How retailers can continue to trade if the internet is down

Here is a question we are often asked by retailers:

In a cloud environment what happens when the Internet is unavailable? The offering is for an external cloud provider, can we leverage our own cloud provider? How are hosting charges calculated, i.e. data storage charges?

Here is our answer:

Our POS software system is very configurable.  Users have the ability, if they wish, to run without being hosted.  This solves any Internet stability questions, particularly for rural/regional Australian where this may be an issue.

The other challenge with cloud is the costs. Our experience is some small business owners are not happy with the monthly hosting cost for a cloud service. However, the customer can choose the approach that is best for their specific circumstances.

These are the reasons we have configured our software to suit whatever situation a customer prefers.

Alternatively, if users want, we can host the system in the cloud, 100% in the cloud.  This can be hosted on our secure dedicated infrastructure (additional costs will apply) or on infrastructure of their choosing.  We will provide guidance on the configuration so the ideal environment is created.

If hosted on our infrastructure customers are charged on a per user per month basis.

If the user runs in a hosted environment and the internet drops out the user can switch to a facility we call Outpost Mode.  OUTPOST mode allows for basic trading, scanning sales, until such time as Internet access is restored.

The level of software access in the event of internet access being down, blocked or otherwise hampered does depend on choices made by the customer. Our customers can be secure in the knowledge that we support multiple choices, we make it easy for them transact if that is the core goal of their business.

Can you continue to trade if the internet is down? Yes!

Crucially, we can train our customers on how to be ready for this in advance of any problem occurring. This is important since customers might otherwise scrambling too get up and running in the middle of a problem could be too disruptive for the business,

Planning ahead of any incident or disaster is important in our view.

Personal service matters when it comes to small business POS software

Every day in small business retail shops personal service matters. For many local independent retail businesses, personal service is the differentiator, the thing that shoppers remember and brings them back.

No matter how cool products in a shop are, if the service is not personal with a shopper they may not return.

Equally, no matter how mundane or everyday products are in a shop, personal service may show them off in a light that makes the experience so delightful that the shoppers think first and only of the shop when next wanting such products.

Just as personal service matters in retail, it matters with POS software in terms of customer service and it matters with POS software and the personal service facilities in the POS software.

The Tower Systems small business POS software has encoded in to facilities that help a small business retailer show off personal service, to deliver a level of personal service consistently through shopper facing touchpoints that are managed by the software.

These personal service facilities in the software help the retailer to be personal, efficiently.

On our receipts, we can include care instructions for individual products or local advice that relates to the products in a way that only a local retailer can know. These facilities encoded within the software enable local small business retailers to personalise the experience in a structured way. Retailers have 100% control over the serving of this information.

On the customer display we can show products and other information that further enhances the personal service experience.

Retailers using our software can easily remember important dates such as birthdays, anniversaries, required check in dates, servicing dates, vaccine dates and far more. Indeed, there is no limit to the services that can be provided to personalise a shopper experience based on anniversaries and other date-based information through which a retailer can better serve customers.

For many local small retail businesses, personal service is the big differentiator. Here at Tower Systems we are committed to evolving our support for delivering more and better personal service opportunities through our software. How far we go will be a function of suggestions from our customers.

Easy synching on stock on hand for physical store connected websites

The syncing of stock on hand data between physical shops and websites is key to successful online selling.

Given that the most significant use of websites is to see what stock its available in-store, accurate stock on hand data is a core factor in driving online sales.

Retailers using our Tower Systems POS software and one of our various webstore link facilities can determine the best timing for data synch between the physical and online store. The frequency of any such synch is determined by the type of products being sold.

We have customers who prefer to synch every five minutes through to customers who synch daily, and all manner in between.

We work with our customers to understand product sale frequency and then provide advice based on this and our own experience working with many successful POS software / webstore integrations across a range of retail channels.

The way we do the synch is fast and accurate, of little drain on the retail business and the internet connection.

Given our experience in this space and the value of experience in many different businesses, we are not get four of such synching. Our approach is best-practice, fast, accurate and loved by shoppers and retailers.

