Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: October 2019 (page 1 of 2)

Happy halloween

It’s Halloween in Australia. We have been helping retailers celebrate. Here is a terrific poster from our in-house creative team that was created for one group. Boo!

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Awesome Retailer Roam, portable POS software

Retailer Roam from Tower Systems is the perfect App for retailers on the move, who want to sell anywhere, anytime, even while there is no internet access. This is truly portable POS software for indie retail businesses.

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Helping newsagents navigate the challenges of change in print media

For many years, at the Australian Newsagency Blog, we have offered advice, support, opinion and guidance to small business newsagents, helping them to navigate changes and embrace opportunities in their channel.

As the POS software company with more newsagents as customers than all the competition combined we are invested.

Last week, Bauer Media announced their planned take over of the Pacific Magazines business. Here is a post from the Newsagency Blog, by us abut this:

What could the Bauer acquisition of Pacific Magazines mean for newsagents?

While there are regulatory processes to play out and finalisation is anticipated to be months away, the news yesterday that Bauer Media and Seven West Media had reached agreement for Bauer to acquire Pacific has captured the attention of plenty in our channel.

The most common question in emails and calls that I received yesterday from newsagents was what does this mean for us?

I think asking this question now is late. I say this because rationalisation of print media businesses has been happening for some years and has been discussed widely here and elsewhere in our channel.

If you are asking today what it means, you are already behind. If this is you, I encourage you to invest time now to catch up.

If the Bauer / Pacific news has come at a shock and you are wondering about the impact, act now, make decisions that focus on propelling your business forward. No supplier will do this for you – putting your business first in every decision.

While I don’t know what a Bauer acquisition of Pacific will or could mean, we can reasonably speculate that there will be changes over time. It cannot 100% be business as usual.There will have to be changes given the challenges faced by some of the titles involved. One benefit of single ownership of an expanded stable of titles at Bauer would be co-ordinated management of all titles. This could mean less cannibalisation between competing titles through more thoughtful and complementary coverage.

Many of us in the newsagency channel have been actively working on chasingnet new traffic for categories outside of legacy product categories for our channel for years. There have been hits and misses through. Such is the experience of chasing change.

There is no doubt we are in a period of extraordinary change in print media. Change is being driven by how news is delivered into our hands, how and when we engage with news and information, what constitutes news and entertainment, what people will and will not pay for, who is a publisher (all of us?) and how print mastheads and stories are packaged and priced.

The Australian market is small. I think that is a factor playing out here too. Print media products need critical mass. We miss that in some markets here.

Thinking about what could change as a result of the announced acquisition… It would not surprise me to see: the days of magazine delivery changed, maybe to one a week; the closure of some weekly titles; the launch of a new weekly title; changes in monthly titles; greater accessibility for over the counter purchase of titles.

What should matter most to newsagents today is focus of the business changing net new shopper traffic, broadening the shopper appeal through new products, driving overall business GP%, growing online sales so the business is less reliant on local shoppers and chasing opportunities through pursuing what we don’t know our businesses can achieve.

The Bauer / Pacific announcement is an encouragement for us to work on our businesses, to pursue change, to make our businesses more valuable in the future.

All of this, of course, means more focus away from the newsagency shingle.

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Fishing, bait and tackle POS software helps local retailers grow their businesses

The fishing, bait and tackle business POS software from Tower Systems is purpose built for these businesses. It is rich in functionality unique to these businesses, enabling them to leverage their specialisation in their local communities.

This is what vertical market POS software is … software highly customised and tuned to the needs of a specifically retail market. It is specialty software for businesses that serve in specialty retail niches.

Fishing, bait and tackle businesses are specialty retail businesses. They offer unique products and services, for the local community and those fishing in the local community. They are niche businesses. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve them with niche software.

Our fishing shop software is truly niche, offering facilities that are fit for purpose, facilities such as:

  1. Selling products such as bait by weight.
  2. Sell by fractions. Often, products to two decimal places are sold – we track this.
  3. Offering local fishing location advice auto-served on receipts.
  4. Selling fishing licences.
  5. Selling rod / reel / lure etc bundle packs.
  6. Tracking and managing repairs.
  7. Tracking serial numbers for high-end serial numbered products.
  8. Offering fishing club deals and specials.
  9. Enabling selling at local fishing events without the need to take the POS software … thanks to the Retailer Roam software that serves in this space.
  10. Receiving invoices from suppliers in electronic form.
    Handling season catalogues and accurately tracking price and product details.

