Jim Agger
May 21, 2014 | eCommerce , Fulfillment/Shipping, Wine Industry Trends | Jim Agger

Are you susceptible to these DTC myths?

Direct-to-consumer sales are a great way to increase revenue, and your winery should pursue this opportunity. However, there are a number of wine marketing myths floating around the industry. Here is a list of DTC and marketing that will make you think twice once you've read them:

1. You should be targeting millennials
While millennials are likely to shop online and are starting to develop a taste for wine, this age group doesn't have the spending power to buy premium wines, North Bay Business Journal stated. This generation is spending less on wine, which means they may not be willing to incur high shipping costs.

2. Wine sells itself
While you don't need to spend a lot on social media or print advertising to sell wine online, you do need to employ some marketing strategies to get people to purchase, according to a presentation from Balzac Communications and Marketing. Email is a great tool for wineries. Social media may not be the best technique to reach your target audience, especially if you cater to baby boomers. Although many wineries don't have a firm marketing strategy, this is important for attracting new business.

3. Aggressive discounts aren't the only way to convince people to buy wine online
Wine is a premium commodity, and if you think you need to slash prices or offer "buy one, get one" deals to attract sales, you could be losing revenue. For example, if you offer bottles at half off, you need to sell twice as much wine to break even, which doesn't lead to profitability, North Bay Business Journal said. Not only does this approach make it harder for you to grow revenue, but it can hurt the value of your brand and teach customers that they should expect a deal every time they buy. Here are two ways to make more DTC sales without discounting:

  • Create a sense of urgency: Change your wording, not your prices. Marketing language, such as "exclusive," "wine club favorite" and "limited run," can cause consumers to take action so they don't miss out on a great wine.
  • Offer shipping incentives instead of price discounts: Because wine shipping can be costly for customers in other parts of the country, being able to add items to an order in exchange for a significant fulfillment discount can encourage people to spend slightly more. Several studies have indicated that this is a more attractive offer than a straightforward item discount.

4. People spend more at wineries when they visit
Citing data from the "2012 Napa Valley Visitor" report, North Bay Business Journal said the average Wine Country visitor spends $485.87 per day during their trips. While this may seem like a huge sales opportunity for wineries, most of this expense is likely from travel and lodging. The average visitor only spends around $40 on wine and visits four wineries per day. Although people may not buy wine from you right away, you can create future opportunities if customers have a great experience in your tasting room. Ask visitors for their phone numbers or email addresses so you can get in touch at a later time. 

5. Run exclusive shipping included promotions with no minimum can help you sell more
Shipping-included promotions are highly effective, but when wineries use marketing messages that advertise this offering with no minimum sale or a low threshold, customers will simply wait to buy until this opportunity arises, a separate article for North Bay Business Journal stated. This approach doesn't help you grow DTC sales, and it can increase your shipping expenses. It may be better to establish shipping incentives for orders of a particular size. Customers who are close to this threshold will likely add an extra bottle to qualify. 


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