One of the results of the global pandemic and resulting shelter in place orders has been a monumental upswing in cooking and drinking at home. Wineries that had once conducted the majority of sales out of their tasting rooms began seeing online sales skyrocket. Brands that offered their wines in grocery stores suddenly were sending many more cases. It was a wakeup call. Alcohol brands had to learn how to optimize their online sales presence, quickly. Brands have enjoyed a major boom, but this won’t always continue organically. Now that sales have leveled out, and most companies have created an online sales presence, agencies like Balzac are here to help make it a robust and easy experience that can continue as a solid part of your sales strategy moving forward, even if you haven’t sold online before COVID.
Sales skyrocketed by 300% in April, and have dropped about 15% since then; it’s important to keep the momentum.
“DTC is where the growth is” notes e-commerce expert, Eric Lewis who has worked with online breakout brands such as Casper; “in that market, Millennials will matter.” PR agencies have targeted the outlets that Millennials follow for years, and we are already well versed in reaching that audience. Because this sales element is crucial, Lewis recommends hiring marketing professionals to help.
To that end, we wanted to revisit a blog we posted in May 2019 with updates for our current state of being. While the reasons outlined still apply, they are even more important now… When consumers aren’t able or aren’t comfortable coming to your tasting rooms. We’ve outlined below what we consider to be most important to driving sales for OND.
Get comfortable with social media
You don’t need to do it yourself
Digitally proficient agencies like ours have been handling social media and virtual events (In fact, Balzac was the first agency to host a live Twitter tasting!) for years, and we know what we are doing. Most wineries, distilleries and breweries are still busy doing what they know best: making beverages for consumers. Meanwhile, their social presence falters if they’re trying to manage accounts themselves. Handing that power to us allows for an effective and current voice getting your message out to qualified customers. Today, online sales are booming more than ever, and a majority of consumers are discovering new brands via social media. Using an agency to craft a message, target an audience, and even strategically place ads can drive traffic to the shopping pages of your site efficiently, and let’s you go back to focusing on your products.
Driving site traffic matters, so does driving it strategically
Marketing pros know exactly how to do this effectively for your brand
Remember, online sales means entering into a market where consumers are well-versed. To do it right, it helps to have long standing relationships with media. An agency well versed in your industry will know exactly who, and what publications to target for maximum targeted exposure. We use tools to track traffic based on specific links and can demonstrate to you, with data, how our outreach works for you to generate traffic to your website. Once a consumer makes it to your site to purchase, it needs to be seamless. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile purchase. Make it easy to place an order from wherever your audience may be. This gets the consumer into your system, and leads into our next piece of advice:
Growing your email list with quality sales leads is paramount
Not only is it important to grow your list to reach out to your customer base with newsletters and offers; you can use this to let them know how you’re making it safe to come back to the tasting room when you are ready to reopen. Allowing customers to enter their email on the landing page for a shipping discount, for example, is a quick and easy way to bring in more email addresses. It may, however, lead to an “unsubscribe” if the consumer only wants a discount. Using an agency to help boost meaningful marketing efforts will more quickly allow you to grow your base with qualified customers.
Using these tips (and an agency) will keep customers coming to your website again and again.