If you’ve been following our other wine-related blogs, most of you know that the wine industry has been slow to adopt many technological practices. To clarify, we are not talking about big wine brands here – which only account for 1 percent of the total wineries in the US. Those slow to adopt are the small to medium-sized wineries and tasting rooms. There are numerous factors that contribute to this slow progression and the ones listed below are just a few. In this article, we will uncover just a few reasons why the wine industry is slow to adopt eCommerce as well as some of our best-recommended practice tips on how to navigate each of these issues. Let’s dive in!
1. It’s hard to stand out
Wine brands are great at utilizing their marketing channels to teach people about winemaking, farming, and appreciating wine. However, they tend to fall short when it comes to converting people to actually buy their wine. One of the main issues for wine brands is that it is hard to create separation from other wine brands. In other words, what makes your Napa Pinot Noir better than your competitor’s Napa Pinot Noir?
This is where your marketing aesthetic and strategy can be used to your advantage. When it comes to selling your wine online, you need to find ways to capture more eyes to your brand. Use bold and powerful colors to decorate your labels to draw more attention to social media and digital ads. Adding unique imagery to your labels is also a great way to draw more attention to your brand. Having an eye-catching label can build stronger brand association within the online community as it gets customers excited about your brand.
2. Time is not on their side
Time is one of the primary reasons why wineries have been slow to adopt eCommerce. Again, we are not talking about large wine brands here. Small to medium business owners usually operate at capacity and don’t have the time, people, or resources to do anything else let alone eCommerce. A survey found that 45% of wineries marketing practices are run by a part-time employee in addition to other work, 29% is run by the owner, 9% is run by a full-time marketing employee, 5% is run by a consultant, 3% is run by a full-time marketing team, and 1% is run by an agency.
For wineries looking to better their eCommerce strategy but don’t have an in-house web developer, hire a freelance digital marketer or web developer to help get you started. Winery websites can be a lengthy and complicated process so it’s always good to talk to a professional. A good and functioning website can allow you to reach more customers, increase sales, and shorten your sales cycles. It also makes for good customer retention as well.
3. They don’t utilize marketing touchpoints
Marketing touchpoints are places where the customer can make contact with the product or service. Wineries are falling short when it comes to marketing directly to their consumers. Most wineries have
concentrated their touchpoints on 3-tier marketing and distributions, which put them in a heap of trouble when the pandemic caused the disruption of eCommerce. Most wineries lack the knowledge of understanding and utilizing these touchpoints which have put them at a large disadvantage from a marketing front.
Wineries need to stop relying on supermarkets, brick-and-mortar retailers, and restaurants as their main source of revenue. Instead, they need to direct their focus to market directly to the consumer. Nearly 3 out of every 4 dollars spent on online purchases today is done through mobile devices followed by desktop. As the rise of eCommerce continues, it’s apparent that this shift into online buying is permanent and is something all businesses need to take advantage of. Using social media is a cheap and easy way to market your brand to more people. Use platforms where your target audience is like Facebook, Instagram, and Google. Using smaller platforms like Pinterest is also great for linking your content back to your online shop.
4. They don’t have enough content on their website
Just as we learned with the time and staffing issue, wineries are also struggling to find time for content creation as well. A lot of wineries forget that the most important content is wine education. Most wine brands are great at sharing their history, staff, and vineyard information but fail to remember that most people coming to their site are looking to learn about wine.
One great way to elevate your content creation and provide wine education is through a blog. Blogs give you the creative freedom to share your knowledge with your community. Put a larger focus on topics such as the quality of grapes, the notes you’re evoking, and the recipes and food you imagine pairing with your wine. It’s okay to include a few blogs about your wine releases, harvest updates, and stories behind your labels. However, these topics should already be implemented in the product pages of your website so you should utilize your blog to educate your audience and get them excited about your content.
Beyond serving as a creative outlet, blogs also supply immense support for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is when you take a piece of content and optimize it so search engines – such as Google – show it towards the top of the page when someone searches for something. The more you blog and populate your product pages and website with content, the higher up your website will rank, and the larger potential for more clicks and exposure for your brand.
5. Budget problems
It takes a lot to run a small business and money tends to be the primary headache no matter what industry you are in. A Pew Research study found that 42 percent of wineries spend 5 percent or less of their budget on marketing and 33 percent said that they spend nothing at all. So, at least three-quarters of wineries in the US spend little to nothing at all on marketing efforts. Why is this a problem? Without marketing, consumers won’t know that your wine brand even exists and are missing a huge opportunity to grow their consumer base.
Marketing can be expensive but there are a few ways to get your name out there without having to sacrifice a chunk of your budget. Social media can be very inexpensive and is an easy way to reach more consumers. By using social media, you can use hashtags and location tags to pinpoint users in your local area and can be a great way to form more personalized relationships with your community. The wine industry is all about forming personal connections – making social media and the wine industry a match made in heaven!