The POS Software Blog

The POS Software Blog

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

Categorygift shop software

Small business retail advice: make every day your pay day

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This is advice we first shared many years ago. We have updated it, made it more 2022 and beyond relevant.

Not wanting to be too proud, we think this is the best advice we could give any local small business retailer as it focuses you on what matters most – nurturing daily value from your business for today, and for when you decide to sell the business.

Everyday in local retail it can feel challenging, busy, attention distracting and demanding. Local small business retail is tough, competitive and consuming.

Our advice for local small business retailers in this article is practice, everyday, straightforward. It is advice any local small business retailer could follow without needing a business degree, bags of spare capital or a huge team to manage execution in-store.

This is fundamental advice, code advice. It’s like getting out of bed in the morning, showering, brushing your teeth, getting dressed. this advice is as basic and fundamental as eating and treating. And, while that sounds dramatic, it is what it is, good advice that every local small business retailer could benefit from.

So, here it is:

Retail business advice: make every day your pay day.

There was a time when small business retailers could rely on selling their business for a handsome increase on the price they paid thereby providing a good pay day, when businesses sold for a good multiple of net earnings. This was a time when retailers would focus on the sale of their business being their payday.

No more. Today, the best way to extract value from local retail businesses is to make every day your pay day, to not rely on your pay day being the day you sell the business.

By this we mean make the most you can today, so that tomorrow is valuable. It’s a small target approach. A narrow approach. That’s at the heart of this … that today is what matters most to you today. In every decision, every action. It’s why this is about making every day you payday. because it is an every day thing. Like we said at the start, like eating and breathing.

The challenge is how do you do this?

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

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

  1. Find new customers. New customers are the future lifeblood of any retail business. if you are not attracting new shoppers, you are treading water. Every day there should be an action designed to reach people who do not currently shop with you. It could be a social media post, a stunning front window display or engagement with a local event. Do something, have it planned as part of a regular action. Always, every day, chase new customers.
  2. Charge more every time you can. Look at what you see and your approach to mark-up. Consider why people buy from you, and not somewhere else. If there is a factor, such as convenience, that enables you to charge a little more. Considering what you charge is not a blanket approach, not something you rush at. Take your time. Look at part of the business in fine detail and consider whether a small increase could help you achieve more. Also, loyalty programs such as discount vouchers, bundling into hampers, multi buys such as 2 for 3 and other opportunities enable you to do this by blocking price comparison. You can stop price being a consideration.
  3. Get people buying more each visit. What you place with what can encourage people to buy more than what they intended. Unpacking and pricing new goods on the shop floor can get people noticing and buying things they did not visit today to buy. Look in your data at what sells with what. Often that can reveal opportunities. Too often, retailers think placing things at the counter drives a deeper basket and while it does, there are other things you can do in-store to drive this.
  4. Run with the leanest roster possible. Just about every retail business we review has capacity to lower labour costs. Trimming the roster can come at a cost for the owners – putting in more hours. There are other ways to enable trimming the roster. Be smarter. If there are things you can cost-effectively automate, do that. If you can adjust opening hours to better fit when sales occur, and same some labour costs, do that. If you can save an hour a day with owner time on the shop floor, do that.
  5. Stock what sells. This may sound obvious, because it is. But, in many retail businesses we look at, they do not stock what sells. Analyse your business data. Know not only the products that sells, but the types of products. If you think something is a success, go to the evidence to see if it is. Too often we can’t find evidence supporting a feeling that something is successful. Your data can guide your buying so that you stock more of what sells.
  6. Bring people back sooner with a thoughtfully calibrated loyalty offer that funds itself, and drives value. Every retail business needs a core action designed to bring people back. A timed loyalty offer, which expires, is a good way to do this.
  7. Have your best people working the floor, helping customers spend more. Today, retail is not about may I help you. Rather, it is about engaging with the products and subtly showing them off, like theatre.
  8. Have stunning displays that attract people from outside the shop. Stunning displays are the unexpected, the must-see, the magnets that people notice and stop. Anyone can create these. It starts with thinking about what could be unexpected and then being bold with that seed of an idea.
  9. Have compelling displays in-store that encourage people to browse beyond their destination purchase. In-store displays need to be about showing people what they can engage with. these displays are for people to see themselves or those they are buying for.
  10. Always have impulse offers at high traffic locations.
  11. Buy as best you can. Take settlement discounts where possible. Pick up supplier offers. never pass on your better buying to customers, unless it suits for some event you are running. Oh, and with this advice about buying – only do it for items you know you will sell for buying product at a discount and having it on the shelves too long is too much of a cost for the business.
  12. De-clutter. Sometimes the best way to be able to see your business and what it can do is for you to have less to look at. This means getting rid of dead stock, dead fixtures, dead corners of the shop. Always be trimming, cleaning and looking.
  13. Change. Every day in your shop change something. Get known as the shop that is never the same. This can be a reason to visit for some shoppers. If you run a set-and-forget business that rarely changes, you give people a reason to walk on by. So, everyday, make a change or two. Encourage your team members to suggest changes. By moving a small stand from one part of the business to another could get it noticed and boost sales.
  14. Stop all busy work. It is easy in a local small business retail setting to get caught up in back office work and while some office work is vital, too often it can be work for the same of work. For example, one retailer used ton take their daily numbers and enter them in a spreadsheet for analysis when, in fact, their POS software provided even better reporting than the spreadsheet offered – they have never thought to use that. In another case, the business owner banked everyday as they liked the walk. but, it took an hour by they time they chatted to people and while sometimes it was good for them to do it, doing it every day, 5 hours a week, came at a cost to the business.
  15. Be cleverly frugal. When you are considering spending money, think on it, think about the value for the business from the spend. The money you spend has a cost. today and in the future. Think about the return you could get and the speed of the return. Have some checks and balances in spending decisions to slow them down.

