Last Updated on June 22, 2021 by Amy Geldean
Zach Kamphuis is the Sales Manager of Commerce7, a modern commerce platform for wineries. They provide customized customer experiences for wineries’ online platforms and currently power nearly 600 brands. Zach has been with Commerce7 since its inception three years ago and started out in sales, support, and partner management.
Zach attended Rikkyo University and the University of Victoria, receiving his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on entrepreneurial studies.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Zach Kamphuis explains a bit about Commerce7 and why they focus on customer experience for wineries
- How website personalization leads to better representation and engagement
- Zach gives some data on the increased conversion rate of wineries that personalize their websites
- What’s the first step a winery should take to implement site personalization?
- The difference between wine clubs and subscriptions
- Zach explains the tools Commerce7 offers to manage clubs and subscriptions
- How Zach saw an uptick of business during the pandemic, and why every winery should consider selling online
- The biggest asset Commerce7 has for helping wineries with the customer experience
- Zach offers advice to wineries as they go forward into 2021
- Some of Zach’s favorite drinks
In this episode with Zach Kamphuis…
Why should wineries personalize their website? How important is the customer experience when buying wine online? How can personalization lead to higher conversion rates? Zach Kamphuis is here to tell you.
Zach Kamphuis is the General Manager of Commerce7, a modern commerce platform for wineries providing personalization options to increase conversion rates and improve the customer experience. Zach has been with Commerce7 since it was founded and has seen the benefits of personalized sites and what they can do for your winery. If you want to learn how to increase your CRO six times over, you don’t want to miss this episode.
On this episode of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast, Drew Thomas Hendricks has a conversation with Sales Manager of Commerce7, Zach Kamphuis, about everything you need to know regarding site personalization. They discuss how to choose between a wine club or subscription, why e-commerce is beneficial for wineries, the results of site personalization, and much more. Stay tuned!
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Barrels Ahead
- Drew Thomas Hendricks on LinkedIn
- Zach Kamphuis on LinkedIn
- Email Zach Kamphuis: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Email the team at Commerce7: email@example.com
- Phantom Creek Estates
- Okanagan Cider
- Elephant Island Winery
- Paul Mabray on LinkedIn
- Pix Wine
- Dr. Hoby Wedler on Legends Behind the Craft
- Mark Hanson on Legends Behind the Craft
- Paul Salcedo on Legends Behind the Craft
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Barrels Ahead.
At Barrels Ahead, we know that your business is unique. That’s why we work with you to create a one-of-a-kind marketing strategy that highlights your authenticity, tells your story, and makes your business stand out from your competitors.
Our team at Barrels Ahead helps you leverage your knowledge so you can enjoy the results and revenue your business deserves.
So, what are you waiting for? Unlock your results today!
Welcome to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast where we feature top leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry, with your host Drew Thomas Hendricks. Now let’s get started with the show.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 0:20
Drew Thomas Hendricks here. I’m the host of the Legends Behind the Craft podcastwhere I talk with leaders in the wine and craft beverage industry from sensory design experts like Dr. Hoby Wedler, who helps brands think beyond the visual to today’s guest Zach Kamphuis, whose e-commerce solution enables wineries to provide a better shopping experience. Today’s episode is sponsored by Barrels Ahead. At Barrels Ahead, we work with you to implement a one of a kind marketing strategy. When that highlights your authenticity tells your story and connects you with your ideal customers, Zach. In short, if you’re a business looking to retain a winery as a client Barrels Ahead will figure out a plan to make it happen. Go to barrelsahead.com today to learn more. Now before I introduce today’s guest, I want to give a big thank you to last week’s guest Mark Hanson, Co-founder of Bricoleur Vineyard. And thank you to Paul Salcedo at BottleVin for connecting us. Check out last week’s show to learn why it’s so important to create a full experience for people when they visit your winery. I am super excited to talk with today’s guest Zach Kamphuis. Zach’s the Sales Manager at Commerce7 and he’s been working there since its inception three years ago, Zach and the Commerce7 team are focused on making it easy for wineries to create a better consumer shopping experience. And they do this by providing a customer centric direct to consumer sales platform that was specifically designed for the wine industry. Welcome to the show, Zach.
Zach Kamphuis 1:32
Hey, thanks for having me. Drew.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 1:33
Thanks for being on. So Zach tell tell us a little bit about yourself?
Zach Kamphuis 1:37
Yeah, I I live in Vancouver, Canada. I’ve been working at Commerce7 for the past three years most recently as the sales manager here you know being up in BC like to get outdoors a lot like to do kayaking and camping and and in the winter, you know, go skiing, but yeah, really excited to be here today.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 1:57
That’s fantastic. How’s it how’s it been the past year up in Canada even pretty locked down.
