Small business retailers love our business intelligence reporting platform

vdeckOver two years ago we announced the launch of the Visual Deck, a cloud based business intelligence platform we developed here at Tower Systems for small business retailers. The visual deck gives small business retailers a visual insight into business performance and from this flows a brighter future based on data evidence from the business itself.

The visual deck is a game changer in the small business POS space as it delivers to small business retailers a set of tools that provide easy access from anywhere to elegant representation of business performance data.

This business intelligence platform leverages data cultivated by the Tower Point of Sale software and makes it available anywhere, in a stimulating visual form and in a way than encourages the discovery of business performance insights.

Introducing the Retailer Visual Deck.

Retail business performance, seen differently.

The Visual Deck is a platform through which you can see the performance of your business, visually. Graphs replace reports, making trends obvious and a path ahead clearer to follow. Graphs that change with time and through which you can dive deeper into what is happening in your business.

Why did we call it the Visual deck? It is visual because, well, your business data is presented in a visual way. It is a deck because it is a platform off of which you can see far and wide. It is a perfect place to see what you cannot see when you are on the ground.

Retailers can access the Visual deck from anywhere, anytime, and through this access their business data in a way not previously accessible ninth small business retail world. You can compare periods, graph using a broad selection of formats, dive deep into the data as well as focus on data points that matter including transactions, revenue, grow profit and more.

Better still, the visual insights can easily be shared with colleagues.

The Retail Visual Deck is a fresh approach to sharing business intelligence and business performance insights with small business retailers. It is mass retailer computing in a small business retailer’s hands. This is the tool join which you can rely to grow your business.

This is 100% Tower Systems innovation.

How to choose the right POS software for your retail business

The POS software you choose for your 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. Here are some headline level thoughts and suggestions.

  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, 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, you need software that can do this.

Think about these things and think about what you want in software in your business to help you stand out.

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.

Given that you can lease or even rent software, the capital cost is best assessed as a weekly cost on the business. This makes comparing systems easier. Once you work out the weekly cost and tote up what you get for this in terms of support serves and software functionality you can reasonable compare the different systems.

If you are not sure whether a software package will serve your needs, don’t choose it. You are better off saying no than fighting with the software and the supplier to get it working exactly as you want. However, it is likely that you will need to change some business processes to suit the software you do ultimately choose.

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 for retailers 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.

More POS software companies link to Shopify

We integrated our POS software with Shopify more than two years ago. We have many websites directly connected with terrific online sales success.

One of our competitors bagged Shopify publicly. It is hilarious that they have quietly announced a Shopify integration. It had to happen. They had no choice. They lost two years in the meantime.

Our POS software Shopify integration is beautiful, direct and beneficial for our small business retailer customers. We now have years of experience demonstrating what we can do, how it can benefit our customers. Plus, as retailers ourselves who use Shopify we can speak to experience in a way that is practical and under the hood. We walk in your shoes every day.

Shopify is an easy to use e-commerce platform. We think anyone can setup a Shopify site for themselves. Linking the site to our retailer software is also easy. Shopify is a great place for a business to start on their online journey. You can control pages, products, look and plenty more. Shopify is not as complex as Magento and other more comprehensive website platforms.

Our approach to Shopify / POS software integration is holistic and can include graphic design, content writing and site structure. Our customers choose the services they use of ours. We can offer the full one stock shop when it comes to web development. We have built these skills here in Australia based on years go work, years of successful website implementation for our customers.

Our POS software integrated websites serve a single inventory database between physical store and online store.

The Tower Systems web development team is skilled in WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify. The company has plenty of sites it can show in a live portfolio of successful e-commerce sites, serving shoppers in Australia and internationally.

Small business retailers can benefit from the retail management experience at Tower Systems experience that helps deliver a more retail focussed solution.

The Tower web team is also skilled at SEO and SEM services that help raise the website rankings in key search engines, ensuring the site is found ahead of others.

But best of all, Tower Systems provides professional advice and guidance to small business retailers keen to build their online presence. Our commitment is honest transparent advice on which any small business retailer can rely.

The Tower Systems web development team is Australian based, working out of the company’s head office in Hawthorn. This is important as many web development businesses are overseas. While you might have a locally based contact person development too often is done overseas, leading to challenges with delivery and usefulness.

How webstore connected POS software helps retailers in a group and independent retailers win more sales

For several years Tower Systems has been a trailblazer in connecting independently owned stores into single brand websites, thereby enabling hundreds of small business retailers to trade as one big business. It is an approach that has enabled independent small businesses to beat big businesses through the power of many being better than the power of one.

