One Blog |April 10, 2017 | POS Tracking Software
Even With New On-Line Ordering Technology, Beer and Wine Brands, Currently Sold at-Retail, Still Need Local POS Marketing
In Cincinnati, OnTrak’s headquarters, Amazon — just last week — rolled out a wide selection of beverage alcohol products on their “members only” primenow.amazon.com site.
If you’re not familiar with this, I suspect you will become familiar soon. You can read about it by clicking on the URL at the bottom of this post.
The Paradigm Is Changing
In summary: Amazon Prime members, using the “PrimeNow” site, can order their beer and wine for delivery in about 2-hours. Although there is a minimum order amount of $20, the price of the beer is perhaps a buck or two higher than a 12-pack would be if you bought it at a retail store. The thing is, the PrimeNow customer could order a couple of 12-packs and some snacks during the kick-off and by half-time, the beer and food would be delivered. You can even build in a tip for the delivery person if you like.
Another On-Line Alternative
At the same time, Kroger is making a huge push for their Internet ordering service called “ClickList.” According to Kroger: “’ClickList’ is an online grocery ordering service from Kroger. Now you can shop online and pick up your order at the store without having to leave your car!”
What the Kroger fails to mention is that the ClickList program will typically require much greater lead times than Amazon however the selection may be quite larger. With ClickList, if you order in the AM you may be able to pick up your order at the end of the day. Most often you will need to order 24 hours in advance. And you still have to go to Kroger’s, present your credit card, and wait for your order to be delivered to your car.
When Amazon gets their beer, wine and grocery list expanded to a wider selection, the temptation for the very busy would seem to be to opt for the extreme convenience and speed of the PrimeNow program over Kroger’s ClickList, approach, which does require a much longer order lead time, and a trip to the store.
Whether PrimeNow will “force” Kroger to add home delivery to their model, remains to be seen. But our feeling is that PrimeNow, Kroger, and others, will be increasingly involved in direct to home food, beer, wine and grocery programs perhaps by the end of 2017.
The End of Going to The Store?
Does the preceding suggest the end of going to the actual store sometime soon?
No!. Although on-line retailers may hope so, it is doubtful that “traditional shopping” is in any imminent danger. Unplanned, in-the-aisle purchases continue to account for a greater share of shopper dollars which parallels the 30% decline in the number of shoppers who make shopping-lists and follow them strictly.
In-Store Still Matters
While in the store, shoppers learn about new products and are reminded and “persuaded” to shop and buy items that they probably would not purchase when using the currently available on-line tools - Tools that only require the shopper to search for a category or brand in order to make a purchase.
Perhaps the types of consumer goods that would be in danger could be categorized as commodities or staples like paper towels and trash bags. Some beverage alcohol, like well-known beers, may be ordered on-line for the sake of convenience, but with the current state of the technology, brick-and-mortar retail serves several functions that Internet ordering can’t yet replace.
For example, we should recognize that the shopper often shops for the social experience or for the diversion from other aspects of life. It has been shown that shoppers actually seek information and guidance from point-of-sale (POS) materials that have been strategically placed by merchandizers and other sales and marketing professionals. This is especially true in the instance of beverage alcohol products.
POS Marketing Still Matters
Of course, the proliferation of beer and wine at grocery and C-stores strongly suggests that beverage alcohol wholesalers must ensure that the message relayed via the POS displays and signs they place are appropriate to their local audience and that their promotional campaigns are designed to be as persuasive as possible.
It is no longer a case of putting up some signs advertising the price of the flavor-of-the-month IPA or a new Cabernet Sauvignon and hoping sales will follow. POS needs to attract, inform and ultimately persuade the shopper to buy. Essentially this means “generic POS” is virtually a waste of paper and ink.
Many, if not most beer and wine wholesalers have yet to adopt the necessary tools to help them with local POS campaigns that shoppers in-the-aisle expect and require. The reason these distributors aren’t quite where they need to be is because they either are unaware of, or simply have not yet implemented the POS measuring and tracking tools available that will enable them to develop and place the most effective POS possible.
Part of the reason for this hesitation to adopt POS tracking, measuring and managing tools is that POS campaigns are still thought of as coming from an in-house “sign-shop”.
Today, POS is something that must be more than “placing signs.” It has become clear over the past few years that POS — as a measured medium — is effective in increasing sales much more significantly if it is tracked, measured and managed. Although this concept may be understood, it has been, for decades, thought to be too complicated and costly without appropriate technology that can rationalize and standardize the processes.
The Solution is OnTrak Software
OnTrak delivers innovative software solutions to help beer, wine and spirits distributors track, measure and manage point-of-sale (POS) marketing.
OnTrak enables sales, marketing, and print shop personnel to closely monitor their investments in POS marketing including: custom printed signage, permanent POS, beverage menus, and beverage sampling — providing wholesalers unmatched cost savings, while also significantly increasing their accountability with suppliers and customers.
For nearly 10 years OnTrak has offered technology to beer, wine and spirits wholesalers that:
- Adds efficiency to the POS ordering and production processes, and
- Provides the data capture and reporting capabilities required by wholesalers to measure the effectiveness of their messaging.
So even if on-line order technology takes hold, you will still need OnTrak's POS marketing technology to manage your in-store marketing investments.