The drought, bushfires, floods and coronavirus have all impacted retail sales. Local independent gift shops are challenged. Through its specialty gift shop POS software, Tower Systems helps locally owned gift shops trade through and grow.
Here are some of the ways our gift shop POS software can do this.
By engaging with the marketing and management tools in the gift shop POS software, retailers can expect to cut costs, increase sales and drive bottom-line profit. Let’s take a moment to look at these…
It is easy to get drawn to the doom and gloom of the times and through this to lose focus on your business. This trap must be avoided at all costs … for the sake of the business and all who rely on the business from customers to employees to owners.
By using tools freely available in your gift shop POS software you can find sales, find time and find margin which may have eluded you to this point.
Here are our answers to part of a recent Q&A about our gift shop POS software.
Why focus on local gift shops?
They are unique, local specialist and appreciated. these businesses are important. They need software specific to their needs, software that helps them differentiate themselves from the retail noise. We like their level of specialisation and that we can specialise in tech for them.
Why focus on independent small businesses?
We like that by working with small businesses we work directly with the business owners every day. We like that this business is personal. We think that as a small business ourselves we are better placed to serve small businesses.
How many customers use your software?
3,000+ Operating on 10,000+ terminals and processing close to 900,000 transactions a day.
How many gift shops use your software?
More than 400.
What facilities do gift shop owners and staff like are in your software?
What do you think makes your gift shop software different to others?
We develop the software ourselves here in Australia in close consultation with gift shop owners and employees – as well as with gift shop suppliers. This is truly specialist software created for your type of business.
What makes Tower Systems different as a supplier of gift shop software?
Our service is personal, professional and accessible. You have access to the entire Tower Systems team to not only learn how to use our software but also to how to make more money in your business by using the software.
The gift shop POS software from Tower Systems runs in the cloud or oil the desktop. You choose what is right for your situation.
We offer a rental pricing option that makes our Gift shop POS software available for $145.00 a month. For this you get…
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. The up-front on-boarding fee is $2,999.00 (inc. GST). This includes:
Save $1,000. You are welcome to have the installation done remotely, with our installation expert located at one of our offices and working with you over the phone. This would reduce the on-boarding fee by $1,000.00 (Inc. GST).
Here are some of the benefits people in businesses like yours tell us they love:
We are local. Tower Systems serves 3,500+ specialty businesses.
The gift shop POS software from Tower Systems is made for local gift shops. It is rich in benefits that are bankable for these businesses.
Being locally made for local businesses, this gift shop POS software is focussed on delivering to local needs. We are proud of this, and proud that the software continues to evolve. No standing still here.
Here is a list of some of the benefits of our gift shop POS software:
This gift shop POS software works for you in so many ways, on so many levels. It can help you differentiate your business easily and consistently.
We only sell this software to independent retailers as we are a small business focussed POS software company serving already more than 3,000 retailers.
We’d love to help you run a more enjoyable and more successful gift shop.
The gift shop POS software from Tower Systems is benefits rich helping indie gift shop owners run more successful retail businesses. It is made for this. Made in Australia. Made for local gift shops that serve local communities. Made to help these local small businesses connect with local shoppers for in-store and online sales.
The gift shop POS software from Tower Systems is already used by hundreds of gift retailers. here is what they tell us they love.
Tower Systems offers awesome gift shop POS software made specifically for gift shops. We can help you run a more successful, valuable and enjoyable local gift shop. We can help you build a brighter future for your business and all who rely on it.
We are grateful for the opportunity to deliver more POS software connected Shopify websites to our community of indie small business retailers. Our work has continued apace through the Aussie summer, bring more sites live and helping retailers to leverage the online opportunity.
While we have skills with PHP development as well as WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify, it is our Shopify work that is delivering terrific rapid results for indie retailers.
From pet shops, to jewellers, to garden centres to produce businesses to gift shops and more, our POS software connected Shopify sites are delivering solutions to our retail business partners that they leverage into new shopper traffic opportunities. At core here is our focus to help our customers make more money, to make their businesses more valuable.
