Retailers love our new online POS software training workshops

The new online Point of Sale software training workshops launched for 2013 last week have been a terrific success. We hosted four sessions and customer feedback has been excellent. They love the delivery platform, that access is free, that the content is relevant and that they can easily interact.

Tower Systems proudly leads in the delivery of access to live, understandable and free training for retailers.  We are especially thrilled that we have been able to deliver, on time, new content this year … making our online training workshop program even more valuable for retailers using our software.

Delivering help like this to small business retailers is important to our mission to help this end of the retail space to gain more value from IT.

Indeed, in the online training area, actions speak louder than words.

New POS software training curriculum starts today

Tower Systems is thrilled to be launching today a new training curriculum for for retailers using its Point of Sale software.

Having announced fresh new online training workshops a few weeks ago, more than 80% of available spots have been booked for the free live online workshops.

The new curriculum kicks off today with a session on Using Catalogues and Promotions to Build Your Business:

Catalogue marketing is a very important part of many businesses throughout a year – periods such as Back To School, Easter, Mother’s Day and Christmas are all common discount promotion seasons. This training session will teach users how to quickly and easily set up a sale or promotion and how to track its success.

By the end of today, 28 businesses will have participated in the two live online workshop sessions we are hosting. These are businesses from many different locations and in many different businesses.

In addition to the training delivered, the workshops provide an excellent opportunity for the business owners to network and for them to provide us with direct customer feedback.

We are very excited to have this new live training program up and running for 2013 and to have so many of our customers engaging with the training.

The result will be retailers using our Point of sale software to drive more value from their businesses.

How adult shop software helps adult shops make more money

Adult shop owners are loving the Tower Systems Adult Shop software.

Evolved to meet the needs of adult shops, this software handles all the usual Point of Sale requirements in retail management software as well as adult shop specific requirements. User feedback is that it offers a genuinely valuable solution. Adult shops are using the software today to manage:

  • DVD sale and return.
  • Automated replenishment orders from suppliers.
  • Club entry.
  • Employee performance.
  • Employee rosters.
  • Customer theft reduction.
  • Employee theft reduction.
  • Integrated, faster and more accurate EFTPOS processing.
  • Vouchers to drive return shopper business.
  • Seasonal pricing offers.
  • Customer loyalty management and rewards.

There is plenty more to this adult shop software which adult shop owners and managers can use to drive better business results.

It all comes down to profitability. Used well, the Tower Systems adult shop software drives business profitability, making the businesses more valuable for the business owners.

Retailers starting 2013 with free POS software online training commitment

More than 150 places have been booked in the last week for the new range of live online training in the Tower Systems Point of Sale software.

The new topics released for 2013 are proving to be a hit with retailers and retail employees as they want to get more from their POS software technology investment.

In developing the new content early in 2013, Tower Systems is providing its retail partners an excellent opportunity to kick off the year with better knowledge and therefore better business opportunities.

Here are some of the practical business topics being covered:

  1. Using Catalogues and Promotions to build your business
  2. Setting up Gift Vouchers in Your Business
  3. Using SMS and Email Alerts in Retailer
  4. Building Your basket Sales
  5. Getting Started with Laybys
  6. Building A Succesful Loyalty Program
  7. Smart Marketing
  8. More Than Just a Receipt

Small retailers using our Point of Sale software love Tyro broadband EFTPOS

With more than 750 of our Point of Sale software customers now using the Tyro broadband EFTPOS solution, we have plenty of feedback from retailers on which to draw. Retailers love Tyro. They love its speed, security, time saving and ease of use.

This past busy Christmas period saw many of our customers enjoy an excellent sales bump. Tyro helped our customers better handle the increase in shopper traffic thanks to its rapid approval time and the elimination of keystrokes thanks to its integration with our POS software.

We love Tyro, we use it to process EFTPOS payments in our software company as well as in our own retail stores. So, our recommendation is based on considerable personal experience with Tyro across a range of business situations.

It’s our operation of a range of retail businesses that sets us apart as a software company and that enables us to provide more practical advice to our retail partners.

