Too well do we know the crucial importance of online sales in this suddenly virtual world. Offering curbside pickup, local delivery, and free or discounted shipping has suddenly become a necessity. Gift cards help bring in needed cash now and guarantee future in-store purchases when the world opens its doors once again. Oh, for that day!

Having a flexible ecommerce platform makes a big difference. Wineries and restaurants across the country that are using Vines OS, have found it easy to transition to this new business model. I spoke with some of them.

Kristy Charles, who owns Foursight Wines with her husband, Joe, in Boonville, Calif., has been a Vines OS customer since the couple started their winery more than 10 years ago. “We’ve never had to use curbside pickup before, but Vines OS makes it easy for customers to choose this option when checking out. We’re also using its new Pop-Up Promo feature to communicate special offers.” Vines OS just implemented a chat feature as well. Says Charles, “Being able to answer questions live when a customer is placing an order online is great. We’d been thinking about adding chat functionality for some time, but now, it’s more important than ever.”

At Nello Olivo Winery in Camino, Calif., Wine Club Manager Shonna Nederhouser, tells us, “We migrated from Active Club to Vines OS and Revel, and it’s so much easier to manage everything. Having an online store has suddenly become very critical. Some club members want their orders shipped, which never happened before. It’s great to have a platform that makes it so simple for them to place an order and choose free local delivery, curbside pickup, or $1 shipping.”

Recently opened Mission Bay Wine & Cheese in San Francisco, sister shop of Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants, had been working to add ecommerce to its website. The harsh realities of the Covid-19 lockdown accelerated that effort. Says owner and Master Sommelier Peter Granoff, “Given the operational restrictions we all face in this unprecedented moment, having our ecommerce platform live has been a lifesaver. The Vines OS integration is letting us offer in-store pickup, curbside, local delivery, and shipping where legal, to audiences near and far. The company is 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’s an important morale boost for all concerned.”

For Gloria Chirichillo and her husband, Dominick, co-owners of Domenico Winery in San Carlos, Calif., having to shutter their recently opened restaurant, Osteria, was a heartbreak. But, using their Vines OS system, they quickly converted to a takeout and delivery model. The pop-up feature advertises their “buy three bottles, get a pizza for a penny” promotion. Says Chirichillo, “My son, Nick, told us at last year that we needed to have online ordering and delivery. I should have done it months ago! Don’t you hate it when your children are right?”