TOWER SYSTEMS AT SHOPTALK 2016 THIS WEEK

IMG_0036Some from the leadership group of Tower Systems are at the Shoptalk 2016 conference in Las Vegas this week. Shoptalk is a leading-edge conference bringing together 3,000+ retail and technology professionals to explore the future.

Our participation here for the four agenda-filled days is with particular focus on our constituency of small and independent retailers and how tech is evolving in service of their growth.

The event is halfway through and already there are valuable learnings and future-beneficial connections as we focus on continuing to deliver best-practice POS software to our 3,500+ customers.

The photo is from the presentation by Steven Lowy of Westfield – as fascinating insight into their extraordinary innovation.

2 likes

BEING FIRST WITH ELECTRONIC INVOICES BENEFITS TOWER POS SOFTWARE RETAILERS

We are thrilled to again be first with a major supplier to many of our customers, delivering to them excellent time savings, enabling them to compete more effectively. This is important as retailers that share a retail channel are competitors with each other – any advantage has to be exploited.

Today’s announcement is the result of hard work by plenty in our team.

0 likes

MORE FREE POS SOFTWARE TRAINING FOR SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS

Here is the latest round of free POS software training Tower Systems is proud to offer its customers.

Each one of these sessions is free to access, live and genuinely interactive.

We publish the list here as proof of us living up to our word of offering free on-going training.

Our customers can book any time online through our live training portal – another self-serve facility offered by Tower Systems to its customers.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 7.08.42 am

For a full list of free live POS software training, check out our website. From there you can book, see the topics, see the detail of what will be covered and add the event to your online calendar. Smart software training bookings, another Tower AdvantageTM.

1 likes

SUNDAY SMALL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT ADVICE: BE MEMORABLE

Memorable customer service is the most important point of difference a retail business can have, especially a business which does not make what it sells and therefore could have its products being sold by any other business apple to reach the same pool of shoppers.

We call it memorable customer service because it truly has to be that … memorable. So memorable that it is praised by your customers to others.

Good customer service should be the norm, the lowest hurdle any retail business can jump. Memorable customer service, the level of customer service that makes a shopper talk about the experience to their friends, must be the goal and it is the word of mouth from these customers that is a factor in driving traffic growth.

Memorable customer service is just as vital to Point of Sale software companies as it is for retail businesses. Since we own retail businesses as well as our POS software company we see it, live it and reach for it from both sides.

This is why we work hard to encode the ability to focus on customer service in our Point of Sale software.  That’s right, retailers using our software have touch points they can leverage using software which help deliver the kind of memorable customer service we are talking about here.

Memorable customer service in retail, just as in a software company, is experiences which exceed expectations, it delivers benefits outside of what you expect even from a good business.  In our IT company we compete with big IT companies and small, like us, IT companies. While we want our software to be the point of difference customers notice and talk about positively, it is our customer service which is loved and mentioned to colleagues more.  Realising this was an epiphany for us.

We focus on building stronger, better and more valuable software. But we also surround this, completely, with customer service experiences which are the very best of the best. This gives us, and our customers, the best of both worlds. And we love it ourselves.

Given that most retailers do not have products unique to their businesses, delivering memorable customer service is critical to the business plan.  Small and independent retailers can do this more easily and effectively than big retailers. From the genuine smile to shoppers to product knowledge to that extra information which helps a shopper get more out of the product purchased than they would have had the purchased the product elsewhere. This added value is the key and it can be delivered in almost any situation and with any product from a stapler through to a high-end road bike.

So, beyond our software and as part of our customer service focus, we seek out opportunities to help our customers deliver memorable customer service.  Indeed, this was one topic we covered in the recent face-to-face user meetings we ran in capital cities and major regional centres around Australia.

As a Point of Sale software company, our mission is to deliver constantly improving retail management software backed with memorable customer service and going beyond this with business insights and assistance which helps our retailers themselves deliver exceptional and memorable experiences to their customers.

