In spite of the recent Costco et al. verdicts, e-commerce’s time is coming in the industry. As many of you know I’ve been a passionate advocate of DOING SOMETHING NOW rather than waiting for the perfect solution to magically appear sometime in the hazy future. That said, Mike Roth of Beverage Media and I had a very interesting conversation on the subject and I’m even more convinced that their network of retailer websites is the place to start. Following the philosophy of “Get the Free Stuff First” and “Use Other People’s Money” it is really a no-brainer. It’s an existing network of ecommerce solutions to add value to the BevMedia database in NY, NJ, MA, CT and several other states. The brilliance lies in the fact that to begin the process, all a supplier has to do is provide the content (and hey, they say Content is King right?…more on that later), and the retailer can sell out of the distributors’ virtual inventory. It’s the “Long Tail” concept served up to suppliers with the vision to recognize the opportunities ecommerce has to to address the inequities of the US three-tier system for smaller, poorly distributed brands. To that end I had some great conversations (well, I talked they listened, does that still count as a conversation?) with a couple of producers…Yanni Papagiannis from Fantis Foods Inc, one of the major Greek Wine importers (Tsantali et al wines), a perplexed but interested group of wineries exhibiting under the aegis of the Madrid Chamber of Commerce .
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