Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: November 2018 (page 1 of 2)

Advice on small business websites: don’t bloat

While what you put on your website for sale is your business, our advice is don’t bloat … don’t load the website with everything thinking that the more you have online the more you will sell. That is not true. Loading everything on is, in our view, a mistake.

Oh, and while we are talking about websites, the best practice approach, our approach, is that our Retailer POS software controls the inventory and feeds this to the site. You can’t and should not try to do it the other way. We say this based on years of service in this area.

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Small business owners who are late being paid…

The federal Small Business Ombudsman has launched a new survey about late payment. Taking the short survey is a good way to have your voice heard about late payment. The website page with the survey details also has useful information on dealing with late payment.

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Using our POS software to compete with big business

In our small business POS software, our customers have tools they can use to compete with big retailers. We have a free online (live and interactive) training workshop where we will show how. December 5 @ 2pm. Click here to sign up. All are welcome.

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POS software advice for small business retailers

Retail is tough. Small business is tough. In our POS software, small business retailers have tools that help them compete, tools through which they can differentiate their businesses and reach new opportunities and customers.

Sometimes, the best way to compete is to stop competing. That is what we want to talk abut here today.

What is competition anyway. Often, it is inn our head and there it swirls around and does bad things. Let’s take a moment to look at competition differently.

Too often we in small business see competition and get angry. We ignore the opportunity to change gears and stop competing

In our Tower Systems POS software our retail small business customers have facilities through which they can change gears, through which they can recast your offer so it cannot be compared to those from a competitor.

These gear changing competitive tools in your current software include:

  1. Discount Vouchers. This is the most effective form of immediate loyalty rewards we have ever seen, driving excellent sales results. Charge more for an item and reward shoppers with cash off their next purchase.
  2. Buy X get Y – Multibuy. This focuses people on a volume based offer rather than a direct simple purchase.
  3. Package multiple items together for a price you set. Done right you can get more than the total value of the items in the package.
  4. Special orders. Major retailers tend to prefer to sell what they have. Special orders are often considered too difficult. If you manage it well and make it easy, you can pitch your business competitively.
  5. Sell you. Include insights, knowledge and advice with purchases, on receipts, automatically. Show, through every sale, that buying from you is different to other retailers where they could have purchased the same item.

This small list is a taste of the game changing opportunities though which you can compete in non traditional and often more valuable ways. These are ways we can help – through the software and through business advice that helps you leverage the software for wonderful times and insights.

Next time you feel competitive pressure from a big business, ask what you could change gearsin your business to position you differently, to not look like you are competing.

The more you can do to block direct price comparison the better. But don’t block, change the playing field. That is what we like to do.

Here at Tower Systems we can help with these and other initiatives in this area of smart competition.

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Disaster planning advice for small business retailers

here at our small business POS software company y we gratefully engage with our customers to help them understand and plan for disaster scenarios. Here is advice we have shared with our customers:

How protected is your retail business in the event of disaster? Since we are a software company, our interest is more to do with data and technology.

Are you as protected as you can be?

This is an easy topic to ignore and most small business retailers do. Those most likely to plan for a disaster are those who have gone through it. Once bitten, twice shyas they say.

Insurance. Insurance coverage is vital to helping overcome any type of disaster.  In addition to ensuring that your insurance policy covers all disaster situations of concern to you, including flood, theft, water inundation, fire, earthquake, riot—be sure to carefully read the policy, ensure that your insurance policy / policies cover payouts for the following:

  1. Business interruption. The amount should equal your anticipated gross profit for whatever period you choose to be covered.
  2. Data recovery. Including the hiring of experts to recover data from backup sources or the manual entry of data that cannot be automatically recovered.  Ensure you are covered to the point of recovered data being useable.
  3. Lost stock. This is stock stolen, lost from the business.
  4. Damaged and unsaleable stock. This is stock which is water damaged, scuffed or dented and which will not attract full price.
  5. Dated stock. This is stock that you cannot sell by the due date.
  6. Many policies require explicit statement of glass coverage.
  7. Temporary trading premises. Business interruption may cover this.
  8. Key person injury and/or death.This will usually be a separate policy.  Depending on the disaster, coverage may also be available through the overall business policy.

Ensure that the value of stock, fixtures and fittings covered by your policy is an accurate reflection of the real value of these items.  Use your POS system to track all stock movements in and out.  The stock on hand in your software should be your coverage.

