Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Category: Pet shop software (page 1 of 40)

Advice from our POS software co. on how local retail businesses can be more local

Being local in retail is more important in 2020 than ever.  The challenge is how to be local authentically.

Local can mean different things to different people – it does not necessarily mean proximity. Being local could be about the level of care and attention you provide customers, the additional advice you provide, that you live locally, that you source locally or that you serve the local community personally. It can also be about locally sourced products.

Locally sourced products could be products made anywhere in Australia. For example, detailing where a product is made and the family behind it pitches local compared to a similar product imported from overseas. The narrative matters as it plays into local.

Small business retailers can use the retail POS software from Tower Systems to pitch local in a range of ways:

  1. Include notes on receipts. Add product care instructions, use instructions or other useful information automatically on receipts – making your receipt a useful information platform.
  2. Tell people where you source products. For a product made by a family or small business in Australia, include details on the receipt. Shine a light on this local product – provide extra information so your shoppers can feel more locally connected.
  3. Include a SHOP LOCAL pitch. Add an image of a poster or some other promotion of the benefits of shop local to every receipt, reinforcing the value of shopping local. Tower Systems has images you can use for free – in the downloads section of our website.
  4. Thank your customers. Include text personally thanking customers shopping with you. Put our name to the message. Include your mobile. Big businesses do not do this.
  5. Track local product sales. Be aware of suppliers of locally made products and report on the performance of these through various reporting tools.
  6. Thanks for shopping local vouchers. You can use the discount voucher facilities in the software and call them Thanks for shopping local or Local shopping reward. This reinforces a value for shopping with a local business – offering $$ discount off the next purchase based on rules you establish.

It is not enough to tell people to shop local, you need to demonstrate the value of this, you need to live it transactionally in your retail business. The best way to do this is through systems and processes in your POS software.

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Scale integrated POS software helps small business retailers sell by weight

Tower Systems has offered federal government approved POS software scale integration for several years. This makes it faster, easier and more accurate to sell products by weight.

Pet shops, price businesses, farm supply businesses, toy shops, garden centres and fishing shops are some of the types of businesses that use scale integrated POS software for easier and more accurate selling.

Scale integration makes sense for these businesses. It’s smart for the business, smart for the customer and smart for the suppliers of products to the business. Data accuracy is key these days and scale integration facilitates data accuracy.

We have plenty of indie retail customers using our tools to sell easily, accurately and seamlessly, through their scale integrated POS software.

The authorised and government approved integration of scales with the Tower Systems POS software enables us to deliver a beautiful solution to small business and independent retailers in many situations.

Our Tower Systems POS software talks with the scales, reducing the opportunity for data entry mistakes, making the sales process faster and delivering business outcomes that enable small business retailers to benefit.

Delivered years ago and maintained since, our POS software scale integration is a fine solution for retailers that sell products by weight: candy stores, pet stores, produce businesses, garden centres, butchers, supermarkets and more. We can connect scales to the POS and enable sales by weight. It is easy and fast.

Any retail business selling products by weight can rely on our scales integration for fast and accurate selling at the counter or anywhere in this business.

Although there are alternatives to selling by weight such as splitting and pre-packing stock and double-typing prices at the counter, these methods waste keystrokes and time while increasing the risk of avoidable data entry mistakes that can impact a business  bottom line.

We work with each of our customers to deliver a solution tailored through settings and other opportunities to serve the needs of the business. Our experience over the years from our extensive work on POS software scale integration has enabled us to provide a flexible and valued solution to our customers in this area.

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POS software

POS software is Point Of Sale software. That is, software that a retailer operates at the point of sale, or point of purchase, at the counter, where the cash register used to be.

The thing is, today, in January 2020, POS software is much more than Point Of Sale software. Good software that is. Good, current, smart POS software is about much more than the point of purchase. It is about helping business owners and people who work in retail to better serve customers and through this to earn more business through which the business becomes more valuable.

That is the definition of Point Of Sale software today, in January 2020.

The Tower Systems POS software is smart POS software, portable POS software, shop local focussed POS software.

Accessible from the cloud, the Tower Systems small business POS software helps indie small business retailers compete with big business. It leverages the point of difference of each small business, serving these to the benefit of the businesses using the software.

In addition to the in-store cloud based or desktop versions of the software is Retailer Roam, a truly portent POS software solution that can run anywhere, any time – from a car or truck, a market, a garage or a pop up store.

So, as you can see, the definition of POS software is evolving, just as retail itself is evolving. The inshore and online experiences are merging. Our software serves this from web sales to in store sales to fulfilment to genuine omnichannel solutions. This is what retail needs to offer today.

In 2020, small business retailers want POS software that is flexible, adaptable and capable of helping the businesses better connect locally in ways that are relevant. This is where Tower Systems shines. Sine we only sell, rent or lease our POS software to indie small businesses our retail community is populated with retailers with the local community focus that is differentiating. This helps us help our customers, especially new customers, to serve authentically and deeply.

