Last week we made a huge announcement about our plans for the new WineDirect powered by BigCommerce. You may be wondering what this really means for our clients?
The new WineDirect further brings to life our mission of being The Winery’s Champion. We were already the only full end-to-end solution serving the wine industry, providing wineries of all shapes and sizes with everything they need to develop and manage a successful direct-to-consumer (DTC) program, including:
As we embark on an exciting new chapter, our aim is even higher as we become the ultimate solution for all wineries’ DTC Sales and Marketing needs. The new WineDirect powered by BigCommerce will be the leading ecommerce platform in the industry with lightning fast single-page checkout, the most advanced infrastructure, the ultimate flexibility to support any design imaginable, a simple-to-use content management system (CMS) that supports 1000s of themes and WordPress natively as well as access to BigCommerce’s app marketplace.
Your responses to the announcement have been overwhelmingly positive and today we want to clarify a few things as you consider what this announcement means for you.
We are integrating BigCommerce technology into the WineDirect platform.
Leveraging the exceptional features of both platforms, the two technologies will come together into one easy-to-use solution. We will not be moving our clients to BigCommerce.
BigCommerce will provide best-in-class website and ecommerce functionality, and WineDirect will provide wine industry specific tools and services.
BigCommerce will provide CMS and website options resulting in unsurpassed flexibility for superior website design.
BigCommerce’s app network and integration will support unlimited expansion of your DTC stack with 1000s of apps available. Want to integrate Pinterest? Instagram? Want your consumers to be able to shop your wines from within those apps? You’ll be able to do all of this and more.
We will continue to have the right solution for clients large and small with the ability to execute a more scaled down solution and the flexibility to add on for the needs of even the largest, most complex wineries.
We will execute the implementation for our clients (at no cost!)
To support our clients through the transition, our all-star training and support team will ensure that wineries thrive in the new environment. We always make sure our clients are fully supported at every step and will continue to do so. Our Onboarding, Client Support and Professional Services teams are expanding and will be working alongside our clients to guarantee a successful transition.
Our team is ready to help the wine industry thrive in these exciting times.
To achieve our goals, we have doubled the size of our professional Product and Engineering team, hiring the most talented group available to ensure that our code is documented, tested and stable. We are the only company with the size and scope to attract the best ecommerce partners in the world – delivering amazing partnerships to wineries of all sizes.
We take being The Winery’s Champion very seriously, meaning we actively create partnerships to drive consumers to our winery partner websites and brands. We walk you through everything you need to be successful. We are the only company with a Training Academy and personalized support included in your low monthly fee.
So, stay tuned and enjoy the ride with us. We will continue to share a lot of exciting announcements related to the new WineDirect platform. The pool of consumers looking to continue their journey buying directly from wineries continues to grow, and we are going to make sure you are ready for them.
As we start off September, we want to take a moment to update you on the latest developments with our All-New WineDirect platform.
We are well into the discovery stage of this important project – doing the deep research necessary to fully scope the work to ensure that the All-New WineDirect platform will be everything our customers want it to be, and more.
In addition to research, we are upgrading and scaling up the team so we are properly resourced to meet the challenge of building an All-New WineDirect.
For example, we’ve hired a new VP of Engineering, Dan Mills, who has 15+ years’ experience building teams and has successfully been through several SaaS replatforming projects. We are continuing to add other senior Engineering and Product team members to our existing team who will be fully focused on building the All-New WineDirect. We have also restructured our team to allow the majority to focus 100% on replatforming, while another group takes care of our existing platform.
We’ll provide another update later in September, but in the meantime, here are some FAQs and answers that will provide more information.
1. What is WineDirect building?
We are building the All-New WineDirect Ecommerce Platform an all-in-one platform with support for Ecommerce, Wine Club, Retail (POS), and omni-channel sales with beautiful store experiences, fast check out, powerful analytics, marketing automation and customization through flexible APIs and third-party apps.
2. What features will be included in the new platform?
The major core functionality of the WineDirect platform will be included in the All-New Platform. Rebuilding the platform also provides the opportunity to evaluate what is most impactful for our clients and what is no longer necessary. One thing is guaranteed, while the All-New platform will be familiar, it will be a tremendous upgrade across the board.
