Point of Sale Software

Old hard drives

POS SOFTWARE

Today, with the legal nightmare we live in, you need to protect the sensitive data you have.

Computers today store a lot of private information, both for you and your customers. You can get into a lot of trouble if the courts rule that you have released your customer or staff details, such as financial records and confidential documents. Failing to destroy this information on your computer correctly can lead to severe consequences, such as data breaches, identity theft, and legal ramifications.

Before proceeding, always ensure that any critical data you require is backed up securely.

Data removal

When disposing of old hard drives, simply deleting files or formatting the drive is not good enough. This data can often be recovered by skilled individuals with specialised software. If they do this, you are at risk.

Shredding

One popular and reliable data erasure software is CCleaner, which I have spoken about before. It has a free Drive Wiper tool specifically created for this purpose to erase your data from a hard drive. It works by overwriting your hard drive with ones and zeros. This is claimed to make it virtually impossible to retrieve your information.

Features and Benefits of CCleaner

  • Easy to use: CCleaner is relatively easy; if you need help, call me.
  • Multiple overwrite passes: The software allows you to choose the number of overwrite passes, with more passes providing a higher level of security. I leave it on a high setting and let it run overnight. I use multiple overwrite passes on the hard drive and use the option of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) 5220.22-M standard. It should be okay with us if it's good enough for them. 

The big plus of this method is that the hard drive can be reused, which means that it can be resold.

I have personally never seen a problem with data security with anyone using this method.

Best Practices for Hard Drive Destruction

For many, this is not good enough, as they feel that their data might still be recovered by experts. The only thing that satisfies them is physical destruction methods.

Our Approach to Hard Drive Destruction

Over the years, we have developed an approach that works well.

Harddrives to be destroyed

Step-by-Step Process

Drilling Holes: We take the hard drive and use a powerful drill to create multiple holes through the casing and platters. This physically damages the drive.

Destroying hard drive by  drilling

Another destroying hard drive by  drilling

Another hard drive destroying by  drilling

Hammer Smashing: To further ensure data destruction, we place the drilled hard drive in a sack and use a hammer to smash it into smaller pieces. This step helps to pulverize the platters and other components, making data recovery virtually impossible.

Separating: Once smashed, we separate the shattered pieces of each hard drive into two distinct piles, so about half are in one pile and the other half in the other. 

Disposing: We dispose of one pile in our regular bin, and the other is discarded on my way home in a public trash bin far from our work. This added precaution ensures that even if someone were to retrieve the pieces, they would not have the complete hard drive, further reducing the risk of data recovery.

In the 40 years we have been in POS Systems, we have never had a problem with this method.

While this approach may seem excessive, it reflects our commitment to data security.

Ineffective Methods to Avoid

Using a hammer or dropping them 

Hard drives are strong and built to take punishment. This means that even if you smash one with a hammer, there may still be parts of the disk platter left undamaged which may be used for data recovery.

Throwing into the bin

If your rubbish is going to the tip, some people scour the tips, and a working hard drive is worth some money.

Fire or chemicals

Many people suggest throwing hard drives into fire or chemicals at them, neither of which I recommend. These hard drives contain many dangerous chemicals; you do not want to breathe in the fumes.

Conclusion

Today, protecting sensitive data is a critical responsibility. 

 

How to Increase Profitability Through Data in Your Shop

POS SOFTWARE

manager looking at inventory sales

 

Making fact-based decisions is vital to maximising profitability in your shop. We will discuss how you can leverage data in your Point of Sale (POS) software to evaluate stock performance effectively. By analysing sales reports and companion sales, retailers can gain valuable insights into which products drive profitability and customer engagement.

Understanding the Dynamics of Sales and Profitability

Operating a retail business requires consideration of every kind. The main aim of decision-making is always to identify what to sell through pricing for maximum profitability. However, it goes beyond just making sales; it involves knowing how much customer behaviour affects the quantity sold and profit margins earned per unit, among other things.

Evaluating Stock Performance

Step 1: Assessing Sales Data

The journey begins with delving into your Point of Sale (POS) Software. By examining your selling reports, you gain valuable insights into how each product performs regarding sales volume and profitability. But here's where things get interesting: what if an item sells well but doesn't contribute significantly to your bottom line? This is where the pivotal question arises: Does it attract customers who purchase other items?

Step 2: Navigating through Register Reports

  1. Navigate to Register Reports in your POS Software.
  2. Select "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period."
  3. Input a timeframe, like a year, and request data for the top 100 items by quantity.

Top stock by sales

Deciphering the Data

Upon generating the report, you'll encounter a wealth of information.

Out comes a report with the top sellers for that year. 

Top sale item by qty

Let's take a closer look at this example:

Item Stock Ranking Quantity Sold Profit
ENVELOPE 45 300 $77.45

In contrast, the item ranked 44th above it yielded a profit of $1159. This stark contrast prompts a critical question: Is the profit from the envelope sufficient to justify its presence in your inventory?

Unraveling the Impact on Sales Companion

To delve deeper into the matter, explore the Sales Companion feature:

  1. Head to Reports > Sales Register > Stock Sales Companion Sales by Period.
  2. Specify a period, such as the last financial year, and search for the product "ENVELOPE TUDOR."

Analysing Companion Sales

The resultant report unveils a list of items sold alongside the envelope, culminating in a total profit figure. Here's where interpretation comes into play:

Companion Sales Total Profit
$265.01 $265.01

How much of that profit of $265.01 would you have made anyway, with or without that profit? That is something you have to decide. 

Additional Factors Influencing Stock Performance

Sales data analysis is essential, but there are other things that a person should consider regarding profitability and stock performance. They include:

Seasonality

Some products may have varying demand levels during different seasons.

Customer Demographics

Knowing the demographics of the people who buy from you can help determine what to provide them.

Market Trends

Keeping up with what is happening in your industry and in general markets will also guide decisions on stocking and setting prices.

Making Informed Decisions

With a comprehensive understanding of your sales data and other influencing factors, you can make informed decisions to optimize your inventory management and drive profitability.

Call to Action

Today, people have found that they can significantly improve their business operations, grow sales, and provide better customer service through point-of-sale (POS) systems.

Our sophisticated tools can unleash many benefits if used. 

It is said that facts are the clear windows through which you see the world as it truly is.

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Learn about the Power of your Point of Sale Software

POS SOFTWARE

Software training

retail staff members participating in a hands-on POS software training session.

Introduction

Training on point-of-sale software is an essential component of your business. It is a powerful business tool that can manage inventory management, customer loyalty programs, sales reports, etc of your business. You can do it better if you are properly trained. 

This article examines the benefits of training and answers some often-asked questions.

Benefits of POS Systems Training

Increased Efficiency

With the proper training, you can quickly navigate your POS software, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business and save time.

Better Service for Customers

If you better understand how your POS software works, you can make it easier for your customers, making them more satisfied and loyal.

Accuracy of the Data

The POS system offers a lot of flexibility. You need to know the correct procedures to enter and manage your data. We provide proper training to give you this knowledge, ensuring your business works with accurate information. We also will discuss if you require the importance of data security training to ensure you understand best practices for protecting customer information.

Improved Control

You have many reports that detail your business in detail. With better information, you can run your business much better. Soon, you'll be able to make better decisions about your business operations and get better results.

> This only works if you have good information.

 

You do not have to do it alone.

A woman alone looking confused is reading a POS manual

 

Our POS Software Training Program

Cost

Our software training program is free for our clients in our offices or on Zoom. 

In your shop, there will be charges.

Customization

Our training program can be customized to meet your specific requirements. It can be done using your actual data from the shop.

Expert Teachers

Our experts who contact our training program have years of experience in our software. They know how it works in retail environments like yours. They will be able to provide examples and solutions from actual situations to your issues and problems.

Practical Instruction

These sessions offer hands-on training to use the software and improve your knowledge in a real-world setting.

Flexibility

Training can be done at times that are suitable to your needs. Your staff can receive the necessary training without interfering with minimal business operations.

Continuous Support

Once done, you can book more sessions. There is no limit. That way, you can do a refresher and keep up with all our software updates. 

