POS software subscription handling helps retailers leverage subscription opportunities

Subscriptions are a terrific way for small business retailers to provide shoppers with consistent engagement for products and services that are required on a regular basis.

Tower Systems offers a flexible yet powerful subscription facility in its POS software.

Using our subscription facilities as retailer can schedule to ensure products are kept aside for a customer on a regular cycle. This could be daily, weekly, monthly or whenever the desired product becomes available.

The goods can be kept aside with a unique barcode on the product along with the customer name – providing a level of professional service and attention that is key to further cementing the customer relationship.

Thee customer is advised by email or text message when the subscription item is ready to be collected.

The subscription can be charged to a store account or paid on collection. customers can also pre-pay. Payment information is included on the barcode label for the customer to better handle the collection.

The subscription can be setup for an in-store collection or for delivery to a customer address, with delivery done by the business or by a delivery partner of the business.

The subscription can be created by one customer as a gift for another customer.

The software tracks the number of subscriptions for an item. This helps store management for forward planning an dealing with the supplier of subscription items.

Some product subscriptions are given to the retail business by the manufacturer with the retailer being the local fulfilment centre. Our POS software handles this situation too.

There are many variations on subscription scenarios too. Handling these many subscription options has become a key feature of the Tower Systems POS software as it has evolved in managing subscriptions in retail over many years for many of the company’s 3,500+ small business retail customers.

Also, customers can have multiple subscriptions with different rules and criteria too. See, the flexibility layers and layers to offer a valuable, powerful yet easy to use tool for almost any type of retail business.

So, when it comes to managing subscriptions in retail and doing this through your POS software, Tower Systems ms has software ready to go in this area.

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Tower Systems helps small business retailers protect against crypto locker attack

Tower Systems continues to help independent small business retailers reduce the possibility of impact from a crypto locket attack.

The help and service from Tower Systems is preventative as well as recovery focussed should the prevention advice be ignored.

In the Tower newsletter, regular weekly email and other communications the company ensures its thousands of small business retail customers has the information they need to properly an thoroughly deal with an attack.

The assistance from the company starts with the preventative, in the form of plain English computer use advice.

Here is a copy of the rent advice widely circulated by Tower Systems to its POS software customers:

COMPUTER USE POLICY

  1. The computers in this business are business tools. Their security is vital to the safe running of the business.
  2. Do not use any computer for any form of personal use without permission. This means:
    1. No playing games.
    2. No looking at porn.
    3. No Facebook.
    4. No browsing websites unless they are websites used regularly by this business for running the business.
    5. No connecting your phone to the computer.
  3. Do not open emails including business emails unless you have permission.
  4. Do not click on any link in any email unless you are 100% certain the email is from a trusted source.
  5. Do not clear the browser cache.
  6. Never put a USB stick in a computer unless you are certain of the source.
  7. Never permit anyone to use a computer in the business unless you have permission.
  8. Never give anyone a computer password from the business.
  9. If someone you don’t know calls and tells you to do something with the computer, make sure they have authority.
  10. Never write down any business password you are entrusted with.
  11. Never connect a USB stick with the computer unless you have permission.
  12. If you do something wrong own up to it immediately.

This is advice we suggest a retailer ives to all employees. It has been written for that purpose.

If you use our cloud backup service, recovering from a crypto locker is easier. Regardless, backing up every day in any method gives you a faster and lower cost recovery option. We offer a professional cloud based backup service. We use it ourselves and are happy to recommend it to our customers.

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Dynamic searching of the POS software knowledge base

Our small business POS software customers are doing the fast dynamic searching facility in our self-serve knowledge base. As you type the knowledge base is listing suggested answers to the query. these could be articles, videos or step-by-step guides. Help is there at your fingertips, as you type. Instantly. No old-school searches. This is genuinely dynamic and directly connected to best-practice peer-reviewed advice.

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POS software Xero Accounting link helps small business retailers

Here at Tower Systems we are proud to offer a seamless POS software Xero accounting link.

Developed for specialty retail channels, the Tower Systems Xero link delivers seamless integration for jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, gift shops, homewares stores, toy shops, garden centres, produce stores, fishing and outdoors business and more.

