The POS Software Blog

The POS Software Blog

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

Latest stories

Pop-up store POS software helps retailers easily embrace the pop-up opportunity

P

Pop-up retail is as popular as ever with landlords keen to fill vacant shops and retailers keen to reach new shoppers.

Keys to to successful pop-up retail are getting up and running quickly, tracking all inventory and sales and handling this with as small an overhead for the business as possible. Tower Systems can help with this because we have years of experience in pop-up retail ourselves in our own shops and through helping other retailers with our pop-up retail POS software.

The Tower Systems pop-up retail POS software solution is called Retailer Roam. Retailer Roam is a web service made for pop-up retail.

Retailer Roam is a web-based POS system accessible from any web browser on a device like an iPad or tablet. This eliminates the need for bulky hardware setups, ideal for pop-up shops with limited space.

Even without an internet connection, Retailer Roam allows processing sales. Transactions are then automatically synced when you reconnect, ensuring business continuity even in pop-up locations with unreliable internet.

Tower Systems prioritises small businesses, and pop-up shops often fall under this category. Their understanding of small business needs might translate to helpful features and customer support tailored for pop-up retailers.

We have retailers using Retailer Roam outside of traditional pop-up retail settings. For example, one client uses it on their4 fleet of trucks for selling bulk garden supplies while another uses it in the various markets they travel top sell their wares. Retailer Roam is flexible in terms of where it can be used and what it offers, it goes way beyond the traditional pop-up retail situation, making it a versatile software solution for today’s versatile retail needs.

Traditionally, POS systems restrict sales to a designated counter area. Retailer Roam empowers you to conduct business anywhere within your shop or even beyond. Imagine processing sales at an outpost within a larger market or taking payments directly from customers while they browse. This mobility can enhance customer service and potentially increase sales.

Retailer Roam offers a versatile and mobile POS solution for retailers who need to operate outside the confines of a traditional store setup. Its affordability, ease of use, and offline functionality make it a strong contender for pop-up shops,market vendors, and businesses looking for more flexibility in their point-of-sale operations.

POS software for New Age and Metaphysical shops helps these specialty retailers thrive

P

We were grateful to discover that we can serve New Age and Metaphysical shops with software relevant to the needs of their businesses. Our POS software helps New Age and Metaphysical shops in myriad ways including:

  • Selling items that cannot be barcoded, like crystals, gems and stones. These can be sold by weight, category or some code that is meaningful to the business.
  • The ability to sell items by fractions. Plenty of New Age shops do sell products by length and being able to do this by fractions facilitates good management of inventory.
  • Easily sell items bundled together. People may purchase a gem a setting and a chain. That can be sold as a bundle or each item sold separately.
  • Easily sell services.
  • Share your knowledge as part of each sale in a systemised way.
  • Support a local club offering members a benefit and managing this such that it increases sales for you.
  • Easily manage pre-orders where you sell and item prior to you getting it in stock.
  • Produce barcode labels using micro labels like those used for jewellery.
  • Attract shoppers to return with a dated reward for their next purchase. With many New Age shop customers infrequent visitors, a reward such as this could bring them back sooner.
  • Implement age check for any products that have an age requirement.
  • Handle a pop-up shop requirement with minimal work.
  • Easily sell online via Shopify and others.
  • Manage as much inventory as you have: 10,000 items, 20,000 items and more.
  • Offer member pricing.

Our POS software for New Age and Metaphysical shops handles all of this and plenty more. It’s Australian made and Australian supported. We only sell to independent retailers and have a track record of service in a range of specialty retail channels.

We think our POS software is a good fit for New Age and Metaphysical shops and similar businesses. You see if it is right for you. Have a personal demonstration where each question you ask can be shown through the software. If it’s not a good fit, we will wish you all the best. If it is a good fit, let’s get started on helping you to run a more enjoyable and valuable business.

New Age and Metaphysical shops are businesses like so many retailers. While there are similarities across all retail businesses, there are differences too. This is where Tower Systems, as a vertical market POS software company, can serve beyond the average when it comes to retail business management.

We make POS software that helps Aussie and Kiwi local retail businesses thrive

W

Tower Systems is a proudly Australian POS (point-of-sale) software company dedicated to helping local independent retailers flourish.

We understand that independent, speciality retailers are the backbone of our communities. They create jobs, provide essential services, and foster a sense of connection. That’s why we’re passionate about providing them with the tools and support they need to thrive, and we always have been.

All of our customers are local. They are independent too. Plus, they are specialty retailers, unique in their area.

Our POS software is designed for the needs of speciality retailers. Whether you run a jewellery store, a garden centre, a bike shop, or anything in between, Tower Systems has a solution to streamline your operations and boost your bottom line.

