POS software helps gift shops, small business retailers handle special orders

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 10.14.08 amThe POS software from Tower Systems has excellent facilities for handling special orders, pre-orders and other forms of orders for customers that are unique to the customer and a point of difference for the business to offer.

Special orders and customer pre-orders are a point of difference for small independent retailers over big businesses. Being bale to do this with consistency and certainty can help these businesses more successfully compete.

Thanks to years of refinement and working with retailers in a wide variety of retail situations, Tower Systems offers a competitive advantage from the recording of customer details, tracking an order,k advising its arrival and handling a range of payment options including time payment.

We have retailers today transacting valuable business in pre-orders of highly valuable product as a result of these tools in the software. They are financially better off today and over the long term as special order customers tend to return for more orders.

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Sunday retail management advice: success today is important for tomorrow

Too often we see small business retailers running their businesses thinking that they will make their money when they sell. Our experience working with thousands of retailers is that focusing on today, on the right now, will ensure the best outcome for the future of the business.

Our strategy – Make every day your pay day – is simple and effective. It’s made up of basic points:

  1. Run with the leanest roster possibl Just about every newsagency business I review has capacity to lower labour costs.
  2. Have your best people working the floor, helping customers spend more.
  3. Stock what sells.
  4. Get rid of stock which is not selling.
  5. Have stunning displays that attract people from outside the shop.
  6. Have compelling displays in-store that encourage people to browse beyond their destination purchase.
  7. Always have impulse offers at high traffic locations.
  8. Charge more every time you can. Review your prices for products people come to yoo because of convenience.
  9. Buy as best you can.
  10. Grab settlement discounts every time you are able.
  11. Use your business data to guide your decisions.
  12. Promote outside your store.

Be responsible for the profitability of your business. Don’t blame your suppliers, your landlord, your employees or some other external factor … it all comes down to you – the decisions you make and the actions you take.

If you relentlessly pursue profit with a clear focus you’re likely to see profit grow. That’s better than waiting to make money when you sell because that’s less likely to happen in this market.

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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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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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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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Good POS software can drive the relevance of your small or independent retail business

Choosing the right POS software for your business can re-energise, refocus and redefine your retail business.

Choosing the wrong software can hold you back.

The challenge for small and independent retailers is: which POS software is the right POS software.

Leading Australian POS software developer Tower Systems is clear that its software is not right for all retail businesses. Indeed, the company focuses on a select group of retail niches, vertical markets as they are called, in which it refines software to specific needs of teach of the markets.

This specialisation sees Tower Systems become deeply involved in and knowledgeable about each of the retail channels in which it serves. It’s deep specialisation results in offering software functions through which specialist niche retailers can reinforce their relevance.

For example, a pet shop using the specialist pet shop software from Tower Systems has pet shop management facilities that are unique and tailored to their needs whereas a generic POS software package only offers generic facilities that are offered to all retailers. These generic facilities are less likely to enable the pet retailer to reinforce their specialisation compared to a general retailer.

Specialist software in retail niches helps specialist retailers embrace their specialisation.

This is the Tower AdvantageTM in action. A suite of specialist tools that are constantly evolving thanks to the engagement of its 2,850+ customers.

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POS software customer displays help drive sales

cdispThis photo shows how one newsagency is using the smart customer display through our POS software by having ads play between customers and then the screen share the ad with details of purchases being scanned.

Being able to manage the serving of ads to customers at the counter is an important feature of our software, something that has been enhanced as hardware has evolved. The latest HP all in one registers are particularly good to work with thanks to their small footprint and smart customer display technology.

Small business owners love that thanks to the HP technology and our software they can offer a customer-facting IT solution that is competitive with bigger businesses.

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Retailers loving cloud based POS software backup service

backupRetailers are loving the cloud based backup service launched by POS software company Tower Systems.

This new safer approach to backups offers retailers using the Tower software double protection with a local safe backup as well as a cloud based safe backup.

these backups are taken during the day without interruption to the business.’

retailers are able to reduce rostered hours as a result of embracing the new approach to backups. The net saving is considerable and the business as more backup protection for their all-important business data.

