So, you want to sell wine online?
There are so many options when it comes to wine ecommerce. Where do you start? First things first - do you pick a wine specific platform? The answer should be - absolutely.
Wine is a game changer. You're not just selling t-shirts or cookies. Wine has a ton of red tape, special taxes, shipping restrictions, complicated compliance and more. But - you already knew that.
Here are some questions to ask when you're deciding on a winery ecommerce provider:
1. Do you know the world of wine inside and out?
You'll want to look for a platform that is 100% focused on the DTC wine industry. They should be up on the newest developments and build features to help you succeed in an ever-changing environment. The world of wine is much different than candy, jewelry and homemade crafts.
2. Can you grow with me?
If you're planning to grow - make sure your ecommerce provider is too! Don't be caught with a platform that has capped out after a few years. You'll have to recover more costs down the line from training and data imports into a new system.
3. Can I work in a single platform?
You know what's annoying? Having 20 tabs open just to make sure an order is completed. Choose a platform that allows each component to speak to each other. Online, tasting room and point of sale sales should all pull from a single inventory pool. Your club member John Smith should get the same discounts and treatment online as in the tasting room. Look for an integrated CRM, ecommerce, wine club management and point of sale system that is customer focused.
4. Can you help me market to my customers more effectively?
Do you get dashboard analytics? Does your platform include mass marketing email tools? Can you measure email marketing success rates? Can you blog? Quickly upload products? Easily edit your website content? Add promotions and events ad hoc? You want a platform that is complex, but easy to manage day-to-day.
5. Are there other tools to make my life easier?
Can you self-fulfill without logging on to a bunch of third party supplier websites? Is compliance baked in? Can you use a fulfillment house where orders flow automatically? Do you have access to package tracking? Can you auto-update credit cards before your club run? Is there a user forum where you can ask the community questions? Is there a support team for when you need a little extra help?
There are a lot of wine ecommerce providers out there. Make sure you pick one that aligns with your winery's goals. Choose a provider that wants to make DTC sales better, can build new features, and is responsive to your needs. Most importantly, choose a platform that doesn't oversell its features. Buy the platform for what it is today - but also what it can grow to be.