MULTI-STORE POS SOFTWARE IDEAL FOR SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS WITH MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

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:

  1. A common inventory file.
  2. Common or local pricing as the case may be.
  3. Easy transferring of stock between stores in the group.
  4. less software update overhead.
  5. easier enforcing of business rules.
  6. Lower technology requirement at the store level.
  7. Easy group wide performance reporting.
  8. Centralised support.
  9. Centralised data management.
  10. Centralised backup.
  11. Easier overall management.
  12. But local tuning as required.

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.

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POS software customer love helping us sell POS software

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.

LollyBomb_Page_1

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Helping retailers save time with integrated eftpos

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:

  • Fast eftpos processing.
  • Accurate eftpos processing.
  • Reduced keystrokes at the counter.
  • No clogging of the phone line.
  • Streamlined counter management.
  • Happier customer engagement.
  • Better control over possible points of fraud in the business.
  • Reduced cash handling costs.
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Sunday retail management advice: how and when to quit stock in your retail business

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.

  1. Set a deadline. We’d suggest two weeks for quitting a product or range of products.
  2. Choose your timing. The best time to quit stock quickly is on your busiest trading days. For many this will be the weekend. Consider structuring your quitting program to run from Thursday through Sunday.
  3. Set your initial price. The discount must be compelling. We’d suggest 50% off. A smaller discount in this marketplace will not get noticed. Think about your discount words: in some areas, HALF PRICE works better than 50% OFF. Sometimes, 2 FOR 1 can be even more effective. A $$ price can work better – for example a dump bin with everything priced at $1. People then don’t have to work anything out.
  4. Move the product to a high traffic location. Display it as a line you are quitting – in a dump bin or in open boxes. This must be in a location away from where the product is usually located. Do not make an attractive display. Consider placing the stock somewhere that people almost stumble over it.
  5. Put up a sign that is either black on white or white on read. Nothing fancy. Even a hand written sign is good. Do not make a complex or attractive sign.
  6. Adjust your price. If sales are not strong enough, go harder with your discount. From 50% off we suggest a drop to a $$ price point. It can be challenging selling something you would have sold for $20.00 at $1 but that $1 is better than getting nothing for the product at all.
  7. Give it away. If the products are not selling, consider giving the stock away to a local charity. Getting it out of your shop for no compensation can be better than it taking space and giving off the wrong message about your business.
  8. Keep track of time. If you decide to be out of the stock within two weeks, stick to that and make it happen with your pricing and placement decisions.
  9. Use the bin. If you can’t sell the item and you can’t give it away, use the bin.
  10. An alternative: If you have a large amount of stock to quit, consider hiring a local hall and running an off site sale. Talk to your suppliers about getting extra stock in for this. You could even plan to do this as an annual event. Consider, too, linking with a local charity to drive interest and create a fund raising opportunity for them.

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.

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Xero, the accounting our POS software links directly to lauded

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.

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Great gift cards for small business retailers through POS software from Tower Systems

GardenGiftCardsTSThe 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.

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Sunday retail management advice: basket analysis helps you 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.

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.

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CPA level help for POS software Xero interface

Tower Systems offers CPA level help for retailers using the Xero accounting interface within our POS software. Guiding appropriate coding and ensuring the right data is linked to Xero, the level of help we provide is beyond what is usual for a POS software company.

Our Xero POS software link is best practice.

Beyond the help desk and beyond the usual IT support person assistance, our in-house accountant is able to help our customers to ensure accurate data and thereby leverage the better value achievable from the Xero link to the Tower Systems POS software.

We use Xero ourselves for two of our retail businesses and this enables us to speak from experience. This makes our advice more personal and experience based than what is usual for a POS software company.

Our accounting link experience includes Quicken and MYOB as well as Xero. It is the Xero experience we like the best, the accounting solution we have enjoyed the most.

This is another POS software Tower AdvantageTM.

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POS software training heading in to Christmas

Here is a list of POS software training available for small business retailers in the lead up to Christmas. Tower Systems is thrilled to be appropriately resourced and managed to be able to offer these free training opportunities that are a genuine point of difference for us:

  • Don’t miss a sale this Christmas! Use Gift Vouchers Wednesday, 09 December 2015 02:00pm
  • Free up cash in your business today Wednesday, 16 December 2015 02:00pm
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Sunday small business retail business management advice: how to compete with a big business competitor

Here are some tips from us on how to more effectively compete with a big business competitor located near your small business:

