The POS Software Blog

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

CategoryGame shop software

Quote and invoice management software for local small business retailers

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The area of quote and invoice management varies between types of retail businesses.

Through its work with garden centres, jewellers, farm supply businesses, landscape supply businesses and pool maintenance businesses POS software company Tower Systems has found some similarities. It has developed software to serve these common needs.

While not the deepest and most sp[ecialist solution, it is cost-effective and useful ion a variety of situations, as our customers how us.

here is a recent video from us in which some of our team discuss and show quote and invoice management facilities in our Tower Systems POS software:

Whether your shop is big or small and your quote and invoice management needs are complex or simple, these tools from Tower Systems are part of the software for a range of specialty retail marketplace versions of our POS software. The key is to see if they fit your needs. The Tower team would be grateful to personally demonstrate them to you.

Small business retail advice: if you are finding things tough in your local shop

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We are often asked at our Tower Systems POS software company for help when it is too late. In this article, we share steps any retailer can contemplate from them moment they realise their business is in trouble, from the first thought that closing may be the only option.

Tower Systems is more than a software company. We are retailers too. We cherish the relationships with our retail business customers. We will help whenever and wherever we can to help small and independent retail businesses survive challenges and grow. 

If your retail business is in tough times and facing imminent closure, you may be able to save it if you act quickly and ruthlessly. Based on years of working with many different retailers, I have found that some basic steps can successfully turnaround a business in trouble. But you need to be ruthless.

The following tips are designed for businesses with a little (but not too much) time available to fix things. While they are not appropriate to every business, the ideas can lead to others that may be appropriate.

This advice is also appropriate or businesses not facing imminent closure but certainly facing tough times.

Crucial to saving a business from closure is to understand why it is in this situation. You have to be honest with yourself about this. How did it get to this?

  • Did you not make changes to your business when you should have?
  • Has something local and unexpected impacted your business?
  • Have you been a bad retailer, allowing the business to fade away?

Do not be afraid or ignorant in confronting these questions.

Make an honest appraisal of the state of the business as the truth can inform what you do next.

You have to own your situation. This means being realistic about what you face and what got you there. This is important as it opens you to what you need to do to resolve the situation, to rehabilitate your business.

Now, to the urgent steps you could take to avoid the closure of your retail business:

      1. Know your truth. If you run a computer system, analyse the data it collects. If you don’t know how to do this, find out. Look for surprise information in your data, things you did not know about your business. For example, look at the top selling items. If there are surprises there they could inform other decisions you make to urgently address your situation. Talk to your computer software company, ask for their assessment. Knowing your truth is key to owning your situation.
      2. Quit dead stock. If you have stock on the shop floor which is old – ‘old’ can vary between product categories – and for which you have already paid, quit it. However, stock that is greater than six months old is a reasonable guide – then take action to sell this at a substantial discount. Move the stock off display units. Line it up to look like clearance stock – stacked up on tables. Setup plain and simple signs indicating the discount prices. Create signage to show it as clearance stock. If you have enough clearance stock in your business, consider signs across your front windows. Give your sale a name that is unrelated to your situation. Here are some suggestions: MEGA SALE, FIRST EVER MARCH SALE, AUTUMN SALE, SMALL BUSINESS MIGHTY BIG SALE. Give it a name you can theme around.
      3. Run a loyalty offer. Immediately setup and run a loyalty program rewarding shoppers with dollars off their next purchase. The most successful loyalty offer in recent times is discount vouchers whereby vouchers are included on receipts offering an amount which is cleverly calculated by your software based on the items in the purchase. The goal has to be encouraging shoppers to purchase again soon based on the offer on the receipt for items they just purchased.
      4. Move things around. If your business is in trouble it is likely that it has not changed much in recent years. Change it. Move departments around, shake things up so your customers trip over things they did not think you sold.
      5. Review prices. Look at the common items you sell, consider a small increase in your prices. It could be a small increase will not hurt sales volume yet will add profit to your bottom line.
      6. Upsell well. At the counter, work to extend the basket for every sale possible. Do this with clever counter product placement and witty and engaging banter with customers offering upsell products. You goal has to be to make more from each customer.
      7. Stand for something. What is different about your business? What is special about it? What makes people want to come back? If you don’t know the answer to these questions you’re in trouble. If your answer is we’re the only shop of your type nearby you’re in trouble. If the answer is people have always shopped here you’re in trouble. You need to have a difference that people want and will talk about to others. It could be a product or a service. However, it cannot be a product line that is traditional to your type of business as that will not add value to your shingle in the way you want or need. What do you stand for?
      8. Market within your budget. Photocopied black and white flyers designed with care can be cheap and effective.
      9. Attract people who don’t know what you sell. Run a no-cost or low-cost campaign to reach out to shoppers who have no ideal what you sell yet which could appeal to them. They are not to blame for not knowing what you sell.
      10. Different retail options: Consider becoming an outlet shop selling items from a supplier keen to quit bulk items. Rent space in your shop to another retailer. If you have higher priced items consider offering employees commission on sales. Maybe become an outlet for local artists taking on items on a consignment basis.
      11. Stop unprofitable behaviour. If you are doing things in your business which lose money or do not contribute to a good future for the business, stop doing them. Regardless of history or what your business might stand for, continuing with unprofitable activity only makes your situation worse. If you know something to be unprofitable and yet you say you can’t stop it, think carefully about that, about why you can’t stop losing money.
      12. Get suppliers to help. Suppliers often have old stock themselves which they want to quit at a substantial discount. Buy items you have not stocked before, negotiate good prices and put the stock out with a healthy margin but still at a discount to what others would be charging. Negotiate to pay once you are paid by customers.
      13. Trim employee costs. Cut employee hours and work more in the business yourself if you are not doing so already. While this can have a significant personal cost, the less you pay others the more be business benefits in financial terms.
      14. Trim overheads. Cut everything you can: cleaning, power usage, insurance, freight, banking. Look at every supplier relationship you have and see if you can negotiate a better deal to cut your operating costs. However, do not turn off lights as darkness is death in most retail businesses.
      15. What assets can you sell? Do you have computers, retail fixtures, vehicles or other assets you no longer use in the running of the business? If they are not being used, turn them to cash as quickly as possible.
      16. Get a job. If you have a partner in the business with you and the business can run with one partner, one of you should get a job outside the business. This is especially helpful in a husband and wife situation where the family income can benefit.
      17. Talk to your landlord. A good landlord will prefer a good business to stay rather than have then close down and a new tenant having to be found. Talk to the landlord, be honest with them about your situation. Given the landlord all of the information they need to make the decision you need them to make. This information will include sales figures, expenses and margin information. Usually, the more transparent you are with the landlord the more they will support your business.
      18. Talk to your bank. While banks tend to not get involved in lending to businesses that are struggling, it may be that they have contacts that can help you navigate to a solution. Maybe talk to another bank.
      19. Talk to colleagues. If you have nearby business colleagues in the same line of business, they might have stock they are happy to provide you for free or at a discount to give you stock to move for a good price.
      20. Refresh the business. Make the business look, smell and sound fresh. Beyond the products you sell and where tings are located, change the environment itself using scents and sounds. Too often when a business is struggling, those involved let standards slip and the business does not look attractive to shoppers. Avoid this laziness at all costs.
      21. Deliver amazing customer service. When serving customers be the perfect shop assistance and not the owner of the business facing closure. Keep your mind on the job at hand and not the cliff you’re worried might be a few steps ahead.
      22. Whoever is pressuring you the most to close or contemplate closing, talk to them. If it’s a supplier, the tax office or some other organisation or individual pressuring you about debts, be upfront with them, lay out for them your plan detailing the action you will take to turn your situation around, be clear about what you are doing and outline a timeline step by step for them. Seek their support.
      23. Set a timeframe. Decide where you want to be in a week, four weeks, eight weeks, twelve weeks. Set realistic goals. Measure yourself against those goals. Know what you will do if you fall short.

What we offer here is general advice, a shopping list of advice from which you can choose. It is intended to get you thinking of ideas that could work for you.

No two situations are the same. No situation is impossible. No business is dead until the doors are closed for the last time.

Never give up. Fight hard and fight smart to turn your business around.

Facing tough circumstances in retail can be like the deer in the middle of the road at night facing the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. Don’t freeze. Take action to mitigate your situation. A series of small steps could be the difference between closure and trading out of the problem.

In your business data there are bound to be opportunities and insights around which growth can be achieved. If you are not sure where to look or what they could mean, ask us. We will help.

Small business retail advice: consciously pursuing retail success and enjoyment

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A fresh look from at retail today and the opportunity for intentionally pursuing change for a brighter future.

Find a private place, hang a do not disturb sign on the door, put on music you love and please read on.

In this blog post, we share what we hope will prove to be valuable ideas, which help you create a more successful business and a more enjoyable business life. You will have seen some members embracing some of these ideas already as we have shared our thoughts through a process of evolution.

While this is advice from our Tower Systems POS software company, it is advice from us as retailers – yes, we own and run successful retail shops.

To us, conscious intention is deliberate decision making, pursuing change, for a better outcome for you, your business and all it serves.

WHERE ARE WE AT?

Retail is changing, faster than ever. In change, you can create opportunities. This is exciting. The key is to be deliberate in your embrace of change.

Yes, you have heard that before, probably so much that you ignore it. What we share here is important, new, and written for you.