Zach Kamphuis 2:01
It’s been pretty on and off. You know, I was lucky that I was able to go skiing a lot this year. They only recently closed the mountains. So I got you know got to go outside a lot over the past couple of months here. Got to go to the beach a lot. So it’s it wasn’t too bad right now. It’s a little worse over Eastern Ontario but in BC for the most part, you know, restaurants have been open bar has been open. Just table seating. Of course, though.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 2:25
How’s the snow this year?
Zach Kamphuis 2:27
It was great. It was a good year. You know, I had a season’s pass to Whistler. The went up tried to go up once a once a week usually on on like a Saturday or Sunday when Yeah, there’s a lot a lot of really good days this year.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 2:40
Oh man, I’m jealous. I was out the whole year in September, I tore my quad tendon, I quad surgery in December, just now getting back into surfing and starting to think about skiing. Definitely next year.
Zach Kamphuis 2:52
Well, it sounds like it’s getting better. So that’s, that’s good to hear.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 2:54
Oh yeah, no, fully covered. Commerce7, I do not share a little bit about like, what makes Commerce7 unique. And in your platform. What makes us unique?
Zach Kamphuis 3:03
Well, I guess that you know, just to take a step back, for those that are maybe not aware. So So Commerce7, we’re basically DTC sales platform, right? So wineries use our software to sell through all their major direct consumer sales channels. And, you know, in terms of what makes us unique, we really believe that, you know, customer experience is the number one reason why consumer chooses the brand, you know, today, with, you know, consumers having so much choice, right, they have global choice with products can’t really compete on product or price anymore, right? That’s kind of the bare requirement, I guess, you know, to entry in the market here. So we really think that, you know, customer experience is the number one reason why someone’s going to choose a brand. It’s really the place where brands are competing today. And what makes us unique as a company, you know, we have a huge emphasis huge focus on making it easy for wineries to create great consumer shopping experiences, right, we believe it’s so important. And so you know, that belief kind of shapes how we build out the platform. So you know, we have a huge emphasis on things like personalization tools, tools that are going to give the customers faster experiences, easier experiences, some more flexible experiences, right. So that’s, that’s how we differ a little bit, I guess, against some of our competitors, huge emphasis on customer facing features and functionality, as opposed to, you know, trying to meet all the needs of a winery today.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 4:19
The master of or you do all that master of none.
Zach Kamphuis 4:23
Yeah, exactly. So we, you know, we kind of realize, hey, we’re not going to, we’re not going to be the best at everything. So let’s just really focus on, you know, the customer experience and tools that are catering towards, you know, the wineries, customer experience. And, you know, obviously wineries. They got a lot of other needs, right with, you know, marketing and reporting, and inventory and fulfillment and all that stuff. And so our philosophy here is, hey, let’s not try to do all that. Let’s have a really open platform, it’s 100%. API based basically means it’s really easy to integrate and connect with other systems. But let’s have this kind of open platform where wires can just integrate with you know, other best friends software they want to work with, right? So you’re not, you know, I guess held hostage by our platform, if, if you want better reporting options, better inventory options, better marketing options, you can integrate with tons of different platforms out there today.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 5:12
That’s so that’s so important. That was what immediately drew me to your platform as a thing. Here, we have a web development background. And the ability to actually create a website, using the tools we prefer to create websites on and not being like forced into an ecosystem has just been so huge, and how easily your system integrates with what we would develop.
Zach Kamphuis 5:32
Yeah exactly use any modern content management system. So use what you’re, you know, you’re familiar with use what you prefer use what the clients asking for. And then, you know, our job here is to just fit as seamlessly as possible into that and give you all the flexibility, all the resources, you need to basically not only work with our system will work with the other systems, you want to use other website builders and marketing tools.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 5:55
That’s so amazing, because, you know, the web development and all that it’s, it’s getting better and better every year. Exactly. You want the freedom to be able to grow and pick the best each class.
Zach Kamphuis 6:06
Yeah, and a lot of these platforms have such great ecosystems already. Right, like WordPress, you know, they’ve got 1000s of plugins, you know, we’re never gonna, we’re never gonna build a content management system as good as WordPress or Craft or, you know, one of one of these, these headless CMS is that are coming out. And they, you know, these guys, not only do they have great functionality, they also have big app ecosystems, big template ecosystems, you know, people such as yourself, they’re already very familiar with how to build within them. So we could kind of leverage all of that there.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 6:34
That’s amazing. Talk to me for a minute about the kind of customer centric and how your personalization tools enable wineries, you know, better better represent themselves and engage with the customers.
