The Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium is always a great conference, and 2018 was no exception. Our team was out in full force this year, attending workshops, listening to keynotes and doing our best to glean the most relevant information to share with you. There was a lot of great content shared this year - more than could ever fit in a blog post - but here are my top takeaways:
1. DTC Continues to Grow
According to the ShipCompliant / Wines & Vines annual study, DTC shipments grew 15.5% by value and 15.3% by volume in 2017 in the US. There were a few standout regions - Oregon grew 31% and Washington grew 26% - but gains were widespread. Great news for anyone looking to grow their business! It was also exciting to see that the "Rest of the US" - their catch all for smaller, emerging wine regions - grew by 17%. It's not only the established players who are making gains, there is lots of opportunity no matter where your winery is located.
2. Custom Wine Clubs are a Powerful Growth Tactic
This year, there was an entire panel dedicated to talking about custom clubs. WineDirect clients and DTC mavens Jess Zander from Fidelitas Wines and Jeff Stai from Twisted Oak participated and shared some key insights from their experience using our custom club tools:
Since implementing custom clubs, Fidelitas has seen members double the value of each club shipment as a result of add-on purchases. Yes, that's double.
Jeff mentioned that offering a custom club is a great way to combat attrition by eliminating member fatigue and has greatly increased satisfaction among his members.
As companies like Blue Apron and Dollar Shave Club continue to raise the bar in subscription services, consumers have come to expect a certain level of flexibility and personalization - offering custom clubs is an important step in modernizing your wine club and staying relevant with your members. For more tips on how to grow your wine club revenue check out our free eBook!
3. Make Sure You Capture Those Email Addresses!
We beat this drum a lot here at WineDirect because we believe it is one of the easiest things you can do that will truly move your DTC needle. Of course the best place to collect emails is in the tasting room. And at WineDirect we would argue that your tasting room does not exist to sell wine. It exists to acquire customers. If you let them walk out the door without their contact details, they're lost to you forever.
To demonstrate this point, consider the impact a simple "Thank You" email can have. On WineDirect, sending a follow up email after a tasting room visit has a 7.5% conversion rate. That's almost triple the overall conversion rate on our platform. If you have 55 tasting room transactions per day, and your AOV is $245, improving your email capture rate by 25% can result in over $75,000 in additional DTC revenue per year! Download our DTC Checklist to do the math for your winery and find out how much money you're leaving on the table.
4. Don't Skimp on Compliance
According to Steve Gross of the Wine Institute, wineries should be prepared for more compliance stings in 2018. In the past year, states including Missouri, Arizona, Illinois and New York all cracked down on illegal shipping. Make sure you have all your permits in place, have accurate reporting and are working with a fulfillment provider (like WineDirect) that is prepared to meet all the new (and old!) regulatory requirements.
5. Always Be Measuring!
Accurate data and reporting came up in many sessions at the conference. In both the Hospitality and Wine Club Townhalls moderators and attendees talked about the importance of various metrics to find out what's working, and what's not. For example, it's critical to understand WHY your wine club members might be leaving before you can design an effective retention strategy. In a recent survey WineDirect conducted of wine club managers and wine club members, 81% of managers said events were an important club benefit. But only 32% of consumers agreed! Make sure you are measuring key indicators on a regular basis so you can make informed decisions to drive real growth.
Looking for more key insights from the DTC Wine Symposium? Use the form on the right to download a copy of Jim Agger's presentation "How to Survive in the New Retail Age".
Get more insights from the DTC Wine Symposium! Download a copy of our presentation "How to Survive in the New Retail Age"
Want to learn how WineDirect can help you kick start DTC sales this year?