How our Fishing shop software helps local fishing and outdoors shops serve local communities

Thanks to advice and support from people in fishing & outdoors businesses in Australia and New Zealand, we have a software fine-tuned for this important, valuable and loved retail niche. These people are our experts. We are grateful for their guidance and advice.

We do all the regular POS software stuff you’d expect from good POS software, and we serve fishing and outdoors business specialist requirements, like these…

  1. Sell by weight or length – Easily sell bait by weight or line by length
  2. Sell by bundles / packs – Sell a rod / reel / line bundle easily. This makes it harder to price compare. It pitches you as offering value.
  3. Unpack bundles – You can take bundles and packs purchased from a supplier and break them down to single products, maximising return.
  4. Repairs & Job Tracking – Manage repairs, track progress in house or with third parties and notify customers by text when items are ready.
  5. Stock Notes– Easily add care instructions to any receipt, based on the product purchased.
  6. Catalogue Management– run promotions through the system for automatic pricing (ie multi-buys and catalogue items) (buy any 3 lures for $10 or further discounts when purchasing bigger qty’s of bait).
  7. Market to Your Customers– Keep in touch with customers based on their purchase history, interests, club membership, birthday, & more.
  8. Offer Customer Loyalty– Move away from straight discounting and implement a loyalty facility that encourages customers to spend higher amounts more often.
  9. Receipt Coupons–Easily control when coupons are printed on receipts. Offer further discounts when certain products are sold or advertise services in store when purchasing in specific departments
  10. Automated Reordering– reorder based on min/max levels or even based on seasonal sales figures
  11. Stock Images– images loaded against products can appear at point of sale to assist in the process, and can flow through to your website.
  12. Customer Order Management–Track special orders and print a label with the customers details and sms them when it comes in
  13. Staff Tracking – Track all suspicious transactions, cancelled sales, discounted sales, deleted sales, quantity changes and more.
  14. Gift Cards & VIP Cards – Our scanable cards speed up transactions and increase professionalism.
  15. Website Integration – Our software connects with Shopify, Magento & WooCommerce.  Have your accessories available for sale, and firearms available for enquiry without the need to do extra work.
  16. Accounting Integration – Have your sales and purchase information automatically flow into Xero, MYOB & Reckon.

Our training is one-on-one, in your business. Our help desk support is personal, based out of Melbourne, and personal too – because we know personal service matters in small business retail.

Talk to one of our experts about an obligation free personal demonstration:

  1. VIC / SA / WA:Tim Batt 0401 833 917 tim@towersystems.com.au;
  2. NSW / ACT / TAS:Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148 nathan@towersystems.com.au;
  3. QLD / NT: Justin Randall 0434 365 789 justin@towersystems.com.au.

Retail business management advice: how to cut employee theft

How employees who steal do steal from a retail business has changed over time. As technology and changed and as society has changed, theft techniques have changed.

It is vital that indie retail businesses keep up to date on how to detect and confront theft by employees. It is critical these businesses are ahead of the game in this pursuit.

The challenge is, you don’t know what you don’t know. This is where the comprehensive and POS software integrated approach recommended and guided by Tower Systems can help. The company leverages years of experience, personal retail management knowledge and expert mentorship from some world class leaders to provide its retail business community advice and help.

Detecting and mitigating employee theft in retail starts with the POS software itself. It is critical that retailer use software that has tools, known and unknown to users, that help confront the employee theft challenge. The best detection is the surprise detection, catching an employee when they least expect it, when they think they can get away with theft crime undetected.

The employee theft tracking and evidentiary tools in the Tower Systems POS software have been proven time and again to help retailers, police and prosecutors to deal with theft situations.

The best news is that engaged retailers who follow our advice are able to see theft easily, before the cost on the business is too great. Clearly, this is the best situation – early detection, early addressing of a situation before it becomes expensive and possibly terminal for a business.

Through our in-house theft specialists and personal experience running retail businesses, we offer training, advice and help using the awesome theft tracking and mitigation tools in our retail business POS software. At all times, our work is done in ways and following processes that are useful to any authorities brought in to deal with an employee theft situation.

Indie retail businesses can cut the cost of employee theft. It takes good POS software backed by good support with an oversight from leadership.

Tower Systems has years of experience working with small business retailers, police, prosecutors and insurance companies to help detect and mitigate theft in retail businesses, especially independent retail businesses.

Advice from our POS software co. for small business retailers doing it tough

We are often asked by small business retailers for business help when it is too late. In this article, we outline steps any retailer can contemplate from them moment they realise their business is in trouble, from the first thought that closing may be the only option.

If your retail business is in tough times and facing possible closure, you may be able to save it if you act quickly and ruthlessly. Based on years of working with many different retailers, we have found some basic steps can successfully turnaround a business in trouble. But you need to be ruthless.

