The POS Software Blog

The POS Software Blog

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

CategoryFishing software

AI generated content can show why a business is not worth doing business with

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Plenty of AI generated content online is junk put there to try and drive the position of a website. Often, it offers little genuine value. It’s text written for the tech bots, and not for humans.

You can see it on plenty of company blogs: boring content with the same bubbly emotions, similar lists and the ever present use of bold text.

There is a sameness to AI generated content that shows it for what it is – filler put there as a marketing exercise.

Here at Tower Systems we serve local small business retailers, independent retailers. Their point of difference is their product knowledge, their local knowledge and their ability to share this. An AI engine is unlikely to capture the knowledge of those in the business and share it in a meaningful way.

Our advice to our customers is: the more you share your knowledge in ways that are genuinely useful to your customers the more they will trust you, the more your business will grow. Retail is human at its core. AI content is unlikely to add value to the human contact. While it will save time, it is unlikely to add appreciated value.

We get that local small business retailers are time-poor and looking for ways to do more in less time, using AI to generate content about your business and what you do is not the saving you think it might be for your AI generated content joins data centres full of AI generated content. It’s value is limited.

We think a local small business could get more value from one authentic and genuinely useful blog post than ten AI generated blog posts on the same topic for in that one human-generated blog post you can share genuinely new information or insights that add real value to what is know about the product or service of which you write.

AI cannot replace you, it cannot replace your innovation. This is your point of difference, it is what you need to share so people see the value of you and your business. It’s what helps you stand out.

With the advent of more tools available for identifying AI generated text and image content, it is easier to rank content, to determine the authority of it. AI generated fodder will be seen for what it is, and we think this is a good thing. By all means use AI tools as a springboard or to treat a thought drought. For the content you publish in your name or the name of your business, give of yourself for that is what matters the most.

We sometimes play a game here at Tower Systems: spot the AI junk. It’s fun for a while and then it makes us sad that businesses feel it’s okay to publish what they publish, thinking that something is better than nothing, except that it’s not.

Our difference is us, each of us here in this business. We interact with our customers authentically, one-on-one. What we publish here reflects that. Retail is human after all.

Retail advice: we created a website for our shop in 2 weeks and did $800+ in sales in the first week it was live

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We’re a POS (Point of Sale) software company, and we run retail shops. We do this to walk in the shoes of our customers … not completely but as much as we can.

We learn so much doing this.

Recently, we came across a couple of retailers stuck getting websites live for their businesses. So, we decided to create one for one of our shops to revisit the advice we provide others.

This video shows the results we saw for the website we created for our own shop after 24 hours of time invested and a week of trading.

We followed exactly the advice we provide to others, relying on data from our POS software to populate the website. It was vital for us and for our customers for us to experience what our customers experience.

Websites evolve based on your experience with them. This is one reason launching early is critical – get the experience and adjust.

Here at Tower Systems we are all about understanding our customers to ensure that the advice we provide is useful, valuable. This is why projects like this matter. We ned to test our advice, and to adjust it if our own experience is not up to what we hope for in working with our customers.

When it comes to websites for retail businesses, too often we see websites that are a monument to the web developer and of little value to the retail business for which they have been built. This is wasted money, something the retailer discovers long after the web developer has moved on.

Investing in a website is emotionally and financially considerable. For small business retailers it is vital that you achieve a commercially satisfactory outcome. That’s why we ensure the advice we provide and the work we do serves the needs of local small business retailers.

Tower Systems is a small business focussed POS software company developing, and supporting POS software for niche specialty retailers.

Jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, fishing shops, pet shops, charity businesses, landscape gardening businesses, antique shops, sewing shops, haberdashery businesses, newsagents and more benefit from this software.

Find out more at www.towersystems.com.au

Call 1300 662 957 or email sales@towersystems.com.au

Fishing & Outdoors Shop Software Facilities Help Specialty Retailers Thrive

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Retailer, the Fishing Shop Software from Tower Systems has facilities designed for this type of business, to help you better serve your customers and to bring them back into the business.

This is all about Stickiness. Stickiness is the best way to describe what really matters to any specialty business, like a fishing and outdoors business.

Stickiness is about doing things that make customers stick to your business. Our goal is to provide facilities in the software that enhance stickiness, that make customer engagement more profitable for you.

The more you leverage the specialisation in your business the more you differentiate your business from big business competitors. We are in an era where specialisation matters in retail, and in POS software.

  1. Instant loyalty rewards. Another way we can help maximise sales is with an instant loyalty reward. This is particularly useful where you see shoppers once a year or quite infrequently as is often the case in fishing and outdoor businesses.

    Using rules that you control, a receipt can include a voucher offering a specific amount off the next purchase if that purchase is made in a timeframe you set.

    An average 19% redemption rate for the vouchers with a third redeemed the day of purchase. Male shoppers are far more likely to redeem the day of purchase.

    This instant loyalty reward facility is another way we serve your type of business. In the software, we call it discount vouchers.

  2. Smart receipts. Include product care instructions on receipts, adding extra value to the purchase. Whereas a competitor will sell an item, you will sell the item plus advice on care and use.

    Better still, include local fishing insights. For example, the details of a local fishing spot that is particularly good right now. Share details, how to get there, when to fish and other information. The more relevant the information you share the more it will be loved.

  3. Club / community group deals / pricing. A great way to win new shoppers is through a community group. You can publish a card or voucher enabling members of a group to present this for a discount on each purchase. The software can track the purchases and at a designated time you can give the group a rebate in return for their member loyalty.

    Consider being flexible of what constitutes a club. It could be that people who like to fish with a particular person are in a ‘club’.

    The more groups and people you have talking about your business the better.

  4. Bundled goods. Package several items together for a single price. This could be into a physical hamper or simple placed with each other on the shelves with a package price. Bundling like this makes it hard for shoppers to price compare as the bundle is yours, it is what you create. To manage bundles, use the manufactured goods facilities in the software. It is easy to bundle and unbundle, managing stock on hand all the way through.

    Bundles could be: rod and reel; rod, reel, net and basket; a set of handmade lures.

