BLOGS AND ARTICLES FROM THE POS SOLUTIONS TEAM

Point of Sale Software

Clunky monitors on the front counter

POS SOFTWARE

 People go to a lot of trouble and expense to make their shop and front counter. Sometimes what you see on the front counter an old computer screen like this one.

Old monitor for the tip


It is firstly taking up a lot of room on the most valuable and best spot in your shop, that space should and could be used far better. A monitor can often, for example, be raised on a stand, so take up no room on the front counter and be better positioned for the cashier too

More importantly, it is making a wrong impression to your customers on your business. With such an ancient monitor what are they thinking of your software and technology? 

I would suggest getting a monitor that is modern, stylish and sleek. This will enhance your shop and move the old one to the back where no-one sees it.

Here is an idea get a monitor in colour, now that makes a bold statement about your shop, matches your shop colours and a cool talking point.

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Next lot of Automatic updates coming out

POS SOFTWARE

The following updates in relation to newspapers and publications are going out now.

[2018-12-21]: The Christmas edition of the Financial Review will be on sale from Saturday 22nd of December to Thursday 27th of December inclusive

[2018-12-27]: The Christmas edition of the Financial Review will be on sale from Friday 28th of December to Tuesday 1st of January inclusive

[2019-01-25]: The Christmas edition of the Financial Review will be on sale from Saturday 26th of January to Monday 28th of January inclusive

[2018-12-24]: The Christmas edition of the Age will not be published on Tuesday 25th of December

[2018-12-24]: The Christmas edition of the AgeSub will not be published on Tuesday 25th of December

[2018-12-24]: The Christmas edition of the Sydney Morning Herald will not be published on Tuesday 25th of December

If it takes you 3 minutes to do manually each one of these then that is 18 minutes you have just saved using our system.

If you want to review the automatic changes to your system that are coming up or if you want to see what exactly has been changed. It's easy to do.

Follow this how to do it.

Go to the Cash register reports

 

 

In register reports, select Automatic Update Notes History (see the arrow marked in green)

 

Now enter in the dates, generally, I suggest the past month.

 

Now the detailed notes appear on what was changed like this.

 

 

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EFTPOS warning

POS SOFTWARE

One of my clients had the following happen to them.

 

They got a query from the credit card that one of their customers is claiming that a transaction was rung up twice and so they have charged the customer twice for the same thing.

When they investigated in their POS systems what they discovered was that they had done two purchases on the same day for different items but the value was the same as the amount claimed. 

Now what they had to do was show clearly that both these transactions were for something different and that they were different transactions.  The security footage was very useful here.

What it does show is how important it is to include enough detail to show that even though the transactions are for the same amount, that they are a different purchase.

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Speed of cash registers

POS SOFTWARE

In modern retail, most of the time taken to process a transaction is independent of the point of sale software.

If you think about it, every customer when being processed today should be greeted with a friendly smile, hellos exchanged, they are processed, the cash or EFTPOS is handled, goodbyes are said, and they go. The industry standard to do this is about 40 seconds a transaction plus about three seconds for each item to scanned and rung up.  So if they want to buy four things, the time taken is expected to be about 40 seconds plus four items in their basket at 3 seconds each so its about 52 seconds. 

Very little of this time is actually due to the POS software slowing down the transaction.

Of course, the trouble that retailers have is if the queues start to get big, then people walk out. What annoys retailers is when they see people dumping their proposed purchases and leave.  What is even worse people then often avoid shops that they know has long queues and do not come back.  So they hellos and goodbyes get a bit quicker, the processing gets rushed. 

To see what is happening now with our system, I took about 20,000 cash register transactions from a client with actually a slow machine but in a busy shop and measured their results.  

The average speed of a transaction was about 36 seconds a sale which is what I expected as our clients tend to have low numbers in their baskets and they are almost all in high volume pressure environments.

Here is what the graph looks like 

 

Cash register transaction speeds

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

Transaction speed raw data

So it is not the computer, but on an average, I think our clients should budget about 36 seconds plus or minus. 