Getting this synching process is right for small business retailers who want to sell with confidence online. Shoppers who purchase online only to be told sorry that item is out of stock get frustrated as they bought wanting the product.l The requirement for accurate stock on hand data on websites is critical.

A good website will not only show products that are currently available, they will go further and show the actual quantity on hand of every item. While this can benefit a competitor targeting a business, in most cases the customers love it and gain confidence in a business as a result of this.

As POS software developers and website developers Tower Systems is skilled on both sides of the tech solution. We are able to demonstrate local retail business connected POS software that is discovering new shoppers for local businesses. The win is valuable, bankable. It all starts with a fast and accurate synch between the POS software and the website.

The importance of a POS software co visiting your business prior to you purchasing their software

Tower Systems offers retailers considering POS software a personal visit to assess the needs of the business, to understand if our software is right for the business.

Doing this on the phone may not be ideal. Doing it by email is nonsense.

As a company dedicated to personal in-store service, we start the relationship off right with a personal visit to see iff we are right for you. This visit is often the beginning of a long and personal relationship;ationshiup with our customers.

Retail is personal. So is POS software for local retail businesses.

Get your needs right and match these with then right software and you are better positioned to achieve great outcomes for the business.

Here at Tower Systems we are committed to personal service.

What small business retailers need to know about Amazon setting up shop in Australia and how to best respond

There have been many reports about Amazon opening distribution centres in Australia, with the first, in Dandenong Victoria, well advanced in preparation.

Little advice has been provided to small business retailers on what is needed to compete in this ever evolving online-focussed world.

At this workshop we will share insights from the various retail store connected websites that were run. We will show when, hope and why people shop. We will take you under the hood, back to what they search Google for.

We will explain steps you can take in your business to win business that Amazon sellers m might otherwise try and win from you.

We will show how you can get online in any type of business, without breaking the bank and without needing your own tech employee.

Plus, we will answer every question you have.  Without obligation.

Book now. These workshops are free. All welcome.

  • August 24, 8am. Figtree Conference Centre: Mission Room, 5 Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park NSW.
  • August 24, 11am. Figtree Conference Centre: Mission Room, 5 Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park NSW.

We will demonstrate live websites that are connected to our small business POS software in local businesses. we will also show how to transfer stock to a website and how to manage images. We will answer all your website related questions. Bookings are essential.

We develop software and websites for: gift shopsjewellers,  bike shopstoy shopsfishing/outdoors businessesgarden centres/nurseriespet shopsproduce storesfirearms businesses and newsagents.

If you have questions, please call our Sydney Account Manager, Nathan Morrison on 0417 568 148.

Designer receipts make our POS software elegant

Small business retailers are loving our designer receipts. They love the ease of change. They love the beautiful outcome. They love the flexibility.

We think receipts should help a retail business win more sales. Ours do … thanks to you being able to create what ou want, how you want.

Tower Systems offers designer receipts as part of its comprehensive POS software and through these we offer a beautiful point of difference.

They are another Tower AdvantageTM.

For too long receipts have been seen as a necessary accounting function in retail businesses. designer receipts are different. They are an extension of marketing in any business. They are smart, appealing, elegant – a wonderful way to help grow the business.

While other POS software companies may say they allow you to customise receipts, none has the Tower Systems designer receipts facilities.

Does your POS software have a mandatory weekly, monthly or annual fee?

We are welcoming another customer this week who is switching from another POS company because they were told, when they purchased the system several years ago, that there would never be a mandatory support fee.

Despite the promise, they have been hit with ever an increasing mandatory software support fee. This year, the fee approached $4,000.

The company has never responded to their complaint. It was only through a chance meeting with another business owner that they released they could switch software companies and not have a mandatory software support fee.

Tower Systems does not have a mandatory software support fee. Customers can continue to run the software if they are not covered by support. This has always been the case with us.

Any time a POS software sales rep makes a claim on which you rely, get it in writing on their letterhead with a person in authority signing. It is the only way.

While we are thrilled to welcome another customer, it is disappointing for them they have had such a bad experience.

