Point of Sale Software

Retail Protective Key Performance Indicators


Retail crime

Retail theft is rampant in Australia, particularly since COVID-19.

In April 2023 "Griffith Criminology Institute Professor Michael Townsley said retailers lose thousands of dollars per year because of retail crime, .... On average, an individual external theft incident costs a retailer around $415 compared to an internal theft incident costing an average value of $1200."

In some industries like newsagencies, I can see figures quoted between 3% and 5% of total sales.

That is a considerable amount as many retailers today are operating on slim margins. These losses can be devastating. The most troubling part? Most retail theft is internal, committed by trusted employees. We have heard tearful stories from retailers who discovered longtime employees and even family members stealing from them.

There are some protective steps you can take. We believe the best approach is implementing proper procedures and monitoring everything with the right tools, like a POS system with advanced reporting. Ignorance is not bliss here.

Use Your POS System to Uncover Internal Theft

Our POS software includes a unique security system that monitors key indicators for suspicious activity from each operator using your system.

Here is a start in your system: our unique security system monitors what people operating your point of sale are using. We call it the Retail Protective Key Performance Indicators. 

These indicators give you a detailed breakdown for each operator, statistics on such things as their usage of no sale, voids, count, totals, refunds, negative items and discounts they are doing. Pay particular attention to any huge numbers in specific voids.

To run it, go to cash register reports. (see orange arrow)

Then select Staff and click on "Sales security indicators" (see blue arrow)

Please select the required period you wish; I recommend doing it monthly.

What you are looking for is that most thieves have a method that works for them; they become a creature of habit, and as such, with these people, one indicator is generally up.

So you are looking for someone with one very high item. So, run this report monthly to analyze trends over time. Focus on operators with unusually high numbers for:

  • Voids
  • No sales
  • Refunds
  • Discounts
  • Negative items

For example, no sales and voids often go hand-in-hand for legitimate reasons. But if one is sky-high and the other normal, that warrants a closer look.

Complement POS Monitoring with Other Fraud Prevention

POS indicator reports are precious for identifying potential theft. However, they should not be your only defence.

Some additional fraud prevention tips:

  • Conduct regular inventory audits
  • Install video surveillance
  • Perform surprise cash drawer counts
  • One cash draw one person
  • Enforce strict POS access controls

Protect your livelihood by leveraging tools like security indicators. Failure to actively prevent retail theft leaves the door open for disaster. We are here to help - let us know if you have any other questions!

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Postponing Our Social Media Marketing Webinar


social media certificate

A few people who wanted to attend our upcoming webinar on social media marketing tips have said they are currently too busy ramping up for the holiday sales season, so we've decided to postpone the webinar until early next year when things settle down. We know this time of year can be hectic for retailers now!

New Webinar Date

We have rescheduled the webinar for mid-February 2024. We'll send out reminders as it gets closer.

Why Social Media Matters for Your Store

Social media marketing can be a huge boost for local shops, and it's probably the most effective advertising today.

Here is what we cover:

Choosing the Right Platforms

We'll provide tips on prioritizing platforms like:

  • Facebook - By far the most prominent platform, essential for retailers
  • Instagram - Great for visually showcasing products & store culture
  • Google My Business - Vital for local search visibility

Setting Up Your Facebook Page

A good Facebook presence is invaluable, so we'll walk through crucial elements like:

  • Ensuring your business info/hours are accurate
  • Writing an engaging About section

Posting Content That Connects

We'll explore free content ideas centred around:

  • Seasonal offers and sales events
  • Using photos that quickly communicate what you offer
  • Local community happenings
  • User-generated content from customers

Monitoring Performance

You need to measure

You will never get very far in social media if you do not measure, so I will run you through a free social media analytics tool that integrates into our POS Software to help track your KPIs:

I will then run you through the most popular social media marketing KPIs.

Engagement rate is the percentage of your followers interacting with your social media posts.

Reach is the number of unique people who see your social media advertisements.

Impressions are the number of times your social media posts are seen, which shows both positives and negatives.

Understanding performance data lets you refine your strategy over time.


Please let us know if you have any other questions before mid-Feb 2024

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Types of Hampers: Our Secret Weapon for Retail Success


An innovative way to lift sales is by making hampers—these present excellent marketing opportunities for retail businesses. Attractively bundled products help showcase your offerings while providing customers with ready-made gifts and highly personalised shopping experiences.  

Clear Out Old Stock with Hampers

This is the primary use of hampers as they provide clever opportunities to sell unsellable stock that is too old. 

For example, say your shop has a few stray photography magazines that can no longer be returned to publishers. On their own, you’d likely have to discount to move. However, bundling them in a photography-themed hamper with two of the latest photographic magazine issues creates newfound value in the bundle.  Pairing these with sought-after new editions lets you build a hamper whose price exceeds the three current magazines’ worth. This allows you to sell unsellable items subtly.

The hamper assortment disguises old stock as a bonus while emphasizing the valued contemporary items shoppers are keen on. This makes hampers a strategic means of stock clearance. With creative pairings, you can craftily liquidate old inventory.

Hampers drive bulk sales for more Revenue.

Fundamentally, each hamper represents a bulk purchase, with bundled products averaging higher transaction totals than individual purchases. This presents a significant revenue upside, especially given the perceived extra value from creatively presented assortments. Taking time to make hampers together allows you to get more sales. This works particularly well as you are letting shoppers quickly grab premade hampers. Look at these items,

Items for sale


People will look at the basket and probably pick and choose a few. 

Now, what if this basket was wrapped in plastic? Many people will buy all the items. This is what you want.

Of course if they want individual items, you can always sell them separately.

Types of hampers

Here is a listing I put together showing the most popular types of hampers used in retail today. I think it's worth running through the list with the names.


Types Definition Occasion targeted Typical contents Examples
Hamper A gift basket filled with items. Gifts, special occasions Food, drinks, gifts Food hamper
Kit A group of products that are needed to complete a specific task. Specific task Tools, components Tool kit, model kit, first aid kit
Bundle A group of related or complementary products sold at a discounted price. Everyday purchases Related or complementary products Shampoo and conditioner bundle, stationery bundle, computer bundle
Assortment A collection of products that are chosen to appeal to a specific customer segment. Specific customer segment Products appealing to a specific customer segment Gift assortment for new parents, pet supplies assortment
Collection A group of products around a particular theme. Specific theme or aesthetic Products with a particular theme or aesthetic Magazine collection, range of dog food
Set A group of products that are sold together as a single unit. Single unit Multiple products sold as a single unit Dinnerware set
Combos Typically, it is a meal or beverage and other products. Fast food restaurants Burger, fries, and a drink Combo meal at a fast food restaurant
Value packs A larger quantity of a single product is sold at a discounted price. Almost all shops Bulk sales, box of pens 3 for the price of 2
Seasonal assortments Collections of products that are themed for a specific season Retail stores, grocery stores Christmas, summer collection for the beach Holiday Assortment
Gift sets Typically, it is a collection but more curated and expensive. High-end retailing  Gourmet chocolates Gift set for chocolate
Specialty offerings Unique or niche products that may not fit into any of the other categories. Specialty coffee shops, artisan shops Limited-edition single-origin coffee, locally produced honey An assortment of locally produced items works very well in regional areas.

Craft Irresistible In-Store Hamper Displays

Well-styled hamper displays at checkout areas, store entrances, and high-traffic aisles will capture attention. Consider these display ideas:

  • Colourful signage calling out seasonal themes, prices, savings
  • Decorations and props matching the hamper theme
  • Frequent rotation of hamper varieties
  • Do not have too many at any time. You just confuse people

Spotlight Hamper 

There is no point in making these hampers if your customers do not know about them. They need to be displayed where people can see them.

