BLOGS AND ARTICLES FROM THE POS SOLUTIONS TEAM

Point of Sale Software

Speed and antivirus software

POS SOFTWARE

Anti virus software

Antivirus software does slow down your point of sale system, fortunately, there are a few things you can do.

The problem

Antivirus software are made to work all the time in the background where they do take up processing power, so slowing you down. Sometimes they slow down a system so much that the computer is unusable and there is no pattern to it, on some computers some software runs fast and on others it runs slow.

Firstly we do not recommend any antivirus software that is not reviewed on these two sites av-comparatives and av-test we would recommend that you only use these antivirus software packages. As there is a lot there, it is hardly much of a limitation.  

The first point to do is to test whether it is the antivirus software that is slowing you down as there are many other causes for slow speed. Try turning off the antivirus software for a while and see what speeds you are getting. Just be careful while the antivirus software is not running.

If you are sure its the antivirus software, you may want to try this 

) Try a different antivirus software, in my experience, this is the quickest and easiest, as a rule, Avast and Microsoft Defender are generally the fastest on slow machines. If you are running XP, please do not use Microsoft Defender. You will find large variations in speed on different computers so you will need to find the software you are comfortable with, that runs fast.

) Do not run more than one antivirus software at any time.  

) Try and limit as much as possible running your antivirus software at night when you are not using it.

) Most antivirus software have settings that are worth going through, you may need to go through these settings.  Okay, you may reduce your security a little but at least you can work on your computer. Unfortunately, they are all different so we cannot go through them here in detail.

) If all fails, ask the antivirus company, most have forums where the public can ask questions and they all have a support team.

 

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Ransomware

POS SOFTWARE


 

Currently, I estimate that every month we have at least one point of sale client having issues regarding Ransomware and unfortunately many of our customers are falling victim to Ransomware attacks. We have had three (3) such attacks this week.

Our support manager Phil has put together step by step notes for you.

 

What it does

This form of attack encrypts all of your data and prevents you from using your computer unless you pay a fee. If this happens to be your server then this means your shop will not be able to trade.

What to do

Your only other option is to reformat your server and restore from a backup.

However, in many cases, we are finding that despite our best efforts there are no backups available as they too have been encrypted.

 

What can you do about it?

 

Your choice of Operating System

Firstly you should think about the version of Windows you use in your store. Windows 10 has a lot of features built in that make it much harder for Ransomware to take hold of your system.

 

If you are not running Windows 10 in your store, especially on your server and the computers you use to connect to the internet, then you should consider upgrading these as soon as possible.

 

While not as good, if you must or insist on running Windows 7, you should at least ensure that all Windows Updates have been installed. Windows Update includes many security patches, some of which may stop Ransomware from taking hold of your system.

 

In Windows 7, Click the Start button and in the run (or search box) type “windows update” and then press enter.

Click on the Check for updates and install updates button.

Windows Update may want you to restart your computer at some point and you should do so.

Remember that if this is your server then your shop will not be able to trade while your server is restarting.

When you have restarted, repeat the above process until there are no more updates to install.

 

If you are running Windows XP, then you are leaving yourself wide open to attacks from Ransomware. Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP in April 2014, so for five years there has not been any security updates for this operating system.  There is little you can do apart from replacing the computer with one that has Windows 10 as its operating system.

Make sure you have a backup

 

Ransomware attacks are happening, and as much as you may try to prevent them, it may happen to you. If it does, you either have to pay up and encourage these criminals to continue their actions or have someone reformat and reinstall your computer system.

 

Reformatting and in reinstalling the operating system is the easy part. What nobody can replace is the data. Your customers, stock, sales history etc.

 

To protect yourself and ensure you will be able to replace this, you should be taking a regular backup copy of your data and remove it from your network so that Ransomware cannot access it.

 

I will deal with Posbrowser, but you should also find out how to do the same with your other important data such as your accounting and payroll data and any documents you may store on your local hard drive.

 

Posbrowser uses SQL server. One of the features of SQL server is that you can take online backups.

This means that you can take a backup without having to bring the system offline and stop trading.

 

So find a time during the day, a regular time. 

