BLOGS AND ARTICLES FROM THE POS SOLUTIONS TEAM

Point of Sale Software

Bushfires 2020

POS SOFTWARE

 

A lot of our community is experiencing catastrophic bush fires. It is huge, currently, it has burnt more land than all of Norway.

All our clients if you are affected and need our help, we are putting your call in as a top priority. 

Please make sure that if you are in the area that you have a backup, not in the shop. Make it a wide area as looking at the map, I would not be surprised if they were deliberately lit. It seems to be moving too fast to be natural. I know what I would like to happen to an arsonist if caught. 

Still, at the moment we are now getting ready to send out some temporary servers

Note besides those directly affected, many others are having problems with the supply of goods and the tourist are gone. So its prime holiday season and having no business. It is going to cause havoc to many local economies.

 

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Touch screens today

POS SOFTWARE

In shops today these sort of screens are now very popular with our clients partly because prices have dropped.

They also as they are raised, they use little space on the counter and have a screen for the customer. They also look very nice, an vital consideration in retail. As they are made for retail, they tend to work better in retail environments. They are designed with dirty, more prolonged use (retailer commonly use a screen 12 hours a day, seven days a week some more), have higher temperature ranges than the regular screens that are designed for airconditioned offices and as they are closed off and raised the occasional coffee spill affects them little.

Once you get used to touch, the higher speed and ease of use, means you use little else in the cash register. 

The operator often needs to watch that they have dry hands. Sweat is an excellent electric conductor, and touch screens do not like sweaty hands or wet fingers. Which in many retail environments can be a problem. Although we were promised that the newer monitors were supposed to be coming out that would be waterproof with wet finger tracking, I have not seen them. Although I have seen some mobiles that have this function.

Still, it is not a big problem, a tissue box nearby fixs it, as does a wipe on a shirt, worst case you find a dry finger. I find my little finger is the least likely to be sweaty or oily. Maybe that is why no-one has done much about the problem of wet finger tracking in retail.

If you are looking to get or upgrade a monitor, I suggest you look into these.

 

 

 

 

 

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How you travel in 2019?

POS SOFTWARE

Knowing where your business is going is essential. This is afterall 2020 (20/20 vision)

 

Now is an appropriate time to take a quick look find how well you went in 2019 and how you compared to previous years.

Go to register reports.

 

Now select the item marked "Sales Comparison for a Given period".

Note you can do it by a supplier, but that can be done later when you have more time for detailed analysis. What we are doing here is getting a quick idea.

It takes two steps.

1) Put in here the dates 

01/01/2018 to 31/12/2018 AND 01/01/2019 to 31/12/2019 dates

It only takes a few seconds and out will give you pages of detailed information showing how went in 2019 and how you went compared to 2018.

 

Write down some key figures.eg Turnover18, Turnover19

2) Now go back in and run the report with 

01/01/2016 to 31/12/2016 AND 01/01/2017 to 31/12/2017 dates

Write down some key statistics, in this example Turnover16, Turnover17

You now have four years of information to study. This should give you a pretty good idea of how your business is travelling now. I find drawing a graph of sales shows me a clear picture.I hope it went well for you.

Note if you use our Ad Hoc reporting you can automate much of your analysis, but in practice, I find keeping it simple like this seems to be more meaningful. If you want to go into something more scientific, you may find this an excellent place to start.

This is just another example of how powerful our point of sale software is for retail management.

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Final note before 2020

POS SOFTWARE

I thought I better write this before the festivities begin today and I start on the festivities.

Like this guy here, we are to leap forward. 

I like this picture as he is not looking backward. It would be dangerous for him to do so. It shows that there is no going backwards; the way things used to be is gone.

In 2020, retail in SMB will be about data. With our software, you have one of the most powerful reporting systems for real-time data and analytics. In 2019 in our market space, after a review, it was the system selected for the Australian Government trials with its major reform of EFTPOS with the CDC cards.

This real-time data and analytics can completely transform the way you handle the strategic and tactical decisions you need to make about pricing, promotions, and product placement too often much better than you can manually? 

A typical client of ours sold 20,060 different stock lines in the 2018 year. Do you think that manually they could keep track of the stock quantities needed for each of these lines in their shop, our program can! 

The time is long past when suppliers would supply you the retailer with sales data to help you sell more. You have to get it yourself. Rather than relying on guesswork and feel, to make smarter decisions for your shop.

Here are some things that our software can do: 

  1. It can predict with accurate recommendations.your stock purchases
  2. It can give you essential performance metrics KPIs
  3. It can forecast overall trends.
  4. Give you all your stock lines a sales forecast.
  5. It can do a market basket analysis that shows you what products customers are most likely to purchase together. 
  6. It can help you to optimise your pricing.