Today, the pace of change is faster and the extent of change more comprehensive, most likely beyond what you see. There are myriad factors at play, myriad pressures on retail.

There are more competitors, many you will never see.

Shoppers are more empowered.

Shopping is less like shopping.

No business is immune: city, country, high street and shopping centre.

The days of making major changes and leaving them in place for years are over.

The borders between types of retail businesses are blurred.

Your customers can easily now be more than locals.

People want to be able to buy when they want to buy.

What constitutes a shop has changed, forever.

It is okay to keep doing what you are doing. Our advice is you make your decisions and take your actions with conscious intention. Drifting is not an option, unless you do it consciously, with intent. If your decision is to not change, we 100% respect that.

WHAT IS DIFFERENT TODAY?

In summary, to get you thinking, here is a list of what we see as different:

  1. Whereas in the past, a shop-fit would have a life of five or more years. Today, shops must look significantly different every eighteen months. We say this based on the rate of change we see in retail.
  2. Whereas in the past, fixtures were fixed, today fixtures float, can be moved, are flexible and enable rapid change without cost.
  3. Whereas in the past, lights were either on or off, today, darkness and shade are used to bring texture and emotion to parts of a store.
  4. Whereas in the past, a shop was made up of shop fixtures, today, everyday items make the best support for displaying products. Rugs on the floor, couches, easy chairs, rustic looking floors, natural looking walls.
  5. Shopkeeping is out. Engaged retail is in. Shopkeepers operate from the back room and behind the counter. Retailers engage on the shop floor.
  6. Local is more important than ever. Supporting local makers reinforces your local credentials.
  7. Whereas in the past, you did what you did because it was expected of the shingle, everything in the business now, all decisions, need to be about demographic targeting, a layered multi-demo strategy – chasing new traffic.
  8. Whereas in the past, your business was dominated by rules, today rules are gone for many product categories. Choices are at your doorstep.
  9. Whereas in the past, supplier representatives were a valued source of innovation advice, today, you are the innovator.

UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION.

Every business needs a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), that which is unique about their business in the area from which they draw customers, that which separates the business from other businesses.

It is vital that you know what your USP is and that you are mindful of this in all business decisions. Please see our knowledge base article on USP.

HOW WE CHANGE HAS CHANGED.

The process of change itself has changed. Whereas in the past we would plan, plan and plan before execution, today, we are in a world of rapid change and more change if the changes are not delivering what we need.

Motion (change) is and must be perpetual. It is almost like every day you asking what can I change today?

SMALL STEPS.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed. We suggest a small steps strategy. Undertaking many small steps can make any project more digestible and affordable. You do not have to do everything at once. Take small steps, but keep taking them.

INVENTORY.

Your inventory determines who your shop will appeal to, the occasions they will buy for, whether they talk about you, whether they will come back and if they trust you.

  1. Buy consciously. Buy with outcomes in mind: know the shopper and the occasion, think about how you could market a product externally and know where a product fits in the story of your business.
  2. Be demographic conscious. The age of shoppers and those they purchase for is determined by what you stock. Buy for multiple demographics: pre-teen, teen, young adult, adult / family, mature / retiree. All product purchases should fit the demographics you preference.
  3. Be price-point open. Two similar items at different price points can perform better than one product at one price point. Choice can drive sales.
  4. Don’t buy for yourself. You are not your customer.
  5. Tell stories. A cool item may not sell if it is the only item of its type or category in the business. The same item placed as part of a story could perform much better. When you buy, buy to a story.
  6. Measure and cut. If items are not performing, cut them. Stocking items because someone may want them some day is not good. Use your data, act on it. Set your stock turn goals and use these to measure against.

SHOP LAYOUT.

The more your business looks like a traditional business in your channel, the more it will be judged as traditional, the more it will perform traditionally. There is nothing wrong with this, if it is a conscious choice.

We encourage you to not run a traditional business because there is no evidence in performance data or in retail history to indicate that traditional model has any upside.

The best way to not be considered traditional is to not look like one.

Here is what this means:

  1. Keep visual noise to a minimum. This means less posters and signs. Let your products be seen and be the heroes.
  2. Your shop should push back against what shoppers used to expect from your type of business.
  3. Make the front third of the shop open with non-permanent fixtures that are flexible and easily moved. These are best if they are everyday items: tables, a couch, boxes and more. The more colour, texture and style the less like a shop your shop will feel and the more relaxed shoppers will be.
  4. Floor rugs are effective too, under a table fixture especially.
  5. No tradition at the counter. Use the counter for products that are easily purchased on impulse, that play against expectations.
  6. A feature wall behind the counter that can be changed easily.
  7. Different colours and textures rather than the usual shop-fit look.
  8. Different lighting to highlight different part of the business.
  9. Less shop-fit made fixtures and more personally made or found items.
  10. Product placement such that it encourages people to explore. Embrace treasure hunt retail … where people wander the shop hoping to find treasure.
  11. Move tasks, pricing, returns and more to the shop floor. This will reduce shopper theft and increase sales.
  12. Have the least amount of staff resources behind the counter as possible. On the shop floor the same people can guide purchases.

