Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: June 2017 (page 2 of 2)

Employee theft remains the biggest concern of small business retailers.

Employee theft in small retail businesses remains the biggest single concern among small business retailers and the biggest single cost to retail businesses.

We say this based on evidence of interaction with 3,500+ small business retailers in our user community and from working with plenty of retailers outside our user community, helping them to deal with the hurt and cost of discovering theft by retailers.

We have tried many approached to getting the attention of small business retailers on the issue of theft. One of the most successful means of engagement has been this cheeky video from us. It gets attention.

We have used it through YouTube as well as other platforms. It works a treat, gaining thousands of views.


Australian developed POS software for Australian specialty retailers

A good Point of Sale system pays for itself every day by helping retailers increase customer spend per visit, bring customers back more regularly, reduce the cost of slow or dead stock, reduce mistakes and make better business decisions.

Australian POS software company Tower Systems is grateful for the opportunity to help more than 3,500 independent small business retailers leverage more benefits from being part of the group.

Consistent stock files, electronic invoices, easier business-to-business comparison and more targeted business development assistance are just some of the benefits you can expect from a more consistent solution.

But being independent businesses we understand you need a computer system over which you have absolute control and security within your business.

That is what the Tower Systems solution offers – locally run software for your type of business in your business over which you have control yet that can be run in a manner that helps others you work with help you.

Tower Systems has a strategy for helping individual businesses as well as businesses that trade as part of a group.

From the sales counter to the back office to online, Tower Systems has comprehensive solutions to work with and for a business in a broad variety of ways. these solutions are available for a variety of retail businesses channels, with software designed specifically for the businesses in these channels.

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


Helping small business retailers manage efficient and accurate stock takes

The annual stock take can consume a small business, taking time and resources away from more productive activities.

Tower Systems has a range of time-efficient and accuracy-guiding stock take options in its software. These options can be leveraged to make the annual stock take faster. They can also be leveraged to eliminate the annual stock take altogether.

Yes, small retail businesses can avoid the annual stock take.  This can be done in a way that meets the requirements of the ATO, that ensures the business fulfils its data tracking and record keeping obligations.

All through June, and last month in May, Tower Systems has offered and is offering access to many live stock take training workshops. As sessions fill we add more, at flexible times. Plus, we supplement these with the offer of free one on one training for business owners who cannot make it for any of our scheduled times.

Our small business retail stock take training covers all forms of stock takes and includes advice on how to eliminate the annual stock take if you would like to achieve that.

This free training and personal assistance with stock takes in another Tower AdvantageTM.


Specialist gift shop software for Australian gift shops

We are grateful for the support from specialist gift shops for our retail channel specific gift shop software. Our in-house team created this social media post to connect with gift retailers. It has worked a treat as it connects with the feel of so many gift shops.


Free POS software & e-commerce workshop for regional NSW small business retailers.

Retail is changing at a rapid rate. Changes in-store and online are making 2017 an important year.

We have see these changes first-hand at international retail conferences this year. We play with the changes in our own shops where we use our POS software and our website technology to find new customers and drive a higher average spend.

Come to one of 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.

Here are the dates for our free POS software / website workshops. Click on the city name to book your place:

  1. Coffs Harbour. June 19. 10am. Novotel.
  2. Tamworth. June 20. 10am. Leagues Club.
  3. Newcastle. June 21. 10am. Mercure.
  4. Dubbo. June 22. 10am. Quest.
  5. Wagga Wagga. June 23. 10am. International Hotel.

We will share insights on 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.

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 your local account manager: NSW: Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148.

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.


Small business retail management advice: be generous with your loyalty offer

Too often small and independent retail businesses create and run shopper loyalty programs that mimic their big business competitors. They ignore that the big business loyalty programs do not have rewarding shopper loyalty as a core focus.

Big business loyalty programs are primarily about the needs and profitability of the big business running them. Too often, they do not offer a real reward for loyalty.

Our advice for small business retailers is to be generous with your loyalty program.

Offer generous rewards for loyalty. Run a loyalty program shoppers love, a program that brings shoppers back again and again.

It is called a loyalty program after all. Show your customers you appreciate their loyalty.

Being stingy will cause frustration and anger among customers, it could have them talking negatively about the business. This is not good for business.

When we look at loyalty programs that have failed to deliver good results in a small or independent retail business, the most common cause we find is that the loyalty reward is not sufficiently a reward.

This is why we encourage retailers to be generous in loyalty reward settings.

The best way to reflect generosity is through transparency of value. By this we mean making it clear what a reward is worth. This is why a dollar amount is more valuable than points. People understand dollars. It is unlikely the will easily understand the ‘value’ of points.

While the Tower Systems software offers multiple loyalty programs and options, our recommended approach is discount vouchers. It is easy to setup, easily understood by shoppers and genuine in the reward.

Showing $$ value on receipts in the form of a voucher that can be spent presents immediate in-store opportunities as well as after the visit opportunities. Our research indicates an average redemption of 20% of all vouchers issued and a total net cost to the business of around 1% of turnover for, usually, a 8% to 10% bump in sales.