Here are other reasons the fishing, bait and tackle POS software from Tower Systems is good for local fishing and outdoors businesses:

  1. We are local. Local matters in local communities. Tower Systems is Australian owned, developed and supported. Call us and a human answers the phone.
  2. Our training is personal, in your business. We think people learn better from face to face training.
  3. Unlimited free training. Long after you install the software, ask for free top-up training and all we will organise it.
  4. New customer care. All new customers have a separate specialist team with which they connect, to ease settling-in.
  5. Customers guide our software enhancement. We offer a transparent, democratic, process for guiding software update content.
  6. Fishing & outdoors business specific. This software is developed for your type of business.
  7. In the cloud or in-store. You choose where the software runs.
  8. Rent or buy. You choose how to acquire and fund the software.
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Fresh thank you for shopping local collateral from us

Free collateral created by us for indie retailers in our community.

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Shopify connects POS software solution for small business retailers

Here at tower Systems we develop POS software and we develop websites. Our web development is done in Magento, WooCommerce and Shopify. In each case, our websites are seamlessly connected to our indie retail focusses POS software.

We offer fixed price quotes for web development, for beautiful sites for any type of retail business connected to our POS software.

Quoting on web development can be inexact as changes to the requirements can develop over the course of a project. In any proposal from us, we seek to mitigate risk and provide certainty on which you can rely for us to deliver the specific outcomes noted. However, the proposal is based on our understanding of your needs.

If any customer feels we have missed anything in a proposal, please advise as it will impact the quoted price.

We provide a complete written proposal that addresses all the questions we are usually asked and questions we asked ourselves when developing our own websites for our businesses and businesses in which we have a share.

While much web development for Australian businesses is done either by individuals working from home or outsourced overseas, our web development work is undertaken by our team, working full time for us, here in Australia. The challenge is, this makes it more expensive.

A web developer in an outsource location can cost as little as 10% of professional Australian developer costs. Australian developed websites are more expensive. It is why our quote comes in at the price it does. In our experience using outsource people ourselves on unrelated projects – you do get what you pay for.

Senior management of Tower Systems oversees all our web development work.

  1. Our in-house web team is led by an experienced IT professional who also has retail experience out of our head office. They are a skilled IT professional who has worked with us for three years. They come from a help desk and retail background and understands the software and how a website connected to a POS should be implemented. You will have direct access to them through this development process.
  1. Our leadership team, COO and CEO, personally oversee the web development projects for clients as we want to ensure that we deliver on our promises and that we provide our customers with a commercially valuable outcome.
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Kicking off the weekend with a trade show for pet related retailers

We are grateful for the opportunity to be at the Eastern Distribution buying event in Melbourne tonight … showing off our POS software for pet stores. www.towersystems.com.au/pet-shops

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The only Australian developed software for jewellers

Tower Systems offers the only Australian developed and supported jeweller POS software.

We make what we sell. Our jeweller software is 100% ours. This matters because we can offer a level of support, training and assistance beyond because it is our product, made for jewellers, made to help jewellers run more efficient, valuable and enjoyable businesses.

While other businesses sell jeweller software in Australia, from what we have seen nit is software from overseas, made by others, maintained by others and controlled by others.

Here at Tower Systems we make what we sell and we stand by it and ensure that it serves the needs of our customers.

This matters to jewellers. Our software offers a solution for local market needs. This is differentiating for us. It is also differentiating for jewellers as they can leverage tools that help them focus on delivering local solutions for local shoppers – this helps with shopper outreach and service.

The Tower Systems Jeweller POS software is innovative, flexible and deeply tailored to the needs of local jewellers. We provide a platform of tools for efficient and creative business management and marketing.

Here are benefits jewellers using our jeweller POS software tell us they love:

  1. Easily and accurately sell items by weight or length.
  2. Track serial numbers of what you sell.
  3. Include your own product care information on receipts.
  4. Buy now pay later integration for over the counter sales.
  5. Automate reminders and offers for birthdays & anniversaries.
  6. Automated workshop management tools including text message & email notifications save time.
  7. Benefit from advanced stock performance metrics and tagging.
  8. Easily bulk manage inventory.
  9. Sexy jeweller specific hardware.
  10. Portable POS software on iPad, Surface or similar to sell anywhere, any time.
  11. Reduce the headache of lay-bys with several buy now pay later options.
  12. Perform effortless stocktakes, orders and sales on your phone or tablet.
  13. Save money on bookkeeping by integrating with accounting software.
  14. Offer an online catalogue easily (Shopify, Magento & WooCommerce).
  15. Bring customers back more often with our unique loyalty tools.
  16. Load electronic invoices from suppliers.

