[Cross-posted at www.calgaryisawesome.com]
How much of your 2012 Christmas shopping did you do online? In my case, the answer comes perilously close to “all of it”. No malls to brave, no parking to find, no bags to carry, just page after page of every imaginable type of gift easily accessible from the comfort of my house — it’s hard to see the downside. The Internet has increasingly become my retail destination of choice, and over the past few years I have purchased any number of things online: books, movies, furniture, shares, even (sort of) a dog. But wine? Forget about it, at least in Alberta. While e-commerce has started to become an important part of the wine industry in the US, there has been almost a total vacuum in the local market, with no retailers offering a comprehensive online ordering platform and no other service providers stepping up to fill the void…until now. With its formal launch earlier this month, Alberta Winestein (http://www.albertawinestein.com) is making online wine ordering a reality in our province and is seeking to bring high quality boutique products to every corner of Alberta.
The idea is a simple but powerful one: find some way to connect the scores of wine buyers across the province to the wares of some of Calgary’s most respected and prestigious shops, to the benefit of all parties. After a couple years of intense planning, Alberta Winestein founder and CEO Guillaume Bedard is now ready to implement his strategy to realize this goal. ”As a consumer, it was difficult and time-consuming to know what unique products were offered in Alberta from all the best boutique retailers,” Bedard explains. ”We dreamed of a way to ease our search while using state of the art e-commerce services. We then realized that boutique retailers are themselves under increasing pressure from large surface retailers and are now facing greater competition than ever while trying to address a growing market demand. That is when Alberta Winestein went from concept to reality: a central e-commerce platform for amazing boutique retailers in order to ease the purchasing process for consumers.” Read the rest of this entry »