Point of Sale Software

Know your actual Gross Margins now!

POS SOFTWARE

Find your gross margins

Ever feel like your profit margins are a bit of a mystery? You know the numbers your suppliers give you, but those rarely show what is happening in your shop. That's where actual gross margin comes in – a true reflection of your operating efficiency.

For example, here at POS Solutions, we realize that running a successful store in the brick-and-mortar world requires knowledge. Therefore, our point-of-sale software makes monitoring your gross margins incredibly easy, giving you valuable insights to make informed decisions that can boost your bottom line.

Why Actual Gross Margins Matter More

While suppliers often provide "quoted" gross margins, these figures might not tell the whole story. Here's why:

  • Markup vs. Margin Confusion: Suppliers might quote a markup percentage (e.g., a 42% figure), which sounds more impressive than a gross margin of 30%. Plus, getting an actual feel of your business profitability will be tough if some items you have are markup and some are gross margin.
  • Selective Sharing: Sometimes, suppliers provide margins only for most products and then claim the rest they ignore. Yet even the rest of the items can impact your overall profitability.
  • Discounts and Deals: Let's face it, discounts and promotions are a part of retail life. But these can significantly impact your actual gross margin compared to the quoted figure.

Get Instant Insights with POS Solutions Sofware.

Imagine having a real-time snapshot of your actual gross margins at your fingertips. With our user-friendly POS software, that's precisely what you get! Here's how it works:

POS Software gross margins

  1. Access Your Cash Register Reports: Head over to your POS software's cash register reports section.
  2. Navigate to Sales: Locate the sales reports within the cash register reports section.
  3. Unlock the Power of Dissection: Look for a report titled "Dissection Sales / Profitability for a Given Period." 
  4. Run the Report: Select the desired timeframe (e.g., the last year) and generate the report.
  5. Find Your Profit Percentage: Within the report, you'll see a magic column – % Profit. This displays your actual gross margin, broken down by product or category.

Your actual gross margin

See the Difference for Yourself!

It's that simple! Monitoring your gross margin with the POS Software System takes seconds. Stop relying on guesswork and hidden figures—take control of your profitability today!

Want real-time insights? Contact us today to learn more. We can show you how our POS software can give you the information you require to help you run your business.

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Should you use long range retail scanners?

POS SOFTWARE

scanning with long-range scanners

Boost Checkout Speed & Customer Satisfaction: Long-Range Scanners

In today's high-speed retail world, conventional checkout processes are often slowed by the need to scan cumbersome items. That is where long-range retail scanners are the unique advantage for a small, physical business hoping to fire up its tasks and further develop client experience.

Why Long-Range Scanners Matter

Imagine a scenario where your cashier no longer needs to leave the register to scan items and struggle with heavy, cumbersome products. We say that the cost of one worker's comp case would be more than pay for a long-range scanner.  Long-range scanners eliminate these pain points, offering several key advantages:

Increased Efficiency

By extending the scanning range, these scanners allow for quicker and more seamless checkout processes. No more awkward reaching or handling customers' mobile devices – point and scan from a distance.

Improve checkout speed

We all know that a long wait can be a deterrent for shoppers. So, we have found that long-range scanners have helped speed up transactions and reduce queue times, improving customer satisfaction.

Versatility

Whether dealing with large appliances, bulky furniture, or items tucked away on high shelves, long-range scanners have you covered. Their extended reach ensures no barcode is left unscanned.

Determining Your Scanner Requirements

Before investing in long-range scanners, assessing your specific needs is crucial. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Location Assessment: Measure the distance from your checkout counter to the farthest potential barcode location. Add some extra to this measurement to account to give you some leeway and for future growth.

  2. Environmental Factors: Evaluate your retail environment. Will the scanners be used indoors or outdoors? Are there obstacles like shelves or displays that could obstruct the scanning path? What are the lighting conditions like?

  3. Barcode Types: You need to check what types of barcodes you have in your shop. Most will be 1D barcodes, but we are seeing more 2D codes coming in. I am sure you will see many more 2D barcodes in 10 years. Many of our clients using scales, need 2D barcodes now.

  4. Scanner Technology: There are several popular scanner systems now, and in my experience, there is often little between them. We do tend to get a longer life out of the laser scanners, so all equal, I would go with a laser.

 Weighing the Cost-Benefit Ratio

I would suggest if you need a new barcode scanner, make sure it is long-range as its extra cost is not that much. Its slightly higher cost will more than be made up by the potential time saved and the potential worker comp problems of people having to lift heavy objects. It will also have a positive impact on customer satisfaction.

Implementation and Integration

Proper implementation and integration are crucial once you've selected the suitable long-range scanners for your business. Invest in comprehensive employee training to ensure seamless adoption and optimal scanner usage. Additionally, consider the impact on your inventory management processes and plan for potential integration with other technologies like RFID or computer vision systems.

Future-Proofing Your Investment

A scanner will last a long time and over that time your scanning needs will change. When choosing long-range scanners, consider choices with flexible or stretched-out range capacities to confirm your shop in the future. This will ensure your scanners can adapt to any changes in your retail operations without needing immediate replacements.

Conclusion

In the retail scene today, people need to look for ways of upgrading their systems to improve their client experience. Long-range retail scanners offer a good method to speed up the checkout processes, further develop effectiveness, and make a more helpful shopping experience for your clients. Consider them to develop your retail shop. 
 

If you want more information, we are here to help.
 

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TheLott Integration Update

POS SOFTWARE

the lotto

For our clients who offer lottery through TheLott, we have an integration that can streamline your business processes. Integratiaon has been a real game-changer for our clients—making the selling of lottery tickets faster and more accurate.

