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Many wine businesses are looking for more efficient ways to do business by automating manual processes. While some fear this will be complicated and time-consuming, this does not have to be the case.

This case study highlights how trusted developers, supported by Liv-ex, can make API integrations a seamless and low-touch process.

Discovering the most efficient way to source wine

The Wine Connection is one of San Diego’s leading specialty wine stores. Founded 26 years ago, the shop is owned and operated today by Allen Springer.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, online shopping ballooned in the world of fine wine. As a result, Allen had to look for ways to expand his business’ online offerings. At the same time as more customers were buying online, many of his regular customers were also requesting rarer back vintages of wines that were ready to drink today. Demand was quickly outpacing his ability to rapidly and reliably source supply.

 

“Being able to source first-class collectible wines in the US is like finding a needle in the haystack..”

Allen SpringerCEO/Owner, The Wine Connection

Before Liv-ex, The Wine Connection carried about 2,000 unique wines across online and in-store retail. Looking to expand his catalogue, Allen discovered Liv-ex as a reliable and plentiful source of fine wine with over $120m of live offers across 20,000 wines.

He first considered using the trading platform to source wine manually; however, he quickly learned that there was an even more time-efficient way to use the exchange; automation. Liv-ex members can automate buying and selling on the exchange via API, streamlining the trading process to the second. Allen met with the Liv-ex Integrations Team, who help customers realise their commercial goals through Liv-ex’s API-based services.

By connecting his e-commerce website with Liv-ex, Allen realised he would be able to offer his customers a wider selection of wines, without having to physically hold the stock. As his customers placed offers via his site, the sale would automatically go through the exchange, complete with Liv-ex’s guarantee of condition and availability of stock. With over 20,000 wines on the exchange, Allen could increase his online offerings by over 900% with zero investment on storage or shipping.

Guidance and support throughout

Liv-ex works with several trusted third-party developers experienced in Liv-ex integrations. Among these is Pixxels, a UK/Canada-based team of highly skilled website designers and developers.

The initial conversations with Pixxels concerned The Wine Connections’ specific needs. Pixxels asked questions like: ‘How do you and customers find what you’re looking for on your site?’ and ‘What would make your life easier as an online store owner?’. From this needs-gathering, Pixxels helped set up WooCommerce, a plug-in that allows custom integrations with The Wine Connection’s website. They also designed database synchronisation routines to ensure that Allen’s system always has the most up-to-date offers from Liv-ex on display. Beyond the purely technical integrations, Pixxels also delivered the visual design of the website, creating branded bottle images and helping Allen avoid paying to source these elsewhere.

Less than 6 months later, the first automated sale happened through Allen’s website over a weekend. By the time he was back in the shop on Monday, The Wine Connection had sold several bottles with minimal oversight.

“Ever since the first sale, everything has been running pretty smoothly.”

Allen SpringerCEO/Owner, The Wine Connection

Allen appreciates that he could take a step back and leave all the technicalities to Pixxels and Liv-ex. The Pixxels team spearheaded the project development, with Liv-ex’s Integrations team available to Allen throughout for technical guidance and strategy.

Post-integration, Allen says both Pixxels and Liv-ex have remained involved as valuable partners. Pixxels continues to maintain the API integration and offer any support needed, while Liv-ex advises Pixxels on how to optimise processes moving forward. And, when any issues inevitably arise, both are standing by to find a resolution quickly.

Improved offering. Better customer acquisition

In sum, integrating with Liv-ex has expanded The Wine Connection’s digital footprint and market share. Wider offerings lead to more diverse opportunities for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), cross-listing The Wine Connection’s products on sites like Wine-Searcher. Allen’s expanded catalogue is attracting new customers from across the web, creating thousands of new customer acquisition channels automatically while Allen can focus elsewhere.

“The automation has allowed us access to Liv-ex's extensive wine catalogue. It has significantly increased our ecosphere and the wines we’re associated with.”

Allen SpringerCEO/Owner, The Wine Connection

If you’re interested in learning more about how integrating with Liv-ex can help your business achieve similar benefits, please reach out to your account manager or request a demo below.

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