“In vino veritas” – In wine there is truth. Those who believe this proverb can trust specialty magazine “Weinwirtschaft” when they awarded vinocentral as the “best wine merchant of 2017” last November. The prize alone is not the only reason to celebrate: in the same month, the company launched their first online shop – www.vinocentral.de – which was implemented by Shopware specialist webweit from Frankfurt, Germany. Read more about how webweit, Shopware, Pickware and the POS system, Procom, realized an exciting concept that connects stationary retail with online shopping.
One doesn’t become Germany’s best wine shop of 2017 overnight – the owners of vinocentral, Alexander Marschall and Michael Bode-Böckenhauer, have successfully paired wine and specialty items since opening their doors back in 1993. Vinocentral is now a multifaceted hot-spot for their customers, since the shop is supplemented by a coffee shop, café and wine bar. Monthly tasting events, themed wine evenings and jazz events complete the shop’s program.
A milestone in vinocentral’s storyline came with the decision to connect the stationary business with a new online shop and digitize all processes in the retail store. But one doesn’t simply make wine from water: in the first step, they needed to find a suitable platform. Shopware’s Professional Edition took the lead as the best solution, with features such as Shopping Worlds, Digital Publishing and an integrated ERP system powered by Pickware. This convinced the owner of vinocentral, Alexander Marschall: “With the help of Pickware, we were able to forego working with another database and fault-prone interfaces. Our shop database is now our ERP system, and order preparation and receiving are sensational with Pickware.”
The challenge of the project lay in the sophisticated project concept. Marschall and Bode-Böckenhauer wanted something more than a shop that ran parallel to their stationary store; they were looking for a well-planned interplay between the two. To make this possible, webweit created a data import from the POS system to Shopware, which includes the structures and inventory as well as product and customer data. The data is then processed in Pickware and the Shopware backend and distributed to vinocentral’s main shop and the subshop for the POS system. Data synchronization with the system first takes place with an export of product and price details to Procom, then with a daily export of the receipt data of from Procom to the subshop.
This construct makes it possible for customers with an account to have an overview of purchases made both offline and in the stationary store. They can also benefit from discounts across the entire system with a customer card, which can be displayed on their mobile phone when logged in. “Through combining the turnover of all shops, we have much cleaner overview of logistics, especially when it comes to managing inventory and purchasing. We can also have a much easier time creating invoices for regular customers,” Bode-Böckenhauer praised of the new system.
The standard functions available in the Shopware 5.2 Professional Edition brought several advantages to the table. Next to Pickware’s strong role in the shop, vinocentral took advantage of the SEO possibilities offered by Digital Publishing and Shopping Worlds. “Our experience has been overwhelmingly positive – the system is easy to understand and manage. Every wine maker in our portfolio has their own Shopping World, which takes the users through their respective winemaking process and acts as a basic element of our SEO strategy,” Marschall said.
That the project was realized in only three months speaks volumes for the agency, and the owners of vinocentral agree: “The cooperation with webweit was outstanding. We’re particularly impressed by their attention to detail and competent care. The team simply delivers a solution for every problem. Everything was as promised from the beginning: short reaction time, high flexibility and everything under the agreed budget.”
Even though the shop went live at the beginning of November, vinocentral already experienced a 5% growth in turnover; an effect of the new shop that continues to grow. Positive effects of the new shop can also be seen elsewhere: “Our time savings are so enormous that they cannot be measured – and this can be seen in all facets of the business!”
If you consider the innovative spirit and the drive of the two owners, wine fans can very well look forward to the features that are to come on www.vinocentral.de. From February 2017, the next development stage in omnichannel will start: the yearly bonus, which online and offline customers can redeem in the form of a voucher in the store as well as in the shop.
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