Zach Kamphuis 6:44
Yeah definitely. So you know, personalized experiences are our better experiences. Right. And, you know, we think wineries know this to be true in the tasting room, right? If I come into the tasting room, and you know, I’ve been there, you know, I’m a local I come in all the time, you know, obviously, you have some kind of relationship with me, and you want to, you know, personalize the experience I’m going to have when I go and you say, Oh, hey, Zach, welcome back, you know, did you know we got this new product, we think you’re gonna love this, we’ve got this great event coming up, you should totally come out for this, right? As opposed to, you know, if I come into the winery, and I say, you know, hey, I’ve never been here before, you know, then it’s gonna make more sense to tell me your story. And tell me about the brand and the vineyard and maybe the owners, right? And so like, why does they’re doing a good job of personalizing in the, in the tasting room? If I come in and say, Hey, I, you know, I’m really excited to try it. You know, I’m not a big Chardonnay guy, you’re not going to say, Oh, well try this Chardonnay, right? Like, it doesn’t make sense. And so I’ll give wineries the ability to do the same thing online, right? So with our system, you have a bunch of data on your customers, you know, what they buy, you know, how often How much are they a Club member or not have they been to the tasting room or not, but you have all this information automatically. And you can use that to personalize the experience they have online with you, right, you can change the content, change the products that they see on your site based off of, you know, their relationship with your brand. So for example, by come to the site, and I’m a Club member doesn’t make sense to try to get me to sign up for the club. Instead, you could say, hey, Zach, here’s what’s in your next package, add six more bottles, we’re going to give you this, you know, additional discount, or hey, here’s the deal, we got a club only event coming up, you should come out, you should bring your wife, you should, you know, we know you’re local. So it’s not a big drive, and it makes sense to ask you. But if I come to the site, and I’m, you know, not a Club member, but maybe I’ve made multiple purchases, then you could say, Hey, did you know club members get all these great benefits, Zach, we’d really recommend you sign up, you know, something like that. So it’s basically changing the way the way you interact on this site based off of the relationship we would have with the visitor and a lot of great impacts from doing this, right. You know, average order value goes up lifetime value goes up chances a customer makes a spontaneous purchase go up, right, personalized experiences are more relevant. And because they’re more relevant, you know, there’s a much higher chance that the visitor or the consumer is actually going to, you know, engage with you, and I guess, take whatever call to action you’ve given them?
Drew Thomas Hendricks 9:01
Absolutely. It’s amazing. What sort of day I mean, what sort of data Have you seen it from, you know, global data from your clients on how that your platform has helped them increase their sales?
Zach Kamphuis 9:10
Yeah, it’s great, great question. And just before I talked about the data here, just for everyone’s reference, so we’ve got we’ve got about 570 wired clients on the platform, majority of the clients are based in the US. So you know, the data pool we have is basically pulled from these clients. And so we see that you know, the wineries who are implementing personalization on their, their sites, they’re changing their content and products based off who’s visiting we see them have a much higher conversion rate than the wineries who don’t, it’s actually about six times higher for the wineries who utilize personalization on their site. Yeah, to be fair, I don’t think that’s all necessarily based off of you know, the personalizations like I believe that the wineries who take the time to implement something like this, they’re also going to take the time to you know, really ramp up their other you know, the quality of their website and and their email marketing and you know, as ads and things like this. But we do see, you know, we do see that the whiners who take the time implement this, they get, on average six times higher conversion rate compared to the wineries who don’t who just have kind of generic product pages or generic landing pages on their site.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 10:14
That’s amazing. I liked the article you brought out there, like with personalization, if they do have the time and attention to devote to it, probably taken care of everything else, as well as their customers, their website, it’s kind of like a person, they want six pack abs, and they go to the gym, well, they don’t just work out their abs. They’re gonna become a full elite athlete, if they really want to achieve that goal. A lot of that’s the same. And that’s what basically your your platform helps them kind of perfect that one aspect. But then as they start seeing the benefits at all kind of unfold.
Zach Kamphuis 10:46
Exactly, yeah. And so we see, only about 15% of our clients actually utilize some kind of personalization on their sites. But exactly like, these are the people, you know, if you’re going to take the time and spend the effort and energy on this, you’re probably you know, you’re probably understanding the importance of great website, great email marketing, great advertising and all that stuff there. So it’s exactly exactly that’s a great metaphor with the with the gym there, right, somebody who’s focused on you know, working on one thing, they’re going to they’re focused, they’re they’re really focus on their health. Right, not just that one specific area. But that’s just a, you know, it just kind of correlates into the the health of the total there.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 11:20
We’ve all seen that guy in the gym that only does leg day. Yeah. Or the opposite. Yeah. Yeah. So well message the winery’s make sure you have an overall physique? Exactly. Have two little twigs.
