As we mentioned in our previous blog and content email, traffic is down everywhere. We can only do so much to increase our sales in the tasting room when the traffic is slow. We previously covered how to manage what we can control – our guest experience from start to finish, from pre-visit to post-visit. But now what?
Let’s not despair that DTC sales are down (because metrics show they are not) or that we need to forget about the tasting room (it’s our biggest source of new guests coming to our brand). We need to start making plans for the long term.
Here are five DTC Channels that work. Consider leveraging these channels to supplement DTC sales with the tasting room:
- Online sales – How is our website performing? Overall ecommerce sales appear to be down compared to 2019 numbers, so it’s time to up our game…especially before the busiest online time of the year – September, October, November. How’s our SEO? How many ‘clicks’ to purchase? Are shipping fees or lack of information on shipping fees a barrier? What are some best practices we should be considering that we haven’t yet done?
- Phone sales – I’m sure you’ve heard it from WISE before, but hey – it works! Our customers/guests want to hear from us, so why not pick up the phone and call them? Just checking in with them to see if they need any wine is an extension of good service and leads to plenty of sales without it seeming like a cold call or telesales. Start with club members to get comfortable – they already love you. Then you can create strategic lists to set your campaigns up for success.
- Virtual sales –How many of your club members are out of state? Keep them engaged by inviting them to do a virtual tasting. This could be a private tasting or a large event. Club member virtual events are a fantastic way to find new people interested in doing a virtual event. Customers will buy wine to participate and buy more wine after they fall in love!
- Corporate Sales –While the ‘boom’ of virtual tastings may not be as booming in the one-on-one environment, corporate events have skyrocketed. Data mine, find business to reach out to via your club members (especially if you’re tracking where they work, or have a work email). This is a hugely untapped potential.
- Club Member sales – These are the folks that helped us keep our lights on during Covid. They’re our loyal fans… and the ones that purchase the most amount of wine – beyond club commitment. Are there more ways we can leverage this group and increase sales to them? Oftentimes this is underappreciated and overlooked as a viable revenue channel. Consider programs that would encourage members to purchase more wine.
As Covid has taught us, we can’t put all our eggs in one basket (aka the tasting room) so having and maintaining diversified DTC channels to build additional revenue is key. Savvy wineries are learning lessons from the past and applying them towards their future. It may feel like we are back to normal times, but let’s not lose our focus on other ways to drive revenue.