The Xero POS software link is best-practice and backed by our own in-house CPA who manages our own retailer businesses where we use the Xero link ourselves. yes, as a POS software company we walk in your shoes.

Represented by Xero on their website as a partner is valuable for Tower Systems and important to our customers and sales prospects. We achieved this a couple of years ago by working with xero and delivering on the requirements they have.

Xero does not allow all POS software companies who ask in as a development partner.

We help our customers migrate to Xero from other accounting software through a free data conversion service.

In addition to our POS software integration with Xero, we use Xero for the retail businesses we own and operate – using the experience to provide us with personal knowledge and experience that we can lev erase in the support were provide to our customers.

We also offer a list of Xero skilled accountants on whom small business retailers can rely for Xero accounting services. We update this list regularly based on information provided by accountants to us.

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A mental health plan is important for small business retailers and their colleagues

As employers, as retailers and as small business owners, mental health issues are often not far away from any small business retailer. The challenges confronting our newsagency businesses add to the challenges already there.

Sometimes, we don’t know we are experiencing a mental health challenge while other times it’s obvious and on show for all to see.

How we confront mental health challenges is important for us, our business and those presenting with issues.

While we are not trained professionals in the area, our years of working with small business owners confronted by challenges to their mental health have helped us develop some guiding principles.

  1. Mental health is not easily measured or understood. One’s health is not outwardly obvious.
  2. Judgment cannot be part of how mental health is viewed or dealt with.
  3. Action is essential to improve your situation for doing nothing will achieve nothing.
  4. While taking the first step to confront mental health challenges can be difficult, it is relieving and rewarding.

Your GP is an excellent person to speak with. Explain to them how you feel and how this impacts on your life. Ask them to prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan. This is a government recognised plan. It can usually be prepared in a single double visit to the GP. This plan is the trigger to you gaining Medicare supported access to a psychologist for an initial number of visits, which can be extended depending on your situation.

Some people can feel a visit to a GP or psychologist is not warranted in their situation. While the medical professionals are the best to determine this, there are other resources you could explore:

Beyond Blue has published Business In Mind, a useful resource for small businesses on issues relating to mental health in the workplace. This is a good starting point for learning more. In the resource there are links to other resources that can help.

Finding mental health resources for small business owners dealing with mental health issues is not as easy as it is finding resources for managing the workplace for better mental health. It’s tough running any business and sometimes things can feel overwhelming. This is where networking can help as a first step, talking with others.

Small business retailers feeling challenges within themselves need to treat themselves as employees and use the resources available such as:

  • beyondbluesupport line – 1300 22 4636
  • SANE Australia Helpline – 1800 187 263
  • Mensline Australia – 1300 789 978

We at Tower Systems will help in any way possible.

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Major web development advances for small business retailers

Tower Systems has moved to the next phase of its professional website development services for small business retailers with the launch of a package of web sales fulfilment tools.

The latest enhancements extend the best-practice approach by the Tower Systems web development team and deliver wonderful website initiatives for websites developed in Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce. These three platforms account for around 75% of all e-commerce sites.

Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce, coupled with the Tower Systems retail management software creates a powerful high street and online retail solution for small business retailers.

Tower Systems is proud to be using world renowned platforms and enhancing these with the latest in fulfilment facilities.

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POS software WooCommerce integration live, helping small business retailers

In addition to linking our POS softer direct to magento and Shopify based websites, Tower Systems links to WooCommerce sites.

The latest integration is another example of Tower Systems delivering best practice integrations to best practice products.

When it comes to websites for small business retailers or any business for that matter, the best solution is one that has been proved around there world. Locally developed content management systems are not good for business websites as there are maintenance challenges.

WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento represent around 80% of ecommerce sites globally. There is no need to go beyond these three.

Tower Systems is grateful to the three ecommerce platform businesses for their encouragement and support of our moves in this space.  Their encouragement has helped us do this good work in the interested of our small business customers.

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Small business retailers love the new look and feel of our website

As part of the continuous evolution of our online presence, we released enhancements to our website several weeks ago including new inspirational images.

Too often we see POS software4 companies focussing on technology ahead of people. Our view here at Tower Systems is that people come first as they are the focus of all we do through our software and the services we provide support in the software.

