Point of Sale Software

Navigating 2024, from the poll research

POS SOFTWARE

The Australian retail landscape is in flux; we all know that what is essential with these studies is not just what they say but also what others, for example, banks that control the finances and prospective buyers and their accountants, are being told. These people control the inflow of money.

What we do know is that retailers face obstacles.

- We have a rising cost of living

- We have significant supply chain challenges

- Shifting consumer preferences

As everywhere, only those who are willing to adapt and evolve do well.

Let's dissect some critical insights from Roy Morgan's recent retail address and a lively discussion between retail experts Laura Deasi and Paul Zara, CEO of the Australian Retailers Association.

Key Takeaways from the Roy Morgan Address

  • Population growth is vital: Australia's growing population has been a lifeline, somewhat shielding us from a full-blown recession. These people have been a big help to retailers.
  • The cost-of-living bites: Rising costs disproportionately affect young families with children. However, some sectors and demographics still have spending power. The traditional pattern in such circumstances is that men's products go down, followed by kids' and women's products.
  • Changing spending patterns: Consumers are reducing spending in some categories but increasing in others. There's a surge of interest in bargain hunting and sustainable options.

The Rise of Online Giants

  • Amazon's Dominance: Amazon is rapidly expanding its customer base and is now one of Australia's top five non-food retailers. Their vast stock and focus on fast delivery pose a significant challenge to brick-and-mortar retailers.
  • Ultra-Cheap Challengers: Shein and Temu have entered the scene with rock-bottom prices. However, concerns about quality and ethics may turn some consumers away in the long run.

What Does This Mean for Aussie Retailers?

Paul Zara and Laura Deasi offered valuable advice and considerations:

  • Value is the New Currency: Price matters more than ever, but it's not just about the cheapest deal. Emphasise quality, durability, and your product's long-term benefits.
  • The Ethics Factor: Consumers are increasingly conscious of your company's ethics. My advice still applies: Do not fall into this trap as whatever you do many will not like it.
  • Online presence: I do not know how or why anyone would want to escape without an online presence.  Offer something and have "click-and-collect" options. A modern and robust online presence is essential for meeting the expectations of today's shoppers.
  • Tech to the Rescue: Your point-of-sale (POS) system can be your best ally.
    • Streamline operations: Automate tasks to reduce overhead and free up time for customer service.
    • Personalise experiences: Use our CRM features to provide recommendations and targeted promotions.
    • Data-driven decisions: Track sales patterns and inventory levels to optimize your offerings and minimise waste.

Your Competitive Edge: The Human Element

Retail has always been a people-powered industry. While tech upgrades are vital, the exceptional in-store experience remains a decisive advantage for brick-and-mortar stores:

  • Become an expert: Offer valuable product knowledge and tailored recommendations that online giants can't replicate. Coles has even little things like greeting cards, but I will not get any advice there on the sort of card I need.
  • Build relationships: Friendly, personalised service creates loyal customers who become your advocates.
  • Community connections: As Paul Zara emphasizes, physical stores are the heart of local communities. Support community causes to show that your values extend beyond sales.

The Future of Retail – Adapt and Thrive

The retail landscape is constantly evolving. Businesses with the foresight to adapt have a chance to excel:

  • Embrace innovation: New technologies can transform your operations.
  • Test and learn: Experiment with new products, displays, and promotions. If they work, double down. If they fail, be ruthless and get rid of them. Do not reinforce a defeat.
  • Partnerships matter: Collaborate with as many people as you can.

To do well in 2024, we need to focus. 

Don't be held captive by what worked before; the future requires fresh thinking and bold action.
 

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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The Rise of Cashless Point of Sale: Are You Ready?

POS SOFTWARE

I recently had a surprising experience at a large supermarket. I went to pay and was told to go to another cash register as this one could not handle cash! While I'd seen this once at a trade show, it was the first time it had been in a mainstream store. This got me thinking that we are genuinely nearing the end of cash, despite what banks and governments say. Soon I expect many shops will introduce a surcharge for cash.

The Australian Cash Exodus

The numbers don't lie. The Global Payments Report predicts a dramatic shift – by 2025, cash will likely account for just 2% of the value in all point-of-sale transactions. It's not going away entirely, but other methods will dwarf the amount we spend using physical cash.  Unsurprisingly, it notes that ATM withdrawals also decline as people ditch cash.

Convenience and Security

We are also seeing the successors to credit and debit cards coming with digital wallets on our smartphones. These are far more secure. Think about it: a thief can potentially use a stolen card, but with a smartphone app, they'd need your phone, access to it, and usually your fingerprint. It's a big leap in protection!

Smartphone payment with security

Brick-and-Mortar Retailers: Time to Adapt

This cashier-less trend isn't just curious; it's a real opportunity for small businesses. Here's why upgrading your point-of-sale system makes sense:

- Efficiency:  No more fumbling with notes and coins means faster checkout. Customers love speed!

- Improved Security:    Less cash on-site drastically reduces the risk of theft.

- Enhanced Customer Experience:   People demand payment choices; cashless often feels to them secure and streamlined.

Embracing the Cashless Evolution

The retail world changes quickly. To stay ahead of the game, adaptability is key. Cashless point-of-sale solutions aren't just a trend but likely the future standard.

A Personal Note

Change can be unsettling – I remember when cards themselves were the new, scary thing! The same will happen with the shift away from cash. I know we now have and are selling cashless registers.

Ready to Make the Shift?

Our POS software is designed with both cashless and traditional payments in mind. Get your free consultation today, and let's future-proof your business together!

 

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Modern laptops, powerful tools for your business

POS SOFTWARE

Let us talk about boosting your efficiency with the speed you need.

As a retailer, you're always busy with tasks in your store. Technology updates might not seem key, but modern laptops give great perks that can change your daily work. In a typical work meeting, we all sit around a table with our laptops open.

Meeting with laptops

Let's Talk Laptops

Laptops are everywhere for a reason! Here's the lowdown on what you need to consider:

Limited Upgrades: Unlike desktop computers, there's less ability to swap out internal components in a laptop. Usually, what you buy is what you get.

Warranty: Warranties today are often really good on laptops. Still, there is one big problem: opening your laptop to upgrade it yourself could leave you without warranty protection if something goes wrong.

Speed is King: Modern laptops are much faster! Recently, we upgraded a client from an i7 to an i9 model. The speed boost was clear – a report that used to churn away for 35 seconds on their older laptop i7 now finishes in just 20 seconds on the new i9! 

Computer Noticeability: Don't think speed boosts are too small to notice! Humans are quick – we can perceive changes on a screen within a few hundred milliseconds. You will see the difference. If it's like 15 seconds, as above, you, the customer you're talking to, and everyone else will notice the delay.

The Power in Your Hands

The right modern laptop puts so much power at your fingertips as a small business owner:

Portability: With a laptop, your work goes wherever you do – home, meetings, supplier office to check your sales figures and allows you to work from anywhere, e.g. a cafe.

Reliability: Newer computers mean fewer glitches, less downtime and headaches.