Streamlining the lottery ticket sales process

Less Time, Less Hassle: The integration reduces the number of keystrokes needed to process a lottery ticket sale. That means less time your customers have to wait and fewer chances for errors to occur, which means less of a headache for you.

More Sales: The more straightforward to check out the transaction, the happier we all are, which can add up to more sales, period.

Accurate Records: Streamlined sales data means you can be pretty sure your inventory and financials are correct, giving you precise insight into your business's performance.

Valuable Customer Insights

But that's not all! The integration provides insights into your customers' shopping habits. Analysing the data collected through lottery ticket sales can help you better understand your customers' needs. I like that it can help you make better business decisions without data collection work.

Addressing the TheLott Implementation Changes

While the integration has been a resounding success, we recently encountered a technical hurdle due to changes in TheLott's implementation. Specifically, TheLott reused some product codes, which caused compatibility issues. However, we've been proactive in addressing this challenge.

Free Update to Resolve the Issue

Our team has worked diligently to develop and release a free update that addresses the problem caused by TheLott's implementation changes. This update should have been automatically deployed to your POS Solutions software, ensuring a seamless transition and continued smooth operation of the lottery ticket sales process.

What You Need to Do

If you sell lottery tickets through TheLott and use the integration, Ensure you have downloaded and installed the latest update. You can check for updates within your POS Solutions software settings.

If you have concerns, our support team is ready to help! Just give us a call.

 

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Unlocking hidden profits of gifts in your shop

POS SOFTWARE

Stand of gift bags for sale

Why I recommend ditching the middleman in your shop for gifts. 

If you sell gifts, you know the struggle of standing out in a sea of sameness. People looking for gifts often want something unique. Purchasing goods straight from manufacturers can have revolutionary effects. Eliminating intermediaries boosts your profit margins since you avoid paying them and have easier access to uncommon and difficult-to-find products. This approach lets you get a distinctive product range that distinguishes your shop.

Navigating the Challenges of Direct Sourcing

Today, gifts are one category that lends itself to direct sourcing. With wonderful sites like eBay and Aliexpress, you have many products available. Choose products that capture the essence of your store and appeal to your target market.

Sure, there are challenges with direct sourcing, but with the appropriate tactics, you can easily conquer them. Consider that certain products, like newspapers or significant dog food brands, have strict distribution channels, and you must work within existing systems. These systems are not made primarily to help you make sales but for the suppliers to make sales. 

But for a vast range of giftware, the possibilities are endless! You do not need them.

Here are some tips to navigate direct sourcing successfully:

Research 

The Power of Observation

Keep an eye on what sells well in other shops, especially local competitors. This can give you valuable insights into customer preferences in your area. Are there any gaps in the market you can fill with unique giftware? Observing trends and staying ahead of the curve is critical!

Trade Shows

Trade exhibits are a treasure trove for learning about new products and getting to know possible suppliers in person. You can decide on the quality and fit of the product for your target market by actually seeing and handling it. While trade show prices may not be as competitive as direct sourcing, they're a fantastic way to find your next best-seller and initial orders.

Local products

In general, your customers would appreciate you supporting local businesses. If you have many tourists, sourcing locally made gifts can be a brilliant way to attract customers who value unique local products as souvenirs. Another great advantage is that it shortens your supply chain, and you have reduced shipping costs. One downside is if it's local, what is the best way to stop the locals in your area from going directly?

Your current gift suppliers

These can also be good sources of information. After all, they know what is selling now and often know the trends in their particular niche. 

Action plan

Importing Made Easy: Exploring Global Treasures

The internet has revolutionised product sourcing. Some Global e-commerce platforms like Alibaba and eBay connect you directly with manufacturers worldwide, often at competitive prices. Most welcome the opportunity to work directly with retailers and love larger orders. This is where your trusty POS system comes in handy! Use sales data to identify popular gift categories and target manufacturers specialising in those areas. Then, write to them and tell them your requirements. You will find you have just opened the door to products at better prices than you get now.

Here are some additional benefits of online sourcing:

  • Wide Selection: Explore a seemingly endless variety of products from all corners of the globe.
  • Convenience: Browse and order from the comfort of your shop.
  • Consumer Protection: Many online platforms offer buyer protection guarantees so you can shop confidently. Popular payment methods like PayPal and credit cards also provide additional security.

Consider factors like shipping costs, customs regulations, and minimum order quantities when importing. It is vital to start small and build relationships with reliable suppliers.

Overall, I think you will find eBay easier to work with, but Aliexpress will have better prices. Both have heaps of products, here is just the catalogue listing of Aliexpress.

Aliexpress product ranges

A Small Retailer's Success: The Phone Case Story

To illustrate the power of direct sourcing, let's look at the story of one enterprising retailer. He owned a newsagency and noticed a gap in the local market for phone cases while trying to buy a phone case for his son.

Researching the Market

Not one to miss an opportunity, he did his homework. He started investigating what was selling well in some shops in a major shopping centre. He decided that while phone accessories would be complicated, the cases would be doable.

He then researched the best-selling phone models in Australia and identified the top brands. He asked his customers what they were interested in phone cases.

Armed with this market intelligence, he was ready to explore direct sourcing channels.

Tapping into Global Markets

John turned to the global e-commerce platform eBay, where he connected with wholesalers. After carefully vetting potential suppliers, he placed his first order for a curated selection of phone cases.

The initial order was a calculated risk, but his instincts proved spot-on. The unique and eye-catching phone cases were an instant hit with his customers.

Building on Success

Encouraged by the positive response, they have continued to expand their phone case offerings.

By filling a market gap, he created a profitable revenue stream that set their business apart.

Curating a Winning Selection

Ultimately, the key to success in giftware is offering a curated selection that resonates with your target audience. Use your knowledge of your local market and customer preferences to choose high-quality, meaningful products that will make people say, "Wow!"