  1. Know your truth. If you run a computer system, analyse the data it collects. If you don’t know how to do this, find out. Look for surprise information in your data, things you did not know about your business. For example, look at the top selling items. If there are surprises there they could inform other decisions you make to urgently address your situation.
  2. Trim employee costs. Cut employee hours and work more in the business yourself if you are not doing so already. While this can have a significant personal cost, the less you pay others the more be business benefits in financial terms.
  3. Trim overheads. Cut everything you can: cleaning, power usage, insurance, freight, banking. Look at every supplier relationship you have and see if you can negotiate a better deal to cut your operating costs. However, do not turn off lights as darkness is death in most retail businesses.
  4. Stop unprofitable behaviour. If you are doing things in your business which lose money or do not contribute to a good future for the business, stop doing them. Regardless of history or what your business might stand for, continuing with unprofitable activity only makes your situation worse.
  5. Quit dead stock. If you have stock on the shop floor which is old – ‘old’ can vary between product categories – and for which you have already paid, quit it. However, stock that is greater than six months old is a reasonable guide – then take action to sell this at a substantial discount.
  6. Cash matters. Converting anything you have fully paid for to cash has to be your key goal.
  7. Different retail options. Maybe a right or left turn away from what your business has been is an answer.
  8. Move things around. If your business is in trouble it is likely that it has not changed much in recent years. Change it. Move departments around, shake things up so your customers trip over things they did not think you sold.
  9. Review prices. Look at the common items you sell, consider a small increase in your prices. It could be a small increase will not hurt sales volume yet will add profit to your bottom line.
  10. Upsell well. At the counter, work to extend the basket for every sale possible. Do this with clever counter product placement and witty and engaging banter with customers offering upsell products. You goal has to be to make more from each customer.
  11. Market within your budget. Photocopied black and white flyers designed with care can be cheap and effective.
  12. Get suppliers to help. Suppliers often have old stock themselves which they want to quit at a substantial discount. Buy items you have not stocked before, negotiate good prices and put the stock out with a healthy margin but still at a discount to what others would be charging. Negotiate to pay once you are paid by customers.
  13. What assets can you sell? Do you have computers, retail fixtures, vehicles or other assets you no longer use in the running of the business? If they are not being used, turn them to cash as quickly as possible.
  14. Get a job. If you have a partner in the business with you and the business can run with one partner, one of you should get a job outside the business. This is especially helpful in a husband and wife situation where the family income can benefit.
  15. Talk to your landlord. A good landlord will prefer a good business to stay rather than have then close down and a new tenant having to be found. Talk to the landlord, be honest with them about your situation. Given the landlord all of the information they need to make the decision you need them to make. This information will include sales figures, expenses and margin information. Usually, the more transparent you are with the landlord the more they will support your business.
  16. Talk to colleagues. If you have nearby business colleagues in the same line of business, they might have stock they are happy to provide you for free or at a discount to give you stock to move for a good price.
  17. Deliver amazing customer service. When serving customers be the perfect shop assistance and not the owner of the business facing closure. Keep your mind on the job at hand and not the cliff you’re worried might be a few steps ahead.
  18. Whoever is pressuring you the most to close or contemplate closing, talk to them. If it’s a supplier, the tax office or some other organisation or individual pressuring you about debts, be upfront with them, lay out for them your plan detailing the action you will take to turn your situation around, be clear about what you are doing and outline a timeline step by step for them. Seek their support.
  19. Set a timeframe. Decide where you want to be in a week, four weeks, eight weeks, twelve weeks. Set realistic goals. Measure yourself against those goals. Know what you will do if you fall short.

No two situations are the same. No situation is impossible. No business is dead until the doors are closed for the last time.

Never give up. Fight hard and fight smart to turn your business around.

Retail business management advice: compete by not competing

Too often we in small business see competition and get angry. We ignore the opportunity to change gears and stop competing

In our Tower Systems smart POS software we offer facilities through which you can change gears, through which you can recast your offer so it cannot be compared to those from a competitor.

Sometimes, the best way to complete is to not compete, to change the conversation, to get people seeing your business through a fresh lense.

These gear changing competitive tools in our current POS software include:

  1. Educate. Yes, our POS software helps you do this.
  2. Appreciate. Show your customers you love them, through personalised service during and after the sale.
  3. Aggregate. bring data together, information together, in a way that enhances your view of the business and your service of your customers.
  4. Motivate. Motivate your staff in ways that are smart, understood and customer-focussed.

Now, to some more practical ideas…

  1. Discount Vouchers. This is the most effective form of immediate loyalty rewards we have ever seen, driving excellent sales results. Charge more for an item and reward shoppers with cash off their next purchase.
  2. Buy X get Y – Multibuy. This focuses people on a volume based offer rather than a direct simple purchase.
  3. Package multiple items together for a price you set. Done right you can get more than the total value of the items in the package.
  4. Special orders. Major retailers tend to prefer to sell what they have. Special orders are often considered too difficult. If you manage it well and make it easy, you can pitch your business competitively.
  5. Sell you. Include insights, knowledge and advice with purchases, on receipts, automatically. Show, through every sale, that buying from you is different to other retailers where they could have purchased the same item.

Next time you feel competitive pressure from a big business, ask what you could change gearsin your business to position you differently, to not look like you are competing.

The more you can do to block direct price comparison the better.

Here at Tower Systems we can help with these and other initiatives in this area of smart competition.

Retailer Roam – POS software for indie retailers – anywhere, anytime

Tower Systems is thrilled to announce Retailer Roam, POS software enabled for portable retail, retail on the go, retail where you want to sell, as a pop-up, at a market, from a trunk, truly anywhere.

Retailer Roam is portable retail for small business retailers.

Retailer Roam is a tablet app-based POS extension to the Tower Systems Retailer POS software.  The app runs on Apple iPad and Android based tablets.  It can run connected over WiFi or any other network. It can also run disconnected, synching when connected again

Retailer Roam is designed to help retailers better manage buy times without the need to install considerable hardware as well as to transact business away from the counter, from an outpost or from a vehicle some distance from the shop.

As the name suggests Retailer Roam enables the business to roam to transact sales.

You can sell for cash or credit card, to an account or through a LayBy. Selling is through a screen designed specifically for Retailer Roam and the types of devices on which it would be run.

Retailer Roam utilises the Tower Systems developed and proprietary secure TALINK platform to synchronise with Retailer store level data. That is, stock in your Retailer software can be sold through Retailer Roam.

Behind the scenes, seamlessly, data is synchronised in 3 phases.

  1. Phase one is an initial transfer that contains the base stock. This is done on start-up. It sets Retailer Roam up to be able to sell.
  2. Phase 2 is to receive product updates – on hand levels or pricing changes.
  3. Phase 3 is to send sales and customer, inventory and sales data to Retailer. Sales data is be identified by each Roam terminal, allowing your view of terminal sales.

Sales (Phase 3) will be stored in a ‘queue’ on the device, which will be cleared periodically to sync sales with the roam server (and then sent to retailer). There is an option to force a sale to be sent to retailer again (in-case it was missed for whatever reason).

Sell online and offline.

Yes, connect for easy EFTPOS processing.

Retailer Roam is set to change how, when and where retailers sell.

WHAT DEVICES OR HARDWARE DO I NEED TO RUN RETAILER ROAM?

IPAD
Our preference is for a regular size iPad running minimum iOS 10.