Zach Kamphuis 11:32
And it can be, you know, I think it’s kind of like, I think it can be intimidating for a lot of wineries. You know, I think I think a lot of wineries out there know, like, hey, I need to be doing better with with my website, and with my marketing and with, you know, all this stuff, but there’s so many different avenues to go down and no rabbit holes that go down and you know, things to do. And I think a lot of the time, it’s just, it’s just, you know, they get overwhelmed or intimidated. And so some of these things, it’s, you know, you can start slow, you can start with a crawl, walk, run approach, you know, you don’t have to say, hey, I want to, you know, have all these really niche segments that are personalized for you can just start by saying, hey, I want different content for someone who has made a purchase verse hasn’t made a purchase, or has made a purchase versus has, you know, not joined the club, club person, you know, Mac club member, right? So you can you can, you can start slow with these, like, it’s, you know, you don’t have to get too, too, too in depth off the bat here.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 12:27
That’s excellent advice. I was asked, I was gonna ask, how does a winery get started with this? And yeah, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed with Yeah, all the stuff you can personalize that suddenly you’re just the indecision you just never start. Yeah, exactly. The first step like so someone implements their, you know, the new e-commerce system on Commerce7, what’s the first piece of personalization advice you’d give them to do?
Zach Kamphuis 12:47
Yeah, we have some great resources on that, actually, that I would be happy to kind of send over to anyone who’s interested in taking a look at this. But, you know, what we recommend is start off by personalizing based off of the customer ladder, or the loyalty ladder, it’s got a bunch of different names. But you know, the customer ladder is what we call it. So I have four different pieces of content to start, maybe just on the homepage, I have one for anonymous visitors, one for first time buyers, one for repeat buyers, and then one for club members, right, so four pieces of content there. And the goal of each can be to you know, push them to the next, I guess, rung on the ladder there. And then when they’re a Club member, you know, at the top, just push them to upsell the package or, you know, give them give them access to like club only skews and things like that, right. So if somebody comes to the site, and they’re anonymous, you want them to make the first purchase, push for that, if they’ve made one purchase you want them to buy again. So you can recommend products based off their initial purchase, you can give them a one time use coupon code, things like that. And if they’ve purchased multiple times, the goal is to push them into the club. So one of the benefits of joining the club, then the after club member, you can do things like shown the next package and encourage them to upsell a customized package.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 13:59
That’s That’s great advice. Speaking about clubs, I read a thought leadership piece you did back in I think it was back in July about the difference between wine clubs and subscriptions. And how the importance of the difference between the two and you had some pretty pretty good opinions on it.
Zach Kamphuis 14:13
Yeah, definitely. I think that they both are important. And they both play a good good role, you know, or can play a good role at the at the winery. The difference between the club and the subscription, in my opinion, is the, I guess the primary value that’s offered to the consumer. So the primary value with the club is member benefits, right? club only events club only experiences free tastings. You know, it’s kind of like you get these exclusive benefits or this exclusive member benefits and I think that’s what drives a lot of the value for for the clubs today. Because, you know, there are discounts but in reality, like you could just buy, you know, wines one off and probably get a discount as well. So I don’t know if that’s really what’s causing people to sign up for those with this subscription on the other hand, I feel that primary value is the convenience. Right? So it’s about getting exactly what you want, as often as you want it. When you want it quantities you want, right? It’s all, you know, based around you as the consumer, and what’s the what’s the most convenient experience you can have. So that’s like a difference, you know, between the two would be like, you know, signing up for a country club versus signing up for like, Dollar Shave Club, or Amazon Subscribe and Save right? One is clearly, you know, hey, I’m going to become a part of something and get all these great member benefits. And this is this level of exclusivity to it. And then the other is, you know, hey, I’m looking for the most convenient experience the most convenient shopping experience possible.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 15:44
And have access to the wines. So yeah, I guess a parallel would be like, if you live close to the winery or close to an urban tasting room that has a Wine Club, you really are looking for those benefits, because you might be visiting. You know, it’s part of your it’s part of your kind of weekend recreation. Is you visited a winery in Napa, you live in New York, the chances are coming back and taking part in the club benefits are minimal.
Zach Kamphuis 16:07
Exactly. Yeah. So you know why? It let’s say I live Yeah, I live in New York, your wineries in California. All your club benefits are, I guess, like localized, right? Free tastings, dinners, events, things like that pick up parties, none of that’s relevant to me, because I live on the other side of the country. Right. And so you know, maybe I really like your wines. And it’s, you know, you don’t have a big, I guess, retail presence, I can’t go to the store and buy them or like local liquor store or grocery store, anything like that, you know, and now I want to get your I love your wines, I just want to get them in the most convenient way possible. And so the subscription is a way to do that, right? I can decide, you know, what, what wines do I want? How often do I want the packages to ship? So what are the frequency of the packages? What are the actual shipment dates? Maybe I want to adjust them based off of you know, hey, I have an event coming up, I need my package early or something like that. quantities of wines, I want make it easy to cancel anytime I just make it as convenient as possible for for the member because I think a lot of people that’s that’s kind of what they’re they’re looking for. And so I think yeah, I think that both play an important role like, not at all, and not don’t at all think that wineries should, you know, switch from having to traditional clubs to having just subscriptions or anything like that. But I think that the type of consumer as a kind of outline, there’s a type of consumer that’s going to really value those member benefits that maybe they live nearby. Maybe they traveled to California often. They want those free tastings in the events and things like that. And then there’s a type of consumer that just wants to buy your wine in the most convenient way possible. So I think there’s, there’s room for both there.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 17:43
For how, what sort of tools are available on the Commerce7 platform to help manage the clubs and the subscriptions?