Th feedback from our customers following the latest evolution has been terrific. Thank you!

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The value of one on one training for small business POS software users

This photo shows a group from our Perth POS software user meeting late last week. Like all our sessions we had a good group of retail businesses represented. This works well as people learn from each other.

The latest round of face to face POS software user meetings have provided us excellent feedback on the latest software update and insights into next steps as well as wonderful learning opportunities for customers ho attended.

Offering these face to face user meetings its a genuine point of difference for us.

That we continue to offer the sessions today speaks to us honouring our commitment to our customers as well as our focus on providing personal customer service.

Too many POS software companies hide from their customers and make contact difficult. We don’t. We embrace are real human to human contact. The face to face user meetings are a good example of this and our commitment.

We appreciate the support form our customers and support for face to face training and engagement.

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Small business POS software users appreciate local user meetings

We have just completed a sweep of Australian capital cities hosting face to face small business POS software group user meetings.

At these interactive sessions we demonstrated our soon to be released new software and provided a preview of our set new look and feel.

Across the country the responses have been terrific and valuable. The Q&A part of the user meeting series has ben particularly useful as we have been able to answer questions, learn from our customers and share in a practical and personal way with and for our customers.

The hosting of the user meetings is a real advantage for Tower Systems customers and a point t of difference for us. We could not have done what we have just done had it not been for engaged and connected customers who encourage us every day of the week.

Access to the sessions was free. In addition to terrific content we ensured easy access to parking. Plus we provided catering to keep attendees nourished.

By being in front of our customers through these meetings and offering face to face access to our leadership team in attendance, Tower Systems is making itself accountable to its customers. There is no more important task for a POS software company than this – than being practically accountable to those who use the software and rely on it day to day in their businesses.

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Small business POS software user meetings start today, in Brisbane

Tower Systems has announced details of its first series of face to face user meetings for 2017. This is the company putting itself in front of customers in key locations.

We have scheduled sessions for Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne, starting March 27, 2017.

Our first meeting starts today, in Brisbane.

We will demonstrate the new look and feel of our Retailer POS software, our Shopify / Magento and Woo Commerce integrations, our Xero integration and much more. Plus there will be time for your questions. Free training. An opportunity to pitch your suggestions.

This is an excellent chance to leverage more from your relationship with us. Click here to book and see venue details. Yes, we will announce more dates soon.

This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the software, discuss change requests and provide feedback on our services.

It is rare today that POS software companies offer sessions like this, except from Tower Systems – we do it regularly as a core customer service offering.

We ae grateful to our customers for their support.

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Why my software company is not embracing the new lower Sunday penalty rates in our own retail business

Tower Systems owns and operates retail businesses in part to provide us with practical experience on which we can draw to provide better software support experiences for our small business retail customers.

Here are my reasons, as owner of the company, for deciding to not embrace the Sunday penalty rates decision in my retail businesses:

  1. I value my employees. To pay them less as a result of the decision could suggest to them they are worth less. I have hated it when suppliers reduced margin or commission and argued then that they value me and my business less.
  2. I want to be competitive for good labour. Paying a competitive rate is key to this.
  3. The business reward. It is open to employees who are now told their pay will not be cut to return the favour to the business.
  4. Competition. A range of competitor business have made a similar announcement.
  5. While of economy fairness. While I agree with the decision, it should only be taken as a whole of economy review that fairly adjusts economic touch-points for all and not only salaried workers.
  6. Weighing everything up it is the right thing to do.

This is not a permanent decision. It is possible I will modify my position as the marketplace situation evolves. If I did and thereby embraced a saving in labour costs, I anticipate through would be invested in more hours.

All business owners need to reach their own conclusions on this matter. Unfortunately, as a country we are bereft of leadership on broader issues that should be confronted in any economic setting adjustment as has been done with Sunday penalty rates.

Mark Fletcher
Managing Director.

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Retail business marketing tip: how to leverage low margin product in your shop

Many retail businesses are traffic and margin poor businesses. Such businesses high-risk businesses as most low margin products and services are delivering less traffic year on year … high-risk of financial failure.