  5. Repairs. If you offer a repair service, you can use the repairs facilities in the software to track the work and notify the customer when a repair is ready for collection. This helps you better manage that part of the business and drive better customer outcomes. Repairs business can grow as a result.

  6. Events. Using this new facility, added Q1 2018, you can market to shoppers based on interests, past purchases, birthdays and other date related events in and around their lives. For example, you could run an email campaign for all who purchased a particular brand of reel with an offer of an add-on pack. We think it is important to leverage brands with extension marketing. We know from other marketplaces that inviting shoppers back works enough to make the small investment well worthwhile.

  7. BOGO. Using our Buy one get one free facility you can set offer type pricing and have it managed easily at the register, ensuring a consistent customer pricing experience.

  8. Catalogues. This facility allows you to automatically apply discounts, based on rules that you specify. There are a variety of options that you can make use of to make sales and promotions seamless during at point-of-sale.

    Your marketing group or product suppliers can provide data files for any catalogues in which you participate. You can load these into the software making it easy to offer catalogue prices through the term of the catalogue offer.

  9. Serial number tracking. If you sell any item with serial numbers you can easily track them using this facility. Customers appreciate a receipt with a serial number of the specific item they purchased, especially if the item is of a considerable value.

  10. Special customer orders. This is the ability to order stock from a supplier for a specific customer. On arrival of the stock item, a barcode is printed with the customer name, for placement on to the product. The software can be set to send an alert to the customer by text or email, advising the arrival of the goods into the store. Customers love this personalisation.

  11. Gift vouchers. Sell customers who can’t decide what gift to purchase a gift voucher. Load on to this voucher any amount the customer wants. You set the rules on expiry and other voucher handling.

  12. Supplier comparison. Since you can purchase some items from multiple suppliers, use smart reports in the software to compare the performance of your various suppliers.

  13. BNPL. Integrated in Retailer is this “buy now pay later” finance option. You are settled quickly by the funder and the costs are like credit card costs. This can work better than LayBy in that you do not need to manage the goods in-store.

  14. Laybys. You have complete control over how this is setup including the terms, rules and more.

  15. Manage remotely. Plenty of our fishing and outdoors business owners are not in their businesses regularly. Our software has facilities that enable easy remote tracking and management. Some are obvious while others are hidden and secure, giving you peace of mind that you can leave your business.

Free FindIt marketplace from Tower Systems helps local shoppers find local retailers

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In today’s world of online shopping giants, it’s easy to forget about the fantastic array of shops right on our doorstep.Supporting local businesses is about more than just convenience; it’s about investing in the lifeblood of our communities.That’s where FindIt, a free online marketplace from Tower Systems, steps in.

Only serving local independent retailers, Tower Systems has a track record of shining a light on this most vital of retail sectors. It’s work on FindIt drawn on decades of service and a community of 3,500+ retailers served.

FindIt bridges the gap between local stores and shoppers like. It’s a platform offering products from a wide range of independent retailers across Australia. Whether you’re after that perfect birthday gift, a unique piece of homeware, or something special for yourself, FindIt allows you to browse and discover hidden gems from local businesses, all from the comfort of your couch.

But what makes FindIt special is its focus on ease and accessibility. Here are some of the key benefits for both shoppers and retailers:

  • For Shoppers:

    • Support Local: FindIt makes it easy to find and support businesses in your area. You’ll be putting money back into your community and helping to create a vibrant local economy.
    • Diverse Range: Discover a treasure trove of unique products you won’t find on mainstream online retailers.From handcrafted jewellery to locally-sourced produce, FindIt offers something for everyone.
    • Convenience: Shop from the comfort of your home and choose between in-store pickup or home delivery (depending on the retailer).
    • Transparency: FindIt provides clear information about each retailer, including their location and contact details.
  • For Retailers:

    • Free Listing: Tower Systems POS software users can sign up for FindIt for absolutely no cost. This eliminates the need for expensive individual online stores, making it easier for smaller businesses to compete in the digital marketplace.
    • Wider Reach: FindIt exposes your products to a broader audience of potential customers who are actively seeking out local businesses.
    • Simplified Sales: The platform integrates seamlessly with Tower Systems POS, streamlining the sales process and reducing administrative headaches.

FindIt is a win-win situation for everyone involved. Shoppers get access to fantastic local products, while retailers gain a valuable platform to showcase their offerings and reach new customers. It’s a fantastic initiative that fosters a sense of community and strengthens the backbone of Aussie commerce – our independent retailers.

To have product data – text and images – flow to FindIt is easy thanks to the integration with the Tower Systems POS software. Tower helps retailers with advices training and support to get connected.

The goal really is to encourage more local shoppers to want through the front door of local retail businesses.

POS software from Tower Systems helps retailers manage duty free sales and tax free sales

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For years, Tower Systems, through its POS software, has helped retailers who do duty free sales and tax free sales to easily manage them at the sales counter with good record keeping, streamlined workflow and sound business management practices guided for the employees of the retail business. Let’s break that down:

  • Streamlined Workflow: This POS software from Tower Systems automates tasks and calculations associated with duty free and tax free transactions, reducing the time it takes to complete a sale. This minimises wait times for customers and frees up employee time to focus on other tasks or provide better customer service.

  • Easy Record Keeping: Tower Systems’ POS software ensures accurate and efficient record keeping for all duty free and tax free sales. This can include capturing customer information, flight details, and itemised receipts that meet customs regulations. Having this information readily available simplifies reporting and audits.

  • Sound Business Practices: The POS software from Tower Systems guides employees through the duty free and tax free sales process, ensuring they follow all the relevant regulations and procedures. This can help to minimise errors and ensure that the retailer remains compliant with all the requirements.

  • Improved Customer Service: By streamlining the sales counter processes for duty free and tax free sales, employees can focus on providing excellent customer service. This can mean spending more time with customers to answer questions, recommend products, and create a positive shopping experience.

Tower Systems has offered POS software for managing duty free and tax free sales for many years. Retailers are able to identify products that have the tax free status if they have products that do and do not have tax applied to them.

The best way to see if this POS software may suit your needs in magazine duty free and / or tax free sales is to see the software for yourself. This can be done via a personal and one-on-one demonstration where you outline what your business needs and the software functions in those areas can be shown. If the software is not right for the needs you have outlined, we will say so. It’s not in our interests to promote our software where we know it will not suit your needs.

