How many in-person user meetings did your POS software company host this year?

Tower Systems is proud to have lead again in 2015 in the hosting of live in-person POS software user meetings around Australia and in New Zealand.

Our comprehensive and consistent user meeting program helps us provide a better customer service experience and it provides us  with better guidance from customers and this helps us create better software.

Well done to all involved.




I want to share with you a true story of what happened recently in my own retail business. It is a story of how a small everyday purchase led to something bigger and how this happened as a result of fundamental changes in how the business is run.

To understand the personal nature of this story … Tower Systems owns and operates several retail businesses including a newsagency in a major Westfield shopping centre. We have this business to provide us with a real-world experience in retail where we can experiment with our POS software.

While this story is about what happened in my newsagency, it could happen in any type of business. This newsagency, by the way, is not your typical newsagency. Close to 70% of what we sell is non traditional. It is high margin higher price point items that sit at the core of this unique business.

At its core, this is a story about shopper loyalty, especially shopper loyalty in a retail situation where between 25% and 30% of shoppers visiting the business are not local and therefore not likely to engage with the old-school points-based loyalty program.

A customer passing the shop noticed our greeting card range and stepped into make a purchase because of a specific need. They purchased two cards. On their receipt was a voucher for almost $2.00. As they are not usually in the shopping centre they looked around for something in which to spend the $2.00.

This is the key: the customer came in to make a quick destination purchase. The type of business we were did not matter. They were on the way to the car park and happened to pass buy our shop. Point 1: location is in our favour. The stepped in because they saw our greeting cards. Point 2: the floor placement of cards was key in getting them in the shop.

Having made the purchase, the customer then noticed, for the first time, what else we sold – because of the $2.00 discount voucher on their receipt. Point 3: we got them to look around and see what else we sold.

The customer did a 180 degree turn and saw a locked glass cabinet of beautiful collectible bears. This was in the right place at the right time as they had been looking for a gift for a child. Money was not an issue. They wanted something to last a lifetime. They purchased a $500.00 bear.

This purchase would not have been made had they not been given the $2.00 voucher on their receipt. The voucher is what got them to notice what else we sold.

Fast forward several weeks and this customer who said they don’t usually come to the shopping centre was back for another $500.00 purchase. Now, several more weeks later, the customer has another $500.00 order placed.

I can directly trace more than $1,500.00 in sales back to the $2.00 voucher.

The software produced the voucher based on rules I established. The initial staff member serving the customer made a brief professional pitch highlighting the voucher. These are both important factors as they are at the core of a structured consistent approach to what has become the most lucrative loyalty program I have seen in my 30+ years involved in retail as a retailer myself and working with retailers in many different channels.

While most times vouchers are handed out they are not redeemed, they are redeemed enough to make them worthwhile. They are redeemed for good margin product as they get people looking at the shop for the first time and discovering items to purchase they were not in our four walls to consider.

The discount vouchers are disruptive and this is why I love them. People respond in unpredictable ways.

Best of all, the discount vouchers are profitable.

For this story to work in any retail business you need to have the right products, placed strategically in-store. Your employees need to make the right pitch. Plus, you need to be attracting people who don’t know and probably don’t care what shop they are in.

Tower Systems offers not only excellent software but also the business acumen, experience and drive to help you make the most of the opportunities in the software.

From points on a purchase to buy X and get Y FREE to Discount Vouchers, the Tower software offers flexibility in loyalty offerings that enable you to make the pitch right for your business to bring shoppers bag to spend more than might usually be the case.


Tower Systems helps small business retailers with employee management

Managing staff can be a challenge for small business retailers as too many operate more on a friendship basis than through structured processes and using accurate business data to guide decisions.

Thanks to smart tools in the Tower Point of Sale software, our retail partners have at their disposal tools on which they can rely to  bring consistency, planning and comfort to employee management.

Here are four of the tools available to retailers for managing employees using the Tower software:

  1. Cloud based employee roster management.
  2. Sales tracking by employee.
  3. Keystroke tracking by employee.
  4. Employee engagement management reports.

