Today many people do some of their work remotely. I saw a report in Deloitte Access Economics that stated today every week about one in three people work remotely for about 36 minutes on average, and the trend is for it to rapidly grow It is a big boost as this work can be done instantly. It also often avoids a commute to the shop.
Our software can work through several different methods remotely. You do not need a good Internet connection, although it does help.
This picture above is showing a person using her mobile to work our POS software, and it works well.
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Here is a step by step method to measure how much interest there is in a brand compared to other brands. This was asked of me by a client that sells sunglasses, but I will use dog food as an example.
The problem is that often you want to know how much interest there is in a new supplier's products compared to what you already have. There is little point is stocking a terrific brand unless you are confident of your ability to sell it because say it came with an unbeatable price. Generally, however, if the public has little interest in the product, it will not draw people in and sales will be poor.
So now head over to google trend, which is here.
Now I decided to select five dog foods that I know about, what you would do is look up your three or four top selling ones from your point of sale software reports and put in the new one on offer.
So I entered in "Fish4dogs", "Earthborn Holistic", etc note with quotation marks one by one into google trends. Unfortunately, we only get five, but what do you want for free.
I then changed the country to Australia (green arrow) and the date to the last 12 months (blue arrow). 12 months gives me a feel of current trends.
Now I can compare the search popularity. Out of my list, most people are searching for K9 Natural, but notice almost none for Artemis Pro Power. Furthermore, XP3020 seems to be a fashion item it comes in and out very fast, that is why I suggest using a year of history. One point that can cause problems, and you need to watch is that some names K9 often searches with be for other things then dog food, but this will give you a good start.
There are a whole lot of reports at the end, which will be of use too.
With everyone now complaining about the electricity bills, here are some tips to reduce the electricity bills in your shop.
Do not leave electrical equipment, e.g. computers on all the time, switch them off when they are not in use.
Look at the energy ratings of this electrical equipment, a laptop uses much less electricity then a desktop.
Check out whether another electricity supplier is cheaper, we saved over 20% on our bills by switching to another supplier.
Go through the bills and work out how you are being charged. You could find that you could make some decent savings.
Check, whether you can reduce the lights, switching to energy-saving lamps can help too. Have you considered pulling up the binds on the window?
Look at your air conditioners and heaters.
Reduce printing, to many people print too much, printers and photocopiers use a lot of power.
An effective method of drumming up business for your retail shop is by sending to your VIP members emails. Do not send too many but at least once a month send out a newsletter though something like mailchimp which is free for SMB promoting your shop. Most email marketing engagement rates range from 1.5 percent to 4.79 percent, according to MailChimp. We have a free email seeding service for our clients if you require it. If you have say a thousand people on your mailing list, which is not that hard to get that is about 15 to 50 people.
There are plenty of points to send these people, the best ones as readers, here will know is birthday offers. However, thank you ones are very good too. If they have just brought something off you, why not try to get them to buy more. It does not have to be so recent. Here’s an example: Thank you for shopping with us, customer _______ in last financial year! To show our appreciation, we’d love to inform you that now we have _____________. Please check it out the next time you are in our shopping centre_____________, wishing you for the next financial year a happy great year!"
Furthermore, if you have some new lines, you could advertise them, e.g. we now have XYZ products, or say you have lotto and a superdraw is on.
The cost of this is zero to you, and it may bring you something good.
One tip that came out of the gift fair is that many people found knowing the price points of their shop helped them source items.
If say your margin was for that department 100% and that most of your sales are about $20 for that item, then you know you are looking for items with no more wholesale then $10. Knowing that makes life a lot easy when you are dealing with such a large number of possible stock items.
Well, it is easy to get this figure for a range of possibilities from our point of sale software.
Go to register reports.
In sales, select "Turnover by unit price" (marked in red)
Now click Report Criteria and select the dates and departments you are interested in.
I recommend rather than doing all departments that you restrict it to a selected few so you can examine each department on its own merits. In this case, I picked confectionery.
When the report pops up in this case, you can see that in this department you have two major price points about $2.50 and another at $16.
If you want to study it farther, please use the adhoc reports with excel.
Knowing your stock theft is vital.
The following method will tell you how to determine your figure even if you only have rough figures, you will find it a big help.
1) Do a total's report in your cash register system for 1/7/16 to 30/06/17 and tick by department. Now put this aside depending how you are setting up; it may include GST or not. If it does include GST, then take off GST by dividing by 11. If you have a department that is partly EXEMPT, you need to make an esimate for GST which you can get from your GST reports.
