Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

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We are proud of the personal training and support we offer indie small business retailers

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Here’s a shop local Christmas video we created for any retailer to use

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Here’s a Christmas we created for any retailer to use

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Small business retailers advice: helping you cut employee theft

The theft reduction training video we produced in-house – How To Steal From A Retail Business – is being used by business groups to train their members on measures to take in retail shops to reduce the opportunity for employee theft.

In addition to the YouTube views, this video has been packaged and provided outside that platform for people to embed in conference presentations, one-on-one training and elsewhere.

Using your POS software small business retailers have excellent tools with which to reduce the opportunity for theft. These have existed for years. In addition to our software work, we act as expert witnesses in investigations and proceedings that successfully prosecute employee theft cases.

What matters is that theft can be reduced and even eliminated with good management oversight in any retail business using our POS software.

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Tips and advice about POS software connected websites for small business retailers

Small business retailers are open prey for web developers, especially offshore web developers who pitch low costs and don’t have the same accountability as a local Australian business.

Too many small business retailers paying for cheap websites get what they pay for, an inadequate website that does not serve the needs of their retail business.

Tower Systems is a Melbourne Australia based POS software company with a local web team. Our people are retail and POS software skilled. We have a wonderful portfolio of successful web development, having delivered wonderful solutions to our customers in a broad variety of retail stores.

We have development skills and experience through partnership with Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. We can develop solutions for businesses in a variety of situations and to a broad scope of need.

Since we develop locally we work your hours, speak your language, have a local design aesthetic and understand local retail. These points are critical if you want a website that works for your business.

Being retailers ourselves with a range of consumer facing websites we understand what is needed for a successful web store that attracts new shoppers and connects seamlessly to your POS software.  In-house, we have professional design skills as well as a broad range of tech skills. Plus, we can help you do the work necessary to help people find your website.

We are full service website development company specialising on websites for indie small business retailers. Being retailer focussed is important in that we bring to each project specialist skills that retailers need and appreciate to make the most of their web related investments.

Getting your website investment right is business critical for indie small business retailers. Chasing a cheap solution from offshoot is usually false economy as ,many retailers have found. That does not mean we are expensive. Like so many things in business and the world generally, you get what you pay for. Paying once for an awesome website is better then paying several times.

Offering fixed price contracts, Tower Systems backs itself when it comes to POS software connected website development for small business retailers.

If you are looking for a website for your retail business, consider Tower Systems.

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Portable POS software for specialty retailers on the road

Retailer Roam, the portable POS software from Tower Systems is being embraced by more retailers with businesses that operate on the road.

Now well established and delivering terrific benefits, Retailer Roam is serving retailers looking to take their business transactions to customers no matter where they are … local markets, on the farm, from the back of a truck, pop-up stores and more. Retailer Roam is truly portable POS software thanks to smart app developers;oipment from the Tower systems web team working closely with the POS software development team.

To back up access to this new and innovative portable POS software product, Tower Systems has released a range of helpful advice and online accessible documentation including:

  • Making the most of Retailer Roam
  • Previous Sales in Retailer Roam
  • Creating Layouts In Retailer Roam
  • Creating Paytypes In Retailer Roam
  • Installing TeamViewer for Retailer Roam
  • Performing Laybys In Retailer Roam
  • Performing Sales in Retailer Roam
  • Importing Retailer Roam Ordering Files
  • Frequently Asked Questions – Retailer Roam
  • Setting Up Retailer for Retailer Roam

Offering fresh and evolving documentation for Retailer Roam is another way we are helping new and emerging retailers make the most of the fresh opportunities offered by Retailer Roam. We are loving helping retailers unlock new sales opportunities by disconnecting transactions front sales counter.

A common question we get is: Does Retailer Roam Require An Internet Connection?

Yes and No. You will need an internet connection to install the app and to obtain the base Retailer data.

If the location you’re selling from does not have internet connectivity you can use the device to transact, however, you will not receive any product updates or send sales back until the connection is re-established.