Good POS software does not stand still. It does evolve. Through regular software updates, Tower systems demonstrates this evolution. We are grateful to our many customers for their suggestions as they offer us a pathway for the continuous evolution of our POS software.

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Claims of a retail apocalypse are grossly overstated

We’ve all seen the headlines, because news outlets are drawn to  the drama of retail closures and challenges. Terms like retail apocalypse and retail armageddon have appeared in stories in recent weeks on the back of a series of challenging news about retail.

These headlines are, in view, inaccurate and unhelpful.

News outlets are quick to run stories forecasting doom and gloom. Often, the stories skate close to the surface without much analysis as to the reasons for closures. This bothers me as understanding the details can be helpful for context, and for mental health for those in retail.

Here are some of the stories already from this year (2020) with notes from usher at Tower Systems  offering context:

  • Harris Scarfe is closing 21 stores. They have been in trouble before. It is a second tier department store with  modest critical mass. It found it hard to be competitive in a marketplace;axe that does not favour depatrment stores. I think their problems are due to department stores overall being in trouble and that they are a small group and therefore less able to weather changing times.
  • EB Games is closing 19 stores as a first step in an international review of physical store retail. I expect there will be more closures. There has been a fundamental shift in how games are sold. {physical stores are not as important as they used to be.
  • Bardot is closing 58 stores. This is a fashion brand that has not maintained relevance.
  • Curious Planet is planning on closing 63 stores. Ever since they list the Australian geographic branding the future has been in doubt.
  • Jeanswest is in administration and is reportedly likely to close 146 stores. Jeanswest sells discount jeans. The biggest group of jeans consumers are looking for more engaged brands than Jeanswest offers. Their differentiation was minimal. They as a business had not kept with the times.
  • Bose is closing 119 stores. They have figured out the commercial benefits of direct online engagement. Offering a 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee and costing shipping and other challenges, the company will make more money by closing 199 stores (leases, labour etc) and investing some of that into stronger online marketing.

The Bose move is what we should expect to see more of from international brands consumers trust. They will make more from direct consumer relationships and we think that this has been considered by Bose in their decision making to close physical retail.

Rather than being drawn to the doom and gloom, which is a natural human response on reading reports like these, our time and energy is better spent on ensuring our retail businesses are relevant today.

How do we do that?

Yeah, it is the million dollar question … for which there is no one size fits all answer for every situation.

Here are some tips that we know work from our experiences helping indie small business retailers:

  1. Be the boss. It’s your business. You choose what you sell, who works there, how the business looks and how the business is marketed. Make those decisions like you are in charge.
  2. Be relevant to today’s shopper. It’s likely the shopper is not like you. Too many stores stock what the owners and staff like. That is not a model for the future.
  3. Be different. The more your shop looks like others the less it will stand out.
  4. Provide solutions. It is much harder to convince someone to buy something they do not need, do not like, do not want or do not understand. It is much easier to get them to buy what they like, want, need or understand.
  5. Embrace change. Know that what works today will be different tomorrow.
  6. Treat data as cash. Small business retailers are notoriously bad at managing data. This leads to poor business decisions, which put businesses at risk. Treat data as a valuable asset and make better decisions as a result.

Sure there is tough news out there about retail. There is plenty of good news too.

Tower Systems is a small business focussed POS software company.

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Tower Systems: awesome pet shop software

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Why small business retail employees love our specialty POS software

The POS software chosen for a small business retail shop matters to the staff, those who work in the business. Too often, however, staff are not consulted as to the POS software chosen for a business yet they are the front line, the people who drive value from the POS software investment.

Tower Systems offers retail staff plenty of learning opportunities with our POS software so that they do not have to rely on retail business owners or managers to learn the software. Our customers can tap into unlimited training. This helps ensure that the front line retail employees can transact with the software accurately, quickly and for maximum benefit for the business.

Front line retail employees tell us they love our software and the support we offer. Collating feedback here are the top benefits retail employees (not managers or business owners) like about our Tower Systems POS software:

  1. That the software is specific to the type of the business, that it is not general software.
  2. Easy to learn.
  3. Easy to get more training.
  4. Friendly and easily accessed support.
  5. Fast at the counter.
  6. The integrations like EFTPOS and other connections that help make the counter more productive.
  7. The structure of processes. There is a commonsense approach that suits live retail operations.
  8. The plain English approach – there are few technical terms.
  9. Fingertip access to information to help make better business decisions.

Any business considering our software and keen for input from front line employees prior to making a decision are welcome to have us demonstrate the software to them, live, using data like you would use in your business. Your staff can process transactions as they would like in the business. This provides you with feedback on the usefulness of the software as assessed by those who work in your retail business on a day to day basis. We think this matters.

If you work in a shop that is considering new POS software, reach out to us. We’d be happy to discuss your needs, to work with you to see if our POS software is a good fit for your business. If it is not in our opinion, we will say so. It starts with you outlining what you are looking for and us demonstrating how our software works to see if we match your needs.

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We urge federal politicians to support a package of initiatives to help stimulate the economies of local Australian towns

The bushfires across Australia are adding economic challenges to small rural and regional towns that were already challenged economically thanks to a soft economy and, in our view, poor leadership on the practical economics front.