Zach Kamphuis 17:50
Yeah, we have a really robust club and subscription, I guess module to our platform. So and if you know, their level of functionality that you can offer is really on a spectrum. So it’s not like, Hey, I’m gonna give members all of this flexibility, or none at all, you can really kind of pick and choose. So you can go from anywhere from having, you know, very traditional Wine Club, set items, set, shipment, dates, set frequency, you know, club member signs up, and they just get what they get all the way to, you know, you’re going to allow the member to control the products in the package, control the quantity of the products control the frequency of the shipments, control, the individual shipment, dates cancel online, skip online, can even go as far as to give everyone a user generated default package. So what that basically means is, instead of all the members, you know, getting the same default package that they can then edit, you can say, hey, I want to give all of my members a package that’s unique to them as an individual member. So it’s got products that are recommended by the system based off their purchase history. So let’s say you know, you and I both join the same club, I’ve only ever bought red wines, you’ve only ever bought white wines. Now our default packages are going to, you know, be built based off of that purchase history there.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 19:05
That’s That’s amazing. That’s a cool tool. How many how many of your, you know of the 590? Maybe 591? somewhere around there?
Zach Kamphuis 19:13
570 ish. Yeah.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 19:14
Well, it’s growing. That’s right. Yeah. projecting next week’s okay. Yeah, appreciate that. Yeah. Of those wineries. How many are is it equally divided between club and subscription or?
Zach Kamphuis 19:24
Definitely not this subscriptions are pretty new for us. And yeah, so not a lot of not a lot. A lot of wines have made the switch you see a lot that are starting to play around with like implementing a new, you know, subscription. But I think that within a year here we’ll have some great data. I think we’ll have a lot more data around people using this but I think that just kind of you know, traditionally in the wine industry, a lot of people like to see what their neighbors are doing and they really like to have kind of a social proof first before they you know, they don’t want to be the guinea pig for this but we have, we have one winery that massive, massive club 30,000 Club members, and they’re going to be transitioning to the our subscription tool. And it’s actually pretty interesting. The reason that they’re going to transition is based around being easier for them in terms of their the wineries, logistics. So, you know, with the traditional club processing and shipping on the same date for everyone, right. And so now, you know, every let’s say, you’ve got a quarterly club every three months process this, and you’re gonna have to deal with all the member inquiries, you know, hey, Oh, actually, you charge the wrong card, I will actually wanted this product. Actually, can you ship it here? Right, all those member inquiries, and then also like the logistics of fulfilling and shipping all those orders. And so with the subscription tools we have, you have the option of basically having packages processed on a rolling basis. So the signup date for a given member is correlated with the process date. And so that’s the reason why this massive Weiner is going to switch to this is because now instead of passing a 30,000 member club, you know, on a quarterly basis on one day, and having to deal with 1000s of inquiries, and, you know, it’s basically you’re gonna just split this out over the quarter. And so every day, you’re gonna have far less inquiries, and it’s a lot more manageable on a day to day basis versus, you know, basically preparing for this like massive, massive influx.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 21:19
Yeah, that is super that is that is super important. Helping wineries to just alleviate that crunch time. Yeah, every every Wine Club manager just fears that those towards you because it’s their, it’s a cash day. But yeah, that quarterly like crunch where you got to prepare it, you got to make all the calls.
Zach Kamphuis 21:34
Tell everyone that you bring them all in and we’re all gonna sit here and pick and pack and feel the calls and feel the emails. Yeah, it can get pretty intense. So you know, with this subscription model, you have the option of basically breaking that breaking it up instead.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 21:46
That’s so important. Now, I mean, we’ve all talked about the pandemic for a year now. And it’s we’re coming out of it, but one of the one of the one of the products of it is there was this realization that we’ve always been kind of fighting, trying to tell wineries No, you need to be selling online, you need to have this direct consumer venue, you need to have e-commerce. And with the pandemic, it was one of those things where suddenly was front and center with their clothes with their wires, closed distribution networks, not working suddenly direct to consumer e-commerce is front and center. Did you see a big uptick over the last year?