Use your computer data to analyse what is selling in your shop to find the most popular gift categories with your customers. This valuable information lets you focus your direct sourcing efforts on the products that sell. 

With a combination of direct sourcing strategies and the power of our POS system, you can unlock a world of unique gifts, boost your profits, and create a truly special shopping experience for your customers.

Take your gifts to the next level.

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Celebrate Your Shop's Birthday:

POS SOFTWARE

Celebrate Your Shop's Birthday

This is a simple, fresh idea to implement that works as we are always on the hunt for ways to excite our customers and drive sales. Well, have you considered celebrating your shop's birthday? This unique occasion presents a fantastic opportunity to transform your store into a festive extravaganza! Large brands do, so why not you?

  • Stand Out from the Crowd: Unlike conventional holiday sales like Mother's Day, a shop birthday sale sets you apart. This unique approach gives you a novelty factor that grabs customer attention.
  • Low Competition: No other shop will celebrate your shop's birthday sale, giving you a distinct advantage and avoiding competition from run-of-the-mill holiday sales. Mother's Day, for example, is an excellent marketing day, but everyone has Mother's Day sales. Only you have your shop birthday sale. 
  • Easy to set up: You do not need any data, just a few signs and balloons.

First tip: Do not celebrate a day. Make it a month's celebration. - If it works for one day, why stop for one day?

Do this, and you'll create a buzz, foster customer loyalty, and boost your sales seriously.

The Novelty Factor

One of the biggest draws of a shop's birthday sale is its novelty. Unlike typical holiday promotions, a birthday bash offers the traditional sales event an exciting spin. It immediately captures attention and sets you apart from competitors. Customers recognise birthdays as legitimate reasons to celebrate, so they're far more receptive to the fantastic offers you'll be dishing out.

Flexibility Galore with a Full Month of Fun

Your sales options are limited to a single day or week. But stretch that to a month-long fiesta, and you have flexibility in spades! You can switch up the weekly promotions, keeping things fresh and enticing customers to return for more. One week, offer a special deal on slash prices on one product. Next, offer a gift with a purchase over a certain amount. The possibilities are endless when you've got an entire month to play with!

Remember, it starts with a big promotion and then ends with a grand finale bang to get the last big shot at it.

Make it a Party! Creative Ideas for Epic Celebrations

What's a birthday without balloons, banners and big festive fun? To make your sale sizzle:

There are many creative ways to ensure your shop's big celebration is one customers won't forget!

How Your POS Provides a Serious Assist

Want some ideas for what you can use as giveaways that cost you very little? Look at your slow and dead stock.

Both cost you money, take up cash flow, and take up space that should have stock that sells better.

To identify such products, go to register reports > stock titled "Old Stock on hand by Date last received."

Old stock report

I tend to do it in two parts. First, I check the overall problem in the shop to see the scale of the problem. Then, I go by the department in detail, as its people find it better to examine this way.

This gives you a stock listing based on when you received it. This stock rarely does you much good. As I stated, it costs you to keep it.

Now, once you have identified it, what will you do about it, why not use them as specials for your shop's birthday sale.

Time to Start Planning Your Store's Biggest Celebration!

With the power to boost sales, strengthen loyalty, and set your shop apart, a month-long birthday extravaganza is a no-brainer for entrepreneurial small retailers. By leveraging your POS, channelling creativity into festive promos, and giving customers what they want, you'll have all the ingredients for an epic bash! So start brainstorming killer deals, rally the troops, and prepare to make your store's big day one for the books.

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Hidden Inflation your shop in the Retail Battleground

POS SOFTWARE

shrinkflation and cherry ripes

 ​

These days, operating a physical store can be challenging. It would be best to consider how to respond to consumer complaints regarding manufacturers' deceptive practices of shrinking products (think lighter cereal boxes or smaller chip bags) while maintaining the same price. It's like getting less bang for your buck, frustrating you and your customers.

The Cherry Ripe Caper: A Real-World Example

Is there currently a fuss over Cadbury's Cherry Ripe? This beloved chocolate bar is shrinking in free fall. About a year ago, the smaller versions were 52g. Then, about nine months ago, they shrunk to 48g. They are only 44g, a 15% fall, with the price staying put. People are not happy. Several report feeling ripped off on social media and calling the practice "dishonest."  I tend to agree with them, but it seems to me to be deceptive.  

I think rather than admit to a price rise, they are sneaky, reducing the product costs by reducing the size and hoping no one will notice.  

When questioned, Cadbury explained that it was to comply with government health targets and to make healthier sweets. As a parent of a teenage girl, I am all for healthier sweets, but I do not find this argument convincing. If the bar is smaller, it should be cheaper. To make healthier sweets smaller, they should tell people what they are doing and let the consumer make their own choices about portion sizes. Besides, the government health targets apply to bars under 50 gm, which it was below. 

 

Industry Guide to
Voluntary Serving
Size Reduction

 

In many countries, laws have been passed requiring manufacturers to reduce the size of their products and put a note on the packaging to say what they have done. Some manufacturers have complained that this change to the packaging adds to the inflation problem. They do not seem to have a problem when they make something better to add to the label.

But we can do little about the reality of what is happening. We all understand manufacturers are dealing with rising costs, but your customers expect transparency and value, and you can get caught in the crossfire of customer frustration. Here are some ideas to consider:

Regaining Trust Through Transparency

The good news is there are ways to navigate this tricky situation. Transparency is key. Here's how you can build trust with your customers:

  • Highlight Unit Pricing: Showcase the price per kilogram or litre. This empowers customers to compare brands and sizes, helping them find the best value.
  • Offer Alternatives: When a product shrinks without a price drop, consider offering alternative products with better value.
  • Educate and Engage: Sometimes, it is best to admit that you cannot do anything about it and must live with it. I would not suggest that you try to defend the practice.