CUSTOMER INTERACTION.

Be grateful people are in your shop and show this in your interaction and the interaction of all team members.

Saying hi to shoppers is nice, but not out of the ordinary.

Encourage team members to change up their greeting: good morning, nice to see you, thank you for coming in today

Work on farewells: thanks for visiting, it was good to see you, take care out there

In-store, offer experiences that are unexpected and / or appreciated.

  1. If you sell any type of candy, offer tastings.
  2. Have filtered water or iced tea to cool people in summer.
  3. Have homemade soup in small takeaway cups for winter.
  4. Structure times to demonstrate products. Hire people who are happy to demonstrate.

Love your customers. Consider a wall of customer love with photos you have taken of customers and photos customers have brought in.

Reset your customer interaction with a focus on more fun and happiness.

OUTSIDE.

What you do, say and share outside also defines the business in the minds of shoppers and would-be shoppers. It is vital that your out of business communication and representation is intentional and reflective of how you want the business seen.

The more you post on social media and talk about products and services that are not known to be in your type of shop the more you become your own thing.

Be intentional in what you do and say outside your business. Further your mission ahead of the mission of the channel or channel traditional suppliers.

WHAT IF YOU DON’T CHANGE?

If you do not change your business it will perform in line with its current trajectory. If you are happy with that, embrace it.

If you are not happy with the current business trajectory, change is essential.

HOW WE CAN HELP?

Tower Systems, through its local small business experienced retail team can provide insights, suggestions and encouragement for you to reset your business.

We all have current retail experience.

We can bring detached perspective to help you combat store-blindness.

Leveraging our engagement starts with asking.

Advice for small business retailers on POS software connected Shopify websites for boosting retail sales

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Two weeks ago our team at Tower Systems hosted four free workshops covering a range of topics related to creating POS software connected Shopify sites and how to drive traffic to them. The goal was to share insights and offer free advice and training for retailers looking to grow online sales.

All up, the four sessions covered close to six hours.

Here are videos of the workshops for anyone interested. If you are considering a website for your business, buyer beware. There are plenty of shonky business people in the web development space. Our hope is that the four workshops share information that you find useful in navigating a path to growing your online sales.

This last session is all about writing good blog posts and how they play a key role in driving traffic.

We are grateful to the retailer who participated.

Making click and collect easy for local small business retailers

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Using our specialty retail POS software we help local small business retailers to engage with click and collect retail.

Better still, with our beautiful Shopify websites connected directly with our POS software we are helping local small business retailers sell to anyone, anywhere, at any time online for click and collect and for delivery.

In our POS software we have the ability to manage click and collect orders, bringing structure and consistency to the workflow involved with picking items, packaging them and advising shoppers of collect opportunities.

We have been providing click and collect opportunities for local small business retailers for many years. Their use has grown through the Covid pandemic. It is terrific seeing the different types of businesses engaging with click and collect through our POS software: jewellers, garden centres, pet shop, toy shops, gift shops, newsagents and more.

Making click and collect easy and manageable for small business retailers is something we are proud to have brought to life. In addition to the facilities in our POS software, we provide these retailers with business execution advice, to help them achieve valuable outcomes using the tools we provide access to.

We first started pitching click and collect to our small business POS software customers more than six years ago. Our engagement has grown plenty since through enhanced software, more nuanced advice and better tools on the web side of the tech opportunities available to retailers.

Thanks to a dashboard, retailers are able to easily, in one place, manage orders and manage the work associated with these online orders. This central management of online orders, in the local retail shop, provides a consistent approach that small business retailers are loving.

While there is a surge of interest in click and collect because of Covid, click and collect will be vital in the future for local small business retail. It is here to stay as part of the retail mix, because shoppers love it. They love the time it saves, the ease of shopping. retailers, with good systems in place, love it too as it can help them reach shoppers they may otherwise not reach.

The Tower Systems POS software helps local small business retailers engage with click and collect.

Small business retailers benefit from Afterpay POS software access

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Afterpay is a terrific payment option that helps local small business retailers increase shopper reach and achieve a deeper shopping basket. In many small businesses, Afterpay has helped them leave LayBy and all of its associated challenges and costs and move to a new model, which appeals to a new suite of shoppers.

Providing access to Afterpay through our POS software is part of our commitment to helping retailers benefit from Buy Now  Pay Later (BNPL) opportunities like Zip Pay, Zip Money and Humm. these are all payment options, along with Afterpay, through our POS software.