We think Tower Systems is different for plenty of reasons including:

  • Aussie-made and Aussie-supported: Our software is developed and supported in Australia. That means you get a product that understands the unique needs of the Australian retail landscape, and you get the benefit of exceptional local customer service. The essence of localness is right there in the software.
  • Built for speciality retailers: Our solutions are built to address the challenges faced by speciality stores. From managing repairs in bike shops to tracking product by weight in garden centres, our software has the tools you need to run your business efficiently.
  • Focus on what matters: We know that as a retailer, your time is precious. That’s why our software is designed to be friendly, intuitive. You can easily manage stock control, generate reports, link to a website, link to your accounting software and process sales without needing an IT degree.
  • Seamless integrations: Tower Systems integrates with a wide range of popular tools and services, such as Xero accounting software, EFTPOS terminals, and weight scales. This allows you to streamline your back-office processes and save valuable time.
  • Personalised service: Retail is a personal, and so is our support. Our team is always happy to answer your questions, provide training, and help you get the most out of your POS system.

We understand that implementing a new POS system can be a daunting task. That’s why Tower Systems offers comprehensive training and support to help you get up and running smoothly. Our team of experts will provide you with the knowledge and confidence you need to use our software effectively.

We’re also committed to helping you stay ahead of the curve. We’re constantly innovating and developing new features to ensure our software meets the evolving needs of Australian retailers.

Should the POS software you use in your shop cost depend on how much you sell?

S

There is a trend in the POS software world to charge for the POS software on the basis of a percentage of sales revenue in the business. As the business sells more, the POS software company makes more.

The thing is, the POS software company is contributing as much to the business at $100 a day in sales as they are to the business at $1,000 a day in sales yet at $1,000 a day in sales the POS software company is being paid a lot more.

Here at Tower Systems we are a POS software company. We choose to prove what we sell at a fixed price, so that retailers can budget and know for certain what the overhead is. This lets them bank more money themselves as they grow their business.

We think this is fair.

For any business owner considering a point-of-sale (POS) system, understanding the pricing structure is crucial. While percentage-based pricing might seem appealing at first glance, a fixed monthly rental cost often proves to be a more predictable and cost-effective option in the long run. Here’s why:

Predictability and Budgeting:

  • Fixed Fee: A fixed monthly fee provides clear and consistent budgeting. You know exactly what your POS system will cost each month, regardless of sales fluctuations. This allows for easier financial planning and avoids surprises at the end of the month.
  • Percentage-Based: With a percentage-based system, your POS cost fluctuates with your sales. This makes budgeting difficult, especially for businesses with seasonal variations or those aiming for growth. A sudden surge in sales can lead to a significant increase in your POS bill.

Cost Control and Growth:

  • Fixed Fee: As your business grows and your sales increase, the fixed monthly fee remains the same. This allows you to scale your operations without worrying about additional POS costs eating into your profits.
  • Percentage-Based: With a percentage-based system, growth translates to higher POS costs. This can hinder profitability and discourage scaling efforts, as a significant portion of your increased revenue goes towards the POS system.

Peace of Mind and Risk Management:

  • Fixed Fee: A fixed monthly fee eliminates the worry of exceeding a certain sales threshold and incurring additional charges. This provides peace of mind and allows you to focus on running your business.
  • Percentage-Based: The variable cost associated with a percentage-based system introduces an element of risk. A slow sales month could lead to cash flow issues, as your POS bill remains high regardless of your revenue.

While a fixed monthly fee offers numerous advantages, it’s important to consider your specific business needs. Take your time. Do your research.

We mention this today because a retailer we have recently spoken with is locked in on a contract for their POS software paying a percentage of sales. The business has taken off, doubling in size in a year. This means the cost of the POS software has doubled. They had not expected this increased cost. Some of the growth has come from deals and sales, making margin tight. This is where the percentage of sales approach of POS software companies does not work.

Be aware, informed and careful.

The unexpected power of up-front rewards: our retail loyalty story

T

Forget everything you think you know about loyalty programs. This isn’t a story about points slowly accumulating towards a distant reward. This is about a small business owner who discovered the magic of front-ended customer appreciation, and how a simple $2 voucher turned into over $1,500 in sales.

Intrigued? Let’s dive in.

We own a shop. yes, this story is about one of our shops. It’s a newsagency, but it’s not really, it is so much more than that. We focus on high-quality, unique items that go beyond the daily newspaper. While most customers are regulars, a significant portion are passersby – folks who wouldn’t normally consider us a destination.

