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5 Takeaways From the 2022 DTC Wine Symposium

By  Jessica Foye
January 21, 2022

The Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) Wine Symposium was back on the virtual stage again this year, packing two days full of industry insights and innovative ideas for wineries in the new DTC landscape of 2022 and beyond. This summit event benefits wineries across North America and is the primary fundraiser for Free The Grapes!, a national grassroots coalition of wine lovers and wineries who seek to remove bans and streamline restrictions in states that prevent consumers from purchasing wines directly from wineries. WineDirect has proudly supported the event for 15 years and looks forward to next year, where we hope to see you there, in-person!

Here are our key takeaways from January 19-20 at the 2022 DTC Wine Symposium:

1. Repeat buyers are key to wine DTC

Direct-to-consumer wine shoppers display immense loyalty by repeatedly buying from the same winery, at a much higher rate than any other DTC vertical (such as apparel and meal deliveries). On average, wineries earn 89% of revenue from repeat buyers, a pattern that holds strong across all winery sales channels.

Percentage of Revenue from Repeat Buyers

In comparison to other major DTC industries, wine sales trend favorably by many measurements, such as Average Order Value (AOV) at $164.50, Average Annual Revenue per Customer at $344.47, and Average Orders Per Year at 3.1x. Wineries are bringing in more revenue per one customer order than most other DTC verticals are earning in entire customer lifetimes. With that, wineries can confidently unleash unto competitor industries stating, “Our AOV is your LTV.” With these insights, investment in top-of-funnel efforts is critical, with methods as social media advertising and marketplaces.

2. Encourage brand personality to shine

How often do you see an advertisement or receive an email that looks just like one you had seen earlier that day? With the amount of media consumers are exposed to each day, uniqueness and authenticity are necessary.

During the keynote session Igniting a Conversation, the power of provocative conversations in consumer communications, the panel shared that a goldfish now has a longer attention span than humans. This means that to get your audience’s attention, you need to have something unique to show. There are so many ways to get in touch with people now, and your ideal customer has new passions and priorities, and expectations for what brands stand for. When you are exploring your brand personality ask yourself - what is your secret elixir? What do you and your brand have that no one else can claim? Harry Oranges, Brand Director at Tres Perles, a WineDirect client, explained that social media can be a useful way to share your brand DNA, both internally and externally. Encouraging and inspiring your employees to post positively about your company can boost participation and morale and it displays your brand's personality to customers from within.

3. Get to know your audience again

Your audience may have changed since the pandemic began, so it’s time to get to know them again. In the session ‘How Do You Use Social Media? -- Social Media Strategies’, A/B testing was proven as a preferred method of analysis. While boosted posts are effective for small bumps in reach, putting a larger investment into A/B tests can save you from months, or even years of trial and error.

A/B Testing For Social Media Audience

It’s important to only focus on a maximum of two different factors to get the best results, and asking the right questions optimizes your marketing budget by delivering results faster and supplying actionable insights. A/B testing allows you to produce more relevant and effective advertising as you will be using a data driven strategy, rather than leading on assumptions.

4. Consider your wine language to engage broader audiences

During the keynote session The Language of Wine, the question was posed, “Have we been able to alter the language of a centuries old lexicon to be more inclusive"? When describing the taste of wine, some may choose to use traditional language, while others prefer simpler modern words. Whichever category you fall into, it's important to use vocabulary that is normal to you, but at the same time be open and aware of other people's preferences. Excluding certain words from your wine vocabulary could be shutting the door to a vast range of potential customers. Many feel they need to be experts to buy wine as it's intimidating, and the options are overwhelming. As winemakers and sellers, we should strive to create an environment that is welcoming for all. One main reason people choose to buy wines DTC rather than from a large chain supermarket is because they can get educated answers to their questions. This is the same for your tasting room, customers want to be able to connect: if you can make your customers feel comfortable, they are more likely to engage and become repeat buyers.

5. DTC wine sales continue to break records

According to the annual DTC shipping report from Sovos ShipCompliant and Wines Vines Analytics, DTC wine shipments in 2021 experienced the smallest ever YoY volume change at 1.4%, not surprising after a year like 2020 when volumes soared. That being said, DTC wine shipments did experience staggering dollar value growth at 13.4%, breaking over $4.2 billion. And that’s just shipped wine! This growth is attributed to an unprecedented 11.8% increase in average price per bottle. Speakers Larry Cormier and Andrew Adams note that it appears that the wine consumers who found the winery DTC shipping channel in 2020 largely remained active in 2021 and have absorbed the retreat from discounting.

Our team had a blast virtually connecting with clients and partners at the DTC Wine Symposium. Looking for more key insights from the DTC Wine Symposium? Fill out the form on the right to watch a recording of WineDirect’s sponsor session, “Ecommerce 2019 - 2021 | Where We've Been and Where We're Headed."

Watch Our Session:

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