It’s October, which means the holiday season is approaching accompanied by the regular peak in direct-to-consumer (DtC) wine sales. ShipCompliant — along with our friends at Wine Shipping — hosted a webinar to discuss strategies for handling the increase in holiday orders.
Jennifer Goodrich of Wine Shipping provided an overview of what the busy season means for wineries and suggestions on how to prepare. The biggest takeaway: Success down the road requires planning today. Here are four ways wineries can get ready for the holiday rush:
1. Over half of all DtC shipments happen in October, November, and December, as packages waiting out the summer heat are released, wine clubs send out year-end orders, and consumers order gift packages. On top of that, wineries must also compete for delivery space against everyone else sending gifts and holiday items across the country. Wineries can best handle this surge by preparing their delivery schedules and being aware of peak delivery times, particularly the week before Christmas. They should also look to set customer expectations to avoid any unpleasantness that could come from late deliveries.
2. Encouraging customers to make purchases earlier in the season can help ensure those customers receive their wine on time. One solution is offering discounts or reduced shipping fees for customers who order in October or early November. But simply letting customers know about the busy shipping season can also be effective in helping them place orders in advance.
3. Wineries need to understand that many of their holiday orders are actually gifts. They should then plan their gift offerings early. Setting up specific gift packages — for example, a predetermined selection of wine or other items — can make ordering easier for customers looking for a pre-packaged gift idea. When using a fulfillment center, like Wine Shipping, it’s also necessary to fully inform them of your gift kits to ensure the correct packages are sent out. Part of that is getting the right packaging in place so the gift items are kept safe and will arrive looking beautiful.
4. When selling a gift package, be sure to include the proper messaging in the box. Gift cards with a holiday message are great! Price lists and receipts…not so much. But do consider including information on your winery and what you have to offer. Someone who receives a gift this year could easily become a buyer in their own right next year.
Getting ahead in the holiday game is the most guaranteed path to success as things get busier. To learn about more tips for success in DtC shipping, access the webinar. And, as always, be on the lookout for more webinars by ShipCompliant.