Enhanced Customer Experience: No one likes waiting on a slow computer! A snappy machine lets you serve customers faster, keeping lines moving and everyone happy.

Ready to Make the Leap?

If you need a tech update, get in touch! We can help you find the perfect modern laptop to streamline your small retail business and give you a competitive edge.

 

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A done something is better than a perfect nothing...

POS SOFTWARE

 

Today is a continuing rant.

Have you ever felt frozen before starting a task because it's not perfect? Here's the thing—aiming for perfection can stop you from doing anything at all! I've learned this lesson over and over. When I began this blog, it was all over the place initially, but it improved dramatically, mainly as I learned more.

Perfectionism Kills Progress

Years ago, I worked with a supplier who wanted to improve their data reporting using our POS software. Sounds simple, right? Except every POS system handles data differently. Figuring out what was possible and what wasn't became a mess. I said, "Do something, and we can get 90% of what you need immediately, as we can prove things later as we learn more. You'd think they'd be keen, but nope, because they did not have 100%. And guess what's happened after years when I approached them recently? Nothing. Zero progress.

A newsagent in WA delayed launching online website for ages, obsessing over his perfect website, he now has also nothing. Zero progress.. Meanwhile, other newsagents put websites and so brought in extra income.

The Power of 'Something' - Start Now

Here's the thing, folks: Something is better than perfect.

  • Start now, improve later: You can continually refine and polish. Progress opens doors that staying stuck never will.
  • Learn by doing: Tweaking a system in use gets better results than planning endlessly for a system that doesn't exist.
  • Avoid decision paralysis: Too many options can be overwhelming. Just pick something and move forward.

Think About It:

Imagine you're a retailer:

  • Option 1: You fussed over the 'perfect' Facebook page, so now you have no Facebook page.
  • Option 2: Launch a Facebook page. Start advertising, and make it better over time.

Which option makes more business sense?

The Point of POS

POS software is a plain and simple tool. Its whole purpose is to help sell stuff and manage your shop. Here's how to approach it:

Problem 'Perfect' Solution 'Something' Solution
Inventory is a mess Get the POS Solutions focus engine going Start with a simple stocktake, and get organised.
No customer data Worry about the finer points of our CRM system Gather basic information and start selling now.
Learn to use our sales reports Wait till you learn it Use what you know now and build as you learn more.

The Benefits of Doing Something

The benefits of taking action over perfection are numerous. Some key advantages include:

  1. Incremental Improvement: By taking small steps and implementing a "done something" approach, clients can gradually improve their systems and processes over time rather than waiting for the perfect solution that never materialises.
  2. Faster Results: Even if it's not perfect, doing something can often lead to quicker results than waiting for the ideal solution to be developed.
  3. Feedback and Iteration: By taking action and implementing a solution, clients can receive valuable feedback and use that to iterate and improve their systems over time.
  4. Reduced Risk: Not doing anything often has more significant risks than trying and messing up. When you try, you learn and can fix things as you go. 
  5. Increased Confidence: Seeing tangible progress and results can help you gain confidence in your ability to implement new systems and technologies, which can lead to success in the long run.

Conclusion

Even if not perfect, doing something is better than doing nothing. This idea is vital for all shop owners. It's about acting and moving forward, not getting stuck trying to be perfect. Doing this lets you see real gains for your business over time.

For a case study, click here.

Got a story about this? Share YOUR 'imperfect action' victory in the comments for inspiration!

 

How to keep your Business Records Safe in the Long-Term

POS SOFTWARE

As a retailer, you need to keep records for years. Government regulations, legal needs, or even access to old customer data are all important! I sometimes had to access very old information just for commercial reasons 20+ years ago.

Now, have you thought about how long your digital records will last?

Sadly, the hard drives and discs we use aren't built for centuries like those old carvings archaeologists up to today. Let's look into long-term storage so you make the right choices.

What Lasts, What Doesn't, and How to Make it Better

  • Cloud storage: Theoretically, it lasts forever, but there will be issues.
  • Magnetic Tapes to the Rescue? These can, under ideal conditions, last a long time, but few of us actually have the specialised equipment. Besides, it's often a pain to use.
  • Old fashion Hard Drives: Most work for about 3-7 years, although a lucky few last longer. For them to keep storing, you need to use them; otherwise, they deteriorate after about two years. 
  • SSDs: Most SSDs won't outlive their 5-10-year warranties and, if left unused, will deteriorate faster than old-fashioned hard drives to refresh the data system
  • Optical Discs: Please aim for quality; write-once media like Verbatim Gold have more extended longevity, and the cheaper ones have much less; for CDs and DVDs, you are looking depending on the type for 5 to 100 years. When I went to the Verbatim website and looked at their warranty here, I noticed that they only give two years, which does not include a data retention guarantee. The courts may have something to say about that, but few people want to have to argue this in court.

Most people today, when looking at very long-term storage, look at DVDs today as they are both convenient and economical if so: 

Protecting Your Precious Data on CDs and DVDs:

It depends on three main factors:

1) Have more than one backup. I would argue that you do not have a backup if you only have one backup. These two backups should be stored in different places so that if anything happens to one location, the other is safe elsewhere.

2)  You need good quality DVDs. There are good reasons why they are a bit dearer. This comes from a Canadian government study, which you can find here.

Long term CD and DVD life

3) Environment matters!

Pick a place 

  • Cool & Dry: Store items at around 20°C with about 40% humidity. Heat and humidity are the silent killers! This can be a problem as we often go above this in summer. Do you have a cellar? Avoid garages or attics where temperatures can swing wildly!
  • The Dark Side: Store discs in cases out of direct sunlight. I put a sealed plastic bag over them.
  • Peace & Quiet: Avoid putting the discs where they will be moved or dropped.

Cloud Storage

As the limitations of physical storage have become increasingly apparent, cloud storage emerges as a compelling solution for preserving your digital legacy. In theory, entrusting your data to a reputable cloud provider can overcome many of these problems.

Pros:

  • Accuracy: Today, many Cloud storage providers offer an astonishing rate of accuracy in their storage capacity. One I saw doing an online search offering 99.999999999% (that's 11 9s!) data durability. That far exceeds the reliability of any physical media.
  • Dispersed storage: Many Cloud providers will keep your data in many different geographically dispersed data centres, thus ensuring redundancy and resilience.
  • Easy access: Your data is available on-demand from any internet-connected device, anytime, anywhere.

Cons:

  • Cost: Generally, it costs, although many, like Google and Microsoft, do have a limited free plan.
  • Future uncertainity: Considering the period of time we are looking at here, a cloud provider could go out of business, change its policy and who knows what.  
  • Policy: Some cloud providers, e.g. Google, state that they "reserve the right to delete an inactive Google Account and its activity and data if you are inactive across Google for at least two years." So every two years, you have to go into your account to say hey, this account is still active. Its not a big ask but its not entirely setup and forget.
  • Remembering passwords: Cloud accounts work through account names, passwords, and increasingly mobile numbers. Over the next 10 to 20 years, how will you remember these details? Will you have the same mobile number then? If someone else has access to your account and passwords then they also can get your data. 
  • Control: In an overall sense you do lack control.
  • Privacy concerns: Be aware of potential changes in data privacy laws or a provider's terms of service. Although few of my clients has an issue here now, the privacy laws are slowly turning to the idea that much data businesses stored must be held in Australia, not an issue now but who knows in 10 to 20 years. 