Frequently Asked About POS Software Training (FAQ)

Q: What is training for Pos software?

A: POS software training is a comprehensive program that teaches you how to use your point-of-sale software. It provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage your business operations effectively. The training covers all aspects of the software, from basic to advanced features and functions relevant to your needs.

Q: Is training in Pos software required?

A: NO, but if you want to get the best out of your software and improve your business, then YES. 

Q: How long does training for Pos software take?

A: How long is a piece of string? Some need a lot of training, and some only a little. Some people use many features of our software, and some only need a bit. The length of your Pos software training depends on your particular requirements. 

As a rule, I recommend it is done in two-hour slots with a coffee break between 15 minutes—more than that, it gets hard to digest.

Q: Is in-person or online Pos software training available?

A: Pos software training is available online and in person so that you and your team can choose the best method.

In-person training provides better hands-on and interactive instruction.

Online training offers more convenience.

Screenshot of a Zoom meeting

Q: Who ought to attend training for Pos software?

A: I want to understand why POS software training is not available to anyone in your shop, including staff members who use computers. 

Conclusion

> Formal Point of Sale software training is essential for maximizing the software's capabilities.

> It enhances business operations.

> It gives you more control.

> Training can help you get more out of your software and achieve better results, no matter how experienced or new you are to the field.

Master your POS software and take your business to the next level with proper training.

No cost and you have much to gain, give us a call.

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Enhancing your POS retail system with a Touch Screen

POS SOFTWARE

Time is Money, and customer frustrations cost.

We've all been there - you're trying to buy something quickly, but the line at the checkout counter is ridiculously long. As the minutes tick by, your impatience grows. You start doing that little shuffle from foot to foot. If the wait is too long, you leave. 

According to studies, many shoppers will only tolerate a 5-minute maximum wait in line before they get fed up and leave. I know I've often cut my losses and walked out of stores with excessive queues. Retailers live and die by giving customers a fast experience, so losing sales to long lines is a total non-starter.

The Need for Speedy Service

This is where touch-screen point-of-sale (POS) systems can be a game-changer. I'm not just talking about a minor convenience here - we've seen retailers who switch to touch-screen POS experience seriously accelerated checkout times, like 15% faster on average. That's the difference between an angry mob of grumpy shoppers and a smooth, zippy experience.

Let me give you a picture of how it works: your cashier has to tap the screen a few times to ring up items instead of struggling with a keyboard. Applying discounts, updating inventory, and taking payments all happen with just a couple of taps and swipes. Suddenly, cashiers can move customers through the line at much greater speeds.

A Touch-Screen POS is Intuitive for Anyone

Getting customers through the line lickety-split is the big selling point for touch-screen POS. But it's not the only way this technology can revolutionize your operations. Let's break down some of the other key upsides:

Fewer Mistakes

We've all been there—you're the cashier, and it's a problem that you enter the information and look at the keyboard, so you accidentally punch in an extra digit, and suddenly, there is an error. With a touch screen, you are looking at the order, not the keyboard and the whole order is right there visually on the screen in front of you. See a mistake? Just tap to fix it—no hunting and pecking required. Crisis averted.

Intuitive Operations for Everyone

Few of us are one of those wizards who learned proper touch typing. For the rest of us mere mortals, trying to cashier on those is just asking for input issues. Tapping icons on a bright screen is infinitely more intuitive and natural.

Unlocking Team Efficiency

When your POS is easy to use, staff can quickly get up to speed on running the system. The visual layout and flow allow them to modify orders rapidly, apply discounts, and access additional functions without memorising endless button combinations. That means less dedicated training time and more productivity on day one.

Simple human factors like ease of use, accuracy, and efficiency pay huge dividends. A touch-screen interface eliminates many headaches, hassles, and mistakes that plague retail businesses. Your customers enjoy a better experience, your employees operate more effectively, and your bottom line gets a serious boost.

The current reality

The bottom line is that touch-screen POS cuts down on wait times and avoids mistakes, giving every customer a VIP checkout experience. That's how you build loyalty and keep those hard-earned sales returning through your doors.  

These are lovely touch screens with customer displays included, too.

3 in one touch screen

Outdated technology should not be holding you back. Upgrade to a cutting-edge touch-screen POS system and start delivering the exceptional customer experience your shoppers deserve. Request a quote now.

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How to maximize Your shop's space

POS SOFTWARE

The better store space you have can drive sales and profits. A floor plan helps you look at your space from a new perspective. It lets you see how well your space works. We can study some key facts about your space. These facts show how well your space is used. Let's learn how to find these key facts, and then we can decide how to improve your space.

Why Space Performance KPIs Matter

You are paying for this space, so you must use it wisely. 

A floor plan helps you analyze your store's space and make wise choices. Let's explore how to calculate and understand these space indicators. This way, you can use data to grow your business.
You pay for your store space and want to use it well. Space indicators show how you use your shelves and areas. You see which spots work best by measuring sales or profit per shelf meter. This data lets you decide where to place products and manage stock. Better use of space leads to higher sales and happy customers.

Planograms

These are fundamental tools in retail today. They serve as detailed blueprints for arranging merchandise in a shop. They are visual representations that detail where and how retailers should place products on retail shelves or displays. 

There are a few critical elements to a planogram:

Shelf space allocation - Determining how much shelf space each product receives based on sales data to give high-demand products prominence.

Customer flow - Understanding how customers navigate and move through the store layout.  

Visual appeal - Creating attractive, balanced displays and colour schemes to improve the shopping environment.

Step-by-Step Guide to Calculating Space Performance

Follow these straightforward steps to calculate your space performance KPIs:

Measure Your Shelf Space:

Start by accurately measuring your store's linear metres of shelf space. I prefer using a tape measure, but pacing out the distance works.

Create a Detailed Store Layout:

We call this a planogram, and a typical one looks like this:

Store plan

Create a precise drawing of your store using a large sheet of paper or cardboard. I find it helpful if it is lined. Include key areas like shelves, departments, and product sections. This visual guide will make it easier to examine your significant numbers later. In practice, I need to make a few attempts, so I do it once or twice with paper and only then use cardboard. I then recommend photocopying that sheet and working on the photocopy. Then, you can quickly make a new planogram when required, as it has many uses, which I have already discussed here.

Gather Sales or Profit Data:

Now go to your point of sale system and get sales figures. Instead of using sales, I recommend using the number of sales and profit. So, I tend to use profit here because I think it's the most meaningful, but many prefer numbers. 

Sales breakdown report

Divide Sales/Profit by Linear Metres:

I prefer to use Excel for calculations, but many use calculators.

Divide the total numbers by the overall linear metres you have to give you an average. This will be your baseline.

Now divide the sales, number, or profit by the linear measurement. For example, if you had a $3,300 profit in that period and the shelf you paced is three steps, then your KPI = 1,100. Now go through each department and calculate the figures.

Categories Performance:

  • Blue: Very good
  • Green: Above average
  • Yellow: Average
  • Orange: Below average
  • Red: Poor

Now, we divide the results into five groups. I find it quicker to take the top items as they stand out and put them in my blue group, and then I dump the bad ones in the red. Now you are looking at the rest for every three yellows, a green and an orange. 

Visualise Results on Your Store Layout:

Use colour coding to mark the performance categories on your store layout drawing. This visual representation will help you quickly identify areas performing well and those needing attention.

Interpreting and Acting on Your Space Performance KPIs

See where the green arrow points. Apparently, there is something to investigate at these spots. See the green arrow pointing to red. This is a problem. Everything around is blue, so it is not the location. As this simple example shows, this KPI is a good indicator of how effective your use of space has been. You can use this to make stock, marketing, and layout decisions.

Although I have used profit here, try the same thing with numbers. What you want with numbers is to see that your clients are attracted to going deep into the shop.

  1. Identify Underperforming Areas: Look for sections marked in orange or red on your store layout. These areas may require changes in product placement, merchandising strategies, or promotional efforts to boost performance. Often, the suggestion here is to reduce the spot size.

  2. Analyse High-Performing Areas: Examine the blue and green sections to understand what is driving their success. Consider increasing the spot for the points marked in blue.

