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Choosing the Right Winery POS System

Michael Rhinehart
Jun 05, 2019   |   Michael Rhinehart Recommended for:   Tasting Room & Hospitality
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Choosing the right winery POS system is a big decision. You want your choice to simplify your job and enable you to provide better customer service for your valued guests.

How can you be sure you pick the right software that will truly help your winery grow? We've outlined some factors to consider and prioritize when you're choosing between different POS systems:

What to Consider

When deciding on a new winery POS system, there are key pieces to consider in order to ensure your final choice will be the right one for the long haul. You'll want to analyze the status quo of your tasting room, your wine club management processes and your overall DTC sales strategy. Where are you experiencing difficulties or pain points? Maybe checking guests out on your old POS system has proven difficult with a busy crowd or you've craved the ability to sign up new wine club members in the tasting room, in the same system.

You'll also want a POS system that won't remain stagnant. At the rate that technology is evolving, buying a POS that remains only as current as the day you bought it is a big mistake. Instead, look for a POS software that updates regularly, so you can evolve with new technology developments.

You should also consider how a POS system will support your winery in the future, as you grow. Meaning that if a solution has capabilities beyond your current needs, you should look to your ideal future and consider how you would use that capability after your winery's needs have evolved.

The ideal POS system will help you grow your winery and improve the quality of service you are able to offer to your valued guests.

What To Look For

With those considerations in mind, what capabilities should you look for in a POS system?

Above all else, you want a POS solution that's flexible and allows your winery to scale. Flexibility in a POS system will ensure you are able to use it to its fullest capacity as your winery grows and your needs expand. Flexible POS software will have applications such as:

  • Mobile-first POS: You don't want to be locked down to one or two register locations. Mobile POS software enables your team to turn the entirety of your winery into your tasting room. A mobile-first POS software will enable you to check customers out anywhere that you have WiFi. Think of how the checkout experience will change: with a mobile POS, you won't have to usher guests away from their table to a register in order to sell them the wine they loved. Instead, you can meet them where they are. The flexibility you offer will enable a more intimate and high-end checkout experience, even at off-site events.
  • Club membership integration: A POS system that talks to your wine club CRM will change the way you're able to sign up and interact with members. Imagine having a conversation with a new guest in the tasting room in which they express interest in your wine club. You could sign them up at checkout and retain personal details from their record the next time they come in.
  • Integrated payments: Ensure your payment processes are integrated across all hardware and payment services. A compliant, streamlined and integrated payment system will enable you to process transactions from your online store, wine club and tasting room — all in one place.

When you're looking for a POS system with these capabilities and more, remember your network! The winery industry is a tight-knit community. Use your trusted peers to find out what systems they liked and which haven't worked for them. You'll gain valuable insight into how a certain POS software will work for you and for your winery.

How to Make the Case

If you've found the best winery POS software for your business but still need to make the case internally to finalize a purchase to replace your old system, focus on these key benefits and use cases to persuade your team:

  • Customer experience: This is the strongest argument you can make. Drive home that customer experience is suffering from your current POS system and outline how the new system will help you deliver better customer service. Record anecdotes of difficult customer experiences due to your current POS system and explain how a newer, more streamlined system could prevent them going forward.
  • Efficiency: Analyze how much time you spend waiting to process a customer's order because of the sheer number of steps or buttons it takes to accomplish the task. Record how often you experience downtime and how long it takes to train new tasting room employees on how to use the system. How soon after they start using it do they feel skilled and able to use it without assistance? Older POS systems that haven't kept up with new technology developments can be clunky and non-intuitive, lacking a quality user experience.

Choosing the right winery POS system is a big decision. While the differences between your available options may not seem immediately obvious, it's important to consider your short and long term needs to find a flexible and scalable solution that will work for you and your winery.

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