We have added some visual bling to some windows at our Hawthorn, Victoria, office.
Christmas in July is a terrific retail tradition in Australia. It is an excellent opportunity to clear stock, boost foot traffic and reset the shop floor of any retail situation.
Using our POS software retailers can easily manage the Christmas in July. In particular, our POS software can help with:
- Identifying what inventory you can pitch in Christmas in July to quit stock.
- What sold at this time last year, and the year before.
- Bundling items to given them a fresh look.
- Managing the pricing offer between nominated date and time periods.
- At the register pitching up-sell opportunities from the Christmas in July campaign.
- Tracking the success of the campaign.
Christmas in July is a wonderful opportunity in almost any retail setting. We say this based on our experience working with a broad variety of specialty retailers. The key is to have a strong offer, well situated, pitched well, understood of all team members and targeted to sell what you need to sell. That’s the key here – the commercial outcome for your retail business.
Here at our POS software company we can help you make the most of the Christmas in July opportunity.
Here is a refreshed list of tips for making Christmas in July a success.
- Run the Christmas in July campaign over no more than two weeks in July. One week could be enough.
- Choose dates which are away from any other promotion – it works best with little competition.
- Get all team members engaged.
- Set aside spoke front of store, in their face.
- Dress the team and the store to suit the Christmas theme.
- Display any spare Christmas stock from last year.
- Play Christmas music.
- Choose a day for an extra special celebration and make this an all-out focus.
- Have a competition for the kids around the theme.
- Create a giant Christmas stocking which one lucky customer can win.
- Use the event to discount any slow moving items. It its a perfect opportunity to quit stock.
- Promote on social media.
Christmas in July is an excellent opportunity to get suppliers on board. Maybe they could provide products for you to give away as gifts – I.E. every shopper gets spending over $10 a ‘Christmas’ gift. Suppliers could use your promotion as an ideal time for trialling products and getting your customers engaged.
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.
- Always unpack and price products on the shop floor and not in the back room or outside of shopper view.
- 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:
- Easily understood.
- Easily purchased.
- Broadly appealing.
- Something people will talk about.
- Fun, ideally.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Create stunning window displays people would not expect to see in your type of business.
- Offer multi-buy opportunities unlocking savings for people purchasing more than would be usual in a single visit.
- 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.
- Send customers a card for special occasions, a personal card to reinforce the personal relationship you have with them.
- 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.
Easter is what each store makes of it in retail. Each retailer decides through their engagement whether this is a big or not so big season.
Our advice, based on working with retailers across a diversity of business settings, is don’t get caught up in tradition, think about easter 2021 as one of connection. This can broaden your focus and provide a more useful pathway to sales success.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking what easter 2021 could be in your retail business…
- Have fun. No matter what you do, make sure it involves fun, active fun.
- Promote connection. Easter is a good this for people to connect with people nearby and far away. help them do that.
- Do good. Collect for something during the season. Given the animal theme of so much Easter product, maybe a local animal shelter.
- Have fun give rabbits a discount on a set day or days. Give a doubt to everyone who presents as a rabbit. Promote it widely – get the local paper in for a photo. Make the discount worth it for them dressing up.
- Invite a wall of stories. If you have a wall available, cover it with paper and invite your customers to write or draw what Easter means to them. this makes the season more interactive.
- Make a giant papier-mâché egg with things you sell (old newspapers, coloured paper, paint). Go big, I mean really big. Taller than a person. Let the kids paint it. Make it a local thing for people to come see.
- Have an Easter Egg hunt for over 70s. Egg hunts are usually for kids but those over 70 will have a different recollection of the season from when they were kids. Cater to them with a hunt in your shop for tasty eggs.
- Respect the season. Easter means different things to different people. Respect this outside of the fun you may have. Be sure about your greeting and that it is appropriate. Maybe include a nice message on your receipts.
Easter is considered by many in retail to be a small season. I see it as full of opportunity and primed for fun in the newsagency. Chase year on year growth.
easter 2021 is an opportunity to guide connection. Our advice is be part of that opportunity.
With local tourism relying on local tourism while the international border remains effectively closed, POS software from Tower Systems is helping local businesses promote local tourism opportunities.
Embedded in the Australian POS software are facilities through which local tourist locations and opportunities can be pitched without additional labour investment from the business for each pitch.
This smart POS software makes it easy for regional and rural businesses to shine a light on tourism opportunities, to feature local sights, local things visitors to an area should do.
Fishing and outdoors businesses can use these local tourism marketing facilities in the POS software to help people visiting an area to have a more successful fishing experience.