We think it is essential for the federal government to engage urgently, practically and authentically to stimulate local economies and to do so blind to politics. Too often we see politicians endorse handouts to mates or based on the possible ballot box impact. Pork barrelling it is called. Right now, at this moment in time, we need no pork barrelling. What we need is stimulation where it is needed and the politicians should play no role in determining where it is needed.

In this post, as we did in November 2019, we call on federal politicians to engage in practical stimulation of small business retail as this will have an urgent, swift, knock-on benefit for local economies.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, small business retail especially.

Small business retailers are nimble and able to lift local economies faster than big businesses and certainly better than  online businesses.

Here are six tips for politicians on steps they can take, decisions they can make to help lift retail, especially small business retail.

  1. Direct all politician electorate Christmas spending to be with local small businesses. For gifts, parties, cards, everything for a year. Have the results assessed independently. Ensure that spending is fair, too, to benefit a variety of local businesses, and not dolled out as political favours. Shop local, shop small.
  2. Run a national shop small shop local ad campaign. Make it educational, smart, encouraging …, guiding Aussies on the value to them from shopping local, shopping small. Help to understand the true value of shopping local, shopping small compared to the alternatives. The ad campaign should run regionally across multiple media platforms, giving preference to locally owned platforms with a track record for not managing their business to minimise tax.
  3. Local shops refresh grant. Give every local retail business a grant of at least $10,000 with the stipulation that it is spent locally tin capital works for the shop, to improve the shop. Proof of local spending is to be in the form of an invoice from a local tradesperson or company with and ABN and more than a year of trading as recognised by the ATO – to avoid fraud. Spending could be focussed: painting, electrical, carpentry, flooring, repairs. The management of this should be online with quick approval and payment. Note: the $10,000 is suggested as anything less could be cosmetic. The reality is, we’d suggest $15,000 for $20,000. In a small town with ten shops, that would be $200,000 being spent with local contractors and businesses, flowing quickly through the economy.
  4. Local artists grants. Offer cash grants to fund buskers for local high streets, to make shopping locally more entertaining. Make the application easy. Focus on local artists entertaining in their local community. This serves the dual purpose of injecting cash locally as well as fostering the local arts. The application process should be online, approval fast and payment immediate.
  5. Local visual merchandising supports. Keeping in-store displays can be a challenge for small business retailers. Fund a network of merchandisers to make a 2 hour call weekly on qualified independent small retail businesses, sub $1M turnover, ABN registered, trading for six months or more. With each visit to be about visual refresh of the shop. Cap the cam pain at three months assess the economic value. Only local merchandisers to be used – i.e. to an overseas agency who hires local contractors.
  6. Establish local currency systems. These work overseas on regional towns where local currency has more value than the national currency. It supports shopping local through a smart value structure. the government role could be on the tech back end to manage the currency – taking away capital cost from local councils. To find out more ab9out this, read up on the Bristol Pound.

This list could be longer. It is offered here as a start, to gets people thinking of practical ways to support shopping small, shopping local.

The current disinterest by politicians in practical support for local small businesses has us on a path of business closures. Urgent action is needed to engage locals in supporting local businesses.

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Small business retailers advice: helping you cut employee theft

The theft reduction training video we produced in-house – How To Steal From A Retail Business – is being used by business groups to train their members on measures to take in retail shops to reduce the opportunity for employee theft.

In addition to the YouTube views, this video has been packaged and provided outside that platform for people to embed in conference presentations, one-on-one training and elsewhere.

Using your POS software small business retailers have excellent tools with which to reduce the opportunity for theft. These have existed for years. In addition to our software work, we act as expert witnesses in investigations and proceedings that successfully prosecute employee theft cases.

What matters is that theft can be reduced and even eliminated with good management oversight in any retail business using our POS software.

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Portable POS software for specialty retailers on the road

Retailer Roam, the portable POS software from Tower Systems is being embraced by more retailers with businesses that operate on the road.

Now well established and delivering terrific benefits, Retailer Roam is serving retailers looking to take their business transactions to customers no matter where they are … local markets, on the farm, from the back of a truck, pop-up stores and more. Retailer Roam is truly portable POS software thanks to smart app developers;oipment from the Tower systems web team working closely with the POS software development team.

To back up access to this new and innovative portable POS software product, Tower Systems has released a range of helpful advice and online accessible documentation including:

  • Making the most of Retailer Roam
  • Previous Sales in Retailer Roam
  • Creating Layouts In Retailer Roam
  • Creating Paytypes In Retailer Roam
  • Installing TeamViewer for Retailer Roam
  • Performing Laybys In Retailer Roam
  • Performing Sales in Retailer Roam
  • Importing Retailer Roam Ordering Files
  • Frequently Asked Questions – Retailer Roam
  • Setting Up Retailer for Retailer Roam

Offering fresh and evolving documentation for Retailer Roam is another way we are helping new and emerging retailers make the most of the fresh opportunities offered by Retailer Roam. We are loving helping retailers unlock new sales opportunities by disconnecting transactions front sales counter.