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Smart retailers use their POS software receipt to show savings

receiptsavingRetailers using the POS software from Tower Systems have many options for for reinforcing the value of shopping in the business – like including a personalised note on the receipt showing the saving achieved with this purchase.

The image shows one such saving note on a receipt produced by the software. The note is produced as a result of rules setup by the retailer using the software.

The You Saved $6.55 message is strong. It’s reinforced by That’s a saving of 6%. this messaging pitches the retail business after the sale is down, when the shopper is home and unpacking their purchases.

This is another way Tower Systems is helping small and independent retailers to compete with major retailers.

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The easy way to learn how to use POS software – for retailers & retail employees

towertrainingTower Systems makes it easy for retailers and retail business employees to learn its smart POS software when and where they want through a comprehensive cloud based POS software Training Academy.

Through this exclusive to Tower academy users are able to learn the whole software or just the part of the software they are interested in at that time.

Customers tell us they love this resource and appreciate the investment we make in maintaining it as useful for all retail niches we serve.

The Training Academy is exclusive to Tower and serves as a valuable point of difference – winning new business for us.

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Xero / POS software link moves to expanded beta release

The link between Xero and our Point of Sale software will benefit from advancement in our beta release program with another major retailer coming on board as they transition their business from MYOB or Xero accounting.

We have been using the link for some time in our own retail business under the guidance of our in-house CPA and in association with Xero, serving their QA requirements.

The expanded beta release brings us even closer to full commercial release and link between our software and the cloud based Xero accounting software.

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Free QR code marketing tools for small business retailers and others

Here at our Point of Sale software company we seek out opportunities to support small businesses, especially small and independent retail businesses as part of a whole of business social responsibility commitment.

We often invest our own time and money in projects where we feel we can help these businesses grow. It is part of our pro-bono work helping small business without an expectation of any revenue benefit for us.

QRki, a QR code generation and content access platform for retailers and other small businesses as part of our social responsibility commitment.

Retailers and other small business operators can make videos, files, competition entry forms, Facebook links and other online content accessible through a unique QR code they generate using the QRki website.

We created QRki to help small businesses harness the opportunity of QR codes without needing to invest in software of their own.

QRki is free.

Developed in Australia but for use from anywhere in the world, QRki is another example of cloud based innovation for small businesses.

QRki is available now for anyone from anywhere to use regardless of POS or other software used in the business.

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Small retailer POS software users love transparency on software enhancement suggestions

software-ideasMany small business retailers using the POS software from Tower Systems actively engage in suggesting enhancements for the software and many of these suggestions make their way into the software.

Retailers regularly thank Tower for the opportunity to publicly make suggestions and for the transparency of voting by and feedback from others about the suggested enhancements. Indeed, the level of transparency Tower Systems has offered in this area for years now is rare. Some claim user engagement but it is hard to find another software company living the transparency claim like Tower.

The real test of the exclusive Software Ideas facility from tower Systems is the enhancements that make their way into the software. Hundreds of enhancements including new facilities, large and small, exist in the software today thanks to user engagement in making suggestions and voting on these suggestions. It is proving to be a valuable process for tower Systems and its retail business customers.

It is a measure of the company’s confidence that the facility is promoted on its website home page and that the list can be accessed by anyone including competitors.

Software Ideas is managed by a senior member of the software development management team within the company and the overall Tower leadership team makes final decisions about ideas it embraces. All ideas receive feedback from the company.

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How smart POS software cuts retail theft

While many POS software companies claim their software cuts retail theft, Tower Systems can present evidence of its work in the theft management area ranging from expert witness evidence in court cases to working with police to early detection for many retailers. The Tower smart POS software is rich in theft reduction facilities:

  • Retailers control the level of security they want = control theft by setting your own rules.
  • Tracking of keystrokes & data is like a security camera system inside your software = evidence helps you stop theft.
  • Spot stock takes help you see what products are being stolen by customers = knowledge stops theft.
  • Employee tracking improves sales counter accuracy = holding people to account stops them stealing.
  • Integrated EFTPOS reduces employee & customer EFTPOS scams = left theft risk for you.
  • Tracking everything that can impact on cash = reduces theft.