If you do duty free sales and / or tax free sales, take a look at the POS software Tower Systems offers.

Do you need POS software that tracks multiple suppliers per item?

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The Tower Systems POS software can handle multiple suppliers per stock item. This offers retailers flexibility and transparency. There are several real channels where this has been used: jewellers, bike shops, pet shops, garden centres, toy shops and newsagents.

By supporting multiple suppliers for each stock item, the POS software from Tower Systems offers a function of differentiation that plenty of retailers like, and use.

With traditional POS systems, you might be stuck scrambling to find a new source for an item that is out of stock, potentially delaying sales and frustrating customers. With the POS software from Tower Systems this data can be at your fingertips. You can link one stock item to multiple suppliers. This creates a win-win for you and your business.

  • Flexibility: If your primary supplier is out of stock, the system shows alternatives, allowing you to fulfill customer requests promptly. No more scrambling to find a new source or informing customers of delays.
  • Transparency: You can compare pricing and terms from different vendors within the same system. This empowers you to negotiate better deals and optimize your profit margins.
  • Data: You can track data by supplier per item.

By providing this level of flexibility and control, Tower Systems POS software empowers retailers to be more responsive and competitive. It’s a feature that many retailers appreciate and use to stay ahead of the curve.

This is another facility of specialisation in the specialty retail POS software from Tower Systems, somewhat makes our POS software more than ordinary, more than average.

If you have a moment, here’s our pitch:

  • Australian Made and Focused: We are an Australian company with a deep understanding of local retail. We serve retailers in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, The Cook Islands and Fiji.
  • Human Touch Support: We offer personal customer service. Our dedicated training and support staff are readily available to answer your questions and ensure you get the most out of their software.
  • Focus on User Experience: Our POS software is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, allowing you to take advantage of the multi-supplier function quickly and easily.

If you think our software may suit your needs, organise a personal demonstration. There is no obligation. We’d love to hear about your needs, answer your questions and show you what our Tower Systems POS software can do.

POS software from Tower Systems tracks product weight for easy online sales management

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Knowing what a product weighs is key to accurate calculation of freight costs for online businesses. It’s not been so important for brick and mortar businesses. But online, product weight is key. It can also inform the choice of the method of shipping an online order as some freight businesses may offer better services based on product weight parameters.

The Tower Systems POS software allows retailers to record product weight by product and it shares this information with the retail business website thanks to its integrations with Shopify, Big Commerce, Woo Commerce and Magento.

The recording of weight by product has been covered in the POS software from Tower Systems for years.

Unlike brick-and-mortar stores where customers handle products themselves, online businesses rely on freight services to deliver their goods. This is where product weight becomes a crucial factor, something that can have considerable financial benefits for a retail business.

Tracking weight in the POS software has a range of benefits for a retail business including:

  • Accurate Shipping Costs: Imagine a customer adding a seemingly lightweight product to their cart, only to be surprised by a hefty shipping fee at checkout. This can lead to cart abandonment and lost sales. By knowing the exact weight of your products, you can calculate accurate shipping costs upfront, setting clear expectations for your customers and avoiding unpleasant surprises.

  • Competitive Shipping Options: Some freight companies offer tiered pricing based on weight. Knowing your product weights allows you to explore different shipping options and choose the most cost-effective service for each item.

  • Informed Shipping Decisions: Weight isn’t just about cost; it can also influence the shipping method you choose. For delicate or heavy items, you might prioritize slower but more secure shipping options. Lighter items might be suitable for faster, budget-friendly methods.

Tower Systems offers weight-aware POS software for retailers selling online and where freight is a factor on managing cost-effective online sales. Our point-of-sale software allows retailers to record the weight of each product directly within the system.

Tower Systems POS doesn’t operate in a silo. Thanks to its built-in integrations with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Magento, the product weight information you enter in the POS automatically syncs with your online store. This eliminates the need for manual data entry I the online side of the business, saving you valuable time and minimizing errors. Your customers will always see accurate shipping costs displayed at checkout, fostering a smooth and transparent buying experience.

By leveraging Tower Systems POS, online businesses can gain a significant edge in today’s competitive landscape. Accurate weight data translates to accurate shipping costs, informed shipping decisions, and ultimately, happier customers.

POS software integration for international barcode lookup saves time for small business retailers

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Retailers are loving the international barcode lookup integration in our POS software. This connects with a respected worldwide database of product barcodes and provides excellent access to descriptions and much more: improving data accuracy, saving time and enhancing in-store and online product engagement.

Here is how we train our POS software customers on how to use the POS software integrated international barcode lookup facilities:

Like all of our POS software customer training videos, we also provide a transcript for those who prefer to read. It is time coded to match the video. here is an example:

0:00 My next favourite integration with Retailer is Barcode Lookup. Barcode Lookup is an online database of barcodes, their descriptions, their web descriptions or extended descriptions, images, classification information such as brand, manufacturer, dimensions.

0:15 It’s massive. Now over the time that we’ve integrated with Barcode Lookup, it’s grown from 100 million records right through to today at time of publication nearly a billion records.

0:26 That’s massive. So, what can it do? Well, Retailer can integrate with it and pull data down when you create a product or choose to update a product with data from that website.

0:37 Let’s have a look. The very first thing you’d want to know is how to sign up and how to get it working.

0:41 So, you should always read our knowledge base articles. Which will be linked to this video down below and it goes through the entire sign up process and how it works.

0:49 So, just follow the article and go from there. If you want to have a look at the website, we even have a link to the website and this is it here.

0:56 So, you can see right now 978 million people products exist on this site. to give you an example, I’ve got a few items here.

1:05 I’ve got a package of um electrical tape and a box of glasses cleaners to clean my glasses. I’ve done a little search on those and believe it or not, here’s my glasses cleaners and this is the description that it’s going to pull down from the site.

1:17 It will pull down the menu. Manufacturer information and it’ll also pull down this extended description and put that where I choose to put it.

1:25 There’s only one attribute to go with it, which is an MPN or a manufacturer’s product number. And these are all the images that it will pull down with it.

