Helping small business retailers sell online with POS connected websites

Tower Systems has rolled out the next release of its POS software connected website solutions, offering small business retailers a stronger armoury of tools with which to compete with global and national online businesses.

Offering POS software direct links to Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce websites, the Tower Systems integrations bring new business opportunities to small business retailers, opening doors to finding new customers.

Embedded in the new software are facilities that are fresh for the small business online space, fresh for POS software integrated websites.

Tower Systems has gone beyond the usual approach of announce and then deliver some time in the future. the company has developed, delivered and then announced. This is the company proving what it has done before making any noise about it.

We think actions speak louder than words.

Small business retailers who want to compete with online have Tower Systems in their corner. Our beautiful web connected POS software works for retailers in different channels. It helps retailers attract new shoppers. We deal with the challenges of freight. We make shopping easy. We help win business from the tricky abandoned cart situation and more.

Being a local POS software company, we leverage our local marketplace knowledge not only for ur POS software but also for the websites we create for our customers.

We make selling online easy for small business retailers.

We develoop websites for Tower Systems customers. We have web developers working in ur Melbourne office with skills in Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce.

Having websites developed by us ensures a best-practice connection between your POS software and the websites.

We have plenty of store connected websites we can show you, where shoppers can shop online with interest free online lay-by, shop using click and collect, pay by PayPal and more. We can sync the data between your shop and online as frequently ads you want. We have sites doing it every five minutes and others doing it daily.

We have seen retailers choose to have their website developed by a low-cost offshore web developer only to have to spend considerably to have it fixed. We have had to do this for several of our customers, where offshore developers have delivered a broken website.

To find out more about our web development services as well as our SEO (website marketing) services, please email sales@towersystems.com.au.

Advice for small business retailers on finding confidence

Change of any sort can be challenging. Part of our role as a POS software company is to offer encouragement for continuous change. While we cannot force you to be confident in embracing change, we can provide a safety-net of sorts and a cheer-squad of encouragement.

In our own situation we are confronted with change and challenges every day. What we do today is very different to what we were doing five and ten years ago. Here are things we have found encourage confidence.

  1. Know your business. This starts with knowing your business data, respecting it and basing decisions on the data. This provides a foundation for changes that are right in and for your business.
  2. Take small steps. Sometimes, confidence fades or can be a challenge when the task ahead or the changes to be made appear too big. Break them down. Focus on the next step. Take that one step. Cheer the result. Next, take the next step.
  3. Most of what we suggest is based on either direct experience or considerable research. Trusting this could see you embrace change sooner and, hopefully, thereby enjoy more success sooner. This, in turn, will boost your confidence.
  4. Know you are not alone. No matter what change or challenge you face, we are part of your community, part of your cheer-squad. Talk with us before, during and after change. We will help in any way we are able.
  5. Focus on the destination. Where do you want to be as a result of a change in your business, new products or a new marketing initiative. Focus on the destination and ignore the barriers you create in your head. Often, the barriers are only there because you allowed yourself to see them.
  6. Facts encourage confidence. Facts such as evidence of success of others and evidence of success in your own business underpin confidence. The key is to look at the facts, to focus on them and not the possible barriers you can create.
  7. Hire confident people.
  8. Let go of people who are not confident, who talk change down, who are negative at their core.
  9. Play confident music in your office and in the shop.
  10. Dress with confidence.
  11. Know that a failure is always a success. Every change you make in your business is a success because you either make more money, enjoy your business more or learn what not to do next time because it did not go as planned. There is only upside from change.

A lack of confidence is not easily overcome. We understand that and do not seek here to be glib about it. Lack of confidence in anything is a serious challenge, yet one to overcome for the future of the business, personal achievement and the benefit of all who rely on the business.

Rather than investing time in the fog of a lack of confidence, our advice is to look out beyond the fog, to take steps out of the fog and to do so knowing we are with you.

Changing LayBy in small business retail forever

Tower Systems brought interest free immediate shipping LayBy to websites months ago. It has helped many retailers win sales they otherwise might have lost, and at minimal cost to the retailers.

Now, we are bringing immediate collect interest-free LayBy to physical retail businesses.

