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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book now. These workshops are free. All welcome.

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

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

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

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

Helping small business retailers connect POS software to Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce

Thanks to separate, best-practice, integrations, Tower Systems is offers flexibility to our customers running websites in Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce.

‘These integrations are in addition to a generic webstore integration platform that can be used for many different webstore and website platforms.

This maximum flexibility approach helps small business retailers chose the web platform they prefer and thereby connect it to the POS software they love.

Through the Tower Systems POS software webstore integrations, our customers can easily share inventory data including descriptions, images and live stock on hand, ensuring that customers can easily shop online and in-store when they want.

The click and collect facilities are popular as are the online LayBy facilities.

Having a separate web development team in house along with a POS software development team in house, we are able to serve both needs separately and together through comprehensive and integrated work in our development processes.

We believe in small business and that small business retailers can compete online with big business. All of our web development work seeks to provide small business retailers with smart engaging and commercially valuable web presences through which our small business customers can compete.

The latest release of our POS software, released a few weeks ago, offers valuable tools that our customers can further leverage in this online space.

Warning for small business retailers on website development

Too many small business retailers are paying too much for poor quality websites.

Here at Tower Systems we partner with Shopify, magento and WooCommerce to create elegant, beautifully functional and commercially successful ecommerce sites for small business retailers.

We think it is a mistake for any retailer or software company to use a lesser known platform for any ecommerce site. You only have to look at the successful small business ecommerce sites to understand how using a respected international platform as your base is the smart move.

With many successful websites under our development belts and many ranging as the highest Google result in a search, we have terrific runs on the board.

There bottom line advice for any small business retailer looking for a website to be developed is caveat emptor, let the buyer beware. Get all the promises in writing, along with all costs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bringing click and collect to small business retailers

Click and collect is a key offer of genuine omnichannel businesses and Tower Systems is proud to have POS software integrated websites it developed that offer genuine click and collect solutions.

Our click and collect solution is proving to be popular with online shoppers and that is the ultimate test.

The Tower Systems POS software webstore integration is mature yet constantly evolving, bringing to small business retailers the ability to compete with big business through the more level playing field of online.

Click and collect is live right now on Tower Systems small business POS software integrated websites.

At Unite 2017 Shopify Conference

We take our engagement with the Shopify e-commerce platform seriously here at Tower Systems. We link our POS software directly and seamlessly.

One way we stay ahead in our knowledge and strategy is by directly working with the folks at Shopify, being aware of developments and future plans.

Two of our leadership team are at Unite 2017, the Shopify international partner conference, which is on in San Francisco this week.

This is providing to be a valuable experience not only in terms of our Shopify knowledge but from the networking with other e-commerce practitioners as we share ideas, accomplishments and future plans.

We are grateful for the opportunity to be here and to learn so we can better serve our customers.

Magento is an excellent website choice for small business retailers

We love Magento and happily use it ourselves to help our small business retailers to drive excellent outcomes. Choosing an unknown website platform is a massive mistake in our opinion.

Here is why we love Magento:

Magento is one of the world’s most popular e-commerce or webstore platforms. Being built on open source technology provides a flexible shopping cart system, giving you control over the look, feel, content and functionality of your online store. Magento offers powerful marketing, search engine optimization, and catalog-management tools. Find out about Magento at www.magento.com.

Using the Tower Systems POS software / Magento link is a dream. It is easy.

The link works by using the Magento API allowing the TALink platform to connect to Magento and synchronising on a periodic interval or request basis.

Stock

The Tower Systems Retailer software becomes your master stock database. You flag what stock items you want to appear on your web store. Descriptions and extended descriptions are added as your product names and descriptions in Magento.

Department and Categories

Your Retailer Departments and Categories become Categories and Sub-Categories in Magento. If you choose to link these, your existing structure will be mirrored and managed in Magento automatically. If, however, you decide not link your Department and Categories in Magento, you can allocate Categories manually to products once they are added.

Prices and Quantity On Hand

You have control over your webstore pricing from within the Retailer Stock Screen. Bulk updates of the webstore price can be performed in Stock Manager. Once new prices are set, your web store is updated automatically.