What we pitch here is not new for us. We have had websites achieving this for years, making money for small business retailers for years.

As well as offering POS software designed for your specific type of business, Tower Systems provides websites seamlessly connected to the shop floor, giving you a single management view.

We develop websites for our customers, in Magento, Shopify or WooCommerce.

Our websites are POS software connected, offering 24/7 selling with payments through PayPal, Oxipay (interest free buy now pay later) and credit cards.

Our websites leverage online purchases as well as click and collect. They also drive basket depth with up-sell options and handling coupons for special deals.

If you are in a banner group or a marketing group, we can provide a single website to represent all stores in the group. We do this today for one group, through five websites we created – each easily found through Google thanks to our SEO work.

Each store in a banner or marketing group gets their own page, which they can easily promote. For a single business, the POS connected website promotes their business.

We know from experience that:

  1. In some businesses, around 75% of key in-store purchases have an online search component. POS connected websites are important for winning online sales and even more important for driving in-store purchases.
  2. 45% of purchases in many categories are when retail shops are closed.
  3. 10% of purchases are click and collect in higher-end product categories.
  4. 14% of purchases are done with buy now pay later financing.
  5. Shoppers like certainty that a store will have in stock they want to purchase – stock on hand by item can be viewable for each store.

We can network stores from a banner or marketing group into a single website. Thereby leveraging the power of the group of independently owned small businesses to be stronger and more useful than a big business competitor. This is how small businesses can win online.

Let us show you how together we can do this, how we can bring single stores online as well as whole groups online … through webstore connected POS software.

Not only do we create the website and the POS software, we ensure they can be found. This is key as a website that cannot be easily found through Google is a waste of money.

We would love to show individuals privately or members of your group, if you are in a group, the POS software connected websites we have created. We would take you behind the curtain, showing not only the tech. but explaining the business approach, outlining what we have done to create successful online businesses.

Fulfilment can be a challenge. We can help here too thanks to our integration work with Australia Post, Sendle and others. We can help you reduce friction with fulfilment and see you benefit from incremental online business.

Online is about a race to the cash. By this we mean that an online shopper is more likely to be ready to purchase. The first business to take their cash wins. This is where POS integrated websites can win. We can show you how.

The latest release of our POS software introduces a web dashboard to help in-store online sales fulfilment. This, coupled with inventory integration, accurate stock on hand data, professional image handling and smart SEO work helps you create and run an efficient, integrated physical and online business.

Whether you run a single store or operate as part of a marketing or banner group, Tower Systems has a track record of success you can leverage for your success. Let us show you how.

Free small business POS software training for July 2018

Tower Systems continues its commitment for accessible free POS software training for small business retailers with new training opportunities launched for July 2018.

We have been running free training for years and continue to do so because our small business retailer customers love it. They especially love the open ended Q&A available at the end of each session.

These sessions are live, online and fully interactive. There is no cost for participation. We fund the call and the tech at our end to make all this happen for you.

Here are the July sessions available for booking now:

  1. Whats new in 2.7.4. Date: Wednesday 4th July. Time: 2pm Description: Find out all the great new features in our latest version of the Tower systems Retailer POs software.
  2. Variants. Take a peek at this new and truly awesome facility in the Tower software. Date: Wednesday 11th July. Time: 2pm. Description: Get a glimpse of this great new feature in 2018 and see if is right for your business. Improve handling of your stock’s colour, size and style.
  3. How discount vouchers work. Date: Wednesday 18th July. Time: 2pm. Description: Come with us on a deep dive into discount vouchers and assess whether this fresh approach to loyalty is right for you. They can help you make more money.
  4. Events. Take a look at this new facility and learn how you can use it to bring shoppers back into your business. Date: Wednesday 25th July. Time: 2pm. Description: Delve into this great new feature in the Tower POS software. Get a glimpse of this great new feature coming in 2018 and see if is right for your business.

Free training is a hallmark of the Tower Systems small business POS software offer. These group sessions are only part of the story. Every Tower Systems customer has access to free one on one training with our customers as and when they want. Booking is easy. This one on one training is on any topic to do with using the Tower POS software.

Tower Systems serves in excess of 3,500 small business retailers in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and elsewhere. We are grateful to our customers for their support and engagement.

Avoid POS software confusion, Tower Systems is not POS Solutions

When you do a Google search for our company, Tower Systems, POS Solutions comes up high in the results. This is unfortunate as it misrepresents our company.

We have nothing to do with POS Solutions. They are a different company with different owners, thankfully, in our opinion.

Tower Systems has a proud tradition of serving small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand with awesome POS software that we have 100% developed. yes, this is local POS software for local retail business needs.

