Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Category: Pet shop software (page 1 of 43)

What the second Victorian corona lockdown is showing small business retailers

We are grateful to see sales data from a range of different Victorian retail businesses using our POS software. Here are trends from the latest Victorian lockdown:

  • Relaxing products. The jigsaw surge from March and April is back but in an expanded form – adult colouring, art and craft, journaling, cross-stitch, knitting, games and art. Smart retailers are selling these items as well as offering customers opportunities to connect with others doing this.
  • Nesting. This category is surging not only in Victoria but nationally. Nesting includes candles, diffusers, essential oils, rugs, cushions, homewares, pets, cooking and related.
  • Tactile products. We have seen a surge in cuddleable (not a word I know but it best describes it) products. This segment includes plush and other soft toys, pets, rugs, blankets, pillows and similar. With touching and hugging discouraged, it stands to reason that people seek out alternatives.
  • Easy shopping. We have seen retailers gain sales by making shopping easier through packaging items often bought together and having these placed front of store and at the counter.
  • Postable gifts. People are loving that they can easily send a gift to people they are unable to see.
  • Working from home. For some, this is now a permanent arrangement. Many retail channels have offers they can make to those working from home and businesses with employees working from home. The opportunities are usually broader than retailers think.
  • Contactless retail. Having the EFTPOS machine shopper facing and situated for easy tap and having in place arrangements for the lowest cost possible to the business for EFTPOS.
  • Online. Having an online offer matters. While people like the safety of having goods shipped, they also like click and collect and they like to use the website to ensure you have something in stock before they visit the shop.
  • Online events. More retailers are hosting events to show off new products and offer education –  Zoom, Facebook live and similar events. Unboxings, educating on new products meet the maker and more.
  • Christmas has started early. Yes, we are seeing Christmas purchases already in businesses that are offering Christmas stock.

While the pandemic has disrupted business, in that disruption are opportunities. The Victorian situation is a reminder that disruption is not temporary. We think history will show that winners will be those businesses that adapted early and were able to finesse their offering and processes as the market demanded.

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Tower Systems helps small business retailers pivot to online with POS software connected Shopify sites

More and more small business retailers are embracing the pivot to online as covid continues to impact in-store traffic. The covid pivot is more about getting online, for sure. It is about small business retailers finding new category opportunities to serve through their existing business operation.

That is the covid pivot, a turn for the business to attract new shoppers and to do this through an online model that leverages existing physical store infrastructure.

Tower Systems is grateful to serve small business retailers in making this covid Pivot, helping them to connect their POS software to a beautiful Shopify site created by our web developers.

Our suggestions cover the technical, operational and the creative. Our customers choose what they want for their businesses. All we can do is speak to our experiences and the experiences of others in making these moves. New are especially attuned to helping small business retailers looking for pivot opportunities as that is net new benefit for them, helping to drive efficiency of their overall business operation.

The covid pivot is real in business, especially small business and even more especially small business retail. covid pivot is a term we have been using since March to describe advice we have provided to small business retailers to encourage and guide their actions to attract new shoppers.

As developers of small business focussed POS software and as web developers of Shopify and Magento websites we are well positioned from these two parts of our company to deliver the tech infrastructure ideal for helping retailers make the most of a covid pivot move.

Jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, fishing and outdoors businesses, toy shops, pet shops, homewares businesses, newsagents and more are all benefiting from the advice and encouragement we offer in this model of the covid pivot to find new shopper traffic for any retail business. Guiding these businesses to make an online move is key and beneficial.  It is timely because of covid even though the need and opportunity were always there.

The covid pivot is defined as the move you make in business in response to, because of and / or thanks to covid to help strengthen the business in an area not historically familiar to you. It is smart, opportunistic and timely. New customers are out there for businesses that pivot to find them.

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UPDATED: state and territory covid grants for small businesses

This is an up to date (as at July 8, 2020) list of state and territory government Covid related grants. There are some new opportunities in this mix compared to what we have shared previously.

Click on the state / territory name for their landing page. Then, where possible, I have links to specific current grants.

Do your research as to eligibility. If you are eligible, do it now as waiting could see you miss out and there will be no point complaining then.

We have sourced this list ourselves, by researching the online information for each state and territory. We help retailers applying if their application relates to anything they may wish to purchase through us.

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Why Tower Systems POS software is a good alternative to MYOB Retail Manager

We are grateful to have switched more MYOB Retail Manager customers to our POS software. Through this latest round of work we have learned more about how our software is a good alternative to MYOB Retail Manager.

Each time we bring convert someone from MYOB Retail Manager we learn more about our MYOB Retail Manager alternative, how we can specifically help and guide retailers to walk that path with us.

