Point of Sale Software

POS SOFTWARE

Using Marketing Lifestyle.

A lifestyle in this context means a segment of the population, for example, a particular profession, interest or age group. Common examples used are:
Seniors
Teachers

but it can also deal with almost anything

Bike riders
Gardening enthusiasts
Golfers

On its most superficial level, you offer a special discount in some departments to people in this group on a particular day. 

You put a sign on the window as" As a thank you to - ....." on date __/__/__ we are offering ................

Now try to pick a large group and, if possible, one that you only do minimum business. You do not want to give up too much discount. Try and pick an affluent segment. What is the point of marketing to people without money? You are trying to make your business known to a segment that you want to reach, creating an opportunity for them to become new customers. 

It is easy to pick an appropriate date as most of these segments have a particular date in the year for them.


Golfer's day 10th April 
Teacher's day 28th October

They work as 

1) Everyone wants a good deal.
2) Everyone wants to feel special.

Keep an eye on your calendar for these marketing dates so that you can plan your promotions well in advance and maximize their results!
If you need some ideas, use these sites; click here. Be careful as sometimes Australian dates can vary from overseas ones. 

All it costs is a sign on the window.

Make sure you use your POS System to record the sales due to this promotion to assess how well it worked.

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Any printer needs cleaning; over time, everything gets dirty. You will see what is necessary as you will see signs of blurring and skipped lines on the printout. What is happening is the printer is getting a layer of toner and dirt. If you are using a laser, this reduces the beam reaching the drum, making it weaker and diffused. Also what you will see is the number of paper jams increase. This can cause printhead damage and replacement.

Soon the printer will be unusable.

So cleaning your printer is required.

Note:
- If it works well now, do not touch it.
- If it ain't broken, do not fix it.
- Remember, what you are about to do can break your warranty.

What you will need


- I recommend you make a solution of white vinegar and water. I have not found the prepared cleaning solutions any better.
- Microfibers clothes work well.
- A small vacuum cleaner you can get in most electrical shops helps.
- Some small brushes help.
- Some mechanical attribute

Steps to do:-

- Turn off the printer, and take all wires off it before attempting to clean. Wait a while; some printers store electricity, which can spark.

- Now open the printer up.

- Now, with a dry cloth, clean as usual. Avoid any electrical items and all electronics. Do not touch anything electrical. You can damage it.

Don't wipe back and forth because it will be wiped on the cloth and smeared when you go the other way. Get out of that habit.

- Look for dirt and gently lift it. The brushes and vacuum cleaners can help here. The spilled toner, dust, hair, and built-up old paper fragments can gum up your printer and sometimes need some elbow grease to remove.

- Only open what you can. If you take something out, take note of how it is designed and where everything goes while you pull things apart. You are going to have to put it together soon. Clean those items with a dry cloth. Gently wipe. If you need a moist cloth, be careful if it is electrical. This damp cloth must not be wet. Take care to prevent moisture from entering inside the printer.

If toner scatters on you, immediately wash it with cold water and dry yourself.

- Do not worry if you have only done, say, 70%. It should be enough. Better too little than too much.

- Above all, dry everything.

- Now, put it back together again.

- Now clean with a dry cloth outside. In some places, you will need a moist cloth. Careful you do not get any moisture in the gaps around the control panel or panels. For hard-to-remove stains, AJAX is good.

- Now dry the outside.

- Wait a few minutes to let any residual water dry off, and only then turn on the printer.

Besides being less of an eyesore in the shop, a clean printer will print better and last longer.

I hope this helps.

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As in most of the world, Australia is switching over to allow people to register the shorter .au domain for their website. This will replace the existing websites from .com.au or .net.au to .au.

So if you have a website www.xyz.com.au now, it will be www.xyz.au.

In most people's view, people are looking for speed of use, so the AU will become the dominant domain as it has overseas. If you have an Australian website for your business, you must reserve your website with the shorter domain AU. If not, it soon becomes available to the general public. The consequences of not registering your existing business name by the deadline could be catastrophic for your online business. A rival could take your online site name. From personal experience, I can tell you that unscrupulous people with little morals will steal your business name if they can. What we are doing for our clients is telling them to register the shortened AU name. Then set up an automatic redirect so people going to the short website .au will direct to the current longer one. This is no long-term solution. It will hurt your SEO doing this. Your site needs to be converted to AU.

