Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: September 2011 (page 3 of 3)

Tower Systems … At Home With Julia

ahwj.jpgWe were chuffed to see our newsagency software being used in the newsagency scene in the At Home With Julia comedy show on ABC1 on Wednesday night.  The overall content of the show aside, the scene shows a newsagency as a place with modern technology in use to help run the business.


New Stock Files for Point of Sale Users

We have tested and loaded the following stock files for users of our Point of Sale software:

  • Collins Debden 2012 Diaries
  • Art-Wrap June 2011
  • Hallmark September 2011

Bike Shop Software Growth in Adelaide

Bike shops in South Australia love our Bike Shop software thanks to us having a local office in Adelaide delivering easy access to our terrific software. Tim Batt, our Adelaide based expert is able to visit with local Bike Shops and show off our software and help users get the most from it. Our local and practical assistance for Adelaide based Bike retailers is a key reason for our excellent market penetration.

Tim can be contacted directly on 0401 833 917.


Using Receipt Advertising to Drive Sales in Retail

magazinepromotion.jpgMore and more retailers are using the advertisement serving facilities in our software to include ads on receipts and through this are driving incremental sales.

Retailers using our Point of Sale software are able to control when ads are displayed, queuing up ads to appear at specific times – like the ad in the photo for OK! and Who magazines. This ad can be scheduled to appear in advance of the Friday on-sale of these magazines.

Retailers can choose ads based on products purchased as well as other criteria.

We get a thrill when we see our customers use the ad serving facilities of the software in different ways, especially to promote products and services we have not seen advertised using this medium before.


Fresh Advice on Customer Statements for POS Software Users

We have revised and updates Advice Sheet N02.05, Processing Customer Statements. This is now available from our website for Tower AdvantageTM customers.

We are committed to regular revision of our user advice to ensure that retailers using our Point of Sale software have access to valuable advice on using the software.


Enhancing the Coffee Experience

nespresso.JPGLast week we took delivery of this top of the line Nespresso machine along with a wonderful selection of accessories. Offering six different quality coffees and frothed fresh milk, this new machine offers an enhanced coffee experience for the team at our Head Office.

This new Nespresso machine is one of several enhancements to workplace benefits delivered in recent weeks. With our team working hard for our customers we wanted to find ways to show appreciation.


Retail Advice: 5 Ways Retailers Can Use POS Software to Grow Sales Without Running a SALE

SALE signs have been hanging in the windows of too many retail businesses across the world for too long. It seems that many retailers have forgotten how to be different, how to play to their strengths.

Chasing sales only on price is a mugs game. There is no differentiation. Every day a retail business trades with a SALE running beyond a week or two for a specific purpose is another day the value of the retail brand is discounted.

Running sales perpetually, as so many retailers are doing today, tells shoppers that prices in the business have been reset.

Countless studies have shown that shoppers often buy on more than price. Service, convenience and value are key factors. None of these factors are represented in the perpetual SALE sign.

Smart retailers, and there are plenty of these, are attracting shoppers and demonstrating value in ways other than by handling a SALE sign for months. They are using business data and businesses systems, like Point of Sale software to promote their point of difference through value.

Here are five ways retailers can use good Point of Sale software to promote their business without running a traditional SALE and without devaluing their brand:

  1. Loyalty. Run a customer loyalty program and deliver genuine rewards for genuine loyalty. This will quickly separate your business from the faux loyalty systems one often sees in national retailers. Focusing on quick access rewards is the key to rapidly building shopper satisfaction.
  2. Appreciation. By tracking your shoppers and what they purchase you can show your appreciation through a text message, email or letter. Thanking your shoppers in a structured way can help build their appreciation of your business.
  3. Add value. A three for two or four for three offer is quite different to a SALE. Using your Point of Sale software to manage and offer these volume purchase offers can help drive sales, especially is the threshold for accessing the bonus product is above what a shopper would usually purchase.
  4. Promote at touch points. By consistently promoting on shopper receipts, point of purchase customer displays, customer accounts and other common customer touch points in the business can expect to achieve incremental business. The keys are a simple consistent message promoted consistently.
  5. Reward employees for sales growth. By rewarding employees for sales growth, achieving sales beyond your set sales targets, you empower and motivate your shop floor team to grow the business. The right reward should encourage your team to work smarter and be more engaged in pursuing sales growth. Your software can track sales and rewards for you.

