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Sheri Hebbeln
April 2, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln

Are you missing the chance to convert customers with your product pages?

Winery websites may be able to convert a higher number of prospects based on how persuasive their product pages are. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't your home page that influences the decision to buy - it's your landing pages and product listings, according to ClickZ. If you want to encourage more customers to buy wine online, you may need to make adjustments that will help you convert shoppers on these pages.

Common Web design knowledge dictates that the home page is the first part of your website visitors will see, and it warrants the highest creative investment. While organic search through Google means any part of your site can act as a landing page depending on the search terms shoppers use, many visitors won't spend a lot of time on the home page. They will only look for navigation links to find what they want as quickly as possible. For many ecommerce websites, shoppers want to reach product pages, the article said. It may not be worthwhile to excessively highlight seasonal promotions, new releases and your blog in this location.

Ecommerce landing pages
Compared to the importance of your wine shipping capabilities, inventory management protocols and point of sale system, website design may seem like an afterthought. Even your landing pages should be optimized to direct visitors to product pages and increase online wine sales. A conversion rate increase of a few percentage points can make a huge impact to revenue, a blog post from Wishpond stated. 

Because people are ultimately visiting your website to view your products, it can be beneficial to include images on your landing pages. Especially in a short landing page without a great deal of content, imagery will help to capture attention quickly. Less text can make it easier to get to the point of your call to action so customers are more likely to take the next step. Easy navigation to product pages or frequently asked questions can ensure potential customers stay on your page. If visitors arrive on your site through a search engine, they don't want to have to dig through each page of the website to find what they're looking for. When this information isn't immediately apparent, they could easily click the back button and return to the results page. 

Like nearly all wine marketing efforts, a call to action is essential to boosting conversions. In some cases, landing pages will be the first impression visitors receive from your website. It's up to you to direct them to the next step. Calls to action matter for product pages as well. 

What makes a successful product page?
Because this may be the last view of your product that customers get right before purchasing, it's important to avoid a cluttered look and feel, ClickZ said. Page structure could play a role here. Too much scrolling can be frustrating for shoppers. In fact, the majority of consumers are unlikely to ever see any product page content displayed below the fold. To increase conversions, you may want to include links to examples of products that other customers viewed or purchased, a technique Amazon has applied to great effect. This upsell can increase dollar amount and items per order. 

Some ecommerce websites include the top user reviews. Customers are placing more priority on the opinions of other shoppers to a greater extent than ever before. This can help establish trustworthiness. However, all of these approaches can benefit from testing to ensure conversion goals are being met. Design features that boost conversion are critical to the success of your online wine store

Karin Ballestrazze
April 1, 2014 | Karin Ballestrazze

Wineries Need to Prepare for the New Multichannel Norm

It's difficult to strike a balance between in-store and online wine sales. Customer satisfaction through every channel you offer is an important factor in overall success, a number of things can impact user experience - whether shoppers come into your winery or use your website. 

Surprisingly, customer satisfaction with U.S. retailers is at an all-time high after three consecutive years of increases, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. However, many large, traditional retailers suffered through decreases in satisfaction. In fact, these issues can both push customers to smaller retailers or improve client happiness. As disappointing in-store experiences continue to drive people to shop online, many consumers have been having better experiences in brick-and-mortar stores, Time magazine reported. Because of less overall traffic, shoppers often find better inventory availability, shorter lines and more helpful staff members to assist them. 

While some traditional retailers may be on the upswing, the online experience could be lagging, the article said. Part of the reason for this is because customers have unreasonably high expectations of what good ecommerce should look like. Because ecommerce has evolved in such a short space of time compared to traditional retail, expectations have changed just as quickly - in some cases, at a faster pace than online vendors can keep up with. 

Emphasize customer satisfaction and ecommerce fulfillment; improve scalability
While it can be a challenge, online and traditional retailers need to focus on meeting clients' needs to retain customers in the long run. It's crucial for you to remember that satisfaction is never permanent, Business 2 Community stated. You can't take engagement as a given. In many cases, satisfaction may not predict brand loyalty, or that customers will shop from you every time they want to purchase your products. There is a distinct difference between being happy with your products and clients enjoying the experience when they shop with you. It may be worthwhile to implement customer surveys to identify areas for improvement. Is your website easy to use and navigate? Are you offering the multiple, quality wine shipping options? 