I know it's a short deadline, but what can we do? I have asked, and NO extension would be available to give us time.

Act now. It is happening in September.

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I remember the first mobiles; they had a battery in a suitcase and a phone in another small suitcase. 

One of these sizes took years to appear. A British Prime minister Tony Blair remarked then that it was the first time he heard guys showing off how small it was.

 

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Tip on how to use your POS System to get better inventory control.

I will use greeting cards for this example, but it will work for anything. Using this, one of our clients improved their greeting cards sale by almost 25%, so it works and is quick. What can happen if you have a supplier that supplies you with many lines of stock, it can be hard to know what lines are working for you. If there are a lot, some I can guarantee you are bombs.

So go to Cash register reports> Suppliers> Supplier Sales Trend for 12-Month Period.

Let's keep it simple, so select a date, say last financial year and a supplier.

Now up pops a report that looks like this.

Now on the report, look at the right column, and you will see I highlighted in green stock lines that have sold nothing for 12 months. In blue, you can see that you have stock. What do you have stock of them for if they are not selling?

Investigate!

Consider being aggressive. Set a minimum sale budget, say 1 or 2. Now, if you look at the list, you will find more stock lines to look at too.

It will take a minute to check them out, so start now!

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Surveys have shown small businesses believe that poor internet impedes efficiency and productivity. Almost all in Australia today feel the same. Now, how far you want to go on your internet is something for you to determine. I want to discuss the minimum internet your business should accept in our market space. 

This post will not apply if you use our cloud-based POS system. Nor will it apply if you do more than our POS Software. 

Situation

Now many internet providers offer internet plans designed for businesses. Few are that relevant in our market space; however, they often have an option of linking the phone to the internet plan. Having all your voice and internet services from one point of contact is nice. 

For our clients, they need to run
1) Updates of products and invoices from suppliers 
2) Email 
3) Updates of their software

Now, after that, you should add your requirements. I would include 
4) Zoom

Speed:
Be warned many of the advertised speeds are dubious. Use it as a guide only.

So I recommend an internet plan with at least 25 Mbps to do this. 50 MBps is better, and the cost is not much more. 

Data:
10 Gig/month would be the smallest, but this depends on what you do with your internet. For example, if you do a lot of Facebook, it does not take much to burn up a lot of data. 

One trap here is that if you use only a little data with a small plan and someone uses heaps for some reason, then some internet providers charge. I had a client babysit their eight-year-old daughter in the shop during COVID lockdown. When the bill came in for youtube, they freaked out. A $1,000+ bill.


Support: 
You need to check this. Some internet providers provide 24-hour-a-day support and most much less. Do not assume that you will give 24-hour-a-day support because they are big. 

Some do not offer telephone support at all. 

On-site, this is something you need to check; there are often big advantages to getting someone to come to you. 

I had a client whose internet broke. It was a 4G system. The internet got them to check the modem and its settings. Then a reactivation was done. It still did not work. When they rang back, they rechecked the same stuff. After a few times of this, they decided it was either the SIM or the modem. The SIM was $20, and the mobile was a few hundred. So they asked for SIM, three days later with no internet the SIM came. The new SIM did not help. Then the internet provider rechecked the same stuff, then another reactivation. It did not help. So they asked about a new modem and were told it would take a few days and a few hundred dollars. The problem was that they did not know whether it was the modem. So they asked if they could buy a modem nearby. No, they were told as the modem had to take their internet provider's SIM to work. Then they contact us. We told them their internet provider was an Optus reseller, so go to Optus. So they went to a nearby Optus shop. The Optus guy checked the SIM it was fine. Put the SIM into one of their modems, and it worked, so they brought it on the spot. It was also a bit cheaper from Optus as there was no delivery fee. In one hour, the problem was solved. Sometimes you need a person on site. Score: Five days no internet. 

Security:
Years ago, I had a client in Cairns whose internet provider did the dirty on him and many other clients. Only knew about it when the police came about it. I do not see what you can do about it. If you are worried about it, look at a VPN, which will not solve the problem as it moves the problem from the internet provider to the VPN provider. Really who can we trust here? An employee in Twitter was recently convicted of selling the personal user information of dissidents to the Saudis. In Australia this is serious but to a Saudi this is dangerous. I have a client who tells me they never discuss anything political on the net or phone with their relatives in Iran.