One day, a customer browsing our greeting cards made a small purchase. Little did they know, their receipt held the key to a much bigger discovery. It wasn’t a points reward, but a discount voucher for nearly $2.

This seemingly insignificant gesture had a profound impact. Here’s why:

  • Location Advantage: Being situated near the parking lot meant foot traffic was already in our favor.
  • Strategic Product Placement: The customer was drawn in by the greeting cards, a deliberate choice to showcase our offerings.
  • The Power of the Voucher: The discount sparked curiosity, prompting them to explore beyond their initial purchase.

This unexpected $2 nudge led them to a locked glass cabinet filled with beautiful, collectible items (it doesn’t;t matter exactly what they are for this story) – what they were looking for as a special gift. The price wasn’t a barrier; they wanted something lasting. And just like that, a $500 item found a new home.

But the story doesn’t end there. Weeks later, the customer, who rarely visited the shopping centre, returned for another $500 purchase. This became a pattern, with them placing yet another $500 order shortly after. A single $2 voucher had directly influenced over $1,500 in sales!

The Secret Sauce?

It wasn’t magic. It was a structured, consistent approach to loyalty built on three pillars:

  • Smart Software: Our system automatically generated vouchers based on pre-defined rules, ensuring a seamless experience.
  • Engaged Staff: A brief, professional explanation of the voucher by the staff member added a personal touch.
  • Strategic Product Placement: High-margin products, like the collectible items, were strategically positioned to capture attention.

This approach disrupted traditional loyalty programs. Instead of delayed rewards, we offered an immediate incentive to explore. And it worked. People responded in unexpected ways, ultimately leading to increased profitability.

Can This Work for You?

We think so. The key is to have:

  • The Right Products: Offer unique, high-quality items that resonate with your target audience.
  • Strategic Placement: Showcase these products prominently to entice exploration.
  • A Winning Pitch: Train your staff to deliver a brief, professional explanation of the voucher program.
  • A System That Works: Invest in software that automates voucher generation and tracks results.

By prioritising upfront appreciation, you can turn casual browsers into loyal customers, like we did in our own shop. Tower Systemscan help you achieve this with their flexible loyalty program software. From discount vouchers to other creative options,they empower you to craft the perfect strategy for your business.

So, ditch the traditional loyalty model. Embrace the power of up-front rewards and watch your sales soar!

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

L

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.

Bookshop software from Tower Systems helps independent bookshops shine

B

Our Tower Systems POS software has been fine-tuned to serve the needs of local independent bookshops. It is software for bookshops developed and supported in Australia.

Using our bookshop POS software / bookstore POS software local bookshops can leverage a range of facilities designed to help the run efficient and enjoyable businesses. Facilities in the POS software made for bookshops include:

  • Book Club support – rewarding members, fundraising for the club and more.
  • Structured handling of special orders for customers. Place the order and have it tracked when it comes into the store with the customer easily notified of arrival.
  • TitlePage integration for easy lookup.
  • Easy searching by book inventory by author name or part of author name.
  • International barcode direct connect for easy lookup.
  • ChatGPT integration for smart product descriptions designed to help with customer searching.
  • Returns management. Returning unsold books can be time consuming. Using our bookshop software, booksellers can identify titles that can be returned based on arrival in-store, sales and current quantity on hand. We provide the insight and the structured approach for handling the return, in a publisher friendly way. The approach in our software has been tested with booksellers, to ensure it is genuinely useful and in line with what is required from suppliers.
  • Pacstream connectivity. From within our bookshop software you have access to Pacstream integration. Ask us to demonstrate this to you, so you can see how it works live and in person. The PacStream platform is robust and commercially beneficial to retailers. Indeed, PacStream access is critical for book retailers.
  • Easy searching of book inventory by title or part of a title.

We serve local independent booksellers with bookshop software made to help them win new business.

This bookshop POS software is made of r independent retailers. You can run it in the cloud or on your desktop – you decide what’s right for you.

We support book retailers with specialty training and support too. We make it easy for bookshop owners and staff to learn the software so that they can help the business get the most from the software.

Independent book retailers are the lifeblood of the community, often at the heart of discussion, gathering and learning. Our bookshop software supports this role for bookshops in a range of ways, helping bookshop owners to serve community groups while strengthening their businesses.

POS software for New Zealand specialty and local independent retailers

P

Tower Systems makes, sells and supports POS software for retailers in New Zealand. Wee are grateful to serve plenty of retailers in New Zealand already using our POS software. We have been serving New Zealand retailers for for more than fifteen years.

Our POS software for New Zealand retailers comes with facilities designed to save time and enhance business value for small business retailers across a range of retail sectors including garden supply, pet shops, jewellers, bike shops, gift shops, toy shops, dairies, bookshops and plenty more.

