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What Are The Laws For Online Alcohol Sales & Delivery In All 50 States
Many states have allowed home delivery for years, but these regulations have often been very restrictive, making this option infeasible for many breweries and restaurants. Weve put together a list of current alcohol shipment and delivery laws for each state so you can determine whether shipping or delivering alcohol to your patrons is right for your business.;
*Note: The descriptions below should not be considered a legal reference and should be used only for general informational purposes.;
Focus On Ways That You Can Offer A Competitive Business Advantage
That being said, there is still plenty of opportunities out there, if you know where to look. Thats because restaurants do not view your winery only as a winery they also view you as a business partner. In fact, they go one step further they view you as a source of competitive advantage in the marketplace.
At the end of the day, restaurants have very simple goals they want to sell more wine overall, they want to encourage patrons to order more expensive bottles of wine, and they want to maximize guest satisfaction and loyalty. Thus, the way that you can offer a competitive advantage is by delivering on any of these goals.
So ask yourself a few key questions: Can you provide number and research to prove that your wines are in a hot category, or that they are experiencing a surge in sales popularity? Can you offer premium or exclusive bottles not found anywhere else? And can you provide the type of customer service that guarantees a happy customer every time?
So you can view all of these potential complaints as actual opportunities to prove your worth. If you can guarantee a reliable, unbroken supply of wine on a national basis, you will have the ears of wine managers. If you have a reputation for dependability and a track record of fixing problems before they even occur, then you will also have the ears of wine managers.
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Sales Technique #4 Tell Stories
Whats not to like about stories?
Stories transfer us to a different world. They let us visualize a specific scene or experience a journey.
Stories are compelling and entertaining. And thats why sales messages travel under the radar. Heres an example from the Laithwaites catalog:
They are a patient lot in Pomerol its essential for making wines that are absolute in wine seduction .
But after nine years of wondering when Laithwaites were going to collect the wine we bought in 2005, finally the winemakers snapped and called our Bordeaux buyer, Jean-Marc.
What wine? Jean-Marc said, jumping in his car to Pomerol. He found a dropdead gorgeous 2003 ready to ship for Christmas blushes, yes, but also huge excitement!
It had been secured by our old Bordeaux buyer in 2005, just before her maternity leave. A tidy price was agreed, but the paperwork never reached HQ.
How can you include stories on your web pages? A few ideas:
- Turn drab case studies into engaging business stories
- Explain on your about page why or how you started your business
- Include mini-stories in your blog posts to add personality
Think About Your Branding
Wine is an industry with a lot of opportunity, but because there are so many wine sellers already, you need to stand out. Itâs no longer enough to have a great product when customers can easily browse hundreds of wine brands at the grocery store. You can use Americaâs wine lists to jumpstart your branding if youâre feeling stuck.
Your case of wine should have one or more distinct characteristics. Flavor is important, but so is your eCommerce packaging. Some customers will select a wine because the bottle or packaging looks exciting to them.
Many wine drinkers tend to be higher income, interested in excellence, and focused on quality. Use these characteristics and those found in the best wine lists to guide the type of wine you want to sell. You can also use the following to clarify how you want to be seen by customers:
- What kind of imagery and wording best represent my wine?
- What type of experience are those who buy my wine looking for?
- What wine price is a good fit for my products?
- Is there anything about my wine or its packaging that conveys a message thatâs inconsistent with my branding?
Your brand doesnât need to be fully materialized before you launch your website, but it should be represented clearly. Using a consistent color scheme, hosting an easy-to-use website, and providing answers to FAQs are important factors to include.
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How To Sell More Wine With Your To
The service industry has successfully pivoted to delivery and take out in an effort drum up steady businessbut aside from promoting your snacks and bites, it’s time to include your wines.;
If you want to boost your sales, alcohol is the answer. Out of everything on your menu, alcohol has the highest profit margins, and tacking on a bottle of wine to a delivery order is going to add precious dollars to your bottom line.
No matter the kind of wine you’re selling, whether it’s top shelf or more affordable options, here are some effective ways you can market your wine to customers and boost your to-go sales.;
Write A Business Plan
A business plan is a comprehensive document that details and guides all of your core business activities. It prepares you for the multitude of business decisions youâll need to make and uncovers any weak spots that need to be addressed.
An eCommerce business plan is even more important to an online venture than an offline one. Youâll need to establish a clear and compelling roadmap for all of your business activities.
Your business plan should include the following:
- Business purpose and mission statement
- Products and/or services offered
- Sales plan and projected quarterly revenue
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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.
Tips On Selling Wine In A Restaurant
Restaurant wine sales are big business. According to the Beverage Information Group, consumers drank almost $12 billion of wine in their favorite bars and eateries in 2011, an increase of 2.5 percent from 2010. If you arent getting your fair share of that business, you may want to assess your restaurants current wine strategy and implement some strategic changes that should result in increased sales.
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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.
See The Bigger Picture
Viewing your goals as year-round rather than just month-to-month aims will help you ride out slower times. This job is not a month-to-month thing You have to view it as a marathon, not a sprint, says Richard Jones, the strategic account manager at Epic Wines and Spirits in Santa Rosa, California. Understanding and embracing larger goals will help you put things into perspective when the pressure gets to you.
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Make It Fun And Informative
Schedule periodical small tastings for your service staff so they can keep well-informed about the wines at your restaurant. Make sure these training sessions are fun, but still focused on education for your staff. For instance, you can lead the discussion on specific pairings between your menu items and the wine your staff is trying.
