Joanne Grantz
August 20, 2015 | Customer Relationship Management (CRM) | Joanne Grantz

Reward loyal customers with wine pairing guides

Rewarding your best customers with wine pairing guides is a great strategy for improving customer satisfaction and brand affinity, and increasing online wine sales.


Wine is an experience; from the tasting and purchasing process to sharing with friends over a meal, wine drinkers are eager to tie the beverage into their real-life activities. According to a study published in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, good pairing recommendations may be crucial for the success of foods and beverages, both in the retail and hospitality sectors.

While brick-and-mortar wine retailers have an opportunity to make pairing recommendations in person, online wine sellers face a greater challenge leveraging this tactic. Rewarding your best customers with wine pairing guides is a great strategy for improving customer satisfaction and brand affinity, as well as increasing online wine sales.

A deeper understanding of wine
One of the key benefits of sharing wine pairing guides with shoppers is increased brand affinity and customers' deepened understanding of the products they are purchasing. When wine drinkers are empowered to better understand the product they are consuming, they are more likely to become avid drinkers of your brand. Teaching guests how to pair your winery's varietals with certain foods will enhance their experience with the product overall.

Know your customers
Wine pairing guides are meant to be educational and idea-driven. For instance, Wine Folly provides helpful guides and infographics that teach readers what foods to pair with certain wines, as well as the science behind the pairings.

Ultimately, wineries can create impactful, rewarding wine pairing guides by understanding their customers. Start by creating a few basic formats, and then delve into research and shopping patterns surrounding your customer base. A customer who is loyal to certain varietals may appreciate a pairing guide that is customized to her specific preferences. On the other hand, someone who is new to wine will benefit from something more general.

Provide added value
Wine pairing guides create an opportunity to upsell customers by offering advice and product recommendations; however, this tactic will only work if the guide offers real value to the shopper. In-depth wine pairing guides are a reward to loyal customers in and of themselves, but wineries can take it a step further. One way to add value to wine pairing guides is to create detachable shopping lists that customers can bring to the store when they are shopping for foods to pair with their favorite wines. Additionally, wineries should consider offering promotional rates on wines and products mentioned within the guide.


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