The POS Software Blog

The POS Software Blog

News from Tower Systems about locally made POS software for specialty local retailers.

13 Ways Local Retailers Can Boost Sales And Profits In Challenging Economic Times


If you or a retailer you know are finding economic conditions tough for your business you can complain, do nothing or make changes. Only one of these has any hope of improving the situation. My advice is to pursue change every time.

Here are 13 free and easy to implement action items any local small business retailer could consider to improve their situation.

  1. Engage everyone in the shop. Let all team members know how the business is going, what it needs and why. Agree on achievable goals and steps to take in pursuing them. Track results openly. Keep communicating.
  2. Declutter. If business is down and it’s getting to you, spend a day or two decluttering. Typically, the act of decluttering helps you see positive moves you can make in the business. Do this yourself. Make those moves.
  3. Quit dead stock. What is dead will depend on your type of shop. For some, it will be stock that has not sold in 6 months while for others it will be stock that has not sold for 2 years. Dead stock wastes space, time and ties up cash. Anything you get for it is better than the daily cost of your dead stock today. And, in quitting, do it in 2 weeks. If it’s not gone, give it away.
  4. Reward an additional purchase. Include a coupon on receipts that offers a reward if the customer makes another purchase in a short period of time – we suggest 7 days. While loyalty points programs focus on the longer-term relationship, the voucher proposed here is all about encouraging purchases sooner. In our software, this is discount vouchers.
  5. Know what you are missing out on. In a typical shop, the top 5% selling items are out of stock 21% of the time. That is guaranteed revenue missed. Fix it and revenue will increase. Your POS software can easily show what you’re missing. In our software tis is on the Insights Dashboard.
  6. Support a local community group in return for their members supporting you. Connect with a group that has plenty of members, the community loves and that does good work. Offer their members a discount off purchases and a contribution donation from each purchase value to the group. The goal is to get their members who don’t buy from you buying from you = new customers.
  7. Have fun on social media. People go to social media to be entertained. Entertain them. Don’t overthink it. Have fun, show your business as a place of fun, share knowledge that differentiates your business.
  8. Leverage free. Make sure your Google Business and Bing (yes, it’s a thing!) presences are up to date and fun.
  9. Lower payments costs. Card payments can cost small business retailers between .075% and close to 2%. While you can surcharge customers, switching payments company could save plenty. If you switch, still surcharge tho.
  10. Email your customers. If you have customer email addresses and know what they have bought, run some targeted email campaigns using this data.
  11. Review pricing. Most retailers either follow the supplier suggested retail price or a mark-up percentage set many years ago. To determine the price you could sell an item for, ask that question. It could be that the convenience of your location and lack of easy to access competitors means you can sell items for more than is usual. If this is the case, do it. Most POS software makes it easy to make these price adjustments.
  12. Talk to your suppliers. If you are finding it tough it is likely your suppliers are too. Ask if they have deal prices to move inventory. If they do and it is inventory you can easily sell, grab it for bonus margin.
  13. Set your shop right. Make sure that your shop is guiding shoppers to spend, and spend more:
    1. Inside the front door: Have a new display weekly. Bright. Optimistic. Fun. Unexpected.
    2. At the counter: Pitch items people will easily purchase on impulse. Items that achieve the best performance and items they did not expect to see at your counter.
    3. Have a scent: Incense, a candle – introduce a scent people like.
    4. Have a sound: Play happy music people will know and sing along to.
    5. If it is cold outside, make your shop warm.
    6. If it is warm outside, make your shop cooler.
    7. Move: Move at least one product category each week. This gives the shop a feeling of change.

My POS software company, Tower Systems, makes and supports POS software for local specialty retailers in Australia and New Zealand. I also own and runs shops.

I share practical advice like covered here because I love helping local independent retailers thrive.

Mark Fletcher
Managing Director
Tower Systems International (Aust) Pty Ltd
ABN 61 007 009 752
M | 0418 321 338 E |
Sales: 1300 662 957

First published: June 27, 2024.

By Mark
The POS Software Blog




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