September 6, 2011 | Joe Waechter
Today is a big day for us! We announced the formation of WineDirect, a company that combines the direct sales and fulfillment services of IBG with those of WTN Services™. To read the official announcement, visit our press page.
I see this as a turning point, not only for IBG and WTN Services, but for the Direct-to-Consumer channel. It’s good for our two companies because it allows us to place unwavering focus on our strengths and deliver best-in-class direct sales services to our mutual customers. It’s good for the channel because the integration of services creates value, or to quote Aristotle, by forming WineDirect we’ve created a platform where “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Our vision hasn’t changed.
Our vision is to help our customers succeed in the direct sales channel by providing the best technology and services around. Today’s announcement just means we’ll get there faster.
Combining the fulfillment operations and direct sales capabilities of our two companies is a logical move and ultimately our customers will benefit in a number of ways:
New Sales and Marketing Opportunities: 1-800-FLOWERS and its WineTasting.com and Fannie May subsidiaries are powerful consumer brands with extensive experience in and dedication to the wine space. For wineries this means exciting new opportunities to sell more wine.
Efficiencies: By combining new marketing and sales opportunities, telesales, inbound customer service, eCommerce, and fulfillment into a single offering, we can offer remarkable efficiencies to customers who are interested in a one-stop-shop. We see this as a huge opportunity to make it easier for wineries to sell direct.
Visibility: With our customer portal and the fantastic new dashboards that our licensing partner Vin65 recently rolled out, the degree of visibility into both operations and sales we offer is second to none. Even more exciting - this is just the tip of the iceberg. Over the coming months we’ll be tightening integrations, so stay tuned for some great advancements here.
As we enter the busy holiday season, we realize that the last thing our customers want to worry about is changes in their fulfillment operations. Rest assured that this is of utmost importance to us and we’re determined to make sure there are no disruptions in service. Our customers will continue to enjoy the same level of service they have in the past.
Exciting Times Ahead!
By bringing together the best of IBG and the best of WTN Services/WineTasting.com we believe we can drive a new era for the winery DTC channel. I hope you share in our excitement.
We welcome inquiries from anyone interested in learning more about today’s announcement or our integrated programs and encourage you to contact either myself or our COO, Steve Waller.