Thanks to months of behind the scenes tech innovation in our software and with a respected public company in the finance space we are on the cusp of launching a game changer for in-store LayBy.

Shoppers can purchase and take goods away with them immediately.

Payments are made over an agreed period of time.

The retailer is paid right away.

The retailers is not responsible for collecting payment from the customer.

The cost to the retailer is fractional thanks to the Tower relationship.

The customer has the items for immediate giving if gifts or for use if they have purchased for personal use.

There is no need to store lay-by items.

There is no paperwork to follow up lay-by payment and collection.

In all, for everyone, life is easier.

This is a game changer for locally owned small family run retail businesses. It brings big business tools to these local independent retail businesses. It empowers them to be more competitive.

Bringing a comprehensive professionally backed interest free lay-by facility to our POS software has taken time because of regulatory requirements and given the size of the necessary finance company backing.

Tower Systems has brought together a range of resources, tech skills and retailers to bring this opportunity to live, to do it in a way that is best practice and meets all necessary regulations.

Now, if a shopper is passing through and wants an item for which they cannot pay right away, using this new soon to launch facility the retailer has an alternative with which to win the sale today. This is especially valuable in tourist locations.

Integrated with the POS software and offering a fast (60 second to 120 second) approval process, this game changing solution will help many local retail businesses win sales leading up to Christmas 2017 that they might otherwise have lost.

Like AfterPay but not AfterPay, the solution being delivered by Tower Systems is easy to use, easy to understand, fast to leverage and loved by shoppers. We have been using it all year online and it is a dream.

Workshop on special customer orders in POS software loved by retailers

Yesterday, Tower Systems hosted a major workshop on how to leverage special customer orders in our POS software to help any retail business grow revenue and increase customer stickiness.

Our pitch explained the value of using smart software that manages the special customer orders process through the entire business:

If you have an order book at the counter or in the office, for orders that are too messy or cumbersome to put through your software, Special Customer Orders in the Tower Systems POS software could be ideal.

If you or staff are forgetting to track special orders when they come in or are challenged advising customers when special orders are read to be collected, this software can make the whole process hassle-free for you.

We can help you win more business.

We make it easy for every employee to handle special customer orders with consistency, even casual employees.

Developed in close consultation with retailers in the jeweller, bike retail, produce, toy and garden centre retail channels, the Special Customer Orders facility in the Tower Systems POS software is powerful, flexible and enjoyable.

See it live in this free online workshop. We will demonstrate the software to you, take questions and share user insights.

The demonstration will take only half an hour. We are sure you will be surprised how fare this function in the Tower software goes.

We are grateful to all our customers who participated. It was a full session with more than twenty participating, learning, for free.

This session is another in our regular series of free learning opportunities for our POS software companies.

Social customer orders functionality is unique to Tower Systems. What we have developed is deep and comprehensive, created based on the needs shown to us by our customers in various retail channels. We build the facilities from scratch, based on the customer outlined requirements.

We are grateful to our customers for supporting this training session, and, indeed, all of our free online training workshops.

We develop software and websites for: gift shopsjewellers,  bike shopstoy shopsfishing/outdoors businessesgarden centres/nurseriespet shopsproduce storesfirearms businesses and newsagents.

Easy synching on stock on hand for physical store connected websites

The syncing of stock on hand data between physical shops and websites is key to successful online selling.

Given that the most significant use of websites is to see what stock its available in-store, accurate stock on hand data is a core factor in driving online sales.

Retailers using our Tower Systems POS software and one of our various webstore link facilities can determine the best timing for data synch between the physical and online store. The frequency of any such synch is determined by the type of products being sold.

We have customers who prefer to synch every five minutes through to customers who synch daily, and all manner in between.

We work with our customers to understand product sale frequency and then provide advice based on this and our own experience working with many successful POS software / webstore integrations across a range of retail channels.

The way we do the synch is fast and accurate, of little drain on the retail business and the internet connection.

Given our experience in this space and the value of experience in many different businesses, we are not get four of such synching. Our approach is best-practice, fast, accurate and loved by shoppers and retailers.

Getting this synching process is right for small business retailers who want to sell with confidence online. Shoppers who purchase online only to be told sorry that item is out of stock get frustrated as they bought wanting the product.l The requirement for accurate stock on hand data on websites is critical.