2 likes

WHAT MAKES THE TOWER SYSTEMS POS SOFTWARE MAGENTO LINK A BEST PRACTICE SOLUTION FOR RETAILERS

Not all POS Software Magento links are made equal. Some POS software Magento links are slow, out of date, not direct and / or cumbersome. Some make doing business online and in a bricks and mortar store from the same stock data set cumbersome,

Thanks to relationships developed in the US with the Magento team over years, Tower Systems offers a best-practice solution, one powerful, easy to use and ideal for independent retail businesses.

Linking directly with the Tower POS software it is a breeze to use – as the many e-commerce sites already using it can attest.

A weakness we have seen in some other products is their use of an old version of Magento. By using the latest release, we are able to deliver something far more useful and valuable to small business retailers. Indeed, we can show the difference live through sites we have developed even for our business retail and e-commerce businesses.

This use ourselves of our own software enables us to speak with experience and authority on these things. We are not selling you something thinking how it should work. No, we are selling something we use ourselves for our own retail business, something that meets our own exacting needs, something of which we are most proud.

Using our Magento link it is easy to share data, images and other vital content between your shop and your online store without extra time or technology overhead. The Tower Systems approach is a breeze to implement and manage.

1 likes

HERE AT TOWER SYSTEMS OUR MISSION IS TO HELP SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS

We were asked recently to explain our mission in a way small business retailers not familiar with technology will understand.

Tower Systems is an Australian POS software company that develops, sells and supports software for selected specialty marketplaces.

We only serve independent retail businesses.

Our mission is to help retailers run more successful businesses. Our definition of success is a business that is making money, where the owners and employees enjoy what they do and where suppliers enjoy transacting.

Good software can play an important role in nurturing business success as it sits at the heart of the business: transacting sales, managing stock, tracking customer activity and shining a light on business opportunities.

What makes us different is how we engage. We go beyond what is traditional software company.

  • We welcome working with your suppliers to create data links that save you and them time, data links that improve data accuracy, data links that feed more accurate business reports.
  • We provide business insights based on data cultivated through the software – to business owners who ask. This is a free service.
  • Our help desk provides context for advice. Rather than the turn it off and turn it on advice, our help desk team members explain the why, why from a business perspective the advice they are providing matters.
  • Our software updates contain enhancements suggested and voted on by customers. You can have a direct say in the evolution of the software.
  • Our communication is in plain English. While we are a company of IT geeks, when talking with customers we keep it simple. We know technology scares people. We don’t want it to scare our customers.
  • We are accessible. You get to talk with real people all the time, including our leadership team.

This is what we stand for.

0 likes

WE LOVE POS SOFTWARE SUCCESS STORIES

IMG_7492We love hearing POS software stories, stories from our small business retailer customers on how they are using our Point of Sale software to help their businesses in the service of their customers.

We heard one such success story from the folks at Tourist House recently, at one of our user meetings, on their use of our proprietary discount voucher loyalty software facilities to help their customers save on purchases tourist items from them.

Using the software in four retail locations in four cities, the POS software sits at the heart of the operation. The discount voucher facilities have proved to be terrific in helping with employee and customer engagement.

The stories of engagement have helped us understand from a real world perspective how our software can be used in a  range of situations to drive better business outcomes. Every feedback story adds to our knowledge and the narrative of Tower Systems.

We are grateful for customer engagement like this. It puts wind in our sales, a spring in our step.

1 likes

THE JB HI FI 3 FOR $10 IS EASY WITH OUR POS SOFTWARE

IMG_8947Retailers using the Tower Systems POS software can easily handle package or bundled offers, like the JB Hi Fi 3 for $10 offer they are running for greeting cards.

Using our smart small business POS software, retailers can run bundled deals like we see in JB Hi Fi with ease. Small and independent retailers can match the retail giant simply and easily. This is important as offers like this make price comparisons difficult.

In addition to bundled offers like this, the Tower software also handled multi buys where shoppers can purchase over time, reaching an award point where they get free product.

These facilities are in addition to myriad other discounting options including catalogues, loyalty facilities, discount vouchers and more.

All of these tools help small business retailers to be competitive in their offers, competitive against other local businesses, competitive against online and competitive against big businesses, like JB Hi Fi.

