Mission Bay Wine & Cheese Shop Rolls Out Online Store
April 03, 2020
San Francisco, CA, April 3, 2020 — As the recently opened Mission Bay Wine & Cheese in San Francisco had been working to add e-commerce to its web site, the sudden wipeout of foot traffic and on-premise tasting business added urgency and opportunity to that effort. Having a flexible e-commerce platform has made an enormous difference in the relatively new company’s ability to adapt to the harsh realities of COVID-19.
Mission Bay Wine & Cheese is owned and managed by partners Debbie Zachareas and Peter Granoff, Master Sommelier. The two also jointly own and manage Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant in San Francisco's Ferry Building, and Oxbow Cheese & Wine in Napa's Oxbow Public Market.
Although they’ve had to close the popular wine bar component of the shop, Granoff says, “Mission Bay remains open for sales and delivery, at least for now. We offer Curbside Pickup, In-Store Pickup, and Local Delivery within the city of San Francisco, as well as shipping to some states.”
Granoff’s main concern is his worker’s and customer’s safety; he is conferring frequently with staff on the trade-offs in remaining open. They are considering appointment only sales. “We’re taking it day by day and watching it unfold. This is our livelihood, but it’s also about our lives: if we lose the latter, the former means nothing.”
This makes a flexible online store all the more critical.
Having an e-commerce platform like Vines OS enables customers to filter easily by wine style, which makes a vast difference in ensuring that customers can find what they are seeking and transactions get completed. Plus, it allows customers to opt-in to the club while ordering and take immediate advantage of special pricing.
“We’ve worked with Vines OS from the beginning of the Mission Bay project,” says Granoff. “The big challenge for a brick-and-mortar retailer is to synchronize the online component of the business with the brick-and-mortar component. We experienced this at our Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant location, which is based on a different e-commerce platform. It requires third party software to sit between the in-store POS and the web site, which increases the potential for problems. Every time the POS software was upgraded, the sync would break: same if the e-commerce system was upgraded. We’d find ourselves selling things that were out of stock, or with in-stock inventory not showing up on the web site. Now we have real-time inventory and can’t oversell.”
He says he started talking with Vines OS several years ago, before they had POS integration. “Since they started working with Revel, which is the POS we currently use at Ferry Plaza, we decided to go with them for Mission Bay. The greatest advantage is there is no third party software to deal with, which is the most error-prone piece of the puzzle.”
Another advantage of the Revel POS system is that it is iPad and cloud-based but also has an offline mode, so Granoff can still be operational if the internet is out. When the vendor of Granoff’s previous POS system pushed Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant to upgrade to its latest version three years ago, the quote was $95K. “Revel came in with a bid just a third of that, with a much richer feature set and a lighter hardware footprint. That was a really tough decision!” he quips.
Vines OS helped Mission Bay Wine & Cheese launch their online store quickly, as the company pivoted towards online sales. Says Granoff, “Given the operational restrictions we all face in this unprecedented moment, having our e-commerce platform live has been a life-saver. The Vines OS integration is enabling us to offer In-Store Pickup, Curbside, Local Delivery and shipping where legal, to audiences near and far. They are releasing new features such as virtual tastings almost daily, and we plan to use those as well as coupons, gift cards, bundles and other options to make our offers more enticing. Our staff is excited about this extension to our business as well. That is an important morale boost for all concerned.”
Shop online at Mission Bay Wine & Cheese and take advantage of Local Delivery within the city of San Francisco INCLUDED on all orders over $100.00
About Vines OS
Vines OS is a modern, cloud-based, direct-to-consumer solution that has been powering wineries in ecommerce and club solutions since 2002. Intuitive and feature-rich, Vines OS provides the tools to manage clubs, sell online, and book events and tastings. Vines OS is fully integrated with the #1 rated POS platform, Revel Systems. For more information please visit www.vinesos.com.