The Tower Systems web development team is skilled in WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify. The company has plenty of sites it can show in a live portfolio of successful e-commerce sites, serving shoppers in Australia and internationally.
Small business retailers can benefit from the retail management experience at Tower Systems experience that helps deliver a more retail focussed solution.
The Tower web team is also skilled at SEO and SEM services that help raise the website rankings in key search engines, ensuring the site is found ahead of others.
But best of all, Tower Systems provides professional advice and guidance to small business retailers keen to build their online presence. Our commitment is honest transparent advice on which any small business retailer can rely.
Shopify is one of the easiest ways to setup and run an ecommerce store. We think it provides you with the ideal place to create you first website and gain experience in the world of ecommerce. You have complete control over the look and feel of your online store and can instant access fantastic look themes to reflect the personality of your business. For more information visit
The Retailer POS software to Shopify Link uses the Tower Advantage Link platform to allow our Retailer POS software to connect directly to your Shopify store. The Tower Advantage Link platform is a subscription-based service that acts as an intermediary between Retailer and the Shopify API.
The link works by using the Tower platform platform to connect to the Shopify API and synchronise your data.
Retailer is your master stock database. You flag what stock items you want to appear on your shopify store. Descriptions and extended descriptions are added as your titles and descriptions in Shopify. Newly flagged products are automatically added and if you edit items in Retailer you have field level control over how these are handled in Shopify.
We are grateful to the folks at AIRR for the opportunity to be at their trade show last weekend, to pitch our POS software, especially our produce and farm supply business POS software.
When it comes to produce business POS software, we are specialists, serving a range of businesses in this space including many AIRR members. We are established and our software is proven, serving their specialty business and accounting needs well. This is in part thanks to wonderful support from our customers, who are giving of their time and insights to help us create better software.
From the delivery trucks to the back shed to the counter to anywhere, our produce and farm supply business management software is robust and capable, serving needs that are diverse and business critical.
The produce business specialty software we offer today is different to what we offered last year. Today’s software has new features, plenty created just for produce and farm supply businesses.
Produce businesses need produce business software.
Last year, we updated our software to include: Pending Invoice Processing – allowing stock to be invoiced in prior to physical invoice being received from the supplier; Extensive Freight Processing – allowing Freight Invoices to be processed with much great clarity and control; Variants (Colour, Size & Style); Supplier Ordering Improvements to better handle Order Numbers from suppliers and back order processing; Bulk Price Changes expanded for more control and ease of use.
We have released new Accounts Management tools, a complete reengineering of our customer accounts facilities – easier to use, more flexible, an accounting solution accountants and bookkeepers will love. These new tools go way beyond everyday POS software. They will be a real treat for produce businesses that run customer accounts.
These produce business specific enhancements have been delivered to customers as part of our structured, texted, software update process.
We appreciate there are cheaper solutions out there, non-produce business specific solutions. As with most things in the world, you get what you pay for. We would love to show you the produce business specific facilities in our software and let you see, first hand, the extraordinary investment we have made and are making for businesses like yours.
Recently, independently verified, Tower Systems serves more newsagents with newsagency POS software than any other POS software company.
While the newsagency channel has challenges, there is plenty of good news … growth stories, transformations, good wins and new owners.
This is a retail channel in the midst of extraordinary opportunistic transformation.
Switching your business to the industry standard Tower Systems newsagency software is not expensive. If you have current hardware, the cost can be as low as $2,400 a year thanks to interest free finance from us for 3 years.
11 more newsagents chose the Tower Systems software in the last 3 months. We are grateful for their support of our newsagency software. We serve more than 1,750 newsagency businesses.
We help newsagents evolve their businesses into new products, through awesome loyalty tools and online.
We offer low low EFTPOS rate. One newsagent is $200.00 a month better off while another, in regional Australia, is more than $250.00 a month better off.
We continue to own and operate newsagency businesses ourselves and have done since 1996. This helps us make better software for you.
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. Included is …
Tower Systems is grateful to the many newsagents in its community.
The Bait and Tackle POS software from Tower Systems is purpose made POS software for these specific retail businesses.
Bait and Tackle businesses have some unique needs when it comes to business software, needs that are usually not met with traditional POS software, needs through which they can grow their businesses.
