Small business paperwork campaign resonates with indie retailers

We are thrilled with the response to our paperwork campaign supporting operational efficiency in small and independent retail businesses. This is a campaign for existing Tower Systems customers as well as prospective customers.

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Launched by Tower Systems as part of a broader training, POS software enhancements and business support package, this focus for 2017 encourages small business retailers to better manage paperwork for the benefit of the business and those served by the business.

Eliminating paperwork is easy when your POS software directly links to the right tools such as web platforms, appointment facilities and accounting software.

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Special POS software offer from Tower Systems for small business retailers

POS software company Tower Systems last week launched a special POS software offer for independent small business retailers in Australia. This offer includes several 2017 New Year bonuses that will benefit those who engage between now and January 25, 2016.

Tower Systems has written to retailers in selected retail channels with details of the offer.

The Tower Systems 2017 POS software includes bonus software, support and other valuable small business benefits.

Small business retailers keen to leverage this loved POS software can contact Tower Systems directly to find out more: via our website or by phone on 1300 662 957.

Small business retailers do not typically purchase POS software this time of the year. This offer from Tower Systems rewards those who make an unseasonal purchase.

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Six reasons our Australian POS software is ideal for Australian small and independent retail businesses

We are proud of our POS software designed and developed in Australia for Australian retail conditions.

  1. Serving local needs. designed with Aussie retailers, based on their suggestions and using them as part of a comprehensive beta program.
  2. Local support. Based out of our head office in Hawthorn Victoria with Australian capital city based local offices. We are local and serving you in your time zone.
  3. Connected with Australian suppliers.  yes, our software helps you link to suppliers, cutting mistakes and saving time.
  4. Local training. In your shop and over the phone.
  5. Local user meetings. Well over 50 done in regional and rural Australia offer the last year.
  6. Deep channel support. For all the specialist retail channels that we serve, we have mature and sustained engagement enabling us to provide channel specific connections.

Tower Systems is proud to serve Australian retailers with Australia POS software.

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How our POS software company helps small business retailers reduce the risk of ransomware

Here at Tower Systems we help small business retailers with everyday computer use advice. We have recently mailed to all of our customers this COMPUTE USE POLICY that will, if followed, reduce the opportunity for the user business to be impacted by a ransomware attack.

This advice was emailed and mailed to our customers as a service. We share it here for the broader community of small business retailers who stop by this place.

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 downloading movies, TV shows, music.
    5. No browsing websites unless they are websites used regularly by this business for running the business.
    6. 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.
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In retail today

IMG_2339Being Christmas Eve it has been crazy busy in the shops today with last minute shopping.

Since we are a POS software company that owns retail shops we have been personally and practically involved in retail today, behind the counter, using our software serving shoppers with last-minute Christmas purchases. This photo is from our shop at Knox City in Melbourne today before we opened for customers. Thankfully it is the only time of the day the shop was empty.

We are grateful for another busy day in retail and another day of retail experience that inform some choices we make in our software.

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Managing the POS software help desk in this busy week before Christmas

The types of calls our POS software help desk receives in the week before Christmas changes. This week, calls will all be about quick resolution, the calls will be about the now rather than with an eye to the future.

Retail businesses will be busier this week than any other week of the year in most situations.

To serve the needs that we know will be unique to this week we have our help desk team focussed and our processes tuned to serve our customers, to provide the best possible outcome as quickly as possible.

We understand time is especially short this week. We have structured our approach to ensure we meet the expectations of our customers.

We have a fully staffed help desk. We back them with our escalation team and senior management.

We want this week before Christmas to be happy and valuable for everyone!

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Is cloud based POS software right for your retail business?

Our Tower Systems small business POS software can be run on a local PC or in the cloud. You can choose the right approach for your business.

  1. Run local in PCS in your business.
  2. Run in the cloud on your server.
  3. Run in the cloud on a hosted server outside the business.
  4. Run in the cloud on a hosted server outside the business with no need to ever manage software updates.
  5. All these options and more are available to customers at any time.

With the cloud based option, you can choose to be hosted anywhere you prefer or you can go with our full-service hosted option.