Customer satisfaction may involve accounting for preferences. For example, it could be beneficial to give clients the choice to opt in to your wine marketing. This will help shoppers feel as though you're respecting their needs, which can translate into loyalty over time.

Dissatisfaction can be caused by not having the proper scale for your online wine store, according to Biz Report. Expectations are high, and shoppers expect to be able to acquire goods for a low cost with the most convenient shipping options. If shipping wine doesn't meet what clients want, you could risk them not buying from your again. Scalability can cause issues with inventory management and fulfillment operations, which are serious detriments to customer satisfaction. You need to ensure you maintain tightly controlled, accurate inventory management practices, order processing capabilities and timely shipping to meet and exceed shoppers' expectations. 

Sheri Hebbeln
March 31, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln

How can you gain conversions through winery websites?

It may seem like there are a huge number of factors at play in a customer's decision to order wine online. However, a great deal of the user experience is condensed in the checkout flow, according to ConversionXL. Improvements in checkout functionality typically have a direct result on online wine sales. You need to ensure you design your online wine store in a way that encourages conversions. 

What are the effects of the website user experience? Vouchercloud compiled the following statistics that could provide key considerations on how to make adjustments to your website: 

  • Wait time matters: 57 percent of customers will ditch your website after being forced to wait only three seconds for a page to load. Eighty percent of these shoppers will never return to your site.
  • Website visuals have a major influence: Nine in 10 shoppers report images play a significant role in driving purchasing decisions.
  • Not a long time to impress: Consumers form their initial decision after analyzing a product for 90 seconds.
  • Shoppers trust other customers: 85 percent of people consult online reviews before buying something. The majority of these individuals trust anonymous online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.​

Shopping cart abandonment plagues retailers
Combining data from several different studies, Vouchercloud found the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 67.4 percent. This means your website could be losing two-thirds of its potential revenue. The top reason was hidden fees at checkout, which was followed by requiring a registration to process the order. Nearly one-quarter of ecommerce websites force customers to sign up for the site. Many retailers are able to significantly cut shopping cart abandonment when they add a guest checkout option. Customers are also dissuaded by too-long checkout processes and unclear details about deliveries. According to the research, 5.08 steps is the average number for the top online retailers, and a high-quality experience should have a maximum of five steps.

To keep your online wine store successful, it may be time to reassess the experience to ensure there aren't any critical gaps that could lead to lost revenue. ConversionXL pointed out that the shopping experience starts with the cart because as soon as someone adds something, he or she isn't merely browsing. A small adjustment, like adding a confirmation that an item has been put in the cart can make an impact. This notification shouldn't take the shopper to another page because it can be distracting. However, directing individuals to the cart can give you the chance to upsell them on similar products if you include recommendations. Amazon takes this approach.

There needs to be a clear call to action when shoppers view their carts. In addition, you should be transparent about wine shipping charges. It may be helpful to add an estimate of these costs for your standard option as customers continue to add wine to their carts. This will prevent any unwanted surprises at the end of the transaction. 

Time Posted: Mar 31, 2014 at 3:34 PM
Tiffany Copland
March 28, 2014 | Tiffany Copland

Build loyalty with your wine club

The rapid growth of subscription services could be good news for your wine club. Monthly subscriptions of all kids - from beauty products to pet foods - are taking off around the country, and this follows the same basic principle as a wine club. For example, Birchbox is one of the most popular services because people can try new beauty products each month for a fairly minimal fee without committing to the purchase of the items, Pittsburgh-based CBS affiliate KDKA reported. The popularity of subscription services could be a way to engage millennial wine lovers. 

In the past, wine clubs didn't have much of a cool factor because true wine lovers typically have well-developed palates and didn't need the help, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, many wineries are finding that these clubs are becoming more desirable. In many of these newer services, bottles are carefully selected and are often highly allocated. Some wines come with tasting notes and recipes for pairing suggestions. Certain clubs will allow members to give their preferences, and they are sent wines based on those tastes. The article gave the example of one club that doesn't use pre-selected wines. It selects bottles for each individual member based on a budget. While this scenario may seem similar to going to a store to purchase wine, it does add convenience for members. 

Considerations for a wine club
If you're looking to start a wine subscription or make adjustments to your existing club, Practical Ecommerce stated it's important to think about customer preferences. Wine clubs create the opportunity for a steady stream of revenue, more predictability in inventory management and a chance to cut costs. Having a few different options built into your wine club may help entice increased membership. 

