Episode 2: Zach Kamphuis from Commerce7

365WineTrade by Western Computer

Tony Castellano sits down with Zach Kamphuis, General Manager at Commerce7, to discuss how wineries are leveraging technology to create a better shopping experience for their customers. Listen as they discuss how COVID expedited eCommerce, POS systems, and new payment options. Zach will also share how Commerce7 customers can leverage one centralized customer record across their wine business along with 365WineTrade. To learn more about 365WineTrade, visit us at www.365winetrade.com.

 

Full transcript: 

Tony Castellano:

Welcome everybody to the 365WineTrade Technology Talks podcast power by Western Computer. I'm Tony Castellano with Western Computer, and I'll be your host today. And we're very excited to have a special guest with us. We have Zach campus from Commerce 7. We'll be introducing in just a moment. If you're joining us for the first time on the 365WineTrade technology talks, this podcast is less about what's in the bottle. There's plenty of podcasts out there that talk about wine. Talk about the making of wine and the regions. We want it to have a podcast that talks about the business of wine and spirits, distribution, and wholesale importing and how the technology is powering rapid changes within the industry. With that said, I'd love to introduce you guys to that canvas with Commerce 7, Zach, how you doing today,

Zach Kamphuis:

Hi Tony, How are you?

Tony Castellano:
Doing great. Hey, thanks for joining us here at the studio. Really excited to bring you on and talk about the technology that you have for the wine and spirits, distribution, producers side, really fantastic stuff. Tell me a little bit about commerce seven and the company.

Zach Kamphuis:

Thanks for having me as well. Tony's commerce seven. We're a winery direct consumer sales platform. So our winery clients, they use our software to sell through all their major direct consumer sales channels. We have e-commerce tools. They use on their websites. We have club management, software subscription tools for the wine clubs. We have a point of sale system for the tasting room reservation system, and it's all bundled together with one centralized CRM. Basically here. The value proposition is what we do is we really believe that the number one reason a consumer's going to choose a wine brand is customer experience. And so we're all about making it really easy for wineries to create better consumer shopping experiences. That's what the mission of the company here make it easy for wineries to create great consumer shopping experiences.

Tony Castellano:

That's great, Zach and I noticed some of the top wineries in the country are using your solution. And we recently had a mutual go live with this 365 wine trade and commerce seven using an eighth grader and super excited to bring that to market. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you get into the wine and spirits industry? Yes.

Zach Kamphuis:

Yeah, definitely. So I've been working at commerce seven for about three years now, since our inception, the way I got in is actually through my dad's. So some people listening may know Andrew campus. Who's my dad. He is the founder of the company and he actually started another company that people may know as well in 65. So he started Vince 65, got bought out by winder at, it was the president of wine direct for a number of years. And this is actually the third DTC platform that he's built. He started this company about three years ago and as he was starting it up, I asked him if I could participate. I was pretty excited about what was going on and working at a startup there. And luckily I got to join as the third employee. And so I've been loving it ever since, but basically been here for the last three years because of that connection.

Tony Castellano:

That's great. That's great. And I'll share with you a first Western computer has been working in the wine and distribution industry quietly for 12 years. And as we've started to modernize our platform into the cloud, and I wanted to get a little bit more in tune with the industry. I stumbled across your videos and the content was great. I mean, you covered so many of the modern features that a winery needs. So I actually got educated by watching some of your videos so well done content there. I just wanted to share that with you.

Zach Kamphuis:

Awesome. Appreciate it. Glad that was helpful.

Tony Castellano:

Yeah. It's hard to talk about the wine and spirits industry without talking about some of the trends that happened recently with the global pandemic. So just what did you see are some of the drivers or wineries as a pandemic hit and they needed to change overall the way they went to market?

Zach Kamphuis:

I mean, they were pretty interesting couple of years here to back up a bit here before the pandemic wineries were not really taking their e-commerce too seriously. The biggest channels for DTC for them have been the tasting room. And the club, of course, e-commerce was an afterthought that all changed very dramatically over the pandemic. We saw a lot of wineries scrambled to beef up their e-commerce and get the e-commerce going really well. A lot of people put a lot more emphasis on it. We saw e-commerce sales, just shoot through the roof, of course, but as anyone would expect, and what's been pretty exciting is that even though tasting rooms are starting to open up again, or they have been opened for a while now, we've seen a bit of a drop with e-commerce sales compared to where they were at during the pandemic. But the baseline is still significantly higher than it was pre COVID. We're seeing there's a ton of consumers that went out. They bought wine online for the first time ever during the pandemic. And for many of those consumers purchasing through that channel, that became a purchasing preference for them. They're still buying online. Now e-commerce sales are still pretty strong, much higher than they were pre pandemic, even though everything's opened up again. We're really excited about that trend here.

