POS software helps retailers know their best trading hours

Small and independent can save labour costs by carefully rostering employees based on the performance of the business across its opening hours.

Thanks to detailed trading hour performance reporting in the Point of Sale software from Tower Systems, our retail partners can tap into data that will help them trim roster hours.

Our sales by time reporting can also help shift hours from one part of the roster to another – to a time when the business could achieve an increase in sales by having more people available on the shop floor.

This is where knowing sales by time becomes really useful – in chasing revenue growth through smarter rostering through the software.

Our helpdesk team is happy to help and retailer using our software – to create a more valuable roster.

POS software helps retailers identify their best customers

Your best customers in retail may not be those who spend the most money. They could be those who purchase particular items, come back more regularly or engage with the business in other ways.

The Point of Sale software from Tower Systems provides a range of metrics through which a retail business owner or manager can measure customer engagement. This data guides how a business manages customers, rewards them and even responds to opportunities uncovered.

In measuring customer engagement and providing easy access to this, Tower Systems is helping retailers to make decisions based on customer value. This can change from business to business. E have worked in a range of retail channels where we have modified measurement to suit channel-specific needs.

POS software helps retailers identify their best employees

Smart retailers want to know their top performing employees to make better use of them, reward them and even learn from them. The POS software from Tower Systems easily identifies for retailers their best employees through a range of metrics collected by the software, metrics that are easily accessible through the software.

Tracking employee activity can also help reduce employee theft as well as cut mistakes. We have found retail employees to take more care when they know that how they use the software is being tracked by management.

Using employee data carefully, retailers are able to build leadership within their business and through this drive better commercial outcomes for the business.

POS software helps retailers identify their best suppliers

Thanks to smart reporting retailers using the Tower Systems Point of Sale software are able to easily and quickly identify the best performing suppliers in the overall business as well as in departments within the business plus in categories within departments.

This easy identification of suppliers helps retailers in a number of ways including buying, display and management. There is tremendous value in showing a supplier how their products perform compared to products from another supplier in the same category of products. This can help guide price negotiations. It can also help a supplier fix problems with their offering.

Tower Systems backs the easy access to comparative supplier information with knowledgeable and business savvy support. It’s one thing to have facilities like these and another to help guide customers to their use.

Sunday retail management advice: POS software receipt marketing works

We have seen excellent results from receipt based marketing this week where a retailer using our POS software reported double-digit sales growth across almost all categories and the only change in their business for most of these categories in the last six months was the implementation of our receipt-based discount vouchers.

While they call them something else – Shopper Rewards – internally in our software they are called discount vouchers for ease of reference. Bet they are much more than discount vouchers!

15% of customers are engaging with the vouchers and it is these customers who are driving the revenue growth for the business.

We can show small and independent retailers how they can grow their businesses by engaging with this unique and successful business marketing and management initiative. In our own retail experience we know that it’s money in the bank.

The keys to success that we regularly see are:

  1. The across the counter pitch. This comes down to staff training.
  2. Simple text on the voucher. Users of the software have complete control over this.
  3. Good value on the voucher. Users of our software have compete control over this.
  4. Good business rules for redemption to drive sales. Users of the software have complete control over this.

The success of many small business retailers with our offering is encouraging and exciting. We love it!

Busy Saturday for the POS software help desk

The day has really only just begun for many but our live office-based help desk has already been busy helping retailers with support and training as part of our Saturday support commitment.

We have offered this office-based service for many years and customers love it. Being office-based we have access to more facilities and services and this provides our customers with a better outcome for some calls that require more than knowledge.

Our Saturday support service is a point of difference that helps us win customers. We love it!

POS software integrated gift card platform from Tower Systems

Tower Systems has integrated its Point of Sale software to a new gift card platform that is used by national as well as local retailers in Australia and overseas. This new integration provides Tower Systems customers with facilities that enable easy selling of stored value cards that can be used across a group of stores and in a range of situations.

This is an exciting integration for other reasons too that we will talk about soon as it feeds into other parts of a retail business.

With each of these third-party integrations developed by Tower Systems in partnership with retailers we are enhancing the value of our software and extending the reach within and outside our partner retail businesses.

While for many years retailers have been able to sell gift vouchers and add value to stored value cards, this latest integration takes the facility to a much higher and broadly based level.

Tower Systems garden centre software integrated with Plants Plus loyalty

image008Tower Systems is thrilled to publicly announce a new service that has been live bend the scenes for months.