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

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

If you relentlessly pursue profit with a clear focus you are likely to see profit grow. That’s better than waiting to make money when you sell because that’s less likely to happen in this market.

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

My name is Mark Fletcher. I am the owner of Tower Systems. I also own 4 retail shops and several online businesses. Every day here at Tower Systems we live what we say, in our software company and in our shops. We make mistakes, and learn from them. It’s some of those mistakes that got us thinking about this, about the approach of making every day your payday.

While our core mission is to grow the customer base for Tower Systems, we know that key to achieving this helping retailers. Plenty of the help we provide is not software related. While, for sure, our software can play a role, the real focus is on how, when and where local retail; business decisions are made, and that is a reason we share this and other advice at this POS Software News Blog.

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

Today is August 1. It’s a new month. A good day to start on this mission of making every day your payday.

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

Easy and fast setup POS software for Australian retailers

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Retailers who want to get up and running with good POS software quickly have a solution in Tower Systems.

We help retailers get live with smart POS software quickly in their businesses.

You can sign up today and be transacting today, that to our smooth, fast and professionally supported POS software ramp-up opportunity.

We help retailers across a range of retail channels with awesome POS software. Jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, sewing shops, pet shops, newsagents, gift shops, fishing and outdoors shops, produce businesses, firearms dealers, antique shops, charity shops, bookshops … and more.

The easy POS software setup road is smooth, safe and ready for local small businesses to get live with awesome Aussie made and supported POS software.

Our installation, training and setup professionals are in-house, they work for us, helping you. We don’t use third party companies. We don’t tell you to find someone for yourself to setup the software and train you.

Good POS software companies do do this themselves, working with you, helping you, encouraging you and guiding you to get live with the new POS software as quickly as you want. Yes, you can work at the pace that best serves your needs.

The fast setup and go-live pathway for the Tower Systems POS software helps businesses that need it now, need to be live today, need to be transacting sales right away. All of us here at Tower Systems will do our best to make this happen for you, to satisfy your needs and make what you ant and need a reality in the way you want.

While our POS software is off the shelf, and available to rent for a few dollars a day, it is very flexible. This is why we guide you in terms of systems settings and setup, to help you make sure the software is tuned to meet the needs of your business. Yes, the off the shelf software can work differently in different retail businesses.

If you need good POS software up and running in your shop quickly, talk to the team at Tower Systems and find out if this software serves your business needs. You can see demonstrations of the software at our POS software YouTube channel. You can call our sales team on 1300 662 957. or, you can email them at sales@towersystems.com.au.

We won’t chase you or push you or drive you to make a decision. What you decide, when you decide it and what happens from there is 100% up to you. This is how Tower Systems operates. We offer a smooth and certain road towards getting live with our POS software – if that’s the software you choose for your local retail business.

The software itself is comprehensive and tailored for each of the marketplaces in which it serves. But, at its core, this POS software offers access to a range of loved benefits, including:

  1. Say goodbye to LayBy With our buy now pay later options.
  2. Customers will love your product use and care instructions on receipts.
  3. Make more money offering special orders that you can easily track from the counter and notify shoppers by email or text when the goods arrive.
  4. Get one-time-only shoppers spending more with an awesome and differentiating loyalty facility.
  5. Sell online easily, direct from your POS software.
  6. Bring customers back with reminders on dates important to them.
  7. Save money on bookkeeping by integrating with accounting software.
  8. Make more money from the one time only shoppers.
  9. Save time, load electronic invoices from suppliers.
  10. Cut mistakes with integrated EFTPOS.

This is software that handles, easily and if you need:

  1. Selling by touch button, barcode scanning or product code entry.
  2. Selling by fractions.
  3. Selling by weight – this software is government approved for scale integration.
  4. Creating barcodes for items that don’t have a barcode.
  5. Tracking the location of a box for an item.
  6. Tracking products baby serial number if they have them.
  7. Tracking customer details when appropriate and if you want.
  8. Comparing supplier performance.
  9. Seeing what’s not working in the shop.
  10. seeing opportunities for growth in the shop.

There are so many options in this POS software, ways you can make selections in the software to do more, as the business needs. here is a Q&A covering some of these specialty needs.

Can you pass on hazardous good information? Yes, you can load files, images, documents or PDFs for products (information sheets, advice, notices) and have them automatically included in emailed receipts.

We sell on the road, is there a mobile version? Yes, our Retailer RoamTM option is perfect for selling from anywhere.

Does the software work with and easily load supplier provided electronic invoices? Yes, many across a range of specialty retail channels.

Can you manage breaking up bulk product and selling at smaller quantities? Yes, you can receive product in bulk and break it into smaller selling packs.

Can you manage creating your own custom products using multiple products whilst keeping track of qty on hand figures? Yes, you can take a number of items, mix them and then bag up your own product made from them.

Can you set specific pricing for special groups of customers ie trade customers? Yes.

Can you manage quotes? Yes, you can create quotes and then turn them into sales if they proceed.

Can you manage deliveries? Yes, the software has a couple of ways of doing this.

Will the system print picking slips for local deliveries? Yes.

Are the stock labels the system produces weatherproof? Yes, as long as you purchase our weatherproof label stock.

Can you handle repairs and servicing of machinery like mowers etc? Yes, repairs facilities included with the software track repairs, parts used, labour used and advising the customer the item is ready to collect.

Can you reach back out to customers you remind them of previous seasons they purchased in?Yes, you can select customers for marketing past on a range of criteria, including past purchases.

Does the system handle account customers? Yes, you can setup and manage customer accounts.

Does the system produce invoicing and statements? Yes, these can be printed or emailed.

Can I offer a special price to members of a club? Yes.

