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POS SOFTWARE

It appears the next major gift show in Australia will be next year in Sydney.  

This is not unexpected, but it isn't pleasant, although we can all understand the many challenges of holding this proposed show.

The catalogue, although helpful, is not going to provide much of an opportunity to develop relationships with suppliers, but at least it will allow you to research industry trends.

 

 

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POS SOFTWARE

About ten years ago, we were invited to a meeting of the Victorian News Agency Association. It was to discuss the launch of the "Love Your News Agent" campaign. This was to be an online advertisement that was to be the beginning of a national campaign. At the time, we believed that this was vital to the industry. Unfortunately, after weeks of planning and some strategy formulation, it never took off.

It was great at first. It got some good sponsors, and it had some good awards. There was nothing wrong with travelling to Hawaii for two, but it started to go downhill as time passed.

You figure out what went wrong!

Some people were disappointed by the marketing. I was too. I told a member of the VANA committee that it was the wrong messages you are sending. For example, when COVID-19 hit, they needed to emphasize that newsagencies are part of the community. That we are in this together. 

I was stunned at National Newsagent Week when this was how the website looked. I would have done a better page for VANA for free to help. We do lots of websites, probably more than anyone in our marketspace.

The bigger problem seems to be a lack of interest. Maybe they believed that as they did not get the desired result immediately to drop it. I know this can be frustrating. Few people are willing to invest time and money in a failed campaign. Even fewer to support a loser. But at the same time, they needed to give the campaign enough time to be successful. This is why a timetable needs to be set early because campaigns must be given time. They also need goals to measure their progress.

If you visit the site, it seems to be over now!

Shame. Great shame.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Recently Buy now, pay later (BNPL) service providers such as Afterpay and Zip have experienced dramatic growth. With many of our clients, these now make up a large proportion of their sales.  It is predicted that soon as the big banks enter this market, their growth will significantly increase.

Yesterday the Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO commented on Afterpay and other such BNPL providers.  Some of his remarks would be of interest to our readers here.

What he stated was that "companies like Afterpay and Zip are charging very high merchant fees of up to 7%." He also complained that merchants should be able to pass this fee to the consumer. If you read the refutal by two BNPL providers in the link, neither disputed these claims.

Today in most business, BNPL is low-cost to the consumer as they are paying most of it. A BNPL platform like Afterpay or Zip charges a typical client of mine about 7% of the transaction amount. This is much higher than other forms of payment, such as debit and credit cards. Plus, unlike debit and credit cards, it is hard for them to charge a merchant fee.

The principal way merchants can recoup this cost is to increase their prices to cover the merchant fees. 

Often most accept the loss because of the BNPL's lead generation and because it's a cheaper and better option than their layby service.

There are two big questions on BNPL. I am wondering:

1) If the government allows merchants to charge the BNPL costs, how many customers would use them?

2) How many merchants will use Afterpay or Zip if the big banks come into this space with merchant costs of .5% to 2%. This what they are talking of doing now?

I am hoping that the big banks do come into this space ASAP.

Anyway, have a read and let me know what you think?

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POS SOFTWARE

Many of our clients are reporting that their sales slightly down. Yet there are significant changes in Australia's shoppers'  behaviour from coronavirus.

As readers know we have an inbuilt traffic monitoring software in our POS Software. This will show what it can do.

This chart is overall retail traffic above by Kepler, a well-known traffic measurement consulting company in Australia for the last week of January. You can find it here.

I will take you through the options so you can see how Australians shoppers are changing.  

The most important lines are green which is this year and yellow that is last year. 

On the top left, you can see the PASSER-BY by weeks. This measures the number of people that walked past shops. As you can see this fell by 5.3%, what it means is that fewer people are coming now to window shop. 

But look at the chart labelled SFC, (middle right) this is the ratio of transactions to those who came into the shop. Then look at the chart ATV, which shows the transaction value that the shoppers are doing. Both are up. Shoppers are buying more.

As I stated here before, COVID has changed the priority for shoppers. They are now are not window-shopping.  They are not going to an enclosed shopping centre to spend a day socialising with friends over lunch and buying.  They know what they want. They are coming to get it. So they are going shopping on a planned mission, to an open street close to them. 