Offer Customization for Personalized Appeal

Today’s consumers prioritize personalization and customisability. These hamper add-ons can boost perceived value:

  • Gift card inserts with custom messages
  • Consider a few with different price ranges
  • Consider offering an upgrade from a cheaper hamper to a dearer hamper. You will find some and decide they want to upgrade.
  • Festive gift wrapping in diverse themes

Analyse Performance Metrics

By tracking hamper sales in your POS platform, you gain insight to calibrate your offerings. Assess demand by:

  • Reviewing best-selling themes and price points
  • Monitoring purchases around key gifting dates
  • Identifying highest-margin hamper variants

Data fuels intelligent decisions to meet customer needs, fine-tune inventory, and maximize profits!

Standing out in an increasingly competitive retail landscape means getting creative with value-added products. With the right marketing strategies, hampers can become a signature part of your brand experience and revenue arsenal.

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Under-ordering stock is sometimes better


Retail stock control

Running out of stock on key products can be devastating for a retail business. For example, a pharmacist told me recently when I came to pick up medicine, "I asked a customer to come back because I didn't have the medication in stock. They came back. Later he came back with a different script and I didn't have that either, so he left and I never saw him again." Clearly, keeping enough stock of core products is critical.

However, this logic does not always apply to non-essential, temporary, or promotional items.

The Risks of Overordering

A while ago I remember Frozen II merchandise was taking off. While it was selling rapidly at first, soon demand dropped significantly. If a retailer had over-orders, they would risk being stuck with surplus stock that would have to be heavily discounted.

"There is a genuine danger that a retailer who over-orders will be left with product that needs to be heavily discounted to get rid of."

When Under-Ordering Makes Sense

In cases like Frozen II goods above, under-ordering may actually be the wiser move. Here are some benefits:

  • Avoids surplus stock needing to be sold at a loss
  • Creates product scarcity, increasing perceived value
  • Gives a chance to explain high demand and offer to order more
  • Costs less, so saving you money

Leveraging Point of Sale Software

Whatever your ordering strategy, having the right point of sale and inventory management software is essential. It provides visibility into current stock levels so informed choices can be made on replenishment orders. This helps minimize waste while preserving customer satisfaction.

Streamline your inventory management with a point-of-sale system that seamlessly automates reordering. Our solution empowers you to replenish stock frequently without overburdening your staff. Let us simplify your inventory management process.

Let us show you how our POS software can help you master retail stock management. 



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Tips to get organised with your diaries


Retail Store Diary Sale 2023


Unbelievable as it sounds, we are getting close to the new year, the years gone so fast, and this often inspires people to get organised and plan ahead. Diaries can be a great product to help your customers achieve their goals in 2024.

Your point of sale (POS) software is the perfect tool to help maximise diary sales in your shop.

Your POS software has reporting features that can provide valuable insights into your diary sales from previous years. Specifically, your software can show you:

  • Which diary designs, sizes, and types sold well at different times of the year
  • Tell you last year's sales, which will indicate what this year's sales will be. Make sure you have sufficient stock on hand to meet customer demand.
  • Related products that customers tend to purchase alongside diaries (e.g. cards, nice pens) use your companion reports.

Prominently Display Diaries In-Store

It would help to ensure customers can easily spot your diary selection in-store. Here are some display tips:

  • Dedicate prime real estate, like a front counter display, to diaries
  • Arrange diaries attractively
  • Highlight top sellers; people are drawn to such products
  • Put signage and posters to indicate that you sell diaries.
  • Do not count on people knowing you have diaries. When serving them, tell them you have them.

Getting diaries front-and-centre maximises the chance of catch-up sales from customers coming in to shop for other items.

In addition to standard diaries, consider that you can boost sales by also promoting related products such as:

Travel Planners

Help customers plan their dream trips and holidays with travel diaries and journals.

Health and Fitness Planners

Tap into New Year's resolutions with diet, exercise, and wellness journals. 

Work Planners

Appeal to professionals getting on top of their workflow with work-specific planners. Display alongside nice pens, highlighters, and notepads.

Get Organised

You can organise a successful diary sales campaign this year by utilising your POS software to understand diary sales trends, effectively displaying and promoting diaries in-store, and talking to customers. 

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Accountancy software used in retail today



Accountancy Software for Retail Businesses

Running an efficient retail business requires keeping careful track of your finances. With the right accountancy software, you can organise expenses, track inventory, simplify payroll, gain insights into your profit margins, and prepare for tax time. Here, we explore the most popular accounting platforms Australian retailers use today and key factors to consider when choosing a solution.

Our Annual POS Software Survey Reveals Downward Trend

At our company, we survey clients annually to gauge satisfaction with our point-of-sale (POS) system and understand their broader technology needs. Over the years, the survey has evolved into a broader barometer of retail technology adoption.

A few years ago, we introduced a new question asking retailers about their accountancy software usage. The results revealed a worrying trend - many retailers do not use an accounting package, and the number that do is decreasing. This trend has continued over the past few years.

Now if you have not yet filled out our annual Support and Customer Perception Survey and are our client, please do so - we appreciate your feedback.

Why Accounting Software Matters for Retailers

Tracking financials using spreadsheets or paper receipts alone is cumbersome. When records exist across disconnected systems, it is easy to lose track of transactions, miss recording expenses or payments, and encounter hassles at tax time.

Accounting software centralises all your financial data into one accessible system. Features like mobile invoicing, automated bank imports, and reporting dashboards save retailers significant time. Most importantly, these platforms provide real-time visibility into the fiscal health of your business.

From cash flow analysis to profitability insights to streamlined tax preparation, accountancy software delivers immense value for retailers of all sizes. Continue reading to learn about the most widely used programs in Australia.

MYOB has long been the dominant player in Australian small business accounting. However, its popularity has waned amongst retailers in recent years.

I suspect MYOB's decline is tied to transitioning from standalone desktop software to a cloud-based subscription model. For some retailers, shifting to paying a monthly platform fee per user is a turnoff.

 Many retailers appreciate its highly structured, ledger-like interface. 

MYOB remains the top choice.

Xero Soaring in Popularity

Cloud accounting specialist Xero has rapidly risen in Australia's online accounting landscape. More retailers are using it as shown by our survey.

As a fully cloud-native solution, Xero simplifies real-time collaboration across locations and external accountants. 

Xero does come with a higher monthly cost, depending on your needs. 

QuickBooks and Reckon One have long competed neck-and-neck for the second spot behind MYOB in Australian retail accounting but no longer, but its popularity in our survey is down. I think this is due to its complexity, meaning it demands a steeper learning curve than the others. It does, however, I feel give much more in terms of advanced reporting and everything in between. In the hands of an experienced operator, few can match its capabilities.

Cashflow Manager Surprisingly Overlooked

Cashflow Manager has simplified accounting and cashflow management for Australian small businesses for many years. I have regularly recommended it to retailers because of its approachability and neatly designed interface.

Yet surprisingly, Cashflow Manager did not tally a single mention amongst retailers in our survey.

I am not sure why.

Key Factors When Choosing Accounting Software

With so many options on the market, selecting the right accounting platform can feel overwhelming for retailers. Keep these factors in mind while evaluating solutions:


Pricing varies widely based on the size of your business, number of users, complexity of needs, and add-ons required. Be sure to understand the total recurring costs plus any upfront license fees.

Ease of Use

Look for simple dashboard designs that allow managers an accessible financial snapshot and detailed tracking for accountants. Prioritise solutions so you can learn them quickly.


Our POS Software can integrate into many accounting systems, and so can your bank. Using these integrations will save you a lot of time.



The big question here is do you need cloud? Cloud means it can be used anywhere in the world. As a rule, the cloud is dearer.