We are grateful to the hundreds of jewellers in our jeweller POS software user community today. Their advice, support and encouragement are inspiration to us daily. Thank you.

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Helping Australian newsagents transform their businesses

Tower Systems through its newsagency software as well as through its ownership of the newsXpress newsagency marketing group is helping Aussie newsagents transform their newsagency businesses.

Through smart tech tools in the POS software, website connectivity as well as in-store management guidance and out of store marketing, newsXpress is delivering terrific benefits to members and helping newsagents find a good path through a period of extraordinary change.

The days of the old newsagency is Australia are over as new and exciting businesses emerge. These new model businesses are offering less in the way of old-school newsagency products and more in the areas of exciting, innovative and fun products that serve consumers today and into the future.

Speaking at a recent newsagent forum, the newsXpress pitch was simple:

We give newsagents hope by providing options for finding new customers, by helping to farewell out of date practices and by providing access to better margin products. We help newsagents enjoy their businesses more and make them more valuable. This is what we do at newsXpress every day … because, we believe in local small business retail. We are not locked into the shingle of the past. On the horizon, we see a bright future.

Here are 15 things newsXpress offers newsagents. While the full lis is considerably longer, these 15 often matter to newsagents looking for immediate boost in their business.

  1. Access to more than 100 preferred suppliers offering discounts off invoice from 5% to 25% and covering key categories including: gifts, plush, toys, stationery, cards and jewellery.
  2. A monthly DEALS envelope with extra special deals from newsXpress preferred suppliers.
  3. Valuable prizes for major seasons – where one of your customers wins a prize. The total newsXpress Father’s Day prizes worth more than $55,000.
  4. A loyalty program that drives card sales – 100% funded by newsXpress.
  5. Merchandise buying advice based on your own business sales data.
  6. Exclusive product opportunities for highly sought-after products.
  7. Information that helps you sell some products faster than your competitors.
  8. In-store business management advice, training and support.
  9. Regular capital city and regional member meetings where you can network with colleagues and tap into more excellent ideas.
  10. Help in controlling magazine supply.
  11. Free labour rate and other employee management advice from a skilled industrial relations lawyer.
  12. Discount shop insurance.
  13. Marketing support from regular newsXpress funded Facebook and other social media marketing.
  14. Christmas and key seasons catalogues offering excellent value for quality products with good margins – not chasing fickle low price low margin sales.
  15. That everything is optional– newsXpress members engage as they want.

While the traditional Australian newsagency is a thing of the past, newsXpress and Tower Systems are offering newsagents a path to a bright future through opportunities and options from the newsXpress portfolio.

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New POS software Q&A for small business retailers

We participated win another Q&A recently where we answered questions act our POS software and its service of the needs of small business retailers.

Here is part of the Q&A, taking you further into the solutions and service of Tower Systems through our POS software.

Do you have an online strategy for retailers in a group?

Yes. We can link stores together through one or more national websites to efficiently win business for local stores. Through this, we can provide stores with a dashboard to facilitate management of fulfilment. Alternatively, we can deliver local store websites for individual group members.

Does your software link direct to Shopify?

Yes. Plus, we link directly with Magento and WooCommerce (WordPress).

Do images flow automatically to a website connected to the business?

Yes.

Does your software link direct to Xero?

Yes. We are a Xero partner.

Can we sell gift cards and can I scan them?

Yes and yes. This is easy, fast, safe and secure. Guided by CPA advice, our approach to gift cards is best practice.

Can I alter a LayBy?

Yes. This is easy. It is also safe with an audit trail maintained.

Can I discount sales?

Yes. You can discount the whole sale or individual items. You can set this to be automatic for customers too thanks to discount profiles.

Can I print my own price labels?

Yes. You can print a single label or a group, easily. Plus, you have control over the design of the label.

Can I bulk edit stock records?

Yes. Our Stock Manager gives you powerful yet safe stock record editing tools that can save you hours of time.

Can I change supplier when ordering product?

Yes. Alternatively, you can easily turn this feature off.

Can I sell by weight?

Yes.

I have customers who want quotes, can the software do this?

Yes. And, you can convert a quote into a sale easily.

Do you come to my shop to train me?

Yes.

After the system is installed can I get more training?

Yes, it’s free.

Can I add an item or items to an invoice once it is entered?

Yes. Plus, you can decide if you want this password protected.

Do you integrate with buy now pay later?