Can I share local information such as local or seasonal information?  Yes, on receipts.

Can I remind customers about equipment servicing? Yes.

The Tower Systems POS software is mature yet fresh. The visual appeal of the software is loved by many thanks to the design refresh just rolled out. This, along with significant under the hood enhancement, provides access to software that goes much further than you may see in other POS solutions.

The challenge, though, is how do you choose the POS software that is right for your business. Our advice is take your time, do your homework, know your needs before you talk to any software companies. What you need is what you need. It is vital that you know what you will compromise on, and what you will not.

Choosing the right software for your jewellery shop can be easy if you follow some simple steps: be sure of what your business needs; understand the value of this to your business; and, remain focused on the business outcomes important to you.

It is easy for professional software sales people to confuse you along the way.  This can be avoided is you stick to the three simple steps.  Some sales people need to be reminded that this is your choice and that you will choose the system which is right for your business.

While we could write thousands of words on how to go about determining your needs and preparing an appropriate specification document, the reality for many independent jewellery retailers is that this is not appropriate.  Instead, we recommend a single sheet of paper approach. Yes, old-school.  It’s easy and achievable by business people of all skill sets.

So, take out a sheet of paper rule a line down the middle.  On the left hand side, note down the requirements of a computer system which you consider will be unique to your business.  What is it you do which you feel not many other jewellery retailers would require?  Do you put extra emphasis on ease of use? Will your business need comprehensive support? How important is securing your database and business information? Do you operate off a non standard markup policy? Do you handle repairs internally, externally, or both?

Most good Point of Sale systems have common functionality in the traditional areas of selling, printing receipts, handling customer accounts, managing discounting and reporting on sales.  It is in the ‘fringe’ and use of use where you will find differences and these often are differences in businesses as well.

In creating this list of functions and facilities which are unique to your business consider these questions:

  • How computer literate are your people?
  • How do you handle Lay Bys?  Is your approach common?
  • Do you have a loyalty program and if so is it unique  to your business?
  • What needs do you have that you think may be unique?
  • Do you sell by fractions?
  • Do you need a seamless and direct link to selling online?
  • Do you have a need to compare the performance of multiple suppliers in a specific department?
  • Do you wish to compare staff sales results and process commissions accordingly?
  • How do you market to existing customers and would use your software to help?

Next to each of your requirements, and they have to be your requirements and not a cut and paste of the list above, be sure to note the amount of time you spend with current systems and processes.  This could be the amount of time you save by purchasing another system.

There are many other business specific questions and requirements you could consider.  The list above is provided to stimulate your thoughts about the specific needs you have in your jewellery shop.

It may be that your needs are not covered in any existing system.  This is when you need to decide on whether the cost of NOT having access to these needs being covered is worth the considerable saving of going with an off the shelf system.

On the right hand side of the paper, note down what is important to you in the software company from which you purchase your software.  These points ought to be the must haves without which you will knock out a business.  For what it’s worth and based on many years serving small businesses similar to yours, here are my suggestions for this list:

  • They own the software.  That is, you are purchasing from the company which develops the software. There is nothing worse than buying through an agent who does not have easy direct access to the software developers.
  • The software is regularly updated.
  • Training.  The system is provided with training by the company itself.  Too many software companies nowadays contract training out or do not provide training. This provides an opportunity for them to point the finger if there are later support issues.
  • Easy support access. They support your business by investing seriously in their support. 24/7 telephone software support is available.
  • User meetings.  Make sure there are opportunities for you to meet , probably online via Zoom, with the leadership team of the POS software company. Have them show you how the voices of their customers are heard and responded to.
  • Enhancement suggestions.  Make sure that the software company has a mechanism for you making your enhancement suggestions known to them.  This demonstrates that your opinions really do matter.

Once you have this sheet of paper you are almost ready to start looking at software systems.

Take some time to get together copies of all the key documents you use.  You will need to compare these with what any POS system you consider offers.  This includes receipts, orders, reports and especially any spreadsheets you work on to manage the business.

You are almost ready to look at possible systems.  First up, compare the websites of the companies you are considering.  Be sure to assess the ease of navigation of the websites, the professionalism and speed.  These are all indicators of the software the companies sell.

When you are ready, arrange the demonstrations.  Book these for your shop so that the sales people can see your business first hand.  If they offer you a demonstration copy of the software say no as this is a lazy way to sell, leaving you to do all the work.

If you are looking for POS software for your business, take your time, do your research, choose software that serves your needs.

Tower Systems is a full service POS software company. We make what we sell. We support it. Our software is regularly enhanced – and we rely on suggestions from our customers for plenty of enhancements. We are specialist, too. Take a look, for example, at what we offer pet shops in our pet shop software:

  • Save time with electronic invoices from suppliers.
  • Easy special customer orders. Smart tracking and customer notification.
  • Make money from pre-orders – Easily pre-sell before release.
  • Community group pricing. Set pricing rules based on customer type.
  • Easy record keeping: pet microchip tracking.
  • Recall customers based on worming and other needs.
  • Business differentiating loyalty. Stand out from the crowd. Drive sales.
  • Differentiate with bundles. Make price comparison hard.
  • Say goodbye to LayBy – with integrated buy now pay later options.
  • Market to customers based on past purchases.
  • Cut accounting and bookkeeping fees with integration to Xero and others.
  • Easily sell online with a direct to Shopify link from your POS software.

We tell retailers to love their shop as much as their customers love yotheirr pets. Here are 6 ways this pet shop software helps achieve this.