A good website will not only show products that are currently available, they will go further and show the actual quantity on hand of every item. While this can benefit a competitor targeting a business, in most cases the customers love it and gain confidence in a business as a result of this.

As POS software developers and website developers Tower Systems is skilled on both sides of the tech solution. We are able to demonstrate local retail business connected POS software that is discovering new shoppers for local businesses. The win is valuable, bankable. It all starts with a fast and accurate synch between the POS software and the website.

Tower Systems’ POS software features in Xu magazine for Xero users

Tower Systems features in the latest issue of Xu magazine, the international magazine for Xero users and consultants and the wider Xero community.

The article resulted from kudos for our work in the POS software / Xero integrated space for many small business retailers. Our work helps retailers cut the time spent on entry of data as it eliminates steps in the process. This improves accuracy and costs of the business.

We are grateful to our many POS software / Xero customers for their support and encouragement on the continued evolution of our direct to Xero interface.

We are also grateful to the folks at Xero for their advice and counsel.

The article, which has just been published, is timely as it leads into the Xero Xerocon conference in Melbourne next month, where Tower Systems will feature its latest POS software.

Designer receipts make our POS software elegant

Small business retailers are loving our designer receipts. They love the ease of change. They love the beautiful outcome. They love the flexibility.

We think receipts should help a retail business win more sales. Ours do … thanks to you being able to create what ou want, how you want.

Tower Systems offers designer receipts as part of its comprehensive POS software and through these we offer a beautiful point of difference.

They are another Tower AdvantageTM.

For too long receipts have been seen as a necessary accounting function in retail businesses. designer receipts are different. They are an extension of marketing in any business. They are smart, appealing, elegant – a wonderful way to help grow the business.

While other POS software companies may say they allow you to customise receipts, none has the Tower Systems designer receipts facilities.

Free POS software training workshops

These trainings are 100% live and interactive. They can be accessed from anywhere in the world. They are another example of Tower Systems delivering on its promises to its customers. We are grateful for the support of our customers in participating in these free training events:

Free ecommerce workshops for small business retailers in Sydney

We are bringing our free workshop: Connecting online and in-store, how to make ecommerce work for your small business to Sydney later this month. Click the links below to book. each session will run for 2 hours. Refreshments provided:

  • August 24, 8am. Figtree Conference Centre: Mission Room, 5 Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park NSW.
  • August 24, 11am. Figtree Conference Centre: Mission Room, 5 Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park NSW.

We will demonstrate live websites that are connected to our Retailer POS software in local businesses. We will also show how to transfer stock to a website and how to manage images. We will answer all your website related questions. Bookings are essential.

All retailers are welcome to this educational and informative session.

Small business retail advice: save time and money with Xero POS software integration

Save time, eliminate bookkeeping costs, cut mistakes and make better business decisions sooner with the Tower Systems POS software Xero integration.

Our Xero partnership sees us linking direct to Xero. No middleware. No third p[arty. This is a direct, fast and time saving link. It is best-practice.

We use this link ourselves in the retail businesses we own and run. We know it works a treat. Our accountant loves it.

The Xero integration designed by Tower Systems, working with the folks at Xero, makes it easy for small business retailers to cut accounting paperwork and thereby tap into time and money saving benefits.

We use our Xero integrated POS software ourselves. This enables us to provide practical advice on how to benefit the most from Xero and our POS software working together.

Our customers have access to our in-house CPA, to provide a professional accounting perspective on the link and how to get the most from it.

Tower Systems is a unique POS software company. In addition to serving 3,500+ small business retailers, we own and operate several retail businesses as live test sites. Our in-house CPA manages the accounts for these retail businesses.

Practical website advice for small business retailers – how online rules have changed

How people use websites for retail businesses has changed, not overnight, but gradually over time.

If you have a website created more than three years ago, which has not been structurally changed or updated since it is probably not helping your business.

Online, the world moves fast, often faster than many small business retailers understand and plan for. Our advice here is designed to help you catch up.

Even if a website is there merely as an online business care, it needs to been certain criteria today to be found and of use to shoppers.

