Sheri Hebbeln
April 15, 2015 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eCommerce | Sheri Hebbeln

If you give a mouse a cookie: The benefits of cross-selling

When you're running a winery, you want to sell the most of each varietal you produce. That's no small task, as you are selling wine in your tasting room as well as on your website and in either channel, you want to make sure that purchases are maximized. That's why you should consider deploying distinct marketing methods to grab consumers’ attention and entice them to buy more and return often. Cross-selling can help with this by opening consumers’ eyes to new varietals that they've never thought about before. This applies to the tasting room and to the online store.

Learning to talk to people
Cross-selling differs dramatically between the physical tasting room and online. In the case of the physical location, winery personnel can speak with customers directly, as noted by Beverage Media. Just asking a few basic questions, such as what the customers’ favorite style or varietal, will give you a sense of what you should suggest.  From there, it’s easy to expand the conversation as you go.  As you build trust and rapport, you'll be able to direct them beyond the bottle they first inquired about, and you can make suggestions of others that they may like.

Another factor to consider is substitutes. People have their favorites in terms of blends and varietals. However, what they may not realize is that there are usually alternatives to what they usually drink that have similar style or complementary taste. Taking the conversation further, you can make suggestions that, while being somewhat similar as what the customer wants, offer a more unique experience. Consumers aren’t always open to trying something new, but often they are (which is why they came to your tasting roomin the first place). If the engagement is successful, that customer is likely to become loyal to your winery and brand.

Keep it relevant
On the other hand, ecommerce doesn't give you the chance to socialize with your customers. Here consumers are facing a flat screen (mobile or full screen) with a variety of choices. Cross-selling is accomplished through a series of algorithms based on what was added to their shopping carts. You don’t have the option of conversation to guide choices and therefore, you're not always going to be accurate 100% of the time.  To counter this, be as visible as possible, according to ecommerce blog Get Elastic. The best points to introduce cross-selling are on the store page as the bottle being purchased or in the view cart page just before checkout. 

As for the selection of wines to offer, consider matching based on what is relevant. If the purchase is a specific color, you should offer wines that are also a similar type or similar varietal.  Offer the same varietal from a different vineyard perhaps.  Mix up the selection based on a variety of price points, especially if the customer is on the view cart page. Include bottles that are on sale.

However, you should be careful in how you handle ecommerce cross-sells. Don't overload any of your pages with too many suggested wines. Instead, keep the selection small but visible.  Here you can’t personally influence a purchase, but the online influence will result in an increase in the order value, just as the one-on-one influence does in the tasting room.  Remember, at first the mouse only wanted a glass of milk, but then he wanted much more.


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