We were in Hong Kong last week at the International Gift and Homewares Fair, meeting suppliers to retailers we serve in Australia, working on ideas and back end technology to make doing business easier.
Meetings like those last week on behalf of our customers is another way Tower Systems differentiates the service it provides its customers. We work for them outside their businesses and with their suppliers in order to help then drive business efficiency.
We are grateful to the suppliers we have met with, for their time and their insights. Understanding the other side of the manufacturer / wholesalers – retailer relationship can help us bring efficiencies and other benefits to the retailers we serve. Indeed, what we learnt last week from some suppliers has been genuinely enlightening. There were several wow! moments that will benefit our customers and through that benefit us.
We are excited!
Basket analysis is the analysis of products purchased by transaction – shopping basket. Such analysis typically compares two trading periods overall and by day of week. It also includes this analysis by supplier comparing trading periods and day of week.
Basket analysis shows you the efficiency of product categories (departments). For example, see how many baskets include one category of item and nothing else. You can also see the numbers of times sales are single item sales.
Basket analysis underscores the value to the business of newer categories such as gifts and toys.
Basket analysis at a supplier level is equally insightful, allowing you to compare the basket efficiency and value of suppliers between two tradition periods as well as across each day of the week between two trading periods.
It is at the basket analysis level that you can determine product efficiency. A product is more efficient for you if it is purchased with other items in our view. You can drive this by careful placement on the shop floor, promotion at the sales counter and working with customers on the shop floor to guide their purchases.
It’s an example of how you can use comprehensive business data to drive your in-store actions. For example, knowing what we know about pop vinyls, Saturday is the day we really focus on them with secondary locations to do even better from the Saturday opportunity.
Basket analysis can also help you with rostering. With some category sales requiring more staff time that others, you can consider the product mix sold by day and adjust your roster accordingly. Trimming wages is an important cost saving focus in business.
The goal has to be deeper baskets (more items per transaction) and a greater spread across product categories – but with a focus on higher margin items so that also lift the overall GP performance of the business.
In the Tower Systems software the report to use for this analysis is the Basket Analysis Report. It provides an extraordinary insight into baskets.
Years ago Tower Systems developed a good relationship with the folks behind the respected and highly sought after Maxwell and Williams brand. Thanks to this work we offered homewares retailers using our homewares software the ability to import stock files and invoices. Other benefits flow from this work. We help homewares retailer to save time managing their engagement with the Maxwell and Williams brand.
Supporting the respected Maxwell and Williams brand is part of the assistance we provide here at Tower Systems to homewares stores using our software.
Special orders, LayBy, gift packs, seasonal offers, catalogue pricing, movement of stock between stores, serial number tracking and a host of other facilities service the needs of engaged homewares retailers.
Small and independent retailers are using technology to plan now for a terrific Christmas 2015.
Retailers using the Tower Systems POS software have been busy planning for Christmas 2015, using their software to order for Christmas which is nine months away using data from Christmas which was not even three months ago.
At trade shows, supplier showrooms and conferences, smart reporting tools and computer tablet based real time access helps newsagents to use accurate data for business planning. This results in more accurate purchasing which, in turn, delivers more valuable financial benefits to the businesses.
Tower Systems backs the tools in its software with free training and advice which helps retailers have easy access to the performance data they need. The result is a better outcome for those engaged businesses.
This is another Tower AdvantageTM.
Gift and homewares retailers using the Point of Sale software from Tower Systems are able to locate product boxes easily thanks to facilities embedded in the software. This ease of box location improves the speed of handling the transaction, reduces stress for staff and provides shoppers with a better experience. The result is a better outcome all round.
The software makes it easy for recording information against an item that some software does not record. Tower has built in flexibility from use of its software in its own businesses and thanks to engaged customers providing helpful feedback.
It’s the small things that make for good POS software.
We are thrilled with the retailers joining our user community this year at Tower Systems. Some are installing POS software for the first time while most are switching from other software.
It is our Discount Voucher facilities which wins many customers for us. Beyond the vouchers, in the software, we have real power at the fingertips of retailers and their staff. We back this power and flexibility with terrific reports that make using the software valuable for the business. Enabling retailers to track voucher flow is proving to be tremendously valuable in guiding retailer engagement o tweak their use to drive even better outcomes.