Ensure that your insurance policy protects for the seasonal nature of your business

Data Protection. Business data is a valuable asset. Follow these steps:

  1. ‪Backup your business data every day, at the end of the day, without fail.
    1. Better still: use a cloud based backup service that undertakes the backup as the day unfolds without you having to every do anything to backup.
  2. Maintain a separate backup for each day of the week.
  3. Remove the backup from the business property.
  4. Store the backup in a safe, dry place.
  5. Check the usefulness of the backup by restoring and checking the data.
  6. Store original business software in a safe off-site location.
  7. Check the backup every three to six months – to make sure the backup is actually backing us current data and can be read. A backup you cannot read is a waste of time and money.
  8. Change your passwords regularly.
  9. Do not share passwords widely.

Disaster Planning. Here are some general suggestions on planning for a disaster in your business property.

  1. Ensure your roof is secure and free of leak points.
  2. Do not place computers on the floor. Put them on a riser.
  3. Use a power filter.
  4. Ensure all electrical wiring is to code.
  5. Keep off-site copies of: Business contracts and agreements; employee contact details, business account and other passwords, insurance details, recent photographs of fixtures, fittings and stock.
  6. For records you cannot easily copy or that may change as the trading day unfurls, consider having a go bag ready for you to grab if there is a risk to the premises such as a bushfire.
  7. Maintain a register of all employees in the business premises at any time.
  8. Prepare and place in a prominent place an evacuation plan.
  9. Maintain a professional grade OH&S compliant first aid kit.Have this checked regularly.
  10. Regularly maintain all fire extinguishers – check with your local fire brigade about this.
  11. Ensure that the business premises is safe and maintained to the local building codes and OH&S regulations.
  12. Have a trained first aid officer in staff. Your local St Johns or similar will be able to provide training.
  13. Use government resources such as the emergency planning kit at the federal government website: http://www.business.gov.au/business-topics/templates-and-downloads/emergency-management-template-and-guide/Pages/default.aspx
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How we see our POS software for small business retailers

We did an exercise in the office this week, thinking about how we see our software and what we do for small business retailers. Using a single word to describe what we dock to make a statement about what we stand for, aspire to, deliver and achieve for our customers in their businesses and in their lives as a result of engaging with our small b business POS software.

Here it is. Here is the list. the single word., Each word is, of itself, a statement of aspiration and / or achievement. We share it here as this is a shared goal we have with our customers and businesses owners who would be our customers. Here is the list in no special order…

Useful.

Exciting.

Expanding.

Helpful.

Responsive.

Customers.

Helpful.

Simple.

Stable.

Strong.

Powerful.

Easy.

Fast.

Accurate.

Safe.

Reliable.

Evolving.

Happy.

Trustworthy.

Peaceful.

Helpful.

Growing.

Calming.

Enlightening.

Aussie.

Me.

Focussed.

Structured.

Empowering.

Partner.

Collaborator.

Protected.

Rainbow.

Happy.

Relaxing.

Local.

Small.

Planning.

Smooth.

Personal.

Cool.

Future.

Flexible.

Changes.

Insights.

Peaceful.

Sure, they are single words. They are part of what came out of a workshop we did looking at who we are, what we do and why we do it. We do this from time to time, checking in with each other and our goals and the goals of our customers. We think this is good practice for any POS software company, especially one that focusses on the needs of small business retailers.

We take what we do here seriously and thoughtfully. We take great care to get it right even time. Pursuing this means we need to understand the goal. These single word responses help define the goal and the diversity of the goal.

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We help local produce and farm supply businesses serve local farmers

Local farmers matter. Local produce stores that support local farmers matter. Our produce software helps.

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Newsagency retail benchmark study results

Last week, we published to Aussie newsagents the results of our latest newsagency sales benchmark study. Here they are for you…

CORE CATEGORIES IN TROUBLE. NEW CATEGORIES GROWING.

This newsagency sales benchmark study reflects sales results as tracked in 147 retail newsagency businesses in Australia for the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. Only businesses with accurate data are included.

Each data point is the average, mean, of all data for the data point.

In assessing results at the category level, I have only included data for each category businesses trading in that category.

OVERALL BUSINESS PERFORMANCE METRICS.

  1. Customer traffic. Down 3.5%
  2. Overall sales. Down 3%
  3. Basket depth.No change.
  4. Basket dollar value.Up .5%

CORE PRODUCTS.

  1. Newspapers. Unit sales. Down 11.5%.
  2. Magazines. Unit sales. Down 10.5%.
  3. Greeting cards. Revenue. Down 5%.
  4. Stationery. Revenue. Down 12.5%
  5. Lotteries. Revenue. Down 3%
  6. Tobacco. Revenue. Down 15%.
  7. Agency. Parcels, gift cards, betting account top-up. Down 6%.