1:33 If we go look at this. The electrical tape pulls down this description one by three meter PVC electrical tape and has a much better description to explain what it comes what it’s all about no classification information with this one and then I’ve got my three pens so we’ve got the the blue tip which

Be sure to watch the video and check out the transcript to the right side of the page.

This video is another from our growing library of training videos for retailers using our POS software.

POS software ChatGPT integration helps retailers generate awesome product descriptions to drive online sales

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Here’s an example of the awesome training videos we provide POS software customers. This one explains the ChatGPT POS software integration and shows how it can be used.

Now, if you’d rather read what is covered in the video: there is an awesome transcript provide on the righthand side. This is broken down by timing in the video. here’s an example:

0:01 Using ChatGPT to generate web store descriptions is by far my favorite tool in Retailer at the moment. It makes it really easy to get nice cool descriptions that work really well and you can even customize how it actually functions.

0:14 So first and foremost there’s going to be a link to the advice sheet on ChatGPT and using it. So here it is on the Tower Systems website.

0:22 I highly recommend you read it because it does change when there are things that occur with ChatGPT that change. For an example I will be addressing this particular point in this video where Yep.

0:33 Default model selected in Retailer doesn’t work, but long story short read the advice sheet, follow it. It’s going to be really good. 0:40 I’ll give you a brief rundown on doing it. So first you need to sign up to ChatGPT. I’ve already done that and then you need to create an API login key.

0:50 The next thing you should also do is make sure you do put in some payment details in there because it will not generate any API details if you don’t have payment details in there.

0:59 Why? Well they give you $5 worth of credit to start off with, um but they won’t actually generate anything if they’ve got nothing to pay.

1:05 Pay for later when you run out of that credit to top it up. So you’ve got to put some billing details in there. 1:11 Anyway, step one. Let’s get a API key. So we get to the chat GPT website and here on the left.

1:19 I’ve got API keys in here. If you can’t see it, just bring your mouse over to the very left side and API keys will be there and we need to create a new secret key. 1:26 So I’m just going to call this retailer. It’ll then ask you to verify that you’re a human and you just do a little puzzle.

1:33 It’s a nice fun one. Make the object here point in the direction of the hand. Love it. And you then have your key.

1:42 Now you get your key, you copy it and inside retailer, we go to setup API connection. Scroll on down to open AI.

1:53 Which is about halfway down and you put your key. In there. Save it. That’s step one of the steps in retailer.

On the page with the video you can see the whole transcript.

Busting a myth: Local Small Business Retailers Don’t Have to Pay Their POS Software Supplier a Percentage of each Sale

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The point-of-sale (POS) system is usually lifeblood of any local retail shop: managing sales, connecting with suppliers, tracking business performance, feeding the accounting system, and more. It’s job is to help manage the business, to help it be mor efficient and successful.

POS software is a tool.

When a garden landscaper buys a rake, they don’t pay the supplier a percentage of what they are paid by their customers.

When a restaurant buys a new grill they don’t pay the grill supplier a percentage of what they make from each meal they sell.

When a ride-share driver buys a new car, they don’t pay the car maker or car seller a percentage of what they make from each passenger ride.

There are some POS software companies that charge retailers a percentage of each sale the retailer makes. It’s like a tax on each sale. They can be clever though in that they say it’s a payments platform cost, even though the cost of the payments platform to the software company is much less.

But when it comes to pricing, some retailers might be under the impression they’re stuck paying a percentage of every sale to their POS provider. Not so fast! Let’s break down the different POS pricing models and how you can find a system that fits your budget without eating into your profits.

Here are some pricing models for software:

  • Monthly Subscription: This is a common option, with a flat monthly fee that gives you access to all the POS features you need. This is a good choice for businesses with predictable sales volume.
  • Tiered Pricing: Some providers offer different subscription tiers with varying feature sets and price points. This allows you to choose a plan that best suits your business size and needs.
  • Transaction Fee Structure: This model charges a fixed fee per transaction, often combined with a monthly base fee. This can be a good option for businesses with high sales volume or a lot of small transactions.

Only old-school software companies get you to pay for everything upfront. Here at Tower Systems we stopped that five years ago. The world has changed and how you pay for your POS software speaks to that.

The best POS pricing model for your business depends on several factors, such as your sales volume, the features you need, and your budget. Here are some tips for choosing the right system:

  • Shop Around: Don’t be afraid to compare pricing models from different POS providers.
  • Consider Your Needs: Make a list of the features that are essential for your business and focus on systems that offer those features at a competitive price.
  • Ask About Hidden Fees: Be sure to factor in any additional fees, such as set-up costs, per-user fees, or early termination charges.

If you are looking for POS software, start with what the software does. Look for the right fit for your needs. Once you have found it, then consider the pricing model. However, it is vital you are aware of the total cost of ownership, including any percentage charged on each transaction.

Xero POS software helps retailers save time and cut mistakes

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The Tower Systems Xero POS software is POS software designed to integrate with the awesome Xero accounting software.

Made is Australia and supported by a wonderful and knowledgeable Australian help desk team, this POS software helps local retailers save time thanks to its Xero accounting software integration.

The Tower Systems POS software Xero integration reduces time spend on bookkeeping and accounting thanks to the seamless, neat and accurate data flow from the POS software to Xero. This also reduces the opportunity for employee fraud.

There is no additional cost for the Xero POS software integration from Tower Systems.

It is easy to get up and running thanks to a wonderful training video, excellent knowledge base articles as well as live, one-on-one support and more from the Tower Systems POS software crew. This content and support for easy use of Xero POS software is exclusive to Tower Systems.

Tower Systems developed this integration with Xero many years ago. It have been enhanced as the Tower software and as Xero have been enhanced – to ensure the software is current for the needs of today.

We use Xero ourselves in our own retail businesses, our advice comes from this place of personal experience. This enables us to provide practical advice on how to benefit the most from Xero and our POS software working together.

Connect the Tower Systems POS software with  Xero in minutes and keep everything in sync. Simply connect the tow and map your accounts. Our crew of retail experts can help;p you do this.

Once connected, your Tower systems POS software will upload your chosen key financial data to Xero – saving time on admin and cutting data mistakes.