Bike shops can use these local tourism marketing facilities in the POS software to promote local riding tracks and cyclist destinations worth visiting.
Garden centres can use these local tourism marketing facilities in the POS software to feature local gardens of note and bush trails sure to excite a gardener.
Pet shops can use these local tourism marketing facilities in the POS software to highlight local pet locations where they can date the dog for a play or otherwise enjoy what the local area has to offer.
Produce and farm supply businesses can use these local tourism marketing facilities in the POS software highlight local crop and related information to encourage a better yield.
Other local businesses can use these local tourism marketing facilities in the POS software to encourage the visiting of local tourist destinations in a structured way to help local tourist operators and thereby more broadly help the local town.
These facilities in our POS software are loved by our customers as they make it easy for them to boost their community connection, easy to show their community support. They help better integrate the business with the local community and tourism opportunities the local community has to offer.
This is good for business and good for the community.
With so many of our POS software customers in regional and rural Australia, these facilities made sense when we first offered them years ago.
Tower Systems is grateful to help regional and rural retailers to support their local communities.
Embedded in the Tower Systems POS software are smart tools for leveraging Black Friday sales opportunities and more. These are tools that have multiple levers, multiple opportunities for retailers with which to compete with online retailers and big businesses.
Black Friday sales can be won by being smart and engaged, going beyond the usual straight discount. There is where the POS software from Tower Systems can help small business retailers differentiate.
Thanks to the seamless Shopify link, selling online to win Black Friday sales is achievable too with minimal business investment.
With the Black Friday sales a few days away, Tower systems has been busy offering advice and help to small business retailers, to help them make the most of the opportunity in 2020. We have been doing this based on experience in past years and as a result of our work across plenty of retail channels in physical stores using our POS software as well as online.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday and now key selling opportunities for retailers and our job as a POS software company is to offer our retail business partners opportunities to leverage these opportunities as much as they are able in-store and online.
Our Black Friday sales opportunities include bundling, BOGO offers, hampers, straight discounts, bonus product offers, post sales discounts and more. There are plenty of opportunities for helping small business retailers to have a terrific Black Friday opportunity this year.
It is easy for small business retailers to say Black Friday is not for me. We disagree, there are many opportunities that we see. It takes planning and engagement and this is where the options available ion our POS software come to play to help drive sales outcomes.
From our help desk team members to our marketing team to our leadership team, we are able to help small business retailers to win terrific business in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Our goal is to help many retailers new to Black Friday to have a terrific experience.
Black Friday is a good example of how we help beyond our POS software by itself. We have in the software tools that help achieve this. We back this with advice and support. We do this from the context of our own retail business ownership and management experience – reaching beyond what’s traditional for a software company.
Yeah, it’s odd for a POS software company to offer Christmas marketing tips to retailers because … we are tech people and not retailers. That may be true for some.
Tower Systems has owned and run retail businesses since 1996.
We are not your usual POS software company. We actively share marketing tips with our customers. Here are some Christmas marketing tips for retailers that we hope some find useful, or at least inspiring to you to develop your own.
We offer you 46 low cost and no cost Christmas marketing tips for retailers ideas to help create a different Christmas experience in your business.
- Have tape with wrapping paper.
- Have wrapping paper with cards, at the counter and with magazines.
- Have Christmas bags at the counter.
- Have tape at the counter.
- Pitch easy to purchase ready to go hampers close to the counter.
- Keep displays fresh.
- Run your loyalty programs through Christmas – to bring them back.
- Make it easy. People often talk about how hard Christmas is. Be the local business that makes it easy. The ways to do this are with easy Lay-By, free wrapping, better shop floor help, guide buying advice or tips on perfect gifts no one else will think of. Consider making Christmas easy as being a key part of your messaging.
- Host a simple party. To preview Christmas, say thank you to shoppers and support a local cause. Do it when the shop is closed. Limit numbers. have some drinks and food. Have fun. Celebrate.
- Use video. To promote products on social media.
- Offer impulse purchase of often forgotten lines. At the counter, with newspapers, next to weekly magazines.
- Offer help. For kids and others who ,may find choosing a card or writing a card difficult.
- Visit nursing homes. With some gifts and cards for easy shopping.
- Be thrilled people are in your shop. Your personal smile or greeting is something they may not see in a big business where employees are less invested in each shopper and where the owner is usually thousands of kilometers away.
- Make the giving easy. If people purchase items from you to send somewhere else. Offer a one-stop shop. Save them the trip to the post office.
- Make the shop less about Christmas. Consider pulling back on the Christmas visual noise. Go for something simple, muted, respecting the season but making a calm statement. Consider declaring the shop a Christmas carol free zone – not because you hate carols but because you want to help customers take a break.
