In addition to owning Tower Systems I am a Director of newsXpress, a proactive marketing group for newsagents who are transforming their businesses. I am hosting a series of free workshops open to anyone offering access to the newsXpress training on how of use social media to find new shoppers for your retail business.
This session will be practical, offering ready to use advice suitable for any retail business. If you want to learn about how to use Facebook, Instagram or Twitter in your business this is a good session for you. The session will also cover using your website to find new shoppers. Bookings now available for:
We will add Perth as well. The sessions will be interactive with plenty of time for questions. Spaces are limited as we want to ensure everyone can engage.
Users of our POS software love the loyalty options in the software including the ability to work with beautiful plastic loyalty cards designed in-house by our marketing team for our customers.
Here are some of the cards we have designed for customers – just four of the many different designs from our creative team.
These cards are terrific quality with personalised barcodes. They come in a wallet for customer storage if they wish.
The cards are one option of many from the loyalty suite supported by Tower Systems for its small business retail customers.
While the Tower Systems POS software supports points-based loyalty, we have other more advanced and more current loyalty offers. Our new loyalty offers help retailers drive excellent sales results.
Here are some reasons why we think points based loyalty programs are not useful for small business retailers:
Our advice is to put your customers at the heart of your loyalty program. Once you do this you will quickly see the value of a more customer-focussed loyalty offer and the benefits that could flow for your business.
Shoppers are tired of points-based loyalty programs where the value of points is challenging to understand and where rewards are difficult to access.
Take the retail group where shoppers have to sign up for the program and spend $500 in-store to accuse 500 points that are then converted to a limited life voucher sent to the customer.
This type of program does not make sense when you look at the hopes the customer has to jump through.
Compare it to a competitor offer where a shopper can have a $$ award on their receipt from the first purchase. No sign up. No delay in accessing benefits.
The Tower Systems POS software handles both the scenarios outlined above. Our preference as retail experts is for the latter. We say this based on years of working with independent small business retailers. While the points approach is where loyalty started, it shifted a few years ago and now more retailers prefer the $$ benefit on retail-ts because their customers react so well to it.
The example above where the customer has multiple steps to reach. These steps act as barriers. Shoppers can forget about the goal as they work through the barriers.
Don’t believe us, ask shoppers. Present the two scenarios. Ask which they prefer. We have done this. 5:1 they prefer the $$ off showing on the receipt without sign up. They love it in fact.
The feedback we have from customers is the Tower Systems POS software loyalty offerings are best-practice for retailers and for shoppers, they genuinely add value of retail businesses, costing a fraction of the gross profit achieved from incremental business driven by the program.
Too often small and independent retail businesses create and run shopper loyalty programs that mimic their big business competitors. They ignore that the big business loyalty programs do not have rewarding shopper loyalty as a core focus.
Big business loyalty programs are primarily about the needs and profitability of big business.
Our advice for small business retailers is to be generous with your loyalty program. Offer generous rewards for loyalty. Run a loyalty program shoppers love, a program that brings shoppers back again and again.
Being stingy will cause frustration and anger among customers, it could have them talking negatively about the business. This is not good for business.
When we look at loyalty programs that have failed to deliver good results in a small or independent retail business, the most common cause we find is that the loyalty reward is not sufficiently a reward.
This is why we encourage retailers to be generous in loyalty reward settings.
The best way to reflect generosity is through transparency of value. By this we mean making it clear what a reward is worth. This is why a dollar amount is more valuable than points. People understand dollars. It is unlikely the will easily understand the ‘value’ of points.
For more advice and assistance on the best-practice approach to shopper loyalty, please talk with the team at Tower Systems.
The Tower Systems POS software has every possible shopper loyalty requirement covered from points to integrations to instant gratification loyalty to collectible loyalty to multi buy loyalty to supplier driven and funded loyalty.
No matter what loyalty option you could conceive, Tower has, in its community of 3,500+ small business retailers, most likely encountered the need and served it.
Our experience with loyalty is different businesses have different needs. This is why one of our loyalty experts works with you to determine which of the options is right for your business needs.
We help you discover the options in the software that serve your needs.
Our retail management advice today is think about the needs of your business carefully. The most obvious loyalty option, the one most others use, might not be right for you.
Our retail management tip today is: choose the loyalty option that is right for your small business.
There are plenty more options than these – catered for and serves within the smart Tower Systems POS software.
One of the most valuable ways a retailer can differentiate from a competitor is to change how items are sold. Through the Tower Systems POS software, retailers have multiple ways of doing this. One successful way is the transactional multi-buy, where a customer can save money by purchasing more of an item in one transaction.
We see the transactional multi-buy approach working well in toy shops, pet shops, newsagencies and gift shops. Retailers in each channel use it differently and with different products. This is a beauty of the facility – it is easy for a local retailer to setup such a campaign and then flip to another. It enables the small business independent retailer to be flexible and constantly change their approach.