We have plenty of customers in each scenario – running locally, self hosted for multiple locations or hosted by us in a full service model.

With our full service model we can shield you from any requirement to update software. All you worry about is the hardware you have running in your business.

Big It companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing the term cloud. They have done this because they know buzzwords sell. The reality is, your software has to run somewhere. It has to be maintained. Whether it is running on computers in your business or in the cloud, the costs are not that different. The key difference is one approach feels sexier than the other, because of the marketing.

Our retail skilled account managers can talk with you to determine your needs and propose a solution that best serves your needs.

We would be happy to share with you details of customer with businesses similar to yours so you can hear first-hand about their operation and how the Tower solution fits.

Our Tower Systems account managers can provide further advice and assistance to help customers make informed choices as to the best approach for their business. They are not incentivised in any way to guide customers to one decision over another.

Tower Systems offers software for the following niche small business retail channels: gift shopsjewellers,  bike shopstoy shopsfishing/outdoors businessesgarden centres/nurseriespet shopsproduce storesfirearms businesses and newsagents.

We are a full service and personal POS software company. To demonstrate this, direct access to our account management team is easy: VIC/TAS: Mike Hill. 0423 848 482 WA/SA/NT: Tim Batt. 0401 833 917; NSW/ACT: Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148; QLD:  Justin Randall. 0434 365 789.

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Should small business retailers rent or buy POS software?

How small business retailers acquire the Tower Systems POS software is up to them. Our approach is flexible, leaving the decision entirely to our customers to choose what is absolutely best for their business.

You can purchase the Tower software for your business and own it forever without further cost.

You can also lease the Tower software through almost any finance company and pay it off over 3, 4 or 5 years.

You can also rent the Tower software on a 30 day cycle with the ability to quit the rental at any time.

Each option is different and each can be appropriate in certain circumstances. We share all the information so our customers can make an informed decision themselves or with their accountant or other business adviser.

The choice of how best to acquire the software is 100% yours. We can provide advice but are happy for you to make the decision that best serves your needs.

How you acquire the software, purchase or rental, training and installation services are billed separately as they are required regardless of how you acquire the software. Installation ensures the software is properly installed and setup. It shields you from technology. Training ensures you and your team know how to properly use the software for the business to get the best outcomes.

Regardless of how you acquire access to our software – rental, lease or purchase – our software is our software. No facilities are restricted via the mechanism of access. This makes the acquisition approach purely financial rather than operational or functional.

Our Tower Systems account managers can provide further advice and assistance to help customers make informed choices as to the best approach for their business. They are not incentivised in any way to guide customers to one decision over another.

Tower Systems offers software for the following niche small business retail channels: gift shopsjewellers,  bike shopstoy shopsfishing/outdoors businessesgarden centres/nurseriespet shopsproduce storesfirearms businesses and newsagents.

We are a full service and personal POS software company. To demonstrate this, direct access to our account management team is easy: VIC/TAS: Mike Hill. 0423 848 482 WA/SA/NT: Tim Batt. 0401 833 917; NSW/ACT: Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148; QLD:  Justin Randall. 0434 365 789.

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Advice for small business retailers on using Facebook to promote your business

We are called upon at our POS software company to help our small business retailer customers in areas far removed from our POS software. One such area is how to use Facebook to market your business. We appreciate opportunities to share what we know from our direct experience for businesses we own.

Here is a snapshot of some advice our customers tell us they have found useful abut facebook posts:

If sales are your goal, the key is to work out how to pursue this without your post sounding like an ad for ads are quickly ignored by people on social media as they are on their for entertainment and not to consume advertising.

