Wine Club experience turns into hybrid technology in Calgary

Posted by Rob Lewis

Should you be investing more in e-commerce? Is the time right to consider the Internet as a viable part of your wine business strategy....or is it still an over-hyped concept that won't make much impact?

... the results of one of the most comprehensive surveys on wine e-commerce adoption are in, and you may be surprised to learn that a larger percentage of wineries, vineyards, distributors, and suppliers are utilizing the marketing, selling, and purchasing power of the Internet than ever before--and many are reporting that it is making a contribution to the sales and profitability of their business.

That's a quote from an report titled E-Commerce Adoption in the Wine Industry on WineBusiness.com from May of 2001. Times have changed a lot in the ten years since this was published. But not in Alberta.

In March of 2009 Calgary's WineCollective tackled the challenge of building an online educational wine club in Alberta.

Two years later the founders had developed a proprietary technology that allows them to inventory wine, enable community rankings and integrates essential back-end features such as logistics, accounting and operational supply issues. And now they're able to ship anywhere in Alberta.

Thanks to years of battling legalities in the wine industry reminiscent of prohibition, they see a LOT of value in the platform they have built for WineCollective. And they're making it available to wineries globally who need a custom-built solution to solve e-commerce.

Vineyard allows for e-commerce sales, recurring purchases, purchase order analytics, the selection and ratings of wines & spirits, member tracking, social media integration as well as community member feedback.

WineCollective and Vineyard along with Tannic fall under newly formed parent company BlackSquare. Blacksquare is described as a hybrid tech company.

No doubt because co-founders Matthew Protti and David Gluzman (who was named to our Digital Media People to Watch in Alberta in 2010 list) have learned from their niche wine industry experience building their own technology solution.

Launching soon, Tannic is the first of its kind in North America.  It is an invitation only portal for super-premium and collectible wines & spirits in Alberta. Members can order from a small, curated and constantly rotating selection of the finest wines & spirits at prices far better than what can be achieved through conventional retail channels.

Alberta's lack of local wineries explains the need for wine clubs like WineCollective and Tannic but who would have guessed that an industry-focused tech company would flourish where grapes won't.

Note: Intrigued by WineCollective? Today is a good day to test them out with their 50% Groupon deal.

Company:
BlackSquare
Website:
http://www.blacksquare.ca
Location:
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

BlackSquare is a hybrid tech company which was established (through a predecessor company) in 2009. Being a hybrid tech company simply means we have a technology side of the business and then we have a “real” side where we interact with businesses and customers through our strategic partner Willow Park Wines & Spirits. more


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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of Techvibes.com.  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more



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