3. Why should I be excited about this change?
There are so many reasons to be excited about the All New WineDirect, including:
Flexible, website design tools that support exciting features including 1:1 personalization of content, product customer benefits such as pricing.
A content management system (CMS) you update and A/B test changes on your own; with no programming knowledge required.
Intuitive and flexible, WineClub, User Choice Clubs and Subscriptions.
Fast, customer-focused and reliable POS.
Dashboards and reporting that provides intelligence into trends, status and health of your DTC business.
One of a kind omni-channel sales opportunities to help you find and attract new clients.
Improved and expanded capabilities for Webservices to connect with external systems and third-party applications.
4. What new APIs will be available on the All-New WineDirect and what will happen to existing APIs?
New APIs will support a backwards compatibility with SOAP for existing APIs (so existing APIs will still function) and more robust REST services and GraphQL will also be supported.
5. I want to integrate current WD APIs with third party tools. Should I wait for new APIs or should I spend money to integrate current systems?
This really depends on the specifics of your situation. If you are looking at something that will help to grow your business right now, you may want to pursue it. Because the All-New WineDirect won’t be generally available for at least a year, you may want to act now for time-sensitive integrations that will increase your ROI in the short-term.
6. Should I wait to redesign my website, or can I do it now? Can I still use WineDirect templates?
If you are in need of a new website immediately, WordPress is a great option as it has a lot of flexibility and will integrate seamlessly with the All-New WineDirect. You can also continue to use the current WineDirect templates and we will transition accordingly when the time comes.
7. How will we transition to the All-New WineDirect Platform?
As of now, we are planning to roll out in 3 phases, built around the major sales channels:
Phase 1: Ecommerce Only Phase 2: Ecommerce + Wine Club Phase 3: Ecommerce + Wine Club + POS
When the time comes, WineDirect will ensure that your transition to the new platform is seamless, with all your data and key configuration remaining intact.
There won’t be incremental costs to migrate to the new platform. Winery clients may choose to build a new site using the many tools available, which may require use of an WineDirect certified designer, which will be a separate engagement.
8. What is the timing for Canada and Australia?
The rollout of the All-New WineDirect will be based on what services a winery client is using, not where they are located, so wineries in Canada and Australia will most likely be on the same timeline as their counterparts in the U.S.
9. What should I do to prepare for the transition?
Nothing! A member of our team will reach out when we are ready to get you started and answer any specific questions you may have.
10. What is expected as an Early Adopter for the All-New WineDirect?
The Early Adopter Program gives you access to new products and features before they're released. Joining the program is a commitment - we need you to test feature functionality and provide feedback to our team. You’ll play an important role in ensuring the features we roll out will help you and other wineries like you. Signing up to be an Early Adopter does not guarantee access to the Early Adopters group, but we will do our best to involve all interested clients.
As an All-New WineDirect Early Adopter, you’ll be called on to help test specific sections based on tools you’re already actively using. This project is complex, with a lot of turning wheels, so please be patient while we create a detailed project plan for upcoming features that will be ready to test. We will reach out when your winery meets the criteria – at that time you can choose to participate or not.
11. When is the timeline for me to be an Early Adopter?
Because of the different phases and the complexity of the project, there will be several chances to test and give feedback on the new tools over the next year. We will let you know when your opportunity to test comes closer.
Your timeline for being an Early Adopter participant completely depends on your current feature set. If you are a full-stack WineDirect customer using ecommerce, wine club and POS, your environment is complex. It will take us time to ensure that the All-New WineDirect can match the complexity of your DTC tools. We are creating new business logic and workflows from scratch, and we want to ensure it flows beautifully.
12. Have you stopped development on the current WineDirect platform?
Absolutely not. Although most of our team is laser-focused on planning for the All-New WineDirect and enhanced wine club tools, we also have a dedicated team working exclusively on the current platform. In addition to updating features, we are keeping performance, availability and security top-of-mind. We have proactively upgraded all of our databases to improve performance, became PCI DSS Level 1 compliant, and increased fraud protection by adding reCAPTCHA Enterprise security heading into the busy holiday shopping season.
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