  3. Monitor Customer Flow: Pay close attention to areas where customers seem to be drawn in deeper or where they tend to linger. This technique can assist you in enhancing product arrangement and layout to encourage more browsing and impulsive buying.

  4. Adjust Stock Levels: Use this KPI information to adjust stock levels for various products or categories, ensuring you have the appropriate inventory in suitable locations. Increase the spot size for high-performing items and decrease it for underperforming items.

  5. Implement Strategic Promotions: Use your KPI data to check the underperforming areas. Alternatively, you may consider replacing underperforming items with other stock that sells better in those areas.

  6. Regularly Review and Adjust: Measuring and analyzing space performance KPIs should be ongoing. Review it regularly to maintain an optimized and profitable store layout.

Continuous Improvement and Customer Satisfaction

As discussed, measuring and analysing space performance KPIs is a continuous process. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your store layout and product placement based on your data ensures that your store is continually optimised for maximum sales and customer satisfaction.

The reality is that facts should have the final say, not your gut feeling.

Start now to maximize your store's potential. It takes about half an hour, and you will have much to consider. So start measuring your space performance KPIs today.

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A tip for this End of Financial Year

POS SOFTWARE

End of the Financial Year 2024

EOFY, or the End of the Financial Year, is when you close the books. This year, the EOFY falls on a Sunday (June 30th, 2024), which can make things messy regarding your financial records.

The Perils of a Weekend EOFY

Here's the potential snag: some businesses close their accounting books on the Friday before the EOF, while others wait until Monday morning. This means invoices and credit notes sent Thursday or Friday might not reach your accounting system until next week. With Australia Post delays, you may find that your crucial invoices and credit notes aren't reflected in your records for quite a while. As a result, some companies' financial books will have figures different from your books for the EOFY. This mismatch can cause problems later during tax audits. 

The ATO inspector will check your figures, cross-check them with your suppliers, and ask why they differ. Since the audit is generally done years after the event, it can be hard to justify your figures. You will be scrambling to explain the discrepancy. You do not need these headaches.

This is precisely the situation that happened to us. One company sent us a credit note on Friday, which we did not get until a few days after the EOFY. Another company reviewed our debts to them long after and then backdated them to the EOFY.  Both of these cost us. 

Taking Control

You must ensure you have something in writing from your suppliers justifying your EOFY figures. If you cannot get that, you must ensure that your POS and financial systems can provide the information to explain your figures.

  • Try setting a deadline for receiving invoices and credit notes before EOFY. 
  • Chasing outstanding invoices/credit notes from suppliers.
  • Make sure you get something in writing.
  • Close your books a few days later if possible to get verified figures.

One big plus with our POS system compared to others is that you do not have to close the books at the EOFY, so you can keep processing and correcting them as information comes in.

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Master retail pricing in your shop

POS SOFTWARE

Master retail pricing in your shop

Bad pricing can be a death sentence in retail. It would be best to have the right pricing strategy to operate in this ultra-competitive landscape. Here is the game-changing solution to help you achieve that.

The Pricing Predicament: Challenges Galore

  • Customers question your prices, leaving you scrambling for justifications.
  • Suppliers are inquiring about your price, and you're unsure how to respond transparently.
  • Endless hours spent analyzing historical pricing data to determine what works for you.

We've developed a cutting-edge solution that puts you back in control of your pricing strategy.

Introducing the Game-Changing Pricing Tool

Our innovative Point of Sale (POS) software boasts a revolutionary "Price Change" feature that revolutionizes pricing management. With just a click, you gain access to:

  • A comprehensive pricing history for every product
  • Effortless cost and retail price comparison (displayed in red and blue)
  • Historical data to inform your pricing strategy

This will set you apart from the competition.

How to use this price-changing tool

Price changes history

 

You will find a Price Change screen in green above in the stock item. 

Now when you click that, you get another screen with the cost price shown in red and see the blue arrow, you have your retail price. 

Now, you have a complete history of the costs and retail prices and can sort by date. This can help you determine your retail pricing strategy and the right product price.

With just this click, you gain access to:

  • A comprehensive pricing history for every product
  • Effortless cost and retail price comparison (displayed in red and blue)
  • Historical data to inform your pricing strategy

In my experience, the process is quick to do. Also, what I find very useful is assessing the price vs. sales. There is no point selling too cheap if you can get more.

Elevate Your Retail Success to New Heights

Don't let pricing hold your business back any longer. Take control of your pricing strategy today and unlock a new level of retail success. Your business's future is in your hands.

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Marketing your end of financial year sale

POS SOFTWARE

Marketing your end of financial year sale

The End of the Financial Year (EOFY) is a great time for sales and to get rid of dead stock.

financial year sale 2024

More details here.

 

The clock is ticking right now, so this EOFY presents a window of opportunity that retailers should not miss.

 

Why Now?

Consider these factors:

  • Tax Refunds: People expect tax refunds, providing extra disposable income.

  • Accountant Recommendations: Accountants will often advise their clients to make purchases before the end of the financial year to maximise deductions.

  • Crucially, for the End Financial Year (EOFY)/ Mid-Year Sales, which have now commenced, is that the ‘Instant Asset Write-off Extension’ for purchases of up to $20,000 is set to end on Sunday, June 30.

Planning Your EOFY Sale

Here's how you can make the most of your EOFY sale:

Assess Your Inventory: Take stock of your inventory, particularly items sitting idle now. These items will serve as attractive loss leaders to draw customers in. Most of us are sitting on a heap of old (dead) stock. It tends to be pretty noticeable this time of year because we are looking at counting it. This stock, if unsold, sits uselessly on the shelf, so tying up cash unless you do something.

Our POS software has an extensive system to help you identify this old stock.

Click here for a training video on the identification of such stock.

As a tip, it's best to work with each department separately.

Instead of discounts, also consider bundles. Use the unsellable item as a discount to sell more sellable items.

Consult Your Suppliers: Reach out to your suppliers for insights and ideas. This is what we are doing now, I am telling them now. You may be able to sell it now or count it later. What would you prefer to do? Also, many of them are now budgeting for the end of the year, and they often need a lot of money now. 

Research Competitors: See what other retailers like you do for EOFY sales. This can inspire you. Try to differentiate your offerings.

Crafting Your Strategy

  • Discounts: Look for dead stock and consider using it as a loss leader to entice customers. A simple stand in front of the shop with cheap items works well.

  • Business Section: Create a business section in your shop that people can review. Post a sign over it stating that everything you buy there may be tax deductible. 

  • Promote your sale: Some in-store signage will be used to promote your EOFY sale. It would be best if you created a sense of excitement to encourage immediate action.

Conclusion

This EOFY season presents a unique opportunity for retailers to boost sales and clear out excess inventory. You can make the most of this lucrative period by planning your sale. Don't let the EOFY pass you by!
 

 

 

 

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Use marketing for your business

POS SOFTWARE

Typical SMS marketing message

In today's marketplace, businesses must leverage every marketing channel to captivate their target audience effectively. Each channel offers distinct advantages and considerations.

Your POS System will give you details on what is selling now. Use that info to start your message.

Let us explore the compelling features of SMS, email, and Facebook/Instagram marketing, weighing their costs and benefits to help you make informed decisions for your business.

Some studies show that people who read business messages do give businesses a high success rate. The big problem with electronic messages is getting people to read them.  A typical rate today is about 22% open rate, with about 55% of those who read it action it. 

The fact of life is that you often get what you pay for in advertising. Hold this thought while we go through some options.

The Appeal of SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is probably the dearest electronic marketing option in our client base. Still, it provides some intriguing options with several compelling features that appeal to businesses seeking to engage their customers directly and instantly.

Immediacy and High Open Rates

SMS marketing will capture customers' attention immediately. Typically, they are read within minutes of receiving them. Additionally, SMS campaigns boast impressively high open rates, often exceeding 90%, surpassing email and other marketing channels.

I have a client who has a sandwich bar. Come to 2:00 p.m. if they are looking at a heap of sandwiches that will be dumped if not sold. They send out specials by SMS. Email will not help much if you need to move those sandwiches in less than an hour. Only SMS can do it.

