POS software offers small business retailers choice on loyalty

There is loyalty software and then there is loyalty software. The Tower Systems approach to loyalty software in its POS software for small business retailers is broad, flexible and shopper-focussed.

With options from the more traditional points based approach through to an immediate benefit engagement offer and the ability to blend the two, the Tower Systems software provides retailers with tools they can use appropriate to local needs.

Feedback from retailers using the Tower Systems loyalty facilities is thrilling. Stories of growth, shopper engagement and terrific bottom line results. This really excites us.

While many businesses like points based programs, evidence indicates the immediate benefit engagement offer is more valuable in many retail situations. The results on a P&L and elsewhere in business reporting are compelling.

Beyond the software, Tower Systems is engaged with its retail partners to help them choose the right mix of loyalty offers which work best in their circumstances.

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POS software helps small business retailers with cloud backup option

bupThe cloud backup service launched last year by small business retail management software company Tower Systems is proving to be popular with retailers. The backup process is seamless, not taking any noticeable time thanks to the smart technology engaged. The result is double protection offering peace of mind to small business retailers.

While Tower Systems has supported external and automated backup services for years, this new even more hands-off cloud-based backup service that offers excellent protection to participating small retail businesses users of our POS software.

Run on a subscription basis and backing up to the cloud real-time through the day, this is a comprehensive replacement of the old end of shift backup approach for small and independent retailers.

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Free roster software for small business retailers

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 3.07.02 pmTower Systems has launched free roster cloud-based roster software developed specifically for small business retailers.

This easy to use platform is serves single location and multi location retailers. It offers a variety of tools and helps retailers with budgeting to drive a better labour cost outcome.

The new employee roster software for retailers is another enhancement from Tower Systems, delivered at no cost to its customers – demonstrating innovation in a practical and no cost way.

This is another way we live up to our motto: We’re here to help.

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Sunday retail management advice: don’t pay too much for POS software support

Here at Tower Systems, paying annual software support is optional. We want our POS software customers to pay to access support because they value it rather than because it is a tax imposed which must be paid for them to access the software.

Our support fees are transparent and consistent.

If you use other POS software, before you pay your bill check what others are paying. In one case recently one business was paying around $1,000 while another nearby using exactly the same software purchased at the same time was paying over $3,000. The second business was being grossly overcharged.

One way you can save money on POS software support is by shopping around.

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POS software drives retail sales

One of our POS software team members this week saw first hand the value of the latest loyalty facilities in ur software in a business which switched from MYOB to us and from a points based loyalty system to our $$$ based front end loyalty solution. Here is their story:

I popped in to see a client who swapped to our software late last year from MYOB, they were doing a points based loyalty system before, and changed to our discount vouchers on launch of our software.  The result is excellent sales growth. This is a good report to show you can still get engagement of vouchers, even at low customer numbers and low values.  Average voucher issued was $2.06.

We love hearing stories like this as they reflect on our value proposition of helping our customers. While we help in many ways, it is through the loyalty offer where we see excellent business growth results.

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Tower Systems helping newsagents and their suppliers

Tower Systems is in the middle of hosting a series of newsagency supplier forums up the eastern Seaboard of Australia – to provide suppliers with an opportunity to discuss the newsagency channel and to explore how to list the level of engagement.

These free sessions are running well with plenty of supplier engagement among a diverse group of industry suppliers.

This is another way Tower Systems is investing in the newsagency channel.

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Sunday retail management advice: inspiration retail management success stories

While some retailers gravitate to stories of doom and gloom, others are chase and enjoy success large and small.

Through our work with our POS software we get to meet with plenty of retailers and look at many businesses.

We are certain that success is not an accident.

Success is planned for and chased. It is the goal reflected in every business decision. It comes from refusing to let the business run you.

We’d like to share three real-world stories with you.

The small shop turning over $380,000 a year and growing 28%

Talking with a gift shop owner about their 28% increase in sales in the financial year just ended.

Yes, you read right, a 28% lift in sales in the 2012/13 year. This is on the back of a 17% increase the year before. This is a business that is more than ten years old.

This is no accident. They planned for it by carefully looking at their business data and shedding products that were not working. They adjusted opening hours too as they discovered business later in the day that they had not realised was there. This knowledge opened them to opportunities for last minute shoppers.

The owner of the business decided to chase success because the turnover was barely enough to cover rent, wages and the loan taken out to fund the business. It was grow or bust.

They planned for success by using their business data. The first year – 17% up from a low turnover base – was encouraging. The 28% increase this past financial year proves value of paying attention to business data.

Sales data guided them as to the suppliers of the best to focus on. One employee was eased out of the business for failing to achieve minimum sales targets.

The owner spent more time on the shop floor selling to achieve minimum margin dollars per sale rather than just chatting with shoppers.