Still today Cloud storage does offers a tempting solution for long-term record keeping.

Summing up:

Overall my preference would be to burn two copies of my business records into a good quality DVD. Put them in my business records in a safe place in my house in a box as here

Long term storage

and put somewhere in a safe spot in my house. I would then put on a free sevice like Google a copy which I could access anytime, anywhere.

Want to get your data storage sorted? Contact us for a free consultation!

 

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Use space to maximize Your Shop's profits

POS SOFTWARE

Running a shop can be a problem if you don't have much room.  This is a common problem as most of us have more stock than we can display. Don't let that hold you back! You can turn your shop into a sales machine by understanding your customers and applying clever design tricks.

Why Your Store Layout Matters

A well-designed store does more than look good. It caters to your target customers' needs, guides them effortlessly through your space, and highlights your best products. When customers feel comfortable and understood, they're more likely to find what they need, linger longer, and buy more!

Know Your Audience: The Key to Smart Layout Decisions

Before rearranging shelves, take time to understand your ideal customers. 

  • Demographics: What's the age range, gender, and general lifestyle of your target shoppers? Guys are generally taller than women so that the items can be higher for them; for kids, the stuff must be right down low.
  • Shopping Habits: Do they prefer browsing leisurely, or are they in-and-out shoppers? If they want speed, you need the items at the counter so they can come in, do the sale quickly and leave quickly. Also, do they tend to come in alone or with others?
  • Pain Points: What problems do your products or services solve for them?

Your Secret Weapon: Your POS Data (and a Little Observation)

Your POS System can do much more than just be a simple cash register. It's full of clues about your customers and what they like to buy. 

Here's how you can use this data and watch what happens in your store to make smarter choices on how to arrange things:

Identifying Your Powerhouse Products

  • Best Sellers Report: This tells you precisely what's performing well. Place these top performers front and centre for maximum visibility. 

Go to the top N stock report, which you can find in the Register reports.

report highlighting best-selling items

We then put in a period, say the last two months; this will show you what is selling now, then when you have your list of best sellers nicely ordered by quantity, profit and sales.

Pay attention to the colors and sizes.

Think about using lights and signs to make them stand out more.

  • Companion Sales Report: This report unveils items that are frequently purchased together. Placing them strategically throughout your store can boost sales. Think of how grocery stores place snacks near the drinks section.

Go to Sales-Register > Dissection Companion Sales by Period.

Try looking for an abnormally high number of products for other stuff that sells well with that department. It is beneficial as it can help you select a product to display prominently near a department. This is a well-known method of increasing incremental sales that all majors use.

You take items that sell well with the products of another department and place some of them in that other department's area. There is nothing wrong with a good seller having a few spots in the shop. 

Like this one, a stand of good sellers in a prominent position is always good.

 

Giftshop stand

Retail analytics of inventory that sells with other items

As you can see here (green arrow), quite a few extra sales could be made by moving some other companies' chocolates close to Darrel Lea Chocolates. Darrel Lea may not like it, but ....

Another great use is more long-term. If grouped by department, you can get a feel of where you should position the display for the department. As you can see here by the green arrow, the books should be close to the stationery.

Report of best selling items

If people looking at your book can see your stationery, you may be able to make a few extra sales. 

These KPIs can give you ideas into which products to display prominently.

Traffic Patterns

Don't discount the insights you can gain by observing how customers move through your store. Are there areas that seem to get ignored? Do people get bottlenecked in a particular spot?  Are there areas that let the customer go too quickly? Use this information to fine-tune your layout.

Data-Driven Merchandising Strategies

Here are some practical ways to apply these insights:

  • Highlight Bestsellers: Your top-selling items deserve prime real estate. Give them prominent shelf space, consider eye-catching displays, and enhance visibility with strategic lighting and signage.
  • Promote Companion Products: Place items often bought together within easy reach.
  • Seasonal Shifts: Adapt your layout based on historical sales data.
  • Clearance Corner or Dump Bin: Designate a small "dump bin" area for heavily discounted items.  This is an excellent way of getting rid of dead stock.

More Tips for a Small-Space-Friendly Layout

  • Embrace Vertical Storage: Use shelves, hooks, and racks to reach upwards.
  • Let There Be Light: Good lighting makes your store inviting and highlights merchandise.
  • Keep it Tidy: A well-organized shop feels bigger.
  • Create an Illusion of more space: Light colours generally make a room feel bigger.
  • Get Creative with Signage: Clear signage to advertise your products.

Case Study

  • The Bookshop Upgrade: We had a client who sold books. He knew his customers loved to browse, so he arranged the bookshelves to create small, inviting nooks. He then put in a couple of comfortable chairs. This encouraged shoppers to linger and discover new titles.

Remember: It's an Ongoing Process

Trends change, and your customers' tastes evolve. Stay flexible, and don't be afraid to experiment!

The Bottom Line

By understanding your customers, using your data effectively, and getting a little creative, you'll create a retail environment that's welcoming, efficient, and drives sales – regardless of your square footage!

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Prepare for Palm-Based Payment Solutions.

POS SOFTWARE

 

 

It appears the way people will pay is changing, and Australian retailers need to know. While not yet available in Australia, palm-based payment technology is gaining traction in the US. I see it appearing here soon.

What is Palm-Based Payment?

This technology links customers' unique vein patterns in palm prints to credit/debit cards. At checkout, a person whose palm is registered hovers their hand over a scanner. The scanner reads their vein structure and sends the details to the bank for payment authorisation. Such systems are already in use at select locations in the US. 

The Advantages for Retailers

  • Seamless Transactions: Say goodbye to customers fumbling for cards or struggling to remember PINs.
  • Time: Palm scanning offers faster transactions, saving shoppers and staff valuable time.
  • Heightened Security: Biometric data is incredibly difficult to replicate, adding a robust layer of security and fraud protection. We now have a big problem with customers making transactions, paying by card, and then claiming it was not them. I had one client whose credit card was stolen, and by the time she found out, which was less than an hour, her card had been used in thousands of dollars of transactions.

The Disadvantages for Retailers

I confess I do not see any.

Still some issues to chew on would be:

  • Cost: The readers may be expensive, and who pays for these palm scanners may be an issue.
  • Integration: I do not see any potential integration issues with our point-of-sale systems, but if you do not use our POS System, you may want to make some enquiries.
  • Privacy: I think we all feel a general uneasiness about our privacy. Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook once said the age of privacy is over, and he is probably right. Still, it's tough to accept this fact.
  • Training: We all need to be trained on how to use it until we all get used to it. I can see someone using the wrong hand and not knowing why it is not working.

What Aussie Retailers Should Do

  • Get Informed: Stay up-to-date on the latest developments in biometric payments.
  • Monitor Customer Sentiment: Gauge your customers' comfort level with biometric technologies. Their openness will factor into adoption.
  • Prepare for the Future: While immediate implementation is not necessary, consider how your payment infrastructure could adapt to support biometric options in the future.