The recently announced proposed take over of Afterpay by Square is set to turbocharge this BNPL space and we are grateful to play a small role in this space for years now. If you have a moment, seek out the interview on ABC Radio that Peter Ryan conducted with Square’s CFO, Amrita Ahuja, as it offers valuable insights local small business retailers will find interesting.

The Afterpay buy now pay later payment option is available through the Tower Systems POS software. This is another of the buy now pay later options that our software supports, like Zip Pay and Humm.

Taking payment via Afterpay through our POS software is easy, secure and business beneficial. We have made sure of this through the work we have done, to ensure that our small business customers are well serves through a frictionless solution. Like so much we have done with our software, our approach to Afterpay is fast, secure and something customers will love. It helps a local small retail business attract more shoppers.

The Afterpay POS software solution we have delivered is the Afterpay Card.

Add this to what we have done for years with Humm and Zip and you can see opportunities that serve plenty of local small business retail solutions across Australia, helping these retailers sell to shoppers who might otherwise not have purchased from the business at this time.

This move away from credit cards in the millennial and get Z groups is on and BNPL is playing a key role in this as they leverage these platforms for their purchases from the small to the large.

Through its POS software, Tower Systems provides local small business retailers with opportunities that are leading-edge in customer engagement and service.

Advice for NSW small business retailers in their 2nd lockdown … from the Victorian experience

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It was the second Covid lockdown in Victoria that was a defining moment for many small business retailers. Whereas first lockdown was a national experience, the second lockdown was unique to Victoria back then.

While there were many media stories about businesses doing it tough, the reality is that many of us had a good Covid, through all four lockdowns in Victoria. Here’s what worked for us and many of the local small business retailers I have spoken with:

  • Be safe. Have the perspex screens at the counter.  Place your credit card terminal on the customer side.
  • Be frugal. Spend what you must but hang on to as much cash as you can. You don’t know how long this will go on for.
  • Make shopping easier, safer. Bring what people will want the most to the front of the shop, to reduce browsing. In a newsagency where papers have been put to the back of the shop, for example, bring them to the front of the shop.
  • If you’re not online, get online.
  • Be practical. Now is not the time for pretty displays.
  • Preference card payment. The less cash you have to handle, the safer the business.
  • Be flexible. Be available for shoppers where they want to shop: online, on the phone, via social media. Offer delivery or curbsibe pickup.
  • Offer what they want. What people will purchase through a lockdown will be different to other times.
  • Bundle. People who want to send gifts will appreciate you offering bundles ready to be delivered or posted.
  • Co-operate locally. If you are open and a nearby shop is closed, maybe you could sell some of their stock for them.
  • Clean, clean and clean. Showing this being done builds confidence.
  • Be grateful. You will see many good deeds and hear about many too. Share them on social media.
  • Look after your team. Have a good supply of masks and anti-bacterial gel. Given them breaks to refresh and wash their hands.
  • Think about beyond Covid. The experience will help you see your business differently. Lean into that for opportunities on the other side.

Regional, rural and high street newsagents are likely to have a better lockdown than those in shopping centres. many Victorian shopping centres are yet to recover from lockdown 2 and beyond. We mention this as one consequence of extended lockdown for shopping centre businesses is to find opportunities outside the centre.

We have three physical shops in Victoria as well as an office and several online only businesses. What we have suggested in this post we have done in our businesses, and we continue to do them today. For example, as part of the be frugal advice, we made some decisions that we expected to be temporary, decisions we still follow today, decisions that continue to save money.

While things seem grim in NSW right now, at the local small business level you have an opportunity to make your own success, your own good situation out of a bad situation.

If your shop is open and not busy because people are staying at home, use the opportunity to make changes. Be bold, but frugal. Use the time, too, to plan for what’s on the other side – promotions, marketing, re-casting.

Footnote: through our work with newsagents and with the Tower POS software community more broadly, only a very few businesses did not make it through. We think this is because small business retailers are resilient and flexible, doing what is necessary. Good luck everyone!

Supporting shop local with handmade gift wreaths

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We are grateful to have created the Shopify site for selling gift wreaths online, from a shop that is also running our POS software. The data flow and image flow from our POS software to the Shopify website, and back, saves time and reduces mistakes in small business retail.

This gift wreath, made locally in Mount Waverley, is part of a range of beautiful, hand made and postable gifts.

Let’s look at Australian made game shop POS software for specialty game retailers

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Here’s a recent video we shot in which we explore some of the features and benefits of this fresh Aussie game shop POS software:

This POS software for game shops from Tower Systems is made for game shops. It has evolved from our toy shop software.

Game shops have some unique needs, which we seek to serve in this marketplace specific POS software.

