Bernard Zimmermann's blog

Making a Black Friday sale

POS SOFTWARE

We are entering now the holiday season, the next major one in the rank is on the 29 November, Black Friday which as you can see from google trends now has overtaken in interest in Australia Fathers day. It is a shopping holiday,

 

As you can see from the graph, Black Friday in blue has overtaken in Australia interest Fathers Day.

 

While the sales aren't quite so big in Australia as in the USA where it is the biggest shopping day of the year, it is a big shopping day whose sales are growing every year here. Last year on Black Friday, Australian shoppers spent about $320 million. I bet its more this year as interest in it this year appears to be extraordinarily high

I noticed that most of the larger retailers, eg Woolworths, IKEA  and Priceline are all doing something. Why not you?  

Easy to set up in our system a special!

Pick a few products and advertise it as a Black Friday special with an offer like  

* XXX dollars off - What people like on Black Friday are expensive items on discount

* BOGO - Buy <some quantity> and get one free. This has proven to be a very successful method of selling 

* Double points - Can often work

Give it a whirl and see how you go.

 




 

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Social Media Is Important For Your Small Business

POS SOFTWARE

I was listening to a video newsletter. In this video what the presenter did was did an interview with a small business owner who owns and runs a successful lotto agency in Dandenong. 

She is clearly an experienced business owner, running a business not too dissimilar to many of my clients. Now, what when asked did she think was so important to her business success. Her response was social media in particular Facebook and Instagram and being involved in the local community. When I looked up her business Facebook account, I could see that yes she was regularly posting information relevant to her customers on the latest in lotto and her community. Clearly based on her interview here, it is working for her business. 

Too many people today have not caught on that the traditional methods of marketing advertising or direct mail are less effective. Today much of the world largely connects, as she states through the social media community.

PS: What is weird about social media and shows how different it is, is although I do not know her or her business, through social media, I can see that she is a friend of a very close friend of mine. It is a small world.

What is amazing with such powerful tools like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc which are free to business what amazes me, is too many business people do not use it. Yet the reality is that these have fundamentally changed the way we are now connecting, communicating and collaborating.

If you have one of our websites, it is easy to automatically connect these social media to your site.

Here are some benefits of doing social media:

Customers: 

It can bring more customers to your shop. Most people are looking regularly at their social media accounts if you are there, it brings your shop to their attention.

Create more Sales:

Have something to sell them, why not offer them something. New products are coming in all the time. It does not have to be earth-shaking, a new shipment of pet food, a new range of cards, some cooking pots that are now on sale, some new magazine, etc 

Cost: You cannot beat FREE. 

Builds Relationships with your Customers: People on social media are communicating. You can answer questions, give advice on a product and talk to potential customers quickly and efficiently. 

Still unsure

The first point is to look at facebook to see what similar business to yours are doing. Then if you like what you see and want something similar and need help and are a supported user of ours, we do offer a free setup of a facebook account for your business.

 

 

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Tabcorp latest changes

POS SOFTWARE

the lotto

For many of our clients now that handle Tabcorp Lotto, one of the big problems now is that with their new app and Digital Wallet Sales, sales are coming through into their system with a price of zero and this means that it is harder to track their sales of lotto products accurately. In particular, what worried us was that it was difficult for us, as a result, to calculate the Gross Profit.

So we spoke to Tabcorp here

Tabcorp now has acted on our concerns and adopted our proposals. From next week they will be updating their system to separate their Digital Wallet sales from our clients' sales with pricing details. 

Great stuff!

There is no extra work for our clients as a patch (Version 1.1.92.9) will automatically update their systems, so they will be able to continue to scan lotto products as always.

Update:  One of our competitors has clearly for reasons that to us make no sense attacked Tabcorp and us.

What they do not like is pricing details included in the Tabcorp barcode. Well, just because the Tabcorp barcode has a price does not mean that they have to put the price into their software. All they have to do is code their software so if its a Tabcorp product, it is imported with a value of $0. If one of our users is so crazy and wants this too, well they can set up their system with our software to do that too *NOW*. What is the problem?

Let me further point out that this company track record on Lotto is not particularly good, a few years ago. I remember seeing in their spreadsheets of the future and speeches them saying that counter sales of Lotto will go down. It did not. It went up and its never been higher. Today with its super draws and promotions it has given lotto agents a major traffic drawcard. 

Also, business is the art of the possible, not what we would like, I believe that many of the changes they proposed are never going to be done in real-time.  They publically supported the politicians and the appropriate industry bodies to try and force Lottoland out of Australia.  Then we and many others pointed out that this was dreaming and Lottoland were not just going to leave. What they helped do is frustrate any hope of our clients getting new revenue streams from Lottoland, for example, see here, here and here

It goes on, one point I am very proud of our company is that what we propose and do is stuff our clients can use, their recent proposals on local politicians support, local currencies for small business, buskers grants, etc., in a real-time, dream on! 

Plus would these make much difference to SMB could also be disputed too, for example, buskers like to set up their Busking Stations in front of public places, markets and supermarkets as there is a mass of women and kids with money there!  Buskers know what they are doing, women and kids tend to give more than males. My daughter is eight years old if she likes a busker, she comes to Mum or me to give her some money to give to them. So does my Mum, she gives them money with a comment, "I like them doing this much more what they are doing than them begging in the street." I suggest very little money will flow to SMB as a result.