  1. Easy small wins. The one-percenters make a business. This pet shop software is packed with one-percenters, helping you to small wins in efficiency, add-on purchases, smarter buying and more.
  2. Healthier pets. Pet owners will love your reminders about a treatment that is due. They will also love that you treat their pets as a member of the family. You will love that this software makes it easy.
  3. Hands off. Every keyboard click has a cost and could be a mistake. Look at your last Kongs invoice and reflect on the time it took to process. Imagine importing an accurate electronic version in seconds.
  4. Standing out from the crowd. While dog breeds are judged to a set of strict standards, in retail being different matters. When it comes to loyalty, we help you stand out, be noticed and be loved.
  5. You are the difference. When it comes to pet food and other items that make up the bulk of your revenue, standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. The thing is, you and your people are the difference. This software helps you shine a light on that.
  6. Not every shopper will walk past your door. A smart and seamless connection between your software and a beautiful website can help you easily and with low overhead sell to people you will never meet.

This is an example for the pet shop software from Tower Systems. Each marketplace is as fine-tuned and targeted in terms of software function as this.

Tower systems is here to help local specialty retailers achieve more with their POS software, and we can do this with our fast go-live approach, if that is what you want.

Our POS software helps local retailers hire and retain employees

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Finding employees is a challenge for many businesses in 2022. It is especially tough for local retailers.

Our Tower Systems POS software helps local retailers hire and retain employees, and here;’s a short video on how we do this:

Of course, there is more to this than we cover in the short video.

The key, however, is how much people enjoy their job. By providing learning opportunities, structure and certainty, our POS software can help employees in local retail businesses love their jobs more.

The structure offered within the Tower Systems POS software helps retail employees spend less time on mundane tasks and more time nothings that benefit the business, and through this, themselves. It also helps them help customers, and everyone loves that!

Loving your job starts with being good at it and being good at a job in retail starts with having good software to use to enable you to serve the business and its customer well. There is where the 4 points covered in the video play.

Tower Systems offers access to a knowledge base, a live, searchable, online documentation resource. Each article is training, writing in plain English, offering dot point step by step advice on how to do things, and why. It its perfect training for anyone wanting to learn how to use our POS software.

Our POS software is elegant, enjoyable, efficient and of current design. All of this matters as retail employees can be sure they are using something up to date, something relevant, and learning skills that will be transferable either within the retail business or in another retail business where they move.

We back up our training with one on one training opportunities for anyone keen to go further. This training is tailored to specific business needs. We are grateful to have served many of our customers with this personal training.

We also offer group training, which is recorded for people to access wherever and whenever they wish.

We know that the better retail employees understand a business and the tools it uses, the more valuable they feel and value is central to enjoyment … and retention in a business.

These are just some of the ways Tower Systems helps.

Local high street retail continues to benefit from people working locally

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Just about all local high street retailers will tell you trade is good, even if the face or a returned wave of covid infections.

High street retail is strong because shoppers are concerned abut big shopping centres. They prefer the easier local high street situation for shopping. We hear from shoppers that they feel this situation is safer for them. So, in a comparison of a shopping mall visit versus a high street retail visit, for plenty of shoppers the preference will be the high street visit.

The other reason local high street retail is strong is because plenty who shifted to work from home at the start of Covid have not returned to the city, to big offices. People are loving working from home, living and working locally … and, local retailers are loving serving them, helping out with new needs of this now more regional office based workforce.

We are not part of the camp calling for workers to return to the office. For our customers and even for our own business we support people working where they are able, where they are happiest. This is good for local communities, and especially good for local high street retail.

Of course, our views are selfish in that the vast majority of our Tower Systems POS software customers and local high street retailers. Jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, pet shops, games shops, sewing shops, fishing shops, charity shops, music shops, produce businesses, newsagents, camping shops, firearms dealers, convenience shops … and more.

These local shops benefit from shoppers preferencing local high street retail over a shopping mall or shopping during a lunch break from office work in the city.

Plenty of local retailers have adjusted their businesses to better serve these new opportunities that emerged from Covid and while some saw the shift as temporary, engaged retailers have planned for the permanent shift of some from city based work to suburban and regional work. The benefit for the local community of this shift is considerable as local retailers will spend more of what they make locally than a shopping mall big business or than a city based business.

What we are seeing in Australia, and globally, is a reset of how, where and when we work and having a front seat to this shift, this change, is a wonderful opportunity not only as an observer, but as a participant.

See our POS software running live in one of our shops

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One of the benefits of us owning and running retail shops is that we can offer a live and behind the counter demonstration of our POS software.

Retailers considering our Tower Systems POS software can get in behind the counter, watch transactions, and even do transactions so that they get up close and personal with the software in a live situation. Better still, they can talk to our store managers and team members on a retailer to retailer level and ask any questions.

Typically, these visits happen without sales people there, offering a more authentic opportunity to see this POS software live.

We also have customer who watch from the customer side of the counter, to see how that plays out, the workflow and efficiency.

Some retailers like to look in the back room and see any back office management using our POS software – where stock bay be arrived into the business,s stock scanned out to be returned to suppliers or other more office related work undertaken.

Having shops available for retailers to visit is a unique situation. We are not aware of any other Australian POS software company that has this resource – shops they own and run where their POS software can be seen, used and observed first-hand.

POS software démonstrations are good and can show off the detail of how the software works. It is in-store where you get to see real life situations, how the software can help with queries, actually save time, genuinely cut mistakes and more. It is in smooth workflow in specialty retail settings that the Tower Systems POS software shines and we think our ownership of retail businesses is a factor on the tuning of our software to a level that it is easily seen as valuable.

We have more retailers going through our softens for personal in-store demonstrations and hands-on use this week. It’s all organised through our sales team: sales@towersystems.com.au or 1300 662 957.

We do have retailers who just turn up at one of our shops and look and while there is no barrier to this, it’s more respectful of our retail team members if we schedule the visit as in the shops we put the needs of our retail customers and our retail team members ahead of everything else.

