You start by choosing your desired color and price point as the basis. Then, you can choose your personal wine advisor – for example, Florian from product management (who formed a band, loves the style of the 60s and collects vinyl records). Next, select the grape variety and food to complement, as well as any occasion you can imagine, such as “philosophizing or gossiping”, “summer drink” or “taking children to bed”.
After that, there are further categories that potential customers can click through before the results of the Winefinder are laid out to them. It’s really fun – and quite similar to a consultation in your favorite wine shop around the corner. For this reason, the founders Renzo Schweri and Dominic Blaesi do not refer to Flaschenpost as just an online shop, but rather as “the largest online wine shop in Switzerland”. With their newly established Winefinder, they are now getting even closer to this vision.
Schweri and Blaesi are convinced that the individual buying experience determines which players in online retail stand out from the competition and retain customers. That’s why their next step is to create a subscription system that sends loyal customers exactly the wine that they love.
Natural growth for tomorrow’s wine trade
Let’s go back to the beginning. After being founded in 2007 in a Zurich shared kitchen by two business students, Blaesi and Schweri, who shared the dream of starting an “Amazon for wine lovers”, Flaschenpost took off. They started out with 2,000 wines and just under 10 partner wine shops, but now Flaschenpost unites the 100 most renowned Swiss wine shops under one roof. Around 100,000 customers choose from 30,000 fine wines from all over the world – and thus take home the best wine worldwide with ease, as well as with the best advice.
But how did they manage to technically handle this multitude of wine types, customers, purchasing processes – in short: data? In 2007, Flaschenpost was initially launched based on an in-house development. Just one year later, the founders added a wine shopping app, and in 2014 the system was replaced by a new shop based on Magento. But even back then the monolithic structure had become cumbersome and inflexible over time. “Our existing shop was a mess because it had been repeatedly adapted over the years,” reports Schweri. “It became more and more complicated, tedious and, therefore, very expensive to develop new features.”
Perfect eCommerce for fine wines
The main goal for the relaunched web shop was to create the most personalized experiences possible when buying wine. Blaesi and Schweri decided to rely on the proven combination of commercetools in the backend and Frontastic as the frontend management system, and, with it, a complex process became very simple. Because the microservices can be flexibly combined and the implementation via API interfaces is uncomplicated, the new online wine trade could be implemented promptly.
Try out the Winefinder for yourself. Cheers!
Don’t miss the latest ShopTechBlog edition (German), where Johannes Klaiber, CTO of Flaschenpost, explains how they balanced their software migration from Magento 1 to a combination of commercetools and Frontastic – while handling a sharp increase in demand due to the pandemic at the same time.
In order to guarantee flexibility for our future projects and challenges, it was clear to us that we needed a headless architecture. This enables us to achieve independence between the frontend and backend, as we can easily test campaigns and strategies, as well as perform a fast time-to-market.