ANDROID TABLET
Roam was developed and tested using Android 6.0 (API 23). So, if you are running an operating system ahead of Android 6, you’re good to go. We anticipate that Roam could work in earlier versions (either 5, or 4.1). However, we may need to setup for this.

RECEIPT PRINTERS
We recommend and support Epson IP receipt printers. Our preference is the Epson TM82 Ethernet receipt printer. A full list of supported printers is available from Tower Systems. You can share an existing printer between multiple Roam Terminals or even share a supported printer with a Retailer fixed POS if operating in store. A Receipt Printer is not mandatory to operate Roam as receipts can be emailed.

BARCODE SCANNERS
Any direct Bluetooth scanner, i.e. a scanner the communicates directly with the terminal and not via a base, should work. We support and recommend the Socket range of scanners.

How the POS software Xero link helps small business retailers cut the cost of theft

Indie retailers using the Xero POS software link from specialty retail POS software company Tower Systems are well positioned to reduce the impact of employee theft on their retail business.

Thanks to smart coding and that we own retail businesses as well as our well-established POS software company we really can help retailers cut the cost of theft. here is now…

  1. Every data touchpoint in a business is an opportunity for employee fraud. Using this link there is less touching, less entering, of data. This in and of itself reduces the opportunity for covering top theft and if you reduce this opportunity you reduce actual theft.
  2. Theft occurs where there is less oversight. Thanks to the seamless flow of data from the POS software to Xero, without human intervention, oversight is tight and constant. This means loess opportunity for theft.
  3. Track cash without the opportunity for manipulation and you reduce the opportunity for theft. The POS software / Xero interface means that cash is recorded the moment a sale is completed. Every step of engagement with the cash whether it be the end of shift cash count, a customer refund, removal of cash from the register is tracked.
  4. Getting data out of the business and into the accounting ting function makes it more protected. The POS software Xero link gets data to the accounting function quickly, easily and without being manipulated. Data is treated like a serious business asset, as it should be.
  5. Never take your eyes off data. For the moment you take your eyes off the data you open it to be manipulated. This link never takes its eyes off.

Also, thanks to powerful data tracking including deep security data tracking, you can rely on this software to help you manage theft so as to ensure the impact on the business is minimised compared to what would be the case if you were not using the Tower Systems POS software Xero interface.

There are many stories from small business retailers where Tower Systems has helped uncover, resolve and even prosecute in situations of employee theft. We have specialist experience in helping small business retailers in this stressful and expensive area of business operation.

Tower Systems has brought its theft mitigation experience to the Xero link to leverage this ti maximum benefit for its small business retail customers.

POS software lead referral program for Xero Advisors

Tower Systems has a Lead Referral Program to express appreciation to professionals who provide the company with sales leads that convert to bankable business. This is part of our small business partnership program that seeks to help encourage stronger small /indie retail businesses.

Our lead referral program is designed for bookkeepers and accountants who invest their time and knowledge to help introduce Tower Systems to prospective customers. Since our software links directly to Xero and offers third party supported access to MYOB and Quicken, connecting with Xero specialists makes sense.

Our software is also integrated with the Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce e-commerce platforms.

For easy banking and payments, we interface with Tyro directly and the major banks through a third party.

For buy now pay later, we interface with Oxipay (Hmmm) and ZipPay ZipMoney. We are working with AfterPay to bring that platform to our 3,000+ customers.

Our POS software is purpose build for a select range of niche retailers. While our software may work for businesses outside the retail channels listed on our website, it is important to know that being specialist matters to us. We dive deep into the needs of each retail channel we serve.

We are keen to work with bookkeepers and others who also specialise in their service of specific retail channel retailers.

In addition to developing awesome POS software, we also develop websites for our customers in-house, at our Hawthorn, Victoria, head office. This results in websites more finely tuned to the needs of local retailers as we understand local retail.

To maintain standards and ensure transparency, Tower Systems manages the lead referral program out of its head office.

To express interest to be part of the lead referral program, please email sales@towersystems.com.au. This is also the entry point for any queries. We will provide a document that outlines the program, how it works and what we offer.

To those contemplating partnering with us: we say thank you for considering working with Tower Systems to empower small business retailers to run more efficient and successful businesses.

Tower Systems is proud to serve small independent retailers in Australia and New Zealand.

Loyalty facilities embedded in POS software help small business retailers

Shopper loyalty software needs to drive sales. If it does not do this then it fails the business and is of questionable value. By driving sales, we mean achieving incremental revenue for a retail business – by bringing shoppers back to the business or by getting them to spend more in a visit to the business.

Good loyalty software has the hooks and tools that can be deployed to achieve these outcomes.

This is what the Tower Systems loyalty management facilities in noir smart POS software.

This is where the loyalty software facilities from Tower Systems come into their own. Offering a broad range of loyalty solutions, small business retailers can choose the approach that works best for them, included a blend of multiple approaches.

Most retail businesses using our specialist retail software love its points-based loyalty program that looks and feels as professional as the supermarkets’ programs. However, our software’s Discount Voucher facilities deliver even better results. We say this based on wonderful and helpful feedback from many of our small business retail customers.

Discount vouchers are a very different approach to loyalty. They offer immediate rewards. They help shoppers spend more this visit. This is vital in businesses that see shoppers once, in tourist and similar locations. They genuinely change shopper behaviour in that visit to the business.

One of our own retail businesses reported growth of 10% in the three months. Much of the success comes down to smart use of Discount Vouchers.

Discount Vouchers don’t need a card – they print on sales receipts and offer an amount customers can spend right away. Our experience and the experience of hundreds of our customers is that Discount Vouchers drive faster and deeper engagement with the business – making a shopping visit more valuable right away.

  1. You name the voucher anything you like and can change this at any time.
  2. You set the rules on how the value of the voucher is calculated.
  3. You set the rules on what the voucher can be redeemed for.
  4. You set the rules on expiry dates.

Male shoppers are more likely to spend the voucher immediately and many customers use the voucher to purchase items more expensive than the items in the initial purchase made. Customers see the voucher as cash, often commenting that they like the direct approach better than a points-based system. They like the transparency and simplicity.