So, come see awesome locally made and supported POS software live in one of our shops, serve some of our customers and see whether it suits your own business.

What an awesome, Aussie made, Father’s Day card

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What a perfect Father’s Day card for a cyclist dad this Father’s Day. Even better, it’s Aussie made just like our software for bike shops and our software for card, gift shops and newsagencies where this awesome Father’s Day card is for sale.

We are grateful to also have this card from Aussie company Henderson Greetings in our own shops, as part of our Father’s Day card range.

Aussie made does matter to Aussie shoppers.

Tower Systems is a proud Aussie POS software company serving local Aussie retailers with specialty retail POS software.

The little POS software ad that could

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We’re chuffed that our home made YouTube video has reached more than 23,000 full views in under 2 weeks. We are especially grateful because this ad shines a light on local small business retail and the role it plays in serving the local community.

This is what we do through our POS software, help local retailers serve their local community. And we love that role, love that we are able to practically help, through the software, into the community.

Helping local retailers retain employees

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It is no secret that turnover is high in the retail industry. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, the average turnover rate for retail employees is more than 70%. This high turnover rate can be costly for businesses, in terms of both time and money. Therefore, it is important for retail businesses to find ways to retain their employees.

One way to retain employees is to provide them with opportunities for growth and development. This could include offering training and development programs, as well as opportunities for promotion. Another way to retain employees is to offer competitive compensation and benefits packages. This could include things like health insurance, paid time off, and retirement savings plans. Finally, creating a positive work environment can also help to retain employees. This means providing things like a flexible work schedule, good working conditions, and a supportive team culture. By taking steps to retain their employees, retail businesses can improve their bottom line.

Here at Tower Systems we help retailers hire and retain employees in a number of ways. In fact, we made a short video about it yesterday:

Thanks to our structured training materials, employees in retail businesses using our software have a pathway of education that can hold them in good stead as they move forward with their career.

Being able to learn like this encourages them to appreciate their employment more, and this facilitates stability within the local small business team.

Retailers looking to staff their stores with the best talent should consider implementing these tips, structuring their business to be less labour reliant and more accurate when it comes to data. And, once you have the right team in place, be sure to use Tower Systems POS software to help manage and retain your employees. Our software is designed to make the retail experience as smooth as possible for both customers and employees alike. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build a successful team that will keep your customers coming back for more.

See more at our website www.towersystems.com.au or call us for a human to human chat on 1300 662 957.

7 steps to choosing the right POS software for your local specialty retail business

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The POS software you choose for your indie retail business is an important decision. Get it right and the business could prosper and become considerably more valuable. Get it wrong and it could cost you plenty.

In thinking about the software you want, think about your business. The software you choose needs to serve your needs. Here are some headline level thoughts … 7 steps to choosing the right POS software for your local specialty retail business

  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 or measure, you need software that can do this, you want software that allows you to sell by fractions.

Think about these things and think about what you want in software in your business to help you stand out. If it does not feel right, say no thanks and look elsewhere.

Here at Tower Systems we will tell a sales prospect if we think our software is not a good fit based on the needs they have explained to us. There is no value to us or the sales prospect in them going with software that is not a good fit.

We have won plenty of customers who made a poor choice before landing with us. We take care to ensure we fit their needs because the last thing we want for them is another poor tech experience.

There are many generic and cheap point of sale systems in the marketplace. Price does matter. You would know that in your business. Think about the shopper who wants a full kit but says they want the cheapest. Think about your advice to them. If you say price does matter and that you get what you pay for, the same is true with retail business software.

A small higher price today for the right software could save many times the gap between it and cheap generic software.

So, work out what you want. This must come first, ahead of any budget.

Be flexible. Once you have chosen software, follow the advice provided by the software company and the expert they send to your business to train you. If they suggest changes to your business processes, embrace them. While changing what you do can be frustrating, software designed specifically independent specialty retail businesses is specialist in nature and it does what it does based on years of development and feedback from many customers.

Be disciplined. Software is like a machine. It needs the right fuel. For software, that fuel is data. Ensure everyone in your business is disciplined in how the software is used. From the moment stock comes into the business to when it is sold. Track it. This will help you make better business decisions.

Be engaged. Your software company will want a two-way relationship If you have suggestions, share them Play a role in the continued evolution of the software. This helps you and other businesses in your channel.

Save time. The right software will help you eliminate manual processes. Embrace these opportunities as much as possible. Time saved is time you can invest in yourself or in the business. Seek time saving opportunities out.

Be realistic. Any new software will be a challenge. Know that you will have some rough days learning the new things. Accept these by focussing on the main goal of enjoyment and efficiency once you know the software well.

The software you choose reflects your business. Take your time. Be certain about what you want. Invest well and the right software will easily pay for itself.

How the Tower Systems POS software helps retailers navigate supply chain challenges

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Supply chain challenges are impacting retailers across many sectors. The challenges are not new, certainly not in the last two years at least. Here in mid 2022, the supply chain challenges are more impactful than before, and local retailers are being hit hard.

In the face of the unknown as to inventory arrival, some retailers ignore revenue opportunities.

In our POS software we have facilities that they local retailers win business and lock-in revenue despite supply chain uncertainty.

From managing inventory to capturing revenue for forward orders to easily shifting from one supplier to another, our POS software provides retailers impacted by supply chain challenges with tools that can provide appreciated flexibility.

With plenty of products impacted by supply chain challenges, customers are happy to wait if there is certainty they will eventually receive the products. This is where our software shines as it manages these special orders, providing the detailer with a structured framework through which to manage the opportunity and the customer the confidence that the retailer has it covered. By systemising the approach, bringing certain structure to it, the retailer can capture revenue early and the customer can be calmed knowing the retailer has their back.