This is an ideal local retail solution from Tower Systems that genuinely cuts keystrokes, saves time and protects retail businesses against fraud thanks to less touching of business data.

Tower Systems is a unique Australian based and supported 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.

You’re welcome to see the Xero POS software link any time, to see if it could be a good solution for your business.

Local small business retail advice: how to partner with local community groups to better serve the local community

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Talk about a win, win, win. This tip helps local retailers win new local customers, your customers save money and a local community group raise funds. Engagement is measurable, so you can assess the return on your investment.

Find a locally loved and trusted community group in need of funds, a group that has a reasonable number of members who do not currently shop with you.

Offer the community group a percentage from each purchase made by members of the group and their family members.

Offer each member a discount for each purchase.

The amounts offered need to be considered in the context of your business, your margin and the value of the anticipated additional purchases.

Consider a timeframe for the offer. For example, it may be useful to trial the offer for a limited period so you can assess engagement and then adjust as appropriate. It may also be an offer only open to certain days of the week, your quietest days.

Consider the products to be included in the campaign. It may be appropriate to exclude products categories where your margin is not enough to justify inclusion.

To manage the offer, see if your Point-of-Sale software can help. I know the software from my own software company can manage this. You give each community group a member a card, which when scanned ensures they get the discounted price and the donation to the community group is tracked.

The card becomes valuable itself, something talked about, sought after.

The commercial goal of this campaign has to be net new shopper traffic for the business delivering revenue the business would otherwise not have achieved. If this is the case, a discount off the usual margin achieved is acceptable as it is effectively a cost of acquiring the additional business.

Key to the success of this campaign is the active engagement of the community group in rallying members to visit the shop, to encourage them to support you so that you support the group they love.

Make an event of handing over the donation to the community group. Get photos. Talk on social media about being grateful for the local support that has enabled you to make the donation.

Share stories on social media about the activities of the group as your support of them can encourage their support of you.

We love the campaign outlined here as it represents the circular nature of the local community: people living locally, shopping locally, enabling local shops to thrive locally and support loved local community groups.

Tower Systems makes POS software for local retailers that helps facilitate what we have described here.

Retailers loving the 1% EFTPOS fee rate offer

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Many of our local retail business POS software customers have jumped on the 1% EFTPOS fee rate. This is an optional rate with the choice entirely up to our POS software customers.

Here at Tower Systems we do not require our POS software customers to use any particular EFTPOS or payments platform. We leave the choice to them without any cost or penalty applied. This is a difference we are proud of, that we do not charge customers based on the EFTPOS platform they use. There is no penalty, no demand they use a particular platform.

The 1% EFTPOS cost offer for Tower Systems customers is another way we have sought to reduce operating costs for our small business retail customers.

Customers are loving it.

We also make it easy in our POS software for our customers to pass on actual EFTPOS costs to their customers, making EFTPOS cost them nothing at all in their businesses. That they are passing on a low cost is another way they can differentiate their business.

This 1% EFTPOS cost is for a solution integrated with our software. This means a bunch of benefits, such as:

  • Reduced keystrokes.
  • Reduced mistakes.
  • Reduced accounting and bookkeeping overhead.
  • Faster sales processing.
  • Better sales counter workflow.
  • Lower business costs.
  • Easy refund management.
  • Easier customer query handling.
  • Single point takings balancing for the beguines.
  • Reduced employee fraud.

There are plenty of benefits of this POS software integrated EFTPOS solutions beyond the low 1% EFTPOS cost to businesses.

Local retail business management benefits from integrated solutions. They do save time, and they reduce operating costs. That the financial costs are low is a loved benefit too.

We are proud to have been able to leverage this 1% EFTPOS fee rate for our Tower Systems customers, all of whom are local independent retail businesses, small businesses. It’s another way we have been able to help these small businesses get benefits that are often only available to big and national businesses.

Tower Systems is a small business focussed POS software company developing, and supporting POS software for niche specialty retailers. Jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, fishing shops, pet shops, charity businesses, landscape gardening businesses, antique shops, sewing shops, haberdashery businesses, newsagents and more benefit from this software.

Small business retail management advice: map your GP by shop floor layout

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A few minutes spent analysing space allocation performance often reveals opportunities based on our years working with and helping local small business retailers.

With retail space usually costing between 11% and 15% of (non agency) revenue, it is usually the next highest cost outside of the cost of stock itself. The key is to make the space work well, to be financially efficient for the business.

Retailers often argue that rent should be lower. It could be that a different view of shop floor performance helps you achieve a better return.

Here’s a quick and easy way to assess your current use of your floorspace:

  1. Take a blank sheet of paper and sketch out the layout of your shop, marking in display units, shelving, the counter – everywhere you have product. Include your back room if you have stock there.
  2. Colour-shade the layout by department.
  3. List the departments on the side of the floor plan.
  4. Calculate the percentage of total space used for each department. This does not need to be accurate to two decimal places. List this next to each department you have listed.
  5. Use your POS software to report on gross profit dollars earned by each department over the last year, or calculate it from sales figures knowing the average GP% per department.
  6. Calculate the percentage of total gross profit contribution earned by each department and list this next to the floor space allocated to each department – on the floor plan map you have done.
  7. Circle in green those performing the best, where the GP% contribution is more than the GP% space allocation, and in red those performing the worst.

Typically, a business owner doing this for the first time will have an ah ha moment, seeing something they had not realised.

This is advice anyone can use, as any good POS software will report on GP by department. Getting this mapped on the floorpan of your shop lets you see the hot and cold spots, where you are making money, and where you are losing it.

This is retail management advice for any business owner, regardless of education level.

We have seen business owners make changes including to floor layout, quitting suppliers and increasing stock weight for some departments.

You can take the analysis a step further by looking only at one department and analysing performance by category within that department, using the method outlined above.

Our specialty retail POS software can help with this and more business performance analysis.

Our goal is to help you run a more appealing, successful and valuable retail business. As retailers ourselves, we use our software this way every day.

We can help if you are interested.

Find out more: www.towersystems.com.au 1300 662 957 sales@towersystems.com.au

Thanks for reading.