Yes. We integrate with Humm, Zip Pay and Zip Money. Watch this space for more news soon as this is a rapidly changing area.

Does your software help reduce customer theft?

Yes, we have structured tools that help you identify theft and this is the best starting point to acting to reduce theft.

Does your software help reduce employee theft?

Yes. We have hidden tracking tools that we share only with business owners. Plus, we have been used by police to help with investigations and crown prosecutors in trials.

Does your software help me compare supplier performance?

Yes.

Can I sell fishing licences and other vouchers using the software?

Yes, for the states for which electronic licences are available through Touch Networks, a company with which we integrate.

Can I share local knowledge on receipts?

Yes. We think your local knowledge and connections are assets to be leveraged for the differentiation of your business.

Does your software offer loyalty tools?

Yes. We offer multiple approaches to loyalty, offering you flexibility. We back these with business training and expertise to help you maximise return.

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POS software integrations help small business retailers

The Tower Systems POS software offers small business retailers access to valuable and financially beneficial integrations that help these retailers to win more business.

Here are some of the integrations we offer. We say some as there are more that are classified, for commercial reasons. There are those who like to copy us so we figure why make it easy for them. Ha!

  1. E-COMMERCE: Magento. WooCommerce / WordPress. These are direct through partnership relationships, to the deepest level, delivering the best seamless functionality. Plus, for others, generic.
  2. ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE: Xero – this is genuinely direct. We are a Xero partner. Plus, we use Xero ourselves in businesses that we own.  MYOB. Quicken. Both of these are through a 3rdparty platform.
  3. EFTPOS: Tyro. Quest. DPS/Payment Express NZ. PCEftpos.
  4. BUY NOW PAY LATER: Humm. Zip Pay / Zip Money.
  5. TEXT MESSAGING: Message Media. Message Net
  6. OUR OWN ADD-ONS: Visual desk – smart and portable reporting.  Make My Appointment – calendar booking. Retailer Roam – sell anywhere.
  7. ANCILLARY: Federal government approved scale int.  Fuel / Postec. Touch Phonecards.

These are desktop and cloud hosted POS software integrations. For our e-commerce solutions, consumer facing websites, we offer substantially more integrations that go to a new level and deliver substantially more benefits. Our integration strategy for web is comprehensive, deep and flexible, in service off our customers who take their retail businesses online.

Integrations matter to businesses in this time of mass integration. We are on a cross platform world and POS software that integrates offers terrific flexibility to retailers working in spaces where integrations can be beneficial.

Since we develop the software we sell, lease and rent, we are in control of what we do and how we do it. We are not relying on another party to do the integration work. This makes us more flexible for and accountable to our customers.

Delivering integrations to our customers matters as we are in a  position to help them find new customers for their businesses by offering better services seamlessly across more platforms. Flexibility is key today and we are proud to be delivering this through our POS software and the POS software connected websites that we develop0 and deploy.

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Our POS software ad is on TV again

We are grateful for the opportunity to reach more small business retailers with this TV ad promoting our POS software. It is on air now.

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We support the shop local message that supports small business retailers.

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Retailer Roam portable POS software

Retailer Roam from Tower Systems helps retailers sell anywhere, any time. It is POS software on the move – regardless of whether you have Ann internet connection or not.

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Tips for small business retailers promoting Halloween

Halloween can be a good season for indie retailers.Success depends on active in-store and out of store engagement.

We do it in shops that we own and run and have evolved it from a low price point everyday halloween offer to a higher end specialty offer that is leveraged by fewer retailers.

Halloween is an excellent opportunity to ramp up traffic and sales leading up to Christmas. It is also an opportunity for the business to play outside its comfort zone. This is great news for any small business retailer.

Here is our advice from seeing Halloween in many retail businesses, advice on ways to promote Halloween to drive the opportunity further:

  1. Make your front window or front of story scary amazing, so shoppers have to step through it.
  2. Maybe host a night, after the shop closes, where people share local ghost stories. have some fun and get known as a place where local stories matter.
  3. Run a series of Facebook posts early in the season. Through these demonstrate your engagement as unique, different.
  4. Have a fancy dress competition on the weekend before.
  5. Mock yourselves in social media and elsewhere about being big kids, scary pants or more. Change how people look at your business.
  6. Run sales connected with people dressing up to access a sale price.
  7. A colouring competition for kids with a prize for the best.
  8. Have candy to give away.
  9. If you’re in a small town organise a Halloween trick or treat party for safe kid fun.
  10. Print a recipe sheet and give this away. Online you can find recipes for eyeball soup, eyeball appetisers, bloody desserts and the like.

