Iris Chan founded Cote D’Or Fine Wines in 2020 having spent 10 years in the fine wine industry. When the moment came to launch her own business into the hyper-competitive Hong Kong market, she understood that success would require precision and a faultless customer experience.
Iris is a wine connoisseur and set out to offer the level of exceptional care and service she demands herself. Her focus on mature and collectable wines means greater emphasis on expert sourcing of the finest examples.
As she puts it “provenance is the key. We source from only the most distinguished merchants and private collectors, we guarantee the condition of all wines, and offer detailed inspection images for most listings online”
Implementing the Hub was a simple process that involved minimal effort. After discussing the requirement and doing a 1 day training workshop, I literally started selling wines through the Hub as the UI (user interface) is very user friendly, and the Wine Owners’ team was very helpful guiding me through every step of the way.
With the Hub API functionality the business was able to set up a web store in a very short period of time, and enabled us to expand our broking business massively by integrating inventory from our vendors.
The result has been beyond satisfactory as both our turnover and number of clients have grown exponentially.
Being tech-savvy, and with her extensive wine industry experience, Iris knew exactly what she needed.
Her focus was on inventory management that could handle all the different types of stock she intended to sell.
That also meant the business system needed to be able to manage procurement; organise and track shipping from her European supply chain; omnichannel sales through e-commerce; email marketing and personal relationship selling; and of course efficient landing and storage or delivery of client purchased stocks.
As a member of Liv-ex, Iris needed the platform to manage Liv-ex inventory offered for sale through her e-commerce platform, opening up a broader range of wines to her target market over and above purchased stocks.
Iris understood the importance of wine specific content to inform buyers and drive online sales, and specifically wanted a platform that was able to originate, master and curate the body of information and rich content required in today’s demanding fine wine market.
The scope of her requirements, interest in connecting CRM such as Mailchimp and Klaviyo, and desire for accounting to be simple and seamless led her to evaluate ERP software from some of the biggest software vendors in the world.
Having been quoted by Netsuite and other software development houses, she concluded that the general ERP approach meant the solutions offered were not perfectly right for her new start up. No one could provide her with the sort of powerful functionality she was looking for, ‘out of the box’, without requiring a large and risky custom development effort.
The Wine Hub had been released to the market at this moment, and Iris was interested to learn more. The Hub’s industry specific Platform as a Service (PaaS) approach to addressing the most intricate requirements of the wine industry, coupled with the connectivity roadmap to best-in-class marketing and accounting met all her requirements.
As a start up she also needed a system that was structured and priced to allow her to start small and grow rapidly into the platform. It also needed to get her online with a content driven and engaging user experience. The Wine Hub from Wine Owners met all her criteria for both functionality and affordability.
The Hub also provides a roadmap of add-on functionality capable of supporting the growth of the business. For example as clients store more wine with Cote d’Or Fine Wines, online access and collection management are available as future options.
Today Cote d’Or runs its business activities on the Wine Hub and the fully integrated Hub Webshop for e-commerce.
The power of the Hub means that a variety of customer scenarios are easily supported by the platform. In Iris’s words:
- With the Hub’s wine specific features, our service-driven customer experience is extended with an end-to-end solution that starts with buying wine; being able to store it in a private reserves account; and being able to easily sell it on our platform if you want to – while we can manage all these activities in one single system.
- With two-tier pricing, we can serve both trade and private clients well while maintaining accurate inventory and managing margin.
Barely a year on from starting up, Cote d’Or is already a HK$20M enterprise with a revenue split derived 50% from online sales and 50% from personal selling.
Iris explained what it was like to get started.
“Implementing the Hub was a simple process that involved minimal effort. After discussing the requirement and doing a 1 day training workshop, I literally started selling wines through the Hub as the UI (user interface) is very user friendly, and the Wine Owners’ team was very helpful guiding me through every step of the way.”
“With the Hub API functionality the business was able to set up a web store in a very short period of time, and enabled us to expand our broking business massively by integrating inventory from our vendors.”
“The result has been beyond satisfactory as both our turnover and number of clients have grown exponentially.”