- Help people rest and recharge. Create a Christmas shopping rest and recovery zone. Offer free tea, coffee, water and something to eat. Encourage people to take a break in your shop – without any obligation for them to spend money with you.
- Let your customers help each other. Setup a whiteboard or sheets of butcher’s paper, yes keep it simple. Get customers to write gift suggestions under different age/gender groups. For example: Girls 18 – 25, Boys 55+. Encourage your customers to help each other through their suggestions.
- Make price comparison difficult. If you sell items people are likely to price compare with other businesses, package them so price comparison is not easy. Put items into a hamper as a perfect Boy 8 to 12 bundle for example. Or offer the item with pre packages services if appropriate for an item.
- Less is more. The stack em high watch em fly mantra can be wrong. Indeed, it is often wrong in retail. Shoppers can be store blind because a shop is too full or a display is too busy. Consider creating simpler less cluttered displays and window promotions. Draw attention to what you want people to see by promoting that one thing. Every time someone asks if you have something that you think through should be able to find easily – take it as a challenge for you to address rather than a commentary on a facility of the customer.
- Change. Christmas season in your shop should evolve. Major change weekly is vital for people to see what you have that they could buy.
- Be socially engaged. On Facebook, Instagram, twitter and elsewhere, be the calm voice, the person people enjoy reading or seeing photos from. Provide entertainment this Christmas rather than the usual retailer shrill of come and shop here!
- Be community minded. Choose a local charity or community group to support through Christmas. Consider: a change collection tin at the counter; a themed Christmas window display; promotion on your social media pages; a donation to their work; a collection point for donations from customers.
- Facilitate sharing stories. Find space in your shop for customers to share their Christmas stories. It could be a story wall inside or in front of the shop. This initiative encourages storytelling by locals and better connects the business with the community.
- Award a prize at a local school. Fund a year-end prize at a local school. Attend a school assembly to award the prize. Work with the school leadership on a prize appropriate to your business.
- VIP preview. Host a VIP shopper preview night when you show off your Christmas ranges ahead of being available to the general shoppers. Respect and reward your local shoppers with deals and the opportunity to preview ahead of others.
- Leverage Christmas traffic. Encourage the Christmas shopper traffic surge in after Christmas. Give them a reason to come back. A coupon promotion or a discount voucher on receipts could be the enticement to get shoppers back in-store. Note: the Tower POS software produces discount vouchers to rules you establish.
- Become a gallery. Work with a school, kindergarten, community group or retirement village to bring in local art for people to come and see through Christmas. A small space commitment can drive traffic from family and friends of those with art on show.
- Dress the shop. Fully embrace Christmas. Create a Christmas experience such that shoppers know they have stepped into somewhere special this Christmas. Go for more than some tinsel and a tree. Fully embrace the opportunity.
- Make your shop smell like Christmas.
- Send cards. Send Christmas cards early in the season to suppliers, key customers and local community groups. This connects you with Christmas. Invite all team members to sign each card.
- Host a Christmas party. For shops nearby. You are all in the season together – let your hear down before things get crazy.
- Ensure you have gifts targeted at occasions. For example: Kris Kringle, by price point and by recipient. Make it easy for people to know what they could give.
- Stocking stuffers. At your counter always have one or two stocking stuffers for impulse purchase.
- Offer gift vouchers – for someone to give when they are not sure what to give.
- Be local. Ensure you have a selection of locally sourced products available for purchase. Make it clear in-store that these products are sourced locally.
- Tell stories. On your Facebook page, talk about what is important to you at Christmas. Personalise the season and deepen the connection with those who could shop with you.
- Offer a free gift. Bulk purchase an item to offer those who spend above a set amount. For example, spend $65 and receive XX where XX may have cost $5.00 but could have a perceived value of $20.00.
- Keep it fresh. Every week make significant change to your Christmas displays and promotions to keep your offer fresh.
- Share Christmas recipes. Each week for, say, four weeks, give customers a family Christmas recipe. This personalises Christmas in your business, creates a talking point and makes shopping with you different to your bigger competitors.
- Free wrapping. Sure, many retailers offer this. Make your offer better, more creative and more appreciated.
- This is essential in any business. Manage it through your computer system with strict rules.
- Work the floor. Increase time on the shop floor. Be present to manage shopper flow and to facilitate purchases.
- Christmas is crazy busy I most retail situations. Give yourself and your team members sufficient time to recharge so the smile greeting shoppers is heartfelt.
- Keep a secret. If yours is a business selling gifts a partner may purchase for their loved-one, create some mystery with a closed off display for the shopper to see the products.
