Winery’s Guide Into Digital Customer Acquisition

Before the pandemic, most wineries relied on their tasting rooms to acquire new customers and serve as their main source of revenue. This allowed for a majority of their budget to go towards things like production instead of a large chunk going towards digital assets. The pandemic taught us that e-commerce is needed to drive sales. It also opens up a great opportunity to appeal to potential customers. 

We know that the digital world can be hard to navigate and it’s easy to fall back into traditional patterns with the tourism season ramping up again. You’ve seen the numbers and know that e-commerce is worth your while, so we are here to give you a helping hand! Keep reading to learn some tips on how to efficiently acquire new customers in the digital space. You may even find some of these tips will even increase your return on ad investment altogether! 

The Grocery Store Scaries 

Picture this scenario: A friend asks you to pick up a bottle of wine from the store man in wine aisle on the way to their house. You are an average wine drinker and don’t have the knowledge someone within the community rather would. When you get to the aisle, the wall of bottles is intimidating so you’ll probably select your choice based on the label or biggest discount. 

For those of us in the wine industry, this scenario may be hard to understand due to our curse of knowledge so let’s put it in some other words that we are all on the same page. Remember at the beginning of the pandemic when you were forced to implement a technology-forward business model and the anxiety it caused when trying to navigate how it worked and which tactics you should implement to try to stand out in an already competitive marketplace? These two things have the same energy. 

Let’s go back to the average wine drinker. Now imagine the first scenario but this time, a salesperson directs you to a table with two bottles of wine. They explain what the two bottles are, give a quick story about the brand, and conclude their pitch with a few testimonials and reviews. After listening to this, you’ll most likely feel a lot more confident about your decision and buy at least one of these wines instead of going back to the overwhelming wall. If there is a sale, even better! 

The second scenario doesn’t happen too often but most of us have been a victim of the wine aisle scaries. So what does this have to do with your online store? Well, most wine brands put their customers through the wine aisle scaries on their websites. Most wineries stock their websites with generic digital shelf images of all of their bottles with little context to know the difference between them. To further this, some wineries even display multiple versions of the same varietal (i.e. 3 single vineyard Pinot Noirs), making visitors waste at least 10 minutes clicking back and forth to decipher the differences. This is asking way too much of the customer. Now the customer is filled with the same anxious feeling and they are either picking based on an intriguing label or just leaving the site altogether. 

Digital acquisition secret

Let’s try and think outside the box. How can we make a confident customer experience without carelessly spending your digital marketing budget? First, don’t send your users to your shop page directly from your ad. Instead, direct them to a special landing page with your minimum viable offer. Remember the nice person with the two bottles of wine at the store? This is the perfect example of a minimal viable offer. Instead of leading the customer to buy one low-price bottle of wine, they bundled together two average price point wines and upsold them without the customer even noticing. They were just happy to be given an easy solution. 

minimum viable offer exampleWhen acquiring new customers, the key is simplicity. Guide your customers to an easy purchase and reduce the number of decisions that need to be made. If a customer has an enjoyable buying experience, then they are more likely to buy from you in the future and take the time to click through all your other products. 

Now the next part is easier said than done. You’re going to have to be strategic when figuring out what your minimum viable offer is going to be. Your homework is to do the math to figure out the minimum purchase amount a customer needs to make to be a qualified customer. For example, if you’re a higher-end brand that has an average order value of $700, then someone who buys a $50 bottle is not a qualified customer. The goal here is to have your minimum viable offer be a bundle of wines that cost about the same as your average order value. This won’t be the same for everyone, so it’s up to you to get creative! 

Although selling that cheap bottle of wine may be tempting, you will only be appealing to one type of customer. Low-quality customers are usually one-time buyers. Running digital ads is expensive so selling your cheapest bottle is only going to hurt your budget. The goal is to break even on the first order, then to continue to engage the customer using other channels to maximize their lifetime value. This is where the return on investment is presented. Get to know your customers and target repeat customers. You know who your target customers are so be confident in your decision and go for it!

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