DTC Wine Sales News – October 2016


The value of wines shipped in September, 2016 totaled $198 million, up from $169 million the same month a year earlier. Is your winery team ready to finish the fourth quarter STRONG?


Wine consumers continue to demand more wines shipped nationally as we look at a report released in Wines & Vines and ShipCompliant on October 14, 2106. I stay close to industry reports each month and compare to client data sets as DTC Wine Workshops supports wineries of all sizes nationally. A common thread that I continue to see over the past two quarters has been an increase in “wine consumer trust” when it comes to e-Commerce purchases.

The investments that winery stakeholders have made over the past five to ten years are paying off with the surge in online wine sales. As we continue to monitor consumer demand, online reviews and consumer ratings as well as feedback in club member surveys, it is apparent that brand loyalists are playing a big role in how consumers are making buying decisions. Customers are 77% more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from family and friends. (Nielsen). The numbers don’t lie when we monitor online sales increases from winery websites using peer reviews and ratings at product pages. We are seeing a significant shift in the ROI of effective e-Commerce email campaigns due to the addition of peer reviews. While wine ratings will always be an important factor in the decision making process for wine collectors and more mature wine drinkers, on average the younger wine consumer trusts wine e-Commerce sites where peer reviews are present.

What else do we know about consumer demand in 2016? On August 16, 2016 the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that the estimate of U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the second quarter of 2016, was $97.3 billion, an increase of 4.5 percent from the first quarter of 2016. Total retail sales for the second quarter of 2016 were estimated at $1,201.9 billion, an increase of 1.5 percent from the first quarter of 2016. The second quarter 2016 e-commerce estimate increased 15.8 percent from the second quarter of 2015.

If you are not seeing an increase of 15-20% in e-Commerce sales YOY, now is the time to make some very important adjustments to your e-Commerce Sales Plan. A few QUICK TIPS:

  1. Make it easy for your customers to buy online with use of high-impact landing pages that require one click from an e-Commerce email to product view, promotion details and an “add to cart” button. Remove the barriers to purchasing in less than three clicks from any mobile device during the busy holiday season.
  2. Be sure to clearly state holiday shipping policies, deadline dates to receive wine gifts and all shipping options at the product page and BEFORE your online customer spends five minutes or more shopping and gets to the checkout page. Cart abandonment numbers are much higher when clear shipping policies and flat rate shipping fees are not displayed as soon as an online shopper views an online store.

Ready to put a Strategic e-Commerce Sales Plan in place for 2017? We have a group of Direct to Consumer Wine Consultants ready to support your winery team on a project-by-project basis. Join us for an online workshop or schedule a customized workshop at your winery. For a bit of extra inspiration, review the DTC Case Study Series HERE or checkout our latest Testimonials HERE.

I hope that you enjoy this monthly DTC Wine News update and we look forward to connecting with you at an upcoming workshop or event.


Sandra Hess
DTC Wine Workshops 

DTC Consultant Network NEWS

DTC Wine Workshops is pleased to announce the addition of three members to the DTC Consultant Network, now a group of 14 specialists serving winery teams nationally on a  project-by-project basis or by monthly retainer. Interested? Schedule an Introductory CallJUST RELEASED – “TOP FOUR KEYS FOR SUCCESS” in Winery Accounting and Operations Introductory Webinar featuring Cynthia Beebout. Over the past 18 years in the wine industry, Cynthia has developed a strong eye for the “big picture” by working in nearly every aspect of finance, sales and management. Prior to launching Beebout Wine Business Management, her positions included Vice President of Finance and Operations for Laurent Perrier, USA, Director of Operations and Controller for Pahlmeyer Winery, and Chief Operating Officer for Trentadue Winery. Read FULL BIO.

Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops, is a regular speaker at industry events nationally and internationally. Meet up with Sandra and members of the DTC Consultant Network at an upcoming event or reach out to schedule a workshop at your winery or regional association.

NOVEMBER 3RD Penticton, BC CANADA. Sandra is the featured Keynote Speaker and Winery Workshop Presenter at Wines of BC Conference on November 3rd in the Okanagan Valley of BC – which now has over 200 wineries!

NOVEMBER 8th Fredericksburg, Texas. Sandra will be presenting the Tasting Room Management Workshop at the Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference. ssisting Sandra will be tasting room pros Jesse Barter, General Manager of 4.0 Cellars, Anthony Harvell,Director of Sales and Operations for William Chris Wines, and Sabrina Houser, owner of Dry Comal Creek Vineyards.

JANUARY 11th & 12th Concord, California. DTC Wine Workshops and the DTC Consultant Network are sponsors of the 9th Annual DTC Wine Symposium. Meet up with consultant network members and also join Sandra Hess at the “Reservations Revealed” Workshop as panelists uncover the true ROI of using reservation management tools to offer elevated tasting experiences.

March 15th Paso Robles, California. Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops, will be presenting a Customer Relationship Marketing Workshop at WIVI Central Coast. Learn how to build your digital marketing plan using data to understand your customer. Sandra will lead a 45 minute workshop that includes a CRM Checklist.



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.