Packed with facilities that help these local and loved game shops better serve customers and attract new customers, this software is not your everyday POS software. It is not generic.

Our game 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: serial number tracking of items with serial numbers.
  • Ensure compliance when required with structured age checking.
  • 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.

We are grateful to local game shops for their advice and guidance we tune the software for marketplace specific needs.

Fresh POS software marketing pitch

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We are loving the reaction from our new range of POS software marketing postcards, which are out now. Each features a happy image representing our software in a specialty niche retail channel. They are a good reflection of the specialty nature of our small business retail focussed POS software.

This is us, Tower Systems. We are proud of what we make and the businesses we get to help.

End of financial year offer: POS software integrated Shopify websites

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We are grateful to the many retailers who have already embraced our end of financial year offer for a $1,000 gift off our fixed price Shopify POS software integrated website development.

This is a genuine EOFY offer, not one of those inflated prices discounted to make it look like you’re getting a deal situation.

Our fixed price through to life POS software connected Shopify web development packages cost $6,600, which includes a commercial and beautiful template of your choice.

The EOFY offer is $1,000 off this.

There are a couple of conditions, which our sales people can help you with,.

Here is what is included in our fixed price Shopify POS software integrated website solution:

Tower Systems offers to create a Shopify website for $6,600.00 for which you receive:

  1. Pre development consultation. This is comprehensive phone call reviewing needs as outlined in the survey, seeking to more completely understand your needs.
  2. A checklist of work you complete with our guidance, to provide us assets such as text and images for the website. The current version of the checklist is part of this quote. This lists what any web developer will require from you.
  3. A live Shopify site as per everything outlined here. During development, there will be back and forth discussions by email and phone to ensure that the evolving meets expectations. Your timely attention to communication is key.
  4. Shopify theme choice. Included in the quoted price is the selection of a paid-for theme up to the cost of US$250.00.
  5. Shopify link. The Retailer POS software to link with Shopify. This link transfers to the Shopify site ta defined and useful set of data points for each inventory item.
  6. Personal hand-over training so you can make your own tweaks to the site as needed. This is usually around 2 hours.
  7. Three months of phone-based assistance (but not software changes) following delivery of the site.
  8. A comprehensive pre-prep / handover document that provides support, written training and guidance on your next steps. This is the same for all our Shopify site customers. i.e. it is not document written especially for you.

What this list does not show is the back and forth, the discussions, explorations and investigations with you that lead to the creation of a website that serves your needs. This is a comprehensive and iterative process between you and our webbed experts, all of whom work here in Melbourne Australia.

Fixed price POS software connected Shopify websites for small business retailers

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Tower Systems is grateful to help more small business retailers get live with beautiful Shopify websites connected to their POS software. Our work doin g this has evolved over the years, from sites we have developed for our businesses to websites for many of our customers across many different retail channels.

Our work in this area is considerable and diverse. It starts with understanding the needs of our customers. Our approach is comprehensive and transparent.

We also host online workshops for retailers interested in considering Shopify web development. Here is one such workshop from a few weeks ago. It is one of many we have hosted already this year.

We share the video of this meeting is it demonstrates our openness without pitching sales. We genuinely want to help small business retailers make informed decisions about web development, so that the money they invest in a website for their business us useful for the business and for its stakeholders.

Sunday small business retail advice: 6 ways to promote your shop this Winter

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Winter can be tough  for retail as traffic is often down. Local indie retail businesses have an opportunity to leverage the season, to make it more enjoyable. Here are six suggestions to get you thinking abut winter differently:

  1. Provide a warm and welcoming Winter experience. Offer hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Maybe have a slow cooker with some delicious home cooked vegetable soup. Offer warm cookies or muffins. Play warming / comforting music. Maybe project a movie onto a wall for something fresh and different. Have a place for wet umbrellas. Offer a place people can dry themselves. The goal here is to make your shop the shop locals talk about loving in Winter.
  2. Host a Winter event. Create your our ‘season’ your own in-store experience where people can relax, have some fun and enjoy the business. Warm cider or mulled wine wold be good for this after-hours event.
  3. Reach out to retirement villages and nursing homes. Pack up key items from your shop and take them on the road – go to those customers who can’t come to you because of the cold.
  4. Offer free delivery. If option one does not work for you promote a delivery service so people shut in can still get their  fix. Be the retailer who goes the extra mile.
  5. Have a summer sale. In the middle of winter, at the coldest, have a blow-out sale and call it something like a SIZZLING SALE. Get people warm with great prices.
  6. Host an art event. A wonderful way to brighten up the shop and those who visit is by displaying art, photos and things made by your shoppers.

If your shop is in a really cold area consider an outer door to keep the warmth in. They do this a lot in Europe and the US in Winter.

