February 2019

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Fri, 01/02/2019 EFTPOS - a tip

What can happen is a customer does a transaction,  pays using an EFTPOS card and is given an invoice. The problem can be if the customer's EFTPOS name does not match the name on the invoice. 

So what actually happened was when a customer queried the transaction and so left the retailer with the bank with a problem of how to prove that the transaction had been done by this customer. The invoice clearly showed that it was not the EFTPOS name.

 
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Mon, 04/02/2019 Light weight automatic barcode scanners

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.

 
 
Tue, 05/02/2019 click-and-collect

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.  

 
 
Tue, 05/02/2019 Chinese Lunar New Year 2019

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.

 

 

 

 

 
 
Wed, 06/02/2019 Our survey for 2018 is now closed

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, 

 
 
Wed, 06/02/2019 Seasonal marketing

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. 

 
 
Thu, 07/02/2019 Offer customer-friendly payment methods

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. 

 
 
Fri, 08/02/2019 Suppliers how are you going with them?

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"
 

 
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Mon, 11/02/2019 Today is "Clean Out Your Computer Day"

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

 
 
Tue, 12/02/2019 Your old printers do not work

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:

 
 
Wed, 13/02/2019 Valentine's Day 2019

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

 
 
Thu, 14/02/2019 Stock control

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.

 
 
Fri, 15/02/2019 Wireless security cameras

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.

 
 
Sat, 16/02/2019 Importance of good cameras

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.

 
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Mon, 18/02/2019 Australian major supermarkets top ten sale department 2017 to 2018

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.

 
 
Tue, 19/02/2019 Less paper saves money

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 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.

 
 
Wed, 20/02/2019 Sales targets that are challenging and believable

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.

 
 
Thu, 21/02/2019 XP almost dead

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

 
 
Fri, 22/02/2019 Newspapers continuing slump

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. 

 
 
Sat, 23/02/2019 Ransomware


 

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

 
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Mon, 25/02/2019 Speed and antivirus 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

 
 
Tue, 26/02/2019 Direct integration with accounting software

Direct integration with your accounts

With your point of sale software, there are two schools of thought about direct integration.

 
 
Wed, 27/02/2019 Margin on eCommerce

I attended yesterday, the New Retail ’19 which is Australia’s largest retail gathering. It brought together over 2500 retail leaders and learners for a three immersive day to explore omnichannel retail, fulfilment strategy and partnerships. Some of the stuff was an eye-opener, and it is going to take me a while to digest much of it. 

New Retail 19

 
 
Thu, 28/02/2019 Order tracking

Tracking delivery monitoring

Order tracking allows your customers to know where their order from you are at any time from when you shipped it till when it is delivered. There are many reasons for that, for example, the customer wants to know