The digital transformation of a traditional wine company
The 250-year-old family business De Bruijn in Wijnen had been operating online for some time, but selling their products was primarily done offline. Finally, the time for a digital transformation has come. De Bruijn asked Strix to work along with them on launching an e-commerce platform with endless possibilities.
Implementation of an e-commerce platform
De Bruijn in Wijnen has been highly respected within the industry for years. This oldest independent wine shop was originally the specialist in French wines and now also carries wines from other European countries. Craftsmanship, quality and exclusivity have been of great importance for 7 generations, which is reflected in the carefully selected assortment. A wide assortment of wines with individual character, signed by phenomenal winemakers. Although the company had been slightly active online for some time, business and knowledge sharing were mainly done offline. Internally, therefore, it lacked the know-how and manpower to launch an e-commerce project when it became urgent with the entry of covid. Because not only consumers went massively online, but the competition also adapted rapidly to the changing market demands, beginning the new chapter became crucial. With the ambition to fully utilize the online potential for both B2B (hospitality and retail) and B2C segments, the goal was clear: create an advanced e-commerce platform and be ready for the future.
Online customisation and service
After a year-long search, Strix's Shopware solution was chosen to serve both B2B (hospitality and retail) and B2C segments. The e-commerce platform seamlessly connects online with De Bruijn's offline service. De Bruijn has been buying directly from wineries for over 250 years. This means it has all the knowledge and expertise about the flavour profiles of the wines and the artisanal or special story of the winemaker. All this offline knowledge is now included in the online platform.
Product features are clickable, so customers can easily see comparable wines. A built-in quiz gives visitors customised product advice from de Bruijn's sommeliers. That’s proof that customisation and client service are also possible via the online channel. The possibility of pre-orders is also a very unique part of Brujin’s experience. Customers are able to order wines that have yet to be made or are still maturing.
Besides the result of the online platform, much has changed within the organisation. For instance, everyone was involved in the digital transformation to make this change. The decisions in favour of the online platform have also led to changes offline within the company. From processing orders and distribution to ensuring data quality and processing in the ERP system. By including everyone online and offline in the transformation, there has been a major change – now the company is ready for the future both offline and online.
Strix and De Bruijn in Wijnen started this project from an agile angle. The strategy and direction were first determined together. Then the Strix team set to work, continuously in close cooperation with De Bruijn's Business Development Manager. In between, everything was continuously validated with the internal stakeholders in order to simultaneously manage the offline transformation that was needed for the digital transformation.
To generate even more sales, a technological link was created with Vivino: the world's largest wine marketplace. In addition, a link was made with the Tinx Shopware Connector to integrate the webshop with their Business Central ERP.
Much attention has been paid to content on the platform. The knowledge that sommeliers can offer offline is now also incorporated into the online store. Tons of information about the different wineries and wines can be found on the website.
Major factor for the success was (and still is) the intensive cooperation with De Bruijn e-commerce crew. The team's strength is to think along throughout the process and translate this to the digital channel. During the process, De Bruijn's e-commerce team was also further expanded.
'As a traditional family business without a marketing or e-commerce department, it is special to work with an organisation like Strix. Strix relieved us and complemented us where necessary to achieve together the result we had in mind'. Jesaja Alberto – Business Development Manager & Product Sourcing at De Bruijn in Wijnen
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