We respect the place MYOB Retail Manager has played in serving small business retailers. As the alternative to MYOB Retail Manager, Tower Systems seeks to help those retailers move beyond where they sat, to lean into opportunities of change in physical retail as well as online.

So, here is feedback from folks who have embraced our MYOB Retail Manager alternative.

  • We loved that we could start again with our data. We have used MYOB Retail Manager for many years and had not been ideal in our management of the data. The stock was right but the stock on hand was wrong. So switching allowed us to clean the data.
  • Tower were great. They took our MYOB Retail Manager, looked at how we used it and provided advice on how to take that generational leap we needed to shift our business up a notch or two, to make it more viable and competitive.
  • We loved that even though we moved on from MYOB Retail Manager we could keep using MYOB for our account ting software. That was important to us. Tower were great in respecting this.
  • Our data was a mess. We had used MYOB Retail Manager for many years over many different staff. The Tower people helped us get completely clean and accurate data and that has made a huge difference to our business.
  • I loved that they gave us unlimited training.
  • I loved that the people selling and supporting the Tower software and from the same company as the people who write the software. I was tired of dealing with people who were not from MYOB.
  • I love that I can rent the Tower software.
  • I liked that there was no pressure. I first looked at Tower a year and only made the switch from MYOB Retail Manager three months ago. They did not pressure me. This was important to me.

We are grateful for the users of MYOB Retail Manager who have joined our user community and look forward to welcoming more.

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Tyro EFTPOS for small business retailers through POS software

Tyro EFTPOS has been integrated with our Tower Systems POS software for small business retailers for more than ten years. The Tyro integration is simple, effective, seamless and fast… all factors that matter to small business retailers keen for a smooth counter operation for their businesses.

The thousands of retailers using the Tower Systems POS software for specialty retail can bank on Tyro for delivering counter and mobile based EFTPOS access, including through the Tower Systems Retailer Roam product that takes retail on the road, out of the shop and into the field, the markets and the farm gate.

We like Tyro because it is a smart interface, one that works well for small business retailers, delivering EFTPOS solutions that are best-practice and secure.

Through the recent COVID-19 challenges, Tyro has been our preferred payment solution for small business retailers, as it offers contactless EFTPOS integrated with the Tower Systems Point of Sale software.

At Tower Systems, we use Tyro EFTPOS in our own shops and have done so for many years. We like the streamlined operation, the security, the speed and the ease of settlement. Tyro makes doing business a breeze for our retail shops and we think many retailers using Tyro EFTPOS integrated with our POS software would agree.

Tower Systems is well positioned thanks to a solid relationship with Tyro and our experience across eleven specialty retail channels. The Tyro and POS software solution is robust, proven and used in more than 1,000 retail outlets in Australia.

Together, our integration is regularly updated, ensuring it is current and continues to be useful in serving the evolving needs of small business retailers. This matters now more than ever, because the environment of the retail industry is constantly changing.

Working with the tech folks at Tyro, we are able to deliver an integrated Tyro and POS software solution that is dependable, useful and financially rewarding.

Tower Systems offers first level support for retailers using the integrated Tyro and POS software solution, offering a one stop shop support entry point, delivering fast access to help on any Tyro related query. We pass these queries to Tyro’s 24/7 Australian-based Customer Support team if they are outside our remit. In both support cases, most are easily handled and retailers are able to get back to business quickly.

Tyro is a breeze to work with. We are grateful for the relationship and the value it brings to our small business customer community.

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Click frenzy for Tower Systems POS software customers

We are thrilled to bring a click frenzy like opportunity to the Tower Systems small business community.

If you have a website, come and join our small business to small business promotion. To promote the websites of Tower customers to other Tower customers, we invite you to set up an offer code – [redacted] – in your website to run from July 6 to July 31, giving those who use the code a discount, which you set.

This is a click frenzy opportunity with a difference. It is within our small business POS software user community only.

Email Tash, our admin expert, your web address, one line on the product categories and the discount the code delivers. Our advice on the discount is be bold with a discount designed to help you get icing on the cake type sales, sales you would otherwise not get.

Here are two examples from us:

www.cutenessoverload.com.au; all things cute; 25%.
www.mintcoinshop.com.au; coins from the Royal Australian Mint; 10%.

To ensure consistency of information in the list we will share with our customers, please follow this standard.

Our goal here is to help you show off your website and to, hopefully, get more small business retailers buying from small business retailers. We want to give you a valuable click frenzy sales boost of online sales.

Ours is a diverse small business community. We’d love to see this diversity reflected in the range of websites that join this promotion.

