Viners, una vinoteca 100% Online, especializada en vinos Premium y Super Premium

December 2018. Heat. Closing a cycle. And start a new one. The graduate in International Trade Matías Aron, with a Master in Business Administration (MBA) under his arm and the drive of a 31-year-old, and the engineer and sommelier Carlos Affur, with the experience of his 65 years and his time in different projects, they finally decided to undertake together. And, seven months later, after an initial investment of US$150,000 (own funds), they launched Viners, a 100% online wine bar specializing in premium and super premium wines, with which they employ 25 people and expect to close the year with a turnover of $50 million.

"We noticed that there was an opportunity to offer a special service for the niche of tourists who come to Argentina to look for wines. With the passage of time and the progress of our market study, we realized that there was also an opportunity for the Argentine market in general, and not just for tourists," shares Aron.

Although wine consumption in Argentina has fallen in recent years, the premium and super premium wine segment has had an inverse trend, growing at a rate of 7% per year in recent years.

"The consumer buys products with higher added value, higher quality, but in less quantity. In addition, electronic commerce has also been growing at extremely high rates, and this was emphasized with the quarantine," says Aron.

Like all entrepreneurship, the first steps were very hard. "It is necessary to know about all kinds of issues, from particular business issues, such as wines in our case, to operational, financial, tax, and legal issues, among others. At the beginning, you have to have all hats on the same time, and that's not easy," admits Aron. Over time, and when the company began to show results, they began to add people to the team.

Viners was born as a 100% online company, and that allowed the partners to be prepared for this moment. "Since December 2019 we have been preparing for great growth in 2020, expanding the product offering, improving processes and adding people to the project. E-commerce is not simple, and it is necessary to have all the company's processes structured and synchronized to provide an excellent service", shares the entrepreneur.

The impact of quarantine

The impact of the pandemic on business was huge and very positive for e-commerce around the world. "Our sales volume grew exponentially. The market expanded and we noticed some changes in the type of consumer. There are consumers who had never bought online and who are now doing so. This crisis advanced the expansion of e-commerce by a few years," he says. Aron.

With the growth in demand, they added a new COO to the team, Ariel López, and continue to search for people from various areas who want to be part of this project.

"We also incorporated new technologies and managed to integrate 100% with Andreani Logística, improving the order tracking process," adds Aron. This allows the customer to receive notifications about the entire purchase process, from preparation to delivery. And it allows them to monitor the status of shipments and act in time if there is any delay (something that happens very rarely, even in this context).

To support the wineries in this present complex, this year they launched the Viners Stores, together with wineries such as Zuccardi Valle de Uco, Trapiche Argentina, Trivento, Altos Las Hormigas and all the Alejandro Sejanovich wineries. "Surely, in the remainder of the year we will launch some more," he anticipates.

But one of the differentials that Viners offers is the "Palate Test" tool, to make it easier for consumers to choose labels. "With a few questions about food and drinks, our algorithm interprets what type of palate the consumer has, and we recommend wines and varietals according to their taste. It was an intense work between my partner, Carlos Affur, Head Sommelier of Viners, and the area Technology," says Aron.

Looking ahead to next year, the partners are working to launch their "Club Viners." "We want to set up a different wine club, with a lot of technology and where the protagonist is the consumer. The idea was to launch it in 2020 but, due to the growth of the company, the project is a bit behind schedule," they conclude.

Medium: The Chronicler
By Laura Mafud

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