Helping small business retailers promote and manage LayBy services to drive sales

LayBy is an important tool for small business retailers in a range of vertical channels. Offering LayBy can attract shoppers and drive revenue. For this to happen, the LayBy service must be well run, tightly controlled, so as to maximise the benefit for the retailer while maintaining a focus of service for the customer.

Using the Tower Systems POS software, small business retailers are able to efficiently manage the LayBy offer from operational rules to shopper documentation to follow up to knowing where a LayBy is at any point of time.

Whereas in the past small business retailers would manually write up and track LayBys, using the Tower software small business retailers are able to handle this professionally with:

  1. Consistent LayBy rules applied to every transaction.
  2. Ensuring all details are gathered.
  3. Gathering the correct deposit.
  4. Recording the location of the LayBy.
  5. Handling a shopper deciding not to complete the LayBy.
  6. Dealing with a change in the mix of products on LayBy.

Offering small business retailers consistency around the creation and management of LayBys drives business efficiency, improves employee confidence and delivers to shoppers a solution they are sure to love.

We have retailers using the Tower Systems LayBy services as a point of difference for their business, a marketing opportunity through which they are able to drive traffic and sales.

We are thrilled to be part of such success stories and love hea4ring them.

LayBys continue to evolve with even more enhancements delivered in recent months and more coming soon.

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Toy shop software helps independent toy retailers leverage lay-by now for Christmas opportunities

Lay-By is a vitally important service for independent toy retailers in their competition with mass retailers like Target, Big W, K-Mart and Toys R Us.

Independent and small to retailers using the toy shop software from Tower Systems have in the software terrific Lay-By facilities that enable their businesses to run a professional Lay-By service that meets regulatory requirements and that competes head-on in terms of flexibility and functionality.

Now, in the middle of Winter, is the perfect time to ensure Lay-By is properly setup and promoted. This is why Tower Systems has been educating customers, to ensure they are fully prepared for the Lay-By opportunity and to ensure they are pitching the message of Lay-By opportunity to customers and prospective customers.

Here is a taste of the professional advice we have been sharing with customers:

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

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

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

Our advice on the next page guides you through key rules and steps to success with Lay-bys.

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

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

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HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS ON BEST PRACTICE LAY-BY

Lay-By is vital to small business retailers, especially gift shops, jewellers, garden centres, toy shops and homewares shops. Tower systems offers structure support for managing Lay-Bys in its POS software. We help small business retailers meet their regulatory obligations, serving the needs of customers and their businesses with a best practice approach.

We offer written advice, video training, one on one training and more to help small business retailers run professional Lay-By services.

Here is a glimpse into some of the professional Lay-By advice provided to our small business retailer community:

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

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

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

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

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Using POS software to drive preorders

prePreorders are important in several specialist retail businesses. They can help you lock-in shoppers long before product is available. Offering the service is often appreciated, especially by collectors who want to be first with a new product in their area of collection.

Using smart facilities in our POS software, retailers are able to easily manage preorders from payment to order tracking to customer communication.

Our preorder facilities are all about helping retailers grow their businesses and ensuring they do not lose sales.

The more structured your processes around special orders and preorders the more support you will achieve from customers.

Developed with retailers specialising in preorders, the Tower POS software serves this need well.

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Sunday retail management advice: Lay-by now for Christmas

Offering Lay-by services is essential if you want to grow sales of collectibles and higher priced items. It provides shoppers an opportunity to purchase today what they are unable to fully pay for today.

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

Once mistake with managing Lay-bys can be expensive.

Use software to track Lay-bys. Do not do it manually.

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

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

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

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

Before you begin with Lay-bys check the website of your state Consumer Affairs office to familiarise yourself with local requirements. Information there will help you determine your own terms and conditions.

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POS software LayBy facilities help small & independent retailers grow

laybyreceiptThe LayBy facilities in the Tower Systems Point of Sale software help small and independent retailers to offer services equal to or better than LayBy (Lay Away) facilities offered by major retailers.

From the recording of the sale through to documenting terms and payments required to customers, the Tower software takes care of record keeping, customer tracking, product location and business terms.

This POS software makes LayBys easy.

The photo shows one example of how lay-by payment requirements are recorded on the receipt for a customer, to guide them to meet your trading terms. This alone makes LayBys more valuable and certain for small business retailers.

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POS software Layaway LayBy features help retailers win this Christmas season

Retailers using The Tower Systems Point of Sale software have had access to LayBy / Layaway facilities for many years and over that time the facilities have been finessed in response to feedback.

Offering excellent flexibility for retailers who want to offer the Layaway / LayBy service, the Tower software handles all accounting and paperwork, making selling, payments and collection easy. It does it in a way that is professional and consistent – two important requirements when offering a Layaway / LayBy service.