Our New Zealand POS software customers have access to a toll free number for support. Support coverage suits hours for NZ businesses too.

We’re local too. One of our senior help desk team members lives near Christchurch and one of our senior POS software developers lives in Auckland.

Our POS software is integrated with Shopify, Magento and Woo commerce and easy online selling. We also develop POS software connected websites.

Plus, our POS software is integrated with Xero and has been for years.

We’re an odd POS software company in that since 1996 we have owned and run shops – 3 gift and homewares shops. 2 in Westfield centres and 1 on the high street. We walk in the shoes of our customers.

Call us on 0800 444 367.

Our specialty POS software for New Zealand retailers offers many specialty retail benefits, including:

  1. Colour, size and style: Easily track sales at a granular level.
  2. Club pricing: Helps you attract community group members.
  3. Repairs: Easily track & manage repairs & communicate with customers.
  4. Sell by weight. Sell by fractions.
  5. Smart loyalty. While you can use points, we also have something better.
  6. BOGO: Increase sales with buy this and get that bundling.
  7. Warranty: Track details and leverage this for customer service.
  8. Bring them back: Target market for birthdays, anniversaries and more.
  9. Sell anywhere: Using our Retailer RoamTM sell anywhere app.
  10. Sell anytime: With our Shopify / Magento / Woo integrations.
  11. Special orders: Easily manage special customer orders.
  12. Jeweller specific product labels.
  13. Outdoor, weatherproof, product labels.
  14. The ability to design your own product labels.
  15. The ability to design your own receipts.
  16. Awesome loyalty: Guide one-time and regular shoppers to spend more.
  17. Seasonal reordering: Easily reorder inventory based on seasonal sales.

The low monthly rental cost gives you:

  1. POS software with unlimited computer licences for your location.
  2. Software updates as we release them.
  3. Integrations: Xero, Shopify and more.
  4. Easy access to Support, training and documentation.

We help you from the get-go with personal one-on-one training to make it easy for you to get the most from your software. In you are a local independent retailer in New Zealand and you are looking for POS software, Tower Systems could be a good partner for your business.

POS software Quote and invoice management software from Tower Systems helps local small business retailers win more business

P

The new quote and invoice management POS software integration solution from Tower Systems is helping computer shops, garden centres, produce businesses, building businesses and other businesses that provide quotations to provide quotations, appropriately manage stock and deliver solutions all from within the POS software.

The new quote and invoice management solution from Tower Systems is a complete replacement from what was there before. It’s expanded in scope and function, based on wonderful feedback from our customers with whom we actively consulted before starting work on the upgrade project.

We first developed the facilities over last year and into 2024. Then, we embarked on a comprehensive in-field trial process during which we further enhanced the software. This was followed by a comprehensive beta release process that resulted in further enhancements.

The new POS software integrated quote and invoice management solution is now live and in commercial use across a broad range of businesses. here is some of what we shared with our customers in the release announcement email:

  • New Facility: We are excited to introduce a new capability within our Quote & Invoice Management system that allows users to reserve items from their inventory. This ensures that your stock levels are accurately reflected, preventing overselling.
  • Proforma Invoice Status: A new interim status, “Proforma Invoice,” has been added to our Quotes & Invoice management. This status acts as an accepted quote that has not yet been processed as an invoice but has already reduced the available stock quantity by moving it to a new “Reserved Quantity.” This significant update allows you to issue proforma invoices to customers without making the reserved stock visible on your website or in-store.
  • We have enhanced the Quote & Invoice Management system to support the acceptance of deposits and progression payments for Proforma Invoices. This feature facilitates flexible payment options for your customers and streamlined financial management for your business.

This was accompanies by a video preview of the software facilities as well as documentation for those who prefer to learn by reading text. These new facilities for quote and invoice management come with a full set of training and documentation, we have made sure of that.

Quote and invoice management is something we have always done. This re-write allowed us to take the solution to the next generation based on evolving needs.

We are grateful to the customers who engaged with us through this process. we think, together, we have made something wonderful and business beneficial.

We help local independent pet retailers thrive in Australia’s competitive pet retail space

W

It’s been a tumultuous 12 months in pet retail in Australia. While the ACCC has intervened in some of the big business expansion, big competitors are bigger than before, and noisier.

Our pet shop software offers tools you can use to differentiate your local business.

Our loyalty options include one shoppers love and big retailers rarely use because it puts customers ahead of the business.

Our pet shop software makes it easy for you to sell you, your knowledge and experience, your local insights … things unique to your business.

You can easily buy ingredients in bulk and bag up retail packs of your own feed mix, and you can manage inventory all the way through.