Our Discount Voucher facilities are an excellent demonstration of the Tower Advantage in action. We are grateful to our customers for excellent feedback that is guiding further developments.
In the retail homewares space many products are one-off. That is, once they sell a retailer does not replace exactly them otherwise their shop can feel more like mass when being unique reply matters. This is where smart POS software is useful in tracking sales at the product category level.
Knowing that, for example, two $75 value homewares objets d’art sold is more useful to the buyer for the business than the specific items as these items will not be exactly replaced.
Using the Tower software, homewares, gift and garden centre retailers are bale to track product sales in a range of useful ways that can make inventory replenishment easier. Being able to slice the data for alternative performance reviews can help guide business decisions in a more meaningful way.
Tower Systems works with many retailers on the best approach to tracking stock performance.
With more retailers using our Discount Voucher facilities we have a broader pool from which to draw inspiration for further enhancements.
This image shows another version of a Discount Voucher – on an A5 receipt.
This is attractive-looking Discount Voucher is produced at the bottom of a receipt printed on a laser printer connected to our software. retailers selling higher end items like to produce a receipt that is different to the usual cash register roll type. The A5 receipt is more professional and of a higher print quality.
This laser printed Discount Voucher has a quality to its look that makes it appear more valuable than if printed on a thermal printer at the bottom of a receipt.
While often used in jewellery, garden centre and homewares businesses, more and more other retailers are choosing A5 receipts to lift the quality of their offering and thereby set themselves apart from other retail businesses.
The Tower Systems homewares software helps homewares business owners understand and enjoy their business more.
From better stock management to flexible shopper loyalty engagement to staff tracking and motivation, the Tower software helps homewares create more valuable and efficient businesses.
The focus at Tower Systems is on small and independent retailers, local high street and regional and rural businesses where retailers are able to make their mark by offering unique products backed by excellent customer service – as facilitated by our software.
Our help for homewares retailers is enhanced by some excellent supplier relationships.
Tower Systems is excited and ready for Gift HQ – the Brisbane Gift Fair that starts tomorrow morning. We have a wonderful stand with new software and plenty of business-building opportunities for gift and homewares retailers.
Thanks to text message alerts and other personal customer management and interaction opportunities, retailers using the Tower Systems Point of Sale software are able to deliver a level of professional management and engagement that welds customer collecting a series of products to the business.
By individually labelling collectible / special order products with a customer’s name and sending them an alert email or text message, the business is able to provide certainty of supply – something that is very important to collectible customers.
Newsagents, jewellers, gift shops, garden centres and pet shops are able to use these collectible customer facilities to personalise the shopper experience for the most valuable of shoppers.
Imagine the delight of a customer collecting a series of products or waiting on a special when they receive a text message or email saying that what they have been waiting for is now in-store and set aside for them. This is where small business retailers can shine. Our software helps them do that.
We are thrilled to be part of the Home & Giving Fair in Sydney over the next four days. Our stand is ready to go as is our latest software for gift and homewares businesses. This is a big show expecting to be attended by many thousands of retailers from Australia and New Zealand from a range of retail channels including gift shops, homewares stores, garden centres, pet shops, jewellers and newsagents. We are excited to be able to show off our new software to existing customers and prospects.
We’re in for a good four days!
The Tower Systems gift shop software will be on show at the Reed Melbourne Gift Fair is a few weeks. This will be our first trade show for the year – our new gift shop software will be on show.
Promoted in the program for the fair published late in 2013 by Reed, Tower Systems is making a prominent statement about smart technology for gift shop management.
Helping gift retailers with electronic invoicing, electronic ordering, stock control, theft reduction, staff training, efficient selling and overall retail business management, the tower gift shop software will be a feature of the Reed Gift Fair for retailers keep to drive business efficiency and performance.
An additional benefit of this fair for us will be extending connections with gift shop suppliers.
We will be on stand K107.
We met up recently with a retailer using our gift shop software at a gift fair trade show and were thrilled to see them using our software at the fair to guide their buying. By having access to live sales data for a supplier when on their stand at the trade fair, this retailer was able to make decisions based on facts rather than emotion as is usually the case with trade show buying.
Retailers using our POS software can go to trade fairs with reports to guide buying or they can use their iPad or other tablet device to connect to the business live to produce reports. Either way, using real data to guide decisions is better for the business than relying on sales hype that is so prevalent on the trade show floor.