SPECIALTY PRODUCTS.

  1. Gifts. Revenue. Up 4%
  2. Toys. Revenue. Up 5%.
  3. Plush. Revenue. Up 7%.
  4. Collectibles. Revenue. Up 5%.
  5. Craft. Revenue. Up 3%.
  6. Coffee. Revenue. Up 17%.

What does this mean?

It was a particularly tough quarter with all traditional, core, categories declining. Also, the gap between businesses at either end of the performance spectrum is wider than ever.

New traffic should be priority #1 in every newsagency business. By this I mean, traffic for products the business is not traditionally known for. This is hard work as it involves the whole of the business: buying, pricing, display, in-store engagement and out of store marketing … all of which needs to be done under the name of the business but in a way that keeps this connection in the background.

I think a crucial data point that would be interesting to gather and discuss internally is…

How many unfamiliar faces did we see today?

Track this as much as possible. Pursuing a goal starts with accurate base line data.

The GP challenge.

At the core of chasing new business is the need to lift the profitability of the business. A key way for doing this is making more from each item you sell. That does not necessarily mean selling everything at the highest possible price., A better approach could be to sell more items with a higher overall average GP.

If you were, for example, to decrease revenue from papers and magazines and increase revenue for gifts, you could see overall business GP grow in that the GP% of gift can be double or more than of cards.

The supplier challenge.

The mix of suppliers to the channel is changing. As a supplier learns what they could make from newsagents, they tend to seek to engage with more newsagents. This is something to be wary of as the point of difference you may have once had an as early adopter can diminish once late bloomers latch on to something.

This is a reason for change in the supply mix. While for sure there will be everyday core lines, the reality is that change for at least a third, especially in gift, is important.

Final words.

It is easy to wallow and roll around in the challenges and negativity. That will not fix anything in your newsagency business. That is 100% ion you. Take a step, no matter how small, every day, toward a brighter future. Do something, anything, that moves you beyond the current trajectory if you are unhappy with the current trajectory. Wallowing, complaining … they are not beneficial steps and usually serve to make things worse.

Own your situation and own your obligation to improve it. Do this and there are many in the channel who will help.

Mark Fletcher.
Email: mark@towersystems.com.au  Website: www.towersystems.com.au  Blog: www.newsagencyblog.com.au
M | 0418 321 338

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Small business retail management advice for POS software users

Tower Systems is an Australian POS software company that developed, sells and supports POS software for selected small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand.

By focussing on specialty retail businesses, we ensure that our POS software is fit for purpose, that it is the right software for the job in each of those specialty retail marketplaces. We dive deep into the needs of selected retail channels, making sure that we serve their needs, delivering software that is highly tuned to the needs of these businesses.

This is what makes us a vertical market POS software company.

It is what separates us from many POS software companies. While anyone can say they have software for jewllers, bike shops, toy shops, gift shops and more, only a few software companies truly specialise, only a few software companies work deep in these areas, serving the needs of these businesses thoughtfully and in ways that are specific to these types of businesses.

POS software is a specialty tool. It is not general. It is not the same for everyone. There really is no one size fits all.

This is why we say take time, take care, be thoughtful and careful about what your need to run your business to get your business right.

This is what Tower Systems does. We know our POS software is right for everyone. We don;lt say it is. We don’t change it for everyone because that is not us. We are a specialty POS software company focussing on nine or ten specialty retail channels because specialisation matters, it really foes in software and in retail.

Our POS software is developed here in Australia. It is supported our of our Australian head office. We back it with unlimited free training. This is live and business specific. We have been doing it for years, evolving as the needs of retailers evolve. This sets us apart and makes for a more finely tuned and appreciated solution for our customers and we like this because it makes for an easier business life for us too.

The POS software choice for your business needs time and care for it to be the right choice for your business. This is where Tower Systems excels. we come to you. We show you our software and we don’t pressure.

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POS software for small business retailers

POS software, the right POS software, can be hard for small business retailers to find. While there are many point of sale packages out there in the marketplace, it can be hard to know the right p.o.s. package that is right for your business.

So many say that their software the best software for you. There can be wild claims. Often, wild claims are not backed up by the facts.

No two POS software programs are the same. Making the choice should rake time and care. It should involved a deep dive into the software and what it does, how it works.

If you are in a specialty retail business, we suggest you look thoughtfully and carefully at the needs of the business, to make sure you know what you want and why you want it before you head off and make a decision. A quick decision is not necessarily the best decision as you could be stuck with bad data, bad business practices and frustration all round.

POS software can be complex, which is good you want it doin g the heavy lifting in your business, you want doing things that will genuinely save time and money in the business. This is why we think taking time to make the right decision is critical. It is also why we say not all POS software programs are the same.