Here at Tower systems we are all about small business retail. Anything we can do to help we will do, including providing practical business management advice for retailers on seasons such as Halloween.

Retail is all about entertainment. The more you embrace this the more fun people visiting your shop have. halloween is an ideal season for embracing retrial as  entertainment.

Sometimes, the best way to get from A to B is to take a 90 degree turn.

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Farm supply business POS software helps serve local farmers

Farm supply business POS software from Tower Systems helps these businesses serve local farmers. Easily operated in the business as well as from a delivery truck, this POS software is fit for purpose for today’s regional and rural farm suppli\y businesses.

Using the Tower Systems POS software for farm supply businesses, these businesses can expect to benefit from structured and accurate management of inventory, customer accounts and supplier relationships. By bringing the easy selling to the delivery truck, some farm supply businesses will benefit from the efficiency of single touch customer account management, replacing manual invoice books and more that they have had to use in trucks.

The Farm supply POS software from Tower Systems offers myriad facilities including…

  1. Invoicing and account management – easily manage invoices and accounts: produce picking slips, feed data to Xero, account for freight.
  2. Flexibility on where and when you sell.
  3. Auto warnings on receipts relating to chemicals and similar.
  4. Structured marketing to farmers based on past purchases.
  5. Understanding product links to maximise operational efficiency.
  6. Selling by weight.
  7. Trade pricing profiles for easy price management.
  8. Pre-orders – We make it easy for you to pre-sell stock.
  9. Special orders. Manage orders for specific customers.
  10. Awesome loyalty through which you can easily differentiate.
  11. Pricing profiles. You can set pricing rules based on types of customers.
  12. Seasonal reordering.  Easily reorder inventory based on seasonal sales.
  13. Weatherproof labels.
  14. Loading electronic invoices from suppliers.
  15. An automated link to Shopify, Magento and Woo including images.

Priced at $199.00 a month for unlimited computers, this farm supply business POS software is cost beneficial to farm supply businesses.

The benefits are considerable:

  1. We are local. Local matters in local communities. Tower Systems is Australian owned, developed and supported. Call us and a human answers the phone.
  2. Our training is personal, in your business. We think people learn better from face to face training.
  3. Unlimited free training. Long after you install the software, ask for free top-up training and all we will organise it.
  4. New customer care. All new customers have a separate specialist team with which they connect, to ease settling-in.
  5. Customers guide our software enhancement. We offer a transparent, democratic, process for guiding software update content.
  6. Produce business specific. This software is developed for your type of business.
  7. In the cloud or in-store. You choose where the software runs.
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Gift shop POS software helps independent gift shops compete

The latest gift shop POS software from Tower Systems offers indie gift shops tools they can use to compete online as well as on the high streets with others, including with big businesses.

From easy selling to smart loyalty tools to seamless online to low cost EFTPOS to facilities through the business can differentiate, the Tower Systems gift shop POS software provides indie retailers with a pathway to a more valuable competitive edge.

This is gift shop POS software for 2019 and beyond. It is fresh, unique and competitive. best of all, this is local software for local retailers. For businesses in competitive situations, this matters as the gift shops POS software has in its heart facilities that guide and encourage competitive advantage.

Tower Systems offers gift shop POS software with a pricing option that makes our gift shop POS  software available for $145.00 a month. For this, retailers get…

  1. Specialty Gift shop POS software developed in Australia.
  2. Software updates as we release them.
  3. Unlimited licences for your retail location. If you need an extra computer, there is no extra software cost.
  4. Shopify / Magento / Woo link. Easily sell onlinefrom your POS software.
  5. Xero link. Easing bookkeeping costs and streamlining accounting.
  6. Our OzBiz link – connect to MYOB and Quicken through OzBiz.
  7. Tyro link – safe, fast and easy EFTPOS link for streamlined sales.
  8. PC Eftpos link – easy EFTPOS processing for the major banks.
  9. Easy buy now pay later thanks to Zip Pay and Humm – that Boomers, Gen Y, Gen X and others are using more and more.
  10. Support – help desk access, unlimited training, updates and more.
  11. User documentation. Access to our searchable knowledge base.

The $145.00 is charged per 30 days, in advance. Access can be cancelled at any time. You can also choose to purchase the software outright.

