Wine Industry Experts On How To Successfully Approach Wine Sales In A Virtual World
It is possible to sell wine to people that have never tasted your product. In fact, if 2020 taught us anything, the world is ready for more opportunities to buy wine online. Looking back to late March and early April, when lockdowns peaked in North America and Europe, the stats confirm this. The alcohol industry saw triple digit growth instantlysales the week of April 4th were nearly 450x higher than that same week a year ago.
An impressive number, but one that mops up the alcohol category as a broad one, without taking into account how many new-to-them bottles that people purchased, how many new-to-them wineries they tried in this phenomenon that is now known as a boom. To assume that all wineries and wine businesses have benefited would be an overstatement, a vast one. Online optimization still seems out of reach for many producers, wine businesses, and industry suppliers around the world.
But it doesnt have to be. Wineries and wine retailers that have been tentative toward going all in for DtC and ecommerce arent necessarily missing out. In fact, riding a wave thats tied to a global pandemic is not a long term plan. Sustainable, reliable solutions and ecommerce tools for wineries are available now, and theres time to take advantage of the industrys momentum and get these resources in place.
Wine Is A Unique Product
Selling wine online is different than selling general merchandise, so you want to use software specific to selling wine. There is a lot to think about – everything from legal restrictions , alcohol taxes, compliance, shipping and wine club processing. Wine is an interesting product to sell, so working with someone thats done it before will save a winery a lot of hassle.
Whats The Value Of Your Wine
Collectible fine wine has inherent value and real value. Inherent value comes from the wine itself. The way it was made, including the terroir on which the grapes were grown, the classification of the wine, the producers reputation, and the techniques the winemakers used to process the grapes all give the wine inherent value. Real value comes from what happens after the wine is already bottled, such as how it was stored and how many owners it has had in its lifetime.
A wine must have both of these types of value in order to sell for the highest profit. Look at the list of qualities below, and count how many accurately describe your wine:
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How To Sell Wine Online
Want an idea of how to sell wines online? The wine industry is a very lucrative niche, and today’s technology makes it simple to sell some ambrosial liquid and make a little money doing it. If you’re passionate about wine, setting up your own successful online wine store is simple.
The first step is to do research. Where can you buy wines wholesale? Developing relationships with distributors will give you the opportunity to buy cheap and in bulk so you can sell your products to customers at a profit.
You’ll also want a shopping cart that gives you plenty of customization and built-in modules to help you run a more efficient shop, regardless of your experience selling or your technical expertise. Most people who know how to sell wines online understand that your shopping cart will be a crucial part of the sales process, so it’s important to do your legwork on this one. Here are four more steps to establishing your wine store on the web:
Can I Sell My Homemade Wine
Hello there! I’m Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don’t worry, I’m no wine snobyou can also ask me those “dumb questions” you’re too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don’t forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q& A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Can I sell my homemade wine? What kind of license do I need to obtain to do that?
The good news is that federal law permits adults to make up to 100 gallons of homemade wine per calendar year if you are the only adult living in the household, and up to 200 gallons if there are two or more adults in the household. The law also allows you to take your homemade wine off premise, for personal or family use including use at organized affairs, exhibitions or competitions, such as home winemaking contests, tastings or judgings.
Guess what it says you may not do, under any circumstance? Sell it.
If that doesnt sound complicated enough, this process is currently halted due to the partial federal government shutdown.
I dont mean to be discouraging, but I want to make sure you know what youre getting into. Theres much more information at the TTBs website, including online application forms. Good luck!
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Best For Wine Club Management: Vinespring
VineSpring provides wineries and breweries with a robust ecommerce solution for selling wine online. What particularly distinguishes this ecommerce platform from others is that its specially designed for wine ecommerce. Its created by people with in-depth knowledge of how the wine industry works, so you get an online store specially crafted to the needs of large-scale wineries and breweries.
VineSpring can help wineries showcase their products and reach a wider audience. Their platform is mobile responsive and flexible. Whats more, the platform collaborates with a number of design studios that are devoted to crafting unique and beautiful website templates for wineries.
Inventory management can be time-consuming and tedious, particularly for large-scale wineries that experience high-volume sales. This is where VineSpirng steps in and provides wineries with the chance to track wine bottle production and gives access to production history where business owners can gain an insight into every detail including bottling, selling, and shipping.
Besides that, VineSpring features an amazing POS system that takes tap, chip, and swipe transactions. By using this system, the staff can process orders on a fulfill screen. Plus, business owners can use it to learn about their clients drinking preferences and purchasing habits.