Retailers who are serious about theft have, in the Tower Systems software, excellent tools on which they can rely.

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How smart POS software helps retailers on the shop floor

Retailers often think about POS software as being anchored to the counter when in fact smart POS software can help a retail business on the shop floor. Here are some opportunities to look for in software, opportunities in the Tower Systems smart POS software:

  • Guidance on product co-location = more sales of items together.
  • Better, deeper comparison of supplier performance = better stock turn from successful stock.
  • Shop floor selling = selling to customers where they are and increasing sales as a result.
  • Tracking return on floor space = get a better return on your rent.
  • Manage supplier reps to only order what sells = reduce your dead stock.

While some of these functions are common, the Tower Systems execution is unique. It focuses on the best practice approach for small and independent retailers.

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How smart POS software helps retailers at the sales counter

There is a difference between Point of Sale software and smart Point of Sale software. While both transact sales and offer similar basic functions, the smarter software is better in a range of areas:

  • Fewer keystrokes = fewer mistakes.
  • Intuitive = easier to use.
  • More flexibility = better customer service.
  • More integrations = more revenue opportunities.
  • Flexibility in shopper loyalty offerings = shoppers spend more.
  • More complete control of data = less theft & better business decisions.

These are just some of the ways smart POS software is better than everyday POS software. Tower Systems through its software, training, support and extensive knowledge base helps retailers embrace the opportunities in its software.

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New POS software sales manager for Tasmania

pos-software-tasmaniaTower Systems was thrilled to announce Nathan Morrison as taking over responsibility for sales in Tasmania as part of a series of moves within the business as it manages expansion.

Nathan brings 19 years experience with Tower in technical and sales roles. He also brings a love of Tasmania to this new role.

Helping Tower Systems to grow users in gift shops, homewares shops, jewellers, bike shops, garden centres, newsagencies and pet shops is Nathan’s remit and already he is achieving good things for the company and those it represents.

Nathan can be reached on 0417 568 148.

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Garden Centre Software promotion timed for Green Expo

adposgardenThe latest release of our Garden Centre Software features in the next issue of Nursery & Garden Magazine in time for the Green Expo trade show that will be attended by many garden centre / nursery owners and managers.

As a sponsor of the Nursery and Garden Industry Association of NSW & ACT, Tower Systems is proud to support this wonderful retail channel and its retailers and suppliers – with good software designed to drive efficiency and success.

Using our Garden Centre Software retailers are able to more easily manage for success through closer supplier relationships and more attuned customer relationships.

The latest Garden Centre Software will be on show at the Green Expo trade show.

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Where is the box for this? POS software helps retailers find the box!

packaginglocationRetailers using our smart POS software are able to have the software indicate on the sales screen when scanning an item where the box for the item is located in-store. This is invaluable at a busy sales counter and in a business where casual employees are used. It helps anyone at the counter find the box or pother packaging quickly and easily. It shows the business as being professional.

Our Point of Sale software has offered this facility for many years. It’s a tiny part of what our software does yet for some retailers that we do this is huge – tremendously valuable. It’s all about helping retailers save time. It’s also about helping them enjoy their businesses more. This function reduces stress.

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Garden centre & nursery software helping Australian businesses grow

Offering time saving and business building facilities in key business areas, the latest garden centre / nursery management software is making further inroads into the retail channel. The very latest software in beta release now is set to deliver even more thanks to helpful suggestions from already engaged garden centre and nursery owners.