Okay, I could go on and on about this stuff with the requirements now for 20/20 vision, but I’m just going to stop here, I will discuss it more in detail later.

I do want to say now a big thank you to all my readers for a fantastic year! Your support, comments and kind words mean so much to me and I am very grateful to you all.  

Forward to 2020 

 

 

 

 

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Happy new year 2020

POS SOFTWARE

 

Thanks for your support over 2019, we are now the second most visited site for point of sale software in Australia, only retail express beats us and not by much.

Readers, I wish you our warm and heartfelt greeting to you and your family and your business.

I hope 2020 is full of health, happiness and prosperity.  

PS My thoughts for today. I will not make any new resolutions as I never keep them anyway. Mine last year was to lose weight, it is now unchanged from the previous year, and it was a big struggle to keep it the same.  

Accept that many of the things happen in life, that I can never go back.

Switch off.

Do not worry.

Enjoy the moment

 

 

 

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Quickly find the information on a report

POS SOFTWARE

In your POS System, sometimes finding the pertinent information on a report is tricky.    It can be a lengthy report on screen and say suddenly you want for some reason to find one card titled "Red rose on the heart."  on a sales report to see what you sold it for and you do not want to hunt for it.

As you can see here marked with a red arrow, this report they printed was 13,533 pages long. Trying to find one item can be tricky as with so many pages.

Well, you do not have to search, you get our software search engine to search for you. So I press the search marked with a brown arrow.

Up pops a box shown with a blue arrow. You would typically put in here "Red rose on the heart" ,but for the sake of showing you the power of this search box, I pressed in "heart",  and pressed a few times "Find next" till I find the one I was seeking.

 

Of course, if you know the exact title, this will make searching faster, and hide results that are not relevant to you now.

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Marketing holidays coming up

POS SOFTWARE

As unbelievable as it seems, 2019 is almost over and its time to start detailed planning for 2020.

 

The problem here is that many of the next few holidays are traditional, which means many use the old lunar calendar, not the solar calendar we use now. This all means that they move every year and you are going to look pretty stupid if you advertise a holiday and its the wrong day.

This happened to one of my clients last year, who ordered in cards for Chinese New Year thinking it was the same as last years date, so he got his cards alright a week too late.

So I suggest you click here. This site that has a great list of holidays in Australia, what I particularly like about it, is if you require an explanation on the holiday, all you need to do is click on the holiday, and you get a description.

If you have clients from other countries, you can select these to see when their special holidays are too!

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Boxing day

POS SOFTWARE

The marketing season now has us on Boxing Day. This is the time where retailers traditionally try to shed the last of their 2019 stock before the newer 2020 products.  It is one of the biggest days on the Australian shopping calendar. 

I hope you are ready, but if you have nothing for the last-minute gift shoppers and the bargain hunters today, then I suggest you look at my previous post titled "Last-minute shoppers" here. It should give you some ideas.

"The National Retail Association (NRA) forecasts that Aussie shoppers will splash more than $2.6 billion in cash nationwide". If so this is the biggest Boxing Day ever in Australia. They are expecting from the Roy Morgan who has been quite accurate over the past few years in their retail sales forecasts, predict that Australians are going to spend $18.7 billion across retail stores during the post-Christmas trading period (Boxing Day to January 15). That is an increase of 2.3 per cent from a year ago.

If so as in last year this season is not as high daily as it used to be, but as a season its longer, much longer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas from POS Solutions!

POS SOFTWARE

 

 

The holiday season begins. 

To all our readers and supporters here, thank you for your continued support this year and we hope next year you will continue to enjoy and engage with other progressive-minded retailers in debates on issues here.

So from everyone at the POS Solutions team, we would like to wish all of our readers and supporters here a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

 

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Let customers know your special hours

POS SOFTWARE

 

For many of you, with the holiday season, you are going to have some irregular schedules. If you won't be even better, but you need to tell people that because otherwise, they will assume that you are closed.

So what I suggest is that you notify your clients so that they will know when you’re open with signs, facebook and email VIP newsletters.

If you have not got anything, here are some templates you can customise now and use for free.

 

 

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Retail Protective Key Performance Indicators

POS SOFTWARE

 In Australia, retail theft is probably now the biggest crime. The figures quoted tend to be between 1 and 3%.

What makes it worse in our market space most of our clients are working on slim margins.

The kicker is that most of this theft is internal. 

Ignorance is not bliss here.

I can tell you stories of what I have seen of retailers in tears when they discover their most trusted employees, caught stealing from them. "We went to school together?" "We went on holidays together for years?"  "She is my sister?" etc. 

There is much you can do. I feel that the best approach is to set up proper procedures and check everything.

