Investing in Wine Clubs and the Subscription Model is Great for Business

Subscription-based eCommerce has grown 3000% over the past three years.

The subscription model provides greater flexibility, adaptability, efficiency, and accountability to your business while allowing for greater convenience, novelty, and affordability to the customer.

As wineries know, the unique characteristic of a subscription is that it’s built on a relationship. And, those relationships must be nurtured in order for businesses to grow and make money.

According to Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo, subscription-economy companies “live and die” by their ability to focus on the customer.

Many traditional consumer businesses and new start-ups alike are embracing the subscription model, especially as software options to support this model become more affordable and easy to implement. Powerful online tools for managing clubs and allocations are being provided “out of the box”—which makes starting a club or allocation really simple.

The value of members is tremendous—up to 41% of retail revenue in the U.S. comes from repeat purchasers, who represent only 8% of all visitors. Year over year, there’s an increase in consumers’ willingness to buy new product categories online, particularly those more traditionally sold in stores or on site.

The triangulation of the growth in the subscription economy, the tremendous customer-value that repeat customers provide, and the move from in-store shopping to online is a perfect storm of opportunity for wineries and breweries who are selling through the DTC channel.

Those who invest in the subscription economy will be set up to create a more sustainable, scalable DTC / club program. Additionally, those who can meet the demands of Millennials and Gen X will attract the customer groups that are positioned for big growth. Younger generations have the highest expectations for frictionless path-to-purchase and great online experiences. They also represent the future of DTC sales.

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With the growth of online shopping—the demand for personalization and a modern experience for the customer will continue to increase.

Slow eCommerce experiences leave a lot on the table. According to Kissmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a site to load in two seconds or less. These expectations require businesses to prioritize their eCommerce experience and partner with experienced technology teams that focus on these areas of the buyer’s journey:

  • User Experience: Creating an excellent online experience for customers and showcasing your brand while providing an easy path-to-purchase is critical to meeting consumer online expectations

  • Conversion-Optimized: Higher sales can be realized with a streamlined checkout that works across all current web browsers and platforms (mobile and desktop)

  • Customized Membership: Personalization is crucial in today’s customer-focused world. Make your customers feel special with personalized club and allocation benefits.

  • Scalable: Be prepared for big sales days with systems that can scale easily to support increased traffic and fast response times.

Your winery and technology partners should share these priorities. If your technology partner doesn’t, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to support you into the future of your business as these new expectations and consumer behaviors become a reality for the wine industry.


 

Andrea Steffes-Tuttle