ChatGPT AI POS software integration helps local retailers save time and shine

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A year ago, Tower Systems just released POS software with features that save local retailers time and boost sales. The integration of the POS software with ChatGPT was groundbreaking then, and it is loved today.

Here’s what’s what:

AI-powered product descriptions: Struggling to write captivating product descriptions? Enter ChatGPT, the world’s leading AI writing tool, now integrated with our Tower Systems POS software for small business retailers. Input your product title, and ChatGPT will whip up enticing descriptions for both print and online. This optional feature is a true time-saver, especially for busy shop owners.

Focus on capturing attention: This integration isn’t about replacing your creativity. Think of it as a helpful assistant who crafts descriptions likely to grab customer attention, especially online shoppers. You can still write your own descriptions if you prefer, but for those seeking a boost, AI is here to lend a hand.

AI in business: beyond the hype: Forget the headlines about AI writing essays or passing exams. The real magic happens in practical business applications like this. The innovative integration delivered by Tower Systems in its POS software shows how AI can be a valuable tool for any business, big or small.

More AI on the horizon: The Tower team is already cooking up more AI features, recognising the technology’s potential to streamline operations and improve the bottom line.

Embrace the AI revolution: Yes, there’s debate about AI, but Tower folks are clear: We build tools, and this is one businesses want. It’s about giving retailers the edge in a changing world.

Missing out on money? We can help: The new software also includes advanced business insights and management tools. One gem is the “what am I missing out on?” feature. By analysing your sales and inventory history, it pinpoints lost revenue opportunities due to stock shortages. Imagine identifying thousands of dollars in potential sales you could have made with the right stock!

Tower Systems is committed to empowering local retailers with innovative tools like this. With AI in their corner, small businesses can compete and thrive in today’s dynamic retail landscape.

Ready to experience the future of retail? Check out the new Tower POS software and see how AI can help your business soar!

POS software integrations help improve efficiency and reduce mistakes in local small business retail

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Tower Systems offers integrations between its POS software and a range of external apps and platforms to help local small business retailers eliminate double entry of data and thereby reduce the opportunities for mistakes.

POS software integrations are smart in saving time too.

We are grateful for the opportunity to integrate our POS software with a range of other applications and partners, enhancing the solutions available to0 our customers and those considering using our POS software.

Here are some of the POS software integrations from Tower Systems:

XERO (ACCOUNTING)
ABCIS (ACCOUNTING)
WOOCOMMERCE (ECOMMERCE)
SHOPIFY (ECOMMERCE)
MAGENTO (ECOMMERCE)
BIG COMMERCE (ECOMMERCE)
PCEFTPOS/LINKLY (PAYMENTS)
LINKLY CLOUD (PAYMENTS)
TYRO (PAYMENTS)
SMARTPAY (PAYMENTS)
HUMM (PAYMENTS)
ZIP (PAYMENTS)
CENTREPAY (PAYMENTS)
QUEST (PAYMENTS)
MX51 (PAYMENTS)
WINDCAVE (DPS) (PAYMENTS)
RAA MEMBER (DISCOUNTS)
PINPAYMENTS (PAYMENTS)
XCHANGEIT (EDI)
GNS (EDI)
EASTERN DISTRIBUTORS (EDI)
MAXWELL AND WILLIAMS (HAG) (EDI)
KONGS (EDI)
PERMIER PET (EDI)
MASTERPET (EDI)
AIRR / TUCKERS (EDI)
JUST FOR PETS (EDI)
EVERGREEN CONNECT (EDI)
MAILCHIMP (MARKETING)
MESSAGE MEDIA (SMS SERVICES)
BIKE EXCHANGE (EDI)
EPAY (ELECTRONIC VOUCHERS)
TABCORP (REQUIRES EXCHANGEIT) (LOTTERY)
POSTEC (FUEL)
TANDA (STAFF)
DEPUTY (STAFF)
ALLOTRAC (DISPATCH)
TREK (STOCK)
PACSTREAM (EDI)
TITLEPAGE (EDI)
REMOVE.BG (OTHER)
REMOVAL.AI (OTHER)
CHAT GPT (AI)

We are often first with integrations, like our delivery of Linkly Cloud.

We are grateful for the opportunity and proud to deliver a world first – a POS software integration with Linkly Cloud.

That’s right, we have retailers live with our Tower Systems POS software connected to Linkly Cloud for EFTPOS transactions.

Tower Systems makes POS software for specialty retailers in a range of local specialty retail channels.

Linkly is all about Making every payment seamless.

Together, we have delivered a solution that helps retailers save time, cut mistakes and more easily compete with big business.

Local retailers keen for a seamless payee its integration and needing a POS solution that is capable, functional, enhanced and reliable – the Tower Systems Linkly Cloud partnership is worth considering.

Tower Systems integrated EFTPOS, connects your Retailer Point of Sale with your EFTPOS terminal, making it the fastest and easiest way to sell.

When it comes to POS software integrations, here at Tower Systems we analyse requirements, talk with customers and consider whether a proposed integration serves the needs of all stakeholders. Then, if it’s a yes, we get about delivering and awesome integration.

Almost every survey of local small business retailers lists cashflow as their #1 challenge

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Having access to the cash you need when you need it is critical in business.

Here are some obvious but too often ignored hacks to help improve the cashflow position of a business.

  1. Quit dead stock. In every retail business we work with we find that at least 20% of stock in the business is dead. That’s cash, space and time being wasted. Identify it. Quit it.
  2. Buy better. Buy stock based on evidence from your POS software. This will result in less dead stock and less out of stock situations – a third of all retail businesses we’ve looked at lost revenue by not having in stock products when shoppers wanted.
  3. Compare suppliers. If you have multiple suppliers for a product category. Compare their performance and act on the evidence. POS software can make this easy. We did this in two of our own shops last year and added $25,000+ in high gross profit revenue to each.
  4. Make shopping easier. Do this and people will spend more: make navigating the shop easier, use signs sparingly – ensure every sign is helpful, offer bundles of products to make occasion purchasing easier, include how to sheets with products as appropriate.
  5. Roster to revenue. Labour is usually the second or third highest business cost. Have your best people selling. Make sure every costed hour adds value to the business.
  6. Pass on actual EFTPOS costs. Use your POS software to auto-calculate the actual cost of a card presented and surcharge this per transaction. Shoppers have been educated now to accept this.
  7. Know the cost of theft. Between 2% and 5% of turnover is the cost of theft (shopper and employee) in indie retail in Australia and New Zealand. Use your POS software to know your stats, and act to reduce this.
  8. Attract more shoppers. Yes, this sounds easier said than done. But … a stunning and unexpected front window or street display will catch attention, fun social media posts will catch attention, a relationship with a community group will catch attention, being online will catch attention.
  9. Get current shoppers buying more. A smart loyalty program with the right settings for your business should achieve this for you. Too often local retailers run points-based loyalty that does not differentiate their business.

