Cheers to 2022 and another successful year of business. The past two years certainly haven’t been the easiest for business owners (or for anyone, really) but fortunately, the spirits industry has fared pretty well throughout the pandemic. Data shows that liquor store sales increased by 20% from March to September 2020 compared to the previous year, and remained high throughout 2021. But a booming industry doesn’t come without its own unique challenges. Wine and liquor sellers face a lot of competition. Here are five tips for succeeding in this highly saturated market.
Implement online ordering and delivery
The pandemic accelerated the demand for online ordering in all industries. Many consumers prefer ordering their groceries and other essentials from the comfort of home, with their purchases delivered straight to their house or available for curbside pickup. A smart liquor store will capitalize on this growing trend by offering online ordering and delivery. Drizzly, Uber Eats, and Instacart are three reliable service options you can use. Your customers are already familiar with these brands and know that they can trust them. Many of them probably already use Uber Eats and Instacart for their takeout and grocery orders. When it comes to picking a delivery service, it’s really up to your preferences. Uber Eats and Instacart charge the consumer for a delivery fee, whereas Drizzly is a monthly subscription you pay for and your customer doesn’t pay a markup cost. Whichever you choose, you can rest assured that these are best-in-class platforms.
Utilize a POS tailored to your industry
There are countless options for a POS provider, but it’s critical you use one that gives you a competitive advantage and understands your industry. NCR Counterpoint is the best solution for wine and liquor sellers. Its features are designed to help your business thrive. The POS will alert you when your inventory is low and when sales are high so you can plan for peak sales times and never run out of stock. One of NCR Counterpoints’ most powerful functionalities is its ability to help you optimize your inventory when ordering new products. You can add product information right into the POS and track the progress of how it’s selling. Additionally, NCR Counterpoint keeps you updated on important information you can leverage to drive sales, such as when a new product is available or a customer’s birthday. Our team at RCS knows all of the ins and outs of working with NCR Counterpoint and we’re more than happy to chat with you about how this point of sale could work for you.
Deliver exceptional customer service
Let’s face it – your competitors are probably selling a lot of the same products as you at a similar price. The quality of your customer service is something that you can control and will differentiate your business from other stores. The liquor and wine business is unique in that many of your customers will walk in not totally sure of what they’re looking for or what to buy. This is where your customer service comes in. Your staff should be well-versed in all of your product offerings to help guide customers, answer questions, and make thoughtful recommendations. Building rapport with shoppers converts people into loyal, repeat customers who will refer you to their friends and family. Ultimately that’s what you need to help your business keep growing.
Support local vendors
Another takeaway from the pandemic is that it’s inspired people to rally around small businesses. Even though many consumers prefer the convenience of online ordering and shopping from Amazon and other big retailers, there are still plenty of people making a conscious effort to shop local more often. Carrying products from local breweries and wineries is a great way to not only show your support for other local businesses but also add variety to your store. Plus, you’ll make connections with these businesses and will be able to tap into their clientele.
Harness the power of social media
Effective marketing requires you to reach your customers where they are, and chances are many of them are already on social media. Use your social channels to showcase your products so that people can see what you have in store. Get creative with it and highlight different vendors, spotlight new arrivals and locally made spirits, share staff favorites, post drink recipes and tutorials – the options are endless. An active social media presence will create brand awareness to attract new business while also engaging your existing customers.
Take advantage of the alcohol boom by putting these five tactics into practice. Even if/when demand goes back to pre-pandemic times, these strategies give you a solid foundation to keep your business consistent. Our team has years of experience serving wine and liquor sellers and helping them scale their businesses into larger operations. If you’re interested in learning more about NCR Counterpoint and other POS services for your business, feel free to contact us.