Collaboration is Key

Ultimately, we are all dealing with this stubborn inflation that is not going away. Few could pass on rising costs during COVID-19, and now we are all catching up. Acknowledge their frustrations and explain the challenges you face. This fosters a sense of transparency and builds trust. Solidifying your position as a trusted source of value and informed shopping would be best.

PS If you are a member of an industry group, contact them and ask them to look into this problem because the public is getting more annoyed with it. 

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Allocate space based on stock performance

POS SOFTWARE

Visual representation of a well-organized retail store layout, highlighting prime locations for top-selling products.

Making the most of your space is essential to operating a successful store. You are losing money on valuable real estate on goods that do not sell but take up valuable space in your store.

Which goods ought to have the best placements on your shelves? You are losing money on valuable real estate that takes up every square inch of your store. Which goods ought to have the best placements on your shelves? Should you dedicate more space to that new item, or is it a flop waiting to happen? Savvy retailers know that data is the answer! By leveraging your point-of-sale (POS) software, you can turn sales numbers into better display decisions, maximizing your sales and profitability, so allocate space based on your stock performance.

Identifying Top-Sellers with Your POS Software

Determine which of your products are your greatest sellers—the things that people adore and keep coming back for—before you can optimize your store layout. Your POS system tracks every sale so that it can pinpoint these superstars quickly. Follow these simple steps:

Select register reports

Top Stock report

Now select Top N stock sales for a given period

Top Stock report menu

Try a month or even a whole season to get the best picture of your top-performing products.

Your report will provide a comprehensive list of top-selling items ranked by sales volume or revenue generated. This data lets you decide which products deserve prime real estate in your store.

Optimizing Top-Seller Store Layout

Your top-sellers report shows which products bring in the most money for your company, much like a treasure map. These are the products that should be in the best places in your shop. When distributing space depending on stock performance, keep the following in mind:

Easy Access

Can customers find and reach your best-sellers without a struggle? Put your best-selling items in the places of your business that are easiest to see and reach, like the front, end caps, or eye-level shelves.
 

Displays That Captivate the Eye

Display these goods to get your consumers' attention. Invest in eye-catching displays and merchandising to highlight your best-selling items and promote impulsive purchases.

Sufficient Stock Levels

Is there enough room for all your consumers would like to buy? Based on how well each product sells, allot floor or shelf space proportionately, giving your best-selling products more space and your slower-moving items less.

Pro Tip: Don't be scared to try new things! Try relocating a best-seller if its present location isn't working out well for it. Consider how much of a difference it makes.

Benefits of Allocating Space Based on Stock Performance

By allocating space based on stock performance, you can enjoy numerous benefits:

Increased Sales

Top-selling items should be prominently displayed to entice clients to make larger purchases and increase income for your company.

Enhanced Contentment with Clients

Making sure consumers can quickly locate and obtain the things they want improves the shopping experience and encourages repeat business.

Enhanced Store Appearance

Attractive displays and strategic placement of top-sellers create a visually appealing, organized store environment that invites exploration and browsing.

Better Inventory Management

Allocating space proportionally based on sales performance helps minimize clutter and excess inventory of slow-moving items, streamlining your stock management.

Continuous Monitoring and Adjustments

Remembering consumer preferences and buying patterns can shift over time is important. Therefore, it's crucial to review your sales data regularly and adjust your store layout accordingly. Set reminders to periodically reevaluate your top-selling products and adapt your space allocation as needed. This continuous monitoring and optimization will ensure your store remains responsive to your customers' evolving needs and preferences.

The facts do not lie.

Allocating space based on stock performance is a simple yet effective strategy for small retailers to maximize sales and growth. Using your POS software to identify top-sellers and optimise store layout can create a more engaging, customer-friendly shopping experience that drives business success. Embrace data-driven decision-making, and watch your sales soar as you make the most of your precious retail space.

Its computer upgrade season: Is an i9 computer worth It for your shop

POS SOFTWARE

Fustration running a slow computer

As we approach the end of the financial year, many people are now considering upgrading their point-of-sale (POS) systems. There are sound financial reasons for many to do it now. Besides, this is the time of year when people start to look at the following year. If so, you're likely debating the merits of a computer with an i7 processor or the more powerful i9.

Let's face it: no one likes slow transaction times, long customer waits, inventory management headaches, or lost sales due to outdated technology. So, let's explain why this decision matters for your POS setup and how to make the right choice!

POS Systems and the Power of SQL

Your POS software is more than just a fancy cash register. Behind the scenes, it relies on a database system that uses a system (SQL) to store and manage all your information – think of your product details, current inventory, supplier records, and sales history. The faster and more efficiently your computer can process your instructions, the smoother your POS experience will be.

Massive Databases: POS Systems have large databases

Complex Queries: A modern POS System does use very complex calculations 

Time: No one likes to use a slow computer. Neither the operator nor the customer who is waiting for you to do the transaction

All things being equal, the more powerful i9 is better than the i7. But things are never equal. 

Budget Conscious: i7s deliver excellent value for the price.

People's feelings: No one likes using old technology

My pros and cons

  1. i7 vs. i9

    •  i7:
      • Pros:
        • Cost-effective: Core i7 CPUs are often more affordable.
        • Suitable for most general computing tasks, including SQL queries.
        • Good balance of performance for everyday use.
      • Cons:
        • It will be slower when handling extremely large or complex SQL databases
    • Core i9:
      • Pros:
        • Exceptional performance: Ideal for demanding workloads
        • More cores and threads: Better multitasking capabilities.
        • Larger cache for faster data access.
      • Cons:
        • Dearer
  2. SQL-Specific Considerations

    • Query Execution Speed:
      • Core i9’s additional cores and higher clock speeds can significantly improve SQL query execution times.
    • Parallel Processing:
      • Core i9’s multithreading capabilities allow it to handle multiple SQL queries simultaneously.
    • Data Loading and Indexing:
      • Core i9’s more extensive cache benefits SQL database data loading and indexing tasks.

