Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Category: Gift Vouchers (page 1 of 2)

Helping small business retailers comply with new Gift Card regulations

New gift card laws come into effect in Australia on November 1, 2019. The fundamental changes introduced in the new laws are:

  1. a minimum three year expiry period for gift cards is required;
  2. gift cards must display expiry dates; and
  3. most post purchase fees on gift cards are banned.

The POS software from Tower Systems will help small business retailers comply with this legislation. It will do so in a worry free, safe and red tape free way for indie retailers.

Gift cards (physical or electronic) are easy with our software. Retailers can offer them with surety and speed, enabling shoppers to load cash onto a card so that it can be given as a gift.

Where gift cards are sued as a marketing tool, the legislation is different. The three year requirement in the legislation does not apply to gift cards that are:

  1. able to be reloaded or topped up
  2. for a good or service available for a limited time where the card or voucher expires at the end of that period (e.g. entry to a concert or museum exhibition)
  3. supplied to a purchaser of goods or services as part of a temporary marketing promotion (e.g. a wine voucher valid for one month that is mailed to a consumer as a free bonus with a purchased item and was not part of the purchase offer)
  4. donated free of charge for promotional purposes (e.g. a local shopping centre has a one-day marketing promotion where each visitor to the centre on that day is handed a $20 gift card that is valid for use at any store in the centre for that day only)
  5. sold for a particular good or service at a genuine discount (e.g. $50 card for salon service valued at $100)
  6. supplied as part of an employee rewards program
  7. given as a bonus in connection with a purchase of a good or service for use in the same business (customer loyalty programs)
  8. second-hand gift cards.
  9. part of a temporary marketing promotion (e.g. customers buy a certain product from Business A, which provides a $50 voucher to use at Business B).

Tower Systems serves small businesses in the requirements of the legislation, efficiently and in a whole of business way.

Our customers with our latest software will be fine come November 1, 2019. Gift cards through the POS software will be safe, easy and business building.

Gift vouchers are easy in the Tower Systems POS software for indie retailers

Selling, managing and tracking gift vouchers in a retail business is simple, safe and easy using the POS software developed and supported by Tower Systems.

Gift vouchers can be issued by the POS software easily, quickly and accurately. There is no need for a printed card or note. Alternatively, a business can create the gift vouchers externally from the POS software yet have all  of them easily tracked and managed.

Loaded with whatever amount suits a customer and fits within the rules of a business, gift vouchers are a wonderful solution for a retail business to offer where a customer likes a shop but does not know what to buy. From the moment a gift voucher is loaded with a value it is tracked by the POS software. The amount loaded is managed as a liability of the business, as is required by accounting standards.

Tower Systems has managed gift vouchers in its POS software for decades. The gift voucher facilities in the software have evolved as the needs of small business retailers have evolved. The company has ensured that its offering in this space is fit for purpose for today’s retail environment, to enable its customers to be competitive in this space.

Gift voucher setup in the POS software is easy. Thanks to not requiring pre printed cards, a business can test the appetite of its customers for gift vouchers by having computer generated vouchers. This trial can help guide whether a business should invest ini professional design and production of vouchers, which is also a service that Tower Systems offers through its in-house graphic design tools and services.

We see gift vouchers successfully used in small business retail in the channels of garden centres, bike shops, jewellers, gift shops, homewares shops, book shops, newsagencies, pet shops, toy shops and even firearms shops as well as many other types of retail business situations. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with gift retailers to help them build customer appeal.

Gift vouchers are a vital tools for small business retailers to offer, to help broaden the appeal of a shop beyond what it may have available for customers to purchase today. Tower Systems makes them financially and operationally appealing to small business retailers through its smart POS software.

POS software benefits from gift fair exposure to gift shop wholesalers

giftfairAt the recent Gift Fair in Christchurch POS software company Tower Systems was able to help wholesalers address the need for electronic invoices and electronic stock files.

Being the only POS software company present at the three-day event in Christchurch, the company had an excellent opportunity to educate and network with gift wholesalers – further demonstrating its commitment to gift retailers, their businesses and their suppliers.