POS software for small business retail can include transacting sales at the counter, managing LayBys, handling product catalogues, connecting with suppliers, connecting with your accounting software, managing repairs, managing EFTPOS payments, handling complex freight requirements, telling you what is working and what is not working, making sure business is transacted accurately, mitigating theft, connecting with your online store, selling products by weight … and plenty more.

POS software is powerful, flexible, easy to use and constantly evolving as the needs of retail and the needs of your type of business evolve.

Tower stems serves over 3,000 small business retailers with POS software. This is what we do. We make POS software, what we think is awesome POS software. We sell, rent , lease POS software. We provide support for ur POS software.

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Buy your stationery from local newsagency businesses – support small business, shop local

 

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New POS software update for small business retailers

Two weeks ago, we strolling out a new update to our small business retail POS software. The roll out has been structured to ensure minimal disruption to the thousands of retail businesses we serve.

Our customers choose when they install an update. This is what they prefer. Those that want us to change it over for them, we do, but that is few.

This latest POS software update is awesome. It has terrific enhancements, many of which were suggested by and voted on by our customers in a another demonstration of transparency and democracy.

The update was released following a comprehensive beta release program in which an engaged community of our users tested the update live. It is only after the beta process passes that all customers have access to the update.

Our customers have been given a list of the engagements in a confidential communication. This enables them to determine if they want to install the update right away or at some point down the track. Were have some customers that collect updates and do them in a group.

What is special about this update is that a key part of the software has been completely re-written, from scratch. This has enabled us to make structural changes that set us up for more change. Continually improving the software in this way helps us better service our customers, it releases for them benefits they appreciate and can leverage for their own business advantage.

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We help small business retailers send targeted marketing emails to drive shopper traffic

Thanks to the Events facilities in our POS software, Tower Systems customers can export email address data to create lists for targeted email marketing and customer service campaigns.

Our small business retail customers can use Events to tag life events, customer purchase activity, repairs and more. This information, with multiple allowed per customer, enables you to be focused in your marketing.

Our customers can use the Events tools to build a marketing database based on what has been transacted through the Retailer POS software.

  1. A jeweller may use Events to track events such as anniversaries, life events for the customer and family members. Jewellers could use Events to reach out to all customers who have purchased an engagement ring in the last year or two years.
  2. A pet store may use Events to track worming details for dogs and therefore have a platform through which to remind customers on a treatment purchase being due.
  3. A bike shop can use Events to remind customers of a service due, The software easily knows who to specifically target for the reminder – this reduces the opportunity for spam..

Once you export the email addresses, you can import them into Mailchimp. Mailchimp is a fantastic tool for sending beautiful emails and tracking recipient engagement.

If you have a website, you can use Mailchimp to automatically email abandoned cart shoppers. These are shoppers who put products in their basket and then leave (abandon them) without completing their purchase. We have seen these abandoned cart emails work with 10% and more of them leading to purchases, which would have otherwise been lost to the business.

A business website without an abandoned cart strategy is missing out.

You can access Mailchimp direct and they can provide you with help on its use. Our focus, as the POS software company, is to provide you with tools for extracting target data for you to use in reading your Mailchimp target list.

We have wonderful, easy to access and read, resources in our POS software self-serve knowledge base to help with the POS software – Mailchimp export.  

All supported causers have access to Events.

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Free POS software training helps small business retailers enjoy their software more

Tower Systems offers the thousands of retailers using its POS software access to free one-on-one training in the use of its POS software.

Our customers can book and take as many of these POS software training sessions as they like.

The training can be on any topic related to the software. We have a catalogue of topics available. We also welcome topic requests from customers, all of which we will deliver.

The training is delivered by a training specialist with terrific retail experience.

We are proud to offer this service and to deliver it with consistency to our customers, to help them get the most possible from the use of our POS software in their business.

Booking the training is easy, hassle free.

This is real, we do it every day – free training for small business retailers using our POS software. Yes, free.

This is a Tower Systems advantage … and advantage for our retail business partners, those who use our POS software.

We are grateful to the support of our small business retailer community that enables us to provide this service and to have been providing this service for years.

The training itself is done over the phone, using a customer computer and their data, providing the customer the ability to learn by doing, to learn how and where they want to. We have found this works well in the small business environment.

Our approach also makes it easy for multiple team members in a business to learn their part, the part of the software that relates to their role. We can some days do training for four or five people in a single business. We are truly grateful for this because we know that the better someone knows the software the more they will get from it and the more they will love it and we are keen for people to achieve a place of love with our software.