Quantity of hand is also managed automatically, when your sell or arrive an item into stock these adjustments are sent directly to Magento. If the quantity on hand of an items drops to 0, the item is marked as out of stock in Magento.

Customers

Customers that purchase off your webstore are added as customers in your Retailer database, allowing you to track what they buy and market to them if you desire. Existing customers with an email address will also be added to your web store to facilitate easy sales.

Sales

These are downloaded on a periodic basis and imported into Retailer. These are imported into our Customer Invoice Maintenance facility allowing you to place orders and print invoices. Once sales are imported it reduces your quantity on hand so you maintain accurate stock control. Sales can be allocated to a specific location or merged added to you main sales data, giving you excellent control over how you report on your webstore sales.

Linking multiple small business retailers to a single Magento website

Tower Systems first linked multiple stand alone small business retailers to a Magento website in late 2015. Today, we have this running for several websites, enabling independently owned small business retailers to transact from a central site yet remain independent in their retail businesses.

What Tower Systems has done is ground breaking. We have lead others in how to achieve this and make it easy for small business retailers to trade online with confidence and ease.

With many retailers engaged in the various sites and a good range of different products being sold there is excellent experience on which were can draw for a range of retail situations.

The transaction volume is testament to the tremendous success of this initiative for small business retailers.

This is another Tower Advantage.

Small businesses winning online sales thanks to Tower Systems POS software webstore integration

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 7.58.15 AMTower Systems is thrilled to be helping small business retailers win valuable online sales through its suite of websites across multiple retail categories.

The image shows how far one package purchased through one of our our POS software integrated websites travelled this week. Thanks to site design and marketing by us, the Queensland based business found a valuable new shopper in Victoria, delivering revenue from this sale and establishing a relationship that is certain to benefit in the long term.

Connecting local small business shops with customers located on the other side of the country is helping these local town retailers find new shoppers.

Every day we are seeing excellent sales processed through the sites, valuable sales … and they are growing.

There are multiple layers to this success: the websites we created, the POS software integration enabling genuinely live stock on hand data and the guidance through sales processing to help retailers make sure they leverage the opportunity.

Delivering e-commerce revenue to small business retailers without them needing to have their own websites is an achievement of which we are most proud. We have been doing this for months across multiple website platforms and the result is terrific for our retail partners.

While there is no doubt of the value of a business being online for itself, there is even greater value for a business to be in an online community with like minded retailers, leveraging the group for each of the local stores. This is the unique delivery from Tower Systems.

We love helping small business retailers win new customers.

POS software Shopify and Magento integrations help small business retailers get online faster

Thanks to full integration between the Tower Systems POS software and the Shopify and Magento platforms, Tower Systems is making it easier for its retail customers to get online efficiently and for a low cost compared to having the website developed externally.

The money you use a second software company to do the website you encounter additional costs and the possibility of a disconnect.

With the Tower software works with many different web platforms, it is the Woo, Shopify and Magento platforms that are the move valuable in terms of user numbers. Tower has solutions for all three, delivering easy and stable access both ways between POS software and the e-commerce platforms.

AheadWorks recently published the results of research covering market share of e-commerce platforms.

chart

These results reinforce the importance of the decision early on by Tower to focus on Magento, Shopify and Woo Commerce for our direct integrations and a more generic yet accessible solution for other links between our POS software and websites.

By offering the website development service as we do for Shopify sites and Magento sites we offer a one stop shop solution with one company responsible for the delivery and performance of the POS software and website integration.

Having done this for our own retail businesses we have live experiences and examples on which to draw.

POS software Shopify website integration solution

What is Shopify?

Shopify is one of the easiest ways to setup and run an ecommerce store. We think it provides you with the ideal place to create you first website and gain experience in the world of ecommerce. You have complete control over the look and feel of your online store and can instant access fantastic look themes to reflect the personality of your business. For more information visit www.shopify.com.au.

What is the Retailer to Shopify Link?

