The POS Software Blog

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

Categorygift shop software

Is our POS software right for your retail team members?

I

In any local retail businesses, it is the people in the business who really make the business stand out, it is in the people working in the business that valuable differentiation can be found.

The right staff members can make or break a shop.

This is why we ask Is our POS software right for your retail team members? when we are talking with a retail business owner about our POS software. It’s a serious question, an important question, a question that helps local small business retailers in their assessment not only of Tower Systems but of any other POS software company they are considering.

In considering this, Is our POS software right for your retail team members? it is important to understand what your retail; business team members want out of POS software. It could be they have needs beyond what the business owner knows. It could be that they see opportunity beyond what the business does today. Including them in the POS software evaluation and consideration process brings them along, gives them some stake in the ultimate decision that is made.

Here at Tower Systems, when we demonstrate our Pos software, we record it, with your permission. We then share the link too the video so you can share it with your team members, so they can learn about our POS software and consider for themselves whether our Tower Systems POS software is right for them, and through that, right for your business.

We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate our POS software to your team members, so they can see the software in action, touch it and feel it. We often learn from these situations, which we love.

Front line retail team members know a lot about the business in which they work and its customers. Tapping into that knowledge is valuable for us and in our consideration of what we can develop in our POS software as we expand its reach.

So, we care about the question Is our POS software right for your retail team members?, a lot. We ask it ourselves and encourage small business retailers considering partnering with us to ask this too. In doing this we are able to nurture more valuable and appreciated partnerships. And, the businesses we say we are not the right fit to benefit as well.

Tower Systems makes and supports POS software for local specialty retailers.

Is our POS software right for your local retail business?

I

It’s the big question for any retail business owner considering POS software for their business. Is the POS software they are considering right for their business?

How can they know?

How can they be sure?

Plenty of POS software sales people will say it is. Here at Tower Systems we will not. We think the question as to which POS software is best for your business is a question you need to answer for yourself.

We do ask it ourselves, though, throughout the sales process.

We ask ourselves: Is our POS software right for your local retail business?

It’s important that we form a view. The last thing we want is to sell our POS software into a situation it is not a good fit for. If we think our POS software is not a good fit for your retail business, we will say so. Life is too short to chase every sale regardless of the value it offers a retail business.

We determine if our POS software is a good fit for your business by asking questions, lots of questions. We want to know what’s important to your business, what keeps it running, where you want improvement, why you are looking for POS software and what POS software must have for it to be considered.

Yeah, we ask lots of questions, and in doing that we help you firm up your own views as to what matters to you and your business. We have had many sales prospects tell us they love this process and how we help them better understand their needs.

But back to the question on our minds: s our POS software right for your local retail business? We look at your needs, what your business does, what our software does and discuss it through, to form a view. Once we know what we think, we discuss it with you.

Sometimes, when we tell a local retail business owner that we do not think our POS software is a good fit for them, they are frustrated. Usually, once we explain why, they either suggest changes to their business or thank us and move on.

Transparency is key all through this. We benefit from it and so do those considering our POS software.

Tower Systems develops specialty retail POS software for a range of specialty retail channels.

7 ways the small business POS software from Tower Systems is valuably unique

7

Not all POS software is the same. There are companies, like Tower Systems, that invest in creating unique POS software to serve niche needs of specialty retailers. In doing this, for example, for jewellers, we have created facilities that serve the needs of other specialty retail channels.

Good POS software is living, evolving … to meet evolving retail needs. This is what we do, constantly evolve the software based on needs expressed and voted on by customers.

No, not all POS software is the same. There is generic off the shelf and, then, there is specialty POS software for specialty retailers.