Here are some useful ‘rules’ I offer as  guidance for any retailer with (or planning) a business website:

  1. Ensure the site is mobile phone friendly. If it is not, Google will downgrade its ranking of the site.  Google announced red this more than a year ago. If you are not sure if your site is mobile friendly, access it from a phone and see if it is easily used without having to move the screen around. The site should automatically resize for the phone.
  2. Be clear about your online operation. Do not think you have to bring to online everything you do in your high street business. It could be your voice and persona online is completely different to in-store.
  3. Do not overload the site with stock. Include on the site products people will want to buy, products people will want to search for.
  4. Nail delivery. By this I mean make it certain for customers and easy for staff to run, for any staff member to run, to ensure deliveries are actioned asap.
  5. Make contact easy. the more human your site the more people you will attract.
  6. Pitch your brands. Your shoppers will be searching by brand more than they will search by the trading name of your business.
  7. Connect product pages to social media, make it easy for browsers to leverage your online content socially.
  8. Offer click and collect.
  9. Offer online LayBy.
  10. Ensure you take payment in a range of forms including PayPal.
  11. Promote the site in-store and on your social media pages.
  12. Get your pricing right. Online and in-store should match.
  13. Be prepared to completely replace the site in 18 months. That is the lifespan of a website as suggested by web experts and retailers who are successful in this space. While replace may be drastic, a complete visual and structural refresh may suffice.

These new ‘rules’ are a start. The represent the most significant changes from websites that small business retailers, including newsagents, were doing just a few years ago.

I think a website for a retail business is best approached as an opportunity for the business to sell to people the business would otherwise not reach. This thinking helps you focus on the site and its purpose as being different, broader than the website. It also helps you learn more about borderless retail.

How people shop, when and where they shop and why they shop has fundamentally changed in recent years. A good website can help any retail business, including there Aussie newsagency, to reach new customers and through this drive greater commercial efficiency from the physical retail business.

Tower Systems offers POS software integrated website development services. We are an excellent portfolio of sites to share.

Tower Systems small business POS software on show at Melbourne Gift Fair in August

We are excited to be showing our latest POS software packages for gift shopsjewellersbike shopspet shops,  toy shopsfishing/outdoorsgarden centres/nurseriesnewsagentsproduce stores and firearms retailers at the gift fair in Melbourne in a few weeks.

Having done this fair for many years, we understand the value retailers in a range of specialty niches place on the large event.

Many regard it as the best gift fair in Australia.

Tower Systems has been the most consistent POS software supporter of the fair and those who attend.  It has certainly been valuable for us, helping us reach many prospects who have become customers.

This gift fair is valuable because it serves a range of specialty software niches in which we serve. This makes it more interesting than single marketplace shows. It makes it far more interesting than trade shows run by a wholesaler serving one retail niche.

This year our Melbourne Gift Fair  stand is located at the showgrounds, where attendees will see a terrific mix of gist, homewares, toy, fashion and personal grooming products.

We’d be thrilled to say g’day if you stopped by.

Advice for small business retailers on how and why own run LayBys in retail

Offering Lay-by services is essential if you want to grow sales revenue in almost any time of business.

Big  businesses usually have strong LayBy offerings. It takes commitment and discipline. Once the processes are in place, staff trained and your system setup, it can run like clockwork.

Lay-Bys provide shoppers an opportunity to purchase today what they are unable to fully pay for today.

Key to your success with Lay-bys is having a streamlined and consistent process for processing Lay-bys, storying lay-by product, collecting payment and tracking customers.

One mistake with managing Lay-bys can be expensive.

Use software in your business to track Lay-bys. Do not do it manually. Of course, we recommend the Tower Systems POS software – it has LayBy facilities ready to go.

Use the software to capture the sale, record customer details, document your terms and conditions, record the deposit, track payments, chase late payments and finalise the sale. Again, to not attempt to do this manually.

Be complete in what you record. Only Lay-by stock for which you have records in your software, always enter full customer details such a full name, complete address and an ID number such as a driver’s licence number.

If you are not complete in your records keeping at some point this will cost you money.

In your software set your deposit requirements, payment requirements and other Lay-by terms. This provides a foundation of consistency for you and your employees.

IMPORTANT: Before you begin, familiarise yourself with LayBy regulation as set by the ACCC: https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/contracts-agreements/lay-by-agreements

Also, check the website of your state Consumer Affairs office to familiarise yourself with local requirements. Information there will help you determine your own terms.

