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BlackHillsWinery.com: Ecommerce Pays Off

Published: July 31 2008

Feature Project > BlackHillsWinery.com: Ecommerce Pays Off - This has been a special and exciting season at Black Hills Estate Winery. It was the season that the winery unveiled it's new ecommerce feature on it's website. The online wine ordering system, custom built by DotCom Media, was put to the test during the Spring release of Black Hills' Nota Bene wine. The wine, full-bodied with layers of dark fruit and spices with a rich finish, was in abundance with 1,200 cases to be sold solely online through the ecommerce solution. Apart from the uniqueness of the wine itself, what made this release so unique was that the response from online customers was overwhelmingly positive as every last case sold in just forty seven minutes! Black Hills' Alibi wine was sold out online during its release several weeks later.

When asked just how important the website is to the business, Glenn Fawcett, President of Black Hills Estate Winery responded with a resounding “Extremely important! 80% of our revenue is now coming through BlackHillsWinery.com.”

“In the past we sold most of our wines via phone order and fax. This process was inconsistent and inconvenient for the customer, sometimes they just couldn't get their order through to us in time and the product was gone. Now with DotCom Media's customized ecommerce solution integrated into our website there is no busy signal like on a phone or fax order. Multiple orders are processed virtually simultaneously in real-time online. This provides a more timely, fair and equal distribution of our wine to our customers.”

“We've seen other benefits as well,” Fawcett adds. “During our Nota Bene release we processed 3,000 orders (1,200 cases). In the past, it took 240 man hours to process and confirm those orders. That was reduced to just 3 hours this year. We also saw a reduction in delinquent accounts and orders with bad credit card information since the ecommerce solution was implemented.”

“During our Alibi release which was smaller than our Nota Bene release, we began exporting data out of the ecommerce solution and supplying that information to DHL, our courier. They were able to batch load and print the waybills necessary for shipping our customers' orders. This saved us approximately 100 man hours compared to hand-writing the waybills as we have done in the past. This has helped us reduce and errors in customer shipments and it has also reduced the turn-around-time for the client to receive their wine order.”

When asked how much effort does Black Hills Estate Winery put into marketing the business and the website, Fawcett answered “Our winery is in a very good position, in that we produce a quality product that has generated a loyal following. We don't do much in the way of marketing the winery or the website. We continue to work hard to build on the world-class reputation of our winery and word-of-mouth from our loyal customers takes care of the rest.”

To learn more about Black Hills Wines and to visit their website, go to http://www.blackhillswinery.com