Bernard Zimmermann's blog

Software support cost

POS SOFTWARE

Image removed.

This is to clarify that there will be *NO* increase in software fees to our clients despite what we have all seen that all our competitors have this financial year increased their software support fees, some quite dramatically, way beyond what I think is fair especially if you consider that many of them raised their prices last year too.  Based on some of the software agreements, I have seen their users are now paying 50% to 100% more than our users. If you have any of their software agreements, we are happy to supply a competitive quote.

As announced at the start of this year, despite that we have *NOT* increased these fees for many years, we have no plans to raise them. 

 

 

 

 

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Holidays - who's minding the store?

POS SOFTWARE

Holidays

You are planning a holiday. It going to be a great time.

Fair enough everyone needs to get their batteries recharged and stepping away for a week or two is I think a necessity. If you are like me, you need a week of holidays just to unwind enough to start enjoying the holidays. You start making plans, counting the days 

But hang on a minute...

Have you prepared the shop for your absence? Who is in charge while you are gone? Does everyone know what they are supposed to do while you are gone?

Of most importance to us, do they know how to work the computer system? If they do not, do you have support available while they are gone? 

Test runs

What I recommend is that you do some test runs, organise the shop, take a couple of days off and then see what happens.  

 

 

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Comparisons with previous sales figures

POS SOFTWARE

Our point of sale software reporting feature allows you to dive into your sales so you can get a better understanding of your business.

There is a common problem that we face almost every month is that some months have four Saturdays and some five Saturdays. This often makes it hard to budget. It also makes it hard to compare periods for sales analysis. The other problem is that making sales comparisons meaningful between periods is that different periods are different September month is very different than December.

That is why our POS software when it makes comparisons asks you what period do you want to compare to the nominated period you request. If you look at the above example, you can see that I put in some bizarre dates to show what you can decide what works for you. 

Many of the commonly used dates such as Last Fiscal Year, Last Year, Last Quarter, Last Month, etc. are already programmed in for you.

Some that are commonly used are the moving or rolling time frames such as the last 30 days and compare this result to the same period the previous year for 30 days. Another common request available is to examine how the current YTD versus the last year to this point.

For more ideas, please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make an event - marketing tip

POS SOFTWARE

Cosmopolitan magazine

I was stunned when I was informed today that Bauer Media is cutting Cosmopolitan Australia in December, as commercially it is no longer viable. In the process another eleven jobs have are gone, and another restructuring and centralisation are underway.

This magazine was an icon, and many will have many good memories of this product so why not make an event if you sell a product like this to get people to come into the store for an impulsive purchase of the last couple of editions.  While supplies last, the final edition, get your copy... collector's item (which I am sure it will be) ... 

Maybe when they come into the shop to buy this product, they will buy more too? All you need to try it is a small sign on the window to make an event.

 

 

 

 

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Retail apocalypse in Australia?

POS SOFTWARE

The retail apocalypse in the US is the closing of a large number of brick-and-mortar retail stores and shopping malls from 2010. Here are some haunting photos of abandoned shopping malls across America

 

The question being raised in Australia now is going to happen here too? It is difficult to say, but so far almost everyone agrees that it has not happened yet. 

I went to the Australian Bureau of Statistics and went to their page here on retail.

 Then selected chart number 8501011

Then using excel made a graph of yearly sales for every sector since 1982 to 2018.

Australian retail sales 2018

As you can see overall, it does look good. Overall retail sales and retail property overall in Australia have been healthy. Yes, there have been terrific changes in the retail landscape, for example, video rentals, books and newspaper sales are all down, but others such as food and footwear are up. This up and down by different sectors in retail has been going on since retail began.

Now some of the sectors in our marketplace look good.

ABS Pharmaceutical, cosmetic and toiletry goods retailing

 

However when you look at the one that seems to be now creating the most concern in our market space - newsagencies.

Newsagency and books 2018

It does not look so good, and I have been to many discussions and meeting about this sector's performance that is concerning many of its suppliers, as you can see its high water mark was about 2010. 

However, there are several points to keep in mind. The first point is that many shops move across sectors. A shop that is doing poorly in newspapers can switch to other fields e.g. I have had clients that have turned their shop into a cafe, gone into art supplies, become gift shops and toy stores. Soon it is no longer a newsagency but something else. 

The problem is that most suppliers cannot move so quickly. A newsagent once he moves partly to becoming a cafe, soon loses interest in magazines (profit margin 25%) because they have more valuable stuff to sell like cake and coffee (profit margin 55%). The magazine company soon gets very upset.

The other issue here is that just because a sector does poorly does not mean that an individual shop in that sector does poorly. I have a client that is bookshop nearby a large bookshop closed down, and their sales went up dramatically as many of the customers of the large bookshop came to them.  

Which is moving to an interesting point that often what we see in a sector as the sector drops the players inside that sector do better! 

For example in 2013/4 according to IBIS, 2500 newsagencies did about $1.9 billion in turnover about $760,000 each, in 2017/8 1960 newsagencies did about $2 billion in turnover about $1,020,408 each in turnover. Probably what happened is as the newsagencies consolidated, they kept enough of the clients, so individually they gained and then sold these customers other products to them.

 

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Disadvantages of direct bank deposit

POS SOFTWARE

Direct bank deposit

In an effort to reduce banking costs, some people have asked us instead of Zippay can they offer a direct bank account system as cash is slowly declining.

Payment methods Australia

The short answer is *YES*, maybe and no.

The first point is you do not want to create what we call any type of friction if someone wants to pay with a particular payment method then I suggest you give them that option, particularly as it is an easy and cheap option plus it does offer what every business needs to provide a fee-free way to pay.

The problem is that today people want an immediate solution, that is the problem with laybys nowdays too which is on a steep decline. 

A direct bank deposit takes time, while the other methods like PayPal, Credit cards, Afterpay or ZipPay are instant.

 

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Pet Shop Software on display at AusPet 2018

POS SOFTWARE

AusPet trade show 2018

Our Pet Shop management software considered the best in Australia will be on show at AusPet 2018 at the Gold Coast Convention Centre on Friday. It has more users than any other Pet Shop Software in Australia.

Its market share has also grown this year thanks to Pet Shops upgrading to our software. What I found interesting is that none of the old-time software companies that used to go to these fairs are there now. We are the last ones left. 

What at the fair, we will be showing off the very latest in Pet Shop software.

As what will be on display is the new software version that is not yet released so even if have our software it is your chance to see what is coming up. 

So if you do get to the fair, do visit our stand #128 and say hello. We are right at the exit so there is no excuse not to come and visit us.

AusPet Stand of POS Solutions

 

Visit us at AusPet 2018 - Booth 128

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Aldi slams loyalty programs

POS SOFTWARE

Reward cards

Aldi, here has made an extraordinary attack, on Coles and Woolworths, claiming that they are not worth chasing.  They have made a calculator here to show how small the benefits of these people's rewards program.

I think they are right.

However what the article goes on further to say is that "60 per cent of Australians saying it influences where they shop and 36 per cent of people admitting they spend more because of the schemes" so for such small rewards people are being influenced.

To me what it says is that your loyalty program offering does not have to be much to get decent results and there is no denying that it does have an effect.

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