Meeting regulatory requirements is vital. For example, if someone cancels a LayBy you must refund their payments less a termination fee. You can set this fee and advise as part of your terms and conditions.

Our practical advice guides you through key rules and steps to success with Lay-bys.

  1. WHAT TO LAY-BY. Set a minimum item and or purchase value. We’d suggest $80.00.
  2. DATA REQUIRED. Always ensure you are satisfied you know who your customer is. Require proof of ID from a driver’s licence or similar legal ID document.
  3. 20% of the total GST inclusive purchase price.
  4. Only Lay-by to people 18 and over.
  5. Lay-bys should run for between eight and twelve weeks. You could run for longer pre Christmas to get early toy sales.
  6. PAYMENT CYCLE. Require payments to be made weekly or fortnightly.
  7. PAYMENT METHOD. Accept any payment form you choose.
  8. Do not allow someone to take home a single item from a group of items on Lay-by together in one purchase. It’s all or nothing.
  9. Have a LayBy termination policy you are comfortable with. We suggest a 20% termination fee. Alternatively, set a dollar amount to reflect the work. Also, consider setting the LayBy to auto terminate if it extends beyond a period of time you nominate. Note that you could equally choose to have no cancellation given that Lay-by product may not be able to easily re-sold.
  10. Decide what you would consider a breach. This has to be something you stand by. We suggest two missed payments without reasonable excuse or rectification. On breach, cancel and charge the cancellation fee.
  11. We suggest a no-exchange policy.
  12. When a customer Lay-bys, print two dockets – one for them to take immediately and one to be placed with the goods. Have your customer sign both copies, accepting your terms and conditions.
  13. Set aside a clean and secure storage location for Lay-bys in your business where locations are coded for easy finding. Place Lay-by goods into a single clear plastic bag per transaction for clean and safekeeping. Staple to this a copy of the Lay-by docket. Let your customers see you do this so there is no doubt when it comes time to collect the products.
  14. Have one person responsible for Lay-bys to ensure product care, track payments and contact customers.
  15. TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Enter these into your software so they are included on every Lay-by docket. Points 2 through 11 above are a good example of what to include in your terms and conditions.
  16. COMPLETE PAPERWORK. To not over complicate things, rely on your software’s Lay-by docket as your complete paperwork / contract. Get that right and Lay-by management will be easier.

These rules and steps may feel complex. They are necessary for the small number of times something goes wrong and you need to rely on them to help you deal with a situation.

Happy Lay-bys.

POS software Shopify link helps small business high street retailers sell online

Tower Systems offers direct integration between its small business POS software and Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce, as well as a generic link that retailers with web stores in other platforms can use.

The Tower Systems platform specific links have been developed to the standards of Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce. We have taken great care to ensure that we link as they intend, sharing the right data for a seamless connection between the physical store POS software and the o line store experience.

This drives shopper confidence and saves retailers time. It helps drive revenue too.

As operators of retail businesses as well as online businesses, Tower Systems is well placed to provide a whole of business physical store and online =store solution that is integrated, safe, easy and shopper outcome focussed.

Each link is different.  Here is information abut the Tower Systems POS software Shopify link:

What is Shopify?

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 www.shopify.com.au.

What is the Retailer to Shopify Link?

The Tower Systems Retailer POS software to Shopify Link uses the Tower Advantage Link platform to allow Retailer 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.

How does the link work?

The link works by using the TALink platform platform to connect to the shopify API and synchronise your data.

Stock. 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.

Department and Categories. Your Retailer Departments and Categories become collections in Shopify. You can have a chose of either Department level collections or category level, but not both. If you choose to synchronise either a department or category, your existing structure will be mirrored and managed in Shopify automatically. If, however, you decide not link your Department and Categories in Shopify, you can allocate collections manually to products once they are added.

Classifications. Shopify does not have a mechanism to manage classifications.

Prices and Quantity On Hand. You have control over your webstore pricing from within the Retailer Stock Screen. Bulk updates of the webstore prices can be performed in Stock Manager. Once new prices are set, your web store is updated automatically.