In addition to low margin products and services experiencing traffic decline year on year, minimal or no retail price movement see a decline in margin in real terms. Further, too often we see the percentage cut by suppliers for selfish reasons, further diluting the value to the retailer.

But it is not all bad news with low margin products and services. If they are generating good traffic, the opportunity is to be proactive in leveraging that traffic. Here is a list of five must-do things to leverage this low value traffic in your business.

  1. Place at least one offer / stand at the door facing people as they leave. If you have room, have one stand / offer either side. Make sure the offer is easily understood and relevant.
  2. Use a portable table for pricing stock and other stock work and place this with a staff member doing the work during busy periods between the door and the destination for most traffic.
  3. For the highest traffic low-margin items, always pitch other products such that these destination shoppers see the other products.
  4. Always have an offer at the counter unrelated to the low margin destination purchase. Get creative as to how you pitch this at the lottery counter if you have Tatts.
  5. Establish a floor unit to guide counter traffic. the right type of unit is best used for holing products people are likely to purchase on impulse while standing in line to make their destination purchase. All sorts of retailers do this, even if they do not have the shopper to warrant such a floor unit.

Our advice is do all five of these things. If you don’t do some or all you are most likely only benefiting from destination business from low-margin high-traffic products and services and there is no upside in that.

For the record, margin poor products and services are those with a GP percentage of less than 50% in our view.

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POS software Xero integration helps small business retailers save time and money

Xero is selective about the POS software businesses. Not all POS software companies make the cut. We at Tower Systems are proud to have made it around two years ago and our Xero community has been growing since. The result is a time saving opportunity for our customers, winning for them and for us.

Using the Xero link our customers have direct and integrated access from our POS software to this world class accounting software that beats other accounting packages.

We speak highly of Xero as we user it ourselves in our own retail businesses. Our advice and support is based on our own experiences.

This personal experience as a retailer using our software and using Xero is any other valuable differentiator for Xero.

We are grateful to Xero for their support and appreciate the welcoming in their community.

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Small business retail management tip from the Bra Bar

brabarWe love the advice on HOW TO HAVE A LOVELY DAY written on the out the front of The Bra Bar in Perth.

This sign made a walk in Perth inspiring.

This is a lesson in how to market your business without directly promoting it. The advice could be provided by anyone in almost any situation. It is practical and accessible. The inspiration to have a lovely day is subtly connected to their business, not in your face.

Well done to the folks at The Bra Bar.

We have seen people use boards like this out the front of their shop for a word of the day or a quote or a joke. The Bar Bar sign is different, more personal – we guess as personal as the products they sell. They are speaking to you. That’s how it works for me.

Local retailers could do a sign like this have and wives under headings like:

  1. What we love about out town.
  2. We love our local heroes.
  3. Guess how many babies have been born here this year.
  4. Here’s a local tradition we bet you didn’t know.
  5. The oldest club in our area is…

Think of ideas for telling stories and sharing inspiration without overtly marketing your business. It’s a terrific way to get people on the street and in the mall to stop and notice you.

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New POS software a hit with small business retailers

Our previews in recent weeks of our new POS software have been greeting with terrific feedback. We are both thrilled and grateful for responses from the customers we have been able to preview to for early feedback.

2017 is an exciting year.

New software offering fresh opportunities for small business retailers.

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Australian designed, developed and supported pet shop software for Australian pet shops

We are grateful to pet retailers who use out pet shop software for their engagement, advice and assistance in helping us to continually enhance the software to meet diversifying needs of leading pet and produce stores in Australia.

Through a genuinely collaborative relationship we are able to bring to the market fresh software that helps locally owned independent pet retailers to run successful and enjoyable businesses.

We do this through software innovation, supplier relationships and retailer engagement.

The key is the software we sell today will be different tomorrow, as it meets the evolving needs of this dynamic marketplace.