The beauty of offers like the JB Hi Fi offer is shoppers are drawn to the deal of Three cards for $10 and often times purchase one card at a higher margin for the retailer. Our software handles this, kicking in the Three for $10 pricing offer only when the shopper purchases the three cards. This counter management based on volume is easy and automatic – delivering good outcomes for the retailers and ensuing maximum margin.

2 likes

POS SOFTWARE KNOWLEDGE BASE MAKES ACCESSING HELP EASY

The ever-evolving knowledge based helping users of the Tower Systems POS software is easily accessible, using natural English searches.

While the Tower Systems team enhanced knowledge base content, users themselves can provide feedback within knowledge base articles, adding value to the information seeking experience. It is accessible 24/7. It is also referred to in help desk calls as part of the training process and to provide customers with step by step advice on how to do something – if that is appropriate to a specific call.

Knowledge base resources include videos as well as text based articles. Indeed, there are more than 100 knowledge base accessible videos.

The knowledge base approach by Tower Systems is a good example of the open and interactive approach taken by the company to serving its small business retailer customers.

Here is one example one knowledge base article of several on the end of shift process accessible through the Tower Systems POS software knowledge base.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 6.39.11 am

The Tower Systems knowledge base can be accessed from any internet connected device including desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. Yes, it is iPhone ready.

4 likes

LOCALLY DEVELOPED POS SOFTWARE FOR AUSTRALIAN LOCAL RETAIL BUSINESSES

As overseas online businesses compete with local retailers for sales of almost anything, so too do overseas based POS software companies compete with Australian software companies.

Here at Tower Systems, we understand local. We understand our local retail business customers. we understand their shoppers. We understand what being local is all about and why it matters to our customers and the communities in which they serve.

This is what being local is really about, it is about being knowledgable of and engaged with your local community.

Through our POS software and through our customer service we live and breathe the local message. Our actions speak for us through locally focussed software changes and how we serve and connect with our customers.

here is a short video explaining our local pitch. This video serves multiple purposes: it speaks to our in-house video production facilities, it has our owner speaking up for us and what we stand for, it shows our commitment to plain speaking anyone can understand and it speaks to our professionalism that you can trust.

This is the Tower Advantage, our Tower Advantage, offered to you.

3 likes

FREE TRAINING FOR POS SOFTWARE USERS THIS WEEK

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 9.09.06 amTower Systems is proud to offer free and live training opportunities for users of its POS software this week. We have two local user meetings, in Geelong and the Gold Coast and online. The two user meetings are the latest in our series of capital city and major regional centre meetings – face to face with our customers, providing free training and business development strategy.

The online session on End of Shift Reports is fully booked. We are running this session again in the coming weeks.

In addition to the live training opportunities, our customers continue to have access to an extraordinary library of video based training and text based training – making POS software training easy to access from anywhere and at any time.

2 likes

BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE PLATFORM FOR SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS ATTRACTING KUDOS

The Retailer Visual Deck released by Tower Systems to its small business retailer customers earlier this year is generating terrific responses as retailers see the power of the visual compared to the traditional POS software reports.

This cloud-based platform is accessible from anywhere. It provides live access to retail business performance KPIs, helping small business retailers better understand what is happening in their businesses.

The Visual Deck is a new product from Tower Systems. Accessible from any internet connected device, this platform provides you with a fresh view of your business performance data. Visually reporting on revenue, gross profit, transaction count, items per sale, units sold, average transaction value, by month, week, day and day of week – easily allowing you to compare trading periods.

Cloud based, this new business intelligence platform is available on a month to month or annual basis. Called the Visual Deck, It is visual because, well, your business data is presented in a visual way. It is a deck because it is a platform off of which you can see far and wide.

1 likes

TAGS CHANGE THE WAY SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS TRACK INVENTORY

The introduction of tags in the Tower Systems POS software last year added to an already powerful reporting suite for our retail customers.

Using tags our retailers can take a horizontal slice through their business data across departments, categories and suppliers, linking items based on a licence or sole other connection relevant to the business.