Here is a start in your system, we have a unique security system which monitors what people operating your point of sale are using.

These indicators give you a detailed breakdown for each operator, statistics on such things as their usage of no sale, voids, count, totals, refunds, negative items and discounts they are doing. Pay particular attention to any unusually large numbers in specific voids.

To run it, go to cash register reports. (see orange arrow)



Then select Staff and click on "Sales security indicators" (see blue arrow)


Select the required period, you wish; I recommend doing it monthly.

What you are looking for is that most thieves have a method which works for them, they become a creature of habit, and as such with these people, one indicator is generally up.

So what you are looking for is someone who has one very high item so what I suggest you do in the Adhoc reporting is ask your report to divide the Item_Void_Total and the Refund_Total by the total number of transactions the person has done. Now compare those figures to the average that everyone's else has done. Anything significantly upon that average figure might mean something. Also, another point to look for is that generally with an operator no-sales and voids tend to be linked, a high no-sales result tends to go with high voids and vice versa, but if one is high and the other is low, it's worth investigating. This is shown nicely on the graph, which you can also get the Adhoc report to make. 

Of course, you do not end here.

 

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Last minute shoppers

POS SOFTWARE

Right now what you will get many shoppers looking at the last minute for a gift idea. It is not a small market, I have seen figures that these people will be bringing in many shops 16% of the season trade. 

These people are rushed for time and what you need to do is make it quick and simple for them to buy. So what we recommend is a compelling visual stand that displays a small selection of your best selling items which your Point of Sale software should be able to provide you. This stand should show about ten items tops. Any more is starting to get confusing. So the idea here is that a person looking for a present sees your small front-of-store display, propped upright, with some popular items in a vertical backdrop. Will say to himself why not that?

If you want to know how to get the top ten selling items in the shop, well its easy in our point-of-sale system to do it.

Go to Register reports.

 

 

Now select "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period."

 

 

You will want about 100 items with the last three months of sales so on our listing which will look like this because not all the items will be suitable, like always you need to use some intelligence  

 

Start at the top and build your stand.

Give it a shot and see how you go. 

 

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A great idea for your facebook business page

POS SOFTWARE

I saw this on my facebook page, and I think it is an excellent idea for my clients who have businesses that are local to do. Have a read, and I will take you step by step through the process.

What has happened is that Facebook has recently just rolled out a feature that allows you to invite everyone to like a page that you found. This is what they are asking everyone to do.

If you go to a Facebook Page, in this case, I will use Ingleburn newsagency for the example, but what I suggest you consider is doing this for your shop.

On the left-hand side, you will see "community" (which I have circled in red with an arrow). click that

 

 

Now on the right-hand side, you will see this.

 

 

Now click "See all Friends" where the red arrow is, click that.

 

This is what appears.

 

Now they press the red arrow, and then the green arrow and the invites are off.

See how you go.

If you want to learn more about Facebook marketing, click here.

Note: If you still have not got a Facebook business page and are unsure about how to set it up, and your a client of ours, contact us, and we will set one up for you free of charge.

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Stock for promotions

POS SOFTWARE

An idea that works well is rather than massively discount slow-selling stock to get rid of it, is to use the slow-moving stock as a promotional item. What you do is take a good selling item, add an unsatisfactory selling item to make a package and sell it as a package. For a little extra, the person can get both things. 

 

As a large percentage of the Christmas trade is yet to take place, and right now people are looking for bargains, so why not try this idea.

Now the first point is to identify these slow-selling items. 

So go to Register reports > Stock > Slow moving Stock lines

 

Now I put in a year of sales, and I say anything that I have stock in and have sales of less than $100. 

I find it best to work by the department separately because you want some consistency with your offer. 

So in this shop, I went looking at the stationery department.

Now we got a big report of detailed information of all the items that we considered here a slow-moving. It totalled almost $80,000 worth of worthless stock. 

So we have someplace to start.

We now have a list of goods that we can use for promotion. 

Give it a try.

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Lots of Automatic updates now for newspapers - stops and starts and bumper editions

POS SOFTWARE
For sellers of newspapers and magazines. The following automatic updates in relation to newspapers and publications are going out now for the:  

Adelaide Advertiser
Australian
Cairns Post
Courier Mail
Daily Telegraph
Geelong Advertiser
Gold Coast Bulletin
Herald sun
Hobart Mercury
Illawarra Mercury
NT News
Townsville Bulletin
Age 
Sydney Morning Herald 

There are also some new bumper editions coming out for the 

Financial Review, so we fixed them up.

If it takes you 3 minutes to do manually each one of these then that is 30 minutes you have just saved using our point of sale software.

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

Follow this how to do it.