Here are tips for writing the ideal post. Keep them close and refer to them for your next few posts. Soon, the process will become second-nature:

  1. Be certain of your voice. When you write a post you are not writing as you personally. You are writing to the person you are targeting. Your ‘voice’ needs to be relevant to them. Think of their language and what they like.
  2. Choose the best photo. On social media a picture really is worth 1,000 words. The best picture features a product, not a display but a product, a hero product. Make the product look interesting and memorable. It could be a photo of how a product is being used or a photo of a product suggesting movement – like a bear climbing a ladder or two Pop! Vinyls facing off.
  3. Be brief. You have a few seconds to get attention. Yes, seconds.
    1. No essays.
    2. No rambling.
    3. Two sentences. Yes, that is all you need.
    4. Short sentences. Ten words or less.
  4. Have an opinion. Let people know what you, the you writing the post, think. For example, in a post about Batman and Superman, name your In a post about State of Origin, show your colours.
  5. Set a time deadline. A social media post has a short life. The time you spend on it needs to reflect the short life. When you start out, spend no more than five minutes on a post. Once you are settled in what you are doing, that should fall back to two minutes.
  6. Hashtag with thought. On Instagram especially hashtags are vital. Choose the right hashtags and you will attract new eyeballs.
  7. Have fun. If your posts are funny and provide entertainment you will attract followers and shares and grow your audience.

Tower Systems is a full service POS software company, helping small business retailers way beyond what is often done by POS software companies. We embrace this point of difference.

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POS software knowledge base continues to evolve

Every week we add and revise content at our POS software knowledge base. This work is on-going as we expand the range of self-serve resources available to our growing customer base.

We let our customers know about changes inner weekly email. Here are some of the changes delivered in the last few days.

  • Retailer 2.7.2 Update Notes
  • New PC / Windows Configuration – Operating System Configuration
  • Stocktaking In Retailer 2.6.1 Onwards
  • Performing A Full Store Stocktake In Retailer 2.6.1 Onwards
  • Performing A Spot Stocktake In Retailer 2.6.1 Onwards
  • Performing A Custom Stocktake In Retailer 2.6.1 Onwards

This list is not complete by any means as we do not want to give too much away here for competitive reasons.

We take care with our knowledge base as it is the one location for all user-facing knowledge about our software. It drives consistency in help desk advice and ensures all of our customers have access to common advice and guidance.

We can tell from usage stats the topics that are of most value and this information guides further enhancement.

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Extraordinary small business retailer e-commerce success

Wow!  Thank you! We have the best customers!

We are on cloud nine as a result of extraordinary sales success being achieved by retailers connecting through one of our new e-co0mmerce sites.

Tens of thousands of dollars of business generated for partner small business retailers in a few short weeks. This is cream revenue – on top 0of what these retailers are making even day in their businesses, bonus revenue, unexpected revenue for which they have had to pay nothing to achieve.

Our website has done all the work – found the customers, processed the sales, provided fulfilment guidance and delivered extraordinary customer service.

Here is a comment from one retailer who resisted being part of the Tower Systems created website:

We have just gone live on Monday, this week. It took me ages to get organised and do a stocktake. I had too many other things to do. It was the last thing on my list. Well I REGRET not doing it earlier, please hang back tonight or on the weekend and do a customised stocktake. The stocktake is NOT hard and it only took me a couple of hours and I have lots and lots of stock. But do the stocktake, then contact head office and go live. This week, not next month, not next year, THIS WEEK.

Here are comments from another small business retailer.

I am shocked. You have given us a thousand dollars in extra revenue in just two weeks. You cannot understand how important this is to me and my small business.  Thank you form the bottom of my heart.  I feel re-energised thanks to you.

And then this from another retailer.

O H  M Y  G O D!!!! It is like you turned on a tap in the middle of a drought and gave my business water. Thank you thank you thank you.

We love helping small business retailers find new customers.  8ur smart POS software connected to websites we have developed is one of the many good news stories that put wind in our sales.  We love what we do here at Tower Systems.

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40 Christmas marketing ideas for any independent retail business anywhere