Tagging is smart easy and powerful, providing small business retailers a fresh view of their businesses, one unique to Tower Systems.

We have been demonstrating the value of tags in our user meetings, [providing our customers with ah ha moments when they see it, get it and realise the power for their businesses through the unique view of business performance available to them.

Tagging inventory items is another point of difference we have been able to leverage for growth among our small business retail user community.

3 likes

SUNDAY SMALL BUSINESS RETAIL MANAGEMENT ADVICE: 6 WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR POINT OF DIFFERENCE THIS WINTER

Winter can be tough for some people. It can be tough for retail too as traffic is often down. Independent retailers have an opportunity to leverage the season, to make it more enjoyable for you and your customers.

Here are six suggestions to get you thinking abut winter differently:

  1. Reach out to retirement villages and nursing homes. Pack up key items from your shop and tele it on the road – go to those customers who can’t come to you because of the cold.
  2. Offer free delivery. If option one does not work for you promote a delivery service so people shut in can still get their  fix. Be the retailer who goes the extra mile.
  3. Add to your customer service. have somewhere people can place their umbrellas and raincoats when they enter.
  4. Keep your shop warm. Offer hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Maybe have a slow cooker with some delicious home cooked vegetable soup using a recipe from a magazine you have in-store.
  5. Have a summer sale. In the middle of winter, at the coldest, have a blow-out sale and call it something like a SIZZLING SALE. Get people warm with great prices.
  6. Change your music playlist. If you’re using an online music service, select brighter, warmer music.

If your shop is in a really cold area consider an outer door to keep the warmth in. They do this a lot in Europe and the US in Winter.

Winter is a seasoning which you can show off your point of difference and get people seeing your retail business differently.

4 likes

EASTER POS SOFTWARE HELP DESK COVERAGE

While our main offices will be closed over the Easter break, our after hours and emergency numbers will be accessible to our customers to ensure support for any time-sensitive issues encountered through the period.

We take the provision of support through extended public holiday periods seriously and have ensured all of our customers have contact details for after hours coverage. We have mailed and emailed details.

To all our customers – we hope you have good trading the Easter days you are open. We are here if you need us.

Through the Easter break we will publish our customer weekly comms as usual and maintain easy access to our knowledge base and other online resources.

1 likes

ALL POS SOFTWARE HAS BUGS, IT IS HOW YOU HANDLE THEM THAT MATTERS

The Tower Systems POS software has bugs, not deliberate bugs, not bugs left in the software forever to frustrate customers.

What matters most about any software bug is how the software company reacts.

Tower Systems has a structured process to deal with with a report of a bug.

  1. We check that the bug is real, that we can recreate it at will.
  2. We research the bug to understand the cause.
  3. We unpack the programming code to track down a cause.
  4. We discuss resolution.
  5. We code resolution.
  6. We test the resolution in house.
  7. We test the resolution in the field.
  8. We advise those reporting the bug of correction.

This whole process is undertaken in partnership with our customers. This transparency builds confidence and demonstrates our commitment to engaged service of the businesses we serve.

0 likes

PERTH POS SOFTWARE USER MEETING

IMG_7647This morning we hosted a POS software user meeting and training session providing group wide and one on one training opportunities for our customers. We are grateful our WA customers love our commitment to regular live open training opportunities like this.

What is interesting about these sessions is the supplier assistance we provide – answering questions other suppliers ought to answer but cannot as they do not make themselves accessible.

3 likes

CANBERRA AREA RETAILERS POS SOFTWARE USER MEETING

IMG_7636Plenty of retailers using our Tower Systems POS software got together with us today at the Mercure Hotel for a POS software user meeting and networking session. In addition to covering new facilities and delivering appreciated training, we also connected with prospective users keen for a new solution.

From our side at the Canberra session we had our software development manager, COO, national sales manager and CEO all present and engaged in the session.

3 likes

WHY WE THINK XERO IS THE BEST ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE FOR SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS

We have used MYOB, Quick Books and xero in retail businesses we operate. It is this experience with all three from a bookkeeping through to a finalized accounts perspective that has helped us reach a view that xero is the best solution.