This list is a start. There is no one thing you can do to improve cashflow. It takes discipline – we learnt that ourselves for our own shops.

We make POS software used by thousands of local retailers. We use our own software in our own physical shops and our consumer-facing websites.

We’re not your average POS software company. To discover more: email sales@towersystems.com.au or call 1300 662 957.

We make software for bike shops, garden centres, jewellers, gift shops, pet shops, landscape supply businesses, repairs businesses, bookshops,
fishing and outdoors shops, newsagents, produce / farm supply businesses, fabric shops, sewing shops, music shops, computer shops, firearms dealers, charity & op. shops, community enterprises and more.

Advice most POS software can’t or won’t provide

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Since we own and run shops in which our Tower Systems POS software is used and in which we live the retailer experience personally, we have a perspective that is close to our customers than most POS software companies. It also gets us working with other retailers. It’s that personal contact that prompted us to share this advice and  stock holding and, in particular, being over stocked, with our customers:

Stock in boxes in the back room, in a garage or under tables in the shop will not sell unless it is displayed.

While this will be obvious to most, there are some retailers who don’t get it.

If you do have stock in boxes and no room to display it, consider pausing spending to give you time to convert those purchases to cash.

The alternative is that you do nothing, and your ability to pay bills is impacted.

It’s your business. You choose when to spend and when to not spend.

Some retailers buy friendship through their purchasing. Others like to look busy with a shop bursting with stock. Others buy to feel better about themselves. Spending for any of these wrong is not helpful to the business, not helpful top you.

There are sales reps who would know they are selling stock to a business that does not need it. Shame on them. Shame on them putting their own financial rewards ahead of the evidence of an overstocked and financially stressed business. Sales people doing this are no friend of the business owner.

If you don’t know the current value of the stock in your business, it’s likely you have too much stock.

So, what’s the value of your current stock on hand?

If the value of your non circulation product (magazines and newspapers) stock right now is more than 20% of the total revenue you will make from it in a year, you probably have too much stock. The actual percentage will vary by product category.

There will be some who say the 20% figure is inaccurate and unhelpful. I have tested it in a few businesses and it is a reasonable first step guide.

So, what’s the value of your current stock on hand? Start there. Then look at your non circulation product revenue for the last year. The numbers will support what you currently see in your shop.

If you have boxes of stock that you’ve not opened for six months or more, you have too much stock. If your back room, garage and or under display table space is filled with boxes you have a problem.

The best way to address being overstocked is to stop buying and sell down what you have, and to do so without emotion.

The alternative is that you do not address the issue and the issue swamps you and your business.

It’s black and white – in your numbers and in your business.

This is one example of the practical way in which our POS software company engaged with retailers.

A first for local specialty Aussie retailers: self-checkout POS software

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Tower Systems has developed a self-checkout POS software specifically for local small business specialty retailers. This software allows small businesses to offer self-checkout to their customers in a way that is beneficial to their business. It is available now for retailers in Australia and New Zealand.

With Tower’s self-checkout POS software, customers can scan their items, make a payment, and receive a receipt. They can also scan their items, save the sale, and then complete the sale at the main counter if they prefer.

The self-checkout POS terminal honors all special prices, catalog prices, and other settings configured by the retailer. It also offers the same loyalty program benefits that customers can access at the sales counter.

The software is available for a low monthly rental fee that can be canceled at any time. This rental fee is per location, so you can run multiple self-checkout terminals for the same price.

Integrated EFTPOS is required for the software. Tower will initially offer integrations with Tyro and Linkly Cloud (the major banks).

When you first use Tower Systems’ self-checkout POS software, you will go through a setup process that includes uploading your own startup and sale close images. You have complete control over these images.

Tower Systems sells self-checkout computer and stand options separately. You can also purchase the computer hardware from elsewhere.

Why Use Self-Checkout in Local Small Business Retail?

  • To easily handle sales during busy times of the day for customers who don’t need counter service.
  • To open up another service lane during busy times of the year without hiring additional staff.
  • To project an image of a modern and forward-thinking business.

Tower Systems is grateful to its teams of software developers, hardware specialists and retail experts who have worked together to bring this opportunity of self-checkout POS software to life for local small business retailers.

The innovation delivered in this solution is considerable as it is build on a fresh software platform that utilises the latest tech available for in-store retail settings.

Tower Systems is a specialty retail POS software solutions provider delivering solutions across sixteen different retail challenge including jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, sewing shops, farm supply businesses, landscaping businesses, pool maintenance business, newsagents, pet shops and bike shops.

Now for a Q&A on self-checkout.

Is there a camera? What we have created is self-checkout POS software. It’s not integrated with a camera. We have left the choice of a camera up to each retailer to consider.

Could I run this in a pop-up shop? Yes, you could. All that is needed that the self-checkout is network connected to the main software.

Could I run self-checkout and nothing else? No, you need the base Tower software to manage the back end.

Is there anything that I might want as a retailer that the self-checkout software does not do? It does not do customer quotes or invoicing to a customer.

What if I want to use it for a couple of months of the year only? Easy. Rent it for those months and suspect rental, and costs, for the rest.

Can I test it to see if it suits? Rental is so cheap it’s costs little to try.

Can I run this on a regular computer? Yes.

The POS screen appears to be in portrait more. Is that all you offer? No, you can run it in landscape as well.

Am I able to report on sales only through the self-checkout terminal? Yes.