I hope this all is of help.

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EFTPOS and Credit card surcharging


ACC Surcharge Rules

Should You Add Surcharges to Customer Card Transactions? A Retailer’s Perspective

As you run a retail business, you’ve likely grappled with whether or not to add surcharges to customer credit card and EFTPOS transactions. With card processing fees eating into your margins, applying a surcharge seems easy to defray costs. But at what expense to your customer relationships and loyalty?

Here, we’ll examine the pros and cons of adding transaction surcharges, alternatives like cash discounts, and key compliance considerations in Australia if you move forward with surcharging. 

What is a Card Transaction Surcharge?

A surcharge is an additional fee added to the total customer payment amount to cover a retailer's card acceptance costs. When a customer pays with a card, the transaction incurs interchange fees charged by banks and card companies, plus merchant service fees charged by payment processors - together referred to as the cost of accepting credit cards.

Surcharging allows retailers to pass some or all of these credit card processing fees directly onto the customer instead of absorbing the costs themselves. A typical charge on a $100 credit card transaction today might be $1.50. That $1.50 will add up over time.

The Case Against Transaction Surcharges

I always suggest that before charging a surcharge, you carefully consider the potential drawbacks, plus consider creating an option for cash.

Customer Frustration

Do not believe customers do not care; research shows most customers dislike transaction surcharges. Many places do not charge it, so why do you? As such, the fees feel arbitrarily unfair and wreck the customer experience at checkout. Customers do know.

Revenue Loss Risk

Will the extra surcharge revenue compensate for potential revenue losses if some customers take their business elsewhere? Some clients have told me that surcharging brings in less than the business they lose. Crunching the numbers is essential.

Consider Cost Comparison

What about cash handling costs - transporting it safely, potential lost revenue due to theft/loss, managing change funds, bank deposit runs and fees? For many businesses, these costs add up to more than card processing costs. Make an apples-to-apples comparison before deciding cash is “cheaper” than cards.

Security and Theft

Handling more cash brings added security risks for both staff and stores. Safes, security systems, insurance and more may be needed to manage the risk properly. Theft, fraud, or losses due to mishandling cash can quickly erase surcharge profits.

Alternatives to Consider First

Before jumping to apply surcharges to card transactions, explore alternatives like:

Cash/Debit Discounts

It does not have to be much. A shop near me has a big sign at the point of sale, a free can of drink for any sale over $25 paid in cash. It seems to work well. 

Minimum Purchase Rules

Small transactions incur proportionally higher card processing fees. Applying a $10 minimum purchase for card payments reduces associated costs rather than alienating customers with small basket values.

Key Considerations if You Do Surcharge

If surcharging card transactions still make sense for your business after weighing it up, proceed.

Clear Disclosure is Critical

Prominently display surcharge rates at the point of sale so customers are informed before checkout. Clerks must also proactively disclose if transactions will incur a fee besides, lack of transparency only breeds customer frustration and accusations of “hidden fees.”

How to Add Surcharges on Card Transactions

If you decide the benefits outweigh the risks, adding credit card and EFTPOS surcharges takes just a few simple steps:

Through Your Payment Provider

Most payment processors offer dynamic surcharging. They calculate your average merchant service fees. You can then set it up to add surcharges to applicable card transactions while they provide the reporting.


- Easy to set up

- Built-in compliance checks

- Reporting includes surcharge totals.


- Limited control

- Some fees are excluded, so a common complaint is that the surcharge does not cover the costs.

- Manual invoicing for GST calculations on surcharges may be required

- Payment provider figures of what they calculate and what you are available to the ACCC. The problem is that many terminals do not give the information on surcharging to your POS System, so your Payment provider and your figures are different. This can make it very hard to justify.

- Because of surcharge undercharging, the store cannot accept many payment types.

Through POS System Settings

Our POS systems can be used to calculate and charge your custom card payment surcharges.


- More control

- It is easy to set up.

- Actual figures of costs are charged.

- It is very transparent. The surcharge figures can be displayed on a prominent sign at the point of sale.

- You do get the surcharge total in your POS reconciliation reports

- Figures what the POS System has and what the customer receives are always balanced.

- You can accept many more cards and payment methods, e.g. PayPal.

- All reporting and calculations are handled in one system.


- You need to calculate your costs. This is not hard, but worrying as you must ask yourself for every item if it is justified. Your payment provider can help you with this.

- You need to ask how it will be paid during every transaction. A problem can occur if the customer changes their mind. Some customers like to say debit, which has a lower fee, and then book it as a credit card.

To do it manually.

Go into the main menu.

Select Dissection Maintenance.

Now, in Dissection maintenance, where the yellow arrow is click the tab "Pay Types"

You can accept a much wider range of cards as your POS System will adjust for some expensive payment types like AMEX and PayPal.

In Summary:

- Approach surcharging carefully - assess risks

- Prioritize alternatives like cash discounts

- If moving ahead, follow strict rules and disclosure requirements

- Keep rates reasonable and aligned with actual costs

I hope this provides a balanced overview of the pros and cons when considering card-surcharging decisions for your small retail business. What’s worked in your business experience - surcharging, cash discounts or absorbing costs? I welcome feedback and discussion in the comments!

Black Friday You Can't Manage What You Don't Measure


Black Friday sales

You Can't Manage What You Don't Measure

The Christmas holiday shopping season has just officially begun. This is one of the year's busiest and most critical sales periods for retailers.  Many of our clients will do half their trade this year in the next two months. But you can't manage what you don't measure. Going into your biggest sales event blind is a recipe for disaster. It would be to examine the key metrics (KPIs) to understand the impact on your bottom line.

Here, we'll explore two essential key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure this Black Friday to show you how they are used going forward:

Foot Traffic

Understanding how many potential customers walk through your doors is crucial. Converting that foot traffic into actual sales is the name of the game.

You have a few options to monitor your store's foot traffic:

People Counters

If you have followed this blog, you will know that a simple people counter is an inexpensive way to determine how many shoppers entered your store. It should be positioned near the entrance and recorded at the start of each day. A basic, manual counter for a shop is cheap nowadays. 

Centre Foot Traffic (If Applicable)

If you are in a shopping complex, you will find that many of these do monitor the foot traffic numbers. You can use this, but remember, in our experience, these centre traffic numbers are rarely reliable. Use them as directional guidance only.

Daily Sales & Profit

While foot traffic shows customer interest, your sales and profit figures reveal actual spending and earnings.

Your point-of-sale (POS) reporting will tell you the net daily sales and profit. 

Focus on two key profit metrics and compare them to last year's Black Friday. That will give you an idea of how you are travelling.

Number of Transactions

How many sales transactions did you ring in for Black Friday? 

Total Daily Profit

Gross daily profit is ultimately what pays your bills.

Use KPIs to Assess Performance

Armed with foot traffic and profit data, you can now calculate store performance metrics to measure Black Friday's impact.

KPI-Foot Traffic Conversion Rate

Divide your number of transactions by the total foot traffic. 

Rate = (Number of Sales) / Traffic 

This conversion rate reveals how well you translated store visits into actual sales.

Professional marketers commonly do this sort of analysis.

Benchmark to last year's Black Friday. If conversion drops with higher foot traffic, you may need help with sales, e.g., understaffed or poor shop windows.

KPI-Average Transaction Profit

Here, divide your total daily profit by the number of transactions. The result helps you determine the average profit margin per sale. Now, is Black Friday pulling down your averages due to heavy discounting?

Average transaction profit = Profit / Number of sales

Doing Sales Performance Analysis

Now you have POS Software, so you can do most of this and more automatically. I find analyzing sales data by department, product category, and customer segment can help retailers identify areas for improvement and make strategic adjustments.