You can also include pronunciation guides for each wine so that your servers who dont speak Italian, French, or German can feel confident saying each wines name in front of the customer. Remember: competent and knowledgeable servers add more credibility to your restaurants reputation. This training isnt simply for their edification. It runs right to your bottom line.
How To Sell Without Becoming Sleazy
Dirty sales tactics are designed for selling to strangers.
But thanks to the internet, the world is becoming a global village. We make friends across the world. And we buy from people and businesses we know, like, and trust.
Treat your buyers like friends.
Be genuine. Be helpful. Be lovable.
Make their life better.
selling is not about the art of persuasion. Instead, the best kind of selling emerges naturally from your genuine interest in the person youre working with and your sincere desire to be of use
~ Tim Hurson and Tim Dunne
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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.
How To Sell Wine Online
If you own a winery and have your own wine label, then selling wine online is just another channel of sales and revenue. You can either become a merchant/seller on existing eCommerce alcohol selling platforms or launch your own online wine selling platform.
If you register for a third-party eCommerce platform, you need to pay a commission on every sale you get from that platform. While building your own platform is a costly affair in which you own all the profits.
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Knowing Which Wines To Stock
The second step is to know which wines to stock. Stocking popular brands increases the likelihood of better sales.
You have to decide which brands fit best in your overall marketing plan. This is one of the crucial steps in starting an online wine store.
#BonusTip:;;;Try to make your Wine Launching Event a Successful Event. invite Wine Lovers.You can plan a tasting event you feel confident wine lovers will enjoy. Visitors come for the experience! and you will get your future Customers.
Understand The Competitive Marketplace
While your wines may come with 90+ ratings and your boutique winery may have already attracted the attention of the local media, the fact remains that selling wines into restaurants is highly competitive. Even worse, its a zero-sum game, meaning that in order for your wine to be added to a wine list, it usually means a poor-performing wine needs to be removed. Just think of this from the perspective of a restaurant: why would you fill a wine list with a lot of low-velocity wines that nobody ever orders?
A recent survey on casual dining wine lists is very instructive and helps to showcase just how competitive the marketplace has become. Based on a study of 110 casual dining chains around the nation, the average wine list offered just 20 wines by the glass and 22 wines by the bottle . Moreover, since every restaurant will carry 2-3 options for the most popular varietals, its extremely difficult to convince a restaurant wine manager to carry a fourth Cabernet Sauvignon when there are already three other Cabernet Sauvignon wines available BTG and BTB.
Moreover, if you drill down into each of the categories, you will see that big, national name dominate every single market niche. If you plan on competing in the Chardonnay category, youll be going head-to-head with Kendall-Jackson and La Crema Winery, two of the most popular Chardonnay brands at national casual dining locations.
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Propose Options In Different Price Ranges
The first step, says Chloe Grigri, the general manager of The Good King Tavern in Philadelphia, is to ask your guests what they like. Once their preferences have been established, she says, suggest a few bottle options in various price ranges. I propose three options, she says. One priced high, one in the middle, and one super affordable. More often than not, the guest will choose one of the higher-priced bottles when given a lineup like this.
Carlton McCoy, MS, the wine director at The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, points out that offering wines at a slightly higher price point opens consumers minds to bottles they may not have originally considered. The sommelier, he says, must be knowledgeable and personable to make these special wines more appealing to the guests.
Dont miss the latest drinks industry news and insights. Sign up for our award-winning Daily Dispatch newsletterdelivered to your inbox every week.
Train Servers And Host Staff Wine Tastings
A knowledgeable staff is the key to increasing your bottle sales, but make sure that your training is effective. Wine is an incredibly complex industry, and servers can easily become overwhelmed if you try to present too much information at once. Instead, provide basic knowledge regarding grape varieties and regions. Depending on your wine list, you may want to provide more detailed information to your staff when appropriate.;
Training your staff on how to sell wine will require patience and ongoing refresher training sessions.
Another great way to get your staff more familiar with your wine selection is to host staff wine tastings. You may offer three tastings of the same type of wine: one rich, one unoaked and a third less expensive option. These tastings will give your servers the opportunity to experience the differences between each wine and to become familiar with the characteristics of the grape.;
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Showcase Your Wine Collection Online
Some bars and restaurants boast extensive wine collections, and right now it isn’t practical to have guests touring your wine cellar in person. Why not bring the wine cellar to your customers virtually?
Pluckemin Inn in New Jersey has an extensive wine collection that you can tour entirely online. You can search by varietal, vintage, and region to find your perfect match. Luckily, you can order food directly from their website as well, so you can find the optimal food and wine pairing all in one place.;
This brings us to another pointmaking your wine collection easily viewable and accessible online is crucial to increasing your wine sales. Rather than relying on third party apps, offer your wines directly on your website.;A majority of consumers today prefer to order food and drinks directly from the restaurant. While it may take some time to overhaul your website, it’s a great investment and it’s likely to increase your overall sales.
If you want to easily integrate online ordering, consider switching your POS system to one with online ordering capabilities. This will allow your guests to order wine directly from your website, and according to some statistics, it will increase your sales by up to 32%.;
Purchase Methods Of Chinese Consumers
Chinese consumers often go online to look for information on wine. Hence, social media has become a source of information to exchange ideas and perceptions of the wine industry. Consequently, any winery planning to enter the Chinese market should look at the digital world, with mediums such as WeChat and Weibo, as a way to market their bottles and educate consumers about wine culture. Furthermore, several exhibitions and international wine and spirits fairs are held annually across China. With an upgraded consumption in China, the demand for wine has shifted from products with lower unit prices to products with higher unit prices.
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