Our support is local too. The support is provided by humans working in our Melbourne head office, in the inner suburb of Hawthorn. You can come visit us and see for yourself the wonderful team we have here providing human based support for small business retailers.

We are proud of our software and our support and grateful that is is very different to what POS Solutions sells. This is why we say be careful when you do a Google search for us and see POS Solutions in the result. They are not us.

Our POS software serves a bunch of different retail businesses. We have different versions for each type of retail business. We dive deep into the needs of each retail business as we try and make sure that our specialty software is genuinely special for the needs of our customers.

Here are some of the things that matter to us and through which we serve the needs of our customers:

  1. Our software continues to evolve. We release two to three major updates each year. You choose when to load them. Each update is thoroughly tested in a comprehensive beta program.
  2. We own retail businesses. Yes, we walk in your shoes.
  3. No locked-in support fee. Taking up support coverage once the three-year period ends is optional.
  4. Lower support costs. Also, transparent. No mates’ rates for a select few.
  5. Fast support. Most calls are handled when you call. If not, we call back.
  6. Transparency. At any time, you can see live how many help desk calls we are working on and how many we have closed that day.
  7. Support escalation. We have a structured escalation process should you be unhappy with a support call.
  8. Easy management access. The leadership team of Tower Systems is available to you. We take customer service seriously and personally.
  9. Updates when you You are in control of when you load updates.
  10. You are listened to. We offer the only transparent, user driven, software enhancement suggestion service. All our customers are listened to.
  11. Free training. Long after you install our software you have access to free personal training to refresh knowledge or cover new facilities.
  12. More integrations. Our direct links to Xero, Magento, Shopify and more mean you have more direct link options to help you grow your business.
  13. Business management insights. We can look at your business performance data and provide a personal analysis of what we see
  14. Owner access. Call Tower owner, Mark Fletcher, on 0418 321 338 or email mark@towersystems.com.au.

Advice for small business retailers on how to reduce retail tenancy occupancy cost

Since we own and run retail businesses where our POS software is in use we have access to a well of experience and knowledge on which we can draw to craft practical advice for our customer community. Here is advice on reducing occupancy costs that we shared recently. We share it here for the broader community to consider.

REDUCING RETAIL OCCUPANCY COST: ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS.

The usual go-to place for any discussion about reducing occupancy costs is the landlord. Retailers tend to blame landlords for high occupancy costs.

The thing is, we all sign our leases. We all agree the terms of our leases. While leases from years ago can be problematic today, the challenges of our channel were obvious ten and more years ago.

Here is a list of things retailers could action to improve the occupancy cost situation where occupancy cost is the ratio of all lease related costs to revenue for products (and commission from any agency lines). You should also assess it as a ratio of GP.

There are many steps one can take to improve the occupancy cost situation:

  1. Negotiate with the landlord. We place this first as it is the usual go-to place for retailers. If you plan to seek a better deal, make sure you have a strong commercial case, a case backed by evidence. However, also know that a rent reduction does not provide long-term, growth like, benefit.
  2. Grow your overall GP%. Do this through broadening your product mix with a focus on sought-after higher than average GP% for your business items. It depends on the suppliers from whom you purchase and the extent of point of difference you leverage in what you sell.
  3. Increase foot traffic. Do this through ranging more diverse products and promoting your business outside the business. Success with this depends on the range of inventory you offer and how this is promoted outside the business. It depends on the reasons why you attract people to your business.
  4. Increase basket depth per transaction. Do this through shop floor engagement, sales counter product placement, key traffic freeway disruption and your business format.
  5. Increase GP for everyday items over which you have pricing control. Plain and simple – increases your prices. Success with this depends on thoughtful adjustment where you know it can be done without reducing unit sales volume.
  6. Broaden the appeal of your business. This idea picks up on some thoughts above but adds more. Here is what I mean – your business up to today attracts shoppers for a set range of reasons / purposes. Note those down. Now, contemplate adding sought-after considerably higher than average GP for your business products and / or services that are genuinely new for your business and that are not satisfied by a nearby business. Each new product / service reason, if successful, improves your occupancy cost situation.

These are items you can action right away, regardless of your occupancy cost situation. Items 2 through 6 and tasks that should be core business activities you pursue relentlessly.

The cost of retail space is Australia is higher than most countries in the world. It needs to reset. However, the level of reset necessary will not happen as long as people keep signing leases that are not viable.

We’re at IRCE in Chicago, talking best-practice web connected POS software

We are grateful for the opportunity to attend the IRCE conference in Chicago again this year. We are mixing with best-practice retailers as well as other tech companies serving retailers. While our focus in small business retail, we benefit from insights from all sectors.