Get The Licenses & Permits
Shipping alcohol is not like shipping clothes or electronics. Alcohol businesses have to jump through a few hoops to make it happen, but the reward is quite worth it. There are some alcohol laws in every country, state, and city. But these laws vary from state to state.
Some states permit wineries to ship directly to consumers , while others prohibit it entirely. And, some states fall in between that allow in-state shipping but not across state lines. So, in simple terms, your alcohol businesss ability to ship and deliver alcohol will be limited not just by the state your business resides in, but also by all the states where your customers are located.
Now lets try to simplify this confusing mess a bit. Below is the list of the most common regulations that you, as an alcohol delivery service business need to comply:
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How To Start A Wine Business
There are two approaches to start a wine business. If you wish to start a wine business where you sell your own wine, you need to have a winery to make your own wine, package it, and sell from there.
There is another approach where you dont make your own wine but instead buy huge bulk of wines from different wineries on a wholesale rate and then sell it further to distributors and retailers with a decent profit margin.
The process of starting both kinds of wine businesses is explained in detail in the blog above.
Example Feed Structure For Vivino
Heres a sample Vivino feed structure that you can follow to create a Vivino feed:
< vivino-product-list> < product> < product-name> Apothic Winemaker's Blend Red California 2013< /product-name> < price> 7.45< /price> < quantity-is-minimum> false< /quantity-is-minimum> < bottle_size> 750 ml< /bottle_size> < bottle_quantity> 1< /bottle_quantity> < link> http://www.wayback-wines.com/california/wine-12345.html< /link> < inventory-count> 20< /inventory-count> < product-id> 1125< /product-id> < extras> < producer> Apothic< /producer> < wine-name> Winemaker's Blend Red< /wine-name> < appellation> California< /appellation> < vintage> 2013< /vintage> < country> United States< /country> < color> Red< /color> < upc> 0123456789001< /upc> < varietal> 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec< /varietal> < alcohol> 13.4%< /alcohol> < description> This is a great wine from Apothic with good value.< /description> < ageing> 12 months in oak and 12 months in bottle< /ageing> < image> http://www.wayback-wines.com/wp-content/uploads/img/2535550.jpg< /image> < /extras> < /product> < /vivino-product-list>
Now that you know the attributes to include in the feed, let us look at how you can generate Vivino XML feed easily using a WordPress plugin.
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Make And Sell A Wine Cork Trivet
Trivets are used in most kitchens to protect the counter from heat. A hot pan or other cooking material is placed on the trivet.
You can easily transform a collection of corks into a wine cork trivet. All you need is:
- A lot of wine bottle corks
Tip: synthetic corks are a no-no for wine cork trivets. Use natural ones instead.
First, identify the design that you want to make. Then, arrange the corks on the corkboard as per your preferred design. Use the pen to trace the shape of the corks onto the board. Get the corks away from the board and cut out the base from the corkboard.
Second, use the pattern that you came up with in the beginning to fit the corks into place without using glue.
Lastly, glue the corks onto the corkboard neatly in a row and allow to dry. Dont press the corks onto the board. Your trivet is now ready for use or sale.
This is the primary way to make a wine cork trivet. You can add a frame to your trivet to enhance its look.
You can also design the corks into a hexagon by making them stand and, minus the frame and corkboard, glue them tightly together.
The shapes that you can use other than a hexagon are countless. Other examples are a heart shape and a circular pattern.
Install The Woocommerce Product Table Plugin
The first thing youll need to do is purchase the WooCommerce Product Table plugin, and then install and activate it.
When you buy the plugin, youll receive a license key. To enter that key, navigate to WooCommerce Settings in your WordPress dashboard. Go to the Products tab, and then choose the Product tables subsection. Paste in your key, and click on Save Changes at the bottom of the page:
Dont leave this page just yet. Its time to start setting up your product table and choose how it will list your wines and beers.
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What To Look For In An Ecommerce Platform For Selling Wine Online
The wine ecommerce industry is constantly growing with reports predicting that the industry will reach $5.2 billion by 2022. Wineries and individual sellers that want to scale their business and grow their sales should follow this trend and establish a powerful online presence. So, what steps should you undertake to make the transit from working in a traditional marketplace to selling wine online?
The first and most important step is, of course, finding a reliable and secure ecommerce platform that will provide you with an effective storefront, great SEO tools, and specific wine commerce management features and tools.