A common question we get is: Does Retailer Roam Require An Internet Connection?

Yes and No. You will need an internet connection to install the app and to obtain the base Retailer data.

If the location you’re selling from does not have internet connectivity you can use the device to transact, however, you will not receive any product updates or send sales back until the connection is re-established.

There is an ‘Offline Mode’ that can be turned on in settings for a smoother no-internet-connection experience. While in this mode the user will be limited to completing sales with what data has already been pre-loaded on the device. No API calls can be made in this mode, and sales will be stored locally until they can be synced.

There is an option to download all stock-data on the device; so, it can be used offline.

Retailer Roam is portable POS softeware for retailers on the move.

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Those responsible for IT capex at Myer are responsible for yesterday’s outage

All Myer department stores across Australia suffered major POS system tech failure  yesterday (Dec. 14), a vitally important day for Christmas trade.

Most consumer facing tech at Myer runs on XP from our understanding, an operating system that was at end of life years ago. With Windows 7 at end of life in four weeks, what happened to Myer is a reminder of the importance of having sound and current IT infrastructure.

The Myer IT infrastructure is old, out of date and technically unsafe.

Here at Tower Systems, we have been sharing advice with our 3,500 indie retail business owners about the soon to be end of life of Windows 7, providing options cost effective upgrade.

We provide a personal hardware and software upgrade service, tailored specifically to the needs of each customer.

We have also, in 2019, delivered comprehensive POS software updates, keeping our specialty POS software at the forefront of each marketplace in which we serve: Jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, produce stores, pet shops, toy shops, fishing and outdoors stores, rural supply businesses and newsagents.

What happened to Myer Saturday could have been avoided with better leadership, decisions focussed on managing IT and data as core business assets.

Take a moment and check your hardware and software. Make sure they are up to date. If you are running Windows XP or Windows 7, you must change to something more up to date. If your POS software has not been updated this year, look around at something more modern and fit for the needs of today.

Companies like ours are here to help indie retailers deal with the challenges of operating system and hardware upgrades. We do this is a structured and cash flow friendly way.  With all our customers being small business retailers, we are thoughtful about needs unique to them and their operations.

Our Retailer Roam portable POS software and our Retailer cloud based and desktop POS software provide indie specialty retailers tools through which to better serve and compete locally. As active retailers ourselves (3 shops), we willingly share broader retail insights we see in our travels.

The Myer story from yesterday is timely. It need not be scary if you are prepared.

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Thank you for shopping local for POS software for your specialty retail shop

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Major small business POS software update to round out 2019

We are grateful to our Tower Systems community of small business retailers who agree to beta test our new small business retail POS software releases. They are the front line of new software releases from us was they get to use and test this software ahead of commercial release.

Our beta testing program is comprehensive in scope and diverse in terms of the types of retail businesses that participate.

Beta testing commences only after two rounds of testing in-house and after sign-off from multiple stakeholders in our business.

Yes, we take software testing seriously.

This latest POS software update from us is big. It delivers enhancements to existing facilities as well as new facilities. It is a terrific advancement for our customers today and for businesses that will become our customers soon. We are not going to detail the contents of the update here – we will leave that for private customer communication.

After the beta testing process and once we are all happy with the software we will release it commercially for our customers to download and update when they want. we do not force software updates on customers as we know they refer to have control over when business processes change.

Every customer involved in the beta testing process has a say in next steps for the software release. This is what good beta testing is about – it is inclusive and engaging. We are sincerely appreciative of the engagement of our active beta testing community.

Our POS software is made for a range of retail channels. This update serves each of these channels with tuned changes to serve their needs. We work with retailers and their suppliers to help them bond through better software designed for their specific needs.

Jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, gift shops, toy shops, pet shops, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, fishing businesses, newsagents and more can rely on our commitment to each of the channels individually and collectively through serving common needs.

This next update is available to our Tower Advantage customers at no cost. It is part of the comprehensive service we provide our small business retailer community.

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Fixed price web design for small business retailers in Australia

In addition to developing and supporting industry-specific POS software, Tower Systems has a separate team of web developers who create awesome websites for indie retailers, helping them find new customers online.

We do not outsource web development to overseas. Our developers are local, ensuring that our websites reflect local nuance and need. This also facilitates easy access to local support and help as needs evolve.

Our websites are all POS software connected, if you wish, delivering access to instore and online sales to maximise return on inventory. This matters as small business retailers chase revenue opportunities outside of their four walls in a rapidly engaging online marketplace.

Through our POS software integrated web development work we are able to help retailers not only with websites but with how to leverage these to be placed in front of people looking for what is on offer. From design to keywords to marketing, we can serve indie retail business needs in websites to help them leverage the success they want, and all to a budget suitable to their situation.

Being based in Australia matters to small business retailers looking for a website. There are too many stories of being burned by going cheap with offshore developers who cut corners, cut and paste and deliver sites that are not commercially suited to the needs of the client. Unfortunately, there are new horror stories almost weekly.

