BlackSquare is pleased to announce it was selected to participate in the Government of Canada’s mission to the Hong Kong International ICT Expo which is taking place from April 13 – 16. BlackSquare will be presenting its Blackboxx turn-key ecomm platform to the Asian market for the first time at this event and will be presenting in front of a large number of technology and retail firms in the Hong Kong and Mainland China market.
Why Hong Kong?
Why is Hong Kong so interesting to wine ecommerce? Hong Kong deregulated its wine industry in 2008 and removed all duties and taxes on sales of wine. Since then the market has boomed. There are now almost 400 importers of wine in the market. The market for high end wine appears almost unstoppable with Sotheby’s moving more firmly into wine auctions at the expense of art. The global wine industry has noticed, with Vinexpo holding its 2012 conference in Hong Kong where more than 1,000 exhibitors (including BlackSquare) from 30 countries are expected for the May 29-31 event.
The wine industry in Asia is modernizing quickly
BlackSquare has chosen the Asian market and Hong Kong specifically due not only to the strong demand for wine but also because of the swift adoption of ecommerce tools by Asian consumers. With sites such as YesMyWine.com having raised over US$40M in VC-backed funding and with 3.5 million customers, there seems to no end to the search for wine ecommerce solutions.
Blackboxx fills the gap
BlackSquare’s focus on wine clubs and the recurring purchases that make up 70%+ of all direct to consumer sales is of interest to the hundreds of importers who are curating wine for the Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese retail market.
Additionally, through our conversations with Australian wineries who are starting to establish “Cellar Door” locations in China, we have developed an understanding that the young, tech-savvy Chinese wine consumer wants to be educated about wine, conduct transactions online and start conversing with other consumers immediately.
These young and increasingly affluent Asian consumers have few of the preconceived notions about buying wine which plague the North American and European industry. BlackSquare’s Blackboxx app accomplishes all of these key pieces of functionality (education, ecomm, social networking) and does so under a single Software as a Service (SaaS) business model.
SaaS = no capital investment for retailers or producers = increased ROI from the DTC sales channel.