Being genuinely local for any local business sounds easy, right? It’s not that easy though, certainly not as easy as it seems. It can be challenging because of different expectations and experiences.
As a POS software company that only develops POS software and sells to local small business retailers, we have plenty of experience with retailers on thinking, living and acting local. Plus, we own and run local shops. Our experience and the experience of our 3,000+ local retail business customers informed the advice we share here and in our day to day contact with our POS software customer community.
Today, we share some of that advice, to provide a taste for the extent of business inspiration and management we provide our customers.
Being local in retail is more important than ever.
Local can mean different things to different people – it does not necessarily mean geographic 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.
Locally sourced products could be products made 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.
You can use your Tower Systems POS software to pitch local in a range of ways:
- Shop local yourself. Be seen doing this.
- Hire local. This shows you adding local economic value.
- Talk local. Know local news. Share it on your business social media pages.
- Include notes on receipts.Add product care instructions, use instructions or other useful information automatically on receipts – making your receipt a useful information platform.
- Tell people where you source products. For a product made by a family or small business in Australia, include details on the receipt. Shine a light on this local product – provide extra information so your shoppers can feel more locally connected.
- Include a SHOP LOCAL pitch. Add an image of a poster or some other promotion of the benefits of shop local to every receipt, reinforcing the value of shopping local. Tower Systems has images you can use for free – in the downloads section of our website.
- Thank your customers.Include text personally thanking customers shopping with you. Put our name to the message. Include your mobile. Big businesses do not do this.
- Track local product sales.Be aware of suppliers of locally made products and report on the performance of these through various reporting tools.
- Thanks for shopping local vouchers.You can use the discount voucher facilities in the software and call them Thanks for shopping localorLocal shopping reward. This reinforces a value for shopping with a local business – offering $$ discount off the next purchase based on rules you establish.
- Show local, on product tags, with information you auto-share about locally sourced products and about products sourced to serve local conditions.
It is not enough to tell people to shop local. Doing just that will fail, it will be ignored. We think it is vital for local retailers to demonstrate the value of local, to live it transactionally in your retail business. The best way to do this is through systems and processes in your POS software.