One Blog |December 8, 2011 | Point-of-Sale Marketing Management

Beverage Sampling Increases Demands For More Control

Denis Clark

Don’t let ramped-up sampling eat away at inventory control

When we think of beverage sampling, the first thing that most likely comes to mind is wine. Whether it’s a restaurant, liquor store or some other venue, using samples to increase sales of wine has been standard and frequent practice in the majority of businesses. But as we see the market being inundated with new beverages, such as beers from overseas and special micro brews, the sampling of beverages other than wine has become much more prevalent – if not expected in some circumstances.

In fact, a few industry publications note the increase in point-of-sale sampling as a trend that will only increase. The tight economic times are making it more appealing for suppliers, distributors and retailers to turn to inexpensive sampling instead of other less direct (and pricier) advertising campaigns. With marketing dollars less abundant these days, it makes sense to be more creative and fully utilize the potential that sampling brings. After all, it makes perfect sense that someone who tastes something they like is much more likely to purchase it (as compared to simply seeing or hearing about the beverage through signage, menus or other marketing material).

But throwing out samples and hoping for the best really isn’t a campaign, it’s a guess. And the increased sampling can easily lend itself to a loss of inventory control and tracking. Despite their popularity, the cost effectiveness of samples can be a problem if you don’t track information that delivers measurable results. If managed efficiently and consistently evaluated, sampling for various types of beverages can be become an integral and important part of the business.

But how does a business dive into broader sampling efforts and actually determine what sells more beverages? SampleTrak software from OnTrak Software can help capitalize on a business’s market share opportunities to get more from its sampling programs. SampleTrak provides detailed information, from what product or beverage was sampled and where, to who sampled it and the customer’s response—tying it all together to show how it correlates to sales. Once a business knows what’s really going on with their samples, they can leverage them more effectively.

SampleTrak is a paperless, Web-based software tool that provides a single point of control for managing the entire sampling process. The system helps to prevent losses of inventory and revenues by creating a detailed audit trail for receipts and sample distribution. Lack of documentation and uncertainty doesn’t have to be a part of the alcohol distribution business.

SampleTrak helps increase accountability with a detailed audit trail, and improve profits by allowing businesses to claim every dollar they are due from suppliers. Best of all, SampleTrak requires virtually no set up, installation, or training so you can be up and running in no time.


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