The POS Software Blog

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

CategoryConvenience store software

Updated advice for POS software users in Tower Systems knowledge base


The Tower Systems Knowledge base continues to expand with weekly enhancements. We add new articles and update existing articles. This makes the knowledge base a living thing for our customers, offering fresh insights and advice through which they can learn more about how to use the software.

Here are knowledge base enhancements in the last few days.

  1. Importing The Blueshyft Stock File & Invoice File
  2. Common Problems With Magazine Arrivals
  3. Gift Vouchers / Cards Setup
  4. End Of Financial Year Procedures
  5. How To Add A New Staff Initial
  6. NETWORK Sales Data Being Sent Back To XChangeIT
  7. New PC / Windows Configuration – Operating System Configuration

Our POS software customer in their weekly email get a more comprehensive list … weekly.



Local small business retailers are asked to support local schools, community groups and charities on an almost daily basis. While community groups and charitable organisations beat a path to the doors of local businesses, so do individuals engaged on personal fundraising of their own for a cause or for an other individual.

It is tough making the call about which organisation to support or not for there is a real fear that declining will hurt the business. Often, small business retailers do not look for an uptick in business from a charity support decision but they do worry about a decline.

So how do you choose which local business you support?

Requests from schools, charities and other community for donations can be a challenge for any size business. If you do not take a structured approach to this you will find yourself giving away plenty for little or no return.

Requests are often loaded with guilt. People can be passive aggressive in their approach. Often, people requesting help leverage pester power. It can be hard to say no. There are too many stories of retailers giving a gift as a prize, receiving the Thank You poster and achieving no benefit for the business.

Our advice is to manage your philanthropy as you would any business activity.


Decide the amount in cash or product value or both that you are prepared to donate in a full year, calendar year or financial year.

Our recommendation is you give away cash, but in the form of a voucher to spend in your business. This ensures that value of the gift or prize is greater than the cost of it to your business.

The best mechanism for giving away cash or an amount to spend in-store is to do it by way of a gift voucher. Use your software to manage this as any manual approach is dangerous and time-consuming.


Get on the front foot and write to local community groups outlining that you budget a year in advance. Seek their submissions. With this advice sheet we have included the text of a suggested letter. Please read the letter as it outlines the approach we suggest and why. It is important you communicate this with all community groups.

On the page after the letter is a suggested notice for use in-store when you are asked for donations.


Focus on community groups that support you. That is, groups with members who support you. The more they support you the better you are able to support the community.

Be prepared to ask where people shop for the items you sell in your business. Ask if they will change in return for your support.

Asking these questions underscores to you the importance of approaching the decision as a business decision.

Be thoughtful and deliberate. Support the groups that support you. This is important as it helps you stay within a budget.


If you run discount vouchers and if customers say they don’t want the voucher, invite them to contribute the voucher to a local group – one of three you setup for in the business. Every month, two months or three months, tote up the vouchers and give the group a parentage of the total voucher value ‘voted’ for them.

This idea could be in addition to any giving program you run in the business. It offers a daily reminder of your commitment to local giving.

Grill’d burgers run a program kind of like this where each shopper is given a bottle cap, which they place in a tub to vote on a group to receive a cash donation for the month. The process of groups submitting to be considered is onerous. You can find out more about that program with this link – it is a good place to research what others do:


In addition to any direct gift, consider an offer whereby anyone who is a member of the group who shops with you accrues an amount you donate to the group. You could manage this through your software. It could be you offer a discount to the shopper as well as accruing a value for the group.

This type of program could also be in addition to your core giving program as the value here is driven by sales – hopefully, incremental sales.


Here are things groups you support can do to help your business. You should ask them to do these things:

  1. Tell members to buy from you.
  2. Write about your business on their Facebook page.
  3. Distribute flyers of your offers.
  4. Have you speak at a meeting.


Once you have a decision on which groups you will support, write about this in your newsletter and on Facebook. Not just once but multiple times. Invite them to provide you with content to publish too. Talk about their good works.

Ask them to write about you too.

Your giving has to serve your heart and serve your business. Going about it in a structured way will ensure you meet your objectives.

