How to market your gift shop … everyday ideas for gift shop marketing to help any local independent gift shop attract more shoppers and get shoppers spending more money in each visit.
We have owned our own small business gift shops since the late 1990s. These physical store and online store situations have provided us with opportunities to leverage low-cost and no-cost marketing to grow the businesses. The experience has also helped us improve our gift shop software.
Today, we share some marketing ideas for gifts shops, to help these local and vital businesses grow in service of their local communities.
Be smart about where you place products. Use the insights data from your POS software to see what sells with what. This usually gets you placing products together that you would usually not place together.
Buy smart. Too often we see gift shops filled with stock the owners like, which is often different to the products gift shop customers preference. Using the data curated by the POS software, order what sells and sell more of this.
Email regular customers. It’s easier to bring them back than find new customers. Email them based on past purchases and based on future life events.
Stop copying others. While it is tempting to copy what we see as successful moves in other businesses, copying does to differentiate. Run your own race. Play your own game. One area where doing your own thing is best does is in loyalty. While most businesses offer points, our advice is that you offer a cash discount off the next purchase. This can be easily managed through your POS software. A cash amount off the next purchase is more likely to get a one time shopper spending more in that visit, making that one visit worth more than it otherwise might to the business.
Pre-sell and bank the revenue before you pay for the goods. Tapping into popular licence opportunities and limited-edition ranges you can sell products before you receive them from your suppliers, before you pay for them. This pre-sell approach can differentiate your business by seeing you go out with something well before a competitor has it is stock.
Clip the coffee card but in a smart way for gift shops that don’t sell coffee. If your gift shop sells things people could purchase multiple times over months or a year, setup a digital coffee type cared where you stamp the card for each purchase and offer a discount or something free after the customer reaches a target number of purchases.
Go online, cleverly. While everyone says sell online, we say do it cleverly, do it in a way that leverages the power of search engines, do it in a way to connects your gift shop with shoppers who know nothing about you. The type of online selling we suggest is connected to your POS software and it uses the smarts you have built into the data managed by that software.
We can offer more advice than this, more marketing advice for gift shops, to help them grow, be more successful and more enjoyable for all involved.
Join Tower Systems for a one of our free seminars in Australia and New Zealand (in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) where we will show our latest Australian developed POS software for specialty independent small business retail.
Discover how to connect your retail business with Magento or Shopify direct from POS software.
Learn how to be found through Google.
Learn about creating beautiful websites for a fraction of the costs some charge.
See the POS software to Magento and Shopify links LIVE with working websites.
This will be a truly interactive learning opportunity for small business retailers, an opportunity to see under the hood of website development, to discover is this is something any retailer could do for their business.
We will show you how to setup up a Shopify store that can be live in hours. Plus, there will be a Q&A opportunity so you can explore your specific needs. Book now by clicking on the city location you prefer.
We will share our experiences in the small business POS and e-commerce areas and outline what we learned when creating sites for our own retail businesses. This seminar could save you thousands in web developer fees. Book online.
Lay-By is a vitally important service for independent toy retailers in their competition with mass retailers like Target, Big W, K-Mart and Toys R Us.
Independent and small to retailers using the toy shop software from Tower Systems have in the software terrific Lay-By facilities that enable their businesses to run a professional Lay-By service that meets regulatory requirements and that competes head-on in terms of flexibility and functionality.
Now, in the middle of Winter, is the perfect time to ensure Lay-By is properly setup and promoted. This is why Tower Systems has been educating customers, to ensure they are fully prepared for the Lay-By opportunity and to ensure they are pitching the message of Lay-By opportunity to customers and prospective customers.
Here is a taste of the professional advice we have been sharing with customers:
IMPORTANT: Before you begin, familiarise yourself with Lay-By regulation as set by the ACCC: https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/contracts-agreements/lay-by-agreements
Also, check the website of your state Consumer Affairs office to familiarise yourself with local requirements. Information there will help you determine your own terms.
Meeting regulatory requirements is vital. For example, if someone cancels a Lay-By you must refund their payments less a termination fee. You can set this fee and advise as part of your terms and conditions.
Our advice on the next page guides you through key rules and steps to success with Lay-bys.
WHAT TO LAY-BY. Set a minimum item and or purchase value. We’d suggest $80.00.
DATA REQUIRED. Always ensure you are satisfied you know who your customer is. Require proof of ID from a driver’s licence or similar legal ID document.
DEPOSIT. 20% of the total GST inclusive purchase price.