Free POS software ecommerce workshop for small business retailers in Sydney

We are bringing our free workshop: Connecting online and in-store, how to make ecommerce work for your small business to Sydney next month. Click the links below to book. each session will run for 2 hours. Refreshments provided:

  • August 10, 8am. Figtree Conference Centre: Mission Room, 5 Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park NSW.
  • August 10, 11am. Figtree Conference Centre: Mission Room, 5 Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park NSW.

We will demonstrate live websites that are connected to our Retailer software in local businesses. we will also show how to transfer stock to a website and how to manage images. We will answer all your website related questions. Bookings are essential.

Tower Systems small business POS software frequently asked questions

Where are you based?
Our head office in in hawthorn, Victoria – 3A Lynch Street. We’d love you to visit! We also have offices interstate.

Who owns Tower Systems?
Mark Fetcher. Ph: 0418 321 338 or email: mark@towersystems.com.au.

How many customers do you have?
More than 3,500.

Do you sell to big business?
No.

Why do you only sell to small business retailers?
There is a difference between the needs of small business owners and big business owners. We prefer to have manny customers than a few big customers. We understand small business retail and we love helping small retail businesses flourish.

How can I find out more about your software?
Contact one of our sales people and they will show you our software for your type of business. This demonstration can be online or in your business.

How often is your software updated?
Constantly. We usually release three major updates a year.

What is in the updates?
The majority of enhancements are determined by our customers through a transparent suggestion and voting process.

Do I have to pay for software updates?
Updates are included in our software support package.

How can I get support for the software?
You can call or email our help desk. Plus, our comprehensive knowledge base is available online 24/7.  Plus we have a user Facebook group.

Do I have to buy hardware from you?
No. We have a hardware spec sheet that is freely available from our website.

Do I have to keep paying to access your software once I purchase it?
No.

Is software support coverage mandatory?
No.

How can I tell how busy the help desk is?
If you log into our website, the first screen you see shows the current call queue as well as how many calls we have handled so far today.

Can I rent your software?
Yes, for as long or as short as you want.

Can I lease the software?
Yes.

Your software is more expensive than other software I am looking at – why?
It could be that the other software you are looking at is not as comprehensive as ours. It could also be you have not been informed of the total cost of ownership of the other software. We think our pricing is fair based on what we have invested in our software and the comprehensive services with which we back our software. We believe in the maxim – you get what you pay for.

How can I learn more about your software once I have it installed?
We run weekly online live training workshops. They are free. Supported customers can have as many telephone based one on one training sessions as they want. 24/7 you can access our knowledge base that includes training videos.

What does “off the shelf software” mean?
It means the software3 offered for purchase is sold as is at that point in time. Unless your contract states otherwise, no customisation is offered.

What if I want a facility that is not in your software?
If you already use our software, suggest it via our transparent Software Ideas facility. If you do not currently use our software, please outline your requirements to your sales person, preferably in writing.

Can I backup to the cloud?
Yes. We offer a safe and secure service for this.

Can I use the software for a pop-up shop or outpost?
Yes.

Can you covert data from other software?
Usually we can. Let us see your data first before you provide a certain answer for you.

Do you sell through agents?
No.

Small business retailers need to take care with the choice of a cloud backup service

Choosing a cloud backup service takes care. As with any business service, you have businesses out there claiming to offer a service that they do not actually offer.

We suggest you take care to find the right service, a professional service, one that provides your business with the care and backup you seek for your specific type of business.

The cloud backup service offered by Tower Systems to its small business retailer customers is best practice, offering the ultimate in protection for our customers.

The features of the service include:

  1. Whole of PC backup. This is crucial.
  2. Local copy storage.
  3. Cloud based storage in a secure independent server farm location.
  4. Speedy recovery back to a selected data.
  5. Certainty over the management of the processes.
  6. No user triggered backup activity required.

While there are free cloud based backup services, when it comes to protecting your business data a free service is most likely not the best.

Your business data needs to be treated with the respect it deserves.

Tower Systems regional meetings a hit with small business retailers

Too often POS software companies hide from customers, offering little in the way of face to face engagement.

