Here’s a video of another online session we hosted yesterday with several retailers on taking a business online:
Here’s a video of another online session we hosted yesterday with several retailers on taking a business online:
We are pleased to announce that earlier this week we released updated POS software for small business retailers.
This latest update delivers benefits requested by customers and voted on by customers. Yes, we have a transparent democratic process to guide the content of the software updates we develop.
Even though corona is impacting plenty of businesses, here at Tower Systems our POS software development, testing, documentation and support teams are busy delivering access to ur customers, helping them to benefit from constantly evolving software.
This latest update has been made available at no additional cost to current POS software customers.
The update has been released with comprehensive support notes including information on installation and use.
The update is part of our regular enhancement program offering regular small format updates enabling the faster evolution of the software following the major release early this year that reflected a generational shift in the tech underpinning our POS software and a similar shift in the tech at the heart of our database management.
With retail changing rapidly in 2020, it stands to reason that the tools retailers get the most from are those that are evolving, too, to maximise emerging opportunities.
For any with questions about what’s in the software update, in addition to excellent documentation, we offer one on one training as well as personal support from knowledgeable team members. This is the personal human service we have known for, delivering access to helpful tools our retailer customers can rely on, bank on.
As this POS software update was released we are advanced in developing the next update with several streams of enhancement underway across the multiple development projects under way.
This is how good software is developed, multiple streams at once, bringing them to market as they pass QA and beta and are ready for wide commercial release. It’s a tried and true structured process that results in stable software for our customers.
Tower Systems serves small business retailers in niche channels. We are a specialty POS software company serving businesses in Australia and New Zealand. Being across multiple channels in multiple situations broadens our experience and everyone benefits from this diversity.
Click and collect is now universally understood and embraced as a consequence of corona. This is especially true in Victoria Australia where in metro melbourne there is a 6-week hard hard lockdown in place. Click and collect is a lifeblood for retailers in the large lockdown area.
Here at Tower Systems we have been serving small business retailers with click and collect enabled POS software connected to Shopify and other websites all through this. Indeed, click and collect is something shops working with us have been offering for years.
Through Magento, Shopify and Woo POS software connected websites, our click and collect solution can be for drive by curbside contactless pickup, home delivery and traditional click and collect the flexibility is powerful, appreciated and easy for small business retailers as they play in this now important space for small business retailers.
Click and collect is here to stay and even more important, shoppers and retailers understand it. They understand how it works, the opportunities it brings and the health and safety imperative. It is good news for newsagents.
We are proud to have helped many small business retailers bring the click and collect opportunity to life in their businesses and to do this through a seamless connection between our POS software and their e-commerce site.
We do it ourselves in our own websites, too, offering click and collect in the shops we run, where we use our software and websites that our web team have developed, to show off our tech and business operational skills.
retail has fundamentally changes thanks to corona and wee are grateful to the thousands of retailers who partner with us, embracing software we develop and leveraging the tech integrations that we support in the work we do across a range of specialty retail channels.
While corona is challenging for so many, if we can provide income certainty for small business retailers and those who rely on these businesses then it is one less stressor for them. This is where click and collect plays a vital role, in offering an alternative and safe path to revenue for a retail business.
2020 is a year of massive change with tech being at the core of so much change. It’s not done yet as more changes are coming. Our message to small business retailers is that we are here, we have your back through these changes.
Epos is a term usually used in the UK by companies selling POS software to small business retailers.
So, when you read about epos software here in Australia you are usually reading about POS software. A company using the term epos software is likely to be a UK company promoting, maybe overseas developed software for Australian retailers.
We would say that any software business using the epos term is a company to be wary of if you are an Australian retail business looking to purchase Australian software for. In our experience, epos software is not Australian POS software for Australian businesses. Now, that may not matter to you. If it does not matter, okay. However, if you own an Australian retail business and you want Australian developed software then it may well matter. hence us dropping your attention to the definition of epos software in this blog post.
Knowing what you buy really does matter. Epos software could be good for your business. Locally developed POS software could be good for your business, too. This is why we say do your homework, understand where the software is developed, where it is supported, the terminology that is used in the software, to be sure if it is software for your local needs, using terms that make sense to you. This is critical in the usefulness of the software.
It comes back to the term epos. If you don’;t feel comfortable with that, if it is not immediately recognisable to you, then maybe the software itself will have th same challenge. Phrases and terms do matter in the sense of ease of learning and ease of use when it comes to business management software, especially small business software.
Here at Tower Systems we make, sell and support POS software. We are a local company doing this for local retailers.