As such they are now trying new shops. So I expect that people you have never seen are coming to your shop.

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POS SOFTWARE

If you are using Newspower to buy ink sales, be aware that there is a problem with the current category file. What it is, is the descriptions have been duplicated. See here.

 

If you try to do a regular import, all the inkjets will become Brother LC38. 

We have notified Newpower and a fix will be released soon. Until then, do not do the import.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Now we have to manage retail queues in a COVID world. 

These signs were all over a significant shopping centre DFO in Melbourne on Saturday.

What is happening is that shoppers in Melbourne were out in large numbers on Saturday. Yet shops can now, due to government restrictions, only have limited numbers in the shop at any one time, so queue management has become more critical than ever.

So one solution was that, in theory, they introduced maximum queue sizes. It does not look like the public went for it, though. Queues went way beyond the signs.

 


 


 

 

 

Also, what all shops had was a security guard doing queue management.
 

 



Still, I suspect it was a good boxing day in sales there.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

We are clarifying here the situation now of linking the Tabcorp machines into POS software like ours. 

This is a project that is being administrated by XChangeIT and shows much potential.

 

 

So for months now, we have been linking Tabcorp machines into our software. Directly many of our clients are now connected.  This is saving them a lot of time.

It allows sales through the Tabcorp system to get into our software electronically and semi-automated. It is:

- Faster
- Means less work for you to do.
- Has less chance of errors 
- Gives you better independent reconciliation.

As a bonus, if you want more control and/or do loyalty marketing, you can assign the Tabcorp sales to a person.

It is free to all XChangeiT customers.

*BUT* and there is always a but 

It is only available currently in South Australia. So we have for months have rolled it out to our relevant South Australian customers.  We have been waiting for the word to link in the rest of our customers.  

Yesterday, I asked for clarification and information from XChangeIT about rolling this out to all our clients. 

They told me this. 

"We await some Tabcorp material and it should be available for the January effort. This is because it looks like we will only be piloting in SA until then. If we get it sooner, I’ll pass it on."

If you want more details, click here.

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POS SOFTWARE

The sale of POS Hardware such as scanners, printers, and scales is now on. What is happening is that importers of such equipment have been sitting on stock. Less has moved then expected.  They also know that few new sales are coming till mid-January. So they are ringing us up and telling us that they are doing deals to move stock now to raise funds. 

So if you are thinking of upgrading your Point of Sale equipment, now is an excellent time.

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POS SOFTWARE

Everyone is so relieved in retail that we are open for business with most retail staff returning. So no-one, unlike past years, has given us their predictions. It's so hard as it is so different this year from anything we have experienced.

My thoughts, the buying public is not spending their money on concerts, restaurants, holidays, cars, etc. 

Many still have Jobkeeper. 

The public has money, they are cashed up.

The question is, what are they going to do with this cash? 

In our market-space, I am optimistic. We have spoken to our clients, and most report that it looks up. Also, the public is not going anywhere. They will be avoiding crowds. That means to go out it is close friends and families, so they need gifts. They will want Lotto. They also have a big shopping list because now they have several months of demand behind them and what better time to buy than Christmas? Even if they buy much more online, which most of our clients should be on now too, at least 80% plus will come from the retail shops. That is a lot of business assuming they spend.

When I did a google trend analysis for the past month, it shows an upward Christmas trend.


Blue is 2020. Red is 2019. Yellow is 2018, so the interest is there.

So curiously it looks good for Christmas for retailers this year. 

Your marketing should shift to what is happening now where we are seeing as a localised and make it loyalty-based.

Your thoughts?

In any case, make sure your prepared.

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POS SOFTWARE

We just received confirmation that all Melbournians have been waiting for the State Government to announce that hospitality, beauty, and retail businesses in metropolitan Melbourne can open their doors from 11.59 pm Tuesday 27 October.

I and probably most of the state were going close to crazy. It is our fault as no other state stuffed COVID so badly as Victoria.

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