Focus On Liquor Stores To Increase POS Revenue
This VAR expects to increase revenue 40% by selling POS (point of sale) software, hardware, and integrated payment processing solutions to fine wine and liquor stores.
There’s something to be said for focusing your sales and marketing efforts on one niche market. Doing so enables your company to become a true expert and hopefully become the ‘go to’ VAR when merchants need your value-added services. POS Solutions Plus, LLC is one VAR that’s focused its efforts primarily on the liquor store market and is reaping impressive results. In fact, the VAR expects to increase revenue 40% in 2009 by selling POS software, hardware, and integrated payment processing solutions to fine wine and liquor stores.
3rd Base Wines and Spirits, located in Maryland, is one of POS Solutions Plus’ more recent liquor store customers. The store originally began as a small beer and liquor shop. Then, in early 2008 the store was renovated and reborn under new owners as a full-fledged fine wine and liquor store. At the same time, the owners of the store purchased (from a VAR other than POS Solutions Plus) a new POS system, including hardware and software. However, they found both to be lacking. Specifically, the owners wanted a POS system with a touch screen GUI (graphical user interface) for the register functions. What they got was an outdated software package with limited GUI functionality. In addition, the liquor store was using stand-alone card terminals, resulting in 15-second processing times and error-prone end-of-day sales reporting due to manual data entry. While it’s uncommon for small retailers to spend more money after making a considerable technology investment, the owners contacted POS Solutions Plus for help.
“We were referred to 3rd Base by one of our other liquor store customers,” says Pat Barrett, owner of POS Solutions Plus. “We went in and did a demonstration, and as soon as the owners saw the touch functionality, they wanted to buy the new system.” For its solutions, the VAR recommended and installed retail-hardened Touch Dynamic computers with heat pipe cooling, FireBox touch LCDs, Star Micronics TSP700 receipt printers, APG cash drawers, pole displays, and Motorola 9208 bar code scanners. For software, POS Solutions Plus installed InfoTouch StoreKeeper with integrated payment processing from Mercury Payment Systems. The total cost of the solution was $10,500.
Sell The Benefits Of Integrated Card Processing
With integrated payment processing from Mercury, 3rd Base was able to remove the need for stand-alone processing terminals, greatly reduce the chance of end-of-day errors from occurring, and reduce authorization time from 15 seconds to 2. One of the reasons POS Solutions Plus uses Mercury is the additional free services the payment processor includes. For instance, 3rd Base also receives live 24/7 support, Web reporting, and communication outage protection. Barrett is keen to point out the value of Mercury’s 24/7 support. “Other third-party processors charge a fee for 24/7 support that customers most often are not willing to pay,” says Barrett. “Before we settled exclusively with Mercury, customers would call us at all hours with their processing problems. With Mercury, we have not had a single call related to card processing problems.”
The only integration issue Barrett faced is one he commonly faces with his fine wine and liquor store customers — building the inventory database. “While we don’t promise to completely populate our customers’ inventory databases, we often spend a few days training them and helping them add unique items that aren’t in the inventory file we install,” says Barrett. The problem, according to Barrett, is that fine wine stores often stock new and exotic wines. In the case of 3rd Base, the liquor store had a number of wines that needed to be added to the inventory file. Therefore, POS Solutions Plus spent five days on-site training and helping add the wines to inventory. The good news for the VAR is that the hard work and time spent was not wasted. Indeed, 3rd Base’s expanded inventory database now can be used for POS Solutions Plus’ next liquor store and wine customer.
In the future, Barrett expects the owners of 3rd Base to open a second store and again require the services of POS Solutions Plus. In addition, 3rd Base’s owners currently are considering adding handheld mobile computers to the operation to improve inventory accuracy and efficiency.