Success story:
Albero Group

How Albero Group became Italy's 1st E-commerce for Logistics & Packaging & Innovation. Interview with Founder Giovanni Albero

interview with the founder

How did Albero Group come into being?

Well, exactly one month from now, we'll be celebrating our 10th year in business, and like many other companies, it all started with a good glass of wine...
Right there, in front of that glass of wine, I realized that if I wanted to purchase the beautiful wine glass I was drinking from, I wouldn't have had the means...

What's the underlying idea?

Before Albero Group came along, if you wanted a quality glass or wine glass at a decent price, you had to be a professional with a VAT number or a restaurateur, and you had to place a substantial order. Alternatively, as an individual, you could go to certain "crystal shops" that sold these products, but you'd end up paying exorbitant prices. There was no alternative; they simply wouldn't sell it to you!

So, I thought, "Why can't I have this stuff at home?" That's when the idea of selling these products online and delivering them directly to people's homes was born.

In such a niche sector, what were the initial challenges?

We encountered two major challenges when starting the business.
One is typical for micro-enterprises in this sector – there is no small company that produces glassware, except for tiny artisans with a kiln in their backyard.

Most of the market is dominated by international giants like Arcoroc, with a billion euro revenue, or Bormioli Rocco, with 800 million euros. So, breaking into the production market was impossible; there was no direct entry. We decided to enter the market as retailers, leveraging Amazon and testing it before attempting to scale up.

image of Albero group glasses

And what's the second problem you mentioned?

The other problem was shipping this type of product, not today but 10 years ago. Today, everybody knows how to ship products, but back then, you had to fill out a paper booklet by hand...Today, we offer over 60 types of packaging; some materials are produced by us at a factory according to our specifications.

We became exceptionally skilled at shipping fragile products worldwide and reached our best breakage rate in 2022 – just 0.6%. We break one glass per every 600 shipments. So, not only do we sell and ship such delicate products, but we also manage not to break them!

image of albero group glasses at the bar
image of glass bottles of albero group at home

You're a great success story;
what are you most proud of?

We became so adept at solving the glass shipping problem that in 2022, we were awarded as the Best E-commerce in Italy for Logistics and Packaging and in 2023 for Innovation by Netcomm in Milan. Our team members now need a "degree" to package items. Each product has its own packaging and packaging method, and if a product doesn't pass our tests, we don't sell it, as it doesn't make sense in terms of margins.

We can guarantee the replacement of individual broken items in a package within 24/48 hours, something not even Amazon does, as it requires managing individual pieces, not just packaging, which is quite complex for our warehouse.

turning point FOR ALBERO GROUP

What was the turning point for Albero group?

In time, we realized that our logistics management was so advanced that we needed to make it available to other companies. Today, we're not only a logistics partner but also a successful e-commerce site manager. That's our positioning.

We've become partners with Bormioli Rocco, Italy's top glassware company and fourth-largest in the world. This means that when you buy from the Bormioli Rocco website, you're actually on a website we created for them, and we handle their orders. We offer the same service to many other clients.

Are there any other steps that have influenced the group's development?

In 2018, we realized that our products had more appeal abroad than in Italy. It's a cultural factor. In Italy, the Nutella glass is the average glass for all beverages at home. In England, if you have fruit juice, it's served in a juice glass – similar to a beverage glass but not quite. Starting from this mindset, it's easy to see why they're willing to pay three times as much as Italians to set the table.

Thanks to Amazon's Pan-European program, we expanded across Europe and began buying directly from foreign glassworks in Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland – one of the few to do so.

In parallel, we developed our proprietary websites, with Albero leading the way with incredible numbers. Currently, in Germany and France, foreign sales account for over 30% of our revenue.

albero shop ecommerce  site
about ALBERO GROUP and Zonwizard

What role did ZonWizard play in your growth?

ZonWizard has been essential from the start because it solved my tax problem. We used to have an Excel tool, but we needed to improve it because it was too unstable. You had to be careful about how you opened it. A wrong click or incorrect formatting could compromise the data forever.

ZonWizard allows me to systematically process my VAT and OSS declarations for Amazon and also provides a way to check the declarations prepared by my tax consultant.

What were you looking for in ZonWizard?

Reliability and security... I was talking about it with my accountant just two days ago. This program solves a problem, not just for us but for thousands of users, so statistically, it's better than my internal system.

It's more reliable because it's verified by users, industry professionals, and accountants who handle declarations every day. Additionally, I have continuous support from ZonWizard, which has specific expertise in e-commerce.

with Excel

"in the beginning we used to process tax documents in Excel. One click or incorrect character formatting and the data became unreliable, a real chaos"


with ZonWizard

"everything is automated and up-to-date, I no longer have to worry about processing files or cross-referencing data and checking them"


What exceeded your expectations in ZonWizard?

Certainly, I found a tool that keeps up with all the latest Amazon updates. For example, when the OSS was implemented, it wasn't clear how to handle foreign sales.

During that period, you partnered with those who directly handle declarations and provided the necessary tools. Or when Amazon changes its fees, we immediately get updates in the software. This gives us even more confidence that we're always up to date.

demo of report Iva zonwizard
ZonWizard OSS report demo

What does ZonWizard help you with, besides taxes?

Many other things. I'll just mention the most recent one. When you introduced the Refunds feature, of which I was a beta tester, I realized what Amazon does behind the scenes. If I hadn't taken action, Amazon would have "withheld" €200-€400 for each reconciliation.

In just 2 hours, I recovered a total of €3,800 in refunds. This significantly impacts profit, especially for small sellers – it could be their entire month's profit. Honestly, I believe that if I hadn't requested these refunds for lost, damaged, or missing goods through ZonWizard... well, I don't think they would have ever come back to  me.

In 2 hours

by following the guided procedure in just two hours I recovered sums that had completely disappeared from my control


These products, if not recovered, would become a net loss for the company. It is a great result achieved in such a short time

table set with Albero Group glasses sold on Amazon
the future of albero group

You've been ZonWizard users for many years. Where do you want Albero to go now?

Our goal for 2024 was to reach €10 million, but unfortunately, the price increases for materials will not allow us to reach our target, despite the significant gain of market share.

An exciting new project is our website that combines two worlds–glassware and wine. We believe our customers are more aware than the average wine website user because they're buying an item for drinking wine. So, our 7,000 glasses will serve the 500 wine labels we've added to our new wine cellar.

We're also launching, a website dedicated to a very specific market niche that will sell super-premium wine glasses immediately available in the "Extra Europe" luxury market. I can't reveal more; we're a work in progress, and I know it won't be easy 😊.

CEO of Albero group

Congratulations on the remarkable result you have achieved. We're proud to have you as our customer!

Thank you for providing us with indispensable operational tools for every Amazon seller. ZonWizard solves problems and provides real satisfaction because it does so in a simple, reliable, and precise manner.


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