Plants Plus Loyalty program is now fully integrated within Tower Systems Garden Centre software. This integration allows Plants Plus customers to accumulate loyalty points at POS. It also offers the ability to check balance and add bonus points for customer at easily. This will benefits participating business continuously with increased efficiencies on the POS counter and eliminates additional work.

Tower Systems is committed to help retailers leverage loyalty facilities for better business outcomes.

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Garden centre software kudos

handyThe Tower Systems Garden Centre software has won more kudos from garden centre owners thanks to the release of our hand-held tablet computer providing access to the full software plus a scanner from anywhere on the within the business. The portability and flexibility of the software coupled with this wonderful device from HP makes it easier for garden centre staff to use the software where and when they want and to transact sales with the same flexibility.

Garden software featuring at Green Expo Sydney

gexpoTower Systems is thrilled to be supporting the national Green Expo event in Sydney with fresh software backed by fresh marketing in the industry magazine and other very special support on the floor of this important exhibition.

Developed specifically for Garden Centres, our Garden Centre software is packed with facilities that will deliver time-saving and business-building benefits.

Being part of the garden centre of the future opportunity at Green Expo helps show off other benefits of partnering with Tower Systems.

We appreciate the support of the NGIA in being able to present our software at this valued event.

Sunday retail management advice: POS software training boosts productivity

With more retailers engaging with the free POS software training from Tower Systems we can share the commercial value of employee training.

Retail business employees who undertake the professional and structured retail employee training in the use of our POS software are better equipped and more able to serve the needs of the retail business in which they serve.

Thanks to our exclusive an online training portal, retailers and their employees have access to a comprehensive library of training that, when completed, will result in a certificate to acknowledge the achievement.

Trained retail employees are more efficient and knowledgeable and better able to serve the needs of the business.

Tower Systems is the only company offering this level of online and video based training. It is a point of difference on which Tower partners can rely to leverage for the value of their businesses.

Independent retailers benefit from loyalty choice in POS software

For years, retailers, especially independent and small business retailers, have been told to follow retail giants and reward loyal shoppers with points that can be redeemed for gifts and discounts.

Dutifully, many small business retailers acted on this – but without a thought-through strategy to achieve the best outcome for the business.

Without a financially rewarding outcome for a business, a loyalty program is worthless.

This is why retailers, in any retail channel and in any retail situation – high street, shopping mall, rural and or regional – need options in terms of shopper loyalty rewards. It is why Tower Systems offers valued options in its Point of Sale software.

While a points based program is useful, it could be that the business will benefit from a different approach.

Good POS software will offer flexibility. This flexibility can add thousands of dollars to the bottom line performance of a retail business each year.

The Tower Systems Point of Sale software supports multiple loyalty options that include: a traditional points based approach, interfacing to the respected Vii Accumulate loyalty platform, interfacing to the equally respected Transactor loyalty platform, interfacing to Flybys NZ and offering a unique and flexible front end loyalty solution.

Having so many options available provides Tower Systems retail partners with commercially valuable flexibility.

The loyalty platform selected by a business depends on the needs of that business. A business that chooses POS software without broad flexibility will be limited in what they can achieve for their business with their software.

Big system interfaces

Vii Accumulate – used by Qantas, BankWest, Clipsal and others – and Transactor – used by Westfield, Amcal, Goldmark, Prouds, Avanti, Subway and others – are both used by retail banner groups and national retailers to connect stores allowing point accumulation and redemption in any location.

The Tower Systems approach with these two platforms delivers maximum flexibility for the retailers and banner groups. Through our seamless interface you have access to the facilities of either Vii Accumulate and Transactor.

Groups with as few as four retail locations could benefit from either interface.

The traditional points-based approach

In the Tower Systems software, retailers can accrue points for customers easily.

This is done by customers presenting a loyalty card, usually called a VIP card, at any time during a sale.

This is the easiest loyalty program to setup in a small or independent retail business.

The software accrues points according to rules established by the business owner. Points can be used by customers to access rewards. They can also be used to generate gift vouchers for shoppers based on points accrued.

Many retail businesses using the Tower software use the points-based loyalty facilities to encourage shoppers to spend more.

Shopper loyalty is much desired yet harder to achieve in this world with more competition, more loyalty options and a greater desire for instant gratification.