Tower Systems is different. We actively participate in trade shows, group conferences and more. Plus we host our own sessions around the country – l capital city and regional centre face to face sessions were our POS software customers can meet with us, learn more about our software and provide feedback.

Over the last two weeks we have run sessions in Tamworth, Coffs Harbour, Newcastle, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.

Its was terrific to see so many customers as well as many prospective customers there. We had a terrific time exploring the new software, the new web strategies and plenty more in the open forums and discussions that followed.

We are an engaged POS software company. We believe in the value of personal contact supporting personal service.

6 Benefits of Web Connected POS Software

6 Benefits of Web Connected POS Software

Brick-and-mortar stores are gradually becoming outdated means of product retailing.

Can you recall the last time you got in your car and physically drove to a store instead of easily clicking the checkout button online?

Making online sales has become a customer’s number one source of shopping these days. Stores are turning to the Internet to make the bulk of their sales, too.

The digital age is crushing retail giants across the country. Something needs to change so they can prosper like they once before.

The importance of web based POS (point of sale) software is on the rise in 2017. Retailers are at risk, and now more than ever you need to know the benefits of web based POS software.

Luckily we will go into detail about it in this post. Need help understanding the software? Our e-commerce workshop offers online workshops that can help you take your business to the next level.

First, let’s make sure you understand what exactly a POS system is. POS stands for “Point Of Sale”. It refers to the act of completing a transaction between a customer and a retailer. Whenever you make a sale in a store, there is a point of sale that is conducted.

Instead of going up to a cash register to make a physical payment, a web based POS eliminates that step. Or, as is the case with Tower, it integrated online and offline- in a physical store as well as online.

Large businesses and small businesses alike are investing in software which allows them to give their customers easy online power.

So, does your independent small business need to invest in POS software? Let us explain the top 6 benefits to web based POS:

6. Better Customer Management

A sales employee will know what types of products a specific customer wants to buy from the business via web based POS.

The sales associate can find what items the customer has liked before, and he or she can use this information to its full advantage. Understanding a customer’s unique preferences will drive more sales to the business. Our video on how to grow your sales includes information from some of our POS software experts at Tower Systems.

For example, say you own a few beauty stores. By simply using the right web based POS software you are able to look up a customer’s sales at any location in no time at all. A comprehensive customer list is created through the POS software.

Knowing this information speeds up the selling process so an employee can talk to a customer. By understanding what brands the customer already buys, the associate can help them find more products from the same brand that they are looking for.

  1. Another positive result that installing a web based POS will have simpler customer interactions. No longer does your customer need to wait in long lines to buy a new lipstick. Your happy customer will have the chance to purchase your online products from the comfort of her bedroom by swiping on her mobile device! This also promotes additional sales if the customer is pleased with her purchase.
  2. Sales associates can also make sales promotions to make customers shop online. Sending out coupons and discount codes to use specifically online will most definitely attract higher sales.
  3. Coupons will allow customers to stay updated on what new merchandise is now in stock. Staying social with customers also builds better customer relationship management, which in turn promotes both successful and organic sales growth.
  4. Using tools like a web based POS system improves the lives of your sale associates and it will also improve customer satisfaction. The ability to access a customer’s recent transactions in your store will drop the problems with making exchanges or returns. Having this information stored in the database will make the employee to quickly find the customer’s transaction history.
  5. The returned items are listed into the database and will be present in the customer’s history. This point of sale further develops an understanding of who the customer is.
  6. Happy, loyal customers will enjoy the fact that you use their time wisely.

5. Less Paperwork With POS and web integrated POS

Using point of sale software can virtually cut the need for any paperwork. Having access to your online business has never been simpler than with the integration of powerful this type of software. This software can keep track of all of your small business needs, from daily invoices to customer purchases.

Calculating sales from your independent small business can become a hard task for everyday business. Save both time and energy by investing in special POS software that can analyze your inventory and sales faster than you could on your own.

Digital copies of your accounting information will also help you keep track of your finances. Instead of logging daily totals on paper, you can store all of your data on your web based system.

You can also track information from different store locations by adding invoices from each place into one central location.