The Retailer to Shopify Link uses the Tower Advantage Link platform to allow retailers using the Tower Systems POS software – Retailer – to connect directly to your Shopify store. The Tower Advantage Link platform is a subscription-based service that acts as an intermediary between Retailer and the Shopify API.

How does the link work?

The link works by using the TALink platform platform to connect to the shopify API and synchronise your data.

Stock

Retailer is your master stock database. You flag what stock items you want to appear on your shopify store. Descriptions and extended descriptions are added as your titles and descriptions in Shopify. Newly flagged products are automatically added and if you edit items in Retailer you have field level control over how these are handled in Shopify.

Department and Categories

Your Retailer Departments and Categories become collections in Shopify. You can have a chose of either Department level collections or category level, but not both. If you choose to synchronise either a department or category, your existing structure will be mirrored and managed in Shopify automatically. If, however, you decide not link your Department and Categories in Shopify, you can allocate collections manually to products once they are added.

Classifications

Shopify does not have a mechanism to manage classifications.

Prices and Quantity On Hand

You have control over your webstore pricing from within the Retailer Stock Screen. Bulk updates of the webstore prices can be performed in Stock Manager. Once new prices are set, your web store is updated automatically. Quantity on hand is also managed automatically, when your sell or arrive an item into stock these adjustments are sent directly to Shopify. If the quantity on hand of an items drops to 0, the item is marked as out of stock in Shopify.

Images

The images you set against stock items in Retailer are automatically uploaded to your website. If images change, then old one is removed and the new one is added. You can upload as many images as you like per stock item.

Customers

Customers that purchase off your webstore are added as customers in your Retailer database, allowing you to track what they buy and market to them if you desire. Existing customers with an email address will also be added to your web store to facilitate easy sales if you choose.

Sales

Sales are downloaded on a periodic basis and imported into Retailer. They are imported into our Customer Invoice Maintenance facility allowing you to place orders and print invoices if needed. Once sales are imported it reduces your quantity on hand so you maintain accurate stock control. Sales can be allocated to a specific location or merged to you main sales data, giving you excellent control over how you report on your webstore sales.

I don’t have a website but want one. Can Tower help?

Yes! We can build and customize a basic Shopify website for you if you like. Please talk to your local sales representative for more information.

We love Shopify. It is a terrific starting point for any retailer looking to get started online. We are thrilled to be connected with Shopify.

 

Free POS software integrated Shopify and Magento workshops start next week

Join Tower Systems for a one of our free seminars in Australia and New Zealand (in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch)  where we will show our latest Australian developed POS software for specialty independent small business retail.

  1. Discover how to connect your retail business with Magento or Shopify direct from POS software.
  2. Learn how to be found through Google.
  3. Learn about creating beautiful websites for a fraction of the costs some charge.
  4. See the POS software to Magento and Shopify links LIVE with working websites.

This will be a truly interactive learning opportunity for small business retailers, an opportunity to see under the hood of website development, to discover is this is something any retailer could do for their business.

We will show you how to setup up a Shopify store that can be live in hours. Plus, there will be a Q&A opportunity so you can explore your specific needs. Book now by clicking on the city location you prefer.

  1. Adelaide. October 10. 10am. Rydges South Park.
  2. Sydney. October 11. 10am. Kogarah Golf Club.
  3. Brisbane. October 12. 10am. River View Hotel.
  4. Perth. October 13. 9am. Country Comfort Inter City Hotel.
  5. Melbourne. October 14. 10am. Hawthorn Arts Centre.
  6. Canberra. October 18. 10am. Vibe Hotel, Canberra Airport.
  7. Hobart. October 19. 11am. Rydges Hobart.
  8. Darwin. October 26. 2pm Mantra on the Esplanade.
  9. Auckland. Nov. 2. 3pm. Novotel, Auckland Airport.
  10. Wellington. Nov. 3. 10am. Intercontinental Hotel.
  11. Christchurch. Nov. 4. 10am. Novotel Christchurch.

We will share our experiences in the small business POS and e-commerce areas and outline what we learned when creating sites for our own retail businesses. This seminar could save you thousands in web developer fees. Book online.