The Cost Considerations of SMS Marketing

Here's a typical breakdown of the expenses for prepaid SMS bundles that would be valid for 12 months of purchase:

Bundle Cost $ Each Cent
1,000 SMS $115 11.50
2,000 SMS $142 7.10
5,000 SMS $325 6.50
10,000 SMS $585 5.85
50,000 SMS $2,475 4.95
100,000 SMS $4,500 4.50

 

Once purchased, it is really about using them or losing them. I had a client who lost when they weren’t using as much as they thought they would.

As you can see, the SMS cost is higher for companies that send a few SMS messages. 

Many would consider $600 a year justified to send 1,000 SMS messages monthly to engage with their customers directly and immediately.

The Power of Email and Facebook Marketing

While SMS marketing offers unique advantages, email and Facebook marketing present compelling alternatives that can deliver substantial results without breaking the bank.

Cost-Effectiveness and Scalability

One of the most significant advantages of email and Facebook marketing is their cost-effectiveness, especially compared to traditional marketing methods or SMS campaigns. These options do not incur much cos, making them convenient for businesses with limited budgets. Email and Facebook marketing are highly scalable, allowing you to reach a larger audience without a huge additional cost. There is no cost for most of our customers; it’s free of charge. It's pretty hard to argue with that!

Rich Multimedia Content and Engagement

Email and Facebook marketing campaigns enable you to showcase your products or services through rich multimedia content, captivating visuals, and engaging storytelling. This approach captures your target audience's attention and fosters deeper connections and brand loyalty. Make sure you take photos. 

Targeted Reach and Personalization

Both email and Facebook marketing platforms offer robust segmentation and targeting capabilities. Most people find that a standard message to all works, but it's nice sometimes if you have a good list to tailor your specific audience segments. This personalisation level enhances your communications' relevance and strengthens customer relationships.

ROI (Return On Investment)

This is tricky. So many factors come into it. However, we can discuss general differences between SMS, email, and Facebook marketing regarding how quickly you might see results.

  • SMS Marketing: SMS boasts high open rates, meaning you'll likely see a faster response to your promotions. Did that afternoon text about discounted sandwiches go straight out of your inventory? The ROI for that campaign is pretty clear!

  • Email & Facebook Marketing: Email and Facebook marketing rarely provide immediate sales figures; unlike SMS, they can be incredibly effective in building brand loyalty and driving long-term customer engagement. The ROI might not be as instantly measurable, but loyal customers who return for repeat purchases are a valuable asset.

Pro Tip: Use Unique Discount Codes!

Here's a powerful strategy to track the effectiveness of each marketing channel: assign a unique offer for each campaign. This allows you to see what is working. 

Conclusion

Today, in retail, you must leverage every available channel to captivate your target audience effectively. 

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People Counting Technology for your shop

POS SOFTWARE

People counting in Apple shop

This is the sort of report managers in major retail shops look at weekly. Now, understanding foot traffic is excellent for retailers. Knowing how many people enter your shop can give you a lot of information. This is commonly called your footfall. Let's dive into it and see how it can benefit your business.

Why People Counting Matters

People counting technology provides valuable insights that can help retailers. The primary use is to determine the correlation between foot traffic and sales. Let's explore four results.

High Foot Traffic, Low Sales

  • Analysis: Many people are entering your store, but sales are not happening for this traffic.

  • Possible reasons:

    • Your stock is not what the people drawn to your shop are looking

    • Often, this is caused by not having enough staff.

    • Unengaging store layout or customer experience.

  • Actionable insights: Review product placement, marketing strategies, and store layout to identify areas for improvement.

Low Foot Traffic, High Sales

  • Analysis: Fewer people enter your store, but sales are higher than expected.

  • Possible reasons:

    • Targeted marketing campaigns are attracting the right people.

    • Effective product placement and inventory management.

    • Engaging store layout and customer experience.

  • Actionable insights: Continue refining marketing strategies and focusing on customer experience and product placement. Consider how to get more of these people.

High Foot Traffic, High Sales

  • Analysis: Many people are entering your store, and sales are strong.

  • Possible reasons:

    • Effective marketing campaigns and promotions.

    • Engaging store layout and customer experience.

    • Good product placement and inventory management.

  • Actionable insights: Well, clearly, you are doing the right thing.

Low Foot Traffic, Low Sales

  • Analysis: Fewer people enter your store, and sales are lower than expected.

  • Possible reasons:

    • It would be best if you considered how to get more people into the shop

    • Poor product placement or inventory management.

    • Unengaging store layout or customer experience.

  • Actionable insights: Review marketing strategies, product placement, and store layout to identify areas for improvement and develop targeted campaigns to attract more customers.

It also gives other information. 

Understand Foot Traffic Patterns:

  • Analyse the number of people entering your store to identify peak hours, busy periods, and slow days.

Optimise Staffing and Inventory:

  • Use foot traffic data to adjust staffing levels, manage inventory, and restock shelves during peak periods.

Account for External Factors:

  • Understand how weather, sporting events, and other external factors impact foot traffic.

Types of People Counting Technologies

There are two main types of technology used by my clients

Beam Sensors

Beam sensors are the earliest, cheapest, and simplest people traffic counters. They consist of an infrared emitter and detector positioned on either side of a doorway. When a person walks in or out, the beam breaks, and the counter registers a count.

Pros:

  • Simple and Cost-Effective: Break beam sensors are cheap and easy to install.

Cons:

  • Unidirectional: They can't distinguish between people entering and exiting.
  • Barrier Perception: The beam can act as a barrier, making some customers reluctant to enter.
  • Accuracy Issues: They may count two people walking together as one, making the results questionable in a full shop. Also, they tend to miscount families and people with prams.

WiFi Counters

These use the WiFi signals from smartphones to detect and count people. This technology is said to be more accurate as almost everyone carries a smartphone.

Pros:

  • Accurate and Advanced: Most people have smartphones, providing reliable counts.
  • Hidden: No one knows that you have them. This has proven to be a huge plus.
  • Advanced Capabilities: Potential to identify repeat visitors or known shoplifters and exclude staff from counts. For privacy reasons, few do this, though.

Cons:

  • Higher Cost: WiFi counters are more expensive.
  • Bluetooth Dependency: Individuals may not be counted if Bluetooth is turned off. This is a big problem. 
  • Overcounting: Many people today have smartwatches. These can be counted twice.

Overall, I think Beam is better, but many would disagree. 

Integration: Manual vs. Automated

When it comes to integrating people counting technology with your POS system, there are two main approaches:

Manual Integration: Most small retailers opt for manual integration. Each morning, they check the people counter, record the number, reset it, and then enter the data into a spreadsheet. While this method is cost-effective, it has a significant downside: It's messy, time-consuming, and does not give hourly traffic data.

Automated Integration: Although more expensive, investing in an integrated solution provides continuous, real-time data. This allows for detailed foot traffic analysis by the hour, offering deeper insights for better decision-making. I think the extra cost is worth it. 

Conclusion

People counting technology is a powerful tool for small retailers. It provides invaluable data to enhance staffing, inventory management, marketing strategies, and overall store performance. 

If you consider this technology to unlock the power of people counting technology for your business, worth investigating, please get in touch with us to learn how people like yourself use it to help their retail businesses. 

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Streamlining your Repair Control in your shop

POS SOFTWARE

a technician using a tablet to update a repair order

Managing maintenance and repairs in your store - whether a jewellery store, bike shop, or lawn mower repair - can be challenging as a retailer. However, using the correct methods and tools can simplify your maintenance management process and has resulted in increased productivity, lower costs and increased customer satisfaction with a larger In this article; we’ll explore the benefits of digitizing your work order process flow, implementing intelligent ticketing systems, automating communications and integrating accounts seamlessly strenuous Program flow: the key to success A well-defined job scheduling system is essential to reduce unscheduled downtime, improve equipment reliability, and optimise maintenance costs.

By implementing a structured schedule, you can:

  • Prioritize tasks: Ensure critical repairs are addressed promptly

  • Schedule preventive maintenance: Reduce unexpected failures and extend equipment lifespan

  • Document repairs: Keep a record of completed work for future reference. I have had clients who have picked up a turnover just because everything done is documented. What was happening was that people were doing tasks and forgetting to charge for them.