- Free assembly. If you sell items that require assembly. Offer to do this for free.
- Free delivery. Offer free Christmas Eve delivery for items purchased for kids for Christmas.
- Sell training. Leverage the specialist knowledge you have in your business by selling as gifts places at classes you run sharing your expertise.
- Hold back. Don’t go out with everything you have for Christmas all at once. Plan the season to show off what you have as the season unfolds. This allows you multiple launches.
- Share a taste. Regardless if your type of business, bake a family recipe of Christmas cake, Christmas pudding or Christmas biscuits and offer tastings to shoppers on select days. This personalises the experience in your shop.
- Offer hampers. Package several items together and offer them as a hamper. Time-poor shoppers could appreciate you doing this work for them. We have seen this work in many different retail situations.
- Buy X get Y. Encourage people to spend more with a volume based deal. Pitched right, this could get customers purchasing items for several family members in order to get the price offer you have. Use your technology to manage this.
Christmas is the perfect time to plan for next year. It is the time to do everything possible to leverage bonus Christmas traffic to benefit your business through next year.
Feel free to share these Christmas marketing tips with others.
We help our small business POS software customers with free social media content for appreciation and behavioural encouragement. Here are some of our new social media posts made available to Tower Systems customers:
Thanks to our creative in-house marketing team, plenty of social media content collateral is available to help customers of Tower Systems promote their businesses.
2020 is the year of shop local with a surge in people shopping locally. In our work with 3,500+ small business retailers, we have seen a surge in sales, both in -store sales and online sales with small business retailers.
It is wonderful to see, this authentic support for shop local in 2020.
Today, we share some tips for small business retailers on how to maximise the shop local opportunity, marketing advice on how to make shop local work better for you. These are marketing tips you can use right away without spending any money in most cases.
- What makes your business local? Know this and you can know much more about your message and how you can leverage it. For many retailers, their local connections are a point of difference. usually, what makes your business local is local knowledge. If this is you, serve this knowledge through touchpoint in your POS software. It is easy to encode local knowledge is related to what you sell and auto-serve this through customer purchases.
- Connect with the local community. Offer community groups fund-raining opportunities when your members choose your local business over other local businesses. It’s easy to manage through your POS software, to track the purchases by group members, given them a benefit and gift the community group itself a benefit in appreciation for their recommendation. This can be a perfect win / win / win for all in the local community.
- Stay connected. Through social media, email and other platforms, keeping connected with locals by sharing locally relevant information you can connect and share knowledge and this will be appreciated by locals. Your POS software can capture email addresses and share these with mailChimp for safe and spam free emails.
Know where your customers live. It’s easy to capture the postcode of shoppers. In every business we see doing this they learn things about shoppers that they can leverage, for better local community engagement especially.
Nurturing local shoppers really is all about your local community connection. It helps to have ways to do this that do not take too much time, ways that are consistently leveraged. This is where good POS software with tools for pitching your local connections can help.
Here at Tower Systems we care about small business retailers. We care for your businesses, those who rely on the business for income and your local shopper customers. We only work with and help local small business retailers with our POS software.
Today, we share practical no cost and low cost marketing tips designed specifically for independent toy shops – local shops, high street shops, shops that are competing with mass retailers, national retailers and online retailers with big budgets.
We are sharing these tips because we believe in small business, independent business, because we will do everything we can to help local toy shops as they are bread and butter customers for our toy shop software.
When it comes to retail business marketing, we like to keep it simple as we have found simple works best in our own shops. here are our marketing tips for local toy shops:
- Run a championship. Choose a simple and fast to play fun game and host a local championship. Like Connect 4 – in a day and a series of heats in-store you could fine a champion and give people a heap of fun.
- Run a community noticeboard. A toy shop is a perfect place for a community noticeboard where families can share games and toy ideas with other families and where games clubs can let people know their news. Be an information hub.
- Create a community gallery. In a quiet part of the shop, create a gallery where people can share photos of achievements relating to what you sell. Photos could be of a completed jigsaw, a completed craft item, a winner of Monopoly, a completed Lego project and more. The idea is to give people a place to shaw their achievements.
- Customer reviews. Include customer reviews of games and toys with products in-store. Personalise and localise your business.
- Toy of the week. At the counter, pitch a specific item each week. Make sure the pitch explains why.
- Staff picks. Near the front of the store have a shelf or several shelves for displaying staff picks for this week. have a card next to each with an explanation, in their own words.
- Leverage collectibles. For those collectible items people will buy regularly over time, offer a reward when they reach a certain number. It can work like a coffee card. It locked them into purchasing from you.
