How an art gallery in Cardiff started selling online with AirPOS & Shopify

'Everything obviously just stopped…That’s when we got in touch with you guys about your Shopify integration' Set up in 1984, The Makers Guild in Cardiff is one of the most visited galleries for applied art and crafts in Wales. And over a decade ago the most visited gallery in Wales needed a point of sale system that could perform on demand for high-value one-off customers and regular locals.

We recently spoke to Simon Burgess, General Manager. “We’ve been AirPOS customers for over a decade now and it’s been interesting to watch your product and services grow and adapt as our own business grew over the last decade.”

Their business model was simple. Artists would showcase their work in the gallery, people would visit the gallery and buy the work, repeat. But then the pandemic came and it all changed. We’ll get into that later…

Why Did You Choose AirPOS Over A Decade Ago?

“We started a free trial of AirPOS and it was instantly simple to use. It was really easy to upload our inventory, and it was easy to monitor all our sales data because the system just reports back to you automatically.

You don’t need to do any counting of your own at the end of the day. The layout of the actual point of sale was simple for our team to find their way around as well.

The inventory management piece is important to us because we have single items coming in every day from individual providers, and a lot of them would move quickly, so we needed a really reactive system that could cope with that, along with the regular 5,000 – 6,000 items we would have in stock.

Even if you’re not into technology, it’s really easy to use.”

And You’re Still A Customer 10 Years On?

“Yeah of course. Over the years and being in our line of work, you hear about other point of sale systems. They promise the world, but they also charge you the world for their products and services which are actually inferior to what you guys provide.

With AirPOS everything is simple. We pay a small monthly subscription and we get every feature and every service for less than £40. There are no add-ons that you need to buy to carry out the day to day running of your business.

It’s not just fantastic value for money, your support has been a massive help.

David and the team are never more than a couple of minutes away, literally. Any time we’ve emailed them or got them on the messenger, they’ve responded in just a few minutes. I suppose that’s been a major reason for us staying for so long and we’ve no plans for leaving!”

Great! So, You’ve Mentioned The Inventory Management Aspect, What’s The Process Like For Your Team?

“Well, we have our regular stock, that’s between 5000 – 6000 items, so that’s easy to manage with your system because we have regular deliveries of these and the sales reports give us an idea of seasonal trends so we never run out of anything.

But then we have fresh pieces of work coming in almost daily, and then leaving shortly after. It’s easy to upload these items into our inventory and then obviously the system does all the work after that. All of our team can use it, it didn’t take much training at all!”

So, Everything Was Going Well, And Then March 2020 Happened…

“Yeah, everything obviously just stopped. We were in limbo. People not coming to the gallery meant that there was nothing going through the till, this was before the lockdown was officially announced. Then none of us could physically go to work.

That’s when we got in touch with you guys about your Shopify integration. Marty (CEO) and the support team were amazing. We were brand new to the concept of online selling and weren’t sure if it would really suit us, but after that initial chat we were sold on the idea!”

How Did You Find The Process? Was it Easy?

“The process of getting set up was relatively easy because of the support we got from AirPOS, but none of us had any experience with eCommerce, so the learning side of things took some time. But after just a couple of weeks and a bit of confidence in ourselves, we realised that we could run the online store.

It saved us during the lockdowns and now that people are back out of their houses we have two ways to sell to them, both from the AirPOS dashboard.”

Brilliant News! What Happens Next? Any Big Plans For The Online Side Of Things?

“Big plans! We normally attracted a lot of local people and admirers, a few one-off buyers from further afield, but now we have a strategy to grow into all of the UK.

That’s the key benefit of selling online, we can get artists’ work and our own goods in front of 50 million people, instead of just people in and around Cardiff.

It’s really exciting. We’re getting some training on Google Ads and Facebook Ads, it’s going to be a big year here!”

Last thing Simon, Would You Recommend AirPOS?

“Absolutely, and I already regularly recommend you guys to other galleries and stores. A few of the businesses in our group are customers now and they love the system too. Your support is brilliant, someone always replies in a couple of minutes.

The system is really easy to use and the Shopify point of sale integration has been vital to us getting through the pandemic and it’s opened a whole new market to us.”

Are you interested in selling online?

Do what Simon did.

Start a free 14-day trial of our POS software, have a look around the Shopify integration and use our free support service to grow your business with the UK’s best point of sale and Shopify integration.

If Simon and his team can make a success of it with relatively little eCommerce experience, you can too! Start selling online today!

  • Share

All Posts

Prev. Post

How to start an ecommerce site – a retailers guide

Next. Post

Influencer marketing for retailers – grow your business with influencers