Tower Systems is genuinely and acutely focussed on small business retailers in selected specialty marketplaces. We understand the importance of training and the value that can be derived from it for POS software customers.

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Specialty POS software for fishing and outdoors shops

Thanks to advice and support from people in 28 fishing & outdoors businesses, we have a software fine-tuned for this retail niche. These people are our experts. We are grateful for their guidance and advice.

We do all the regular POS software stuff you’d expect, and we serve fishing and outdoors business specialist requirements, like…

  1. Sell by weight or length – Easily sell bait by weight or line by length
  2. Sell by bundles / packs – Sell a rod / reel / line bundle easily. This makes it harder to price compare. It pitches you as offering value.
  3. Unpack bundles – You can take bundles and packs purchased from a supplier and break them down to single products, maximising return.
  4. Repairs & Job Tracking – Manage repairs, track progress in house or with third parties and notify customers by text when items are ready.
  5. Stock Notes– Easily add care instructions to any receipt, based on the product purchased.
  6. Catalogue Management– run promotions through the system for automatic pricing (ie multi-buys and catalogue items) (buy any 3 lures for $10 or further discounts when purchasing bigger qty’s of bait).
  7. Market to Your Customers– Keep in touch with customers based on their purchase history, interests, club membership, birthday, & more.
  8. Offer Customer Loyalty– Move away from straight discounting and implement a loyalty facility that encourages customers to spend higher amounts more often.
  9. Receipt Coupons–Easily control when coupons are printed on receipts. Offer further discounts when certain products are sold or advertise services in store when purchasing in specific departments
  10. Automated Reordering– reorder based on min/max levels or even based on seasonal sales figures
  11. Stock Images– images loaded against products can appear at point of sale to assist in the process, and can flow through to your website.
  12. Customer Order Management–Track special orders and print a label with the customers details and sms them when it comes in
  13. Staff Tracking – Track all suspicious transactions, cancelled sales, discounted sales, deleted sales, quantity changes and more.
  14. Gift Cards & VIP Cards – Our scanable cards speed up transactions and increase professionalism.
  15. Website Integration – Our software connects with Shopify, Magento & WooCommerce.  Have your accessories available for sale, and firearms available for enquiry without the need to do extra work.
  16. Accounting Integration – Have your sales and purchase information automatically flow into Xero, MYOB & Reckon.

Our training is one-on-one, in your business. Our help desk support is personal, based out of Melbourne, and personal too – because we know personal service matters in small business retail.

Talk to one of our experts about an obligation free personal demonstration:

  • VIC / SA / WA:Tim Batt 0401 833 917 tim@towersystems.com.au;
  • NSW / ACT / TAS:Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148 nathan@towersystems.com.au;
  • QLD / NT: Justin Randall 0434 365 789 justin@towersystems.com.au.
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Awesome Pet Shop software

Our POS software for pet shops is easy to use and fit for purpose.

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Helping small business retailers appreciate local shoppers

Here is another free resource we created for small business retailers.

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Christmas marketing ideas for small business retailers

Tower Systems works with more than 3,500+ small business retailers using its POS software in speciality retail niches including jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, gift shops, newsagents, pet shops, adult shops and more. We offer these ideas as our Christmas gift to you.

