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May 24, 2007 | General | WineDirect Admin

REthink Your Summer: Ideas to overcome seasonal e-commerce declines

Everyone knows that summertime heat can sometimes prevent customers from buying wine online. To help you overcome that summer slump, here are some tried and true methods that will continue to increase your bottom-line throughout the summer. Our goal is to help you see those dollar signs increasing on a monthly basis and help you steer your marketing efforts in the right direction.

States
The first step to increasing your online sales in the summer heat – open up those ship-to states! You would be amazed to find that not all wineries are shipping to all the reciprocal states. This is an easy way to broaden your market. You can find a current list of states and the restrictions, or lack thereof for each, at the Wine Institute online or check with your compliance partner. Why not make your wine available to a new state full of potential customers. They’re just waiting to taste your wine.

Online Wine Promotions and Incentives
Can’t ship during the heat? Give your customers a reason to buy anyway – offer promotions and incentives to keep buying: discounted shipping, limited release wines, winemaker signed bottles, etc. Promote white wines for the summer. Connect with your outlying customers. Make sure they know that you are still available to them even if they are unable to come in and visit during the summer. Continue to send regular communications! Contacting your customer builds loyalty, regardless of whether you are currently shipping your wine or not.

Promote Your Summer Events Online
During the summer online visits are at their lowest, while the tasting room is overflowing with visitors. Make the most of this by promoting your summer events on your website and offer ticket sales for Will-Call or pick-up parties. Continue driving traffic to your website through the summer and keep your customers updated on events, how else will they know the best time to visit?

Try a pickup party for your wine club. Usually pick-up parties are reserved for wine club members who live close enough to drive to the winery and pick up their wine shipment. But why limit the purchases to locals? Make an event out of the pick-up party and invite everyone to place an order online, and then come visit you to pick it up!

Participate in Business Development Opportunities
There’s no time like a slump to acquire new customers. There are many businesses out there just looking to partner with a winery for a business deal – try swapping your customer list with another hospitality- or travel-industry business; if you have access to other opportunities to acquire new customers, make the most of them (such as third-party wine clubs, wine-of-the-day programs, corporate gifting, etc.).

Concentrate on the Important Things
When you have the time, make the most of it. Reprioritize your time to maximize your return on investment (ROI): call your top 50 customers; collect contacts at each tasting event you attend; redesign your website or refresh your online store.

Remember, DIRECT is the best way to Communicate with, Acquire, and Retain your customers.
 

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