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We have all had shop assistants asking if they can help.  Most customers say they do not like to be disturbed by shop assistants. It's a fact, but is not disturbing them the best thing for the shop? 

If you want something to think about in your shop, have a chew on this study here. This study points that out.

"Shoppers who interact with a sales associate are 43 percent more likely to purchase a product, and their transactions have 81 percent more value, compared to those who don't interact with an associate. In addition, they are 12 percent more likely to revisit the store."

This is true of all shops; see here.

The orange is the increase in sales, notice the department store which is the least technical got the biggest percentage increase.

Let me give you a personal example. I went to a toy shop to buy a kid's present. I was unsure of what to get, so I appreciated it when a shop assistant suggested that I buy a kid's table set. So I bought it on her recommendation.

1) So your staff needs to know their products.

The study also states there are significant problems when customers can't find a shop assistant when they have questions. A negative experience can lead to customers going elsewhere.

2) So you have to make sure that your staff is at hand.

What is clear is that consumers do rely on interaction with your staff to make purchasing decisions. Helping them will lead to a significant increase in sales and repeat purchases.

Try it out now.

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POS SOFTWARE

VANA/NLNA has been pushing a new premium chocolate range. One of my competitors do not like the offering. Several asked what I thought of their comments. They are not unbiased observers either, but I suppose no one is. I can say that I have no financial or any other interest in the Newsbar offering nor am I likely to have such an interest.

What I do think is that many of my clients should look at the premium chocolate market. Here are some facts:

) There is no market dominance, and small companies are successful in this market. A few players do not own it.

) Many of my clients are in an excellent location to sell such products.

) The cost of entering this market for them is not high. The risks are small. If it does not work, sell the stock and exit.

) It allows a merchant to trade items on almost any holiday eg there are Valentine's day chocolate, green St. Patrick's Day chocolate, easter chocolates, etc. So bring in people into the shop.

) The current growth rate of the Australian chocolate market is about 7.8%. Growth is expected to continue at that rate for the next five years.

Sounds good to me.

Now let us get to the objections to Newsbar.

Yes, it would be wonderful if:

) A well-known brand company in premium chocolates

) Would be prepared to offer many small-to-medium-sized size businesses that have no history in premium chocolates

) An exclusive deal

) A 50% margin on the chocolate range,

) Promise to follow it up with millions of dollars in TV and billboard campaigns.

How many such companies do you see offering such a deal?

The reality is you do not need in premium chocolates to have millions of dollars in marketing behind you. Many premium chocolate companies are pretty small. I have many clients in premium chocolates. Both they and their suppliers are not such huge companies. I am sure you have seen such small premium chocolate places too.

The quality of the product.

This is the big question, the most critical question. If people like it, then they will come back. It is one I cannot know as I never tasted it. This is the most crucial consideration.

I have seen chocolate producers parade their high-quality goods, and they were no such thing; people were not fooled.

Mass marketing is not the important point here, a bad product will bomb no matter how much advertising you pump into it.

Is the Newsbar expensive at $5?

This depends on the quality. A cheap mass-market chocolate bar is generally about $1 to $2. A premium chocolate bar ranges typically from $9 to $15. So, depending on what it is, will determine this question.

Are the Newsbar margins huge at 50%?

Well, it depends on your perspective. If you concentrate on lotto, newspaper delivery, magazines, etc., the answer is YES. Conversely, if you are in a market where 60% to 70% is standard, then NO.

For premium chocolates, 50% is acceptable. 

One point that you need to check is that the margins are what is quoted. Sometimes suppliers fudge margins, as readers here will know, I have discussed this issue before here.

Is the Newsbar name a good one?

No. It does not conjures up an image suitable for premium chocolates. I think of a bar where I spent a lot of time in, with complimentary newspapers. Not the sort of image required to sell a premium item. It will be a problem if you are looking to sell a $5 chocolate bar.

Does these chocolate bars have to save any business?

It does not have to, a product that sells well gives good returns and is not difficult to handle is a good product should be considered.

Few things can save a world does that mean we should reject everything else.

These are my opinions, and if anyone wants to discuss them further happy to take it further.

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POS SOFTWARE

If so do not miss out on your Instant asset write-off again!

This tax write-off has saved a lot of money and improved the cash flow for my clients. So the good news was the extension of the instant asset write-off.  The better news was that it was increased to $150,000.

Tax details are here

Here is how it works

Say you were to buy a point of sale system for $5,000. Well, it does not cost you $5,000 as 10% of this is GST which you will be getting straight back so your proposed cost is $4,500.

The system without the Instant Tax write off would allow only 15% of this depreciation. This works out to a tax deduction of $675

- Let us say your company tax rate is about 26%, so you would get back $175.50 in income tax credits.

** This means to fund this in the first year it will cost $4324.50 **

Now with the Instant tax write off in place

- 100% of this would be depreciation

- If the company tax rate is again 26%, which means the business will get back $1170.00 in income tax credit.

** Which means that the business needs to fund this in the first year is $3330.00 ** a saving of you $994.50

This is a substantial saving!

Are you ready to take advantage of this threshold increase to get or upgrade a point of sale system from us? If so talk to us about how we can assist in keeping your business moving!

NOW is the time!

And please I am no accountant so check with your accountant about your situation first as it may be different.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

 

One of my clients got in some trouble recently over a "'No refund on sale items" sign. A lawyer who is one of their customers told them that they were "misrepresenting rights available to consumers." 

So if you wish to put up a no refund sign, use one from your state consumer affairs sign such as this example from VIC above

One worrying point is that many merchants do sometimes unload at significantly reduced prices goods that are defective. They admit that they are flawed and so sell it with an AS IS and NO Return clause.  I doubt legally this is correct.  You may want to check this situation if you do it a lot. If you get an answer, let me know.

