The wine industry had to make numerous technological improvements during the pandemic, just as we have seen with many other industries. With tasting rooms being forced to shut down, many had to turn to technology to implement direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales for e-commerce and wine clubs. However, many of these processes were new to many wineries and some struggled to figure out how to seamlessly implement them into their business. Believe it or not, the wine industry is three years behind all other alcohol industries from a technology front.
Technology isn’t for everyone but that’s what help is for! Let’s dive in to break down what’s missing from a technology front in the wine industry along with some tips on how to improve your business. You may be surprised at how easy it could be!
Hire a tech specialist
Ever tried to download or use software that didn’t come with an instruction manual? With the pandemic driving online sales, wineries were forced to implement new digital software into their businesses but without any instruction on how to use them. In other industries, this is where a tech specialist would be used on the team but this is where the wine industry falls behind. Most wineries do not have a tech specialist since their teams tend to be a lot smaller with only one person running DTC sales.
Hiring a tech specialist can help better improve the back end of your online business and ensure that everything is running smoothly. With millennials driving a permanent shift to e-commerce, this will allow wineries to keep up with the competition and further expand their target market. Online marketing is more than just a one-person job, so keep your focus on the business and let the specialist worry about the back end.
Integrate automated processing for wine clubs
Integrating automated processing into your business can help you to elevate to a big picture approach by reducing the complexity of managing multiple tasks for one process. Having automated processing would enable wineries to take their wine clubs to the next level by improving the modern-day marketing keys to success: personalization and customization. These are a few key ways that you can use automated processing to improve personalization.
Customer data. You can use automated processing to keep track of and organize all of your customers’ data, such as transaction history, wine preferences, and source. You can then use this data to better improve automated emails, future promoting, and wine recommendations to make for a more personalized customer experience.
Messaging. Communication is where all the magic happens! Using your customer database, personalize your email campaigns and messaging to create an automated series of messages to be sent to your members. Since email is where almost all wine club communication is, we recommend using an email platform such as Klaviyo or MailChimp to help better improve your email marketing automation.
Technology. In order to implement any kind of automation, you need the right technology to do it. There is no one size fits all system for every business so make sure to look for platforms that openly integrate with other systems to ensure that all of your data can marry together.
Utilize an inventory management software
Utilizing inventory management software might be the key to growing your business. A study by Ekos found that wineries using inventory management software feel more confident with their ability to grow sales. These systems can help estimate sales in other channels than just their tasting room model and see how exactly to hit sales goals. In other words, this allows wineries to get real-time metrics on how their inventory and production are linked to their sales and accounting. It’s the best way to get a big picture perspective on where to improve the business and what is doing well.
Develop a subscription service
In the past five years, services outside the wine industry have been exponentially raising the bar for a sophisticated level of service and exceeding buyer’s expectations. Online subscriptions services such as HelloFresh and Chewy.com, are delivering highly personalized communications, products, and services that are elevating the world of online shopping. Integrating a subscription service into your business will make it more attractive to the millennial demographic that is driving the permanent shift to e-commerce.
Wine clubs can be the perfect way to utilize a subscription service. This would allow wineries to improve the customization services that they’ve been lacking and even improve their overall customer experience. As we have learned, personalization is the key to online shopping and a subscription program is a perfect solution to giving power to the consumer.
Implement a loyalty rewards program
Reward your loyal customers! Rewards programs are an easy and effective way to increase customer retention and brand loyalty. As customers continue to buy from you, reward them with perks and deals to keep them coming back for more and continue promoting your business. For example, create a promotion where if a wine club member invites five friends to join using either SMS (if implemented) or email, they and their friends will receive a $5 credit towards their next purchase. This promotion would further spread awareness of both your brand and your services while also creating an incentive to buy your products at a discounted price. Rewards programs can also be a great way to utilize personalization by giving out discount codes for birthday gifts, customer anniversaries, and wine preference deals as all of these would be time-sensitive and customized to the individual.