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Sheri Hebbeln
 
April 4, 2014 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eCommerce | Sheri Hebbeln

Increase Online Wine Sales From Returning Shoppers

When trying to sell wine online, are you directing your efforts toward new customers or previous clients? Some online retailers devote all their attention to attracting first-time shoppers, but this approach may not pay off in the long run. Especially when it comes to ecommerce, new customers won't spend as much on their first orders because they want to ensure the quality of a retailer's service before committing more. Returning shoppers have already experienced your brand and trust your wine shipping capabilities. Because there is no acquisition cost for repeat customers, this segment may warrant more focus. While it's important to gain new clients, individuals who return to your online wine store may be more likely to make higher-value purchases.

These reasons are why some online retailers devote a great deal of their marketing efforts to boosting customer loyalty, but it's difficult to measure the results of these initiatives or tie them directly to revenue gains, according to Forbes. It can be more worthwhile to monitor customer engagement and identify ways to encourage repeat purchases. Engaged consumers are more likely to buy regularly and spend more per order. These potential revenue gains are why retailers create programs to foster loyalty and engagement. 

Customers have higher expectations than ever before, and it's more difficult to retain a client base over time. If consumers' desires aren't met, there isn't much to stop them from switching to a competitor. Proactively striving to boost loyalty can help retention efforts and lead to increased online revenue.

How to extend the customer lifecycle
Retailers have an assortment of tactics to encourage people to return to their websites. Loyalty programs and specialty discounts are among the most common, but there are other effective techniques, Practical Ecommerce stated. Here are some suggestions wineries can utilize to gain higher-value sales from returning customers:

1. Use a product-driven approach
This tip may be particularly beneficial for wineries because it often works best with items consumers have already purchased. For example, you can make suggestions for wine varieties consumers may like and offer them at a discount. To make this strategy work effectively, you can give customers the option to set up a profile of their preferences so they receive more relevant recommendations.

2. Rewards and discount opportunities
These programs are classics for building loyalty, but they are still highly effective. There are many different ways to structure reward and discount programs, such as accumulating points from purchasing that can then be used toward additional items, BusinessNewsDaily said. Clients will often feel motivated to shop more so they earn higher rewards. 

3. Have conversations with customers
Even though the Internet can feel like an impersonal place at times, customers want to have real-time interactions with the retailers they frequent. Whether this conversation occurs over social media, email or the phone, this dialog is an opportunity to learn more about client preferences and build the relationship, according to Practical Ecommerce. One of the most important considerations in this pursuit is to be as available as possible. A customer service email and phone number should be listed in an intuitive place on your winery's website to make it easy for shoppers to get in touch.

4. Offer shipping discounts to repeat clients
Shipping wine is a costly prospect, and it can be a major detractor - even for wine connoisseurs. However, you can use this to your advantage. Through your wine marketing, you can offer discounted rates for speedy shipping to loyal customers. This can often act as a purchase driver. 

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