St Paul’s Cathedral Shop: Simplified EPoS

Landmark heritage site St Paul’s Cathedral with its world-famous dome is an iconic feature of the London skyline and one of the most loved of the UK’s tourism venues. Rooted in a history of 1,400 years of worship and public life, St Paul’s was far from backward-looking when it came to selecting new point-of-sale software from Cybertill for its thriving retail shop.

“Although we are primarily a heritage site with a slightly different range of products, the store is very much in the classic retail model. The Cybertill system enables us to have much more control on stock.”

Duncan Smith- Commercial Manager, St Paul’s Cathedral

Before Cybertill

St Paul’s was keen to install a 21st century system that could turn its point-of-sale into a real point-of-service and enhance the visitor experience. Located in the Crypt, the Cathedral shop stocks a wide range of merchandise from postcards and stationery to ceramics, jewellery, books and prints, including ranges designed exclusively for St Paul’s.

Duncan Smith, Commercial Manager at St Paul’s Cathedral explains; “Having used EPoS for a number of years, we knew exactly what we needed. Cybertill stood out as the best fit for our requirements and demonstrated how it can help us to develop our shop and E-commerce channels.” Whilst an EPoS system was already installed, it used old DOS technology and was failing to keep up with business expansion. In addition to a Chip & PIN upgrade, St Paul’s wanted a solution that was cost-effective and intuitive.

The Cybertill solution

Cybertill’s multi-channel software was seen by St Paul’s as the best option to support its business aspirations. The software runs in the shop on four J2 920 PC-based touchscreen tills from specialist manufacturer J2 Retail Systems. Till receipt printers from Epson have also been installed as part of the new solution.

How Cybertill has helped St Paul’s Cathedral

As a prime tourist site for the City, St Paul’s is now enjoying speed and ease of use at the point-of-sale. This is helping it to manage the flow of customers (156,000 in 2008) who flock to the shop each year to buy gifts and souvenirs. With inbuilt Chip & PIN compliance, credit and debit card transactions from domestic and international visitors can be easily and securely processed. In addition to smooth and intuitive front-office functions, the Cybertill software integrates with back-end stock management and replenishment to create an integrated solution.

“Although we are primarily a heritage site with a slightly different range of products, the store is very much in the classic retail model. The Cybertill system enables us to have much more control on stock. We’ve had a really good year and have recently completed our year-end stock-take using the system. Everything went very well. Stock-taking and the end of year processes were easy to perform. It’s really good to have a system that can give us reports and information.” Smith continues. 

Business-driven achievements

Thanks to Cybertill, St Paul’s Cathedral shop can support its faster-selling lines much better and does not have to hold as much stock as it did in the past. The system runs on a central server that is hosted by Cybertill and accessed remotely by St Paul’s staff. This is a real benefit because the wiring opportunities in the Cathedral are limited. The shop’s management team is based in an off-site office and the Cybertill system makes it easy to monitor and manage trading without having to be in the shop. The new system has both increased shop revenue and opened up the market for internet sales. There was a clear demand for St Paul’s gifts from the American market and many tourists expressed their desire to purchase souvenirs but not have to carry them around during their stay in London. To exploit this potential, St Paul’s now has a flourishing online presence at Duncan Smith and his team, using an easy-to-use Cybertill template, built the transactional web site. “It’s very simple to make your site look just how you want it to, and to change it as you need to.” The main site of St Paul’s Cathedral will shortly be updated, and Duncan is confident he will be able to enhance his site to reflect the same styling. When it comes to systems management, it is a real benefit in terms of accuracy and efficient stock holding to have complete integration between the EPoS and E-commerce systems and to be able to work from a common view of products and stock. St Paul’s is enjoying specialist support from Cybertill and feels that it now has a system to take its business forward.

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