We have a structured and personalised on-boarding process, done in your business. This includes:

  1. A pre-installation training and information pack to help you be ready in your business and with hardware.
  2. Pre-installation planning. A structured phone meeting to plan the installation and to go over the training, ensuring we cover what matters to you and your team.
  3. On-site installation and training. On-site installation of and training in the Tower software anywhere in Australia for up to two days incl. travel.
  4. Data conversion. Conversion of all data possible (within reasonable time constraints). This is a two-step process:
    1. Pre-conversion. With your permission we extract data to be checked for layout and consistency.
    2. The conversion itself. This is done as part of software installation.
  5. Personal priority support. New user priority support through a specialist area of the new customer help desk.
  6. Personal post-installation follow-up. A separate structured call to check knowledge and use processes.
  7. All travel costs to and from the installation.

Gift shops benefit from this locally developed got shop POS software through regular enhancements, awesome in-store training and unlimited bonus training and easy access to our leadership team.

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Xero connected POS software helps small business retailers save time

The direct link between the Tower Systems POS software and the Xero cloud based accounting software is a dream for retailers.

Two-way data flow between POS software and Xero offer retailers many benefits including:

  1. Time saved through data sharing.
  2. More accurate data since less keystrokes are used.
  3. More up to date accounting data.
  4. Easier and more beneficial audit tools thanks to touches data sharing.
  5. Better decision making thanks to more accurate and up to date data.
  6. Better financial planning … flows from better business data.
  7. Money saved on bookkeeping and accounting fees.

The POS software Xero link from Tower Systems is beneficial for retail businesses from day one. We know because we use it ourselves in Nour own shops that we run. We see the benefits. Our in-house CPA lauds the benefits from an account ting perspective.

Linking to Xero from the POS software sets the business up for tremendous savings and benefits that are especially appreciated in small business retail situations where capital and time are in high demand.

Tower Systems helps retailers  make the most of the Xero connected POS software. We deliver practice and useful support to help our customers appreciate what they can achieve through this mutual pairing. Our training team members are skilled as are our help desk team members, to make the most of the pairing, to bring practical benefits to our indie retailer community.

As a Xero partner, we are committed to this awesome small business accounting platform.

The most effective ways small business retailers can compete with big businesses and online is through efficient operation, accurate data and customer service touch-points that add appreciated value.

Tower Systems only sells its POS software to small business retailers.

We believe in small businesses, their importance to local communities and their broader economic value.

Through our software, our personal in-store training, 24/7 human and locally based help desk service, regional user meetings, weekly online workshops and other touch-points we help small business retailers beyond what is usual for POS software companies.

Our company motto is we’re here to help. We take this seriously. Everyday, out motto challenges us to help our customers in ways they do not expect, ways beyond the software itself.

Founded in 1981, Tower Systems has evolved as technology has evolved. The software we sell today is generations away from where we started. We are proud to have served some of our customers for decades.

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Helping small business retailers comply with new Gift Card regulations

New gift card laws come into effect in Australia on November 1, 2019. The fundamental changes introduced in the new laws are:

  1. a minimum three year expiry period for gift cards is required;
  2. gift cards must display expiry dates; and
  3. most post purchase fees on gift cards are banned.

The POS software from Tower Systems will help small business retailers comply with this legislation. It will do so in a worry free, safe and red tape free way for indie retailers.

Gift cards (physical or electronic) are easy with our software. Retailers can offer them with surety and speed, enabling shoppers to load cash onto a card so that it can be given as a gift.

Where gift cards are sued as a marketing tool, the legislation is different. The three year requirement in the legislation does not apply to gift cards that are:

  1. able to be reloaded or topped up
  2. for a good or service available for a limited time where the card or voucher expires at the end of that period (e.g. entry to a concert or museum exhibition)
  3. supplied to a purchaser of goods or services as part of a temporary marketing promotion (e.g. a wine voucher valid for one month that is mailed to a consumer as a free bonus with a purchased item and was not part of the purchase offer)
  4. donated free of charge for promotional purposes (e.g. a local shopping centre has a one-day marketing promotion where each visitor to the centre on that day is handed a $20 gift card that is valid for use at any store in the centre for that day only)
  5. sold for a particular good or service at a genuine discount (e.g. $50 card for salon service valued at $100)
  6. supplied as part of an employee rewards program
  7. given as a bonus in connection with a purchase of a good or service for use in the same business (customer loyalty programs)
  8. second-hand gift cards.
  9. part of a temporary marketing promotion (e.g. customers buy a certain product from Business A, which provides a $50 voucher to use at Business B).

Tower Systems serves small businesses in the requirements of the legislation, efficiently and in a whole of business way.

