Congratulations on ending the year strong!


champagne bottleDTC Wine Workshops and the DTC Consultant Network would like to express our  sincere gratitude for your business and support in 2014.  It has been an incredible year for us as we have helped wineries sell direct to consumer!  According to Wines and Vines, DTC Shipments 12-Month Total Approached $1.8 Billion*. Direct-to-consumer shipments of wine in November grew 21% from November 2013 and barely dipped from their usual annual high point in October. Performance during the 12 months ending in November was 16% higher than a year ago, and nearly reached $1.8 billion.

DTC Wine Workshops served a variety of wineries throughout the nation in 2014 and assisted with implementation of new processes and technologies to increase direct to consumer sales, expand market share and retain loyal club members and long-term customers.  Some of the biggest improvements experienced in 2014 include:

1.  Mobile POS has replaced traditional POS stations in several tasting rooms.  Winery staff have become more equipped to serve club members in special club lounges using iPads to ring up orders, check preferences and order history. Wineries that traditionally struggled with over crowded tasting rooms now service a larger audience on a busy weekend with use of mobile POS allowing for increase in DTC sales and exceptional customer service experiences.

2.  Social CRM really took off in 2014.  Wine club and tasting room managers have used social monitoring tools such as VinTank and Google alerts to stay on top of online brand mentions.  Many of our clients have made social management and monitoring a top priority and the results speak for themselves.  By allowing club members and super fans to tell the brand story through pictures, posts, likes and shares, our clients have seen impressive growth in brand reach and significant improvements in customer loyalty.  Taking time to say “thank you” online has significantly improved customer service and retention.

3.  Shipping incentives boosted online sales in 2014.  Our friends at Vin65 are constantly running AB tests against the backend of over 1000 winery e-commerce sites to understand consumer preferences as it relates to online store promotions. Here’s what they revealed:  Vin65 wineries in the top 20% of sales only charge about 5% for shipping. Shipping discounts win over product discounts time and time again. Recently, a Vin65 winery A/B tested their product offering on Amazon. One promo was free shipping; the other was 40% off the wines. Shipping outperformed. Then, the winery tried it again; with shipping included, or 60% off the wines. Shipping included outperformed again. Shipping incentives are a no-brainer.

4.  Wineries using action emails Won!  Across the Vin65 platform, action emails have a 60% open rate. MailChimp records e-commerce industry standards for email open rates at 17%. This is proof that action emails (highly targeted and based on an action) are well received. There’s one catch – you have to capture the email address. One Vin65 customer recently shared that he pays his staff $1 for every email address they capture. He’s figured out that each email address is worth $206 in repeat purchases, pulling his customers back to his online store with action emails. Brilliant.

5.  Wineries offering advanced reservations and VIP tasting experiences are building long-term relationships with new customers.  The ability to cater to a group visiting for the first time by offering a variety of tasting options online creates an excellent first time impression.  Winery staff can better prepare for group visits by customizing the experience and better qualifying the group with advanced reservation tools such as CellarPass and Vino Visit.  As mobile shopping and reservation tools continue to advance, consumers expect luxury style experiences when planning their time in wine country.  Data collected from reservation management systems can be used to follow-up and invite group members back for a special experience or release party.

LET’S MEET UP IN 2015.  We are looking forward to a productive year in 2015 and hope to connect with you at the DTC Wine Symposium January 14th and 15th in Concord, CA. Visit us at exhibitor space #6.  Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops is the Workshops Sessions Chair for the Symposium and has a great line up of sessions set. View the schedule at:  http://dtcwinesymposium.com/schedule/

Sandra will also will be speaking at the Women of the Vines Global Symposium in Napa on March 13th on “The Do’s and Don’ts of Direct to Consumer & Direct Selling”. Check out the full line up at:  http://www.womenofthevine.com/#!speakers/c1pwt

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

DTC Wine Workshops and The DTC Consultant Network

* http://www.winesandvines.com/template.cfm?section=widc&widcDomain=dtc


About Sandra Hess

Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops and the DTC Consultant Network is a public speaker on the subject of direct to consumer wine sales and customer retention in the US.