Don't Forget the Rest!

No matter which you choose, make sure your system also has the following:

  • Speedy Storage: An SSD (or, even better, an NVMe SSD) will make a massive difference in overall system speed.
  • RAM:  Get fast RAM and a decent amount. Don't skimp here.
  • Fast network: One can often speed up your systems by putting in modern network cards

The Verdict

Investing in a faster computer can save time and less frustration if you run a busy retail store with extensive inventory or complex reporting needs.

If you want to compare different computers, click here.

Let us know, and we will provide tailored advice!

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Prepare for Mother's Day Sales with Your POS System

POS SOFTWARE

Mother's Day 2024
Mother's Day is an excellent opportunity for retailers. It is now the third-largest retail season of the year!

Australians are expected to spend $995 million on Mother's Day this year, up 7.5% from the previous year, which also set a record. We can anticipate fewer customers overall due to the current cost-of-living pressure, but those who do plan to buy will be spending more, as the projected gift purchase is set to jump from $92 to $102 per person.

People will buy candles, books, clothes, personalized items, etc.

Here's How to Use Your POS System for Mother's Day Success:

Prioritize Convenience & Inspiration

25% of Mother's Day shoppers cite convenience as their top priority when selecting gifts. Many are short on time and looking for ready-to-go options and ideas. Cater to these needs with:

  • Dedicated Mother's Day Display: Create an eye-catching, centralized display showcasing your giftable Mother's Day merchandise. Clear signage guides hurried shoppers straight to this "grab-and-go" section.

  • Pre-Bundled Gift Sets: Offer assembled gift sets (e.g. a plush robe with slippers and a candle) to reduce decision fatigue for stressed shoppers. This also increases the average order value.

  • Diverse Gift Options: While many buy for their mothers, around 19% gift maternal figures like partners, friends, in-laws, grandmothers, sisters, or daughters. Ensure a wide assortment to serve all customers.

Data-Driven Product Assortment

Let your POS data guide your product selections and purchase quantities by analyzing what historically sold well for Mother's Day:

  1. Access Historical Sales Reports: Look for "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period" or a similar report in your POS backend.

Go to Register reports.

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

In the form, put the date a late year for now to Sunday, 14 May 2023. These are the items that worked for you then. Hopefully, you have them now.

Check Pre-Pandemic Sales: Generate this report for the week leading up to Mother's Day 2019 to understand pre-COVID buying patterns.

Find the Sales Sweet Spot: This year's sales will likely blend 2019 and 2023 patterns. 

Stock accordingly while leaving buffer room for demand fluctuations. Make data-driven purchases to ensure you have the right gift assortment and volumes.

Maximize Your Promotions & Operations

Even with its short sales cycle, Mother's Day can significantly impact your bottom line if well-executed. Prepare with these strategies:

  • Promote Early & Often: A simple sign on the window can do wonders in practice.

  • Highlight This Year's Gift Trends: People tell me that recipe books are expected to be good sellers.

  • Offer Gift Services: Consider simple add-ons like gift wrapping, which saves customers time and increases your transaction value.

  • Staff Appropriately: Schedule enough sales staff. Use your traffic reports, as this will tell you how busy you were last year. 

Please go to Traffic analysis, which you will find in register reports > Sales.
 

 

Now, here, select "Traffic Analysis by Trading Hour."
 

Put in here the week before that includes Mother's Day

Now out pops a chart, which shows by customers how busy the shop was per day. This will tell you how busy the till operators were with colour coding.

 

By combining strategic planning, operational readiness, and leveraging your POS data, you can deliver outstanding service while capturing maximum Mother's Day profits.

The Payoff of Prioritizing Mother's Day

Mother's Day is not only a chance to delight your customers and honour maternal figures. It's also an enormous money-making opportunity for retailers willing to put in the work.

With some upfront analysis of your POS data, an assortment of giftable products tailored to trends, convenient shopping experiences, and well-promoted offerings, you can transform this spring occasion into a massive revenue windfall.

So start preparing your business for Mother's Day! 

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Boost Sales with Digital Signage

POS SOFTWARE

A shop window with a TV at night showcasing its goods

In the ever-evolving retail landscape, businesses need every edge to stand out, connect with customers, and boost their bottom line. Digital signage is a key to unlocking a new level of in-store engagement, adaptability, and brand impact that static signs can't compete.

Dazzle Customers and Drive Engagement

People today are trained to look at screens. If we see a screen, we look. This is partly why digital signage makes your business shine. Also, the vibrant colours, captivating animations, and immersive videos help. This draws customers in and leaves a lasting impression.

Setting Up Your Digital Signage: What You'll Need

While digital signage offers benefits, let's break down the key steps:

  • Look at what others are doing:  The best way to get ideas is to go to other shops, look at the signs, and see what digital signs you like there. If you like it, I am sure others will too.
  • Measure out the area in your shop: Try to get an idea of the size that suits your space.
  • Screens: This is the centrepiece of your setup! If you have an old TV at home or a spare computer screen, consider using that. Otherwise, you can get a relatively cheap screen or digital photo framer. A digital photo framer starts at about $85.
  • Computer or USB: Some screens need a computer to run, while others, such as a digital photo framer, can use a USB stick. 
  • Slideshow Maker: This is the heart of your signage system. Look for some user-friendly software that lets you create media content. I am not recommending one now, as the only one I know is Proshow, and it's off the market. If you use a professional photographer, you do not need this.
  • Mounting and Installation: Consider professional installation for a polished look and safe, secure screen placement.
  • Picture of your shop and goods: A good smartphone today can do this. You can take many photos and permanently delete the bad ones. You are not going to complain if you have too many images. For a five-minute presentation, you need about 40 images.  For information how to do this click here.
  • Some time: On the first few, it does take some time to learn, but after that, it is really quick.