- Share your knowledge part 2. People like buying from people who know what they are talking about. You can show off your knowledge through videos, which you have made, on Facebook, videos on your website and in-store.
- Share your knowledge part 2. Include product car and use information on receipts. This can be handled easily by your software.
- Support community groups. Offer a fundraising deal where group members purchase from you between set dates and they get a discount and the group gets a rebate. Your software can manage this. You help the customer and you help a group they love.
- Use loyalty rewards people understand. Any any customer today what 100 loyalty points are worth and they will not have a clear answer in most situations. Ask them how much a $10.00 voucher is worth and they will, for sure, say $10.00. Offer $$ as loyalty rewards and leverage this to get people to spend more than they used to. It’s done easily on your receipts.
- Bring them back. Use email marketing tools to thoughtfully invite shoppers back because they bought a particular item or brand or they bought for an annual occasion, like a birthday. Collecting a small amount of data in the sale and having your POS feed data to an email tool can make this email invite easy to achieve.
These are some of the marketing tips we have for local and independent toy shops. We love helping local indie retailers to thrive. We hope these ideas are useful and that they inspire you to create your own.
Small business rocks!
Through our POS software retailers have access to a range of tools for promoting and leveraging Halloween opportunities. From reminders, to product pitches to advice to special offers served in a targeted way, retailers using our POS software can pitch Halloween in 2020 to leverage the uniqueness of the fun day this year.
For sure, Halloween 2020 will be different. We are seeing this already in businesses we run, where Halloween products are being embraced early, even a month ago. One hit product already is Seeds from the Ty Plushies range.
For that business we made this video 100% in-house and served it using tech to reach new shoppers. We mention this as another example that we are not your usual POS software company.
We are grateful to see sales data from a range of different Victorian retail businesses using our POS software. Here are trends from the latest Victorian lockdown:
- Relaxing products. The jigsaw surge from March and April is back but in an expanded form – adult colouring, art and craft, journaling, cross-stitch, knitting, games and art. Smart retailers are selling these items as well as offering customers opportunities to connect with others doing this.
- Nesting. This category is surging not only in Victoria but nationally. Nesting includes candles, diffusers, essential oils, rugs, cushions, homewares, pets, cooking and related.
- Tactile products. We have seen a surge in cuddleable (not a word I know but it best describes it) products. This segment includes plush and other soft toys, pets, rugs, blankets, pillows and similar. With touching and hugging discouraged, it stands to reason that people seek out alternatives.
- Easy shopping. We have seen retailers gain sales by making shopping easier through packaging items often bought together and having these placed front of store and at the counter.
- Postable gifts. People are loving that they can easily send a gift to people they are unable to see.
- Working from home. For some, this is now a permanent arrangement. Many retail channels have offers they can make to those working from home and businesses with employees working from home. The opportunities are usually broader than retailers think.
- Contactless retail. Having the EFTPOS machine shopper facing and situated for easy tap and having in place arrangements for the lowest cost possible to the business for EFTPOS.
- Online. Having an online offer matters. While people like the safety of having goods shipped, they also like click and collect and they like to use the website to ensure you have something in stock before they visit the shop.
- Online events. More retailers are hosting events to show off new products and offer education – Zoom, Facebook live and similar events. Unboxings, educating on new products meet the maker and more.
- Christmas has started early. Yes, we are seeing Christmas purchases already in businesses that are offering Christmas stock.
While the pandemic has disrupted business, in that disruption are opportunities. The Victorian situation is a reminder that disruption is not temporary. We think history will show that winners will be those businesses that adapted early and were able to finesse their offering and processes as the market demanded.
Tower Systems is grateful to have customers using websites created by us for B2C activity that they are turning into B2B for a private Click Frenzy opportunity.
We have customers offering other customers discounts off terrific products that they sell direct to consumers.
This click frenzy promotion for 3,000+ retailers in the Tower community offers them the opportunity to purchase gifts at a discount off retail and through this to experience another POS software connected website created by us.
So, our customers save money, they can themselves win new customers too. This is a beautiful win win. That is that the Tower Systems small business click frenzy is all about – helping small business retailers to encourage small business retailers.
We launched the opportunity with an announcement to our customers weeks ago:
Tower customer click frenzy opportunity.
If you have a website, come and join our small business to small business promotion. To promote the websites of Tower customers to other Tower customers, we invite you to set up an offer code – TOWER – in your website to run from July 6 to July 31, giving those who use the code a discount, which you set.
To ensure consistency of information in the list I will share with our customers, please follow this standard.
Our goal here is to help you show off your website and to, hopefully, get more small business retailers buying from small business retailers.