The Takeaway

Palm-based payments and biometrics as a whole are set to transform the way we pay. While the timeline of widespread adoption in Australia is uncertain, being informed and prepared positions your retail business for success in this evolving landscape.

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Retailers can sell more by active Cross-Selling

POS SOFTWARE

If you run a shop, one of the best ways to make more sales is by mastering cross-selling, which suggests extra related items to your customer's purchase. Doing this can help you make each sale worth more.

 

Shopper in a shopping centre

I can assure you that this woman above did not come to this centre knowing what she would buy in all these bags.

 

Why Suggesting Extra Items Works Well

Suggesting extra, related items to customers as they buy or browse can help because it:

Makes Shopping Better: When you suggest items that fit your customer's needs or likes, you show you understand them. 
Raises Sale Value: Customers buying more items means each sale brings in more money, which is great for your shop.
Keeps Customers Coming Back: Offering a shopping experience that feels special and tailored just for the customer makes them want to return to your store, building loyalty.

Digging Into the Good Stuff About Suggesting Extras

Suggesting extras can do wonders, but let’s look at some real examples of how it helps small shops:

More Money Made: Research shows that shops selling extra items can see a big jump in sales. 
More Profit: Suggesting items with higher profit margins as extras can mean more money in the bank. Most profit is made not on the items that the customer came on, but the add-on sales.
 

How to Be Great at Suggesting Extras

Use Your POS System

Go to Cash Register Reports > Sales Register > Stock Companion Sales by Period. See the green arrow below.

Choose a stock item, add its past year's data, and receive a full report on earnings, sales, and more.

This report will give you details on how much money the item made, how many were sold, and additional information. With this information, you can determine whether an item that sells slowly and doesn't bring in much money by itself draws in customers who then buy other items that make more money.

Pick Best Pairs: Find what items are often bought together and suggest these combos to customers.
Keep Getting Better: Always check how well your selling tactics work and tweak them based on what the numbers tell you.
 

Train Your Team

Your staff plays a big part in successful extra selling. Make sure they are:

Well-trained: Teach your team to ask for a related item, e.g. they brought a kid's game. Do they need a card?

Know Your Products Well: Help your team learn all about what you sell so they can suggest items that go well together.
 

Build People Skills: Teach your staff to really listen and talk in a way that feels real and helpful, making shopping fun for customers.
 

Know What Buyers Like: Understand what your shoppers prefer and use it to make your suggestions feel personal.

Easy Ways to Do It:

Scripts: Work out some lines that work with your customers to get them to consider other products and services you offer.
Lists: This works well. Make a list of your shop's top sellers and display it prominently; people will look at the products after seeing this list.

Make Your Shop Inviting

The way your shop looks and feels can help sell more, too. Try these ideas:

Put Things Together: Place items that go well together in the same spot so buyers can spot and grab them.
Make Displays Pop: Use eye-catching setups to draw attention to items that go together, nudging folks to buy more.
Signs and Tags: Clear signs can highlight special deals and suggest items that add value to their buy.
 

By using these ways to sell more, you will increase sales for your small shop, improve customer shopping, and turn them into loyal fans.

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How Taylor Swift Concerts Rocked Retail Sales

POS SOFTWARE

The eras tour

How Taylor Swift Concerts Rocked Retail Sales: Over 600,00 fans going to see her sent up retail sales alright! It turns out these "Swifties" (that's what her fans call themselves) bought big.

What does this mean for you?

It is said, " The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today." – Elbert Hubbard.

As this case shows, in the bustling world of retail, retail fervour unfolds if you are prepared and able to capitalise on it in some way.

There was plenty to capitalise on as Ben Dorber, Australia Bureau of Statistics head of retail statistics, highlights out here in their Feb 2024 report that while he was looking at the figures, "Seven sold-out Taylor Swift concerts in Sydney and Melbourne boosted retail spending this month, with over 600,000 Swifties flocking to these events. This increased spending on clothing, merchandise, accessories and dining out", a national increase of 0.2%.

So, as a retailer, here's the deal:

  • Plan Ahead: Check calendars for big concerts, sporting matches, and festivals that will get wide media attention. 
  • Get Creative: Tap into the excitement of those events. Offer event-themed merchandise or promotions that capture the excitement.

A Real-World Win 

I read how one clothing boutique near a concert venue offered "Swiftie Style" t-shirts and discounts for anyone showing a concert ticket. The result, their sales did well.

The Big Takeaway

Even if your business isn't a direct match with the event, don't miss the opportunity! The right planning and creativity can help boost your sales when a big event is staged. Remember, even a slight increase in sales or getting your shop's name in front of new customers can have a lasting positive impact on your business!

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You need to win with personalisation in loyalty programs

POS SOFTWARE

Traditional loyalty programs based solely on points have hit a plateau. This has been the subject of a webinar I attended, and I have read several articles about it. The problem is that almost every business now in Australia is doing it, so the problem is that a business program is now competing with so many companies that it is struggling to make its program noticed. 

For some businesses, points work brilliantly, and we have no reason to believe that a traditional program of buying eleven cards/coffee and the 12th is free would not work well in the future. 

However, many businesses need differentiation, which is why many loyalty programs are moving into personalisation! Its called CRM.

"Mass marketing is dead. Personalization is the new frontier for loyalty programs." 

Now, I am worried about this in my client base:

The Challenges of Personalization for Smaller Retailers

Many of my clients are not huge and will face the following problems.

  • Limited Data: Unlike large corporations, they might not have vast troves of customer behaviour data.
  • Experts: Access to sophisticated consultants is lacking; they are often too busy to attend the many conferences that discuss this to get ideas.
  • Scale: It's tough to match the "wow" factor of rewards programs offered by big brands with extensive resources.
  • Time: Large brands are willing to run at a loss for ages to establish their program.

Overcoming the Obstacles: Practical Solutions

We have what we have; we can only play the hand we have, so we need actionable strategies for small retailers to personalise their loyalty programs:

  • Focus on Key Data: Your POS System collects the most valuable data points, e.g. purchase frequency and spending habits.
  • Simple Personalization: Often simple ideas work well, e.g. birthday discounts and email alerts for new products based on previous purchases; if a parent buys back-to-school products from you, what is wrong next year sending the parent an email that you have back-to-school products?
  • Local: Emphasize the genuine connection you have with the local community.
  • Local SEO: Make sure you appear in the local Google search high up.
  • The Human Touch: Enhance personalisation with handwritten thank you notes on your packing.

adding a thank you note

Affordable Tech to Boost Your Program

  • Your POS as a CRM: Your Point-of-Sale systems include built-in customer relationship management tools that allow you to track data, send targeted promotions, and build customer profiles.
  • Social Media Power: Please interact directly with your customers on social platforms such as Facebook (consider it free advertising).
  • Email Marketing: Use email newsletters to tell people you exist. Let me know if you do not know how to do this, and I will point you through it.