In our own retail experience, which sees us competing against major retailers in a Westfield shopping centre, several shoppers have stated they prefer Discount Vouchers over the rewards programs of our competitors.

We are confident that Tower Systems’ Discount Voucher facilities can help you:

  1. Get customers spending more in a visit.
  2. Bring existing customers back sooner.
  3. Attract new shoppers to your business.
  4. Drive impulse purchases at the sales counter.

Here is a video from us about Discount Vouchers:

Hey Accountants – if you are asked for POS software advice by your retail business clients…

Accountants are often asked for advice by retail business owners about which software to buy.

Unless an Accountant has experience actually running the type of retail business, they may not know what the business needs in the shop. They will understand the accounting need, but what about the business operational need, the workflow need, the specialty needs unique to that type of business?

Most accountants we meet are accounting experts, not specialty retail operational and management experts.

Unless an accountant has actually used the POS software they suggest how can they know if it is right for the job? Sure they will read about it and often talk to people about software from an accounting perspective, but this does not make them experts. Accountants usually know accounting software well, but not specialty retail POS software.

Good accountants use specialty practice management software too run their practices. Why, therefore, would an accountant suggest a specialty retailer not use specialty software make specifically for they type of retail business? They shouldn’t. That’s right. In fact, they should suggest to their specialty retail clients that they use software for their type ion business.

Bike shops need software made for bike shops.

Jewellers need software made for jewellers.

Firearms retailers need software made for firearms retailers.

Garden centres need software made for garden centres.

Pet shops need software made for pet shops.

Produce and farm supply businesses need software made for produce and farm supply businesses.

Toy shops need software made for toy shops.

Gift shops need software made for gift shops.

Newsagents need software bade for newsagencies.

Adult shops need software made for adult shops.

Accountant need software made for accounting practices.

Specialty software provides opportunities for better workflow management, easier selling, better supplier connection and better service of customers. Bottom line: specialty software is more fit for purpose for specialty retailers.

Tower Systems only developes and sells specialty software in a selected number of niche retail channels. We are experts, selling expert software, to expert retailers.

While we like accountants, and have a couple working full time in our software company, we think sometimes their advice to go with an generic simple POS package could be less than appropriate advice.

The best POS software for fishing and outdoors shops in Australia

Tackle World retailers, Compleat Angler retailers and plenty of independent retailers use the Tower Systems fishing shop software to help run their businesses.

We are grateful to our Tackle World and Compleat Angler customers for their guidance and input as we have developed our software to better serve the fishing and outdoors retail marketplace.

Each software update we release delivers more facilities and enhancements to existing facilities based on suggestions from shop staff, managers, owners and suppliers. We love the suggestions and the voting for the suggestions of others – our approach to determining what is in each software update is transparent and user driven.

Our fishing shop software is highly tailored and finely tuned to the needs of local fishing shops. This is what makes it specialist software for these specialist retailers. We back the specialist software with specialist training for our fishing shop retailers. We do this in their shops, one on one with them and their staff. It is a personal and specialty service that delivers better business outcomes for the. Retail is personal, after all.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE BEST FISHING SHOP SOFTWARE FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

We think we can help with this, based on years of service to this retail channel.

In thinking about the software you want, think about your business. Here are some headline level thoughts and suggestions.

  1. If you see your business as specialist in nature, the software you choose should be specialist.
  2. If part of your business pitch is to shop local, choosing locally made and supported software supports your pitch. Local software is software made and supported in Australia.
  3. If you want to be known as the local specialist, you need software that helps you do this consistently and effectively.
  4. If you do repairs or maintenance of any sort, you need software that can handle this.
  5. If you sell items bundled such as a rod, reel and line pack, you need software that can handle this.
  6. If you are in a tourist area and sell to people once, or once a year, you need software with loyalty facilities to maximise their rare visits to your shop.
  7. If you sell products by weight,you need software that can do this.

Think about these things and think about what you want in software in your business to help you stand out.

Tower Systems is ready to serve independently owned and run fishing and outdoors retail businesses with awesome software backed by awesome service.

Colour, size and style attributes in POS software help small business retailers

Our POS software is not a destination. Rather, it is an evolving solution, being enhanced to serve evolving needs.

For many years, we resisted introducing support in the software for handling inventory items tracked and sold by colour, size and style. We resisted because this type of inventory was usually found in fashion retail, a retail segment outside the specialty retail channels in which we have been focussed.

That all changed over a year ago, thanks to a major POS software update. We developed, in close consultation with customers, awesome new facilities.

Retail has changed. The lines between retail channels have become blurred. There are businesses in our specialty retail channels today selling inventory items they wish to manage by colour, size and style. To serve this changing need, we have developed support for handling colour, size and style within our Retailer software.

We refer to colour, size and style as variantsas this is a better description for the facilities given that it can handle more than just colour, size and style.

Like any new functionality, how we handle this will evolve over time and based on user feedback.

This new function allows our POS software customers to add Variants to new or existing stock items which identify variables of what are essentially the same stock item. For example – The product Sheridan Adkins 700TC Sheet Setcomes in 5 different colours, with each of those colours coming in Queen, King & Super King sizes. All up, there is 15 variants of what is essentially the same item (15 barcodes, the main description, cost, sell, department and category etc are all the same, the only difference being the Colour and Size. This new feature will give users more flexibility and efficiency in areas such Arriving Stock, Creating Orders and checking Stock Levels.

We see this serving needs in a range of specialty niches including Jewellers, Bike Shops, Gift Shops, Fishing businesses, Outdoors businesses and more.

We are grateful to our customers for their guidance and help as we have walked the path to releasing our colour, size and style facilities.

In summary, using the new variants facilities in our software you can track items by multiple variants, like colour, size and style, at the point of sale, returns and reordering.

You can report on inventory performance in a meaningful way to serve your business needs in this area.

The goal of the variants enhancements is to provide each user business with data necessary to better manage the inventory in the business and the business itself overall.