We will only promote it to Tower Systems customers. That is to 3,000+ small business retailers.

Plus…

We will include a list of all Tower POS software connected retailers who send us the above information on our own website. This will be a new page we create: Retail Businesses We Love. That listing will have your business name and web address. We will not publicly share the discount code. The goal of the listing is to give you another backlink.

This Tower Systems small business retailer click frenzy opportunity is another way we are working with and helping our small business retailer community to reach people and to drive business opportunities from other small business retailers.

Our click frenzy campaign also helps small business retailers expand the reach of people to their new websites and through this to get more experiences about online sales.

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R3: new generation POS software made in Australia for Aussie small business retailers

Hundreds of small business retailers have installed R3, the next generation POS software from Tower Systems. R3 is a technical step forward in small business POS software.

Its release last week is the culmination of months of beta testing and acceptance testing through partners with which Tower Systems connects through its POS software.

  • R3 POS software delivers access too a fresh and current design look and feel. It is 2020 sostfwasre for the 2020 marketplace.
  • R3 POS software uses a stronger and more robust data management system providing safe, secure and fast access to business data.
  • R3 POS software is written in a langauge that is forward leaning, setting Tower Systems and it customers up for wonderful advance opportunities in the back half of this year and into next year.
  • R3 POS software delivers new facilities, bonus facilities through which retailers can extend their businesses.
  • R3 POS software delivers a replacement of core facilities. Yes, we did a Marie Kondo, thanking parts of the software for their service and letting them go, replacing them for completely new, completely rewritten facilities, that truly spark joy.

Our R3 release is us investing in the future of the small business retailers we serve and those we are yet to welcome to our Tower Systems small business retailer community. The project itself began three years ago and involved more than 10 IT professionals working together to design and build awesome next-generation POS software for our specialty retail channels. This team did this work while our existing software was itself enhanced and supported.

The million dollar plus project is an investment we are proud to have delivered for our customers and for our own community working in the Tower Systems business.

This is what POS software companies do. They make software. And, making software is complex, expensive, time- consuming and inexact. hence, the long beta release program as we finessed the software to ensure it served the needs of our customers.

R3 is truly innovative POS software. It is backed with excellent help and training, seamless data conversion and more as we take the hands of our small business retail customers and bring them to the new world of R3, next generation POS software for small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand.

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Discount vouchers: differentiating loyalty in POS software from Tower Systems

We are grateful for the success our discount voucher facilities in our POS software have delivered to small business retailers since February 2013.  Last week, we got together with a small group to explore the discount vouchers and to understand the opportunity operationally in small business retail.  Our goal was to record content for others. Here is a video of some of that meeting.

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Instant asset write-off options for small business retailers

Harvey Norman is engaged in ad ad blitz right now pitching to businesses for instant asset write off business prior to June 30. They are spending big to entice businesses to spend big with them.

Click here to access the instant asset write off information on the Tax Office website. We think it is important that businesses act on up to date advice from the government authority overseeing the tax write off program.

This year, some shelter changes were made to the instant asset write off program:

From 12 March 2020 until 31 December 2020 the instant asset write-off:

  • threshold amount for each asset is $150,000 (up from $30,000)
  • eligibility has been expanded to cover businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million).

Here at Tower Systems, our interest is small business retailers and, in particular, helping them with our POS software written for a range of niche specialty retailers. This is POS software made in Australia for their types of businesses.

Installing our POS software and related infrastructure is an eligible purchase for any business, it meets the criteria for the instant asset write-off program. Our POS software could be financially beneficial and operationally beneficial to a business this financial year. Our focus, through good use of the POS software, is to help small business retailers run more efficient and valuable businesses.

  • Computer hardware purchases.
  • Tablet, iPad and similar purchases.
  • Network infrastructure purchases.
  • Printer, scanner, scale and other purchases.
  • Software.
  • Software support.

All of these and other expenses can be investments that help any retail business and they could be useful when the and retail business is planning to tap into the instant asset write-off opportunity.

The Tax Office and accounting professionals are the ones best positioned to guide any purchase, to help any business ensure they purchase to maximise their spending and deduction opportunity.

Our job here at Tower Systems is to help small business retailers leverage our POS software for the best possible use in a business, for management certainty and through this to drive the best value possible for a business. Oh, and to help those in the business enjoy the business.

Any retail business keen to explore instant asset write-off opportunities can speak with us here at Tower Systems and we will help as much as we are able. We also appreciate specking with accountants, to ensure that any transactions meet they requirements they identify for their clients.