For more advice and assistance on the best-practice approach to shopper loyalty, please talk with the team at Tower Systems.


Helping small business retailers attract new shoppers

Every week in our customer advice and support email we also include retail management advice and visual merchandising tips. We share tips and insights we see in retail businesses in our travels in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. Here is a tip in the form of a street sign from last week:


Small business retailers love optimistic message

We have received a terrific reaction to this graphic that we released a few weeks ago. Developed initially for internal use, we let it drift out with some of our communication and the response has been wonderful. Kudos to the creative folk in our company who created this message. #proud


Australian based web development team developing retail business websites

Tower Systems is proud to offer access to its Melbourne based web development team for the development of websites for retail businesses.

Our service is comprehensive and engaging, with retailer to web developer access.

We do not use an overseas development business to do the work for us. All of the work is done by us in ou own office.

This is a point of difference.

Overseas web developers are much cheaper. However, there is a reason for this … it is often evident in the websites they deliver.

Our local web development team has delivered many sites already – free standing as well as POS software integrated websites. We have a wonderful portfolio to share, to demonstrate the technical and design skill sets we have in-house in our Australian software company.

Australian retail businesses benefit from Australian developed websites.

WARNING: There are companies that look like Australian web development companies that actually have all the development work done offshore. Ask to meet with or talk with the tech team, ensure they are local, ensure you can easily contact them.

Sourcing a local develop0er is important if you consider your business to be local.


How our POS software Xero link helps us win online sales for our own retail business


Online LayBy made easy.

newsXpress Southland is a card, gift and collectibles shop in the sprawling Westfield Southland shopping centre in south east Melbourne. It is our own business. We run this as a testing groups for our small business POS software.

With rent increasing faster than foot traffic to the 300+ store shopping centre, the manager of the business needed to connect with shoppers outside.

Online was the obvious choice but time was limited. The goal was to find a solution that enabled the business to get online without any additional management or accounting time involved.

Xero partner Tower Systems provided an integrated Point of Sale solution for in-store and well as online. This seamless link, coupled with complete xero integration, provided the time-saving solution the business was looking for.

“Online revenue is fantastic”, commented the manager of the store. “There is a direct bottom line benefit for the business as there is no additional labour cost and no capital expenditure.”

“We could not have done this without the xero link as that enabled us to effectively open a second outlet without what in the past was additional accounting or bookkeeping cost.”

As the business has become more familiar with the Tower Systems and xero solutions it has evolved the online offering to be more comp0etitive against big retailers in the online space.  This has seen click and collect and online LayBy launched.

It is with online LayBy where the business has benefited from the xero integration in that the shopper is able to pay over time, interest free, and the retailer is paid immediately. There is no additional accounting or bookkeeping work involved as the data flows from the website to the POS to xero without being touched by human hands.

A shopper adds items to their shopping cart, they select online LayBy, provide basic instant credit check data and fine the application approved or otherwise in seconds. The retailer is paid less a small handling fee with the finance company taking full responsibility for collecting payment.

With click and collect, the payment is handled online. This works best as to commits the shopper and turns the in-store visit to an easy collection. Experience has shown this is what shoppers prefer rather than having to worry about payment in-store. It also means one person can purchased while another can collect, with appropriate secure authority.

Doing this, flowing data from shopper through to xero in this way eliminates mistakes that can be made when data is re-keyed. It also saves considerable time and this is a tangible business benefit.

“Control and transparency of data at each step in the line is key for our business because like any small business every cent of margin is important” commented the manager. “The solution needed to be easy and neat for us and for our customers. Xero was a key part of achieving this.”

In addition to the xero integration, Tower Systems POS software integrates with Shopify, magento and WooCommerce – the three leading e-commerce platforms in the world. The web development team at Tower has enhanced these to offer a multi-store solution whereby independent retailers can trade under a single branded website rather than needing their own website.

“The xero integration is the back-office piece where real labour costs are reduced”, commented Gavin Williams, Tower Systems COO. “We only sell to independent small business retailers in selected retail niches such as bike shops, jewellers and garden centres. Having the xero integration is vital as they are all competing with big business and every saving, no matter how small, is loved.”

Tower Systems is an Australian based POS software company currently serving in excess of 3,500 small and independent business retailers. The company can be explored at


More retailers using our POS software integrated websites

We are thrilled to welcome more websites that are integrated with our small business POS software, offering real-time stock on hand data.

Each new site we bring on enhances the portfolio and further demonstrates our capabilities of linking online and offline retail and bringing to life facilities small business retailers look to offer from their websites:

  1. Online LayBy, interest free.
  2. Paypal payments.
  3. Click and collect.
  4. Single stock data feed, showing g real time in-store stock.

Mastering these and other facilities for single store and multi store situations is a powerful solution. Doing it also for multiple businesses to one site is stunning.

This is all part of the Tower Systems web development / POS software integrated solutions package. It is another Tower AdvantageTM.

Note, all our web development is done using e-commerce platforms that are widely used. Indeed, the three we use account for three quarters of retail e-commerce sites in the world.

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