This Bait and Tackle POS software from Tower Systems is proudly and locally made for them. We are grateful to our user community in this retail channel for their encouragement and advice in enhancing the software.
Here are some of the benefits of the Tower Systems Bait and Tackle software.
Local Bait and Tackle shops can depend on this solution from Tower Systems to continue to evolve to the needs of the marketplace.
Social media pitches from small business retailers calling for people to shop local tend to be tiresome clichés, serving the needs of those who post rather than those they want to reach.
Too often you can see a business calling for people to shop local not shopping local themselves.
For me, the shop local issue comes down to the adage of actions speak louder than words.
In these early months of 2020, on the back of an awful bushfire season, sustained rounds, now, floods, and the coronavirus, shop local management is important and timely. I say management because that has to be our focus.
This is all about being patriotic without being a show off, without being a hollow bell. You strengthening your local engagement strengthens the local economy and all businesses (and people) in the local economy benefit from that.
Where this all starts is with your next buying decision of products or services. Ask the question. Be sure of where the dollar you spend goes. This is more valuable and useful than posting lazily on social media calling for people to shop local.
Asking people to shop with you is not enough of itself. You need to demonstrate that you are living and acting locally.
Tower Systems is an Australian software company that develops, sells and supports POS software for selected specialty marketplaces including pet and produce businesses.
We only serve independent retail businesses.
Our mission is to help retailers run more successful businesses. Our definition of success is a business that is making money, where the owners and employees enjoy what they do and where suppliers enjoy transacting.
Good software can play an important role in nurturing business success as it sits at the heart of the business: transacting sales, managing stock, tracking customer activity and shining a light on business opportunities.
What makes us different is how we engage. We go beyond what is traditional software company.
At a store level, here are some of the benefits you can expect from using the Tower Systems software in your business:
The Aussie developed and supported fishing shop POS software from Tower Systems offers benefits specifically tailored for local fishing and outdoors retailers.
Constantly evolving, this specialty business POS software is a genuine solution for these locally owned and independent retail businesses that serve people who love fishing.
This POS software is rare software too as it is for fishing shops, made just for them, enhanced based on their suggestions and committees to helping them serve their local community.
Fishing shops are unique businesses, they are specialty businesses. It stands to reason that their needs are well served by software specific to their needs. That is where the Tower Systems fishing shop software serves well.
You can rent this fishing shop software for $185.00 a month. For this you get…
In times of drought especially, local produce and farm supply businesses play a vital rollin community service, helping to keep farms viable and operating. They are cornerstones of local communities.
Here at Tower Systems we are grateful to be able to support local and independent produce and farm supply businesses. Through our software and through our support services.
Our produce and farm supply POS software, which is made locally, helps rural supply / farm supply / produce businesses with efficient service and support of local farms and community groups. Through purpose-built inventory management, efficient shipping, produce use notes and more, this software helps businesses serve local needs for local conditions.
The software helps you serve your local community.
The most recent update to this produce business POS software delivers produce business specific accounting solutions to serve the unique and demanding needs of these businesses to better and more accurately account for shipping and related business costs.
Embedded in the produce business POS software from Tower Systems are many benefits, including…
Being local in retail is more important in 2020 than ever. The challenge is how to be local authentically.
Local can mean different things to different people – it does not necessarily mean proximity. Being local could be about the level of care and attention you provide customers, the additional advice you provide, that you live locally, that you source locally or that you serve the local community personally. It can also be about locally sourced products.
Locally sourced products could be products made anywhere in Australia. For example, detailing where a product is made and the family behind it pitches local compared to a similar product imported from overseas. The narrative matters as it plays into local.
Small business retailers can use the retail POS software from Tower Systems to pitch local in a range of ways:
It is not enough to tell people to shop local, you need to demonstrate the value of this, you need to live it transactionally in your retail business. The best way to do this is through systems and processes in your POS software.
We are grateful to all the newsagents who shares their sales data for inclusion in this important benchmark study.
Newsagency businesses in the benchmark study data pool focussed on new traffic generators fared well in 2019 compared to the performance of traditional newsagency businesses. 4 of the 5 traditional categories experienced year on year declines while all of the new product categories delivered growth.