You will find it here:

Main Menu > Cash Register > Register Reports > Under the Select Report tab, expand the Stock folder > select the report “Dissection Family Class Period Sales Comparison”.

Then you will see this screen.

 Now, put in the dates to compare.  Now, it will pop out a wide range of KPIs, including quantity, cost, sales, profit, and GP%, with a breakdown by amount and percentage. I think besides the two KPIs above, you will find many others useful. Note that these are your actual figures, not what your suppliers tell you.

I would also suggest that you look at your 

Retail department optimization

Consider tracking your sales performance across different departments to identify the most profitable channels and allocate resources accordingly.

Summing up

Implementing key performance indicators is critical for effectively managing your business during the hectic holiday shopping season. At a minimum, start by tracking the metrics of Foot Traffic and gross profit.

Compare these KPIs to prior years.

Don't fly blind - measure performance daily. Spot shortfalls early so the course can be corrected quickly. There's no better tool for managing through the wild ride of this holiday sales season than your POS System.

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Will Self-Checkout Work for Your Store? 9 Factors to Consider Before Investing in Automated Checkout Systems


Self service kiosks in supermarkets


One of our competitors has announced the release of what they call a "first" for Australian retailers: self-checkout point-of-sale (POS) software. Now, that is a bit of a tall claim. Our company and several others have already developed and provided Self-checkout POS software for local businesses years ago. Click here, and you will find a few. They are also commonly used in restaurants, and I would suggest all restaurants look into it. So their announcement may help bring this technology to the forefront of our market.

Now would be a good time to objectively review the pros and cons of self-checkout systems in most retail stores. While the technology functions as intended, like any such solution, some strengths and limitations exist. I hope here to give you a balanced look at these systems' opportunities and challenges from someone who has had experience with it, to help you make informed decisions about the realities of this Retail technology.

Now self-checkout kiosks are staples in major supermarket chains with mixed reactions. To many of us now, scanning our own groceries has become routine with such systems in supermarkets. These retail giants tout the efficiencies gained from their lower staffing needs as they have replaced rows of cashiers with a handful of overseers profiting from payroll savings. This formula works for such high-volume big-box players. But does it translate to other stores? Well, clearly not. Many large shops that could afford them do not use them. Like everything, it has its pluses and minuses.

Supermarkets Consider the Self-Checkout Scene

Let's review the standard supermarket setup:

  • Goods being sold are simple to process.
  • Stations are typically placed with 6-20 kiosks and 1-2 attendants overseeing the usage
  • Shoppers scan and bag their own items, then pay via machine interfaces
  • An attendant assists with errors, problem items and customer confusion
  • 1-2 manned checkout lanes are still staffed for shoppers wanting personal service

So, we are looking at a typical setup of 2 manned checkouts and eight kiosks. In a large supermarket, with one employee monitoring eight self-checkout machines. I have seen figures showing the savings of three traditional cash register operators. So, we are looking at five manned checkouts or this setup with a labour cost of three people. So they saved two salaries, instead of five people they can get by with three.

Challenges for retailers

1. Transaction Volume Variations

For a self-checkout setup to be successful, a high volume of transactions is typically required. The business model of supermarket self-checkout terminals works because they are processing many sales each day due to the scale of their operations. Implementing a similar system for stores with lower transaction volumes may make achieving a good return on investment difficult. You would likely need significant customer traffic to properly justify the costs of installing and maintaining multiple self-checkout lanes. Smaller-scale operations may find it challenging to reach the level of sales needed over time to offset the initial investment required for this automated checkout solution.

2. Staff Role 

Self-service kiosks present some challenges and require a technically proficient person to maintain them properly. Issues are likely to occasionally arise with these automated systems, necessitating someone with strong technical skills to identify problems and resolve any issues. Without proper ongoing support and maintenance from a knowledgeable staff member, self-checkout kiosks risk developing technical problems, which would impact your customer experience if not promptly addressed.

Often, you need the services of an IT professional on call.

3. Physical Store Size Constraints

Although each of these kiosks uses less space than a manned checkout, the station with many kiosks and a person monitoring them does need a lot of space. 

4. Cost

The upfront cost of each self-checkout kiosk is higher than a traditional manned checkout station. Many automated checkout systems also require costly ongoing maintenance and after-sales support plans.

5. Shop Theft

Experience has shown self-checkout kiosks have higher shoplifting rates than manned checkout lanes. Without a staff member directly monitoring each transaction, customers can easily underreport items or bypass scanning certain products. Cameras help, but only a little.

6. Products

You need to market products that are easy to handle, scan, and bag. We found in newsagents that large cardboard was a pain. Many products need to be extremely detailed and properly programmed into your POS Software to function with these machines; for example, the item's weight often needs to be in it.

7. Customer Confusion

Some customers hate them. You are not going to get out of a human cashier somewhere. Plus, when the kiosks work, they are great, but it can be a real pain to get it right when they play up. It takes time for your customers to get used to it.

8. They break down 

When you are in a supermarket with a station of eight kiosks, if one plays up, it's okay. You have seven more working. If you only have one, well, it's a problem.

9. Foreign language support

Our kiosks had a great selling point: they could report in a foreign language, which works great in theory for a customer who knows that language. For the people monitoring the kiosk, it proved a problem when they tried to help. A kiosk with Thai letters and instructions is almost impossible for a non-Thai speaker to use. 


While self-checkout kiosks have become commonplace in large supermarkets, their feasibility for other retailers, as shown by their slow adoption, shows they are not yet for most retailers.

Now, before I sound so negative, if you have an interest in such technology, please let us know; one shop that works well now in small business with them is restaurants. 

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Our Black Friday sale


Our Black Friday Sale is Here to Save You Money!

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and here at POS Solutions, we are excited to help our customers save money with our Black Friday deals.

Why We're Having This Big Sale

Now is a good time for us to offer you good prices, as many of our partners have excess stock they know they cannot clear out for months. They are keen to move, so we offer to pass some good savings on to you to help you and them. We tell them what we want is "Our Black Friday Sale is here, with limited-time offers and doorbuster deals!"

That's why we worked with our suppliers to bring you some incredible deals for Black Friday.

Huge Savings on Computer Equipment

If you've been holding off on upgrading your computers and tech gear, now is a great time to take the plunge! We have deep discounts. See our newsletter for details.

Shop Now Before Prices Go Up Again

This is the last chance to get such great prices on computer equipment. With inflation and a weak Aussie dollar, prices are sure to go up next year.

Let us know if you have any questions. We're always happy to help you find the perfect gear within your budget.

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Black Friday near me


Make the Most of Black Friday with a Flash Sale tomorrow.

This post is for those people who have done nothing for Black Friday tomorrow.

Here are some photos I took at my local shopping area on Black Friday. What I noticed is that almost every shop was participating. The last one I thought was pretty clever as they did not have to do any price changes or preparation. 

Black Friday 1 2023


Black Friday 3 2023

Black Friday 2 2023

On the Facebook page of one local business, which I know is very professionally run, I saw the following written

Don't miss out on these amazing Black Friday deals! Shop early to get the best selection. We also have a great gift guide to help you find the perfect presents for everyone on your list. And don't forget to take advantage of our price match guarantee!

Make your own sign. I suggest including some of these words as, based on what I have seen, they seem to work.

Black Friday

Cyber Monday


Gift Guide

Holiday deals

Price match, 

Save money

Shop small


Maximize profits during the biggest shopping weekend of the year at the last minute.

With some strategic planning and the right tools, you can drive new sales and attract new customers to your store tomorrow.

> Choose the right sale items.

> Systems like your POS Software make flash sales a breeze by automatically applying discounts at checkout.

