Using POS software to drive preorders

prePreorders are important in several specialist retail businesses. They can help you lock-in shoppers long before product is available. Offering the service is often appreciated, especially by collectors who want to be first with a new product in their area of collection.

Using smart facilities in our POS software, retailers are able to easily manage preorders from payment to order tracking to customer communication.

Our preorder facilities are all about helping retailers grow their businesses and ensuring they do not lose sales.

The more structured your processes around special orders and preorders the more support you will achieve from customers.

Developed with retailers specialising in preorders, the Tower POS software serves this need well.

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How POS software helps small business retailers from the front door to the back office

Software is only as valuable to a business as the contribution it makes. This contribution can be measured in time and money for its from these two that all other benefits flow. Here are ways our point of sale software will help gift shops, jewellers, bike retailers, pet shops and more make more money and free time

  1. Better customer service. Our software guides the sales process and gathers all necessary information, freeing retail staff for selling.
  2. Saving time. Using our software, sales are processed quickly. As retailers ourselves we have focused on delivering fast and efficient processing for sales.
  3. Reducing theft. Stores without a POS system are more susceptible to employee theft. In fact nearly 50% of retail shrinkage comes from employee theft. Our software can help to significantly reduce or eliminate these occurrences. We draw your attention to suspicious behaviour. For more security, you can password protect any area that you do not want employees to be able to access.
  4. Better decisions. We provide access to real-time information. Whether you have one store or 30 stores, you have instant and up to the minute access to sales numbers, stock, margins and more. This ability to have instant and accurate information enables you to make the absolute most out of your investment.
  5. Increased sales. In many ways throughout the business we help with this.
  6. After sales marketing. Using our loyalty program you send targeted letters, emails, and direct mail to customers based on purchases and other criteria. We have several loyalty options.
  7. Payment integration. With integrated Eftpos you can un clutter the counter, streamline sales processing and make record keeping easier. Time and money saved.
  8. Reduced mistakes. Using our software you can cut paperwork and this cuts mistakes. You can rely on the software to advise sales data and thereby stop you buying products which are not selling. Good retailing begins with good buying.
  9. Better integration with suppliers. Thanks to the supplier links in our software you are able to give suppliers data in return for better deals. There are many case studies in our files of this working to the benefit of our retail customers. Good retailing begins with good buying.
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POS software training videos loved by small business retailers and retail employees

trainingvideosTower Systems offers retailers using its POS software free access to a video training portal where the software can be learned at the pace of the learner.

Retailers love this training resource. They love that they can tap into training anytime anywhere. They also love that the training is arranged by curriculum. They love that they can track employee progress.

With more than 130 professional videos, the owner training resource is valuable and extensive – with new videos added this year.

This resource alone is a reason some retailers join our community.

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Small business retailers love free POS software training

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 6.33.19 amHow do you know which software company is the best? beyond the software itself, after sales service is the key. Tower Systems is a leader in the field of consistently good, engaged and valuable after sales service.

For years, Tower Systems has offered free weekly live training workshops – accessible online. They continue today.

Hot topics soon book up. Tower Systems responds by adding more sessions. Our customers love this. We love it too!

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Safe drop reminder in POS software helps protect businesses

Thanks to the safe drop reminder in our POS software, retailers can expect their staff to act to protect cash in the business. This is another retailer thoughtful facility in our software.

A preset amount can be set on a per register basis to remind staff to remove excess cash from the till for security reasons. This is only a cash figure and does not take into account EFTPOS and nor should it.

Sometimes it is the smallest of facilities retailers love about software which encourages them to use it.

In our case, we have a wonderful and engaged community of users encoring us with ideas regularly.

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Helping newsagents switch POS software

Here at Tower Systems we follow a professional and structured approach to switching retailers from POS software they no longer wish to use.

We extract all data we can get access to. Unfortunately, some POS software companies restrict this as if they think it will reduce the number of businesses moving from their software.

We provide training reflecting the software they are switching from.

We provide senior management access outside the help desk to manage the transition.

We prove that not all POS software companies are the same.