  1. Know what you can and can’t do. Some big retailers spend tens of millions of dollars saying they are the cheapest. A small business cannot match that spend. So, price should not be your focus as it is a harder road. If you do choose to pitch on price, you need to do it comparatively and consistently. List their price and your price. However, the risk is they will chase you down that hole and their pockets are deeper than yours. I recommend against competing on price.
  2. Understand the new competition locating near you. Research them, visit their store, look carefully at what they do. Understand, from a rational perspective, why they are a successful national company. Visit several times. Try and talk to customers. Knowledge gained from such field trips will empower your planning and decision making.
  3. Focus on your point of difference. If you do not have on, get one, develop one. Own it. Ensure your business owns it. If it is service, make it better, if it is range, make it better., If it is that you are local, shout this from your rooftop. Your point of difference needs to be seen, heard and understood by your customers and those who would be your customers. If you do not think you have an obvious point of difference, work hard to build one and embed this deep within your business.
  4. Promote your business. Professionally. Be smart. Big businesses are usually big advertisers. You need to advertise too. To the level you are able within your business. This could be in the local newspaper, on local radio, in flyers to homes or even with a terrific display in your front window. Promote your business and in particular your point of difference. Small businesses can win in social media with locally-focussed pitches which demonstrate your local connections.
  5. Network locally. Connect with community groups, charities, sports groups, schools, clubs and friends. A small local business can do this better than a big business. Find a way to connect and help. This will be appreciated and, hopefully, rewarded with business. Strong networking can help you get more people on your side and supporting your business through strong word of mouth.
  6. Have a consistent loyalty offer. This needs to be different to what major retailers do. It needs to be whole of business. It has to offer genuine rewards which get people shopping your shop rather than staying within a category. This is where discount vouchers work.
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POS software Magento link to help more retailers online

Magento is the world’s best online shopping cart, retail website tool in our view. We say this having worked with a host of platforms and gaining considerable experience ourselves and through people we work with.

Our POS software links to Magento through the Magento API, directly from our software into Magento for shared real-time data. We link from our software to Magento ourselves and have small business retail clients using it too.

Developed in addition to our well-established web-store link, the Magento link is deep, comprehensive and tremendously valuable.

High street retailers serious about an online presence will find it easier and faster to achieve through our Magento link, something we have been using ourselves for all this year and something with which we have excellent experience and knowledge.

Our web development team has developed multiple sites, providing us with excellent reference experiences for retailers contemplating an online presence connected to their high street POS software.

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Why the Tower Systems jeweller software is better for jewellers

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.

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.

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

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

 

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Sunday retail management advice: HOW A $2.50 DISCOUNT VOUCHER RESULTED IN PURCHASES OF $1,500 FROM A FIRST TIME SHOPPER

RETAIL LOYALTY INSIGHT: HOW A $2.50 DISCOUNT VOUCHER RESULTED IN PURCHASES OF $1,500 FROM A FIRST TIME SHOPPER 

I want to share with you a true story of what happened recently in my own retail business. 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.

To understand the personal nature of this story … Tower Systems owns and operates several retail businesses including a newsagency in a major Westfield shopping centre. We have this business to provide us with a real-world experience in retail where we can experiment with our POS software.

While this story is about what happened in my newsagency, it could happen in any type of business. This newsagency, by the way, is not your typical newsagency. Close to 70% of what we sell is non traditional. It is high margin higher price point items that sit at the core of this unique 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 business we were 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 and this is why I love them. People respond in unpredictable ways.

Best of all, the discount vouchers are profitable.

For this story to work in any retail business you need to have the right products, placed strategically in-store. Your employees 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.

Tower Systems offers not only excellent software but also the business acumen, experience and drive to help you make the most of the opportunities in the software.

From points on a purchase to buy X and get Y FREE to Discount Vouchers, the Tower software offers flexibility in loyalty offerings that enable you to make the pitch right for your business to bring shoppers bag to spend more than might usually be the case.

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POS software helps retailers reach out to those purchasing specific items

High end retailers in jewellery, homewares, gift and select other retail channels like to be able to follow up customers who have purchased specific items. Thanks to the purchase tracking and marketing tools in our POS software we are able to help retailers with this follow up.

The result is finely targeted marketing communications that can bring a shopper back for a further experience in-store, delivering an enhanced experience to the shopper and a more valuable experience to the retailer.

Finely tuned purchase based marketing tools are rare in POS software. Thanks to deep customer relationships we are able to provide these through our Tower software and thereby help our customers access more benefits from working with us.

Deep and comprehensive marketing tools are a key feature of the Tower software. Personal training and comprehensive support are what really bring the facilities alive for small business retailers.

POS software is only as good as those supporting it. This is a maxim by which we life here at Tower Systems. We make sure our support is excellent, backing excellent software.

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Tower Systems helps small business retailers with employee management

Managing staff can be a challenge for small business retailers as too many operate more on a friendship basis than through structured processes and using accurate business data to guide decisions.

Thanks to smart tools in the Tower Point of Sale software, our retail partners have at their disposal tools on which they can rely to  bring consistency, planning and comfort to employee management.

Here are four of the tools available to retailers for managing employees using the Tower software:

  1. Cloud based employee roster management.
  2. Sales tracking by employee.
  3. Keystroke tracking by employee.
  4. Employee engagement management reports.

Using these tools and other facilities in the smart Tower retail management software retail business owners and their managers can build strong outcomes for their business and provide better oversight and management of employees.

