Last year around the holidays I unsuccessfully drove to three liquor stores to find Blue Curacao. At the 4th store with just one bottle on the shelf, the business owners said “Why is there such a run on Blue Curacao this year?” I pulled out my phone and showed him an incredibly delicious picture of a drink recipe circulating Facebook called “Jack Frost”, and one of the main ingredients was….Blue Curacao.
#1: Lessen the “Guy Vibe”.
Lessening the guy vibe is easy, and with a few minor changes you can instantly transform the shopping experience. While men care about safety, cleanliness, and service, women have much higher expectations in these areas and they believe that stores they frequent should exceed their minimum standards. Make sure the inside and outside of your store is well lit. Clean up clutter, create open spaces, and make aisles easy to navigate. When possible, employ female staff to reduce gender barriers and to add an extra layer of comfort for the women that prefer to engage with other women (especially during the holidays when customers are shopping for gifts).
#2: Add Interest to Every Touchpoint
In today’s world of instant gratification, customers love to walk away with nuggets of knowledge. Regardless of the purpose of the purchase, everyone enjoys feeling like they gained something– especially when it is unexpected. When customers feel the value, they’ll keep coming back for more (and they’ll likely tell others about their experience—which is exactly what you want). Consider the following as ways you can wow your customers:
- Instead of posting only the wine rating on the shelf tag, customize the tags within your POS system to showcase ratings of staff members, customers, etc. Adding a personal touch on products you chose to highlight will likely lead to increased sales. This also gives you a solid platform for soliciting reviews via Yelp and other social media platforms. Everyone loves to be heard, and considering women dominate men in social media usage, targeting them specifically in this area will be to your advantage.
- Post “Did You Know” facts on your receipts. Fun facts give your customers something to talk about with their friends and family (and offer word-of-mouth promotion). The receipt becomes more than just a receipt when customers learn that Winston Churchill’s mother invented the “Manhattan”.
- Cross promote items throughout the store. Pairing suggestions placed strategically will not only increase average cart sales, but will add authenticity to your level of expertise. For example, an Extra Dark (70%) chocolate bar perfectly pairs with a Cabernet Sauvignon, so have staff members make the recommendation while helping customers. Don’t sell it? Don’t worry. The mere suggestion is enough to showcase why a customer should continue to frequent your store.
- Trigger automated email marketing messages through your POS system based on items customers purchased. When you collect customer data and build profiles, your POS system can email thank you notes to customers for their purchase and provide them cool tips, such as a recipe for the perfect Negroni (since you know they just bought a fifth of Barr Hill Tom Cat).
There is no better way to garner the attention of your female customers than to organize events just for them. Instead of the typical wine tasting, host spirit tastings that educate guests on terminology, production and crafting classic cocktails. Encourage guests to bring spouses, partners, BFFs, etc. Consider partnering with a local female master sommelier or brewer to heighten the experience. An add-on to create the perfect party is to invite pairing experts (cheese, meat, chocolate, etc.) to showcase their goods and services. The cross promotion will be great and it will likely bring new customers into your store.
Overall, if you create an environment that is female-friendly you’ll inadvertently create an environment that is more friendly and desirable for every customer. You’ll find that not only will the women shoppers keep coming back, but the men will too.
What is EMV and How Does it work?
A new report by Sage, reported that in Q1 of 2016, only 39 percent of small and medium businesses (SMBs) have implemented the required technology to accept Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EMV). Why the lack of adoption?
- Carry too little inventory, and you forfeit potential sales. Worse still, those customers may become lifelong clients of your direct competitors.
- Hold too much inventory, and you're wasting money on storage, employee hours and even insurance.
The True Impact of Insufficient Inventory Management
Many businesses ignore (or underestimate) the importance of inventory management, making it difficult for them to assess what impact slack capacity has on their bottom lines.
However, below are some inventory management statistics that may shock you:
- Retailers Sit on a Lot of Unused Product
Unused inventory ties up an estimated $1.1 trillion in capital nationwide — a figure that represents nearly 7 percent of America's gross domestic product (GDP).
At the micro level, the average U.S. retailer holds about $1.43 in inventory for every $1 in actual sales. What’s more, the number of "days inventory outstanding" has risen over 8 percent in just the past five years alone.
This problem exists throughout the supply chain. Thus, even if you manage your inventory efficiently, you may still be overpaying due to poor management by your vendors.
- Smaller Retailers Are Often Unaware of the Problem
The above figures exist across the board, but it is especially pronounced among small to medium businesses; nearly 50 percent of those track inventory by hand — or not at all.
This explains why new positions for logisticians — such as those who handle inventory management statistics for supply chains — are growing at only 2 percent, which is well below the national average for most other occupations.
- More Storage Is Not the Answer
To better handle inventory, many businesses invest in additional warehouse storage. At roughly $5 per square foot, most consider it an affordable investment that allows them to dramatically reduce out-of-stock inventory and boost sales.
Yet it’s still an expense — one made worse as businesses increasingly carry products and services for very niche needs. In fact, the total number of warehouses has increased almost 7 percent over the previous half decade, and 54 percent of warehouses expect to expand the number of SKUs over the next five years.
- Better Technology Should Be the Goal
Investing in more storage may provide temporary and modest gains. Though a better solution involves incorporating mobile and interactive inventory management tools — a fact borne out by the 87 percent of top performers that consistently manage their inventory well.
A full 67 percent of warehouses plan on incorporating mobile technology in the future. Although some hurdles still exist since 70 percent of smart devices can’t carry enough battery power to last an entire floor shift.
NCR Counterpoint POS specializes in inventory management software that integrates directly with the desktops, laptops and smart devices your team already uses. With this powerful platform, you’re able to automate inventory purchasing to create more streamlined storage and delivery flows within your business.
Key benefits of our inventory control system include the ability to:
- Only hold what you need, allowing you to maximize storage space and remove unnecessary expenses.
- Track sales and returns, making it easier to forecast, eliminate and optimize inventory stockpiles.
- Print detailed reports that provide real-time snapshots of how your business is performing.
To learn how our inventory tracking system can help your business, contact us today for a live demonstration or free consultation.
Topics: inventory management
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