Quantity on hand is also managed automatically, when your sell or arrive an item into stock these adjustments are sent directly to Shopify. If the quantity on hand of an items drops to 0, the item is marked as out of stock in Shopify.

Images. The images you set against stock items in Retailer are automatically uploaded to your website. If images change, then old one is removed and the new one is added. You can upload as many images as you like per stock item.

 

Customers. Customers that purchase off your webstore are added as customers in your Retailer database, allowing you to track what they buy and market to them if you desire. Existing customers with an email address will also be added to your web store to facilitate easy sales if you choose.

Sales. Sales are downloaded on a periodic basis and imported into Retailer. They are imported into our Customer Invoice Maintenance facility allowing you to place orders and print invoices if needed. Once sales are imported it reduces your quantity on hand so you maintain accurate stock control. Sales can be allocated to a specific location or merged to you main sales data, giving you excellent control over how you report on your webstore sales.

I don’t have a website but want one. Can Tower help?

Yes! We are expert in POS software and web store development and deployment.

How a small discount voucher from our POS software led to a $1,500 purchase

I want to share with you a true story of what happened recently in one of my own shops – yes, I own this POS software co as well as retail shops. It is a story of how a small everyday purchase led to something bigger and how this happened as a result of fundamental changes in how the business is run.

This story could happen in any retail business – city, country, large, small, shopping mall, high street. I make that point so you do not dismiss the story and think it could not happen in your business. The elements of the story work together in any size business. In writing about it here I’m not getting you to do anything other than to consider that you could achieve the same in your business.

At its core, this is a story about shopper loyalty, especially shopper loyalty in a retail situation where between 25% and 30% of shoppers visiting the business are not local and therefore not likely to engage with the old-school points-based loyalty program.

A customer passing the shop noticed our greeting card range and stepped into make a purchase because of a specific need. They purchased two cards. On their receipt was a voucher for almost $2.00. As they are not usually in the shopping centre they looked around for something in which to spend the $2.00.

This is the key: the customer came in to make a quick destination purchase. The type of purchase where we did not matter. They were on the way to the car park and happened to pass buy our shop. Point 1: location is in our favour. The stepped in because they saw our greeting cards. Point 2: the floor placement of cards was key in getting them in the shop.

Having made the purchase, the customer then noticed, for the first time, what else we sold – because of the $2.00 discount voucher on their receipt. Point 3: we got them to look around and see what else we sold.

The customer did a 180 degree turn and saw a locked glass cabinet of beautiful collectible bears. This was in the right place at the right time as they had been looking for a gift for a child. Money was not an issue. They wanted something to last a lifetime. They purchased a $500.00 bear.

This purchase would not have been made had they not been given the $2.00 voucher on their receipt. The voucher is what got them to notice what else we sold.

Fast forward several weeks and this customer who said they don’t usually come to the shopping centre was back for another $500.00 purchase. Now, several more weeks later, the customer has another $500.00 order placed.

I can directly trace more than $1,500.00 in sales back to the $2.00 voucher.

The software produced the voucher based on rules I established. The initial staff member serving the customer made a brief professional pitch highlighting the voucher. These are both important factors as they are at the core of a structured consistent approach to what has become the most lucrative loyalty program I have seen in my 30+ years involved in retail as a retailer myself and working with retailers in many different channels.

While most times vouchers are handed out they are not redeemed, they are redeemed enough to make them worthwhile. They are redeemed for good margin product as they get people looking at the shop for the first time and discovering items to purchase they were not in our four walls to consider.

The discount vouchers are disruptive. People respond in unpredictable ways.

Best of all, the discount vouchers are profitable.

For this story to work in a newsagency you need to have the right products, placed strategically in-store. Your staff need to make the right pitch. Plus, you need to be attracting people who don’t know and probably don’t care what shop they are in.

If you have read this post and thought it does not relate to you, that you could not do this in your business I say you are wrong. I am certain the approach I have shared with you could work in any newsagency in any situation. I urge you to not hold your business back.

Using POS software to cut employee theft in small business retail

Theft is retail can be expensive, particularly employee theft. Tower systems has a structured and proven approach for dealing with employee theft in retail businesses where the Tower Systems POS software is used.