Our customers with our latest software will be fine come November 1, 2019. Gift cards through the POS software will be safe, easy and business building.

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#community

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Thank you for shopping local

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Small business retail advice: how to setup a pop-up shop

POS software company Tower Systems offers practical everyday advice for indie small business retailers. Our advice serves not only our 3,500+ retailer partners but many other retailers. The advice we share in this post is from our portfolio of management advice for small business retailers.

Definition: a pop-up shop is a temporary shop, one that is open for a limited period of time, usually around a month, rarely more than three months.

We have assembled our pop-up shop advice and tips into key topic areas.

WHY?!

Like any business decision, a decision to open a pop-up retail location needs to be based on good research and the business itself needs to have a purpose. So, before you begin, think about why.

Here are some reasons to do a pop-up shop:

  1. To test new product categories.
  2. To supplement your income.
  3. To help quit slow moving stock.
  4. To enhance your retail experience.
  5. To experiment with a plan b where you might land if you close your main shop.
  6. To engage in targeted, temporary, competition.
  7. To compete with yourself.

LOCATION.

With a pop-up shop you don’t have time to find your customers. The location needs to already have good traffic passing daily, traffic you can easily leverage. Even more so than in fixed-location retail, location is critical.

The best locations are shops that have good passing traffic that is of interest to you and that have been vacant for a while where a landlord might be happy with something rather than nothing.

OCCUPANCY COST.

Negotiate the lowest rent cost possible. Some landlords see pop-up offers as a reason to charge a premium. Only sign up for a price you are 100% happy with. If it is expensive and does not work financially, don’t sign hoping it works out, because in retail it rarely does work out better. In a pop-up business you have less time to see if it works out. Also, preferably, no contingency deposit.

LABOUR COST.

Staff the business with a lean roster. This shop is about selling. that means, products placed for a price proposition rather than beautiful displays that take time to maintain. Every staff member is there to sell and maximise revenue from every shopper visit. There is no room in the roster for fat.

FIXTURES AND FITTINGS.

Don’t spend a cent on fixtures and fittings. That needs to be your starting position. It’s a pop-up shop. People expect it to be  efficient, cost-effective. Using tables and boxes adds to the feel of the shop feeling low-cost and that can help drive sales. Suppliers can be a good source for loaned fixtures.

INVENTORY.

Ask suppliers to offer consignment stock or special clearance deals they’d like to move fast. Go for items that can be sold out of a box, to make display and ranging easier. In-box displays of particularly cheap items can work very well.

PRICING MODEL.

Price to sell. This means being below usual retail. Price to understandable price points. For example, you might have a $10 table, a $20 table and so on. Consider bundling items into packs, which make price comparison difficult.

PROMOTION.

Don’t spend money on sign writing or marketing. Use social media and bargain websites and anywhere similar where you can list the store and its products.

Host an opening party. List this as a local event on Facebook.

MANAGEMENT MINDSET.

Your mindset in managing the pop-up shop needs to be different to a fixed-location retail situation. Pop-up shops are about low cost, low overheads, low prices. Be ready to do deals. Whoever manages  the pop-up shop needs to be different to how they would be in the fixed-location retail business.

SPEED.

You need to move fast. From the moment you sign a lease or agreement, the clock is ticking. Ideally, you’d open within 24 hours and when you are done, closing and clearing out the shop is done in 24 hours or less. This is all about maximising the time for income-production.

TRACK PERFORMANCE.

Cultivate good data that can guide business decisions for your next moves.

Is a pop-up shop worth doing? Only you can determine that. We have seen plenty of pop-up shops work well for the retailers, contribute good GP, help move slow stock and help open to the owners category opportunities not previously considered.

Do the planning and you should expect to benefit.

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Free POS software workshops in Wellington and Christchurch ext week

POS software company Tower Systems is offering indie retailers free access to a terrific and valuable  workshop for small business retailers: How you can find new customers by selling online direct from POS software for your specific type of business using Shopify and Magento.

Click on your preferred city below to book. Each workshop (except for online) will be in an easy to get to capital city location.

  1. WellingtonOctober 14. 10am.
  2. ChristchurchOct. 15. 10am.

Join us for a free workshop where we will explore Shopify and Magento direct connected POS software for specialty retailers: jewellers, garden centres, produce, toy, firearms, fishing, outdoors, newsagents, pet, gift, book, bike and adult.

At the interactive and engaging workshops we will focus on new online insights for 2020 and beyond that are relevant to indie small business retailers.