One idea that does work well in practice is to introduce a single queue, and have many cash register serving that queue. Although there are still waiting, people do prefer it.  If you have access to Mythbusters shows checkout S16E05 which has an experiment on this, the conclusion was even if this method is slower, people prefer it as it appears fairer. For a discussion on the subject click here,

 

 

 

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Cashless retailers penalise the poor

POS SOFTWARE

Although this issue has not hit Australia yet, overseas with so many retailers going cashless that politicians are concerned that very poor people with problems of electronic banking are having problems shopping.

Some shops now in the US will accept cash but do not give change.

What is happening is that overseas retailers are going cashless. This is partly as its faster as its just a swipe, its cheaper as the cost of cash as handling costs of cash is estimated at a few percent which is more than the fees for electronic cash and more secure as cash is always a security problem. 

China is now nearly all cashless, while the US is in retail about 70% electronic, and Australia is 63%.

At the current trend, cash will vanish in Australia in 2026. I expect long before that almost all our clients will stop accepting cash.

 

While they don't have a screen and they are not much more than a fit bit just now, smart rings are the new buzz. Watches can be annoying to wear, especially if you have to do  a lot of typing to do. It won't be long now before all you will need to do to pay for things is flash your pinkie like a wonder twin.  These rings without a screen being more a simple deice than a watch will be cheaper and probably will be an alternative for a cheaper option. 

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Measure how your shop is doing?

POS SOFTWARE

To improve your business, you need measurable facts. You need to assess how you are going.

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

Go to reports and the click on sales

Point of sale menu selection for compare

What this report will allow you to do is check how each department in your shop is doing in comparison to previous periods.

Options to compare periods

Now select the dates that you are interested in here. I am ignoring for this example all the extra options that you can examine here, but I do suggest after you work your way through this example that you study this screen in more detail.

You do not need to have formal dates as this shows, you can pick any dates. For example, today is the 06 Dec 2018, so I might select a month period from 06 Nov 2018 to 05 Dec 2018. What I suggest you do is pick a date in previous periods similar to what you are interested in so you may need to look at your diary.

Now a report with the simplified options here

Comparison reports

 

Now there are lots of details for you to look. If you want to just 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 sale price in a department now compared to before as I might be curious if the public is buying cheaper priced items now. This is not in the report explicitly. 

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

 

Export to excel

Now click to export to excel or OpenOffice (which is free here) and then once it is in excel divide the qty into the sales to get my average sale price.

 And that was just the beginning of what you can learn here.

As I stated as you work through the options, you will get lots more information out of this report.

 

 

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Delivery schedules from Australia Post

POS SOFTWARE

Australia Post

If you intend to use Australia Post as a delivery agent if you require your goods to arrive by Christmas. These would be the latest you could send it.

If you're sending in Australia by Express Post network, you need to send your items before 1 pm Friday 21 December 2018. If you’re sending the items overseas this year, you need to send them today if you want to use their standard delivery, and by Monday 17 December 2018 for Express delivery. 

Of course, delivery schedules and actual arrivals do not always agree.


 

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All I want for Christmas...

POS SOFTWARE

Currently, 2018 Christmas retails sales are expected to grow 2.9% this year. According to the well-known comparison site, finder.com.au Australians are expecting to spend $1325 each on average on Christmas. “people expect to spend on average $464 each on presents, $444 on travel, $131 on alcohol, $122 on food and $61 on decorations,”

Are you part of it?

Do you have the right stock NOW in your shop? Another important question is do you actually have the stock you think you do? It is easy to forget what you have.

What I do suggest is you look at your mirror marketing reports.

Go to Register Reports marked in green.

 

 

Now select in stock, "Stock Sold During Period(a) Not Sold in Period(b)"

What the report will tell you is what was sold in a previous period last year but has not been sold in this period. What you are trying to do is mirror your success last year.

 

Now in brown, you will see that there is a lot of flexibility for your reports there is also an integrated traffic analysis available too but let's keep it simple for the time being.

Now you will get a report with what you sold over the period, but you are not selling in your current period. What you find is I am sure worth investigating.

After that please redo this report for other years besides last year.

If you find goods missing, you need to hurry as we have less then 20 days left.