  • Continuously improve: Regularly review and refine your process

From Chaos to Calm: Streamline Repairs with POS Software

Use our intelligent ticketing system to guide repair jobs from submission to completion, enabling you to:

  • Assign tasks: Clearly define responsibilities among team members

  • Track progress: Monitor the status of each repair job

No matter your repair specialty, our POS software can simplify your workflow. Here are some examples:

  • Jewelry Stores: Track jewellery repairs.
  • Bike Shops: Create service orders for tune-ups and component upgrades and track the parts used for each repair.
  • Enhance collaboration: Ensure seamless communication among team members

Automated Communications: Keeping Customers Informed

Automatic email and SMS notifications keep customers updated on:

  • Parts availability: Inform customers when necessary components are available

  • Job completion: Notify customers when repairs are finished

  • Work progress: Provide regular updates on repair status

Our POS system goes beyond point-of-sale. It integrates into maintenance management and provides a unified workflow for smooth operations.

Imagine this: A customer brings in a broken watch. You create maintenance orders in the POS and automatically capture customer and product information. The system then communicates with your inventory to view parts and quote your price immediately. This eliminates data entry errors and saves you and your employees valuable time. Additionally, once repairs are complete, the POS can generate invoices based on work done, making it easier for your customers to check out and, most importantly, nothing is missed from the invoice.

POS system for repairs

Reduce administrative costs through automated work order creation, invoicing, and reporting.

  • Invoicing: Generate invoices based on completed work

  • Reduce paperwork errors:  These can lead to costly rework and customer dissatisfaction.

  • Efficient billing: Reduce administrative tasks and errors

Spare Parts Inventory Management: Ensuring Readiness

Maintain an organized spare parts storage to:

  • Ensure necessary components are readily available

  • Reduce delays: Minimize wait times for essential parts

Maintenance Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Tracking Success

Monitor metrics such as:

  • Equipment uptime: Measure the percentage of time equipment is operational

  • Mean time to repair (MTTR): Track the average time to complete repairs

  • Overall repair cycle time: Monitor the time from submission to completion

Regularly review KPIs to identify areas for process improvement.

Customer Satisfaction: The Ultimate Goal

Efficient repair tracking directly impacts customer satisfaction. Transparent communication and timely repairs lead to happier clients, increasing loyalty and repeat business.

Embracing Technology and Efficiency

Implementing these practices can significantly enhance your repair shop's performance, leading to growth and customer loyalty. If you do any repairs in your business, why not embrace technology and implement more efficient processes? After all, this is crucial for business success.

Conclusion

Streamlining these processes will reduce downtime, improve reliability, and optimise maintenance costs, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Receive technology and efficiency to take your maintenance business to the next level.

Contact us now to check it out!

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Here Is the First Mention of Newsagencies in Australia

POS SOFTWARE

This is an expanded version of an article I wrote on Thu, 20/05/2021. I have reprinted it mainly as there is much interest in the topic.

POS Solutions was asked to give a talk on newsagencies to the ACCC, which I was happy to do to show our commitment to supporting newsagents. So I went to HWT to ask for some information. The HWT manager suggested I start my talk with the history of newsagencies in Australia, saying it would be a good start to get into it. He then proceeded to give me some information. I did some of my own research, and here is what I found. Newsagents have a rich history in Australia.

Firstly, despite what people say, the start had nothing to do with the Gold Rush; newsagencies were firmly established in Australia long before then. 

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser were the first newspapers printed in Australia. They were first published on 5 March 1803, only 15 years since Australia was established. The Sydney Gazette was initially an official publication of the government of New South Wales but soon privatised. Initially, Australian newspapers were sold directly from the printing offices. As more newspapers were established, booksellers and stationers started selling them. The  earliest reference I have to newsagencies in Australia is in the South Australian Record  Wed 8 Nov 1837  

It does not, unfortunately, list the state or details, but shortly afterwards, on Mon 2 Dec 1839, it states in this publication.

Earliest reference to an Australian Newsagency

Interestingly, it was long before the Gold Rush and in a state that would be relatively unaffected by it.  We then start to see newsagencies listed often. So, by 1837, we had an established newsagency industry. From what I can gather, a storekeeper made a private deal with a newspaper publisher to sell newspapers. The early newsagencies called themselves *news-agents* as they had an agency of a newspaper publisher. What it does highlights the ingenuity of early storekeepers who saw an opportunity in newspaper distribution.

Here are the earliest photos I could find of newsagencies in Australia, 

Earliest photo of an Australian Newsagency

Short Street, Hill End, in 1872, when the gold town was at its peak. State Library of New South Wales.

If you notice, it sells much more than newspapers. 

An early Australian newsagency

J. Phillips' Newsagency, Fruitrer (sic) and General Dealer, Hill End1870-1875

By 1879, the first Newsagents Association in Australia (VANA) was formed in Melbourne. This formation signified the industry's growth and need for collective representation.

The rest is history.

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Basket size by hour

POS SOFTWARE

Your point-of-sale software has a lot of features that are nice to know and free for you to get and take only seconds to find out. It is a free resource. These are my favourite things.

One such tool is the "Basket Size by Hour" report in your point of sale (POS) software. This report provides insight into your customers’ buying habits.

Get the "Basket Size by Hour" report.

To access this report, go to End of Day> Reporting > Average Basket size by hour in your POS software.

Now, put in a date 

See how the basket size varies in your shop by the time of day.

Put in a range of dates, and I am sure you will find them very interesting.

You'll likely notice that account sales tend to have higher basket sizes than retail sales. It is a hidden benefit to account sales that many miss.

Basket size by hour

Some ways to Use the "Basket Size by Hour" to Optimise Your Retail Operations

Optimise Staffing

Generally, the smaller the basket size, the less selling your staff needs to do and the more transaction processing is required. For times with high basket sizes, you need staff members who can sell.

Targeted Promotions

Most shops have different types of customers, depending on the time of the day, so try experimenting with promotions based on time.

Give it a go!

The "Basket Size by Hour" report is a powerful tool to help you optimise your retail operations and stay ahead of the competition. Analyzing this report allows you to make data-driven decisions to improve staffing, promotions, visual merchandising, and checkout efficiency. Don't miss out on this valuable insight – start using the "Basket Size by Hour" report today, boost your sales and stay ahead of the competition!

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Sell more with captivating hamper pack names

POS SOFTWARE

Sell more with captivating hamper pack names

If you want a simple, easy, and free way to sell more, an effective strategy to boost your revenues is making a good hamper pack name. One often overlooked aspect that can make a significant difference is the naming of your hamper packs. In real estate, it is said a house with a name is worth more. This is because a well-crafted name will entice people and so increase sales by making your offerings more memorable. So, ultimately, drive your business growth.

Key Principles for Effective Hamper Pack Naming

  1. Balance Creativity and Clarity: While you want a unique name that stands out, it should still clearly convey the contents of the hamper pack. Strike a balance between creativity and clarity to capture the essence of your offering.

  2. Avoid Ambiguity: Ensure that the name leaves no room for ambiguity about the type of items included in the hamper. Clarity is crucial in avoiding confusion and lost sales opportunities.

  3. Easy to Remember: A memorable name is essential for word-of-mouth marketing and repeat business. Opt for simple, catchy names that stick in customers' minds and are easily recalled.

  4. Distinctiveness: Aim for a name that sets your hamper packs apart.

  5. Positive Imagery: Choose words that evoke positive feelings about gifting, celebration, creativity, productivity, and organisation. 

  6. Avoid Legal Issues: We do not need this. Avoid names that are too similar to existing major brands or trademarks. I had a client who got in trouble with central management for doing that in his shop.

Examples of Simple and Effective Hamper Pack Names 

Say for stationery

- Home Office Pack

- Kindergarten Pack

- Starter Pack

- Small Pack

- Medium Pack

- Large Economy Pack

When naming a lotto syndicate, try to make it an exciting game. Finding the right name can set the tone for your group.

- Gold Rush Syndicate

- Dream Big Syndicate

- Millionaire Maker

- Jackpot Gold Alliance

 

These names are informative and memorable and evoke positive imagery related to their respective target audiences and intended uses, making them ideal choices for hamper packs.