Following carefully assessment of international trends and looking thoroughly at how large and national retailers used primarily points-bases systems to drive loyalty, Tower Systems invested in an alternative, a new software based facility to reward loyalty for an often forgotten shopper.

Change the game: front-end loyalty

By using an approach we at Tower call front-ending loyalty, retailers can achieve more from first-time and infrequent shoppers. Front-ending loyalty brings a reward to the front in an effort to engage shoppers in additional purchases sooner.

Too often loyalty has been all about total spend over a year whereas above average spend in just one visit can be more valuable to a business.

It’s an approach that can encourage those who do not shop with you to purchase something else right away, to get the value of the cash discount offered.

Regular shoppers can spend the cash discount right away or come back within any time limit you set.

We started trialling this front-ending loyalty strategy in February 2013 in several retail businesses. We did it using the Discount Vouchers facilities in the Tower Systems software.

Building the basket

From the first day we saw shoppers changing behaviour.

One chap came in to purchase a specific item. When he was handed the receipt the voucher was pointed out to him – offering $2.00 off his next purchase. He was not a regular and so spent the $2.00, and more, right away on another item. He received another voucher and purchased a third item. In all, he spent three times as much as the original purchase – all because of the Discount Vouchers he received.

Around 33% of all vouchers redeemed are used the day they are received. This shows customers building the basket – adding to their purchase that day as a result of the voucher. This makes each visit more valuable to us.

Bringing shoppers back

Around 33% of redeemed vouchers are used within seven days of issue and the remaining 33% are redeemed up to four weeks after issue.

Here’s another real story: A month after we started trialling this new approach to loyalty, a customer came in and used a voucher she had picked up a couple of weeks earlier. She was happy to get $5.00 off a $45.00 item she wanted. This resulted in another voucher so she bought another item for $29.95.

This customer said she would be back. Two weeks later she was.

You control the business rules covering how vouchers are issued and redeemed. You control your financial exposure at all times.

Like any good loyalty program, you need good levers with which to drive shopper engagement and to deliver the benefits it needs to justify the investment.

The Discount Vouchers facilities in the Tower software have this.

You control the amount of each sale you are prepared to give away on the voucher.

You control the products the voucher can be used for.

You control how long the voucher is live for.  I suggest 28 days but I have some retailers setting this at 90 days.

You control what it’s called

We have shoppers calling their vouchers Bonus Bucks, Cash Off, Thank You Dollars and other names retailers feel are relevant to their businesses.

The software has been developed in a way that gives each retailer complete flexibility as to what they call their program. This localisation opportunity is important as it gives you ownership over your own program.

Helping your business

With big box and national offering their corporate loyalty programs, it’s important for retailers to offer a genuine point of difference.  Discount Vouchers offer this.

While their approach is very corporate, your approach can be more flexible and more focused on early rewards. Over the months of trialling we have seen changes shopper behaviour, it gets them spending more with you.

I’m confident this fresh approach to loyalty is a game changer for any garden centre business. The control you have enables you to easily manage the cost and the value you gain from the program.

This really is a new approach to bringing shoppers back sooner and getting them to spend more with you.

So, which loyalty program is right for your business? That choice is up to you.

Tower Systems provides you with options, some of which are unique to us in our various retail channels.

Thanks to our partnerships and interfaces we provide retailers with a depth of flexibility that is extraordinary.

That you have a choice is vitally important. Better still, that you can move between the options is even better.

Where we are at today in terms of loyalty will be different to tomorrow as change is inevitable. Our commitment is to continue to refresh our software to ensure it and those who use it are competitive.

Massive interest in shop floor POS solution drives POS software further

handyRetailers are responding with haste to the portable wireless shop floor POS terminal we launched earlier this year and just started talking abut here a week back. They love the portability, ease of use, warranty coverage and price. They also love that they have access to all our software through our Retailer Tablet Licence facilities thanks to our smart software integration.

Being retailers we have been able to test this product in a more proactive way than most software companies.

We are thrilled that retailers can open an additional retail lane easily, sell from the shop floor and undertake more work in the business without being tethered to the counter or back office.

The HP ElitePad is a true Retail tablet. This device is the perfect POS unit perfect for interacting with your customers on your shop floor. Containing an inbuilt 2D barcode scanner and additional battery allows you to work for hours without being tethered to your desk or counter. Included is a full licence and copy Retailer transforming this device into a full service computer allowing you to perform stock takes, invoice arrivals and returns live via your wireless network.