Growth:
Do not worry about it. You can always upgrade your internet, although this might be a problem if you have selected a two-year plan.

NBN or 4G:
I have seen problems with both, in fact, any such system. Over the years, I have come to hate the NBN. Speeds are comparable, although often 4G is faster. 

I will say this a 4G system is less reliable, but if something goes wrong, 4G is fixed, something I cannot say about the NBN. 

I am also sceptical of NBN with a 4G backup. When the NBN goes down, often, they do not switch to the 4G backup. 

Reliability: 

The best question is, I left to last, how much will it cost you if the internet goes down? 

Almost every business will experience several outages yearly, e.g. power outages, server issues and software. I have had clients that have gone down for a few minutes, hours, days and weeks. One last week was down for five days, and I will talk about their experience soon.

Now, what will it mean to you if your internet is down? To some people, it's an inconvenience; to others, it is a significant revenue loss. One shop had a string of deliveries to do in the morning. The owner told me of his frustration when he lost hours when his guys were sitting around doing nothing. Downtime can cost a business. 

I hope this is of use.

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Here is a marketing idea that you may want to consider.

Afterpay day is twice a year, and interest in it has rapidly grown, as you can see below.

Today it is a massive shopping event. The last one was in March; it went well. On indications, the next one will be bigger.  After all, Afterpay has a rapidly growing user base. Currently, they have over 3 million Australians in their system who are considered good customers. So Afterpay will be actively promoting to a lot of potentially good customers. There are also 63,000 shops in the Afterpay system, including most majors, e.g. David Jones, the good guys, Kmart, etc., and most will be pushing it too.

There is no reason why you cannot join in. The next Afterpay Day sale will occur between Thursday, 18 August and Sunday, 21 August, as long as you have Afterpay, which is easy to do in our POS system and does not take long to set up. If you have not got Afterpay yet, I recommend getting it. Consider it a virtual lay-by where you don't have to wait until the customer pays in full, with fewer hassles. 

Now all you need to do to take part is make a stand of specials and stick an Afterpay day sign on top. Before you ask, no, you are not obligated to ensure they use Afterpay to buy this stock.

Want some ideas on what to put on the stand?

As a minimum, you can do this, go to the register reports > stock titled "Old Stock on hand by Date last received"

Put in a date of a year ago; now, this will give you a listing of your old stock. 

Why not use Afterpay Day to get rid of this stock now?

Start your search here if you want to make it official and do much more.

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A while ago, here I showed people how to get their credit scores free. When we discussed this, a couple of people told me that checking their credit score frequently will reduce their score. I checked, and it does not. This is the advantage of doing it yourself; if the bank does it, it can reduce your score. This is because bank enquiries they record. Now suppose you speak to a mortgage broker. The broker does a credit check; there is no problem. If that broker goes to ten banks on your behalf, the ten banks' enquiries will be significant. These enquiries, as they are frequent, give the impression that you are short on cash and/or are a person that keeps looking, which banks do not like.

Many consistently track their credit score, especially if they have poor credit risks.

How important are these credit scores?

In my experience, not so much if your score is over 600. I have seen people with bad scores having to go to many banks and credit providers. We had one broker we used a lot because it did not matter what the person's financial state was; that guy seemed to be able to get the money. Still, as long as you are willing to hunt around, in my experience, a bad credit score does not seem to be a significant factor to credit providers. They look mainly at your serviceability, the security and then you. You are not being silly if you go to the loan officer in the bank smartly dressed and acting confident. Still, I would prefer to go to a bank with a good credit score than with a bad one.

If you want to look at your score, the one that seems the most popular is Experian, and you can get your score here.

Note: I am not a financial expert, and this is not financial advice.

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This came up with one of my clients recently when we discussed the recent class action, but it's a problem many of us have faced.

In Australia, by world standards, we have many legal cases. I read that the state in the world with the highest number of court cases per person is California, USA; the next highest is NSW, Australia. Plus, Australian Legal fees are high by world standards. One incredible screen in the SCI-FI show, Star Trek, was where they had a lawyer who did not care about money. Lawyers care about money.

Okay, so can we claim their costs?

The answer is that it depends on what they are. My client has discovered that his fees are not claimable even though they were for his business. Claimable expenses are those required to produce income and carry on a business.