Also, find a USB stick. Now go to your server and plug in the USB stick.

 

Open Posbrowser and from the main menu select System Maintenance / Backup and Restore.

In the “Backup to a location” section click the three dots and navigate to the USB drive you just plugged in and click OK.

Note that if the three dots are greyed out, you are NOT on your server!

 

 

Then click the Backup button and the backup will start.

Wait until you see a message telling you the Backup was complete.

 

 

 

If you see any other message, you should contact POS Solutions Support for advice.

 

When it finishes,

DO NOT JUST TAKE OUT THE USB STICK – REMEMBER TO EJECT IT SAFELY.

This is the only way you can ensure that the backup has been written to the USB stick correctly.

 

If you want to be double sure, after you have removed the USB stick, you can insert it again and restore the backup to your training system via the “Restore to Training” tab in the Backup and Restore document.

 

When you have removed the USB drive, place it in a safe place, and DO NOT put it into a computer again until you are ready to do another backup of your system.  Don’t let Ransomware have a chance to get access to it.

Even if this backup is a couple of days old, because you are not in on the weekend, it is a lot better than having nothing at all.

You should take the time and make an effort to protect the most valuable part of your business – your data.

 

 

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Newspapers continuing slump

POS SOFTWARE

Years ago here because of the importance to many of my clients, I used to analysis newspaper sales. In those days the newspaper companies ruled a large slice of Australia's retail stores. Milk bars, newsagents, lotto agencies and small supermarkets would go into a panic after a threat of a newspaper rep to cut off their newspapers as newspapers brought in a significant number of customers every day to them. Well, those days are long gone. 

The latest report by the Audited Media Association of Australia, for the last half of 2018, reported most major newspapers publications fell around 10% about the same decline like last year and slightly higher on what I reported here five years ago.

See the latest figures for the decline in newspapers here. 

 

Weekday circulation from ABC

The figures are worse then they look as electronic subscriptions are included which have less profit then printed copies and as the newspapers' financial paying readers who I suspect are now almost all 50+ go, so will the printed newspapers in Australia. 

In retrospect, I am sure that much could have been done better by the newspaper companies, for this I blame personally poor management and the editors. 

Although I liked very much the people personally in News Corp and thought they were really trying to help, I always felt that they needed solid modern marketing professional help which they never got till it was too late.  

When I went to meeting at Fairfax and News Corp which was frequent to discuss circulation. I and I think almost everyone at the meeting would leave thinking that we were talking to a brick wall. It did not matter what anyone said, as nothing was appeared to being listened too and nothing was being acted on. Here is some example from submissions that we put in:

-When the newspaper companies were talking about getting on subscriptions, we pointed out that the only result would be that people paying full price for newspapers would get used to paying only a discounted subscription. Once they got used to paying a discounted price, it would be impossible to get them to pay full price again. We were right because that is what happened.

-Our research showed that many people were buying newspapers just to do the crosswords, so we suggested changing the crossword every edition. Great idea I was told by the News Corp, nobody got back to us about our research and nothing was done.

-We offered to link the computers across Australia to their computers to improve handling of newspapers. Again nothing was done till years later.

-We pointed out that many of the newer statistical software programs and mathematical methods could be used to calculate potential demand sales better, yet nothing was done.

-We pointed out that as smaller companies were dropping unprofitable circulation, so a marketing opportunity was being opened for the larger newspapers that were still serving those areas. The local newspaper sellers should then be armed with leaflets with an offer to promote the other newspapers again nothing was done.

-When we pointed out that repeatably the newspaper companies were making changes that were difficult or impossible for the newspaper sellers to do, no-one listened. The changes would come, and there was no way it could be done. As a result, the public is getting one message from the newspapers advertisement and when they went to collect it was a different message.

Soon we and others just stop making suggestions as nothing was done which is probably what the newspaper companies management preferred although I am sure the shareholder and newspaper sellers lost millions of dollars as a result.

As a person who has been involved in newspapers in Australia all my life it is very sad and overall I doubt that much could be done for newspapers. The newspaper companies although they were huge then and their product was popular was already on a decline for 30 years as electronic media was taking even then a large chunk, and the recent development of the internet speed up this decline.


