As a liquor store owner or manager, effectively managing your business will require the right POS software. Perhaps the most important task of them all is tracking inventory and managing the long lines during peak times.
It’s a known fact – new products or drinks attract more customers. By using a liquor store POS system, you’ll be able to keep track new beer and wine products and track your sales, whether you’ve just sold a can or an entire case.
What’s more, by using the right system you can track employee performance, avoid theft, schedule employees, and pull reports that provide you with insight about your best-selling products or busiest times of the day.
More importantly, get a POS system that offers age verification capabilities. If a cashier fails to check an ID, the store can be fined or closed. The right point of sale system can help you avoid this.
After testing various systems, we found that Korona POS is the best liquor store POS system. Korona’s cloud POS system offers the fastest checkout time in the industry, which is especially important to keep lines short at a liquor store.
Don’t forget to opt for a system that lets you create purchase orders on the fly, so you never run out of stock or overstock. Another important feature is the ability for case breaks or tracking mix and match orders. A liquor-store specific POS system will have the ability to manage all distributors or vendors right from the POS.
By using all this insight, you’ll be able to setup your store accordingly and plan for the week. Let’s take a look at the best liquor store POS systems, whether you’re running a small store or a multi-location chain.
Comparing The Best Liquor Store POS Systems
|System||Starting Software Costs||Hardware Costs||Key Features||Our Score|
|Starts at $49/month||Flat rate processing with zero fees or surcharges||24/7 in-house phone support||
|Flex Monthly is $99/month||Freedom POS is $999 one-time charge||Case break features for intelligent inventory tracking||
|Starts at $99/month||Hardware cost is through third-party||Cloud-based management (no servers) and no license fees||
|Ask local dealer for product demo and quotes||Hardware sold through network of qualified dealers||Rewards program with custom gift card and preauthorized discounts||
|$1000 upfront and then $120/month per register||Additional register is $250 upfront and $120/month||On-demand reporting for day supply on hand and case deals||
|Quote based||Quote based||Equipped to process thousands of transactions in the most demanding environments||
|Free for basic software||Starts at $50 for readers||Highly intuitive, easy-to-use interface||
1. Korona POS – Best Overall
KORONA’s liquor store POS is a cloud-based solution currently being used by thousands of liquor stores across the United States. The solution works just the same for single-store operations up to multi-state chains or franchises.
The software is particularly well-suited to handle large inventory selections, helping liquor stores automate their operations and optimizing efficiency.
Inventory Management – Vast inventory management features include vendor relations, automated ordering, custom par levels, stock optimization, and product ABC analytics. Together, KORONA offers liquor stores incredible ease of operations with their product inventory.
Sales Reporting and Metrics
On top of inventory management, the reporting and analytics features give business owners more insight into their products, promotions, and pricing. All reports are simple to generate and are updated in real-time so you always have accurate data.
The software comes with a built-in points-based loyalty program to reward users with benchmark or time-based discounts. KORONA also integrates with Bottlecapps for a more robust liquor store CRM solution.
The software serves single location, single terminal operations and large, multi-location business alike. Ordering and reporting can be broken down by one location or the entire operation. And for franchises, KORONA offers royalty management.
With a WooCommerce integration, KORONA allows liquor stores and wine shops to sell online as well as at their brick and mortar locations. For interstate shipping assistance, look into their bLoyal integration.
All operations are conducted in the cloud, meaning that no data is stored on site. This improves security and also allows owners and managers to conduct business from any location. Remote backend access needs only a login ID and password.
Age verification prompts, custom drawer access and permission levels, and individual shift reports help liquor stores track cashier behavior and success.
Payment Processing – KORONA integrates with all major payment processors, allowing liquor store to find the best fit for their individual needs. There are no long-term contracts or costly fees.
All training and support are included with each subscription. Support is available by phone, chat, and email. 24/7 emergency support is available by phone.
All subscriptions start at $49/month per terminal. There are never any fees or surcharges, and all subscriptions are month-to-month. Some premium features do require an additional subscription package for an additional $10/month for each terminal.
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2. POS Nation – Most Liquor-Store Specific Features
POS Nation is trusted by thousands of liquor stores, beer distributors, and wine shops nationwide. Designed to help your business grow, the program boasts a faster checkout, easier inventory management, and reporting needed to make better business decisions.
Case Break Inventory Tracking
Let the POS system automatically account for case breaks. Whether it’s liquor, wine, or beer, this feature will link cases of product to single bottles. When something is broken, the liquor store software will repeatedly convert one case to individual bottles. This enables you to easily track inventory by the case, bottle, or six-pack without manual intervention.
