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Jim Agger
 
May 11, 2015 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eCommerce | Jim Agger

Improving customer retention through analytics

Wineries that work in a direct-to-consumer environment often face a challenge: customer retention.  You're not just competing with other wineries, but you're also competing with the whims of consumers who have different needs at different times. Since any wine marketing strategy often has the end goal of building ties between customers and a business, utilizing data analytics to improve retention can be one way of addressing this issue.

A big net for a small boat
You are probably utilizing standard analytics program like Google Analytics to collect information. From this first step, you will then want to create metrics that make sense and consider the level of interaction consumers have with your ecommerce site on an extended basis. For example, if you were to only look at the data of how many new visitors leave the site, you may fail to take into account that many are unlikely to make a purchase right away, preferring instead to come back later.

As marketing firm New North points out, you should gather data based on how long people interact with your products and when they leave. That final definition can vary, however, based on the needs of your customers and what wines you may be selling in a certain time period. Recording as much information as possible can help give you create proper metrics of when people become, continue to be and stop being your customers. That includes tracking every email, call, social media interaction, share and click they make.

 

The lack of averages
Once you have the information about how your customers interact with your site, remember, no two customers are exactly alike. While that seems obvious, the traditional answer to this situation is to create a marketing strategy around the average consumer. However, there are many types of wine consumers that purchase online. Some consumers have different buying patterns throughout the year, as noted by Marketing Land. Some may purchase monthly while others will only make purchases during the holiday season. As a result, it would be unwise to create a model where both of these groups get the same types of emails offering them to come back with a discount once every six months. You will want to communicate more frequently with the first group and the other simply won't see the offer as beneficial and may not take pay attention to it.

That's why, in order to build retention, you should step back from targeting the average customer and begin to target certain groups differently. You can learn from a customer's data what type of wines they do like. A customer may have preferences for reds with occasional purchase of a rose. Your emails shouldn't be focusing on your whites, for it will indicate that you don't know anything about this person, and he or she will simply decide to choose someone else the next time wine is needed.

Of course, getting targeting right based on the data you receive can take some time mastering. You'll want to first differentiate between the myriad types of customers that you interact with in ways as noted above. From there, you should experiment with different ideas on how to appeal to these customers based on the data you’ve collected. Consider recipes for ideal pairings, for example, or provide discounts on wines you feel will get their attention. In using this data to target customer’s interests and buying patterns, you can bolster retention significantly.

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