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. Make it easy. People often talk about how hard Christmas is. Be the local business that makes it easy. The ways to do this are with easy Lay-By, free wrapping, better shop floor help, guide buying advice or tips on perfect gifts no one else will think of. Consider making Christmas easy as being a key part of your messaging.
  2. Be thrilled people are in your shop. Your personal smile or greeting is something they may not see in a big business where employees are less invested in each shopper and where the owner is usually thousands of kilometers away.
  3. Make the giving easy. If people purchase items from you to send somewhere else. Offer a one-stop shop. Save them the trip to the post office.
  4. Make the shop less about Christmas. Consider pulling back on the Christmas visual noise. Go for something simple, muted, respecting the season but making a calm statement. Consider declaring the shop a Christmas carol free zone – not because you hate carols but because you want to help customers take a break.
  5. Help people rest and recharge. Create a Christmas shopping rest and recovery zone. Offer free tea, coffee, water and something to eat. Encourage people to take a break in your shop – without any obligation for them to spend money with you.
  6. Let your customers help each other. Setup a whiteboard or sheets of butcher’s paper, yes keep it simple. Get customers to write gift suggestions under different age/gender groups. For example: Girls 18 – 25, Boys 55+. Encourage your customers to help each other through their suggestions.
  7. Make price comparison difficult. If you sell items people are likely to price compare with other businesses, package them so price comparison is not easy. Put items into a hamper as a perfect Boy 8 to 12 bundle for example. Or offer the item with pre packages services if appropriate for an item.
  8. Less is more.  The stack em high watch em fly mantra can be wrong. Indeed, it is often wrong in retail. Shoppers can be store blind because a shop is too full or a display is too busy. Consider creating simpler less cluttered displays and window promotions. Draw attention to what you want people to see by promoting that one thing. Every time someone asks if you have something that you think through should be able to find easily – take it as a challenge for you to address rather than a commentary on a facility of the customer.
  9. Change. Christmas season in your shop should evolve. Major change weekly is vital for people to see what you have that they could buy.
  10. Be socially engaged. On Facebook, Instagram, twitter and elsewhere, be the calm voice, the person people enjoy reading or seeing photos from. Provide entertainment this Christmas rather than the usual retailer shrill of come and shop here!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Make your shop smell like Christmas.
  19. 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.
  20. Host a Christmas party. For shops nearby. You are all in the season together – let your hear down before things get crazy.
  21. 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.
  22. Stocking stuffers. At your counter always have one or two stocking stuffers for impulse purchase.
  23. Offer gift vouchers – for someone to give when they are not sure what to give.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Keep it fresh. Every week make significant change to your Christmas displays and promotions to keep your offer fresh.
  28. 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.
  29. Free wrapping. Sure, many retailers offer this. Make your offer better, more creative and more appreciated.
  30. This is essential in any business. Manage it through your computer system with strict rules.
  31. Work the floor. Increase time on the shop floor. Be present to manage shopper flow and to facilitate purchases.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Free assembly. If you sell items that require assembly. Offer to do this for free.
  35. Free delivery. Offer free Christmas Eve delivery for items purchased for kids for Christmas.
  36. Sell training. Leverage the specialist knowledge you have in your business by selling as gifts places at classes you run sharing your expertise.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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 – Nathan Morrison .. 0417 568 148;
  • SA/WA – Tim Batt .. 0401 833 917;
  • QLD – Justin Randall .. 0434 365 789.
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More Xero skilled accountants list with our POS software co.

Tower Systems is grateful that more accountants have provided their details for including on our website where we list the details of xero skilled accountants.

Connecting our small business retail customers with Accountants skilled in xero helps our customers and helps the growing bro community.

As Xero users ourselves we understand the value of working with like-minded service providers. Xero is innovative and time-saving. We are thrilled to have made the switch for our own shops and to be accessing the benefits we pitch to our sales prospects.

Using our POS software and the Xero add-on, our customers are able to easily, seamlessly and in the background share data between the POS and Xero, reducing bookkeeping costs, improving data accuracy and feeding more informed business decisions. This is a win for our customers.

Not all POS software companies are approved to partner with Xero. This can lead those not approved to be critical of Xero. Those of us in the room are grateful for the recognition and support of the company as we help retailers to pursue more efficient and successful businesses.

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How discount vouchers help small business retailers beat big business at loyalty

This is a personal story about small business retail and the value achievable from a smarter and more customer respectful approach to rewarding loyalty … but in a different way, a way that is counterintuitive in that it front-ends the approach.

Here is our story…

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.

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.

Mark Fletcher, managing Director. Tower Systems. M: 0418 321 338.

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Christmas marketing tips for local small business retailers

Christmas is a noisy time for shoppers. Every retailer is pitching to them on TV, radio, in print, on social media and in-store.