 

Great article but nothing new here other than stating the obvious.

What I want to see is the percentage decline from 2008 to 2018. This is the number that will surprise and shock. As you say they are counting digital subs in their numbers which just adds another dimension to the inept management and arrogance of Newscorp.

Steve, a few years ago I did such a calculation here which I hope helps, take off another 20% and I think you would have what you want to show here 

Newspaper Circulation on July to September 2008 to 2016

 

I might agree with you about the inept management in newspapers although Newscorp did very well out of some of their online purchases however I never found Newscorp arrogant. I really liked my association with them. Often they were extremely helpful. 

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XP almost dead

POS SOFTWARE

Recently Touch, a major supplier of electronic services in our market space announced it was dropping XP. This is the last major supplier left that was using XP. The reason is just that there are not enough users of XP to justify the cost of supporting it.

Windows Australian Market

Source: StatCounter Global Stats - Windows Version Market Share

As you can see in Australia, it has dropped from almost 60% in 2010 to 1% usage. 1% cannot pay for much which is the problem here. The other problem is that most computer suppliers of hardware and software have long dropped XP. I know that one of our competitors is now telling to all its XP users that they have to upgrade and are planning soon an increase in support fees to those that people that stay on Windows XP. 

We are not advocating the use of Windows XP now.  Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, it has limited support by antivirus software and so is an insecure and out-of-date operating system. 

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Sales targets that are challenging and believable

POS SOFTWARE

A major problem with setting up sales targets is that 

1) If they are too high soon, no one pays attention

2) If they are too low, then its no challenge, what people tend to do here is once they make the budget to stop.

What you need are sales targets that are challenging and believable?

Well, our clients have an automatic system that can do that now. It is the focus number. It will give you a reasonably good idea of what sort of movement you can expect from every item in your shop. It is a weekly budget.

Here is how you set it up.



It is easy to set up, and use for details click here.

With effective software, you can assess your stock sales better. You can see what you did right and what you did wrong this week.

For details on how to do this, please, click here

 

 

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Less paper saves money

POS SOFTWARE

Paper on our desks

Remember when we all had desks like this.

Each page costs a calculation for a laser printer a few years ago here estimated that an average cost was between $0.05 to $0.08 and went up to $0.12 to $0.15 for a page if a colour printer was used. These costs have not dropped.

If you have to print the delivery lists daily, use our Point of Sale software to email to the deliver's mobile, over the year this alone has saved our clients hundreds of dollars a year.

Often  I have seen people print a massive report when all they need is the final summary on the last page. Why not print the report to the view screen and then printout only the last page?

As rarely do you need the massive report printed, use our system document storage.

A tip

Make or use your existing Gmail or Hotmail account for digital storage. You set up its filter to put the documents to put it automatically into an appropriate directory so it does not bother you.

Now if you feel that you need to print a report for audit purposes, email the report to this email address. That way you have a copy, that you can access anytime you want it. Here are some added benefit these records date and times so supplying proof of when you ran this report if required. Plus are more secure and it also saves on filing cabinets. You also have the benefit of its search engine on your documents when you are trying to find something.

Why printout heaps of statements at the end of the month? Get your clients' email addresses and send it out by email, saves as well on mailing costs and gives you a marketing list too. Here is another tip, send a copy of the emails sent to your storage email address as well. 

Of course, one of the best advantages of going paperless besides cost is on the environment. 

 

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Australian major supermarkets top ten sale department 2017 to 2018

POS SOFTWARE

A supermarket

 

I think you may find this interesting. I decided to make a table of the top ten sales department of the major supermarkets in Australia in 2018 and 2017 and then compare it. Sales are in billions of dollars. What I found quite surprising was the way they broke up their departments.

Department  2018 2017 Change% 
 Cigarettes  7.73    8.51  - 9.2%
 Dairy  7.22  6.13  +17.8%
 Frozen foods  3.54  3.32  + 6.6%
 Beverages  3.45  3.24  + 6.5%
 Confectionery  2.7  2.7      0%
 Health and beauty   products   2.16  2.31    - 6.5%
 Pet   2.09   1.99    + 5.0%
 Smallgoods  1.9  1.98   - 4.0%
 Snack foods  1.77  1.74   + 1.7%
 Biscuits  1.61  1.59   + 1.3%

It is interesting that the big increases are in the products in the fridge.