Memorable customer service vital for retailers and POS software companies

While Gerry Harvey and some others regularly talk down retail as if they want Australians to believe that retail businesses are struggling because of economic factors, the real reason for most retail failures is that the businesses have not served their customers.

Memorable customer service is the most important point of difference a retail business can have, especially a business which does not make what it sells and therefore could have its products being sold by any other business apple to reach the same pool of shoppers.

We call it memorable customer service because it truly has to be that … memorable. So memorable that it is praised by your customers to others.

Good customer service should be the norm, the lowest hurdle any retail business can jump. Memorable customer service, the level of customer service that makes a shopper talk about the experience to their friends, must be the goal and it is the word of mouth from these customers that is a factor in driving traffic growth.

Memorable customer service is just as vital to Point of Sale software companies as it is for retail businesses. Since we own retail businesses as well as our POS software company we see it, live it and reach for it from both sides.

This is why we continue to work hard to encode the ability to focus on customer service in our Point of Sale software. That’s right, retailers using our software have touch points they can leverage using software which help deliver the kind of memorable customer service we are talking about here.

Memorable customer service in retail, just as in a software company like ours, is experiences which exceed expectations, it delivers benefits outside of what you expect even from a good business.  In our IT company we compete with big IT companies and small, like us, IT companies. While we want our software to be the point of difference customers notice and talk about positively, it is our customer service which is loved and mentioned to colleagues more. Realising this was an epiphany for us.

We focus on building stronger, better and more valuable software. But we also surround this, completely, with customer service experiences which are the very best of the best. This gives us, and our customers, the best of both worlds. And we love it ourselves.

Given that most retailers do not have products unique to their businesses, delivering memorable customer service is critical to the business plan.  Small and independent retailers can do this more easily and effectively than big retailers. From the genuine smile to shoppers to product knowledge to that extra information which helps a shopper get more out of the product purchased than they would have had the purchased the product elsewhere. This added value is the key and it can be delivered in almost any situation and with any product from a stapler through to a high-end road bike.

So, beyond our software and as part of our customer service focus, we seek out opportunities to help our customers deliver memorable customer service.  Indeed, this was one topic we covered in the recent face-to-face user meetings we ran in capital cities and major regional centres around Australia.

Gerry Harvey is wrong to complain about factors outside his business causing poor results. He needs to shop his shops and see that the customer service at Harvey Norman is not so memorable. It is not something people talk in in word of mouth. That’s retail death right there. If people come to your shop just because you are cheap it can be taken from you in an instant. If they come to you because a friend praised the customer service their received you are on the road to winning a regular customer.

As a Point of Sale software company, our mission is to deliver constantly improving retail management software backed with memorable customer service and going beyond this with business insights and assistance which helps our retailers themselves deliver exceptional and memorable experiences to their customers.

Using your POS software to manage employee rewards for extra effort at Christmas

Plenty of retailers using our Point of Sale software make use of the ability to track sales by employees and, through this, reward above average performance through commission and other payments.

Our POS software makes it easy to track sales closed by employees. This is particularly useful in retail businesses selling high ticket price items … like jeweller, homewares, bike shop and gift businesses.

With no extra effort, our software tracks the sale by employee and facilitates reporting for whatever period over which the retailer may offer an employee rewards program. This is an excellent way for driving employee engagement and thereby lifting sales.

Christmas is an excellent way for engaging with such a program – giving employees extra incentive to deliver extra benefits for the business and thereby help the business make the most of Christmas sales opportunities.

Through our POS software help desk we are able to help retailers not only use the software to track sales by employees, we can also offer advice and assistance on structuring such programs for the benefit of the business and its employees.

How to turn 2012 Christmas sales in your retail business into more business in 2013

Retailers making good use of smart POS software are more likely to leverage business gains in 2013 from 2013 Christmas sales than those who use their point of sale systems as a glorified cash register.

How so?

Best practice retailers using our Point of Sale software will use the loyalty facilities to harvest shopper data. They will, through 2013, use that shopper data to market to their customers through carefully targeted campaigns.

So, which Christmas is about selling as much as you can at the best possible margin, it is also about storing everything you can for the following year.

Tower Systems provides practical help to retailers, guiding them to do more with their software through free training and a host of rich training and support resources … so that they can make more money in the year after a good Christmas retail season.