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Stocktake using POS software for small business retailers

Here is a video of a Zoom meeting we held for our POS software customers last week. The core reason for the meeting was to record this and make it available to our customers as free training.  Since release, the view numbers and feedback have been terrific. We have many more training videos online for our customers.

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Tower Systems helps MYOB Retail Manager POS software users switch to fresh and evolving POS software

We grateful to welcome more retailers from their use of the MYOB Retail Manager software to our Tower Systems POS software.

With major updates released several times a year and the content of these updates being guided by customer suggestions, the Tower software solution is fresh and made for today.

Just this week we have released a major tech innovation with a more robust database platform, a major software development language refresh and a tech interface refresh. These advances plus the addition of new functionality provide our customers with certainty as too the usefulness of our POS software today and its direction into the future.

While MYOB Retail Manager has served a need in retail businesses for years, the Tower Systems Point of Sale software solution is more current in terms of tech and more current in terms of specialty market retail. Plus, the software is backed by locally based software support specialists who work as part of a 24/7 help desk service serving small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand.

More and more MYOB Retail Manager users are switching to the Tower Systems POS software. Tower can offer a direct link to Xero cloud based accounting or a data feed through to MYOB for accounting management from that platform.

We offer data conversion services for any data we can extract from MYOB Retail Manager if our new customers want to bring their data across. Plus, we offer comprehensive one on one training at installation and for years following installing – helping our customer learn as and when they would like to.

Compared to MYOB Retail Manager, Tower Systems POS software customers have access to the leadership team of the company. They also have access to a transparent online platform from where they can make software enhancement suggestions and have these voted on by other customers. This is a key factor in the perpetual evolution of the Tower POS software, it is key to keeping it fresh.

Fresh POS software matters today as retail continues to change. Software changing with retail is a useful tool in retail businesses that want to remain competitive. We think this is where we serve MYOB Retail Manager customers well. We offer them a pathway forward.

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Free stocktake training for Tower Systems POS software users

We are all set to go for our free live POS software stocktake training Zoom meeting this morning. We will share time saving tips, data accuracy tips and more as we share train ing on how to stocktake using our POS software. We will cover a full stocktake, a spot stocktake and a custom stocktake.

Better still, we will record the meeting and make it available t all of our POS software customers along with our articles of advice on stocktaking and our free one-on-one training on stocktaking.

This end of financial year, Tower Systems has you covered for stocktakes.

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SEO assistance for Australian retailer websites

Tower Systems offers small business retailers a comprehensive SEO services website marketing package that aims to help the target website to attract more visitors. This is offered as part of our POS software connected website development services for small business retailers.

SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, can be complex and misunderstood, and confused with SEM, Search Engine Marketing. Click here to see a video of a discussion we had with customers about SEO and SEM for small business retailers. This video is an example of our transparent approach in helping small business retailers in the areas of SEO and SEM.

If you have a website and are keen to see it rank more highly online, for a modest fixed price of $990.00 (inc. GST) we offer the following SEO package of services:

  1. We will keyword target the site with 30 – 40 backlinks, to help Google more easily find your site. Backlinks are a critical factor in driving Google ranking.
  2. We will report on current your traffic and provide a PDF of a detailed report. This will provide insights that can help retailers to enhance the website to better improve SEO performance.
  3. We will report on current keyword traffic and provide a PDF of details. This, too, will help in SEO related decisions as to site structure and landing page optimisation to help drive search results.
  4. We will email advice on suggested POS software connected website improvements. This advice will cover SEO as well as SEM opportunities.
  5. We will provide advice for you on how to get others to link to your site, to further drive shopper traffic for the website.

We created the SEO services package in response to requests from retailers using our POS software connected to websites. They were keen to learn how we had been able to get other consumer facing websites ranking well.

The work is undertaken by our SEO professionals in a timely and transparent manner. The work is based on our own years of experience driving outcomes for our own various e-commerce sites pitching a broad range of consumer goods in several niche categories.

The work would commence within a week of being ordered and would be completed within 2 weeks.

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iPad POS software offers flexibility for small business retailers

Retailer Roam from Tower Systems is portable iPad POS software, offering retailers to sell where they want, when they want and how they want.

A counter is not needed.

A shop is not needed.

That’s right, you can sell from the back of the car or a trunk, at a market, at someone’s one. This is portable POS software, I{Pad POS software for people on the move.

This is truly portable iPad POS software that you can access from the app stores for retail on the go. It’s Australian made and Australian supported for small business retailers.

This iPad POS software can also connect to Shopify and Magento websites, too, offer online, in-store and on the road sales. It’s flexible, made for retail today.

