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Guest Post: Ecommerce Insights for Wineries

Elizabeth Strickertclock 4 min

Jul 15, 2021

Guest Post: Ecommerce Insights for Wineries

What does the ecommerce landscape look like for wineries in 2021? It’s easy to assume that the increase in alcohol ecommerce activity during COVID-19 was solely due to the pandemic, but the data suggest otherwise. According to Rabobank’s 2020 Alcohol E-Commerce Playbook, the online alcohol market saw a 60% jump in year-over-year sales in 2019. That means the alcohol ecommerce space was growing long before COVID-19, and the pandemic gave it even more of a boost.

Here’s what wineries need to know about selling wine online in 2021 and beyond.

Online Sales Trends for Wine

In 2020, total ecommerce wine sales grew 153% from the previous year, with nearly 200% more orders. While the reopening of tasting rooms will likely slow the rate of this growth, the 2021 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report by Sovos ShipCompliant forecasts a continued boost to online sales. Brand-new DTC customers discovered the convenience and variety of this channel during the pandemic, and they’re unlikely to abandon it now that they’ve learned its value. Additionally, many people will continue working from home, and remote workers tend to make more online purchases and buy more wine on a more frequent basis.

Online purchases are particularly popular among younger consumers (millennials and Generation Zers) who, like it or not, are becoming a bigger influence in the economy than Baby Boomers. Not convinced you should be shifting your focus to these groups? Consider that over the next five years:

  1. Gen Z’s per-capita spending will increase by more than 70%.
  2. Millennials will increase their per capita spending by more than 10% and enter their peak spending years.
  3. Both Generation X and Baby Boomers will decrease their spending.

Our own research confirms that wineries see the industry becoming more digital and direct. In a 2020 Ekos survey, we asked wineries: “How do you think the wine industry will change in the next five years?” The responses consistently mentioned DTC, online sales, virtual tastings and experiences, customized wine club memberships, and the continued influence of millennials and Gen Z. Interestingly, 67% of wineries said their top strategic initiative for the next 12 to 18 months was increasing sales and growing their business, and more than 50% cited increasing sales as their biggest challenge. DTC provides a unique opportunity to diversify your sales channels and encourage repeat purchases from existing customers.

How Wineries Can Thrive With Online Sales

Creating a thriving, digital-first DTC program isn’t easy, but it isn’t rocket science either. Here’s how to get started or amp up your efforts.

  1. Choose the right ecommerce and wine club software. Obviously, you need an online store to sell your wine online. But if your wine club is still stuck in the Stone Age, you need a modern program that can handle that, too. Prioritize software that will help you give your customers a personalized, effortless shopping experience. You should also choose a solution that connects to other tools you use, like your inventory/production management, accounting, and compliance systems.
  2. Dedicate at least one staff member to digital endeavors. SVB estimates that nearly 50% of wineries don't have anyone looking at consumer data. To make smart decisions about who to target and how - you need to know your customers better. Digging into the data and extracting valuable insights takes time, so invest in your growth by finding an experienced professional to focus on this task.
  3. Decide on your marketing strategies and document your plan. Writing out your plan is a vital first step in creating a marketing strategy, yet so few businesses take the time to do it. Make a specific plan for both existing and new customers. And since acquiring new customers takes more effort, time, and money, use the data in your CRM or ecommerce platform to help you decide what segments to go after. For existing customers, use your subscription or club program to nurture those relationships and keep customers coming back.
Boost Your Sales in 2021 & Beyond

Looking for the right technology to help you deliver the best customer experience while discovering valuable insights about your business? Commerce7 and Ekos are a winning combination. Ekos helps you manage the inventory and production process while connecting with the ultimate in modern commerce platforms. Learn more about what an integration between Commerce7 and Ekos can do for your winery.

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