My understanding is this other company wanted the barcodes with a zero price on them. I would imagine this is because their software won't be able to handle prices and not have them affect the Newsagents' End of Day and cash reconciliation. One of the problems of using an archaic database backend that doesn't allow for updates like our software does.

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Our annual Support and Customer Perception Survey 2019

POS SOFTWARE

I used to go to a supplier of mine frequently, and this quote was on their wall. I liked it so much that I took a copy and put it my wall in our office and now for almost 40 years, I have read it every day I come to work. Mahatma Gandhi was a very wise man.


 

Well, now we are currently putting together our annual support survey for 2019. We have done it every year for 38 years. Boy, 2019 year has gone quick.

What we are seeking feedback from our clients to the service we provide you in 2019. Your responses will be used to assist us in our continually improving customer service. The survey is designed to measure the effectiveness and quality of our services, and it should only take you a few minutes to complete. If you have used our services and want to have your say in improving our performance with your suggestions then, please contribute.

Thanking you in advance

Bernard

PS We are adding two new questions this year to see what web commerce system and Buy Now and Pay Later Solution you are using.

 

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Zippay (Zip)

POS SOFTWARE

Zippay can now be directly integrated into our Westpac EFTPOS link. 

This may be useful for those that sell product through Amazon in particular as Amazon now accepts Zip.

The big plus, with zip is that by using it you are giving your customers the power to pay later interest-free with little risk to you. 

If you are interested let me know.

 

 

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Automating your replenishment processes

POS SOFTWARE

Most of your suppliers have large numbers of items on catalogue. I would say a typical small client of ours would be selling actively over a year selling over 43,000 lines. That is a lot of work if you order once a week to handle it. Just do a calculation on how much it costs you now to order stock?

Those that do not computerise it, tend to do much of the ordering on gut feel and memory.

However, getting it right is critical to retail business success as what we need to do is get the shopper what they want and when they want it. This is particularly difficult if you deal with products with high decay, eg popular magazines, fresh food, etc. because then we have the problem of availability vs waste.

This is why if possible here we recommend that you consider as the computer can relatively quite cheaply do the ordering that you consider smaller orders and buy frequently. This has the added advantage of keeping your stocks levels tight and your cash requirements down.

This is something where, if you are not already doing it where our software can save you much time and money and in the process, optimise your stock levels. What our software does is looking at your sales history discovers learning algorithms which automates replenishment. Technically its a form of demand processing. 

What it does is looking at your history of sales, create an ideal stock quantity that it thinks you require. 

If you order frequently, the amount of stock you need until the next reorder is less. It then compares this figure to what the actual stock on hand figure you have, it then adds some safety stock, then takes into account the ordering requirement of each supplier and then prints or issues a stock order with almost no work.

This reduces your holding costs, as you are not holding that much in stock.

It also

  • Lower ordering costs - as you are buying only what you need.
  • Improved selling rates - as you are ordering only what you need.
  • Decreased stock out occurrences - as the computer is checking continuously
  • Overstock wastes - this is often caused by people overestimating what they require.
  • Improved stock accuracy - you have a continuous check on your stock.
  • Higher customer satisfaction - you have the stock you require.

You will save a lot of time and almost certainly your shop will do a better job of it.

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Customer displays

POS SOFTWARE

Today, a customer display is something that anyone with a Point-of-Sale should consider. 

Here are some advantages and some points to consider if you are thinking of getting one.

The advantages are:

- That your customers like to see what you are charging them and appreciate you being transparent as they can see that they are being charged fairly as they can see what is happening now. This inspires confidence among your customer and in practice, can boost customer loyalty. 

- It also gives them something to do, so making them feel less than they are waiting. Instead, your customer feeling like a spectator, they think they are a participant.  

- It reduces the problems of queries after the transaction is done. Time is saved as most queries can be done when they happen. 

- Finally, a customer display in our system can be used to convey important messages to customers to consider as they are waiting their turn, like here. If you are interested in *Discount Vouchers*, this is a better way to go then receipts which very few customers get in real-time in modern retail.

 

 

If you are looking at such a unit!

Here are some points to consider.

-Workout what the screen size should be for you, maybe look at a few that other shops have before deciding. The screen size, once selected, can not be changed. As a general rule, a bit bigger is better.

-You need something hardy. Retail is a harsh environment for computer equipment. It will be knocked, if it is flimsy, it will smash. It will be in the open, so it gets dirty, and dust will get into it. Make sure it can handle this.

-Over the lifetime of this screen, it will be moved and adjusted, so make sure that the screen can be lifted up and down, and the angle of the screen can be changed. Ideally, you should be able to change it from vertical to horizontal and anywhere angle in between.

 

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Melbourne cup today

POS SOFTWARE

Our help desk team are right now there to help you.

If you have no time to talk, please complete the online form, and we will be back to you shortly!

PS Good luck and happy punting, we wish you a happy Melbourne Cup day.

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