Boost eCommerce Sales with Personalization and Automation

Consumers spent billions on Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) wine shipments in 2018, and according to the Silicon Valley Bank Report, DTC sales make up 61 percent of the average family winery’s revenue today. And you can bet the wineries with the largest chunk of those online sales know a thing or two about eCommerce personalization and automation.

If you’re not familiar with these two powerful marketing tools, you should be. It’s no longer enough to simply make your wine or beer available online. In order to attract and retain customers, you’ve got to make every shopper feel like you know them.

Thankfully, with a few simple tweaks to your eCommerce site, you can serve up an online shopping experience practically tailor-made to your customer’s needs—and streamline your winery’s or brewery’s marketing efforts in the process.

Before we dive into how these tools can help you increase profits, let’s cover the basics.

  • Personalization

    The practice of creating personal interactions and experiences on your eCommerce site through individualized offers, product recommendations, and other content based on your website visitors’ previous actions, demographics, and other personal data.

  • Automation

    The combination of software and processes that help eCommerce businesses simplify workflows and eliminate repetitive tasks to deliver personalization.

In short, personalization ensures your messages are relevant to your customers, while automation helps you deliver the right content to the right audience at the right time. Your eCommerce site needs both in order to deliver an outstanding customer experience.

The Benefits of Personalization

These days, customers expect personalization when they shop online. Smart Insights, a publisher and learning platform for digital marketers, revealed some statistics that prove this point.

The importance of personalization wine eCommerce

Now that you know how much your customers will appreciate personalization on your website—and how much more they’ll be likely to spend—you need to understand your customers so you can deliver a more personalized experience.

Buyer personas—fictional representations of your ideal customers—help you uncover the information you need to market to more precise segments of your target market. To create buyer personas, collect data from your customer database, website analytics, social media pages, customer surveys, and market research.

Good buyer personas should include:

  • Demographics: Gender, Age, Geographic Location, Occupation, Income, Education Level

  • Hobbies and Interests (Besides wine and beer!): Golf, Travel, Reading

  • Shopping Motivations: Convenience, Brand Loyalty, Local Products

  • Frustrations/Concerns: Poor Customer Service, Hard to Navigate Websites

  • Preferred Communication Method(s): Email, Social Media, Text Message or Direct Mail

  • Preferred Shopping Channel(s): In-Person, Online, Events

  • Websites/Online Channels Visited Frequently: Facebook, Amazon,

With this information in hand, you’re ready to automate your marketing efforts so you can reach out to customers and prospects more frequently with the information that’s relevant to them.

The Beauty of Automation Technology

Marketing automation helps you stay connected with your target audience—and find more people just like them so you can grow your sales online. Once you’ve flagged a customer in your software, you can set and (almost) forget your marketing campaigns to target people based on their behavior, preferences and previous sales.

Here are some examples of automated emails you can schedule to be sent:

  • Welcome new wine club subscribers to the program

  • Reach out to people who abandon online shopping carts

  • Win back lapsed customers with special offers

  • Share blog updates from your RSS feed

  • Remind wine club members to resubscribe

  • Send birthday messages to customers

As you can see, automation helps eliminate repetitive marketing tasks, freeing up your staff to focus on other aspects of running your winery or brewery.

What You Need for Automation

To automate emails like the ones mentioned above, you’ll need Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software from a vendor such as HubSpot, Salesforce, or MailChimp. These programs automatically track the interactions you have with your customers and potential customers.

To take full advantage of your CRM’s capabilities, you’ll also need to connect your eCommerce, social media, and other online systems through Automatic Programming Interfaces (APIs) and webhooks. These allow your systems to automatically “talk to each other” and retrieve the information they need to automate tasks.

APIs, for example, can automatically grab twitter mentions of your business and post them on your blog. And webhooks can automatically credit a customer’s account with a discount promotion once they’ve purchased a certain number of bottles.

As the technology we’ve outlined in this post continues to transform how people shop, wineries that use personalization—and its time-saving partner automation—will come out ahead. Creating a customized customer experience will not only increase retention and drives new sales, but it will also ensure your winery has an infrastructure in place to simplify managing the future growth of your business.

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