The ATO guidelines are here.

Note: As a guy who got dragged into court, I can tell you it's rarely worth it. Despite what people tell you, rarely does anyone care.  Also, courts are like hospitals; once you are in, it is tough to get out. My case took about ten years before we settled. Even if you win as I consider I did, it was a waste of a lot of money. Wonder how they felt. They lost and had to pay their legal fees and a settlement to me too.

Anyone who wants to tell me their experience?

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If you were affected by the Tyro outage last year in January 2021, you should by now have received an invite to join a class action. If you have not got it and think you should have it, please get in touch with me, and I will send you the details and information in the *welcome pack*.

If you have accepted the Tyro compensation offer, it does not mean that you cannot join this action. Yet, your odds of getting something are less.

You will almost certainly need to prove a legal loss to get something. That loss should be bigger than the Tyro offer of compensation to justify your entering this action. A legal loss is not the same as a business loss. I had a client whose three days of work were not considered a legal cost as he did not have to pay anything. He got transportation costs for petrol, so he got mileage and legal fees, which did cover most of his legal fees.

If you are interested in joining, you should contact the lawyers organising this case here and, if possible, your own lawyer. Also, you may want to contact Tyro directly to discuss before joining, as I am sure they are willing to discuss your specific case.

For the record, we accepted the Tyro offer, as did 90% of the people affected; we think they did their best, So we have no intention of joining this action.

PS I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. I have been with them for years. We were Tyro's very first customer. 

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This is what our POS System uses, and I strongly suggest that even if you use other POS Software (some that are wrong here), use these terms instead.

The problem is that there is no standard in retail accounting. Many suppliers take advantage of this and attempt to confuse people to better present their products; 100% markup sounds better than a 50% margin. This has created significant confusion. Even experienced retailers with years of experience muck them up. So please pay attention, even if it feels like I am telling you how to suck eggs.

Retail Price (RP)

Retail Price is the price you offer to sell an item.

Recommended Retail Price (RRP)

This is the Retail price that a supplier suggests you sell their items.

In some states in Australia, in some cases, you cannot sell the item for more than this Recommended Retail Price. If the Recommended Retail Price is too low, this will present a problem.

Cost price

Cost price is the amount of money a business spends to buy an item, including all costs, such as transport. This varies. It depends on factors such as buy rates, delivery costs etc. This is why a supplier's cost price to you can be very different to your calculated cost price.

You must fully calculate the cost price to price your goods correctly. 

Margin vs Mark-Up

I will use this example, as both are generally calculated as a percentage to explain this

You sell an item for its Retail Price of $40. 
This item's Cost Price is $30. 

Markup

It is calculated from the Cost Price and is how much more the Retail Price
[ (Retail Price)/(Cost Price)-1] x 100% 
=[ $40/$30 -1 ] x 100%
=33%

Margin

The reverse 

It is calculated from the Retail Price and is how much more the Cost Price

[1-(Cost Price)/(Retail price)]x100% 
=[ $30/$40 -1 ] x 100%
=25%

I recommend that you only use margin to be consistent throughout the shop.

Here is a table for you to get the margin from a quoted markup quickly.

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A modern business needs an online presence. The best and fastest way to make such a presence is a Facebook Business Page, and it is free.

Despite what many of you hear from news outlets using overseas information, Facebook in Australia figures are slightly up.

- 6 in 10 Australians use Facebook

-1 in 2 Australians uses Facebook daily

It makes sense for businesses to establish a presence on Facebook to get more customers.

On Facebook, David can compete with Goliath as the page is the same no matter what size you are.

Need help in setting up a Facebook Business Page? It is easy. To start, all you need is a few photos and supply them with a few details. If you are still unsure well for our customers, we provide such a service for free.

In all your communication, e.g. email, you should include your Facebook page address. Every one of your customers should know of it. Push it. As you name spread Facebook will push the word out to relevant people, that is how their systems are designed.

Here are some ideas on what to write about

1) Most industries have a trade cycle, a trade show for the public, etc.

2) Look on Facebook at what other retail stores like you do, take notes of what they do and change it to your needs.

3) Google can be used to generate ideas. Put in a few words applicable to your business and see what comes up. What comes up is what people are looking for now.

