Boost Q4 Winery Profits With These Holiday Sales Strategies

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Holiday sales and marketing campaigns are vital for family-owned wineries, and it’s easy to see why. Wine sales often spike during the fall and winter as consumers purchase bottles of wine to bring to holiday get-togethers and give as gifts. If your winery is thinking about ways to end the year on a high note, you’re probably brainstorming holiday ideas. 

Here are our tips for making this holiday season one to remember, in a good way.

Review Past Holiday Campaign Performance

If your winery has run holiday marketing and sales campaigns in the past, look back at the results. What ideas worked well and can be used again this year? Which ones should be scrapped and replaced with something new? Here are some metrics to review:

  • Open, click, and unsubscribe rates for different email marketing messages
  • Ecommerce sales for special holiday promotions, packaging types, and gift sets
  • Holiday sales in the tasting room (on-site purchase of holiday packages, special bottles, gift certificates, etc.)

Where might you find this information? If you use a CRM or email marketing platform, you should be able to pull reports from specific campaigns to review important metrics. For sales, look at the standard reports that come with your winery management software and ecommerce or POS system, like products sold by month (look at November and December for the last few years).

Determine Your Promotions & Messaging

Various holiday deals and promotions from Shelton Vineyards on Instagram

Once you’ve determined your starting point, you can fill in the gaps in your campaigns with some new tactics. Customers welcome a little generosity over the holidays, so entice them with special offers and deals. Here are a few we suggest:

  • Promote the purchase of gift certificates as holiday gifts for friends and family. You can offer physical gift cards in your tasting room, but also consider an electronic option in your ecommerce store — especially if you ship to other states. That way, a local patron could purchase gift cards and send them electronically to loved ones anywhere that you ship wine!
  • Create holiday gift baskets that include bottles of wine, branded wine glasses or other merchandise, and locally made goods like snacks that pair well with the wine.
  • Offer ecommerce holiday deals for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. In the U.S., consumers are accustomed to looking for deals on these days. Target your audience with social media advertising, email campaigns, and other marketing efforts to make sure they know you’re offering deals during these shopping holidays.
  • Add special perks for new wine club members that purchase or upgrade a membership during the holiday season, like a private tasting for them and a guest.
  • Encourage larger purchases with package deals and holiday bundles. For example, you could offer a discount with the purchase of at least three bottles and an increasing discount with more bottles purchased. You could also pre-bundle a trio of “Holiday Wines” that sells at a slight discount per bottle. Have sparkling options? The holidays are the perfect time to promote bubbly.
  • Offer free or discounted shipping on larger online orders or during a designated “holiday shopping” period if you don’t want to actually discount your products. You’d be surprised how much someone will add to their cart just to get free shipping! Note: Make sure you let shoppers know what date they need to order by to receive their shipments in time for the holidays.

You can promote these deals through email campaigns, social media posts, and digital advertising — any way to reach your customers where they are. In addition to driving sales, promotions are also a great way to generate attention and interest in new or lesser-known products, so consider incentivizing customers if they decide to try something new. Don’t forget to add banners or eye-catching messaging on your website and ecommerce store that tells online visitors about your deals!

Decide How You’ll Manage Retailer & Distributor Orders

You might experience a spike in order requests from your retail and wholesale customers during the holidays as consumers begin looking for holiday gifts, buying drinks for holiday parties, and getting in the festive spirit. How will your team — which is likely already short-staffed and looking for some time off themselves — efficiently manage the flow of orders coming through?

Managing DTC orders is typically pretty simple if you have an online ordering system set up, so why not use a similar solution for distributors and retail accounts? If your inventory management software offers a sales module and digital ordering hub, now is the time to take advantage of it. You can create attractive product listings to show retail customers the special holiday bundles you’re offering, showcase your sparkling wine, or point them toward other products you want in their stores. More importantly, you can save time on sales order processing by putting all these order requests in one place rather than fielding never-ending phone calls and emails.

Get more tips for boosting sales in all four alcohol distribution channels »

Keep a Scorecard for Your Campaigns

Software can help you organize data and discover key insights. For starters, take a look in your CRM and POS systems to take a look at the sales numbers on your most important holiday items. Using reports from your sales-focused software systems can provide a clearer picture of what’s going on than anecdotes from sales reps or tasting room servers. With the right insights, you can adjust where needed or continue to push in areas where you’re seeing success.

And even though the holiday season will fly by, it’s important to review marketing, sales, and inventory data weekly (use your business management software!) to monitor whether your campaigns are working. Consider connecting your inventory management and sales systems for more visibility into metrics like cost of goods sold and profit per item (or, if it’s too late to do it this year, put it on your list to tackle as soon as the holiday season is over). 

If it becomes clear that you need to pivot, do it! Better to try something different than watch a failing strategy continue to fail for the rest of the season.

Run the Numbers for 2022

After the holidays, it’s always good to take a step back and look at the big picture. A new year brings new challenges and a shifting market to do business in. Costs change. So do prices. It’s just the world we live in.

Given the rocky ride wineries experienced in the last few years, it’s become even more important to have easy access to metrics that can give you a full picture of your business. In order to plan, you have to look back to see what worked well and where there are opportunities for improvement or change. 

Wineries that use technology to manage processes such as tracking inventory, calculating COGS, and measuring sales not only have more accurate data, but they also save time by eliminating manual processes. Plus, they are 23% more likely to expect their sales to increase in the next 12 months.

At Ekos, our goal is to help you make and sell more wine. Want to see how we do it? Take a self-guided tour of our winery management software now, or contact our team for your personalized 20-minute demo.

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Written by Josh McKinney