We encourage our customers to plan for trade shows so that their buying is fact based. Such decisions are more likely to be more beneficial for the business. Our software offers many tools to help make the trade show experience work better for the business.
A new breed of gift shop owner is using shopper basket data to make savvy business decisions. These business operators are running growth businesses – focused on business outcome success. Typically, they are retail professionals running their businesses based n a well-considered business plan.
Whereas in the past many gift shop owners ran their businesses on a whim, today’s real success stories are businesses operating on principles of professional retailing.
Tower Systems is privileged to be working with several groups of such gift shop and homewares retailers, providing input on business plans, showing how our gift shop POS software can shine a light on business activity and unlocking other ideas for business improvement.
Working with such proactive retailers helps the Tower business and its software as much as it helps our customers. We are grateful for the openness at the core of these opportunities.
Thanks to a broad range of gift shops using the Tower software we are gaining experience from small, medium and large professional gift and homewares shop operations through this business development work.
Accurately selling inventory items without a barcode is easy with the Tower Systems Point of Sale software. A good example of where this is important is in the selling of single sheets of coloured paper and cardboard in newsagencies, stationery shops and craft shops.
While a retailer could put a barcode on the sheets, the adhesive could damage the product. So, being able to sell the items without a barcode is important.
Using the Tower Point of Sale software, retailers can easily sell items without a barcode thanks to clever touch screen setup. They can sell to whatever level they want including, in the case of cardboard, brand,colour, size and the like. This flexibility is very important for craft shops that want deep level stock control in their business. It speaks to the wonderful flexibility in the software.
Retailers of all types use the flexibility in the POS screen for selling items that cannot have a barcode for one reason or another.
Tower Systems has launched a series of round table confidential business performance discussion opportunities for retailers using its gift shop software. bringing together gift sop owners from various situations, these confidential sessions will encourage business discussion, sharing of insights and exploring of business growth opportunities.
The Tower role is to share business data and help the business owners make sense of this data in the context of their own situation. We will also provide the facilities including catering.
These free interactive face-to-face sessions are designed to help engaged gift shop owners to look at their businesses differently, in pursuit of greater success for the businesses. They are another way Tower Systems is adding value of the gift shop marketplace – helping gift shop owners and their suppliers to build stronger and more valuable businesses.
We are grateful to be in a position that enables us to fund this service for the channel.
Shelf labels are an unglamorous part of what good Point of Sale software provides for a business. they are vital for many retail channels, helping save time, guide shoppers and help retail employees in product placement.
Here at Tower Systems we have provided professional, inexpensive and flexible shelf labels to retailers for decades.
We offer low-cost laser printed shelf labels as well as labels one up on a strip using a thermal printer. We also support weather-proof labels. Our customers can choose what works best for them.
For something so everyday in retail, shelf labels are vitally important for retailers. We understand this and ensure that what we offer is best practice in each of our marketplaces. While there are high-tech shelf label options, in the marketplaces in which we serve, printed labels continue to offer a best-value option.
we support our customers in the production of labels with written and other advice, training and support.
While many of us at Tower Systems are out and about with Christmas shopping this weekend, we have a team on call for urgent assistance requests from our customers.
With extra staff on and a significant jump in customer traffic, it’s understandable that queries from retailers increase for us at this time.
We’re here and ready to help. We prepared our customers by sending out fresh copies of our support contact card making sure that everyone has out details in a public place in their businesses.
Point of Sale software companies are service businesses and as such are only as good as the last service contact. Making ourselves accessible is key to the service we deliver to our customers.
Our Point of Sale software offers many facilities for promoting a retail business. Here are some of the ways our retail business customers find useful at Christmas time:
- Coupons on receipts. These can be served based on what is in the sale. Make your own or use one of the coupons which we have loaded on our website. Use your receipts to attract shoppers back into your store. You can have multiple receipts setup and in use at any one time.
- Two for one, three for two etc. Use your software to offer discounts for volume purchases. Your sales staff need do nothing since the software can track the offer and apply the discounted pricing for quantity purchase. You can make this for one item or a whole catalogue. Also, you can run multiple offers at any one time or over times which crossover.