Pitching our POS software @ the Christchurch Gift Fair

chcgiftWe are having a terrific time pitching our POS software at the Winter Gift Fair in Christchurch this week. Gift and homewares retailers we have met with have been upbeat and keen to explore ways they can improve business efficiency and sales – and we can help in both areas.

This trade show has also been an excellent opportunity to further connect with suppliers serving gift and home retailers in Australia and New Zealand. Supplier relationships are important to us as they help us help retailers to better connect with their suppliers.

Being a smaller gift fair we have enjoying having more time for networking and relationship building. The knowledge we have gained will prove to be invaluable.

Thanks Christchurch for wonderful hospitality.

Personalised gift gards help retailers retain sales

donna-hay-giftcardThe Donna hay gift cards we created for use with our software in the Donna Hay retail business are an excellent example of how a smart retailer can offer a service through our software that helps retail revenue for the business. each card has a unique barcode and our software tracks the balance held on the card by the customer.

While many years old, this gift card facility helps retailers retain revenue – it’s good for business and another good reflection of a valuable opportunity we offer our retail partners.

Besides offering excellent gift card support in our POS software, we also offer a gift card design and production service.

Why all these blog posts about gift cards?

We have been running a series of posts on this blog about how various Tower Systems customers are using gift cards with their Tower software. We have been doing this to show off a valuable point of difference for our retail partners – in-store gift cards that are professional and used solely for the redemption in their store.

Retailers make the most amount of money off gift cards that they sell for their shop – much more money than from selling gift cards for redemption in other stores.

Tower has been working with customers on gift cards for many years and providing professional artwork and gift card production also for many years. This is a whole of business service – from the software to the unique and professional cards themselves.

While our software also vends gift cards and vouchers for other retail businesses including VISA and other cards, it is the business-specific gift cards that help our retailers make the most money and present the most robust and consistent brand message.

As retailers ourselves we understand the importance of retaining as much as possible in our businesses and not allowing dollars to leak outside our business that we could easily retain.

We appreciate the opportunity to work with our customers strategically in this way.

A fresh approach to the shopper loyalty program

underthegableUnder The Gable takes a fresh approach to the shopper loyalty program with this card we designed and created for them and their use of our gift shop software. We love what they have called this: VIP HOME LOVERS CLUB. It’s smart and compelling, different to the usual approach taken for loyalty program offers. It’s a point of difference only a small business could offer, one leveraged well by the Under The Gable team. Kudos to them for their creativity.

The Tower Systems marketing and design team designed the card and arranged its manufacture as an extension of the services we offer our customers.

Retailers love new discount voucher collateral

shopper-loyaltyRetailers using our Point of Sale software are loving the new collateral we released last week promoting our unique and success-driving discount vouchers.

The No paperwork and No points messages reinforce that this is a fresh approach to loyalty – then comes the clincher: Rewards you can use right away.

This collateral, developed by our in-house marketing team, has been made available free of charge. Posters are available in A4 and A3.

In this collateral Tower Systems shows commitment beyond its software, deeper into retail businesses.

How retailers can break free from the old school approach to loyalty and give shoppers loyalty rewards they love

Close to a year ago we started secretly experimenting with a completely fresh approach to shopper loyalty. For many months we had been working on our discount vouchers facility, evolving it from an idea into a robust solution backed by excellent reporting while at the same time maintaining support for our traditional points-based VIP card and other loyalty offerings in our Point of Sale software.

In discount vouchers we wanted to deliver something genuinely unique, something that our customers could use to guide shopper loyalty. To achieve this it needed to be sophisticated yet easy to use. It also needed to be easily understood by customers. Oh, and it needed to have obvious value in the hands of shoppers. Finally, we need to undertake the final phase of development while it was being used in retail, so we could respond to retailer and shopper feedback.

While we knew the value of the old-school points-based VIP cards was falling rapidly since they no longer offered a point of difference, we committed to maintaining our support for this approach for those retailers who wanted to remain in this space.