Loading supplier electronic invoices is a breeze. It saves time, cuts mistakes and provides you more control.

Our support for club pricing makes it easy for you to win more business from clubs, and community groups.

Easily track and nurture time-based purchases such as flea and worm control.

Recording the microchip number for a pet helps you offer a more personal service.

It’s the business insights where this pet shop software easily pays for itself, reducing sell-outs, cutting dead stock, reducing theft and more.

This pet shop software is made and supported here in Australia for local independent pet shops.

  • Easy & accurate selling.
  • Time saving supplier links.
  • Shopper loyalty facilities to bring them back.
  • Money making business insights.
  • Easy worming and care product reminders
  • Buy in bulk and make your own products.
  • Win more customers with club pricing.
  • Leverage your knowledge to differentiate.
  • Personal training.
  • Local human delivered support.

We back our pet shop software with human support. When you contact us, we listen to your query, and help. Our customers can call us direct, or email. Our goal is to be there for you when you need us. Small business retail is personal after all.

Here’s what’s included in the monthly rental cost of our pet shop software: licences for unlimited computers in the location, help desk support (by phone or email) 6 days a week (including Saturday), access to a comprehensive support knowledge base, after hours support call access for urgent system down queries, access to our Shopify, Xero and other integrations, access to our supplier invoice import tools.

Australian made POS software backed by local support from a team with retail experience.

A

Hi, my name is Mark Fletcher, CEO of Tower Systems. I hate it when I call a help desk and I am put through to someone who follows a rigid script with limited options. I also hate it when I end up talking to someone in an offshore call centre who doesn’t understand my local situation.

At my POS software company, if you call for help, we answer the call and one of our local retail experienced help desk members talks with you about your query. There is no rigid script, no tech menu to navigate before you get through.

As retailers ourselves, yes we own and run 3 shops, we understand the importance of easily accessible customer service. We genuinely walk in your shoes. You’re welcome to meet us at any of our shops to see what we offer first-hand – to see that our retail experience is more than a marketing pitch.

Justin Randall grew up in retail before joining our help desk and then moving to sales. He’s passionate about helping local retailers thrive. He’d love to answer your questions: 0434 365 789 or justin@towersystems.com.au.

Tim Batt worked in retail but to be honest he’s been with us for 20 or so years so he’s likely yo be rusty behind the counter. Tim loves helping independent retailers: 0401 833 917 or tim@towersystems.com.au.

Whether you run a pet shop, jewellery business, gift shop, bike shops, garden centre, produce business, fishing shop, bookshop, music shop, sewing shop, op. shop, newsagency, toy shop or fabric shop, we will do our best to help you.

Visit www.towersystems.com.au or email sales@towersystems.com.au or call 1300 662 957 to find out more. We’d love to learn about your needs.

POS software for Op. Shops, community enterprises, not for profit and charity shops

P

Op. shops, charity shops and community run shops benefit from software made for their needs and software priced in a way that reflects the good they do in the community.

Tower Systems is grateful to serve these not for profit retail; businesses with a 50% discount off our usual pricing while providing access to the software and full kit of support service.

Op. shops, charity shops and other community run retail businesses have unique needs such as easy to learn for volunteers, the ability to track and sell items that are not barcoded, the opportunity to price by different categories and the ability to serve community members with discounted or free product while still tracking product movement.

Our charity shop software, op. shop software and community enterprise software manage this for these organisations. Plus, the software can connect to deputy and others for rostering, Xero and others for accounting and many different banks for easy to use and manage EFTPOS.

It also offers the opportunity of different pricing for members of the community group as well as offering fund raising opportunities from within the software.

Here at Tower Systems we are grateful to serve many charity related businesses with our op. shop and related POS software.

Tower Systems is a small business focussed POS software company developing, and supporting POS software for niche specialty retailers.

Jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, fishing shops, pet shops, charity businesses, landscape gardening businesses, antique shops, sewing shops, haberdashery businesses, newsagents and more benefit from this software.

Retail transformation: one of our own shops

R

In this video we discuss the transformation of one of our shops, another place where we get to play with our POS software for guidance on how to run a more valuable shop. We are grateful to have this point of difference:

What is the future of POS software?

W

With so much change in retail and POS software solutions for retailers, it is reasonable to ask: What is the future of POS software?

We are a POS software company, we have a vested interest for ourselves as well as for all who rely on us. When we consider a question like What is the future of POS software?, we do so with honesty and clarity, because we owe ourselves that.

