Building a Direct Sales Vehicle pt. 2

Sales Engine

We recently started a series on getting your online sales vehicle rolling. Today, we are going under the hood to talk about the e-commerce engine used to power your shopping cart. At Grape Thinking, we have an established relationship with Inertia Beverage Group, as Paul, Andrea, and crew, in our humble opinions, have the best grasp and influence on the changes in the industry and are truly “Powering the Wine Revolution”. As such, they rank as our recommended engine.

So, what does this sales engine do exactly? As a winery, it has the vital role of coordinating the sales request between your customer and their bank, your fulfillment center and your bank.

A good engine should:

  • have a simple and fluid shopping interface
  • automate orders from customers
  • track discounts, coupon codes, taxes, and shipping
  • be integrated with your fulfillment center for tracking product depletion
  • automate wine club shipments
  • allow wine club members to easily manage their accounts.
  • automate credit card processing
  • provide easy access to sales reports
  • self-update without disrupting your business
  • offer sales volume and ship-to-state monitoring for compliance issues. (a service now free for anyone)
  • provide simple tools for updating product selections, descriptions, and pricing
  • come equipped with customer service and support tools for shipping and billing issues

Some of the most well-known sales engines available in the market today are Inertia Beverage Group’s “ReThink Engine”, eWinery Solutions, and Nexternal. They all require a set-up fee, which is used to create the shopping cart on your site, and have ongoing expenses – a combination monthly fee and/or commission. The great thing about paying them a commission is that it creates motivation to set up multiple affiliate networks with sites such as: RadCru, Wine.Woot, WineSpies (coming soon), Wine.com, Ambrosia Wine, … to name a few.

Part of getting set-up with the engine of your choice, will require you to establish merchant bank accounts, to accept payments from Visa, MasterCard, etc… This is not a difficult task, and can generally be accomplished by phoning the Merchant Bank, filling out an application, and faxing it back.

You will also need a website and webhost. Some of the providers, like Inertia, offer web-design and hosting as an additional service. There are also some up and coming online communities that will offer you a profile as a winery, that can be used as your webpage, and linked to your shopping cart/landing page/e-commerce engine.

We have invited all e-commerce providers to post their information on our site to try and bring the discussion to one place, and have a true resource and guide for those of you interested in . If you are a winery, feel free to comment with any questions you have regarding being set-up in . If you would like to inquire about our services, just Contact Us. As a peak into the future, we’ll get into more detail on fulfillment and distribution, web-page design, and marketing techniques.

Tags: ,

Posted in Marketing, Technology | 24 Comments »

  • http://www.wineweb.com Ron

    I am truly surprised that WineWeb is not listed in your top tier of e-commerce providers. We directly compete with the 3 you’ve listed, and once prospective clients get below the IBG hype and do a direct comparison with our solution, we usually win out, both on features and of course on value.

    Let me point you to some things:
    – Wines & Vines discussed our direct-to-trade solution along with Inertia’s in June 2006.
    – Practical Winery is publishing an article I wrote on the Hosted Services Model in the July/August issue.
    – We list all the details of our services, including pricing, at services.wineweb.com.

    Ron Kreutzer, President and Founder
    WineWeb Enterprises, Inc. – http://www.wineweb.com – Wine e-Marketplace – 34,000 wineries, 100,000 wines e-Commerce, Website services for wineries and wine merchants
    Tel: 888-236-0058 – Fax: 888-236-1439 – Cell 505-577-9597

  • http://www.wineweb.com Ron

    I am truly surprised that WineWeb is not listed in your top tier of e-commerce providers. We directly compete with the 3 you’ve listed, and once prospective clients get below the IBG hype and do a direct comparison with our solution, we usually win out, both on features and of course on value.

    Let me point you to some things:
    – Wines & Vines discussed our direct-to-trade solution along with Inertia’s in June 2006.
    – Practical Winery is publishing an article I wrote on the Hosted Services Model in the July/August issue.
    – We list all the details of our services, including pricing, at services.wineweb.com.

    Ron Kreutzer, President and Founder
    WineWeb Enterprises, Inc. – http://www.wineweb.com – Wine e-Marketplace – 34,000 wineries, 100,000 wines e-Commerce, Website services for wineries and wine merchants
    Tel: 888-236-0058 – Fax: 888-236-1439 – Cell 505-577-9597

  • http://www.inertiabev.com Paul Mabray

    Guys at Grapethinking. Thank you very much for the kudo’s. We’ve been working hard and truly embrace and believe in the future of Direct. Our free compliance is just another indication that we want wineries to succeed in direct at all cost.

    We truly think all the companies you listed are working hard to help wineries and they provide excellent services but we are also confident that our vision is about helping the entire industry succeed in direct sales and marketing and the response from WITS represented that leadership.

    Thank you again guys and keep up the great work.