Overseas conferences provide us excellent learning opportunities and provide access to data and other assets we leverage for our small business retailer community.

With Australia geographically far away from the world, being here at this event and the other events we get to each year we are able to learn on behalf of our customers. This gives us a competitive advantage.

It is a thrill to learn how advanced we are in several areas of our web connected POS software solutions. Connecting stores and groups of stores as we do for online sales with inventory transparency is inspiring others.

Oxipay POS software integration helps small business retailers win more sales

Oxipay works just like AfterPay. It is a buy now pay later offer. Interest free. Hassle free. Easy for you. easy for the customer. You are paid right away. You carry no obligation if the shopper does not pay off the debt.

Oxipay is integrated with our POS software. We were the first in the world to do this.

Your customer can pay over eight weekly payments. Here is how it works on a $160.00 purchase: they pay $20.00 on purchase and seven payments of $20.00 each. You are paid right away for the full purchase price, into your bank account.

What you pitch in-store is $20 today and 7 payments of $20.00 interest free. People can see this as achievable whereas they could baulk at a $160.00 purchase. This option to pay small weekly amounts is loved by Oxipay shoppers -= this brings them back to Oxipay shops.

Oxipay is integrated with the latest release of Retailer. We were the first POS software company in the world to to do this. Our software treats Oxipay as another payment method.

The shopper is already registered for Oxipay prior to the transaction or they can quickly sign up in-store. They can do this on their phone. It is easy.

The beauty of Oxipay is that it can reduce your LayBy commitment. This can save you space. It can also save you the cost of dealing with a situation where a customer cancels a LayBy prior to collection. In fact, Oxipay is loved by shoppers for the LayBy alternative it offers them too given the structure for payments.

We use Oxipay in our own shops and on consumer websites. Oxipay is currently being used for 14% of transactions on one site that does over $500,000 in sales in a year. This site has an average transaction value of $75.00.

The way to make the most of Oxipay is for you to ensure all staff are trained to pitch it to shoppers considering items they may not have the ready cash for today. They may be able to handle fortnightly payments and this could see you win business today that otherwise might have gone elsewhere.

Tower Systems publishes newsagency sales benchmark results

Core categories in retail newsagencies challenged while specialty categories grow.

This newsagency sales benchmark study reflects sales results as tracked in 149 retail newsagency businesses in Australia for the January through March quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017.

Tower Systems undertakes the survey each quarter on a pro-bono basis in support of small businesses newsagency businesses across Australia. We are grateful to newsagents and their suppliers for their interest and to others who trust the survey results.

Only businesses with accurate data are included in the study.

With under 3,000 businesses in this channel, the number of participants is considered as a good indicator of overall channel performance. In collating data, I have removed businesses at the extremes where other factors are at play such as major construction shutting a street or a newsagency in a centre with two newsagencies where one closed and thereby giving an unnatural boost to the other.

Each data point is the average, mean, of all data for the data point.

In collating results, I have only included data for each category businesses trading in that category.

OVERALL BUSINESS PERFORMANCE METRICS.

  • Customer traffic. Down 3%
  • Overall sales. Down 4%
  • Basket depth. Flat.
  • Basket dollar value. Flat.

CORE PRODUCTS.

  • Newspapers. Unit sales. Down 9.3%.
  • Magazines. Unit sales. Down 8.8%.
  • Greeting cards. Revenue. Down 2.7%.
  • Stationery. Revenue. Down 7.6%
  • Lotteries. Revenue. Flat.
  • Tobacco. Revenue. Down 16%.
  • Agency. Parcels, gift cards, betting account top-up. Down 6%.

SPECIALTY PRODUCTS.

  • Gifts. Revenue. Up 2%.
  • Toys. Revenue. Up 9.2%.
  • Plush. Revenue. Up 3.1%.
  • Collectibles. Revenue. Up 2.4%.
  • Craft. Revenue. Up 3.1%.
  • Coffee. Revenue. Up 11%.

What does this mean?

These core products numbers reflect continuing challenges in the core for newsagency businesses. This is not news given the benchmark results for years now.

In my opinion, the decline in newspapers, and magazines to a lesser extent, impacts the results for other products in the core such as stationery and cards. If this is true, it reinforces the importance of having other traffic drivers in a retail business, giving shoppers other compelling reasons to visit.

The occupancy cost challenge – a note for landlords.

Landlords want newsagency businesses in their retail mix. They want the store with papers, magazines, lotteries and other core items for the channel. Often, they restrict the space available for non-core, imposing a low gross profit model on businesses, thereby increasing occupancy cost.

