What is Your Wine Delivery Rate?

It’s easy to think that once your wine has left your property or the fulfillment house, you don’t need to worry about it anymore. In discussions with our customers, we’ve found that that isn’t the case. Package delivery is a critical component of direct-to-consumer wine sales.

Consumer expectations have increased as a result of the new delivery precedent that companies like Amazon have set. People expect that receiving packages should be easy. If your customers’ wine isn’t delivered on time, the first time, their experience with your winery becomes tarnished, and the work that you put into creating an incredible experience is at risk. This is where the ability to manage package delivery becomes crucial to maintaining the experience that started in your tasting room.

The Importance of a Good Delivery Rate

Delivery rate is the rate at which your wine is successfully delivered. It’s measured as the percent of your shipments that are delivered on the first delivery attempt. It’s essentially a score — the higher the percent, the better.

customer satisfaction levels based on delivery

The Big Delivery Problem — Failed Delivery Attempts

The adult signature requirement for wine packages compromises delivery rates. Recipients usually aren’t home during the day when the common carriers (FedEx and UPS) attempt to deliver packages to their house or apartment.

Combine that with the fact that many customers are either not comfortable receiving wine packages at work or they aren’t willing to haul a case of wine home from the office. Of the almost six million packages that go through ShipCompliant Direct each year, 62 percent (and climbing) are shipped to residential addresses. Only 78 percent of those packages are successfully delivered on the first attempt. If you refer to the math problem above, that’s a C+. I’m sure you’ll agree when we say that that’s not good enough.

Percentage of Packages with Residential Delivery Addresses Over Time

percent of packages with residential delivery addresses








The Risks of Failed Delivery Attempts

One of the last things you want is for your wine to go back and forth on last-mile delivery trucks. Failed delivery attempts can lead to a host of problems:

  • Extended exposure to temperatures that are too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter
  • Customer anxiety around where and when they will receive their order
  • Customer dissatisfaction due to the effort of trying to coordinate the delivery
  • Staff time dedicated to managing the customer experience
  • Additional risks to the package health
  • Lost time and money

As you can see, the results of these failed attempts are detrimental. We know that you, like us, want to provide an incredible experience for your customers. Buying wine should result in delight — not distress. What does your winery do to ensure that the customer experience doesn’t end when shipment begins? Share with us in the comments.


  1. Jamie Kinser

    This is a huge problem! We have started emailing customers a week before shipping as a reminder. We ask for alternate ship dates if what we have set is not convenient. Still a certain percentage do not respond to that email or the delivery exception emails. Many times I personally call UPS/Fedex/GSO to request the package be held at what I hope is a convenient location. We do also suggest folks have their wine shipped directly to a Fedex or UPS store in their neighborhood. That way it’s signed for and held for five business days. Quite a few of our customers now do this 🙂

    • Sam Straka - Direct Product Manager


      Thank you for sharing your insights, it sounds like you are committed to giving your customers a great experience, even after the wine is on its way. Rerouting an at-risk package to a hold location is a great way to ‘save the day,’ especially if you can’t get ahold of the customer.

  2. Amit Nischal

    Good article as many DTC managers don’t look deeply into the last mile delivery. Here are few options
    1. Have customer Sign up to UPS my choice and communicate that in your emails or newsletter. This gives customer the option to Specify delivery time and date according to them.
    2. If you have the data of first attempt clients ask them if they want to have it delivered to fedex office or ups store as alternate address. FedEx doesn’t charge a fee and ups store charges vary from $5-$10.
    3. Make sure you are emailing them tracking info, this is a must!!

    • Sam Straka - Direct Product Manager

      All very good points, but I especially agree with number 3. Giving the customer visibility into their package (and simply reminding them that its on the way) is a fundamental but often missed tactic to improve your delivery rate.

  3. bill cooper

    Interesting. We use the heads up email with option to reschedule, but I dread the delivery exception reports as they trickle in. After the first attempt, we try to phone the recipient. If this is unsuccessful, we will, after two UPS attempts, i.e., before the third that will trigger an automatic UPS return, divert the package to pickup at a UPS location (FedEx seems to allow diversion after the third attempt).
    All that said, I’m impressed by the upward trend in first attempt delivery rates, but can ShipCompliant massage the data for individual wineries so we know where we stand v.v. the average?
    Thanks for the research.

    • Sam Straka - Direct Product Manager

      I’m not so sure that the industry delivery rate is trending up. In fact we’re finding that the number of packages directed to a residential address is on the rise. That is somewhat disconcerting, as on average, 80% of packages sent to a residential address are delivered on the first attempt, compared to 97% at a business address. To your question- Great idea, it would be very cool to compare your delivery rate against the rest of the industry- we’ll keep you posted.

  4. Sonja

    Does anyone have any numbers on getting your customers to Sign up to UPS my choice? It’s always been an option but I don’t think anyone actually signs up.

    • Alex Koral - Product Compliance Manager

      Hi Sonja,

      Thanks for the question. We unfortunately do not have any numbers on having wine consumers sign up for UPS My Choice. It does look like a great service for people buying DtC wine in order to best ensure they get their packages on time and compliantly. Does Prairie Berry have any customers using it? If so, what worked for you to introduce it to them?



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