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Jim Agger
 
June 20, 2014 | eCommerce , Fulfillment/Shipping | Jim Agger

How effective is your wine shipping?

Ecommerce fulfillment is an essential backbone for your online wine store. Without it, the sustainability of your online sales could be at risk. If packages show up late or are damaged or inaccurate, customers aren't likely to buy from you again. Your winery needs to provide cost-effective, fast options to ensure clients are satisfied and repeat the business. Here is a look at some effective shipping techniques that can help you wow your customers:

1. Provide transparency throughout the fulfillment process
Shoppers want to know exactly when purchases will arrive on their doorsteps, according to Parcel Industry. In the past, retailers would provide a tracking number from a parcel carrier, but this is no longer enough. Wineries need to be more engaged after shipments leave their facilities. Not only should you provide a reasonable delivery time frame and a tracking number, but it's also important to be there to assist clients if anything goes wrong along the way. Package delays won't necessarily ruin customer experience as long as this information is properly communicated.

2. Offer fair wine shipping fees
Even though some ecommerce experts believe customers are pushing for same-day shipping, online shoppers do not want to pay more to ship products. Free shipping is becoming more popular than ever before, and some people are even willing to wait a few extra days to receive items to pay less. The reality of shipping is that retailers are under more pressure to offer free or low-cost shipping in three days or less, Parcel Industry stated. If customers want expedited shipping, they prefer to pay only a small amount for it. As consumers continue to express a preference for cost-effective shipping, wineries will need to consider their rate structures.

3. Provide multiple options
While affordable shipping is usually the top choice, there are other factors that play into this decision. For example, during the holiday season, customers may be in a rush to receive a gift for a friend or family member on time. In these cases, people will often be willing to pay a little more to ship wine sooner. However, at other less busy times of year, cost-effectiveness will trump speed. Offering multiple shipping choices can increase customer satisfaction.

4. Consider a shipping subscription
Amazon's Prime service has been wildly successful. For an annual subscription fee, customers can get any delivery for free within two days, and the company has recently been working to expand its offerings. While you may not need to implement a program on such a large scale, shipping subscriptions could be beneficial for your winery. Quartz, reporting on statistics from RBC Capital Markets, said that Prime subscribers spend an average $538 per year, which is 68 percent more than non-subscribers. Because shoppers have already paid their shipping fees for the year, they may be more likely to buy more frequently.

Contact a sales representative to learn more about how WineDirect's fulfillment solutions can accommodate the complex needs of your winery.

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