Any retail business running a sale in today’s retail climate is running a me-too campaign. They are begging for the business to be compared to every other business running a sale.

Retailers who engage in a mixture of the five suggestions in this article set themselves apart. They also respect their brands by making it about value more than price. These businesses which play outside the most common and expensive sale game are the businesses which can expect to do well in tough times.

Good Point of Sale software is the key to such creative and value-based engagement. It helps with execution as well as tracking of results. Tower Systems works with retailers on such campaigns, helping to find the best mix of ways Point of Sale software can help a retail business grow.


Free Blackhawk Gift Card Stand for Tower Systems Retailers

blackhawk-cards.jpgFor a limited time, Blackhawk is offering a free merchandised stand valued at $89.95.

Tower customers can sell Blackhawk cards from within their software easily and quickly thanks to our integrated eziPass solution.

We know from customer feedback that the Blackhawk range of gift cards is a valuable addition to retail range, delivering good incremental business and delivering excellent value for the small retail footprint required. Blackhawk is supported through Touch, a Touch account is required to access the products.

To be part of the Blackhawk Network gift card programme, and enjoy your share of the changing way Australians choose gifts, simply visit

We encourage our retail network to embrace this opportunity.


Prepaid SIM Offer for Tower Newsagents

prepaid-sim.jpgTower Newsagents have been sent a Prepaid SIM stand special offer direct from our friends at Touch.

This special offer stand makes a wonderful merchandising unit available for use in their retail businesses to help drive Prepaid SIM card sales.

By driving SIM sales, retailers better position themselves to drive recharge business. There is good evidence to back this claim and thereby reinforce the need for retailers to commit to new account acquisition – which is easily done through this SIM pack retail merchandising unit.

We have the largest network of newsagents using integrated mobile phone recharge software.  This is valuable to our retail partners as well as to the  mobile phone companies themselves.


Retail Advice: Start-Up Costs For Opening a Retail Store

Fully understanding the costs before you open a retail store is important to being financially prepared for the road ahead. While some retail store start-up costs are obvious, others are not. The key is to develop a comprehensive business plan and budget which take into account all possible start-up costs. This is best done by people connected with the business as well as external advisors who have experience in the area.

Here is a list of retail store start-up costs which will apply to almost any type of business. The list is broken down by area:

The store itself: lease preparation costs, legals, shop-fit, signage, electrical, lighting, plumbing, parking, window signs. In developing these costs, get quotes from a range of suppliers and use the higher quotes for budgeting purposes.

Stock: initial floor stock, backup stock. Make sure that you have ordered enough stock to support the opening of the business, to fill the space and have enough to replace stock as it is sold.

Infrastructure: computer system, security system, motor vehicle(s), phone system.

Other: business incorporation, accounting fees, other legal fees, any government registrations necessary, initial supply of stationery and consumable items, insurance, banking relationship setup fees.

Employees: hiring costs, uniforms, training and any other sign-on costs.

Opening: marketing, promotional gifts, advertising, additional employees for any event. This needs to cover all costs to support any opening event as well as marketing to be undertaken by the business for the first three months of trading.

Early trading: budget for the cash necessary to pay the bills of the business which it is establishing itself. This will depend on how soon you expect revenue to kick in. Budgets for between three and six months coverage.

Contingency: once you have all of the expected costs worked out, add a line for contingency – for anything which may go wrong. As a guide, this should be in the vicinity of 10% to 15% of the total start up costs.

