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Personalized Collections: The Digital Sommelier

Matt Gemmellclock 4 min

Aug 17, 2020

How to use data-driven recommendations to sell more wine online.

Over the past few months, ecommerce direct to consumer sales saw an industry-wide increase of 30%1. In that same period, Commerce7 clients saw huge shift to ecommerce as well2. The message is clear; ecommerce is a massive opportunity today in the wine industry. When you’re assisting a guest in your tasting room, you can offer personalized recommendations to that guest based on their personal tastes. By using personalized recommendations on your website, you can deliver that same great experience in customers’ homes every time they shop online.

Amazon’s Giant Recommendation Engine

When we look at our internal data for what ecommerce strategies work best for wineries, we consistently see personalized content at the top of the list. If you shop on Amazon, you see personalized content everywhere; you have your own store that shows you products you’ve already purchased that you could purchase again, and products that relate to your previous purchases. A recent study estimated that 35% of Amazon’s sales come through those personalized collections3. This behaviour is consistent  across other kinds of online interactions, as well. Netflix, another giant in personalized content and automated recommendations, attributes an estimated 75% of its views to their recommendation engine.

Consumers are increasingly expecting to see the entire experience of shopping online revolve around their personal preferences and tastes.

This phenomenon is not limited to the Internet. Think about this in relation to your own tasting room. You have staff that are trained in what wines to recommend based on a consumer’s unique preferences. There is information and training that goes into those recommendations that your customers are unlikely to have, so why simply present them with a wall of bottles online and ask them to pick their favorite on their own? Utilize personalized product recommendations online, just as you would in the tasting room.

Getting Started with Personalized Collections in Commerce7

What makes the wine industry unlike most others when it comes to ecommerce is that with wine there are several factors to consider when making a recommendation. When looking at different software platforms for automated recommendations it's critical to consider how your products will be categorized and weighted. By baking recommendations into the platform, just by setting up your products to include varietal, appellation, and other standardized attributes, you have already done most of the work required to automatically recommend the right wines to the right customers.

The rest is easy, from your admin dashboard, go to Store, then Collections, and add a new collection. From there you just need to give your collection a name, select that this collection is a personalized collection in the dropdown menu, and the number of products you want to be included in your collection. Don’t forget to put your new collection front and center on your home page so all of your customers can see it!

Customer experience is the number one reason why a consumer chooses a brand - personalizing a site visitors experience by showing them unique products based on their past purchases is a great way to enhance their online experience, and surprise and delight them. In a time where face-to-face opportunities are more difficult and rare, it is important to craft your online experience with the same care that you would an in-person one.

To get started on building your own personalized collection, read the documentation here.

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