This process that online software has will reduce stress and encourage you to focus on other areas of your business, such as marketing.

4. Know More About How Your Business Runs

POS software can know more about your business than you do in a matter of seconds. Gathering daily totals and figuring out what specific items sold on a particular day can be a task that the software is capable of completing.

You will also know when stock is running low, as this is another great function of having web based POS software installed.

This information is valuable to your small business so you know what to repurchase. Managing your sales trends can be beneficial so your loyal customers return again and again.

The POS software will also direct you on the right path to send in reorders for the highest selling products. Focusing your attention on the items that sell the most will boost sales and let you better understand how your company operates on a daily basis.

Who doesn’t want to sell what products sell versus which ones aren’t? You, the business owner, are now able to watch the process that it takes to track your account information.

What does having more real-time information mean for YOUR business?

  1. Faster and more efficient inventory checks at the click of a button.
  2. Both owners and the management team are able to keep up with what inventory is selling and what isn’t.
  3. Owners and managers can find out if certain employees are performing at their best during the day.
  4. The team can test out new selling techniques and see if they work in real-time by tracking the results via POS software.
  5. There is less waste. Products that sell quickly are repurchased while the ones that are not selling can be reduced at a lower price and not repurchased.

3. Cutting Costs Everywhere You Can

A standard POS system will run you anywhere from $3,000 to $50,000 annually. Yes, this number appears large because you factor in licensing fees and updates that stores face on a regular basis.

I will detail how the benefits of using a web based POS outweigh the costs of a non web connected POS system:

  1. A web connected POS system is usually a monthly investment that does not include any extra hidden fees in comparison to a traditional system.
  2. Total payment for the web based POS system can average $1,200 to $10,000 per year.
  3. The website that will give you will the web based POS system may also include informative and easy to follow training. It will lower your initial cost when it comes to installing the online POS software for your business.
  4. A POS system also uses an Internet connection to run. The Internet is great at being a less expensive alternative in comparison to traditional POS systems that need employees to manage a business.
  5. Having a web based system in place will cut the cost of paying for a lease to have a physical location that your customers need to visit in order to make a sale. Having an online way for your customers to make a sale will drive sales and will save you money when it comes to leasing a pricey storefront.

2. Store Your Data Safely

Instead of making your employees track your daily sales totals, customers, and invoices by hand, you can put each of these tasks in your software.

Your data is backed up on a server that is secure and will not crash like regular computers can. Security is a top priority for all businesses alike, and we take that into consideration when thinking about the pros to a web based POS system.

Theft prevention is important to consider when you own a business. Thieves are unable to take your money if you store your information on the POS system because everything is secured online.

Having your information online is better than storing cash in a cash drawer.

With more customers comes more information that needs to be properly stored. Archive this information using the web based system that can hold a large capacity.

1. 24/7 Management

80% of small business owners use their mobile devices to update and manage their businesses on a daily basis. Phones are a business owner’s best means of communication, and 55% of SBOs use their phones to schedule appointments or talk to customers.

Owning a business is a 24/7 matter, and not utilizing your cell phone means shutting off your prime connection to your business. Having a web based POS system in place will connect you to your employees and customers.

You can even check in on your business from your home.

An on-the-go lifestyle is how most people live in 2017, and you can’t stay behind the fast moving times. You can also easily log into your account because it relies on an Internet connection to work.

  1. You need to be able to pay for reorders on popular items, track where your inventory is going, and connect to your customers by hearing their feedback. All you need is an Internet connection to process many of these tasks from anywhere in the world.
  2. Make sure your business is constantly up to date by investing in a system that is web based because that is where the world is headed.

In Summary

As technology continues to expand, we at Tower Systems want to share our knowledge of web connected POS systems with you so you can grow your business the right way.

Running a successful business is now a daily task, so finding tools to improve your day to day life will ease your mind when it comes to making quick sales.

We offer you the best retail solutions for your independently owned and operated small business. Even though there are more to cover, these are the 6 best benefits to using an online POS system.

It’s important to know that understanding who your customer is can be simple with our web based technology.