Tower Systems e-commerce strategy helps small business retailers with omni-channel solution

The Tower Systems POS software e-commerce strategy is delivering online sales to small business retailers.

Representing a group of small business retailers under a common international brand platform the Tower Systems developed and managed website provides live stock availability to more than 200 retail businesses. This enables shoppers of the sought after brand to find local shops with stock.

Linked live to the independently owned retail businesses, the website provides a national view of stock availability for online purchase as well as in-store purchase.

Online purchases can be shipped or collected in-store.

Transactions are secure, without credit cards being accessed by the website nor are they stores in and POS system in the store.

The small business retailers that are part of the e-commerce strategy love that they are winning retail revenue from online sales without having to develop or maintain and online presence. The solution for their businesses is considerable and low-cost.

This is a best practice approach to online for small retail businesses today as it is fast, easy, accurate and national in its presence.

The Tower Systems desktop and web teams have worked together to deliver a series of websites, the first of which launched in 2015 and more have been added since.

Using the latest web development tools, the solution from Tower Systems helps small business retailers embrace online in a genuinely unique and valuable way.

PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT FOR SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS

A good website has a number of costs associated with it. POS software company Tower Systems has a track record of developing POS software integrated websites, helping small business retailers to leverage wonderful omnichannel opportunities.

A business website is not an off the shelf product. It is something finely tailored to the needs of the business it represents.

  1. What a website includes. What a website includes depends on the requirements of the business. Many small business retailers want an online advertisement for their retail shop. That is not an e-commerce site. An e-commerce site promotes online commerce. That is the focus of the Tower Systems work. A typical e-commerce site includes the following pages and facilities:
    1. About. About the business, personalising what you stand for. Humanising the business. Building trust.
    2. Products. Products assembled by category. Photos. Descriptions. Pricing. Data creating these entries can flow from your retailer software – depending on the extent of the data you have setup including images.
    3. Purchasing. A shopping cart into which people can purchase and checkout. Automatically managing freight, collecting payment and providing you a back end for managing orders.
    4. Payment gateway. This is the back end management of payments and the depositing of payments into your bank account. We currently support Pin Payments and PayPal. You would establish your own account for one or the other – we do not want your funds passing through our accounts.
    5. Location. A placemat page showing where the retail business is located and its hours, if applicable.
    6. FAQs. A page where you pre-answer the questions shoppers are likely to ask. You would provide the text content for this. Part of the backend management facilities would enable you to change this at any time.
    7. Overall design. This is the visual aesthetic representation of your online business. We have choices you can make based on work we have done. That said, our goal is to create something that professionally represents your business, that you are happy with.
    8. Hidden code. Behind every page on the website and for each product is ‘hidden’ code used by Google and other search engines for indexing the information and enabling it to be found. Get this wrong and your products will not be easily found online.
    9. Administration page. This is a page only you could access where you can change information about and settings for the site.
  2. Website development. For a basic site with the ability for you to load product descriptions, images prices, sell items and include text about your business as well as running two email addresses through the site will cost less than what small business retailers think. The fixed-price package includes consultation, programming and design elements to provide you with a professional site, but not a complex site. It does not include us writing the content for the site. We would expect you to provide all content.

The typical basic site would cover the pages / points all listed in point 1 above – to varying levels of detail.

Note: there are websites that cost $15,000 and more. This is too expensive in our view. The price varies according to complexity.

  1. Domain registration. We would guide you on this. A www name will cost around $50 for two years – paid to the registration company. This is something you would register so you have absolute control over it at all times. We have seen web companies register domains for businesses and hold the to ransom when the businesses want to go elsewhere.
  2. Website hosting. This is usually a per month cost. A basic site with around 500 items will cost around $220.00 a month to host. Hosting means the site running on a computer in a secure server farm. This is not a Tower Systems location but rather a location created solely to host thousands of websites. The hosting fee does not offer any labour for loading products or actually managing the site.
  3. SEO – Google ranking activity to help the site be easily found. We do this work through bursts with each burst professionally organised and managed. A burst involves creating backlinks for the site or for specific pages on the site that guide Google to list the site in terms of its rankings. Typically, a new site would have this work done twice in the first six months. We ask you questions about your competitors. Knowing what or who to target in dong SEO work is vital. Targeting is all done based on keywords that people will use when searching for a business like yours.