Knowing the economic value of an employee to a business can help the business manage good outcomes for the business and for the employee. This is where data plays a key role and where Tower systems can help retailers improve their situation.

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Five ways small business retailers can gain more pleasure from their businesses through smart POS software

Running a small business need not be as stressful as it often is. Reducing stress starts with the business operating to a carefully developed and consistently executed structure. Good POS software is keep to a business operating structure. Get this right and stress will fall. Leverage the data in your software and pleasure will grow – you will benefit beyond money, we see customers enjoying their businesses more as a result of using the software to help in key management areas of the business.

Here are five ways the Tower software can help you gain more pleasure from your software:

  1. Manage your roster through the software.
  2. Balance at the end of each shift using fast EOS balancing tools in the software.
  3. Order, price, sell and reorder through the software – allowing anyone to do it, following your business rules.
  4. Easily identify the hero suppliers, employees and locations of your business and rejo7ce in them.
  5. Spend time above your business, following you data and plan. Planning is pleasurable as you get to work on your business.

These tips are offered as part of a series from Tower Systems, a POS software company serving more than 3,500 small business retailers with specialist POS software for a range of retail niches.

Every day through our software, advice, support and training we provide help beyond the software, help to make a genuine difference to the small retail businesses we serve.

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How second hand goods software helps retailers manage and sell secondhand goods

The secondhand goods management software within the Tower systems POS software helps secondhand retailers to meet their regulatory obligations in tracking these goods.

While developed initially for jewellers, the facilities have been enhanced over time to serve more retail channels offering secondhand goods. As the retail channels in this space have expanded so has the knowledge available to Tower systems to better serve the needs of the retailers.

From buying to shop floor management to selling, we track the goods in an accurate and data valuable way – serving the retailer and the customer through along the way.

Retailers benefit from time saved in record keeping as well as from maintaining best-practice records. This is invaluable in times of dispute.

Secondhand goods retail is a specialist field and Tower Systems is thrilled to bring its specialist POS software facilities to this specialist field.

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How Xero is changing how small business retailers use POS software

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

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

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

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Tough love helps small business retailers fall in love with data from their POS software

We owe our customers the truth.

This is a mantra in Tower Systems. Truth trumps spin every time, especially the truth you see in business data.

If we see something in the retail business data collected and managed by our software, we share it with the customer involved. We do so in the belief that data will better inform their business decisions than opinions. the sharing is navigated respectfully and not in a smart-alee way.

We encountered this recently when a customer made a statement about the performance of a product category in their business that was not supported by the data. We showed them their own data and their understanding of their business changed. Buying decisions were reversed. Floorspace allocations were changed. More important than anything, employee training was provided to even better leverage the insights we shared through the truth of their own business data.

The experience went to the core of their business. It raised their awareness of the value of the data our POS software cultivated and set them on a mission to change their use of data and their use of our software.

We were thrilled to see the people in this business get it, to get the value of data they have at their fingertips and to love the insights accurate data can provide.

This small retail business will grow as a result of their new respect of and love for data.

We are excited and they are excited.

We could have operated in an average way for a POS software company, answered their questions and moved on. Instead, we took a risk and shared insights beyond the traditional software help desk engagement. We are glad we did. We are grateful for the reaction. We are excited for the benefits unleashed.

Every day in our business we get to interact with passionate small business owners and employees. It is a thrill because each contact is personal. As we found with this data experience, the result can be heartwarming.

The work we do goes way beyond the software. The software is a tool for far more valuable work.

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Five proven ways any small business retailer can reduce dead stock – Sunday small business retail management advice

Based on our work with 3,500 retail businesses across a range of specialty retail channels, here are our five top ways any small business retail store can reduce dead stock in their business. These top ideas are all about ensuring the problem does not occur in the first place.

  1. Track everything that comes in and that you sell. Good data drives good business decisions.
  2. Order what sells. Use a re-order report from your POS software to order replenishment stock. And, yes, good POS software allows you to add to this for new items or extra stock you are certain you need.
  3. Set a budget. Use your software to control stock weight so you do not over order without thought.
  4. Track stock turn. Stock turn is the best indicator of efficiency of stock. Focus more on your best performers.
  5. Centralise buying. Ensure buying for the business is done by limited people who do use business data and who operate to a strict budget.

There are more ideas and tips on reducing dead stock. These suggestions are the best-practice starting point.

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POS software Xero integration loved by small business accountants

With more accountants recommending the Xero cloud-based accounting software our POS software is reaching more people thanks to our xero approved integration.

Professional and thorough integration takes time to develop and have approved by Xero. We put in the work last year to achieve this and continue to maintain the integration today for our many retailers using Xero.

We are grateful to Xero for their support as well as to the many accountants who endorse what we do to ensure the usefulness of the Xero link in small retail business to facilitate accurate accounting data for little time investment.

We use Xero ourselves in-house and this helps us offer a more personal user experience.

Our Xero work helps us lead in our specialist retail channels.

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