Here are 7 unique ways the POS software from Tower Systems helps small business retailers to run more successful and enjoyable businesses:

  1. Loyalty customers love. Too often, loyalty software is all about the retailer. While we get that it has to work for the retailer, it, first of all, has to be loved by shoppers. That is what we deliver, and shoppers respond well as a result.
  2. Seasonally adjust. Seasons matter in retail. A challenge for some is that seasons move. Using our POS software you can adjust for this and be sure of how the business is performing, so you can easily compare and plan.
  3. A leverage-me platform that allows you to leverage intellectual property unique to you as well as to your business, through which you can pitch your knowledge. You do matter. This is a genuinely differentiating opportunity as it is about you.
  4. A no overhead, easily understood and sales driving loyalty solution that you can turn on in seconds and have delivering sales results today. This is smart loyalty, innovative and designed for today’s shopper. It does not leverage legacy loyalty that shoppers are sick of and that supermarkets continue to use.
  5. Seamless online with easy flowing inventory detail and image data between the POS software and Shopify thanks to smart and engaging integration for in-store, online and click and collect sales supported by many payment options including several buy now pay later options.
  6. Sell anywhere thanks to Retailer RoamTM, the on the road POS solution from the shop floor, at local markets, from a truck or from the roadside. This innovative, cloud based, solution is smart, engaging and ready for the new normal of 2020 and beyond.
  7. An access from anywhere insights platform that is your own personal business insights tool, shining a light on a pathway of data that reveals insights into your business andkopens you to considering opportunities ahead.

In the POS software from Tower Systems retailers have access to many opportunities, many more than the 7 listed here, opportunities through which the businesses can more efficiently operate and can reach more new traffic shopper opportunities.

10 ways the Tower Systems POS software is helping gift shops deal with pandemic challenges

1

Gift shop retailers using the Tower Systems POS software have at their disposal a proven suite of tools and facilities with which to combat the blues which seem to surround so many retailers at the moment.

By engaging with the marketing and management tools in the Point of sale software, retailers can expect to cut costs, increase sales and drive bottom-lime profit.

These claims are more than a sales pitch.   For no additional cost, local small business retailers can drive more profitable and more valuable business outcomes … and turnaround what may be a tough retail situation.

Using the Point of Sale software from Tower Systems, retailers can expect to:

  1. Cut costs.  Thanks to electronic invoicing, the cost of processing new stock is lower than with manual processes.  This can help cut your labour bill.
  2. Increase sales #1: reward customers.  A good loyalty program works.  Not like FlyBys which is of dubious financial value to customers.  No, a serious loyalty program which guides your customers to spend more money with you.  I have see stores grow sales by 10% on the back of a well constructed loyalty program,  a good POS software package will run this for you, points and all.
  3. Increase sales #2: easy lay-by.  Lay-by run properly and using technology can be highly profitable.  The software can manage the rules and ensure that your shop operates as professionally as a national retailer.  You set your own rules and the software manages the paperwork.
  4. Increase sales: market to your customers.  A coupon on your receipts, an email newsletter, a printed newsletter or up-sell script at the sales counter for staff – these are all ways you can use your point of sale system to help guide your existing customers to spend more money with you.
  5. Increase sales #5.  Connect with a local charity.  Use your gift shop software to make it easy for a local charity to promote your retail business shop and raise money for themselves at the same time.  Each sale earned for you by the charity can be tracked so that you are able to reward them with an accurate donation at the end of the campaign.
  6. Make better business decisions.  Bu buying only stock which works for you or seeing exactly what customers buy with what you are able to make business decisions which are more likely to drive better business results.
  7. Sell your own gift cards.  If a customer cannot find what they want in your shop you could sell them a professional looking gift card with a unique barcode allocated to that card.  This way they money they put on the card is used in your business.
  8. Cut mistakes.  Mistakes in retail can be expensive.  By using smart retail management software, you can and should expect to cut mistakes.  This is because it takes fewer keystrokes per sale.  This reduces the opportunity for mistakes.  The saving could add as much as a full percentage point to your bottom line.
  9. Cut theft.  Theft in retail in Australia was running at between 3% and 5% of turnover.  Thanks to tight controls around employees and better tracking of stock theft, you can expect to cut the cost of theft.  Every $1 cut in theft is a $1 on your bottom line.
  10. Handle special orders.  Using software you can place orders for specific customers.  The software can even sent a text message to the customer’s mobile phone when their special order comes if.  Talk about customer service!

The most important way you can grow your business in a tough marketplace is doing what you probably do best – providing cheerful and knowledgeable customer service.  You can do this and your employees can do this if you hand over some of your administrative tasks to your software.