Zach Kamphuis 22:19
Oh, big time, we saw you know, big uptake uptick in our sales. Personally, I was like a, you know, e-commerce provider, but also saw a big uptake for our for our customers, right? You know, their sales, people contacting our support team trying to, you know, implement some of the tools we had. So it was a much is a really busy year for us with, with COVID and everything there.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 22:43
I imagine. So and the other part I wanted to talk a little bit about is the importance of building a winery specific e-commerce thing, because with so many laws and regulations that it takes with interstate sales and sales tax and whatnot, a generic solution might not encompass all of that or cover up all that?
Zach Kamphuis 23:00
Yeah, yeah, this, you know, the generic solutions out there are great, like Shopify and BigCommerce and WooCommerce, you know, great platforms, a lot of benefits to them. You know, we we take a lot of inspiration from Shopify, actually, a lot of times when we don’t know how we want to have, you know, something structured will actually just go in there and, you know, take a look at what they do. But you know, that kind of two big issues, well, I guess, yeah, benefits of benefits of the generic platforms, great e-commerce tools, great app ecosystems, right, Shopify, you know, massive app ecosystem. So a lot, a lot of great functionality there. But the two big issues that I kind of see at the moment, the one is, with the club, you know, the club, the wine club, still generates so much revenue for, you know, the average winery today. And, you know, having a user choice or flexible wine club on on Shopify can be challenging, there’s some apps out there that kind of accommodate it. But you know, it’s, it’s kind of an afterthought, right? for for for Shopify there. So it’s difficult to run a club through one of those generic systems. And then as you mentioned, there’s a lot of, you know, legal or compliance regulations that you need to kind of, you know, watch out for in the wine industry, and that can get tough with with something like Shopify, so things like bottle deposit charges for Canadian wires, or, you know, having orders be checked for compliance before payments captured. You know, these are things that that can get challenging with, with a generic platform.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 24:27
And that’s, that’s such a big time saver for a winery, just to have that little bit of comfort that they if everything’s set up correctly, you know that Yeah, good to do the business.
Zach Kamphuis 24:37
Yeah, you know, all cCommerce7 wineries, they get free ship compliant tax rates at a five digit zip code level. So destination based tax rate, you know, we’ve got bottled deposits, we’ve got the ability to turn off states you don’t ship to integrations to ship compliant and Avalara, Avalara’s new, they just launched today, or yesterday, that new compliance piece. Compliance engine. And so, you know, we just announced our integration to that today. All these kind of, you know, wind specific. Yeah, regulatory tools, you know, we’re integrated with.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 25:09
That’s fantastic. Back to the customer experience side, I kind of pinpointed a few things. Would you say the biggest, the biggest asset that Commerce7 has for helping wineries with the customer experience?
Zach Kamphuis 25:20
Yeah, that’s a good question. You know, great, great customer experience, especially online fast, easy, it’s personalized, right. And so all of our tools kind of, you know, build towards those three pillars. They’re making it fast, easy, personalized. So we talked about the personalization engine in terms of making it easy. We’ve got things like a cookie based login, one click Checkout,
Drew Thomas Hendricks 25:43
I remember you showing me that one, click Checkout. And then the I think it was like the three click signup or login.
Zach Kamphuis 25:49
Yeah, you know, people are so impatient today, right? You know, if the site doesn’t load if the checkouts long, you know, people are ruthless in terms of, you know, bouncing off the site, especially if you’re on your phone, right? If I’m on my phone, and I, you know, get hit with a huge checkout form, even if it’s just going to take me like a minute to fill out I’m going to think twice so yeah, we do we, you know, we do everything we can to make it just fast and easy for customers to navigate the site and and especially with the checkout with, you know, having things like the one click Checkout, streamlined Checkout, you’re gonna see in June here, or actually, maybe I can’t talk about that. So but you will see some developments over the summer here related to you know, speeding things up a bit.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 26:27
Oh, awesome. Well, yeah, I don’t want you to vote any, any material, any trade secrets, or anything in the horizon? What’s on the horizon for Commerce7, as far as personalization, or just in general that you think, why an e-commerce industry for helping customer centric experience?
Zach Kamphuis 26:42
Yeah, it’s kind of next on the roadmap, here, we have a big e-commerce update, where we’re gonna have the checkout slimmed down to just eight fields. Oh, man. So you know, if we know, the entire Checkout, so if we know, you know, if we know your zip code, we don’t need to ask for your city or state, if you’re in a state that doesn’t require to have a birthday to purchase alcohol, we just need to know that you’re over 21, you know, we can remove that doing things like hiding the address line to unless you need it company line unless you need it, right. You know, doing everything we can to basically just, you know, make the checkout as slim as possible. That’s a big update that’s coming, we’re gonna have new subscription tools doubling down on those. So things like, can implement things like Well, I don’t know if I yeah, I don’t want to make the dev team mad at me so. I have to be a little careful with some of these things. But yeah, more more subscription tools, more e-commerce tools. Those are kind of next in the pipeline here.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 27:41
Awesome. Yeah. What else about Commerce7, do you think? Would you like to talk about what what do people need to know?