Australian based POS software integrated Shopify websites for retailers

In addition to developing and supporting awesome POS software for small business retailers, Tower Systems developed POS software integrated Shopify websites for retailers. We do this web development in Australia, using locally skilled and retail business savvy web developers.

  1. Locally based web developers understand local retail business needs.
  2. Locally based web developers are easier to speak with and even meet.
  3. Locally based web developers can more easily connect with your local suppliers.
  4. Locally based web developers speak your language and this makes communication easier and more certain.
  5. Locally based web developers want your website to work so they can use it as a calling care for more local web development work.
  6. Locally based web developers are more likely to get you and that matters in small business retail.

Tower Systems has a terrific track record working with Shopify and integrating this with our awesome specialty retail POS software. We can demonstrate plenty of live sites, taking your behind the scenes to help you understand what makes them work, what makes them awesome for the retail businesses the represent.

Our retail business website development work is fixed price, transparent, consultative, open, easily accessed and commercially focussed.

We can talk through needs, to ensure we fully understand what is required, long before any charges are incurred. We want to fully understand for our own professional needs. hence, we ask a lot of questions, which is good because you want the job done right, of course!

We want to ensure that we fully leverage the power of Shopify for your business, to deliver terrific business outcomes for your business and wonderful experiences for your customers. We do this through a comprehensive process and by only serving small business retailers. This small business focus ensures we are more focussed on you.

We urge any small business retailer in Australia to use a 100% Australian based web developer. This is an important to the local community as local shoppers are to local Aussie retailers.

For a wonderful POS software Shopify website integration solution, talk with Tower Systems and see if our services can help grow your online sales.

Retail business advice: greeting shoppers well can drive better sales

Greeting customers and customer service is vital to business success. Do it right and you position the business for better outcomes.l Do it right and you will see a reduction in shopper theft. Dou it right, and your team will enjoy working in the business more.

Here is our advice. Yes, from a POS software company. We have many years of retail experience and one way to show this is to share insights we have nurtured o9ver the years.

  1. At busy times have a designated greeter working at the front of the shop to naturally greet while pricing or doing some other valuable work. The work can include pricing, refreshing a display, playing with (demonstrating) a product. Touching, feeling and engaging with products is key.
  2. Make eye contact with all who enter.
  3. Smile at all who enter.
  4. Cheerfully work with customers on their mobile phones rather than being rude toward them. A customer is a customer.
  5. Be age appropriate in communication. For example, older women are not guys. Gen Y does not warm to the term mate.
  6. Share product knowledge without being intrusive.
  7. Whatever you say has to be about them and not you.
  8. Do not interrupt conversations between customers.
  9. Never voice a negative thought. If people comment business is slow or retail is dead, answer with we’re in good shape, we’re loving it hereor we’re having funor similar.
  10. Don’t complain.
  11. Don’t complain about music playing, especially Christmas music – it’s for customers.
  12. Don’t say next to bring on the next customer, say hi!
  13. Thank people as they leave, smile and say something like see you soon.
  14. Don’t talk about customers to other customers.

Greeting has to be welcoming and genuinely happy. Nail this and you set the right tone for theirs visit to the shoot that day.

Take note of how other businesses nearby handle the greeting challenge. Ensure yours is different, better and more suited to your local shoppers. In small business retail there is opportunity for personalisation and this can be a a key differentiator.

Take time to settle your approach to greeting shoppers. Get it right and the business will benefit for sure.

Small business retail advice: pricing to maximise value

Small business retailers often miss the opportunity to maximise pricing of items over which they have in–store control of pricing. There is good work that is easily accessible to help retailers better understand the opportunities.

In this posts we share information aimed at helping small business retailers make pricing decisions:

The power of the number 9.

In his book Priceless, William Poundstone analyses  8 different studies on the use of charm prices (pricing that ends in a 9 or a 5 but usually a 9), and found that, on average, they increased sales by 24% versus their nearby, ’rounded’ price points.

Poundstone has a video which explains this. It’s worth watching and can be found via this link: http://youtu.be/nZqOGhWw3Q8.

For a more complete study on pricing, read The Widespread Use of Odd Pricing in the Retail Sector by Judith Holdershaw, Philip Gendall and Ron Garland. Published in 1997 in Marketing Bulletin. http://marketing-bulletin.massey.ac.nz/V8/MB_V8_N1_Holdershaw.pdf

What to include in your calculation.

Start with the real cost price. This should be regular wholesale plus freight. Keep any supplier or other discount as a bonus for yourself. Add freight as it is a cost associated with your location. This is not yours to soak up.

Setting your price.

In considering what to sell something for, ask your colleagues in-store how much would you pay for this? Do your research, too and see what others nearby sell the item for. Finally, consider carefully your objectives for the product – is this a volume play or a margin play?

Your pricing choice may not be as clear-cut as it would seem. For example, you could set a high price knowing that with a discount voucher on purchase the item appears to cost less. You might have volume pricing: $xx.xx for one, $yy.yy for two. You could have the item bundled with another to differentiate your offer to that of a nearby competitor and thereby offering you the opportunity to break free on pricing.

Think carefully about where in a band you price an item.For example, Items priced above $7.99 could probably sell at $9.99. Items above $19.99 should either be $24.99 or $29.99 and no other number in between. Above $29.99 more often you should target $39.99.

Avoid nothing prices that can cost GP. For example: $21.95 should be $24.99; $112.50 should be $119.99; $6.50 should be $7.99; $8.75 should be $9.99; $132.50 should be $139.99; $36.50 should be $39.99..

Choose to go to a higher price point rather than lower. Independent retail businesses  are expected to be more expensive. If you counter this with a consistently offered and generous discount voucher program then erring on the higher side of pricing works for you as your voucher sets value perception for your shoppers.

Our recommendation is that you always end your prices with a .99 and price at above RRP.

Be bold on price, make more money and make your business more valuable.

Small business retail advice: leveraging school holidays through your POS software

School holidays present a terrific opportunity for small business retailers to change their pitch and connect with shoppers in a different way, using throw POS software for good POS software has hooks and facilities for exactly this type of unusual engagement.