It can be challenging moving from one POS software package to another. we try and make it as easy as possible. With years experience moving many hundreds of retailers to our software we have practical knowledge on which to draw. This helps us help small business retailers make the transition.

We are grateful for these opportunities.

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POS software company survey on after sales service

We recently were interviewed by email about after sales service for retailers purchasing our POS software for an article to be published shortly. Here is our response.

What kind of after-sales support is available with your POS software?

Our Australian based help desk is available Monday through Friday from 7am AEST to 6pm AEST and on Saturday from 7:30am AEST through 3pm AEST. We also offer 24/7 after hours support at no additional cost.

Our help desk services (office hours and after hours) are backed up by escalation to senior management of the business. Every customer is given the direct mobile phone numbers of our national management team including the owner of the company – as a measure of transparency and commitment to service.

Each week we host a live online training workshop covering a part of the software. This includes a Q&A session. Access to this online workshop is free.

Via our website we provide access to a comprehensive and constantly evolving knowledge base of articles and documentation. This is accessible 24/7 and can be searched using regular English terms. It is 100% non-technical, user friendly and designed for self service.

Our customers also have free access to one on one training.

Plus our customers have access to a FREE backup check service and a FREE theft check service.

Do you charge on-site servicing fees?

If a customer wants additional training then we may charge for that but our experience is that it is not necessary given the free services they have access to.

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Comparing discount vouchers from POS software companies

We know the discount vouchers generated by our POS software work well based on feedback from hundreds of retailers using them. We know they drive traffic, revenue and profit. We know they fund themselves. You can see the benefits in the P&L.

One competitor, POS Solutions, has on their company blog published extensively criticising discount vouchers. Having now compared their facility to ours we can understand why.

The Tower Systems discount voucher facility is completely different to the POS Solutions discount voucher facility. We have counted twenty key differences between our facility and the facility POS has. This comparison was undertaken on documentation POS published on their blog recently. Their settings documentation enabled us to compare facility for facility.

The twenty differences demonstrate greater flexibility and power in the Tower discount vouchers facilities. This could be why our customers love them and why we are able to leverage discount vouchers for profit in our own retail businesses and why POS Solutions talks discount vouchers down.

Our opinion is we would talk the facility down too if we only had access to the settings POS has documented.

There are some similarities – in six areas. 23% of the available comparison points. While the two software companies call their facilities discount vouchers, they are clearly not the same thing.

UPDATE (8pm 27/4): We note POS Solutions ‘responded’ today – but what they wrote is not really response. They use obscure and unrelated quotes from others and say nothing about the specific comparison we have made what what is in the document they published about their own software and what we know is in our software. That they have responded as they have indicates they have no response other than to try and divert attention from the difference in response retailers get from their software versus ours. Retailers love our discount voucher facilities and the outcomes they achieve.

They have reproduced a screenshot from our software and used it incorrectly and inaccurately. Their time would be better spent serving their customers with better software.

UPDATE: (10:30pm 28/4): Garth Brennan a POS employee has commented on their blog saying we don;t detail the 20 differences. We have learnt our lesson of not being specific about differences between our software and POS – so as to not show them what to fix. The document we used was a comprehensive document by POS detailing how to use their software and all of the settings opportunities in their software.

The Director of POS talks down discount vouchers as not being viable, to working. What that may be the case for his software, it is not the case for us. The evidence of success is strong despite their wishes that it would be otherwise.

UPDATE: (7:05pm 30/4): Garth Brennan now says their comparison was about the cost of our voucher program. It cannot be as they have no idea of the cost. They claim there is a cost of 4.6% The problem is they are making assumptions on how their system works. Our cost is considerably less as retailers using the facility know. Their system is not our system thankfully. This is why so many customers love our system. Bernard Zimmermann the support director of POS weighs in too trying to walk back his own document we compared with. We took the document he made public and compared with the equivalent document for our software. Each document outlines the settings available. This is where the differences emerge. POS users wanting to use a successful discount voucher program are discovering this for themselves. I think this is what is driving their comments about this post.

