Turning a traditional wine shop into a Magento eCommerce store led to incredible results: over 900% increase in weekly tastings and the decrease of average payment time from two weeks to 1.5 days.
De Kasteelhoeve is a Dutch wine importer specialized in providing wine tastings. It was founded in 1999 and aggregates suppliers from different countries, but its main farm is over 170 years old.
While tradition is key, an eCommerce was the sure way to expand its activities and reach. In 2018, the innovation specialist Bob Cornelissen took up the challenge of creating a proper online structure and presence.
“Back then, everything was manual labor. There were around 35 wine tastings a week and the calendar was managed in excel spreadsheets,” remembers Bob.
“When an appointment was canceled, the way to handle that was by deleting the corresponding row by hand.”
Everyone was overloaded with work. On the wine selling front, purchase orders were printed one by one and sent to the customers along with the actual product. This demanded constant communication between parties, and so customers would take 14 days in average to pay.
Efficiency was a major bottleneck to scaling the shop. The persistent question was “How can we automate it?”
The Challenge: Building Automated eCommerce
Bob’s team researched different eCommerce platforms and promptly chose Magento.
“Magento was an easy choice because of its possibilities. We had to connect several small shops with different payment configurations and Magento allowed us to do just that.”
A Magento specialist built the foundation of the shop and supported it for around one year, but the service ended up to be unreliable. “When questions got more complicated, the responses started getting a bit slow.”
In the meantime, they found CreativeMinds’ M2 Sales Rep extension as a solution to create profiles and set commissions for the then 15 wine advisors. Communication was much better this time around.
“I asked more and more questions and the responses from CreativeMinds were much quicker”. CreativeMinds assigned the specialist Andrew to work on the project from the start. “It was professional. I trusted that, when he makes a change, it’s good.”
The Solution Customized Sales Rep and Support
Then began a year-long partnership. The eCommerce started growing and, in the last five months, it boomed.
The tasting requests jumped from 35 to a whopping 350 or even 400 appointments a week after implementing calendaring software. “We had to rush to get the new advisors. We went from 15 to 80 wine tasting advisors.”
All 80 people were connected to M2 Sales Rep – each with their representative profile preparing orders from the Magento back-end.
CM not only implemented and supported the extension, but also further customized Magento to streamline the use case.
Advisors now only input the purchase and customer data once, which is copied to the payment plugin screen.
Also, different product types received different quantity increments. For example, expensive bottles have different purchase options than liquors in the front-end.
The lead Magento developer, Dmitriy, points out the multilanguage and multiwebsite supports as some of the most challenging, but rewarding, aspects of the project.
The Result: Neverending Growth
Building the eCommerce from ground up took two years, the last which counted with CreativeMinds support.
The fruitful results come after constant communication with an accredited company and a customer always preoccupied in automating smartly for efficiency.
The next step now is to work more closely suppliers in search of new opportunities.
Bob sums up well: “It’s working pretty good.” And advises: “It would be even better to have CreativeMinds connected at the start.”