Like many of you, we had lofty plans for 2021 that got sidelined, including many special projects we had been working on for over a year.
Where we've been
Like many of you, we had lofty plans for 2021 that got sidelined, including many special projects we had been working on for over a year. And with tasting rooms closed and tourism nearly at a standstill, we had to make the difficult choice to pause those projects to make room for development that was not on our roadmap.
Before we reveal where CellarPass is headed, we figured we'd take a moment to share some of our 2020 successes, much of it due to our ability to be innovative, but also our unique ability to respond quickly.
We've added some pretty innovative features since COVID-19 struck our properties, shuttering them to all visitors. We quickly adapted curbside pickup schedules and bumped up our marketing of virtual tastings with our seamless integration with Zoom. We didn't stop there as we knew as wineries began to re-open, new challenges would soon arise with regards to waivers and health questionnaires.
Where we're headed
Although some of our larger projects for 2021 got sidelined, we managed to pick up more team members to join our development team in order to get our special projects back on track in late October.
Entering the World of SMS
Many of you that have been enjoying our TablePro app, have been entering the world of SMS (aka text) messaging. From TablePro you could 2-way message guests when they were lost or running late, to perhaps leaving their jacket behind.
Today, we're expanding the SMS capability across all subscription plans which will allow guests to now receive their confirmations via text instead of email messaging.
The great news is that we're using a centralized SMS number so you don't have to be provisioned your own SMS number.
Another First- Shopify Integration
Over the past year, we're finding more and more of the larger wine brands are abandoning the wine industry-centric eCommerce platforms for larger, enterprise-level solutions, Shopify becoming one of the most widely adopted to date.
We've been working with Shopify for nearly a year now and have been really pleased with it's capability out of the box, but the ability to develop on top of Shopify to make it even more customized.
Today, we're pleased to officially announce our partnership with Shopify which now provides all integration capability we've had with our other eCom partners, but since we don't like just offering the same thing with new partnerships, we've taken it to a whole new level with new features that are not available with any other partner to date.
For the first time ever, you can now sync your products from Shopify and bring them directly into CellarPass. Why? Just think of all the add-ons and upsells you offer in your tasting room, you might want to offer those as part of your experiences. Think charcuterie and cheese plates, but also think beyond food to also include your wines.
Club Member Recognition
For those that are using Bloom's Shopify platform, you'll be pleased to learn that CellarPass can now recognize club members; offering them exclusive access to events, automated discounts and much more.
As guests book reservations, either online or over the phone, our integration allows you to quickly look these guests up and add them to a reservation, while new guests are automatically added to your Shopify database. Having the data in your Shopify database now makes signing up the guest for wine club or retail purchase and of course book even easier for their next visit.
Another First- Passport Platform v3
When COVID-19 struck, it shuttered everything, including many of our own signature events in 2020- and what could have been potentially the entire 2021 calendar.
We knew this was not only an additional blow to wineries, this also significantly effects many of the DMO's (destination marketing organizations) we've partnered with that rely on annual events to raise funds to manage their marketing efforts. And if these events didn't happen in 2021, jobs were at stake.
We greatly value the partnerships and personal relationships we've made with many of these organizations and we knew there was a solution that could give hope to these organizations. For several months we worked with six different DMO's to understand their plans, their challenge and what we could provide as a solution.
We've always been innovative and we knew there was a solution that would allow these signature events to carry on all while meeting the strict visitation guidelines set forth by federal, state and local regulations.
Marrying Reservations to Ticketing
Our innovative solution was a complex one, but we believe we nailed it. For the first time ever, we combined our reservations features with our ticketing platform. So as guests bought tickets, part of the purchase was booking their individual experiences, eliminating the need to buy a ticket, then book their reservations one by one.
Travel in Time
Sure we solved the visitation guidelines so these events could carry on, but we also wanted to address the issue of guests overcommitting themselves, mainly because they were not aware of the distance between properties.
So we reached out to Google and developed a way to prevent guests from trying to book a property that is 22 minutes away, but the guest only has 15 minutes between the end of one experience and the start of another.
Leveraging Google Maps, we can now use their estimated travel time between destinations and block a guest from booking should their travel time exceed the time available.
Private Booking Requests
For those on the Professional Plan and higher, you'll be pleased that you can now enable private booking requests via your CellarPass widget.
The new form allows guests to place custom visit requests and connect with you directly. Then as their visit plans firm up, you can simply use our private booking feature (backoffice, TablePro or Guest Link Pro) to book & manage their entire visit.