Good POS software can drive the relevance of your small or independent retail business


Choosing the right POS software for your business can re-energise, refocus and redefine your retail business.

Choosing the wrong software can hold you back.

The challenge for small and independent retailers is: which POS software is the right POS software.

Leading Australian POS software developer Tower Systems is clear that its software is not right for all retail businesses. Indeed, the company focuses on a select group of retail niches, vertical markets as they are called, in which it refines software to specific needs of teach of the markets.

This specialisation sees Tower Systems become deeply involved in and knowledgeable about each of the retail channels in which it serves. It’s deep specialisation results in offering software functions through which specialist niche retailers can reinforce their relevance.

For example, a pet shop using the specialist pet shop software from Tower Systems has pet shop management facilities that are unique and tailored to their needs whereas a generic POS software package only offers generic facilities that are offered to all retailers. These generic facilities are less likely to enable the pet retailer to reinforce their specialisation compared to a general retailer.

Specialist software in retail niches helps specialist retailers embrace their specialisation.

This is the Tower AdvantageTM in action. A suite of specialist tools that are constantly evolving thanks to the engagement of its 2,850+ customers.

POS software scales integration helps food and convenience stores


scalesThe POS software / scales integration undertaken by the development team at Tower Systems is delivering terrific sales for the company among convenience stores and other retailers who sell items by weight.

In addition to produce and confectionery retailers using the scales facilities in the POS software, convenience stores are also embracing it as they too play in the space of selling items by weight.

The photo shows scales in our office purchased for testing.

What is interesting is that some retailers already using the Tower software are loving that they have selling by weight as an option within the software thanks to the diversification plan that has been undertaken by Tower systems over rent years.

We have terrific reference sites for our scales facilities.

Retailers loving cloud based POS software backup service


backupRetailers are loving the cloud based backup service launched by POS software company Tower Systems.

This new safer approach to backups offers retailers using the Tower software double protection with a local safe backup as well as a cloud based safe backup.

these backups are taken during the day without interruption to the business.’

retailers are able to reduce rostered hours as a result of embracing the new approach to backups. The net saving is considerable and the business as more backup protection for their all-important business data.

POS software for non technical people


Tower Systems offers jargon free training in its POS software, making it easier for non technical people to learn the POS software.  Offered one on one, in group sessions, online, live in-store … this plain English (or mandarin if you prefer) training makes it easy for people who are not IT savvy to learn this software.

Dealing often with first time business software users, Tower Systems has a gently approach to training that respects people and their use of the software. There is no judgement for a lack of knowledge, no pressure to learn at an advanced pace.

The jargon free approach extends beyond training. The Tower Systems help desk talks with people everyday who appreciate receiving help in terms they can understand and without the need to be a computer expert.  This is the company’s customer service commitment in action – serving small and independent retailers with easy to use POS software backed by excellent customer service.

POS software Xero link helps retailers cut mistakes & save time


xerolinkThe  Tower Systems POS software / Xero accounting link is being embraced by more retailers.

Using the Xero link in our own retail businesses and having had it vetted and approved by our own Financial Controller, we can speak from experience about the value of the Xero link to a busy independent retail business.

This link cuts mistakes, eliminates workload and results in more timely and accurate accounting information.

Tower backs the link with training and live support. We also back it with access to our in-house accounting experts who can provide insights from their own use of the back end.

It’s our use of our software and Xero as retailers ourselves that really sets us apart.

POS software screen design improves retail sale throughput


posscreendesignThe design of a POS software screen can make or break the use of the software. Tower Systems delivers a professional screen for the sales counter, one that is easy to learn and follow, a screen that is straightforward and one that guides the sales process.

Tweaked and adjusted over the years, Tower Systems through its software helps retailers to transact efficiently, accurately and valuably – delivering smooth service to customers and valuable business for the business itself.

The decades of experience of the Tower team shows off in the evolving POS software screen design.

Metcash Link Enhances Convenience Store Software


metcash.jpgThe link in our Convenience Store Software to enable the processing of electronic invoices from grocery wholesaler Metcash is all about saving and and improving accuracy of business data.