The result shows what can happen when you focus on being a retailer, the owner said to me with a huge smile.

A gift shop reengineers and saves itself

Another gift shop we have been working with was in trouble. Shops nearby were closing and the small shopping strip had a dark feeling. For a while they were sucked into the cloud of doom and gloom.

Checking their data we saw that several special interest items sold well and provided an above-average margin. They used this knowledge as the basis for small expansion.

Over six months they increased their range of the special interest items and they connected with community groups to share knowledge.

Over six months sales grew, not into double-digit growth but they were happy to have at least stopped the decline.

In the second six months sales grew further. Now they were into double digit growth territory. Shoppers happy with their specialisation were telling others. Word of mouth was driving extra traffic.

That was a year ago. Today, this business is very different. People travel for up to two hours to see their range. The average sale value has more than doubled, margins are up 15% and customer traffic is up 25%. Combine these three and you can see why the owner is very happy.

They did not plan to become a product specialist. The survival of their business demanded it.

How a product category drove sales and profit

This gift shop owner came to us because they were in trouble. Sales were falling. Together, we took an in-depth look at their data.

The category performing best in terms of return on investment and return on floor-space was plush, teddy bears and some soft toys. That can’t be right, said the owner, it’s stuck in the back of the shop.

Data does not lie. It revealed that their small selection of plush was selling well despite the owner and the employees not being all that interested in it.

Fast forward six months and this business has turned around. They are now a plush shop at the front with other gifts. Sales are up 65% and climbing. They have increased their margin too – because they have products others nearby don’t have.

Turning this business around was easy as the data offered the guide. The changes took a week to complete and initially required only a $5,000 capital investment in additional stock.

Own your success

Small and independent retail businesses can achieve growth in any economic situation.

People don’t stop shopping in tough times – they just change what they buy.

By taking a fresh look at business data gift shop owners can change focus, attract new shoppers and get existing shoppers spending more.

We’re happy to help.

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Newsagents hurt by IT compliance failure

Two weeks ago Tower Systems became aware of a problem for newsagents using software from another newsagency software company (not Tower) as a result of its handling of price correction advice from a specific magazine distributor.

Our understanding is that it is only users of this other software package (not Tower) affected. The result is newsagents using this other software fail part of the industry data standard compliance criteria which is assessed continuously.

With users of only one software company affected, it appears that software company needs to modify its software to behave as all other newsagency software products do.

On hearing of the problem we went back to the IT standard. We think we can see how our competitor may have not fully embraced the standard and if so this could explain the situation they find themselves in today.

Newsagents are asking questions about responsibility for the problem and how they can claw back failures which they say are no fault of their own. The compliance rules are such that gifting them compliance when they did not comply could create challenges for the suppliers involved.

All this matters for newsagents as compliance is a key factor in lucrative newsagency of the year awards. The compliance failure denies affected stores points and points are the currency of consideration for the awards.

Our approach to industry standards is to encourage suppliers and software companies to all meet at the same time in the same place to discuss and agree on a common goal. Unfortunately others don’t agree with this, they prefer to meet alone with supplier representatives. Their disagreement leads to situations whereby different software companies can have different take aways from these private discussions. This is not good for industry standards.

Update: since we published this post earlier today, another software company has written and published material which appears to be related to this topic, information which is, in our opinion, misleading.

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Help for small business retailers doing it tough

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 6.52.05 amTower Systems has published a special report for small business retailers on tactics and strategies they can use to help navigate tough times. This report draws on years of experience working with small business retailers across a range of retail channels. The advice is ready to use, often without the need for POS software technology.

While developed as part of the Tower AdvantageTM suite of services, Tower Systems has made the advice widely available to all retailers.

We appreciate the feedback from retailers which has guided further development of this small business assistance advice.

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Sunday retail management advice: being optimistic about small business retail

In almost all data we get from small business retailers we can find reasons to be optimistic. It could be shopper traffic, basket depth, unit sales for a product category, comparative supplier performance or any number of other data points, researching business performance data provides us with insights which can encourage optimism.

Optimism matters in small business retail. However, it is not something to fake. We look for truth in the data and more times than not we can find reasons for hope and excitement for a business.

In one case recently we were asked to help a business doing it tough. In their data we found information about a segment of the business around which they were able to build a series of positive steps for further improving the business.

One step is all it takes to move a business forward and often in your POS software managed data you can discover what that next step could be.

Our job as a POS software company is to help uncover these opportunities, to show you small steps you could take to build optimism and for your business.

We often find optimism where business owners are not looking and even the faintest glint can be like wind in your sails.

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POS software loves the Microsoft Surface

tsurfaceOur POS software loves the Microsoft Surface and retailers love our POS software on the Microsoft Surface. We have had the pair on show at five trade shows over the last two weeks covering gift shops, jewellers, toy retailers, pet shops and newsagents.

