How Wine Central Uses Shopify POS to Improve Product Recommendations and Lift In-Store Sales

Wine Central is a New Zealand–based online retailer specializing in wines, beers, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages. When it launched in 2013, Wine Central’s original premise was to offer consumers wine specials and daily deals.

While its goal was to operate exclusively online, that all changed in 2021 when Wine Central moved into a larger warehouse space, reserving some of the square footage for its first ever storefront.

“It’s a section of our warehouse with its own entrance,” explains Paul Newport, Wine Central’s founder and CEO. “With pallets of our merchandise on the floors and shelves, it feels more like a warehouse than it does a typical store.”

To support his aspirations, Paul needed a point-of-sale (POS) system that would update inventory levels in real-time when purchases were made online or in-store, would allow his staff to serve customers from anywhere in the warehouse, and could support a loyalty program that used customers’ purchase history to recommend beverages that matched their preferences. With Shopify POS helping run its omnichannel business, Wine Central has enjoyed: 

  • The ability to sync its customers’ online and in-store purchase history to its customer profiles, enabling staff to serve up hyper-personalized recommendations and lift in-store sales.
  • Smarter inventory management, with inventory levels being adjusted in real time whenever a sale is made in their store or online.
  • The ability to use one platform to manage both its online and physical stores.

The challenge

With the launch of Wine Central’s new storefront, Paul wanted a POS system that integrated with the business’ inventory management platform, Unleashed.

“We needed to have visibility on all our orders, whether they were initiated online or from our warehouse storefront,” Paul says. “Regardless of the channel where the sale was initiated, our inventory levels needed to remain accurate at all times.” 

Paul also wanted Wine Central’s retail operation to facilitate “on-the-go” transactions, where his staff could interact with clients, look up inventory, and take payments from anywhere in the store. These features were essential for hosting wine tastings or selling at shows or events.

As such, he needed a POS system that worked on a tablet or smartphone, accepted mobile payments, and would help staff run wine tastings without being tethered to an immobile kiosk. – Read more

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