The areas already well-covered by the software include:

  • Point of Sale counter sales management
  • Customer accounts and LayBy
  • Customer loyalty program options including points, cash and shopper call-back
  • Gift vouchers – your own vouchers easily managed
  • Employee roster
  • Electronic invoices including Danks
  • Specialist nursery barcode labels including weatherproof labels
  • A broad range of business performance reports
  • Theft reduction and management
  • Customer marketing facilities
  • Fast integrated EFTPOS

The Tower Systems nursery software includes a range of facilities and services developed specifically for nurseries including a new industrial strength and fast barcode printer.

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Tower Systems Garden Centre software features in Nursery & Garden magazine

nursery-garden-newsThe Tower Systems garden centre software features in the latest issue of Nursery & Garden magazine.

Promoting the latest release of our software for garden centres, this fresh for 2014 advertising is part of a co-ordinated campaign to reach out to garden centres and nurseries across Australia, to show off the quality business-specific software we have to meet their needs.

The marketing itself reflects well on the professionalism of our software.

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Sunday small business retailer management advice: keep it simple

Some retailers think that making more noise works in their favour. In these types of businesses you will see many deals, almost too many to take in. Our advice is that in retail often less is more. One offer or deal well pitched can generate more for a business than many offers.

Our advice for a business owner who  wants to position their business as the best value retailer in their category of products is to have a whole of business value proposition.  One way to pitch this is with one of the loyalty opportunities in our Point of Sale software.

From stand alone points-based loyalty to group wide integrated to small group integrated to our discount vouchers / instant rewards / cash rewards voucher facilities, retailers using our Point of Sale software have choice when it comes to offering a whole of business value proposition. Our software serves retailers with flexibility and power in this area, delivering tools retailers can use to offer a consistent message.

So, to retailers with many discounts and 2 for and 3 for deals, we say switch to a well thought our loyalty value proposition and rely on one message delivered and executed consistently to cut through.

This can be an excellent point of difference independent and small retailers.

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Helping retailers understand their Christmas business performance

Tower Systems offers retailers using its POS software a business performance analysis service whereby we analyse business sales and other data and provide a fresh-eyes assessment on the performance of the business.

The service is free to Tower AdvantageTM customers and involves a thorough year on year comparison of business performance.

Christmas is an ideal time for such an assessment since it’s the busiest time of the year, the time a business should be at its best. The higher volume of trade through Christmas enables an even more meaningful assessment of business performance.

Many retailers have appreciated this free service and taken on opportunities to change their businesses as a result.

Tower Systems is proud to offer this and other non-traditional POS software support services to its customers.

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POS software loyalty vouchers drive double digit growth for retailers

xxnaf99Several retailers have told us their they attribute the double-digit year on year growth they have been experiencing for the last four months to their introduction of our shopper loyalty driving discount vouchers earlier this year.

There is no doubting their growth – it is indicated in the data direct from their Tower Systems Point of Sale software.

What is exciting about the growth is that it is a whole of business growth.  Tracking back through the data, including the discount voucher use data, we can see shopper behaviour being driven / guided by the vouchers, we can see shoppers responding to the voucher opportunities. This is very exciting, being able to track shopper behaviour at the basket and SKU level. It validates all the work done by so many to bring the innovative loyalty offer to market.

Two businesses we have seen data for this week are tracking close to 20% year on year sales growth. The loyalty offering is costing them less than 2%. Most of the growth is being achieved in high margin lives with GP of 60% and more.

Being able to track performance of the discount vouchers is tremendously valuable to each business and to us as we share the discount vouchers success story with more retailers and their suppliers.

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Garden Centre & Nursery software facilitates professional presentation

gardentaxinvoiceThe Tower Systems Garden Centre software offers a range of customer invoicing options including this professional invoice produced directly from the software.

Developed in consultation with garden centre owners and managers, this invoice and other garden centre software invoices, quotes and customer documents help garden centres using our software to represent themselves accurately and professionally – and in a way that meets the specific needs of the garden centre nursery industry.

This is what being a specialist software company is all about – meeting the needs of the niches in which you serve by providing rich facilities tailored to the needs of your customers.

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