One Blog |March 3, 2019 | Custom POS Software

“Beer Wars” and POS: Why you need — more than ever — a POS Tracking Tool

Mark Fullerton

630 Words | Reading Time: 5 Minutes

Recent studies indicate spending on point-of-sale (POS) initiatives (e.g., signs and displays) continues to increase for beverages. In fact, a recent incentive from MillerCoors to its wholesale distributors (WDs) in fact, addresses POS spending directly.

Here are the details:

On Friday, February 8, 2019: MillerCoors (MC) told its WDs they'd pay $.02 a case on every case of Coors Light and Miller Lite sold from February 1 to March 31, to offset the cost of additional POS materials used for brand building and messaging. This offer, of course, is intended to rally MC’s distributor base in the wake of Bud Light's recent SuperBowl ads denigrating their use of corn syrup.

OK, MC is putting its money where its mouth is, so to speak, but why do you think MC is offering to compensate their entire wholesale distributor body for POS spending increases in the escalating “Beer Wars?”

Actually, the answer for most WDs doesn’t even require any discussion or research, WDs (and their supplier, MC) clearly know:

1.) POS works at getting a marketing message across, a message that usually sticks and almost always converts shoppers into buyers.

2.) Unlike TV ads which are good for general "mind share" growth and retention, the results associated with POS spending are easily measurable. Correlation is possible (POS correlates to new sales) in a very short time period.

3.) Shortest time to market. Once a WD’s merchandiser or sales rep places an order for signage and it is received by the WD’s sign shop, creating and printing the POS can be same day or the next, in other words POS can get to the market almost immediately.

To be sure the messaging is consistent across the entire US, MC can put their digitized artwork and other "collateral" on a WD-only accessible portal on the Internet, then the WDs’ marketing departments/sign shops can download the graphics, the sales reps can be alerted, and within a couple of days, a new POS "volley" can be fired in 2019's Beer Wars.

Some might wonder: “How do I know if it's working?” In other words, how do you know if you've spent $.02 a case on new and retaliatory POS? How do you know the impact of the extra spending? And, lest we put the ending before the beginning:

How do you get the orders from the trade to the sign shop; once the POS is developed and printed, how do you alert the merchandisers and sales reps that they can go out into the trade with the new POS?

Well, if you don't have a POS tracking (i.e., ordering and work-flow management) tool, all of these tasks could be quite the chore. If, on the other hand, you, like over one-hundred distributors, many of them MillerCoors WDs, are using SignTrak® the POS tracking tool designed by beverage-alcohol (BA) distributors for BA distributors to Track, Measure & Manage their POS life-cycle, well, it could be a simple matter of a click or two here and there and you're done.

Using a POS tool like SignTrak, you — just by placing an order into the SignTrak Appâ„¢ on your iPad or iPhone — begin the process of tracking every facet of your POS process including: Costs, time to the trade, and reporting on your progress (both internally and to your supplier in order to collect all available chargebacks.)

Of course, increasingly, suppliers expect "compliance" (with their program policies or your own internal practices.)  Should you need to demonstrate that your POS initiatives have satisfied suppliers’ guidelines, you should look for a POS management tool that includes visual verification that can be submitted to the supplier along with your chargeback invoice.

If you would like to learn more about POS tracking and how POS management software can help your business, click HERE to schedule a 45-minute product demo/consultation with our product team.

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