  1. Make it easy. People often talk about how hard Christmas is. Be the local business that makes it easy. The ways to do this are with easy Lay-By, free wrapping, better shop floor help, guide buying advice or tips on perfect gifts no one else will think of. Consider making Christmas easy as being a key part of your messaging.
  2. Be thrilled people are in your shop. Your personal smile or greeting is something they may not see in a big business where employees are less invested in each shopper and where the owner is usually thousands of kilometers away.
  3. Make the giving easy. If people purchase items from you to send somewhere else. Offer a one-stop shop. Save them the trip to the post office.
  4. Make the shop less about Christmas. Consider pulling back on the Christmas visual noise. Go for something simple, muted, respecting the season but making a calm statement. Consider declaring the shop a Christmas carol free zone – not because you hate carols but because you want to help customers take a break.
  5. Help people rest and recharge. Create a Christmas shopping rest and recovery zone. Offer free tea, coffee, water and something to eat. Encourage people to take a break in your shop – without any obligation for them to spend money with you.
  6. Let your customers help each other. Setup a whiteboard or sheets of butcher’s paper, yes keep it simple. Get customers to write gift suggestions under different age/gender groups. For example: Girls 18 – 25, Boys 55+. Encourage your customers to help each other through their suggestions.
  7. Make price comparison difficult. If you sell items people are likely to price compare with other businesses, package them so price comparison is not easy. Put items into a hamper as a perfect Boy 8 to 12 bundle for example. Or offer the item with pre packages services if appropriate for an item.
  8. Less is more.  The stack em high watch em fly mantra can be wrong. Indeed, it is often wrong in retail. Shoppers can be store blind because a shop is too full or a display is too busy. Consider creating simpler less cluttered displays and window promotions. Draw attention to what you want people to see by promoting that one thing. Every time someone asks if you have something that you think through should be able to find easily – take it as a challenge for you to address rather than a commentary on a facility of the customer.
  9. Change. Christmas season in your shop should evolve. Major change weekly is vital for people to see what you have that they could buy.
  10. Be socially engaged. On Facebook, Instagram, twitter and elsewhere, be the calm voice, the person people enjoy reading or seeing photos from. Provide entertainment this Christmas rather than the usual retailer shrill of come and shop here!
  11. Be community minded. Choose a local charity or community group to support through Christmas. Consider: a change collection tin at the counter; a themed Christmas window display; promotion on your social media pages; a donation to their work; a collection point for donations from customers.
  12. Facilitate sharing stories. Find space in your shop for customers to share their Christmas stories. It could be a story wall inside or in front of the shop. This initiative encourages storytelling by locals and better connects the business with the community.
  13. Award a prize at a local school. Fund a year-end prize at a local school. Attend a school assembly to award the prize. Work with the school leadership on a prize appropriate to your business.
  14. VIP preview. Host a VIP shopper preview night when you show off your Christmas ranges ahead of being available to the general shoppers. Respect and reward your local shoppers with deals and the opportunity to preview ahead of others.
  15. Leverage Christmas traffic. Encourage the Christmas shopper traffic surge in after Christmas. Give them a reason to come back. A coupon promotion or a discount voucher on receipts could be the enticement to get shoppers back in-store. Note: the Tower POS software produces discount vouchers to rules you establish.
  16. Become a gallery. Work with a school, kindergarten, community group or retirement village to bring in local art for people to come and see through Christmas. A small space commitment can drive traffic from family and friends of those with art on show.
  17. Dress the shop. Fully embrace Christmas. Create a Christmas experience such that shoppers know they have stepped into somewhere special this Christmas. Go for more than some tinsel and a tree. Fully embrace the opportunity.
  18. Make your shop smell like Christmas.
  19. Send cards. Send Christmas cards early in the season to suppliers, key customers and local community groups. This connects you with Christmas. Invite all team members to sign each card.
  20. Host a Christmas party. For shops nearby. You are all in the season together – let your hear down before things get crazy.
  21. Ensure you have gifts targeted at occasions. For example: Kris Kringle, by price point and by recipient. Make it easy for people to know what they could give.
  22. Stocking stuffers. At your counter always have one or two stocking stuffers for impulse purchase.
  23. Offer gift vouchers – for someone to give when they are not sure what to give.
  24. Be local. Ensure you have a selection of locally sourced products available for purchase. Make it clear in-store that these products are sourced locally.
  25. Tell stories. On your Facebook page, talk about what is important to you at Christmas. Personalise the season and deepen the connection with those who could shop with you.
  26. Offer a free gift. Bulk purchase an item to offer those who spend above a set amount. For example, spend $65 and receive XX where XX may have cost $5.00 but could have a perceived value of $20.00.
  27. Keep it fresh. Every week make significant change to your Christmas displays and promotions to keep your offer fresh.
  28. Share Christmas recipes. Each week for, say, four weeks, give customers a family Christmas recipe. This personalises Christmas in your business, creates a talking point and makes shopping with you different to your bigger competitors.
  29. Free wrapping. Sure, many retailers offer this. Make your offer better, more creative and more appreciated.
  30. This is essential in any business. Manage it through your computer system with strict rules.
  31. Work the floor. Increase time on the shop floor. Be present to manage shopper flow and to facilitate purchases.
  32. Christmas is crazy busy I most retail situations. Give yourself and your team members sufficient time to recharge so the smile greeting shoppers is heartfelt.
  33. Keep a secret. If yours is a business selling gifts a partner may purchase for their loved-one, create some mystery with a closed off display for the shopper to see the products.
  34. Free assembly. If you sell items that require assembly. Offer to do this for free.
  35. Free delivery. Offer free Christmas Eve delivery for items purchased for kids for Christmas.
  36. Sell training. Leverage the specialist knowledge you have in your business by selling as gifts places at classes you run sharing your expertise.
  37. Hold back. Don’t go out with everything you have for Christmas all at once. Plan the season to show off what you have as the season unfolds. This allows you multiple launches.
  38. Share a taste. Regardless if your type of business, bake a family recipe of Christmas cake, Christmas pudding or Christmas biscuits and offer tastings to shoppers on select days. This personalises the experience in your shop.
  39. Offer hampers. Package several items together and offer them as a hamper. Time-poor shoppers could appreciate you doing this work for them. We have seen this work in many different retail situations.
  40. Buy X get Y. Encourage people to spend more with a volume based deal. Pitched right, this could get customers purchasing items for several family members in order to get the price offer you have. Use your technology to manage this.