Helping independent retailers deliver better customer service

Independent retailers don’t have the money to spend selling their customer service story like national and bigger retailers do. The only way they can pitch customer service is through better customer service.

Nowhere else in retail does actions speak louder than words thank in delivering customer service – actually, delivering exceptional customer service.

Through our smart POS software, Tower Systems helps retailers deliver consistent customer service. Retailers, through settings in and use of the software, can determine the actual customer service delivered.

Here are some of the customer service opportunities facilitated by Tower Systems software:

  1. Product use and service information included on receipts.
  2. Emailing of receipts.
  3. Sexy receipts as well as regular receipt roll receipts.
  4. Product demonstration videos accessible in-store.
  5. Easy online competition entry.
  6. Points based loyalty.
  7. Immediate cash reward loyalty.
  8. Retail network wide integrated loyalty.
  9. Allied product suggestions while processing a sale.
  10. Packaging location information on scanning an item for sale.
  11. Multiple product label options to serve business and customer needs.
  12. Attracting shelf labels to help customers on the shop floor.
  13. Product placement advice based on shopper behaviour analysis.
  14. Marketing tools to facilitate customer visit follow up.

Our small and independent retailer Point of Sale software helps retailers with these and other tools designed to facilitate more valuable customer interaction.

We use many of these ourselves in our own retail businesses where we play with our software to get the most from it. There is nothing like playing with software you have created to see how you can make it better.

Sunday small business retail management advice: make sure you have the right friends with whom to discuss business

Who do you talk to about your retail business? Are the sympathetic? Do they challenge your perception of your business? Do they agree with everything you say? Do they offer pity as a response for you explaining your situation?

Good friends will challenge what you say. They will ask tough questions. They will not put up with a victim mentality. They will want to know what you are doing to improve your situation.

If your friends don’t challenge you when you talk about your business consider seeking out others you can talk to who do challenge you.

Owning a business of any size can be tough and lonely. In the business it is rare you will be challenged. In your immediately family, too often, you will not be challenged. This is why you need to seek out those who could and will challenge you. You need to be challenged. Your plans need to be tested through tough questioning.  While some good friend will do this for you many will not.

So, do you need to change your friends?

Seek out people who will give you truthful assessment of what you say, people who will have an opinion and be unafraid to share it. You want people who will actively listen to you and give you their insights.

Seek out people who will want the same from you.  The ideal friendship is one that is equal, open and honest in conversation.  This is what retail business owners need – people who can help them see what they may not be seeing for themselves.

Great gift shop success story

A gift shop owner told us about the 28% increase in sales – on the back of a 17% increase the year before.

This is no accident. They planned for it by carefully looking at their business data and shedding products that were not working. They adjusted opening hours too as they discovered business later in the day that they had not realised was there. This knowledge opened them to opportunities for last minute shoppers.

The owner of the business decided to chase success because the turnover was barely enough to cover rent, wages and the loan taken out to fund the business. It was grow or bust.

They planned for success by using their business data.

Sales data guided them as to the suppliers of the best to focus on. One employee was eased out of the business for failing to achieve minimum sales targets.

The owner spent more time on the shop floor selling to achieve minimum margin dollars per sale rather than just chatting with shoppers.

The result shows what can happen when you focus on being a retailer.

Encouraging retailers to embrace free POS software training opportunities

twrnlTower Systems has been actively promoting its free POS software support services to its customers, to help them get more enjoyment and benefits from using the company’s POS software.

In reaching out to customers and promoting easy access to one on one training, our exclusive video training curriculum, free weekly training workshops and our live help desk, we are helping our retail partners to better learn our software and through this more easily use the software.

We believe that knowledge is power and show our commitment to this through the extensive training and support opportunities we provide to our Tower AdvantageTM customers.

Free QR code generating & hosting platform for small business retailers

The Tower Systems QRki, QR code publishing and access platform for retailers, is available to retailers and other businesses for free in another helpful software service from Tower Systems.

Retailers and other small business operators can make videos, files, competition entry forms, Facebook links and other online content accessible through a unique QR code they generate using the QRki website. Many QRki facilities are free.

We created QRki to help small businesses harness the opportunity of QR codes without needing to invest in software of their own.

QRki is another example of our commitment to small businesses and independent retailers. We’ve also enabled QRki for anyone to use – you don’t need to be a Tower Systems customer.