These subscriptions are mutually beneficial for customers and the wine merchant when designed well. However, getting consumers to join your wine club is only the first step. The goal needs to be long-term retention. This means you need to carefully assess your inventory management capabilities and ecommerce fulfillment operations. If deliveries arrive late or not at all, customers won't want to continue paying for the service. The first few months of membership are critical for the long-term success of your wine club. 

Because of the importance of the first few shipments, it may be beneficial to reward members to create a positive reinforcement. This could be a discount or an extra bottle of wine. If you exceed their expectations, it could significantly boost loyalty. Practical Ecommerce suggested another way to encourage customer satisfaction is to call members after their first delivery to ensure everything went as planned. Sending cards for holidays like Christmas and Valentine's Day can help as well, especially if they include discounts. Excellent customer relations can be a selling point in addition to the features of your wine club.

With the growing popularity of subscription services, you have a chance to increase your wine club membership and secure a steady stream of revenue. It can also give you loyal customers for life.

Time Posted: Mar 28, 2014 at 4:12 PM
Jim Agger
March 27, 2014 | Jim Agger

Are you offering the best wine shipping options?

Don't overlook the importance of wine shipping. Your fulfillment options can attract new customers, increase order size and build lasting loyalty. However, if you don't offer the right choices, customers may not buy from you at all, according to a 2013 holiday study from Pitney Bowes and reported in Multichannel Merchant.

In the past three years, consumers have paid an increasingly amount of attention to shipping when they buy products online. Cost played a major role in purchasing decisions. In fact, 77 percent of customers would take free or discounted deliveries over speedy shipping. Consumers are increasingly expecting free shipping or discounts, such as qualifying for a special offer if they reach a certain price threshold. The study found that fulfillment expenses mattered so much to shoppers than nearly half of the respondents said they had abandoned a shopping cart when confronted with high shipping fees at checkout. 

Among these consumers who admitted to scrapping a purchase at the last minute, the average shipping expense was $20. Depending on the size of the order winery customers could easily be required to pay more. You need to offer an innovative way to ship wine without running into exorbitant fees.

It isn't just based on cost and convenience. Customers want to have access to real-time package tracking to ensure that their deliveries will arrive on schedule. Pitney Bowes found that approximately one-third of customers check shipments once or twice before delivery. Thirty percent of shoppers reported monitoring the status of shipments six times between placing their order and receiving items. And it doesn't end with delivery. Many consumers reported making returns or exchanges for goods they purchased online, and they want this to be as easy as possible. 

Take a lesson from Amazon
Amazon Prime has been hailed as the premier shipping membership service. Introduced in 2005, Prime subscribers would pay an annual fee of $79 and have access to free, two-day shipping on thousands of goods. For the first time since its introduction, Amazon recently increased the fee to $99. Although Amazon introduced more services to Prime subscribers such as video streaming and eBook lending, the price never went up. Millions of customers subscribe to Amazon Prime and benefit from all the services it has to offer.

Whether your winery utilizes a subscription-based service or other shipping discounts, you need to ensure you are providing value to your customers when they buy wine online. Offering the same prices on your website that you would in your winery will encourage customer loyalty. It also may be helpful to show customers how much they are saving from their orders with a shipping subscription. 

Time Posted: Mar 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM
Karin Ballestrazze
March 26, 2014 | Karin Ballestrazze

Retail Undergoing Significant Changes

From your point of sale system to ecommerce fulfillment, the nature of retail is changing rapidly. While you may not think you need to concern yourself with trends in the industry, you could miss out on online wine sales if you aren't prepared for the modern challenges in retail. You need to get ready for the continued shift to multichannel commerce.

Stealing Share, a rebranding company, released the results of its study, "The Retail Space: An in-depth study of where the industry stands now," and found companies need to make significant changes to the ways they approach customers. The company analyzed luxury, discount and specialty markets in its report. 

"This is a market that's struggling to find any importance with a model that will soon be extinct," said Tom Dougherty, president and CEO of Stealing Share. "That's one reason why you're seeing so many retailers closing stores. Even if the model was working, the retailers' messages are just noise, all blended together to create a cacophony that consumers are deaf to."

While this may apply to large retailers, wineries can still take lessons from the shortcomings of these major outlets to gain a competitive advantage in a niche market. 

