How This Wine Shop Is Growing Despite Covid-19
As is the present circumstance, COVID-19 has taken a toll worldwide on small businesses in the wine industry. With restrictions such as lockdowns and quarantines becoming a part of everyday life, lower footfall and in-store expenditure becoming normal stance, Singapore is further affected by alcohol restrictions (after 10:30pm), limited social gatherings and social distancing rules implemented on weddings, events and conventions. Given that these events are pertinent to prominent players in the hospitality industry (hotels and restaurants), wine distribution businesses based in Singapore have been affected as a result. One such wine business in Singapore, Asia Wine Network, has been hit hard and can digress with the issue at hand. Business owner of Asia Wine Network (AWN) Singapore, Roderic Proniewski, weighs in on the issue:
“Where our trade customers are concerned, Hotels and Restaurants which used to order fairly large volumes have seen their doors shut and capacity limits put on their businesses. This has left us with drastically reduced demand from these core customers.On the direct-to-consumer side of things, we can no longer conduct wine events or tastings like we used to due to social distancing protocols, which have limited the number of people allowed on our premises at a time. This poses a challenge as for our customers to discover new wines, they need a wine expert or sommelier to inform them about the background, aromatics and tasting notes of the wine. This is crucial for our customers as they need to truly understand the finesse of their wine in order to decide if the wine is for them.”
So how exactly is Asia Wine Network, a key wine industry player in Singapore, still maintaining its business presence in spite of the problems they encounter due to COVID?
WOW-ing (World Of Wines) Customers Everyday
Carrying wines from 12 wine-producing countries at present with more to come, Asia Wine Network imports the very best of each region to provide a comprehensive offering for its customers. But with the onslaught of COVID-19, it, like many other businesses, has seen some of its business slowdown in the past few months. But this has not affected the confidence of its owners, Roderic Proniewski and Sally Ong.
“If anything, the challenges that COVID-19 has put on our business has provided more inspiration to re-invigorate our business practices. We have been busy strategizing and restructuring our business to bring an enhanced experience to our customers whilst maintaining the integrity of our wine knowledge and expertise. We treasure the wanderlusting nature of our customersand wish to impart to them AWN vinology with more wine varieties from the World Of Wine”.
So how exactly is Asia Wine Network reconstructing its wine business to be better placed in the COVID-19-affected wine industry of today?
Moving Online: Social Media And Ecommerce Adoption
“Given the digital revolution of today, we thought it prudent to move our wine business into the e-commerce space” says Sally.
“Through a newfound digital marketing strategy and restructured marketing department, we are truly expanding the sales funnel and reaching a newfound customer base like never before.”
The pandemic has provided the digitization catalyst for many businesses, and AWN is no exception. In response to the pandemic instigated headwinds and to better develop their direct-to-consumer offering, Awn.com.sg was launched in the tail-end of 2020, providing an easy guide on their comprehensive wine offerings to help wine consumers to select the right wine(s) to suit their palate and requirements.
Having a strong presence on social media has particularly boosted Asia Wine Network’s reach to a millennial audience, mostly working professionals based in Singapore between the ages of 18-35. By publishing posts on Facebook, Instagram, Medium and even LinkedIn, Asia Wine Network seeks to diversify their consumer base. AWN particularly caters to AWN V-membership with membership privilege offers like wines offered at member prices; member discounts and earn V-Point for every $ 1 spent etc. This appeals to the end-consumer whilst continuing to service trade customers. Call-to-action mediums such as online quizzes and Instagram stories have proved an effective tool to engage their online audience.
“You can follow us at @asiawinenetwork or like our page on Facebook to learn more about our wines, their aromas and respective tasting notes. It’s really engaging and you might even spot a wine for yourself! At Asia Wine Network we are all about matching wines to the personas of our customers. So social media really helps us out in that respect.”
The full version of this article, entitled, "How This Wine Shop Is Growing Stronger Despite Covid-19" was posted on AWN's website.
Please proceed there to read the article in its entirety.