Tower systems has a structured on boarding process to ensure were fully understand the needs of a business before we agree to develop a POS software connected website for them. This process reveals needs to us and to our clients. This helps ensure that what we deliver is useful for our clients and a source of pride for  us and our tech experts.

If you  are looking for a new website for you independent retail business, talk with us here at Tower Systems as see whether our portfolio of successfully deployed websites interests you. We offer obligation free consultation so you can assess if we are a good fit for you.

The next-step future of retail is online and we are here to help small business retailers make the most of that opportunity. We believe in small business and only work with small businesses.

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Tower Systems helps retailers and wholesalers work more closely together

Thanks to smart hooks in our small business POS software, we are able to help indie retailers and their wholesale suppliers work more closely and efficiently together.

The hooks include easy and accurately two-way flow of data, thereby enabling more timely and accurate supply of inventory to retailers and through this a strengthening of the supplier relationships.

Delivering this through a seamless, data-driven, relationship is key to both the retailer and wholesaler businesses. This is where good POS software shines, helping both sides of the commercial relationship to benefit. It sits at the heart of a good commercial relationship and feeds mutual respect.

Our POS software is a beautiful glue for retailers and wholesalers who appreciate working together.

The connections we offer have been built into our POS software to worldwide data sharing EDI standards. This ensures that they will serve the needs of larger businesses with more rigid IT infrastructure. This is important where small business retailers need to connect with IT systems in large business suppliers. The Tower systems approach means that small business retailers are not disadvantaged.

Through or work in this area of seamless two-way data flow, we are able to help smaller wholesalers walk the path of better IT connection with small business retailers. There are many case studies we can share showing the success of this work. regardless of internal systems in use in wholesale businesses, we are usually able to help them take the steps necessary to achieve a beneficial connection.

Our work in the area of EDI for retailers in channels such as fishing and tackle stores, produce businesses, bike shops, garden centres, jewellers and newsagencies is well established and consistent.

Tower Systems is committed to helping independent small business retailers to compete effectively and successfully in a rapidly changing retail landscape in-store and online. We do this by providing best practice software backed by friendly, human and local support, helping retailers to compete and to enjoy their businesses.

EDI is key in retail today for retailers and wholesalers who want an efficient apply chain. Tower Systems is ready to help both sides of the EDI relationship.

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The top 20 Christmas marketing ideas for small business retailers

For years we have offered Christmas marketing tips here ands elsewhere to indie small business retailers. This year, we offer a revised list, the best of the best based on our experience in retail,. ideas that workehvery time and in just about every situation.

Tower Systems works with more than 3,500+ small business retailers using its POS software in speciality retail niches including jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, gift shops, newsagents, pet shops, adult shops and more. We offer these ideas as our Christmas gift to you.

  1. Make it easy. People often talk about how hard Christmas is. Be the local business that makes it easy. The ways to do this are with easy Lay-By, free wrapping, better shop floor help, guide buying advice or tips on perfect gifts no one else will think of. Consider making Christmas easy as being a key part of your messaging.
  2. Be thrilled people are in your shop. Your personal smile or greeting is something they may not see in a big business where employees are less invested in each shopper and where the owner is usually thousands of kilometers away.
  3. Make the giving easy. If people purchase items from you to send somewhere else. Offer a one-stop shop. Save them the trip to the post office.
  4. Make the shop less about Christmas. Consider pulling back on the Christmas visual noise. Go for something simple, muted, respecting the season but making a calm statement. Consider declaring the shop a Christmas carol free zone – not because you hate carols but because you want to help customers take a break.
  5. Help people rest and recharge. Create a Christmas shopping rest and recovery zone. Offer free tea, coffee, water and something to eat. Encourage people to take a break in your shop – without any obligation for them to spend money with you.
  6. Let your customers help each other. Setup a whiteboard or sheets of butcher’s paper, yes keep it simple. Get customers to write gift suggestions under different age/gender groups. For example: Girls 18 – 25, Boys 55+. Encourage your customers to help each other through their suggestions.
  7. Make price comparison difficult. If you sell items people are likely to price compare with other businesses, package them so price comparison is not easy. Put items into a hamper as a perfect Boy 8 to 12 bundle for example. Or offer the item with pre packages services if appropriate for an item.
  8. Facilitate sharing stories. Find space in your shop for customers to share their Christmas stories. It could be a story wall inside or in front of the shop. This initiative encourages storytelling by locals and better connects the business with the community.
  9. Become a gallery. Work with a school, kindergarten, community group or retirement village to bring in local art for people to come and see through Christmas. A small space commitment can drive traffic from family and friends of those with art on show.
  10. Send cards. Send Christmas cards early in the season to suppliers, key customers and local community groups. This connects you with Christmas. Invite all team members to sign each card.
  11. Host a Christmas party. For shops nearby. You are all in the season together – let your hear down before things get crazy.
  12. Ensure you have gifts targeted at occasions. For example: Kris Kringle, by price point and by recipient. Make it easy for people to know what they could give.
  13. Be local. Ensure you have a selection of locally sourced products available for purchase. Make it clear in-store that these products are sourced locally.
  14. Tell stories. On your Facebook page, talk about what is important to you at Christmas. Personalise the season and deepen the connection with those who could shop with you.
  15. Share Christmas recipes. Each week for, say, four weeks, give customers a family Christmas recipe. This personalises Christmas in your business, creates a talking point and makes shopping with you different to your bigger competitors.
  16. Sell training. Leverage the specialist knowledge you have in your business by selling as gifts places at classes you run sharing your expertise.
  17. Hold back. Don’t go out with everything you have for Christmas all at once. Plan the season to show off what you have as the season unfolds. This allows you multiple launches.
  18. Share a taste. Regardless if your type of business, bake a family recipe of Christmas cake, Christmas pudding or Christmas biscuits and offer tastings to shoppers on select days. This personalises the experience in your shop.
  19. Offer hampers. Package several items together and offer them as a hamper. Time-poor shoppers could appreciate you doing this work for them. We have seen this work in many different retail situations.
  20. Buy X get Y. Encourage people to spend more with a volume based deal. Pitched right, this could get customers purchasing items for several family members in order to get the price offer you have. Use your technology to manage this.