Changing your pitch in store around what the shopper purchases is important. It differentiates you from others with the same product. It speaks to your local offer and enables you to own your value proposition.
This is smart for small business retailers. we are proud our software makes it easy to setup and simple to manage and insightful in the post activity reporting.
Any business selling items shoppers will collect or purchase for collectors would benefit significantly from the transactional multi by facilities in the Tower Systems POS software.
We back the facilities with training, in-store management advice and even post event analysis – helming retailers to understand the full value of the campaign they have run.
Making it very easy, all the retail employee need do is scan items. The software applies any appropriate multi-buy discount. You do not even have to scan all the items after each other. yes, the software is smart enough to detect items at any point in the sale and to grow them together. This is vital to streamlined throughput of shoppers at a busy sales counter.
Beyond the software, Tower Systems is grateful for the support of many retailers in the continual enhancement of the software, to enable us to bring valuable in-store marking tools to retailers with whom we partner.
Transactional multi-buy is an important tool for small business and independent retailers. We have excellent case studies we can share to illustrate the value.
Now, businesses of all sizes use points based programs to try and drive shopper loyalty.
Our view is points based programs are out of date and no longer competitive. Shopper behaviour has changed. Often you see people once and have one shot to drive the most valuable relationship for you. These on-shot customers don’t want to sign up for something or carry a card they will never use. However, they can be guided to spend more with you.
While we offer points based loyalty facilities in our POS software, we offer alternatives some of our customers are finding far more effective:
These three loyalty options as well as connections to external loyalty facilities provide our small business retail customers with options.
Better still, our loyalty facilities continue to evolve. We develop enhancements based on customer requests as well as based on what we see in retail overseas.
We also offer hybrid solutions where people mix our loyalty facilities. For example, we have customers offering discount vouchers and points where regular customers are treated differently to those making a one-off visit to the store.
We’d love to meet and talk about needs in your retail business, to see if our loyalty software and other POS software facilities can help.
We are an Australian software company selling software to selected retail niches like yours.
Please talk with one of our retail experts:
Footnote: the photo is from a shop I visited in Hong Kong two weeks ago. Homeless is a fascinating mix of pop culture, homewares, gifts and quirkiness. I was in Hong Kong for the Gift Fair and to meet with innovative retailers.
The biggest challenges of any retail business are to get shoppers spending more in a visit and returning sooner than might usually be the case. In this article by Tower CEO Mark Fetcher, we explore a simple yet effective tool.
All retailers, want shoppers to spend more in each visit and to come back more often.
Yet most retailers are uncomfortable overtly engaging with shoppers to get spend more in a visit or come back sooner.
Years ago, the thought was that a shopper VIP card or points based loyalty program was the way to go. Today, with such programs commonplace, their value is diluted.
There is talk among shoppers of loyalty fatigue – they are doubting the value of cards and programs where real rewards are not what was first offered.
Change the game: front-end loyalty
Instead of making shoppers accrue points that are then converted for cash at some future stage, why not offer cash-based rewards earlier, from the first purchase?
This approach is called front-ending loyalty. It brings a reward to the front in an effort to engage shoppers in additional purchases sooner.
It’s an approach that can encourage those who do not shop with you to purchase something else right away, to get the value of the cash discount offered.
Regular shoppers can spend the cash discount right away or come back within any time limit you set.
I started trialling this front-end loyalty strategy in February 2013 in several retail businesses. I did it using the Discount Vouchers facilities in the Tower POS software.
Building the basket
From the first day, in my own shop, I saw shoppers changing behaviour.
One customer came in to purchase a specific item. When I handed him the receipt I point out the voucher offering $2.00 of his next purchase. He was not a regular and so spent the $2.00, and more, right away on another item. He received another voucher and so purchased a third item. In all, he spent three times as much as the original purchase – all because of the Discount Vouchers he received.
Around 33% of all vouchers redeemed are used the day they are received. This shows customers building the basket – adding to their purchase that day as a result of the voucher. This makes each visit more valuable to us.
Bringing shoppers back
33% of redeemed vouchers are used within seven days and the remaining 33% are redeemed up to four weeks after issue, bringing shoppers back.
There is real evidence now from hundreds of retailers supporting these claims.
Here’s another real story: A few months ago, a customer came in and used a voucher she had picked up a couple of weeks earlier. She was happy to get $5.00 off a $65.00 item she wanted. This purchase resulted in another voucher so she bought another item for $29.95.
This customer said her friends had been recently talking about VIP cards and how they were useless. She then told them about us.
Changing how shoppers interact.
In another instance a customer was considering a $250.00 item but decided they could not justify the expense. They purchased some smaller items, spending $25.00.
