Your winery is thriving, your distributor business is doing well, and your wine club growth is steady. All may seem smooth sailing, but why accept status quo when you can amplify your Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) sales this year? You might be wondering how to multiply DTC sales if you’re short on resources, don’t want to spend much more, and don’t want to resort to costly advertising. Moreover, why should you change anything when everything is already going according to forecast? As a channel capturing a new kind of transaction and sale, DTC can help you build a relationship with the people consuming your wine. Being a winery, your website will be one of your strongest enablers to grow and attract more DTC sales. If you aren’t optimizing your ecommerce website or applying a wine marketing digital strategy just yet, here are a few reasons why growing your eCommerce presence and focusing on your DTC sales through your website should be top of mind for you.
1. You’ll build your own brand advocates
At the wine specialty shop or on a shelf, you’re competing among hundreds of other labels, with the neutral or biased opinion of the salesperson. At the restaurant, recommendations may be made, but still, the consumer won’t get a backstory, branding, or process explained to them. When you’re able to attract customers on your own to your ecommerce website and have them buy direct, you’re also able to deliver a digital winery experience: your story, vineyard, family, and packaging. The full experience, from site to checkout to delivery, is curated by you. Here’s a chance for your customer experience to really shine, and convert a wine consumer into a wine fan of your brand.
2. You’ll build brand loyalty
The number one goal in wine marketing. By being in direct contact with your consumer, you’ll be able to encourage them to keep buying with you, or create a loyalty program that you can’t get with a distributor. You can prompt shoppers to opt into your wine club, follow you on social media, subscribe to emails, and more. By gathering this information or having a consumer follow you, you’ll be able to provide them with updates pertaining to your business, provide special offers, and send heartwarming messages around the holidays or their birthdays. It’s also a great opportunity to mention any upcoming case deals, winery events, or new wine releases.
3. Margins are higher
This is a given, but the profit margins with a distributor range from 20-40%, whereas DTC is comparably higher, around 60-80%. It’s simple: when you reduce the middlemen, you increase your profit. An ecommerce website can really pay off!
4. You’ll develop more of a relationship with your consumer
Connecting directly with the consumer is the best way to make them feel like a part of your winery, instead of just a wine drinker. We’ve already mentioned how they can become brand advocates, but you can even enlist their opinions to help drive your winery growth. Poll, survey, and engage with them to find out what types of events they’d come to (and hopefully bring more friends!), what wines they prefer, and how they view your winery in comparison to other options. Create a community around your winery, and make them a part of your winery experience. Let them understand your values, relate to your winery, and feel compelled to share your vineyard to build their own stories and share with their network.
5. You’ll be able to differentiate yourself better
Coming full circle, your website and experience will breathe life into your winery, showing how it’s more than just a bottle of liquid heaven. On the shelf, your wine differentiates itself through its region, year, and label. Online, your design, story, ease of experience, and imagery can be flexible, unlimited, and demonstrate how your winery stands out from others. This is the key to wine marketing.