Today, close to a year on from our first trial site, we are thrilled with the results achieved by discount vouchers – or whatever retailers call them … yes, they can give them their own name thanks to naming flexibility in the software. Also a year on, no one has delivered what we have. Sure they have tried, even explicitly saying they have what we have. but they don’t. What we have is unique because it can’t be copied by looking at it from the outside.

Deep within our software retailers partnering with us have options they can set to deliver shopper rewards through discount vouchers that are truly unique to their business even if a retailer nearby is running the same software from us. This is the beauty of the flexibility and power we have built into the software. Settings are personal to each business and they can be changed easily and immediately. This provides retailers with flexibility. They can also change by day and by type of shopper. Indeed, the flexibility and power multiply with each layer of flexibility that we provide.

So, how can retailers using a points based system break free? With our PSO software it’s easy. They can convert points to a voucher value from and from then on run with the vouchers. Or, they can use both. Retailers have the flexibility they want at their fingertips.

Tower Systems backs its exclusive and best-practice shopper loyalty solutions with mature and considered advice to help retailers make the most of the opportunities – to drive shopper traffic and sales. Our experience as retailers helps us take retailers bend technical advice. We have a loyalty rewards specialist in our help desk who helps our retailers embrace the opportunity in these facilities inn our software.

More retailers embrace house brand gift cards through POS software

More small and independent retailers using our Point of Sale software are embracing gift cards and gift vouchers through and with our software to provide a stronger value proposition to shoppers. We are promoting the gift card opportunity with in-house professional design and specifically sourced production.

Available now for many years, our Point of Sale software provides small and independent retailers facilities for issuing and managing gift cards and gift vouchers.

We back these facilities with regular professional training opportunities – like the free online training workshops we host regularly and one on one training provided as needed individually.

In addition to terrific software for managing gift vouchers and gift cards and offering training in how to use these, we offer a design and production service for gift cards. This includes access to a considerable library of gift card artwork and a service to create one-off designs to a specific business requirement brief.

Gift voucher enhancements to help gift shops drive sales

The Tower Systems Gift Shop management software has been enhanced, delivering even better gift voucher services.

Gift vouchers are vital to gift shops as they provide an opportunity to win a customer for the future even though the business may not have the item wanted today.

Whether voucher printed on the receipt printer, a professionally printed cheque-size voucher or a professionally produced gift card, the gift vouchers managed by the tower gift shops software are flexible and professional for retailers of all sizes.

The latest enhancements released make gift vouchers even more useful for the many gift and homewares shops using the tower Systems software.

Helping small business retailers offer gift cards and vouchers

Small and independent retailers can offer gift cards and gift vouchers just like big business retailers offer thanks to wonderful facilities in our Point of Sale software.

Available now for many years, our Point of Sale software provides small and independent retailers facilities for issuing and managing gift cards and gift vouchers.

We back these facilities with regular training opportunities – like the free online training workshop we are hosting this Thursday at 2pm.

In addition to terrific software for managing gift vouchers and gift cards and offering training in how to use these, we offer a design and production service for gift cards. This includes access to a considerable library of gift card artwork and a service to create one-off designs to a specific business requirement brief.

When it comes to gift cards and gift vouchers, Tower Systems has small and independent retailers covered.

Great news on gift cards sales for Christmas

We are hearing terrific reports from customers about sales of branded gift cards for Christmas.  These are gift cards which they have had made specifically for their businesses for use with our software.  In most cases the cards were designed by our creative team as part of a gift card service we offer.

We have heard of these gift cards adding thousands of dollars in pre-Christmas sales.  That’s excellent news.

Beyond providing attractive and commercially valuable cards, our Point of Sale software manages each gift card, the balance and rules associated with accessing the balance.

Our customers like having their own branded gift cards as they more actively promote their business.

Customer loyalty and gift cards help retailers drive sales

The loyalty facilities in our Point of Sale software are helping retailers drive excellent business results.  We know this because they tell us.  Their feedback is terrific.

Through out loyalty facilities we help retailers track sales and accrue points for use by shoppers.

