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Jim Agger
 
January 22, 2016 | eCommerce , Social Media | Jim Agger

Does social shopping make sense for your winery?

Considering the social nature of drinking and purchasing wine, it makes sense to explore expanding your winery's ecommerce presence to span more digital channels. One area of digital commerce you may want to consider is social shopping. In fact, Business Insider found social media increased its share of e-commerce referrals nearly 200 percent between the first quarters of 2014 and 2015. As you look for ways to grow your online wine store, social shopping may be an effective strategy. 

Social media and wine
Wine drinkers are active on social media, so it makes sense to expand your online wine store to these channels. According to the 2015 Survey of American Wine Consumer Preferences conducted by Sonoma State University and the Wine Business Institute, 44 percent of respondents who regularly use social media leverage the platforms to discuss wine, 47 percent looked up wine prices, 51 percent asked friends for wine recommendations and 54 percent tried to get more information about a particular brand or varietal. With this research in mind, it only makes sense to market and sell your products where active discussion is already taking place.

Choosing the right platform
There are a number of channels to choose from to expand your online wine store. Depending on your customer base and brand, different platforms will make sense for different purposes:

  • Pinterest: In 2015, Pinterest introduced its buyable pins feature, which display a blue "buy it" button that enables users to purchase a product directly from the platform. According to Slant Marketing, 93 percent of Pinterest users use the site to research purchases, and 87 percent have bought an item because of the social media platform.
  • Instagram: This platform for photo and video sharing has functionalities that prompt users to fulfill certain calls to action from paid posts, including options to shop from a company's website. Slant Marketing cited data from a Forrester study that found fan engagement rates on Instagram were 58 and 120 times higher than on Facebook and Twitter, respectively.
  • YouTube: This platform's ecommerce features include dynamic ads that display products related to the content of the videos users view. As Slant Marketing noted, Google reported in 2015 that product review videos increased 50 percent compared to 2014. You may want to consider targeting your winery's products to wine tasting videos on the channel.
  • Twitter: Twitter added a buy button to its platform in 2014 and a product collections feature in 2015. While the platform has had limited success breaking into social shopping, 30 percent of its users have a household income of $100,000 or more. With effective strategies and targeting, Twitter may be a good choice for some wineries.
  • Facebook: Facebook is largely considered the leading social commerce platform. As Business Insider pointed out, the site accounts for 50 percent of total social referrals and 64 percent of total social revenue. According to Slant Marketing, Facebook's latest social commerce offerings include a dedicated shopping feed and immersive ads.

The shipping challenge
Shipping wine can be a challenge in the first place, but this process is made more complex when social shopping is thrown into the mix. As more people shop online and come to expect order fulfillment to be fast, inexpensive and seamless, you must ensure your winery is prepared to deliver quality throughout the entire shopping process. To a large degree, consumers turn to social channels to make purchases for convenience, so order fulfillment should be just as easy as the experience. Before bringing your online wine store into the social sphere, make sure you have a strong fulfillment strategy in place.

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