- Trawl your data. Track what sells with what. The 10×10 report is excellent for this, it lists the top ten items sold with the top ten items sold. See what customers buying your top ten items are likely to buy, place these near the top sellers so more will buy them. Just looking at this data will unlock more opportunities for you.
- Gift cards. Give your customers something they can buy for family and friends which locks in business for you. Gift cards only work if the giver feels that the recipient will find something they like at the store – your store.
- Email / TXT message marketing. Use our marketing tools to create a marketing list based on the flexible criteria available to you.
- On screen up-sell. Use your POS screen to guide employee on up-sell opportunities for specific products. This is easy to setup and can drive good business.
- Diary reminder. If you sell diaries, print a sticker and reminding the diary user to visit your store and order a replacement diary in September or October.
- Loyalty marketing. Reward customers for spending more than usual, reward them for EXTRA EFFORT. Using the loyalty facilities, you are able to accrue points for customers and offer these as a form of currency. The system tracks points and lets customers know balances etc on receipts and via correspondence generated by the software.
This is what we do, we help retailers build smarter, more efficient and more valuable retail businesses. We do this through our POS software and through the advice we regularly provide on the benefits within our software. It’s all part of the Tower Advantage TM.
We offer retailers using our Point of Sale software have access to free artwork for a range of on receipt promotions and messages. One such message is for Christmas. Its an easy way for a retail business to share Christmas greetings with shoppers.
Artwork, created by our in-house marketing team, is available from our website for our customers to use on receipts.
Our Point of Sale software makes it easy for our customers to serve the printing of images like this on receipts – making these business documents an extention of the retail store’s customer communication and marketing and therefore more valuable.
It is small steps like this – messages on receipts – that retailers can use to better connect with shoppers without spending more money on labour or IT infrastructure. It’s smart retail management and good customer service.
Beyond the POS software itself, Tower Systems is always looking for ways to help our retail customers build stronger and more valuable relationships with shoppers.
We have mailed our December 2012 newsletter to retailers using our Point of Sale software to share Christmas cheer and a range of practical advice designed to add value to their relationship with our software.
This latest newsletter is timely for the Christmas season as it features information abut retail business security. Christmas is a busy time for customer and employee theft but sadly this is often not discovered until later.
Our monthly newsletter is a professional communication with our retail customers. It’s informative, practical and professional – a great window on the Tower AdvantageTM.
Included with this newsletter are two cards with all of our contact details – to ensure easy access to our help desk over the Christmas / New Year period.
The TV commercial we have been running nationally over the last three weeks to promote our Point of Sale software has been resonating with our target market of small and independent retailers. We have received calls, messages and emails from existing customers with compliments regarding the ad.
We are thrilled with the ad and the public face it puts on our company and the services we offer small and independent retailers.
Some of the retailers we have spoken with as a result of the ad have commented on the appropriateness of pitching to retailers in the busy Christmas trading period. It’s when efficiency is on their mind – how to better manage without increasing the resources.
It is software like ours that helps a retailer leverage Christmas trading for the maximum year-round benefit.
Click here to see the ad we have produced.
The TV ad caps of a busy 2012 for us, a year in which we have welcomed well over 200 to our user community, released important and appreciate software updates and expanded our in-house team to deliver better outcomes to our customers.
Plenty of retailers using our Point of Sale software have been enjoying the Lay-By facilities this Christmas retail season.
Our POS software Lay-By (Lay Away) facilities give small and independent retailers facilities equal to those used successfully for decades by national retail chains to capture and lock-in Christmas purchases by shoppers.
Thanks to smart lay-By management, connected marketing and a host of other facilities, small and independent retailers are competing with bigger retailers and leveraging Lay-By opportunities for a more successful Christmas trading period.
This is a perfect example of where good use of good Point of sale software helps small retailers extract premium value from the use of the software. Here at Tower Systems we help by providing access to good training and support in the use of the LayBy facilities.
Independent small business retailers we work with have four more free Point of Sale software training opportunities this week:
- Getting started with a Customer Display 20 Nov 2012, 11:00AM
- How to process an invoice arrival 20 Nov 2012, 02:00PM
- Getting started with Multi-Store 22 Nov 2012, 11:00AM
- How to import Stock Files & Invoices 22 Nov 2012, 02:00PM
Each workshop is live and interactive. The sessions are designed for people using our software. This is why we make them accessible from any PC so that employees can access the training from home and in their own time.