Top 5 Tools for Transitioning Tasting Room Experiences to Virtual Winery Offerings


Sandra Hess, founder of DTC Wine Workshops, shares progress made by winery teams across the US during the containment period of the Coronavirus. Find Top 5 Tools for providing Virtual Offerings in the latest DTC Wine Sales Blog.

March 30, 2020 – Castro Valley, CA

My heart goes out to our many clients and partners across the US, Canada and Australia today. The past two weeks have been nerve wrecking as lives have been disrupted and tasting rooms closed. Good to see some financial aid now available through the Senate’s $2 Trillion Coronavirus Aid Package. A great visual understanding of how the funds will be dispersed can be found HERE.

In my latest DTC Sales Blog post, I have provided a recap of progress made by week as we all work swiftly to transition DTC wine sales and consumer engagement options. You will also find Top 5 Tools for developing Virtual Winery Offerings that you can begin using today to learn, build and grow. Please let me know how you and your teams are doing and if you have any questions about these tools and resources.

Week of March 16th: we encouraged our clients and friends in social forums to reach out to their loyalists personally to inform of engagement options during the transitional phase. Pick Up orders were switched to Shipping orders with comp shipping or $5 & $10 flat rate shipping. On 3/18 we also launched the first of its kind web training on “Virtual Wine Tasting Program Setup”. A second date was added on 3/23 and now almost 120 winery teams from around the country have attended the training and have started offering virtual experiences. The results? Many club members increased orders and traded up resulting in some of the highest club sales for Q1. Also, customer engagement was at an all time high for many wine brands. 

Week of March 23rd: we supported our clients and online communities to make Outbound Phone Sales and Develop Bundled eCommerce Offers. The bundled offers include a half hour virtual tasting with every 6-Pack or Case purchase. The results? As we reviewed sales results this past Friday, many of our clients reported increases of 200-300% in these two sales channels against same period last year. For some more inspiration about the success of direct to consumer wine sales across the US this past week, enjoy this Forbes article with high level DTC $ Stats HERE.

Week of March 30th: now that most member orders have been sent, it’s time to dig into non-member customer records and encourage orders direct to the wine producer through the winery website. There will be a heavy focus on reaching and converting new consumers to eCommerce orders and virtual tastings through effective digital strategies. I have put together Top 5 Tools for helping your DTC Team transition from traditional tasting experiences to virtual. I hope to hear about how you use these tools and hope to see you at tomorrow’s web training! 

  1. Bundle a half-hour “Virtual Wine Tasting Exploration Experience” with each 6-pack or case order during the Coronavirus containment period. Offer one Bundled Price that includes the wine, shipping, tax and virtual experience to remove barriers to buy through social media and digital outlets.
  2. Create a Landing Page on your winery website that allows social audiences to convert to your Bundled Offer with 1-Click! Again, remove barriers to buy and cluttered websites where social audiences need to look around to find the offer. Use high-touch conversion buttons under the 6-pack offer/image and case offer/image that say BUY or PURCHASE. DO indicate your shipping turnaround times by shipping zone at top of the landing page. PRO TIP: shipping costs that are too high or turnaround times that are too long are still the #1 Reasons eCommerce Buyers Abandon Shopping Carts. Work to get wines delivered within 3-5 days. Repeat the details of bundled offer in the landing page to ensure buyers that they are getting the offer they read about in your social media ad.
  3. Temporarily replace all Visitor Options in your online outlets with Virtual Options for buying online and engaging with RSVPs and tickets. This means TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google Reviews, FB Reviews, your winery website, your listing in online directories including regional association pages, hospitality partner web pages, etc. Include your Bundled Offers and Virtual Tasting Offers with link to make it easy to convert. 
  4. Add a calendar of Virtual Tasting Offerings and Events to your website home page to stay connected with your members/VIPs and also to engage with new audiences. Don’t make it hard to find this information and make the RSVP or Ticketing process easy in 3 clicks or less. 
  5. JOIN the next Virtual Wine Tasting Program Setup Webinars on Tuesday, March 31st 1:00-2:30 PDT or April 13th 10:00-11:30 PDT to get hands-on training on tools, timings and topics. Learn how to bundle your offers to retain loyalists and covert new audiences. Register HERE.

Wishing you all a productive and peaceful week ahead.

Kind regards,

Sandra Hess, founder DTC Wine Workshops


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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.