The liquor industry is worth billions, but it’s complicated. With thousands of bottles and cans from every corner of the world in seemingly hundreds of varieties — red, white, small batch, craft, domestic, and more — it takes the right liquor store management processes and tools to keep track of them, promote the ones you want to move, and stand out from the crowd. Liquor stores are slowly being impacted by the Amazon phenomenon, as the online giant extends into the grocery and liquor sectors. New home delivery services are offering liquor and spirits brought right to your door. In addition, people looking for new beverage and wine recommendations are turning to artificial intelligence like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa for ideas.
Here are three technologies you may need to update for effective liquor store management.
1. Gift Card/Loyalty:One of the best ways to foster long-term relationships with customers is by offering loyalty programs and gift cards. Customers want to shop where their business is valued, and by offering rewards, you can encourage them to keep coming back. In addition, gift cards provide your customers with a convenient gift option — as well as an easy way to pay for purchases. With the right point of sale (POS) technology, you can easily integrate software that lets you manage loyalty and gift card programs and monitor redemption, customer buying patterns, purchase histories, and trends. Upgrading this technology to enhance your liquor store management capabilities allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your customer base, so you can take customer service to new heights and increase revenues.
2. Inventory/Reporting:You can’t expect to be profitable if you don’t know the value of what you have in stock. POS software that has liquor-store specific functionality and includes detailed reporting features can help you gain valuable insight into your inventory. It can also help you operate more efficiently by streamlining your inventory ordering process, letting you know what you need to purchase and in what quantities. An inventory management system specifically designed for retail liquor store management will also help you stay informed when certain items are moving more slowly than others, so you can include them in promotions to help them move faster — and give you the data you need when you decide whether to order again.
3. EMV:If you haven’t already, upgrade your payment technology to accept EMV chip cards. EMV technology helps reduce card fraud by creating a unique transaction code each time the card is used. So if card numbers are stolen, hackers couldn’t easily produce and sell counterfeit cards, like they can with magstripe technology. EMV can also save your business money. If there is a chargeback and you didn’t process the transaction using EMV technology, you may be liable for the fraudulent charge, and, depending on the circumstances, also receive fines.
Technology and the retail industry are changing at a rapid pace. Businesses that want to remain competitive and want to meet their customers’ expectations will have to keep up. Building a strategy to stay current with technology, however, may seem like a monumental task — but your Heartland POS solutions provider is a great resource. Take advantage of their expertise to evaluate your current liquor store management processes for areas that need improvement or that can be enhanced with state-of-the-art technology. Then, position your business to provide great customer experiences today and meet future challenges with agility.