It is easy to get drawn to the doom and gloom of the times and through this to lose focus on your business.  This trap must be avoided at all costs … for the sake of the business and all who rely on the business from customers to employees to owners.

By using tools freely available in your Point of Sale software you can find sales, find time and find margin which may have eluded you to this point.

Interest free finance offer for Shopify website development for small business retailers

I

Tower Systems only serves local small business retailers, with specialty retail POS software and with fixed-price Shopify website development, through which we deliver POS software connected Shopify websites.

To make the cost of development of a Shopify website less challenging on cashflow, we are pleased to have been able to release an interest free payment plan for our local small business retail customers who get us to develop a Shopify website for their business.

By spreading the Shopify website development cost over a year, local small business retailers are more able to afford having a beautiful POS software connected website created for them.

there is no extra cost, to additional charge. All we have done is take our one-off cost and spread it over a year, with monthly payments.

Shopify web development proceeds unhindered. The site is taken live the moment it is ready and approved by our customer. And, yes, this can be prior to the website development cost having been fully paid. By ensuring this we are demonstrating that the interest-free payment plan offer is really about making getting live online more cash-flow respectful for small business retailers.

Having developed many websites for local small business retailers already, we have considerable experience on which to draw. It was clear to us that the challenge on business finances was a factor in business owners making a decision to proceed. hence, our offer of interest-free financing for the cost of Shopify website development.

Since launch a few weeks ago, the take-up of the offer has been considerable. We are grateful to be in a position to underwrite the cost of this offer for our POS software customers. Our hope is that many businesses get online that may not have been in a position to do so at this point in their business cycle.

This interest-free Shopify website development program is another way Tower Systems offers practical help and support to local small business retailers and thereby empowering them to better serve their local communities.

Retail has fundamentally changed, not only because of the coronavirus pandemic but because of the role technology is playing in operation as well as customer engagement and connectivity. Online plays a key role, making being online critical for any business that wants to be in a position to compete.

Retailers are reaching shoppers they would otherwise not have reached. They are selling more, too. We continually say to retailers considering going online that they done;t know what they don’t know. The first few weeks online can be illuminating, revealing and encouraging.

Local small business retailers can shine online because they can be more flexible and move faster than big businesses. This is critical in the online world today.

Tower Systems is grateful to serve local small business retailers with awesome specialty retail POS software and with beautiful Shopify websites connected to that POS software.

Tower Systems helps local small business retailers through Covid

T

Tower Systems is grateful to be able to continue to help Australian and New Zealand small business retailers through COVID-19.

Our business is open and our office is open, since we meet the criteria for being essential.

What we introduced in February 2020 when we saw how Covid is playing out around the world and the impact it is having on businesses is still available. This Tower Systems support package is helping local small business retailers to pivot and embrace opportunity found within the Covid situation. Here is what we continue to offer:

  1. Free POS software licences for home access.
  2. Free unlimited personal, one-on-one, POS software training.
  3. No surcharge credit card use.
  4. Free access anywhere POS software reporting tools.
  5. Pivot advice, based on your business data – advice on opportunities for new traffic, new revenue.
  6. Capped price low cost Shopify sites, with fast track to going live.
  7. Business performance analysis help based on a professional assessment of what your data reveal.
  8. Discounted training / installation / setup package – making choosing Tower Systems lower cost right now.

Here at Tower Systems, it is business as usual and, through this, we are helping our POS software customers achieve a business as usual experience. We know this is comforting to our customers, helpful for their business planning and operations.

We continue to offer a full service POS software help desk service, releasing POS software updates and delivering our much-loves free one-on-one training to our retail business owners and their staff.

In offering business as usual, our customers have continuity of service. This helps them have what they need to work on their businesses … as that is what plenty of small business retailers have been doing through COVID-19, working on their businesses, re-calibrating, adjusting and, for some, pivoting. Indeed, we have helped some exciting pivots and we are grateful to have seen this and been part of it.

We are grateful to our team of software developers, help desk experts, POS software trainers, our back office infrastructure support and our sales team in that it is this group of people that has delivered for our customers through COVID-19 every day.