Newsagencies today cannot sustain occupancy costs of more than 15%. The goal must be 11% for the business to be profitable and able to serve the usual level of debt needed for such a business.

Landlords need to be aware of the changes in product mix, the challenges of low-margin core products and restrictions they place on what businesses can sell. They need to be flexible on rent so newsagency businesses can be sustained and thereby provide the service they want in their centre.

If landlords want a newsagency business they need to price the space to reflect the nature of a sustainable business in that location rather than any premium rent they could get from a retailer with higher margins.

Labour cost – dealing with the challenge and opportunity.

Labour cost for an average newsagency sits at 16% of revenue where revenue is product revenue plus agency commission.

On a pure benchmark analysis, this is too high. However, the right labour invested in the right location in-store generates a good return. For example, a skilled person working the shop floor in high margin product categories can deliver valuable benefits whereas the right person working newspapers or magazines is less valuable.

When it comes to labour investment and management the core focus must be on customer-facing. That means having the maximum labour time possible situated to be accessible to customers. You do this by shifting to the shop floor as much work as possible – pricing, returns etc.

Newsagents need to manage their roster carefully and manage employee hours to be customer facing focused and engaged on a shared goal of driving revenue from each customer visit. Sharing information with employees is key to achieving this.

The specialty opportunity.

It is easy to say to newsagents get into one or more of the specialty areas. There are suppliers who will pitch products in these areas. The challenge is how you drive success. Getting the right product is part of the story. Visual merchandising, employee training, shop floor engagement and out of store marketing are all important factors. These all require relentless focus. Putting a category of products on the shelves is not sufficient.

Specialty products are rapidly evolving, presenting more opportunities over time. Keeping yourself informed of the opportunities, especially ahead of any wave, is key.

Tower Systems serves more than 1,700 newsagents with awesome newsagency software.

Mark Fletcher.
Email: mark@towersystems.com.au  Website: www.towersystems.com.au  Blog: www.newsagencyblog.com.au
M | 0418 321 338

Help for POS Solutions newsagency software users

Tower Systems has been quietly helping more users of the POS Solutions newsagency software switch to Tower Systems newsagency software.

What we have learned from the many hundreds who have switched already have blazed the path for others.

We help people switch with personal and timely support access, one on one training, data conversion and more. As the company serving in excess of 1,700 newsagency businesses we have the critical mass to serve newsagents keen for then Tower Systems experience.

As the newsagency channel undergoes extraordinary change, Tower Systems remains a constant support through its best-practice newsagency management software, newsagent support and newsagent marketing help.

Size matters. Tower Systems serves more newsagents than all other software companies combined.

Tower newsagency software customers receive:

  1. The latest Tower Systems newsagency software.
  2. On-site installation and training.
  3. Data conversion, converting as much data as we can access.
  4. Software support for the first three years.
  5. Software updates for the first three years.
  6. Unlimited over the phone follow up training for the first three years.
  7. Access to an online knowledge base with hundreds of articles and advice on the software, which you can easily search 24/7.
  8. Access to weekly group live online training workshops.
  9. Access to a private Facebook page where you can discuss on any topic.

More broadly, we are well resourced to help newsagents navigate change.

  1. Tower Systems will not leave the newsagency channel.
  2. We will fight for you. Beyond our software, outside of support, we will help with supplier issues, business strategy and other challenges you confront.
  3. Our software continues to evolve. We release two to three major updates each year. You choose when to load them. Each update is thoroughly tested in a comprehensive beta program.
  4. We own newsagencies. Yes, we walk in your shoes.
  5. No locked-in support fee. Taking up support coverage once the three-year period ends is optional.
  6. Lower support costs. Also, transparent. No mates’ rates for a select few.
  7. Fast support. Most calls are handled when you call. If not, we call back.
  8. At any time, you can see live how many help desk calls we are working on and how many we have closed that day.
  9. Support escalation. We have a structured escalation process should you be unhappy with a support call.
  10. Easy management access. The leadership team of Tower Systems is available to you. We take customer service seriously and personally.
  11. Updates when you want. You are in control of when you load updates.
  12. You are listened to. We offer the only transparent, user driven, software enhancement suggestion service. All our customers are listened to.
  13. Free training. Long after you install our software you have access to free personal training to refresh knowledge or cover new facilities.
  14. More integrations. Our direct links to Xero, Magento, Shopify and more mean you have more direct link options to help you grow your business.
  15. Business management insights. We can look at your business performance data and provide a personal analysis of what we see
  16. Owner access. Call Tower owner, Mark Fletcher, on 0418 321 338 or email mark@towersystems.com.au.