Christmas is the perfect time to plan for next year. It is the time to do everything possible to leverage bonus Christmas traffic to benefit your business through next year.

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Pet shop software helps pet products retailers serve pet lovers

Pet lovers are passionate about their pets, with justification for these cuties are the heart and soul of many homes. Pet retailers offer care and fun products to enhance the lives of pets and bring joy to the lives of pet lovers.

The Tower Systems pet shop POS software helps pet lovers provide a better experience to shoppers be they pet lovers themselves or those who buy for pet lovers.

This is specialty POS software made for this niche retail need. We help local pet shops swerve their local community and compete with national chains.

Quite different to generic POS software, the Tower Systems pet shop POS software is made for this job, made to serve the needs of these niche and valued  local retailers. Plus, the software continues to evolve to serve the evolving needs of the retailers and the businesses that supply them.

In a practical sense, the Tower Systems pet shop POS software offers access to many benefits including…

  1. Trade and club pricing profiles. Set pricing rules based on customer type.
  2. Make money from pre-orders – Easily pre-sell a delivery so that when the stock arrives you can manage distribution and billing efficiently.
  3. Differentiate with informative receipts. These can include product care, use and safety information based on what customers buy.
  4. Differentiate with product bundles. Selling items bundled together makes price comparison hard.
  5. Save time with electronic invoices from suppliers. This is a massive time saver.
  6. Offer personal customer service by tracking worming and other dates by pet.
  7. Use tags to get a fresh perspective, side-view, on stock performance.
  8. Leverage you. If you believe your knowledge is a differentiator, offer it through structured opportunities in the software.
  9. Offer differentiating personal pet care by tracking microchip numbers.
  10. Easily handle special customer orders. Bring product in for a specific customer and have them notified automatically by email or text when the goods are in and ready.
  11. Business differentiating loyalty. Stand out from the crowd. Have customers coming back to youfor this.
  12. Maximise the basket with easy to use one-time shopper loyalty tools.
  13. Track who sold what and when and how.
  14. Say goodbye to LayBy (if you want) – with buy now pay later options.
  15. Market to customers based on past purchases.
  16. Save time by importing electronic invoices.
  17. Sell more with a direct connect to buy now pay later services.
  18. Cut mistakes with integrated EFTPOS.
  19. Cut accounting and bookkeeping fees with integration to Xero and others.
  20. Easily sell online with a direct to Shopify / Magento or WooCommerce link from your POS software.
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How our POS software co. helps dog friendly retailers encourage dog lovers to shop with them

Here is a short video we created for our dog-loving small business retailer customers to use to promote their shops and businesses to dog lovers they welcome.

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POS software helps small business retailer be strong competitors

Choosing the right POS software can be key tot the success of any retail business, especially a small retail business.

Okay,  this seems like a motherhood statement. It is. But there is more to it than that.

The right POS software can be a proactive support for the business, I can guide business decisions, early detect employee theft, dramatically cut mistakes, guide product placement in-store and help bring shoppers back more often. These are all practical deliverables from good POS software. Indeed, these and more.

Any software can ring up a sale and track what is sold. Those steps are barely the beginning of what good POS software should do.

This is why retailers need to take time to assess software, to see how it has evolved with the needs of physical and online stores, and see what it offers in terms of helping independent small business retailers to leverage opportunities to be truly competitive.

The right POS software will also be purpose specific to the needs of a specialty retail business, serving needs inquire to the niche business channel and unique to the suppliers of the business. There are many interaction and integration opportunities that bring retailers together, that help them be smart and engaged together for mutual benefit. Niche channel specific software is the glue to make this happen.

Tower Systems offers specialty POS software for specialty retailers. We make what we sell and we ensure that each marketplace specific version of our software is finely tuned to the needs of retailers in each retail channel. This is what makes our software more useful and valuable to niche retailers than generic software.

