Applejack is a wine, beer, and spirits retailer that has been in business serving the Denver, Colorado area for over sixty years. Applejack’s two retail locations in the greater Denver area have large square footage to showcase their huge product selection that is “second to none,” according to CEO and co-owner, Jim Shpall.
Since 1961, Applejack has been in the business of not just wine and spirits, but in customer experience. Even in 2021, most sales are based on walk-ins, and Applejack excels at first impressions. From going for the wow factor with a production selection that’s as “large as humanly possible” to delivering fast and nimble service at checkout.
Shpall continues, “A critical part of a customer experience is that they can walk the store and see great things, but ironically the greatest impact is when they check out, and that’s where SuitePOS comes into play.”
When it came to their previous solution, Shpall is quick to give credit, noting that the system was “very good.” But as Applejack continued to keep up with advances in retail technology, their POS wasn’t able to keep up, and continued to present problems throughout the checkout experience. Shpall described the previous system as slower, much more cumbersome, and less aligned with what a “customer would expect” in terms of speed of service.
“Like anything in the world, times change. There are things that we needed to implement that required us to change,” Shpall says. So as Applejack looked into alternatives, SuitePOS quickly became their top choice. “For us, it’s the speed. It’s just a nimble, fast system.” He added.
Not only does SuitePOS work seamlessly and swiftly, but getting the system up and running as Applejack transitioned from their old POS was fast, too. Shpall notes that the relationship with SuiteRetail and being able to stay in close contact, as they adapted to the new system, was key to the smooth transition. “It’s a great dialogue between us, and we work together.”
That close relationship between client and vendor didn’t end after the on-boarding process, however. Shpall and the Applejack team love the ability to get in touch with key innovators at SuiteRetail and have a dialogue about their needs both as a customer and a retailer.
Shpall further mentioned, “Everybody is a hero when everything goes well. You truly can judge the character of a company and its people by how they respond when things do not go well, and I call up SuiteRetail and get in touch with those with direct authority to look at what we’re trying to do and have a dialogue about those issues. And that’s wonderful.”
This on-going dialogue was an important addition to the opening of Applejack’s second location, also using SuitePOS for its checkout experience. Shpall has managed Applejack’s operations for over thirty years, and has seen many changes to the business including the migration to SuitePOS, as well as the consistency of demands on customer service.
One key enhancement delivered by SuitePOS is on-the-fly unit of measure conversion (UOM). This allows a clerk to instantly convert from an item presented at checkout, such as a bottle of wine, to the sale of a case with all quantity pricing breaks and inventory impacts preserved, This feature alone has greatly sped up checkout, on top of an already fast SuitePOS experience.
“What customers do notice is when things go wrong, or if it’s slow, or if they’re standing in line. And the fact that the lines move faster, and the checkout process is speedier, is what they want and expect,” Shpall exclaimed.
Because of the problems with the old system- outages, slow checkout processes, and long lines- customers were suddenly aware of the presence of a checkout system, and that it wasn’t functioning! One measure of SuitePOS’ success for Applejack has been measured not only in speed, but in lack of customer complaints!
“Customers are not shy about telling you when they don’t like something, and the fact that we are not hearing that is a breath of fresh air,” Shpall pointed out.
What’s been good for Applejack customers has been great for their cashiers. “They love it!” says Shpall. "Without the typical problems of their previous POS like system failures or being unable to find an item, they have fewer problems and it makes their job easier."
This reliability, in terms of seamlessly supporting Applejack’s customer experience, has earned SuiteRetail Applejack’s trust as they explore new applications of SuitePOS such as loyalty programs and couponing.
“It’s an evolving product and there will always be innovation within the product that will be useful to us. As SuitePOS rolls out new and improved functionality, it will be great for us too," concluded Shpall.