How webstore connected POS software helps retailers in a group and independent retailers win more sales.

As well as offering POS software designed for your specific type of business, Tower Systems provides websites seamlessly connected to the shop floor, giving you a single management view.

We develop websites for our customers, in Magento, Shopify or WooCommerce.

Our websites are POS software connected, offering 24/7 selling with payments through PayPal, Oxipay (interest free buy now pay later) and credit cards.

Our websites leverage online purchases as well as click and collect. They also drive basket depth with up-sell options and handling coupons for special deals.

If you are in a banner group or a marketing group, we can provide a single website to represent all stores in the group. We do this today for one group, through five websites we created – each easily found through Google thanks to our SEO work.

Each store in a banner or marketing group gets their own page, which they can easily promote. For a single business, the POS connected website promotes their business.

We know from experience that:

  1. In some businesses, around 75% of key in-store purchases have an online search component. POS connected websites are important for winning online sales and even more important for driving in-store purchases.
  2. 45% of purchases in many categories are when retail shops are closed.
  3. 10% of purchases are click and collect in higher-end product categories.
  4. 14% of purchases are done with buy now pay later financing.
  5. Shoppers like certainty that a store will have in stock they want to purchase – stock on hand by item can be viewable for each store.

We can network stores from a banner or marketing group into a single website. Thereby leveraging the power of the group of independently owned small businesses to be stronger and more useful than a big business competitor. This is how small businesses can win online.

Let us show you how together we can do this, how we can bring single stores online as well as whole groups online … through webstore connected POS software.

Not only do we create the website and the POS software, we ensure they can be found. This is key as a website that cannot be easily found through Google is a waste of money.

We would love to show individuals privately or members of your group, if you are in a group, the POS software connected websites we have created. We would take you behind the curtain, showing not only the tech. but explaining the business approach, outlining what we have done to create successful online businesses.

Fulfilment can be a challenge. We can help here too thanks to our integration work with Australia Post, Sendle and others. We can help you reduce friction with fulfilment and see you benefit from incremental online business.

Online is about a race to the cash. By this we mean that an online shopper is more likely to be ready to purchase. The first business to take their cash wins. This is where POS integrated websites can win. We can show you how.

The latest release of our POS software introduces a web dashboard to help in-store online sales fulfilment. This, coupled with inventory integration, accurate stock on hand data, professional image handling and smart SEO work helps you create and run an efficient, integrated physical and online business.

Whether you run a single store or operate as part of a marketing or banner group, Tower Systems has a track record of success you can leverage for your success. Let us show you how.

How to contact us.
Website: www.towersystems.com.au.
Sales email address: sales@towersystems.com.au.
National sales phone line:  1300 662 957.
Sales QLD & NT: Justin Randall. justin@towersystems.com.au 0434 365 789.
Sales NSW/ACT: Nathan Morrison. nathan@towersystems.com.au 0417 568 148.
Sales SA/WA/VIC: Tim Batt. tim@towersystems.com.au 0401 833 917.
CEO: Mark Fletcher. mark@towersystems.com.au 0418 321 338.
COO: Gavin Williams. gavin@towersystems.com.au 0418 554 759.

Cloud backup helps small business retailers deal with crypto lockers and other cyber attacks

Cyber attacks are on the increase. Their impact is serious. They are becoming more sophisticated and this increases the harm.

The best way to any business, especially any small business, to be prepared for an attack, beyond firewall and other force-field protection is to have easy and fast access to up to date backup data, of whole of systems backup data.

The Tower Systems cloud backup service is safe, secure, offsite and on site and updated regularly as each day transacts.

Were developed the service in response to the call from ur small business retailer customers who were keen for protection beyond the old approach to backups. They wanted something that was seamless, fast and always on. This is where our service and our installation and monitoring support ensure that the appropriate coverage is in place, protecting small business retailers.

Our cloud backup service for small business retailers has professional redundancy built in. We will not provide details here as to do so could compromise the security. 

There have been instances recently where after a crypto lock attack on a client we have had them up and running, fully restored, within the hour.

This is what professional backup looks like. It is insurance for getting over the attack quickly and professionally. Without a hefty price tag.

The Safe Backup service is a cloud-based incremental backup service to help you store your valuable data more efficiently and with greater security. Using the specialist backup software created by Storagecraft, our service allows you to perform live backups of your entire MAIN computer to your in-store NAS. These backups are then uploaded to the internet so you have a second copy stored securely in the cloud for hassle-free, total backup security with no further need for USB sticks.