Take our produce / farm supply /stockfeed business software. This is made specifically for these types of businesses. What we offer is made for them and made to work with their suppliers. This is very different to what you would see from general POS software. We are not general. We are specialist, deeply specialist.

How do you chooses there right POS software for your business?  Research, take your time and make sure that the software you choose reinforces, supports and enhances the specialist nature of your business.

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Awesome Retailer Roam, portable POS software

Retailer Roam from Tower Systems is the perfect App for retailers on the move, who want to sell anywhere, anytime, even while there is no internet access. This is truly portable POS software for indie retail businesses.

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Shopify connects POS software solution for small business retailers

Here at tower Systems we develop POS software and we develop websites. Our web development is done in Magento, WooCommerce and Shopify. In each case, our websites are seamlessly connected to our indie retail focusses POS software.

We offer fixed price quotes for web development, for beautiful sites for any type of retail business connected to our POS software.

Quoting on web development can be inexact as changes to the requirements can develop over the course of a project. In any proposal from us, we seek to mitigate risk and provide certainty on which you can rely for us to deliver the specific outcomes noted. However, the proposal is based on our understanding of your needs.

If any customer feels we have missed anything in a proposal, please advise as it will impact the quoted price.

We provide a complete written proposal that addresses all the questions we are usually asked and questions we asked ourselves when developing our own websites for our businesses and businesses in which we have a share.

While much web development for Australian businesses is done either by individuals working from home or outsourced overseas, our web development work is undertaken by our team, working full time for us, here in Australia. The challenge is, this makes it more expensive.

A web developer in an outsource location can cost as little as 10% of professional Australian developer costs. Australian developed websites are more expensive. It is why our quote comes in at the price it does. In our experience using outsource people ourselves on unrelated projects – you do get what you pay for.

Senior management of Tower Systems oversees all our web development work.

  1. Our in-house web team is led by an experienced IT professional who also has retail experience out of our head office. They are a skilled IT professional who has worked with us for three years. They come from a help desk and retail background and understands the software and how a website connected to a POS should be implemented. You will have direct access to them through this development process.
  1. Our leadership team, COO and CEO, personally oversee the web development projects for clients as we want to ensure that we deliver on our promises and that we provide our customers with a commercially valuable outcome.
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Kicking off the weekend with a trade show for pet related retailers

We are grateful for the opportunity to be at the Eastern Distribution buying event in Melbourne tonight … showing off our POS software for pet stores. www.towersystems.com.au/pet-shops

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POS software integrations help small business retailers

The Tower Systems POS software offers small business retailers access to valuable and financially beneficial integrations that help these retailers to win more business.

Here are some of the integrations we offer. We say some as there are more that are classified, for commercial reasons. There are those who like to copy us so we figure why make it easy for them. Ha!

  1. E-COMMERCE: Magento. WooCommerce / WordPress. These are direct through partnership relationships, to the deepest level, delivering the best seamless functionality. Plus, for others, generic.
  2. ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE: Xero – this is genuinely direct. We are a Xero partner. Plus, we use Xero ourselves in businesses that we own.  MYOB. Quicken. Both of these are through a 3rdparty platform.
  3. EFTPOS: Tyro. Quest. DPS/Payment Express NZ. PCEftpos.
  4. BUY NOW PAY LATER: Humm. Zip Pay / Zip Money.
  5. TEXT MESSAGING: Message Media. Message Net
  6. OUR OWN ADD-ONS: Visual desk – smart and portable reporting.  Make My Appointment – calendar booking. Retailer Roam – sell anywhere.
  7. ANCILLARY: Federal government approved scale int.  Fuel / Postec. Touch Phonecards.

These are desktop and cloud hosted POS software integrations. For our e-commerce solutions, consumer facing websites, we offer substantially more integrations that go to a new level and deliver substantially more benefits. Our integration strategy for web is comprehensive, deep and flexible, in service off our customers who take their retail businesses online.

Integrations matter to businesses in this time of mass integration. We are on a cross platform world and POS software that integrates offers terrific flexibility to retailers working in spaces where integrations can be beneficial.

Since we develop the software we sell, lease and rent, we are in control of what we do and how we do it. We are not relying on another party to do the integration work. This makes us more flexible for and accountable to our customers.

Delivering integrations to our customers matters as we are in a  position to help them find new customers for their businesses by offering better services seamlessly across more platforms. Flexibility is key today and we are proud to be delivering this through our POS software and the POS software connected websites that we develop0 and deploy.

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Our POS software ad is on TV again

We are grateful for the opportunity to reach more small business retailers with this TV ad promoting our POS software. It is on air now.

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Helping small business retailers comply with new Gift Card regulations

New gift card laws come into effect in Australia on November 1, 2019. The fundamental changes introduced in the new laws are:

  1. a minimum three year expiry period for gift cards is required;
  2. gift cards must display expiry dates; and
  3. most post purchase fees on gift cards are banned.

The POS software from Tower Systems will help small business retailers comply with this legislation. It will do so in a worry free, safe and red tape free way for indie retailers.