In our own Tower Systems specialty retail POS software we have a range of tools for leveraging school holidays. We will share some here and keep others for more confidential discussion – there is no point in giving away too many commercially differentiating initiatives in our POS software.

Every retail business we see in every retail niche in which we serve, we see opportunities in school holidays ranging from traffic boosts through to changes in the product mix with which shoppers engage. Every change, no matter how small, is an opportunity for deeper shopper connection, an opportunity for an indie retail business to pitch its credentials outside of what may be expected for this type of business.

Here are some examples, a small number, some simple ideas, which you can today leverage inn our POS software during school holiday periods.

  1. TAGS. Using tags in ur software track what sells during holiday time and do more of that next holidays. tags are powerful, valuable and easy to use.
  2. Value add information. Automatically serve on your receipts information pertinent to school holidays. It could be local events, activities, locations or other things that are school holiday specific in your area or nearby that shoppers with school age kids could embrace and enjoy. make your business the one that pitches local in a raft of ways.
  3. Package and bundle. Make it easy for those caring for kids during holidays to buy suppliers to make holidays more meaningful and / or fun. Bundling can achieve this. It can also make price comparison with competitors more difficult.
  4. Reward. School holidays bring new shoppers and new shoppers can appreciate your appreciation, they can respond well to being encouraged back into the shop with a loyalty offer or deal. make it simple, easily understood and compelling. Work at getting the school holiday new traffic back in story by using the smart loyalty tools in your POS software.

What you do in the school holidays, what you achieve, the value you cultivate is a function of your POS software and how you leverage it. Tower Systems can help.

Rural and regional small business retailers benefit from Tower Systems

We are proud to support rural and regional small business retailers with our POS software. Our service is personal and in-store, placing ourselves where our customers are, to help them get the most from their investment in smart Point of Sale technology.

The personal service we provide to regional and rural retailers includes:

  1. In-store demonstration of the software.
  2. In-store personal experience in the business to fully understand business needs.
  3. In-store personal one one one training in the use of the software.
  4. Personal customer service, by humans who are based in Melbourne Australia and not an offshore help desk.
  5. Virtual location in the business to help fine tune the system to maximise opportunity. We can log in, with customer permission, and make any necessary changes.
  6. Regional user meetings.
  7. Unlimited personal training.
  8. Unlimited access to live weekly training seminars – accessible from anywhere.

These are some examples of personal services we provide that help regional and rural retailers leverage POS software for their commercial advantage.

One of the most crucial benefits delivered by Tower Systems is the offer to visit a business considering POS software. In that first visit we ask plenty of questions and we watch how the business operates, what happens in the business, how business is done … for watching and learning can help us understand if the opportunity is one for us or not. We know we are not a good software fit for every business we look at. We have found it valuable to us and prospective business customers to wish them best and walk away so they can fine more appropriate software for their needs.

Being in-store, being local with them enables us to ensure that businesses we work with are a good fit, that we can serve them well with software that is fit for purpose.

The initial visit is by one of our retail experts. They listen, learn and ask plenty of questions. This helps us. We have found regional and rural retailers appreciate this approach to the consideration of the POS software that is right for their business.

Tower Systems is not your usual POS software company. We are proud of this.

Website development for Australian small business retailers – POS software connected

POS software company Tower Systems offers POS software connected websites to its customers. The e-commerce development is available to be sone in Shopify, magento and WooCommerce.

The company has experience in multiple platforms, especially Magento and Shopify. Tower also operates multiple consumer facing websites itself that are Shopify and Magento based and connected back it its own retail business POS software.

Our recommended solution for independent and small business retailers is Shopify. It offers the best solution, the easiest to engage with, the fastest to engage with and the most flexible at a local store level. We say this based on our own experiences in establishing and running sites.

Online is about a race to the cash. By this we mean that an online shopper is more likely to be ready to purchase. The first business to take their cash wins. This is where POS integrated websites can win. We can show you how.

The latest release of our POS software introduces a new style web dashboard to help in-store online sales fulfilment. This, coupled with inventory integration, accurate stock on hand data, professional image handling and smart SEO work helps you create and run an efficient, integrated physical and online business.

Whether you run a single store or operate as part of a marketing or banner group, Tower Systems has a track record of success you can leverage for your success. Let us show you how.

Fulfilment can be a challenge. We can help here too thanks to our integration work with Australia Post, Sendle and others. We can help you reduce friction with fulfilment and see you benefit from incremental online business.

What we bring to the website / POS software solution integration is experience as retailers. beyond 0ur awesome technology and our experience with Shopify and others, it really is our retail experience in-store and online that makes a difference for Tower Systems customers. We can help with the glue that makes having a cool website work for a business. This is an important factor, especially to small business retailers.

Tower Systems understates all web development, locally, in its Hawthorn Victoria office. We do not offshore tis work.

POS software alternative to MYOB Retail Manager

Plenty of retailers looking for an alternative to the MYOB Retail Manger POS software are finding a good fit in the Tower Systems Point of Sale software. 

Connected to the MYOB accounting software, the Tower solution offers MYOB Retail Manager customers a familiarity with back office accounting in its POS software integrated solution.

Retailers looking for a complete change to the accounting and retail business management solution cold consider the Tower Systems Xero POS software integration. Tower directly integrates with the Xero cloud based accounting solution.

The Tower Systems installation and training team members are skilled at managing the process of transitioning a retail business from Retail Manager to the Tower Systems POS software. Our training covered differences as well as data export and import – as much as is possible and as much as a business wants … because sometimes a business likes to start again with a clean slate and with a clean dataset.

We have been told that Retail Manager by MYOB is approaching end of life – that is, no future development enhancement planned. If this is the case, the Tower POS software solution is an alternative that we would submit for consideration in any of the specialty retail channels in which we are well established.

Offering robust and constantly evolving POS software, Tower Systems offers MYOB Retail Manager users a path with a solid future from a technical and a business perspective. This peace of mind is something on which Tower Systems customers can bank as they plan their IT investment.