Better still, thanks to the support of the federal government’s ipAustralia trademark and rights agency, retailer Roam is being trademarked to us for iPad POS software in service of retail businesses.

Here is a list of what retailer Roam can do for any retailer today:

  • Cash/EFTPOS Sales
  • Invoice Sales
  • Create a LayBy
  • Sell stock with Serial Numbers
  • Loyalty Point Redemption & Acrrual
  • Customised POS Screens
  • Variants
  • Refunds
  • Basic End of Shift
  • Stocktaking
  • Re-ordering
  • Integrated EFTPOS

What a great list! This is iPad POS software made for businesses on the go. You don’t even need internet access to transact.

This is a cloud based POS solution, bring iPad POS software to live in an affordable and useful package for small business retailers like garden centres, farm supply businesses, fishing and outdoors retailers, jewellers, pet shops, makers, artists and more.

Retailer Roam is a tablet app-based iPad based POS software solution. The app runs on Apple iPad and Android based tablets. It can run connected over WiFi or any other network. It can also run disconnected, syncing when connected again to a network at a later time.

As the name suggests Retailer Roam enables the business to roam to transact sales. You can accept cash, EFTPOS (Tyro Integration), Invoice an account or create a LayBy. Selling is through a screen designed specifically for Retailer Roam and the devices on which it would be run.

We are grateful to bring this opportunity to life.

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Pet shop software for Australian small business pet shops

The pet shop software from Tower Systems is Australian made and Australian supported.

Developed in close consultation with independent pet shop business owners, managers and front light employees, this software continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of pet shop retail in Australia.

This pet shop software is smart, intuitive, easy to use and quick to adapt to local business needs. It can help these local businesses compete with the big businesses in the pet space as well as the online businesses.

This is pet shop software that can be easily connected to websites for online selling. Indeed, Tower Systems to grateful to have also developed websites for pet shops, connected to the Tower pet shop software. This is helping these businesses reach shoppers they would not usually sell to locally in their area.

Pet shops using the pet shop software from Tower Systems can easily manage pet health needs such as remembering when medication or some other treatment is needed. The ability to track and manage multiple pets per family is loved by customers and by those working in the pet business.

The pet shop software also helps retailers to provide product use and care information, that helps the business add local value to their transactions. These facilities coupled with the personalised loyalty tools help shoppers feel loved, appreciated and respected. They help local pet shops differentiate themselves from big business competitions and this matters in retail today.

Here are some of the benefits pet shop owners tell us they love about our Australian made and supported pet shop software:

  • Save time with electronic invoices from suppliers.
  • Offer personal customer service by tracking worming and other dates by pet.
  • Use tags to get a fresh perspective, side-view, on stock performance.
  • Leverage you. If you believe your knowledge is a differentiator, offer it through structured opportunities in the software.
  • Offer differentiating personal pet care by tracking microchip numbers.
  • Easily handle special customer orders. Bring product in for a specific customer and have them notified automatically by email or text when the goods are in and ready.
  • Business differentiating loyalty. Stand out from the crowd. Have customers coming back to you for this.
  • Maximise the basket with easy to use one-time shopper loyalty tools.
  • Trade and club pricing profiles. Set pricing rules based on customer type.
  • Make money from pre-orders – Easily pre-sell a delivery so that when the stock arrives you can manage distribution and billing efficiently.
  • Differentiate with informative receipts. These can include product care, use and safety information based on what customers buy.
  • Differentiate with bundles. Selling items bundled together makes price comparison hard.

Tower Systems is proud to support many pet shops with awesome and locally made and supported pet shop software.

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Cloud POS software for small business retailers, made and supported in Australia

Our Australian developed and supported cloud POS software for small business retailers serves the specialty needs of: garden centres, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, fishing and outdoors businesses, toy shops, pet shops, newsagents, jewellers, adult shops, homewares shops, gift shops, firearms dealers, butchers and more.

Specialty retail is our thing.

Serving POS software in the cloud is also our thing.

Using our cloud POS software, retailers can tap into the benefits of managed IT infrastructure without having to install the software themselves, locally on their own computers. While they can do that if they wish, we offer our cloud POS as a solution for those keen on being shielded from this work.

Cloud POS is fully functional for the retail businesses we serve in our focus on niche retail channels. We can  host through our professional hosting relationships. Alternatively, you can host through any platform you prefer. We offer complete flexibility in our cloud POS hosting options, in service of genuine flexibility for our retail small business partners.

The big question often asked is what is cloud POS and do I need it? Cloud POS is POS software, running on a hosted computer not located in the business.  It usually comes with automatic backup, easy access, speed, built in redundancy and more. I can also come with no need to update the software as it is updated by the software co. With us, you choose the level of cloud POS that is right for your own business needs.