We have been successful in boosting several sites to the front page of Google rankings.  Type in POS software to Google and you will see us listed on the first page immediately below Xero and MYOB. This is excellent positioning for a company our size. Getting to this position takes work. Maintaining it takes even more work. This is the SEO work to which we refer here.

WHAT MAKES THE TOWER SYSTEMS POS SOFTWARE MAGENTO LINK A BEST PRACTICE SOLUTION FOR RETAILERS

Not all POS Software Magento links are made equal. Some POS software Magento links are slow, out of date, not direct and / or cumbersome. Some make doing business online and in a bricks and mortar store from the same stock data set cumbersome,

Thanks to relationships developed in the US with the Magento team over years, Tower Systems offers a best-practice solution, one powerful, easy to use and ideal for independent retail businesses.

Linking directly with the Tower POS software it is a breeze to use – as the many e-commerce sites already using it can attest.

A weakness we have seen in some other products is their use of an old version of Magento. By using the latest release, we are able to deliver something far more useful and valuable to small business retailers. Indeed, we can show the difference live through sites we have developed even for our business retail and e-commerce businesses.

This use ourselves of our own software enables us to speak with experience and authority on these things. We are not selling you something thinking how it should work. No, we are selling something we use ourselves for our own retail business, something that meets our own exacting needs, something of which we are most proud.

Using our Magento link it is easy to share data, images and other vital content between your shop and your online store without extra time or technology overhead. The Tower Systems approach is a breeze to implement and manage.

POS SOFTWARE WEBSITE INTEGRATION HELPING SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS INCREASE ONLINE SALES

We are thrilled with the growing revenue being achieved by small business retailers using websites we have created, websites that seamlessly connect with the bricks and mortar POS software used in retail businesses that we serve.

While some retailers we are working with are new to online retail, for others our involvement in second and third generation for them. In each situation we are able to bring diverse experience to the table to help all sorts of small independent retailers to enhance their online e-commerce situation, attract new shoppers and drive the value of the retail business.

Our diverse experience in several retail channels sets us up to be able to help retailers reach beyond what is traditional for their specific channel.

With our Tower created website pool growing we have excellent reference sites to share to show indie retailers what is possible.

POS software Magento link to help more retailers online

Magento is the world’s best online shopping cart, retail website tool in our view. We say this having worked with a host of platforms and gaining considerable experience ourselves and through people we work with.

Our POS software links to Magento through the Magento API, directly from our software into Magento for shared real-time data. We link from our software to Magento ourselves and have small business retail clients using it too.

Developed in addition to our well-established web-store link, the Magento link is deep, comprehensive and tremendously valuable.

High street retailers serious about an online presence will find it easier and faster to achieve through our Magento link, something we have been using ourselves for all this year and something with which we have excellent experience and knowledge.

Our web development team has developed multiple sites, providing us with excellent reference experiences for retailers contemplating an online presence connected to their high street POS software.

Amazing Tower Systems webstore integration a small business retailer first

A Tower Systems exclusive multi independent retailer webstore integration is bringing small business retailers together in a fresh way, negating the need for small business stand along websites. In fact, this new approach is a game changer in several small business retail channels – delivering new traffic thanks to a high-profile national website than is achieving more than a local small business website might.

This is Tower Systems working for its small business customers in a fresh and exciting way.

Leadership.

No one has done what this site and the Tower Point of Sale software back end is achieving.

Enhanced webstore integration

We are completing development on enhanced webstore integration for a wholesale business which is about to install our retail business management software.  This latest work has come out of discussions with two new customers. We have been able to satisfy both needs by developing an extension to our original webstore software plane.

The webstore module is a an extension of our software which makes it easier for retailers to manage inventory in a retail shop, or shops, as well as for an online business using an e-commerce platform.

With development coming to an end it will not be long before the enhancements are available with a software update.