The Tower POS software has tools for reducing the opportunity for theft. Better still, the software has hidden tools for tracking theft, tools that provide evidence police and prosecutors have used to successfully deal with theft situations.

It is the secret and secure facilities where our software provides retail business owners the evidence necessary to achieve successful resolution, as we have found in many employee theft situations where our help has been called upon.

Discovering theft by an employee can be debilitating and destabilising. To help you through this, Tower Systems provides advice and support on what to do once you discover employee theft. The goal is to offer straightforward steps to help you get through as it is on the other side of this where you can find the opportunity to move on from the feeling of violation that often accompanies employee theft in small business.

In addition to being a support, we provide practical advice an help for use our our POS software to reduce  the opportunity for employee theft and shopper theft.

Follow this advice on how to use our specialist retail software to hamper opportunities for theft and bolster the certainty of detecting it before it’s too late:

  1. Employ stock control for high volume items. Enter new stock as it comes in, scan all sales and only reorder based on what the software says. Perform a stock take regularly each month. High volume item stock discrepancies are an indicator of theft.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department tracking only – your data needs to be granular to prevent employees taking advantage of loose stock on hand quantities. Not scanning individual stock items is unfortunately an invitation to dishonest employees.
  3. Use the software-based end of shift procedure and have a zero-tolerance policy on cash balance discrepancies. Reconcile banking to your computer software at end of shift. We have seen businesses failing to do this: one was being skimmed regularly of $200 a day.
  4. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One business owner needing to perform banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to the discovery of systematic theft.
  5. Mix up your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  6. Check your audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Our software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  7. Check GP by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, always research further.
  8. Publish a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. At the bottom of this page is a sample theft policy.
  9. Keep the store counter area clean. A better organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft. Reducing nooks and crannies makes detection of any cash hoarding easier.
  10. Have a “no employee bags” at the counter policy. This makes it harder for dishonest employees to hide stolen cash.
  11. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  12. Beware of calculators and mobile phones at the counter. Employees can use these devices to track how much cash could be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not processed.
  13. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If an employee wants to purchase something ensure they purchase it from the customer’s side of the counter.
  14. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high. Do not take cash handling lightly; if you respect your business procedures your staff are more likely to too. Never take cash from the till for your own personal use, i.e. to buy lunch.
  15. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.

These steps work. They are based on decades of helping small business retailers to reduce and manage employee theft.

Repairs software helps small business jewellers, bike retailers, fishing shops and more

Using the repairs software from Tower Systems, a business is able to manage repairs to better serve the needs of the business and the customer.

The Tower repairs software is directly integrated with the Tower POS software. Retailers in a range of specialty retail niches like our repairs software. These include jewellers, bike shops, fishing and outdoors shops, firearms shops, garden centres and other more niche specialty retail businesses.

The repairs software continues to evolve thanks to suggestions from our customers. We love hearing how people use the software for it is from this we learn of ways to make it even better.

Today, the repairs software is used to:

  1. Track repairs from the moment they are lodged with customers.
  2. Manage parts used.
  3. Manage labour.
  4. Account for all costs.
  5. Track outside service providers.
  6. Bill customers.
  7. Notify customers when an item is ready to be collectors.
  8. Track past repairs.
  9. Provide awareness of the workflow in a workshop at an y point in time such that the business can better manage this important and business differentiating activity.

Repairs management software is flexible, serving a range of needs outside managing the actual repairs themselves. The flexibility in the software enables it to be used in different businesses for different purposes – from job management, to workshop management and traditional repairs management.

That the repairs software is POS software integrated makes for a beautiful solution for retailers.

Good repairs services can help a local business win local sales. Whereas products can be available in multiple retail outlets, making price the comparison, repairs services are unique to each business. Through the Tower Systems repairs management software retailers can play to their local strengths and pitch their repairs services as differentiating and locally valuable.

We love helping small business retailers grow their repairs service.

The POS software connected repairs management software from Tower Systems continues to evolve, ensuring it is a solution for today and tomorrow, thereby helping small business retailers to evolve their repairs services too.

Tower Systems develops software for: gift shopsjewellers,  bike shopstoy shopsfishing/outdoors businessesgarden centres/nurseriespet shopsproduce storesfirearms businesses and newsagents. We serve customers in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and several other countries.