Ours is a diverse small business community. We’d love to see this diversity reflected in the range of websites that join this promotion.
We will only promote it to Tower Systems customers. That is to 3,000+ small business retailers.
We will include a list of all Tower POS software connected retailers who send us the above information on our own website. This will be a new page we create: Retail Businesses We Love. That listing will have your business name and web address. We will not publicly share the discount code. The goal of the listing is to give you another backlink.
The idea of the small business click frenzy experience is to shine a light on website marketing and to provide an opportunity for small business retailers new to online to leverage this into what they might do when promoting their businesses outside.
This is another way Tower Systems is guiding retailers with practical help and advice in improving their businesses and finding new shoppers.
Halloween can be a good season for indie retailers.Success depends on active in-store and out of store engagement.
We do it in shops that we own and run and have evolved it from a low price point everyday halloween offer to a higher end specialty offer that is leveraged by fewer retailers.
Halloween is an excellent opportunity to ramp up traffic and sales leading up to Christmas. It is also an opportunity for the business to play outside its comfort zone. This is great news for any small business retailer.
Here is our advice from seeing Halloween in many retail businesses, advice on ways to promote Halloween to drive the opportunity further:
- Make your front window or front of story scary amazing, so shoppers have to step through it.
- Maybe host a night, after the shop closes, where people share local ghost stories. have some fun and get known as a place where local stories matter.
- Run a series of Facebook posts early in the season. Through these demonstrate your engagement as unique, different.
- Have a fancy dress competition on the weekend before.
- Mock yourselves in social media and elsewhere about being big kids, scary pants or more. Change how people look at your business.
- Run sales connected with people dressing up to access a sale price.
- A colouring competition for kids with a prize for the best.
- Have candy to give away.
- If you’re in a small town organise a Halloween trick or treat party for safe kid fun.
- Print a recipe sheet and give this away. Online you can find recipes for eyeball soup, eyeball appetisers, bloody desserts and the like.
Here at Tower systems we are all about small business retail. Anything we can do to help we will do, including providing practical business management advice for retailers on seasons such as Halloween.
Retail is all about entertainment. The more you embrace this the more fun people visiting your shop have. halloween is an ideal season for embracing retrial as entertainment.
Sometimes, the best way to get from A to B is to take a 90 degree turn.
Loyalty systems have been around in retail for decades. Too often, small business retailers copy big business, and fail.
A good loyalty system will get shoppers spending more, doling more than is usual, and doing this at little or no cost to a retail business.
A good loyalty system will be loved by shoppers.
A good loyalty system offers shoppers flexibility.
A good loyalty system has little or no management overhead.
A good loyalty system reveals insights about your business that are helpful, impactful and revealing.
A good loyalty system helps you grow your business, helps you make your business more valuable.
This is about Loyalty 2.0 – a fresh approach to shopper loyalty for small business retailers.
Discount vouchers have been in our POS software for more than six years. They are one of several valuable shopper loyalty tools designed to drive revenue and return shopper visits.
Yet, discount vouchers are the most misunderstood.
Setup is easy. It takes a few minutes. Change is easy, with changes taking effect immediately. Management its easy thanks tp three awesome reports. Pitch is easysince you can call them whatever you like, what is appropriate to your business.
The mistake most retailers make is overthinking. Stop that! Set Discount Vouchers up and see how your customers respond. Adjust accordingly.
In our experience, on average, only 20% of vouchers handed out are redeemed. Those offered with the least rules achieve the best commercial outcome for the retailer.
Remember, the $$$ opportunity on the discount voucher is a good reason to review pricing, to factor in the cost of voucher redemption.
- Choose what you want to call them: Discount Voucher; Bonus Bucks; Thank You Gift; Come Back Again Gift; Appreciation Voucher; Pass It On $$$.
- Set your settings. Know they can change as you learn more.
- We suggest a 28 day expiry.
- Have the voucher value show as $$.
- Let vouchers be redeemed for as many different products as possible.
ADVICE ON PROMOTING DISCOUNT VOUCHERS.
Every time a voucher prints, present it to the customer by placing it on the counter facing them with your finger next to the amount and say, while maintaining eye contact, hey you have a voucher here for $x.xx that you can use in store in the next 28 days. Well done.
Make sure that everyone working at the counter knows that the success of vouchers depends on their pitch.
Now, if they complain about the low voucher value have a response like hey it’s appreciation that almost no other business around here will show you.
Guys are more likely to spend the voucher right away.
Girls are more like to collect vouchers and put them together, which we recommend you allow.
What you want to see when you have out a voucher is for them to lift their hear and turn to look back into the shop, thinking of what they could buy.