Advantages of doing it yourself

You can change to fit your retail trends, sales, weather, etc. Everything can influence what messages your customers need. You can update your displays based on your latest products, promotions, and seasonal content or even react to the news. This gives you both adaptability and keeps your store's message dynamic and relevant.

Your Brand, your control

You control the message. The screen sells your products.

It works Day and Night selling your products and services

You can put a screen in the window and it can market your goods and services 24x7.

Gaining a Competitive Edge

In a crowded marketplace, digital signage advertises your shop. Its dynamic nature and ability to wow customers give you a serious advantage over traditional, static displays. People looking at your window will take a few seconds to look at a static sign and much longer looking at a dgital one.

 

The Time is Now

Keep your company from falling behind! Digital signage is the way of the future, not a fad. You may modernise your business, provide customers with a shopping experience, and make more sales by utilising this technology.

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Top 5 Insurance Claims Aussie SMEs Need to Brace For

POS SOFTWARE

Insurance a person falling in shop

I received a study from my insurance company and found it interesting and useful, so I thought it would be useful to my clients, too. 

We all know running a retail business in Australia takes dedication and a keen eye for managing risks. Understanding the most common reasons for insurance claims can help us protect our business. Here, I will discuss the top five insurance claims that we face, plus some actionable tips to help you reduce your risks.

One point I will say before I even start getting a few quotes: I was quoted $20,000 by one insurance company and another $5,000 for what looked to be similar policies, Did you figure out why the big difference, I could not?

1. Theft and Burglary: Protecting Your Assets

Retail businesses are tempting targets for criminals, so you need a security plan. Here's how to deter thieves and protect what you've built:

  • Cameras: Install a good system, I had one client put one in the backroom and discovered that thieves were coming through a small window and taking things.
  • Good alarm: They do work; one caveat is that a modern thief often knows how long he has before the police come from when the alarm goes off. I had one client who had frequent breaks in his shop. The thief would break the window, run in, take some items, run out, go in the car, and be gone by the time the police arrived.
  • Secure every entry point: Use robust locks on all doors and windows, and don't overlook potential vulnerabilities like ceiling spaces or vents.
  • Let there be light: Good lighting deters criminals and makes suspicious activity harder to hide.
  • Background checks and a vigilant team: Screen employees carefully, have a clear anti-theft policy, and encourage staff to report anything unusual.
  • Track your valuables: In your POS Software, you have an asset register; why not use it?  
  • Consider extra protection: Consider a locked display stand for businesses with high-value goods or in high-crime areas. 

2. Storm Damage: When Mother Nature Strikes

The increasing intensity of storms makes it crucial to protect your business. Water damage, power surges, and building collapse from strong winds can quickly disrupt your operations.

  • Maintain your roof and ceilings: Regular inspections and repairs can prevent devastating leaks and structural problems. 
  • Don't let water linger: Clear gutters, drains, and downpipes to prevent flooding risks.
  • Trim those trees: Overhanging branches pose a significant risk during storms. I had a client who had a tree branch storm fall on his roof and smash into his shop.
  • Safeguard your electronics: Turn off equipment you do not use at night; saving you money on electrical bills and saving a few trees will stop electrical surges. A good UPS  can also help protect your computer from surges often during storms.

3. Liability Claims: Safety is your responsibility

Protect your business from these costly scenarios:

  • Safety first: Keep floors clean and dry, mark any hazards, and ensure good lighting, especially in customer-facing areas.
  • Restrict access to hazardous areas: Identify areas with machinery, dangerous substances, or work in progress and limit public access.
  • Train your team: Educate them on handling customers' property, safety procedures, and how to prevent accidents.
  • Quality control is critical: Make sure your products meet all safety standards and have robust checks throughout production.
  • Cameras: If people fall, it's great to have camera footage to record what happened; it may help in court.

4. Property Damage:

Property damage is a big one.

  • Maintenance matters: Regular repairs and servicing might seem expensive, but they're far cheaper than dealing with significant damage later. A client had a roof that leaked and ruined a lot of stock with water damage. He thought it was a one-off, so he left it. A few days later, another big rain happened, and it leaked again.
  • Please keep it clean: Promptly remove waste and clutter to discourage pests, reduce fire risks, and prevent trip hazards.

5. Machinery/Equipment Breakdown: When Your Tools Let You Down

Relying on machinery and equipment means being prepared for potential breakdowns. Minimize costly downtime with these steps:

  • Store it right: Proper storage conditions protect equipment from dust, moisture, and extreme temperatures. 
  • Know how to use it: Ensure you know how to use and care for the machinery.
  • Don't ignore warning signs: If a machine starts acting up, investigate and fix the issue promptly to avoid a major breakdown. A computer making funny noises is actually saying something.
  • Have a backup plan: Consider how you'll keep operating or minimize impact if a critical piece of equipment fails.

Conclusion

By understanding these top risks, SMEs can proactively safeguard their business. Investing in security, prioritizing maintenance, and fostering a culture of safety awareness is key. Remember, insurance although a valuable safety net, is only a last resort.