It is this time of the year, Christmas time, when the facilities are put to the test with many collections being undertaken of pre-purchased Christmas gifts. Thanks to strong management facilities including excellent reporting, retailers using the Tower software are able to manage Layaways / LayBys with a minimum time investment. This helps the business make more from the opportunity.

The execution of the Layaway / LayBy facilities in the Tower Systems Point of sale software are another valuable differentiation for the company.

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Jeweller software LayBy (Lay Away) facilities shine

Right now is LayBy (Lay Away in the US) season for jewellers and the Tower Systems Jeweller software is playing an important role serving the LayBe needs of hundreds of jewellers.

Using our LayBy facilities jewellers and other retailers can accurately record customer details, track payments, send reminders and harvest shopper data for future marketing.

Professional and time-efficient management of LayBy transactions helps win more business for jewellers and other retailers. This year the Tower LayBy facilities have been further enhanced thanks to some excellent in-the-field feedback. The LayBy facilities were enhanced earlier this year.

While many Point of Sale software packages offer LayBy (LayAway) facilities, few deliver flexibility which is vital in a retail situation. Ax retailers ourselves and having current experience with layBy, we have ensured that our software delivers retailer and shopper friendly facilities … delivering a classing win win.

We saw one software package recently where you had to tell the software that the customer wanted to Lay By an item before you started processing the sale.  This is poor design. using our software you can decide that it’s at layBy at any point in the sale processing.

Giving retailers the ability to set, manage and advise LayBy rules is another way retailers using our software can bring needed structure and certainty to the LayBy retail shopper offer.

Using our Point of Sale software package, retailers can process the sale as a Lay By at any point in managing the sale.  This delivers excellent flexibility to the retail associates, the business and, most important, the customers.

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Enhanced LayBy facilities in POS software to better servie retailers

Tower Systems is close to releasing enhancements to the LayBy facilities in its Point of Sale software. Developed in consultation with retailers strong in the LayBy space, the latest enhancements extend the benefits delivered to retailers using the Tower software.

First pitched to the company through our Software Ideas transparent user suggestion portal, the LayBy changes were voted on by users and agreed to by the company for release in the next update. That update is now in the final stages of quality assurance.

The extension of our layBy facilities is further evidence of our approach to inviting, considering and realising software enhancements. In a unique process first introduced by Tower Systems years ago, Software Ideas has become a valuable resource of suggestion and feedback. It’s a key part of the ever growing value delivered in the Tower software.

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Helping retailers manage customer credit using POS software

credit-limit.jpgSmart retailers in today’s economic climate want to remove as many barriers as possible between an opportunity and a sale.  This is why LayBy is important in many retail situations.  Retailers who want the business sometimes need to provide funding.  While this approach has been common in big box and furniture situations, it has been less common in marketplaces in which we serve: jewellers, bike retailers, gift shops, homewares stores and newsagents … until recently.

Our Point of Sale software provides robust and flexible facilities which enable retailers to provide and manage the LayBy, store credit and other flexible payment options.

Using the credit limit facility, partially shown in the image, our retail business partners are able to control the acceptable credit limit balance at the customer level.  This can bee set and controlled by senior management, thus removing the challenge for retail associates having to deal with this as they can say that ‘the system’ does not allow an increase.

By managing credit limits, retail businesses can better manage their exposure.  This is vital as the provision of credit to customers increases as economists predict.  One report recently said that while credit card debt is not growing as fast as it used to in Australia and New Zealand, there has been somewhat of a transfer of debt to store credit as discussed here.

We are committed to ensuring that our software maintains relevant and useful facilities which enable our retail partners of ensure that barriers between opportunities and sales are kept at a minimum as far as our Point of sale software is concerned.

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Point of Sale software helps retailers leverage Christmas Lay-By success

Plenty of retailers using our Point of Sale software have been enjoying the Lay-By facilities this Christmas retail season.

Our POS software Lay-By (Lay Away) facilities give small and independent retailers facilities equal to those used successfully for decades by national retail chains to capture and lock-in Christmas purchases by shoppers.

Thanks to smart lay-By management, connected marketing and a host of other facilities, small and independent retailers are competing with bigger retailers and leveraging Lay-By opportunities for a more successful Christmas trading period.

This is a perfect example of where good use of good Point of sale software helps small retailers extract premium value from the use of the software. Here at Tower Systems we help by providing access to good training and support in the use of the LayBy facilities.

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The perfect time to leverage the LayBy opportunity

Whether you call it Lay Away or LayBy, the offer is the same to retail shoppers – choose what you want, pay a deposit and we will keep it aside for you until you want to take it home with you. LayBy has been important to retailers as it helps them lock a shopper in on a purchase when they may not have the money for the full price and do not want to use a credit card.

