Coronavirus

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Coronavirus

You need to assess how your business is going

POS SOFTWARE

 

To move and improve your business, you need measurable facts. Experience and feel now will not cut it as we are not living in normal times.

So in your point of sale software let us get some information.

Go to reports and the click on sales

 

Point of sale menu selection for compare

What we are going to do here is to check how each department in your shop is doing in comparison to previous periods.

Select customer and put in May 2020 and compare it to May 2019.

Now out comes a report with the simplified options here

 

Comparison reports

 

Now there are lots of details for you to look. If you want to look at one department click on the left.

Now with all the detail, we put in you may want more. Say I wanted to know my average basket price in a department compared to last year to check if the public now is buying cheaper priced items. This is not in the report.

So on the top left-hand side is a little export button.

 

Export to excel

Now click to export to excel or OpenOffice (which we support and is free here). Once in a spreadsheet divide the qty into the sales to get the average basket value. Most people are reporting to me that the average basket values are up.

And that was the beginning of what you can do here.

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Frightening but think about your Business insurance

POS SOFTWARE

What if there is a riot?

What if your shop gets smashed?

Are you covered?

Imagine this is your shop. What are you thinking?

For many of us now as its, the financial end of the year and are insurance is now due, it might be a very good time to find out. Only about 50% of retail insurance packages cover such damage.

I was reading here of a shop keeper in the US, who had damage of almost a million dollars. Then they discovered that the insurance will not cover any of it as their policy does not include losses from civil disturbances. A million dollars is a lot of money to a small business like this that earns about $150,000 a year from the business.

An American a few months ago, told me when he was 18, that he stood in a neighbourhood vigilante squad armed with sticks and guns when riots took place there. Those riots devastated his town. Now I can now appreciate what he was talking about as now gun sales in the US are skyrocketing.

Well, 2020, has been eventful, we started with bushfires, a pandemic and now what is planned to top this.

Anyway, I am going to ask my insurance broker shortly about what exactly is covered and I suggest that you do so too.

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Changes you need to make - Shopping Habits have changed

POS SOFTWARE

COVID-19 has changed public shopping habits. 

So your shop needs some functional changes now.

In the past a store was more than a place to shop, it was a gathering place, a point of entertainment and a destination. This is no longer as shopping today carries increased risk. So many people are changing their shopping habits. 

What retailers are now debating is how permanent will these changes be, are they seismic. The big issue here is that people feel to create or change a habit people need about two months. As this crisis that we are in is going on that long, it can create change habits. This is something that now we can only speculate. Recent surveys have between 33% to 40% stating that they will change their shopping habits.

But, we can see what is different now!

This is why I attended an online conference on retail now and here are some points that need looking into.

Clean shop

Today people do not want to shop in a store that does not look clean and hygienic. Many stated that if in a shop that looked unsafe, they would walk out.

Your shop must look clean.

I would also suggest setting up a sanitiser station for your customers and a sign, this is not much of an ask. People will come to your shop to use the sanitiser.

Crowded areas

The public now does not like crowds.

Current requirements are the most number of people in a shop is the area in square metres divided by four. If your shop is 50 square metres, you can have about twelve people.

Make signs asking your clients to enforce social distancing.

Also, consider moving things around a bit to make the shop look bigger and to hid crowded areas.

 

EFTPOS

COVID-19 has accelerated the move to digital payments. Paypal claims that they have had five years of growth in months. Every client I speak too is recording much higher use of EFTPOS. Any shop now needs tap and go service.

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Extending birthday offers for loyalty marketing

POS SOFTWARE

With your Customer relationship management (CRM), why not now offer an extended birthday reward?

People respond positively to birthday greetings with a positive reaction, surveys show up to 88%. This is when people do some self-indulgence and spend. It possibly the most important marketing holiday in retail as nothing else seems to bring people in like a birthday offer. Here is a screenshot of a study.

 

According to a study, 51 percent of consumers do feel special if a retailer acknowledges their birthday, and 40 percent are more likely to shop at a retailer that recognises their birthday. I believe that as nothing seems to bring people into a shop than a birthday offer.

With our point of sale software, Birthday offers record typically of about 25% success.

Now because of the COVID-19, many people have missed their birthday and only now starting to come out. Why not offer an extended period on a birthday offer now? What you are saying is that we know you could not celebrate it then but now we are getting back to normal your reward is waiting for you to use.

Here is how it works and it is easy to set up, when you are entering a VIP customer, simply put in their birthday. It is much better if they use their real birthday but if not, put in their join date. You can always correct it later if they point it out.

 

Towards the end of the month, send a VIP email or letter to all your clients who have birthdays coming up next month with your offer.

 
 
You will quickly know how well it goes for you as using our point of sale software, which is the best CRM for small business, I have seen you will have access to targeted, data-driven marketing reports that let you know how it goes.
 

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You need a big screen monitor now

POS SOFTWARE

The coronavirus has caused significant change across all our lives. We all have to deal with the new normal. Today in the world of business, life moves on, and effective meetings need to be done. 

So today, almost all of us are using online meetings. 

This was a growing trend earlier but this pandemic has speeded up the process, and I am sure that this trend will continue even if COVID-19 suddenly disappeared. Today in Australia, court hearings are being done with zoom and skype.

 

Now I would say that every business needs the proper equipment to participate in these meetings.

What I suggest you need is to upgrade your back office computer by adding another monitor. 

This will give you a Dual Display, which allows you to participate with the online meeting and also get organised. , It is said that dual monitors increase productivity by 20-30 percent.