Zach Kamphuis 27:48
Yeah, I say that, uh, you know, a question we get pretty common is, people assume that it’s just for big wineries, or it’s just for small wineries or just for American wineries. And, you know, we really, we really believe in kind of empowering everyone, you know, the mission here is to make it easy for buyers to create great consumer shopping experiences. And that’s not at all limited to how big your winery is, how sophisticated you are, with technology, how big your team is, where you’re located, you know, so we, we want to work with wires all around the world today, we got a ton of wires in, you know, South Africa, and Australia, New Zealand, and some wires in the UK and other countries in Europe, a lot in Canada, and everybody that, you know, really big range of sizes as well, right? Everyone from you know, little small mom and pop operations, we got people with, like 500 case production, you know, all the way up to you know, the big the big players in the space. So, yeah, we want to work with everyone, we don’t tear off our platform based off of your size. So everyone has access to all the features, all the functionality, all the same resources there, regardless of where you’re located and how big your winery is.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 28:54
Oh, that’s amazing. That’s a great point. It’s so valuable, especially to the to the small guys that they have the same tools that the, you know, 2, 4, $5 million winery.
Zach Kamphuis 29:03
Drew Thomas Hendricks 29:04
And as far as so in that and it’s also great to know because we’re so California, we’re very North America focus but here is this is a global software platform doesn’t exactly language.
Zach Kamphuis 29:15
Well, the language is the one thing that matters for now anyways, but uh, you know, doesn’t matter the country, like we’ve got payment solutions, you know, we’ve got tax solutions and compliance solutions for for wires, and you’re all over the world here.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 29:29
That’s amazing. What advice going into 2021 I always ask this, what advice would you give wineries for you know, as they go forward in the year?
Zach Kamphuis 29:37
Yeah, the biggest advice and, you know, it’s, it’s boring and it’s beaten to death, but it’s just you know, capture if you have a tasting room capture emails in the tasting room, it’s so unbelievably important. We saw saw over 2020 looking at our wires in aggregate, you know, we saw that sales for on our platform actually rose so people as a whole the wire is the Better that year. But when we looked at it at an individual winery level, we saw that the majority of wineries were worse off that year. Right. So basically, you had a smaller set of whiners that were just absolutely crushing it. And you know, the one of the big differences last year in terms of, you know, who did really well who did really poor or, you know, not as well was how they were the mailing lists, right, the people that had a big mailing list, and they could reach out to everyone and push everyone for e-commerce sales and club signups and things like that, you know, they did pretty well. The whiners who, you know, didn’t have a big mailing list didn’t really take the time to capture emails when they were open, you know, they were kind of twiddling their thumbs there for a bit. So capturing emails super important because it helps to drive people to your store, or your online store or your your website. And, you know, that’s, that’s one of the biggest, I guess, differences between on our platform differences between wires that that do really well with e-commerce versus those who, you know, e-commerce is not a big portion of their business is, you know, what’s the what’s the percentage of tasting mortars that have an email associated with them? I actually have a good stat on that. Let me let me find that here. Real quick. was a great Saturday or so. Actually, I’ll share my screen if you don’t mind here. Yeah. So let me go ahead and pull this up. So we looked at, you know, all the wires on our platform and how many emails they were capturing relative to tasting orders. So what’s the percentage of tasting mortars that had an email associated, and we found the top 10 wires on our platform in terms of capturing emails, for every dollar they got in the tasting room, they were generating 78 cents online, right, compared to the bottom 10 wineries on a platform for capturing emails related relative to how many tasting orders they had there, for every dollar they were earning in the tasting room, they only got 15 cents online. So huge, huge difference here between the wineries that take the time to get the emails versus those who don’t huge difference in terms of how that kind of relates to their their e-commerce sales here.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 31:57
Those numbers are that startling. When you when he mentioned I was kind of guessing, like maybe that’s him 40 cents, or something a little more within the band. That’s a huge discrepancy.
Zach Kamphuis 32:08
That’s a huge gap there. Yeah. You know, and I actually reached out to those 10, those top 10 wineries and said, you know, hey, just so you guys are aware, you guys are killing it with this great job. What are you doing? or How are you getting so many, you know, emails in the tasting room, you know, the common theme there was that the whiners who were getting so many emails, they were really stressing the importance of why, why it’s important to capture the emails to the tasting room staff, right. So you know, they weren’t in incentivizing people financially or forcing them to or anything like that. They’re basically saying, Oh, hey, we make it, you know, very clear, very apparent to all the staff why this is so important to do. Why is this such an important practice.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 32:47
Great, great advice. What are your thoughts on incentivizing the staff to collect emails? And there’s a lot of topics about that, or talk about that?