Our widely used small business Point of Sale software has offered LayBy facilities to retailers for many years. Retailers have used it for a few accounts through to well over 1,000 accounts. Our facilities have helped small business retailers compete with national chains.

Today, thanks to smart LayBy tools, it is easier than ever for small retailers to offer the service, track payments and manage the storage of LayBys. The end result is more business.

LayBy is just one more way the Tower Systems software is helping retailers to make more money by using their IT investment to its fullest. The more opportunities in the software that are used the stronger the business.

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LayBy software helps retailers drive sales especially at Christmas

layby-management.jpgWhile many Point of Sale software packages offer LayBy (LayAway) facilities, few deliver flexibility which is vital in a retail situation. Ax retailers ourselves and having current experience with layBy, we have ensured that our software delivers retailer and shopper friendly facilities … delivering a classing win win.

We saw one software package recently where you had to tell the software that the customer wanted to Lay By an item before you started processing the sale.  This is poor design. using our software you can decide that it’s at layBy at any point in the sale processing.

Giving retailers the ability to set, manage and advise LayBy rules is another way retailers using our software can bring needed structure and certainty to the LayBy retail shopper offer.

Using our Point of Sale software package, retailers can process the sale as a Lay By at any point in managing the sale.  This delivers excellent flexibility to the retail associates, the business and, most important, the customers.

From our LayBy setup facilities (see screen shot) through to sales counter processing, we ensure that we deliver the flexibility, security and accuracy which are vital to the enjoyably offering of LayBy services in any type of retail business.

We are grateful to the feedback from our customers which enables us to continue to evolve our LayBy software, to keep it best practice in our various retail marketplaces. the latest enhancements to our LayBy facilities are being delivered this month in a fresh software update.

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Early Start to LayBy Season

We have noticed an early start to LayBys this year, probably in response to tough retail conditions.

LayBys usually kick in in August or September. Here it is June and we have many retailers using our Point of Sale software running LayBy offers, to encourage shoppers to purchase now for Christmas 2011.

Our POS Software has excellent LayBy facilities which enable small and independent retailers to offer LayBy services which are as good as or better than what you see in national retail chains.

Using our LayBy facilities, retailers can easily process and track sales, manage payments, enforce LayBy rules, track goods and attract sales where price for immediate purchase may have been a barrier.

To help retailers establish and manage their LayBy serving using our Point of Sale software, we have excellent advice available from our website in addition to professional live assistance through our Help Desk.

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Smart Lay By Software benefits Retailers and Shoppers

layby-management.jpgWhile many Point of Sale software packages offer Lay By facilities, few deliver flexibility which is vital in a retail situation.

We saw one software package recently where you had to tell the software that the customer wanteed to Lay By an item before you started processing the sale.  This is poor design.

Using our Point of sale software package, retailers can process the sale as a Lay By at any point in managing the sale.  This delivers excellent flexibility to the retail associates, the business and, most important, the customers.

From our Lay By setup facilities (see screen shot) through to sales counter processing, we ensure that we deliver the flexibility, security and accuracy which are vital to the enjoyably offering of Lay By services in any type of retail business.

We are grateful to the feedback from our customers which enables us to continue to evolve our Lay By software, to keep it best practice in our various marketplaces.

For good lay By software, check out Tower Systems.

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Managing Credit for Retail Customers Through LayBy and Other POS facilities

credit-limit.jpgSmart retailers in today’s economic climate want to remove as many barriers as possible between an opportunity and a sale.  This is why we have seen a rise in the use of LayBy as well as store credit and other payment mechanisms in a variety of retail situations over the last year.  Retailers who want the business sometimes need to provide funding.  While this approach has been common in big box and furniture situations, it has been less common in marketplaces in which we serve: jewellers, bike retailers, gift shops, homewares stores and newsagents … until recently.

Our Point of Sale software provides robust and flexible facilities which enable retailers to provide and manage the LayBy, store credit and other flexible payment options.

Using the credit limit facility, partially shown in the image, our retail business partners are able to control the acceptable credit limit balance at the customer level.  This can bee set and controlled by senior management, thus removing the challenge for retail associates having to deal with this as they can say that ‘the system’ does not allow an increase.

By managing credit limits, retail businesses can better manage their exposure.  This is vital as the provision of credit to customers increases as economists predict.  One report recently said that while credit card debt is not growing as fast as it used to in Australia and New Zealand, there has been somewhat of a transfer of debt to store credit as discussed here.

Here at Tower Systems we are watching changes in the use of credit in retail situations.  We are committed to ensuring that our software maintains relevant and useful facilities which enable our retail partners of ensure that barriers between opportunities and sales are kept at a minimum as far as our Point of sale software is concerned.

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