Christmas is the perfect time to plan for next year. It is the time to do everything possible to leverage bonus Christmas traffic to benefit your business through next year.

Tower Systems offers Point of sale / retail management software tailored for your specific type of retail business. Our software can help you leverage Christmas traffic for year-long benefits.

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POS software users to meet with our Software Development Manager

Shortly, we are hosting an open forum for retailers using our POS software where they get to meet and talk with our Software Development Manager.

This meeting is another example of our commitment to an open and transparent relationship with our customers. A core part of the meeting will be a Q&A. This will provide our customers an opportunity to ask questions about their specific situation. Often times in such discussions people start by asking for a software change and soon discover that the software already offers what they are asking for.

This session, our user meetings and our weekly online live training workshops combine to provide our customers with appreciated touch points between their businesses and ours. It its another reason for terrific customer retention tin rates for our business, for which we are most grateful.

Every time we put ourselves in front of our customers we learn new things, things from which the future of our POS software benefits. We appreciate the engagement of our POS software customers and the help they provide through suggestions and other engagement.

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POS software as a community service

We are grateful for the opportunity to help community organisations access our POS software for a fraction of the usual cost, through our community support program.

For many years, we have helped community organisations that do good and valuable works, by providing access to our software on an on0-going basis sometimes free, sometimes for a token cost.

This community work is part of the Tower giving program where we help community organisations spread the joy off their community works with greater surety and efficiency.

We appreciate being able to do this.

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Why it is important for a POS software company to visit your business before you make a purchase decision

Tower Systems offers retailers considering POS software a personal visit to assess the needs of the business, to understand if our software is right for the business.

Doing this on the phone may not be ideal. It can be done if our customers prefer, but it is not ideal. Doing it by email is nonsense.

As a company dedicated to personal in-store service, we start the relationship off right with a personal visit to see iff we are right for you. This visit is often the beginning of a long and personal relationship with our customers

Retail is personal. So is POS software for local retail businesses.

By visiting a business prior to purchase we can more effectively assess the needs of the business. Our software may not be a good fit. If we think this is the case we will say so.

In a personal visit we can show the software working with products the business sells. this can bring confidence to the decision process. We think it is important for us and for prospective customers that were visit a business in person prior to a purchase decision being made.

Get your needs right and match these with then right software and you are better positioned to achieve great outcomes for the business.

Here at Tower Systems we are committed to personal service.

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Renting POS software preserves small business retailer capital for other users

For years, Tower Systems has offered access to its POS software through rental. This easy to establish arrangement offers access to the software on a month by month basis with no capital outlay up front to access the software.

The rental payment option, like our cloud hosted option, is available to all Tower Systems customers in all marketplaces.

Our customers can also convert from rental to purchase or lease at any time. How people pay to access the software is easy, simple and self-managed. This provides our customers with the best options, options that suit their specific circumstances.

In offering rental years ago, Tower Systems provided small business retailers with payment options that suit the cash flow needs of many small business retailers. There is no loan application, no finance approval process, no cumbersome paperwork, no hassle. This is another way the company makes doing business with Tower Systems frictionless, easy.

The paperwork is a dream and there is no minimum lock-in term. Like we said, easy, frictionless.

The Tower Systems POS software for any of the specialty retail marketplaces in which the company operates is available for rental.

Our rental customers have access to exactly the same customer service experiences and touch points as all other customers using our software.

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Free POS software training for small business retailers

Even though it is N November and retail b businesses are getting busier for Christmas, we continue to offer free weekly online training workshops where our customers can learn and engage more deeply with our POS software. This free POS software training is accessible to all Tower customers, at no cost.

Here is what is on for the rest of this month:

 

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Best practice newsagency management software helps newsagents transform their businesses

Newsagency businesses today are very different to a few years ago. We are surrounded by change. Innovators are leaning into change.

Here at Tower Systems our software for newsagents has changed, helping leverage opportunities, helping to evolve businesses. This is a key factor in our market share and in net growth in customer numbers through 2018.

Whether you are a retail newsagent or a distribution newsagent, our software can help you run a more efficient and enjoyable business. We can also help you find new customers.

