Lessons Learned from the Holiday Season
- Plan ahead - Sure, we all know we need to do this, but it bears repeating. What kinds of incentives will you offer - discounts, free shipping, etc.? Will you be opening the library to offer some special gems for the holidays? Are you going to do anything special for wine club members? Will you be offering gift packages? What are the shipping deadlines for the holidays? Jot ideas down throughout the year as you think of them so it’s not so overwhelming when November rolls around.
- Consider adding non-wine items to your online store - Wine openers, glassware, decanters, chocolates and gift boxes are a few simple items you can stock in your tasting room and sell through your website year round! Create a few pre-built packages, and make sure to let your clients know they can also “build their own”. Be sure to place orders with your vendors well in advance of the holidays to ensure you’ll have enough stock on hand.
- Test market - Ask your friends and family what kinds of wine gifts they’d be most likely to buy - wine only, wine and chocolates, wine and stemware, etc. Create an email blast about your gift packages and send it in advance of the holidays to those same friends and family and ask for feedback.
- Don’t be afraid to advertise - We all receive many emails each day, especially during the holidays, with incentives and reminders to buy - and they work! Let your customers know you can help them with their holiday shopping and remind them how easy it is to let you do the packing and shipping for them. Remind them how well your wines go with holiday fare and what great gifts they make for the holiday parties your customers are attending.
- Spruce up your site for the holidays - We all know that the appropriate use imagery can make a world of difference in consumer buying behavior. Invoke the spirit of the holidays by adding winter-themed images to your site and email blasts - wreaths, vineyards in snow, festive images with wine (Santa climbing into a wine bottle) - these can add a nice touch and keep your site looking fresh and interesting. Adding holiday recipes and wine pairings can also invoke the spirit and stimulate purchases!
One of my clients hadn’t given too much thought to holiday gifting by mid-November and needed help, so we brainstormed a few ideas for gift packages. She put a few items together and had them photographed, we built the packages with fun and interesting descriptions, posted them to her wine shop and sent an email to her customers. Since sending the email, she’s had 26 online orders totaling $2700 for her gift packages! It doesn’t take much - just a few simple items and the results can be fantastic!
As the holiday season comes to a close, and you’re enjoying a glass of wine by the fire, jot some ideas down for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Be creative with your gift ideas, get the word out, and watch your sales grow!
Happy Holidays to all, and a very Prosperous New Year!