There is an ‘Offline Mode’ that can be turned on in settings for a smoother no-internet-connection experience. While in this mode the user will be limited to completing sales with what data has already been pre-loaded on the device. No API calls can be made in this mode, and sales will be stored locally until they can be synced.

There is an option to download all stock-data on the device; so, it can be used offline.

Retailer Roam is portable POS softeware for retailers on the move.

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The software needs of newsagents have fundamentally changed this year.

2019 has been a year of considerable change in the newsagency channel and in areas connected with the newsagency channel. What newsagents need in their newsagency POS software now is fundamentally different to a year ago.

Being able to sell online easily is critical. Here at Tower Systems we make this easy with direct connect options through our newsagency POS software integrations with Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. Between them, they handle 85% of online sales in Australia.

Being able to expand into new product categories can help you attract new shoppers and grow overall business GP%. Our experience in multiple specialty retail channels helps leverage opportunities.

Being able to sell from anywhere is critical too. We have seen newsagents grow their businesses by engaging at local markets and on the road. Our new and exclusive Retailer Roam product is portable POS software made for this. It’s in the Apple App Store now.

Being able to get customers spending more and bringing them back sooner is also critical. Our discount voucher solution, launched in 2013, is now used in hundreds of newsagencies with many success stories. Better than points and easily understood by shoppers, this loyalty solution is next gen.

Being able to reduce dead stock is vital. This starts with buying better, which flows from fact driven conversations with suppliers.

Being able to cut labour costs without cutting revenue is essential. Our data insights help you do this with confidence.

We still do all the important newsagency stuff like XchangeIT, links with Nine (Fairfax) and News and Ovato and XchangeIT. We have worked with Tabcorp on changes they wanted to implement as well as with GNS, ACCO, the federal government, greeting card companies and a raft of others.

Tower Systems serves more newsagents than all other POS software companies combined. We are grateful to the many who have switched to us in 2019. Their faith in us is sincerely appreciated.

As you work on your business to make it more valuable to you, we’d love to help. Our connections to the newsagency channel go beyond our software. We own the newsXpress newsagency marketing group and we own and run three newsagency businesses ourselves. We walk in your shoes.

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POS software for adult shops help drive sales, safety and professionalism in a competitive retail space

The Adult Shops POS software from Tower Systems is finely tined to serve the needs of specialty adult product retailers. The most recent release of the software serves this niche retail channel well, helping adult shops to better serve patrons.

You can rent our Aussie designed and supported POS software made for Adult Shops for $155.00 a month. This provides access to awesome software that helps unique needs of adult shop businesses:

  1. Age checking for products sold that require age checking.
  2. Product care instructions provided on receipts.
  3. Managing credit for return for products that can be returned for a new purchase.
  4. Tracking products by tags and thereby enabling a flexible horizontal view of product sales.
  5. Tracking sales by time to enable fine-tuning late night shifts.
  6. Tracking sales by employees.
  7. Offering commission to employees for sales.
  8. Handling special orders.
  9. Discrete receipting.
  10. Tracking serial numbers.
  11. Say goodbye to LayBy pain. With our buy now pay later options.
  12. Customers will love the product use and care instructions on receipts.
  13. Make more money offering special orders that you can easily track from the counter and notify shoppers by email or text when the goods arrive.
  14. Get one-time-only shoppers spending more with an awesome and differentiating loyalty facility.
  15. Sell online easily, direct from your POS software.
  16. Bring customers back with reminders on key dates.
  17. Save money on bookkeeping by integrating with accounting software.
  18. Make more money from the one time only shoppers.
  19. Save time, load electronic invoices from suppliers.

Adult shops do have unique retail business management requirements and Tower Systems has tuned its POS software to serve these. We work not only with retailers but with suppliers too, to help them connect well with each other, serve each other and mutually benefit.

Taking this adult shop POS software connection further is our web store integration through Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. As a partner of each, we are able to provide adult shops with an online sales experience that is seamlessly connected back to their in-store POS software.

Being a POS software specialist in the adult shop retail management space helps us serve these businesses to guide better business performance and greater enjoyment for those in the business and those who rely on the business.