Each professional position in our company agrees from bookkeeper to management to our in-house CPA. xero is the best accounting solution for small business retailers.

There is an ease of use backed by excellent support as well as an easy and direct integration between our POS software and xero that helps us save time and money.

Retailers using xero can see this for themselves.

So this is how we came to our preference, our recommendation, through our own experience on a range of levels.

While our software supports MYOB, Quick Books and xero, our experience with xero is roe complete and our integration more direct. It is an integration tested and endorsed by xero, something the company gives out only after it is satisfied.

The above commentary from us aside, xero don’t just connect with any POS software company. They check out the business and their software. They research whether they want to partner with a business. I am aware they say no, that they reject proposals of integration. That we are integrated is a valuable point of difference for us.

3 likes

SET YOUR POS SOFTWARE SECURITY BASED ON EMPLOYEE ROLE IN THE RETAIL BUSINESS

For many years the Tower Systems POS software has permitted security settings based on the role of an employee in the business. This approach gives the retail business owners complete control over who has access to what function or report in the software. It allows retail business owners to be as open or as locked-down as they wish.

While we provide advice and guidance on appropriate security settings, what retailers establish and the passwords they use are ultimately their choice.

When it comes to password advice, for security, we only provide this to business owners.

Our software is like any tool: capable of being used well or poorly depending on the choices made by those using it.

0 likes

TOWER SYSTEMS HELPS SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS WITH LEASE NEGOTIATIONS

Outside of the usual POS software help desk support, Tower Systems helps small business retailers navigate lease negotiations by providing accurate sales and traffic data that can help landlords approach negotiations more fairly.

Serving many retailers in many lease situations, we are able to drawn on excellent experience and through this help retailers approach the challenges with care and a broader view than is often the case. This helps the retailers to look at lease negotiation and renewal from a broader perspective.

The work we do in this area is pro-bono, another service we offer small business retailers to help them run businesses with greater financial viability.

0 likes

BIGGER SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT TEAM HELPS TOWER SYSTEMS DELIVER MORE

Early in 2016 Tower Systems added two new developers to its software development team. This has enhanced our capacity and our skill base and this is being reflected in what we are delivering for our customers.

This weekend at the Reed Gift Fair in Sydney we will be showing off new software, outside of the traditional POS software space, software that dramatically enhances the value small business retailers can harvest from their businesses.

This new software is a game changer. If you are attending the Reed Gift Fair, ask to see the new software we are launching.

0 likes

POS SOFTWARE UPDATE OFFERS MAGENTO LINK FOR SMALL BUSINESS RETAIL

While POS software co Tower Systems has offered web store access through its smart POS software, the new direct Magento link takes the web store facilities to a new level.

The Tower link with Magento is direct, through a partnership link between the Tower software and Magento. 

Prior to releasing the POS software / magento link on the market, Tower Systems created several-commerce sites using the Magento link and these have been running for more than six months. Today the company and has supports live direct link e-commerce sites in a range of retail channels covering a range of products and services. These sites are live commerce sites the company can take prospective clients to, to show the link live in action, so people can see this smart software working for themselves.

The link is powerful yet easy to setup and maintain. The Tower development team has ensured this as the focus user is the typical small business retailer with little resource or appetite to become an IT expert.

Retailers including garden centres, jewellers, bike shops, newsagents, gift shops, homewares shops, book shops, toy shops and produce stores can use this link to help their businesses transact accurately and professionally online. Tower Systems helps with terrific software for the brick and mortar retail business as well as the link to the website. The company can facilitate the whole of business service, as far as the retail customer may want.

It is our contact with Magento in the US well over a year ago that set the path for what we offer small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand today. By going our and undertaking research into best practice overseas, Tower Systems made itself aware of what retailers liked and what they wanted from website links from their POS software, the company then set about developing, testing and delivering this into the marketplace.

With plenty of reference sites now for the Magento link and even more for our mature web store facilities, Tower Systems is well positioned to help small business retailers establish professional and commercially valuable links with one or more inline presences.

Magento is owned by eBay, it is a worldwide popular webstore platform.

2 likes