  1. Hear from current case studies what other indie retailers are doing.
  2. Find out how to use online to drive in-store shopping.
  3. Learn how click and collect actually works.
  4. Find out about the different buy now pay later options for online sales.
  5. See how stock data including images flow easily from the POS to online.

Each workshop will be live and interactive and relevant to your type of business. It could save you thousands in web developer fees. This will not be a sales pitch. We will share what we know having done this work ourselves for the retail businesses we own in the homewares, pop culture, collectible, plush, gift and games segments of retail.

We live everyday the challenges of pricing, marketing, shipping and more and we will share out learnings.

We will cover hot topics including: SEO, shipping options, free shipping, the role of social in online sales, returns, bundles, branding and a plan b for your web strategy.

We are local. Tower Systems serves 3,500+ specialty businesses – with awesome and locally made POS software and websites. We make what we sell. We use it ourselves too, in our own retail and online businesses.

With these free to access POS software workshops and all we do, goal is to help you enjoy a more successful and valuable business.

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Portable POS software helps retailers sell at local markets, from trucks and elsewhere on the road

Retail today is about being where the customer is … in-store, online, at local markets, in a truck delivering goods, anywhere.

Thanks to the Retailer Roam POS software product from Tower Systems, we have made our POS software accessible from anywhere, via tablet computers, using a cool app developed in house by our POS software expert team.

Retailer Roam is portable POS software. It can be accessed using an app on a tablet computer, from anywhere – including with and without an internet connection.

Being portable POS software, Roam is all about helping retailers sell from anywhere, easily, securely, safely and quickly. This includes two customer accounts, by card and more. Retailer Roam is POS software for today;’s inn ovations and engaged retailer. It is current web enabled technology, k created fresh, from scratch, by the Tower Systems software engineers who play in this leading-edge space.

We have a customer today who wants to sell from a fleet of trucks. Roam is a perfect solution in this situation, enabling transacting business on the road, live and without the overhead of double paperwork back at the office at the end of the day. Roam streamlines the business, makes business data more accurate and helps the business  grow.

Roam is a new approach to POS software, a fresh way to do business anywhere, anytime, without lugging a computer around and without the need for an always on internet connection.

  1. Retailers can sell at local markets.
  2. Bike shops can setup sales stalls on a route during a bike event.
  3. Gift shops can sell from the back of the car in a country town.
  4. Pet shops can sell at the local show.
  5. Garden centres cal sell on the back block of their large production nursery.
  6. Landscaping businesses can sell from the tray of a large truck.
  7. Anyone can open a pop-up shop and sell for days and weeks win a quick to setup and easy to run situation.

There are many more examples where portable POS software helps retailers better serve their customers.

Retailer Road is smart ad fresh POS software technology for today’s engaged retailer who wants flexibility in terms of where and when they sell, without being weighed down by bigger hardware technology. It’s from Tower Systems, the Aussie POS software company.

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POS software helps retailers manage the sale of age restricted products

Handling age restricted products can be a challenge in retail, especially small business retail. There are regulations to follow operationally. Structure is vital in proper management of this so that investigators can be shown that a business has the correct management processes in place.

Whether it is the management of age restricted products like firearms, tobacco products or other items, having a systematic, consistent, approach to the sale of age restricted items is good for business and for all who work in a business and could be bund by regulations connected with the age restricted products.

Having POS software that serves in this area is vital.

The Tower Systems POS software manages the sale of age restricted products. This features in our software for firearms dealers, newsagents, garden centres, producer businesses, toy shops and adult shops. In each of these specialty retail channels, the management of age restricted products is important.

Through the Tower POS software, retailers can have in place appropriate checks and balances to ensure correct management of age restricted products.

Use your POS software to force an age check on every purchase. This shows the business having zero tolerance for avoiding the age check. Regularly remind staff about this. Do these things and any violation the retail sales person deliberately violating business policy and defrauding the business in their use of the age check facilities in the POS software.

This step of enforcement alone could be what is necessary to demonstrate to regulators that the business manages age restriction seriously and structurally.

Get your age check processes right from the outset and you can layer the business with a level of protection that is vital. For sure, there is an operational delay in selling age restricted products, but this is minor when you consider the cost to the business of being caught breaking the law in this space.

Our advice to retailers is that they use the age restriction facilities in their POS software to ensure that they get it right, every time.

In our work, we deal with the issues of age restricted products in a range of retail channels including: newsagencies, firearms retail, produce stores and adult stores. In each case, there are different regulations and requirements to handle.

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