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Industry news

Newspower's ink sale file

POS SOFTWARE

If you are using Newspower to buy ink sales, be aware that there is a problem with the current category file. What it is, is the descriptions have been duplicated. See here.

 

If you try to do a regular import, all the inkjets will become Brother LC38. 

We have notified Newpower and a fix will be released soon. Until then, do not do the import.

 

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Managing the queues in a COVID world

POS SOFTWARE

Now we have to manage retail queues in a COVID world. 

These signs were all over a significant shopping centre DFO in Melbourne on Saturday.

What is happening is that shoppers in Melbourne were out in large numbers on Saturday. Yet shops can now, due to government restrictions, only have limited numbers in the shop at any one time, so queue management has become more critical than ever.

So one solution was that, in theory, they introduced maximum queue sizes. It does not look like the public went for it, though. Queues went way beyond the signs.

 


 


 

 

 

Also, what all shops had was a security guard doing queue management.
 

 



Still, I suspect it was a good boxing day in sales there.

 

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The Tabcorp link, rolling it out to you?

POS SOFTWARE

We are clarifying here the situation now of linking the Tabcorp machines into POS software like ours. 

This is a project that is being administrated by XChangeIT and shows much potential.

 

 

So for months now, we have been linking Tabcorp machines into our software. Directly many of our clients are now connected.  This is saving them a lot of time.

It allows sales through the Tabcorp system to get into our software electronically and semi-automated. It is:

- Faster
- Means less work for you to do.
- Has less chance of errors 
- Gives you better independent reconciliation.

As a bonus, if you want more control and/or do loyalty marketing, you can assign the Tabcorp sales to a person.

It is free to all XChangeiT customers.

*BUT* and there is always a but 

It is only available currently in South Australia. So we have for months have rolled it out to our relevant South Australian customers.  We have been waiting for the word to link in the rest of our customers.  

Yesterday, I asked for clarification and information from XChangeIT about rolling this out to all our clients. 

They told me this. 

"We await some Tabcorp material and it should be available for the January effort. This is because it looks like we will only be piloting in SA until then. If we get it sooner, I’ll pass it on."

If you want more details, click here.

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POS Hardware on sale now: scanners, printers and scales

POS SOFTWARE

The sale of POS Hardware such as scanners, printers, and scales is now on. What is happening is that importers of such equipment have been sitting on stock. Less has moved then expected.  They also know that few new sales are coming till mid-January. So they are ringing us up and telling us that they are doing deals to move stock now to raise funds. 

So if you are thinking of upgrading your Point of Sale equipment, now is an excellent time.

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My thoughts on retail Christmas in 2020?

POS SOFTWARE

Everyone is so relieved in retail that we are open for business with most retail staff returning. So no-one, unlike past years, has given us their predictions. It's so hard as it is so different this year from anything we have experienced.

My thoughts, the buying public is not spending their money on concerts, restaurants, holidays, cars, etc. 

Many still have Jobkeeper. 

The public has money, they are cashed up.

The question is, what are they going to do with this cash? 

In our market-space, I am optimistic. We have spoken to our clients, and most report that it looks up. Also, the public is not going anywhere. They will be avoiding crowds. That means to go out it is close friends and families, so they need gifts. They will want Lotto. They also have a big shopping list because now they have several months of demand behind them and what better time to buy than Christmas? Even if they buy much more online, which most of our clients should be on now too, at least 80% plus will come from the retail shops. That is a lot of business assuming they spend.

When I did a google trend analysis for the past month, it shows an upward Christmas trend.


Blue is 2020. Red is 2019. Yellow is 2018, so the interest is there.

So curiously it looks good for Christmas for retailers this year. 

Your marketing should shift to what is happening now where we are seeing as a localised and make it loyalty-based.

Your thoughts?

In any case, make sure your prepared.

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Hallelujah: Melbourne to re-open on Wednesday

POS SOFTWARE

We just received confirmation that all Melbournians have been waiting for the State Government to announce that hospitality, beauty, and retail businesses in metropolitan Melbourne can open their doors from 11.59 pm Tuesday 27 October.

I and probably most of the state were going close to crazy. It is our fault as no other state stuffed COVID so badly as Victoria.

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Chadstone shopping centre under stage 4 lockdown.

POS SOFTWARE

Chadstone is the super-regional shopping centre in Victoria. It is the biggest shopping centre in Australia. Claims to be the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere and the fashion capital of Australia. 

It has about 530 stores. It gets the highest turnover of all Australian shopping centres. Every year has more than 20 million visitors.

