Leveraging new technology within your pub or liquor store allows your business to stay competitive in an evolving industry seeing rapid change. A straight forward approach is to look at HOW your business currently uses technology, then consider if an upgrade will increase efficiencies, generate additional revenue or grow market share. Here are a few great examples of what some licensees have implemented to leverage tech in their business.
An attention-grabbing, high-tech item emerging within the marketplace are digital price tags. With the insurgence of buying on LTO and bulk buying, micro price management has started to occur where liquor retailers are making changes daily and even hourly depending upon competitor promotions. Constant price management has taken a toll on operational efficiencies as admin folks and managers find themselves solely focused on pricing and margins at all hours of the day. Retailers are so busy monitoring their cost of goods, that they forget about the increased labour expenses to monitor and maintain price changes. Enter the electronic price tag. Expensive initially to implement, compared to their competitor, the “stick-on label”, electronic price tags have been slightly slow to catch on within the liquor retail sector, but the digital tag should not be tossed aside. This innovative product has created savings in labour for store owners and enhanced customer experiences. Retailers are seeing a return on this investment quickly. Systems can be integrated via radio frequency into the already in use POS systems. No more sticky labels, dealing with printer malfunctions or the dreaded human error of not updating prices. Prices are updated with speed, accuracy and ease and the team can get back to focusing on what matters… their customers. An added by-product of streamlined efficiencies is the enhanced shopping experience. Digital price systems can feature QSR codes for consumers to scan for real time inventory levels, tasting notes, product recipes and even ingredients for those that have allergies or ethically sourced concerns. These extra features can attribute to increased basket size or support consumers making an alternate selection, thus enhancing guests experience. Win-win!
For the on-premise operators out there, digital price tags are not generally a solution for you; however digital tablets menus certainly are. Consider putting your menus on a tablet. Consumers keep their tablets at their table during their entire visit. Tablets allow for guests to reorder their drinks, pay for game apps or pay for their entire cheque before departing. These systems offer guests increased convenience and financial security while enhancing their overall experience. Consumer spending increases per table and tables tend to turn over quicker when the tablets are in use.
Most of us define analytics as capturing consumer data patterns to investigate shopping behaviours and trends. We all use data analytics everyday to help guide us in our decision-making processes. As consumers we price watch products or check for real time inventory and as business owners we use data to forecast our operations. But very few owners or managers use the data they have access to in a in a long-term meaningful way. We all use POS data to review sales, on hand inventory, purchases and for some short-term forecasting but small to medium size operators often don’t take the analytic challenge to harvest sales data to influence consumer purchases or understand why a purchase is being made. Why is this you ask? Well, first its sounds super complicated to understand, and the reality is, most small to medium sized business cannot fund this type of project. Detailed analytics tend to benefit operators who are large in scale and who have financial resources to deploy the system in house. But not any more! Loopinsights (loopinsights.ca) is an emerging third-party analytic company who works with small to medium size businesses using blockchain technology to connect via current POS. Traditional information such as number of guests at a table, food type, sku type, pack size and frequency of purchase continues to be captured. Then Loopinsights takes over. The data is harvested in real time and the Loopinsight technology starts to learn and predict consumer behaviours accurately. The data can then be used to push out customized promotional offers to help influence future purchases or connect via social media to convert casual customers to loyal guests based on shopping patterns and viral engagement.
The use of analytics directly contributes to increased sales revenue and consumer loyalty. A licensee gains a wealth of knowledge specific to each shopper and then can use that information to exponentially grow the business.
Third Party Delivery Companies
The delivery model for pubs and liquor stores is not a new concept, licensed businesses have struggled to justify the overhead to grow the delivery segment of their business. The start-up investment is significant and initial returns are slow. A new and emerging hospitality trend is the use of third-party delivery companies. Consumers open a delivery company’s app, such as Skip the Dishes and link direct to a liquor store or pub’s current website. The consumer places an order and pays for it through the licensee’s website. The delivery company is notified to pick up and deliver direct to the consumer. Consumers can track their order in real time right to their door. The concept is exciting as it allows businesses who wouldn’t otherwise have the resources to implement delivery. They are leveraging their already active website to grow their business. Licensees gain market share and brand awareness, while meeting consumer demand. Initial reports from participating businesses are showing growth in both market share and brand awareness. Third party delivery allows a licensee to build a solid delivery foundation and customer base before making a significant investment on their own delivery division.
Using tech systems that already function within your hospitality business such as your POS or website create as solid platform to launch new technology from. Consider how your business operates and what your team needs to become more efficient and ultimately increase your revenue.