January is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s fresh and new with so many possibilities. It’s the perfect time for reflection on what was accomplished during the previous year, purge what’s no longer needed, and to set goals for the coming year. I have included some tips and tricks on getting your DTC “house” in order this new year.
1. Channel Performance Analysis
A great place to start is to see how your various sales channels performed. Which area is the highest percentage of your DTC business? Is it your website, tasting room, or perhaps your club? Has there been any significant change in revenue over the previous year? Analyze the Average Order Value (AOV) for each channel as well. If your AOV on your website works out to be 1-2 bottles, consider offering a shipping promotion for reduced shipping once a threshold is met, and implement a carrot message to let your website visitors know about the shipping promotion to help increase sales. Our wine software offers carrots that can act as your online sales associate on the website, or your sales associate’s assistant on the point of sale.
2. Promotion Planning
Our second item on your New Year checklist is to review your promotions from the previous year to see which ones yield the best (and worst) results. Consider plugging these promotions into your marketing calendar and using them again this year. Need some ideas? Our experience has shown that shipping related promotions tend to perform better than discounting wine.
3. Shipping Rate Review
Reviewing your shipping rates should also be a mandatory item on your New Year checklist. You may have just received new 2018 rates from your carrier or fulfillment provider. Depending on the increase, it may or may not be necessary to adjust the shipping rate that you charge your customer. Perhaps there are opportunities to adjust the shipping rate downward to encourage a larger volumes of sales.
4. Shop Your Website
Another item to help you start the new year is to shop your own website, both on your computer and from a mobile device. Aside from the straightforward tasks of making sure all links work and pages load properly, look at your site from the customer’s standpoint. Is it intuitive and easy to navigate? Are there any trouble spots within the checkout that need to be addressed?
If you haven’t done so already, this is a great time to enable our new checkout tools. These tools were designed to speed up the checkout process, reduce abandoned carts, and increase conversion rates and can be easily customized within our checkout editor to match the style of the rest of your website.
5. Take a Deep Dive into your Club Membership Trends
During your sales channel analysis, you will have a good indication of how your club revenue is doing. How about your club memberships? If you offer more than one club or tier, which one saw the highest growth? Chat with the sales associate that signed up the most club members to see where secret is and share with the rest of the team. Which one saw the most attrition? Dive in deeper to the attrition by looking at the cancellation reasons. This is a great time to perhaps reach out to the cancelled club members who cancelled with reasons such as “too much wine” (is there really such a thing?) or “traveling” to see if you can recruit them back.
If your club memberships were stagnant or even declining, consider breathing some new life into the club by implementing user choice, allowing your members to customize from a selected array of wines (hint: user choice can be used to manage all of those one-off exceptions that are likely being handled on a spreadsheet today, and your member doesn’t have to know that they are part of a user choice club).
By reviewing these items, you’ll be well on your way to planning for 2018. As you work your way through your goal setting exercises, the final tip is to make a priority to love on your best customers and club members to show them how much you appreciate them. Whether it’s a special experience, exclusive wine, or maybe just an email to say “Thanks!”, a little bit goes a long way and will not be forgotten. Cheers to the New Year!
To make sure you’re on the right path for 2018, download our free DTC Checklist by filling out the form on the top right of this page.
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