Christmas marketing tends to be the same: jolly, celebratory and, often, price based.

It is a challenge for small business retailers to cut through all of this noise.

Here are some tips for cutting through. Sure we are a POS software company, but we are retailers too and have been for decades. We have experience in several retail channels. This helps us create better small business software and provide advice beyond the software itself.

We hope this Christmas advice is directly helpful or unlocks ideas of your own.

  1. Make it easy. People often talk about how hard Christmas is. Be the business that makes it easy. The ways to do this are with easy Lay-By, free wrapping, better shop floor help, guide buying advice or tips on perfect gifts no one else will think of. Consider making Christmas easy as being a key part of your messaging.
  2. Be thrilled people are in your shop. Your personal smile or greeting is something they may not see in a big business where employees are less invested in each shopper and where the owner is usually thousands of kilometers away.
  3. Make the giving easy. If people purchase form you to send somewhere else. Offer a one-stop shop. Save them the trip to the post office.
  4. Make the shop less about Christmas. Consider pulling back on the Christmas visual noise. Go for something simple, muted, respecting the season but making a calm statement. Consider declaring the shop a Christmas carol free zone – not because you hate carols but because you want to help customers take a break.
  5. Help people rest and recharge. Create a Christmas shopping rest and recovery zone. Offer free tea, coffee, water and something to eat. Encourage people to take a break in your shop – without any obligation for them to spend money with you.
  6. Let your customers help each other. Setup a whiteboard or sheets of butcher’s paper, yes keep it simple. Get customers to write gift suggestions under different age/gender groups. For example: Girls 18 – 25, Boys 55+. Encourage your customers to help each other.
  7. Make price comparison difficult. If you sell items people are likely to price compare with other businesses, package them so price comparison is not easy. Put items into a hamper as a perfect Boy 8 to 12 bundle for example. Or offer the item with pre packages services if appropriate for an item.
  8. Less is The stack em high watch em fly mantra can be wrong. Indeed, it is often wrong in retail. Shoppers can be store blind because a shop is too full or a display is too busy. Consider creating simpler less cluttered displays and window promotions. Draw attention to what you want people to see by promoting that one thing. Every time someone asks if you have something that you think through should be able to find easily – take it as a challenge for you to address rather than a commentary on a facility of the customer.
  9. Christmas season in your shop should evolve. Major change weekly is vital for people to see what you have that they could buy.
  10. Be socially engaged. On Facebook, Instagram, twitter and elsewhere, be the calm voice, the person people enjoy reading or seeing photos from. Provide entertainment this Christmas rather than the usual retailer shrill of come and shop here!

We think the key to a more successful Christmas is to be different to what people expect from your business.

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Delivering a POS software help desk experience retailers love

How can small business retailers be sure they POS software company they choose will deliver the support they need to get the best value from the software?

This is a tough question because too often you will not know if a customer service experience is working for you until you are well into using it.

Here is how POS software company Tower Systems has structured its business to deliver personal service small business retailers love. We say love because of the retention numbers of Tower customers over many years.

Here is what we strive for and deliver in our POS software help desk experience:

  1. Personal service. No scripts. Our help starts with a conversation.
  2. Accessible service. No waiting days for a call back. We are here, in the moment, when you need.
  3. Follow up. Advice is followed up with an email with supporting material to help beyond the call.
  4. Escalation. If you want to take the call outside the help desk we are happy to do this.
  5. Management access. To anyone. At any time.
  6. Democracy. Software update content is voted on by our customers.
  7. Transparency. Through social media we are accountable to our customers.
  8. Freebies. Weekly live training, one on one training … added value often.

Through these things and more we are grateful for opportunities to serve our customers with personal service.

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Specialist produce, stockfeed and rural store software

Tower Systems is proud to offer Specialist produce, stockfeed and rural store software. This software has been developed by the specialty retail software development team at Tower System,s in close association with produce and rural store specialists.

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Australian designed and developed, this software provides access to a host of valuable functionality that has been fine-tuned for these unique and niche businesses.

