By Dawn Dolan
“The number one thing wineries need to do in 2021 to grow their eCommerce sales is utilize personalization,” says Zach Kamphuis, General Manager of Commerce7. “Change the engagement with the consumer, based on what you know about them. This is not a new concept.” But it is an evolving one, and Kamphuis says that while only about 15% of Commerce7 take advantage of their personalization tools, they are among the top performers.
When a consumer logs onto a Commerce7 powered site, they can get an increasingly personalized experience similar to what they’ve come to expect from sites like Amazon. Offerings will be made available to them based on their previous purchase, or if they wine club members, with multiple purchases under their belt, tThen the personalization will be taken to a higher level.
“When you offer your site visitors personalized product recommendations, you give them a better experience,” says Kamphuis, and they drive more sales. “Personalized product pages on Commerce7 drive six times more add to cart clicks than standardized product pages.”
The data collected from consumer behavior on the website, past purchases, and club membership tell you when they last purchased, visited, where they live, and what their lifetime value is; all of which can be used to personalize offers for them.
“Clubs today are based around member benefits, but they are very localized,” says Kamphuis. “If a customer joins a wine club in California, but lives in New York, then sometimes those benefits are not very applicable.” He asserts that making member benefits and club options more flexible and convenient is what will cause a new client to join the club. Using software to allow users to personalize their club, with things like which products, the quantity, the package frequency, shipment date, and delivery date all can have a huge impact on not only sales, but on customer retention as well.
From the roughly 420 wineries clients that Kamphuis has aggregate data from, he notes that on average 28% of club members will change the wine club package if given the option. This in turn will drive more revenue and also drive higher member retention. The data shows that allowing a club member to change the club shipment will increase the order value by 20% on average. Additionally, the attrition rate for members who edit the package drops.
Of Commerce7’s clients, on average 17.4% of wine club members leave in the first year. Of those who edited their club shipments, that number drops to 12.3%. A significant reduction in attrition, especially in times of in-person tasting being closed down making it harder to replenishment club members. Kamphuis notes that, “If you give a great [online] shopping experience, they’ll purchase again.” Of those wineries using wine club personalization features on Commerce7, 74% are offering user choice (personalization) of clubs.
A potential issue of allowing customers to be able to personalize clubs would be the impact upon inventory and the issues that it could create, especially for a small winery. Kamphuis suggests that if you are a large winery with 30,000 club members, or a small one, you should be able to use your ecommerce platform to assess what inventory you will need, and act on that. “If you have a winery with 30,000 wine club members, you can let people personalize so it’s [club shipments] not going out all at once. Fulfillment is actually easier that way,” says Kamphuis. For a smaller winery, one can look at it like an ecommerce source, instead of a traditional-style once-per quarter wine club run, he suggests.
“The argument we are trying to make is that we’ve got to do what’s in the consumer’s interest. Otherwise, someone else will,” says Kamphuis. “For consumers shopping online, you need to customize and personalize the content they see on your site based on their unique relationship with your brand.”
Ecommerce personalization can be intimidating for wineries, so “You can take a slow approach to these kinds of things,” advises Kamphuis and elaborates, if you are just getting started and dabbling with customer engagement, change the content on your home page. Try to make an offering on your homepage to engage the anonymous visitor, something for the first time buyer, and an opportunity that is interesting to repeat buyers. And, of course, one option exclusively for wine club members.
Commerce7 has put together a databook of the insights they’ve found on the shift in consumer preferences that defined 2020, which will shape the winery DTC industry for years to come, and made it available for download. “Digging through our data we’ve found a lot of great insights that we’re looking forward to sharing with the industry and encouraging our clients to act on,” says Kamphuis.
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