    Inertia – Powering the Wine Revolution

    —Paul Mabray – CEO

  • http://www.inertiabev.com Paul Mabray

    Guys at Grapethinking. Thank you very much for the kudo’s. We’ve been working hard and truly embrace and believe in the future of Direct. Our free compliance is just another indication that we want wineries to succeed in direct at all cost.

    We truly think all the companies you listed are working hard to help wineries and they provide excellent services but we are also confident that our vision is about helping the entire industry succeed in direct sales and marketing and the response from WITS represented that leadership.

    Thank you again guys and keep up the great work.

    Inertia – Powering the Wine Revolution

    —Paul Mabray – CEO

  • Jason Mann

    Ron,
    It sounds like you have sour grapes (pun intended) about Inertia beating you in the market. I looked at your site and you have nowhere near the wines you claim and not even close to the caliber of clients that Inertia seems to have. Based upon their success, I find it hard to believe that you usually win customers over Inertia.

    From all appearances and your pricing, you seem to be the mobile hot dog stand version and Inertia is the French Laundry version. There is always room for the bottom feeders as well as the top but you should accept your place in the pecking order.

    I am very familiar with Inertia’s system and I also read your direct to trade solution and to be fair, called some regulators who clearly stated that you did not get permission and your system was illegal in their eyes. I think you are a “me too” company and a bad copy at that.

    I think you have Inertia envy and based upon your tone, you seem to be very focused on them. This is the sign of insecurity and everyone I know in the wine industry seems to think you are smoke and mirrors. Perhaps you should look in the mirror and be more honest with yourself instead of attacking or comparing yourself to Inertia (a good company) or any of the other vendors, you should just focus on trying to win market share. Again, your comments sounds like a poor loser and sour grapes on Grape Thinking. Shame on your Ron Kreutzer.

    Jason Mann

  • Jason Mann

    Ron,
    It sounds like you have sour grapes (pun intended) about Inertia beating you in the market. I looked at your site and you have nowhere near the wines you claim and not even close to the caliber of clients that Inertia seems to have. Based upon their success, I find it hard to believe that you usually win customers over Inertia.

    From all appearances and your pricing, you seem to be the mobile hot dog stand version and Inertia is the French Laundry version. There is always room for the bottom feeders as well as the top but you should accept your place in the pecking order.

    I am very familiar with Inertia’s system and I also read your direct to trade solution and to be fair, called some regulators who clearly stated that you did not get permission and your system was illegal in their eyes. I think you are a “me too” company and a bad copy at that.

    I think you have Inertia envy and based upon your tone, you seem to be very focused on them. This is the sign of insecurity and everyone I know in the wine industry seems to think you are smoke and mirrors. Perhaps you should look in the mirror and be more honest with yourself instead of attacking or comparing yourself to Inertia (a good company) or any of the other vendors, you should just focus on trying to win market share. Again, your comments sounds like a poor loser and sour grapes on Grape Thinking. Shame on your Ron Kreutzer.

    Jason Mann

  • http://domaine547.com JB

    can’t we all just get along?

  • http://domaine547.com JB

    can’t we all just get along?

  • http://www.inertiabev.com Paul Mabray

    JB – LOL – Actually we at Inertia respect all our competitors and try to get along with everyone. However, we are only 1/2 of the equation.

    Inertia – Powering the Wine Revolution

    —Paul Mabray – CEO

  • http://www.inertiabev.com Paul Mabray

    JB – LOL – Actually we at Inertia respect all our competitors and try to get along with everyone. However, we are only 1/2 of the equation.

    Inertia – Powering the Wine Revolution

    —Paul Mabray – CEO

  • http://www.nexternal.com Doreen Davis

    Jake, thank you for inviting us to respond to your blog posting. Nexternal does indeed meet all of the requirements that you define above for a good ecommerce engine. The landscape of selling wine online continues to evolve and we at Nexternal do our best to ensure our technology keeps up with those ongoing changes. You can learn more about the benefits that Nexternal offers to the wine industry here:

    http://www.nexternal.com/ecommerce/wine-club-software.asp

    If any one has any specific questions about the features or benefits that Nexternal offers to the wine industry, I invite you to either post a question here or contact me directly.

    DOREEN DAVIS

    dwoo@nexternal.com
    (800) 914-6161 x415
    (760) 730-9031 fax
    785 Grand Ave Ste 216
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    http://www.nexternal.com

  • http://www.nexternal.com Doreen Davis

    Jake, thank you for inviting us to respond to your blog posting. Nexternal does indeed meet all of the requirements that you define above for a good ecommerce engine. The landscape of selling wine online continues to evolve and we at Nexternal do our best to ensure our technology keeps up with those ongoing changes. You can learn more about the benefits that Nexternal offers to the wine industry here:

    http://www.nexternal.com/ecommerce/wine-club-software.asp

    If any one has any specific questions about the features or benefits that Nexternal offers to the wine industry, I invite you to either post a question here or contact me directly.

