Move over, France.
Get back in line, Spain.
Know your place, Italy.
When it comes to wine, (or, rather, wine consumption) the US comes out on top. Indeed, the United States drinks more of this divine beverage than any other country. 408 million cases of the stuff were sold in 2018 alone.
That’s good news for anybody in the wine business. The market for it’s obviously there! You just have to find the best ways to sell to it.
In today’s digital world, a crucial way to do just that is to sell wines online.
After all, more people are using the internet for their shopping than ever before. It makes total sense to meet that demand and make your wine available for sale on the World Wide Web.
The real trick is doing it effectively. Are you looking for advice on seeing online wine selling success? We can help!
Keep reading for 9 top tips for selling wines online in the barrel load.
1. Understand the Legal Situation
First off, it’s important to understand the legal implications of selling wine.
The last thing you want is to get yourself in trouble down the road.
For somebody entirely new to this process, you’ll need to organize the requisite licenses and permits. Alas, from registry with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to acquiring retailers’ and winery licenses, there’s a fair amount to sort out.
It’s worth knowing that each state has specific laws that relate to selling wine online. Rules on the quantities you can ship and whether you can sell direct to consumers vary depending on where you live and to which state(s) you want to sell.
Be sure to look into the exact processes and requirements involved. If you’re at all confused, then speak to a lawyer for help. Let them know your plans and follow their instructions.
That way, you can move forward knowing you’ve done things as per the regulations.
2. Look Into Wholesale Buying
Having handled the legal obligations, it’s time to source your product.
Of course, the manner of acquiring wine varies too.
You might run a winery and already have it bottled and ready to sell! Others, though, might be starting from scratch and be less interested in making the wine itself. For anybody falling into that second category, it’s worth looking into wholesale buying.
Like any shopping, buying in bulk opens the door to discounted per-unit prices.
Contact wine distributors or go direct to the winery to see if you can strike a deal. Buying wholesale is your ticket to securing a profit!
Make sure you’ve researched the competition as well, though. See what other online wine stores are selling and charging. From there, you’ll have a better sense of what’s popular and what you can charge.
3. Create a Website/Online Store
Welcome to online wine selling 101!
You need to get yourself a website with an online store. After all, to actually sell your wines online you need a platform from which to do it.
The website becomes the face of your brand. It’s your virtual storefront; where your target consumer comes to buy the wines you have available.
Needless to say, it’s crucial to your endeavors.
Nicely, it shouldn’t be too tricky to set up either. WordPress sites are straightforward to create and can be linked in with eCommerce store plug-ins. That’s arguably the easiest way forward.
From there, it’s a matter of listing your wines for sale and finding ways to get people to the site.
4. Optimize the Website/Store
Having a website/store isn’t enough.
Remember, people are fickle! They want things easy and fast. Fail in those regards and they’ll look elsewhere to buy their wine.
In other words, your site must be set up to facilitate online sales. It’s speed, design, navigation, and overall user-experience makes a huge difference. If your website is slow, clunky, awkward, and ugly, then you can never expect it to generate as many sales as you’d like.
Mobile-optimization is another key consideration. Make sure that your website runs just as smoothly on smartphones as it does on desktops.
The majority of people browse the web on mobile these days. Knowing that, search engines have started prioritizing mobile-optimized sites in their results.
5. Look Into Auction Sites
It’s worth mentioning auction sites at this point.
Why? Because they provide another interesting option for selling wine online.
You may never have heard of online wine auction sites before! But there’s no shortage of them on the internet. Run a quick Google search and you’ll be spoiled for choice.
However, the site itself matters less than the process involved.
Imagine having a particularly high-quality vintage that only true connoisseurs will appreciate.
Rather than waiting for the right buyer to come to your standard online store, why not put it up for auction? People who know their wine can, and will, bid on it. Assuming the wine is sufficiently known and sought-after, you can fetch a good fee this way.
6. Leverage In-Store Customers
One more thing before we move onto specific winery marketing methods:
Do you already run a brick and mortar wine store?
If so, you’ve got a head-start in terms of cultivating online sales. Make the most of the customers you get through the door by getting them to sign up online as well. You could promote a wine newsletter or offer specific discounts through your website.
With their email address in hand, you have direct access to your target audience. That’ll make it far easier to drive online sales.
Moreover, your online stores can then gather data on the wines people buy. That’s vital data! You can use it to promote specific, relevant, personalized wines and promotions to them. Sales will spike in the process.
7. Create Content
Okay, onto the marketing strategies that can drive online wine sales.
Let’s start with one of the most effective options at your disposal: content marketing. In simple terms, this is the process of creating quality content that ranks highly in search engines.
People searching for answers to specific problems find your content, click on it, and end up on your website. From there, the quality you provide (and an incentive you include) prompts them to subscribe to your newsletter, buy something from you, etc.
In other words, content gets users to your website, at which point you can convert them into a lead. If you’re lucky, they may go straight to making a purchase.
Blog posts could describe the ideal wine for certain foods, or detail the wine-making process. Videos could detail the qualities of particular vintages. And so on.
Master search engine optimization, create quality content, and you’ll soon attract users to your site.
8. Leverage Video Content
Video content is worth talking about in more detail.
Why? Because few tools are more powerful in the world of marketing right now.
People consume video at frightening rates. On YouTube and/or social media, it’s viewed, engaged with, and shared more than any other form of content.
As an online wine merchant, you can use that to your advantage.
For instance, you could set up a YouTube channel devoted to wine tasting. You could open up the new vintage you just got in and record your first impressions. Talk about the wine in accessible terms, discuss its properties, and suggest who might like it.
You could mention that you have the wine on sale and put a link to the sales page in the description. As people view the video and get value from it, they might go onto purchase the bottles in question.
9. Build a Social Media Following
Ensure you have a social media presence too.
Now, you might not make mind-blowing levels of direct sales through it. But you will be able to cultivate your brand and develop a loyal following in the process.
It goes without saying how both outcomes are big positives!
The trick is selecting your social media platforms carefully. Start with a single platform that matches your target demographic. For instance, somebody aiming for middle-aged, high-income individuals might choose Facebook, which is known for its older user-base.
From there, it’s a matter of mastering the platform in question. Figure out the best times of day to post, the content your audience likes most, and how to provide as much value as possible.
In time, you’ll see a rise in engagement that lends itself to marketing your products, promotions, and sales pages.
Time to Sell Wines Online
Americans love their wine. You can tell this by the endless quantities that get consumed every year.
And it’s good news for winemakers and merchants. It means anybody in the industry can enjoy a bustling business if they get their bottles in the right places.
Vendors that sell wines online have a definite advantage. Done right, they can leverage the popularity of internet shopping to sell ever-greater quantities of their vino.
Are you moving into the online world of wine-selling? Hopefully, the tips in this post will help you find success.
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