 

I would be interested in hearing how your sales went in those departments.

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Importance of good cameras

POS SOFTWARE

I spoke yesterday about good cameras, today the issue came up about skimmers which turned out to be an excellent example of why I do believe that all businesses need good cameras.

A skimming device

These come in many types and are widely available on the web. What a skimming device is, is an electronic device used by criminals that generally are put on an EFTPOS reader to read (skim) the information off on the magnetic strip of a credit card and then to capture the PIN number.

The idea is that a criminal comes to your shop, in a few seconds installs a skimmer then returns in a few days to your shop and retrieves the skimmer with your customers' credit card details on it.

Skimmers have been regularly caught around Australia.

 

Cameras

These people would never be caught without decent cameras.

Take a look, I think you will find it interesting. Two guys come into the shop, the guy in front distracts the cash operator, now look at the guy in the white shirt installing a skimmer. He took about three (3) seconds to install the skimmer.

Here is a discussion about the incident.

 

What to do.

I always give a test pull on any EFTPOS reader before I use it.

My suggestion to everyone is to put a marker all around the EFTPOS reader with texture, this can help as a skimmer would need to cover the mark and be in your handwriting, always have a camera on your EFTPOS unit and try to monitor it at all times. If something looks off, call your EFTPOS provider immediately.

 

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Wireless security cameras

POS SOFTWARE

What is saving retail now are security cameras from shoplifting, it seems to be the only evidence that the courts are accepting. However, have a read here on monitoring and the law if you have or intend to have cameras.

For retailers, the best security systems are those that are directly connected to your point of sale software. With such a system if for example, a customer said, I gave you a $50 and you gave me change from $20, well you just press a button on the cash register, find the transaction and playback it back. Every till should have one.

However, there are many more places to cover than the till for example the shop itself, the front and exit of the shop, the back room and some parts outside. For these often you need wireless security cameras.

They have one great advantage that they are easy to move around. However unlike wired security cameras, wireless security camera are funny things, you install in one shop a few and they work perfectly, you put the same cameras into a similar shop and it is nothing but trouble so we have to pull them out and replace them.

Here are some points

Map out your requirements on paper.

Do it carefully as I assure you that paper will get a lot of use. Try to draw it to scale if possible.

Now, put on the paper where you feel the cameras should go, generally, to save cost people follow the power points as much as possible. 

Now measure the range of these camera positions to your camera base. You will need to know the range before you can buy the camera.  What you also need to determine where you will need a narrow vision and where you need a wide-angle camera.  If you are not sure the salesman can tell you what cameras they have for such range and angles.

If you are in an area of a lot of WIFI you need to make sure that it will operate in these areas. I have seen WIFI security cameras fail in shopping centres.

Camera requirements

You want cameras that are easy to install and setup. Over their lifetime, you are going to want to move them around. This, after all, is the point of having them wireless.

Most important it is easy to change the Date and Time, you do not want to have to try to explain to a judge why the alleged robbery took place at this time but why your camera showing a different time. If you are in an area that has daylight savings you, make sure your camera has daylight savings enabled and check to make sure it does automatically adjust the cameras time. 

I would say 1080p should be the standard resolution that you should use. With prices today there is little savings going much lower and often you need that extra resolution. Remember a shoplifter can be out of your shop in seconds and you need often to make an instant decision. 

Check how good the motion cameras sensor is, you do not want lags.

Make sure the camera got decent night vision, you do not want anything that looks grainy. Some of these cameras have a function that I love when it is dark a red light like a gun shines out, it helps to deter undesirables as they can see the cameras are working.

Final note

Much of the camera software supplied by the security companies are full of bugs. I would not count on it despite what the specifications say. 

How much to budget?

Impossible to say for the $800 they spent it was much for what they need, others that spent $20,000 will sigh and say that it was not enough.

 

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Stock control

POS SOFTWARE

A good point of sale stock management system keeps count of goods and reorders supplies when levels get low.