Tony Castellano:

Yeah. Yeah. Amazing insight into what's happening. I did hear recently and looked at some of the information that's provided like organizations like the WSW way and they had shown that spirits were actually leading in the growth sector over the wine. Is that what you're seeing? Do you see a little bit of the spirits side also?

Zach Kamphuis:

Yeah, I don't have too much insight there. We're primarily working with just wineries, but that's pretty interesting to learn about their, I haven't really taken out too much research into that area though.

Tony Castellano:

And I know in talking with our most recent customers, the fact that you're able to combine the e-commerce, as you mentioned with the wine club and really the point of sale feature is really a nice touch. Can you tell us a little bit about that, the point of sale and how you guys weave that together into the solution?

Zach Kamphuis:

So, as I mentioned earlier, with our platform, we have one centralized customer record. So whether a customer makes a purchase online or through the club or in the tasting room or anything like that, all that data is captured and put in one central location and that data's available in the tasting room right on the PLS. So if I come into the tasting room and I'm a club member, or I've made a purchase online, or I made a booking online or anything like that, that had some kind of interaction with you through a different channel, all the data from that interaction is going to be available for the tasting room associate. So if I come in you'll know right away, if I'm a club member or not, if I've got a high lifetime value, what I've been buying online when I made my reservation booking all this data upfront, and that can all be used to enhance the guest experience in the tasting room, you can see recent purchases and maybe we can have a conversation around them.

Zach Kamphuis:

You know, I'm a club member. So, you know, to tell me what's in my next package or about upcoming events, lots of important information is present for the tasting room associate right in the POS. So they're able to tailor the experience to give it to the customer. We also showcase a lot of key data that can be used to streamline some workflows for the tasting room. Associate I'd have to guess in front of them made an order online, maybe a pickup order. And they've got that order ready for pickup. We're going to flag that for the tasting room associate or if their credit card declined on their last club shipment, or there was an issue with their address with the last club shipment, things like this, showing that upfront to the taste room associates. So they're able to act on that data and streamline some of those workflows there.

Tony Castellano:

Yeah, sack. It sounds like a very deep application and of course, very modern technology that you guys are providing to the wineries. Let's take a break and hear a word from our sponsor.

Tony Castellano:

Welcome back. This is Tony Castellano with Western computer or on the 365WineTrade technology talks. And we're continuing our conversation with Zach Kamphuis from commerce seven. So Zach, you told us quite a bit about the solution sounds very deep and feature rich. And I was wondering as you talk to your customers and you have many out there in the marketplace, I was wondering, what are they really talking about today? As we get post COVID? What are some of the trends that you're seeing for the next 90 days?

Zach Kamphuis:

You know, you're seeing a lot of people put a lot more emphasis on e-commerce. You're seeing a lot of people put a lot more emphasis on new payment methods in the tasting room, mobile wallets, and tap to pay and pay with a card on file and things like that. Some other trends aren't super related to COVID what we've been seeing is a lot of our customers are wanting to engage with their customers through a lot of new channels that are wanting to send automated texts, instead of just sending them emails. They're wanting to engage with them through different platforms, not just on the website. So those are some of the big changes. There are some of the big trends we're seeing people want more payment options in the tasting room. People are putting a lot more emphasis on e-commerce and people looking for new ways to engage and communicate with their customers if it's through different channels or different touch points there.

Tony Castellano:

Yeah. And I'm glad you mentioned that, that I know you guys have a big webinar coming up and it sounds like that's what you're going to be talking about or alluding to, is some of the new payment options, is that correct?

Zach Kamphuis:

Yeah, that's correct. So really excited about the webinar that we're hosting on the first where we're going to launch a bunch of, or basically go over a bunch of our new features. You know, we're going to launch our new streamlined checkout, which has a lot of mobile payment options on the web. We're going to talk about some of our updates, the clubs we're making talk about some new integrations that are launching on the system. Uh, lots of little updates. So we're really excited. It's going to be a huge upgrade for the shopping experience on the web and in the club.

Tony Castellano:

That's great. I'll look forward to attending that session. And as you said, the consumerization of the market using things like apple pay, Google pay, we have to make it as easy as we can for the consumer to purchase these goods because the competition is really heating up out there. Is that what you're seeing?

Zach Kamphuis:

Yeah. A hundred percent. We know that there's a huge competitive market for wineries here today. You can't really compete just on product and price anymore. There's too much competition. And so the battleground that these wineries have to compete on is customer experience. Making sure the experience, regardless of channel is a great one. Winery is doing a great job of creating great experiences in the tasting room, but when it comes to the club and when it comes to e-commerce making sure that experience is fast, is easy, is personalized. That's really crucial today with all the competition out there.