Examples to take from large stores
When it comes to necessities, shopping can be extremely time-consuming, and customers prefer to do it on their own time from their computers or mobile devices, according to Forbes. Even though the retail experience is still fun for many shoppers, integration may be the way to accommodate varying preferences. Customers want the option to shop online as easily as they could in a store. A high-quality online experience is especially important to reach customers in markets outside your direct geographic region.

However, it's important not to underestimate the power of ecommerce. Forbes cited comScore statistics that found online sales increased by 10 percent during the 2013 holiday season. While brick-and-mortar sales are relatively flat, many retailers are seeing growth on their websites. Although this channel has a lot of potential for growth, you can't neglect shoppers who prefer the in-store experience. A major mistake that large retailers made was bulking up their online presence without reflecting these developments into their brick-and-mortar offerings.

How to improve the retail experience for customers
Consistency is key in this pursuit, and technology can help bring disparate channels together, Deloitte stated in a report about the major changes in the retail industry. Because wine shipping is an important competitive differentiator if you sell wine online, fulfillment technology can eliminate some of the barriers to customer satisfaction. Utilizing Web platforms can help you engage consumers, make the shopping experience more convenient, offer the best shipping options and become more efficient. People are increasingly expressing a desire for truly omnichannel shopping, which may mean breaking down some of the silos between channels. Customers want to be able to view in-store inventory online. This can also save employees time. In addition, returning shoppers want to be recognized by your website, similar to how they would be by dedicated employees if they visited your winery.

Assessing your ecommerce fulfillment operations can help you identify new opportunities to meet customer needs and exceed expectations. Wine inventory software and an outsourced fulfillment partner can increase visibility. With better insights into customer behavior and needs, your business can create more ways to reach your target market and grow in the face of industry challenges. Retailers that integrate their separate customer touch points will likely see better results over time than those that don't innovate. 

Time Posted: Mar 26, 2014 at 3:55 PM
Sheri Hebbeln
March 25, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln

INFOGRAPHIC: Your Most Valuable Shoppers

Direct-to-Consumer wine buyers often share the following characteristics: 1) they purchase frequently, 2) they belong to multiple wine clubs, and 3) they purchase from multiple wineries throughout the year. They also prefer shipping incentives over product discounts.

Click here to view a PDF version of this infographic

Many savvy wine lovers don't need to be convinced to buy online. Direct-to-Consumer buyers often share the following characteristics*:


  • They purchase often: The top 10 percent of online wine buyers purchase 4.4 times per year on average.
  • They love wine clubs: 17 percent of members simultaneously belong to more than one wine club.
  • They frequent more than one winery: More than one-fifth of DTC regulars purchase from multiple wineries throughout the year.

Loyalty plays a major role in continued DTC success. These customers are more likely to spend more per purchase - as much as 27 percent of your revenue could come from the top 10 percent of your client base. In addition, repeat and returning shoppers may spend up to five times as much as brand new customers. 

Your Most Loyal DTC Customers Are Particularly Motivated by Shipping Incentives
Whether you use "shipping included" offers or subscription services, access to the most affordable and convenient options will encourage customers to buy more. Amazon gives customers the ability to subscribe to its Prime service for an annual fee in return for free two-day shipping on any purchase. This has the effect of motivating Prime subscribers to limit their purchases to Amazon, because they know that they won't incur extra shipping expenses. Since these customers have already paid the fee, they want to take full advantage of their investment.

Shoppers are motivated to choose the delivery options that save them the most money. In A/B testing, we found that "shipping included" offers generated better results than product discounts of 20 percent.

Think consumer shipping fees don’t matter in the big picture of your overall operation? Think again! Free or discounted fulfillment options have become the norm in the eCommerce industry in general. By December 2013, 62.5 percent of the top 1,000 online retailers extended some form of free shipping to customers, either on all orders or with a minimum purchase limit. Consumers are increasingly coming to expect this from all websites and you risk scaring them off if your delivery fees are too high. In fact, shipping may be a bigger determining factor in purchasing decisions than the cost of the items themselves, with the added expense leading to higher shopping cart abandonment rates.

With WineDirect’s 46Brix program, you can extend a subscription-based service to your customers, allowing them to take advantage of reduced shipping costs, which should ultimately lead to increased loyalty for your winery.

*Vin65 platform statistics

Sheri Hebbeln
March 24, 2014 | Sheri Hebbeln

Pressure is increasing to offer a quality ecommerce experience

Online wine sales present a variety of opportunities for your winery, but they don't come without their own set of challenges. Large retailers are excelling at offering a high-quality user experience for online shoppers, and this is putting pressure on smaller stores to assess their point of sale systems. 