Gift cards (physical or electronic) are easy with our software. Retailers can offer them with surety and speed, enabling shoppers to load cash onto a card so that it can be given as a gift.

Where gift cards are sued as a marketing tool, the legislation is different. The three year requirement in the legislation does not apply to gift cards that are:

  1. able to be reloaded or topped up
  2. for a good or service available for a limited time where the card or voucher expires at the end of that period (e.g. entry to a concert or museum exhibition)
  3. supplied to a purchaser of goods or services as part of a temporary marketing promotion (e.g. a wine voucher valid for one month that is mailed to a consumer as a free bonus with a purchased item and was not part of the purchase offer)
  4. donated free of charge for promotional purposes (e.g. a local shopping centre has a one-day marketing promotion where each visitor to the centre on that day is handed a $20 gift card that is valid for use at any store in the centre for that day only)
  5. sold for a particular good or service at a genuine discount (e.g. $50 card for salon service valued at $100)
  6. supplied as part of an employee rewards program
  7. given as a bonus in connection with a purchase of a good or service for use in the same business (customer loyalty programs)
  8. second-hand gift cards.
  9. part of a temporary marketing promotion (e.g. customers buy a certain product from Business A, which provides a $50 voucher to use at Business B).

Tower Systems serves small businesses in the requirements of the legislation, efficiently and in a whole of business way.

Our customers with our latest software will be fine come November 1, 2019. Gift cards through the POS software will be safe, easy and business building.

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Small business retail advice: how to setup a pop-up shop

POS software company Tower Systems offers practical everyday advice for indie small business retailers. Our advice serves not only our 3,500+ retailer partners but many other retailers. The advice we share in this post is from our portfolio of management advice for small business retailers.

Definition: a pop-up shop is a temporary shop, one that is open for a limited period of time, usually around a month, rarely more than three months.

We have assembled our pop-up shop advice and tips into key topic areas.

WHY?!

Like any business decision, a decision to open a pop-up retail location needs to be based on good research and the business itself needs to have a purpose. So, before you begin, think about why.

Here are some reasons to do a pop-up shop:

  1. To test new product categories.
  2. To supplement your income.
  3. To help quit slow moving stock.
  4. To enhance your retail experience.
  5. To experiment with a plan b where you might land if you close your main shop.
  6. To engage in targeted, temporary, competition.
  7. To compete with yourself.

LOCATION.

With a pop-up shop you don’t have time to find your customers. The location needs to already have good traffic passing daily, traffic you can easily leverage. Even more so than in fixed-location retail, location is critical.

The best locations are shops that have good passing traffic that is of interest to you and that have been vacant for a while where a landlord might be happy with something rather than nothing.

OCCUPANCY COST.

Negotiate the lowest rent cost possible. Some landlords see pop-up offers as a reason to charge a premium. Only sign up for a price you are 100% happy with. If it is expensive and does not work financially, don’t sign hoping it works out, because in retail it rarely does work out better. In a pop-up business you have less time to see if it works out. Also, preferably, no contingency deposit.

LABOUR COST.

Staff the business with a lean roster. This shop is about selling. that means, products placed for a price proposition rather than beautiful displays that take time to maintain. Every staff member is there to sell and maximise revenue from every shopper visit. There is no room in the roster for fat.

FIXTURES AND FITTINGS.

Don’t spend a cent on fixtures and fittings. That needs to be your starting position. It’s a pop-up shop. People expect it to be  efficient, cost-effective. Using tables and boxes adds to the feel of the shop feeling low-cost and that can help drive sales. Suppliers can be a good source for loaned fixtures.

INVENTORY.

Ask suppliers to offer consignment stock or special clearance deals they’d like to move fast. Go for items that can be sold out of a box, to make display and ranging easier. In-box displays of particularly cheap items can work very well.

PRICING MODEL.

Price to sell. This means being below usual retail. Price to understandable price points. For example, you might have a $10 table, a $20 table and so on. Consider bundling items into packs, which make price comparison difficult.

PROMOTION.

Don’t spend money on sign writing or marketing. Use social media and bargain websites and anywhere similar where you can list the store and its products.

Host an opening party. List this as a local event on Facebook.

MANAGEMENT MINDSET.

Your mindset in managing the pop-up shop needs to be different to a fixed-location retail situation. Pop-up shops are about low cost, low overheads, low prices. Be ready to do deals. Whoever manages  the pop-up shop needs to be different to how they would be in the fixed-location retail business.

SPEED.

You need to move fast. From the moment you sign a lease or agreement, the clock is ticking. Ideally, you’d open within 24 hours and when you are done, closing and clearing out the shop is done in 24 hours or less. This is all about maximising the time for income-production.

TRACK PERFORMANCE.

Cultivate good data that can guide business decisions for your next moves.

Is a pop-up shop worth doing? Only you can determine that. We have seen plenty of pop-up shops work well for the retailers, contribute good GP, help move slow stock and help open to the owners category opportunities not previously considered.

Do the planning and you should expect to benefit.

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