Good POS software helps local retailers navigate often complex situations that are outside their control, offering the local retail business revenue stability that is key to on-going trading.

Through our work across a range of retail channels we are well aware of and across the detail for supply chain challenges. We have helped retailers who acted to stock pile inventory to see them through, managing that inventory across multiple locations. We have also helped retailers work with other retailers to share inventory across multiple businesses.

These are just two ways we have practically helped local retail businesses deal with the latest supply chain challenges impacting local sales.

Offering flexible POS software, we have been able to provide local retailers with pathways though supply chain challenges that are usually only available to bigger businesses. We arebgrateful for a local small business retail community that works together.

Tower Systems is a local Aussie POS software company seeing a range of local specialty retail channels.

With buy now pay later facing so many problems, LayBy is back in vogue

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Buy now pay later businesses are having a rough ride. They face challenges due to the ease with which people can get credit, their break fees, the cost to retailers of offering the payment method and the entry of new competitors into the space – like banks and Apple.

It feels like the glory days of buy now pay later as a traffic driver for retail are over.

In our Tower Systems POS software we have good LayBy tools, which any retailer can offer and manage easily. We developed these many years ago and have maintained them. Today, we have some retailers handling thousands of LayBys every year. We bring structure and support to offering LayBys in any local business.

Here is a 6-minute video we shot about this yesterday morning.

Using the LayBy tools in the Tower Systems POS software, small business retailers can offer professional management of LayBys including:

  • Structured terms and conditions.
  • Collecting a deposit every time.
  • Managing payments.
  • Handling the adjustment of what is in a LayBy.
  • Managing the collection of the LayBy.
  • Understanding the total LayBy situation of a business.
  • Knowing the location of a LayBy.
  • Feeding LayBy data through to any connected accounting software.
  • Giving even casual employees a structured process through which they can be certain with LayBys.

Best of all, the LayBy facilities in the tower Systems POS software help a retail business to bring structure, certainty, to the LayBy offer in a business and this leads to good business, efficient business, profitable LayBy business.

We make LayBy easy but certain, a differentiator on which local retailers can rely to win business and provide a service local shoppers love.

For too many retailers, offering LayBy can be a grind, problematic to manage. Using our LayBy tools we offer structure. many retail businesses in our POS software community find this useful to LayBy being a more enjoyable part of their businesses. We like this. One of our goals is to help small business retailers enjoy their business more.

With the advent of BNPL, LayBy can be a small business win, a true differentiator, and Tower Systems helps achieve this.

Helping local small business retailers surf

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Learning how to use POS software is like learning to surf on so many ways. It’s about knowing when to push off, which wave to catch, how to balance, how to ride it is and when yo feel exalted.

It’s kinda how we approach training, mentorship and support here at Tower Systems for our 3,000+ local retail business POS software customers.

Every local retail business has different waves, different challenges and opportunities. Every local retail business owner and team member has different skills. We know that a one size fits all approach does not work, that there is no corporate approach you can take to implementing POS software. It’s why our approach is personal, fit for each customer business.

We like the surfing analogy because it reflects the unexpected we see in local retail, the need to be flexible, to read the waves and to adjust accordingly. This is what our POS software helps with, and our training guides local retailers on this.

Tower Systems is not your average POS software company.

Aussie made gift shop software for Aussie gift shops for $159.00 a month, that’s all

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The price of gift shop software can be confusing. here at Tower Systems, it’s not. Our gift software software costs $159.00 a month.

That includes GST.

It also includes access from as many terminals as you want.

And, there is no additional cost based on transaction volume.

Also, the price is not dependent on you signing up to any specific EFTPOS provider.

Plus you can cancel any time.

Oh, and you pay monthly. There is no need to pay a year in advance to gat the $159.00 a month price.

And, we almost forgot, the $159.00 a month is in Aussie dollars. There is no exchange rate to tangle with to get this months price.

All those factors matter, if you compare the Tower Systems gift software software with some others.

On top of this, we’re an Aussie company providing Aussie supports with context for your type of business, your local conditions. We understand you and serve you, from here in Australia, in Hawthorn VIC, actually.

Come and join 3,000+ local small business retailers, indie retailers, who already use our software.

It costs $159.00 a month to rent (inc. GST). This includes the software, help desk support (Melbourne based), half a day one-on-one setup and training and access to an awesome knowledge base of advice and help.

You can cancel the rental at any time. There is no lock-in contract, no requirement for you to pay up front for a year. Pay as you go, monthly.

There is no requirement that you use a particular EFTPOS service. We mention this as some POS software companies lock you in on a service with a high price.

Find out more at www.towersystems.com.au/gift.

Watch a demonstration: https://youtu.be/0kArDkAKE4E

From sales to special orders to pre-orders, from Xero integration to Shopify integration, from loyalty that works to easy shopper postcode tracking, from smart ways to pitch shop local to featuring locally made products … our gift shop software is made for gift retailers, made to help you thrive.

We’re not your usual software company. See these videos at our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/c/TowerSystemsPOS ) with practical business advice:

Local really does matter to us. We’re a locally owned company employing local software developers and local help desk people. Most of our competitors are big overseas businesses, like Amazon is to you. So, we do understand the challenges of being local in a competitive world. We’d love to help you.

Small business retail advice: attracting new traffic

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Attracting new traffic, new shoppers, is vital for local retail businesses. Every new shopper adds value to the business today and into the future.

We are always looking for businesses that do this well, in ways not traditional for that type of business. We found one a few weeks ago in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin – the Avant Cafe & Cycle shop. Here is a new video from us in which we explore what we like about what the folks at Avant are doing, what we learned from them.

They offers are well defined, quality and complimentary, yet able to successfully stand along … and that is key to any business attracting new traffic for specialty products or services – they need to be able to stand alone as that strength enhances the value of the combined offer.