4) Almost all businesses have stocktaking sales, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Xmas, etc.

5) Suppliers often notify you of their seasons and promotions. Often they provide free marketing aids, too, like photos and information.

6) If one of your suppliers suddenly grows in the market, write about how good it is and that you have these products.

7) Suppliers often have new products. Write about them. Tell them how it can help bring value to their lives.

8) School holidays often supply marketing opportunities.

9) You can check your sales reports to see when your business is busiest. Try and find out why and let people know what you have at that time.

10) New products in the shop work well too. Take a photo. Most of us have a smartphone that takes excellent photos. Please take a quick snap, add a few words, and you have done it.

11) Best sellers are also good. Go to your top-selling report, check out what is selling now well and let your customers know that you have it.

12) Your community and local area can generate ideas too. This makes you relevant to the local people.

13) Temporary Service Changes, for example, if your business is temporarily closed or you are now offering new or changing services.

14) Testimonials from happy customers are a proven way to grow revenue. Today something like 92% of people checks testimonials before buying something. I look at reviews before often buying nowadays.

15) A customer tells you are interesting story to do with your shop or products, if it is interesting to you, it probably would also be to your customers too.

16) A simple SWOT analysis can generate many ideas.

17) Tips and extra uses for using the products you market can be used.

Nothing here costs you anything.

Final notes:

a) Try to engage your audience.

b) Avoid the knockers. You will make mistakes; we all do. There is always some knocker who thinks they know it all. This is life. You are in business; you need a hard head to pick yourself up and improve.

c) The important aspect is keeping the content fresh.

d) Use Facebook's statistics to see how you are going. If something does not work, try something else.

e) Avoid politics; 50% of people will not like whatever you say.

f) Put someone in charge that likes Facebook. It will not be a job for them but a pleasure.

Try it and grow your revenue and meet customers in a new way.

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In SMBs today, cash is a problem. It is often the target of robberies because they usually have less security than banks. It would help if you considered whether it is possible to reduce your risks with cash handling by switching to EFTPOS or credit cards. This reduces the problems of theft and cash handling. One valuable skill here is knowing how to count money fast. 

The bank's first question is, are you a customer of there's? In my experience, not being a customer of there's gives better rates. Sad but true. Then they want to know how much you collect in EFTPOS and credit cards. Generally, they look at two variables. The amount of money you collect. Then the average size of the transactions you take. The higher your collection figure and transaction size, the better.

Your point-of-sale software has a potent tool to see this breakup instantly.

Go to the main menu and select "End of day."

Click where it has a green arrow.

Now in your Options menu marked in a green square, tick everything. You will not be sorry if you get too much.

 

The part of the report you are looking for is the Sales Payment Breakup below.

Pick an appropriate period, generally the last year. Running it a few times with slightly different dates as you may get a better value with different dates. One caveat here is that cash receipts are going up slightly now.

This will supply you with the information you need for the banks.

 

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We had a client last week where we got to see first-hand the mess of years of neglect with the computer system. Hidden under the counter, we found many power cords not connected. Around the computers was a dust mountain, in which we found a half-eaten doughnut. This impacts the airflow around the computers. It is a health hazard as dust is not hygienic and is highly flammable. A spark from a computer can set it off. Besides that, a fire near a computer can be costly.

The battery backup unit was not plugged into the computer, so it was useless.

We recommend you switch off the computers at least once a year, clean around the computer, check the cables and remove all unnecessary items. 

This simple step could help you avoid a technology disaster. 

Plus I am sure that all will prefer to work in a clean and less cluttered area.
 

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POS SOFTWARE


 

What you can do in your POS System is set a budget for each department? Now here is a quick way that works well how to calculate such a budget in a typical shop which will take you less than five (5) minutes to do. Of course, no shop is standard, but what do you want for less than five (5) minutes of work.

Divide the shop into nine segments, as I have done above.

Now on the top in black, you will see the scores 3, 2 and 1. This is because, in Australia, people tend to go to the left when they go into a shop, so the left of the shop is more valuable.

Similarly, on the side, you will see the scores 3, 2 and 1 in black. This is because the front of the shop is more valuable than the rear.

Now when you add them up, you will see in red the totals, which is the addition of the top and side scores.

Now, add another 4 to that area segment where most of the front counter is.