Additional Tips:

  • Be Adaptable: Don't be afraid to experiment and refine your rewards program based on what works for you.
  • Are you an expert in something you sell?: If so why not run a short course? 

Conclusion

"Personalization is the heart of every successful business. Treat every customer as a unique individual, not a number."

Personalisation doesn't require breaking the bank or having massive amounts of data. You can start with meaningful steps and gradually build on them. Remember, genuine connection is the ultimate competitive edge! Take the first step, experiment with personalisation, and watch your loyal customer base grow.

 

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How to increase sales

POS SOFTWARE

Front window of a shop

As a guy who has worked for a top point-of-sale (POS) system company, I have over the years met and talked to many retailers and retail experts, so here are simple tips on how to increase sales in your physical store that I have learned. Whether it's a small shop or a larger local chain, these strategies can I think you help you draw in more customers and make more money.

Make Your Shop Front Inviting

The first thing customers see is your shop front. Make it welcoming. Think about:

  • Please keep it clean: Have clean windows, a tidy entrance, and no mess around.
  • Bright signs: Use clear signs for your shop name, open hours, and deals or sales.
  • Seasonal decorations: Change your front display with the seasons to keep it fresh and exciting.

Click on this for some ideas

Improve the Shopping Experience

A great shopping experience keeps customers coming back. Here are some ideas:

Offer Top-Notch Customer Service

  • Train your team: Ensure your staff knows their stuff and pays attention to what customers want. I have always been proud that many people can sell computers, but people who buy from me know that my staff knows computers. I recommend this philosophy to every shop. For example, a few days ago, I went to a toy shop to buy a present for a four-year-old boy. I really did not know what to buy, but the people serving were very professional and helped me. I would come back.
  • Listen and fix problems: Take customer complaints seriously and resolve any issues quickly. A complaint is often a marketing opportunity. 
  • Add a personal touch: Small things like saying hi by name or remembering what they like can make a big difference.

Display Products Well

  • Set up items wisely: Put things that go together near each other and show off your best stuff where people can see it easily.
  • Be creative with displays. Try different ways of showing products to grab attention, like themed setups or stacked items. 

Use Digital Ways to Boost Sales

Mixing online and in-person tactics can raise your sales. Think about this:

  • Social media buzz: Use social media to discuss deals, showcase new items, and get people excited to visit. If you are missing out on this free advertising, you are not doing yourself much good.
  • Collect emails: The purpose of a VIP club must be to get customers' emails to send them news and special offers. It's not that they will often take it up, but what is more important is that they know you exist.

Use your POS System

Unlike your memory, the facts in your POS System do not lie. 

  • It watches what your customers do: Use data from your sales system to understand what people buy, like, and dislike.
  • Keep the right items in stock: Use data to determine what people buy.

Seasonality and Inventory Turnover

It's important to note that a retailer's sales often fluctuate throughout the year due to seasonality and marketing seasons.

To manage these changes:

  • Forecast: Use your historical sales data to anticipate peak and off-season inventory needs.
  • Diversify Your Product Mix: Try to stress items that sell all year round; too often, I see retailers after a holiday stuck with stock that no longer sells. 
  • Implement Promotional Strategies: Run sales and promotions during peak seasons to clear out remaining seasonal stock before the off-season starts and you are stuck with the stuff.

Putting these steps into action can really help your shop sell more and grow. The trick is always to be ready to change and try new things to ensure your customers' satisfaction.

 

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Reduce Shrinkage in Your Shop: Use your POS Software

POS SOFTWARE

POS System and security

I put together this article and intend to submit it. Please let me know if you have any comments before I submit it.

Did you know that retail crime, such as shoplifting, robbery, and vandalism, costs Australian businesses up to $9 billion each year? There are about 150,000 shops in Australia, so on average, these crimes cost $60,000 a shop.

Running a retail shop is a dream for many, but keeping profits healthy can be a challenge. One enemy is "shrinkage," which is the loss of inventory and, often more importantly, cash due to theft. While concerns about cyber hacking are primarily in the news and are certainly a concern, for most retail shops, the more significant threat comes from closer to home – employees and customers! The good news? Your POS (point of sale) software can be your best friend in the fight against shrinkage.

The Usual Suspects: Employees and Customers

Employee theft might seem surprising, but it's a common issue. Maybe it's a cashier taking a little extra from the register daily, like "voiding" a few sales to pocket the cash. Customers can also be creative – think of the sneaky barcode swaps where less expensive barcodes are taken off items and put on dearer items (the banana trick). Another popular idea is to give you only some of the items to scan. These actions might seem small but can add to a significant financial headache over time.

How POS Software Fights Back

Here's how your POS software can be your secret weapon against employee and customer shrinkage:

  • Catch Ringing Up the Wrong Register: Assign specific roles and permissions to each employee. This way, a cashier can't process returns without a manager, or a manager can't open the cash drawer freely, reducing the opportunity for mischief.

  • One Register per person: One computer can drive many cash registers. There is no reason why each staff member cannot be audited.

  • Goodbye, Phony Voids: Your POS System tracks every transaction, including voids. Check voids regularly. This makes it harder for someone to void and then "disappear" the sale.

  • Eagle Eye on Inventory: Use your POS to track inventory levels closely. Sudden unexplained drops could indicate missing items, and you can investigate before the problem gets bigger. Most large shops today run on cyclic stocktakes and we strongly suggest that your shop does it too. Once a year for a stocktake is not enough.

  • Barcode Blues? No More: When ringing up transactions, ensure the item's description matches the item. Some sneaky customers might try to swap barcodes for a cheaper price.

  • Surprise Audits! : Use your POS system's built-in reporting tools (x-Offs) to run random audits. This keeps everyone honest, knowing they might be the next one checked.

Real-Life Example

We had a client who discovered he was losing a surprising amount of inventory at his music store. He couldn't figure it out after implementing our POS system with stricter access controls and real-time inventory tracking. Guess what? The "disappearances" stopped! 

The Final Note

Protecting your business's initial dream means you need the right tools to protect it. If well-configured, your POS System can act as a security guard, making it much harder for anyone to steal from your shop. By combining intelligent software with good business practices (like clear policies and employee training), you can keep your shrinkage under control and your profits healthy. 

If you want to learn more on how to configure your POS system to fight shrinkage now, you can contact our support team.

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Protest - Cash Out Day 2024

POS SOFTWARE

Cash Out Day

Last week, the "Cash Out Day" protest highlighted a growing tension in Australia's payment landscape: the rapid decline in cash usage and its implications for businesses and consumers. On April 2nd, Australians were asked to go to an ATM and withdraw some money in a symbolic gesture of support for cash. According to social media images, many did. I was one of them. While the exact total amount withdrawn is unclear, from social media, it appears that many did participate. However, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) stated there was no "material difference" in cash withdrawals across the industry on the day. What does that mean exactly? I would like to see figures.

What Sparked "Cash Out Day"?

This movement stems from several factors:

Shifting Payment Habits: Cash now accounts for about 13% of customer payments in Australia, which is a dramatic fall from 60% in 2010.

Bank Policies: Branch closures have created obstacles for cash-reliant individuals and businesses.