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Those responsible for IT capex at Myer are responsible for yesterday’s outage

All Myer department stores across Australia suffered major POS system tech failure  yesterday (Dec. 14), a vitally important day for Christmas trade.

Most consumer facing tech at Myer runs on XP from our understanding, an operating system that was at end of life years ago. With Windows 7 at end of life in four weeks, what happened to Myer is a reminder of the importance of having sound and current IT infrastructure.

The Myer IT infrastructure is old, out of date and technically unsafe.

Here at Tower Systems, we have been sharing advice with our 3,500 indie retail business owners about the soon to be end of life of Windows 7, providing options cost effective upgrade.

We provide a personal hardware and software upgrade service, tailored specifically to the needs of each customer.

We have also, in 2019, delivered comprehensive POS software updates, keeping our specialty POS software at the forefront of each marketplace in which we serve: Jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, produce stores, pet shops, toy shops, fishing and outdoors stores, rural supply businesses and newsagents.

What happened to Myer Saturday could have been avoided with better leadership, decisions focussed on managing IT and data as core business assets.

Take a moment and check your hardware and software. Make sure they are up to date. If you are running Windows XP or Windows 7, you must change to something more up to date. If your POS software has not been updated this year, look around at something more modern and fit for the needs of today.

Companies like ours are here to help indie retailers deal with the challenges of operating system and hardware upgrades. We do this is a structured and cash flow friendly way.  With all our customers being small business retailers, we are thoughtful about needs unique to them and their operations.

Our Retailer Roam portable POS software and our Retailer cloud based and desktop POS software provide indie specialty retailers tools through which to better serve and compete locally. As active retailers ourselves (3 shops), we willingly share broader retail insights we see in our travels.

The Myer story from yesterday is timely. It need not be scary if you are prepared.

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We’re loving the reaction to our new POS software website

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Appreciating those who are shopping local

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Thank you for shopping local for POS software for your specialty retail shop

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The benefits of our gift shop POS software for indie small business gift shops

The top benefits from using the Tower Systems Gift shop POS software.

  1. Get one-time-only shoppers spending more thanks to an easy to pitch loyalty system embedded in the software.
  2. Leverage you. If you believe your knowledge is a differentiator, offer it through structured opportunities in the software.
  3. Encourage customer happiness by serving product care info. on receipts.
  4. Easily handle special customer orders. Bring product in for a specific customer and have them notified automatically by email or text when the goods are in and ready.
  5. Easily sell online with a direct to Shopify / Magento or WooCommerce link from your POS software – including image flow.
  6. Go cashless if that is your goal – we make it easy and affordable.
  7. Save time with electronic invoices from suppliers.
  8. Use tags to get a fresh perspective, side-view, on stock performance.
  9. Bundle items together to make price comparisons harder and thereby increase sales.
  10. Business differentiating loyalty. Stand out from the crowd. Have customers coming back to youfor this.
  11. Trade and club pricing profiles. Set pricing rules based on customer type.
  12. Make money from pre-orders – Easily pre-sell a delivery so that when the stock arrives you can manage distribution and billing efficiently.
  13. Differentiate with informative receipts. These can include product care, use and safety information based on what customers buy.
  14. Track who sold what.
  15. Say goodbye to LayBy – with integrated buy now pay later options.
  16. Market to customers based on past purchases.
  17. Save time by importing electronic invoices.
  18. Sell more with a direct connect to buy now pay later services.
  19. Cut mistakes with integrated EFTPOS.
  20. Cut accounting and bookkeeping fees with integration to Xero and others.