The more accurate the cost assessment the better prepared you will be should the business plan proceed. A retail store starved of cash is a business waiting for all sorts of challenges. This is why deciding not to proceed because of lack of cash is better than just scraping through and opening with barely enough cash.

Take your time and work out what the real start up costs are likely to be. This time spent before you sign any agreements could be invaluable down the track even once the business is open.


Tyro Broadband Eftpos Offer Helps retailers save Money

We are thrilled to have an exclusive offer to help retailers using our Point of Sale software to switch to the integrated Tyro Broadband Eftpos solution.  This offer is for Tower Systems retailers only.

By switching to Tyro, retailers have access to terrific business benefits including:

  • Faster Eftpos processing.
  • More accurate Eftpos processing
  • Easier reconciliation.
  • Better customer throughput at the sales counter.
  • Easier problem resolution.

We use Tyro in our own retail businesses and endorse it as the best Eftpos solution available for retailers.

Our latest exclusive offer makes switching to Tyro now, in time for Christmas, valuable beyond the benefits listed above.


Retail Advice: How to Use Facebook to Promote Your Retail Store

Being on Facebook can help any retail business build its profile in its local community and beyond since the social media website has no geographic boundaries.

Setting up a Facebook page for a business is easy and it is free. However, take your time, research what others have done and learn from their missteps.

Facebook is all about connecting people. It is not a place to blatantly sell items – otherwise it would be an advertisement.

A good business Facebook page:

  1. Takes you behind the scene at the business.
  2. Provides a place where customers and their friends can communicate.
  3. Humanises the business.
  4. Shares opportunities.
  5. Promotes community projects.
  6. Thanks employees and customers
  7. Helps tell the retail narrative.

Each of these goals and activities can be achieved simply through wall posts on the business page. It is simple – as Facebook itself is.

Once you start a Facebook page, however, you need to work at it, keep it going. People join to find out more and if you stop providing this they will soon fade away.

To build your Facebook friend numbers you will need to promote your business page. This is done in a variety of ways:

  1. Print your Facebook member details on your business card, make it easy for people to find you.
  2. Include details on your newsletter.
  3. Include a promotional note about your page on your printed receipts.
  4. Place a sign in the store window – browsers may see this when the store is closed.
  5. Have a sign made for the back of business vehicles.

The best way to grow your Facebook presence is to become friends with others. This broadens the pool accessible to you.

Too many retail businesses use social media sites to promote products. A better use is to tell stories about the business for it is through well written stories that the humanity of the business is expressed. This can draw more shoppers to the business.

Tell stories about your people, special events, seasons… anything which provides a more complete picture about the business, its points of difference and why it is a good place to visit.

Don’t overwrite, keep it simple. This is how people communicate on social media sites like Facebook. Keep it personal too – the better people get to know you the more they will feel connected to the business.

Retail stores using Facebook report deeper customer engagement and this is what leads to the desired business outcome.

Sometimes, on the social media journey, you may find that what you want to say about the business is not true. This is where the experience can lead the business to change itself to have something better to say. Everyone wins.

Embrace the Facebook opportunity and be prepared to learn more about your business and your customers.


User Training in Point of Sale Software This Week

We are proud to be hosting another four live and free online training workshops for retailers using our Point of Sale software text week. Each training session is timely and will add genuine value to what participants can get out of our POS software – there is plenty of time for questions too. Here are the four workshops on offer:

  1. Home Deliveries & Customer Management 6 Sep 2011, 11:00AM
  2. New Staff Member Training 6 Sep 2011, 02:00PM
  3. Putaways Management 8 Sep 2011, 11:00AM
  4. Point Of Sale Training 8 Sep 2011, 02:00PM

Online training is a wonderful way to learn more about our software. The result is improved productivity and better business outcomes.Bookings can be made at our online training portal.

Our continuing and consistent online training program is in addition to an excellent range of advice sheets and other training opportunities provided to users of our Point of Sale software.


A Week of Training at Tower Systems

This past week has been packed with training at our Head Office.  In addition to excellent refresher training from one of our experts for Help Desk team members on our latest Multi-Store POS software, we have had three of our people complete a full-day professional first aid course.