Cost of cash: Many people today prefer cash; in many cases, it's cheaper and more manageable, and there are fewer security issues, too.

Banks: Banks make money on non-cash transactions. By closing branches, they are effectively discouraging cash deposits/withdrawals.

Cashless Aspirations: I think the government would prefer to eliminate cash. The Queensland government stated that it envisions a cashless state by 2030. 

Queensland cashless future

Arguments in Favor of Cash

"Cash Out Day" advocates cite these benefits:

Inclusivity: Cash requires no bank accounts or technology, making it accessible to all.

Budgeting: Physical money offers a tangible sense of spending.

Privacy: Cash transactions leave less of a digital footprint.

Reliability: Cash functions independently of power grids or internet connectivity. It still happens that EFTPOS goes out, so what do shops do when they switch to cash?

 

No EFTPOS

The Small Business Perspective

In Australia, it is legal for businesses to refuse to accept cash, provided that they inform consumers of their stance before entering into any “contract” for the supply of goods or services. If you want to reject cash, you must have a sign in a clear position in your shop saying that. Usually, it is placed at the front entrance.

Smaller retailers, especially those involved in markets or events, rely heavily on cash. My observations within my local newsagency network showed that while most owners knew about "Cash Out Day," its impact on their daily trade was minimal.

The Uncertain Future of Cash

The potential bankruptcy of Armaguard, Australia's major cash transportation company, further underscores the precarious position of physical currency. This raises concerns about the logistical and economic challenges of maintaining a cash infrastructure as usage decreases. 

The Role of POS Systems

A robust POS (Point of Sale) system becomes crucial for businesses in this evolving landscape. The right software seamlessly manages cash and digital payments, providing flexibility and detailed reporting while ensuring smooth, secure operations. A great POS system helps you manage it all!

The Bottom Line

"Cash Out Day" serves as a potent reminder that amidst the move towards a cashless society, the value proposition of cash persists. This debate centres on choice, accessibility, and the practical needs of businesses and consumers in an increasingly digital Australia.

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Knowing Your Customers: Trying to Unlocking Sales

POS SOFTWARE

What shoppers are interested in?

 

Do you ever wish you could read your customers' minds? Knowing what they like and what they're interested in would help you sell them exactly what they want! Well, one of my clients asked me this. What could I say so? I said, "Well, that we all do."

Do not think that because you like it, your customers do. I had a client who had a clothing store. His daughter told them that she knew what young girls wanted. So, based on her recommendation, they brought some stuff, and their customers did not like those items.

Still, I can tell you that some tools are available to help you discover more. There's no magic trick; there are several ways modern retailers can find out what makes their customers excited. Big businesses spend a lot of money on research, but smaller retailers have a secret weapon—they can talk directly to their customers!

Let's Get Chatty

The best way to find out what interests your customers is to ask! It's often as easy as talking to them. You can start with "Got any fun plans for the weekend?" or "What do you like to do in your spare time?" You'd be surprised at what people share!

Run informal focus groups.

When a few people come in to buy a product in a group, and you are helping them, ask them what they are looking for, what they want from the product, etc. Once they have brought it up, maybe ask them a few open-ended questions like: “What do you like and dislike about the products?” "What other similar products have you seen?" "What factors influence your purchase decisions?" Details here.

The Digital Detective

The internet now is a treasure trove of information about your customers. Here's where to look:

Social Media

Why not check some of your customer's Facebook pages? See what they share, like, and comment on. Look at the groups they're in and the events they RSVP to. Do a little 'detective' work on their profiles. Of course, be respectful of privacy, but public posts often give you great clues about their interests.

Google Trends

This fantastic (and free!) tool tells you what people are searching for. You can even narrow it down to your local area. Search for products you sell and see what else pops up. Are they searching for recipes? Maybe you've got a bunch of foodies coming into your store. Check here for some details on how to do it.

POS Systems sales reports

See if any patterns emerge. Do you sell heaps of gardening stuff in spring? Maybe your customers are green thumbs! What sells well before the Grand Final? What happens about Easter? Details here.

Experiment

The simple fact is that most ideas do not work. You need a thick skin. You will fail many times more than you succeed. Not every idea will be a winner. That's okay! Do not reinforce a defeat. Stop and go elsewhere. Look at the ideas that work and then look for ideas around the concept that works. I had a client who did well-selling phone cases. They then looked for other products they could sell to the customers who were buying these cases and decided to increase their range to include some mobile accessories; what went well were the charging cables.

The trick is to try different things and pay attention to what gets customers buzzing.

Success! How Do You Know It's Working?

If it's not measured, how do you know what is happening? There are a few ways to tell your customer sleuthing is paying off:

Happy Customers = More Sales

If people buy it, you promote the right stuff!

Loyal Friends

Customers feel special when you stock what they love. They'll keep coming back.

Buzz and Excitement

A great sign is if your products produce this buzz and excitement.

Wrapping It Up

Understanding your customers doesn't have to be complicated. Use a mix of these ideas, and don't forget to have fun along the way. The more you know what makes your customers tick, the better you can give them what they want.

Comments

Its funny I never thought of looking at people's facebook page, its a good idea

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Boost Sales and Customer Loyalty with Layby: An Australian Retailer's Guide

POS SOFTWARE

Layby available

While buy now, pay later options have surged in popularity, layby is still a traditional form of credit retailers offer. Although it has been on a decline, particularly with BNPL, it is still in use and is a lifesaver for many people. So though layby may seem outdated to many in our instantly gratifying world, it remains a lifeline for budget-conscious consumers and can be a savvy tool for retailers looking to boost sales and build loyalty.

Why offer layby to your customers?

Some people want it, and no one wants to reject a customer.

  • More customers: Layby helps you reach people who want to budget their spending, don't like credit cards, or can't get traditional loans.
  • Bigger sales: Customers are far more likely to splurge on pricier items when they can break up the cost into manageable payments. Layby removes the sticker shock factor that deters many from bigger purchases.
  • More loyalty: Unlike one-and-done transactions, layby creates an ongoing relationship with shoppers as they return to make their instalment payments,
  • More traffic: As people using layby have to keep coming back to your shop to finish their payments, if so, they may buy more!

Setting up layby in your store

Here's the important stuff you must figure out:

  • Play by the rules: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has some of the layby requirements on its website. 
  • Check out how others do it; here are some samples to look at:

I would suggest that you cut and paste one of the majors' pages on their layby terms and conditions you like and then modify it for your shop on the grounds that they probably have had it checked out by lawyers and experts. Make sure you pick a major that talks about your state. I have known people to get in trouble with the state authorities.

  • Now make your policy:  This is important to make a policy for things like:

    • How big the deposit has to be
    • How often customers make payments (weekly, fortnightly, etc.)
    • What happens if someone cancels (do they lose some money?)
    • What happens if the layby is cancelled?
  • Layby system: How are you going to keep track of everything?

    • Small shops: Pen and paper might work just fine.
    • Bigger shops: You'll want some special layby software like our POS system with layby built-in.
  • Train your crew: Ensure your staff knows how layby works, the shop's rules, and how to use your system.