Tower Systems has offered cloud POS solutions for the last fifteen years to small single shop businesses through to bigger small businesses. One customer has more than 15 outlets connected through the cloud. No matter what size your retail business, our cloud POS solution can be in service of your needs.

Now, if cloud is not the right fit for you, we offer desktop, local server access too. You can choose the level of tech that is right for your own business needs. As we say, we’re here to help – that is why we appreciate conversations to make it easy to determine what works best in your situation.

Cloud POS is a terrific and easy to access solution for many different retail business situations.

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Australian made POS software for Australian indie retail businesses

We are proud to offer Australian made and Australian supported Point of Sale software for specialty retailers.

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Why Australian made Point of Sale software is important to Australian retailers

Australian retailers benefit from using Australian made and Australian supported Point of Sale software.

Of course we would say this, we are an Australian Point of Sale software company. We want you to buy from us. That is true. But moire important, we want you to buy Australian.

If your local Australian retail businesses ever pitches shop local, then where you source what you use and sell in your business matters. The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic response has brought that into sharp focus. It has helped us understand that our local economy matters.

Being an Australian Point of Sale software company we are focussed on serving here and nearby, like in New Zealand, Fiji and other pacific nations.

Buying your Point of Sale software local…

  1. Keeps jobs local.
  2. Drives local tax revenue.
  3. Nurtures tech skills development locally.
  4. Ensures more relevant software because it have been developed locally.
  5. Provides access to more timely and local support.
  6. Puts your closer to the developers and therefore more likely to influence enhancement.
  7. Gives you a perfect answer for people who ask how much of your business is local.
  8. Nurtures Australia to bee smarter.

The economy is circular. People shopping in your shop need money for their purchases. The most valuable money they can bring into your business to spend is that which they have earned locally. The more your buying supports local jobs the better for your business and every there local business.

The cliche is true, we’re all in this together. This is at the heart of why shopping locally for inventory and business infrastructure matters, it is why buying Point of Sale software locally matters.

Tower Systems is a proud local POS software company. We proudly make our software for local retailers. We are grateful to the 3,500+ local retailers who have partnered with us duo far on our journey. We are proud to have given so many their start in work and for many of those to contuse to offer them valuable and enjoyable employment – in creating land supporting locally made Point of Sale software.

We’re local. We’re proud. We’re making a difference, every day.

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Tower Systems Point of Sale software helps small business retailers through COVID-19

Point of Sale software from Tower Systems has been helping small business retailers navigate the challenges and leverage opportunities of this COVID-19 world.

Here we are almost four months in and COVID-19 is here and has fundamentally changed retail. The Tower Point of Sale software has helped retailers to quickly identify trends and thereby to respond to these in a competitive and timely manner.

In a more practical way, the Tower Point of Sale software has helped retailers access federal, state and local government funding support through the provision of accurate records that are key to meeting application criteria.

From a health and safety perspective, the Tower Systems Australian made Point of Sale software has helped retailers with shop floor management and staffing scheduling. This is key to providing a COVID safe working enviro9nment while helping the retail business to serve and transact.

More broadly, thanks to POS software Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce integrations, the Tower Point of Sale software has helped independent and small business retailers to transdact online for click and collect as well as for delivery. While often created in service of existing and local shoppers, the online connection has helped these retailers to find new shoppers who would otherwise not have known about the business.

Of all the COVID-19 related opportunities leveraged in the Tower Systems Point of Sale software, it is the insights offered through the data collected and curated by the software that offer the most value as this lays out a path ahead that is specific to each business using the software.

We have seen COVID-19 play out differently in different businesses. Some are up. Some are down. In almost all businesses there has been a shift in what sells and it is this shift, unique to each business often, that is most important to small business retailers.

Tower Systems has backed its software with COVID-19 workshops for its retailers, showing them how to use the software to better understand the COVID-19 impacts and opportunities in each business. This training and assistance is on-going as COVID itself is on-going.

Small business retailers in the Tower Systems POS software user community are, overall, trading well and with certainty that the software they are using helps shine a light on a path forward while at the same time offering understanding for the pathway behind.

2020 is proving to be a fascinating year in retail. We are grateful to our customers for their support and trust.

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Repairs management software helps small business retailers with workshop and repairs management

We are grateful to the bike shops, jewellers and other retailers with repairs facilities in their businesses who have helped and guided us as we have continued to evolve our repairs management POS software.