We own and operate newsagency businesses ourselves and have done since 1996. Walking in your shoes, confronting the challenges you confront, helps us create better software. We think this is a reason more newsagents partner with Tower Systems. 1,700+ newsagent customers make our user community strong, the biggest in Australia.

  1. Compliant with industry standards, using our software you can meet criteria for getting onto the no physical returns program with Gotch.
  2. We can help you reduce EFTPOS fees.
  3. Selling online is easy and this can help you sell more even though your nearby population may be small.
  4. First with buy now pay later for shoppers through POS software, over the counter payment options help you win more sales.
  5. Our front-end loyalty facilities help you differentiate your business, drive deeper baskets and bring shoppers back sooner.

Our software can work with you as you evolve your product mix. Whether it is into hospitality, services, produce, repairs, online or more, our software has facilities that help make your business more relevant to today’s shopper.

Integrations can also help you cut operating costs, such as bookkeeping fees. We can help you eliminate double and triple handling. We link direct to Xero, for example.

Switching is not expensive. Our system can be purchased, leased or rented. What we provide is…

  1. The latest Tower Systems newsagency software.
  2. On-site installation and training by a newsagency business expert.
  3. Data conversion, converting as much data as we can access.
  4. Software support for the first three years. Nothing extra to pay.
  5. Software updates for the first three years. Nothing extra to pay.
  6. Unlimited over the phone follow up training for the first three years.
  7. Access to an awesome online knowledge base with articles & advice.
  8. Access to weekly group live online training workshops.
  9. Access to a private Facebook page where you can discuss any topic.

See our latest newsagency software in an obligation-free demonstration. Call:  VIC/SA/WA– Tim Batt 0401 833 917;  NSW/ACT/TAS  – Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148;  QLD /NT– Justin Randall 0434 365 789.

Our training is one-on-one, in your business. Our help desk support is personal, based out of Melbourne, and personal too – because we know personal service matters in small business retail.

Our goal is to help you enjoy a more successful and valuable business.

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Pet shop software helps indie pet stores compete

Thanks to advice from people in more than one hundred pet shops, we have pet shop software fine-tuned for your retail niche. We are grateful for their guidance and advice. We do all the regular POS stuff you’d expect, and we serve pet shop specialist requirements, like…

  1. Show you care– add any pet care instructions to receipts, based on the products they purchase in a transaction. Sharing your knowledge and expertise shows you adding value.
  2. Load stock data faster, more easily and more accurately.Suppliers like Kongs, Master Pet, Premier Pets, Western Pets & more offer direct electronic invoicinginto our point of sale – saving you hours of data entry when new stock arrives. See here in a live shot video how fast this can be:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFZuJKaH78Y)
  3. Help your customers remember to care–Easily remind customers of their individual pets needs automatically based on the type of pet or items purchased. You can also remind them when worming and other date based purchases are needed.
  4. Microchip & Licence Tracking– Capture pet microchip details and owner licence information and easily report or search on this.
  5. Events Marketing–send birthday greetings by email or mail for pet birthdays and other events.
  6. Pet Bundles– easily bundle together stock items for puppy starter kits, aquarium setups etc. whilst keeping accurate track of qty on hand figures. You can also do food bundles.
  7. Receipt Coupons–manipulate when coupons are printed on receipts. Offer further discounts when certain products are sold or advertise services in store when purchasing in specific departments (i.e. dog wash service when purchasing in the dog department
  8. Special Customer Orders–Take orders for stock you may not have even had before, accept deposits and SMS when the stock arrives.
  9. Promotion / Catalogue Managementrun all your promotions through the system for automatic pricing.
  10. Drive loyalty with easy rewards. From points, to dollars off to a free bag of food, the loyalty facilities we have are flexible, best practice and designed to help you show your customers you appreciate them.
  11. Provide Beautiful Gift & VIP Cards–we have an in-house designer ready to work with you on producing cards for you.
  12. Automated Reordering – reorder based on min/max levels or even based on seasonal sales figures.
  13. Stock Images– images loaded against products can appear at point of sale to assist in the process, and can flow through to your website.
  14. Security – Track all suspicious transactions. Reduce theft.
  15. Website Integration – Easily connect with Shopify, Magento & WooCommerce.  Have your products online, reach more shoppers.
  16. Accounting Integration– Automatic data flow to Xero, MYOB & more.

Our training is one-on-one, in your business. Our help desk support is personal, based out of Melbourne, and personal too – because we know personal service matters in small business retail.

We are proud to offer this Aussie developed POS software for indie pet products retailers.

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