These ideas are all about relaxing things, bringing opportunities for joy to the business and evolving the narrative associated with the business. This is what having fun through Winter is about. It’s abut the less obvious, you doing things you can and that a bigger business are less likely to try.

Marketing tips for small business retailers

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Here at Tower Systems, through our work with our specialsist retail POS software, we get to see many different types and sizes of retail businesses. we are grateful for the insights they share and the inspiration they provide.

We have put together this collection of local small business retail every day marketing tips. These are tips that could work in almost any business situation. We hope you find it useful.

  1. Always unpack and price products on the shop floor and not in the back room or outside of shopper view.
  2. Always have a value-proposition offer just inside the entrance to the business. This should be a double-sided offer, one they see as they enter and as they leave. Ensure it is:
    1. Easily understood.
    2. Easily purchased.
    3. Broadly appealing.
    4. Something people will talk about.
    5. Fun, ideally.
  3. Always have an appealing impulse purchase offer at the counter. Change this weekly. Use the opportunity to learn more about what your customers will purchase on impulse.
  4. Always know your top selling items in the store and always place products next to the top selling item thoughtfully, to leverage the eyeballs looking for and at the top selling product.
  5. Run a generous loyalty program where the value is understood. This probably means not using points, because points have a questionable value thanks to the trashing of loyalty programs by big retailers.
  6. Create stunning window displays people would not expect to see in your type of business.
  7. Offer multi-buy opportunities unlocking savings for people purchasing more than would be usual in a single visit.
  8. Be brief in talking to customers about your products on social media: a single product per post. Two sentences. Short sentences. Make the post appealing beyond you trying to promote your business. Entertain them.
  9. Send customers a card for special occasions, a personal card to reinforce the personal relationship you have with them.
  10. Change the front two metres of your shop weekly, keep it fresh for your customers and your staff.

Our goal with this list is to give you ideas you can use right away as well as ideas that will get you thinking of your own ideas.

Go for it. Remember, if you do next week what you did this week you cannot expect any growth. Growth only comes from change.

Small business retail advice: beware web developers and consultants offering to create a website for your retail business

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We urge small business retailers to take care when selecting an individual or business to undertake Shopify web development. Inside the Shopify web developer ecosystem there are people who take the money, do the bare minimum and run – failing the retail businesses that paid them.

How do you spot a Shopify web developer who is not likely to serve the needs of your retail business? Here is our advice …

Look at their quote. Is it professionally laid out? Is it well written? Is it understandable? Is it complete? If it is none or only some of these things they may not be the developer for you for if they take this approach representing themselves what approach will they take representing you?! we say … be particularly concerned about text based quotes.

Look for understanding. In their words there should be indicators that they understand your needs and that they want to understand your needs. The website is all about you and your business after all.

Speak to them. We have seen shonky web developers void this at all costs. Speak to them. Talk with them. Engage in conversation. You are looking for someone you can trust your business with. Speak to them.

Look at them. Ask for a Zoom meeting, so you can meet face to face. Ask them to show you sample Shopify sites in this meeting and to explain why each is a good sample site for you to consider. Sometimes we see web developers avoid Zoom meetings so they can hide behind typed words. face to face can be revealing.

Say you don’t understand. Tell them you don’t understand some or all of their pitch. Test their patience. See if they meet you at a tech jargon level that you are comfortable with. Challenge them. test them. It is vital they use words and terms you understand. They have to meet you, not you them.

Be in control. You are the customer. You choose the web developer you go with. Decide whether you accept their quote and their terms. You do these things when it suits you. Do not succumb to pressure as anyone pressuring you on timing may be serving their needs and not yours.

Website development right now is like the 1800s gold rush – fast, unregulated with a lot of people being negatively impacted along the way and only a few finding gold.

Take your time. Be sure of what matters to you. Choose the business you want to work with, they business you think can hell you achieve what you want.

Know that you get what you pay for. by that we mean … some web developers under quote as a business model either because they will cut corners or because they know they can charge extra for what they did not know at the start. Again, take your time, be sure of your needs, and remember the carpenter adage: measure twice, cut once. Time spent before you make a decision on your Shopify web developer could ensure that the outcome is better for you and your business.

If you are looking for a Shopify website for your retail business: Email sales@towersystems.com.au or call us on 1300 662 957.