We will call this figure by department (RVS) Retail value sold.
2) Now you need to determine is by department.
Stock Turned Over in the books
This is simple to do.
Stock on hand at the start of last financial year which your accountant will have.
+ purchased last year again your accountant should have this.
-stock on hand at the start of this financial year, which you should have now
Now use the expected margins of each department to determine what is the retail value of this stock.
(RV) Retail value = (Stock Turned Over)/(1-Margin%) now this is EX GST, which should match your total's figures.
Your Loss = 1 -RV/RVS
Multiply by 100 and you have the percentage.
Now as a general rule, we divide this loss into four categories.
(1) Public - shoplifting
(2) Employee theft
(3) Supplier problems
(4) Internal issues- not really theft as such - accountancy errors, goods wrongly classified, goods with incorrect prices, goods discounted to clear but not put through the system as a discount.
As a first-level approximation assume each item equal although from my experience, I would say (2), (1), (4) and (3)
Well the Gift show in Melbourne closed today. As it is the largest in Australia, so many retailers come from all over the country to see it.
Overall, I had mixed feeling on the Melbourne Giftware show for retailers. It was clearly a great chance for retailers to see thousands of unique products. It certainly presented them with a large and fresh assortment of products and resources, plus it was a great opportunity for retailers to meet many of the newer and smaller suppliers.
My big concern is that I thought most of the items on offer were too expensive. I think if I was seriously thinking of selling gifts, I would go to a large Asian oversea gift shows as well. Trips to Asia are not that expensive and it would not take a large order to cover the trip.
Anyway, here are some photos which will give you a feel of the large range of products that were available.
You can read up on it here.
They have a warehouse in Melbourne and are advertising for 140 positions in Sydney and 20 jobs in Melbourne, and everyone is talking about it. I noticed a piece by Chris Samartzis the general manager of VANA who has a lot of retail experience that has written his opinion on what Amazon coming to Australia, means. You can read it here.
From what I am reading is that he feels that Australian business conditions are different enough to be in his words "not necessarily be conducive to the pure play model of Amazon." He does accept that Amazon has incredible resources behind it. He also feels that if Amazon attempts to enter the brick and mortar channel, in Australia it's going to be effected by the same problems as any other brick and mortar company so its not going to destroy the current brick and mortar channel.
I am only partly in agreement. It will not destroy the brick and mortar channel but it will change it. I was one of the first customers of Amazon and have been following them for many years. Firstly, Amazon is not coming to Australia; Amazon is already here. A large percentage of Australian consumers are currently its customers. A better description is that Amazon is expanding its operations in Australia. This is a big plus. It is much easier in retail to sell an established customer who has brought two books off you, a third book then it is to sell someone who has never brought off you a first book. Amazon has an established market here. They are very used to dealing with other countries, and I doubt our laws and labour requirements are much different or tougher than the European Market.
Australian investors are clearly worried. Australian retailers on the sharemarket have lost about $200 billion in the ASX recently due to Amazon. Now I will try to explain what is happening on the share market and why Amazon is such a threat. For those that know something about the share market, you will know what I mean when I say that Amazon P/E is over 240. Translated a SMB business opened a warehouse that costs a million dollars, it would require for a million dollars of valuation, about three years profit or about $300,000 of profit a year. A large multinational like Wesfarmers requires for a million dollars of valuation about $60,000 of profit. An Amazon shareholder is happy with 4,200 dollars of profit. Clearly, the investors in Amazon are not looking at the short or medium term. They are in it for the long term.
Exactly what Amazon means in the long term. Let look at some of their assets because that is what many of you are now going to see now.
1) They have a well-established VIP marketing system with an effective predictive marketing system. You buy something, Amazon will suggest other products. With their VIP club, they keep in touch with their clients. We need to get our clients who use VIP marketing up on a predictive marketing system too.
2) Amazon have a fast and affordable delivery system. You need to look into a delivery.
3) Amazon has a terrific eCommerence website which is extremely informative. You cannot just stick around with a small tiny eCommerence solution. You need something professional.
Retail is changing. You need to adapt.
I recommended that any Australian retailer thinking of making or doing something with a loyalty program for their shop to read the free Executive Summary of the latest for love or money 2017 loyalty research report.
They have just released some extra interesting point here.
Although not mentioned, the most successful loyalty marketing offer is a birthday offer. Success rates with these birthday offers are almost 25%.
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