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Cash Register vs Winery POS: What's Right for You? - WithWine

September 10, 2018

The cash register began life as a simple adding machine or manual calculator in 1879. Designed by James Ritty and John Birch, its purpose was basic. Employees had to ring up each and every purchase and alert the manager to each sale with a bell. Cumbersome and clunky, they did their basic job well – and were the perfect way to minimise the risk of theft – but the times have changed. It may be the right time for you to upgrade to a modern POS.

Times might have changed, but there’s no denying that the humble cash register remains synonymous with retail and in turn, cellar doors. Of course features have been added, such as receipts, EFTPOS integration and barcode scanners, but the fundamentals remain the same.

The problem is though that the world of business has changed. In 2018, it is harder than ever before to sell wine DTC and smart winery owners have been wondering if there might be another option that suits how they do business now.

While of course there are many questions you need to ask, the three basic ones below are a great start to see if your business could benefit from more than a traditional cash register.

Do You Sell In More Than One Location?

Some wineries are lucky enough that they simply have the one cellar door location that produces all of the sales. Others have multiple locations and regularly attend events. Where you sell your wine can have a significant impact on whether a cash register is suitable for you.

Can It Be Difficult To Integrate Different Elements of Your Business?

Like the physical locations, many wineries also have different channels for sales. If you have an e-commerce site or run multiple wine clubs, your cash register may not easily integrate with these systems, which can be an issue.

Do You Want To Know Your Customers and Business Better?

Some winery owners are so hands-on in their business that they have a solid understanding of who their customers are as well as their purchase habits. Unfortunately, many do not have the time or opportunity to do so and some are are disinterested in business reports. Investing in something beyond a cash register can be an easier way to see which products your customers love and are responding to. A Point of Sale System (POS) may have some huge advantages for your winery. 

So, What is POS?

A POS is a next-generation cash register. A cash register for modern times if you will. The first real example of a POS system was introduced into the world's favourite fast-food chain McDonald's in 1974. Standalone cash registers were not adequate for a busy restaurant. This early version allowed for the integration of eight different machines as well as unique controls for store managers. From there, the technology has only continued to grow.

Most POS is Mobile

Today, many POS systems on the market are designed to work on tablets and mobile phones. This has two major benefits. Firstly, they are not limited to a single location and can go where you go. Secondly, it opens up the possibility of each staff member having a POS system on them, allowing them to get out from behind the counter and interact with customers, all while easily able to process sales without the risk of queues.

All POS is smart

The greatest advantage of a wine POS system is that it allows for the easy capture of data. This can be either customer data – for example, email addresses and purchase history – or it can be business insights such as finding out which are the busiest days of the week, the most popular products etc.

Traditionally, it has been hard to capture this data in a meaningful way and wineries have had to do it manually. Anyone who's worked in the service industry can tell you that every day is different, and yet they can all meld into one. When used correctly, the data that your POS collects can help you to understand where your time is best spent in your business to allow it to grow.

POS is Ongoing

Unlike cash registers where you will need to buy a new one to upgrade features, the vast majority of modern POS exists on the cloud. This allows companies to roll out new features as they are built, with limited involvement from their vendors. While there is normally a monthly cost involved, being constantly up to date can have huge benefits for your business.

Thinking about making the switch to wine POS?

Book some time with our team to discover how WithWine can help you with your DTC goals.


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