In 2020, the DTC wine industry has undergone a decade’s worth of change in only a few months. Ecommerce growth has exploded, and even as tasting rooms reopen, online sales are sure to remain a critical component of a winery’s successful DTC strategy.
As Covid-19 and its fallout unfolded around us earlier this year, it became clear to us at WineDirect that the progress we’ve been working toward for the past 1.5 years is more urgently needed than ever before. The result is that we have doubled down on our commitment to fully overhaul our ecommerce platform and made an aggressive change in our strategy to achieve it.
For a peek at what’s in store, and how we plan to get there, hit play:
For those of you who want to get into the details, here’s a deeper dive into what’s changing and why.
We’ve doubled the size of our engineering team
To achieve our ambitious goals, not only do we need more engineers, but more specialized ones. We’ve hired a dedicated team of highly experienced developers to focus on maintaining the core platform you’ve used for years. This frees up the rest of our team, — comprised of seasoned developers who know how to scale software, having worked in massive systems from banking institutions to fast-evolving start-ups — to build next-generation tools for you. In just a few weeks, this change has already made a significant impact on our ability to release new features and updates, and make tangible progress on our roadmap - which I’ll talk more about in a moment.
Everything is being upgraded and rebuilt
The process of rebuilding software is part of doing business as a technology company. Since WineDirect’s beginnings, a plethora of new programming languages, database management practices and security needs have emerged. Not to mention, consumer expectations have continued their sky-high trajectory. We’ve been working on incremental improvements over the past few years, and now with our new team in place, we are poised to complete a top-to-bottom transformation to bring you the most up-to-date technology — all while maintaining strong security and reliability.
Tools and services will be more aligned with your needs
This transformation is not limited to the software platform. We are completely realigning our products and services with the needs of your DTC business. Our new plans are designed to offer you the tools and support you need to take your winery to the next level.
The pricing model for our new plans is transactional: if you use the platform on a limited basis you pay less, and if you use the platform more, you pay a bit more as you grow. This model suits a wider range of winery needs and also helps us reinvest back into the platform to enable the next decade of DTC growth.
At this point, you may be thinking: this all sounds great, but when will I start to see these improvements? How does this impact my business?
We are already well underway on this journey, but it has not been visible to many of you, yet — much of the work has been “under the hood.” This includes upgrading our platform infrastructure to leading-edge Elastic Kubernetes Servers (EKS), and improving database performance. That means you can gracefully handle a huge influx of traffic and order processing without a hitch. So far these changes have made the platform 20% faster, and more upgrades are on the way.
In the coming weeks and months, you’ll have access to new features and services such as:
EMV and contactless payment support including Apple Pay, Google Pay and touchless credit card payments for your POS (US Wineries only at this time)
Updated, faster POS app that takes advantage of iOS 14, Apple's newest operating system. This improvement includes proactive security updates. We are fully committed to security, with an in-house security officer
New partnerships with third parties like Vivino and global growth marketing agencies to help introduce your brand to new consumers
Enhanced consumer experiences on your website including an updated, mobile-ready User Choice wine club interface, and brand new Account, Order History and Payment interfaces
In March 2021, we’ll deliver the first release of completely rebuilt Wine Club tools featuring accelerated background processing - so you’ll never have to wait and watch the progress bar every again - plus improved order customization and exception handling features.
Beyond that, you can expect to see continuous releases and each major component of the Admin Panel upgraded and rebuilt, resulting in a completely transformed platform. A platform that is more flexible, high-performing and ready to integrate with your other tools, from advanced marketing automation to CRM or marketing tools and ERP software.
On behalf of the entire WineDirect team, a big thank you to all of our clients for your partnership. It is our privilege to be your DTC partner especially during this extraordinary stage of our industry’s evolution. We can’t wait to put these upgraded features in your hands and keep working together to push the DTC wine industry to new heights.
Learn how to grow your online DTC sales.
SEE HOW WINEDIRECT CAN HELP YOU TAKE YOUR DTC SALES TO THE NEXT LEVEL.