 

To get a shop there is very difficult and many want one even though the rent is a fortune.

 

This was some scenes inside centre under stage 4 lockdown. It gives a feel of the economic devastation of this lockdown. Generally, there is no matter what time you go, a crowd of people is there. When I took my daughter there just before the pandemic hit we were waiting to get a place to eat in its huge food court.

 

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JB Hi-Fi and changing the rules for gift cards

POS SOFTWARE

If you sell gift cards for your shop, you will find this relevant.

This week, JB Hi-Fi started taking preorders for the new gaming consoles. There is from the public much interest in these consoles. Sales for these consoles are expected to be huge. 

However, there was an exciting twist that took these preorders into the news.

JB Hi-Fi announced that to preorder you could not use your JB Hi-Fi gift card for payment. This started a stir on social media, as this was seen as unfair. The argument here was that no-one said anything about such a restriction when they got these gift cards. So began a media storm. Here are some samples here and here.

Soon JB Hi-Fi reversed its position and now will accept gift-cards for preorders.

The lesson here is that you cannot restrict people from using your gift cards as cash unless you write something in your terms and conditions. If you have some technical reason why you must only accept cash, then do what JB Hi-Fi did get people to pay in cash and then reimburse them from the credit card in cash.

Note: I our POS Software you can restrict customers from using their gift cards, but we do not recommend that you do. You can also do the reimbursement into cash.

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See the largest Chinese maybe the world's trade fair free

POS SOFTWARE

 

So this is your chance to join the world's largest trade fair free with the click of a button! This is because of Covid-19, the Canton Fair is online and free to visit. If you paid to go, you would need a solid week and would cost quite a bit. 

Actually, according to Wikipedia, the Canton Fair is the .. largest... trade fair in China. But the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, states "it is the largest trade fair in the world" and "its a 'must go' trade exhibition for anyone that deals with China", and there are few shops today that do not buy or sell Chinese products today?  and its "An ideal place for people looking for new product ideas and opportunities."

If you are not used to trading with China, "on 13 October, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry is running a free information session to help. 

It is worth a visit for any retailer in Australia. Chinese fairs tend to show stuff you can use now. So you will see the latest products being released now. You will get some new ideas. Plus, see what is available. I can assure you that many of your suppliers will be there. 

Want to learn more, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Looking at the long focus in the shop

POS SOFTWARE

What you will notice is that successful companies focus on the long-term. If you think about it, there is often little you can do in the short-term. You can do more in the medium-term. You can even more in the long-term. Plus, it is the long-term where you can see the critical changes in your business environment.

I will show you here a quick and effortless way to look at your long-term trends in your shop. It will take you less than a minute to do, but I promise you that you will have many hours of thinking.

What started this off was a big discussion by newsagents on a report recently issued by Google on "Australian Media Landscape Trends" but concentrating on "What caused the decline in Australian newspaper revenues?" You can find the report here. It makes interesting reading as it is well researched. This is why everyone was so impressed with it. But, what caught most of the interest was the figure Google released on the fall of print circulation. It seems way off. In 2002, print circulation sales in this report were $1.3 billion. In 2018 it is listed as $0.8 billion. If the figure in 2002, is correct, then the figure in 2018 seems to be much too high. There may be many reasons for this apparent discrepancy. Although there is nothing in the report about it, many small businesses incurred much more significant losses due to this eg, the milk bar, newsagencies, etc. that made a living selling newspapers. A thousand newsagencies gone, and the rest have suffered significant losses in valuations. No-one is talking of compensation for them!

Anyway, what was wanted is a way of telling a small business what their figures would be. How do you get such a snap-shot of the long-term of a business?

To find out; a visual graph is the best.

Here is an example, this is a graph of newspaper sales in a newsagency from when the owners took over in 2005 to the end of this report in 31/12/2018

The green arrow is about when they first decided to give up newspapers. As you can see, they were large in newspapers, and their fall was much larger then what Google states. Looking at the graph, you can see that the trend down is accelerating after 2008. Soon they decided that it was not worth doing the work for sub-agencies or deliveries, so they dumped newspapers. Then they only took the newspapers back after many discussions.

It is a fascinating example, but you can do this for any dissection or product that applied to your shop. If you are doing this, I recommend working by month. It smooths out the daily sales variation but keeps the patterns. Plus, its the way most people think about their sales in monthly terms.

Go to Cash register reports> Sales > Sales dissection monthly sales trend.

Select a department, put in the dates. If you have it, look at 20 years and a few seconds to see the long-term.

See how you go and like always let me know as I am very interested in stuff like this.

 

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