Take your time. Ask questions. Do your research. You being satisfied matters and that is why we say look into anything that feels like uneasy, like the term epos if it is not a term that is common to you.
We serve more than 3,500 small business retailers and everyday we are grateful for their support.
We make awesome specialty POS software for speciality retailers.
We make awesome Shopify and Magento 2 websites connected to our POS software.
Join us Wednesday August 12 @ 10:30am AEST for a free live and interactive and secure Zoom workshop on taking your business online.
We will share insights, advice and experience from websites we run for our own shops and sites we have created for others.
We will talk design, smart text, SEO, SEM and other buzzwords, but we won’t use buzzwords. This will be a plain English workshop. We will be honest about the hungry beast that is a website.
The workshop is free. Just turn up. Click on this link:
Meeting ID: 924 4882 8358 Passcode: 196319
Wednesday August 12 @ 10:30am AEST.
Or, talk with one of our sales people:
They can also show you websites connected to our POS software.
Our specialty POS software offers many specialty retail benefits for specialty small business retailers, including:
This is not the complete list. Our POS software is packed with specialty tools through which indie small business retailers can differentiate and deliver more useful outcomes to the business, those who work in the business and to customers of the business.
Our goal is to empower small business retailers with tools that encourage and nurture, tools that are at the core of the business, appreciated, loved and respected. Those are our goals for our POS software and the services we offer our specialty retail customers.
Click & collect is the buzzword retailers are talking about and have been talking about for several years. Too often, the talk is ignorant.
What is click & collect? It is when a shopper makes a purchase online and they travel to a store and collect the item. The online purchase is the click and the in-store pickup is the collect.
Click & collect is fundamental in any retail business today as it enhances the shopper experience and shopper efficiency. It also enables retail businesses to better manage time and resources in-store.
\Also, in 2020, being the year that it is, click & collect makes for safe retail, contactless retail.
In a click & collect scenario, the shopper chooses what they want online, browsing store inventory and making their selection. They pay on line, too. The goods are gathered together and set up ready for the shopper to collect in-store or even through curbside collection arrangement, meaning they might not even have to leave their vehicle. This is the ultimate click & collect situation, the ultimate convenient shopping experience.
Click & collect is something we have offered in our small business POS software for years, thanks to our integrations with Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. We have helped many retailers bring this experience alive in their single shop situations as well as their multiple shop situations, where shoppers purchase online and can select, if they wish, the location from where they make the collection.
Click & collect is fundamental in retail today, it is a core service, a core consumer expectation and core to the revenue model of many retail businesses. It can be easily managed from the online purchase through to the back end store management.
Tower Systems is pleased to serve small business retailers in the click & collect space, pleased to help these businesses offer this useful and beneficial service as these businesses trade in evolving and unique retail circumstances.
Click & collect has come into its own in 2020 through the greater need for contactless retail. Making it accessible to and understood by small business retailers has been another part of the Tower Systems small business focussed mission, where we help small business retailers more effectively compete with big business.
We had extra people working on our POS software help desk today. It’s a crazy busy time for us, in a good way, as small business retailers are working on their businesses. Add to this plenty of new customers joining our POS software user community and people going live with new websites from us … it makes us busy. So, to manage this we added to our usual Saturday team and it paid off.
We are greatful to our help desk team members who worked today their service was appreciated by our customers and by the rest of the Tower Systems team.
Even on the middle of stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne, our service of small business retailers continued, unimpeded. We are glad to have our customers.
We are adding another role, a new role, to our POS software help desk, the second net addition in the last month. This is necessary given a solid trajectory of new rooftops in our POS software user community.
We are looking for someone with small business retail experience as understanding the needs of our customers from their perspective is helpful. Excellent communication, a knowledge of tech, including software, and a desire to genuinely help are also key attributes we are looking for.
Serving only small business retailers, personal service matters. We will be looking particularly at candidates who can demonstrate a desire in this area.
We offer excellent training and support for this new role, a full time role, in our Melbourne based business.
If you know someone interested, please have them email me at firstname.lastname@example.org asap.
We get that there is a lot of challenging news out there right now thanks to corona and the mess than is 2020. Here at Tower Systems we serve a diverse pool of specialty retail businesses and this diversity has been key in enabling us to stay open and to add to our customer community.
With the current situation in Victoria, we would on-board the new hire remotely and provide comprehensive training through our considerable remote infrastructure. We may supplement this with some time in the office, occasionally.
Tower Systems has completed another in its series of newsagency retail sales benchmark studies. We have been doing these quarterly for more than 15 years, serving newsagents, their suppliers and others.