Consumers are increasingly turning to ecommerce to shop, highlighting the importance of updating these systems. In fact, 75 percent of shoppers have bought something online in the past 30 days, according to recent statistics from Javelin Strategy & Research, a company that provides insights on customer transactions. In addition, only 7 percent of consumers report that they have never shopped online. In 2009, 22 percent of people had never shopped from the Web. Internet sales could be a growing opportunity for your online wine store

"Retailers such as Amazon and Wal-Mart are setting the bar high for online merchants," said Nick Holland, senior analyst of payments at Javelin Strategy & Research. "Ecommerce shoppers want convenience, they want speed and they want security, and it is up to ecommerce platform vendors to provide merchants the tools to allow these wishes to be fulfilled in order for e-​retailers to stay competitive."

Despite the growing need for advanced systems in the ecommerce arena, many vendors have been slow to adopt new technology, such as responsive Web design or support for digital wallets. This reluctance could hold a wine merchant back. 

New trends in ecommerce that you need to adopt
Customer demands and expectations have accelerated beyond what many smaller retailers can offer. Site design plays a key role in convincing people to buy wine online. In fact, the look and feel of your website can either help customers trust you or scare them away, Practical Ecommerce stated. Usability can make or break someone's decision to purchase from your winery's website. Here are several common problems with retail websites that you may want to address:

  • Checkout is hard to navigate: Although many shoppers will visit your website more than once before making a purchase, it can be disorienting for those who decide to buy the first time to spend a while on your product pages, add items to their carts and then reach the checkout only to find it's a complicated process. A few things customers hate most about checking out include the following: being required to register, too many fields in the process, multiple redirects to other Web pages, lack of payment options or having to reenter payment information and shipping address more than once. These factors can cause a spike in shopping cart abandonment.
  • Perceived lack of security: After several large-scale data breaches at major retailers, customers are more concerned with protecting their financial information. You should emphasize payment security of your retail POS on your website to put consumers at ease when they purchase from you. 
  • No mobile strategy: This detractor is only going to grow more significant as shoppers continue to rely on their mobile devices to browse the Internet and shop. According to Practical Ecommerce, high-end tablets like the iPad can render a non-optimized website for users, but some sales could be lost if site functionality isn't the same from a mobile device. Responsive Web design may be one way to create a better, more consistent experience.
  • Too much or too little design: Some retailers go overboard with animated graphics and videos, and this can impede usability. However, some companies have the opposite problem of too-few or outdated images and unappealing or hard-to-read fonts. Photographs can enhance the online shopping experience, but only when used correctly. You need to strike a balance with the look and feel of your site. 
Jim Agger
March 21, 2014 | Jim Agger

How to handle wine shipping delays

Even if you have highly integrated ecommerce fulfillment operations, shipping delays can still happen. Particularly during peak times of year, you need to avoid making promises to customers that you can't deliver. The 2013 holiday season can serve as a reminder that shipping operations aren't infallible, and you can lose customer loyalty if packages don't arrive on time.

Partially due to bad weather in certain parts of the country and unrealistic delivery promises, a number of retailers and commercial carriers faced customer backlash when packages failed to arrive in time for Christmas, Bloomberg reported. Companies tried to get past their competitors by offering extensive shipping discounts and last-minute deliveries, but many retailers ended up needing to extend refunds and gift cards to unhappy customers when the deadline was missed. 

The holiday shipping problems aren't likely to detract from the popularity of ecommerce, but parcel carriers may need to reassess their capacity and retailers may want to consider offering more than one option to avoid this type of problem in the future. 

How to avoid wine shipping issues
Even if customers love your wine, delayed shipments can significantly hurt satisfaction and make shoppers reluctant to buy from you again. According to Forbes, many delays are caused before parcels leave the facility, and understanding why shipping hiccups happen can help you prevent some of them. Here are some common problems that occur during fulfillment and the steps you can take in your wine warehouse to reduce them:

  • Order processing inaccuracies: Small typos and other errors can be a big deal. Accuracy is essential, and this can be improved when your point of sale system is integrated with your wine inventory software. If you work with a fulfillment partner, it's important to ensure they value order accuracy as well.
  • Gaps in communication: The more parties that are involved in your operations, the more chance for complications. Delays can occur when the retailer promises something by a certain date, but the warehouse doesn't have the time to fill the order in that timeframe. You need to communicate with your partners to ensure deadlines are met.