Mix and Match Pricing
Move inventory quicker and increase sales with mix and match bottle pricing. Bundle beer, wine, and liquor into enticing deals. Customers can create their own six-pack of craft beer or select four different bottles of wine for a percentage off the total. This is a great feature for holidays and events, allowing customers to try something new.
Compliance and Reporting
CAP Retail by POS Nation allows you to accurately track sales and purchases of malt beverages by quantity and size. The program provides prebuilt monthly purchase and sales ledgers at the click of a button. And with over 55 prebuilt, customizable reports, you can dive into every aspect of your liquor business.
Manage vendors and create purchase orders all in the same system. Stop wasting time toggling between programs to keep up with sales, inventory, and purchase orders. Track all vendors, set reorder thresholds, and directly email distributors all from a universal dashboard.
POS Nation has a cash discount program for customers. If they choose to pay with cash over a credit card, they are eligible to receive a percentage off of their purchase. This helps keep credit card processing costs down for merchants and incentivizes the consumer to come back.
- Electronic signature capture and barcode scanning
- Customer loyalty program with gift card system
- Employee management with scheduling and role-based permissions
- E-commerce integration and sales tracking
- Age verification with barcode scanner or ID swipe
3. IT Retail – Liquor Store POS with Solid CRM Features
IT Retail is both a cloud-based and on-premise solution for a liquor store of any size. It’s designed to manage processes related to liquor stores through pricing control, detailed inventory tracking, countless integrations. The program allows stores to define employee roles based on individual requirements and track hours accordingly. Key features to consider include:
Customer Relationship Management
IT Retail is a liquor POS program that was designed to make the customer happy. Using built-in customer relationship management (CRM) tools, a store can gain insight into valuable data like purchase history and demographics. This enables a business to then send customized promotions and coupons that will entice repeat sales.
IT Retail is the best POS for liquor stores to save money because it’s housed in the cloud. This means, not only is your data always secure (whether online or offline), but there is no need to store expensive and bulky servers. The cost of maintaining a server in-store can average $1,000 a year. IT Retail eliminates the cash drain because all channels sync directly to the cloud.
There are no expensive license fees to worry about either. All office functions sit in the cloud. This means, there is no need for back-office or front-end licenses. Everything is one, straightforward, monthly payment.
The reporting for IT Retail is generated via machine learning. The liquor store POS software helps users make better decisions to improve business performance. This enables a business to maintain pricing consistency across multiple stores by comparing data based on pre-defined benchmarks.
- World-class support team trained in real liquor stores
- Accepts cash, credit, EMV, NFC, gift cards, and EBT payments
- Full scanner and scale support for faster transactions
- Third-party integrations for ecommerce, accounting, CRMs, etc.
- Multi-store management with separate pricing modules
4. Heartland LiquorPOS – Best for Multi-Location Liquor Stores
Heartland LiquorPOS has been successfully serving independent retail liquor operators for over three decades. They deliver liquor POS software that is reliable, flexible, and secure. More than 5,000 stores rely on the product to automate routine tasks and operate more efficiently, productively, and profitably.
Here are the top features:
Heartland has a detailed customer loyalty program that takes it a level above the rest. Track sales based on individual customers or by demographic groups (like region or zip code). This empowers a liquor store to increase customer loyalty by offering more focused rewards and promotions.
Create house accounts with specific preferences and billing statements. Implement bar-coded customer cards that can be loaded with pre-authorized discounts. All of this allows for deeper and more targeted marketing campaigns that drive better sales.
Heartland LiquorPOS minimizes retail shrinkage by allowing a store to customize staff functions. This leads to a higher degree of employee accountability. Set specific security levels and run reports on team members by sales, voids, and deletions. This helps to keep a solid view of performance and manage theft at the same time.
The Heartland liquor POS system is easy to set up and get started. They offer a pre-loaded, 35,000-item database. This helps to configure your system quickly and easily. A store also has the option to upload a list of products in bulk using an Excel file.
All of this eliminates manual entry and helps to save on labor costs. Price, inventory, and product information are always just a few clicks away.