Tony Castellano:

Yeah. Agreed. And I would say as a technology partner, it's great to see you guys be on the cutting edge using the latest like API. It means it's so much easier to integrate the multiple systems that people typically have in this space. Right? You want to minimize the footprint, but having those API APIs just makes it easier to talk to the ERP system and both of those transactions. So well done there.

Zach Kamphuis:

Yeah. I appreciate that. We're taking an approach here where we understand that we're not going to be the best at everything. So the approach we've taken is we want to be the best at the shopping experience, but then we want to have a very open platform. It's a hundred percent API based, very open, very easy to integrate so that our customers can work with the other best of class systems they want to use. So we're not going to be the best at everything. We're going to be the best at the shopping experience and that we're going to make it really easy for our customers to integrate with different ERP systems or accounting systems or marketing systems or reporting or fulfillment. That's the philosophy here, build out hub and spoke model where our customers, they can really work well and work deeply with all the systems they want to be using. They're not stuck with just our system and the limitations of it. But if there's something they don't like that we're doing, they can easily customize their integrate to accomplish what they're looking for.

Tony Castellano:

Yeah. And it's really great to see your guys' leadership there. As you mentioned, the hub and spoke model, it's really important because as you mentioned, one solution can be everything to everyone. So that ability to connect your business partners, whether they're third party fulfillment or your logistics carrier, that's really what we try to focus in on, on the 365 wine trade is to have that accurate data, that one version of the truth. So it's good to see your leader get there because as we work with customers, they're a little technology challenged. They're still using multiple spreadsheets and trying to weave that data into a story. And you know, it's a little painful for them with a lot of the manual things that they have to put in place. So I think collectively we can modernize that and make it easier for the wine and distributions market We're on with SAC campus, commerce seven. This is Tony, Castellano 365 wine trade. So Zach, we do like to get a little personal with our folks. So we're curious, what is one of your favorite drinks on a hot day or what is one of your favorite appellations where you really like a wine?

Zach Kamphuis:

So I'm based out of British Columbia, Canada, and up here, we've got a lot of cider and there's a lot of orchards up here. And so I'm a big fan of cider. Oakenoggen ciders my favorite brand there, but in terms of wine, I belong to a couple of clubs in Beastie here. Fandom Creek is a club. I belong to really enjoy their wines, elephant island winery as well, narrow Mata in BC. I'm a member over there. So that's what I've been drinking all summer. Here is my club packages. And then lots of cider from, from Okanogan cider.

Tony Castellano:

That's great. We'll have to check out the cider. I haven't bridged that one. Somebody tried to get me to try a seltzer the other day and I was still on the fence about that. So I'll probably need to broaden pallet there, but that I wanted to pick your brain. And of course we're talking about today's technology trends, things that are affecting the wine and spirits industry. What do you think we'll be talking about a year from now? What trends do you see bubbling up to the top in the next 12 months?

Zach Kamphuis:

Yeah, I think we're going to continue to talk about how we can be enhancing the customer shopping experience. I think that wineries are going to be facing a lot of competition, not just from each other, but from also marketplaces that are doing a fantastic job of making it fast, easy, personalized to shop with them. I think we'll be talking about, Pic's really excited about that platform. That's coming out the search engine for wine built by Palmeri Berea. I'm really excited about that system coming out here. And I think we'll be talking about that, but yeah, for the most part, how can we continue to make it a better experience for customers to shop direct to consumer? How can we ensure that the wineries aren't losing market share to the big marketplaces out there and yeah, I think those are going to be the biggest trends that we're talking about.

Tony Castellano:

Yeah, it did see that announcement about picks and took a look there. It does look very intriguing. So maybe another guest on a future podcast we'll have to take your recommendation. There's Zack. Definitely. So if somebody on the podcast today wanted to learn more about commerce seven, how would they do that?

Zach Kamphuis:

They can go to commerce seven.com or you can email sales at commerce, seven.com, happy to talk to anybody about the platform. We've also got a ton of aggregate data and insights and stats and educational content that we can share. So even if you're not looking for a new DTC platform and you just have some questions about the industry or what we're seeing with our aggregate data or anything like that, always happy to help. So feel free to reach out. We are best channels sales at commerce, seven.com or just calm, calmer seven.com.

Tony Castellano:

Great Zach, well, we really appreciate you joining us today. The information was very deep and it sounds like your solution really can help a lot of the wineries out there in the marketplace. So thanks so much for joining us

Zach Kamphuis:

Once again. I appreciate you having me here today, Tony.

Tony Castellano:

Yeah, my pleasure, if we can help you at any time with your wine and spirits and distribution wholesale or import business, please do not hesitate to reach out to us and see around vineyard.

 

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