Recently released websites we have developed for Tower Systems customers.

www.backobourkecollective.com.au
www.inspiretasmania.com.au
www.brindabellastockfeed.com.au
www.heavensabove.com.au
www.loavesrobe.com.au
www.masterjewellersonline.com.au
www.chitchatgifts.com.au
www.eidsvoldrural.com.au
www.forevergiftsandmore.com.au
www.funporium.com.au
www.goulburnstationery.com.au
www.rehfisch.com.au
www.merimbulaextra.com.au
www.morganpark.com.au
www.nextragiftsorange.com.au
www.northsideproduceagency.com.au
www.pamperedpetz.com.au
www.www.paperplayonline.com.au
www.parkesnewsandgifts.com.au
www.rivercitypets.com.au
www.smithstreettraders.com.au
www.sprengersruraltraders.com.au
www.hefeedshop.com.au
www.shop.newcastle.edu.au
www.toyworldcanberra.com.au
www.toyworldwauchope.com.au
www.reasureboxgifts.com.au
www.uncletomspps.com.au
www.warragulpetemporium.com.au
www.welbygardencentre.com.au
www.wollongongbikehub.com.au

POS software for game shops helps these local businesses thrive

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The POS software for game shops from Tower Systems is made for local and independent game retailers. It’s packed with facilities that help these local and loved game shops better serve customers and attract new customers.

This POS software for game shops is specialty in its facilities, just as local game shops themselves are specialty retailers.

Here is a short video we shot a few days ago in which the discuss and look at some of what is valuable in this game shop POS software.

Of course, the game shop POS software from Tower Systems offers much more than this.

Customisable thanks to many user-selectable options, this software helps game shops differentiate from big box retailers. It helps retailers highlight their difference, leverage their specialty knowledge and compete in unique and proven valuable ways.

This POS software is not average POS software that you; ld see widely used. It really has been made for local specialty retail, like game shops, to help them leverage being specialty.

Tower Systems only makes specialty retail POS software for niche retail channels. It’s game shop POS software grew out of its extensive work with toy shops through its unique toy shop POS software.

Game shop retailers can expect to benefit fin many ways. Here are five reasons to love this locally made POS software:

  1. Local matters. Local game shops make a vital contribution to local communities and families. Our software helps you leverage your localness, to genuinely differentiate your business from big competitors.
  2. You are a key asset. Only your business has you and your people. You can leverage you through our game shop software, to easily share your knowledge in ways big businesses cannot match.
  3. You can bank on loyalty. Points don’t reward loyalty. What is a point worth anyway? In our game shop software, you have fresh loyalty tools you can bank on to drive a deeper visit value and bring shoppers back sooner.
  4. The unseen can reveal opportunities. Knowing for sure what sells with what, knowing how suppliers compare knowing return on investment and return on floorspace … knowledge is power.
  5. Not every shopper will walk past your door. A smart and seamless connection between your software and a beautiful Shopify website can help you easily and with low overhead sell to people you will never meet.

Our game 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: serial number tracking of items with serial numbers.
  • Ensure compliance when required with structured age checking.
  • 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.

We’d love to show this software to you.

Game shop POS software helps local game shops sell in-store and online

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The Tower Systems POS software for game shops has evolved from our work with local specialty toy shops. We are grateful to have discovered that our toy shop POS software serves local specialty game retailers well, making it ideal POS software for game shops.

Using this Australian made POS software, specialty game retailers are able to serve the specialty needs of their specialty businesses. This is POS software for game shops that truly specialise. Proof can be found in some of the facilities offered by this software:

  • Easy selling by barcode, product code or touch button.
  • Serving your own notes with products sold – helping you to sell your specialisation with each product.
  • Categorising products to make searching easier than traditional. the TAGS facilities in our software help this with awesome side views.
  • A loyalty facility that is tailored to infrequent shoppers, facilities that help you make more from that visit, maximising basket depth.
  • Second hand goods – offering tools for good record keeping and product tracking.
  • Handling special customer orders.
  • Club pricing that helps you tap into members of local games clubs.
  • Linking to buy now pay later platforms.
  • Direct integration with Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce.
  • Brand performance insights.
  • What sells with what data insights that can help with shop floor placement and out of store marketing.
  • Theft mitigation through reporting on unexpected stock discrepancies – cal help with employee and shopper theft.
  • Bundling – enabling better serving of shoppers purchasing for special interests and occasions.
  • Easy loading of electronic invoices from suppliers.
  • Easy loading of stock files from suppliers.
  • Ordering based on stock on hand data.
  • Reporting on seasonal sales.
  • easy identification of dead stock.

Using this POS software for game shops you can expect to enjoy a valuable view of the performance of your game shop – from in the shop or afar – if you manage the business remotely.

Thanks to our work with local specialty toy shops we have developed solutions for some data situations that are unique to that channel that play our for specialty game retailers, too.

This POS software for game shops from Tower Systems could be an ideal solution for your specialty game shop. The easy way to determining if it is a good fit is for your to see the software for yourself through an obligation free demonstration. We are grateful for opportunities to do this and to understand your specific business needs.

The key with POS software for game shops is to see if it fits your needs. The Tower Systems commitment is to let you know if we think our software is not a good fit. We;’re not high pressure. We treat every demonstration as a learning opportunity for us.

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