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9/12/2013

E-commerce puts its cyber stamp on Australian wine industry

And for such an innovative wine marketing solution it comes from, of all places, Canada.

It’s all about direct-to-consumer e-commerce and comes to you straight out of the cloud.

In just three years Canadian-based BlackSquare has established itself in the global wine and spirits industry deploying its Blackboxx wine e-commerce platform to wineries, wine clubs and retailers on four continents.

In 2012 Australia was the first market outside Canada for the cloud computing platform and today wineries including McWilliam’s, De Bortoli, Howard and Angoves have adopted the technology.

BlackSquare president David Gluzman said Blackboxx not only powered their wine e-commerce it helped boost sales, deepen brand value and future-proof their technology to evolving consumer habits.

“Online commerce and multi-channel retailing are changing the way wine is sold,” Gluzman said.

“It is our role to deliver wineries with vital innovation to stimulate their domestic sales,” he said.

Gluzman told Grapegrower & Winemaker the return on investment can be recovered in months, not years, depending on the complexity of your setup.

He said wineries can go and spend $50,000, or more, on setting up websites – “some of which are fantastic” – but that means you are having to deal with a designer, a hoster, server and security.

“But what we have with Blackboxx is a turnkey solution for wineries, from boutique to corporate,” Gluzman added.

“With no big upfront cost. It lets wineries focus on their cellar doors and the other things they do best, such as making wine,” he said.

“The system is entirely scalable, we simply provide the platform and the client handles it from there. It works smoothly and the customer has no idea they are working with anyone except the winery.

“You lose control of your brand if you are not selling it yourself and with this system you have access to multiple channels.  “Brand integrity is maintained throughout. We have even established an automatically integrated relationship with Australia Post to streamline deliveries.”  

Gluzman said traditionally wineries wanting to engage in e-commerce paid high capital costs for basic capability, which suffered complex usage and significant ongoing costs.   He said this is why standard e-commerce has all but doomed wine’s expansion into that arena, failing in both return on investment and on user experience.

Full story in January’s Grapegrower & Winemaker.

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