Using these tools and other facilities in the smart Tower retail management software retail business owners and their managers can build strong outcomes for their business and provide better oversight and management of employees.

Knowing the economic value of an employee to a business can help the business manage good outcomes for the business and for the employee. This is where data plays a key role and where Tower systems can help retailers improve their situation.


Five ways small business retailers can compete with big retail businesses using smart POS software

This is easy. Small business retailers can beat big businesses by consistently delivering a better service:

  1. Offer a real loyalty program and not some over-promoted program that promises a lot but does not deliver.
  2. Include helpful product use and care instructions on your customer receipts.
  3. Offer LayBy with a professional management approach. Many bigger retailers find LayBy too hard now.
  4. Show savings. On receipts. If your prices are lower than suggested retail, tell people.
  5. Keep in contact. Send a text message or email when a special order comes in – this reminds shoppers their sought-after items are now available for collection.

These tips are offered as part of a series from Tower Systems, a POS software company serving more than 3,500 small business retailers with specialist POS software for a range of retail niches.

Every day through our software, advice, support and training we provide help beyond the software, help to make a genuine difference to the small retail businesses we serve.


Five ways small business retailers can gain more pleasure from their businesses through smart POS software

Running a small business need not be as stressful as it often is. Reducing stress starts with the business operating to a carefully developed and consistently executed structure. Good POS software is keep to a business operating structure. Get this right and stress will fall. Leverage the data in your software and pleasure will grow – you will benefit beyond money, we see customers enjoying their businesses more as a result of using the software to help in key management areas of the business.

Here are five ways the Tower software can help you gain more pleasure from your software:

  1. Manage your roster through the software.
  2. Balance at the end of each shift using fast EOS balancing tools in the software.
  3. Order, price, sell and reorder through the software – allowing anyone to do it, following your business rules.
  4. Easily identify the hero suppliers, employees and locations of your business and rejo7ce in them.
  5. Spend time above your business, following you data and plan. Planning is pleasurable as you get to work on your business.

These tips are offered as part of a series from Tower Systems, a POS software company serving more than 3,500 small business retailers with specialist POS software for a range of retail niches.

Every day through our software, advice, support and training we provide help beyond the software, help to make a genuine difference to the small retail businesses we serve.


Five ways suppliers to small business retailers can increase sales using smart POS software

Suppliers serving independent small business retailers can sell more product without a doubt if they are smart in the way they engage with retailers. Suppliers who do not engage with these opportunities miss sales and often find themselves without customers.

Do these five things and expect to sell more to small business retailers:

  1. Provide electronic invoices to an acceptable EDI standard.
  2. Provide an electronic version of your stock file.
  3. Provide an electronic version of catalogue data for seasonal catalogues.
  4. Handle electronic orders.
  5. Receive and manage an electronic flow of sales data to improve just in time supply models.

These tips are offered as part of a series from Tower Systems, a POS software company serving more than 3,500 small business retailers with specialist POS software for a range of retail niches.

Every day through our software, advice, support and training we provide help beyond the software, help to make a genuine difference to the small retail businesses we serve.


Five unexpected ways smart POS software backed by good support can help small business retailers

Retailers think about POS software systems as all being the same. Usually, they look upon them as a cash register replacement. While that is true,, good POS software does considerably more than this. Good POS software delivers benefits deep within a retail business.

Specialist POS software for specialty retailers such as garden centres, bike shops, jewellers, pet shops, newsagents and others benefit from software tailored to their needs beyond the cash register function. Usually, such specialisation includes linking to suppliers and serving mutual needs.

Here are five of many unexpected ways the Tower Systems specialist retail channel software helps small business retailers:

  1. Cut theft. This usually happens by the software revealing situations retailers otherwise would miss.
  2. Easier to sell. A retail business using specialist POS software well is easier to sell because it is easier to operate.
  3. Freed up cash. Cash is too often wasted in small business retail. Following the recommended processes in our software will see you buy better and this will result in less stock purchasing failure.
  4. Power. Retailers using our software tell us they feel more powerful when negotiating with suppliers thanks to the data they have at their fingertips.
  5. Comfort. While many worry about stress that could come with installing a computer system, they often, unexpectedly find comfort from the structure, ease of use and value from the Tower software
  6. Expect more. Yes, this is a sixth way. From your software company, expect more. Seek their help and insights and these are sure to help you get more from your business.

