The POS Software Blog

The POS Software Blog

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

CategoryShop locally

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


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.

Plenty of local small business retailers report strong sales in Jan-Mar 2024 quarter


While news outlets report bad news in terms of retail business insolvencies at the start or 2024, here at Tower Systems we are grateful to share the news that plenty of retailers in local small business specialty retail channels have reported an excellent start to 2024.

We have seen 2024 versus 2023 sales comparison data for many businesses reporting double-digit sales growth. For many, this is on the back of strong growth in 2023 over 2024.

There is a common thread among the businesses reporting terrific growth and that is good use of business data informing good business decisions.

This good news for local small business retailers is not something news outlets will report. They remain fixated on big businesses, names people recognise. In towns and cities, on the high street, it is local retail that matters more, shops owned and run by locals, shops that make a difference in the local community.

One retail business reported growth of 22%. They achieved this by entering a whole new category for their business, one they discovered after analysis of business performance reports from our POS software being used in the business.

Smart POS software plays a role in helping local retail businesses to do well.

We work with retailers who want to engage, assessing their business data, sharing insights we see in their business evidence. We don’t tell retailers what to do. rather, our approach is top share what we see and leave the rest up to them. The insights offered by our POS software are comprehensive and specific to each business.

So while news outlets preference negative news, there is this good news out there for local small business retailers that have had an excellent start to 2024, with double-digit sales growth. Newsagents, jewellers, pet shops, gift shops, homewares shops, garden centres, produce businesses, fishing shops and plenty more are trading against the trend you read about in mainstream media.

The news is good for plenty of local retailers and here at Tower Systems we are grateful to play a small role in good news for 3,500+ local small business retailers.

Let’s shine a light on a few inspiring examples.

One local retailer saw a 15% increase by analysing their Tower Systems POS software data to identify understocked products. By reducing out-of-stocks they had been missing they increased sales.

Another local retail shop leveraged POS software data insights to expand an already strong category into new niche areas. This proved a hit with several thousand dollars in new shopper traffic revenue.

Another local retail shop leverages their POS software data to quit dead stock and use the freed capital and space to expand two product categories that POS software data revealed as having greater demand opportunities than the business was satisfying.

Plenty of local retail businesses are thriving! By embracing data and prioritising their communities, these small shops are not only surviving but flourishing.

So next time you need that perfect gift, a delicious treat, or something to spruce up your home, skip the big box stores and seek out your local gems. You’ll be surprised by the selection, the service, and the positive impact you’ll have on your community. Shop local, celebrate local, and be part of the local success story!

Tower Systems proudly supports independent local retail businesses with POS software that is made and supported locally.

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


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.

Owning and running a local shop is a calling


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.

How POS software helps local small business retailers serve local shoppers


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


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


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!

Explainer: why shopping local is good


Shopping local is good for a variety of reasons. For one, it supports the local economy by keeping money in the community. When you shop at locally-owned businesses, the money you spend stays in the local economy, supporting other businesses and creating jobs. Local businesses also tend to be more invested in the community, and often support local causes and organizations. Additionally, shopping local can help to preserve the unique character of a community, as local businesses often offer products and services that reflect the local culture. Finally, shopping local can be more environmentally friendly, as it reduces the need for long-distance transportation of goods.

Tower Systems makes POS software to support local small business retail.

Shopping local can benefit both the local community and the individual consumer. When people shop at local businesses, they are supporting the local economy by providing jobs and income for members of the community. This can lead to the growth and development of the local area. Additionally, shopping local often means that people are able to find unique, high-quality products and services that may not be available at larger chain stores. This can be a more satisfying and enjoyable shopping experience for the individual consumer.

Tower Systems makes POS software to support local small business retail.

There are many reasons why shopping at local small businesses can be good for both the local community and the individual consumer. Some of the benefits of supporting local small businesses include:

  • Supporting the local economy: When people shop at local small businesses, they are supporting the local economy by providing jobs and income for members of the community. This can lead to the growth and development of the local area.
  • Unique, high-quality products and services: Local small businesses often offer unique and high-quality products and services that may not be available at larger chain stores. This can be a more satisfying and enjoyable shopping experience for the individual consumer.
  • Stronger community ties: Shopping at local small businesses can help to build stronger ties within the community. Local business owners are often more connected to the community and may be more likely to support local organizations and events.
  • Environmental benefits: Shopping locally can also have environmental benefits. Local businesses may be more likely to use sustainable practices, and because customers are not required to travel long distances to shop, there is less pollution from transportation.

Overall, shopping at local small businesses can be good for the local community and the individual consumer by supporting the local economy, providing unique products and services, building stronger community ties, and reducing environmental impact.

Tower Systems makes POS software to support local small business retail.

Small business retail advice: how to be local and leverage this for local shopper sales


Being genuinely local for any local business sounds easy, right? It’s not that easy though, certainly not as easy as it seems. It can be challenging because of different expectations and experiences.

As a POS software company that only develops POS software and sells to local small business retailers, we have plenty of experience with retailers on thinking, living and acting local. Plus, we own and run local shops. Our experience and the experience of our 3,000+ local retail business customers informed the advice we share here and in our day to day contact with our POS software customer community.

Today, we share some of that advice, to provide a taste for the extent of business inspiration and management we provide our customers.

Being local in retail is more important than ever.

Local can mean different things to different people – it does not necessarily mean geographic proximity. Being local could be about the level of care and attention you provide customers, the additional advice you provide, that you live locally, that you source locally or that you serve the local community personally.

Locally sourced products could be products made in Australia. For example, detailing where a product is made and the family behind it pitches local compared to a similar product imported from overseas.

You can use your Tower Systems POS software to pitch local in a range of ways:

  1. Shop local yourself. Be seen doing this.
  2. Hire local. This shows you adding local economic value.
  3. Talk local. Know local news. Share it on your business social media pages.
  4. Include notes on receipts.Add product care instructions, use instructions or other useful information automatically on receipts – making your receipt a useful information platform.
  5. Tell people where you source products. For a product made by a family or small business in Australia, include details on the receipt. Shine a light on this local product – provide extra information so your shoppers can feel more locally connected.
  6. Include a SHOP LOCAL pitch. Add an image of a poster or some other promotion of the benefits of shop local to every receipt, reinforcing the value of shopping local. Tower Systems has images you can use for free – in the downloads section of our website.
  7. Thank your customers.Include text personally thanking customers shopping with you. Put our name to the message. Include your mobile. Big businesses do not do this.
  8. Track local product sales.Be aware of suppliers of locally made products and report on the performance of these through various reporting tools.
  9. Thanks for shopping local vouchers.You can use the discount voucher facilities in the software and call them Thanks for shopping localorLocal shopping reward. This reinforces a value for shopping with a local business – offering $$ discount off the next purchase based on rules you establish.
  10. Show local, on product tags, with information you auto-share about locally sourced products and about products sourced to serve local conditions.

It is not enough to tell people to shop local. Doing just that will fail, it will be ignored. We think it is vital for local retailers to demonstrate the value of local, to live it transactionally in your retail business. The best way to do this is through systems and processes in your POS software.

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