 

 

Dear Bernie
I am in Perth and I am trying to find an app that will convert anything into an ddo or dd2 file did you have any success. or are you beating your head on the wall like me. [email protected]

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HOW TO SAVE ON SHIPPING

POS SOFTWARE

Courier services

We have clients now that are doing the bulk of their business through delivery.  

The big problem is often that the public is demanding free delivery. You can work this to your advantage by setting a minimum order amount for free delivery. 

So I suggest that you take the time to figure out your delivery logistics so that it is both efficient and affordable to your business.

If you’re looking for ways to cut costs on delivery, here are a few suggestions.

* Can you make a route and do it yourself? One big plus here is that by going to the customer, you can maybe pick up more orders.

If not, then let’s begin

*  Try asking businesses near you who they use and why?

Now get quotes from a few delivery companies and some will be cheaper for some areas for others.

Make sure that all these costs are listed as you could find unexpected extra charges coming in. What I do find surprising is that you will find sometimes the costs vary greatly between areas that are very close.

Some delivery companies run specials which you can tag onto eg one may say on Thursday they have a cheaper rate so you would push delivery to your customers on those days. If they have an Xmas special, you can use that too.

Investigate their other services, e.g. the COD service which we find very useful. 

 You want a decent tracking service from the delivery company, there are always problems and you often need to find out where your goods are. I find being able to find out exactly where the parcel is and how long before the customer can expect its arrival makes me look very professional.

As you will probably be using more than one delivery company, an average client of ours doing lots of deliveries, I would say is using two to five delivery companies.

* You need a tape measure and scale, as most delivery agents require both measurements for their costings. If you do not provide these, the delivery company driver will often estimate these and you could be paying more. 

Reduce the parcel size and/or the number of cartons both can often dramatically reduce the price. 

If you start to find that you are shipping a lot, then you can look into:

* Insurance who pays for this? I would suggest getting your insurance agent to give you on your business policy, a shipping insurance which works out much cheaper than the delivery companies insurance policy.  Have a read here on who is responsible for the loss?

* Save on packaging costs by buying in bulk

* You will be able to negotiate better discounts from deliveries. 

Hope this all helps.
 

 

 

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Fairfax commission rates for December 2018

POS SOFTWARE

This is a composite I created for the current margins.

 

Margin analysis Fairfax Dec2018
Margin analysis for Fairfax Dec 2018

For those people that do deliveries, they are up and so by extension are subagents.

Interestingly for those that are classed as retailers, the margins are continuing down. I would be surprised if this downward trend does not continue. If you think about it from Fairfax view why should these people get more then subagents who are now at 9.6%?

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7 Tips for fairs and shows

POS SOFTWARE

Trade fairs

Watching the Cake and Bake Show this weekend and as over the years, I have done a lot of trade shows and fairs, and so I've put together 7 tips you should think through before going to a fair.

Is the fair right for you?

This is the big question. In my experience, people going to fairs are very tuned onto the theme of the show. If you sell a product that is not in line with the theme for some of them, you are probably wasting your time coming.

Do a budget on what it will cost and then ask yourself, is it going to be worth it? 

Product

Do you have the right product at the right price for the people that are coming?

A useful tip here, is to contact your suppliers and ask them for help. Many suppliers have special stock for fairs. Often they will provide product, signage and promotional material free for you too. 

Location

In real estate, they say the value is determined by "location, location and location."  If the organiser is not giving you a decent location, I would seriously think about not coming. Generally, I refuse to go.  There is no point in accepting an allocated location that puts your stand in the shows wasteland, its Siberia or Antarctica even if it is really cheap. 

Collection of people's information

You want to get new customers so plan on getting peoples names and email addresses, if possible have someone collect names and email addresses. 

Also have business cards, brochures, and promotional material for people to leave with.

Your stand.

Does it look presentable?

You need banners and signs.

Do you have access at the show to the internet and your point of sale software? At the show, you are going to be hit by questions and you need to have as much access to information as you possibly can.

Staff

I noticed what looked really bad at the cake show was on one stand a young man who probably was a family member serving behind the counter in shaggy clothes and was unshaven. I am sure that many of the people at this show were not impressed either. It did not create a good impression with me. Make sure your staff are appropriately dressed.