Developed to meet the specific standards established by Metcash, the link to support Metcash files in our software is available from within our Convenience Store Software for no additional or premium cost.

Tower Systems does not charge extra to any user to access electronic invoices or transact electronically in any way with any supplier.  Our position in relation to this provides us with a competitive advantage.  We take this position believing that it is unfair to charge customers for such a fundamental function in their Point of Sale software.

In addition to using traditional Point of Sale facilities plus saving time with Metcash invoices and improving stock data, Convenience Store owners and managers are using our software to:

  • Manage floorspace allocation.
  • Compare supplier performance.
  • Undertake trading period comparisons.
  • Track and manage key KPIs of ROI, Stock Turn, Return on Floor Space and Return of Shelf Space.
  • Track, manage and reduce employee theft.
  • Track, manage and reduce customer theft.
  • And a raft of other facilities.

The latest version of our Convenience Store software was released three weeks ago and is now available for in-store use.

Strong Interest in Metcash EDI Integration


Our new Metcash EDI integration facilities are generating good interest among our Point of Sale software customers keen for the time and process savings achievable from electronic invoicing with this grocery products wholesaler.

Our latest Metcash connection further enhances our EDI credentials across a number of marketplaces.  From multi-national suppliers through to small importer operations, we are able to facilitate the implementation of EDI, or electronic invoicing, facilities in a variety of situations.

Retailers using our software and engaging with electronic invoices benefit from considerable time savings as well as achieving better data accuracy.  Both benefits feed to better quality business decisions.

As a company we are committed to continuing to lead on the EDI front.  From our software development team through our our Help Desk team, we are focused on helping our customers to embrace EDI.  We do not charge extra for EDI access or support.

The changing convenience store model in Australia


Through our work with Convenience Stores using our convenience store software we are seeing an interesting evolution of the model, where the traditional store is changing to be more broadly based offering new products and services.

Our relationship with our customers and prospective customers in the c-store space goes beyond providing good POS software.  We welcome the opportunity to work with our customers beyond what is traditional for a software company.  This takes us into boardrooms to discuss strategy and into the offices of suppliers to discuss supply chain efficiency.

We have some exciting developments on the horizon for our convenience store customers on the back of our recent work with key channel participants.

Convenience software for convenience stores


Our convenience store software is winning kudos from convenience store owners and their suppliers thanks to the flow of real time sales data.

In high volume retail businesses, like convenience stores, timely flow of sales data is crucial to the business operation.  It facilitates a more efficient supply chain.  It also makes tracking the success of advertising easier and well as taking care of some key back office functions.

The Tower Systems convenience store software delivers real time sales data flow from retail stores back to the head office for the c-store group.  The data feed is proving to be useful in a range of businesses and is driving some excellent sales for us.

We have further enhancements under development for convenience stores which will add more value to this growing suite within our business.

Launched in July, 2008 at the C-Store & Forecourt Exhibition in Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, using our years of Point of Sale experience, Tower Systems Point of Sale for convenience stores is made for the local independent c-store but also now used in large groups across Australia.

Convenience store software helps drive sales


Convenience store owners like our eziPass phonecard, phone recharge and gift card vending platform.  It is a key drawcard, bringing more convenience store owners to Tower Systems to evaluate our Convenience store software.

The integration between eziPass and our POS software enables fast and accurate selling of electronic voucher product with some excellent business benefits:

  • Faster selling at the counter. A phonecard or mobile phone top up can be added to a sale in seconds.
  • More accurate selling. Our software handles prices etc so that there is no double entry.
  • No theft of card stock. No matter what physical card vendors say about protection of the retailer, physical cards are open to theft and ultimate costly fraud against the retailer.
  • Reduced employee fraud. With the integration of phonecard / voucher vending within the convenience store point of sale software, the retailer is automatically provided better controls over a manual operation or an operation involving two separate processes.
  • Greater employee enjoyment. The easier a process is, the more employees will enjoy it and therefore promote it. This is our experience with the more than 1,000 retailers using our eziPass platform for vending phonecard and mobile phone recharge product.