  1. Fast POS: Sell to customers quickly with simple touch screen, mobile scanning & eftpos integration.
  2. Customer Loyalty: Offer discounts, points or vouchers to increase customer spend.
  3. Stock Management: Receive stock electronically from suppliers, stocktake, track performance & re-order.
  4. Targeted Marketing: Market to customers based on their behaviour & have them purchase more often.
  5. Accounting Integration: Financials flow across to leading software including Xero, MYOB & Quickbooks.
  6. Special Customer Orders: Handle all customer orders easily & automatically notify customers when stock arrives.
  7. Smart Reporting: Report on profit, stock, customers, suppliers & even seasons easily.
  8. Customer Accounts: Advanced email invoices & statements, debtor tracking & late payment reminders.
  9. Gift Vouchers: Paper, loadable card or electronic vouchers with fully customisable design.
  10. Webstore: Sell online by integrating with leading ecommerce platforms such as Shopify & Magento.
  11. VIP Pricing Profiles: Create structured pricing profiles and look after your key customers.
  12. Promotions: Run multi-buy, department, time based or up-sell promotions easily.
  13. Product Advice & Warnings: Automatic special use or hazardous goods warnings on receipts.
  14. Bulk Stock Management: Sell items by weight or length. Bag up bulk items into smaller bags easily.

In addition to these tools, the software offers excellent retail management tools, Xero integration, Shopify integration, Magento integration, scale integration and plenty more thanks to the comprehensive tools available in the Tower Systems retail management suite.

Introducing Tower Systems.
Tower Systems is an Australian software company that develops, sells and supports software for selected specialty marketplaces including pet and produce businesses.

We only serve independent retail businesses.

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

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

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

  1. 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.
  2. We provide business insights based on data cultivated through the software – to business owners who ask. This is a free service.
  3. 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.
  4. Our software updates contain enhancements suggested and voted on by customers. You can have a direct say in the evolution of the software.
  5. Our communication is in plain English. While we are a company of IT geeks, when talking with customers we keep it simple. We know technology scares people. We don’t want it to scare our customers.
  6. We are accessible. You get to talk with real people all the time, including our leadership team.
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Accessibility is key to good small business POS software support

Hi My name is Mark Fletcher. I am the owner of Tower Systems. My mobile number is 0418 321 338. My email is mark@towersystems.com.au.

The best was for a POS software company to demonstrate its commitment to accessibility of help for its customers is for the owner of the company to share their contact details.

This is what we do at Tower Sys6ems. In our correspondence. On our website. In our weekly customer email.

By demonstrating accessibility to the owner of the company we set the tone for accessibility throughout the company.

Small business owners and team members appreciate the personal. Retail is personal after all. We appreciate the personal here too. That is why our team members use real names and engage in real conversations.

Being real, being personal is key to a good POS software customer service experience.

Here is a video we shot in house about being personal in the context of POS software and what we do here at Tower Systems:

This video is another example of open and accessible communication. We have a large library of videos available for our customers to assist with training and business advice. The videos help our customers get more value from their relationship with us.

Our approach to being accessible is a differentiator for us. We are thrilled to be able to offer this to our customers.

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Helping accountants find small business retail customers

We have been helping Xero skilled accountants and small business retailers using Xero connect as part of our integrated Xero POS software engagement.

Through a free listing on our website and in our weekly email communication to our customers, we are happy to list accountants with terrific Xero skills. This is how the Xero community works – people passionate about this wonderful accounting software supporting each other to bring more to the community.

We use Xero ourselves in our own businesses. We love it.

Here is a note we sent to Accountants recently as part of this project:

Help us help small business retailers find good accountants.

We are grateful to serve 3,500+ with our POS software for: gift shops, jewellers, toy shops, fishing/outdoors shops, pet shops, garden centres/nurseries, bike shops, produce stores, firearms shops and newsagents.

We are a Xero partner, having integrated our POS software with Xero.

We also use Xero for retail shops we own and run. We operate these businesses so we can walk in the shoes of our customers.

We want to help small business retailers find Xero skilled accountants. We have a page on our website where we list this. We also include the list in our weekly customer email. Click here to see this week’s email.

To be included on our list, please email me your details. There is no cost, no obligation. Our sole objective here is to help small business retailers find Xero skilled accountants.

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