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Get faster POS Software Performance now

POS SOFTWARE

Time to get a new network

Today, in retail, speed is so important. A slow point-of-sale (POS) system costs you time, money, and customers. The most successful solution now for speed is upgrading your network. We can turbocharge your POS System performance to get more speed.

Your Network: The Backbone of Your POS System

Picture your network as the highway system connecting all the parts of your POS Software system. Like a highway, a strong network lets information zip back and forth without slowdowns. If your network is old, outdated, or suffering under too much load, your speed will go down, and you and your customers will feel it.

Consumer Report study found:

That customers were willing to wait for 13 minutes, but disturbingly found Almost two-thirds said they would wait two minutes or less and 13% said that "no wait time is acceptable."

Upgrade Your Network Cards: The Game-Changer

Modernizing your network cards is one of the most powerful ways to speed up your POS. Think of these cards as the traffic cops directing data on your network. Older cards can get overwhelmed, creating digital bottlenecks. Newer models offer:

  • Wider Roads (Higher Bandwidth): More data can flow simultaneously, making transactions lightning-fast.
  • Security Checkpoints: The latest protection protects your data from cyber threats that could crash your system.
  • Smooth Sailing: Updated cards work better with the latest POS software and hardware, meaning fewer compatibility headaches.

Don't Forget Windows Updates!

Just like you keep your store looking its best, keeping Windows updated is super important for your POS. Updates aren't just about security– they also fix bugs, boost performance, and ensure your system plays nicely with all your devices. Think of it as a regular tune-up for your POS!

Upgrade Teamwork: Network + Windows

Upgraded network cards and up-to-date Windows are the absolute dream team. That's when you get the smoothest, fastest system possible. Imagine a super-efficient highway with the best traffic control working together – now your POS data can fly!

Watch Out for Outdated Cables

Your cables play a surprisingly important role in your network's overall health. Outdated network cables frequently become damaged, worn, or lack modern technology, slowing down your POS System. If your store still uses older cables, they could be causing bottlenecks that slow down your POS. Upgrading to newer, more robust cables can make a noticeable difference in speed and stability.

Real Businesses, Real Results

Here's what other retailers are saying about network upgrades:

  • "Our system was constantly lagging, especially when it got busy. After upgrading, we're processing sales way faster. Customers are happier, we're happier!" 
  • "Keeping customers moving fast was a big worry. The new network features and Windows updates have made our system run even better."

The Bottom Line: Your POS Can Be Amazing

Don't let a slow network hold you back! By investing a bit of time and attention into modernizing your network cards and keeping Windows updated, you'll unlock the full incredible power of your POS software. Say hello to blazing-fast transactions, super-satisfied customers, and a business ready to take off.

Ready to Upgrade Your POS Performance?

  • Check Your Network Cards: Need advice on what upgrades make sense? We're here to help!
  • Get Those Windows Updates: It's easy and makes a big difference.

Let us know how we can help you achieve lightning-fast POS performance!

Comments

Improving POS software performance is crucial for businesses aiming to enhance customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Looking forward to experiencing the speed boost and smoother transactions with this update

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The Alarming Rise of Shoplifting in Retail, in early 2024

POS SOFTWARE

Areas marked for high shoptheft

The retail industry is facing a crisis. Since COVID struck, we have seen shoplifting incidents rising across Australia. This threatens the livelihoods of retail and undermines the safety of our communities. This surge should alert retailers, law enforcement, and industry bodies alike to clarify that urgent action is needed.

The Sobering Reality: Staggering Statistics

Here are some statistics from Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency in their latest report.

Shoplifting offences had increased in the 12 months to September by 7308, or 27.9 per cent, to 26,229 – the highest on record.

I found some figures for some other states here

This is a summary of the stark picture:

  • Victoria: Shoplifting offences increased 27.9% in just 12 months, reaching 26,229 incidents—an all-time high.
  • Western Australia: Shoplifting is up over 40% compared to last year, significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
  • New South Wales: A 36.1% surge in offences totalling 27,015, surpassing figures from previous years.
  • Queensland: Shoplifting incidents were consistently higher in 2023 than in any month of the past two decades.
  • South Australia: A shocking 31% increase in offences, with 17,572 cases recorded.

I just got some figures from the United Kingdom. 

Their figures mirror this trend, with a 37% jump in offences, the highest since records began in 2003.

The Root of the Problem: More Than Just Cost of Living

In my experience, while the rising living costs may contribute, but the erosion of law enforcement also plays a significant role in fueling this shoplifting epidemic.

Your Bottom Line: Understanding Shrinkage

The critical first step for any retailer is understanding your "shrinkage." This is the gap between the inventory you should have and what you have. Shrinkage is caused by:

  • Shoplifting
  • Employee theft
  • Errors & paperwork mistakes
  • Spoilage & damage

Calculating Shrinkage:

  1. Full Formula: (Starting Inventory) + (Purchases) - (Sales) * (1-Profit Margin) - (Ending Inventory) = Shrinkage
  2. Quick Estimate: (Purchases) - (Sales) * (1-Profit Margin) = Approx. Shrinkage
  3. Shoplifting Rule of Thumb: Roughly 1/3 of shrinkage is often due to shoplifting.

Why Calculate?

  • Awareness: Forces you to face the actual impact on your business.
  • Targets Prevention: Is it specific items? A problem aisle? Numbers guide solutions.
  • Measure Improvement: Did your new security measures reduce shrinkage?

Make a planogram for shoplifting.

This tells you the extent of the problem by quantifying current shrinkage levels and identifying problem areas. Drawing problem planograms in the shop of the problem places helps a lot.

Planogram of the shop

A picture is worth a thousand words.

This image could be a planogram of your shop with your problem areas marked.

The information is available from your stocktake figures.

Blue = Good

Yellow = Moderate to bad

Red = Very bad

blank = Zero

See how it visually shows the problem areas.

