10 Years of Direct Wine Cellars - It's time to share the journey!
Wine Importer | Wine List Consultant | Speaker
What you see today, the apps that exist, the online loyalty programs, the widgets and so much more were non-existent when we started. Even the cool names of businesses weren't around and due to this new 'SEO' thing, we had to stick to a name that people could 'find'. We were one of the first online wine stores so we found ourselves taking our name from other competitors like Get Wines Direct and Wine Growers Direct. In hindsight, we should just bit the bullet and chosen a more interesting, memorable name but alas, it is what it is.
Our website obviously started as a way to find the Sensi Wines that we were importing. We also did a lot of Good Food & Wine Shows to kick start the awareness around Sensi at the time and needed to be able to collect people's information in order to market something to them. Obviously, trying to build an online store (or any business really) with one brand has it's challenges but we have successfully made Sensi one of the most recognisable Italian brands in Australia.
Building a successful website 10 years ago when you had no money was just a pain as well. We originally started with a $4000 custom built website by an Indian guy who eventually took our website hostage when we told him we couldn't help his wife get an Australian Visa... very random.
From there, we moved through soo many websites. From Wix to Cubcart to Wordpress and finally landing on Shopify which is what you see today. We hired a graphic designer to redo our logo and webpage and we finally have something today that we are proud of!
We also made a decision 5 years ago to start importing wines from other parts of the world. It grew based on my own passions. It started with South African Wine to Champagne and French Wine to Argentine and Chilean... We went searching the globe for wines we believed would be or were on trend in the coming year.... we were very quick to market for Malbec for instance and we have seen the success of that and the growth of that. We have been very blessed to spot trends from Prosecco and Pinot Grigio to Malbec to Champagne and of course, Rosé. We have continued to build our Rosé portfolio to showcase the beautiful range and subtleties from all over the world.
The difference between us at Direct Wine Cellars and many other online stores is we aren't a marketplace. We can't rely on big brand names at discounted prices to draw people to our website. We actually need to educate and encourage people to trust us on what we import. Our focus is One Brand from One Country that Dominates its Niche. It's super important to us that we are bringing in the BEST examples of particular varieties at the best price and with brand names that people will actually REMEMBER. That's the key.... will the Australian consumers be able to remember this brand? Will the Australian consumers be blown away with the price of this? Will the Australian consumers get a good understanding of wines from the region with this range?
Then, to encourage loyalty to our brands, we introduced a good ol' loyalty and referral program to the website where every dollar you spend goes back to actual cash vouchers that you can use toward your next orders!
So, hopefully we are delivering on our mission for you all. Hopefully we have a website that is easy to navigate and by drinking wines from us, you are feeling a little more educated! Let me know below your feedback and comments about our wines, what we can improve, what we have done really well....