The Tower sales team will show retailers how they can do this. the Tower support team will show any existing customers how they can do this.

Twenty-one free Christmas marketing tips for retailers

Every year, Tower Systems publishers Christmas marketing and sales tips to retailers using our POS software. These are available free for anyone to use. Here are our Christmas 2012 ideas:

  1. Collect donations at the counter. Setup a big jar and say you want to fill it by Christmas with change for a named local charity your shoppers will know. Choose a charity you  believe in. Label it: SPREAD SOME CHRISTMAS CHEER.
  2. Harvest shopper data. Run a competition with a terrific hamper as a price. Get customers to enter with the name and email address. Indicate you’ll add them to your database. Use the database next year for marketing.
  3. My Christmas. Setup a pinboard somewhere in the shop for locals to post stories about their Christmas – from the past or plans for this year. Make this a place for people to share something of themselves with their community.
  4. Helping hand at Christmas. Find out what local charities are doing at Christmas and offer to promote this for them. Put together a one page flyer and give it to your shoppers so they can support any of these groups.
  5. Best Christmas recipes. Setup a noticeboard somewhere so locals can post their favourite Christmas recipe. get them to tell something more than just listing the recipe.
  6. Locate stock by gift recipient. Consider creating displays targeting the recipient, especially those hard to buy for like Dad. You could have a sign: gifts for Dad for under $30 for example.
  7. A carol discount. Offer a discount to a shopper who comes in singing a carol. Make the discount worth their while. Consider nominating the carol you want to hear this year.
  8. The best part of 2012. Become a beacon for positive stories. Setup a noticeboard for customers to post their stories on the theme – the best part of 2012. This will help get your  business known as a positive place.
  9. Customer endorsements. Invite your customers to write on a specially designed card why they bought what they bought and use these cards as part of your product merchandising – endorsements from other shoppers for the item.
  10. Dress for Christmas. Get T-shirts printed or an apron or some other garment for your customers so they can feel different to the usual year round uniform. Get them to be part of Christmas with what they wear.
  11. Move it. Each week, move product around, keep the shop looking Christmas fresh and people will buy more. While moving stock is hard work, the pay off is that shoppers will find “new” things.
  12. Christmas art. Invite school, kindergartens and play groups to provide art with which to decorate your shop. Offer a modest prize for the winner. Invite public voting if you like. Be proud in showing off local art. This will bring families in to show off and show you as community connected.
  13. Really connect with a local charity. Offer a local charity coupons (in a catalogue) to distribute which provide a discount off certain product categories on presentation. In return, give them a commission from each sale. For example, the coupon could offer 10% off any gift and you could give the charity 5% commission on every sale. A good charity will promote the coupons for you.
  14. Kris Kringle. With Kris Kringle giving growing in popularity, display your gifts based on price point. Signpost them as Kris Kringle gifts. Show people what to buy.
  15. Give gifts to shoppers. One day each week give gifts with every purchase. It could be a chocolate, a fridge magnet or a calendar. Whatever you give, make sure it is something people will like and is easily given away from the counter. Get known as the shop which gives more. Choose gifts related to what you sell. For example – a bag for holding jewellery, cleaner for homewares, recipes from cooking magazines, a voucher for a free service if you sell items requiring servicing.
  16. Sample what you sell. If you sell chocolate, offer samples. There are ways to do this with the food health regulations. Candy companies will tell you that offering samples drives sales.
  17. Use aroma. Choose a smell for Christmas and use a vaporiser to let this waft into the shop. Darrell Lea stores do with well with a liquorice smell. I have seen store do it well with a pine tree smell at Christmas. Tap into a sense which is not often used in retail.
  18. Manage shop floor traffic. With more customers in the shop this time of the year, managing lines is important. Have your best people at the counter and driving traffic so that wait time is kept to a minimum.
  19. Specialise. There are many gifts you can sell by showing that they relate to a highly specialist gift giving occasion: teacher, neighbour, priest, local service provider, gardener. Promoting a gift for one or more trains your customers about giving such a gift and getting it from you.
  20. Good counter offers. Have two impulse items at the counter to be pitched in every sale. Gift tags, Christmas candy or a trinket for car, work or home. Research suggests that 18% of sales can include a counter based impulse purchase. Get the product right and tap into the opportunity.
  21. Add value. Seize every opportunity. Have tape with gift wrap, gift bags near gift items, pre-wrapped gift items, an up-sell opportunity printed on receipts, a promotional flyer in every bag and a logical layout to the store – zones for product categories with good adjacencies.