- Customize receipts with a 400×100 pixel logo and personal message
- Age verification using a Honeywell Xenon 1900 barcode scanner
- Multipack items and sell by the case, six-pack, or single
- Integrated credit card processing
- S.-based technicians available via phone or email
5. mPower Beverage – Easy to Use POS for Liquor Stores
The liquor store industry is a highly competitive marketplace. mPower Beverage is a liquor store point of sale system that gives you real-time actionable data to make intelligent business decisions. The software is licensed based on the number of registers in the store. There is no charge for the back-office application or additional computers. Key features include:
A unique feature of mPower POS is the ability to produce on-demand reporting to take the guesswork out of ordering. Customers can be finicky and change their liquor preferences quickly. Run reports on ordering based on day supply on hand. What are people buying and drinking right now?
Reporting that is this detailed includes ordering based on case deals and par counts. It will show a store exactly what to ask for based on history and selling velocity.
mPower Beverage software offers centralized pricing, promotions, and multi-store data synchronization. They make it easy to grow your brand and manage different channels simultaneously. By using a centralized liquor point of sale program, you can run tasks across many locations, like:
- Create a purchase order
- Run daily reports
- Change pricing
- Transfer products
A good POS company knows that what they can’t offer in the software, should be available as an integration. mPower Beverage has strategic integration partners in place to ensure you never drop the ball on anything in operations. Popular apps are available for things like:
- Electronic shelf tags
- Delivery apps
- Employee management
Track customers with a built-in loyalty program and reward them accordingly. Run daily and weekly reports to see who your best customers are and what they are buying. The liquor store POS software will allow you to export email reports which can then be used in targeted marketing campaigns. All of these functions are in place to bring more people in and keep them coming back.
- Mix and match, case break, wholesale, and promotional pricing tiers
- Warehouse management with picking and shipping lists
- Age verification and barcode scanning
- Credit card integration, EMV, and contactless payments
- Customizable shelf labels and printing
6. Catapult – Best Liquor Store Software for Compliance and Security
ECRS owns the liquor management system called Catapult. It gives a business the tools to know a liquor store inside and out. It solves problems for both single-store and chain beverage retailers and streamlines operations.
Optimize your bottom line and increase efficiency with POS features like:
Liquor stores are a business that experiences great spikes in retail activity, with the majority of sales occurring in the evening, on weekends, and holidays. You need liquor store POS software that can keep up with the rush.
Catapult is equipped to process thousands of transactions in the most demanding environments. The system will simultaneously feed all collected data into the POS platform in real-time. This can then be used for precise inventory management and business analytics.
Liquor laws vary greatly by state. Compliance can be particularly difficult for chain stores. Catapult enables a business to scan local IDs for buyers and verify if the format of the identification is correct. The POS liquor store software will easily confirm the age of customers, so you can avoid any fees or penalties.
Catapult enables inventory control right in the palm of your hand. Much of the powerful, back-office inventory functionality comes in the mobile handheld terminal (HHT). Create purchase orders instantly or on-the-fly price changes. Inventory adjustments can be made quickly. Other functions of the mobile unit include:
- Inventory transfers for multi-store channels
- High-contrast shelf labels with a portable printer
- Price spot checks
- Physical inventory counts
The Order Assist feature of Catapult helps keep track of everything automatically. The module will display suggested item order quantities based on forecasted auto-replenishment calculations. It will then generate a purchase order for each associated supplier.
For example, if you sell 6 bottles of a new vodka, Catapult will know that you need to order at least 8 more to get your shelves back in order. This is done automatically through the Gateway supply chain integration solution.
7. Square – Best POS System for Small Liquor Stores
Square gives a liquor store all the tools needed from open to close, in-store, and online. Setup is simply downloading an app, signing up, and plugging the hardware in. Intuitive inventory helps to simplify workflow with multilocation stock management. It’s liquor software that’s built for a store of any size. The primary functions include:
Square helps to empower liquor store employees with efficient team management tools. Implement personal passcodes to ensure everyone logs into the system securely. Staff clocks in and out directly through the POS to easily track time. A business can then generate reports on timecards and employee activity. This helps to recognize good performance and strengthen weak spots.
Square payments have no hidden fees. All sales, whether paid with a gift card or through a digital wallet, are integrated into the system. Access your money the same day or instantly with a 1.5% transfer fee. The company complies with all required PCI standards and all customer data is encrypted.
Square also comes with invoicing. Send professional estimates, automatic customer reminders, and invoices, then track those payments in real-time.
Square is a stellar POS for liquor stores because they help you make better decisions backed by good data. Run detailed sales reports to know how much inventory you are moving and what the business is making down to the minute. View all reports right in the POS dashboard, at any time.
A liquor store can also run reports on vendor sales. Know which merchants are supplying your top-selling products and at what rate. This enables smarter ordering and better cost-saving opportunities.
