Three major online wine groups to join forces

30 November, 2018 by Deborah Jackson

Pictured: Lloyd Heinrich, CEO The Wine Society

The Wine Society, Cracka Wines and Wine Growers Direct will join forces in February 2019 to create a new super site that will service a combined 400,000 strong database.

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The new digital platform, which will be called The Wine Collective, will use cutting edge digital technology to provide a unique online experience to its shoppers. The site will feature a bespoke wine recommendation engine that will have the ability to identify customers’ tastes and present a tailored selection of wines to that particular shopper.

The platform will also feature a loyalty program giving its community access to exclusive and hard to access wines.

The Wine Collective stems from last years’ merger between Australia’s first wine club, The Wine Society, and the Online Liquor Group, owners of Cracka Wines. Collaboratively, the three merging groups have more than 70 years of retail experience between them.

“We are particularly proud of the evolution of The Wine Society, facilitated by the technology bought across by the Online Liquor Group,” said The Wine Society CEO Lloyd Heinrich. “The bedding down of this merger has unlocked immediate scale and synergies, offering both customer bases access to a diverse range of high quality wines and an ever improving level of value and service.

“With online being the fastest growing sales channel in Australia, and representing only four per cent of liquor sales, we are well placed to really step up our offer and service this rapidly growing market better. We plan on innovating and providing a new model that we believe will resonate with a collective of existing customers, new wine buyers and winegrowers alike.

“The Wine Collective will continue to utilise our longstanding expert tasting panel to unearth a wide and varied range of styles to suit our ever evolving customer base. We will also be looking to replicate the excellent advice and tailoring that we offer through our private wine advisors, presented in a digital format.

“Our new digital platform will launch with a bespoke wine recommendation engine which will identify our customers’ tastes and preferences before presenting a curated range. Every customer will have a unique online experience, making purchasing simple and seamless.

“The Wine Collective is committed to championing high quality small and medium sized wine growers with the objective of partnering with these producers and connecting them with The Wine Collective’s wine loving customer base.

“We have taken the digital capabilities of the Online Liquor Group and added the passion and community element from The Wine Society. Quality, value and experience are the hallmarks of our new platform,” continued Heinrich.

“We will serve as an extension of these wine brands through rich video and written content that will bring products, people and experiences to life.

“The Wine Collective will also be offering its community of wine buyers a multi-tiered loyalty program, with customers rewarded for purchases, reviewing wines and referrals. The most loyal customers will earn significant benefits including exclusive access to hard to find product, dedicated concierge service, free shipping and other ‘money can’t buy’ experiences.

“We want to personalise and modernise the world of wine for our customers, while continuing to unearth great wines and taking our customers on a journey through wine; an objective that Dr Gilbert Phillips wanted to achieve when he established The Wine Society back in 1946.

“We are building on this traditional service with new technology, experiences and communications.”

The upcoming launch of The Wine Collective is the first step toward creating a revolutionary, digital first premium Australian marketplace, similar to eBay or Airbnb that will present wineries with a cost effective platform for them to connect with an enormous community of wine buyers.

The new platform, www.thewinecollective.com.au, will be launched in February 2019 with the merged business’ 400,000 customers being the inaugural members.