These tips are offered as part of a series from Tower Systems, a POS software company serving more than 3,500 small business retailers with specialist POS software for a range of retail niches.

Every day through our software, advice, support and training we provide help beyond the software, help to make a genuine difference to the small retail businesses we serve.


Five ways small business retailers can reduce labour costs

Next to rent, labour is the next largest cost faced by small business retailers. Too often, retailers do hot manage labour as effectively as they can. In our work with small business retailers across a number of channels we have developed ideas on reducing labour costs. Here are five ideas we see work well:

  1. Roster by revenue. Plot revenue by hour and roster shop floor sales staff according to the sales volume.
  2. Roster to an hourly cost. Use smart roster software, like our free, and roster to a budget.
  3. Track sales by employee. Report on sales by employee by hour worked and assess the contribution they make to the business.
  4. Time shift tasks. Most away from rostered hours work that can be done without a labour cost. For example, backing up data or linking to your accounting software – both can be done without any labour cost.
  5. Eliminate manual processes. Get suppliers to provide electronic invoices, stop pricing everything you sell – use shelf labels, don’t count stock manually … to name a few tasks you can eliminate entirely.

These tips are offered as part of a series from Tower Systems, a POS software company serving more than 3,500 small business retailers with specialist POS software for a range of retail niches.

Every day through our software, advice, support and training we provide help beyond the software, help to make a genuine difference to the small retail businesses we serve.


Five free forgotten marketing ideas for small business retailers

Retailers often forget these marketing opportunities they have everyday in their businesses, opportunities to make a pitch at no cost that can have shoppers more engaged with a business.

  1. Pitch on your receipt. Sure, it is a record of a purchase. It is also a valuable advertising platform.
  2. Pitch by time of day. Some days are slower than others. Some times of the day are slower than others. Promote based on the low times to drive engagement.
  3. Add value. On the receipt with a purchase automatically include care instructions or other advice to add value to the purchase. Show your customers why purchasing from you is different, better, than if they were to purchase from elsewhere.
  4. Be smart with placement. Use your business data to see what sells with what. Place commonly purchased together items next to each other and drive sales.
  5. Thank your customers. Email customers a thank you note based on a recent purchase and they will be back. Your software can make this type of marketing easier.

These tips are offered as part of a series from Tower Systems, a POS software company serving more than 3,500 small business retailers with specialist POS software for a range of retail niches.

Every day through our software, advice, support and training we provide help beyond the software, help to make a genuine difference to the small retail businesses we serve.