Beyond the software, here are features of a relationship with Tower Systems…

  1. We are local. Local matters in local communities. Tower Systems is Australian owned, developed and supported. Call us and a human answers the phone.
  2. Our training is personal, in your business. We think people learn better from face to face training.
  3. Unlimited free training. Long after you install the software, ask for free top-up training and all we will organise it.
  4. New customer care.  All new customers have a separate specialist team with which they connect, to ease settling-in.
  5. Customers guide our software enhancement. We offer a transparent, democratic, process for guiding software update content.
  6. Adult shop business specific. This software is developed for your type of business.
  7. In the cloud or in-store. You choose where the software runs.
  8. Rent or buy. You choose how to acquire and fund the software.
  9. We help with business performance analysis and theft checks, services where we take a deep dive into your data and provide confidential insights.
  10. Every customer has the direct contact details for our leadership team for easy and safe escalation of any query.
  11. No pressure. You buy when you are ready.
  12. Retail group engagement.  Groups and members of groups have opportunities for group level customisation website sales and more.
  13. It’s personal. Retail is personal. This is why we prefer to train you in your shop. Yes, we said this above. We say it again as it is a differentiator.

Tower Systems is not an average POS software company. We are a small business, indie business, focussed POS software company developing software in Australia and New Zealand for Australian and New Zealand based specialty retailers.

Thank you for considering us.

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An update open Amazon Go

Here is a brief video update from us on Amazon Go, which we shared with our customers first last week.

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Major small business POS software update to round out 2019

We are grateful to our Tower Systems community of small business retailers who agree to beta test our new small business retail POS software releases. They are the front line of new software releases from us was they get to use and test this software ahead of commercial release.

Our beta testing program is comprehensive in scope and diverse in terms of the types of retail businesses that participate.

Beta testing commences only after two rounds of testing in-house and after sign-off from multiple stakeholders in our business.

Yes, we take software testing seriously.

This latest POS software update from us is big. It delivers enhancements to existing facilities as well as new facilities. It is a terrific advancement for our customers today and for businesses that will become our customers soon. We are not going to detail the contents of the update here – we will leave that for private customer communication.

After the beta testing process and once we are all happy with the software we will release it commercially for our customers to download and update when they want. we do not force software updates on customers as we know they refer to have control over when business processes change.

Every customer involved in the beta testing process has a say in next steps for the software release. This is what good beta testing is about – it is inclusive and engaging. We are sincerely appreciative of the engagement of our active beta testing community.

Our POS software is made for a range of retail channels. This update serves each of these channels with tuned changes to serve their needs. We work with retailers and their suppliers to help them bond through better software designed for their specific needs.

Jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, gift shops, toy shops, pet shops, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, fishing businesses, newsagents and more can rely on our commitment to each of the channels individually and collectively through serving common needs.

This next update is available to our Tower Advantage customers at no cost. It is part of the comprehensive service we provide our small business retailer community.

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We love this video created by a small local hardware shop in Wales, it’s inspiring!

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A free shop local this Christmas pitch from our POS software co.

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You don’t need super powers to run your shop with our POS software

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Cloud based POS software for small business retailers

Aussie POS software co Tower systems offers cloud based POS software made for specialty retailers.

We make what we sell. This is locally made, sold and supported POS software for niche retailers, retailers in selected retail channels. Our cloud based POS software solutions are made specifically for jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, adult shops, homewares stores, newsagencies, gift shops, toy shops, produce businesses, toy shops, farm supply businesses and more.

In each niche retail channel we have dived in to work with suppliers and retailers to ensure that we deliver solutions that are fit for purpose in each channel, for retailers and for suppliers. This is whaat makes us a vertical market POS software colour deep specialisation in a retail channel.

Being cloud based, we offer our  customers an insulation from some challenges of technology. Our POS software is securely hosted off site and independent of our own business and fully backed up to be safe and secure, with the ability to operate as and when needed by our retailer customers.

To be sure, though, our retail business customers can access our software through desktop local installation access if they wish. The choice is theirs. Cloud based is ideal for many but there are some who prefer their own approach, being self sufficient.

Our cloud based POS software is accessed through a 30-day rental program. Included in the low rental price for each is:

  1. Australian developed and supported specialty POS software.
  2. Software updates as we release them.
  3. Unlimited licences for your retail location. If you need an extra computer, there is no extra software cost.
  4. Shopify / Magento / Woo link. Easily sell online from your POS software.
  5. Xero link. Easing bookkeeping costs and streamlining accounting.
  6. Our OzBiz link – connect to MYOB and Quicken through OzBiz.
  7. Tyro link – safe, fast and easy EFTPOS link for streamlined sales.
  8. PC Eftpos link – easy EFTPOS processing for the major banks.
  9. Easy buy now pay laterthanks to Zip Pay and Humm – that Boomers, Gen Y, Gen X and others are using more and more.
  10. Support – help desk access, unlimited training, updates and more.
  11. User documentation. Access to our searchable knowledge base.