    DOREEN DAVIS

    dwoo@nexternal.com
    (800) 914-6161 x415
    (760) 730-9031 fax
    785 Grand Ave Ste 216
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    http://www.nexternal.com

  • Pingback: University Degrees Online WebLog » Blog Archive » Prolab Products

  • http://www.wineweb.com Ron Kreutzer

    The initial comment was my response upon reading a draft of this post, and was intended to provide supporting references for consideration in being added as a company on Grape Thinking’s list.

    Jason, please disclose your affiliation to any of the vendors. You’ve said some very negative things about my company, and your tone is similar to comments that have appeared on the WineWeb blog.

    That said, WineWeb was founded in 1995, and since then has grown to include a comprehensive suite of services for winery and wine merchant website and e-commerce functions. Our services meet the requirements for a sales engine as listed in the article. We invite you to compare the benefits, features and value of our services. Details of all our services, including pricing, are available at services.wineweb.com. We have recently published a position paper on our direct-to-trade sales, and this can be found at the above link.

    Ron Kreutzer, President
    WineWeb Enterprises, Inc.
    888-236-0058
    WineWeb.com

  • http://www.wineweb.com Ron Kreutzer

    The initial comment was my response upon reading a draft of this post, and was intended to provide supporting references for consideration in being added as a company on Grape Thinking’s list.

    Jason, please disclose your affiliation to any of the vendors. You’ve said some very negative things about my company, and your tone is similar to comments that have appeared on the WineWeb blog.

    That said, WineWeb was founded in 1995, and since then has grown to include a comprehensive suite of services for winery and wine merchant website and e-commerce functions. Our services meet the requirements for a sales engine as listed in the article. We invite you to compare the benefits, features and value of our services. Details of all our services, including pricing, are available at services.wineweb.com. We have recently published a position paper on our direct-to-trade sales, and this can be found at the above link.

    Ron Kreutzer, President
    WineWeb Enterprises, Inc.
    888-236-0058
    WineWeb.com

  • Pingback: Building a Direct Sales Vehicle pt. 2 « Wines for all

  • http://www.broadwayinfotech.com Ecommerce solutions

    Ecommerce solutions can prove beneficial for ones staying far and across the world and yet benefit from the wonderful offers on ready provision form a counter part on other side of the world. Another path breaking innovation of IT in collaboration with the World Wide Web. Facilitating reach to a ‘shopping fest’ from the comfort of one’s home!

  • http://www.broadwayinfotech.com Ecommerce solutions

    Ecommerce solutions can prove beneficial for ones staying far and across the world and yet benefit from the wonderful offers on ready provision form a counter part on other side of the world. Another path breaking innovation of IT in collaboration with the World Wide Web. Facilitating reach to a ‘shopping fest’ from the comfort of one’s home!

  • http://www.broadwayinfotech.com E-commerce solution

    “E-commerce counseling should sooner be a specialized service area on ready provision from every
    E-commerce solution
    provider.

  • http://www.broadwayinfotech.com E-commerce solution

    “E-commerce counseling should sooner be a specialized service area on ready provision from every
    E-commerce solution
    provider.

  • Chris

    Paul,

    I may be committing a cardinal business sin right now, but I’m close to launching an e-commerce DTC & DTT wine business myself. I realize that this will potentially make us competitors, but I’m hoping you’ll realize that more responsible players in this sandbox will not only be good for everyone in the wine e-commerce business, it’s likely to be positive for everyone in the wine industry.

    I’m anxious for your opinion regarding your vision for the future and space in the marketplace for this business model. Any thoughts?

    Chris

    P.S. – I DO believe in responsible and ethical business dealings, fo what it’s worth, so I hope you’ll recognize my genuine desire to acquire information for the betterment of our industry.

  • Chris

    Paul,

    I may be committing a cardinal business sin right now, but I’m close to launching an e-commerce DTC & DTT wine business myself. I realize that this will potentially make us competitors, but I’m hoping you’ll realize that more responsible players in this sandbox will not only be good for everyone in the wine e-commerce business, it’s likely to be positive for everyone in the wine industry.

    I’m anxious for your opinion regarding your vision for the future and space in the marketplace for this business model. Any thoughts?

    Chris

    P.S. – I DO believe in responsible and ethical business dealings, fo what it’s worth, so I hope you’ll recognize my genuine desire to acquire information for the betterment of our industry.

  • http://www.inertiabev.com Paul Mabray

    Chris, I am more than happy to share with responsible and ethical business competitors my vision and we enjoy more people getting wineries into the space as long as they are genuine with their product and business messages. Please feel free to email me directly paul@ to chat.
    P

  • http://www.inertiabev.com Paul Mabray

    Chris, I am more than happy to share with responsible and ethical business competitors my vision and we enjoy more people getting wineries into the space as long as they are genuine with their product and business messages. Please feel free to email me directly paul@ to chat.
    P

Categories

Archives