After a recent soft launch, start-up liquor marketplace Cellarsmarket is aiming to become the eBay of liquor in Australia.
Cellarsmarket.com.au offers wineries, breweries and distilleries a platform to list their products and set their own shipping rates, with sellers having their own branded microsite and sub-domain name.
CEO Shlomo Di Veroli has more than 20 years experience in building and managing e-commerce businesses and more than 40 years of traditional business experience in FMCG, wine and liqueurs. He is passionate about helping small producers succeed online.
“Some brands simply don’t understand the marketplace concept and are happily snug in their comfort zone, but today it is absolutely essential to embrace this type of technology to build one’s brand,” he noted. “The worldwide trend of marketplaces dominating online sales will only continue to grow according to many analysts. We see this already with Amazon, eBay and Alibaba marketplaces.”
Di Veroli said COVID-19 has accelerated the trend, which is reinforced by data from Fonto, which shows 26% of retail alcohol sales in Australia are now online.
“Business savvy operators are looking to increase sales and product awareness using omnichannel avenues especially so during the pandemic,” he said. “The online scene is constantly growing and will continue to do so. If brands are not selling their goods on a local marketplace, there’s a chance that a competing brand or seller is.
“Our liquor marketplace offers a pureplay marketplace platform for sellers irrespective of size to give their products more exposure to potential customers.”
As for what makes Cellarsmarket unique, Di Veroli describes it as a first for Australia – “a pure play liquor marketplace”.
“This has already attracted boutique retailers, wineries, breweries and distilleries who are either unable, unwilling, too small, too niche, only have a small product offering, or simply rejected to stock their products by the large, dominant chain retailers for a variety of reasons to come to us,” he explained. “We offer a level playing field for all vendors.
“Other ‘marketplaces’ are really hybrid models, which offer a marketplace of sorts, but they control what is listed, how much to charge for shipping, dictate discounting in addition to charging very high commissions, peek into your sales and listing data for their own sales purposes, canabilise sales of brands and even suppressing brands in favour of other more profitable brands or even their own brands.”
Di Veroli (above) said current sales data indicates that wine, beer, and whisky are the most popular categories on Cellarsmarket, followed by gin, fruit and cream liqueurs.
“Seller feedback has been very positive,” he said. “We now have more than 10,000 products listed, with the number growing weekly. All this helps sellers as Google indexes the data and consumers search and browse their products with multiple search results increasing the chances for a sale.”