Rental is charged per 30 days, in advance. Access can be cancelled at any time. You can also choose to purchase the software outright.

We have a structured and personalised on-boarding process, done in your business for a modest up front fee. This includes:

  1. A pre-installation training and information pack to help you be ready in your business and with hardware.
  2. Pre-installation planning. A structured phone meeting to plan the installation and to go over the training, ensuring we cover what matters to you and your team.
  3. On-site installation and training. On-site installation of and training in the Tower software anywhere in Australia for up to two days incl. travel.
  4. Data conversion. Conversion of all data possible (within reasonable time constraints). This is a two-step process:
    1. Pre-conversion. With your permission we extract data to be checked for layout and consistency.
    2. The conversion itself. This is done as part of software installation.
  5. Personal priority support. New user priority support through a specialist area of the new customer help desk.
  6. Personal post-installation follow-up. A separate structured call to check knowledge and use processes.
  7. All travel costs to and from the installation.
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Welcome to our POS software company, Tower Systems

Tower Systems is an Australian POS software company that develops, sells and supports software for selected specialty marketplaces including pet, garden, toy, gift, homewares, jeweller, bike, news and produce businesses.

We only serve independent retail businesses. We are comfortable in the small business retail space and are grateful to serve more than 3,000 of these businesses with speciality software made for retailers in their niche.

Our mission is to help retailers run more successful businesses. Our definition of success is a business that is making money, where the owners and employees enjoy what they do and where suppliers enjoy transacting.

Good POS software can play an important role in nurturing business success as it sits at the heart of the business: transacting sales, managing stock, tracking customer activity and shining a light on business opportunities.

What makes us different is how we engage. We go beyond what is traditional software company.

  • We welcome working with your suppliers to create data links that save you and them time, data links that improve data accuracy, data links that feed more accurate business reports.
  • We provide business insights based on data cultivated through the software – to business owners who ask. This is a free service.
  • Our help desk provides context for advice. Rather than the turn it off and turn it onadvice, our help desk team members explain the why, why from a business perspective the advice they are providing matters.
  • Our software updates contain enhancements suggested and voted on by customers. You can have a direct say in the evolution of the software.
  • Our communication is in plain English. While we are a company of IT geeks, when talking with customers we keep it simple. We know POS software technology scares people. We don’t want it to scare our customers.
  • We are accessible. You get to talk with real people all the time, including our leadership team.

Smart POS software is key to any retail business but especially so in the small retail business space where competitive pressure is acute and challenging. We seek to help these indie retailers more successful engage competitively without the big business cost often attributed to competition.

Our decades-long track record is establishing, ensuring indie small business retailers can trust our focus, support and products.

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POS software receipts offer a proven marketing opportunity for small business retailers

For years now we have preached to the value off receipts as a valuable marketing tool for small business retailers. Today, in 2019, we see value continuing to be unlocked by retailers as these simple, low-cost, docs are handed out and turned into incremental business.

We back our awesome, flexible, beautiful and value promoting receipts with business training so that execution in any type of small retail business, through our POS software, is leveraged to fulfilment.

For many years we have offered the ability for retailers to produce advertisements, coupons and other collateral in customer sales receipts. Our Point of Sale software serves the coupons and advertisements according to criteria established and maintained by the retail business.

We recently saw an excellent example of the value of using receipts to drive sales in a retail business. This client, a gift shop, included a special offer of a percentage off the purchase of a particular but slow moving category if purchased within a few hours of the just processed sale.

The coupons were included on sales of only certain products. The retailer was keen to see if they could affect the behaviour of customers and break with usual buying traditions.

During one day, just over one hundred coupons offering the 25% off  were served to customers, as part of their sale receipt.