Beyond the mechanics of the sale and tracking results, we help retailers make the most of the opportunity by outlining the broader business benefits of the data accrued by our software.  This is where the real value is in any loyalty system.

We educate our customers on how to achieve a measurable kick in sales – not through tricks or spike generating gimmicks but through genuine shopper engagement.

In addition to excellent loyalty marketing facilities, we offer terrific Gift Card facilities.  These, too, use professionally designed and manufactured gift cards which help drive retail sales.

Beyond the software, beyond the traditional help desk support, tower Systems helps its retail community to leverage business building facilities for the benefit of the business, its employees and its shoppers.

in the photo is a very small selection of the gift and loyalty cards we have helped our retailers develop and implement.

Free Blackhawk Gift Card Stand for Tower Systems Retailers

blackhawk-cards.jpgFor a limited time, Blackhawk is offering a free merchandised stand valued at $89.95.

Tower customers can sell Blackhawk cards from within their software easily and quickly thanks to our integrated eziPass solution.

We know from customer feedback that the Blackhawk range of gift cards is a valuable addition to retail range, delivering good incremental business and delivering excellent value for the small retail footprint required. Blackhawk is supported through Touch, a Touch account is required to access the products.

To be part of the Blackhawk Network gift card programme, and enjoy your share of the changing way Australians choose gifts, simply visit http://www.touchnetworks.com.au/touch-services/support/gift-cards/

We encourage our retail network to embrace this opportunity.

Enhancing retail gift and customer loyalty cards

We have negotiated some changes to the manufacture of personalised gift and customer loyalty cards we have made overseas for our retail customers.  The latest changes leverage new production opportunities and result in a a finish to new standards.

Our gift cards are produced to banking standards in terms of card quality.  Each can contain a unique barcode and a signature panel.  The front of the card can contain artwork specific to the needs of the business.  Our in-house design team can complete this design for our clients.

It seems that just about every week we are shipping new gift cards to customers, they are tremendously popular right across the retail channels we serve.

Point of Sale Software Enhances Gift Voucher Facilities

The latest release of our Point of Sale software significantly enhances Gift Voucher opportunities for retailers.

While we have supported Gift Vouchers for years, the latest release of our POS software allows for the production of vouchers on a wider variety of different printers.

The latest Gift Voucher enhancements will be of particular use to our high end retailers who vend Gift Vouchers for expensive items.  Jewellers, Homewares Shops and Gift Shops will make particularly good use of the enhanced flexibility in our Gift Voucher facilities.

These Gift Voucher enhancements have come about as a result of suggestions posted and voted on at our Software Ideas forum.

Showing off the Tower Systems Gift Card

tsgiftcard_front.jpgWe have sent out gift cards to sales prospects as part of our Point of Sale software Christmas offer.  Each plastic card has a unique barcode, allowing us to track them.

Businesses not currently using our software can use the card to redeem a discount of $500 off the purchase of a business solution from Tower Systems.

Alternatively, the card can be redeemed for a day of one on one on site training or for a year of software support and update coverage.

This professional Gift Card shows off how similar cards can be used by our retail customers as either customer loyalty cards or gift cards.

More and more of our customers are having professional Gift Cards and Loyalty Cards made for their businesses and for processing through our software.  It is a quality point of difference, especially among high end retailers.

The Tower Systems Blackhawk gift card network grows

blackhawk_2.jpgWith more than 150 on our newsagent customers now signed up for offering the Blackhawk gift cards, we are working hard to help them attract customers.

The image shows the second marketing poster we have created.  This will be released once we have final approval from Blackhawk international. Our approach to the Blackhawk opportunity shows off the Tower Systems difference.

From the free marketing collateral, to our advice sheet, FAQ document and other support at our eziPass website and over the phone, we are show the difference between merely offering a product through our software and providing genuine support.

We are showing how a proactive Point of Sale software company goes beyond the software and technical support and helps customers unlock the full value of the business opportunity.

Our approach to Blackhawk provides another opportunity showing sales prospects the Tower Systems difference.