But back to the pivot opportunity. We see plenty of this in a range of local specialty retail channels in which we serve. By see we mean in real and accurate business data. Data show pivot opportunities and we can help our retail partners to explore these and consider whether they are useful. 2020 is a terrific year for a pivot and having the right software with flexibility can be helpful.

Tower Systems lobbies Afterpay on behalf of local small business retailers

T

Afterpay has denied access to is popular buy now pay later finance platform to several groups of retailers based on a small selection of products they sell. While we understand the position of Afterpay and that is is following its own published guidelines, we think the company has an opportunity to revisit these guidelines.

Using our POS software, we can help local small business retailers comply with many regulations. This includes blocking access to some payment methods based on products and categories of concern to parties that support the business. Using this technology and appropriate business support and advice, we think we can help Afterpay connect with more retail businesses and live within its own regulations art the same time.

We are grateful that folks at Afterpay have at least listened to representations we have made on behalf of the engaged local small business retailers that we serve in our 3,000+ strong POS software user community.

This work we have done, lobbying Afterpay on behalf of local small business retailers, is an example of what we do beyond what is traditional for a POS software company. It is us offering help, service and engagement with a supplier so that the supplier might consider doing business with our customers.

Our work on a range of projects sets us up to help achieve the safety Afterpay is looking for, to ensure that their financing platform is not used for products or services outside what is acceptable to them. They would not be the first supplier we have facilitated this for and they would not be the last for sure.

From age checking to shopping basket oversight, we have tech within our software that enables us to serve a variety of regulatory needs and it is through these that we can help Afterpay achieve with it needs, if it is keen to connect with small business retailers in channels it currently does not bring on to its buy now pay later funding platform.

Tower Systems is a vertical market POS software company serving niche specialty retailer needs in only selected retail channels. We dive deep in to the specific needs of each channel to help them run engaged and locally focussed specialty retail businesses.

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

A

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.

Practical online sales management advice for small business retailers

P

Like any Saturday, today has been busy helping local small business retailers. In between, we took an opportunity to write an in the moment email with our top advice for selling online. The email we sent explains itself …

The 4 free how to sell online using Shopify for small business retailers workshops we hosted almost 2 weeks ago were appreciated by plenty.

Based on the questions and feedback, here is our top advice, our most important advice for local small business retailers about selling online:

  1. It’s urgent. Every retail business needs to be online. You have no idea what you are missing. Online should be at least 10% of your revenue now.
  2. Your POS software should manage your inventory, including what you sell online. This saves time and manages consistency.
  3. Start small, focussed. Don’t obsess about getting the whole business on. The sooner you start the sooner you will get experience and this will feed your evolution.
  4. It’s hard work. If you seek and embrace short cuts, they will come at a. cost. Lean into the hard work. get it done.
  5. Shopify is better than WooCommerce. A WooCommerce website usually costs more to maintain. hey, we’ve been doing this for many years and have used both, and Magento. Shopify gives you more control and requires less tech skills.
  6. Don’t overthink shipping. A complex approach to shipping will negatively impact your online sales.
  7. Accept all payment types. Credit card, PayPal, Buy Now Pay later – they all serve a purpose. Make sure you are flexible.
  8. You are your best asset. Your knowledge about your products is your best asset. It is differentiating. Leverage it on your website in the text write and the blog posts you publish. This is what will attract shoppers.
  9. Describe for the search. In a shop, people browse based on what they see. Online, people start browsing by typing in text. Think about this when they describe what they sell.
  10. Own your complexity. If you choose to have a complex offer or a complex approach to selling online, it’s your complexity. Don’t rely on a web developer or a tech person to make it easier for you. Making it easier starts with you making decisions about your business.

If you are interested in our POS software or having us develop a POS software connected Shopify site for you, please email sales@towersystems.com.au or call 1300 662 957.

Click here to find out more about our specialty retail POS software. Click here to see our YouTube Channel where you can see up to date demonstrations of our various specialty retail POS software products.

Click here to access our fixed-price standard POS software connected Shopify website quote.

Click here to see the checklist we provide our Shopify customers. It outlines what’s critical about preparing for a Shopify site.

Click here to access our website customer questionnaire. This is designed to help you clarify your needs. A copy of your responses is sent to you.