The monitor should have built-in speakers if your premises can use them, I think it looks better then a headphone and works better. Also like many others, I find extended use of a headphone painful on my ear. That is why I prefer to use the built-in speakers. 

Since you are going to be looking at people, not text for quite a while on these conferences, I would recommend a 4K display to see a decent image. Plus you need something that is a reasonable size so nothing smaller than a 27 inch. Who watches TV on small screens nowadays if they can help it.  Check it out and make sure that it is clear and has a readable screen (to prevent headaches), I prefer the brighter displays to cut down on the glare. Remember you are right in front of it for a long time.

What would you be able to see here say on a small screen?

With us, a typical online meeting has over eighty (80+) people attending. I have attended meetings with much more.

I use a 34-inch gaming monitor.

 

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We are a clean shop sign

POS SOFTWARE

This is a tip that I think will work.

Most of us are having our workplace now cleaned regularly for example, the front counter in many shops is wiped every hour. 

Why not make a sign in the window of what you are doing with a picture like this.

Our front counter because of COVID-19 is being cleaned and disinfected every hour. Deep cleans are done every XXX etc. If you are using, for example, a hospital-grade disinfectant, why not put it up too? 

It you have a hand sanitizer for the public use, why not make it a hand hygiene stations with a poster?.

If you have an email newsletter, why not show a photo of you doing it with a brief note?

Show them that you have a good hygiene program!

 

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Delivery changing your business model

POS SOFTWARE

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry  conducts regular surveys to see how businesses are adapting to the current crisis, we participate. What they have noticed is that many companies in Victoria are changing their delivery system. 

It makes sense if you think about it what business should and many are now thinking about customer values, rather than customer value to them. If you want customer loyalty, you need to realise that it works on both sides, customers and you.

Okay, ask yourself what is important to customers now and how has this COVID-19 pandemic changed their behaviour? What is important to them to help build a connection.  Consider offering more delivery and/or click and collect to your selling strategies.

The problem with delivery in Australia is that delivery costs are too high and unless the item is somewhere over $100, its not worth delivering. Click and collect add very little to the charges. It is convenient and fast.

Here is what one enterprising retailer, I saw who set it up.

The owner told me here, due to the success he is having with it, they intend to continue this once the lockdown ends.

My advice is to try these items and see what happens simply. You can also make adjustments as you go on, if it does not work you can stop it.

 

 

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How your community is moving differently due to Coronavirus

POS SOFTWARE

 

If you want to see precisely how this coronavirus pandemic has changed people movements in your area, check out the Community Mobility Reports from Google

It works from the location setting from android phones.

I found it interesting to see trends over time in places, particularly in retail areas. I am not sure what is going on, but the Eastern states' retailers are getting clobbered in visits while the other states are almost unaffected and in fact, in NT visits to the groceries and pharmacies are up 9%. You want to figure it out.

 

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To do list

POS SOFTWARE

Do it now

Our point of sale software can talk to two TO-DO planners. 

1) I use Todoist all the time. Using it, I note what needs to be done and when. What I particularly like is that I can plan on my computer and smartphone. It has a lot of options and excellent support.  

2) Wunderlist which I briefly used which I do not think its quite as good as Todoist, but it was excellent too. 

Unfortunately today Wunderlist stopped if you are one of our client using it consider switching to the new Microsoft To-do software. We have not yet done the integration into this Microsoft product, but we should be able to do it soon, and the lack of integration will not stop you from proceeding now.

As someone who knows the hustle and bustle of retail today with so many things required to stay on top of it, e.g. customers, staff, stock, supplier, etc., I know how difficult it can be organised. That is why having killer time management skills is critical to retail success.

Below are some handy pointers to help you do just that.

 

If you have not tried a computerised to-do list, either of those two above is an excellent place to start. I think you as many of my clients a significant improvement on a handwritten list with your time. 

Here are some advantages that I found in using a computerised to-do list.

Memory:

Unlike before I do not forget much any more! I can be anywhere when I realise that there is something that I have to do. Then I grab my phone, open my to-do app and write that task down. 

It creates order

My to-do list gives me every day is a list of things that I need to do. 

Prioritise

I can manage my tasks effectively according to time available, required date, time taken to do the job and its importance.

Rescheduling 

If you finish something quickly, a meeting gets reschedule, which is happening a lot now. I can reschedule.

Organise my time.

If something comes up unexpectedly and takes precedence in importance, I can quickly replan.

And if somehow I have some time, I can look for what can be done quickly in my spare time. 

Feeling Productive

I get a score about how well I am getting on with my task

Helps you to Delegate

To-do lists help you to delegate work. If you see the list is too long, you can find others to help you get things done, whether it is asking family members for a hand or hiring a job out.

Relieves Stress

Even I cannot do a task now. It is a great relief to note it down with a proposed plan of doing it.

I strongly suggest that you look into such software.

 

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Remember to backup

POS SOFTWARE

 

Just because of this, pandemic does not mean that backup should not be done.

A store yesterday discovered that their main computer was dead.

When I heard about it, I thought that this would be an easy fix.  We set up a computer with a system, load on their backup and off they go until their computer can be fixed.

However, soon I was told that they had no backup for weeks. With everything happening, no-one had been doing backups. All the book ups, payment history, etc. over the past few weeks is lost. So everything has been lost since then. Beside costing them time and money, plus I am sure a lot of grief and frustration to get this data to a reasonable state. 

It should never have happened. Today everyone should have an automatic data backup service in place and you should take backups every day.

Ultimately a computer is a mechanical device and it will fail, its only a matter of time.

 

 

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