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Tasting Room & Hospitality

Sell more wine at your tasting room with these tips!

By  Corinna Wang
March 27, 2023

Spring is here and enthusiasm is buzzing as wineries start opening tasting rooms and planning ahead for a successful 2023 season. We are here to help you think about not only your beautiful space and your customer journey, but also the technology that will help boost your wine sales all year long! 

To sell more wine in your tasting room this year, there are several strategies you can use by leveraging your technology stack. For WineDirect clients – there are some easy to implement tools that will surely move folks through your sales funnel faster. Here are a few ideas: 

1. Train your staff

Your staff is your most important asset when it comes to selling wine in your tasting room. Wineries do an amazing job at making sure seasonal staff are knowledgeable about your wines, your winemaking process, and your brand story. They consistently nail the hospitality experience. 

However, there remains opportunity for improvement when it comes to asking for the sale. I have personally experienced a gap in asking for the sale – I was fully ready to purchase wine, but nobody asked me to buy the wine. Often, tasting room staff have a missed opportunity by not approaching every interaction as a potential sale.  Staff also need to be comfortable with the technology that completes a transaction and how to troubleshoot if something goes awry. WineDirect Point of Sale users can benefit from automated upsell capabilities and access to completely synchronized customer information at their fingertip – right in the tasting room. 

2. Offer a variety of tasting experiences:  

Consider offering different tasting experiences to cater to different customers. For example, you might offer a standard tasting flight, a premium flight, or a food and wine pairing. This can help customers find the best experience for their tastes and budget.  

In the aftermath of a pandemic, we have learned that packing a tasting room to the brim is less profitable than delivering customized experiences. WineDirect also noticed a drop in visits to the tasting room in 2022. This spring and summer, it is important to encourage folks to drop in and taste, so allowing for walk-ins (and staffing accordingly) is a good idea. The single most important thing you can do in this case is collect that taster’s email address, ask them if they would like to know about new releases, discounts and more and then opt them into your email marketing campaigns.

3. Create a welcoming atmosphere:  

Create an inviting atmosphere that encourages customers to linger and enjoy your wines. Understand that a tasting room can be intimidating for some – so mix up your technical tasting sheets and merchandising with some fun and simple messaging about your wine – remember that not everyone knows what tannins are. Ensure pricing information is displayed, so customers can decide what they’re interested in purchasing. 

While your customers connect with you, be diligent about collecting their details. Most folks have their guard down when out for a day of wine tasting and will happily share their email with you for the latest releases, shipping promos and news about your winery. Ensure you’re collecting email addresses during transactions so you can continue to make sales with your targeted email campaigns all year long! If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that you can’t rely on foot traffic and repeat visitors alone – you nurture relationships you can continue to sell online. It’s a great bang for your buck - emails have an ROI of 4200% ($42 for every $1 spent). 

4. Offer incentives:  

In your tasting room, your customer experience and asking for the sale should be enough to drive AOV and get your wine in the hands of your visitors. When we talk about incentives, these work particularly well online – and when quiet season comes, you will want to focus on bringing your tasting room customers to your online store to make repeat purchases.  Incentives are a key part of your omnichannel strategy, where all of your sales channels work together to provide consumers with a seamless shopping experience and keep them engaged with your brand. Encourage customers to purchase online by offering incentives such as discounted shipping, or exclusive access to limited edition wines. It keeps your winery top-of-mind and allows customers to stock up easily. Establish clear call-to-actions (CTA) so that your email gets measurable ROI. You’ll want to weave the CTA into what is happening at the winery, new vintages, awards and events – just make sure you also invite them to buy your wine. Bonus points if you ask them to review it after the purchase.

Omnichannel Marketing, Source; 2022 DTC Impact Report 

5. Promote your wines:  

Ensure your customers are aware of all the wines you offer, curate suggestions of wines they may like to try, or launch a wine pack with one library wine that is a limited edition. Display information about each wine and highlight any award-winning wines or special releases. In your tasting room, you can use merchandising, QR codes on your menus to have them sign up for your newsletter. Use social media, email marketing, and other channels to promote your wines and tasting experiences to a wider audience. Nurture that relationship to move folks through your DTC funnel from buyer to repeat buyer, to club member and retain them for a long time to come. 

By focusing on these strategies, you can create a more engaging and enjoyable tasting experience for your customers and increase wine sales not only in your tasting room, but online throughout the year as well. Good luck – and let us know your tips for a great tasting season!  

Available Now: 2022 DTC Impact Report 

Download your free 2023 Direct-to-Consumer Impact Report

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