We gather the data, collate it, analyse it and share the results widely, in pursuit of a stronger and healthier newsagency channel.
It is a free process for all involved, transparent, too.
This study, like all we have undertaken, reveals trends, from which we and newsagents can learn. Here it is…
The results of the June 2020 quarter newsagency retail sales benchmark show the extent to which COVID-19 is impacting businesses.
There are winners and losers.
Looking at comprehensive retail sales data from 137 newsagencies for April – June 2020 compared to April – June 2019, the results underscore the value of the retail newsagency channel to local communities. This is a same-store comparison, making the results meaningful. FYI, I removed stores that were closed for any time in the reporting periods.
Data include a mix of rooftops from several brands. The benchmark includes data from businesses using the Tower newsagency software and several who are not.
Given the extraordinary gap in performance, I share the results separately, because reporting them as one dataset does not make sense.
Shopping centre based retail newsagencies.
A note about shopping centre data. The dataset in small, just under 10% of respondents. However, the gap between respondents is small.
High street newsagencies.
A note about this high street data: it includes regional and rural as well as suburban high street. The performance of regional and rural is considerably better than suburban high street for the most part. How much, you ask? Around 33% better is my response.
Plenty of regional and high street newsagents are embarrassed to be reporting such good numbers. Their growth while other businesses nearby are struggling makes them not want to be too open about their success. Even within the newsagency channel there are those in growth who do not want to talk about it with newsagents who are way down.
A moving feast.
Looking at early July data, I’d note that it would be wrong to lock the April – June results into a view for the long term. We are certainly in a period of significant change. The next quarter results could be different again.
What have we learned from the last 3 and 6 months?
While we have learned more, this list is my key points.
Finally, we are grateful to all newsagents who shared their data for inclusion in this study.
We are grateful to see sales data from a range of different Victorian retail businesses using our POS software. Here are trends from the latest Victorian lockdown:
While the pandemic has disrupted business, in that disruption are opportunities. The Victorian situation is a reminder that disruption is not temporary. We think history will show that winners will be those businesses that adapted early and were able to finesse their offering and processes as the market demanded.
Working in a permitted industry and fulfilling Permitted Roles enables us to maintain our head office in Hawthorn, a suburb of inner Melbourne, open for business.
While we operate the head office with minimal staff in a Covid Safe operation, being open here at the office allows us to provide an enhanced level of service.
The majority of our team members are working from home and have been dong so since March thanks to our VoIP phone tech and our other platforms including a secure commercial Zoom account, a secret commercial Teams account and more.
Given the businesses operating in a hosted environment through data centres we facilitate and other services we provide, some out of our head office, we meet several points of criteria laid down by Justice Victoria. For our customers and the businesses they run, we are here, delivering business as usual services.
To be sure, we have completed the appropriate Department of Justice paperwork. We also have a visible and adhered Covid Safe plan for the office as well as protocols for those who do attend the office.
Here at Tower Systems it is 100% business as usual.
The topic of inventory software can be boring for small business retailers. What we say is that inventory software is not boring. Indeed, the topic of inventory software is critical to the success of small business retail, core to the success of a retail business.
Aussie POS software company Tower Systems develops and supports inventory software for small business retailers.
Our inventory software is smart and focussed on the successful, timely and cost effective management of stock, inventory, for small business retailers.
Using our inventory software we help retailers:
Our inventory software is part of our small business POS software. It is a piece of a comprehensive solution for small business retail managing retail sales, supplier relationships, mitigating theft and more.
At the individual inventory stock item level to the category level and department level, invoice level and more this POS software helps small business retailers to make smart inventory management decisions. It is comprehensive in its function and everyday useful at the small business management end.
So, yes, inventory software can be a boring topic. However, it can be a valuable topic for any retail business, valuable to the financial performance of a business. It is not boring at all. Indeed, it is essential to any retail business for success with inventory is successor the retail business.
Inventory software is core to any POS software, essential, in fact.
Here at Tower Systems, our POS software continues to evolve and serve new and expanding needs in these and other areas. This is what you expect for POS software, evolving to serve market expanding needs.
Tower Systems serves in excess of 3,500 small business retailers across Australia and New Zealand with specialty retail POS software in a broad range of areas, serving niche retail marketplaces, and including this important area of inventory software.
We first shared these resources with our POS software customers in one of our daily update emails.
