Sweeten the Deal for E-commerce Shoppers
E-commerce fulfillment is the backbone of your online wine store, and without it, your operation won't be able to stand up. Reassessing your wine shipping procedures may help you improve your e-commerce approach, and in the long run, this can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.
All things change over time, and free or low-cost shipping rates are no exception. In the past, free shipping was considered a nice add-on, but now it's all but essential. Wineries can't offer free shipping, so they need to find ways to make buying wine online convenient for consumers to sway them from brick-and-mortar stores. Subsidizing shipping costs if customers increase their order size can be one way to encourage online wine sales, according to Practical Ecommerce. The article cited a 2013 finding from comScore that revealed more than 75 percent of Canadian shoppers would add items to their online shopping carts to qualify for deals on shipping.
Faster, more convenient shipping is more necessary than ever
Retailers like Amazon and eBay have been striving for same-day shipping, an eventual reality that even smaller online stores will have to prepare for. In fact, the U.S. Postal Service is pioneering speedy shipments to stay relevant along with FedEx and UPS, Forbes said. Through its independent service, USPS offers an $8 flat rate for packages up to 25 pounds.
While same-day deliveries are largely dependent on logistical concerns, you need to consider how fast your employees can process and fulfill orders to ensure they reach customers as quickly as possible. This means your internal e-commerce platforms need to be integrated to avoid delays or double orders. Particularly if your winery operates out of more than one wine warehouse, inventory technology will be a necessity to find the right products in a specific distribution center and ship them to the consumer as quickly as possible.
You don't have to leave it to mail carriers, Practical Ecommerce said. You can negotiate shipping rates with UPS and FedEx. Both companies are willing to offer more competitive rates if they can get higher shipping volumes out of the deal. If your winery currently isn't shipping enough outbound packages, you may be able to include packages addressed to you for more bargaining power with either logistics provider.
Extras in the box sweeten the deal for e-commerce shoppers
When it comes to selling wine online, it's both an opportunity and a necessity to wow your customers. Depending on how exclusive some of your varieties are, shoppers can go to a local specialty liquor store and purchase a bottle without waiting for it to show up on their doorsteps. Once consumers have committed to that first purchase, you need to take steps to further impress them so they will return.
In addition to working with customers to get the most affordable and convenient shipping, slipping something extra in the box is a highly effective wine marketing technique. You can include coupons or other special offers to thank shoppers for their purchases, a separate article from Practical Ecommerce stated. Adding treats, such as small chocolates or a gift card, can be effective.
Outsource fulfillment to cut costs and stay speedy
For smaller wineries, the prospect of turning orders around within a day is too daunting. A warehouse provider - particularly one with multiple locations - can package and ship based on proximity. This would enable you to offer better shipping rates to East Coast customers, for example. You can even save on overhead costs from boxes, tape and warehouse space. This can help you adapt to the rapidly accelerating speed of e-commerce.