To find out more about our awesome POS software and support fir indie specialty retailers, please call our sales team on 1300 662 957 or email them at email@example.com.
Tower Systems is an Australian POS software company serving 3,500+ specialty retailers in Australia and New Zealand.
All retailers, want shoppers to spend more in each visit and to come back more often.
Yet most retailers are uncomfortable overtly engaging with shoppers to get spend more in a visit or come back sooner.
Years ago, the thought was that a shopper VIP card or points based loyalty program was the way to go. Today, with such programs commonplace, their value is diluted.
There is talk among shoppers of loyalty fatigue – they are doubting the value of cards and programs where real rewards are not what was first offered.
Change the game: front-end loyalty
Instead of making shoppers accrue points that are then converted for cash at some future stage, why not offer cash-based rewards earlier, from the first purchase?
This approach is called front-ending loyalty. It brings a reward to the front in an effort to engage shoppers in additional purchases sooner.
It’s an approach that can encourage those who do not shop with you to purchase something else right away, to get the value of the cash discount offered.
Regular shoppers can spend the cash discount right away or come back within any time limit you set.
We started trialling this front-end loyalty strategy in February 2013 in several retail businesses. We did it using the Discount Vouchers facilities in the Tower POS software.
Building the basket
From the first day, in my own shop, we saw shoppers changing behaviour.
One customer came in to purchase a specific item. When I handed him the receipt I point out the voucher offering $2.00 of his next purchase. He was not a regular and so spent the $2.00, and more, right away on another item. He received another voucher and so purchased a third item. In all, he spent three times as much as the original purchase – all because of the Discount Vouchers he received.
Around 33% of all vouchers redeemed are used the day they are received. This shows customers building the basket – adding to their purchase that day as a result of the voucher. This makes each visit more valuable to us.
Bringing shoppers back
33% of redeemed vouchers are used within seven days and the remaining 33% are redeemed up to four weeks after issue, bringing shoppers back.
There is real evidence now from hundreds of retailers supporting these claims.
Here’s another real story: A few months ago, a customer came in and used a voucher she had picked up a couple of weeks earlier. She was happy to get $5.00 off a $65.00 item she wanted. This purchase resulted in another voucher so she bought another item for $29.95.
This customer said her friends had been recently talking about VIP cards and how they were useless. She then told them about us.
Changing how shoppers interact.
In another instance a customer was considering a $250.00 item but decided they could not justify the expense. They purchased some smaller items, spending $25.00.
On receiving a $5.00 voucher they turned around, immediately, and bought the $250.00 item.
We asked what happened. The answer was I don’t know. I needed permission I guess and the $5.00 did it.
This is a true story and there are many more like it in hundreds of retail businesses.
The key about discount vouchers is they change shopper behaviour, usually immediately and valuable for the business.
Indeed, discount vouchers are a game changer for many retail businesses, large an small, city and country.
We love hearing the stories of success from your customers.
You control the business rules
Like any good loyalty program, you need good levers with which to drive shopper engagement and to deliver the benefits to justify the investment.
The Discount Vouchers facilities have this.
You control the amount of each sale you are prepared to give away on the voucher.
You control the products the voucher can be used for.
You control how long the voucher is live for. I suggest 28 days but I have some retailers setting this at 90 days.
Helping your business
With most retail businesses running a loyalty program using a points based approach and only targeting long-term customers, adoption of this front-end loyalty approach can provide you with a genuine point of difference.
It is easily managed through the Tower Systems software and is backed by excellent management reports. This makes implementation and management easier than the old approach.
I’m confident this fresh approach to loyalty is a game changer for any retail business. The control you have enables you to easily manage the cost and the value you gain from the program.
This really is a new approach to bringing shoppers back sooner and getting them to spend more with you.
The success we have described here continues today, in 2018. Excellent incremental growth, wonderful business rewards, leveraged through shopper rewards.
Tower Systems pioneered the pitch of discount vouchers in small business retail. Now, many years on, more and more retailers are singing the praises of this unique and loved small business POS software loyalty offer.
Discount vouchers change shopper behaviour. They are a unique loyalty offer that older how shoppers see a business and how they engage in-store.
What sets Tower Systems apart, beyond the strong algorithm behind the vouchers, is the way we support small business retailers in deploying the voucher tactic in-store. We offer business trade training, so the context is understood at the owner level through to the sales counter level.
Being retailers ourselves and using the vouchers in different retail businesses we can speak from experience and retailers love this. Beyond the vouchers themselves, which are unique, our business engagement and knowledge is unique in software company circles.
