COVID-19 has hit wineries particularly hard. With cellar doors closed by the government in March, wineries missed the chance to boost cash reserves before winter. Even now with many businesses back open, it’s still a struggle, especially for small to medium-sized wineries that have traditionally focused on DTC sales.
Because of this massive shake-up, there’s an increased need to look at different promotional opportunities to ramp up revenue. Here are three ideas for post-COVID promotions and possibilities to help boost sales, as well as information on how cloud-based software can help:
1. Host an online tasting event
If you’re able to offer in-person tasting events at your cellar again now, that’s great – but with occupancy restrictions currently in place, why not host one online and include more people? Unico Zelo and other Australian wineries have done this very successfully this year.Choose a date and a platform (like Zoom or MS Teams) and promote your event in-store, on your website and social accounts. You can feature a single wine or varietal, or you can create sample packs with each wine for customers to purchase and pick up in advance. The following week, you can offer a discount on featured wines for participants.With a cloud-based software system in place at your winery, these types of events are even easier to promote – plus, if you use it to track and update customer information, you’ll be able to see exactly what sales were generated, which wines sold best after the event and more accurately plan and target future promotions to customers.
2. Tell your story through video
Visitors from other states might not be able to visit your winery right now, but you can bring your winery to them through video. Online video use by companies – already increasing before the pandemic – has exploded over the past few months.People aren’t always looking for professional video productions, especially right now. They’re interested in realistic, honest videos that will help tell your story, explain how you operate and the process of turning grapes into wine. For some content ideas, check out this YouTube series created by Ricasoli.Promote your videos on your website, in emails, through YouTube and social channels. With cloud-based software solutions, you can connect marketing campaigns to your CRM and use real-time customer data to help you gauge customer interest, select future video topics and create more effective video promotions.
2. Tell your story through video
Without question, wineries that have offered online sales to customers (in addition to in-person sales when possible) during COVID have done much better than those who haven’t. This sales channel isn’t going away: Even before the outbreak, a 2019 WineDirect.com DTC Sales Report found that the average order value (AOV) of an online order was 2.5 times greater than an order in a tasting room – and during COVID, people were likely to place big delivery orders online to ‘stock up’ for lockdown.If you don’t currently offer ecommerce, you can add it to your existing website fairly quickly and easily if you’re using a platform like WordPress, Squarespace or Weebly. And with cloud-based software like Wine One, you can link your online orders to purchasing, accounting and inventory in no time at all.Remember, industry-tailored ‘out-of-the-box’ systems – such as our Wine One for wineries – are extremely user-friendly, have all the necessary elements ready to connect to an ecommerce platform in just a few weeks, and can be further customised and fine-tuned to meet your needs.
At Solutions+, we have extensive experience working with wineries across South Australia to set up powerful, affordable cloud-based systems. If you need advice on setting up a cloud-based system for your winery, please contact us.