Developed and designed in Australia but for use from anywhere in the world, QRki is another example of cloud based innovation for small businesses.

QRki is available now for anyone from anywhere to use regardless of POS or other software used in the business.

Fun on the POS software reception desk

animaldeskWe loved one of the products sold by a supplier to retailers in a couple of the retail channels we serve that we bought something for our reception area.

This cute mouse brings a smile to the faces of visitors and it reminds us of our customers in the garden centre, pet shop, homewares and newsagency retail channels.

We like the fun and colour of this cute mouse.

We’re not your average software company.

POS software helps gift retailers find the product box

gift-boxFinding the box that goes with an item that a customer wants to purchase can be a challenge for any retailer. The Tower Systems POS software helps retailers remember where the box is stored –  showing this information when the items is scanned in the POS software.

Knowing where a box is within the business can save time in the sales process and help the retail business to serve customers more professionally. This can be money in the bank as it supports a professional and timely customer experience.

Retail customers who enjoy the experience will be back sooner.

The facilities in our software for tracking where boxes for gift and other items are in-store are another way our POS software helps retailers make more money from their technology investment.

 

Getting closer to garden centre, gift, homewares and other suppliers

animalsIn the office for the last few days we have had these animals roaming around getting in the way.

Okay, the only roaming they have done is when we have moved them. No, we didn’t ride them. They are part of a range stocked in leading garden centres, homewares stores and newsagencies with a strong gift pitch.

We have been fortunate to have the animals here thanks to some work we have been doing with a supplier. Getting to see products sold through our software and work through unique situations with some products can help us serve our customers better.

There aren’t many software companies where developers, support team members and others get to play with products their retail customer sell.

We’re not your average POS software company.

Sunday small business retail management advice: beware the bank claiming low EFTPOS fees

We are seeing banks chase retailer eftpos business with low fees and other deals. Our advice is do your homework, read the fine print, get all offers in writing and only agree once you are completely satisfied.

Too often we see bank eftpos offers are not as good as they claim to be in the longer term and often retailers find themselves contracted to a deal that does not work for them.

So our advice to retailers today is to do your research on eftpos offers from banks. Don’t sign unless you are 100% sure.

POS software support escalation software helps retailers

With more and more POS software companies pushing customers to help desks where people follow call scripts so as to not deviate off the path and with many software companies not offering personal contact details of management, here at Tower Systems we are proud to have a documented escalation process through which any of our customers can access senior management assistance on any issue.

Here is what we include in all customer communication and have done for many years:

SUPPORT ESCALATION PROCEDURE: Our help desk is always your first port of call.  If you are unhappy with progress please escalate to our Customer Service Manager.  If you are unhappy with their response please contact our COO, Gavin Williams gavinw@towersystems.com.au or our CEO: Mark Fletcher 0418 321 338 mark@towersystems.com.au.

Our escalation process is used often – usually not for a complaint but to seek more business operational related assistance that it outside the scope and knowledge of the usual help desk call. We appreciate the opportunity to serve our customers with this assistance.

Small retailer POS software users love transparency on software enhancement suggestions

software-ideasMany small business retailers using the POS software from Tower Systems actively engage in suggesting enhancements for the software and many of these suggestions make their way into the software.

Retailers regularly thank Tower for the opportunity to publicly make suggestions and for the transparency of voting by and feedback from others about the suggested enhancements. Indeed, the level of transparency Tower Systems has offered in this area for years now is rare. Some claim user engagement but it is hard to find another software company living the transparency claim like Tower.

The real test of the exclusive Software Ideas facility from tower Systems is the enhancements that make their way into the software. Hundreds of enhancements including new facilities, large and small, exist in the software today thanks to user engagement in making suggestions and voting on these suggestions. It is proving to be a valuable process for tower Systems and its retail business customers.

It is a measure of the company’s confidence that the facility is promoted on its website home page and that the list can be accessed by anyone including competitors.

Software Ideas is managed by a senior member of the software development management team within the company and the overall Tower leadership team makes final decisions about ideas it embraces. All ideas receive feedback from the company.

Testing new pet shop software

Earlier this week we installed our first beta site of a new release of our pet shop software. This new release contains several pet shop specific facilities that serve very unique needs in the pet retail space. Our handling of the needs positions is as leading software given that the enhancements were developed with pet retailers themselves.

This work and our with pet suppliers is helping to considerably grow our penetration into the pet retail space.