The latest version of our software for convenience stores is proving to be appealing for the benefits around vending electronic product as well as our c-store software facilities and the ability to bolt on category tools such as magazine management.

Tower Systems, while young in the convenience store marketplace, is committed to a software enhancement program to drive our business as well as the businesses of our customers.

Compliance testing for new EDI partner


We have moved to the early stages of testing for a new EDI partner for our newsagency and convenience store customers.  While the new partner will be of interest to plenty of our customers, the broadening focus on our EDI links is what interests us as it is through these that we can enhance the practical help we can deliver … thereby making our software more valuable without the need to invest more in the software.

Adding EDI links attracts more suppliers and that’s good news for everyone.

In more sophisticated marketplaces this is not big news as EDI is pervasive.  In the independent retail channels such as newsagents and convenience stores EDI is still considered by many to be innovative.

Convenience store software gains traction


Our convenience store software continues to gain traction in the convenience retail space.  Beyond the software, fast eftpos transactions, mobile phone top-up integration and easy handing of high cvolume items, our genuine 24/7 support is of particular interest.  With so many convenience stores operating 24 hours a day and over public holidays (like this Easter weekend), convenience retailers want to know that their questions will be answered when they need.

In our convenience software we deliver to the single store owner the facilities larger groups use.  From stock to sales to management reporting, we deliver a professional solution to drive business efficiency for it is this which us crucial to today’s convenience store.

We are also seeing some newsagents transition to the convenience model.  Having software in both spaces enables us to make this transition with them.

C-Store group chooses Tower


A convenience store group with 150 locations has just selected Tower Systems as an IT supplier for its retail outlets.

Tower Systems Point of Sale software will go into more convenience store locations and further strengthen our position in this marketplace as a result of this new deal.

The synergy between convenience store and our newsagency marketplace is considerable and each will benefit from our work with the other.

We are grateful for the opportunity to help another group strengthen the independent businesses which make up their network.

Good c-store Point of Sale software gains


We are working with several parties on innovations in Convenience Store customer throughput and efficiency. Beyond traditional Point of sale software functions, there are opportunities for innovation in supplier interfaces and store level tactics to drive better outcomes.

Convenience retail is, well, about convenience for the shopper. It is about customer efficiency for the retailer. We have techniques available in our software to help drive this. From the simple to the sophisticated, we help convenience store employees drive better outcomes for the businesses in which they work without feeling like they are a process worker.

Our smart Point of Sale software will further evolve this year in the convenience store space as we work with more convenience store owners and suppliers. We are now more than two years into our close work with the convenience store channel and have made excellent progress on several fronts.

The detail of progress is left for communication with our sales prospects.  The less commercially sensitive advances will be detailed here from time to time.

Three new training videos launched


We have published three new training videos at our website.  Each covers a topic which often comes up during support queries.  The new training videos are:

  • Adding Subagents and Standing Orders
  • Customer Weekly Billing
  • Reprinting Barcode Labels

Access to training videos is free for Tower AdvantageTM customers.

We have more topics under preparation as we continue to evolve this popular and successful form of retailer software training.

Introducing Tower Systems and our retail management software


Click on the image below to see the video I created which introduces Tower Systems and our point of sale solutions. While not the slickest video production in the world, the video does present the Tower Systems story with honesty and passion.

This video is available from our corporate website as well as via Yahoo videos. We are enjoying good success with our videos for marketing as well as support. They demonstrate the Tower AdvantageTM

Convenience store software use grows


Our convenience store software is gaining sales for us thanks to good word of mouth in the channel.  We are receiving kudos for our speed, accuracy and some convenience store specific facilities.

From Point of Sale to supplier links to business management, we offer convenience store owners, managers and employees a software solution which helps drive business.  We are especially focused on enhancing the convenience experience – by streamlining throughput without compromising data integrity.

Our convenience store software also helps provide structure and certainty around counter offers which are crucial to shopping basket efficiency for convenience stores.  These small footprint businesses are usually located in high traffic areas – meaning high rents.  This makes basket efficiency vital to business success.  An extra confectionery item or a newspaper or a magazine can take a sale from average to exceptional in terms of return.