This is important as scenes like this of out of stock hurt in the short-term your sales but in the long-term your reputation.

What more sophisticated systems like ours can do is track the stock location. What it does is knowing the existing levels from your stocktake, it then adds the stock that is coming in, takes off what is sold, takes into account what is on order, uses its AI in our software to calculate the optimum amount to reorder based on performance history and seasonal sales.

If you notice on this example it actually decided to reduce the amount of stock being held.

Of course, good stock management can reduce your capital tied up in unnecessary stock and is also a legal requirement too and is part of every business financial reporting responsibility in Australia. 

As far as I know, we are the only ones in our market space to offer such a product.

 

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Valentine's Day 2019

POS SOFTWARE

The question often raised is, do I have the right stock NOW in my shop.

Well, it is a good question now that Valentine's Day is tomorrow and in this 11th hour, it is an excellent question to ask. 

Firstly how does Valentine's Day look this year?

Well according to google

Valentine's Day 2019

I checked the public interest from 2016 to 2019 (in blue) shows a slight drop but nothing dramatic, however, unlike other years, attention is more uniform across all states. What I find particularly interesting is that the public still do not know what to buy and that includes women looking at what they should buy their guys.

Questions asked for Valentine's day

 

Now we have established that we are looking at something similar to what we are used to, we can use the mirror marketing functions in our point of sale software. This works if you have a similar situation to previous years although I have my doubts whether Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA  is right that it will exceed last year

Still, Valentine's Day is a good example to show mirror marketing as it requires specialised stock and the BIG question now is, do you have the right stock? 

Go to Register Reports marked in green.

 

 

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

Now out pops this.

Select the report what was sold in a previous period (a) last year but has not been sold in a period (b). 

 

This is an old database, so I used old dates, but you should use 1/2/2018 to 28/2/2018 as (a) and 01/2/2019 and 28/2/2019 as (b).


Now in brown, you will see that there is a lot more option but let's keep it simple here. 

Now you will get a report with what you sold over the period (a), but you are not selling in your current period (b). Why is the question for you to investigate now?

What to do in future

I suggest you run this at the start of every month because once you get to know it, you will find mirror marketing very useful and if you do this you will miss almost no marketing season.

I noticed this is what one of our clients Nextra Forum West has done

Nextra Forum West Valentine Day

 

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Your old printers do not work

POS SOFTWARE

Old printers being prepared for the tip

Something goes wrong in the computer and attached to it say was a point of sale receipt printer which although old worked well and now suddenly it no longer works. This is happening with all versions of windows although the problem is much worse on the old versions of windows.

Here is why:

Your old printer works through a driver which is a software package written by the manufacturer of your printer. This driver then talks to Windows. As windows updates, these drivers often need changing however there are several issues.

1) Manufacturers of printers often no longer update the drivers required to get the older printers to work with the latest Windows updates. After say five (5) years they just stop doing it. Their view is that you need to get a new printer.

2) Sometimes the manufacturers of the printer, just have not got around to fixing the driver. It can take time before their users notify them of a problem, before they can verify it, before their programmers can write a fix, before it can check the changes and then time before it can be released. In the meantime your printer is unusable.

3) If your brand is obscure, it may not be trusted by Microsoft so Microsoft does not support it and distribute it. 

However, now there is a new problem.

Microsoft will start excluding printers from the upgrade process.

 

Microsoft is moving to a new standard in printers "Mopria" and is dropping support for many of the old printers. This is stated as due to lack of space which is true but I am sure it is partly that Microsoft has had enough of supporting the old stuff.

If you have an old printer that is not working here are three tips that might work.

1) Try using advanced setup

2) Try installing the printer manually from the manufacturer's website.

3) Try installing a printer driver for a printer that is similar to yours. Generally, you will not get all the functions but you may get the functions you need.

Failing that get a new printer. 

The picture above is of old printers that worked being prepared to go to the tip.

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Today is "Clean Out Your Computer Day"

POS SOFTWARE

It is a fun holiday but it has a real and necessary purpose.

