Hi-Time Wine Cellars has worked with Retail Dimensions since 2010 and reunited with us to further upgrade their existing eCommerce platform. Initially, we assisted with the integration of their eCommerce platform, Magento 1.9, and their retail management system, NCR Counterpoint. After this, we teamed up again to upgrade from Magento 1.9, to Magento 2. To read about this integration, click here. Magento offered a great feature fit for Hi-Time Wine, however they found the cost and disruption of continual security and system patches to be a burden they looked to shed. To optimize the growth of Hi-Time Wine as a customer-service oriented business, the move to BigCommerce just made sense.
Over nearly a dozen years, Hi Time-Wine has become a loyal client and friend of Retail Dimensions. Hi-Time Wine is a Costa Mesa staple for spirits, wines, beers and more. Founded in 1957, the family-owned cellar grew their success on the basis of top-tier customer service, expertise in their field, and a variety of high-quality products. Brothers Chuck, Fritz, and Harold Hanson have helped run and manage various operations of Hi-Time Wine since it’s conception. In 1985, Hi-Time Wine made the move to a 24,000 square foot location, to accommodate their growing inventory and support the addition of nationwide shipping. They cater to everyone, from the connoisseur to the layman, with caring and knowledgeable staff.
With an underground 3,000 square foot wine cellar and in-house “Smoke Shack”, Hi-Time Wine is more than just a liquor store; it’s a community. As a duty to its customers, Hi-Time Wine prioritizes the importance of an omnichannel system that allows for a similar experience both in store and online. The ability to connect with customers in an easy and efficient manner has always been the main goal for Hi-Time Wine.
Magento and NCR CounterPoint
Our first integration of Magento 1.9 with NCR CounterPoint was followed by the transition from Magento 1.9 to Magento 2. Making this switch freed up time and integrated important existing features, such as:
- The ability to cater to specifications in shipping internationally and to states with respect to their varying alcohol laws and taxes
- Direct communication between eCommerce and POS systems to keep up-to-date inventory, sales promotions and special deals on both platforms in real time
- A gift registry that allows for customers to share Hi-Time Wine products with loved ones all over the world
Magento 2 was exactly what Hi-Time Wine needed at the time. But, as the business continued to grow, it became apparent that a change to their eCommerce platform would be beneficial to best support the needs of their company and their customers.
From Magento 2 to BigCommerce
Sean Kinney, IT Director of Hi-Time Wine, explained their goals for the future of their eCommerce platform. Kinney stated that Magento 2 was ideal for detailed integrations, and especially helpful for the complexities of integrating loyalty programs and gift cards with their existing POS system. However, Magento 2 was in need of constant updates, resulting in more time being spent on maintenance of the system rather than actual business growth and customer satisfaction – the ultimate priority.
The forefront complexity of Hi-Time Wine’s integration needs persist: Selling alcohol in the US comes with very specific and varying restrictions that require compliance by their eCommerce store. Without accounting for these specifications, their business would be put into a precarious and vulnerable position. So, it was imperative to Retail Dimensions to prioritize accuracy and attention to detail in this integration. BigCommerce is, as Kinney describes, a more “out-of-the-box product”. This means that there is less need for consistent updates, fewer system crashes, and more time to tend to the specific needs of the customer.
“I started working with Retail Dimensions in 2010 and consider them a trusted and valued partner to not only help guide us in the right direction, but deliver on what they promise. ”Sean Kinney, IT Manager
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Cheers to the Future!
We continue to build and evolve with Hi-Time Wine to develop the most custom fit system for their company’s needs. The mutual trust that we share has paved the way for an innovative and efficient work environment that ultimately betters the experience for the customer. We look forward to many more years of smart business growth and customer satisfaction with Hi-Time Wine. Cheers to their new and improved online store!