DTCWW Good to Great Series – #1 Become “Winery Community Builders”

[January 27, 2023 – Sandra Beals]

Today, I am excited to release the DTCWW Going from Good to Great Series #1 “Become Winery Community Builders”. Watch for a year full of articles focused on proven models and tools for success as DTC Wine Workshops gets ready to celebrate our 10 year anniversary this summer.

2021 in the Direct to Consumer Wine World was referred to by many as the “Year of the Pivot” as we all did our best to provide meaningful winery experiences in safe spaces. 2022 was a period that most of our winery clients considered the year of “Doing More with Less” as staff shortages forced winery stakeholders to rethink hours of operation and shift organizational charts.

So what does 2023 have in store for the direct wine sales market across the nation? The “New Normal” has brought real opportunities to winery teams of all sizes and in all regions as we glean key insights from consumer reports post Covid Era. For the first time in history, the majority of connected wine consumers now trust online buying experiences at winery websites. During this same time, many long-time wine brand loyalists got up close and personal with winemakers and winemaking families through Virtual Winery Experiences. The need to shop online during the pandemic brought many first-time e-commerce buyers to the table and they aren’t going away. In August, 2020 McKinsey & Company released a white paper, “perspectives on retail and consumer goods” with valuable insights. “COVID-19 is transforming consumer lives: we have covered a ‘decade in days’ in adoption of digital, Three change forces: economic downturn, preference shifts, and digital acceleration”.

3-click, 3-minute, and 3-day shipping e-commerce experiences are now the expectation of wine enthusiasts in America. According to our friends at Sovos/ShipCompliant, the Annual DTC Wine Shipping Report revealed that the demand for luxury wine online continued in 2022 with a 9.7% growth in average bottle price at $45.16. High-performing DTC teams have developed focused Consumer Journey Maps for both the digital and retail customer. Time is now the #1 commodity of connected consumers and these same teams have leveraged the ideal blends of talent, tools, and tech the past two years to remain competitive and relevant.

The name of the game for 2023 = Community Building at all consumer touch-points. Now is the time to train every member of your winery team to be a “Community Builder”. Knowing WHO wine brand loyalists are is just one step in the journey forward. Knowing HOW and WHERE to connect with these key brand builders is essential in remaining relevant and speaking the right language to engage at the highest levels. And, this activity doesn’t require significant increases in spend.

How can your team become “Winery Community Builders” you say? Here are three expert tips for getting your DTC Wine Sales Game dialed in for 2023:

  • Perfect your Consumer Reengagement Strategy. This is the fastest way to grow net new sales and also increase retention numbers. Audit all brand loyalist touch-points and ensure that your wine brand is speaking the right language in the right outlets and at the right times seasonally. Also, revisit your communication offerings to ensure your support teams have the right tools to remain high-touch in between visits. If your winery website doesn’t have a Live Chat feature baked in, you are missing out on important engagement opportunities. And if you represent an an Allocation-Only wine brand, be sure to position an opportunity to schedule a private tasting within the first minute of exploring your winery website.
  • Setup a Community Building Training Program this next quarter. Invite every member of your team who engages with consumers at any level. Everyone representing your winery brand, anywhere and at anytime should see themself as a Community Builder 2023 and beyond. This is a key brand differentiator when going from good to great in the direct to consumer wine world. Revisit how your team connects with consumers to invite on the path of discovery and then loyalty. Provide top-notch tools for deepening connections with longtime loyalists to that they truly feel a part of your winery community.
  • Share key community-building data insights with every member of your winery community monthly to keep the main thing the main thing. When your team is focused on developing and strengthening consumer relationships, incremental sales will continue to grow and a steady funnel of new consumers will contribute to overall direct wine sales success from month to month.

Interested in learning more about how to take your Direct to Consumer Wine Brand from Good to Great? Join the DTC Wine All Star Web Training Program – 2-part kicks off on January 31st and again on February 21st. We invite you to connect and begin the journey upward and onward.