You need a technical person for your products besides answering questions for prospective and existing customers, they can also handle the timewasters. You are there at the show for business and you really do not want people to lose your time with kids doing university courses asking you questions for their assignments. 


Something to attract people to your stand.

A special offer, a free sample, some new interesting product, a little show, anything just something that will get people walking past to stop at your stand and look.

Payment type

Almost every stand at a show today takes cash, visa, afterpay and zippay and they are all being used. There is no such thing as layby at a show.  You need to have as many payment types as you possibly can.

Hope this helps.

Remember one point although it is not the reason you are there, it is almost a fun place to go, so have fun too and it is a great chance for you to network.

 

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EFTPOS with Tap & Save price reductions

POS SOFTWARE

What happens with EFTPOS and Credit transactions is that you get charged by everyone in the loop. For example, say the money goes from the customer's bank, into a transaction stream, which goes to another bank, the money is then moved into a new transaction stream, and then the money is transferred into your bank account, each transfer on this chain is being charged. So what happens is that each point of the chain is charging the next point of the route until it reaches you.  As you have no one to charge, you get the bill. 

What Tap & Save does, only available now with tyro EFTPOS,  is check what possible routes are available for the money to move from the customer's bank account to your account and then directs the money to be moved along the cheapest path.  The big plus here is that you save money without having to change anything. 

Overall the savings are in the order of 8.4% reduction in charges but this varies depending on what exactly is the route the money is travelling now. 

So I decided to see a benchmark of our clients EFTPOS over the past six months although I am still waiting for confirmation, I calculate that the savings with Tap and Save are 8.74% in our market space.

If you want to know more details, please click here.

 

 

 

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Cake Bake & Sweets Show

POS SOFTWARE

As we have many cafe and bakery point of sale systems, the organisers gave us free tickets to  Cake Bake & Sweets Show.

Which is great as it gives me a chance to both see our clients and enjoy what is stated as "Australia's original live event for baking, cake decorating, sweets and desserts—a true festival of deliciousness!"

I consider it a reward for all the hard work we have done for the industry.

There were heaps of people, now check out the winning cakes, it incredible as they do not look like cakes but they are. Some people are just so creative... 

 

 

This one won a first prize, you would think it was flowers

 

 

 

This one a first prize too

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Current point of sale computers

POS SOFTWARE

Point of Sale computers

No one has much space nowadays behind the counter it is in the checkout area, and people want to use the space for practical things that sell rather than big computers. So here is a picture of our current computer specially built with a point of sale areas where it is often hot and dusty. 

You can have it in i3, i5 or i7.

On speed test we did, the i5 was very fast. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Afterpay emergency update going out now

POS SOFTWARE

We are sending out tonight automatic emergency upgrade for the afterpay software. It will not solve all the current problems, but it will answer those that we can address.

So all our clients should be fixed tonight and tomorrow morning at the latest.

Currently, our advice is to ignore the message to upgrade for the time being and continue as before as it appears that Afterpay still has some issues. We are working with them on this.

 

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Telco recharge benchmarked Nov 2018

POS SOFTWARE

Lightboxes

Telco recharge is very easy to install and sell in our point of sale software, and it has become for many of our clients' a major line. Many of our clients, do offer it as a service at their shops. 

The big plus is that it brings people into the shop as the amount of work involved is almost zero, and there is nothing upfront — all it is on the register another button.

Here are some benchmarked figures all based on average values.

This is a graph over two years for the average number of transactions per month.

Transactions per shop over two years

As you can see, there was a drop last year but it seems to have stabilised. Much of this drop, I am sure is due to the reduction in working hours that some of our clients did in 2017, but some is a drop in sales in the market. What we think is happening is that as Telcos are offering better deals to those people buying these products, they need to buy less as what they have lasts longer. Interestingly though the average unit price sold has gone up.

Still, overall it works out to 3 to 4 transactions a working day.  Which is lovely, as who can complain about 3 to 4 extra customers a day in the shop? Plus you get access to free promotions.

The profit itself on a sale is primarily determined by sale number, and this has only very slightly gone up in the past two years. It is now about $1.14 a transaction.