We understand POS wants to talk discount vouchers down. We suspect we would if our software had only their settings.

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More suppliers join Tower Systems EDI community

Small business retailers are set from more suppliers joining the Tower Systems EDI user community offering access to electronic invoices, stock files and other benefits.

With someone dedicated full-time in our business to help wholesales and others connect with retailers, we are well positioned to be able to help overcome hurdles in suppler organisations. This service is one reason we have more suppliers connected with our customers through our software.

The latest supplier coming on board to offer electronic invoices will be a help to many customers as they trade in the newsagency and gift marketplaces – where we serve over 2,000 small businesses.

The moment they are ready we will announce to our customers.

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POS software helps small business retailers sell more gifts

exchreceiptPeople purchasing gifts want to ensure that the recipient can exchange the gift if it is not quite right.

Retailers using the Tower Systems specialist gift shop POS software have the ability to print a gift exchange receipt detailing the items purchased but not the price paid.

This facility has been in our software for years. It was developed with retailers offering gift exchange services. The receipt printed was recently enhanced to connect with quality gift purchases.

This gift / exchange receipt facility is another point of difference for Tower in several of our retail channels it is am important pert of the Tower AdvantageTM.

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PayPal payment integration with POS software helps small business retailers

PayPal LinkTo help retailers using its POS software, Tower Systems has produced a video on how to use the PayPal link in retail for receiving payment from customers. This video demonstrates the link that is available now to all Tower customers.

Tower Systems was the first POS software company in its specialist marketplaces to offer the direct PayPal link last year.

The educational video produced by Tower shows how the link works in a retail business.

We are thrilled Tower was selected by PayPal for this honour.

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POS software company says no and loses a sale

We lost a sale recently because we would not give a sales prospect exactly what they wanted. What they wanted and what we do here at Tower Systems through our POS software were not aligned.

We are a specialist retail channel software company, offering software highly tuned and tailored for a specific selection of retail channels. We do this well. We don’t offer bespoke software unless enhancements developed could benefit one or more of our specialist retail channels.

In the instance we are writing about today, a sales prospect wanted something specific to their business which had no value to any other customer. While we could have done the work it would have taken attention away from commitments to existing customers. It was for this reason we said no thanks.

While it is never easy to walk away from revenue, we appreciate the long term relationships we have in our select group of retail channels and feel we are better served serving them than investing too much time serving the needs of one customer.

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POS software which stops working if you do not pay software support fees discredits POS software companies

Not all POS software companies are the same when it comes to software support fees.

At Tower Systems, paying a support fee is optional. If you do not pay, you can continue to use the software unhindered.

We have competitors who block access to their software if a hefty mandatory annual software support fee is not paid. We think this approach reflects a lack of trust that their customers will love their software enough to want to pay for support.

We think this type of fee is unethical as it is not explained in their pre sales process. Retailers purchasing access to their software pay too much for the first year and are then hit with an above average fee for subsequent years. By then, they feel locked in.

Shame on this other company for what they do.

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POS software help desk outbound calls demonstrate thoughtful customer service

The Tower Systems POS software help desk is not your average POS software help desk. One way this is demonstrates it its outbound call strategy, reaching out to businesses using our software to offer advice and assistance when not asked.

This proactive approach to providing a service is all about delivering unrequested assistance and helping small business retailers achieve unexpected beneficial results from their POS software investment.

Part of a structured program put in place by senior management and executed operationally through our help desk professionals, the outbound quiet customer call strategy is is much appreciated. We love the appreciative reaction from some when we call to offer help.

Too often we year of POS software help desks which struggle to get to inbound calls for days. resourcing the service so we are able to get to inbound calls quickly and have capacity for our exclusive outbound service is a point of difference we are thrilled to leverage.

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POS software reports on KPIs for small and independent retailers

Few small business POS software products report on return on investment, stock turn, return on floor space and return on shelf space. The Tower Systems POS software delivers on reporting on these and other KPIs, enabling retailers to have a better understanding of business performance and through this the opportunity to make better quality business decisions.