How our POS software helps local small business retailers with Father’s Day 2021

H

Retailers using our POS software have been leveraging opportunities for connecting with shoppers for Father’s Day 2021. We are grateful to have seen from our POS software customers plenty of examples of how they are engaging with Father’s Day opportunities. here are some of the initiatives that we have seen, where our POS software has worked with local retailers to engage with Father’s Day:

  1. Selling online through POS software connected websites.
  2. Offering click and collect through the POS software and through Shopify connected website.
  3. Supporting the creation of Father’s Day gift bundles for easy and efficient selling.
  4. Offering infrequent shopper loyalty rewards for those in the shop for Father’s Day.
  5. Leveraging what the POS software curated data show does work for Father’s Day.
  6. Efficiently bringing in products for Father’s Day thanks to deep supplier links.
  7. Selling quickly and safely.
  8. Guiding inventory replen opportunities.
  9. Offering email marketing data you can leverage to reach out and invite shoppers.

Father’s Day is a vital season for many retailers, newsagents, gift shops, jewellers, garden centres, fishing shops, toy shops and more. Embedded in our POS software we offer tools that local small business retailers are using this Father’s Day to help drive small business success.

Even with lockdown impacting local small business retail across plenty of channels, we have helped many retailers to make the most of the unique circumstances through online as well as in-store engagement. Our click and collect opportunities, for example, make it easier for retailers to connect with this. We are showing that the challenge of lockdown can help a local small business to pivot so that they can safely connect with the lockdown regulations that are now in place.

Father’s Day is a key season in many retail businesses and while 2021 does present a set of unique challenges, we know there are ways in which our software can serve these businesses, to help them trade through the unique settings, to help make Father’s Day bright for plenty of their customers. we are grateful for opportunities to serve the retailers in our POS software user community.

If you are yet to make purchases for Father’s Day 2021, please consider shopping local as it is local retailers who are more likely to support the local community and they can only do this if you support them.

Making click and collect easy for local small business retailers

M

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.

$99 a month gift shop software offers local high street gift shops beautiful and valuable POS software for an affordable price

$

Our gift shop POS software is used by hundreds of gift shops in Australia. We are so proud of its reach and thrilled that it is helping so many business owners and team members to run efficient, successful and enjoyable businesses.

This is POS software made for gift shops, to serve their needs, to help them be more successful.

Here are some of the benefits people in businesses like yours tell us they love:

  1. Say goodbye to LayBy With our buy now pay later options.
  2. Customers will love your product use and care instructions on receipts.
  3. 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.
  4. Get one-time-only shoppers spending more with an awesome and differentiating loyalty facility.
  5. Sell online easily, direct from your POS software.
  6. Bring customers back with reminders on dates important to them.
  7. Save money on bookkeeping by integrating with accounting software.
  8. Make more money from the one time only shoppers.
  9. Save time, load electronic invoices from suppliers.

There is more to this gift shop software, too …

  • Get rid of manual books at the counter for LayBys, special orders, stock you need to order and more.
  • Cut dead stock and re-order based on data facts.
  • Cut theft by knowing what is being stolen.
  • Eliminate LayBy and get you paid sooner with buy now pay later.
  • Make price comparison harder with bundled packs.
  • Easily and consistently pitch locally sourced products.
  • Drive community group member engagement with group pricing.
  • Get one-time-only shoppers spending more with loyalty tools.
  • Bring customers back with reminders on dates important to them.
  • Save money on bookkeeping by integrating with Xero.
  • Leverage your knowledge on receipts and elsewhere. Sell you.
  • Reach beyond your four walls with a directly linked Shopify store.

We are so so proud every day of what this awesome gift shop POS software is helping local small business gift shops achieve. From competing with the big end of town to competing with online, this gift shop POS software is empowering. It is evolving, too, as more releases come out with new facilities fine tuned based on evolving needs we see in the marketplace.

We are thankful to serve so many gift shops already. If you are looking for POS software for your gift shop, we’d love to show you what we do.

Small business retailers benefit from Afterpay POS software access

S

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.

Afterpay Card payment option for small business retail POS software

A

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. Here’s what Afterpay has to say about this new facility for their buy now pay later option:

We’ve made paying a better and easier experience for you when you shop in-store.

