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Case Study: One Winery’s DTC Growth in a Decade with WineDirect

Carly Imhof
Oct 20, 2020   |   Carly Imhof Recommended for:   Wine Club, Marketing, Wine Shipping & Fulfillment, Ecommerce
Lamborn Family Vineyards 1500X900 Lamborn Family Vineyards 1500X900

About Lamborn Family Vineyards

Lamborn Family Vineyards represent four generations of elegant Howell Mountain wines. Founded in 1969, the winery takes a holistic, organic approach to producing exquisite Zinfandels and Cabernet Sauvignons of the highest quality and intensity. The family team takes the craft of winemaking one step further by organically farming the vineyard themselves. Their annual farming and brand-based decisions are based solely on quality — and nothing else.

Challenge and Solution

For nearly two decades, Lamborn Family Vineyards leaned on wholesale, or three-tier distribution, as a plan to gain exposure for the brand. However, the north star for the winery has always been DTC. As the model gained more traction over time, Brian Lamborn knew it was critical to the winery's success to invest more resources in selling directly to consumers.

As growth continued, the winery found that it needed support: an end-to-end DTC software partner, WineDirect. WineDirect's ecommerce tools and fulfillment services enabled the winery to grow and scale as they built a successful DTC program. The platform also supported rapid online sales growth during Covid-19. By establishing this long-term partnership, the winery created a strong foundation for DTC.

Implementation

Before WineDirect, Lamborn found it extremely challenging to offer their customers a best-in-class shipping and ecommerce experience. Now, the winery uses WineDirect’s fully integrated ecommerce software and fulfillment services. This streamlined approach allowed Lamborn to spend less time on fulfillment logistics and tedious operational tasks and more time on strategies to grow sales.

As a long-term partner of WineDirect, Lamborn leaned on various features as they grew into DTC. The platform’s capabilities allowed the winery to optimize their website for a user friendly experience, grow sales through leveraging email marketing strategies, streamline the shipping process, and much more.

Watch our webinar on how to improve your winery's email marketing and drive DTC ecommerce sales, with special guest Susan DeMatei of WineGlass Marketing.

Ecommerce

Newsletter Sign Up & Delivery

Previously, Lamborn's newsletter strategy included sending out a newsletter every two months. However, once shelter-in-place came about and consumers were purchasing online more than ever, the winery needed to increase the frequency of reach and their approach.

That's why the winery leaned on WineDirect's email marketing tools, which allowed a successful increase in newsletter cadence from two months to three to four weeks. The platform also offered a painless sign-up process, for promoting their website and developing loyal customers.

List Builder

WineDirect’s geographic segmentation feature, the List Builder, significantly supported targeting for events and DTC dinners. Lamborn could target by state to offer specific shipping incentives. In fact, the winery found outstanding sales success success in targeting by location even more so than by wine preferences. Along with targeting, the feature created a strong referral method for attracting new DTC customers.

Upselling & Cross-Selling

WineDirect’s action email feature allowed the winery to set up automatic emails for groups of contacts for a specific platform action, such as a club membership anniversary or a first-time order. This allowed Lamborn to send out review requests in a timely manner in return for loyalty points.

CRM

WineDirect’s CRM allowed the winery to better understand customer preferences. By keeping track of the client’s demographic, purchase history and website activity, Lamborn delighted their new and returning customers with deep customization and a personalized approach.

Wine Club

Much of Lamborn’s target demographic falls into the 50+ generation and are looking for a simple, straightforward method of managing their club shipments. With the wine club, those customers get automatic shipments every time there’s a new release. Plus, club members always tend to purchase more than the initial offer, making it a win-win for both the customer and the winery.

Fulfillment

Streamlined, Accurate & Incentivized Shipping

WineDirect's platform empowered Lamborn to access real-time inventory, put together wine bundles to delight customers, and streamline DTC shipping. On top of that, Lamborn was easily able to ship to more states, resulting in farther reach of customers. The process of shipping itself became faster, more accurate, and easier to manage for Brian, who is a team of one and wears many hats.

This summer, he coupled the upsell tools available through WineDirect's ecommerce platform with their summer shipping incentive program to promote free summer shipping with add-on orders. In an effort to stimulate more online sales during a critical time for ecommerce, WineDirect's summer shipping incentives included discounts on icepacks and overnight express services. In the typically-slow summer season, these incentives paid off exactly as they were designed, having significant ROI for the winery in driving unprecedented summer sales.

Results

By leaning on WineDirect's ecommerce and fulfillment services, Lamborn fully embraced DTC, boosted sales, and increased their customer reach — and were well positioned to scale up these efforts during Covid-19. The partnership continues to benefit the winery, as Lamborn enjoys growth that’s powered by advanced DTC solutions and a supportive team of software and logistics experts.

With WineDirect, the winery was also able to:

  • Incentivize customers to add a minimum of six bottles to their order to get free shipping. They've seen a 33% increase from last year based upon that one carrot.
  • Leverage action emails to incentivize future orders / award loyalty points in exchange for reviews.
  • Sell 30% more wine in summer 2020, due to WineDirect's summer shipping incentives, including discounts on ice packs and overnight express services.
  • Recover lost on-premise sales (due to restaurant closures) through a strategic DTC ecommerce strategy leveraging WineDirect's tools.

“WineDirect always hires wonderful, friendly people. I’ve told everyone on the team that we always recommend WD to other wineries because you guys have made our job much easier and also more enjoyable. When people are looking for new opportunities, it’s an easy recommendation to make." — Brian Lamborn, Lamborn Family Vineyards

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