Tower Systems has training programs that are built for even the most technology inept business owners.

You can easily learn how to run the POS software by participating in online group sessions that will train you to understand how the web based POS works.

Our specialty POS software will be the best addition to your business that you can buy to improve your small business sales. To learn more about our services, you can Contact Us for customer support.

If you need any help, we also have after hours support. Our e-mail is: support@towersystems.com.au if you also need immediate action.

Let us help you become one of our 3,500+ independent business owners who run stores across Australia today.

Tower Systems offers small business retailers POS software rental option

Established small business specialty POS software company Tower Systems offers its software4 on a rental and hosted basis to retailer.

The rental option makes accessing th software easy and fast.

It eliminates the need for purchase.

Rental terms run for thirty days with easy get out for customers.

The company has offered the rental solution since 2015 with retailers able to select what they want when they want.

This approach to acquiring access to POS software is another way Tower Systems makes it easy for small business retailers to connect with its POS software.

We think the important choice for retailer is to find the right software. If we are that right software, and only the retailer will know, then we want it to be easy for the retailers to acquire and install our software. Flexibility is the key here.

In choosing to rent the software there is no delay, no cumbersome sign up process. It is simple and easy, and fast. This is another way Tower Systems demonstrates flexibility to its small business retail customers.

It is another Tower AdvantageTM.

NEXT WEEK: Free software & e-commerce workshop for regional QLD small business retailers.

We are looking forward to briefing small business retailers on the latest POS software / webstore opportunities for finding new customers, even customers 1,000s of kms away from your shop, and driving shopper loyalty that increases per-visit spend.

  1. Cairns. June 26. 2pm. Novotel.
  2. Townsville. June 27. 10am. Mercure.
  3. Mackay. June 28. 10am. Mackay Grande Suites.
  4. Rockhampton. June 29. 10am. Quest.
  5. Gold Coast. July 5. 2pm. Sofitel.

Come and see how small business retailers around the world are using website connected POS software to win online sales.

We will explain how to get to the top of Google search results.

We will demonstrate the connection between social media posts (Facebook, Twitter etc) in-store sales and online sales.

At our FREE workshops near you and find out more about how you can equip your retail business to confront the changes in retail, transact online and compete with big businesses, including Amazon.

There will be no hard sell. Our goal is to share practical information to help you better plan for the future of your regional retail business.

Anyone is welcome including people on whom you rely for advice, such as accountants and mentors.

If you have sales queries prior to these events please talk with Justin Randall. 0434 365 789.

I hope to see you at one of these workshops. I am keen to share with you what I have seen and learnt in this rapidly changing space.

There will be plenty of time for questions on any topic connected with retail.

We have software for: gift shopsjewellersbike shops, pet shops,  toy shopsfishing/outdoorsgarden centres/nurseries, newsagentsproduce stores and firearms retailers.

POS software update feedback

We are thrilled with the feedback we are receiving for our latest POS software update. Here is one message we received this week.

We love the update. Thank you for acting on our suggestion. When I put it on Software Ideas and saw others voting it made me feel good, that other people using the software liked my suggestion. I love that you listen to us.

Software Ideas is a publicly accessible place where our customers can make suggestions for software enhancements and have others vote on these suggestions. This is an exclusive platform of which we are most proud.

More retailers using our POS software integrated websites

We are thrilled to welcome more websites that are integrated with our small business POS software, offering real-time stock on hand data.

Each new site we bring on enhances the portfolio and further demonstrates our capabilities of linking online and offline retail and bringing to life facilities small business retailers look to offer from their websites:

  1. Online LayBy, interest free.
  2. Paypal payments.
  3. Click and collect.
  4. Single stock data feed, showing g real time in-store stock.

Mastering these and other facilities for single store and multi store situations is a powerful solution. Doing it also for multiple businesses to one site is stunning.

This is all part of the Tower Systems web development / POS software integrated solutions package. It is another Tower AdvantageTM.

Note, all our web development is done using e-commerce platforms that are widely used. Indeed, the three we use account for three quarters of retail e-commerce sites in the world.