Pursuing new traffic is the single most important business management activity for you and your business.

We suggest pursuing new traffic is a meditation point for any local specialty retailer… new traffic, what it is, what it means and how you can attract it

When you approach any management or strategic activity in your business, think about what this task or activity will do to attract new shoppers.

It is not enough to do something in your shop for that is only seen by people in your shop.  What are you doing to promote this outside your shop?  … because that is where new traffic is to be found.

This is not something for your suppliers to do. It is up to you. Only you and your actions can attract new traffic.

Pursuing new traffic is about far more than putting new products in your store. Indeed, stock is only one of several steps that are all connected in pursuing new traffic. However, stock is the start. Stocking new lines never offered in the business are the best first step to take to bring in people who do not shop with you today.

What they are doing at Avant is attracting people who love and appreciate good coffee while at the same time attracting local cyclists and people wanting to purchase bikes or have their bikes serviced.  Each of these separate areas does well, and they compliment each other.

“I just want to be seen, to be noticed” … how can my local retail business do that, be noticed?

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It can be a struggle in local small business retail to be noticed. You can feel helpless, under-resourced, too small to be heard. The negative self-talk can have you doing less, being heard less, noticed less.

In truth, local small business retailers have the best voices, the most authentic voices, the most valuable voices for the local community.

The best way for any local retail business to be promoted is through word of mount and word of mouth depends on customer service and value appreciation.

The Tower Systems POS software helps nurture word of mount. Better still, it helps support the value appreciation. It does this by demonstrating value consistently, at shopper touch points, in ways we see them appreciate, and talk positively about to others.

Our local small business retail helps retailers systemise and structure these activities so that the value of the business can be felt and understood in ways that support the growth of the business through the attraction of new shoppers, thanks to word of mount commentary.

Local small business retailers can compete against big, well-funded, businesses.

The key is to be yourself in what you do, what you offer and how you communicate. This is where the Tower Systems POS software helps as it comes from an understanding of the challenges of local small business retail and the value these businesses offer their local communities. Our software, which is only used in indie retail (no big business) offers subtle platforms for sharing the massages core to the business and ways the business can add value that are exclusive, unique.

Imagine the delight a shopper feels when they are given something unexpected, something they can use right away, something that appreciates their business in your shop that day … and that they have been given this without having to sign up for anything, without having to fill in a form, without having to give any personal details. This is a measure of trust between the business and the shopper. It has the shopper more engaged, more trusting and moire keen for the opportunity.

This is one way our POS software helps local small business retailers provide appreciation that is talked about, mentioned, raved about. We have seen this help bring new shoppers to local retail businesses.

This is one of plenty of ways the Tower Systems POS software can help local retailers be seen, be noticed, and flourish.

Together, we can do this. We’ve got your back!

POS software for gift shops: $159.00 a month

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Tower Systems offers gift shop software for $159.99 a month. This is POS software made for gift shops, local gift shop0s, small businesses, local businesses … software designed to help them thrive.

Made and supported in Australia, this gift shop POS software is purpose built to serve the needs of these local and loved businesses.

    • Get rid of manual books at the counter for LayBys, special orders, stock you need to order and more.
    • Cut dead stock and re-order based on data facts.
    • Cut theft by knowing what is being stolen.
    • Eliminate LayBy and get you paid sooner with buy now pay later.
    • Make price comparison harder with bundled packs.
    • Easily and consistently pitch locally sourced products.
    • Drive community group member engagement with group pricing.
    • Get one-time-only shoppers spending more with loyalty tools.
    • Bring customers back with reminders on dates important to them.
    • Save money on bookkeeping by integrating with Xero.
    • Leverage your knowledge on receipts and elsewhere. Sell you.
    • Reach beyond your 4 walls with a direct Shopify link / integration.

here’s more about this awesome gift shop PSO software:

When you are ready, we’d love to show you our Gift Shop Software and through that show you answers to other questions you have.

Can I sell gift cards for my business? Yes.

I sometimes sell from a market stall. Can the software do this? Yes, our Retailer RoamTM option manages selling from anywhere.

Does the software handle club member pricing? Yes, this can be a great marketing tool, getting local community group members support the business and fundraising at the same time.

Does the software have a facility for encouraging infrequent shoppers to spend more? Yes, it’s proven to work well at achieving this.

Does the software let me buy in bulk and break up to retail packs? Yes.

Does the software produce WAS / NOW price labels? Yes.

Does the software manage time-based catalogue pricing? Yes.

Can I include product care instructions on the receipt? Yes.

Does the software track where I have stored a box for an item? Yes.

I have similar items from several suppliers. Can I compare suppliers? Yes.

Does the software handle LayBys? Yes.

The best loyalty solution for local small business retailers

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If your local retail business competes with big businesses and online businesses, you are likely copying them and their approach to loyalty. Points are the common approach. The world is obsessed with points, chasing them, collecting and trying to spend them.

But who knows that they are worth?

Each point is not the same whereas each dollar is a dollar everywhere.

The Tower Systems POS software offers a points based loyalty solution embedded in the POS software – for businesses that like to copy big business. The businesses that like to innovate, be different and stand out, however, use the discount vouchers facilities in our POS software. In these facilities there are no points accrued. rather, loyal shoppers accrue dollars. See how:

With hundreds of local small business retailers using the Tower Systems discount vouchers we have good data to speak to when encouraging local retailers to embrace the opportunity.

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.

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.

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.

5 ways to make your local retail business more competitive

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Every day can feel like a grind in local small business retail. A grind competing with big businesses, a grind competing with online businesses. It can wear people down if they let it.

The key is to not let it wear you down.

It starts with loving your business, believing in it, respecting it and making it stronger at the core. That’s what this advice from Tower Systems is about today, making your business stronger at the core, by making the business more competitive.