Newsagencies focussed on change through new product categories are the future of the channel. New product categories usually offer a significantly better margin, better sell-through rate and better basket efficiency compared to traditional newsagency lines.
New product categories will evolve, too. What is strong today will be challenged by another category tomorrow. Change, substantial change is the new normal in retail.
This newsagency sales benchmark study represents a comparison of sales data from 161 newsagency businesses for the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. These businesses are representative: city and country, high street and mall, banner groups and independent. The only thing connecting the businesses is that they use the Tower newsagency software. Note: Each data point below is the average, mean, of all data for the data point.
OVERALL PERFORMANCE METRICS.
Despite there being plenty of bad news at the department and category level, this latest study reveals plenty of good news. It encourages confidence around pursuing change, embracing new product categories and leveraging these to help redefine the focus of the business.
While the newsagency shingle remains for many businesses in our channel, movement away from what that shingle has stood for is key to the future.
Print media is a problem.
With margins slim – 25% for magazines and around 12% for papers for many – the impact of the continuing decline in sales is significant. The only to make papers and magazines work is to reduce costs associated switch carrying these products – retail space and labour. Changes here can encourage further decline. This is why more newsagents are wondering when they might quit print.
Unless there is a change to margin percentage and an improvement in magazine cover prices, I suspect more in newsagents will exit print, unfortunately.
The growth categories.
Looking at the product categories for which there was growth – gifts, toys, plush, collectibles, craft, coffee – less than half the businesses in the dataset offered more than two of these. Even with the easy category of gift, more than a 25% of those reporting do not offer gifts, which shocks me.
City vs. Country.
Regional and rural businesses continue to perform better. This is across the board. It has always been thus. I think this is due in part to a lower retail space cost, stronger local shopper support and less competition.
Toys, crafts, coffee, gifts, books and plush offer upside, as has been the case for several years. The best success comes from dealing with suppliers who do not usually supply the newsagency channel. That said, what each of these category labels mean varies significantly between businesses.
The role of online.
While there has been growth in the contribution of online, in an average business it accounts for less than 4% of non lottery revenue. There are some achieving more than 10% but they are small in number. Too many newsagents and missing out on the online opportunity.
Is a newsagency a good investment?
My answer to this question continues to be yes. There is traffic value remaining in core products and opportunity to leverage this in other product categories.
The success of any newsagency business is more reliant on the retailer than on the channel itself. A poor retailer will run a poor newsagency. A good retailer will run a more successful newsagency.
New traffic, better margin, genuine growth in business valuations all come from focussing on products not recently traditionally aligned with our channel.
I own three newsagencies. I am glad I do. I am pleased with their performance.
Ransomware / malware can come in many forms. Every computer connected to a network in any way is at risk.
There is no guaranteed protection but there are important steps to take. This advice provides advice designed to reduce the risk to your business.
A ransomware attack is where money is demanded to unlock your computer. Often, the computer is not unlocked even after a payment is made.
You can reduce the opportunity of being hit by an attack by taking care with emails. If you are not sure of the sender, ignore the email. Tell everyone who has access to your email. Lay out your ground rules and demand discipline.
Here is our best-practice advice to protect against Ransomware:
Most ransomware attacks can be avoided by careful scrutiny of your emails and websites you visit.
We are asked regularly for business advice by small business retailers. It comes with the territory of being a small business focussed POS software company. It also comes with us owning and running retail businesses ourselves.
We draw on 0ur own experiences as well of those we serve in providing advice.
A question we have had recently is about how yo manage a cashflow challenge in a small retail business, a tough challenge, one that could end the business. Here is our overall advice for that situation:
The common approach we have seen from business owners is to hide from those to whom you owe money. That only serves to harm your business and put you under more pressure. It is not a smart move.
If your cashflow challenge is more serious than a short to medium term plan could resolve it could be that your business is insolvent.
Company directors have a legal obligation to not allow their businesses to trade while insolvent.
Many have been in this situation. You can come out the other side by acting sooner, with commitment and with transparency to your creditors.