Tell people about your layby program.

There is no point in having it if your customers do not know you offer layby both in-store. It would be best if you told them. Get the word out there:

  • Advertise special deals: Consider offering a layby with no fees during holidays!

Wrapping it up

Layby can help you reach more customers, help make more extensive sales and keep your regulars happy. Today it does let you stand out from the crowd.

Do you need help setting up laybys? Our POS software can make managing laybys much easier.

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Selecting Air Cooling vs Water Cooling for your shop

POS SOFTWARE

This issue divides us from one of our competitors: computers that are cooled by air or water. So it comes up a lot now.

Picture the scene: You are busy, everyone is going flat out, and your computer is being hammered. Suddenly, your computer goes dead. You all have to wait until the computer cools down so you can use it. This scene happens all too often now. Is it time to rethink how you cool your computers? Let's break down your options, focusing on what matters most to your small business.

A short time ago, we had a client whose computer often went dead. He waited awhile, and it worked. We had to send out an engineer. The engineer had to go to the shop, buy a cooling system, repaste the chips, and install a new cooling system. It was about half a day of work, and there was no computer in the shop while it was being fixed.  

Heat Is the Enemy

Modern Point of Sale (POS) systems are incredibly sophisticated software packages. Your computer is going flat out, and almost all the energy will end up as heat. This heat is onto some expensive, tiny, and delicate circuits. Too much heat will eventually damage these circuits. If you are lucky, the computer defences will shut down the computer before it does too much damage. Generally, your computer slows down, crashes, or in time will damage parts. In a computer, typically, only one part gone is enough to render it useless. That's where cooling comes in and comes in two main groups - air and water.

Air Cooling: The Tried-and-True Option

The Basics: Air cooling uses fans to blow hot air away from your computer's components. Think of it as a super-powered version of blowing on a spoonful of hot soup.

Pros

  • Cheap: The most affordable cooling option.
  • Easy-peasy: Installation is a breeze, and usually, you don't need to worry about maintenance beyond an occasional dusting.

Cons

  • That noisy fan: They can get loud, especially when your system is under strain (like during peak hours). Many people report physical ear pain, and there have been workers comp cases over it. 
  • Bulky: Big air coolers take up space, which often means a bigger case. The computer needs to sit in many shops in small places, and it's a problem fitting a computer in many places AS IS.
  • Dust: Air coolers need a dust-free environment, and air-cooled computers need regular cleaning inside. 
  • It may not be enough: It's not as efficient. Sometimes, if your shop is very hot or you are really busy using, especially if you are using advanced software, you can find out that your air cooling might not keep up.

Water Cooling: The Powerhouse (with a Price Tag)

Basics: Think of it like a tiny version of your car's radiator system. Water loops through your computer, soaking up the heat and carrying it away to be cooled.

Pros

  • Handles the heat: Perfect for high-performance POS setups or sweltering environments.
  • Quiet: Quieter than big air cooler fans.
  • Fancy looks: Many people today want nice-looking cases to enhance the appearance of their shops, so they may need water cooling.

Cons

  • Pricey: They do tend to be dearer.
  • More to manage: They need more attention. While rare, they do get leaks, which could be disastrous.

So, Which Is Right for Your Small Shop?

  • Need it simple and cheap? Air cooling is likely a good fit.
  • Is the POS system always flat out? Water cooling might save your sanity (and your hardware).
  • Do you hate noisy computers? Water cooling would be a worthwhile investment.
  • Want a sleek setup? Water cooling delivers that modern, futuristic vibe.

A Few More Things to Consider:

  • Your Store's Environment: If your hot shop puts more strain on any cooling system.
  • Staff Comfort: Noisy fans are a pain, especially during long shifts. Over an extended period, some computer noise starts stressing me out. 
  • Maintenance: Do you have the time for the extra upkeep water cooling needs?

Testing your computer

If you are worried about the temperature on your existing computers, I suggest downloading a temperature-checking software, CoreTemp. This is one of the best temperature tools for computers. You can get it here. Now let it run for a bit and see what it says the temperature is for each of your computer cores. If you see what they are

Recommended CPU Temperature Ranges

This gives you one core, but you can get all of them from the hidden icons at the bottom right.

Here are some general CPU temperature guidelines:

  • Below 60°C - Temperatures are average. No action is needed.

  • 60-70°C is an acceptable range for a computer running.

  • 70-80°C unless you are doing a lot of work on the computer and then only for a short time, it would be too hot

  • 80-90°C - Too hot! Take steps to improve cooling immediately.

  • Above 90°C - Danger zone. Risk of throttling or damage. Act now!

Need an Expert Opinion?

Overall, doing the pluses and minus, we feel that air-cooled is better. Still, if you are unsure, there's no shame in asking for help! Contact our experts, who can give you a personalized recommendation based on your needs.

Summary: Air cooling is cheap but noisy. Water cooling: powerful but pricey.

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Important Notice: Our Phone System Gets an Upgrade Today!

POS SOFTWARE

 Our Phone System Gets an Upgrade Today

Hi everyone! We're kicking off some exciting improvements to our phone system today. This means we're working hard to improve your experience, contacting us for support. Just a heads-up: there might be a short time when our phone lines are down.

What to Expect

Brief Downtime

We're aiming for a quick upgrade, around ten minutes. Tech can sometimes be unpredictable, so please be patient if it takes longer. We've got other options, so hopefully, there will be no worries if you need help while our phones upgrade.

You can still reach us through:

- Email

-Mobiles

-Live Chat on our Website

Why the Upgrade?

Like any business, we're always looking to improve things! This upgrade will mean:

  • More Capacity: We're growing and running out of capacity, and this will ensure we can answer your calls quickly.
  • Cool New Features: We're always excited about the possibilities that the new technology brings! One immediate benefit we like is that we can combine voice, video, and data into one network, streamlining our communications.
  • Rock-Solid Reliability: Our current system is a hybrid that has grown over the years, and some parts do need upgrading to the latest cloud technology. 

We know it's super important to get help when you need it, so we're doing this upgrade today during a slower period to minimize disruption.

Thanks for your understanding!

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The Power of our Exceptional Customer Support (March 2024)

POS SOFTWARE

KPIs

Running a brick-and-mortar store is a considerable challenge. You're juggling happy customers, sales, and heaps of other details. That's why we're here. It is not just with our cutting-edge Point of Sale (POS) software but we have a support team behind you.

Customer Feedback Drives Us

After each support call, we ask our clients to sign off that the call was done while it's fresh in their minds to ensure it's done. We then ask them to review how their support call went. We then collect these to get our support log.

Excel sheet of the support logs

We then review our support logs every quarter.

We then get a graph

Our support graph

The dots are the individual scores, and the red is the moving average of the last 10 support calls.

With an average satisfaction score of 9.6 out of 10, we're well above the industry standard of 8 – and that makes us proud!

The Importance of Outstanding Customer Support

Repeat customers are the heart of any small business. They come back often, they recommend you to friends... and amazing customer service is how you win them over! Even the world's best technology has its hiccups now and then. That's when our expert team makes all the difference. 