Not a black and white question, not a yes or no situation. Retail and and what POS software does are more complex than that. Indeed, the nature of retail has changed considerably in recent years. So, too, has POS software. Whereas in the past it was about inventory management and cash register replacement, today it is about workflow, maximising business performance and helping businesses be everywhere all at once, easily.

Good POS software evolves at pace with change in retail, or faster. It remains relevant while at the same time offering retailers the opportunity to leap forward into new revenue opportunities. It is also about helping retailers to be challenges as to what they do in their businesses, to help them reach beyond their expectations. This is where flexibility plays a key role.

This need for flexibility, for playing outside the boundaries of traditional, is relatively new in retail, in our world of specialty retail for sure. Whereas for decades retailers stayed within their lanes as defined by the shingle under which their businesses trade, today a shingle can mean little as to what a retail business offers. This is where it can be interesting for POS software in the sense that the traditional POS software for a type of retail business may not be as flexible as it needs to be in this more open world.

While some POS software companies have pivoted to focus more on collecting revenue for themselves with tollway type charing at the transaction level, the POS software that we think will have a brighter future is the software that delivers measurable and loved benefits ton retail business owners and those who work in retail.

Yes, functionality in the software is the key. What the software does is what matters to the future of the POS software. And to be clear here, in this world of considerable and rapid changes, rapidly evolving POS software is the key.

The future of POS software as a category is as strong as retail itself. The future of any specific POS software solution will depend on the attention those who control the software pay to changes in retail. Speed is as important as functional change.

Now, if this sounds challenging, rapid changes, new technology … these are things smart software developers love as these changes help them enhance their own skills and that’s something for which they are grateful.

Tower Systems is a vertical market POS software company. We serve 16 specialty retail channels. We love change and we love retail. We are grateful to have engaged customers who keep us abreast of changes in retail.

Our free app makes it easy for retailers to load product photos into their POS software

O

The free web app we created for retailers to facilitate fast and easy loading of product photos to our POS software and feeding these to Shopify, Magento, Woo and Big Commerce websites is being loved by our customers. In the year since release many have used it to save time on what used to be a laborious process.

Using this free tool our customers open their phone, take a photo, check that it looks okay and click to share it. The back end software does the rest, including removing the background of the image if you like.

This is another time saving tool created by Tower Systems to help local retailers more easily get new products online.

The photo management and upload app is 100% our tech, designed to serve our 3,000+ local retail business customers. we created it once we understood the frustration of retailers at how long it took to take photos, remove the background and upload them to the software. Removing plenty of steps and making it a 2 or 3 click quick process is helping local retailers get more products online in a time efficient way.

Tools like this can make the tech experience in retail far more enjoyable. We are glad to have helped here.

It all came about from experience we had in one of our shops. We thought there had to be a better and faster way to get good product images into our POS software.

International barcode lookup integration with Tower Systems POS software loved by retailers

I

Retailers are loving the international barcode lookup integration in our POS software.

We released our POS software international barcode lookup integration over six months ago and we can see it being used every day to verify data, collect data not available anywhere else and to collect product images.

The integration connects our POS software with a respected worldwide database of product barcodes and provides excellent access to descriptions and much more: improving data accuracy, saving time and enhancing in-store and online product engagement.

Here is how we train our POS software customers on how to use the POS software integrated international barcode lookup facilities:

Like all of our POS software customer training videos, we also provide a transcript for those who prefer to read. It is time coded to match the video. here is an example:

0:00 My next favourite integration with Retailer is Barcode Lookup. Barcode Lookup is an online database of barcodes, their descriptions, their web descriptions or extended descriptions, images, classification information such as brand, manufacturer, dimensions.

0:15 It’s massive. Now over the time that we’ve integrated with Barcode Lookup, it’s grown from 100 million records right through to today at time of publication nearly a billion records.

0:26 That’s massive. So, what can it do? Well, Retailer can integrate with it and pull data down when you create a product or choose to update a product with data from that website.

0:37 Let’s have a look. The very first thing you’d want to know is how to sign up and how to get it working.

0:41 So, you should always read our knowledge base articles. Which will be linked to this video down below and it goes through the entire sign up process and how it works.

0:49 So, just follow the article and go from there. If you want to have a look at the website, we even have a link to the website and this is it here.

0:56 So, you can see right now 978 million people products exist on this site. to give you an example, I’ve got a few items here.

1:05 I’ve got a package of um electrical tape and a box of glasses cleaners to clean my glasses. I’ve done a little search on those and believe it or not, here’s my glasses cleaners and this is the description that it’s going to pull down from the site.

1:17 It will pull down the menu. Manufacturer information and it’ll also pull down this extended description and put that where I choose to put it.

1:25 There’s only one attribute to go with it, which is an MPN or a manufacturer’s product number. And these are all the images that it will pull down with it.