On receiving a $5.00 voucher they turned around, immediately, and bought the $250.00 item.
We asked what happened. The answer was I don’t know. I needed permission I guess and the $5.00 did it.
This is a true story and there are many more like it in hundreds of retail businesses.
The key about discount vouchers is they change shopper behaviour, usually immediately and valuable for the business.
Indeed, discount vouchers are a game changer for many retail businesses, large an small, city and country.
We love hearing the stories of success from your customers.
You control the business rules
Like any good loyalty program, you need good levers with which to drive shopper engagement and to deliver the benefits to justify the investment.
The Discount Vouchers facilities have this.
You control the amount of each sale you are prepared to give away on the voucher.
You control the products the voucher can be used for.
You control how long the voucher is live for. I suggest 28 days but I have some retailers setting this at 90 days.
Helping your business
With most retail businesses running a loyalty program using a points based approach and only targeting long-term customers, adoption of this front-end loyalty approach can provide you with a genuine point of difference.
It is easily managed through the Tower Systems software and is backed by excellent management reports. This makes implementation and management easier than the old approach.
I’m confident this fresh approach to loyalty is a game changer for any retail business. The control you have enables you to easily manage the cost and the value you gain from the program.
This really is a new approach to bringing shoppers back sooner and getting them to spend more with you.
IMPORTANT FOOTNOTE: Beware of those who claim year on year growth or numbers of people in their loyalty program. What is needed is analysis of a series of metrics on a same store basis year on year, metrics that assess carefully what is in the sample basket. For example, including lottery products in a purchase value basket does not make sense – it creates a false result of little value.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about how your business can compete a fresh approach to loyalty, talk with an expert at Tower Systems. They can share more stories.
We love hearing POS software stories, stories from our small business retailer customers on how they are using our Point of Sale software to help their businesses in the service of their customers.
We heard one such success story from the folks at Tourist House recently, at one of our user meetings, on their use of our proprietary discount voucher loyalty software facilities to help their customers save on purchases tourist items from them.
Using the software in four retail locations in four cities, the POS software sits at the heart of the operation. The discount voucher facilities have proved to be terrific in helping with employee and customer engagement.
The stories of engagement have helped us understand from a real world perspective how our software can be used in a range of situations to drive better business outcomes. Every feedback story adds to our knowledge and the narrative of Tower Systems.
We are grateful for customer engagement like this. It puts wind in our sales, a spring in our step.
Small business POS software company helps small and independent retailers leverage the opportunity of the Tyro broadband EFTPOS solutions. We do this through a direct integration with our smart POS software as well as through the friendly small business focussed help desk service.
Serving retailers across a range of retail niches, we have experience from many channels and situations from which to draw when helping retailers save time, cut mistakes and benefit from a best-practice EFTPOS integration. This is an integration supported by tower for many years.
While the Tower Systems POS software works with a range of platforms, Tyro is featured by the company thanks to the relationship with the folks at Tyro, a relationship that benefits the Tower Systems small business retailer user community.
We use Tyro ourselves in our own retail businesses. This enables us to support from a basis of personal experience. It sets us apart.
A Tower Systems team members was in a retail business recently using POS software solution from another company and experienced a considerable failure of loyalty software. After making the purchase and leaving the store, our team member was called around ten minutes later with the news there was a voucher for them. It turns out this other POS software is slow at producing vouchers, meaning they often are printed minutes after the sale is completed – meaning the opportunity it lost.
Vouchers need to be printed with the sale, instantly, if the business is to leverage the maximum opportunity. This is vital to the success of any loyalty program – pitching to the shopper while they are still able to easily shop. This is what the Tower Systems POS software does – best practice loyalty in our POS software.
Calling a customer after they have left the shop is an epic fail for the POS software and a problem for the retail business.
The experience was a reminder to us that we have not the loyalty offers in our software right in terms of mix, facilities and speed. It also showed us a competitor’s weakness first-hand.
We checked in recently with several retailers running our loyalty software facilities and in each case we found these small businesses offering loyalty programs that were between ten and one hundred times more valuable to shoppers than those run by Coles and Woolworths.
We are proud to play a role in these small business retailers offering valuable loyalty programs that focus on real value for customers.
From points to dollars off to multi-buy to rewards for future purchases, the loyalty programs available through the Tower software are considerable. Their flexibility is excellent as if the commercial benefits to our small business retail partners.
We are confident Tower Systems can help you:
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.
With evidence that discount vouchers drive a better commercial outcome than points based loyalty program, the free training Tower Systems offers to retailers on its unique and successful POS software integrated program is popular.
The new loyalty. This is a fresh approach to loyalty for small business retailers, something genuinely unique and through which engaged retailers can guide shoppers to spend more in a visit as well as to encourage shoppers to return to the business.