In terms of accounting solution choice, the company walks an agnostic path, leaving that choice to retail business owners and those who advise them on accounting software requirements. That said, in our own shops, we use Xero. Our fully staffed professional accounts office, where we have a CPA providing full time oversight of our retail accounting processes. Access to our accounting professionals is available to our POS software customers and their accountants who may have accounting related questions.

Tower Systems offers stable, proven and respected POS software solutions for small business retailers. Stability is at the heart of 9ur offer and ay to day operation.

Advice from our POS software co for high street brick and mortar retailers in competing with online businesses

Our small business POS software company often provides general business advice to retailers, beyond our POS software specific advice. Here is one example – about competing with onlone.

Competing with online begins with your headspace, it begins with committing to getting the business right and relentlessly pursuing its success.

In practical terms, this means that every business decision is based on careful consideration of sound data. If the data does not support a business decision, you don’t do it. Simple.

Five ways you can compete with online

Here are five ways you can differentiate your business from online, ways that leverage personal, human, contact.

  1. Track every contact.Treat every contact as a customer. Know who they are. Explain that it’s part of your service – to offer advice and keep in touch. This will qualify them as a customer from their very first question. While it may scare some off, better that you do it early before you give away your expert advice.
  2. Give them a gift for listening to you.Every customer who spends time taking in your advice should be given a voucher for them to spend in-store in a purchase above a certain value. This shows that you value their attention. Presented well it can better connect them with you for the longer term.
  3. Subtly share stories about the risks of online shopping.There are documented stories you can find about people being ripped off – what they ordered is not what they received, credit card fraud and the like. Arm your team with these stories … maybe a story about a customer who bought from you following an expensive rip off online.
  4. Reward loyalty with a front-end approach.Ensure that every purchase over, say, $10, comes with a voucher offering a discount off the next purchase. Factor this into your mark-up model. Cash rewards showing on a receipt can be a powerful lure to bringing a shopper back.
  5. Personalise your service.Arm all sales staff with personal business cards. Place follow up calls or emails to shoppers spending over, say, $100. Host networking events in-store. Connect with and support local clubs. Add value through personal contact at every possible opportunity. Structure regular, value-adding, contact with your customer base.

The difference between a bricks and mortar shops and a website selling similar products is that your business, the bricks and mortar business, is real, it can be visited, it’s personal. Everything you say and do needs to reinforce this and build trust based on this.

Help for MYOB Retail Manager POS software users

As Retail Manager from MYOB reaches what we have been told is end of life – that is, no future enhancement development planned, Tower Systems has been helping small business retailers switch from Retail Manager to the Tower Systems POS software.

We have terrific, extensive, marketplace specific, experience migrating retail businesses from Retail Manager to our POS software. This includes converting data, providing training face to face in-store, backing this with easy to access help desk support and regularly updating the software based on customer suggestions.

In our work we take time to assess the needs and ensure that what we offer is well covered, that it is a genuine solution compared to what they are using today.

There is no pressure, no inducements. At the heart of what we do is software truth. That is, what we actually do and deliver for our small business specialty retail customers. we prefer to show. hence, our offer to visit any business and put our software on the table next to any other, so people can see it for themselves and compare, live.

We are an Australian POS software company. We have software developed specifically for garden centres, jewellers, bike shops, pet shops, toy shops, garden centres, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, firearms business, newsagencies and adult shops.

Our MYOB Retail Manager alternative is well established. We have terrific reference sites who can share their experiences from switching to the Tower software. We gladly share these with prospective customers.

Each version of our software is highly tailored to that marketplace.

With more than 3,000 customers we are well established.

Our software integrates with MYOB and Xero.We also link to Oxipay and Zip Pay, offering buy now pay later service. We also link to Tyro as well as all the major banks for EFTPOS. Plus, for easy and direct website connection, we integrate with Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce.

The software runs in the cloud or on a desktop. You can buy, rent or lease.

Talk to one of our experts about migrating from MYOB Retail Manager

  1. VIC / SA / WA:Tim Batt 0401 833 917 tim@towersystems.com.au;
  2. NSW / ACT / TAS:Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148 nathan@towersystems.com.au;
  3. QLD / NT: Justin Randall 0434 365 789 justin@towersystems.com.au.

The best EFTPOS solution for Aussie small business retailers

Tower Systems recommends Tyro broadband EFTPOS as the best EFTPOS solution for small business retailers. We have been Tyro customers ourselves in our own retail businesses for many years. We have partnered with Tyro with an integration to our POS software for many years.

Here is what we like about Tyro:

  1. It’s fast.
  2. It is seamlessly integrated.
  3. It eliminated data entry.
  4. It cuts mistakes.
  5. Settlement is swift.
  6. Queries are handled quickly.
  7. Back end tech makes management easy.
  8. It does not complicate the overall business banking relationship.
  9. Fees are competitive.

Tyro is terrific as our years of experience using it in our own shops has shown us. This is why we happily recommend it to our small business retail customers.

Being fully integrated with the Tower Systems Point of sale software, Tyro is a fast and easy method of payment for 0ur customers. Setup is fast and easy and use is stable.

Speed is critical in high traffic businesses and this is where Tyro shines. We see it handle hundreds of transactions a day without a blip, with pinpoint accuracy. This is done with tap and go as well as with PIN security. The integration makes the process simple and easy and valuable for retail businesses thanks to terrific throughput.

Data accuracy is important too. The Tyro POS software integration eliminates keystrokes and every keystroke eliminated is a potential mistake eliminated. This is good news for retailers and good news for shoppers as both parties to a transaction want transactional accuracy.

As a tech partner with tyro, Tower Systems is at the forefront of development of integration opportunities and this is a terrific benefit to our small business retailer community. Leading with innovation, time saving and new revenue opportunities is important to us as we help our small business retail customers to grow stronger and more valuable retail businesses.

The Tyro EFTPOS POS software integration developer and supported by Tower Systems is a valuable piece for any retail business keen on accurate payments handling at the counter and elsewhere in the business.

Tower Systems is proud to serve small business retailers in many different specialty re6ail channels.

Small business retail advice: understanding the cloud

What is the cloud and why is it important?

The cloud is a marketing term used by technology companies to describe the accessing of software through a browser in one location where the actual software and data are stored in another location.