Retailers are choosing the Microsoft Surface for use on the shop floor, in a warehouse, at trade shows and from home. It’s portable, slim yet fully functional. It is an ideal solution for many business situations.

Having it at the various trade shows has enabled us to show off what we can do with the software beyond the traditional counter top register and how we can help retailers in a variety of mobile situations.

Flexibility is key to good POS software and Tower Systems has been demonstrating this at many events in recent weeks.

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Helping newsagent suppliers help newsagents

newssessTower Systems is funding an opportunity for newsagent suppliers to meet in three states to discuss and work on the health of the newsagency channel and explore how they can help newsagents grow their businesses.

The Newsagent Supplier Forum has been in development for some months and is open to all suppliers to participate. Our hospitality extends to our software company competitors – we want the sessions to as broadly based as possible.

Newsagents think they are doing it tough and while some are for others it is a mindset thing. We hope the focus can help navigate a path ahead which benefits newsagents, their employees and newsagent suppliers.

Click here to book.

Funding these sessions is another way we can give back to our customers.

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Free POS software training helps retailers improve productivity

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.34.16 pmThe weekly free POS software training opportunities offered by Tower Systems continue to attract retaill business owners and their employees who want to get more from their software investment.

Our outcome-focussed training is proving to be a hit with retailers as it offers practical advice without tech-jargon.

This session on productivity helps retailers where it matters: at the counter.

Tower Systems is grateful to wonderful customer support in participating in these sessions.

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Tower Systems to retailers: we’re here to help

twhIn releasing the new corporate image – new logo, new website, new collateral – we have embraced a new tag line which describes our mission for small and independent retailers.

We’re here to help.

This is our mission – through our software and support services, we are here to help our customers enjoy their businesses more, make more money and make their businesses more valuable.

Our software and associated services are a mechanism through which retailers can experience genuine help. We are grateful to be able to do this.

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Sunday retail management advice: embrace being small in retail

We’re a small software company compared to the size of software companies around the world. Sure, we serve close to 3,000 small business retailers, but we are small. We like it that way. Small is good. Small of focussed. Small is human and not a number. Small is enjoyably.

Too often we see businesses owners chasing growth, chasing big businesses. We don’t want to be impersonal or disconnected. As a small business we are closer to our customers and more aligned with their needs.

We think a small specialist software company like ours is more likely to be able to fully and usefully serve the needs of small business retailers.

Sure, we are growing. However, there is a difference between growing and being so big you can’t pick up the phone and speak with the owner about anything at any time – like you can here at Tower Systems.

Our retail management tip today: embrace small, it’s a good place.

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The new loyalty POS software loyalty paradigm is a game-changer

tdvSmall and independent retailers love the new approach to loyalty on the Tower Systems POS software. At the Gift Fair in Sydney this week retailer after retailer was thrilled to see such a different yet highly manageable opportunity.

While our discount voucher shopper loyalty facilities are not new to our POS software, they are new to many retailers who have only ever heard about points based systems as the way to approach loyalty.

What is unique and valuable about the Tower Systems discount vouchers is the multiple data points at which the retailer can control the value of the voucher printed. The layering approach allows the retailer more control over value and redemption – thereby providing the business with more mechanisms through which to drive business performance.

One retailer told us that they attribute their 10% year on year growth to our discount vouchers and that to achieve this they have given away just over 1% of GP. What makes the facilities even more valuable is the reporting showing shopper behaviour in detail. This helps guide data point tweaking to drive outcomes.

Thanks to the trademarked Tower AdvantageTM, Tower Systems is delivering to retailers and unique and business valuable facility. Exclusivity has its own rewards.

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Smart POS software helps small retailers plan for Christmas 2015

xmasSmall and independent retailers are using technology to plan now for a terrific Christmas 2015.

Retailers using the Tower Systems POS software have been busy planning for Christmas 2015, using their software to order for Christmas which is nine months away using data from Christmas which was not even three months ago.

At trade shows, supplier showrooms and conferences, smart reporting tools and computer tablet based real time access helps newsagents to use accurate data for business planning. This results in more accurate purchasing which, in turn, delivers more valuable financial benefits to the businesses.

Tower Systems backs the tools in its software with free training and advice which helps retailers have easy access to the performance data they need. The result is a better outcome for those engaged businesses.

This is another Tower AdvantageTM.

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Newsagency software co. Tower Systems to host newsagency supplier round table

Tower Systems is inviting newsagent suppliers to register to participate in one of two supplier round table discussions we are hosting in three weeks.

We are keen for suppliers to participate in a discussion about the state of the newsagency channel and how they can help newsagents weather rough waters.

The very latest newsagency sales trends by product category will be shared. Data points will include basket depth, basket mix, traffic counts, anticipated store closure rates, growth categories, factors newsagents are considering when contemplating closure.

