1. Imagery getting stale? Refresh your product and general site photography.
o For site uniformity, and a user experience that’s easier to browse through and digest, make your product images consistent; i.e. all category page images are label close ups, all product page images are full bottle shots with no context in the background.
2. Get back to basics. Review your site for the fundamentals: clear information, brand alignment, easy navigation, engaging content.
o Take a look at other successful winery and retaler websites. Now, review yours. Do you have clear navigation on every page? Clear descriptions of your products? A non-cluttered, brand-aligned experience? Pretend you’re a consumer looking for information. Can you easily find what you’re looking for?
3. Let your customers speak for you. 67% of shoppers spend more online after recommendations from online community of friends (Internet Retailer, September 2009).
o If you’re not already doing it, simply ask your club members what they thought of the latest shipment and post their comments on your website. Or, ask tasting room visitors to fill out a product, event or tasting room experience comment card and post their responses. Don’t forget to ask permission first.
o If you’re not testing the waters on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or the like, give it a go. Engage in at least one social media community and participate frequently. Start a conversation with your customers and see what happens.
o Look at the email templates for the major e-tailers; nearly all have a similar format (logo placement, navigation, header placement, body structure). Now take a look at yours. Time for a refresh? Develop 2-3 new templates for the following messaging types:
- Multiple product marketing
- Messaging/events announcement
- Featured or single product promotions
1. Tackle credit card expired and declined rates.
o Enlist someone in house to track and manage declined and expired credit cards in your wine club list. Spending just 2 hours a month on this task can make a big difference. For larger clubs with greater turn, consider outsourcing. Even a 10% improvement in your expired/declines can mean critical dollars to your bottom line.
2. Get to know your club members.
o Survey your club members, both during and after they leave your club. There are a multitude of online survey providers out there – all easily used and managed. Find out why they joined, what they like about the club, what they would be interested in seeing more of, what products are their favorites, what types of events they would be interested in participating in. And after they leave – thank them for being a member and ask why they left. Use the information to adjust your Wine Club program and marketing outreach.
3. Surprise and delight.
o Do something unexpected for your customers at least once in 2010: Send a mid-year thank you card hand signed by the winemaker, or send a personal birthday wish to your club members. Surprise them with something relevant to your winery or brand and give your customers a reason to remember you outside of the normal shipment frequency.
1. Help your staff engage.
o Not everyone is a natural born salesperson. Your tasting room staff may be engaging and witty and fun in the break room, but entirely different in front of customers. They might be overselling your wine club, and under-whelming your visitors. Help them out with training. Write scripts and role play. Take a field trip to other tasting rooms and discuss their experiences. Lead brand discussions so they understand and feel empowered. Give them the tools they need to become better salespeople.
2. Ask for the email address. Your customer list is your most valuable marketing asset. Leverage every opportunity to grow it.
o If you’re not already capturing or asking for the email address during the sale or wine club sign up process, do so. Incentives are common, but not mandatory. If you’re having trouble capturing emails, offer 10% discount on their next purchase when providing an email address, for instance. Let the customer know that an email will be sent to them with the applicable discount code (this will help validate correct addresses).
3. Refresh your merchandise.
o If you’re offering incremental merchandise in the tasting room, is there an opportunity to refresh it? Better display it? Improve signage to provide better information on the products? Is your merchandising relevant to your brand or wines? This is the environment in which you’ve asked your customers to experience your brand and engage. Create an inviting and engaging environment in which to allow your customers to experience your wines… and use non-wine merchandise to upsell.