B2B and B2C E-commerce of bespoke Champagne by independent wineries in France
Founded in 2012 Ambassade 1927 is an e-commerce platform that enables both B2C and B2B customers to have access to bespoke champagnes produced by small and independent wineries from the Champagne-Ardenne region, which are usually not commercialized on the traditional retail or distribution channels.
After some solid growth in the years in France (also boosted by some angel investments), the team at Ambassade 1927
played with the thought to internationalize the platform and give access to the unique products also to consumers and businesses outside of France.
In 2015 Fast Forward Advisors started working with Ambassade 1927, in order to analyze, plan, test and partially execute a B2B expansion into different countries in Europe and Asia.
“ FFA helped us to prioritize and put our efforts in the most important markets, with a proven strategy and process. Very high value for the money “Adrien Ruggirello | Co-Founder & CMO | Ambassade 1927 “ Without FFA it would have been impossible to make it “
PROBLEMS & CHALLENGES
The main problems of Ambassade 1927 in 2015 was the following:
- Limited reach in European and international markets:
Being focused on the french market Ambassade 1927 had developed a very strong network of distributors, logistic partners and customers and clients for the platform in this market. When thinking about the internationalization the main problems were to identify, which markets to focus on first and how much resources would have been needed to kick-off and operate the growth in these markets. Before investing their own already limited cash flow or raise external funds they were keen to prioritize and focus on which markets to go first and to quantify the opportunity vs. the risks.
- Uncertainty about proper channels to be used for internationalization:
In addition to the limited reach Ambassade 1927 was also unsure about which channel (and the underlying processes) to invest into to enter the potential international markets. Since they have been dealing with B2B and B2C clients directly via the e-commerce platform in France, they would need a different approach to enter other European and especially other international markets.
ACTIONS & SOLUTIONS
- Market research:
We started working with Ambassade 1927 on identifying which markets to focus on, based on a wide range of variables, not only considering total consumption of or consumption behaviour related to sparkling wines and champagne, but also barriers to entry, duties and taxes, market structures, logistic complexities and available potential partnerships. We came up with a short list of markets to focus on.
- B2B2B strategy and setup:
We analyzed the market entry strategies in the markets identified above and came to the conclusion that a feasible approach would be to go through distributors that could use the B2B e-commerce to place the products in the specific markets. The B2B2B approach needed a certain setup from a company perspective, meaning that a clear process for lead research and generation, lead qualification, lead outreach (via cold emailing and calling) and lead closing was needed.
IMPACT & OUTCOME
Full B2B2B strategy and process: Ambassade 1927 got the full ready-to-be-deployed B2B2B process to develop the new markets identified in our research. By using internal frameworks, integrating tools from the market and providing our experience in the process, we were able to provide the full process at a fraction of the cost that it would have been costed the Ambassade 1927 team.