We decided to host the forum because of the spate of closures already this year and because of supplier representatives talking in negative terms about the channel. There are ways newsagents can grow. Suppliers can nurture optimism and guide newsagents through the difficult times.

If you are concerned about the future of the newsagency channel, come along and participate. It’s free.

Access to the round table is free. Any supplier rep is welcome to attend.

Let’s make the newsagency channel stronger together!

BOOK HERE

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POS software company helps small business newsagents confront challenges

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 8.32.37 amTower Systems is proud to be offering practical advice and guidance for small business newsagents on how to confront the possibility of business closure.

In a comprehensive article, Tower has shared advice on how to understand the challenges a newsagency faces today and offered steps on turning the business around and stepping back from the thought of closure.

Going beyond what is usual advice you see from a POS software company, this advice from Tower Systems is practical and heartfelt as it seeks to help and support retail newsagents to navigate to a brighter, more sustainable, future. It’s another Tower AdvantageTM.

Going beyond providing excellent software, Tower Systems helps any newsagent with insights and support at the local business level.

Not only for the 1,850+ newsagents using the Tower newsagency software, this advice has been widely circulated to help more.

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Sunday retail business management tip: small steps matter

We often see small business retailers focus on grand plans, big moves they intend to make to lift their business. Our experience is that many small steps deliver a better result to a retail business and for a lower cost.

Using our retail management software, retailers are able to uncover and nurture small steps to growth in their business.

Every retail business has small steps they can take to drive traffic, achieve a better margin from products, get shoppers purchasing more, reducing wastage, reducing theft and more. Each of these alone done in a step step strategic way will compound on the other and deliver a greater than the sum of the parts benefit to the business.

Beyond its terrific POS software, Tower Systems helps retailers to see what they may be missing, to understand the opportunities for growth through a small steps strategy.

Leveraging our own retail experience and our intimate knowledge of what our software cal do, we can help retailers to lift their businesses through co-operative partnership.

Not all POS software companies are the sale. We’re here to help.

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POS software helping newsagents and gift shops make the most of Valentine’s Day

valvalPOS software company Tower Systems is helping newsagents and card and gift shops to make the most of Valentine’s Day with terrific facilities for putting items together into a pack and selling that as a whole and usually at a deal price for the shopper.

The ability to make packs / hampers / package deals has been in the Tower systems software for many years.

It is also used in Jeweller businesses, bike shops, pet shops and garden centres.

Retailers love it because it maintains excellent stock control throughout. Retail staff love it because it makes selling easy. Shoppers love it because of the ease with which they can usually get a deal.

This facility is another way Tower Systems helps independent retailers to grow their businesses.

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Tower Systems helps newsagents grow magazine sales

Newsagency software company is successfully helping newsagents grow magazine sales. While the latest magazine audit results are challenging for magazine publishers and many retailers, newsagents using the Tower software and engaging in our marketing and basket growth tools are likely to be trading against trend and growing sales.

Recent sales results show newsagents can grow magazine sales in highly competitive situations against supermarkets and other newsagents.

Tower Systems helps newsagents with strategies, opportunities and insights. We analyse performance for newsagents and provide advice. This is backed with exclusive facilities in the software which help newsagents to increase magazine purchases in-store.

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Tower Systems on the XchangeIT sticky label project

Tower Systems was approached by XchangeIT last year for its opinion on what has been called the Sticky Label project, a project which contemplates newsagents using technology to manage magazines on the shop floor rather than printed labels.

We explained to XchangeIT that newsagents usually did not label weeklies or high volume monthlies and that the use of labels is considerably down from some years ago. We also explained the need for labels for time-efficient management of oversupply on the shop floor.

XchangeIT made it clear their project, if it proceeded, would not block newsagents from labelling magazines.

The official Tower position is that we think it would be a waste of XchangeIT funds to undertake the Sticky Label project while newsagents continue to be oversupplied. XchangeIT was supposed to lead to more equitable supply of magazines to newsagents – among other benefits. This has not happened. Magazine supply is as bloated and inefficient as ever. Newsagents are disadvantaged.

We think XchangeIT ought to invest its considerable resources in serving the need for efficiency ins supply rather than playing at the edges on an issue of no concern to newsagents.

Our advocacy on this matter is another way we support small business newsagents.

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POS software co. helps small business newsagents with Disney promotion

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 9.24.33 pmNewsagency software company Tower Systems has provided excellent support for newsagents in the run up to the launch of the disney read to me promotion with its major newspapers around the counter. This help from Tower has included publishing specialist advice, working directly with News Corp on data and information, publishing a tested and proven stock file, taking many calls with newsagents and testing advice and help in our own live newsagencies.

This is another example of extraordinary support for Australia’s small business newsagents by the Tower Systems team.

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