Remember to take high-quality photos of your hamper packs! These images can showcase your hamper names on social media platforms and marketing materials, further enhancing brand recognition and driving sales.

How to get Brainstorm Hamper Pack Names

I suggest using online name generators like BrandCrowd's hamper name generator to kickstart brainstorming captivating hamper pack names. This tool not only provides a wide range of name suggestions but also offers you an accompanying logo design for your hamper.

Here's how you can leverage BrandCrowd to brainstorm hamper pack names:

  1. Visit the BrandCrowd and enter relevant keywords related to your hamper pack offerings, such as "gift," "kids stationery", "bulk dog food," etc.
  2. Browse through the generated name suggestions, paying attention to those you think will resonate with your customers.
  3. Shortlist names that balance creativity and clarity evoke positive emotions and are memorable and easy to recall.
  4. Consider mixing and matching different name and logo combinations to find the perfect fit for your hamper.
  5. After finding a few, I recommend seeking feedback from potential customers to gauge their reactions and refine your selection further.

Now, you have an appealing name and logo for your hamper.

Remember, the correct name and visual identity can significantly impact customer perception and drive sales, so it's worth investing time and effort into finding the perfect combination for your hamper packs.

 

Entering into the computer the info

It would be best to control your hampers to get sales and stock control by putting them into your POS Software.

In stock pricing, you will find this under hamper packs. See the green arrow.

Hamper description

The same idea applies to syndicates.

Final Thoughts

An excellent hamper pack name should resonate with your target audience, be easy to remember, and align with your brand's overall image and values. By following these principles and exploring various options, you can find the perfect name that captivates customers, boosts sales, and sets your business apart.

Remember, simplicity and clarity are essential to effective hamper pack naming. Strike the right balance between creativity and understanding, and you'll be well on your way to crafting memorable and impactful names that elevate your brand and drive customer engagement.

Comments

Excellent article! These hamper pack names seem great.

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The $20,000 Instant Asset Write-Off and Your Business

POS SOFTWARE

Australian Taxation Office

Now, it's when people look at the financial year's end. I can tell you that many are now doing the sums of their taxation requirements this year. This is my experience. 

Is your computer feeling sluggish? Are the long queues and slow checkouts frustrating your customers and costing you? Then maybe it's time to turbocharge your business with a new computer using an ATO's $20,000 Instant Asset Write-Off!

This lets you immediately deduct the cost of eligible computers (up to $20,000) from your taxable income. In the past, this has saved thousands of dollars for many of my clients and most likely can save you money, too. 

Here's why a new computer and the write-off are a winning combo for your business:

Unleash the Speed Demons! 

  • Faster Checkouts: Upgrade to the newest lightning-fast computer to get faster speed. A new computer can improve the speed of your POS software performance.
  • Boost Staff Productivity: Their time on the computer costs you money and reduces their time for money-making work.

Here's how it benefits you:

  • Improved cash flow: This deduction allows you to immediately deduct the full cost of the computers that you would otherwise have spent on depreciation over several years. This can free up much cash flow.
  • Simplified tax time: No need to track depreciation schedules for your computers. Just claim the deduction and move on.

Real Business Owners, Real Results! ️

"Since upgrading our computers with the write-off, checkout times have plummeted! Customers are in and out in a flash, and our staff are so much more efficient." 

"The tax savings from the write-off were a huge bonus! We used the extra cash to invest in a top-notch inventory management system"

Don't Miss Out! 

This opportunity ends June 30, 2024. The computers have to be in the shop and working by then, to claim this year so if you are interested you need to move immediately

Here's a win-win solution: Upgrade your computers with the ATO's $20,000 Instant Asset Write-Off, boost your business, and save thousands on your tax bill!

Contact us today for a free consultation and discover the perfect computer to boost your business and save with ATO's Instant Asset Write-Off!

Please Talk to your accountant first to check whether you meet the eligibility criteria. This information is for general purposes only and shouldn't be taken as tax advice.

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Improve your Sell-Through Rate for Retailers

POS SOFTWARE

bugs bunny as a frustrated customer looking at an empty shelf in a gift shop

The delicate dance of retail inventory management: Picture the frustration of encountering empty shelves where popular items should be or overflowing aisles with last season's clothes. Both scenarios highlight the importance of balancing meeting customer demand and minimizing excess stock. At the heart of this strategy lies this:

Sell-Thru Rate

This rate is a powerful key performance indicator (KPI) in retail that measures the efficiency of a stock's performance. It is the percentage of your stock item sold during a specific period compared to the amount you received. It essentially tells you how quickly your stock is moving off the shelves. A high sell-thru rate indicates strong sales performance and effective inventory management. In contrast, a low sell-thru rate may signal a misstep on the inventory management tightrope, indicating overstocking or outdated products.

It requires real-time information that your POS System should have. Information here is power. 

Calculation of Sell-Thru Rate

The rate is calculated using a straightforward formula:

Sell-Thru Rate = (Number of Units Sold) / (Number of Units Received) x 100%

Say you got  a hundred blue pens and sold sixty blue pens in a month; your sell-thru rate is:

(60 / 100) x 100 = 60%

If you sell in one month (100%), you often do not need to pay for the stock, as your customer sales will pay the suppliers.  

Step-by-Step to calculate the Sell-Thru Rate

  1. Determine the Period: Choose a timeframe for the calculation (e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly). Using one timeframe for the shop allows for a more straightforward analysis. Most people use a month, which works well for Australian business practices.
  2. Count Units Sold: Record the number of units sold during the chosen period. Your point-of-sale (POS) system can easily access this data.
  3. Count Units Received: Record the number of units received during the same period. Your inventory management system or purchase records should provide this information.
  4. Apply the Formula: Use the sell-thru rate formula: 

    Sell-Thru Rate = (Number of Units Sold) / (Number of Units Received) x 100%

Example Calculation

Say you brought twenty Coke cans for the shop at the beginning of the month, and by the end, you had sold fifteen. To calculate the sell-thru rate:

(15 / 20) x 100 = 75%

This 75% sell-thru rate shows a good demand for Coke at the product quantity selected.

Timeframe Considerations

  • Calculating your sell-through rate regularly helps you manage your inventory. Being consistent helps identify trends, forecast demand, and adjust inventory levels.
  • Using a POS system can significantly simplify the sell-thru rate calculation. Modern POS systems automatically track sales and inventory, providing real-time data that eliminates manual errors and saves valuable time.  POS Solutions offers intuitive dashboards and reports

Understanding a Sell-thru Rate

Benchmarks for a Good Sell-Thru Rate

A "good" sell-thru rate can vary widely depending on the industry and product category. Here's why:

  • Product Category: Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) like beverages typically have higher sell-thru rates than luxury items like jewellery or high-end electronics.
  • Seasonality: Coke has a higher sell-thru rate during summer, while sales drop in winter.

Here are generally accepted retail benchmarks:

  • 60% - 80%: This range is considered a reasonable sell-thru rate for many retail sectors. It indicates that a significant portion of inventory is sold within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Above 80%: An exceptionally high sell-thru rate. This is often considered a danger as it suggests you're not stocking enough inventory to meet peak demand or selling too cheap. 
  • Below 60% could indicate overstocking, outdated products, or pricing issues. Analyse your data and implement strategies to improve sell-thru rates for these categories.

As a rule, most retailers are suggested to get to 75% sell-thru. In our tests, we see much room for improvement in SMEs as most retailers there are now at about 60%

Influencing Factors

Several factors can impact your sell-thru rate, and understanding them is crucial for navigating the inventory management tightrope:

  • Product Category: As mentioned earlier, some products naturally have higher turnover rates than others. When setting expectations, consider the inherent demand cycle for your product mix.
  • Seasonality: Seasonal fluctuations are a fact.
  • Market Trends: Staying attuned to current trends and consumer preferences can significantly impact your sell-thru rate. Products aligned with trending styles or features tend to sell faster. Do market research to adjust your buying strategies accordingly. One good source is the list of the best sellers, many of which are publicly available. 
  • Pricing Strategy: Competitive pricing can enhance your sell-thru rate. However, avoid excessive discounting. If an item needs to be significantly discounted to be moved, consider whether it should be kept.
  • Marketing and Merchandising: Creative marketing campaigns and attractive in-store displays can boost product visibility and sales, improving your sell-thru rate. I like the idea that many online retailers use now to highlight their popular items in their shops; try it in your shop, as this method has been shown to drive customer interest.