Beautiful gift cards drive sales

adorn-jewellers.jpgAdorn Jewels have taken the opportunity of our in-house gift card design service, producing beautiful gift cards which can be used with our jeweller software for sale to customers.  Each gift card has a unique barcode which ties back to the customer account to which the value of the gift card is easily loaded using the software.

We realised early on after developing our gift card / gift voucher facilities that we needed to offer our customers an easier way of leveraging this beyond the software.  Our in-house gift card design and packaging service has achieved this with many Tower Systems customers taking up the service.

We back our card design service up with a Chins based printing service.  This results in high quality cards at a low price.

We also provide training an support on implementing gift cards into the business.  We are lucky to have been exposed to gift cards across a number of retail channels, providing useful broad experience from which we can draw when asked for advice.

Exclusive collateral for Blackhawk giftcards

We are close to launching exclusive marketing collateral for the close to 150 newsagents using our newsagency software who have or will very soon have the Blackhawk gift card range in their stores.  Our marketing collateral is being developed by our own marketing department and will come with the Blackhawk seal of approval.

As the world’s largest gift card supplier, it is natural the Blackhawk must approve all marketing collateral which promotes their offer.

We are developing several collateral alternatives prior to selecting one as the preferred option for our growing network of Blackhawk outlets.  The collateral will be provided with marketing tips and advice to help our retail partners maximise sales of Blackhawk product.

This is the Tower Advantage TM at work – providing access to a solution through our technology, backing it with professional marketing and supporting it with quality business development advice.

The reports of sales of Blackhawk gift cards in our stores already carrying the range indicate excellent business.

Success with giftcard artwork service

giftc.jpgOur creative team at Tower Systems has been busy this past week developing new gift card artwork for customers of our Point of Sale software.

We have off the shelf designs which can be used as a base or we can create artwork from scratch.   Our team is briefed by each customer before designing artwork for the front and rear of their gift cards.

Once we have final approval of the artwork, we arrange for manufacture of the cards in China through a quality production company we have found.

More an more of our customers are using these professionally produced cards to extend the reach of their brand and to bring structure to the gift and loyalty card offers.  We are glad to be in a position to go beyond the software functionality in these areas and help with execution of the customer interface.

The quality of gift and loyalty cards is crucial for retailers who want a quality and professional image projected.

Gift cards popular with retailers

While we like to think that every innovation we release will be a hit, we are realistic in our expectations. We have found over the years that we are better off letting the market show us what it likes. Sometimes we are quite surprised.

Our recently released range of gift cards is one such surprise. Many of our customers have contacted up about getting gift cards made for their businesses. These are proving more popular than we expected.

While users of our software can source gift cards from anywhere, we are pleased that many are partnering with us and the suppliers we have sourced for our own retail businesses.

We offer off the shelf designs as well as from scratch designs – all using the logos of our customers.

The success of the cards is a testament to the efforts of our marketing and creative teams.

Gift card leadership rcognised

Our leadership in the gift card space for independent retailers, especially newsagents and gift shops, has been recognised with requests recently for us to write articles on how retailers can use these opportunities to grow their businesses.

The articles, which will be published later this month and next month, not only make the business case but they also explain the mechanics.  By breaking down the gift card processes to something a retailer can understand, we have found that more are embracing the opportunity and making sales they would otherwise have missed.

Our passion for gift cards has come from our own experiences in our retail businesses.

Gift cards a huge point of difference

giftcards.JPGThe range of gift cards we have had professionally made are proving to be a real hit with newsagents and gift shops at trade shows.  They are a genuine point of difference for us.  Retailers love them because they are able to sell something when a shopper cannot find what they need and because the cards extend their retail brand. besides providing the software to manage the cards, we take care of organising gift card design and manufacture. Having done this for our own retail stores, we are able to help our customers get up and running with gift cards quickly.

We were first to market with the new range of bank quality cards and this is driving excellent business for us.  They were a hit at both the Gift Fair in Melbourne and the GNS newsagent trade show in Melbourne.

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