Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

The changing role of newsagency software

Mark Fletcher
October 4th, 2017 · 6 Comments

There was a time when newsagents chose software based on the services it provided in the agency space – magazine invoicing and returns, newspaper run lists, newspaper home delivery account management, sub agent management.

While handling these things are sought today, they are not considered as important as they once were. In my experience, newsagents today consider other newsagency software capabilities to be more valuable. Here are some:

  1. New traffic supplier EDI links for electronic catalogues and links in categories like toys, homewares, fashion and more. More data is being shared that facilitates more valuable supplier connections outside what was traditional. By new traffic supplier, I mean suppliers with products that broaden the demographic appeal of the business.
  2. Integrated (direct) buy now pay later options. This fundamentally changing LayBy.
  3. Direct e-commerce platform links to the world’s best for small business – Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce. There are newsagents adding $25,000 and more a year in revenue from shoppers they have never met and will never meet.
  4. Business intelligence platform link enabling performance analysis from any platform, anywhere.
  5. Retail brand-based e-commerce platform links.
  6. Tyro broadband EFTPOS link.
  7. Big four bank links through PC EFTPOS.
  8. Xero cloud based accounting link.
  9. Scale integration, for selling items by weight.
  10. Fuel dispensing integration.
  11. Online appointment scheduling.
  12. Integrated cloud backup.

The list speaks to the variety of businesses in this diversifying channel.

It is the various e-commerce platform links that are most sought after as they provide a place on the world stage for locally owned businesses.

These links and integrations are valuable for either improving business efficiency and / or enabling businesses to reach more shoppers. Most new integrations and links innovation add significant measurable value to newsagencies whereas with the old agency integrations there is little in the way of valuable innovation.

While magazine and newspaper management tools will play a role for years to come, suppliers in those spaces have let newsagents down by not facilitating sought-after innovation years ago. That ship has sailed and now, from a technical perspective, newsagents are looking at efficiencies and new traffic opportunities from other suppliers.

Looking at this as the owner of Tower Systems, which serves more than 1,700 newsagents with its newsagency software, innovation is coming more from outside what has been traditional for the newsagency channel. This is a good thing. It brings new suppliers to the table to challenge is and see new opportunities. The more this happens, the less relevant the out of date technology and associated business practices from old-school suppliers.

As our newsagency businesses change, so must the infrastructure on which we rely in our businesses every day.


Category: Newsagency management · newsagency of the future · newsagent software

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Colin // Oct 5, 2017 at 10:40 AM


    Re point 2, laybys. I am not an advocate of laybys but had intended to check out this development. Did I miss an announcement ?


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Oct 5, 2017 at 1:06 PM

    Yes, Colin, announcements several weeks ago. Another new announcement this Sunday.


  • 3 Colin // Oct 8, 2017 at 8:46 PM

    Today’s announcement of “Afterpay” is more like buying on credit, the goods are removed from the store now. I was seeking the layby announcement.


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Oct 8, 2017 at 11:59 PM

    Colin, Oxipay was announced weeks ago. That is a direct integration. It redefines LayBy as customers see it. Afterpay does as well, from a customer perspective.


  • 5 Colin // Oct 9, 2017 at 7:28 AM

    OK understand. The announcements have been about credit card enabled purchases, collect now pay later. I was expecting something on layby, pay before collection later. I did see the announcements but was expecting something else.


  • 6 Mark Fletcher // Oct 9, 2017 at 7:29 AM

    In the mind of the shopper and of some retailers, this is the new LayBy.


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