Advanced Techniques for Sell-Thru Rate Mastery

To truly master the inventory management tightrope and achieve exceptional sell-thru rates, consider implementing these advanced techniques:

  • Inventory Forecasting: Accurate inventory forecasting involves predicting future demand based on historical sales data, market trends, and seasonal fluctuations. Our advanced POS systems have many predictive tools to help you make data-driven purchasing decisions.
  • Stock Levels: Maintaining optimal stock levels is crucial. Here are two standard methods:

    Min/Max Stock Level: You set a minimum and maximum stock level for each item. If the stock goes below the minimum, you order to the maximum.  This ensures you don't overstock and tie up capital in unsold products. Find the sweet spot between these two levels to maintain a healthy sell-thru rate. The threshold below is the inventory level that should not fall to prevent stockouts. -- Focus stock level: Most use this as you let the computer calculate the minimum/maximum based on various methods, including AI technology. It will be calculated based on history and current sales figures. You can always review the result after the calculation if you want manual control.  This technology can significantly enhance inventory management capabilities.

Case Studies: Real-World Examples

Let's look at a few examples of businesses that successfully improved their sell-thru rates using the strategies discussed, illustrating how they navigated the inventory management tightrope:

Case Study 1: Newsagency

A newsagency was struggling with its stationery department, as the person doing it manually for years had left. So, they decided to implement focus in their POS system. It began tracking sales data in real-time and analysing customer purchasing patterns. After about three months, their sell-thru rate had increased slightly, they had significantly less stock, and they had improved their cash flow.

Case Study 2: Fruit and vegetable store

They decided to push honey, but there was such a variety that it was becoming unmanageable. They adopted a minimum/maximum stock control for some selected lines to seed the original purchases. Soon, they started ordering based on predicted demand rather than historical sales alone. They focused on high-demand products and adjusted stock levels dynamically based on real-time sales data. Soon, they achieved a consistent sell-thru rate of over 70%.

Inventory management

Managing inventory effectively is a requirement today in retail. 

  • Prioritise Data-Driven Decisions: Integrate a robust POS system to gain real-time insights into your sales and inventory. Review your sell-thru rate and analyze trends.
  • Embrace Advanced Techniques: Implement inventory forecasting strategies to maintain stock levels.
  • Focus on Customer Satisfaction: The goal is ultimately to balance efficient inventory management and providing a positive customer experience. 

Recap of Key Points

  • Sell-Thru Rate Basics: It measures the efficiency of inventory usage and sales performance.
  • Calculation: Regularly calculate your sell-thru rate using the formula and track it over consistent timeframes.
  • Influencing Factors: Consider product category, seasonality, market trends, and pricing strategies.
  • Improvement Strategies: Use data-driven inventory management, effective product selection, and creative merchandising.
  • Advanced Techniques: Implement inventory forecasting, min-max stock levels, and leverage technology for optimization.

Take Action

Start by integrating a robust POS system like POS Solutions to gain real-time insights into your sales and inventory. Regularly review your sell-through rate. Then, adjust your strategies based on their data-driven insights. Inventory is an ongoing process.

Contact us for more information on how POS Solutions can help you improve inventory management.

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Unlock the Power of Product Knowledge

POS SOFTWARE

bugs bunny helps a happy customer

In today's retail, product knowledge can make or break a customer's experience. Imagine taking walks into a store, uncertain of what you want, and locating a salesperson who understands the goods inside out and takes the time to signify options and provide personalized pointers. This degree of provider can transform a casual vacationer into a faithful consumer. You are no longer a product shop but a destination spot.

The Importance of Knowledgeable Staff

Let's take a page from what I have seen at Bunnings. I have walked into Bunnings with a vague idea of what I need. Once inside, I always find a helpful former tradesperson, now a salesman, who can guide me to the right product. I find this invaluable. Why do I go to Bunnings? It is not just their large stock holding but their knowledgeable staff.

If your retail staff is well-trained and deeply familiar with your products and services, this knowledge empowers them to assist customers effectively, just like the tradesperson at Bunnings.

Having alternate products in your POS System can help. A simple stock search in your system can show similar stock products in your shop with stock quantities.

Critical Benefits of Knowledgeable Staff:

  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Customers feel valued and understood, fostering trust and building lasting relationships.
  • Improved Sales: Staff can suggest additional products, alternatives, or complementary items, increasing average order value.
  • Customer Loyalty: Excellent service and valuable insights encourage repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.

Active Listening

Another critical skill is active listening. Encourage your staff to actively listen to customers and ask questions to clarify their needs. This will help the customer and make them feel heard and appreciated.

Active Listening:

  1. Maintain Eye Contact: Show that you are focused on the customer and engaged in the conversation.
  2. Ask Clarifying Questions: Ensure you understand their needs fully by asking follow-up questions for clarification.
  3. Paraphrase: Repeat what the customer said in your own words to confirm your understanding.

Personalized Recommendations: A Touch of Magic

Train your staff to provide personalized recommendations. By understanding customers' preferences, needs, and shopping history, your team can suggest products tailored to each individual. This personal touch can significantly enhance the shopping experience and make customers feel truly valued.

Give Personalized Recommendations:

  • Know Your Products: Know all available options, including features, benefits, and use cases.
  • Understand Your Customers: Use previous interactions, purchase history, and any provided information. Information gained from one customer can be helpful with the next.
  • Be Empathetic: Show genuine interest in helping the customer find the best solution for their unique needs.

Customer Feedback

Encourage your customers to provide feedback. You will not learn if you do not ask. When I complained that his cold tablets had been useless since then, my pharmacist always asked me to come back and tell him how the product he recommended worked. It certainly gives me a reason to come back.

Using Customer Feedback Effectively:

  • Listen and Act: Carefully review feedback and implement changes or improvements based on customer suggestions.
  • Share Success Stories: Highlight positive reviews and customer testimonials in-store and online to showcase your commitment to customer satisfaction.
  • Engage with Customers: Thank customers for their feedback, inform them of any changes made based on their input, and continue to solicit their opinions.

Real-Life Experience: Learning from the Best

Reflecting on my grandfather's shop, I remember picking up many sales by suggesting related magazines and books even if we didn't have the specific item a customer wanted. I knew my books. This approach not only helped in making sales but also in building a solid rapport with customers. As customers, we sometimes don't see what products exist or what alternatives are available. That's why we need knowledgeable retail salespeople who can guide us and provide valuable insights.

Conclusion

Investing in product knowledge and training your staff can significantly elevate your retail business. Ensuring your team is well-informed, actively listens, provides demonstrations, and offers personalised recommendations creates a shopping experience that keeps customers returning. Embrace the power of product knowledge, and watch your retail business thrive!

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Navigating the Xero Price Rise

POS SOFTWARE

The Importance of Accounting Software in Retail

Handling your accounting effectively is vital for store success. Accounting software programs perform critical functions in tracking expenses, invoicing, payroll, and ensuring compliance with tax guidelines.  Today, with the ATO requirements for payroll, it has become a necessity for a business to have such software.

Xero is one of the most popular options among Australian retailers, mainly because of its comprehensive capabilities and cloud interface.

However, for some reason, Xero's recent price increase has raised many complaints, with several wondering about the platform's affordability. I am not sure why this year, as it was last year that the big price rise occurred, yet last year I heard nothing, and today I hear much. Maybe it's been the straw that broke the camel's back for some.

Xero price increase

I decided to investigate, so I went to the Xero website and decided to work on the Premium 5 plan, which is the most popular with my clients. I then used this website to convert the figures into 2024 dollars. 

Xero pricing from 2021

Then, I made a column for price rise in percentage.