- Create and print barcode labels from the dashboard
- Build customer profiles automatically from payment cards
- Open tickets/saved carts
- Offline mode
Liquor Store Point of Sale Buyer’s Guide
During the buyer’s journey, it’s important to look at the general features this type of technology can offer and what it will do for your liquor store. Let’s review them.
Loyalty programs always keep satisfied customers coming back for more. Reports have shown that consumers spend up to 99% more with brands where they have an account. This is much more than stamping or punching holes in a card.
A smart customer rewards program will track consumer behavior and purchasing history. When people buy, the system stores their data. The entire experience becomes automated. Personalized promotions and discounts can be sent via email marketing and direct mail campaigns. This, in turn, keeps people coming back for more.
Liquor Store Inventory Management
Liquor stores thrive on tiered pricing. After all, the same product comes in many different ways (bottle, can, case, six-pack, keg). The liquor inventory system you choose should have mix and match pricing capabilities. In the event of case breaks, it will automatically calculate the different quantities and labels.
Liquor store point of sale systems must be equipped with a database that lists all of the items you carry in the store. Auto-replenishment can be set to trigger based on sales trends and reporting. It should track inventory in real-time and send instant alerts when stock levels are low.
Effective inventory tracking helps to introduce new products and evaluate the performance. If something is not doing well, replace it, and start the process again.
It is critical that liquor store POS software has the means to verify the age of every customer prior to purchase. The more digital this process is, the more secure it becomes. The best systems will deny purchase if a scanned ID does not meet the requirements.
It should also be smart enough to know which items do not require age verification. You don’t want to lose any sales. The POS system should allow you to denote which product categories require an ID. When one of these items is scanned, the screen pops up with a reminder to the cashier to ask. Although it’s a simple feature, this function can save a store from a lot of liability.
An efficient liquor store POS will always have a way to measure and gauge performance. This requires an in-depth reporting feature that takes a closer look at sales. Tracking sales will take the temperature of how your store is currently performing and places that may need work.
A program that runs detailed reports helps to better identify important trends. For example, if sales are dipping during a certain shift, you may want to cut back on labor. If a particular item is flying off the shelf, it’s time to change your order amount. The closer a store monitors these patterns, the better decisions it will make.
No matter how great a point of sale platform is, there’s always one or two needs it cannot meet. To bridge this gap, smart brands offer a multitude of third-party integrations, so a store never has to ditch its legacy systems. They should have strategic partnerships in place to make it easy for you. This can include (but is not limited to):
- Accounting and payroll
- Employee management
- Customer engagement
- Online shopping
- Delivery app
The liquor industry has many regulations. A POS should provide owners with peace of mind by protecting the business 24 hours a day. In addition to PCI compliance for transactions, the program must allow for role-based permissions. Different employees can only have access to the specific information they need for their job.
You should be able to monitor and track activity by station and clerk. This will determine how many times something was voided, deleted, or discounted. It helps to identify theft, as well as reward good performance.
You should have remote access to the store’s data at all times. A cloud-based liquor store POS will ensure that you are always up and running, even if the internet is not. The platform has no need for an in-house server, so a business saves space and cash as well.
This also allows you access via a mobile device. Mobility makes multi-store management much easier and if you are a single location, it facilitates growth.
Manage Your Business Better with a Liquor Store POS System
Finding a liquor store POS system can be a daunting task, considering the unique needs and challenges your business faces. You need a system that processes orders fast and efficiently, as well as a very specific set of core features.
On the outset, age verification is a must-have. This is due to the regulations and compliance that your business must maintain or risk getting shut down or fined. Thus, you need a platform that allows you to check IDs without slowing you down, as well as rigorous system security and employee permissions.
Some other key features to look for are case break inventory management to track your various products, automated purchase orders so you never run out of stock, marketing and loyalty program tools to keep customers engaged, mobile POS to take orders directly from the floor, and reporting and analytics so you can gather all the information you need to make key business decisions.
Each of the seven liquor store POS systems we walked through in this guide provides specific value to your business. Korona POS has the best loyalty programs, POS Nation is best for multi-store locations, and Heartland POS has the best inventory automation tools.
IT Retail provides the best business insights, mPower Beverage has killer real-time reporting, Square sets up quickly and efficiently, and Catapult has compliance and security features that will keep your operation above board.
The best part: all of them are offered at an affordable rate that even a small liquor store should have no trouble affording.
Ultimately, the system you choose should be fast, efficient, and wow your customers. It must improve the bottom line and the overall customer experience. We hope this guide has given you the information you need to find a system that does just that.