CellarSpace’s journey to become the biggest online premium wine marketplace in the world.
CellarSpace was born from a genuine passion, knowledge and love of great wine. Its founders realised the value and pleasure of premium wine sitting in boutique winery cellar doors, back vintages from private collections and curated restaurant wine lists.
Yet these bottles were only being enjoyed by a finite clientele, or they were passing their optimum drinking time. CellarSpace wanted to make these superb wines more accessible to more people and – importantly – whilst they’re peaking…
With 3,000+ wineries and thousands of home cellars, the wine industry is incredibly fragmented. CellarSpace needed to turn this challenge into an opportunity and leverage it to create scale and deliver results for the early adopters. In short – it needed to take the wine community on this journey.
Hand-in-hand with this was the necessity to strike a harmony between price point – a highly searchable term in the wine industry – and good value propositioning. Helping educate cellars to understand they don’t have to be the cheapest, but they must be the most relevant and authentic, was paramount.
Underpinning all of this was the fact CellarSpace’s team was second-to-none when it came to wine industry experience and knowledge, yet their grasp of online marketplaces was initially somewhat limited.
By appointing Marketplacer, CellarSpace was able to rely on more than 12 years of marketplace expertise. Investing and trusting in the experts gave CellarSpace the confidence to move forward, and some 90 days later the marketplace was fully operational.
Retailers immediately appreciated that here was an opportunity to tap into a much wider and highly discerning clientele. They understood that by coming together they were collectively able to offer more buyers the kind of sophisticated yet effortless experience that befits the premium wines so keenly sought after, and now suddenly available through CellarSpace.
Part of their willingness to join the marketplace comes from a reassurance that their brand identity will be maintained, that they will manage their own presence and positioning, but CellarSpace will handle the overall customer experience and sale.
CellarSpace introduced a novel feature to rate cellars so as to ensure wine is stored correctly, thus assuring buyers of due diligence (a particularly pertinent point when considering the cost of many of these esteemed wines).
These elements combine to create a destination that is as curated as the wine it sells; one that attracts buyers who know they will be delighted and satiated by what they find.
Prior to its inception, many of the wineries now represented on CellarSpace managed their own websites, with little to no brand impact or sales. Unifying the marketplace (whilst maintaining individual brand identities) enables CellarSpace to generate new and greater volumes of traffic for every seller, thus bringing fresh and consistent levels of sales to sellers across the board.
The marketplace has also been the ideal environment in which to build a tribe. With so many ecommerce-only platforms selling on price, the experience for the customer can be difficult. CellarSpace, however, presents a virtual trusted private cellar hand acting in the customer’s best interests and curating the best wines from the best sellers.
In a very short time, CellarSpace has opened doors to some of the greatest wines stored in the country, connecting like-minded individuals who might otherwise never have encountered one another. Through the marketplace, CellarSpace founders link passionate sellers with equally passionate buyers who would not have previously been exposed to these premium wines.
The concept has a strong business backbone, with initial sales surpassing expectations. Although the average price point is $650 per transaction, CellarSpace has seen a Balthazar bottle (12 litres) of the iconic Penfolds Grange sell for $60,000, and a Magnum (1.5L bottle) of Domaine de la Romanee Conti sell for $49,000. The Asian market has shown a particular desire for back vintage Luxury Penfolds and French first-growth wines, opportunities that may otherwise have gone unrealised without a marketplace to champion change.
These signs give the business every reason to think well beyond Australia.
“I want CellarSpace to be the biggest online premium wine marketplace in the world, selling the world’s most authentic and genuine wines.”
– Darren Campbell, Co-Founder and CEO, CellarSpace