One Blog |December 13, 2013 | POS Tracking Software

Happy Holidays to the Beverage Alcohol Industry - OnTrak Software

Mark Fullerton

OnTrak Software’s Crystal Ball

Anyone who works in the beverage alcohol business - suppliers, distributors and retailers - knows the end of year holidays are the time for the things that matter most:  family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and of course beer, wine & spirits!

Generally speaking, October, November and December (‘OND’) are the months that almost literally make the year for those in the beverage alcohol supply chain.

Challenging Environment

Although the above may suggest that all is rosy in the beverage alcohol universe, it bears noting that beverage alcohol suppliers and distributors continue to operate in perhaps the most challenging environment since Prohibition was enacted.


New shopping trends and behaviors, more demanding shoppers (and therefore more demanding retailers), technology disruptions and, for many, a lack of pricing power means there is ever increasing pressure to establish new market footholds and maintain and grow existing market share.

To succeed, beverage alcohol manufacturers and their distributors must step up their game and get in-synch with the forces of change defining this apparently fluid consumer goods market segment.

Impact of the Economy and Consumers

Naturally, the economy has much to do with what happens next; but many signs do seem to point toward continued, if not robust, growth (at least in the US). Economists would love to see GDP growth rise to 3.5%, but it would appear the best we can expect is perhaps 2.5% — and, overall it seems that 2.0% is almost the only safe bet. These numbers, if borne out, probably mean consumer spending (which is about 70% of total US economic activity) will not spike, but rather drift lazily upwards.

Couple our lazily growing economy with rising costs, marginal pricing power, no end in sight for new beverage products that keep coming to the market like there’s no tomorrow, ever more savvy shoppers, and you have a recipe for the coming heartburn of 2014.

Shoppers, buyers, consumers, customers — whatever you may call them — continue to demand more. Shoppers, although they are still in a hurry, are increasingly willing to research their buying options. Both before and especially during shopping, consumers are looking for the highest value possible for their dollars. Simply by virtue of owning smartphones, most consumers now have the tools to become more informed about their buying choices — shoppers have become empowered like at no other time in history.

Maximizing ROI With POS Marketing Software

All of the preceding — assuming the economy does not falter from its steady-as-she-goes upward movement — should encourage beverage alcohol suppliers and distributors to focus heavily on maximizing the ROI of at-retail marketing initiatives (aka, POP, POS, shopper marketing, and retail promotions, etc.)

Now, more than ever, improving POS initiatives effectiveness is of paramount importance.  Likewise, implementing tools that can correlate POS campaigns to sales results — down to the store and item level, when necessary — will provide improved predictability and, perhaps just as important, can provide the data to suggest when a ‘mid-course correction’ for point-of sale marketing promotion is prudent.

In short, using software tools that provide the ability to directly track, measure and verify the sales impact of current POS programs will suggest how best to invest future POS spending. If at-retail marketing is tracked and measured well, beverage alcohol suppliers and distributors will be able to be responsive to the many and constant changes in the market.

While much uncertainty still exists, one thing is clear: the beverage alcohol supply chain relies, more than ever, on at-retail marketing campaigns. Getting the most out of every dollar spent on at-retail promotion is likely to be a key determinant of success in 2014 and beyond.

If you’re a beverage alcohol company — supplier or distributor — determined to succeed in maximizing the ROI of your retail marketing budget, know that there are tools available to help you be more responsive to your market and that deploying these tools will enable you to gain a powerful competitive advantage.

For more information regarding the available point-of-sale marketing management tools available from OnTrak, please click this button:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at OnTrak Software

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