Yes, there are too many ideas for one store for one Christmas. Choose what works best for you.

Point of Sale software support access made easy

We make accessing our help desk easy for retailers using our Point of Sale software. We have a range of local phone numbers and toll free for New Zealand. We also offer email and direct website access.

We promote our access points using a help desk contact card – as shown in the photo. We have sent these to customers several times this year alone. We also include the details in our monthly newsletter, weekly email and in any hardware or comsumables shipment from the office.

Customer service is important, we win business with people switching from other POS software to us for this. Easy access to friendly and helpful support is vital.

Serial number tracking valuable to multiple retail channels

The serial number tracking services available through our Point of Sale software are proving to be invaluable in a range of retail situations.

Using serial number tools, retailers are able to track individual items sold to meet regulatory record-keeping requirements as well as track items for the benefit of the customer and the business in terms of warraty and other future activity around a specific item purchased.

Developed with jeweller and bike shop retailers originally, the serial number tracking tools in our POS software have been enhanced to meet evolving needs of retailers. We have ensured that the facilities meet needs of more retail channels, giving them peace of mind that they can track sales at the item level for reporting to authorities, suppliers, warranty providers and customers.

Serial number tracking requires accuracy and focus in serving the needs of the retailer, customer and other parties. Achieving this without negatively impacting the traffic flow at the counter is a challenge we address in our software.

retailers using our software can also find previous sales by searching using a serial number.

In addition to specifically serving the needs of tracking serial numbers of items sold, the software tools also work well in areas with similar needs. The software gives even more flexibility to the overall Point of Sale software package.

Taking loyalty to the next level with smart POS software

We are advanced in the development of a new loyalty facility for retailers using our Point of Sale software.

This new facility has been developed with several customers as well as our own retail shops. We are very excited to be close to delivering something fresh and exciting which retailers will be able to use to bring shoppers back sooner than usual.

The new facilities are best practice, valuable and certain to drive greater bottom line success for our retail partners.

This new facility is something others will want to copy. Indeed they will have to copy it to be competitive.  We will live with this knowing that innovation has its costs and copying is one of those.

Our Tower AdvantageTM customers will be first to get the new loyalty facility and they will continue to have access to our excellent current various loyalty facilities.

We are excited to be counting down the days to the release of this genuinely innovative new facility.

Free Point of Sale training this week

Independent small business retailers we work with have four more free Point of Sale software training opportunities this week:

  • Getting started with a Customer Display 20 Nov 2012, 11:00AM
  • How to process an invoice arrival 20 Nov 2012, 02:00PM
  • Getting started with Multi-Store 22 Nov 2012, 11:00AM
  • How to import Stock Files & Invoices 22 Nov 2012, 02:00PM

Each workshop is live and interactive. The sessions are designed for people using our software. This is why we make them accessible from any PC so that employees can access the training from home and in their own time.

Helping retailers manage employees through POS software

Managing employees in retail businesses can be a challenge, especially where the owner is not able to be in the business all the time.

The Tower Systems Point of Sale software offers access to some excellent employee management tools, some known and others hidden and known only to the business owners.

Through these smart business management tools, retail business owners and managers are able to: manage rosters, track employee sales, track employee activity, motivate employees, guide employee training and help employees better serve customers on the retail shop floor.

Helping retail employees to reach their full potential for a business can be liberating for them and for the business. This is a terrific win win and we are here to help our retail partners to achieve this.

Adult shop software helps Australian adult shops grow

The adult shop software released by Tower Systems a year ago is helping adult shops in Australia to track sales, reward loyal shoppers, connect with suppliers, motivate employees and handle adult shop specific business management requirements.

By delivering adult shop specific facilities, Tower Systems is delivering a service of value of this strong retail sector and its suppliers. Employing thousands Aarond the country, the adult shop sector is important to employees, landlords, wholesalers, owners and others who rely on the sector for their income.