Return on investment, stock turn, return on floor space and return on shelf space are the most vital of retail business Key Performance Indicators. That retailers using the Tower software can access these for themselves and easily demonstrates a valuable point of difference.

Since some small business retailers don’t understand the KPIs, the Tower help desk and business management teams offer assistance in understanding and guidance on decisions which can be made as a result of tapping into the KPIs.

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When comparing POS software companies, visit their offices for a tour

Your success with POS software is often more dependent on the people behind the software than the software itself.

Good POS software is a moving thing.

What it does for you today will be different to what it does for you tomorrow.

What it does for you tomorrow will depend on the people behind the software.

When comparing POS software from different companies, compare the people in the companies, visit their head office and meet the team. See for yourself if the team has what it takes to make you confident they can deliver for you over the long term.

Companies which suggest you don’t need to visit are those less likely to have the team you will want and need.

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Sunday retail business management advice: leverage your top sellers for more value

Every retail business can sell more to every customer. This is easy when you have good business data and use this to make good business decisions.

Making more money from every sale starts with you understanding shopper behaviour today.

Get a report from your Point of Sale software listing your top ten selling items, by unit sales for the last three months. Do not look at dollars. Unit sales is the far more valuable count since this is a discussion about leveraging volume.

In the Tower software the report is a 10×10 Report. This lists the top 10 items and the ten items selling with those 10 items. (You can set the number to anything besides 10.)

In a typical retail store, the top ten selling items will account for between 30% and 50% of revenue of the business.

Look at your top sellers report and concentrate on the top selling items. Consider these questions about the top selling items:

  1. Do you have appropriate impulse purchase products located on either side of each top item?
  2. Are the top items spread through the store, to maximize customer throughput?
  3. How often do you move the top items?
  4. Do you have the top ten items in multiple locations?
  5. What impulse purchase items do you have at the counter which will appeal to customers who purchase any of the top ten items?
  6. Has the list of top ten sellers changed in the last year? If so, how have they changed and what can you learn from this.
  7. Are there products which you do not currently carry which you could add to the store to sell with the top ten sellers?
  8. Do customers who purchase the top ten sellers ask for any other items?

The idea embedded in these questions is very simple. Use the top ten sellers, or top twenty or top thirty, to focus your attention on items with which you can work to achieve more sales in your business.

By focusing on the top sellers and what you can sell with them you can increase the size of the average shopping basket.

If you can’t see opportunities for achieving more sales by placing products next to or with the top sellers then speak with your team and speak with trusted customers. Don’t rest until you unlock suggestions to try.

There is plenty of additional money to be made from your top sellers. Invest time and attention on this project and get ready to bank the results.

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POS software helps small business retailers with targeted marketing

Small business bike shops, jewellers, garden centres, gift shops, pet shops, homewares shops, newsagents and more are using the targeted marketing facilities in the smart POS software from Tower Systems to more closely engage with shoppers.

Our targeted marketing tools leverage shopper details including purchase history to facilitate selective highly-targeted marketing to attract known shoppers back into the business. These smart POS software tools are vital to small business retailers keen to be noticed in a crowded marketplace.

Tower Systems is hosting another free training workshop on targeted marketing for retailers using its software on May 6. This is part of the weekly free training workshops run  by the company for many years now. These workshops are a true point of difference for Tower Systems, they are a benefit retailers love.

Linked with loyalty facilities including discount vouchers, the targeted marketing tools in the Tower software are unique to Tower, they offer a genuine point of difference on which small business retailers can rely. We have case studies which offer evidence of engagement growth as a result of using the facilities.

Targeted marketing is another part of the Tower AdvantageTM.

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Aussie POS software helps small business retailers grow

Small business retailers want to grow, who doesn’t? With rent and labour costs increasing each year, growth is mission critical. POS software company Tower Systems helps its customers grow by providing advice on how to use the software to grow.

As retailers ourselves we can provide practical advice on how to use the software to more than transact sales, we can help retailers use the software to grow their businesses. We do this every day on our help desk, through our consulting services, through our knowledge base and through our business mentoring assistance.