30 Christmas marketing ideas for any independent retail business anywhere – Sunday retail management advice

Tower Systems works with more than 3,500 small business retailers 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. Be community minded. Choose a local charity or community group to support through Christmas. Consider: a change collection tin at the counter; a themed Christmas window display; promotion on your social media pages; a donation to their work; a collection point for donations from customers.
  2. 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.
  3. Award a prize at a local school. Fund a year-end prize at a local school. Attend a school assembly to award the prize. Work with the school leadership on a prize appropriate to your business.
  4. VIP preview. Host a VIP shopper preview night when you show off your Christmas ranges ahead of being available to the general shoppers. Respect and reward your local shoppers with deals and the opportunity to preview ahead of others.
  5. Leverage Christmas traffic. Encourage the Christmas shopper traffic surge in after Christmas. Give them a reason to come back. A coupon promotion or a discount voucher on receipts could be the enticement to get shoppers back in-store. Note: the Tower POS software produces discount vouchers to rules you establish.
  6. 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.
  7. Dress the shop. Fully embrace Christmas. Create a Christmas experience such that shoppers know they have stepped into somewhere special this Christmas. Go for more than some tinsel and a tree. Fully embrace the opportunity.
  8. Make your shop smell like Christmas.
  9. 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.
  10. Host a Christmas party. For shops nearby. You are all in the season together – let your hear down before things get crazy.
  11. 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.
  12. Stocking stuffers. At your counter always have one or two stocking stuffers for impulse purchase.
  13. Offer gift vouchers – for someone to give when they are not sure what to give.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Offer a free gift. Bulk purchase an item to offer those who spend above a set amount. For example, spend $65 and receive XX where XX may have cost $5.00 but could have a perceived value of $20.00.
  17. Keep it fresh. Every week make significant change to your Christmas displays and promotions to keep your offer fresh.
  18. 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.
  19. Free wrapping. Sure, many retailers offer this. Make your offer better, more creative and more appreciated.
  20. This is essential in any business. Manage it through your computer system with strict rules.
  21. Work the floor. Increase time on the shop floor. Be present to manage shopper flow and to facilitate purchases.
  22. Christmas is crazy busy I most retail situations. Give yourself and your team members sufficient time to recharge so the smile greeting shoppers is heartfelt.
  23. Keep a secret. If yours is a business selling gifts a partner may purchase for their loved-one, create some mystery with a closed off display for the shopper to see the products.
  24. Free assembly. If you sell items that require assembly. Offer to do this for free.
  25. Free delivery. Offer free Christmas Eve delivery for items purchased for kids for Christmas.
  26. Sell training. Leverage the specialist knowledge you have in your business by selling as gifts places at classes you run sharing your expertise.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.

Tower Systems offers Point of sale / retail management software tailored for your specific type of retail business. Our software can help you leverage Christmas traffic for year-long benefits.

We provide you with loyalty facilities that are fresh and small-business focussed, loyalty facilities through which you can pitch a point of difference compared to big business competitors.

One of our retail experts can help:

  • VIC/TAS – Mike Hill .. 0423 848 482;
  • NSW/ACT/QLD – Nathan Morrison .. 0417 568 148;
  • SA/WA – Tim Batt .. 0401 833 917.

POS software for whole foods retailers helps drive sales and cut wastage

Tower Systems is thrilled to welcome more whole foods retailers to its growing POS software user community.

Thanks to several unique facilities in the Tower software the company is able to serve needs unique to whole foods stores. Our service of the niche whole foods retail channel is another example of the value of small business POS software specialisation.

Specialisation is something we do well thanks to deep consultation with current and prospective customers in selected retail channels. This and not specialising too far and wind keeps the company focused on serving the needs of specialist retailers.

Whole foods retailers can rely on the Tower software to continue to develop to serve emerging needs in this important retail niche.


How second hand goods software helps retailers manage and sell secondhand goods

The secondhand goods management software within the Tower systems POS software helps secondhand retailers to meet their regulatory obligations in tracking these goods.

While developed initially for jewellers, the facilities have been enhanced over time to serve more retail channels offering secondhand goods. As the retail channels in this space have expanded so has the knowledge available to Tower systems to better serve the needs of the retailers.

From buying to shop floor management to selling, we track the goods in an accurate and data valuable way – serving the retailer and the customer through along the way.

Retailers benefit from time saved in record keeping as well as from maintaining best-practice records. This is invaluable in times of dispute.

Secondhand goods retail is a specialist field and Tower Systems is thrilled to bring its specialist POS software facilities to this specialist field.


POS software helps retailers with scale integration

The POS software scale integration facilities in the Tower Systems small business POS software are helping retailers across a variety of retail channels.

Produce stores, confectionery stores, whole foods stores, independent supermarkets, garden centres, greengrocers and other retailers are loving the seamless integration between the POS software and counter scale facilities.

Any store selling products by weight can rely on the integration with scales for producing accurate selling by weight.

The outcome is time saving for retailers. It also ensure reduces keystrokes and with every keystroke eliminated is the potential for a mistake eliminated.