Through our repairs tools we help retailers manage repairs for repairs undertaken in the business as well as repairs works outsourced to outside the business. From the moment a repair is brought into the business it is tracked. This includes recording comprehensive customer details as well as requirements as to the repairs to be undertaken.

The Repairs management tools in our Point of Sale software track labour and parts at each step of the way, providing the business accurate record keeping and the customer good detail of the works undertaken.

Some of the repairs management  functions our specialist retail Point of Sale software’s unique repair features are being used for a range of specialty retailer situations including:

  • In Jewellers: Jewellery and watch workshop repairs, dated manufacturing.
  • In Bike Shops: Bicycle and tricycle repairs, warranty returns.
  • In Garden Centres: Landscaping services management.
  • In Firearms Stores: Gunsmithy and equipment repairs, warranty returns.
  • In Pet Shops: Aquarium installations.

As with all of the facilities in our POS software, we evolve the software to serve evolving needs based on a democratic engagement with our customers. It’s important that we serve the majority when considering software enhancements.

Tower Systems streamlines the repairs process, facilitates good communication and helps bring management certainty to the overall repairs process in your business. It helps local independent businesses provide the kind of professional, personal and efficient repairs services that major corporate stores and online-only offerings can only dream of.

We do this in a small business friendly way. It is current design software created for current needs. Locally made and supported software for local retail businesses with the repairs services offer.

We back our repairs management software with terrific training. We tailor the training to serve the needs of each business, to help them get the most from the software.

Serving a number of specialist retail channels gives Tower Systems the opportunity to provide more comprehensive and flexible repairs/job/manufacturing management software. Our customers continue to provide feedback and influence the development and support of this software feature, from firearms stores to bike shops and more.

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Advice for small business retailers considering selling online and the big challenge many face

In our work developing, selling and supporting Point of Sale software and Shopify and Magento websites connected to our POS software, we have been fortunate to curate advice for retailers who embark on the journey of selling online.

In this article we explore the most common challenge we see retailers confront: what to sell online.

Taking your retail business online is critical, right?! Especially since COVID-19 hit.

The need to offer click and collect, curbside pickup as well as local and further afield shipping is a vital customer service.

Reaching shoppers who are not nearby and may never visit your area is also critical as it broadens the reach of the business.

A big challenge we see experienced retailers confront is what to sell? They know they do not want to take everything in their physical shop online. Often, they want the website to be specialty, to stand for a unique need or product niche.

The question is what? What to have the website be known for, to focus on?

It’s a business start-up question in many respects, a question anyone starting a business from scratch needs to consider. This is why some experienced retailers find it challenging to know where to start as they first have to disconnect thinking about the website only in the context of the current physical business.

Our suggestion is that you own the challenge for yourself. While you could have someone come up with the idea for you, then the idea would be theirs.

Think about your website as a start-up, but probably related in some way at least in part to what you do or could do in your shop. By being known for something, a product category or niche you can be more easily found online. And that right there is the key – being found online.

So, the real question is what are people looking for? We can help with that as we have access to tools that track what people in Australia are looking for. We will gladly do this research for people getting a website developed by us. However, we need a starting point for the research – which back to the entrepreneurial question about the niches that interest you. This has to come from you. You have to own the site focus.

We appreciate that it can feel daunting to start a business from scratch. Maybe, for you, an easier option is to take one or two departments of what you sell currently online. That can be an easy start. We suggest this as it gets you experiencing online. That experience can be leveraged as you evolve your online business.

Remember this – where you start online is never where you will end up. That is our own experience with our online businesses. We have learnt a ton and continue to evolve our sites.

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Valuable facilities in our small business Point of Sale software

Every week we hold free online workshops where we take people into the software from a business management perspective. Here’s a video of part of one session from a few days ago. We are grateful to our customers for their engagement and interest in these sessions.

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Tower Systems offers Australian made and supported Point of Sale software for small business specialty retailers

Tower Systems is an Australian software company. We make what we sell. We support it, too. Small business retailers keen to pitch shop local and themselves shop local for Point of Sale software.

Here at Tower Systems we are specialised,  we develop Point of Sale software specifically for small business retailers in a range of niche retail channels … jeweller, garden centres, bike retailers, toy shops, pet shops, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, newsagents, fishing and outdoors businesses, adult shops, homewares businesses, gift shops and even butchers.

Our Point of Sale software is called Retailer. We called it that 20 years ago when the first version was released as it speaks to who it is for. As retailers ourselves, we leverage our own experience as well as that of hundreds of other retailers in evolving the software, to ensure it is genuinely useful in myriad retail situations.

We are proud to have had more than 20 years experience owning and running our own retail businesses in the retail innovation part of our company. It’s where we play, learn and walk in the shoes of our customers.