Afterpay Card has replaced the barcode system of shopping in-store. It’s a contactless Mastercard stored in your Google Pay or Apple Wallet, and is super easy to set up and use.

With Afterpay Card, you just App it, Add it, and Tap it to pay in 4 interest-free instalments.

We are grateful to be part of the release, to be able to bring this option to thousands of local small business retailers.

For a retail business to be ready for taking payment through the Afterpay Card is easy with our fast-track setup opportunities. Our software guides our customers. In almost no time at all, this new payment method is up and running in the business, offering the business a fresh approach to selling.

Using the Afterpay Card in a Tower Systems POS software connected business is as easy as using any credit card. Tap and go. It’s fast, easy, secure and backed by good business engagement reporting. Offering an additional payment method is something small business retailers embrace as they seek to reduce barriers to business growth. The Afterpay Card does that, it’s a timely solution for small business retailers looking for new revenue streams.

Tower Systems supports the Afterpay Card and welcomes its wider release within retail in Australia.

How we have been helping small business retailers through on-going Covid challenges

H

Tower Systems is grateful to be able to continue to help Australian and New Zealand small business retailers through COVID-19.

Our business is open and our office is open, since we meet the criteria for being essential.

What we introduced in February 2020 when we saw how Covid is playing out around the world and the impact it is having on businesses is still available. This Tower Systems support package is helping local small business retailers to pivot and embrace opportunity found within the Covid situation.

Our customers have access to a range of opportunities and benefits to help them best run their businesses in this situation.

  1. Free POS software licences for home software access.
  2. Free unlimited personal, one-on-one, POS software training.
  3. No surcharge credit card use.
  4. Free access anywhere POS software reporting tools.
  5. Pivot advice, based on your business data – advice on opportunities for new traffic, new revenue.
  6. Capped price low cost Shopify sites, with fast track to going live.
  7. Business performance analysis help based on a professional assessment of what your data reveal.

Here at Tower Systems, it is business as usual and, through this, we are helping our POS software customers achieve a business as usual experience. We know this is comforting to our customers, helpful for their business planning and operations.

We continue to offer a full service POS software help desk service, releasing POS software updates and delivering our much-loves free one-on-one training to our retail business owners and their staff.

In offering business as usual, our customers have continuity of service. This helps them have what they need to work on their businesses … as that is what plenty of small business retailers have been doing through COVID-19, working on their businesses, re-calibrating, adjusting and, for some, pivoting. Indeed, we have helped some exciting pivots and we are grateful to have seen this and been part of it.

We are grateful to our team of software developers, help desk experts, POS software trainers, our back office infrastructure support and our sales team in that it is this group of people that has delivered for our customers through COVID-19 every day.

But back to the pivot opportunity. We see plenty of this in a range of local specialty retail channels in which we serve. By see we mean in real and accurate business data. Data show pivot opportunities and we can help our retail partners to explore these and consider whether they are useful. 2020 is a terrific year for a pivot and having the right software with flexibility can be helpful.

A Covid lockdown To-Do list for local small business retailers

A

Here in Melbourne we are in our fifth Covid lockdown. As well as owning our POS software company and working with local small business retailers every day, I also own three retail businesses and several online businesses.

This Covid lockdown To-Do list for local small business retailers is practical advice you can action without cost, to make the most of the lockdown opportunity.

Whether your shop is closed or open but with less traffic, now is an ideal time to work on your business.