The scale integration offered by Tower Systems has been tested to ensure it meets exacting requirements, to provide an accurate customer account of what is purchased and thereby charging correctly for items sold by weight.

Scale integration is another valuable point of difference provided by Tower Systems to its small business retail customers.


How Xero is changing how small business retailers use POS software

Small business retailers are loving Xero and retailers using the Tower POS software are loving our approved Xero integration. Saving time, cutting keystrokes and cutting accounting fees are some of the benefits being delivered to plenty of retailers partnering with us in the use of our POS software / Xero integration.

Using this ourselves in our own retail business, we have personal experience on which to draw when providing advice to our customers. It places us in a unique position for a software company and allows us to provide a level of service customers love.

Our own experience is that Xero does change a business forever. The time saving and other benefits claimed are real. We can speak to these and ensure our customers are able to leverage the time savings.


POS software user meetings a hit with small business retailers

Tower Systems has now completed the last round of regional group POS software user meetings for 2015. The engagement has been terrific, enabling us to learn plenty from our customers and to share insights that will help participants get more from the software.

We are grateful to all who participated and for the opportunity to show another example of the Tower Systems difference.


Tough love helps small business retailers fall in love with data from their POS software

We owe our customers the truth.

This is a mantra in Tower Systems. Truth trumps spin every time, especially the truth you see in business data.

If we see something in the retail business data collected and managed by our software, we share it with the customer involved. We do so in the belief that data will better inform their business decisions than opinions. the sharing is navigated respectfully and not in a smart-alee way.

We encountered this recently when a customer made a statement about the performance of a product category in their business that was not supported by the data. We showed them their own data and their understanding of their business changed. Buying decisions were reversed. Floorspace allocations were changed. More important than anything, employee training was provided to even better leverage the insights we shared through the truth of their own business data.

The experience went to the core of their business. It raised their awareness of the value of the data our POS software cultivated and set them on a mission to change their use of data and their use of our software.

We were thrilled to see the people in this business get it, to get the value of data they have at their fingertips and to love the insights accurate data can provide.

This small retail business will grow as a result of their new respect of and love for data.

We are excited and they are excited.

We could have operated in an average way for a POS software company, answered their questions and moved on. Instead, we took a risk and shared insights beyond the traditional software help desk engagement. We are glad we did. We are grateful for the reaction. We are excited for the benefits unleashed.

Every day in our business we get to interact with passionate small business owners and employees. It is a thrill because each contact is personal. As we found with this data experience, the result can be heartwarming.

The work we do goes way beyond the software. The software is a tool for far more valuable work.


Five proven ways any small business retailer can reduce dead stock – Sunday small business retail management advice

Based on our work with 3,500 retail businesses across a range of specialty retail channels, here are our five top ways any small business retail store can reduce dead stock in their business. These top ideas are all about ensuring the problem does not occur in the first place.

  1. Track everything that comes in and that you sell. Good data drives good business decisions.
  2. Order what sells. Use a re-order report from your POS software to order replenishment stock. And, yes, good POS software allows you to add to this for new items or extra stock you are certain you need.
  3. Set a budget. Use your software to control stock weight so you do not over order without thought.
  4. Track stock turn. Stock turn is the best indicator of efficiency of stock. Focus more on your best performers.
  5. Centralise buying. Ensure buying for the business is done by limited people who do use business data and who operate to a strict budget.

There are more ideas and tips on reducing dead stock. These suggestions are the best-practice starting point.


POS software Xero integration loved by small business accountants

With more accountants recommending the Xero cloud-based accounting software our POS software is reaching more people thanks to our xero approved integration.

Professional and thorough integration takes time to develop and have approved by Xero. We put in the work last year to achieve this and continue to maintain the integration today for our many retailers using Xero.

We are grateful to Xero for their support as well as to the many accountants who endorse what we do to ensure the usefulness of the Xero link in small retail business to facilitate accurate accounting data for little time investment.

We use Xero ourselves in-house and this helps us offer a more personal user experience.

Our Xero work helps us lead in our specialist retail channels.