The cloud is not new. The first versions of this were running in the 1970s in the early days of computing.

In a small business retail sense, there were retailers in the 1990s operating this way. Indeed, Tower Systems had customers as early 1999 running in the cloud.

While technology has refined, the principles have not.

On a server runs your software with your data. From your retail location you access this through a web browser. Around ten years ago, in 2005, we ran four of our own shops in the cloud – none of the shops had retailer or data on their computers. This was before the term cloud became a marketing term.

While the marketing of the cloud has been excellent, the business benefits have not been so great, especially for small business.

The cloud seems cheaper because there usually is no up front cost. Add up all costs over three years and a cloud based solution will in almost every case cost you more.

In terms of business commercial outcomes, a cloud based solution may not deliver you better business outcomes. Business outcomes depend on your engagement with the data collected and managed by your software. This is on you and has nothing to do with where your software and data are hosted.

To run in the cloud, you need a good and reliable host with quality data backup, speedy access and 24/7 support from your country of location. Too often this is not the case.

Does the Tower Systems POS software run in the cloud?

Yes. We have customers today running in the cloud. In fact, we have plenty from single store locations through to retail groups with all stores running in the cloud.

We can help you establish your own cloud setup or provide one for you.

Running the Retailer POS software in the cloud starts with us understanding the business outcomes you want to achieve. Once we understand these we can guide you to the solution we recommend.

We have relationships with several hosting partners that we use in our own retail and technology businesses. We can connect you with them if you want to set this up for yourself or we can manage this for you.

The extent to which the Retailer small business POS software runs in the cloud is up to you. However, what you do and what you spend is a function of the business outcomes you want.

Our most popular cloud offerings today are our cloud based backup service and our cloud based link to Xero, the best-practice cloud based accounting solution.

How can I run my business in the cloud?

Running your business, your business software, in the cloud requires you to have business grade internet access. This is vital.

Next, you need to partner with a host. This is best organised through your software company.

It is vital your cloud provider offers the level of backup and redundancy you require for your type of business and you are prepared to pay for.

Tower Systems can help you through these steps, providing from our own experience running our own retail businesses in the cloud.

The best point for advice on what is appropriate to your needs is your local Tower Systems sales person. They will want to understand your business needs and from there they will provide practical advice on which you can rely.

Small business retail advice: how to quit stock

How do you identify product that is not working? When do you quit a product that is not working? Why should you quit stock? How do you quit the stock? How long should quitting stock take? What if the item does not sell no matter what you do?

These are all questions we will answer here for you in the form of suggestions. What you ultimately do is 100% up to you. Your choices need to reflect your own situation and circumstances. Our small business POS software can help.

Identifying product that is not working.

A product is not working if it is not paying its way – paying for the floor space it takes and the time you spend on it. Check your sales, rank all your stock based on sales – look at the bottom performing stock.  Your software should have a ranked Sales Report that lets you list all your stock ranked by unit or $$ sales. Use this to create your list of items to consider.

The other way to identify stock that’s not working for you is to check your back room or other storage facility. Stock that is not generating cash regularly has to be considered dead in our view.

When do you quit a product?

You quit, exit, products when they are not paying their way, when a season is done or when you want to exit that category for some other reason.

Let’s say your rent is $1,250 per square metre per year. If your gross profit averages, say, 50%, you will need to sell $2,500 worth of product to pay for a metre of space. However, this is not the complete consideration as you have labour, power and other costs to cover. The suggested rule of thumb is that your retail sales need to be at least three times that necessary to cover the cost of the space. In the scenario covered here, you should be earning at least $7,500 from a square metre of space. If stock is not delivering this, quitting it could be necessary.

Why quit stock?

To keep your shop fresh, to not be weighed down by dead stock to make your shop look more relevant, to stop hoarding.

How to quit stock.

Here is how we quit stock in retail businesses we operate. These businesses are in shopping centres where retail space is limited and expensive. We are necessarily aggressive.

  1. Set a deadline.We’d suggest two weeks for quitting a product or range of products.
  2. Choose your timing.The best time to quit stock quickly is on your busiest trading days. For many this will be the weekend. Consider structuring your quitting program to run from Thursday through Sunday.
  3. Set your initial price.The discount must be compelling. We’d suggest 50% off. A smaller discount in this marketplace will not get noticed. Think about your discount words: in some areas, HALF PRICE works better than 50% OFF. Sometimes, 2 FOR 1 can be even more effective. A $$ price can work better – for example a dump bin with everything priced at $1. People then don’t have to work anything out.
  4. Move the product to a high traffic location.Display it as a line you are quitting – in a dump bin or in open boxes. This must be in a location away from where the product is usually located. Do not make an attractive display. Consider placing the stock somewhere that people almost stumble over it.
  5. Put up a signthat is either black on white or white on read. Nothing fancy. Even a hand written sign is good. Do not make a complex or attractive sign.
  6. Adjust your price. If sales are not strong enough, go harder with your discount. From 50% off we suggest a drop to a $$ price point. It can be challenging selling something you would have sold for $20.00 at $1 but that $1 is better than getting nothing for the product at all.
  7. Give it away.If the products are not selling, consider giving the stock away to a local charity. Getting it out of your shop for no compensation can be better than it taking space and giving off the wrong message about your business.
  8. Keep track of time.If you decide to be out of the stock within two weeks, stick to that and make it happen with your pricing and placement decisions.
  9. Use the bin.If you can’t sell the item and you can’t give it away, use the bin.
  10. An alternative:If you have a large amount of stock to quit, consider hiring a local hall and running an off site sale. Talk to your suppliers about getting extra stock in for this. You could even plan to do this as an annual event. Consider, too, linking with a local charity to drive interest and create a fund raising opportunity for them.

Quitting stock takes strength and commitment. We urge you to do it to keep your business fresh. Product not selling gives shoppers a bad impression of your business.

Take a look at your shop floor and in your back room. Look at what you can get rid of right away to reduce the anchor of dead stock on your business.

Too many retail businesses have old stock gathering dust. One of the best ways to separate your business is to regularly quit stock that is not performing as it should.