Even with integrated, efficient operations, problems can still happen. You can't control the weather after all. However, these issues can often be proactively handled through proper order management.

Avoid losing customers when packages are late
The quicker you know about a delay, the sooner you can take action and notify customers. If you anticipate late parcels, it's a good idea to let customers know right away rather than waiting for the date their packages were supposed to arrive to pass, Multichannel Merchant stated. This is an important consideration for wineries, especially after a particularly severe winter that froze many roads. The last mile of the customer experience is often the most important in determining satisfaction, but it can be the one you have the least control over. 

The severity of the delay and the dollar value of purchases can often be used to determine how this information will be communicated to customers. Depending on the number of customers impacted by the delay, email may be the fastest way to notify everyone. However, loyal repeat customers may warrant a phone call, especially if a particularly large order is going to arrive significantly past the date it was guaranteed. In addition, if delays do occur, it's important to remember not to overpromise again when customers have already been left waiting. Under-promising gives you a chance to exceed expectations, which can give clients a satisfying experience, even after packages don't arrive on time. 

Karin Ballestrazze
March 20, 2014 | Karin Ballestrazze

Is ecommerce fulfillment or customer experience more important?

If you run an online wine store, you've probably debated the merits of discounted wine shipping vs. the total customer experience. Which is the most important area of focus?

Many experts in the retail industry have suggested that "free shipping" is the most important competitive distinction businesses can offer. While one of the original benefits of ecommerce was convenience, "free shipping" works as an additional incentive to convince shoppers to buy online rather than getting in their cars and driving to a store, according to 3Q Digital. In fact, the agency revealed 93 percent of online consumers think "free shipping" options are the biggest factor in their decision to buy on the Web. 

How can wineries compete when customers are increasingly putting pressure on brands to offer free deliveries? Research has indicated that unexpected shipping costs can contribute to shopping cart abandonment rates. Building shipping costs into the tentative order total as customers continue to add items to their carts can prevent confusion and frustration during checkout.

Here are several other ways to offer a high-quality ecommerce fulfillment experience:

  • Offer discounted rates when customers reach a qualifying total: Consumers may spend up to 30 percent more when they can access discounted shipping rates, 3Q Digital said. Shoppers view this as a reward, and many people want to use retailers that acknowledge their loyalty with a special offer. Especially if you show a comparison of what the shipping rate would be without the discount, customers will be motivated to add to their orders to get the deal.
  • Provide more than one way to ship wine: Customers are all unique and have individual needs. It may be beneficial to give shoppers the option to have packages expedited. Offering multiple choices can foster brand loyalty.
  • Utilize a subscription fee for shipping: Taking a cue from Amazon Prime, you can utilize an annual fee for shipping costs, which could increase satisfaction from repeat customers. Because clients will have already paid for the service, this can lead to an increase in online wine sales

Using customer experience in your favor
While multiple, cost-effective shipping options are essential for encouraging repeat business, making the initial sale can depend on fostering consumers' trust. Especially during peak times of the year, such as the holiday season, shoppers are looking for a high-quality experience, as well as convenient shipping. MarketLive surveyed shoppers in advance of the 2013 holiday season and found that 91 percent of consumers will respond to special offers regarding shipping. However, the cheapest fulfillment isn't the only thing customers are after during busy periods - they want to buy from retailers that will guarantee packages will arrive by a specific date and website that offers a user-friendly experience. 

"Online shoppers have become quite savvy," said Ken Burke, founder and chairman of MarketLive. "They know how to comparison shop from their mobile phones and they have come to expect things like "free shipping."

Burke added that retailers can take a strategic approach to building satisfaction, such as offering gift cards and ensuring that customer service representatives are always on hand during these peak periods. 

You can employ lessons from the holiday rush throughout the year. Rewards and loyalty programs can put you in a competitive position and keep customers returning. However, it's important not to neglect ecommerce fulfillment in your overall customer satisfaction strategy. Client experience doesn't end when cases of wine leave the door - it goes until packages reach their final destinations. Customers may not buy from you again if their orders are inaccurate or arrive late. Because of the importance of delivering packages on time, 3Q Digital suggested partnering with a company that specializes in fulfillment can help you offer a more consistent experience.