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Sheri Hebbeln
 
July 23, 2014 | eCommerce , Fulfillment/Shipping | Sheri Hebbeln

Is your winery prepared for the future of ecommerce?

Ecommerce has been growing steadily more popular year after year. If online wine sales are becoming a greater focus for you, it's important to have the right ecommerce fulfillment capabilities in place. Omnichannel retailing is increasingly gaining attention because consumers expect companies to meet their needs and preferences at all times. This tactic aims to offer customers a consistent level of service through whichever channel they choose to utilize, which is why omnichannel is effective for brands that maintain a traditional brick-and-mortar store and an online presence.

However, it's still easy to run into issues with your online wine store. When left unchecked, these problems can seriously hurt your operation. Marketing publication Fourth Source highlighted some issues that should be avoided or resolved:

  • Making too many updates at once: If you've waited too long to update your winery's website, trying to do too much at once can overwhelm returning customers, and the site may not have the high level of functionality you wanted.
  • Focusing on short-term goals rather than the big picture: It may be tempting to make short-term fixes to your website for the sake of meeting current objectives. However, if major improvements are needed to achieve a better omnichannel strategy, it may be worth the investment, even if it takes a little time to implement.
  • Poor communication with customers: Omnichannel means being more accessible to consumers at all times. If shoppers run into problems with an online order, it may be easier for them to pick up the phone to deal with the issue rather than waiting for a response to email. Make sure contact information for your winery is easy to find.

How to establish an omnichannel retailing strategy
Omnichannel can put a lot of pressure on wineries because online offerings and ecommerce fulfillment typically need to improve to meet customer preferences. Here are tips for some upgrades you can make to ensure your winery is ready for the future:

  1. Better inventory visibility: Not only will this increase customer satisfaction, but it's good for you as well. Increased insight into stock levels ensures you aren't processing orders on your website for products that are out of stock, according to Supply Chain Management Review, citing data from Capgemini. Advanced wine inventory software can improve stock management.
  2. Offer the same products across all channels: While there are obviously some special exceptions, like exclusive promotions, in general you should advertise the same products across each customer channel. If visitors try a wine in your tasting room and decide to buy it online later, they will be frustrated if they can't purchase it from your website.
  3. Have the right wine shipping options: Omnichannel aims to give customers more choices for how they shop. Your ecommerce fulfillment strategy needs to be agile and flexible to meet these changing demands and provide a high-quality experience for shoppers around the country. Wineries need to find a way to reach customers more quickly and at a low cost. 

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

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