Discount vouchers can be called anything you want, too. We have customers in the high end jewellery space calling them a Personal Thank You Gift and finding wonderful shopper engagement.
We are confident that Tower Systems’ Discount Voucher facilities can help you:
- Get customers spending more in a visit.
- Bring existing customers back sooner.
- Attract new shoppers to your business.
- Drive impulse purchases at the sales counter.
One of our own retail businesses reported growth of 10% in the three months to June 30, 2015. Much of the success comes down to smart use of Discount Vouchers.
Discount Vouchers don’t need a card – they print on sales receipts and offer an amount customers can spend right away. Our experience and the experience of hundreds of our customers is that Discount Vouchers drive faster and deeper engagement with the business – making a shopping visit more valuable right away.
- You name the voucher anything you like and can change this at any time.
- You set the rules on how the value of the voucher is calculated.
- You set the rules on what the voucher can be redeemed for.
- You set the rules on expiry dates.
See the software live. Contact us for an obligation free demonstration: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please call our sales team at 1300 662 957 or email them at email@example.com.
Small business retailers need to be aware of a growing push by credit card companies around a no minimum for card use. When it comes to card use, thanks to smart integration our retailers have plenty of control over how cards are used and any charged applied to their use. Here is one of several promotional videos circulating on this no minimum campaign.
Driving shopper efficiency is key for retailers. It is easier to get a shopper in the store to purchase more than to get a new shopper into the store from outside.
In looking at shopper basket efficiency for many different retail businesses we have developed an understanding of basic steps different small business retailers can take to drive shipper efficiency. Here is our advice.
Smile, make conversation, treasure your customers. The more they enjoy shopping in your shop the more they will shop in your shop. Smile. Get good eye contact. Say hello rather than can I help you. The more personal the experience the more they will remember you. This is your point of difference. Personal service is the single most valuable way to drive shopper visit efficiency.
WORK THE SHOP.
Standing behind the counter means you’ll serve people who come to you. The more you are in the body of the shop and engaging with customers the more they will buy. In busy times work the shop – engage, offer up sells. Customer service increases revenue in every situation we have seen. Our advice is you locate a workstation on the shop floor.
Show how products are used.
THE COUNTER AS A SALES TOOL.
Go to your shop counter and look at it from a customer perspective. What’s the message? Is it inviting? Are you using the counter to drive sales? Anyone can put product at their counter. It takes a clever retailer to use the counter to entice customers to buy a product. Use your counter wisely.
It’s difficult to offer every customer an up sell. Instead, use your receipts. Include a $$ off on next purchase. Point it out. Keep it simple, have an expiry date on the coupon. This is an easy win that will bring back shoppers for sure.
TRAINING SALES EMPLOYEES.
Get your employees on side – explain your focus on growth. If they don’t support you, replace them. Respect your employees and ask for their ideas. Use their ideas! Train them. Guide them in providing exceptional service. They are your front line and need to be your most skilled team members.
TARGET, MEASURE, REASSESS.
Keep track of your success and failures. Be realistic in your assessment. Change what is not working and celebrate what is working – keeping your employees informed all the way through the process.
HOT SPOT TARGETS.
Focus on your top, say, 5 items. Watch where people buying these items go in your shop. Watch carefully. Consider what you can do to get them elsewhere in your shop. This is the key – getting people to shop outside their usual category, breaking their habits.
IN STORE SPRUIKER.
In your busiest time in the week bring in a spruiker for use INSIDE your shop. Create some buzz and excitement to draw people away from their usual shopping areas.
A key reason people will stop visiting your shop is that they know what it will be like. A changing shop can be exciting. Good changes will make people want to come in and check out new products and other changes you’ve made.
While much of this advice reads like common sense. Too often we see retailers who have missed the opportunity.
Tower Systems understands the importance of branding in its business serving small business retailers with POS software. We also understand the importance in shops.
We enable beautiful branding opportunities for retailers using our POS software with professional branding of receipts and other customer touch points produced and managed through our software.
It is easy to do this.
Providing retailers with opportunities for concisely pitching branding helps locally run independent retail businesses to be consistent in their messaging.
We know from expert marketing research that multiple touch points for a brand is vital to brand awareness and trust. This is one of several key reasons why independent retailers need to embrace branding opportunities on everyday contact points, such as receipts, customer displays, shelf talkers, barcode labels, outdoor product tags and more.
By enabling beautiful customised customer touch points, Tower Systems helps small business retailers shine a light on their brand. We are proud to do this.
The photo is of a box of receipt rolls. We provide theses with fresh hardware installations by our team and sell them to our customers. Even at this level of our business, professional branding matters.