The new loyalty is a suite of facilities and a business management approach through which chance can be affected on a business that will drive sales and encourage customer happiness. It is a whole of business approach – that can make an extraordinary positive contribution to a business.
The new loyalty is part of the Tower AdvantageTM. It is unique to us and our coustomers.
The new Woolworths shopper loyalty program recently released has received plenty of coverage. Now that it is live we have had a chance to test drive it and, frankly, our opinion of it is not good.
The new Woolworths loyalty program is not good value for the consumer.
We know from our own small business customers using the discount voucher facilities in our POS software that the value they deliver is, on average, twenty times better value than the Woolworths offer.
Our tip today to small business retailers is – you can beat Woolworths in the loyalty stakes and we can help you do this.
Flexibility is the key to success of the small business loyalty software for retailers from Tower Systems. refined over many years in close consultation with small business owners and managers, the loyalty facilities in the Tower software are proven from the traditional points based facility to the lucrative discount vouchers to the buy X get Y FREE tools. Flexibility is the key here.
In addition to the valuable suite of loyalty facilities for retailers, Tower Systems links to external services such as FlyBys and other loyalty solutions used by groups and others for connecting stores and making loyalty more valuable than only for one store.
But wait there’s more as they say. There is more quality thanks to the links in the Tower software for connecting small business retailers with their suppliers, often the businesses funding the loyalty offerings.
Flexibility, maturity and and commercial value sit at the heart of the loyalty facilities included in the Tower software. Small business retailers who want to purchase a POS software package and not have to rely on other partners to run loyalty facilities can achieve this by partnering with software company Tower Systems. They can rely on Tower to not only delivery excellent loyalty facilities today but to enhance them tomorrow, next year and beyond as the company maintains its software as a best practice solution for small business retailers in a range of specialist retail fields.
This is what Tower does – serving specialist retailers with exceptional software on which they can rely to grow their businesses thanks to loyalty facilities and more.
The small business loyalty software in our POS software is helping more and more specialist retailers such as jewellers, bike retailers, garden centres, pet shops, newsagents, gift shops and homewares shops to compete with big business.
Indeed, smart loyalty facilities in small business software are crucial to helping independent and small retail businesses to win against ferocious national competitors.
The small business loyalty facilities in our software are flexible and powerful, offering:
The flexibility and options embedded in our small business loyalty software win us ne customers and help existing customers derive better outcomes from their own customer relationships.
The customer purchasing a $15,000.00 diamond ring is thrilled to receive a voucher offering $1,474.50 off their next purchase as it feels like a genuine discount off the ring they purposefully chose and an opportunity to save on another purchase.
The loyalty rewards mechanic being used here can win a customer for life for an engaged jewellery business.
While some shoppers will realise the cost of the discount is embedded in the pricing policy of the business, plenty of customers will not and will spend in a way that reflects delight a the opportunity.
The technology behind the serving of the VIP member voucher is comprehensive and powerful. It provides engaged retailers with tools that enable them to drive basket depth, shopper return and product stock turn.
While appearing to be simple, the software and supporting business practices are proving to be commercially valuable for many of the retail partners of Tower Systems.
More and more retailers are switching from the old school points based loyalty programs to our discount vouchers. They are finding the vouchers are driving more immediate and more valuable outcomes for retailers – they are driving a better bottom line. We are hearing new success stories daily.
It is thrilling hearing success stories of how businesses have switched from points to $$ loyalty offers. It’s exciting and invigorating hearing of small and independent retailers achieving excellent outcomes for their businesses and knowing that we have played a role in this.
This is our retail management tip today – chase a point of difference, leverage new age discount vouchers and stop using the old points based loyalty offers.
Retailers can call the vouchers what they like. They can also choose how the value on a voucher is calculated and what it can be redeemed for.
The fresh Buy X get Y free facility in the Tower Systems POS Software provides with enhanced loyalty options when considering how to encourage shoppers to spend more.
This facility is particularly useful for habit based purchases, where shoppers purchase an item or a category of items multiple times in a reasonable period of times.
Several retail channels will benefit from the enhanced facilities including pet shops, newsagents, garden centres and convenience stores.
Developed in close consultation with retailers in several retail channel niches, this facility is already in active use thanks to wonderfully supporting customers in our beta release program.
The loyalty options in the Tower Systems software continue to evolve to provide flexibility to retailers keen to offer relevant pitches to their shoppers.
We are grateful to the guidance of customers involved in this latest project.
There appears to be growing fatigue among shoppers with points based programs.
Points based programs are popular with retailers. They do not offer a point of difference to retailers.
While the Tower Systems POS software supports individual, franchise, buying group and other points based loyalty programs, it is our exclusive discount voucher loyalty facilities that offer a genuine point of difference to retailers and their shoppers.
The New Loyalty is a fresh approach to loyalty marketing for retail businesses.