Here are some instructions 

> Do not forget products that you are overstocked or slow-selling. Here you are dealing with bargain hunters, who want stuff like this now.

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Improve Your Support Journey: Provide Contact Details


Support call log

Here at POS Software, we truly value customers' feedback in our post-call Survey feedback. This helps us continuously improve your Customer support.  However, what is all too common is that survey responses have included requests for additional Follow-up support but no information for us to get back in touch with the request.

For example:

A customer completes a survey after a call with our support team. In the comments, they write: “I still need more help with this issue. Please have someone call me."

Unfortunately, we cannot follow up and provide further assistance without any name, phone number, email, or other contact details. We want to maintain your anonymity in surveys while assisting you further if needed.  See image above.

So, if you submit survey feedback indicating you require ongoing support, please be sure to include your Contact information:

  • Your name - So we can reference previous conversations and access your account history
  • Contact number or email - So our team can directly reach you to resolve your issue

By including these quick contact points in your survey feedback, our customer service team can efficiently follow up on your question or issue and ensure it is fully addressed.

Please know our goal is constantly improving our systems for streamlined follow-up requests, so our survey form is being upgraded. But for now, these extra details must be filled in to ensure we can resolve any outstanding concerns in a timely, personalized manner.

We appreciate you taking the time to help us help you better! 

PS - If you have been happy with our services and support, we would super appreciate it if you leave us a nice Google Review. This would certainly make our day! 

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Speed up the cash register queues - seven tips


Queues of people in a shop

Long queues at the checkout can drive customers away and cost you sales. Customer wait times,  studies show the average time a person will wait is 6 to 7 minutes in checkout queues before walking out. For retailers, slow cashiers can have a big financial impact. 

The Cost of Customer Frustration

When customers wait too long at the registers, many will leave your store. Some studies estimate that 10% or more of potential sales are lost to customer walkaways. And for those who do stick it out, the memory of queues will linger in their minds.

To crunch some numbers of lost sales - if your business has one walkout a day with an average sale of $30, you have lost $11,000. If it is two, you have lost $20,000+  - that is money you could have kept if your checkouts moved faster.

The risk goes beyond the immediate lost sales, too. Think of your customer satisfaction if you have frustrated customers. They often don't return quickly if they associate your shop with long waits. Slow registers cost you transactions today and cost you customer experience value in the long term. Is it any wonder why major retailers like supermarkets invest heavily to speed up checkouts? You need to take note and make changes, too. 

Average time to complete a transaction in a shop

The industry standard to do this is about 40 seconds for transaction time plus about three seconds for each item to be scanned and rung up. So if you need to ring up four things, the time taken is expected to be about 40 seconds, plus four items in their basket at 3 seconds each, so it's almost 52 seconds.

Calculating The Cost to Your Bottom Line

To figure out the cost of long queues, here are two key metrics to analyse in your store:

Average transaction time: How many seconds does it take to process each sale?

Look at your POS software's " find transactions " screen to see what typical speeds you can achieve. For comparison, I've included some transaction speeds that my clients have achieved with our POS system. 

On this cash register number, they were doing a transaction every three (3) seconds.

Here as you can see, they did transactions from two (2) seconds onwards.

On this page, it was four (4) seconds onwards. Interestingly, the $431.80 transaction that would have required scanning many items was completed in about forty (40) seconds.

Customer defection rate: What % walk away after seeing line lengths?

What you need here 

  • Number of lost sales from your Retail sales
  • Sales value per abandoned basket
  • Profit margin lost

I would suggest looking at both weekly and yearly figures

How to reduce checkout queues

Here are some proven ideas to try in your store to keep the registers moving faster:

1. Restructure Queue Layout

Research shows a single queue line feeding multiple checkout points is perceived as fairer by customers than individual lines per register. It also helps even out speeds so no single operator bogs down line length.

2. Hide Long Lines

Retail store planning experts talk about the power of “inflow angles”. What this means is when a customer enters your store, carefully analyse sight lines to any queues - long lines early in the shopping journey can trigger an early walkway. If they see a long queue, many people looking to shop in your shop will not go in.

3. Entertain Waiting Customers

Don’t let waiting customers dwell on queue length. Distract them with something; banks often use a TV. What works in shops are items that are hot sellers. It is not the sales to just consider but the distraction value. A magazine that a customer can look through while waiting works, too.

4. Keep Registers Clear

A common complaint is when customers have already committed to queuing but see unused registers not being opened despite staff floating nearby not helping ease waits. Make sure your staff, top priority is to jump on a register when lines start to develop.

5. Scan Whenever Possible

Barcode scans are proven 3 times faster than keying in product codes. So ensure everything sold has usable barcodes - even make barcode labels for loose goods or frequently sold combos. Bundling items that often go together also minimises scanning actions at the register.

6. Integrate EFTPOS

Many of you do not use it for cost, but consider that you can save seconds on each sale by integrating EFTPOS into your point-of-sale system. Avoiding re-keying in amounts slashes transaction times and reduces miscues when switching between the terminal and register. It is also more accurate.

7. Cashier speed

When queues are long, having your fastest operators active becomes critical. Slow cashiers bantering with customers may be helpful for engagement at quiet times, but focus on processing transactions fast at peak times. Knowing checkout rates for each staffer also enables good roster decisions.


Even implementing a few quick wins here pays dividends through higher converted transactions and improved customer loyalty. Getting checkout queues moving faster is necessary for any retailer serious about sustaining growth. Reach out if we can help analyse your current state or provide advice beyond what was covered today.

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Balancing a cash register

Running a retail business comes with many challenges. One of the biggest now is handling cash properly. With multiple employees on registers, busy trading floors, and the pressure to serve customers quickly, it isn't easy to keep tight control over cash. Allowing sloppy cash procedures to creep in can quickly lead to errors, unexplained shortages, or even theft.

Implementing standardised cash handling protocols using your point of sale (POS) system can provide the oversight and security needed to prevent these issues. The "X-off" report reconciles each cashier's sales and cash on hand and is essential for balancing registers and tracking transactions. Retailers can transform cash management into an efficient, secure process using X-offs and other simple controls.

The Problems of Mishandling Cash

When customers line up impatiently, and staff need to serve them quickly, following proper cash procedures often takes a back seat. But when cash registers are unbalanced daily, stores bleed away profits through cumulative small mistakes or theft. Yet, with proper cash management procedures, it is easier for small retailers to prevent errors and losses. 

It gets worse as according to Griffith University report,

Co-author and Griffith Criminology Institute Professor Michael Townsley said

“We estimate crime costs Australian and New Zealand retail economies about $4.3 billion per year, and that’s a 28 per cent increase over four years from when the last similar study was conducted,” Professor Townsley said.  

“Customer theft was the largest category of retail crime making up 53 per cent of losses followed by employee theft which made up 24 per cent of losses.  

“While employee theft is less frequent than external theft incidents, each employee theft incident is typically of a much higher value.  

This confirms what I have seen with my clients; today, a person caught stealing from his employee's view is that if the employer is so stupid as to let him steal, it's the employer's fault. It was not like that in the past.

This is why you need such standardised cash drawer reports like X-off; otherwise:

> The register can easily become unbalanced. 
> Without accountability, dishonest staff may be tempted to pocket the difference.

These issues are worse as too many shops have a lack of control over cash.

Benefits of Systematic Cash Management

The best measure is implementing standardised cash policies tailored to your shop. When integrated with a modern point-of-sale system, simple procedural controls enable store owners to secure their cash flow against errors and deception.

Improved Loss Prevention

Standardised cash handling procedures ensure all transactions are verifiable and recorded in the POS system. Daily X-off reports act as a balancing mechanism to reconcile cash register drawers with sales activity. This makes unexplained shortages or theft much easier to identify and resolve. Adherence to protocol also reduces miscues like walkaways or improper voids.

