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Sheri Hebbeln
 
January 18, 2016 | Wine Industry Trends | Sheri Hebbeln

January news roundup: Part 1

Holiday season is over and January is here. As your winery cozies into colder weather and a more low-key set of customers, it's important to remember that wine enthusiasts are interested in wine products year round. As you begin thinking about 2016, there are new opportunities to build a connection with your customers and delight them with new experiences. Beyond that, the beginning of a new year marks a fresh start and expanded opportunities for growth. That said, we've pulled together some valuable news relevant to our industry that can help you succeed moving into 2016:

Wine business news
Across many industries, it's common practice to run discounts in January due to a drop in sales following the busy holiday season. However, SVB on Wine explores some of the different outcomes that can result from this method, and how wineries can overcome challenges to staying relevant as a new year unfolds. How has your winery dealt with a lull in sales so far this month?

Health is an important issue for consumers, especially during the month of January when they are focused on improving their lives and staying fit. The good news is, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, new U.S. dietary guidelines reaffirm moderate drinking as part of a healthy adult diet. Additionally, the new guidelines adopt the new terminology "drink-equivalents." Take a look at the new recommendations and language. This announcement can help your winery relate to consumers this year. 

"The wine business is a rapidly evolving industry."

The wine business is a rapidly evolving industry, and wineries that stay informed of emerging trends are best positioned to succeed. BloombergBusiness shared a helpful article that explores eight different ways wine will change in 2016. Among these trends include a boost for English sparkling wines and the rise of wine trucks. It would be very helpful to consider these insights as you develop your business and marketing plans throughout this year.

Fulfillment
Whether you're a small business or a larger winery with multiple locations and an online wine store, reducing labor expenses, improving work flows and enhancing the customer experience are likely top priorities. According to PracticalEcommerce, all of these can be achieved by implementing a unified commerce platform that connects the software that manages sales and fulfillment across multiple channels.

Fulfillment is challenging for wineries operating in the ecommerce space, especially for those who sell across multiple channels. Still, consumers expect convenient, affordable and timely shipping, so it's important to have a strong process in place. PracticalEcommerce provides a number of tips to streamline the process, including maintaining a single inventory record and offering consistent customer communications.

If you're running an online wine store, you know how important it is to connect with and influence consumers, even when you don't have a tasting room. Anna Johansson, freelance writer, researcher and business consultant, wrote for Huffington Post that using free offers to generate leads is among the top three psychological factors that directly impacts online sales. Even more, Johansson pointed out that 60 percent of ecommerce companies believe free shipping with conditions is their most successful marketing tool. In the ever changing commerce marketing arena, shipping is an integral part of the customer experience and also an opportunity for your winery to increase sales.

 

Ecommerce
Mobile retail is an important factor for businesses to consider in the modern consumer market, wineries included. As eMarketer pointed out, recent research from EPiServer found more than half of consumers expect to see user reviews on a retailer's mobile site. If your online wine store is optimized for mobile using responsive design, make sure this important feature is easily accessible.

Advertising is important for business today, especially those operating in the ecommerce space. As you plan for 2016, it is important to expand your marketing efforts, including paid advertising. PracticalEcommerce recommends a handful of strategies to try in 2016, including Instagram and Twitter ads.

Has your winery ever considered creating a YouTube Channel? Online video can have a major impact on wine drinkers, and wineries can share helpful videos that share information about products, varietals and processes. If you're interested in leveraging YouTube, check out PracticalEcommerce's tips and tricks for optimizing your presence on this channel.

Online shopping should be fun, especially for wineries. Often times, consumers visit the tasting room not only to make a purchase, but also for the experience of learning about and exploring new varietals. That said, it's important to emulate some of this on your online wine store. Econsultancy recommends seven way ecommerce businesses can make shopping fun, including product videos and scrolling imagery.

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