AGE. Only Lay-by to people 18 and over.
DURATION. Lay-bys should run for between eight and twelve weeks. You could run for longer pre Christmas to get early toy sales.
PAYMENT CYCLE. Require payments to be made weekly or fortnightly.
PAYMENT METHOD. Accept any payment form you choose.
BREAKUP. Do not allow someone to take home a single item from a group of items on Lay-by together in one purchase. It’s all or nothing.
CANCELLATION. Have a Lay-By termination policy you are comfortable with. We suggest a 20% termination fee. Alternatively, set a dollar amount to reflect the work. Also, consider setting the Lay-By to auto terminate if it extends beyond a period of time you nominate. Note that you could equally choose to have no cancellation given that Lay-by product may not be able to easily re-sold.
BREACH. Decide what you would consider a breach. This has to be something you stand by. We suggest two missed payments without reasonable excuse or rectification. On breach, cancel and charge the cancellation fee.
EXCHANGE. We suggest a no-exchange policy.
DOCKETS. When a customer Lay-bys, print two dockets – one for them to take immediately and one to be placed with the goods. Have your customer sign both copies, accepting your terms and conditions.
STORAGE. Set aside a clean and secure storage location for Lay-bys in your business where locations are coded for easy finding. Place Lay-by goods into a single clear plastic bag per transaction for clean and safekeeping. Staple to this a copy of the Lay-by docket. Let your customers see you do this so there is no doubt when it comes time to collect the products.
MANAGEMENT. Have one person responsible for Lay-bys to ensure product care, track payments and contact customers.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS. Enter these into your software so they are included on every Lay-by docket. Points 2 through 11 above are a good example of what to include in your terms and conditions.
COMPLETE PAPERWORK. To not over complicate things, rely on your software’s Lay-by docket as your complete paperwork / contract. Get that right and Lay-by management will be easier.
These rules and steps may feel complex. They are necessary for the small number of times something goes wrong and you need to rely on them to help you deal with a situation.
Good POS software gives you a range of options for managing, tracking and engaging employees using the software itself. In the Tower Systems POS software, there are plenty of employee touch points. Here are five we want to call out today as part of our Sunday tip series.
Track sales by employee code or barcode. This will cut mistakes and improve accountability.
Include employee name on the receipt – to personalise the contact.
Report sales by employee to compare performance.
Manage your roster through your POS software, manage to a budget.
Set security settings in your software to ensure people only have access to parts of the software appropriate to their level of responsibility in the business.
Small business retailers are loving Xero and retailers using the Tower POS software are loving our approved Xero integration. Saving time, cutting keystrokes and cutting accounting fees are some of the benefits being delivered to plenty of retailers partnering with us in the use of our POS software / Xero integration.
Using this ourselves in our own retail business, we have personal experience on which to draw when providing advice to our customers. It places us in a unique position for a software company and allows us to provide a level of service customers love.
Our own experience is that Xero does change a business forever. The time saving and other benefits claimed are real. We can speak to these and ensure our customers are able to leverage the time savings.
Here is a video created in-house by Tower Systems for use by one of our POS software customers; newsXpress Mount Morgan. We love the video for its humour, naturalness and storytelling. We are proud to have played a role in helping newsXpress Mount Morgan with this.
Firearms retailers in Australia are relying on firearms shop software from specialist software company Tower Systems to help manage businesses to code and ensure the professional sale of firearms to the laws of Australia.
The latest firearms shop software from Tower Systems offers even more specialist facilities developed specifically for firearms retailers – further cementing the position of Tower Systems as best-practice software company in this space.
Offering specialised firearms business management tools in inventory management, customer engagement and regulatory compliance, Tower Systems is delivering to firearms retailers through its software a suite of tools commensurate with the specialist nature of these retail businesses.
This is why the Tower software is a preferred solution to off the shelf generic POS software packages.
Tower Systems is committed to continue to evolve the specialist firearms business management tools in the software, working with retailers and their managers to ensure the software evolved in tune with marketplace and regulatory needs.
This is what being a specialist software company, a vertical market software company, is all about – serving unique needs through unique facilities designed to be fit for purpose.
The folks at Tower maintain close contact with firearms retailers, seeking advice, feedback and suggestions for the making of even more useful and meaningful software to serve the needs of these unique and regulated businesses.
Here are some of the specialist facilities firearms retailers rely on through the Tower Systems specialist software:
Age check. Bringing certainty to your sales process to ensure processes are followed. This helps if you are every audited.