Can I suspend a sale and finish it at my traditional sales counter? Yes, a staff member can suspend the sale so it can be completed at the counter.

Afternote: true to form, a small former competitor has commented they did this first, years ago and cite evidence of others.

The thing is, in our specialty retail marketplaces, what we have delivered is a first and we are proud of that.

Retail business advice: make every day your pay day

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This is advice we first shared many years ago. We have updated it, updated it more, and updated it again this morning.

We think this is the best advice we could give any local small business retailer as it focuses you on what matters most – nurturing daily value from your business.

Everything you do today has to about making money today because what you make today may matter more than what you make when you sell your business.

Let’s get into it:

Retail business advice: make every day your pay day.

It starts with the mindset of every day being your pay day. Every decision needs to be considered in this context.

Here are some suggestions for making every day your pay day:

  1. Make your shop happy, appealing. Play good music. Smile. be happy to be there. Greet shoppers. Offer free samples. Be engaged.
  2. Make sure your sales counter maximises the opportunity. Keep it efficient. Pitch products that are easily understood and easily bought on impulse.
  3. Charge more every time you can. Where you can, charge more. Even and extra 1% or 2% can make a difference. In our experience, price is often not the factor retailers think it is.  So, look at your prices for opportunities to increate margin.
  4. Get people buying more each visit. Look at what you have where and make sure that key traffic lines have impulse purchase opportunities along the way.
  5. Stock what sells. Use your data. Make sure you don’t run out of good selling items. 75% of retailers miss revenue by not having items shoppers want when they want them. Buying stock based on evidence is more valuable than buying based on emotion.
  6. Be cleverly frugal. When you are considering spending money, think about the value for the business from the spend. Think about the return you could get and the speed of the return. Have some checks and balances in spending decisions to slow them down.
  7. Seek out new customers. New customers are the future lifeblood of any retail business. Attract them with smart and entertaining social media posts, a window display that plays outside what people expect from your shop.
  8. Run with the leanest roster possible. Just about every retail business we review has capacity to lower labour costs. Trimming the roster can come at a cost for the owners – putting in more hours.
  9. Bring people back sooner with a thoughtfully calibrated loyalty offer that funds itself, and drives value. Every retail business needs a core action designed to bring people back. A timed loyalty offer, which expires, is a good way to do this.
  10. Have your best people working the floor, helping customers spend more. Today, retail is not about may I help you. Rather, it is about engaging with the products and subtly showing them off, like theatre.
  11. Have at least one stunning display that attract people from outside the shop, a display people talk about.
  12. Buy as best you can. Take settlement discounts where possible. Pick up supplier offers. never pass on your better buying to customers, unless it suits for some event you are running. Oh, and with this advice about buying – only do it for items you know you will sell for buying product at a discount and having it on the shelves too long is too much of a cost for the business.
  13. De-clutter. Sometimes the best way to be able to see your business and what it can do is for you to have less to look at. This means getting rid of dead stock, dead fixtures, dead corners of the shop. Always be trimming, cleaning and looking.
  14. Change. Every day in your shop change something. Get known as the shop that is never the same. This can be a reason to visit for some shoppers. If you run a  business that rarely changes, you give people a reason to walk on by. So, every day, make a change or two. Encourage your team members to suggest changes. By moving a small stand from one part of the business to another could get it noticed and boost sales.
  15. Stop all busy work. It is easy in a local small business retail to get caught up in doing things. Often, things can be what you do to be busy. Being busy is only good if it is profitable, productive. Declutter your schedule.

Be responsible for the profitability of your business. Don’t blame your suppliers, your landlord, your employees or some other external factor … it all comes down to you – the decisions you make and the actions you take.

By making every day your payday you bring focus on what matters today and what will matter when you’d decide to sell your business.

Doing all this relies on your measuring the performance of your business. The Tower Systems POS software helps with this. It is easy.

My name is Mark Fletcher. I am the owner of Tower Systems. I also own retail shops and several online businesses. Every day here at Tower Systems we live what we say, in our software company and in our shops. We make mistakes, and learn from them. It’s some of those mistakes that got us thinking about this, about the approach of making every day your payday.

While our core mission is to grow the customer base for Tower Systems, we know that key to achieving this helping retailers. Plenty of the help we provide is not software related.

In sharing this advice we demonstrate a care for local small business retail and a transparency as to the advice and help we provide.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-fletcher-tower/

Tower Systems first with Linkly Cloud POS software integration

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We are grateful for the opportunity and proud to deliver a world first – a POS software integration with Linkly Cloud.

That’s right, we have retailers live with our Tower Systems POS software connected to Linkly Cloud for EFTPOS transactions.

Tower Systems makes POS software for specialty retailers in a range of local specialty retail channels.

Linkly is all about Making every payment seamless.

Together, we have delivered a solution that helps retailers save time, cut mistakes and more easily compete with big business.

Local retailers keen for a seamless payee its integration and needing a POS solution that is capable, functional, enhanced and reliable – the Tower Systems Linkly Cloud partnership is worth considering.

Tower Systems integrated EFTPOS, connects your Retailer Point of Sale with your EFTPOS terminal, making it the fastest and easiest way to sell.

Tower Systems is not prescriptive to its retail business customers as to what payment gateway must be used. We let our retailers choose what is right for them. There is no financial penalty flowing from their choice either. Payments is their choice. We focus on making money from our software.

Being the first in the world to deliver this solution sees us helping those who will come after us. We’ve made it easier for them. We love being the innovators and appreciate the opportunities this affords us along the way.

Our purpose is to empower local retailers to thrive.

Almost everyone working at Tower Systems has experience working in local indie retail. All of our customers get a say in software enhancements.

We know the more we help local retailers thrive the more they will help us thrive.

We know that our software can make a difference in businesses for which it is made, and that our training and support can help businesses thrive.

Our software is made for specialty retailers, retailers in a range of channels like jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, newsagents, pet shops, music shops, sewing shops, clothing shops, pool maintenance shops, garden landscape businesses, produce businesses, stockfeed businesses and fishing and outdoor shops.

If you are looking for a secure, fast and time-saving payments integration, Linlkly Cloud connected to the Tower Systems POS software is worth considering.

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