To successfully sell wine online, these are the most important features that the ecommerce platform of your choice should have:
Wine Direct Shipping Laws
Again, winery direct shipping laws depend on the state. However, the following list provides the basic for states that do and do not allow direct shipping. This list is for states that allow wineries to ship direct to consumers . Most of the states that allow this do not allow online retailers, like wine shops, to ship direct to consumers in their states.
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How To Sell Wine Online: Wine Ecommerce Tips
Wine eCommerce is experiencing robust year-over-year growth and isnât expected to slow down any time soon. The United Statesâ market is over $3 billion with an expected online wine industry growth rate of 15-16%.
Wine is also a great direct to consumer market to be in, similarly to selling coffee online. Millions of people buy wine for parties, graduations, engagements, and gifts, not to mention regular dining. Wine pairs well with dozens of foods and presents good cross selling opportunities, especially if youâre also learning how to sell food online.
If you love wine and are considering starting an eCommerce business around it, weâve got all the strategies you need. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of selling wine online.
Can I Sell Wine On Ebay
Yes, but only if youre an eBay-approved wine seller.
In order to become a licensed wine seller on eBay, you must first upload a copy of your alcohol license.
You must also abide by all requirements listed on eBays guidelines for selling wine.
Once approved, you must include the following in each listing:
- Your shipping policy, including which states you can ship to as well as any shipment restrictions
- Your states buyer eligibility requirements e.g., whether or not buyers can receive shipments directly or have to pick up their order elsewhere
- The buyers age requirement
- Indication you have been approved by eBay to sell wine
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How To Sell Wine Online Safely Legally And For The Best Price
Auction sites like eBay aren’t the right place for selling your fine wines
Picture the scene: youre clearing out the spare room, and you cant believe the amount of stuff that you didnt remember you owned. What are you going to do with all the books, trinkets and long-forgotten holiday souvenirs? Trudge to a car boot sale or stick them on eBay and see what happens?
Auction sites like eBay are fantastic for selling curios, knickknacks and the like but as a platform to sell wine online in the UK, especially bottles with some real value, youre just not looking in the right place. There are practical and legal reasons for this but also more importantly youll find it tricky to realise the true value of your wine.
We find it hard to believe that youd take your wine collection to a car boot sale and similarly, you shouldnt sell your fine wine on a site like eBay.
Consider Offering A Wine Of The Month Subscription Box
Subscription-based businesses are becoming increasingly popular as customers grow to love the convenience of never having to reorder their needed items. Instead, they sign up for automatic billing, and the products they need arrive on a regular basis. Subscription boxes are also very popular, but work a little differently: rather than ordering specific products, the customer receives a scheduled package with one or more selected items for them to try.
Wine is perfect for the subscription box model. Wine enthusiasts are always looking for a new experience and a new vintage or brand to try. You can create a Wine of the Month subscription box to automatically send selected wine to customers on a monthly basis. This approach offers many benefits, including a consistent revenue stream for you, and a way to introduce customers to wines they’ll love and want to reorder separately resulting in more sales.
You can also increase your brand recognition by using custom packaging in your Wine of the Month subscription boxes to create an “unboxing” experience. Unboxing is a process in which a customer unpacks a shipped product and creates a video or photo gallery that shows others what it’s like to receive a shipment from a certain business. Customers love seeing unique packaging, surprise bonuses, special inserts, and other fun things during an unboxing.
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United States Wine Market
While the United States does not have the highest per capita wine consumption in the world, it is still the largest consumer of wine overall, making the U.S. a premier market for the wine industry.
In fact, wine sales in the U.S. in general have been increasing steadily since the latter part of the 90s, and last year was no exception. Since that time, wine production in the U.S. has surged, and per capita wine consumption has increased as well. As such, the recent trend toward online wine sales has been unsurprising, since the industry as a whole is looking to take advantage of the benefits of DTC sales. Naturally, the direct to consumer segment of the industry has seen the most explosive growth of all in recent years.
In addition, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a massive shift to e-commerce by consumers out of necessity. Since consumers are unable to go to traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores, they are all over the internet looking at new ways to get their favorite products to their doorstep. As part of this, many consumers are realizing for the first time how easy and convenient shopping online is. With the click of a button, they can have exactly what they need brought right to their house! Very little hassle, very little effort, and, most importantly, very little time is required.
In light of all these factors, now could be a great time for your winery to explore getting into e-commerce and direct to consumer selling.
Is It Legal To Sell Wine Online
Yes, as long as you abide by the laws in the state from which youre shipping as well as the state to which youre shipping.
Every state has its own laws about selling wine online, including which certifications and licenses it requires as well as the maximum volume that can be shipped.
Note: just because you can sell locally does not mean you can sell online.
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