Xero gragh of price increase

Check the above graph to provide a clearer view of these rate hikes. While the growth from 2021 to 2022 is less than inflation, there was a big leap of 15.44% in 2023. For some reason, this did not raise eyebrows amongst my clients, but in 2024, when faced with another 4.78% increase, I got some enquiries.

Addressing the Rationale Behind the Price Hikes

I have not heard or seen anything from Xero that states the reasons for those fee increases. I do know that it appears that the shareholders on the ASX like them. A company like Xero that can pass the costs on to its users is desirable to its shareholders. Looking at the ASX share price, it appears that the price rise is positive news, and it shows that Xero is a company that can pass on its costs.

Retail accounting software Australia

If you use Xero, the price hikes did upset you. Well, it's unlikely to get better for you next year. There are several others in the marketplace that offer comparable software. Reckon and MYOB are most popular with my clients, both of which, in my experience, can do your business. Our POS software integrates with these accounting software, saving time and effort. 

Most accounting software also offers a free trial to test it out. This should make it easy to examine based on your business needs, ease of use, reporting capabilities, and integration with existing structures. 

Most allow you to switch from Xero to them fairly quickly. However, you will get a copy of your information in Xero and make all relevant reports before stopping your subscription. Once it's cancelled, the data contained within that subscription is archived and held by Xero for 7 years, but you need to pay for access.  Most people who switch run to the end of the financial year and start the new year with another accounting system. 

Conclusion: Prioritising Your Business Needs

Ultimately, it is crucial to evaluate your alternatives cautiously, seek expert advice, and leverage community insights to make an informed choice that aligns with your business desires, budget, and long-term achievement. By prioritizing your specific desires and carefully weighing the pros and cons of diverse accounting software solutions, you can navigate this venture and discover the proper fit for your small retail enterprise. 

In my experience, the most crucial consideration is your ease of use, as most major accounting software in Australia do the same tasks and give the same reports.

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How to do a Price Increase in Your Retail Business

POS SOFTWARE

Calculating price rise

 

This is risky, and be cautious. Price rises are signals to people to drop you.

People leap after they see a fee rise. However, the fact is that during the business, there can also come a time when you want to elevate your fees. A price increase is often required to maintain profitability and your operations, whether due to inflation, multiplied provider costs, or a strategic shift for your commercial enterprise version. Here are a few ideas that will help you do it.

Understand the Reasons for a Price Increase

Before diving into the method, it's essential to understand the different factors that may necessitate a price adjustment. Here are a few common motives why groups choose a charge increase:

Rising Costs: If your providers have raised their costs or are facing extended operational charges, such as rent or utilities, price growth can be necessary to maintain your earnings margins.

Inflation: As the price of goods and services rises due to inflation, you could want to alter your costs to keep up with the changing economic climate.

Product Enhancements: Perhaps you're transferring your commercial enterprise closer to a more premium market section. A consumer decided to drop many cheap motorcycles and focus on more expensive bikes. With this technique, he lost all his clients.

Conduct Market Research

Before imposing a price rise alternate, it is vital to apprehend your competitive landscape and client perceptions. Consider the subsequent study steps:

Analyse Competitor Pricing:

Examine the prices of similar services or products your competitors provide. This will help you gauge the marketplace fee and ensure your new costs remain competitive.

Survey Your Customers: 

Gather feedback from your customers. This will offer insights into their willingness to pay more for your offerings and assist you in expecting capacity reactions to a growth rate.

Review Historical Data: 

Analyze your sales statistics and purchaser behaviour from preceding fee adjustments. This can help you identify patterns and predict the ability impact of the approaching rate exchange. In your POS System call up the product and see the effect of price increase on these prodycts.

Prepare a Plan B:

Consider what to do if your clients reject the new rate upward push too strongly. 

Develop a Pricing Strategy

Once you have accumulated the critical information, expanding a properly-idea-out pricing approach is time. Consider the subsequent methods:

Gradual Increase:

Instead of enforcing an extensive charge hike, you could choose a more minor, incremental increase over time. This technique may be much less jarring in your customers and extra handy for them to adapt. It works nicely if only a few items pass up at a time.

Bundle Offerings:

Remember to bundle complementary products or services at a reduced fee rather than increasing the rate of personal objects. This approach can lower your clients' perceived price while growing overall sales.

Communicate

 There are two views here. 

Option 1: Provide notice

This allows your clients to regulate their budgets and expectations. It also demonstrates transparency and builds acceptance as true among your consumer base. Explaining the reason behind the charge boom is allowed, but it gives your clients time to consider alternatives. In my experience, most customers do not pay much interest until it happens.

One massive plus is that it can set off a few customers to buy before the rate increases, quickly impacting your revenue. This is why so many humans do it.

Option 2: Provide no warning

This permits you to implement the trade swiftly without a prolonged notification period, but it risks unexpected or alienating customers who feel blindsided during the exchange. If not treated cautiously, it could damage purchaser trust and loyalty. It also leaves less time for customers to alter their budgets or expectations.

Whatever approach you take, it's important to explain the motives behind the charge boom simply and transparently. Highlight the cost and blessings your products or services offer your clients, and remember to offer loyalty rewards or reductions to your current customer base as a gesture of appreciation for their patronage.

Monitor and Adapt

After enforcing the price change, closely monitoring the impact on your income and consumer pride is critical. Be prepared to make modifications if necessary:

Analyze Sales Data:

Track and compare your sales figures to pre-growth ranges. You can also reevaluate your pricing method if you note a sizable decline.

Gather Customer Feedback:

Encourage your clients to provide remarks at the price trade through surveys, social media, or in-man or woman conversations. This treasured input will let you perceive regions for development and make essential adjustments.

Remain Flexible:

If your initial pricing approach is not yielding the preferred results, be open to adjusting it. Based on the information you have gathered and client remarks, adapt and refine your technique.

Implementing an increase can be delicate, but you can navigate this transition efficiently with cautious planning, effective communication, and a patron-centric technique. Remember, a nicely completed charge growth can enhance your profitability and strengthen the perceived price of your services in your clients' minds.

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Know your actual Gross Margins now!

POS SOFTWARE

Find your gross margins

Ever feel like your profit margins are a bit of a mystery? You know the numbers your suppliers give you, but those rarely show what is happening in your shop. That's where actual gross margin comes in – a true reflection of your operating efficiency.

For example, here at POS Solutions, we realize that running a successful store in the brick-and-mortar world requires knowledge. Therefore, our point-of-sale software makes monitoring your gross margins incredibly easy, giving you valuable insights to make informed decisions that can boost your bottom line.

Why Actual Gross Margins Matter More

While suppliers often provide "quoted" gross margins, these figures might not tell the whole story. Here's why:

  • Markup vs. Margin Confusion: Suppliers might quote a markup percentage (e.g., a 42% figure), which sounds more impressive than a gross margin of 30%. Plus, getting an actual feel of your business profitability will be tough if some items you have are markup and some are gross margin.
  • Selective Sharing: Sometimes, suppliers provide margins only for most products and then claim the rest they ignore. Yet even the rest of the items can impact your overall profitability.
  • Discounts and Deals: Let's face it, discounts and promotions are a part of retail life. But these can significantly impact your actual gross margin compared to the quoted figure.

Get Instant Insights with POS Solutions Sofware.

Imagine having a real-time snapshot of your actual gross margins at your fingertips. With our user-friendly POS software, that's precisely what you get! Here's how it works:

POS Software gross margins

  1. Access Your Cash Register Reports: Head over to your POS software's cash register reports section.
  2. Navigate to Sales: Locate the sales reports within the cash register reports section.
  3. Unlock the Power of Dissection: Look for a report titled "Dissection Sales / Profitability for a Given Period." 
  4. Run the Report: Select the desired timeframe (e.g., the last year) and generate the report.
  5. Find Your Profit Percentage: Within the report, you'll see a magic column – % Profit. This displays your actual gross margin, broken down by product or category.

Your actual gross margin

See the Difference for Yourself!

It's that simple! Monitoring your gross margin with the POS Software System takes seconds. Stop relying on guesswork and hidden figures—take control of your profitability today!

Want real-time insights? Contact us today to learn more. We can show you how our POS software can give you the information you require to help you run your business.

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