Tuesday August 4, at 12:30pm, please join us for an open workshop on selling online. Everyone is welcome. Bring your questions as they will guide where the discussion flows. We’d love to explore what to sell, how to sell, how to ship and what to consider in going online. Here is the link to join:
Meeting ID: 993 3785 2843 Passcode: 071157
The new gift shop software from Tower Systems is delivering practical and everyday outcomes to small business retailers on the high street and in shopping centres as they deal with an unusual 2020 in retail.
Using this POS software for gift shops, small business retailers can tap into many benefits, including these …
The latest version of our Aussie made and supported gift shop software, released two months ago, is visually and technically fresh. It’s made for Australian gift retailers to help you run a more valuable business.
It is designed for gift shops large and small, on the high street and in shopping centres – specialty and niche and broadly based. Homewares shops, too. This is terrific software designed to help gift retailers land more business locally and thanks to the Shopify link on line too.
Packaged into a small weekly rental price, here is what gift shop retailers get from our gift shops POS software:
What you get out of having a Shopify site or any website created for your retail business is up to you. This is important to consider because we see retailers sometimes think that turning on a website drives success. That alone does not.
Here in this article we seek to provide an example of some advice we share with retailers considering a website created by us. This information, along with other comprehensive information and advice we provide, is intended to educate and guide small business retailers in getting online and getting online through us.
A Shopify site, like any website, is a hungry beast. By this we mean that it needs to be fed, with new content and changes, regularly.
This is not everything. It is designed to be a guide, to get indie retailers thinking early.
With so many small business retailers implementing POS software connected websites, we are leaning into providing fresh and useful advice for for retailers early for them to consider this prior to making plans for their website.
We have developed this advice based on years of experience in creating Shopify sites for small business retailers.
This is written for people who think they want a Shopify website for their business but don’t know where to start, don’t know which option to go with, can’t see how you can make money, worry that you won’t have the time. If any of these is you, please start here.
You are not alone. These concerns, feelings, are common.
The reality is that a Shopify site will take more time than you can imagine. It most likely will not obviously make money, most don’t. We say obviously because there are ways websites make money beyond direct sales.
We suggest you approach launching a website as a start-up business. Sure, it may sell some or all of what you sell in your shop. However, it is different, it is its own thing with different needs and different opportunities. Seeing it as a start-up can help. Also, seeing it as a start-up could take you on a fresh path.
You need to love your website. If you don’t it will not get the attention and support it needs from you. By lovewe mean love what it sells, how it does this and how it represents you.
This brings us to what you sell online. That can only be resolved by you. It needs to be something, or a category of things, that people are searching for because if they are not looking, finding shoppers is much harder, something you feel good about.
Starting is key. In our experience, where people land with a website a year on, 2 years on and more is different to where they start. They would not have got there if they had not started. That is key in our view – starting, gaining experience, maybe stumbling or falling before moving on.
Think carefully about what you would like to sell, research it. Take your time. Make the move once you know. Starting before you know what you want to do could be a mistake.
We are thrilled to launch Card Emporium, a new online card shop. It launches with Father’s Day cards.
The Father’s Day card range at Card Emporium has been carefully chosen, selected to suit all sorts of Father’s Day card giving occasions.
The site includes advice on what to write on a Father’s Day card.
The online card offer includes dad, grandpa, pop, pa and more. There is step-dad and friend cards, too, serving the broader Father’s Day card need.
Father’s Day 2020 is an interesting occasion with many unable to see dad and connect with him so a card is the safe hun, the healthy hug in the corona world. sending a Father’s Day card could be the ideal gift opportunity for a dad who has been there for their kids through thick and tin, the card says I remember what you have done and what you mean and I appreciate you.
Father’s Day is a big celebration, a big season in the card calendar and this year there are many new Fatjer’s Day cards released to make the season a good and fresh experience for old-hand dads as well as the new dads who are celebrating Father’s Day for the first time.
Through Card Emporium you can order cards to be sent to you. Or, you can order one card for the team to write on it for you and port it to your dad. This is a personal Father’s Day card service, helping you connect with the seasonal occasion 24/7, when it suits you and without having to go outside … which we think is a preferred way off shopping right now.
Shopping online for cards is changing and at card Emporium your goal is to help more card shoppers to have access to more designs that are fresh, fun and emotionally engaging. That is what we have sought to do with our, launch Father’s Day card range.
This Father’s Day, our cards are Australian made and Australian designed. Plus, they raise funds for R U OK?, an important mental health focussed charity in Australia.
For Father’s Day cards in 2020, consider Card Emporium, a new Shopify site from the Tower Systems team. We are here to help you express yourself this Father’s Day and beyond.