1:33 If we go look at this. The electrical tape pulls down this description one by three meter PVC electrical tape and has a much better description to explain what it comes what it’s all about no classification information with this one and then I’ve got my three pens so we’ve got the the blue tip which

Be sure to watch the video and check out the transcript to the right side of the page.

This video is another from our growing library of freely accessible training videos for retailers using our POS software.

Expensive risk for small business retailers who fail to backup data daily

E

We have just completed a project working with customers that we could see were not backing up their POS software data daily.

This is customers not running in the cloud – customers who prefer to run on computers in their businesses. There are plenty of situational reasons where this is required.

Anyway, we did a deep dive and found a group of several hundred not following our advice to backup daily. So, we engaged with each of them, reminded them of the importance of daily backup, offered easy access to automated safe cloud backup and urged them to do something.

The whole project resulted in a different type of engagement with our customers – proactive with us reaching out to them to say hey, things don’t look right here.

Customers loved it.

You don’t want to discover that you need a backup when you don’t have one.

Hardware failures, natural disasters,cyberattacks, accidental deletions, and even power surges can all lead to irreplaceable data disappearing. This can be catastrophic for a business, causing delays, damaging reputations, and incurring significant financial losses.

That’s where daily data backups come in. Regularly backing up data creates a safety net, ensuring you have a recent copy of your information readily available in case of disaster. Here are some reasons why backing up your data every day is crucial:

  • A data loss event can bring your entire operation to a grinding halt. Daily backups allow you to quickly restore lost information and get back up and running with minimal downtime. This keeps your business productive and prevents lost revenue.

  • Ransomware attacks are a growing concern, and businesses are prime targets. By having daily backups, you can avoid paying hefty ransoms to retrieve your data. Simply restore from your latest backup and continue working.

  • Human error is inevitable. Accidental file deletions or system malfunctions can happen to anyone. Daily backups ensure you have a recent copy to restore, saving you the heartache and hassle of data recovery.

  • Disasters can strike at any time. Floods, fires, or even power outages can damage hardware and destroy data. Daily backups stored offsite guarantee you have a copy of your information safe and secure, enabling you to resume operations quickly.

Our advice to any POS software customer is to ensure you are backing up daily.

Pet shop software from Tower Systems helps locally owned pet shops thrive locally

P

Local matters to people connected with their local community. Pet shops provide wonderful services to local pet owners and it is in this area of local service that pet business owners can stand their business out from the noice of the big box pet businesses.

Here are 9 ways this pet shop POS software from Tower Systems helps you achieve this.

  1. We work with AIRR and Just For Pets and accept electronic invoices from suppliers like Kongs.
  2. Leverage your localness. In the Tower Systems software there are many want you can leverage being local, being different, being nimble and being engaged locally.
  3. Community support. Using the pet shop software from Tower Systems you can partner with a local pet related community group, raising funds for them which being an appealing place to shop for locals who support the local community group. It’s a win win leveraged by the software.
  4. Easy small wins. The one-percenters make a business. This pet shop software is packed with one-percenters, helping you to small wins in efficiency, add-on purchases, smarter buying and more.
  5. Healthier pets. Pet owners will love your reminders about a treatment that is due. They will also love that you treat their pets as a member of the family. You will love that this software makes it easy. You can embed in the software knowledge that can be served to customers, automatically.
  6. Hands off. Every keyboard click has a cost and could be a mistake. Look at your last Kongs invoice and reflect on the time it took to process. Imagine importing an accurate electronic version in seconds.
  7. Standing out from the crowd. While dog breeds are judged to a set of strict standards, in retail being different matters. When it comes to loyalty, we help you stand out, be noticed and be loved.
  8. You are the difference. When it comes to pet food and other items that make up the bulk of your revenue, standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. The thing is, you and your people are the difference. This software helps you shine a light on that. Sell you and leverage you as the point of difference.
  9. Not every shopper will walk past your door. A smart and seamless connection between your software and a beautiful website can help you easily and with low overhead sell to people you will never meet. Points are so yesterday, shoppers love and understand value, especially when it respects them.

There is no long-term contract for this pet shop software. You can cancel at any time. There is no finance application, no on-going finance obligation.

Our pet shop software offers many benefits, including:

  • Save time with electronic invoices from suppliers.
  • Easy special customer orders. Smart tracking and customer notification.
  • Make money from pre-orders – Easily pre-sell before release.
  • Community group pricing. Set pricing rules based on customer type.
  • Easy record keeping: microchip tracking.
  • Business differentiating loyalty. Stand out from the crowd. Drive sales.
  • Differentiate with bundles. Make price comparison hard.
  • Say goodbye to LayBy – with integrated buy now pay later options.
  • Market to customers based on past purchases.
  • Cut accounting and bookkeeping fees with integration to Xero and others.
  • Easily sell online with a direct to Shopify link from your POS software.