Detail on how to do it are available here.

YOUR Business Defense Checklist

The fight against shoplifting demands a comprehensive approach:

  • Staff are Key: Train employees to spot shoplifters, intervene safely, and understand protocol.
  • Technology as Ally: Invest in modern security systems, such as cameras, anti-theft tags, and data analytics to spot patterns.
  • Eyes on the Floor: Redesign aisles for visibility and remove blind spots where thieves hide. Do a simple experiment: walk around your shop and imagine you are a shoplifter. Now, where do you strike?
  • Draw a map of your shop: Mark the places with the highest shoplifting. Details above.
  • Never Stop Learning: Shoplifting tactics evolve; look up YouTube as many shoplifters explain how they do it. 

Calculate Your Shrinkage Now

The fight against shoplifting is an ongoing battle for the soul of our retail sector. By understanding your losses and acting decisively, you protect not only your own business but the well-being of your entire community. Let's stand together to make our stores safer and our businesses stronger and reclaim a sense of security for everyone.

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Best Practices for Managing User Identifiers

POS SOFTWARE

 

Safeguard Your Retail Business by ensuring accountability.

Running a retail business means every transaction matters. That's why managing user identifiers (IDs) in your point of sale (POS) software is critical for protecting your data and ensuring everyone is accountable. Our goal is to help businesses like yours stay secure. From bitter experience, I can tell you that most problems here are not the controls in the system but people not using them. Let's dive into the why and how of effective user ID management!

Why Unique User Identifiers Matter

Simple: one employee, one ID. Here's why that rule is so essential:

  • Accountability: Unique IDs allow you to track precisely who did what in the system. This is vital for solving problems, addressing concerns, and keeping clear records.
  • Data Integrity: Shared IDs open the door for errors or intentional wrongdoing. Individual IDs keep your sales records accurate and trustworthy.
  • Performance Monitoring: Unique IDs let you see how individuals are performing. This helps recognise star employees or find areas where extra training might be needed for the whole team.

Implementation and Best Practices

Ready to boost your security? Follow these key steps:

  1. Secure Credentials: Create strict rules for passwords (demand a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols!) that must be changed regularly. Birthdays are a joke.
  2. Limit Access: Give each person the minimum level of system access they need to get their job done.
  3. Audit Trails: Detailed logs show who did what (and when) once you do this. These are your best friend when investigating anything unusual.
  4. User Training: Make it clear how important it is for everyone to protect their own ID and to report anything suspicious they see.
  5. Regular Reviews: Deactivate old IDs when employees leave and double-check that everyone's access levels still match their current job duties.

Real-World Impact: Why This Matters

I learned firsthand how critical unique IDs are when our client faces a legal issue. Their POS records were thrown out in court because the shared login meant anyone could have taken the actions in question. That's a risk no business needs!

Conclusion

Managing user IDs correctly is key to a secure and well-run retail operation. By taking the steps we discussed—those unique IDs, careful access levels, and clear records—you're investing in a stronger and more reliable business.

 

ANZAC Day 2024 - POS Software Support

POS SOFTWARE

ANZAC Day is more than just a public holiday in Australia. It's a day when we come together to remember the brave men and women who have served our country in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping missions. It's a day of reflection, gratitude, and respect.

 

My Connection

I've always held a special place in my heart for ANZAC Day. I remember my Dad, a World War II veteran who fought in New Guinea in WW2, taking me to the Dawn Service, and I saw him march when I was a kid. I remember him marching in the unit; sadly, I doubt any of them are still with us. Many years later, I remember my aunty looking with me at the march, saying even the Korean War veterans look old. 

Do you remember this photo that went viral a few years back?

She was 99 years old then and stated it would be her last march.

Support on ANZAC Day

Rest assured, our after-hours and after-hours support lines will be fully operational throughout the day, giving you peace of mind.

Remember, many retailers adjust their opening hours on ANZAC Day, so you might too.

Lest We Forget

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Navigating 2024, from the poll research

POS SOFTWARE

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

What we do know is that retailers face obstacles.

- We have a rising cost of living

- We have significant supply chain challenges

- Shifting consumer preferences

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

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

Key Takeaways from the Roy Morgan Address

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

The Rise of Online Giants

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

What Does This Mean for Aussie Retailers?

Paul Zara and Laura Deasi offered valuable advice and considerations:

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

Your Competitive Edge: The Human Element

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

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

The Future of Retail – Adapt and Thrive

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

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

To do well in 2024, we need to focus. 

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

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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

POS SOFTWARE

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

The Australian Cash Exodus

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

Convenience and Security

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

Smartphone payment with security

Brick-and-Mortar Retailers: Time to Adapt

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

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

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

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

Embracing the Cashless Evolution

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

A Personal Note

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

Ready to Make the Shift?

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

 

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Modern laptops, powerful tools for your business

POS SOFTWARE

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

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

Meeting with laptops

Let's Talk Laptops

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

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

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

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

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

The Power in Your Hands

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

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

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

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

Ready to Make the Leap?

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

 

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

POS SOFTWARE

 

Today is a continuing rant.

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

Perfectionism Kills Progress

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

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

The Power of 'Something' - Start Now

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

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

Think About It:

Imagine you're a retailer:

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

Which option makes more business sense?

The Point of POS

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

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

The Benefits of Doing Something

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

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

Conclusion

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

For a case study, click here.

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

 

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

POS SOFTWARE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Protecting Your Precious Data on CDs and DVDs:

It depends on three main factors:

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

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

Long term CD and DVD life

3) Environment matters!

Pick a place 

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

Cloud Storage

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

Pros:

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

Cons:

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

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

Summing up:

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

Long term storage

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

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

 

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