Better Visibility into Sales Data

With reliable X-offs, Z-outs and reporting, owners can trust the accuracy of their sales and inventory data. Detailed sales reports down to the register and cashier level provide better control.

Increased Accountability and Security

I really suggest that you consider adding extra tills and assigning one till per employee. Our POS system can handle many cash draws, so this is easy to do once you have itit setup. Setting individual cash drawers for each employee improves accountability. Proper oversight leaves less room for error or impropriety.

More Efficient Operations and Inventory Management

Accurate sales data enables smarter inventory planning, waste reduction, and stock takes. Staff shifts and registers can be scheduled efficiently based on traffic patterns. Owners gain peace of mind knowing that cash flow is secured against leakage.

Cash handling protocols (X-off report)

Now that we have covered the critical importance of cash management, let's look at how X-offs help a retail business balance registers and lock down its cash handling procedures.

What is an X-off?

An X-off is an end-of-shift report that provides a snapshot of the cashier's sales activity and cash at any time. As a minimum run at the end of each shift, X-offs are used to reconcile the physical cash and receipts in the drawer with what is recorded in the POS system. This balancing mechanism ensures proper cash controls in a busy retail environment.

Balancing registers

For each cashier, the X-off prints a detailed report of their:

  • Register log in time
  • Sales totals are broken down by payment type (cash, check, card, etc.)
  • Voids and returns
  • Expected cash that should be in the drawer to cover sales
  • Actual counted cash and any over/short

By comparing the system sales data to the physical cash counted, the X-off identifies any variances that could indicate errors or theft for that cashier's shift. Used daily, X-offs make unexplained shortages quickly apparent rather than accumulating hidden losses over time.

Running X-offs on a Modern POS

1. Assign Register Access

Sets up employee passwords to log into assigned registers in the POS. This creates accountability for each cashier's transactions.

2. Set Up Cash Drawer Floats

Every cashier logs in with a starting float at the start of each shift.

3. Print X-off at End of Shift

To run an X-off, go to the End of Day in the cash register.


Select on the end-of-day page

Choose the X-off option that is below the EOD option marked in green.

Notice that the period of the report will default select the time the staff member assigned to the register started and the current time.

Now run.

4. Improved accountability

The cashier manually counts the cash in their drawer and then compares the X-off totals to the receipt count. Any discrepancies require an explanation.

Surprise Cash Drawer Counts

In addition to X-offs, periodic surprise X-offs of register drawers by managers is commonly done. 

Cash management

> Do not be complacent about cash control

> Implementing a few simple procedures can have a huge financial impact.

> Contact us today to learn more about tightening up your cash management!

Slash Payment Processing Fees with Least Cost Routing


Least cost routing

Swipe, beep, tap. Thanks to modern payment technology, paying for something has never been easier. But while tap-and-go is crazy convenient for customers, the hidden fees in the payment system are anything but convenient for business owners.

Every time a customer pays with a dual-network debit or credit card, you may pay inflated processing fees that dig into your bottom line.

The Banks Have Been Slow to Act

But a simple fix could help you save - the least cost routing (Merchant-choice routing).

The Reserve Bank has revealed a woeful roll-out of least-cost routing technology by the major banks after repeated urgings to act.

.. the National Australia Bank has remarkably only turned the system on for 15 per cent of its merchants and the other major banks offer it to well under half their customers.

When I was told that, I freaked out.  How could so many people not have it? 

Small business payment processing

In the current payments system, a customer taps their debit or credit card to purchase in your shop, and that payment is without least cost routing, likely being sent through the bank's preferred path on the EFTPOS network, which is not often the cheapest.

But here's the thing - most of those cards also have access to the lower-cost EFTPOS network, but your EFTPOS/Credit systems are not set up to take advantage of this fact. If so, your shop is shouldering unfairly high fees on every card transaction. Why should you be penalised with an excessive fee?

Why Unfair Fees Matter

  • You either absorb the fees and take a hit on your tight margins or pass the costs to customers through higher prices.

  • This makes you dearer as your fees are higher than those with low-cost routing.

  • This stifles competition when businesses are saddled with higher fees

Least Cost Routing Can Instantly Save You Money

Yet least-cost routing could help small businesses across Australia save over $1 billion per year.

With the least cost routing, dual-network card payments are automatically routed through the lowest fee network. This ensures you pay the minimum fees whenever a customer taps their card or buys online from your EFTPOS/Credit provider. Saving just cents per transaction adds up pretty fast.

Reducing card fees for small businesses

Please don't wait for your bank or payment provider to act because they are clearly not acting. You have to take control and access the savings of least-cost routing now.

Step 1: Ask Your Provider

First, contact your payment terminal or POS software provider. Ask if they offer the least-cost routing and whether it is activated for your business. If not, put pressure on them to enable it. 

Step 2: Review Your Fees

Take a detailed look at your monthly statements. Identify high credit/debit card fees.

Step 3: Train Your Team

Ensure staff know how to process cards via the EFTPOS network, which can save you money.

Take Action Now for Your Business

Small changes in your business can quickly add up to big savings. But we need your help to pressure the banks and payments giants to enable fair fees for all.

Contact your EFTPOS provider today to enable the least-cost routing. Also, check your monthly statements for excessive card fees to identify possible savings.

With simple advocacy, you can tap into instant savings for your shop. Let's work together to build a fairer payment system for small retailers and consumers.

If you have not done it yet, do it NOW!

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Flash sales


A shop having a flash sale

Drive Traffic and Sales with Flash Sales for Your Business

Running quick sales events is an excellent way for brick-and-mortar retailers to create buzz and drive traffic into their stores. It can be done anytime, leading to a surge in sales and new customer acquisitions. Here I will discuss tips for planning and marketing winning flash sales for your retail business.

What Are Flash Sales and Why Do Them?

A flash sale is a promotional event where you offer items at a discount for a very short period of time - usually 24 hours. This create a sense of urgency and excitement that many customers will look at. The limited time frame convinces shoppers they need to buy now before missing out on the fantastic deal.

Done right, flash sales can:

  • Generate a rapid boost in sales and revenue
  • Attract new customers into your store - Customer acquisition
  • Clear old or excess inventory
  • Create buzz and visibility for your business
  • Increase customer email signups and social media followers, use your customer loyalty

Brick-and-mortar retailers can use flash sales as periodic events throughout the year to spike sales during slow periods or when introducing new products and to liquidate old stock.

It works anytime but can also be used around holidays, events, or seasons, flash sales help you capitalise on timely opportunities. You can align them with occasions like back-to-school, Halloween, Mother’s Day, or the summer clearance season.

7 Tips for Creating a Successful Flash Sale - Retail marketing

Flash sales may seem simple, but excellent execution is critical to driving traffic and conversions. Here are six tips for planning and marketing a profitable limited-time sale:

1. Strategically Select Sale Items - Promotional sales

Carefully curate the products or product bundles you’ll discount for the flash sale. Pick items that:

  • You have overstocked and want to clear out
  • Have wide customer appeal
  • Will entice shoppers to make additional purchases
  • Allow you to maintain adequate profit margins

Avoid putting your newest, trendiest merchandise on sale so you don’t diminish its perceived value.

2. Set Clear Start and End Times

Be very specific with the start and end date and time so customers know exactly how long they have to get the deal. Twenty-four hours or less creates optimal urgency.

For example:

Starts: Saturday, November 18, 9 a.m.

Ends: Saturday, November 18, 9 p.m.