5 ways to make your local retail business more competitive

Now, before we get into them they will feel easy, even lame. The thing is, these are deliberately everyday things you can do without a budget, just with a small time investment.

These are all things your POS software, like the Tower Systems POS software, can help with if you wish.

1. Offer something unique that your competitors don’t. This could be a unique product, service, or even just a specific focus or niche that you cater to. have a point of different. This matters a lot. Create it, embrace it, leverage it. This point of difference is you, it is your reason, your go to, your 7 second pitch.

2. Make sure your prices are competitive. This doesn’t mean always having the lowest prices, but rather offering a good value for what you’re selling. Value is something you create based on how you bundle items, how you source to differentiate, how you make raw price comparisons hard.

3. Offer excellent customer service. This could be something as simple as providing a great experience in your store, or going above and beyond to help your customers. make it personal, different and valuable. At each contact point provide that extra bit that helps people make better use of what you sell.

4. Use marketing and advertising wisely. Make sure you’re targeting your ideal customer, and using the most effective channels to reach them. When you market, market you, your point of difference – always ahead off price as price based shoppers are not loyal.

5. Stay up to date on industry trends. This will help you anticipate changes and stay ahead of your competitors. It will also help your business be a resource, and that will bring people back.

Being more competitive in local retail is all about you and the core of your business. get this right and worries about competitors out there, real or imagined, will fade away.

Tower Systems through its POS software helps with this and more. We have embedded in our software opportunities for you showing your competitive advantages, giving shoppers lived experiences they will love.

More retailers switch from MYOB Retail Manager to Tower Systems POS software

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We are grateful to have welcomed more retailers to the Tower Systems POS software community from the MYOB Retail Manager software.

With MYOB making their intentions re the future of Retail Manager clear, retailers, community groups, clubs and others using the software are looking for alternatives, solutions o9n which they can rely into the future.

Tower Systems has helped many businesses and groups move from MYOB Retail Manager to the Tower Systems POS software. We do this in a structured and methodical way, working with our customers to bring across what they trust and helping them setup in a new world with fresh data fresh settings and, best of all, comprehensive training and one-on-one support.

We have many customers in many different retail settings who have made the switch from MYOB Retail Manager before. They can speak to the software as well as our support processes that have helped them land where they are. People switching from MYOB Retail Manager today can rely on the experiences of others. They can also trust the Tower Systems commitment to continual evolution of its POS software in service o0f the needs of specialty retail.

Like any new installation of our POS software, we start the relationship wanting to ensure we understand the needs of a business. This actually starts before prospective customers even sign up with us. We want to make sure we can meet their needs. So, we start a discovery process before anything else. If our software does meet their needs, then it’s full steam ahead with comprehensive training in how to use the software and easy to access customer service for any query customers may have once the training is completed. We make it easy to learn and easy to continue to learn long after the software is being used in a business.

We differ from the old MYOB approach in that we provide all our own training, we are very accessible – through to our leadership team, our software is regularly enhanced, documentation is regularly updated, and, support access is easy and direct … by phone, email in person, text message or through social media. We make it easy for you to reach us when you need us.

If you are using MYOB Retail Manager in your business and you want to consider an alternative, Tower Systems is here for you. We’d love to find out more about your needs: 1 300 662 957 or sales@towersystems.com.au.

How local small business retailers can be a big retailers in the shopper loyalty stakes

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Rewarding shopper loyalty in retail businesses has become industrial in scale, which means it is less personal, and more about the retail business than the shopper.

Too many local small business retailers think the best way to compete with big business loyalty offerings is to copy them, which means offering points to shoppers that they can then use somehow in the business.

What are points worth?

That’s the million dollar question. or, maybe, the million point question.

Because … in one shop a point is equal to a dollar, in another, it takes 1,000 points to equal a dollar, while in another it takes 10 points to equal a dollar for selected items in the shop but not everything they have available.

No wonder shoppers are confused as to the actual value of loyalty points. They are confusing.

While our awesome local retail POS software serves a points based loyalty offering, because our POS software customers wanted that, we also have an awesome, and better we think, loyalty solution that is $$$ based, that shoppers understand, and love – we say love because we have seen and heard shoppers say this. Better still, we see shoppers love our $$$ based loyalty solution through their spending patterns.

What we offer in our POS software loyalty solutions is flexibility, transparency and easy engagement.

You can have your Tower Systems POS software loyalty solution live in minutes.

It costs nothing to setup.

What you invest in it is 100% your call.

What shoppers get from it is 100% your call.

It’s a standard part of our POS software – you don’t have to pay us or anyone to participate.

Shoppers don’t need to register, which means more will engage.

This is about driving sales, as that’s key in any retail business.

Sure, likes are nice and follows are great and having plenty of members in a loyalty program makes your chest puff out … b u t  what really matters, what matters the most in any shop, in any retail business, is the business you put through your register and it is this business, what you sell and what you make from all that, which pays the bills, pays your people, pays you.

The Tower Systems approach to shopper loyalty through its local retail POS software offers a points based solution. but, better still, is the $$$ based offer that any customer can understand and with which any customer can engage, including those one-time customers you will never see again – those customers can do 2, 3, heck, even 4 transactions in a single visit. That’s what we have seen when retailers turn on our awesome POS software loyalty solutions.

Tower Systems makes POS software for local specialty retailers like jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, pet shops, newsagents, toy shops, sewing shops, homewares shops, gift shops, firearms dealers, adult shops, bookshops, farm supply businesses, mobility scooter businesses and pool maintenance and supply businesses.

It is this specialisation, this service of local small business retail that helps us provide solutions for shoppers who do shop local and who can be loyal, providing wonderful and valuable business to the local high street retail economy.

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