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A late-payment policy is causing problems now.

They have always been a sore point at the best of times. Many have been waving the fee for the duration of this crisis. Some have asked people to contact them to discuss it on an individual basis.  Let face it people have lost jobs and many have suffered a major loss of income. Now not the time to act heartless.

Now that it looks like the immediate crisis is over. People are returning back to work, Victoria is the last with the 30th of November. 

So now what are you going to do?

Let me know?

If you want to know which customers are now affected? 

1. From the Main Menu, go to Customers and then Customer Reports.
2. Double-click on the Customer Accounts options to expand the report.
3. Click on the Accounts Options report and then click the Go to Criteria Report.
4. Select any options on this screen and then click the Show report.
5. The customers set to receive a late payment fee will have Yes in the LateFee column.

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POS SOFTWARE

 

A warehouse or kitchen in a restaurant is often hot, dirty, and greasy places.  Environments that are not good for computers. What used to happen is that we would put in a receipt printer in such areas. The idea being is that someone would take the packing slip from the printer. Then put it on a rack for someone else to grab it and process it.

This does present problems. 
-The order must be processed in realtime, not in advance. 
-Someone has to watch the receipt printer. 
-These packing slips get grabbed by people with dirty hands. 
-Often, these slips get misplaced.

In practice, what we find the biggest problem is if changes are made on the order.  Say five items are on the packing slip, but the customer cancels one. The packer or kitchen hand processes the five; soon, the customer gets five things and pays for four. 

These KDS are displays that show people at the required time, all the information they need. 

It then allows them to send messages that their part is done electronically. This significantly increases efficiency and also reduces the clamor and noise.

It is not surprising that now many of our sales now include units. 

The software for such units is free for our clients.

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POS SOFTWARE

Today much of the time taken to process a transaction is independent of the point of sale software. 

Greet a customer with a friendly smile.
Say hello.
Process the transaction
The cash handling or EFTPOS
Goodbyes are said, 
The customer collects the goods and goes. 

The industry standard is now about 40 seconds a transaction plus three seconds for each item scanned.  

So if a customer is buying three items, the time is about 40 seconds plus three items in their basket at 3 seconds each, so it's about 50 seconds. 

But sometimes, the retailer needs speed.  Please take a look at how quickly one of our clients could process cash register transactions.

 


 

These were going through at speeds from 1.6 seconds with an average of 3 seconds a transaction. This is with five operators pounding in transactions one after another. It was not even on a supercomputer. It was quite an ordinary one.

To see what is happening with our point of sale system, I took about 20,000 cash register transactions.  

Here the average speed of a transaction was about 36 seconds a sale.  I expected this as our clients tend to have low numbers in their baskets and are almost always in high volume environments. 

Here is what the graph looks like, but our system can go lightning fast if you look at the above graph.

 

Cash register transaction speeds

As you can see in a pinch, our clients were doing transactions much less than 36 seconds, as you can see here in seconds.

Transaction speed raw data

Besides all its other benefits, our point of sale system (POS) will allow you to serve more customers in less time efficiently. 

On speed, it will match any system on the market.

 

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It seems to be some problems with the banks now. At first, we thought it was only CBA, but it appears when I talk to our support that a few other banks like NAB are also affected. It's one of those things that we cannot do anything about but wait out.

 

 

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Charges are now all over the place. I have noticed looking at some statements from a major bank. It probably not because of a change in bank rates.

People are now using EFTPOS much more for smaller transactions. This is causing more transactions with lower average amounts. I suspect this has resulted in a different item on the EFTPOS rate card coming up. So the fees are now different.

So it is worth reviewing the fees you are getting now.

If they need to be changed, this is the best method for surcharging.

Cash register with credit EFTPOS displayed

If you look at the yellow arrow with the pay types circled on the point-of-sale screen. You set up your pay types with your surcharges to charge the new EFTPOS/Credit card surcharges for each pay type at the appropriate rate.

Note under Consumer Law provisions, you must be transparent about these fees. So it would be best if you displayed the fees prominently.

I recommend making a payment type with no fees under certain conditions and products eg, some EFTPOS transactions over $25 with no fees.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Most of us have bills and bills and bills.


 

Recently a company that collects debts from many companies released its findings.  It causes some comments.

The best day from looking at many companies for businesses getting paid was Thursday they claimed. They believe that this is because most people today receive their wages/salary on a Thursday. As they have money on Thursday, they spend it. Although they did not say it, people tend as well to get pensions on Thursday too. But it was interesting is that Sunday had the lowest clearance rate. It made sense if you think about it as about then most people would be budgeting for the coming week. 

So I decided to check using many of my clients' data, and what did I find? 

Well, some clients where all over the place. For example here is the result of four years by one of my clients.

Mon 13.3% Tues 16.4% Wed 8.6% Thu 14.2% Fri 10.3% Sat 37.2%

For this business, Saturday was best. I suspect it because they are in a small centre and people are coming to buy on that day the big weekly family shopping. As they are in the area, they come and pay. Why Tuesday was higher than Wednesday, makes sense as there is not much left on Wednesday. 

What it does show is what I have always said that all businesses are different. This is true even those that do the same things, and each needs to treated differently.

But overall the conclusion does seem correct as a rule, the day for people paying is Thursday. Here is my result from benchmarking 10 different clients over a number of years.

Mon 17.4% Tue 13.4% Wed 13.5% Thu 20.9% Fri 12.8% Sat 15.3% Sun 6.8%

 If you want to know what is your best day to get paid, you can work it out by using Ad Hoc reports.

You will find it here.

Register reports>Customers>Transactions (Excel)

 

So based on this if you are sending people bills, you need to make sure that they get your bills before Thursday. 

 

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