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Catching Up with WineDirect

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What’s New with the Wine Industry’s Leading DTC Solution?

WineDirect has announced that they are building the All-New WineDirect platform. But what does this really mean?

WineDirect is currently the only complete end-to-end solution serving the wine industry, providing wineries of all shapes and sizes everything they need to develop and manage a successful direct-to-consumer (DTC) program. This includes wine clubs, point-of-sale, ecommerce, and best-in-class fulfillment capabilities.

All-New WineDirect
The All New WineDirect interface

“As stated in our 2021 Direct-to-Consumer Impact Report, the past few years have proven the growing importance of DTC channels to wineries. The industry has experienced exponential growth even in the face of rapidly changing and challenging market conditions,” says Andrea Smalling, Chief Marketing Officer at WineDirect.

WineDirect’s Mission to Be The Winery’s Champion

“We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that wineries have the all the tools needed to drive sales in this new environment,” says Smalling. “As we embark on an exciting new chapter to become the ultimate DTC sales and marketing solution for all wineries, our aim is even higher as we continue to develop the best technology and support to level up the wine industry.”

The All-New WineDirect will bring together the best commerce solutions for any size winery with a reimagined all-in-one platform. “The new platform will combine modern technology and best-of-breed partners with our years of DTC expertise to help wineries provide the experiences today’s wine buyers expect,” says Jim Agger, SVP of Ecommerce. “This further brings to life our mission of being The Winery’s Champion.”

The All-New WineDirect will feature new architecture, new infrastructure, and new code that Agger says will best enable the next generation of DTC tools and services for wineries.

“Our team is laser-focused on creating modern experiences,” says Agger. “Beautiful store experiences, more marketing automation, better visibility across your entire business, and the most flexible and highly converting web store available. We’re also developing powerful analytics, customizations through flexible APIs and third-party apps, and an all-star roster of integrated partners to help sell in new and exciting ways.”

The All-New WineDirect is being built with the consumer in mind, Agger added. His team is committed to using their experience, research, scale, and unique vantage point in new ways to help their clients succeed by providing all the tools needed to attract, delight, nurture, and retain consumers across multiple channels.

Flexible website design tools available on the All-New WineDirect

What’s Next for WineDirect and Their Clients

After scaling up their Product and Engineering teams, WineDirect is now at an important step in the project—actively building and testing the platform. They are preparing to share a showcase site in the next few months which will highlight the design and digital marketing functionality of the new platform. They are also finalizing relationships with key partners and developing unique benefits that will be available exclusively to clients using the All-New WineDirect platform. Ecommerce-only functionality is on track for release in mid-2022.

“It’s important to mention that we haven’t stopped working on the current WineDirect platform,” says Agger. “Although most of our team is laser-focused on planning for the All-New WineDirect, we also have a dedicated team working exclusively on the current platform.”

In the past few months WineDirect has focused on stability and system performance, as was seen during the busiest Cyber Weekend across the WineDirect platform to date. “We are keeping performance, availability, and security top-of-mind,” says Agger.

“We’ve also staffed the best onboarding, training, and support teams in the industry,” added Smalling. “These teams are available to our clients by email, chat and phone, and our response times are generally less than 24 hours. This level of service will only continue with the rollout of our new platform.”

Easily accessible, holistic and detailed view of orders and customers

What Wineries Need to Know Now About The All-New WineDirect

Wineries want to know what they need to do now, and how the switchover will happen from the current platform to the All-New WineDirect.

There is a strategic plan in place to onboard wineries who meet the technical criteria over time. WineDirect says they will support clients every step of the way and make it as simple as possible. They will continue to have the industry’s best onboarding, training, and support experience. “We understand it is important that you have the ability to focus on making and selling wine rather than worrying about configuring your technology,” says Agger.

WineDirect’s plan is to roll out in three phases, built around the major sales channels:

Phase 1: Ecommerce Only
Phase 2: Ecommerce + Wine Club
Phase 3: Ecommerce + Wine Club + Retail (POS).

It’s worth noting that there will be no incremental costs to move to the new platform. When the time comes, the transition will be seamless, with all wineries’ data and key configuration remaining intact, and WineDirect monitoring every step of the way.

Cultivating the Future of DTC Commerce

While the past few years have challenged the DTC wine industry in ways never imagined, it has also powerfully underscored the incredible opportunities for growth. WineDirect is dedicated to helping wineries of all sizes grow and scale with the All-New WineDirect platform and collaborating with wineries to cultivate the future of DTC commerce together.

One thing is guaranteed—while the All-New WineDirect platform will be familiar, it will be a tremendous upgrade across the board. What won’t change is the all-in-one nature of the system, which never sacrifices the 360-degree view of wineries’ customers.

Stay tuned for more information on this exciting initiative!

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