By the end of the day, 35 coupons had been redeemed. Product sales for the day for they target category were just over double the usual number. Some customers purchased three or more.

For no cost at all, the engaged retailer was able to leverage existing traffic to increase  sales of the target product category by more than 50% for a 25% discount off retail. Their margin on each item sold was still close to 50% thanks to proper preparation of the promotion..

This is just one example of many samples we hear about where retailers have used marketing tools in our Point of Sale software drive sales efficiency from existing customers.

Tower Systems helps its retail partners by developing coupons for printing on receipts and through through training for proper and successful in-store execution of the opportunities provided by the receipts.

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Fixed price web design for small business retailers in Australia

In addition to developing and supporting industry-specific POS software, Tower Systems has a separate team of web developers who create awesome websites for indie retailers, helping them find new customers online.

We do not outsource web development to overseas. Our developers are local, ensuring that our websites reflect local nuance and need. This also facilitates easy access to local support and help as needs evolve.

Our websites are all POS software connected, if you wish, delivering access to instore and online sales to maximise return on inventory. This matters as small business retailers chase revenue opportunities outside of their four walls in a rapidly engaging online marketplace.

Through our POS software integrated web development work we are able to help retailers not only with websites but with how to leverage these to be placed in front of people looking for what is on offer. From design to keywords to marketing, we can serve indie retail business needs in websites to help them leverage the success they want, and all to a budget suitable to their situation.

Being based in Australia matters to small business retailers looking for a website. There are too many stories of being burned by going cheap with offshore developers who cut corners, cut and paste and deliver sites that are not commercially suited to the needs of the client. Unfortunately, there are new horror stories almost weekly.

Tower systems has a structured on boarding process to ensure were fully understand the needs of a business before we agree to develop a POS software connected website for them. This process reveals needs to us and to our clients. This helps ensure that what we deliver is useful for our clients and a source of pride for  us and our tech experts.

If you  are looking for a new website for you independent retail business, talk with us here at Tower Systems as see whether our portfolio of successfully deployed websites interests you. We offer obligation free consultation so you can assess if we are a good fit for you.

The next-step future of retail is online and we are here to help small business retailers make the most of that opportunity. We believe in small business and only work with small businesses.

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Tower Systems helps retailers and wholesalers work more closely together

Thanks to smart hooks in our small business POS software, we are able to help indie retailers and their wholesale suppliers work more closely and efficiently together.

The hooks include easy and accurately two-way flow of data, thereby enabling more timely and accurate supply of inventory to retailers and through this a strengthening of the supplier relationships.

Delivering this through a seamless, data-driven, relationship is key to both the retailer and wholesaler businesses. This is where good POS software shines, helping both sides of the commercial relationship to benefit. It sits at the heart of a good commercial relationship and feeds mutual respect.

Our POS software is a beautiful glue for retailers and wholesalers who appreciate working together.

The connections we offer have been built into our POS software to worldwide data sharing EDI standards. This ensures that they will serve the needs of larger businesses with more rigid IT infrastructure. This is important where small business retailers need to connect with IT systems in large business suppliers. The Tower systems approach means that small business retailers are not disadvantaged.

Through or work in this area of seamless two-way data flow, we are able to help smaller wholesalers walk the path of better IT connection with small business retailers. There are many case studies we can share showing the success of this work. regardless of internal systems in use in wholesale businesses, we are usually able to help them take the steps necessary to achieve a beneficial connection.

Our work in the area of EDI for retailers in channels such as fishing and tackle stores, produce businesses, bike shops, garden centres, jewellers and newsagencies is well established and consistent.

Tower Systems is committed to helping independent small business retailers to compete effectively and successfully in a rapidly changing retail landscape in-store and online. We do this by providing best practice software backed by friendly, human and local support, helping retailers to compete and to enjoy their businesses.

EDI is key in retail today for retailers and wholesalers who want an efficient apply chain. Tower Systems is ready to help both sides of the EDI relationship.

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Loving our new website design

We are grateful for the wonderful and encouraging feedback for our new website design. Thank you.