Permit to acquire. Comprehensive facilities developed with guidance from authorities – supporting your retail specialisation.
Serial number tracking. Track everything from the moment it arrives in your business. Demonstrates professional control over all you sell.
Special customer orders. These are a breeze. Bringing structure to your processes. Text your customers when their order comes in.
Professional, structured and operating to your rules.
Webstore Integration. With flexibility people like.
Loyalty options from points through to $$ off vouchers to help encourage people to spend more in a visit.
Intelligent receipts with product care information.
Easy handling of bundled offers.
Employee performance management and rewards.
Importing electronic invoices from suppliers. We work with for you.
Inventory management to guide you to a more efficient inventory level.
Theft reduction tools to reduce the opportunity of employee theft.
Tower Systems is the first POS software company to deliver access to Permit to Acquire facilities integrated within its software. These facilities are in the Tower Firearms Software.
Using the Permit to Acquire facilities, retailers are able to bring a structured approach to gathering and managing data as required of firearms retailers in Australia.
Developed with the Firearms Registry, the PTA facilities in the Tower software can be relied upon by firearms retailers to ensure they are meeting their data collection and management obligations.
Painstakingly developed in through detail, this latest compliance development by the Tower Systems team is another example of the company serving the needs of its small business customers and helping them save time in operating their businesses.
And how can I use that information in the business?
This is a question that can stump someone working on the help desk as a POS software company as it goes beyond the what andhow and delves into the why. The answer to this question is a chink of gold that can be mined using smart POS software.
This is a questions the Tower Systems help desk team members can answer because the understand the why: why the software matters, why the data harvested is valuable, why a business owner wanting to grow the business will want to use the data.
This information is vital in small business as it is information that unlocks the real value of POS software for these small independent business users.
We can help small business owners understand data on reports as they relate to their specific businesses. Context is everything as they say and we know POS software cannot be one size fits all. A datapoint could be used by three different businesses in different ways depending on other metrics and KPIs. This is where our help desk team is smart and engaged.
Beyond the shat and how, our POS software help desk team loves to delve into the why.
Retailers using the Tower Systems POS software have access to a training library of more than 130 training videos. These videos are professional in production and valuable in the content offered.
The videos can be accessed from any computer, anywhere and at any time.
The video training resources are comprehensive. They are also loved by our customers.
Regularly enhanced, the Tower Systems POS software video training library is a real asset to our business – allowing us to show a point of difference which wins us business.
In addition to POS software training, our library also includes training on business use of the software – covering how to engage on the shop floor. This is an area many POS software companies neglect in their training.
Small business retailers want to grow, who doesn’t? With rent and labour costs increasing each year, growth is mission critical. POS software company Tower Systems helps its customers grow by providing advice on how to use the software to grow.
As retailers ourselves we can provide practical advice on how to use the software to more than transact sales, we can help retailers use the software to grow their businesses. We do this every day on our help desk, through our consulting services, through our knowledge base and through our business mentoring assistance.
We encourage, guide, educate and support our small business retailer customers in their desire to grow their businesses. it’s something we take serviceably.
Even on the weekend. Take today, Saturday … we have been helping one business owner understand opportunities in their slow selling inventory pool to unlock cash and space for more productive use.
We are serious in our commitment to small business retailers from our software through to the practical advice and support we provide.
Too often we see small business retailers running their businesses thinking that they will make their money when they sell. Our experience working with thousands of retailers is that focusing on today, on the right now, will ensure the best outcome for the future of the business.
Our strategy – Make every day your pay day – is simple and effective. It’s made up of basic points:
Run with the leanest roster possibl Just about every newsagency business I review has capacity to lower labour costs.
Have your best people working the floor, helping customers spend more.
Stock what sells.
Get rid of stock which is not selling.
Have stunning displays that attract people from outside the shop.
Have compelling displays in-store that encourage people to browse beyond their destination purchase.
Always have impulse offers at high traffic locations.
Charge more every time you can. Review your prices for products people come to yoo because of convenience.
Buy as best you can.
Grab settlement discounts every time you are able.
Use your business data to guide your decisions.
Promote outside your store.
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.
If you relentlessly pursue profit with a clear focus you’re 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.
The cloud backup service launched last year by small business retail management software company Tower Systems is proving to be popular with retailers. The backup process is seamless, not taking any noticeable time thanks to the smart technology engaged. The result is double protection offering peace of mind to small business retailers.