3. Offer a Realistic Discount

You want your discount deep enough to excite customers and make them feel like they’re getting an incredible bargain. You need to be careful here if it is not enough, you look silly, and if it is too much, then you will sacrifice too much profit. Do the math to ensure you can offer huge savings without losing money on each transaction. You can maintain strong margins by only discounting certain items while keeping everyday prices on others.

4. Inventory management

The quickest way to kill a flash sale is running out of the promoted products. Calculate expected demand and ensure you have enough excess inventory on hand to meet it.

Nothing disappoints shoppers more than finding their desired item already sold out, which can even damage customer loyalty. It’s better to have leftovers than to turn away empty-handed customers. You should be able to sell it later.

5. Small business marketing

Heavily advertise your flash sale through:

  • In-store signs and window displays: Place bold, colourful signage at your entrance and throughout your store to spread the word to foot traffic use to the max your In-store marketing. You can use this signage again after the sale in a few months.

  • Social media marketing: Run your shop on Facebook and Instagram to reach a broader local audience. It costs nothing.

6. Plan Accordingly with Staffing and Operations

Alert your staff to prepare for an influx of customers during the sale period. Schedule adequate employees to handle the customer traffic so shoppers don’t have frustratingly long wait times. Brief them on what you are trying to do clearly to prevent misunderstandings, you need to provide decent customer service.

7. Update your Point-of-sale (POS) system

Make sure your POS software is up to date with the information required.

Flash Sale Ideas for Different Business Types

Here are examples of successful flash sale ideas for specific types of shops, I have seen.


  • Summer fun flash sale - Buy one get one half off outdoor water toys and games
  • The magazines company gave them some magazines to move on their flash sale -  It did not cost them anything, they just asked.

Pet Supply Shop

  • Adopt-a-pet sale - 25% off pet beds, leashes, bowls, and toys
  • Stock up and save flash sale - 15% on some food and treats

Make Your Next Flash Sale a Success

A well-executed flash sale takes strategic planning, savvy marketing, and strong operations. But the reward of increased traffic and sales make it a highly effective periodic promotion. Remember to select sale items wisely, offer deep but profitable discounts, stock up on inventory, advertise heavily, and prepare your staff.

What other tips do you have for small retailers looking to run successful flash sales events? What kind of promotions resonate most with you as a shopper?


Good luck, and let me know how it went for you.

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Using PLU and SKU numbers



Using PLU and SKU Numbers to Streamline Your Retail Business

Running a retail business requires careful attention to the details. Managing your stock and inventory efficiently is crucial for keeping things running smoothly. This is where PLU (price look-up) codes and SKU (stock keeping unit) numbers come in. Implementing these simple tools can help streamline your operations and save you time and money.

Read on to learn how these codes can help you speed up checkout, better track inventory, improve purchasing efficiency, and more!

What Are PLU and SKU Numbers?

Before we dive into the benefits, let’s define what exactly PLU and SKU numbers are:

PLU codes are universal identifier numbers assigned to products, particularly produce items and other goods sold loose without barcodes. For example, a PLU code for a Granny Smith apple might be 4152. Suppliers assign these 4-5 digit codes and allow retailers to look at pricing and inventory data for produce.

Retailers can optionally use a range between 3170-3269 to create their own internal PLU codes for produce items. Please do not count on them being available, though. Many suppliers are idiots and will occasionally supply items with these PLUs. Interestingly, this happens in newsagencies despite standard stock file standard requirements explicitly forbidding this practice.

SKU numbers are unique ID codes that retailers assign to track stock-keeping units. They allow you to monitor specific product variants in your inventory. For example, you may assign SKU #101 to Coca-Cola Can 375mL, SKU #102 to Coca-Cola Bottle 1L, etc. These 1-3 digit codes help differentiate product sizes, colours, flavours, etc.

Now, let’s look at why using PLU and SKU numbers can benefit your business.

Key Benefits of Using PLU and SKU Numbers

Implementing PLU codes and SKU numbers offers several advantages that can help streamline operations and boost efficiency:

Faster Checkout and Fewer Errors

PLU and SKU numbers speed up the checkout process by allowing cashiers to simply enter a code instead of searching through the system for the product. This is especially helpful for loose produce items that don’t have barcodes.

Fewer steps mean fewer opportunities for mistakes. Cashiers won’t have to guess which cucumber or apple variety they select. Quickly entering PLU and SKU codes results in faster customer service and shorter checkout lines.

Better Inventory Tracking

When each product variant has its unique SKU number, you gain much tighter control over inventory tracking. Your point-of-sale system can generate detailed reports by SKU showing exactly which items are in stock, which are selling fastest, and which need reordered.

This granular data makes it easier to minimize excess inventory and stock the right amount of each item. No more guessing how many of each t-shirt size or colour to order. The sales velocity by SKU tells you exactly what’s moving.

Increased Efficiency for Purchasing and Receiving

Standardizing your SKU system greatly improves efficiency when purchasing inventory and receiving deliveries. Purchase orders, delivery paperwork, and item labels must only display the SKU to identify each product variant.

Employees will immediately know exactly which item or size is being ordered or received just by glancing at the SKU number, speeding up processing time considerably.

Improved Data and Analytics

With all inventory uniformly tracked and identified by SKU, your sales reports and analytics become much more useful. POS reports can break down sales and profits by specific product variants rather than just lumping all similar items together.

You can see which SKUs have the highest profit margins, fastest inventory turns, or slowest sales velocity. This allows smarter purchasing and promotion decisions. You can also identify underperforming items that may need to be discounted or discontinued.

Setting it up is very easy.

1: Open Stock Maintenance and look up the item.
2: Click on the "Prices" tab
3: Scroll to the far right on the pricing grid to see the "PLU" field.
4: Click EDIT and enter a number here (for example, 101 for an SKU and 4152 was the PLU for the apple above)
5: Click SAVE

Now, in the cash register, when you are ringing up a sale, enter the PLU into the "price entry" box, and press ENTER, and our point of sale will find the item immediately!

PLU and SKU Best Practices

To maximize the benefits of using PLU codes and SKU numbers, keep these best practices in mind:

Keep SKU numbers short and simple - Long, complicated SKU codes lead to errors when entering the POS and paperwork. Stick to 1-3 digits if at all possible.

Be consistent - Decide on a standardized format for your SKU numbering and stick to it (e.g. category letter + sequence number). Please don’t make it overly complex. For example, one of our clients that sells T-shirts uses SKU starting with #1 for the small size of a V-neck T-shirt, SKU #2 for the medium, SKU #3 for the large, etc. This allows precise tracking of each inventory item.

The main advantage of SKUs is that retailers can customize them to fit their needs. They might encode specific attributes into each SKU.

For example, they were starting SKUs with a "B" for blue products "R" for red products. Or "S" for small, "M" for medium", and "L" for large. This can help employees quickly identify products.

Assign unique codes - Never reuse SKU numbers, even for discontinued items. Your retired products should still show their historical sales data.

Print SKUs on labels - Clearly printing the SKU on product packaging, shelves, or item tags makes it fast and easy for cashiers to enter.

Cross-train staff - Don’t just train cashiers. Ensure everyone, from inventory managers to purchasers, knows how to use and apply SKUs.


As a retailer, implementing PLU codes and SKU numbers requires some initial work but pays off tremendously through savings in time and money. Your business will benefit from faster checkout, tighter inventory control, increased purchasing efficiency, and improved sales data.

Contact our team to learn more about setting up and using PLUs and SKUs in your retail operation. We would happily advise you on the best practices and system options to boost productivity. Investing in these simple tools will streamline your business for years.




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What does sell in your shop on Black Friday?


Black Friday Australia

Black Friday Australia 2023

Today, Black Friday in Australia is a major Retail Event. It is one of the biggest shopping days in Australia, marking the unofficial start of the Christmas holiday shopping season.