Like much else mechanical, dirt, smoke, dust and pet hair can damage your computer. In a computer generally, the problem is two-fold

1) These products settle on your computer components and as they are an insulator act as a blanket and making the computer run hotter then it is designed to run. What this does is reduce its life expectancy and cause parts of your computer like the memory, the processor and the power supply to misbehaviour or stop working. I have seen several short circuits of delicate electrical components caused by dust too generally in the CD and DVDs. 

As a rule, try to put a computer in a clean location, near a fireplace, where your dog sits on, dusty place, etc is not suggested.

In an effort to overcome the heat what the computer does is push the fan to run faster which can cause the fan to break from overuse which brings us to the second problem

2) The computer has several moving parts and vents mainly in the ventilation system. The dust, hair etc can reduce the ventilation system efficiency. If enough cold air cannot come in then the computer is going to run hot. If they jam the fan they can break it too.

As a rule, try to put a computer in a spot where its air vent has access to cold airflow. Next to heating vent is not suggested.

Now, what can you do about the dust already in the computer?

If you have seen the movie Zoolander and this is you on the computer mechanics, now stop reading and ask someone else to help out.

Here is a video that I do suggest the person cleaning your computer views first and remember there is a good reason why this holiday was set up on a Monday if something goes wrong on a weekday you can get professional help if something goes really wrong.

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Suppliers how are you going with them?

POS SOFTWARE

Good suppliers are essential to retailers but they are always changing and what our point of sale software can do is show you over time exactly what you are doing with each of your suppliers. It makes fascinating reading.

As a rule, I think that suppliers are often accessed on various factors like price, reliability, location and competency however often its difficult over time to determine just how important they are now and how they are going with you now.

So go to register sales reports and then go to "Sales comparison by supplier"
 

Supplier options

I recommend for this report that you use a previous year and compare it to this year.

For the initial run use percentage.


Then a report like this pops up.

Supplier report

What you will see is big variations over time for each supplier.  

This will give you an idea of just how important a supplier is now to your business and how you are going with that supplier. This will help you to make better business decisions.

This report can also be used to access how in holiday periods different suppliers perform for you.

 

 

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Offer customer-friendly payment methods

POS SOFTWARE

You cannot afford to have a potential customer struggle to pay. Customers today have a wide option of payment types which they want to use. For example today I went into a shop, and I did not have my wallet on me. If the merchant could not accept payment from the mobile phone, I could not have bought anything. If a business does not take Bpay or direct deposit, I have a lot of trouble paying those bills. 

A modern point of sale system requires a wide range of payment types.

There are some points you need to consider when adopting a new payment type.

Potential market - For example, if you deal a lot with Chinese people from China, then Alipay is something they would use.

Risk – for example, cash is always a problem also there are significant risks of mistakes. EFTPOS on MOTO mode can have serious risk problems. We had a client, who told us that he thinks when making a payment, a client of their surreptitiously switched the payment from standard to EFTPOS MOTO, then when the bill came in disputed the charges,

Service fees – for example, EFTPOS and credit card providers often charge service fees.

Transaction costs – each payment type has its unique charges. Note it may be better to pay the fees than lose the sale. 

Privacy – cash and soon bitcoin would be preferred by many I am sure in a bong shop. 


 

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Seasonal marketing

POS SOFTWARE

Seasonal marketing is a great way to advertise your shop.

For example, those of you in shopping centres would have seen how the centres went all out gone all out to welcome the Chinese New Year 2019, the Year of the Pig to attract visiting Chinese who number annually about 1.4 million and Australians with Chinese ancestry who number about 1.2 million. Visiting Chinese tourists spend about $11.5 billion here, it is estimated to be about a quarter of all tourism expenditure in Australia. They are big spenders, particularly in quality items. 

Here are some more seasonal marketing days over the first half of this year from this list but I am sure everyone in an area will be able to take more than just these. 

Feb 14th Valentine's Day

March is considered the start of the Autumn wedding season

17th March Saint Patrick's Day

April has a few days

1st April's fool day (alway good for a laugh)
19th Good Friday
21st Easter Sunday
22nd Easter Monday
25th ANZAC Day
 
12th May Mother's Day

June is considered the start of the EOFY/Stocktake sale also good for Winter Sale

30th June End of Financial Year

 

There are also some community-minded days that you can leverage too here as attaching your shop to a charitable cause works well as shoppers now increasingly choose to give their dollars to causes.  