If you are setting a budget, you take the total shop budget. Your call whether you do it as profit or sales. Divide by forty (40) and multiple by that segment total, for example: if the shop's budget was $800,000 a year. For the bottom front segment, see green arrow its budget would be $800,000 / 40 x 6 = $120,000

Now there is one caveat: the very front of the shop is used for display and is a decongestion zone where people often walk through without thinking. This part varies so much in different shops that you must make your own value.

The quickest way to proceed is to run a totals report for the past twelve months. Now take your total sales and divide it by 40. Now multiple by its total above for each area segment giving you a figure for each area segment.

Now for each department, look at its area segment and note its figure. If three departments share a segment, divide it by three and use this figure on the report. If a department is in a few areas, add the figures up. Now see how its sales figures compare to these figures. Maybe you have some rearranging to do?

Now here are some key points using this analysis.

1) On the right of the diagram, you will see a thick line in blue. Once people enter your shop, most shoppers will turn to the left. Count the right (4+5+6=15 points) and compare it to the left value (2+3+4= 9 points)—a big difference in score. 

This left side is what we call your power wall, as this is where customers naturally end up. It is where much of a shop's sales occur, so make sure it looks attractive. Style it up. Have your high-margin items there.

You can see why large suppliers, e.g. card companies, want you to put their product on the right side of the shop. They have done this maths too.

2) Why do most retailers prefer the front counter on the left of the shop? The space is less valuable there.

3) Why do many retailers like counters on the back. Well, the area there is less valuable.

Have a go; I am sure you will find these five (5) minutes of work helpful.

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Catching and Stopping Duplicate Invoice Payments

One of the most common blunders in business today is paying a supplier twice because you entered their invoice twice.

This is what happened to one of my customers. He got an invoice and paid it, then got a receipt a few days later, so he paid that. He then got a credit notice, so he paid that. Then on the statement, it showed, and only then was the error noticed. He is good at accounting, but this slipped through and caused this idiotic error.

Most suppliers will inform you of the error, as this one did but not always. So it would be best if you were careful.

There are many causes why this happens.
-Bad keying of invoices into their systems, if 99% correct in your keying, that is a few errors a year.
-Misreadings of invoices as in the above example.
-Changes in the invoices.
-Many invoices come more than once, commonly by email and then with the goods.
etc

Here are some tips to help you prevent these sorts of errors.

1) Enter the supplier reference number, do not use your number. Our POS system often warns you if a reference number is entered twice in data entry.

Also, in your POS Software, see the green arrow above; you can quickly see a duplicate. If you have any doubts, look at the amounts. Generally but not always, duplicate invoices have identical amounts. See the red arrow above.

2) Make a budget for a supplier. Something is unusual if a figure is a way off for that supplier and should be investigated.

3) Make one person responsible for entering the invoices in a systematic method. This will give a manual check.

4) This will involve more work, but I am a purist in my accounting and like it a lot. Have one system where people work daily and another to which only my accountant and you have access. Everything is checked before going into the accounting system.

Duplicate or erroneous payments can add to substantial monetary losses. At the very least, cash flow problems. Probably also a lot of time trying to get it sorted out too.

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Make your own mind up.

My previous article generated a lot of discussion with its conclusion that modern retailers needed a BNPL option and that layby today is, at best, minor. Not everyone liked my conclusion, but they are wrong. In modern retailing, BNPL is not going to be replaced by layby. There is no layby renaissance coming soon.

Here is a google trend of interest in layby vs the major BNPL providers over the past year.

In blue, you will see layby and compare it to Afterpay in red. If you want the exact figures, layby has 2% interest, Afterpay 74%, Zip 9%, etc.

Here is the latest report by Roy Morgan on BNPL.

Summary : The latest Roy Morgan Digital Payments Report shows 17.5 million Australians aged 14+ (82.8%) are now aware of buy-now-pay-later services such as Afterpay, Zip, Latitude Pay, Humm and Klarna.

...

The takeover hasn’t impacted upon growing awareness of Afterpay, now at 81.1%, up 7.7% points from a year ago in June 2021, and up a massive 47.3% points since September 2018.

 

Here is how it is breaking down today by usage.

Make your own mind up. Read the report, available here.

We do not see that a modern retailer can ignore these figures, so our advice is unchanged: you need to investigate BNPL. Whatever you think of the Afterpay business model, most of the BNPL business now is there. 