This is pet shop software to love, like your shop, like your pets.

Advice from Tower Systems on how to choose the right POS software for your business

A

The best advice on choosing the right POS software for your retail business is that you do it yourself. This is not something to outsource, not something to use one of the comparison (marketing) websites for. Do your own research.

Choosing POS software is an important decision, a decision for the long term, a decision directly connected to the financial viability of your retail business.

Take your time.

Start with what you want and what you need. These are different things. Write lists. yes, write them down for the more organised you are the more likely you are to make the best decision for your retail business.

Choosing POS software is not something to rush. Beware of the POS software companies that put limited time deals in front of you. Those companies likely offer POS software that is not ideal and they try and make your choice about price so as to distract you from your lists of needs and wants.

The decision is about what you need and want and each of the POS software companies that you consider. It’s not about what representatives of those companies think about software from other companies. Asking them to comment on competition is not ideal. If you do ask though and if they bag a competitor, ask them how they know this, ask them for evidence.

Be sure to gather evidence in writing. If a representative of a POS software company makes a claim that they will do this or that or that their software does a specific thing you need be sure to describe your need fully and to get their response to this in writing – it could be you rely on this later.

If being local is an important part of what you pitch for your business, think about the local situation of POS software companies you consider. Find out how local a company you are considering is, how local their people are, think about whether their answers factor into your decision making.

See, don’t hear or read. See the software for yourself. Come to the demonstration with unique sales scenarios you see play out in your shop. See how the software handles these. Ask for a recoding of the demonstration so you can share it with others in your business who will use the software for if they feel they are part of your decision making they are more likely to support the decision you ultimately make.

No marketing company, so software comparison website, no consultant can substitute for what you invest in considering POS software for your retail business. Invest the time, your time, and it will reward you with the best decision for your business, you, people who work in the business and the customers of the business.

No software is perfect, and doubt anyone who claims it is. Software that is the best will not be perfect. best is good though. This is why controlling the consideration process yourself is vital, it helps you find what you decide is best.

Small business retail advice: a busy shop can lie to you

S

Hi, my name is Mark Fletcher. While here at Tower Systems we make POS software for local small business retailers, I also provide support advice to retailers. I was asked to write an article recently for a small business retail publication. Thinking about a shop I had visited recently and how the performance of the business did not match what the owner thought, I decided to write about how a busy shop can lie to you. Here is the article:

Do you get to the end of the day exhausted from how busy the shop was and feel good about the business? When I bought my first shop, I loved being exhausted by the end of the day. I thought being busy equalled success.

The thing is, a busy shop handling many low-value, low-margin transactions in a day is likely to exhaust you more than a far quieter shop handling fewer transactions at a higher value and with a higher margin.

Now, for simplicity, when I talk about margin here, I am talking about gross profit. This is what you sell an item for, less the cost of the item to your business.

The most important truth about the performance of any business is in the profit and loss statement. This is where everything comes together. On one side is all your sales revenue. On the other side is the cost of stock purchased, along with all other costs such as labour, rent and overheads.

Set yourself up to get easy access to your profit and loss statement yourself without needing to go through an accountant. This is easy to do, especially if your point-of-sale software feeds sales data and inventory purchase invoices direct to the accounting software. Being on top of performance has never been easier.

If your business features low-margin, low-transaction value products, look at opportunities to increase margin on those products and sell more higher price point items with better margins.

The price you charge should reflect what you offer. If your business is convenient, shoppers are likely to be comfortable with a higher price than they may pay elsewhere. If you offer a value-addition, such as differentiating product knowledge or follow-up servicing, this should be considered when setting pricing.

On initial consideration, this may feel too difficult to achieve. I have seen retailers think this, only to realise that they were the barriers to deciding what might work in their shop.

A while back, I was helping a retail business that was rooted in that low transaction value, low margin world. I suggested they add a product category their type of business was not known for. They did, and it was a success. Today, that initial change has led to a complete business transformation, delivering a much-appreciated profit multiple that they could not have achieved had they not changed.

In retail today, there are no rules demanding your business stay in a lane defined by the shingle above your door. By disrupting expectations for your type of business, you can create more success for you and all who rely on the business.

Don’t be duped by your business. Feeling tired is no measure of success. The only measure that matters is the one reflected in the financial statements of the business.

The POS Software Blog

Categories

Categories

Categories

Recent Comments

Monthly Archives