The POS Software Blog

The POS Software Blog

News from Tower Systems about locally made POS software for specialty local retailers.

CategoryShop local

Local small business retail advice: locals are not buying from me, what should I do?

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Local means different things in different situations. It could be products made in your town, your state or territory, or in your country. What is local will vary depending on what you sell.

If you are certain locals are buying elsewhere instead of from you, find out why, as this is key to what you do to turn the situation around.

Before we get into the why and what you could consider doing about it, think about how local your business is and why you think locals should support you. Gaining local support starts with you supporting locals.

If you buy products from makers who live locally and shop in town, talk about that and how grateful you are to have their products. Create a small sign to place next to their products. Include their photo. This personal touch helps shoppers to understand who else benefits from their purchase.

If you source products from within your state or country that nearby competitors and online businesses source from overseas, talk about how pleased you are to find local suppliers, how that makes you feel, and what it means in terms of the products.

Look at every product or service you use in your business. Talk about each one that is locally sourced; show that it is locally sourced. Consider local alternatives for those sourced from overseas.

Look at your engagement with local community groups and clubs and with the local community as a whole. Is it as good as it could be? Is it consistent? Is there a place in the shop where your local community group support is shown?

Does your business attract people to the area? If there are things you could do to attract people, do them and get known for doing them. Get locals pleased that you are bringing more people into the area.

The more you walk the local walk, the more you can talk the local talk.

Stop telling people to shop locally. Show them. Think about what you source locally for your business and discuss it on social media and in your shop. This is an excellent way to demonstrate being local.

Getting local shoppers shopping locally really does start with you and how locally focused your own decisions are.

Educate shoppers to be inquisitive about identifying local products. Show them how to read a label to see if a product is locally made. Sometimes, people need to be shown how to shop locally.

Now, let’s consider why locals may not be supporting you.

If shoppers prefer online shopping, it could be price or convenience. If shoppers prefer a big competitor, it could be range or price. If shoppers prefer shopping in the next town, it could be price, range and/or convenience.

Addressing price, convenience and range can feel challenging in local small business retail. Let’s have a crack at it.

Price comes down to value. If you sell products that benefit from knowledge you can share that nearby or online competitors cannot or do not share, that’s your competing price. Demonstrate your value at every opportunity and hope that your shoppers will talk to others about it.

Convenience could be parking out the front, your opening hours, nearby shops and/or whether your business is online. If you’re not online, get online; that is an easy step to address. Other convenience factors rely on local amenities and fellow local retailers.

If range is the reason that locals tend to shop elsewhere, your pitch comes back to the value proposition. It may be that you have the best, most useful, longest-lasting products, and that’s why your smaller range is beneficial to locals.

Our point here is that if you are unhappy about support from local shoppers, your decisions and the narrative you pitch in and around your business are key factors.

You need to help locals understand why shopping locally with you is good for them.

Shop local: show don’t tell is a strong message local retailers can spend through the decisions they make

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If you run a local retail business and have put a shop local post on social media or a sign in your window, take a moment to think about the decisions you have made in your business that lean into the shop local narrative for your business.

Do you by local every time you can?

Take POS software, is your software locally made, locally supported, benefiting the local community.

In the POS software space we have plenty of businesses owned by overseas companies, selling software that is developed overseas and software that is supported overseas. Very little of every dollar you spend with them stays locally. here at Tower Systems, most of what we are paid stays locally, supporting the local community, for which we are grateful.

In the relates EFTPOS payments space, there are local banks and providers and there are international businesses. Given the similarity in fees, choosing the local company would appear to make sense to businesses that themselves call on others to shoot local.

Now, if there is software locally made and locally supported that fist your business needs and is similar in price, why not consider the, local alternative and, when you do, tell people that you are grateful to be able to shop local for your own business.

This is one way to pitch shop local practically in your local business: shop local for yourself and gracefully share stories about this on your social media pages. Without telling customers to shop local you are leading in the conversation by doing it yourself.

Any business publicly encouraging others to shop local has an obligation themselves for each decision to make to first consider the local options. Your actions in business speak to the narrative of your business. You actions on shopping locally will show whether you are true to your word.

There is so much more to a call to shop local than the words themselves. It is vital we understand this and that we live it through the decisions we make in our businesses if we plan to tell others to shop local.