Interest in Australia for Black Friday

In Australia, Black Friday is a relatively new retail phenomenon, but you can see how interest in Black Friday has grown here in Australia. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) noted that retail turnover increased dramatically for Black Friday, they said 

“With retail turnover increasing by more than one per cent in all states and territories, it’s clear Black Friday sales are becoming increasingly popular across the country,” 

This data indicates that Australian retailers and shoppers have fully embraced Black Friday. Now, one point in retail that comes up: how does my shop perform on this marketing day? You may be surprised. 

Why Do Consumers Love Black Friday?

There are several reasons why consumers get excited for Black Friday sales in Australia:

  • Hype and excitement - Major retailers build hype in the weeks leading up to Black Friday with television, radio, print and digital advertising. This creates a festive excitement around the big sale day.

  • Christmas shopping - Many Australians see Black Friday sales as the perfect time to get a head start on Christmas shopping.

If you have not done much or you want to know more to make the most of Black Friday

While Black Friday poses some hurdles, there are ways for retailers to maximise their sales opportunities if you have not prepared.

A Clear Promotional Strategy

You need to decide which product lines you want to draw customer traffic; you can quickly do this by checking Last Year's Top Sellers. Also to make sure you have enough of the right inventory on hand for Black Friday, to check your top-selling items from last year:

Well, it is easy in our point-of-sale system to find out.

Go to Register reports.



Now pick "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period."


Select a few days before Black Friday and after, so 22 November 2022 to 28  November 2022

Do by unit sales and then run it by profit.

Now, see if you have enough stock. Check what works.

You do not have much time.

Select some stock to advertise. You will need to advertise with some signage; it does not have to be as much as customers are looking, but it needs to be there. 

The Now Plan for 2023

  • Use sales reports in your POS system to analyze what products and promotions performed best. Apply those lessons to your 2023 strategy.
  • Check staffing levels
  • Put signage up
  • Monitor your retail turnover increase

Have a great day.


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Lessons for Retailers from the Optus handling of the Outage





I was reading this article here on how badly Optus handled its outage, and while reading it, I realised that there are many lessons here for all of us. As business owners, we strive to provide excellent service to our customers daily. But in life, things sometimes go wrong. Occasionally, things go badly south. I have had vital deliveries go missing; telephones knocked out, which knocked out all our support; water in the building, which meant everyone had to go home, etc. etc. etc. Then what matters most is how we respond during these difficult situations.

Here is my take on what happened.

Now, one of Australia's largest telecommunications companies, Optus, experienced a nationwide service outage that left millions of customers without mobile data, text messages, and phone calls. Most of the problems were fixed by the end of the day, but as of this morning, some of my clients were still reporting problems. 

Let us review Optus's outage handling, which provides valuable lessons for us in crisis management.

Quick Response is Crucial

When disaster strikes, a quick public response is vital. People knew that things were wrong. I was alerted about 5 AM. I soon learnt that it was not just us, but I needed help to get details from Optus on what was happening. I was upset about what would happen to our support without phones. I can tell you that a delayed response fuels outrage. Then, when they did announce it, it was a vague message. They should have immediately addressed any significant incident on social media and their website. Even a short but sincere message goes a long way, even if details need to be clarified. What you need to do then is to give customers a tentative score and assure customers that you're working urgently to resolve the problem. 

Regular Communication Builds Trust

Regular updates are essential, even if you have limited new information to share. For example, when a delivery goes missing, we try to find the score and then call our clients to apologise for the inconvenience. We then keep in touch with them regularly after that. I am sure you do, too. 

Empathy is Everything

Optus' CEO came across as distant and uncaring in her messaging. If the reports are correct, she lost all communications except for WhatsApp; if so, her reports eroded trust in her. We need to be empathetic in communications, then. Be transparent about impacts and acknowledge feelings of anxiety or inconvenience. Even if it is unimportant to you, it is important to them. I can remember my Mum being so upset when some flowers were going to be delivered late, then the florist was very good and assured her that they were committed to resolving issues promptly. They spoke in simple, human terms.

Get Ahead of the Narrative

With no substantive updates, we saw speculation and misinformation quickly spread online about the Optus outage. Some people will always think the worst. It would be best if you stopped them by being proactive with information.

Behind-the-Scenes Access

I love her suggestion that Optus could have generated goodwill by providing behind-the-scenes footage of their engineers working to restore networks. Introduce information that your staff is working hard to assist. This puts a human face on your recovery efforts.

Learn from Past Crises

If you think about it, Optus should have had a crisis plan in place after Optus's significant data breaches last year.  No worries as the saying saids

Saying on the lessons of life

We need to learn from what went wrong.

Accountability Starts at the Top

The Optus CEO's lack of leadership during the outage sparked heavy criticism. In a crisis, owners/senior management must be visible. After all, they are the decision-makers. If you do not care, what does it say? It would be best to position yourself as commanding the situation with dedication and accountability.

Tone Deaf Actions Undermine Trust

When millions were struggling without phones, Optus' CEO provoked outrage by conducting a photo shoot in her luxury mansion. Perception is reality - avoid activities that seem insensitive given the circumstances. In a crisis, it is the time for selfless customer service, not self-promotion. 

Ongoing Reassurance is Key

Your post-incident messaging should reassure customers of your business resilience and commitment to delivering exceptional service. Responsible crisis management demonstrates your determination to preserve their trust for the long term.

Major crises will happen despite best efforts. But you can minimise the business damage and deepen customer loyalty through rapid response, transparency, accountability and compassion. Use the hard lessons from Optus as a blueprint to refine your incident readiness. Your customers will appreciate your dedication to continuity and care.

Summary: Key Takeaways for Retailers

  • Immediately acknowledge major issues
  • Provide regular updates, even without new info
  • Adopt an empathetic, human tone
  • Get ahead of online narratives
  • Give behind-the-scenes access
  • Learn from past incidents
  • Show strong leadership
  • Avoid insensitive actions
  • Reassure customers post-crisis

By applying these crisis management practices, your business can demonstrate resilience, accountability and customer dedication. Be prepared to act decisively when unforeseen problems occur. Your efforts to maintain transparency and care will go a long way with your loyal customers.

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Strategic Product Placement in Supermarkets


Over the years, Coles has given us many tips for our software. I was blown away when they took us on a tour of their data centre and EFTPOS and Credit Credit card facility. 

Now shopping at your local supermarket seems simple enough - walk in, grab a trolley, and start filling it up. But have you ever wondered how supermarkets decide where to place products on their shelves? It may look random, but product placement in supermarkets is actually heavily dependant on strategic science designed to influence what you buy.

How Supermarkets Use Product Placement

Supermarkets hire experts to advise them on store layouts and product placement. These retail analysts use years of sales data, customer surveys, focus groups, and other research to determine optimal shelf configurations. Their goal is to place the most profitable and popular items where shoppers are most likely to see them or can easily grab them. This encourages impulse purchases and converts browsers into buyers.

Key Placement Principles

  • Eye level shelves - Most sought-after items are placed at eye level where they are most visible. This includes popular branded items that stores want you to notice. This is called the buy level.

  • End of aisle displays - High value impulse and specials are displayed at the ends of aisles to catch your attention.

  • Kids height shelves - Colourful packets of sweets and biscuits are deliberately placed at kids' eye levels to tempt them.

  • Bottom shelves - This is for the bargain shoppers as they will reach down for a bargain.

  • Perimeter placement - Highly desired products are placed all over the shop, so a shopper has to travel all over the shop. 

Improving Sales Through Placement

Now small changes to product placement can lead to impressive sales lifts.One of my clients blocked off an exist to the shop, so his customers had to walk through more of the shop. It worked.

Checkout this video it might give you some ideas.

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