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The most popular loyalty program used by retailers today is probably stamped rewards cards. See some samples above

What it is, that a person comes into the shop and buys something. Every time they buy, they get a stamp, and after several purchases, they get something. It is an excellent method if you’re looking for a way to increase repeat customers and sales.

We suggest ten (10) stamps to the goal.

Here is a step-by-step approach that works.

1) Look for items with a decent margin and high demand, e.g. greeting cards, pet accessories, perfume, etc.

However, you can use it for anything. If you are stuck for ideas, consider using all purchases over $10. One problem here is if you try to knockout departments because they are low margin, you are advertising that the other departments are high priced. 

2) You need a design for your cards. Most printers can show you samples. Make sure you keep your brand image in mind, as each card is a simple and effective marketing tool that your customers carry. Select a design that is unique to your shop.

We suggest that it has twelve (12) spots to stamp.

3) Make a use-by date line. Unused points can be a real legal problem for a business. This line will be handwritten on the card.

We suggest a year

4) Select a simple, unique self-inking stamp that fits onto the squares of your loyalty card. This also has been shown to reduce fraud.

- Now, it is up to you if you integrate it into your POS system. There are some significant advantages to making it integrated.

-- It reduces fraud

--- It allows you to track your customers’ spending habits and collect valuable insight into improving your business.

--- Knowing their details, you can market your business to them.

5) When someone buys something on offer in the shop, offer them a card. If yes, they get one stamp for joining the item and one for buying. So everyone starts with two stamps. This gives them the feeling that they are closer to their reward as now they are 17% there (2 stamps out of 12).

We suggest you read here if you want to know the scientific reasons why we suggest this:

6) Once the reward is redeemed, they get a new card with one stamp credited for rejoining the program. Then they get another stamp for the free offer they redeemed. This overcomes this problem of them starting with zero as now they are at 17% again.

Give it a try and see how you go. Then let me know.

Ideas people consider:
a) Consider offering a smaller reward on the sixth (6) stamp. In practice, we have not found this to work well. 
b) People that buy on their birthday get an extra stamp. Never seen this idea used, but I think it will work.
c) Big purchases get two stamps. Since the purpose is to get people to buy, this idea seems self-defeating.  
d) Slow days get a bonus stamp. I can see it working well in many retail environments but not in others. Maybe have a chew on this one.

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There is an old saying, "There is no going back."

Although BNPL companies' share prices and valuations are down, their products in the marketplace are still as strong as ever. Growth in BNPL, although slower, is expected to increase. Also, the market is expected to grow as many players like the banks and apple are moving into this space. Whether the existing BNPL companies can exist as viable stand-alone businesses remains to be seen. Most feel these BNPLs will soon be absorbed into traditional finance companies and banks; however, the customers will not be significantly affected and will continue to buy as usual. What may change is that the primary decision to use BNPL will shift away from the store. The CBA system does not have any store input.

The belief that many retail experts had, was that laybys would become more popular has not happened. Consumers are *NOT* turning back to layby, nor do I see retailers keen on going back to layby either. To a retailer, a layby sale, unlike a BNPL, is a messy problem sale. It has high administration costs, legal issues and high risks of cancellation. Besides, why should the retailer share the risk of bad debts if they can avoid it? Also, most feel that a typical BNPL customer spends more than a regular layby customer so they want more BNPL sales rather than layby. Also, a BNPL is vested in pushing its client to buy, and they do bring customers; no one is pushing a layby customer to come.

Our advice is unchanged, offer layby for those that want it; your POS System can handle it, but make sure you can take BNPL. 

Do not create unnecessary problems for your customers to pay.

One caveat here, you need an item to cover your BNPL fees plus BNPL often does put conditions on what you can do, e.g. some items cannot be sold under BNPL. 

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The big problem is that after the lockdown many shops have restocked, so their new inventory is new.  So a common problem many have is amplified as they have old stock sitting for a long time without selling. Old stock is more challenging to move than new stock, so the odds are that this stock will continue sitting in your shop if you do not do something.

The first point is to identify this stock. Luckily you have an extensive system in your POS Software to help you find this old stock. 

Click here for a training video on how to identify such stock.

As a tip, it's best to run it into three-month, six-month and 12-month-old periods separately as each period has a story to tell. 

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