We monitor the backups. This is bonus coverage beyond the notifications on your local computer about backup status.

The peace of mind is valuable and appreciated by small business retailers. It frees them to focus on other requirements, other parts of their business.

Cloud back is, in our view, the only safe backup for small business retailers. It is what we recommend. It is what we use ourselves in our own retail businesses.

Free POS software train ing for small business retailers

Tower Systems has announced details of its free live online group training programs through to the end of June. All sessions are available to any Tower customer. Access is free. each session has plenty of time for questions on any topic. Bookings can be made through our POS software training portal.

Meeting Name: Stocktaking for EOFY
Date: Wednesday 23rd May
Time: 2pm
Description: Doing a stocktake in retailer and what option works best for you.

Meeting Name: Stocktaking for EOFY
Date: Wednesday 30th May
Time: 11am
Description: Doing a stocktake in retailer and what option works best for you.

Meeting Name: Getting Ready for EOFY
Date: Wednesday 30th May
Time: 2pm
Description: Get ready for End of Financial Year now. What you need to do and the reports you need to run.

JUNE
Meeting Name: Stocktaking for EOFY
Date: Wednesday 6th June
Time: 2pm
Description: Doing a stocktake in retailer and what option works best for you.

Meeting Name: Getting Ready for EOFY
Date: Wednesday 13th June
Time: 2pm
Description: Get ready for End of Financial Year now. What you need to do and the reports you need to run.

Meeting Name: Stocktaking for EOFY
Date: Wednesday 20th June
Time: 2pm
Description: Doing a stocktake in retailer and what option works best for you.

Meeting Name: Getting Ready for EOFY
Date: Wednesday 27th June
Time: 2pm
Description: Get ready for End of Financial Year now. What you need to do and the reports you need to run.

To participate in an online meeting all you need access to is a computer with a broadband internet connection and a phone to receive a call so you can hear the audio. Each session runs for approximately 45-60 minutes depending on questions.

Accessible free training is key for small business retailers as it allows them to continue to get more from their investment in POS software. Tower has been running these workshops and its free one on one training programs for years. Consistency is important to us and to our customers.

We are grateful to our small business retailers for their support of our training and of the use of our software.

What makes for the best POS software for small business retail?

It is not our place to say our software is the best POS software for small business retailers. We could not know, just as any other POS software company could not know if their software is the best.

In fact, not one could know if a POS software package is the best unless they have tried all others. And, no one has.

Our role is to create the best software we can, for each of the specialty retail marketplaces we serve.

Thanks to serving 3,500 small businesses we have a big community on which to draw to be able to do what we do. their insights guide us as we continue to evolve our software. What our software offers in terms of functionality and experience is a testament to our user community.

But it is not just about the POS software. It is about the support and the business management assistance provided by retail experts in the POS software company as being able to leverage the software for valuable outcomes is a key here.

It is about relationships too, working with suppliers and other patties to integrate with the retail businesses, seamlessly, through the software, for speed, accuracy and genuine business value. In fact, a good supplier relationship can add real bottom line benefits to small business retailers. Leveraging this through technology is efficient and valuable.

We take it further than this. We are retailers too, owning and operating several physicals and a bunch of consumer-facing websites. We do this for the experience, k so we can play and experiment, and provide our customers with a deeper and more valuable experience.

We think these things, the user community, years on business, marketplace specialisation, supplier integration, and being retailers ourselves provide a complete and valuable experience. Were think it is a valuable suite of experiences like this that make then Tower Systems POS software relationship valuable for our customers.

We love what we do here at Tower systems. We love our software and the service of small business retailers. we only sell to small businesses, this keeps us focussed and in the moment with these most important of businesses in any economy.

Small business POS software customers appreciate THEFT POLICY

A week ago we shared with our customers an updated THEFT POLICY, and suggested they print this and seek employee engagement.

The reaction has been terrific with plenty downloading and pricing the policy. We have had calls, too, from retailers seeking our suggestions on other actions they can take. Some have called with their stories of theft in their businesses.

Our work in the area of retail employee theft is comprehensive and on-going.

We welcome opportunities to work with our thousands of small business retailer customers to help them mitigate the theft situation in their businesses.

