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Sheri Hebbeln
 
May 23, 2014 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eCommerce , Site Design and Management | Sheri Hebbeln

Will customers buy more wine online in the future?

There could be good news on the horizon for your online wine store. Citing data from Forrester, Business Insider reported that overall ecommerce sales are expected to grow by 57 percent by 2018. This increase will cause online sales to comprise 11 percent of total retail revenue. Forrester also anticipates that mobile commerce will have a bigger impact in the next few years.

Much of this growth is being driven by millennials. Although Generation Y isn't currently most wineries' target audience, this age group will become more important for online wine sales as they continue to gain spending power. Millennials came of age with ecommerce, so they could end up having a major impact on online sales. In the past, ecommerce was treated as a separate branch of retail, but this is no longer the case. Online sales are an important component in an overall retail strategy, according to Mashable. In fact, the proliferation of shopping channels has allowed customers to approach buying items in different ways. For example, some people spend time extensively researching products online before buying them from a physical store, and others compare prices from their smartphones while in a store. Additionally, subscription programs where consumers are mailed a box of curated products each month are growing in popularity. These emerging trends are important to consider for establishing the optimal direct-to-consumer strategy. 

Ecommerce strategies need to become more advanced
Because ecommerce is no longer separate from the rest of retail, you need to consider blending the lines between your in-house experience and winery website, Mashable stated. Omnichannel sales are growing in significance. Consumers want to be able to contact retailers through the channel of their choosing. 

You may be able to build customer satisfaction by providing more targeted recommendations, the article suggested. Especially for returning visitors or repeat shoppers, relevant recommendations can drive sales. Consumers appreciate suggestions because it prevents them from having to dig through pages of a website to find what they want. You can compile recommendations based on their previous purchases. In fact, the personalized shopping experience is becoming more crucial. It can increase customer loyalty. 

Forrester highlighted the growing significance of mobile. Even though it only accounts for a small percentage of sales currently, it will likely become more important in the near future. Wineries can get ahead of the curve by implementing a mobile-responsive site now. Even though mobile was previously thought to be a channel people used on the go, consumers increasingly shop from their tablets at home. In fact, many laptops are blurring the lines between PC and tablet, which could impact ecommerce. 

What features should your online store have and where are the areas that need improvements? According to an infographic from ecomextension, you should consider the functionality of your website, including how easy it is to navigate, how it displays from a mobile device and how quickly pages load. Page load time is becoming increasingly important in search engine optimization. Consumers were likely to report that load speed and ease of navigation were the most important factors in their experiences. When it came to on-site product catalogs, customers wanted to be able to easily edit their shopping carts and for all additional fees such as wine shipping to be clearly disclosed before checkout.

WineDirect's ecommerce platforms can help you prepare for upcoming changes in online sales, enabling you to be more competitive in the marketplace. Complete with an advanced shopping cart, inventory integration and the ability to calculate upfront shipping fees, you can start selling more wine online. 

Comments

Vintellisys's Gravatar
 
Vintellisys
@ May 27, 2014 at 11:23 AM
The true beauty of e-commerce is that it scales! Through websites and emails, wineries can interact with so many more consumers so much more often than they will ever be able to through a tasting room. This is why data capture at the TR is so important - to leverage the value of that one visit over and over.

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