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Subscription Clubs: A Modern Approach to the Traditional Wine Club

Karen Urquhartclock 9 min

Jul 28, 2022

Whether it be music and video streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, or a box full of skincare goodies like Boxycharm, subscription services have skyrocketed in popularity and they aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Subscriptions are finding their way into industries all over the world, and while some utilize them more than others, the food and beverage industry makes up more than a quarter (26.7%) of worldwide subscriptions. Yes, you read that right! As a matter of fact, it’s the fastest growing vertical in the subscription market, with the highest monthly recurring revenue, average order value and lifetime value. 

In the wine industry, traditional wine clubs don’t quite fit into the subscription category (or box, so to speak), as they’re missing a key foundational element: Flexibility. In a subscription box or service, customers can choose how frequently they want to receive their products or services, and are often able to have a say in the items they receive; creating a more customer centric experience. 

The wine club is an essential part of any winery, but the traditional approach lacks the flexibility and convenience that appeals to the modern shopper, which is why we created subscription clubs on Commerce7. 

What are Subscription Wine Clubs and How Are They Different from Traditional Wine Clubs?

In a traditional club, where the wines are pre-selected and the ship dates are pre-determined, the added value of joining the wine club is the member benefits. Most member benefits, however, are localized. Free tastings, exclusive events, and member-only sections/seating are great selling features—for local members who live nearby and can take advantage of those perks. Limiting club value to local customers drastically decreases the pool of possible wine club candidates, and reduces potential revenue. With that in mind, it’s crucial to think about how you can expand your wine club reach and create value for all customers; not just those local to your brand. 

The answer is convenience. 

In order to drive the most member value, and create the most convenient shopping experience, it’s important to remember that there is no one size fits all solution for members. The wants and needs of your members will vary. So, instead of striving to implement one standardized offering (X bottles, X red/white split, X times a year) as you would in a traditional club, strive to offer the most flexibility possible and make it easy for members to customize their memberships. Enter: Subscription clubs

The Commerce7 subscription club is a modern style club that allows your customers to control the bottle quantity, bottle selection, frequency of their shipments, and specific shipment dates. With subscription clubs, wine lovers can get the wines they love as often as they want! On top of frequency and product flexibility, our subscription club can select products for the club member based on a pool of products you create, taking their likes and dislikes into account to curate a shipment unique to their palette. 

Bottom line is customers are increasingly prioritizing convenience while making purchases and expect retailers to offer innovative ways to save them time and effort, and there is no better way to provide this kind of shopping experience than the subscription club. 

How Subscription Clubs work


Wineries on Commerce7 must set up a subscription club in their admin panel to make it available on their website for customers to join. Learn how to set up a subscription club here. Once a club is set up, the club experience is completely automated, and club sign ups and shipments require no manual processing on the wineries end. 

In addition, subscription club emails will automate your club communication. Club members will automatically be sent two separate emails prior to their custom club process date. The timing of the automated club emails is pre-configured as follows:

  • 2 weeks before the club members custom process date
  • 2 days before the club members custom process date 

Club Members

When a customer signs up for a subscription club, their first shipment will be scheduled to process two days from the date of the club sign up. After signing up, they will have the freedom to adjust their club in a number of ways including: 

  • Changing the frequency of shipments 
  • Adding, exchanging and removing products based on the product defaults, minimums and cart requirements setup for the subscription club.
  • The option to “Ship it now” - The club shipment will be processed by capturing payment and creating a club order in Commerce7. 

What are the Benefits of Subscription Clubs? 

Subscription clubs are more convenient for customers

People are busy and are constantly looking for ways to simplify their daily lives. Subscription clubs make it easy and convenient for customers to get wines they’ll love delivered to their doorstep with minimal effort on their part.  

Subscription clubs create a personalized member experience 

Subscription clubs are all about the customer - the club caters to them instead of the other way around. Frequency flexibility, personalized shipments from a curated selection of products and the ability to edit or adjust their shipments all contribute to high levels of customer satisfaction and a superior shopping experience. 

Does your member have an event coming up? They can ship their package early so they have wine in time. Cellar getting full? They can change their frequency from monthly to quarterly. Cellar not full enough? They can add more products to their shipment and increase frequency. It’s your wine club, done their way. 

Subscription clubs can increase lifetime value (LTV) and average order value (AOV)

It’s simple - subscriptions mean repeat customers, repeat customers mean recurring revenue and recurring revenue means higher LTV.  Customers spend more through ongoing subscriptions than they would in intermittent purchases, and subscription clubs are a fool proof way to lock in recurring revenue. 

AOV has a direct impact on a customer's LTV. The higher the AOV, the higher the LTV. Subscription clubs create a shipment based on a customer's interests and previous buying habits. This recommendation system often introduces customers to new and exciting wines that appeal to their palette. As a result, club members will often adjust and add these newly discovered wines to their future shipments as add ons, leading to an improved AOV. 

How to Set Up Subscription Clubs on Commerce7

Setting up subscription clubs is a straightforward process, and can be done in 5 simple steps: 

1. Create your subscription club

In this part of the set up process you will add the title of your subscription club, add the content your customers will see on your website and add any specific email instructions you want included in the Club Signup Confirmation your members will receive when they sign up for this club. In the Configure step, you will also set the shipment frequencies offered and the cart minimums (quantity and order value) you require for all shipments. 

2. Items

The next step is to configure the pool of products the system will select from when creating club shipments for subscription club members. 

3. Shipments

In the Shipments step, you can review all upcoming shipments as well as any shipments with issues. You can also filter at this step for additional criteria such as Ship State and Order Delivery Method.

4. Adding promotions or coupons

If needed, you can add a Promotion or a Coupons to apply to your subscription club. 

5. Inventory

The Inventory step is an important one. Here, you will be able to see inventory required to complete processing.

Easy enough, right? For a more detailed guide on how to set up subscription clubs, check out our documentation

Subscription Clubs: The Customer Experience

Now that we’ve gone over the set up process on the back end, let’s take a look at the front end customer experience.

When a customer navigates through your website to your club signup page, they will be given the option to Join the Club. When that button is clicked, the customer will be brought to the checkout page to complete signup. 

Once the new club member has entered all the required information, they will see a summary of their club and the shipment frequency will automatically be set to the default frequency. Subscription club members have the option to edit their frequency from their customer account.

When the club membership is complete, club members can select Edit Wines to edit their first club shipment that will be scheduled to process two days from the date of the club signup.

After selecting Edit Wines, club members can add, exchange and remove products based on the product defaults, minimums and cart requirements setup for the subscription club.

By selecting Ship It Now the club shipment will process by capturing payment and creating a club order in Commerce7. 

Club members can edit their club information under the Club Shipments tab in their customer account. Club members can select Change beside Frequency and the options in the pop up will be the frequency options you have set up in Step 1 of the subscription club.

When a club member chooses a different frequency for their subscription club, their shipment schedule will adjust accordingly. 

See our documentation for more information on the subscription club customer experience. 

Getting Started with Subscription Clubs on Commerce7

The future of the wine club is subscription - more convenient, more curated, and more customer centric. The subscription club is a modern approach to the wine club and drives more online sign ups, improves retention and most importantly, creates a phenomenal member experience from start to finish. 

Still not convinced? Take a read through our overview of club types and check out our recent Free Training Friday video on subscriptions to compare the benefits of subscription clubs with the drawbacks of traditional clubs and see for yourself why subscriptions are the best path forward.


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