  1. List what’s not sold. Run a report listing all inventory in the business that has not sold at all this year. This list gives you a starting point for action. We did this last week for one customer and identified $15,000 worth of dead stock, stock the owner to that point was not focussed on.
  2. Act on what’s not sold. Dead stock is dead weight. If you have long since paid for it, cents in the dollar for it is better than nothing.
  3. Look at what’s been selling with what. Often the items in the same basket are not seen by retailers as items you can put together. This list, which you should be able to get from your POS software, can guide shop floor placement changes.
  4. Front to back clean. Literally, start at the front of the shop and work your want to the back. Clean every single product. We often find that the act of holding every product leads to decisions about some products, decisions we might otherwise not have made. We have just done this at one of our own Westfield shops and the decisions we made along the way have been liberating.
  5. Work on your roster. Look at what usually sells by day of week and by time. Your POS software should be able to help with this. Take time to review your roster to ensure it is set appropriately. Labour is usually the top or second highest cost in a retail business outside of inventory.
  6. Reset the front third of the store. Look carefully at that front third of your store. Make bold changes simply by moving things, so that when shoppers return they see things they’ve not noticed before.
  7. Prepare social media content that leverages you. Using your phone, film short videos of you or a team member talking about products. Prepare these to load over time on Facebook, Instagram and more. Have fun.
  8. If you have a website for the business, write blog posts as they are absolutely the single best thing you can do to attract traffic to the website. A blog post should be single topic, pitch a consistent keyword at least five times and be over 350 words. We have a lot of experience with this and note, again, this is the single most effective online marketing for a website. The only investment is your time – don’t outsource this.
  9. Learn something new. Ask your POS software company for the best report in the software to reveal what you are unlikely to know about your business. Run that report. Read it. Make a list of things you could do. Act on it.
  10. Be a shopfitter. Shopfitters are expensive. Look at an area of your shop that you want to change that you would usually hire a shoplifter to handle. Think through how you can do it yourself. I know many retailers who have done this and vowed to not use shopfitters for such changes in the future.
  11. If you are online, undertake a data driven review of your website. Look at your traffic and the traffic of your competitors. Review your site and theirs. Look for opportunities to attract more shoppers to your site based on the data. Whoever developed your website should be able to collate this data for you.
  12. Personally: refresh. If you can take a break from business, even for an hour a day, read fiction, listen to music you love, go for a walk outside. These nourishing things can help reset mood and that could help you discover new opportunities for your business.

We are a local Aussie POS software company serving 3,500+ local small business retailers with POS software and beautiful Shopify websites. Beyond this, we also offer retail business management advice and help to our customers every day.

Thanks for reading. have an awesome rest of your weekend …

Mark Fletcher | mark@towersystems.com.au.

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

A

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!

Stocktake Q&A for retailers

S

Monday last week at the office we shot and released this stocktake video to our POS software customers as part of a kit of advice on stocktake 2021. This was sent to our customers by email as well as shared on our private social media platforms.

This is another example of fresh content we provide to our customers.

We also released a longer form full stocktake training video for those keen for more of a specific how to stocktake.

How we are helping greeting card retailers achieve double-digit growth

H

Greeting cards are big business in Australia, responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in retail sales.

Here at Tower Systems, we are grateful to help gift shops, greeting card shops and newsagents to sell more cards. Thanks to specialty card product specific reporting and close relationships with key greeting card publishers, we have a leadership position in driving good card sales outcomes.

Cultivating accurate pocket-level card sales data and providing access to insights from this data in accessible forms enables us to help small business retailers drive good card sales.

In one high street retail business, card revenue is up 50% year on year, off a very solid base and even smoothing data for Covid impact.

In another high street business in regional Australia where the Covid impact on retail has been nil, card sales are up 37% following the implementation of advice guided by the reporting from within our POS software, the greeting card category and segment reporting for which we are well known.

Growing card sales is good business as it plays well in retail for gift sales. Also, with the margin on cards, growth in revenue is beneficial to bottom-line performance.

Related to our work with greeting cards is our work gift packaging. Gift packaging has been a focus in one of our client shops over the last six months. It was accounting for 3.7% of revenue within cards/gift packaging. Looking at their most recent data this morning, it is contributing 6.2% of total gift packaging revenue. This growth is even better considering the overall card/gift packaging revenue growth of 36% being achieved.

In our retail channel specific POS software we have tools that aim to help card and gift packaging businesses to achieve excellent results, thereby adding value to the businesses, helping them to be not only more successful today but more valuable tomorrow should be business be put on the market.

Card success really is rooted in card performance data. The toolkit in our specialty retail POS software in terms of cards is deep and strong, and it has a terrific track record of success … of which we are most proud.

Tower Systems goes beyond the software, offering support and services on which retailers can rely to achieve greater success in the greeting card and gift packaging spaces.

Fresh POS software marketing pitch

F

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

E

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.

Categories