Shop local is a solid message if we walk the walk.

Why is local retail important to the local community?

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The question is: Why is local retail important to the local community?

Local retail matters to local shoppers for plenty of reasons with the most important being the shared interests of those living in and relying on the local community.

Local retailers are a terrific source of jobs for locals.

Local retailers are well positioned to offer locally made products.

Local retailers are more likely to share locally relevant information about the use of their products locally.

Local retailers are more community connected.

Local retailers are local storytellers.

Local retailers shop locally.

Why is local retail important to the local community? It matters for these reasons and plenty more too. It all comes down to what matters to you and those you care about.

If local matters to you, shopping with local retailers will do more to assist and support locally than you are likely to see from a national retailer with a branch or outlet for local sales for try as they might to pitch local the majority of the value they get from locals shipping with them ships away from the local area.

Here at Tower Systems we are a local POS software company serving the needs of local specialty retailers. In our POS software we help local retailers embrace and serve the local community.

By local retailers we mean independent retailers, specialty retailers, small business retailers. We believe in local. We know local matters to locals and that local is where community flourishes.

At its heart, local retail embodies the local community.

Local retail is important to the local community because local retail is local. In plenty of local communities this is vital for the economic sustenance of the community and its people. Local businesses engage in practical ways big businesses can’t. This is the difference between the two.

If we think but where we live, what we like about it and what matters, local retail will be an important factor, one to consider when asking ourselves where we wish to shop. Your decision where to shop can make a big difference to local businesses, those who work in them and those locally that the businesses help along the way.

Owning and running a local shop is a calling

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Owning and running a local shop is often more of a calling than a pure business decision, for local shops play active and vital roles in supporting local communities.

This is what happens when the owner of a business lives among those they serve. They want the local community to thrive because they live and feel the joy of a thriving community.

No big business can compete with this personal local connection, no matter how much they advertise or promote local support. Nothing beats living alongside those your own business serves.=

It’s this connectedness of local retailers to their local community that inspires us to make software that is genuinely useful in helping local retailers to serve, and to thrive themselves.

We are grateful to only make software for local independent retailers. As locals ourselves, we understand the role our software can play.

A message for local retailers

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Running a local retail business can be lonely hard work with days that feel like they never end, plenty of people with unsolicited advice on what to do and too often not enough money to do what you want or need. 
The thing is, local retail businesses are the stories, and often the lifeblood, of local Aussie towns. They are the businesses that make the most difference locally. And while some days it may not feel like it, they are loved. 
If you own a local business and find it hard some days to feel motivated be sure to have a nourishing well from which you can draw to re-energise, re-set. It could be an album of photos, a keepsake from a loved-one, a local walk you enjoy, reading a chapter of a book or a hug from someone you know who has your back. 
What local retailers do matters and you can only continue to do that if you take care of yourself too.

How POS software helps local small business retailers serve local shoppers

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Local retailers often pitch for local shoppers with emotive language on social media and noticeboards out the front of the shop and while these pitches can help the local retailers feel like they are pitching shop local, we think they are noise in an already noisy space.

The best way for a local retailer to pitch shop local to local shoppers is by showing, rather than telling.

Here are 7 ways local small business retailers can use POS software to pitch local by showing rather than telling.

  1. Share local knowledge. If you sell products that can be used locally, in local conditions, share relevant information as to appropriate local usage on your receipts. Garden centres, fishing shops, camping businesses, produce / farm supply businesses and more are ideal for the sharing on this local knowledge. Big businesses are not structured to do this like you can.
  2. Share local knowledge II. Share information about local places where what you sell can be used. share your local knowledge, insider tips, to add value.
  3. Support local community groups. use your POS software to serve members of local community groups and clubs. Offer the members a deal and an opportunity to fundraise for their club or group. This pay it forward approach offers a level of local support that big businesses will struggle to match.
  4. Highlight local products. Use your POS software to note what you have in store that is locally sourced. Shine a light on local products so your shoppers can support local more.
  5. Offer local value. Use your POS software to offer loyalty rewards to regular shoppers. These are more likely to be the local shoppers who provide the best value for the business.
  6. Communicate locally. Harvest local shopper details from your POS software and email local specific offers to local shoppers. reward their locality.
  7. Be locally relevant. Use your shop as a hub, a knowledge base on local, be known for this and your service of the local community and local places of interest.