We encourage, guide, educate and support our small business retailer customers in their desire to grow their businesses. it’s something we take serviceably.

Even on the weekend. Take today, Saturday … we have been helping one business owner understand opportunities in their slow selling inventory pool to unlock cash and space for more productive use.

We are serious in our commitment to small business retailers from our software through to the practical advice and support we provide.

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

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

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

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

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

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Xero features Tower Systems POS software

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 1.26.18 amCloud accounting software company Xero features Tower Systems and its retail management software on the Xero website. This privilege is for software companies which have met compliance requirements set by Xero – which tower did early in 2014.

Today, we are thrilled to have plenty of retailers using our software and our automated link to Xero … saving them time and money in the management of their financial records.

We use the Xero live and automated link for our own retail businesses and can speak to the benefits ourselves.

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Small business retailers appreciate support in making the locally made pitch

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 3.57.45 amThe free marketing collateral we released for small business retailers is being appreciated. Retailers love that the collateral is available without strings, is free and is unbranded.

We are thrilled with the feedback and are working on adding to the suite of free collateral available from our website.

We are grateful to be in a position to give back to small business retailers.

Covering a range of themes, the example included with this post is most popular as it promoted LOCALLY MADE – a very strong message in any retail situation.

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Sunday retail management advice: success today is important for tomorrow

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

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

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

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

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

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Expanded POS software beta program to help small business retailers

Tower Systems has overhauled its POS software beta release program, with an open call to all customers to apply to be considered for the beta program.

Retailers in the program will receive early releases of software enhancements in return for feedback on changes delivered.

Through the open call to all customers Tower Systems is ensuring a wide pool of participants. This is important as diversity in the test community helps ensure diversity in the software testing and this results in better software.

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POS Solutions makes inaccurate claims about discount vouchers

Not all discount voucher facilities in POS software programs are the same it would seem. The experience we have in our own retail shops and the experiences we hear about from our customers are different to what others report with whether call discount vouchers in their software.

POS Solutions, a competitor of Tower Systems in the newsagency space has made claims about loyalty and discount vouchers which we challenge here in the interests of accuracy and robust competition.

At their company blog, POS Solutions publishes this:

Firstly i actually do not like discount vouchers as they are an incredibly costly programs, see here for numbers.

They link to an article of theirs from a year ago where they use a report from our software to claim that discount vouchers are expensive. There is no evidence in the Tower report or elsewhere to support their claim.

Our experience in our own retail businesses and the experiences reported to us others using our discount vouchers facilities is that they are not costly. We say POS Solutions makes the claim in a marketing effort to divert attention from a successful loyalty program.

It is important to note that the Tower Systems discount vouchers approach is sophisticated and exclusive to us. The calculations in our software are secured and encrypted. While we have no copyright over the term discount vouchers, we do have copyright protection over our code and protect this with care for us and our softwares.

The POS Solutions website and blog publishes this statement:

Additionally what type of a person will you be attracting, those that like perpetual discounts. I have seen a report that people whose first purchase is induced by a price reduction are 50% less likely to want to make a second purchase. This I can believe as what your discount is doing is attracting consumers hunting for a bargain, this is scarcely prone to instil shop commitment.

The evidence is that discount vouchers attract a valuable shopper delivering bonus margin dollars at the high GPO end of the range offered in the business.

They refer to a report but no link – leaving the reader to question the source of the report.

POS also publishes this about discount vouchers:

Also it has no chance of reaching those people that do not buy in your store in the first place. If they have never ever purchased something in your store, just how will you provide them with a voucher?

This statement demonstrates that POS Solutions has not researched the marketing opportunities in the Tower Systems discount vouchers facilities.

POS has previously stated that it offers discount vouchers. This was published around the time we released our facilities. In recent times they have taken to criticising discount vouchers. In the meantime, our discount voucher offering delivers for newsagents using them commercial benefits which we say provide them a terrific commercial advantage.

In the Tower software there are several loyalty options which can be used separately or together. Our discount vouchers facilities are unique to our software. They are a key factor in driving double digit sales growth and double digit gross profit growth. 

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