Go to the Cash register reports

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

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

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

 

 

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Last posting dates for Christmas delivery

POS SOFTWARE

Australia Post

If you are going to to use Australia Post as a delivery agent if you require your goods to arrive by Christmas, then you better send it now. Even with Express post would be the latest you could send it. When I rang up on behalf of my clients, I was told the bushfires would not be an issue, and then they referred me to this calculator here

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

I would suggest that you set our software delivery options to reflect this. 

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Gift Wrapping step by step

POS SOFTWARE

I shared a video on gift wrapping and got so many comments that I thought I should explain.

In my grandfather's shop, grandfather was very good at wrapping gifts. It is an art to do it right. It does not take long to learn and once you can do it well, it is very quick to do. It certainly helps to sell your products. In this time of year is an important part of your offering which adds value to your store. We used to have queues with people waiting to get him to gift wrap their purchases.

This video shows how quick it can be done and how good it can look.

This video will show you how to do it. It explains step by step really well. The instructions are clear and I like the different camera angles that show clearly what she is doing. 

Also note that this woman is not wasting paper because she is using the exact amount that you would use. See how good the finished product looks. 

Give it a try.

If you want to get into gifts, its a good idea.

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Loyalty programs by country

POS SOFTWARE

Here is the KPMG’s November survey of 18,520 consumers from more than 20 countries which shows the use of Loyalty programs by country.

Australian are the most significant users of loyalty programs in the world, with 61% usage.

 

You can read the full report here

One point I did find particularly interesting is that 

"More than six out of ten Millennials say they prefer to donate their loyalty rewards to a good cause than redeem them personally vs. 40 percent of Baby Boomers."

In other words, about half the population are happy to use the loyalty program if you were to donate their proceeds to charity. This may be an answer to the problem of getting people that only use your goods and services infrequently to get motivated in your loyalty program. I know that Amazon gives its clients a list of charities and ask them to select one, you may try that too. Check out the Amazon program here it may give you some ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now take a minute to do a check on your stock levels

POS SOFTWARE

It is currently the last chance you have to check your stock levels 

However, running out of stock now can have a dramatic impact on your business.

We have a unique report which is super fast to run and gives you an immediate snapshot of your stock levels.

In Cash register report, call up the GMROI (see the selection highlighted) in your point of sale software in the reports here.

You can select the list of options you want, and I suggest you go over these options later when you have time.

I recommend doing this by departments or supplier, whatever makes more sense for you. 

Now you get a report like this.

As you can see the items are all listed.

Let’s look at it in detail:

What we are looking for is items with low stock on hand figures, decent sales, and reasonable ROI% figures, ROI% is the return on investment, it is one of the best ways to determine how valuable your stock items are to your business. It is calculated by the (unit sold) x (Profit)/ (Average stock cost) and you need about 3.2 in industry, but as you can see here, there are many items above and below it.

Now it is up to you

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Windows 7 Going - End of Life

POS SOFTWARE

Microsoft committed to providing ten years of product support for Windows 7. Windows 7 was released on October 22, 2009. So unless you are willing to pay for an extended Microsoft support, will be dropping you on January 14, 2020

The cost of this extended Microsoft support depends on what you have. Still, our clients will range from about $35 to $70 depending what you have on the computer in the first year, the second year it will be between $70 to $140, year three a range of $140 to $280, after that I am not sure, but I suspect it is going to double again to $280 to $560 after that. As this is a per computer cost, people with many computers running Windows 7 will soon find this a costly option.

It’s cheaper and easier to say goodbye to Windows 7 and instead to upgrade to Windows 10.

If not, then this will leave you using an outdated operating system and a system very vulnerable to malware and cyber-attacks. If hackers follow the same pattern after Windows XP, they will wait to the end of life and then hit. It is relatively easy as many of the problems in Windows 10 are advertised. Since Windows 7 is not supported, they can often duplicate many of these to get into a Windows 7 computer. The rewards to them can be high.

As such we strongly recommend that you move to Windows 10. 

This is what is happening now. Today about 77% of Australians are running Windows 10. Few are running Windows 7.

If you want to keep running Windows 7, I recommend that you plan not to connect that computer to the internet, replace the internet computer with a Windows 10 computer. Also, you will need a non-Microsoft browser and antivirus software solution for that computer but we will need to figure that out after it becomes clear what is happening probably late January or early February. 

Also if you have Windows 7 in your shop, we have a couple of packages to get you from Windows 7 to Windows 10 that I recommend you consider.

1) A register package.

2) A server/Office package

3) A Windows 7 upgrade package to Windows 10, we can often upgrade them to Windows 10.

A Stronger technology in your shop will make a Stronger business. 

 

 

 

 

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