Today we announce a major step forward in building a company dedicated to the future of the wine industry - the development of VinSuite - a fully-integrated winery business solution on the NetSuite software platform. NetSuite is the #1 cloud-based ERP software suite, combining accounting, CRM, inventory, and ecommerce into one system. Along with the recent merger of eWinery Solutions with Napa Valley POS, we're building a service that combines the talents and resources of two market leading companies with over 500 winery clients into one platform that will collectively drive more DTC volume than any other solutions provider in the wine industry. Why is this relevant?
Unifying a disparate industry
The wine industry has lived the somewhat charmed life of a niche vertical, more or less ignored by major national technology, marketing, and related services heavyweights. Substantial barriers to entry exist and include unique compliance requirements; specific functional characteristics of the wine DTC business model; slow adoption rates for best practices from outside the industry; and the heavy emphasis on capital investment in farming and wine making vs. the other essential business areas that typically drive businesses forward. These barriers created a disparate service provider network consisting of mostly smaller, privately held companies that provide technology and consultative services to wineries large and small, including even the largest multi-brand public companies. Limited innovations and homebrewed solutions restrict the highly profitable DTC sales channel from reaching its full potential. Is this a good thing for the industry and for the winery customer? We think not.
Furthering DTC sales growth through technology
Our goal as a company has been to deliver a complete solution set to help the wine industry operate more efficiently. The wine industry DTC channel has grown up on both national and international fronts, and has enjoyed double-digit growth from year to year. To continue to the next stage of growth, we must follow in the footsteps of leading consumer products and technology companies that have pioneered in the fields of business software, digital marketing, social media, and DTC business practices. One such company is NetSuite, and we believe that together with the combined knowledge, experience and presence of eWinery and Napa Valley POS, we can develop the best and most cost effective software and professional services to help the wine industry continue its great expansion. How did we get here?
Rapid growth spurs random innovation
eWinery Solutions is now in its 10th year of operations. In the early phase of our company, prior to the Granholm Supreme Court decision which eliminated interstate shipping barriers, the winery vendor community was small, fragmented, and filled with companies that did not “play well together”. The old-fashioned and insular nature of the industry kept innovation at bay. With the passing of Granholm in 2005 and the growth of the DTC channel, and its mushrooming data management requirements, vendors began collaborating on integrated solutions for wineries that allowed different systems “to talk to each other”. However, the vastly different architectures in the solutions and the lack of standards for exchanging data between the systemsystems remains a persistent issue.
In other words, the vendor trending moved from isolation to integration, but the typical winery still had scattered technology solutions in place to manage the business critical areas, including eCommerce, POS, wine club, accounting, payment gateway, email, CRM, compliance, business intelligence/reporting, visitor reservations, wine making, and vineyard management among others. We hope to reduce the confusion, and foster the growth of a unified vendor solution that integrates all departments and functions of an organization on one platform running off one database. With help from NetSuite, our goal is to assemble core wine industry technology solutions as one by developing the eWinery VinSuite platform. Today is the first step in that direction to bring a stable, future-proof solution for managing your wine business.
Bigger, stronger, faster
We will transition from existing architecture in favor of a modern, flexible one offered by NetSuite. While we bring VinSuite to fruition, we will continue to provide clients with full support and development services for our current legacy platform with our existing technology and customer care departments. The new platform brings with it a host of new features that will help our customers in many ways, including:
- Faster loading, more search-engine-friendly websites with responsive designs
- Flexible shipping and checkout options including different currencies, up sells, and member level pricing
- Real-time data about customers, including detailed insight into their buying habits and lifetime profitability.
- Comprehensive financial reporting and BI tools
- Built-in social media and social commerce features
- Increased sales and deeper customer engagement through dynamic promotions, abandoned cart email campaigns, and loyalty rewards
- Eliminating “swivel chair” data entry in favor of one unified system of record
- And much more…
The VinSuite platform signals a major development in the advancement of wine technology. It will enable clients to make smarter marketing decisions, and target their customer base in ways they never imagined. They’ll see a higher ROI through increased productivity, better data visibility, and improved core functionality. With its broadly integrated solutions, the VinSuite platform will provide clients with better ways to acquire, engage, and retain customers. And ultimately, we hope it will help them sell more wine as the consumer-direct wine market continues to expand.