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

  1. We are local. We are a 100% Australian owned software company, based in Hawthorn Victoria. When you contact us, a human responds. We don’t use automate phone systems. Our help desk team members don’t follow a rigid script. Small business thrives on human interaction, we do too.
  2. We welcome working with your suppliers to create data links that save you and them time, data links that improve data accuracy, data links that feed more accurate business reports.
  3. We provide business insights based on data cultivated through the software – to business owners who ask. This is a free service.
  4. Our help desk provides context for advice. Rather than the turn it off and turn it on advice, our help desk team members explain the why, why from a business perspective the advice they are providing matters.
  5. Our software updates contain enhancements suggested and voted on by customers. You can have a direct say in the evolution of the software.
  6. Our communication is in plain English. While we are a company of IT geeks, when talking with customers we keep it simple. We won’t scare you.

At a store level, here are some of the benefits you can expect from using the Tower Systems software in your business:

  1. Fast, accurate selling to single customers or to bulk purchasers.
  2. Easy connection from your POS software direct to Xero, MYOB or quick books.
  3. Easy connection to a website if you have one.
  4. Easy management of customer accounts.
  5. Identifying of shopper and employee theft.
  6. Tracking of stock movement.
  7. Handling of customer loyalty – points and discounts.
  8. Easy reordering based on sales.
  9. Easy handling of multiple price levels for items.
  10. Easy handling of multiple sale pack sizes (or volumes) per product.
  11. Easy performance reporting comparing trading periods, supplier performance and other key business performance metrics.
  12. Security over business data.
  13. Security over business settings blocking changes you do not want made.
  14. Peace of mind thanks to consistent processes established through the software for managing stock, customers and other aspects of the business.

At a group level, here are some of the benefits:

  1. Consistent handling of seasonal and any other catalogue offers.
  2. Consistent stock file to facilitate benchmarking and store-by-store comparison to encourage growth.
  3. Reporting in a form to enable AIRR and Tuckers Pet and Produce team members to understand each business and provide analysis and guidance.
  4. Standardised support for preferred suppliers in support of their support for the group.

Tower Systems has a track record of service to groups in different specialty retail channels made up of independently owned retail businesses. We understand the needs of individual businesses and the value of helping group members to work together without giving up their independence.

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Small business POS software user meetings around Australia

Tower Systems has announced details of its first series of face to face user meetings for 2017. This is the company putting itself in front of customers in key locations.

We have scheduled sessions for Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne, starting March 27, 2017.

We will demonstrate the new look and feel of Retailer, our Shopify / Magento and Woo Commerce integrations, our Xero integration and much more. Plus there will be time for your questions. Free training. An opportunity to pitch your suggestions.

This is an excellent chance to leverage more from your relationship with us. Click here to book and see venue details. Yes, we will announce more dates soon.

This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the software, discuss change requests and provide feedback on our services.

It is rare today that POS software companies offer sessions like this, except from Tower Systems – we do it regularly as a core customer service offering.

We ae grateful to our customers for their support.

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Five free to implement marketing tips that will work for any small business retailer

Each of these five small business marketing tips has worked in a variety of retail businesses. They are fast to implement, easy to implement and are cost free based on the success they generate for small business retailers.

We have developed these five ideas through our many years only serving small and independent retail businesses. They are the best, easiest and fastest to engage:

  1. Immediate rewards. On your receipts. $$$. This gets shoppers spending more per visit. With the right settings, over the counter pitch and policies you can expect double digit growth for little effort. This loyalty program is a game changer for independent small retail businesses in that big businesses will not follow you, they will not be able to match what you pitch. This sets you apart. It excites shoppers and that is what drives the value you get from the program. We have it running in many hundreds of small retail businesses.
  2. Email marketing. Capture email addresses and email shoppers to pitch offers tuned to their interests. With an average response of 30% to the right pitch you can drive repeat visits.
  3. Product knowledge. Share this in receipts, automatically served based on products in a purchase. Shoppers will appreciate your help and extra-mile assistance. This is a perfect way to pitch one of your points of difference.
  4. Change the price narrative. If you have a nearby competitor, make price comparison difficult through multi-buy or BOGO pricing. Both are supported in our software. Make price comparison hard and increase sales as a result, of a perception of value.
  5. Smart placement. Your existing data can indicate what is best placed with what in your business. Leverage this data, make better placement decisions and increase sales. The deep dive basket analysis data insights can change your approach to product placement and increase shopper efficiency as a result.

Tower systems serves only independent small retail businesses in selected product niches. This is our mission and we are grateful every day for the opportunity.

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