While Tower Systems has supported external and automated backup services for years, this new even more hands-off cloud-based backup service that offers excellent protection to participating small retail businesses users of our POS software.
Run on a subscription basis and backing up to the cloud real-time through the day, this is a comprehensive replacement of the old end of shift backup approach for small and independent retailers.
In almost all data we get from small business retailers we can find reasons to be optimistic. It could be shopper traffic, basket depth, unit sales for a product category, comparative supplier performance or any number of other data points, researching business performance data provides us with insights which can encourage optimism.
Optimism matters in small business retail. However, it is not something to fake. We look for truth in the data and more times than not we can find reasons for hope and excitement for a business.
In one case recently we were asked to help a business doing it tough. In their data we found information about a segment of the business around which they were able to build a series of positive steps for further improving the business.
One step is all it takes to move a business forward and often in your POS software managed data you can discover what that next step could be.
Our job as a POS software company is to help uncover these opportunities, to show you small steps you could take to build optimism and for your business.
We often find optimism where business owners are not looking and even the faintest glint can be like wind in your sails.
Firearms shop software specialist Tower Systems has started previewing its new Permit to Acquire facilities as part of its user engagement program in advance of setting beta release dates.
The feedback is exciting.
Developed in consultation with firearms retailers and state-based regulators, these enhanced facilities will help firearms retailers more accurately and consistently work within the regulatory framework in Australia.
Firearms shop software sees Tower Systems serve another specialist retail channel. It’s what the company does – helping retailers in specialist channels to more effectively use technology tailored for their needs.
Rostering is a vitally important business activity in indecent retail businesses. Get it right and you save money. Get it wrong and your bottom-line suffers.
Retailers using the Point of Sale software from Tower Systems can roster employees based on their contribution to the business. Using the tools in the software can result in better rosters, rosters which deliver a more valuable contribution to the business.
This is just one way POS software which offers roster facilities can genuinely benefit a business – save time and help driver better earnings. It is another way good POS software pays for itself.
Tower Systems helps retailers drive better outcomes through rostering and other facilities delivered in its software for a range of specialist independent retail channels.
We’ve had plenty of POS software help desk calls this week from retailers asking questions about setting their businesses up to handle Boxing Day sales.
Using our software it’s easy and flexible to setup for handling special event sales – retailers have many options for sales from individual to price to volume and mix and match discounts – that run by date and by time. flexibility is discounting is important in retail today as retailers compete with each other – especially at these major sale times.
Our smart POS software makes managing discounting easy and secure for our partner businesses.
This photo shows how one newsagency is using the smart customer display through our POS software by having ads play between customers and then the screen share the ad with details of purchases being scanned.
Being able to manage the serving of ads to customers at the counter is an important feature of our software, something that has been enhanced as hardware has evolved. The latest HP all in one registers are particularly good to work with thanks to their small footprint and smart customer display technology.
Small business owners love that thanks to the HP technology and our software they can offer a customer-facting IT solution that is competitive with bigger businesses.
Pos software company Tower Systems has announced details of three new live and interactive half hour POS Software training sessions for december, offering small business retailers excellent opportunities for learning in a time efficient way.
Here are the three new workshops the company has developed in association with partner retailers:
Using Catalogues for Christmas – 30 Minutes, Tuesday 2nd December 2pm AEST. Quickly and easily setup automatic discounts for a Christmas sale.
Applying Discounts In Retailer – 30 Minutes, Tuesday 9th December 2pm AEST. Discount stock in Retailer at Point of Sale.
Free up cash in your business – 30 Minutes, Tuesday 16th December 2pm AEST. Find and quit dead and slow moving stock in retailer.
Participating in the training is free to all Tower POS software customers.
The development of Permit to Acquire facilities within the Tower Systems firearms retail management software has entered a new phase with initial in-house testing commencing. The PTA facilities have been designed in close consultation with regulatory authorities as well as representatives several gun retailers.
This close industry and government consultation has resulted in a design that is a first for Australia.
The resulting software will deliver to gun retailers Permit to Acquire facilities that will enable them to save money in the operation of their businesses as it will eliminate paperwork and processes that are manual today.
Delivering a responsible structure of managing the Permit to Acquire process, the new facilities will further strengthen the leadership position of the Tower Systems firearms retail management software.
Specialisation is key to the future of software companies serving specific retail niches. In the various solutions for specialist retail marketplaces Tower Systems continues to innovate specific to the needs of those retailers.