Zach Kamphuis 32:55
Yeah, I’ve never, I’ve never worked at a wiring so I don’t know if it would be a good idea or not, but, you know, a concern I’d have would think it could work. But a concern I would have would be like junk emails, you’d have to, you know, find some way to make sure that these emails don’t bounce or unsubscribe immediately or anything like that. So I think it could I think it could be helpful if it’s done. If it’s done well.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 33:19
Done correctly otherwise, you get at the tasting room associate that comes in with 1000 email addresses. Yeah. Visitors that day.
Zach Kamphuis 33:26
Yeah. firstname.lastname@example.org Bob1@gmail.com.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 33:29
Yeah. What are you drinking lately as we move to wrapping this thing up? Yeah,
Zach Kamphuis 33:34
I am a member of the Phantom Creek Wine Club up in it’s a winery up in BC here really been enjoying that, their wine and so drink a lot of cider. There’s a lot of cider in BC as well. Huge cider. Yeah, Okanagan Okanagan Cider is my favorite. Their crisp apple.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 33:55
Yeah, I took it I took a tour of Okanagan about three years ago, two and a half three years ago. I was super impressed with the the orchards there because yeah, here here you get these apple trees like least there’s a lot of cider just east of us. You get like apple trees look like trees that are in Okanagan that you got these high density vineyards are apple. Yes. They’re just like every two feet is this two foot wide apple. Apple Tree with these just packed with more apples than you can imagine.
Zach Kamphuis 34:21
Yeah, tonight. Yeah, a ton of cider up here. And yeah, I’m a big fan.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 34:25
Yeah, I went to I was a fan of it. The name is like elephant on the east side of the lake. They’re the names.
Zach Kamphuis 34:31
Like I know there’s there’s elephants something.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 34:35
Well, I can’t put my finger on it in the show notes. But yeah, that one is Phantom Creek over in that area.
Zach Kamphuis 34:40
I could be wrong here. I think they’re in Oliver. I haven’t actually been out to the winery there yet. I’m planning to go sometime this summer. But yeah, I haven’t actually been out there. So I’m not too sure where it’s located.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 34:52
But check it out. No, I’m always on the lookout for some good Canadian wines. I was so impressed with those. We came back. The good thing for California too is we’re able to drive back across your border and pay like 25 cents. Yeah, we were able to stock up.
Zach Kamphuis 35:04
Doesn’t work the other way.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 35:05
Yeah, that’s what I hear even going across that from, you know, from British Columbia to Alberta.
Zach Kamphuis 35:10
Oh, yeah. Well, that’s just politics there. But yeah, we can only bring two bottles in to the province. So anytime I go to the states or California, I gotta pick very carefully which which two bottles I want to bring back.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 35:23
Oh, man. Well, hopefully that will change. Going for I we’re always about gratitude here. Is there anybody you’d like to thank or give a shout out in the wine industry right now that you respect?
Zach Kamphuis 35:32
Yeah. Paul Mabray familiar with Paul?
Drew Thomas Hendricks 35:35
Oh, yeah, he they just Pix?
Zach Kamphuis 35:37
Yeah, Pix. Yeah,
Drew Thomas Hendricks 35:38
I know Emetry. Did they change the name or?
Zach Kamphuis 35:42
Yeah, I’ve known Paul for a really long time. So he’s a, he’s a good friend of my dad’s. And so you know, he jokes around that he’s, he’s my uncle or I’m his nephew. But now he’s, you know, the they had Emetry, which is like the data analytics company. And they’ve kind of pivoted into Pix, which, you know, once again, I don’t know how much I can talk about talking about that. I don’t know what’s all public, but it’s a really, it’s a really cool platform he’s building out there. And I think that, you know, everything that guy does, you see that his heart’s in the right place. So it’s a Yeah, I have a lot of a lot of respect for Paul.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 36:14
Oh, I do too. And he’s got a great Twitter feed. Yeah. I always massacre his quotes, but I remember him he has a good quote that I love. It’s like something about the wine industry. He’s never seen another industry so resistant to marketing.
Zach Kamphuis 36:28
Yeah. When everything like technology or marketing. Yeah. Now he’s got some good one liners.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 36:33
And so today, we’ve been talking with Zach Kamphuis from Commerce7. Zach, where can people find you?
Zach Kamphuis 36:38
Yeah, you can email me at Zach@commerce7.com. Zach with an H not a K. You can also reach out at email@example.com. Yeah, those are probably the two best channels there.
Drew Thomas Hendricks 36:48
Awesome, Zach, thank you so much for joining us today.
Zach Kamphuis 36:51
Yeah. Thanks for having me, Drew.
Thanks for listening to the Legends Behind the Craft podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.