Technological advancements have seen retail stores rely more on technology for various operations and needing more from their point of sale (POS) systems. Liquor stores need tech solutions to operate efficiently, keep track of inventory, give customers a fast and safe experience, and boost sales. Tech also helps to improve decision-making at the executive level. Here are the top five tech tools that every liquor should have.
1. ID scanner
Liquor stores sell highly regulated products, with the laws being stringent on the age of persons allowed to shop there. An ID scanner makes it easier to ascertain whether one has reached 21 years of age, which is the minimum legal drinking age. You can scan and authenticate passports, visas, ID cards, or drivers’ licenses in a fast, secure, and accurate way.
2. Inventory and back-office management integration
Store managers no longer need to catalog every product in the liquor store manually. There is the option of acquiring a POS system that integrates the store’s technology and back-office processes for fast and efficient operations management.
A well-designed liquor store POS system should process orders, organize inventory, and accept payments. The system should also integrate with your back office tech solutions, letting you run aspects like employee scheduling and vendor management.
3. E-Commerce and delivery apps
E-commerce platforms and delivery services in these pandemic times have revolutionized the liquor industry. With the number of walk-ins now limited, online orders and delivery services have enabled businesses to expand their reach, maintain and increase their sales levels. Customers simply log into the app or website, make an order, and make an online payment right from the comfort of their homes.
These liquor store tech tools have also greatly helped the store staff remain employed. Instead of getting laid off due to the low number of walk-ins, they can be deployed to the delivery department.
4. Payment processing options
As technology in the retail space continues to develop, new payment options available have emerged too. Customers are no longer restricted to just credit and debit card options. It is now possible to make payment for your liquor orders entirely online using smart wallets, wearable tech, and other third-party payment solutions.
When your POS system integrates different payment options, you offer your customers flexibility, allowing them to pay using their most preferable means. You will not only improve the customer experience but also make some valuable liquor sales too.
5. A gift card or loyalty solutions
Wines and liquors make the perfect gift solutions for friends and family. When you have gift cards for your liquor store, your customers can gift others without going through the trouble of guessing what the recipient would enjoy. Gift your loyal customer too through a loyalty and coupons program, which they can redeem and use on their products of choice in the store.
The ideal POS system should seamlessly integrate gift, loyalty, and coupons programs to cultivate long-term customer relationships and loyalty for business success.
Technology is part and parcel of every sector, and as new technologies keep being invented, the customers’ expectations of their shopping experience keep rising as well. To remain competitive, your liquor store just has to keep up with these rapid tech changes. Invest in future-oriented technology that personalizes your business processes and leaves the customer impressed.
The Perfect Investment: RAD Diversified and Income-Producing Farms
Amidst the global lockdown of 2020, Dutch Mendenhall, founder of RADD America, began looking for an alternative to standard residential real-estate investments. So, he turned his analysis to farms and was blown away by the immense potential he saw. After going public in late 2019, RADD America purchased US farmland and made slices of the real estate available at minimum investments of $10,000.
Income-producing farms vs. other real estate asset classes
According to Mendenhall, an apartment complex in today’s US real estate market commands approximately a 4% or 5% cap rate. Farms offer somewhere around a 15% to 20% cap rate.
“When I first began looking at investing in farms, I compared each acre to an apartment or housing unit,” Mendenhall recalls. “The variety that income-producing farms provide is what I really love about them as an opportunity. With one season producing wheat and corn the next, you can double tap — you can raise livestock on top of agriculture. Putting money into the farm only pays off in time. Everything from improving soil to increasing irrigation makes a major impact on potential income, and so much of America’s farmland has fallen into disrepair during the last 20 years.”
When Mendenhall began investing during the early days of the pandemic, sustainable acres of producing farmland sold anywhere from $3,500 to $5,000. Today, he finds that income-producing acres of farmland easily sell for $9,500 to $10,000.
“I’ve seen farmland values almost double during the last couple of years,” Mendenhall says. “Currently, we’re in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Idaho, but we are analyzing land all over America. What reports don’t show is the difference between a properly maintained acre of farmland and an acre that is in disarray. There’s only so much workable farmland on the market today. We’ve hit the tipping point, and now, there’s a scarcity of land for people to buy. If you have the opportunity to purchase amazing agricultural land, you have to pull the trigger quickly.”
Income-producing farms as an asset class
Mendenhall is no stranger to investors. Since 2006, he’s connected them to deals in short sales, wholesaling, residential properties, and storage units, though he admits that every asset class has caused the same excitement as farmland. “At this point, we can’t find enough bargains for our investors,” he says. “They take real pride in their investments and keep asking us for more.”
RADD America takes a true grassroots approach when connecting its investors to farmland. “The farming world is different from any other in real estate,” explains Mendenhall. “We start by having our acquisitions and agricultural teams meet with farmers. When we get ready to brand cattle or plant, all the local farmers come and help. In the same spirit, our teams go out and help the local farmers when it’s their turn to brand and plant. To do it right, you have to build a relationship and a connection that’s quite different than other types of investing.”
RADD America is composed of expert investors and expert farmers. The company offers its investments through fractionalized ownership. In other words, the company purchases one farm and then allows a joint pool of investors to own it together.
“If you don’t have a team that knows how to farm and maximize income, you’re not going to get the best possible return for investors,” warns Mendenhall. “Thankfully, our team isn’t so big for this type of investing that we forget who we are, and we have the economy to scale at a great pace.”
The impact of global competition on income-producing farm investments
RADD America closely monitors global trends. In Mendenhall’s experience, investors win when they move before the market. However, when they move after the market, they lose.
“When Russian first invaded and sparked its war with Ukraine, for example, we kept a close eye on its global impact,” he says. “As one of the largest producers of wheat in the world, we knew that Ukraine — now in the midst of a war — wasn’t going to be able to produce wheat at the same scale, so someone else needs to step in and fill the gap. We’re constantly monitoring what’s happening in the world to stay on top of evolving trends.”
In terms of global competition, Mendenhall is frustrated by foreign entities staking ownership of American farmland and agriculture. In this area, China has positioned itself as the number one threat to the sovereignty of the United States.
“When foreign powers have ownership of agricultural land in the US, it puts us all at risk as Americans,” remarks Mendenhall. “Over the past few years, we’ve seen soil quality erode, closures of meatpacking plants, and numerous fires. The likelihood of nuclear war in this age is very small. The quiet war of buying American agriculture and unsettling the American dollar is the threat we face today.”
Clearly, RADD America has a lot to pay attention to at home and abroad. “We’re monitoring weather patterns and making one-year, three-year, and five-year predictions,” Mendenhall explains. “We’re also paying close attention to interest rates to see where this shifting economy is headed. The up-and-down cycles are faster than they’ve ever been. Monitoring the industry is critical. With expert investors and agricultural specialists from RADD America on your team, farmland can be one of your most promising and rewarding investment opportunities.”
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