The success of the Fifty Shades of Grey series has boosted traffic for adult shops and the Tower adult shop software is helping them make the most of the opportunity.

Adult shop software helps leverage Fifty shades of grey opportunity for retailers

Thanks to the runaway success of the Fifty shades of grey book, adult shops in Australia are seeing more shoppers and enjoying a surge in sales as a result.

Being able to offer current product responding to a shift in consumer demand is vital for any retaierl. The Fifty shades of grey book is driving a change in shoppers visiting adult shops.

The Tower Systems adult shop POS and management software is helping adult shop retailers to make the most of the traffic boost opportunity.  We are able to do this through facilities helpful to adult shop owners and managers. Facilities like:

  • LayBy.
  • Loyalty marketing.
  • Shopper rewards.
  • Customer touchpoint marketing.
  • Inventory management and reordering.
  • Employee management and monitoring.
  • Theft tracking.
  • Fast and accurate sales processing.
  • Supplier integration and connection.

Through our work with adult shop suppliers and adult shop retailers Tower Systems is helping retailers to make the most of the fifty shades opportunity.

Helping retailers tap into Fifty Shades of Grey opportunity

The Fifty Shades of Grey book is driving a terrific traffic boost for adult shops.  Retailers using our professional adult shop software are able to make the most of the bonus traffic thanks to smart business performance reporting, supplier connections and shopper marketing opportunities.

The Fifty Shades of Grey book is bringing many first time adult shop shoppers into businesses. This is providing adult shops an opportunity to show that their retail business are just like other retail businesses. Products have SKUs and barcodes, shoppers shop based on their interests, they appreciate loyalty programs and they tell their friends about good and bad experience.

Years ago, adult shops were considered to be places you’d whisper about. Today, the retail channel is big business. From our perspective, we have learnt plenty about retail by working with successful adult shop retailers and and some of their suppliers. We have also learnt more about product importing and how our software can help manage this from an inventory perspective.

Our adult shop software is like our retail business management software for other retail niches. It’s professional and helpful for business owners and managers who want to drive business performance.

Adult shop software improves business profitability

Adult shop owners can rely on the new Tower Systems Adult Shop software to deliver valuable business benefits. With adult shops already using the software, we have excellent feedback from the field showing the day to day as well as longer term benefits for a typical adult shop.

Evolved to meet the needs of adult shops, this software handles all the usual Point of Sale requirements in retail management software as well as adult shop specific requirements. User feedback is that it offers a genuinely valuable solution.

Adult shops are using the software today to manage:

  • DVD sale and return.
  • Automated replenishment orders from suppliers.
  • Club entry.
  • Employee performance.
  • Employee rosters.
  • Customer theft reduction.
  • Employee theft reduction.
  • Integrated, faster and more accurate EFTPOS processing.
  • Vouchers to drive return shopper business.
  • Seasonal pricing offers.
  • Customer loyalty management and rewards.

There is plenty more to this adult shop software which adult shop owners and managers can use to drive better business results.

It all comes down to profitability. Used well, the Tower Systems adult shop software drives business profitability, making the businesses more valuable for the business owners.

Thanks to a program of regular enhancements, the adult shop software in the market today will evolve to meet new needs and leverage in the field experience to help businesses achieve more from its use.

What is interesting about our adult shop software work is the leanings applying to other marketplaces. We have discovered business management practices in adult shops which will be useful in several other retail niches. Through our software we will pass these on.

Adult shop software growing in popularity

Last year we quietly started selling software to adult shop retailers in Australia. We were invited into the space to serve a need for adult shop owners who needed good software to run their retail businesses. Our work with newsagents is what put us on the radar here.

Our adult shop software is proving to serve the need.

Thanks to our security facilities, accurate sales processing, easy remote access, excellent business reporting and ability to handle some unique adult shop needs we have been able to help several adult shop businesses streamline their operations and improve their bottom line.

Our work with adult shops, while in its infancy, is helping in a couple of other specialist marketplaces in which we work today. This crossover attracted us, as it did in the past when we have entered other marketplaces.