There will be more training for Help Desk team members next week on newer areas of our software.

We understand the importance of professional development in a business like ours where so many rely on our advice to help their businesses.


Spending $7 a Day Delivers $108 in Savings

A newsagent who recently switched to our newsagency software has advised that just the magazine management part of our software is delivering $108 a day in savings. This is from a total investment of $8 a day.

That’s a tremendous return on investment which will only get better with time. The newsagent accessing these benefits has only just started. The $108 a day in savings is from just one part of our features and benefits rich software.

Owning and operating newsagencies ourselves enables us to deliver better software and back this with better training for newsagents.

As we are seeing at the current round of industry trade shows, more newsagents are lining up to join the 1,700+ newsagent strong Tower Systems newsagent community.


Creating Another New Help Desk Position

We have announced to our customers that we are preparing to add yet another new role to our help desk.  This additional head count will be located in the office where we can find the ideal candidate out of Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane.

While we do not have the need right now, the creation of this additional position is part of our forward planning.  It reflects the growth of our customer base this year and our forecast of good growth in 2012.

We casting the net for applicants from within our customer community prior to advertising more widely.


Great Customer Service the Differentiator for POS Software User Loyalty

Customer churn is a risk for any software company, especially Point of Sale software companies. Winning a customer is just the start of a relationship which effectively renews each year when customers consider whether to maintain their software for another year.

While some companies lock their customers in by blocking access to their software if a software support agreement is not maintained, here at Tower Systems we back ourselves and give our customers the option of choosing whether to maintain software support.

Customer support renewal is a key measurement of customer satisfaction in our situation. In companies where support is compulsory they do not have such an indicator.

The other indicator of customer happiness is churn, where customers leave one Point of Sale product for another. Our churn is low … we’re thrilled with that.

A major source of new customers is churn to us from other Point of Sale software products. We like and appreciate this.

Our relentless focus on the customer experience pays off with a low churn and a high support renewal. We appreciate the loyalty of our customers and are grateful for the annual vote come software support renewal time.


Newsletter for Newsagents Mailed

newsagent-newsletter.jpgWe have just mailed our September newsletter to newsagents using our newsagency software. This print newsletter is in addition to our weekly emails and other regular user communications.

By offering regular access to news in print as well as electronically, we find that we are able to reach and engage with more of our large 1,760+ newsagent customer base around Australia.

Regular and professional communication is vitally important to a mutually beneficial relationship between software companies and their customers.

This print newsletter is just part of our overall and successful communication strategy.  It not only delivers good content but does so in a professional and engaging way.


Pushback Against Cloud Based POS Systems

We are detecting pushback against cloud based Point of Sale systems among some retailers. At a couple of recent trade shows, the location of business data was the first question put to us. Small and independent retailers are particularly concerned about the location of mission critical data. We understand this and have an answer they like ready for such questions.


Helping Retailers Cut the Cost of Eftpos Processing

We have put together an offer for our retail partners to help them switch to the Tyro broadband Eftpos solution and do so in an economical and time saving way. This offer is exclusive to Tower Systems and expires in a few weeks, giving our retailers plenty of time to be up and running for Christmas. The offer has been communicated directly to our customers.


Prepaid SIM Sales Unit Offer

prepaid-sim.jpgWe have shared the details of a Pre-Paid SIM retail display offer with our retailers selling mobile phone recharge through our software.  This latest offer gives our retailers over $300 worth of SIM card product for just $35.  It also includes a handy display unit for easy and professional merchandising of the SIM packs from Optus, Telstra, Lebara and others.

There is strong evidence that selling SIM packs helps drive recharge business for retailers just as selling handsets drives recharge business.

This new Pre-paid SIM display unit is sure to help our retailers win more of the Pre-Paid SIM and recharge business.  We are pleased to have been able to promote the opportunity.

We have over 1,000 active retailers selling recharge.

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