Through every year we release software updates to Retailer. These are developed based on customer enhancement suggestions. Our customers are invited to vote on the suggested POS softer enhancement. We love this, the democracy of it.

The Point of Sale software we sell and support today is very different to that with which we started. It is fresh visually, technically and functionally. We are proud to bring this to local retailers in Australia and New Zealand.

From our Xero integration to our Shopify and Magento integrations to our scale integration, we connect with tools that help retailers to operate more efficiently and successfully.

In the back office we offer repairs software, manufactured goods software and other tools that help retailers to run their businesses well and through the software. Our repairs software works a treat, for example, for jewellers, bike shops and any business with an in-house or external repair offering for customers.

We are a proud team of software professionals working in service of small business retailers. We are grateful to our customers for their business and for their recommendations. Their guidance and support has been wonderful for us as we have grown the business and helped more retailers run successful businesses.

That is what our Point of Sale software is about – helping local independent small business retailers to run efficient businesses they enjoy. We love seeing that.

While it may sound trite, we know it is true – we’re here to help. We know that if we can and do help, we will be appreciated and appreciation among current customers is at the heart of our future.

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The importance of buy Australian for small business retailers when it comes to POS software

Point of Sale software developed in Australia is better for Australian retail businesses and here’s why:

  1. Australian developed Point of Sale software is better tuned to the needs of local Aussie businesses.
  2. Australian developed Point of Sale software nurtures Aussie tech jobs and that is good for the broader economy.
  3. Every dollar spent with an Australian company for products or services is a dollar retained in the Aussie economy, a dollar on which tax is paid, a dollar that goes towards making our country stronger.
  4. Australian developed Point of Sale software offers and Australian perspective.
  5. Australian developed Point of Sale software is better. Yes, we said it.  It’s true in the specialty retail marketplace;aces in which we serve. Our software is finely tuned to the specialty needs of our specialty retail channels.
  6. Australian developed Point of Sale software is supported locally, in Australia, by Australians.
  7. Australian developed Point of Sale software is developed for small business retailers. Small business retailers have different and more personal needs than mass retailers.

Buying local matters. Well, it should matter, especially to retail businesses that themselves call  on local shoppers to shop local and shop small. That message is stronger when a business itself shops and supports local. That is why when it comes to POS software for small business retailers in Australia we say buy local, shop local, support local.

Rich and deep in our software is nuance that serves Aussie retailers well. We are parochial for sure. Nothing wrong with that. We help our small business local retailers go hyper local, too. We help them drill down to where they are, to their local community and, through the software, pitch this connection in a smart and serial-served way.

Ours is smart local software supporting local small business retailers.

Tower Systems only sells its software to indie small business retailers. It’s what we have focussed on for many years. It’s serves us well, and our customers.

Now, more than ever, buy Australian matters. We are proud to make that pitch, to encourage Aussie small business retailers to shop fort Aussie developed and supported POS software. This patriotic pitch is right for today, right for 2020.

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Help for small business retailers run this coronavirus impacted economy

Practical help for small business retailers impacted buy the coronavirus can be challenging to access. At the government level there are forms to complete, data to gather and waits to sit out which a request for help is assessed.

Here at our small business focussed Point of Sale software company, our assistance is easy to access for any small business retailer.

In a practical sense, here we announced to our customers back in early March:

  1. No support fee increase in 2020. We were planning to increase our software support frees having not increased them for 3 years. We decided a couple of months ago to forego the planned increase this year.
  2. Free Retailer Roam. We decided to provide free access for 3 months to ur Retailer Roam product – so you could more easily sell from anywhere and not just being the counter.
  3. Free home access. If you need help setting up access to a computer from home, we can assist for no cost.  Click here to access our advice on setting up another computer. For this you will need access to a current backup. For help on this, there is no cost for supported customers.
  4. One on one training. This continues for all supported customers. Free one-on-one training on any topic related to our POS software.

In addition to these financial benefits, we also increased our support capacity to serve support needs unique to the pandemic situation.

Plus, we commenced regular Zoom meetings open to all of our customers on many practical topics. We have been running usually 3 Zoom meetings every week for more than  two months now. They are proving to be a terrific  way for retailers to learn and engage. More important, though, is they give small business owners an opportunity to experience that they are not alone in going through what they are going through.

Here at Tower Systems we proudly only sell our software to small business retailers. It’s what we have done for 39 years. We are as energised for the opportunities today as we were back in 1981. We are grateful to our small business retailer community for their engagement with us through the pandemic and always as we walk together to serve our shared customers.

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