commercial objective.
Through the Tower Systems multi store POS software, retailers are able to evolve their businesses without the need to duplicate IT setup work. The time and capital savings and improved consistency help these retailers to achieve better business outcomes.
This really is an approach to retail IT infrastructure made for our times of pop up shops and other emerging and evolving retail situations we are seeing on the high street and in shopping malls. Tower Systems is well positioned to continue to evolve its multi store POS software solution to serve emerging needs in retail.
We invited several customers last year to have their photo taken in-store as part of a promotional series showing happy small business customers in their shops where they use our smart POS software. We were thrilled every customer we approached agreed.
Here is one photo from the wonderful LollyBomb business in Adelaide. Some of the specialist facilities in our software help this business in smart and engaging ways.
We are grateful for their help in promoting our software.
Tower Systems is using the rush of trade for small business retailers at Christmas to reinforce the commercial value of the Tyro integrated eftpos solution we offer. With 1,000 retailers connected through Tyro we have excellent data reflecting time saving, mistake reducing and other benefits for retailers that help at the sales counter as well as in the back office management of the business.
In the middle of the busy trading of Christmas, the benefits of the Tower Systems Tyro broadband eftpos integration are clear and felt on small business retail shops across a range of marketplaces:
How do you identify product that is not working? When do you quit a product that is not working? Why should you quit stock? How do you quit the stock? How long should quitting stock take? What if the item does not sell no matter what you do?
These are all questions we will answer here for you in the form of suggestions. What you ultimately do is 100% up to you. Your choices need to reflect your own situation and circumstances.
Identifying product that is not working.
Product is not working if it is not paying its way – paying for the floor space it takes and the time you spend on it. Check your sales, rank all your stock based on sales – look at the bottom performing stock. Your software should have a ranked Sales Report that lets you list all your stock ranked by unit or $$ sales. Use this to create your list of items to consider.
The other way to identify stock that’s not working for you is to check your back room or other storage facility. Stock that is not generating cash regularly has to be considered dead in our view.
When do you quit a product?
You quit, exit, products when they are not paying their way, when a season is done or when you want to exit that category for some other reason.
Let’s say your rent is $1,250 per square metre per year. If your gross profit averages, say, 50%, you will need to sell $2,500 worth of product to pay for a metre of space. However, this is not the complete consideration as you have labour, power and other costs to cover. The suggested rule of thumb is that your retail sales need to be at least three times that necessary to cover the cost of the space. In the scenario covered here, you should be earning at least $7,500 from a square metre of space. If stock is not delivering this, quitting it could be necessary.
Why quit stock?
To keep your shop fresh, to not be weighed down by dead stock to make your shop look more relevant, to stop hoarding.
How to quit stock.
Here is how we quit stock in retail businesses we operate. These businesses are in shopping centres where retail space is limited and expensive. We are necessarily aggressive.
Quitting stock takes strength and commitment. We urge you to do it to keep your business fresh. Product not selling gives shoppers a bad impression of your business.
Take a look at your shop floor and in your back room. Look at what you can get rid of right away to reduce the anchor of dead stock on your business.
Too many retail businesses have old stock gathering dust. One of the best ways to separate your business is to regularly quit stock that is not performing as it should.
We have been advising our small business retail, customers our planned Christmas hours for several weeks:
We will close at 12 noon Christmas Eve and reopen 7am December 29. On December 31 we will close at 4pm. we reopoen January 4 at 7am. Our after hours numbers will be available for urgent system down queries.
We love Xero. While we link to multiple small business accounting solutions, Xero is the one receiving most praise by experts and good press on a number of fronts at the moment.
Tower Systems is proud to be an approved authorised Xero POS software partner, listed on their website.
We are not surprised to see a POS software competition ignoring Xero when rating accounting software. Their ignorance is not unexpected.
The Tower Systems designed and manufactured gift cards are growing in popularity across a range of retail channels. We are thrilled to be of service to retailers keen to offer professional gift cards backed by professional gift card management software as they have access to through their smart and engaged Tower Systems POS software.
The latest design customer gift cards are being shipped right now – pitching fresh designs to retail partners in time for Christmas trade.
The image loaded with this post shows some of the cards we have designed for our garden centre customers.
We are grateful to have in-house graphic design capabilities through which we can promote deeper engagement with our software.
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.
Basket analysis shows you 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.