A party isn’t much of a party without drinks--everyone who has ever attended a dry event knows that-- and for this reason, the liquor industry will never be short on finding customers. Indeed, alcohol is probably a product that can sell itself; however, competition within the wine and liquor industry is fierce, which is why simply selling alcohol alone is not enough to guarantee success in a competitive market.
Retailers in 2021 need to be crafty to win over customers; otherwise, Johnny Bottles down the street can simply offer the same deal with a different price or a twist and find even better results. However, because we at FTx care about our loyal readers and customers, we’re here to help out our liquor-store-owning friends with fresh strategies to help them increase sales.
Strategy #1: Know Your Audience
Every marketing-101 textbook in the world stresses the importance of this concept: know your audience. Once you have an idea of who your target audience is, as well as the demographics of your other potential customers, you can learn what it is that they like to drink.
Alcohol is as much about identity as it is about actually drinking, which is something that manufacturers know very well when they make their advertisements. Why else do you think that Captain Morgan acts like such a frat boy?
Learning about the preferences and demographics of your different potential audiences is the best way to ensure that your supply is constantly meeting their demands. For liquor store owners who live locally, this type of information shouldn’t be difficult to gather, as simply knowing the people in your community can provide you with information about who they are and what they value. The same also goes for business owners who live outside of the communities where their stores are located; however, they’ll likely have to do a bit more research about who their potential customers are.
Knowing the basics is a good place to start when you’re deciding who you want to market to and what you want to sell. Is your store, for instance, based in a community of wine drinkers, or is it located in a college town? Does your audience like their drinks shaken and not stirred? You get the idea.
Strategy #2: Find Your Niche
After you find out who your potential customers could be, by learning a little bit about the local population, the next best thing you can do is to hone in on a particular segment of that population and focus your attention on attracting a “primary audience.” In other words, specialize your business in one area (such as wine, liquor, craft beer, etc.) and capture a specific segment of the region’s total population of potential customers; doing this will help to solidify a steady stream of customers with particular tastes and make your business stand out from similar businesses in the market.
Having a niche will also help to give your business authority in a particular area, such as craft beer or wine, and will make customers want to shop with you because of your expertise. People who are shopping for gifts or who are in the market for specialty items will also be attracted to your business for this same reason, as niche retailers are more likely to have rare and unique selections than other types of stores.
Additionally, one of the biggest benefits of specialization is that it allows store owners to tailor both their marketing and in-store experiences to appeal to customer tastes. An example of this may include something simple, like playing a certain genre of music in the store, such as rock, rap, classical, jazz, or reggaeton. Further examples may also include the type of decorum and decorations hung up around the store, such as posters, advertising displays, and digital signage. Appealing to target-customer tastes is an effective way to ensure that target audiences become repeat customers, and providing a pleasant multi-sensory experience is one way to create loyalty and ensure business.
Strategy #3: Offer More than Just Your Specialty
While establishing authority on a niche is absolutely essential, ensuring that your store still carries a wide variety of products is something that should not be overlooked-- especially when attempting to expand or improve profits. Wine and liquor stores will always do more business than just wine stores, and wine and liquor and beer stores will always do better than... (you get the idea).
Offering more items never hurts when it comes to attracting more business; however, to truly maximize profits, store owners should also offer items that are complementary to alcohol, to produce more impulse sales. Impulse sales are where the forgotten, last-second items are purchased: items such as lighters, cups, lottery tickets, and ping-pong balls-- things that people often tend to drink with-- which are convenient for customers to buy without much thought. Carrying a wider variety of options will help not only with growing your potential customer base but will also help to ensure that customers will be more likely to purchase more items every time they shop.
Strategy #4: Collaborate with Small and Local Businesses
In recent years, the craft beer market has become extremely popular with adventurous drinkers and has gained a reputation for attracting aspiring entrepreneurs. Indeed, the entire alcohol industry seems to be undergoing somewhat of a DIY revolution, with brewers and wine-makers alike stepping in to take their shot at the American dream. This increase in suppliers can also be beneficial for distributors of these products, as it creates opportunities for cross-selling and cross-promotion.
Local businesses tend to come with their own loyal followings of fans and can easily attract the attention of both adventurous drinkers and small-business supporters. Collaborating with these types of vendors, by promoting their products through social media and in-store displays, can greatly increase a distributor’s online reach and presence, as well as boost their reputation with local buyers.
Strategy #5: Get Great Digital Signage
Digital signage can work wonders for store owners who want to improve their in-store marketing. With great digital signage, store owners can engage customers more fully through customized display messages, as well as ask for reviews, or inform them about new products, discounts, promotions, and much more.
For some of the most efficient and cost-effective displays, you can reach out to FTx for access to attractive digital displays that integrate easily with your store’s POS system. FTx Digital Signage also comes without contracts; simply pay month to month without any obligation-- the service can be dropped at any time. FTx also offers state-of-the-art POS systems, which include a free graphic design software called AdPro. AdPro can be used to make a variety of marketing materials, such as website designs, social media images, banner displays, digital signage, and more.
If you’re someone who’s interested in improving your in-store marketing or would like to learn more about how digital signage could help to benefit you, then reach out to one of our marketing strategists at https://www.goftx.com/ to schedule a demo. It’s time to start thinking about your next big marketing move. Let’s get this party started!