We have cultivated this list by being local retailers ourselves, through own own doing, for decades in the gift, homewares and related retail channels. By showing shoppers the value of shopping locally we win more local business for sure. yes, we use our POS software every day in shops we own and run.

Tower Systems is not your average POS softer company.

The pandemic showed us the value of local, and local retailers were there for us

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Local retailers were quick to respond to the Covid pandemic and the needs of the local community who could not go far from home.

In our work with thousands of local retailers we saw many pivot, or adjust, to the new situations brought through Covid. It was wonderful seeing local small business retailers respond, and to see their customers respond, too.

March 2020 heralded in a new era of shop local, in part because we all had to. Today, early in 2023, many local retailers are benefiting, and continues using to lean more into serving local shopper needs.

2023 can be a year of shopping locally. The community benefits. The planet, too, benefits.

We know form our work with a variety of local retail businesses that there is a diverse mix of products available, many of which have been locally sourced, from gifts to homewares to food. These local businesses have brought to town more products and services than ever. It is a joy to be part of what is helping local retailers service their local communities in this way.

We all have a part to play to make 2023 a wonderful year for the local community.

So, what can you do to support local businesses in 2023? Here are a few simple steps:

  1. Shop at local stores and markets. Make a conscious effort to shop at locally-owned businesses rather than online or chain stores. This includes everything from groceries and clothing to home goods and gifts.
  2. Buy local products. Ask where it’s made. Preference locally made products. Your query can encourage local retailers to stock more local.
  3. Use local services. This can include everything from getting your hair done at a local salon to hiring a local plumber or electrician.
  4. Share the love. Tell your friends and family about the great local businesses you’ve discovered and encourage them to shop local as well. You can also leave reviews online or share your experiences on social media to help spread the word.
  5. And, like. Each time you like a social media post by a local business, it is cheer for them and the more they feel those cheers the more able they are to help your local community.

Part of our role here at Tower Systems is to provide local retailers with tools on which they can rely to serve local shoppers. We only serve local specialty retailers. And while we for sure benefit when you shop local, you benefit too in many ways.

Join us in making 2023 a strong shop local year, for your community.

The simple case for shopping local in 2023

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Here at Tower Systems we make POS software local retailers, specialty retailers, local shops that serve the local community. To us, local is Australia and New Zealand. We are grateful to serve over 3,000 local small business retailers with our POS software across both countries.

And, local community is key … and here’s why …

Shopping local matters to the local community for a number of reasons, some obvious, some not so obvious.

Every dollar you spend locally helps to stimulate the local economy. This is especially true if you shop at locally owned businesses.

When you shop at a locally owned and operated business, the money you spend tends to stay within the community, rather than making its way to corporate offices elsewhere.

Your dollars spent locally are supporting local jobs, local suppliers, and local tax revenues, local infrastructure. This can have a ripple effect throughout the community, as the increased economic activity can lead to more opportunities for businesses to thrive, which in turn can lead to more jobs and further economic growth.

Shopping local also helps to preserve the unique character and culture of a community. Local businesses are often an integral part of the fabric of a community, and they can help to define its personality and sense of place. When you support local businesses, you are helping to keep these cultural touchstones alive and ensure that the community retains its distinct character.

In addition, shopping local can be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Local businesses tend to have smaller carbon footprints and are often more committed to using environmentally friendly practices. By supporting these businesses, you can help to reduce your own carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable local economy.

Finally, shopping local can simply be more convenient and enjoyable. Local businesses often offer a level of personal service and attention to detail that can be difficult to find at larger chain stores. Plus, shopping at a local store can be a more engaging and enjoyable experience, as you have the opportunity to interact with the owners and employees and learn about the unique products and services that they offer.

Local is community. Yes, we get that reads as a cliche. It;’s true, tho. Local is community. Thriving local shops are able to help the community thrive and in a local thriving community, you thrive.

It its the circular nature of the local community that benefits all in it and all who rely on it.

The Tower Systems team is grateful to serve local retailers.

Have an awesome 2023. May you and your local community thrive!

The POS Software Blog

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