DUBLINE - Co-owner of The Corkscrew Wine Merchants, Paul Foley, has hailed a "new milestone” in online wine sales as revenues surged leading up to Christmas. The number of online sales on the wine merchant's website, www.thecorkscrew.ie, jumped by 264% in Dec. 2011 (over Dec. 2010) - with revenue growing by 185%. The Corkscrew saw strong demand for wine gifts, particularly from overseas and companies.
Internet orders and website traffic peaked on Friday 9th December and Monday 19th December – with traffic in the two weeks before Christmas averaging 147% higher than normal.
Paul Foley went on to say “Having over 600 different wines available on our website and a large catalogue of wine gift packs really worked out well this year. As well as that, by choosing not to impose a minimum case purchase we were able to cater for the Christmas gift market, particularly those from overseas. Thankfully, we had no snow this year, so there was greater buyer confidence that items would be delivered in time for Christmas.
What was most gratifying was that over half of our online customers in December were new to The Corkscrew".
"Some of the online initiatives we invested in this year have really paid off. We've focused on ease of use on our site with a revolutionary one step checkout, we've continued to invest in email marketing and we successfully got to grips with social media, both on Facebook and Twitter.
One of the most rewarding things we implemented was live web chat, which gave us an opportunity to talk to customers and give them advice while they were browsing online. That brought a little bit of the bricks and mortar experience to online. One of the key reasons people shop with us is staff knowledge, so we see that as a key differentiator between independent wine shops like us and the larger multiples."
The Corkscrew's efforts weren't just recognised in growing sales. They also picked up a coveted Eircom Spider for Retail Excellence at the prestigious award ceremony in November.
Paul Foley went on to say that "the Eircom Spider was the icing on the cake. We've a great team but it was still a very pleasant surprise. We're keeping our fingers crossed for the Nokia Digitial Media Awards 2012, the IIA awards and the Irish Web Awards later in the year. Another three would be a great addition to the mantlepiece".
As for 2012, "it's going to be another tough year, but if we remain focused on our customers, then we should be okay. And we've some great plans afoot on how we'll evolve our online offering. One area we see as a massive opportunity is mobile, so watch this space!".