South African online shopping trends tend to follow those globally, and with online wine retailers experiencing a boom in sales worldwide, the local market is expected to follow suit. In the United States alone, wine retailers experienced online sales growth of wine, beer and liquor by almost 33% in 2017 (source).
And as consumer comfort with online shopping increases, those retailers attuned to the changing landscape and buying patterns are well positioned to take advantage of the sizeable new pool of online wine shoppers. Cybercellar, South Africa’s longest-standing online wine retailer, has recently implemented a number of changes that poise the company for further growth.
Cybercellar’s newly-appointed CEO, AJ Nel, explains how the online wine retailer has evolved its user journey from a source-on-order model (where an item is only collected from the producer on placement of order and subsequently delivered to the customer) to a warehousing system, where stock is stored and the available quantity reflected on Cybercellar’s online store in real time.
“When choosing to buy wine online, today’s modern consumer prioritises convenience above all; from the shopping experience on the website, through to the speed and ease of the delivery process. Our innovative new stock system is the first step towards delivering on this expectation - and paired with our wide selection and responsive customer service - we aim to offer an unrivalled experience to online wine shoppers.”
Nel – who as a Stellenbosch student spent his weekends working in Helderberg winery tasting rooms – is no stranger to the wine or e-commerce sectors. After gaining experience within the wine retail sector, Nel relocated to China and joined East Meets West Fine Wines as head of the sales teams for East China, managing a portfolio of over 60 wineries from the world’s best wine-producing nations for a number of years, before returning to his home country.
As is the case globally, selection is also very important to the SA consumer, he explains.
“Cybercellar offers over 2400 wine, beer and spirit products, which include award-winners as well as lesser known boutique winery gems, ‘investment’ wines and premium spirits.
“It’s important to remain ahead of the curve, and we were one of the first online wine retailers to make available a good selection of craft beer and gin too.”
Nel admits that the reason it’s so important for Cybercellar to remain attuned to trends and buying patterns, is so that it can continue to offer customers the best assortment, quality and service possible.
“Cybercellar is entering its 20th year in 2019, and with committed capital investment from our parent company Silvertree Internet Holdings, we hope to grow both our national footprint in the coming months,” concludes Nel.