Real-life Testimonials: The Power of Human Connection

Don't just take our word for it; let's hear from our satisfied customers:

"Robert was extremely helpful and obliging in contacting me as arranged. Wonderful support always." 

"Robbie is the most helpful, fantastic support worker you have."

"Always a pleasure to deal with Rob. Extremely helpful and pleasant."

These testimonials are a testament to the human connection our support team strives to establish with every customer interaction.

Fixes in a Flash = Less Downtime

These happy customers aren't just about friendly service – it's the quick response that keeps their businesses running smoothly as time is money, especially for shops. When tech issues mess with your POS, you need them fixed yesterday! Our team knows that and works hard to get you back to business in record time.

"Very quick response. Much appreciated." 

We take pride in our ability to provide swift solutions, ensuring your business operations run smoothly without unnecessary interruptions.

Help Tailored to YOU

No two stores are exactly alike, even if they do the same thing! Our team takes the time to learn about your business. That means the support you get is for your unique needs.

Knowledgeable Experts at Your Service

Our support team is packed with POS experts. Need help with setup? Got a weird glitch? Want to learn a new feature? They're your tech-savvy guides ready to solve any POS puzzle.

"Very knowledgeable, fixed problem quickly thanks." 

"Great service, very quick to fix the problem. Well done."

Newbie-Friendly Zone

We get that switching to a new POS can be intimidating. Our team will patiently guide you through learning the ropes, so you feel like a total pro with our system.

"What great knowledge Peter has!! And as usual, always a pleasure to deal with :)"

"I'm a new owner and appreciate it greatly."

The Bottom Line

Top-notch support isn't a "nice to have" anymore; it's a MUST. We combine our fantastic POS software with a caring team that understands your challenges. Our goal? To be the partners who help your store grow and thrive!

Ready to experience the difference? So contact us, to take your shop to the next level.

Join the growing community of retailers who have experienced the power of our exceptional customer support. Contact us today to learn how you can elevate your business.

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Your Sustainability Dilemma: Customers Say vs What They Buy

POS SOFTWARE

What people are buying

A supplier to newsagencies approached us about a range of sustainable products they are releasing, eco-friendly greeting cards.. This brought up the Sustainability Dilemma: what "Customers Say vs. What They Buy." Do customers want these cards? 

This is a frequent problem in retail, where people express their wants but act differently. A famous example of this is studied extensively in marketing textbooks, in the 1950s when Ford introduced the Ford Edsel. This is widely regarded as one of the biggest marketing failures in history. One factor in this failure was Ford's decision to listen to the public's feedback and create a car based on this. However, when presented to the public, the car was a flop. What the public had said did not align with their actual desires.

Now, as a retailer, you understand that consumer demand is critical. Yet, often, you need some intelligence. The fact that customers frequently support strongly eco-friendly products does not mean they buy them.

Here is a study that shows what happened when consumers and senior retail executives were surveyed on sustainable products. Two-thirds of consumers said that they would pay more for sustainable products. However, most retailers stated consumers do not pay more for sustainable products. The retailers based their claim on what they said the public was doing. Read the report here.

So Are Customers Truly Ready to Pay More for Sustainable Products?

Let's explore what it means for your business.

The Conflicting Picture

  • The Vocal Demand: Surveys consistently indicate that consumers care about sustainability. They say they are willing to pay more for products that align with their values.
  • The Reality: Retailers see that old habits and price sensitivity often reign supreme in the market. Sustainable options get much interest but rarely make it to the sale.

Understanding the Disconnect

Here's what might contribute to this gap between what the public says and their actions:

  • The Cost Barrier: Even well-intentioned consumers balk at significant premiums for eco-friendly alternatives.
  • Trust: People have been burnt before eco-friendly and need convincing that your product is eco-friendly.
  • Established brands: People like the products they buy now.
  • Change: Sustainable products are often different, and people often do not want to change.

What This Dilemma Means for Retailers

  • Missed Opportunities: If you rely solely on people's comments, you will probably overestimate the immediate market for sustainable goods.
  • Long Game: Consumer behaviour rarely moves quickly. You must educate, show value, and build long-term relationships with eco-conscious shoppers. This is not always possible in a shop.

Tackling the Challenge

  • Start with Data: Use your sales figures to understand which sustainable options resonate with customers. Don't guess! Please use your sales reports. Facts do not lie.
  • Transparency Wins: Build trust by being transparent about specific sustainable aspects of your products. Be prepared to have info to back it up.

The takeaway: Customer opinions about sustainability matter, but they don't predict sales on their own

. Innovative retailers keep a pulse on the public conversation while making strategic, data-driven decisions on where and how to invest, e.g. small test displays of sustainable products first.

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Till Cameras: Boosting Security in Your Store

POS SOFTWARE

Shoplifting isn't just about the cost of stolen goods. It's a threat to your business. If word gets around that you are an easy mark, you're in big trouble. One of the best methods of dealing with it is having cameras right at the checkout. It's simple but surprisingly powerful and can make everyone think twice. I have spoken about this many times. Plus I can quote from personal experience doing this for years, that this will work.

Why It Works: You're Not Catching Thieves

You might be surprised, but those cameras aren't mainly about catching bad guys after the fact. The trick is psychology! When people know they're on camera, even the most honest of us feel more careful. 

Time Is Money: Proof for when you need it

Of course, sometimes you do need to play detective. Matching up your till records with that camera footage is way easier when you've got timestamps on your videos. This is solid evidence to take to the authorities if something serious goes down. Its actually one of the few pieces of evidence that the authorities do accept.

Let's Be Honest: Nobody Loves It

We all get it; staff and customers might feel a bit iffy about being on camera. But with shoplifting on the rise, protecting your business is the top priority. That's the message to communicate clearly to your team.

Tips for Success

Till camera

  • Clear Signage: Let everyone know cameras are rolling with visible signs. This is often a legal requirement.
  • Show a video of the filming: The idea is to let people know you are recording them.
  • The Right Tech: If you want, we can supply cameras that sync into your POS system.
  • Staff: Unfortunately, staff theft can be a factor alongside customer shoplifting, so let them know. That's why cameras protect everyone's jobs.

To make the most of your till cameras, ensure they are focused on these key elements:

  • The Staff Member: Clearly capture who is conducting each transaction.
  • The Transaction: Record the exchange of money and goods between the customer and staff member.
  • The Till: Video of the opening of the till drawer and the process of cash or card payments being processed. 
  • Timestamps: This is crucial for quickly matching camera footage to specific transactions in your POS system, providing clear evidence if needed.

 

Real-Life Aussie Business Example

"Since adding till cameras, that sneaky feeling of items 'walking away' has gone down loads. My stress levels have gone down too! It was definitely the right move." - Sarah an Owner of a newsagency,  in Adelaide

Small Retailers, Big Protection

Such systems are relatively cheap today. They're an affordable smart move for businesses of all sizes. Think of it less like sneaky surveillance and more like adding an extra layer of honesty to your checkout.

Need help getting set up? We are available to help you find the right camera solution!

 

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