Then there are Fun days

Send a greeting card day

these often work well too in promoting your shop. For example, tomorrow is "Send a Card to a Friend Day", I am sure people that sell greeting cards could sell a few cards promoting this. 

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Our survey for 2018 is now closed

POS SOFTWARE

Survey

I want to thank all the people that took part in our annual survey in 2018. 

Every year for the past 20 years we have been surveying our clients to see how we have been going forward. Its purpose is to see how they feel we performed. What I find very useful is that using it, I can see how we went compared to previous years, 

It is going to take me some time to process it, but so far we look overall pretty good in 2018. For those that know something about measuring customer satisfaction, I am pleased to report that our NPS is up slightly up this year and is now just over 40 which puts us well in the high group. That is pretty amazing as the average for an IT company in Australia is about -7.

So our customers are happy at least those that filled the survey are overall very happy with us 

Now I need to go through the details, and hopefully, this study can help us to find specific areas and technologies that we need to focus on in 2019 so that we can bring you more of what you need.

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Chinese Lunar New Year 2019

POS SOFTWARE

Here are the Chinese New Year lamps going on today on at Southbank  Melbourne.

Chinese New Year 2019

To everyone celebrating Chinese New Year, we’re wishing you happiness and health over the coming year!

It is the year of the pig! In Chinese culture, pigs are a symbol of wealth and good fortune. So we wish you luck for that too.

 

 

 

 

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click-and-collect

POS SOFTWARE

Click and collect

When a retailer opens an eCommerce site to supplement their store it is as if they are opening a new shop. This one is online and like starting any new shop it is challenging. Each shop has their own set of demands and requirements.  

What works well is to make your eCommerce site work together with your physical shop. So that your eCommerce site gets an initial start from your shop base and your eCommerce shop raises the shop sales too. So what you need to do is let your customers shop across the physical and online shop seamlessly.

The best approach is click-and-collect here is where the customer buys in your online shop and then later picks it up in your shop at a time that suits them. This eliminates the cost of delivery and the risk of missed deliveries. This often helps make your offer cheaper price than many of the other online shops as they have unlike you to charge for delivery. 

This both helps drive sales in your physical shop and keep delivery fees down and has the added advantage that a high percentage of shoppers coming to the shop for click and collect often ended up buying additional items which are why many shops are willing to act as click and collect points for other businesses too.

 As a rule, I suggest that you do the following for click and click.

  • Have the goods available and ready within 2 hours of their being purchased. 
  • Make a rule that the person picking the goods up has to have the receipt and valid ID
  • That you give the people a receipt through our point of sale system and have them sign your copy.

If you are interested in learning more please contact us here as we are doing a webinar on it.

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Light weight automatic barcode scanners

POS SOFTWARE

Light weight automatic barcode scanners
 

Firstly make sure its compatible with our point of sale software. Some are not, some are partly and some are fully compatible. You need to check first.

What is good about these scanners are they are easy to move around, place and then use. The big plus is that they are cheap.

What they are excellent for, is doing returns of goods where it is convenient to use them. So if you need them, they are very handy.

Just do not count on them lasting a long time. Say their life expectancy is 50,000 scans and you expect to do 100 scans a day then the scanner is good for about two years. Note for a cheap scanner that might be acceptable.

Here are some tips about buying these scanners

I suggest that you get automatic sensing, it will give you a free hand.

Check the balance of the unit some of them need to be nailed down to use because they keep falling over which defeats the purpose of getting these scanners.

What I recommend is that once in place you put a rubber band on the scanner to hold them in the stand, just in case. 

As generally, they are not good scanners, they will often do the job if your barcodes are clear, not reflective paper and dry. I would suggest you will have problems on say wet cans of drink. 

Of course, like any scanner, you need to learn how to hold it with the best angle and distance.  No getting around that.

You need to check the screen always that the items have the scanned as sometimes they miss.

Check what technical support is on offer. If something goes wrong who can you call?

 

 

 

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