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The top 20 Christmas marketing ideas for small business retailers

For years we have offered Christmas marketing tips here ands elsewhere to indie small business retailers. This year, we offer a revised list, the best of the best based on our experience in retail,. ideas that workehvery time and in just about every situation.

Tower Systems works with more than 3,500+ small business retailers using its POS software in speciality retail niches including jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, gift shops, newsagents, pet shops, adult shops and more. We offer these ideas as our Christmas gift to you.

  1. Make it easy. People often talk about how hard Christmas is. Be the local business that makes it easy. The ways to do this are with easy Lay-By, free wrapping, better shop floor help, guide buying advice or tips on perfect gifts no one else will think of. Consider making Christmas easy as being a key part of your messaging.
  2. Be thrilled people are in your shop. Your personal smile or greeting is something they may not see in a big business where employees are less invested in each shopper and where the owner is usually thousands of kilometers away.
  3. Make the giving easy. If people purchase items from you to send somewhere else. Offer a one-stop shop. Save them the trip to the post office.
  4. Make the shop less about Christmas. Consider pulling back on the Christmas visual noise. Go for something simple, muted, respecting the season but making a calm statement. Consider declaring the shop a Christmas carol free zone – not because you hate carols but because you want to help customers take a break.
  5. Help people rest and recharge. Create a Christmas shopping rest and recovery zone. Offer free tea, coffee, water and something to eat. Encourage people to take a break in your shop – without any obligation for them to spend money with you.
  6. Let your customers help each other. Setup a whiteboard or sheets of butcher’s paper, yes keep it simple. Get customers to write gift suggestions under different age/gender groups. For example: Girls 18 – 25, Boys 55+. Encourage your customers to help each other through their suggestions.
  7. Make price comparison difficult. If you sell items people are likely to price compare with other businesses, package them so price comparison is not easy. Put items into a hamper as a perfect Boy 8 to 12 bundle for example. Or offer the item with pre packages services if appropriate for an item.
  8. Facilitate sharing stories. Find space in your shop for customers to share their Christmas stories. It could be a story wall inside or in front of the shop. This initiative encourages storytelling by locals and better connects the business with the community.
  9. Become a gallery. Work with a school, kindergarten, community group or retirement village to bring in local art for people to come and see through Christmas. A small space commitment can drive traffic from family and friends of those with art on show.
  10. Send cards. Send Christmas cards early in the season to suppliers, key customers and local community groups. This connects you with Christmas. Invite all team members to sign each card.
  11. Host a Christmas party. For shops nearby. You are all in the season together – let your hear down before things get crazy.
  12. Ensure you have gifts targeted at occasions. For example: Kris Kringle, by price point and by recipient. Make it easy for people to know what they could give.
  13. Be local. Ensure you have a selection of locally sourced products available for purchase. Make it clear in-store that these products are sourced locally.
  14. Tell stories. On your Facebook page, talk about what is important to you at Christmas. Personalise the season and deepen the connection with those who could shop with you.
  15. Share Christmas recipes. Each week for, say, four weeks, give customers a family Christmas recipe. This personalises Christmas in your business, creates a talking point and makes shopping with you different to your bigger competitors.
  16. Sell training. Leverage the specialist knowledge you have in your business by selling as gifts places at classes you run sharing your expertise.
  17. Hold back. Don’t go out with everything you have for Christmas all at once. Plan the season to show off what you have as the season unfolds. This allows you multiple launches.
  18. Share a taste. Regardless if your type of business, bake a family recipe of Christmas cake, Christmas pudding or Christmas biscuits and offer tastings to shoppers on select days. This personalises the experience in your shop.
  19. Offer hampers. Package several items together and offer them as a hamper. Time-poor shoppers could appreciate you doing this work for them. We have seen this work in many different retail situations.
  20. Buy X get Y. Encourage people to spend more with a volume based deal. Pitched right, this could get customers purchasing items for several family members in order to get the price offer you have. Use your technology to manage this.

Christmas is the perfect time to plan for next year. It is the time to do everything possible to leverage bonus Christmas traffic to benefit your business through next year.

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