Chapter 5: How to Select DTC Systems
So how do you select the right systems to connect via a hub-and-spoke model in order to improve the customer experience? Well, first consider, that your DTC systems should help you stay organized, cut down on repetitive tasks, and free you up to do what you’re best at—make delicious wine.
If You Try to Do Everything, You'll Accomplish Nothing
You have options when it comes to your eCommerce provider. From hub-and-spoke to all-in-one solutions, there are a variety of platforms out there and many promise to solve all of your problems.
That’s not VineSpring’s promise. In reality, it’s impossible to do everything and do it well. As you know by now, we focus on our strengths; winery eCommerce and club management. We then leverage the best solutions that exist to provide our clients with access to world-class email, point-of-sale (POS), accounting, and compliance.
Leveraging the Power of Experts
There are plenty of software platforms that exist that are excellent in the areas we’re not. Instead of trying to create our own email solution from scratch, we’ve chosen to integrate with MailChimp, a worldwide respected leader in email marketing. We leave POS up to Square, another widely used solution whose sole focus is to make the purchasing process as simple as possible for both the consumer and the seller. And, we integrate with Quickbooks for easy bookkeeping and connect with compliance partners to enable our clients to work with the compliance provider that makes the most sense for their business.
We are constantly assessing complementary systems to ensure that we’re integrating with the right software and the right partners to best serve our clients.
All-in-one solutions may appear more straightforward. You only have one vendor to work with, right? But in our experience, we’ve found it’s best to build a platform with expert solutions to work for your winery. Best-in-class solutions know all there is to know about a single problem and solution and are constantly working to solve that problem.
To get a visual of the DTC options available, check out Paul Mabray’s Wine DTC Matrix.
Combining the Best to Simplify Your Business
As wine eCommerce experts, the VineSpring team is not only technically savvy but includes winemakers and former tasting room managers. We know your pain first-hand, and the realities and demands of the beverage alcohol business.
The DTC channel is a huge revenue-driver for wineries. But, it’s also complex and evolving. Our sole purpose is to make our customers lives less complicated by providing tools that make DTC eCommerce simple and making club management straightforward and fun. You’ve worked hard to build relationships in the tasting room, and our job is to provide a system that enables you to nurture those relationships beyond the walls of your winery to grow your business.
Beyond eCommerce and club management, we work to offer our customers the very best suite of solutions for their business.
Qualities to Look For
Here are a few of the qualities we look for when choosing solutions to integrate with:
EASE OF USE
Our clients don’t have time to learn complicated software applications. Their goal is to sell more wine and we want to put the pieces in place to make that easier. When choosing who to integrate with and recommend to our clients, we look for solutions that are intuitive and easy to learn.
A bonus to using best-in-class solutions is that they have dedicated teams solely focused on making their product better and constantly innovating. Your business and the industry are rapidly changing and you need technology that can keep up. When you integrate with our recommended systems, you aren’t just getting what they have to offer today; you also get to take advantage of future updates and features.
VineSpring partners are trusted. Every solution that we integrate with is widely used by both major corporations and smaller local businesses. They are industry leaders and award winners that have sustainable business models, which means they will be around for a while.
The barriers to entry for our integration partners is low. With minimal (and sometimes free) price tags and dedicated support, you should have no problem getting started.
To learn more about our DTC vendor selection standards, enroll in the Guide to Choosing DTC Vendors.
What’s the Catch With Best-In-Class Solutions?
You may be thinking, “Okay, I see the upside of the best-in-class solution approach, but it seems like a lot of work to manage more than one vendor.” You’re right. It can be a lot of work. That’s why the criteria we shared above is so important.
By integrating with the easiest to use, most innovative, and trusted systems, connecting and adopting them is much easier than you might expect. We believe it’s worth it to have the best. It creates a better experience for you, your team, and your customers.