Here is the latest version of our THEFT POLICY that we shared a week ago:

THEFT POLICY

  1. Theft, any theft, is a crime against this business, its owners, employees and others who rely on us for their income.
  2. If you discover any evidence or have any suspicion of theft, please report it to the business owner or most senior manager possible immediately. Doing so could save a considerable cost to the business.
  3. We have a zero tolerance policy on theft. All claims will be reported to law enforcement authorities for their investigation.
  4. From time to time we have the business under surveillance in an effort to reduce theft. This may mean that you are photographed or recorded in some other way. By working here you accept this as a condition of employment.
  5. New employees may be asked to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment. Undertaking the police check will be at our discretion.
  6. Cash is never to be left unattended outside the cash drawer or a safe within the business.
  7. Credit and banking card payments are not to be accepted unless the physical card is presented and all required processes are followed for processing these.
  8. Employees caught stealing with irrefutable evidence face immediate dismissal to the extent permitted by local labour laws.
  9. Employees are not permitted to remove inventory, including unsold, topped, magazines, unsold cards or damaged stock from the store without permission.
  10. Employees are not permitted to provide a refund to a customer without appropriate management permission.
  11. Employees are not permitted to complete sales to themselves, family members or friends.
  12. Every dollar stolen from the business by customers and or employees can cost us up to four dollars to recover. This is why vigilance on theft is mission critical for our retail store.

PLEASE SIGN AND DATE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

Tower Systems shares insights from Magento Imagine 2018 conference in Las Vegas

We are grateful here at Tower Systems for the partnership we share with Magento, the e-commerce platform businesses prefer when bringing transactions and services online. We were at the Magento Imagine 2018 conference in Las Vegas. Our Magento integration with our POS software is world class, ideal for small business retailers. Here is a short video with some of the many insights we gained.

We love POS software integrated Tyro for our small business retailer customers

Our Tower Systems POS software has been integrated with the Tyro broadband EFTPOS for years. we love Tyro and our customers love Tyro. Their solution is excellent and they are a dream to deal with.

In a recent note to our customers, we shared why we love Tyro:

  1. 🎯 Reliable Systems:  99.9% uptime with 3G backup, dual live data centres.
  2. 💸 Faster Than Cash:  Sub 1.6 second transactions to keep queues short.
  3. 👍 Easy Setup: Quick & simple set-up: plug-in, activate & go.
  4. 💱 Seamless POS Integration
  5. 🏦 Keep Your Current Bank: Tyro can deposit your EFTPOS takings into any Australian bank. We can even open a fee-free bank account for you.
  6. 🔒 Secure Transactions: Proprietary security.
  7. 🏝️ Local Support:  24/7 100% Aussie customer support.
  8. 🌈 No Lock In Contracts:  No lock in contract: we believe in our products.
  9. 📝 Instant Reporting: Real-time reporting and stress free reconciliation.

As an independent bank, far outside the major banks, Tyro is small business focussed. We really like this. we like the small business focus. Our customers are all small businesses, we only sell to small businesses. Hence our attention to and preference for small business focussed companies.

The integration in our POS software with Tyro is easy to setup and solid to operate. It delivers excellent operational benefits for retailers and for their customers. It is a perfect solution for small business retailers.

Another crucial factor here is the speed of addressing issues as issues do arise from time to time with EFTPOS. Getting fast answers to questions and support to resolve challenges is key with any EFTPOS relationship. Tyro is brilliant here. Their help is easy to access, professional and small business focussed.

In our experience working with big banks and Tyro in our own retail shops, which we have run for many years, is tyro is a dream to work with. we use Tyro in our own shop for the vet reasons we have outlined above.

So, our POS software integrated Tyro broadband EFGPOS is a solid preference from Tower Systems for all the reasons we have outlined here and detailed in the list shared above.

Small business matters to us here at Tower Systems.

Free small business retailer POS software training for May

We are thrilled to have a terrific suite of free (live) online training sessions in May for small business retailers using our POS software.

Each session is free to any of our customers. Each includes plenty of time for questions, on the topic covered or other topics.

Here are the May sessions:

  1. 02 May. How to compete with big retailers.
  2. 09 May. How to handle non EDI invoices to keep stock accurate.
  3. 16 May. Events: Take a look at this new facility, learn how to use it to bring shoppers back into your business.
  4. 23 May.  Stocktaking for EOFY.
  5. 30 May. Getting ready for EOFY.

Customers can book through our training portal.

We run  online training sessions each week across a wide range of subjects. These are an excellent way for you and your staff to learn in detail about specific areas of the software.

We also offer free one on one training sessions that are business specific and private between us and the business. There is no limit to how many training sessions any customer engages with.

To participate in an online group meeting all you need access to is a computer with a broadband internet connection and a phone to receive a call so you can hear the audio. Each session runs for approximately 45-60 minutes depending on questions.

The face to face meetings are yearly in capital cities and regional centres across Australia. These are in addition to our weekly online live sessions. We also attend more than twelve industry trade shows offering face-to-face meeting opportunities with users.