Margin per sale average over two years

Effectively what it works out too is you press a button in your POS system, collect some money, and you make a $1.14 and maybe that customer will buy something else too.

If you want to know more about it, please contact us.

 

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Power of 1%

POS SOFTWARE

Increase by 1%

Peter Abeles one of Australia's greatest businessmen in his book talked about how just 1% difference could make a huge difference to a business. What he recommended was looking at significant factors in a business and trying to change them by 1%. 

Of course, nothing can look at a business better or faster than a computer.

Now here might be an example of how looking at your business reports can help in a cafe doing $600,000 turnover. So we are $6,000 ahead every year.

Say you could increase your basket size by 1%, that is $6,000 sale increase. So we are $12,000 ahead.

Say you could reduce not charging people, always a big problem in a cafe in my experience. People order goods and someone forgot to charge them, maybe a 1% increase in sales or $6,000. So we are $18,000 ahead.

Say you could speed up your orders by 1%, people in cafes rarely like to wait in a queue. Even if only 50% of that produced an extra in sales, that is another $3,000 sale increase. So we are $21,000 ahead.

Say you could with your point of sale systems VIP club get 1% more in sales, that is another $6,000 sale increase. So we are $27,000 ahead.

Say you could increase your prices by 1% by encouraging better products to be sold, that is another $6,000 sale increase

It is all adding up fast.

Etc 

Just imagine in your business if you can get a 1% improvement.

 

 

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Afterpay/touch

POS SOFTWARE

 

There are problems now with the Afterpaytouch POS software. We are looking into it with them now. Currently, we strongly suggest that you do not load their latest software until we can resolve this situation.

We are also checking on the situation with Afterpay and Windows XP and Windows 7 as it appears that Afterpay no longer works on Windows XP and it works only on the current version of Windows 7. If so it will not be the first major company that is withdrawing support from these products.

 

 

 

I have downloaded the Touch upgrade and I am now using it. There were no problems with the Mobile recharges, but there was a slight hiccup with the Newspaper subscriptions. By accident, I found a solution to the problem. The procedure is to open the NEWS SUBSCRIPTION dialogue box which presents the sub menus for The West Australian and News Corp. If I was to take a payment for The West Australian, it would seem logical to open The West Australian sub menu where it asks you to scan the barcode. If you do it this way an error message comes up and you cannot process the payment. By accident I found that if you scan the barcode before you open the sub-menu another sub-menu pops up asking for you to nominate the group the payment is for. Click on the appropiate group and then you are asked for the payment amount. Process the payment and this then appears in the POS register. Payment is taken and the appropiate receipt is printed

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Unified commerce now

POS SOFTWARE

Unified commerce

Why do you need unified commerce  in retailing? 

In our marketplace, as far as I know, we are the only ones offering this. The problem now is that many retailers have a point of sale software, and have or are planning to have a website where they can advertise and sell online. This is called the omnichannel approach. 

The problem now with this omnichannel approach is that there are now two or three separate systems. This is causing problems, big issues as the retailer now have to learn different methods. This means that in practice not everyone can use all the systems as it requires a specialist for each system.

The big problem is that your customers' information in this omnichannel approach is in two or three different accounts, the stock is in two or three different systems, the orders and stock transfers are in two or three different methods, pricing is in two or three separate systems, etc.  As such retailers are finding that they have to do a lot of work as information has to be sent back and forward across different systems. Some of the transfers are very difficult as different systems behave differently.

This is why a truly unified commerce system like ours which has the POS software and the website in one system is much better. Using it you can track financials along with stock, sales, customer, etc. all the pieces of retail all in one system.  It’s the next step in retail technology.

Contact here our experts to discover how our unified commerce retail platform, can help you deliver the customer experience of tomorrow.

 

 

 

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Automating your VIP club today

POS SOFTWARE

Do yourself a favour, while you are trying to collect customers email addresses, try and lose the manual process of asking people for the address and filling it in manually. Set it up on the net, a collection form and let your customers fill it in. 

If you are using an email marketing software, like MailChimp which we link into it has built in such a form.

On your website, if you have one make sure that it has such an opt-in email form.

Now the idea is to use it everywhere to build up your email list.

 

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