Welcome to the Vin65 blog. We are using this space to try and convey our little piece of insight into winery websites, POS systems, and best practices to sell more wine.
Guest post by Susan DeMatei - Susan is the owner of Wine Glass Marketing, a consulting firm specializing in Direct Marketing for wineries. She is the winner of a Direct Marketing Association Achievement Award, a Certified Sommelier, a Certified Specialist in Wine and has over 20 year's experience in Direct Marketing in the luxury digital arena. You can read her blog at wineglassmarketing.com/blog.
I can't remember the last time I used cash, can you? It seems that everything you buy from anyone can be handled with your credit card, or your phone. No where was this more apparent to me than at the local Alameda flea market this past weekend.
For those of you who haven't been there, this is a monthly massive event of hundreds of vendors that take over the port of Oakland and sell everything from bobby pins to bobbleheads. It is a delightful way to spend a Sunday.
While some are full-fledged antique dealers and furniture restoration houses worthy of their own show on HGTV, many are just small mom-and pop shops or artists with "day jobs" who do this once-a-month as a hobby. So, I was struck by the sophistication of the payment methods.
Gone were the cash-boxes and grasping for change. Nearly everyone was advertising mobile banking - credit cards, sign up for mailing lists and square requests were everywhere. I have seen the same at my local farmer's market (I wish it would warm up already - I miss those!) And, I went to grab a beer on the way home, and the waitress had a hand-held POS system on her phone.
So, why is it in the wine industry we are slow to adapt to what these Sunday vendors have already adopted. Here's some theories:
Many wineries have "legacy" systems, or other systems that work in tasting rooms, inventory, or customer records. When performing a transaction outside the normal constructs of the tasting room, it is important to take these needs into consideration, or else you are going to need to re-enter or upload the mobile transaction data into the main system.
Make sure you mobile POS system of choice is integrated with one of two systems - either your stand alone POS system, like the one at the bar I mentioned, or your web system. If it connects to one of these, your data is merged and customer records are free of duplicates.
Selling a vintage doll buggy or bushel of zucchini is different than selling wine. Frustrating as it is, we are beholden to laws, taxes and volume restrictions not monitored by other vendors. While sliding a card through a reader seems easy enough to set up, remember that these purchases need to go through your accounting system and be recorded.
Check with your accounting or compliance manager on what you need to report. Make sure your mobile POS system of choice is either integrated with your reporting system, like Ship Compliant, or can provide the reports that are necessary. Otherwise, it is probably not worth the hassle.
An often over-looked part of remote transaction is the data capture. A simple slide of the Square may be awesome at the time, but if you can't track that sale back to a customer for future recontact, you're losing marketing possibilities. In the wine industry, this is multiplied when customers ask you to hold shipments until they're back from vacation, or sign up for a club, or change shipping destination. There are many conversations that happen out on the selling floor that should be captured along with that transaction data.
Look beyond a simple mobile POS to one that not only offers the fields you need to take the notes necessary for your business, but also is easily operated by tasting room staff. (And, often the tasting room staff that you hire to work busy events when mobile systems are necessary are part-timers or temps, making it necessary to be extremely intuitive.)
So, go forth and sell - in the tasting room, vineyard or crushpad. But be smart about it by ensuring that your accounting, compliance and customer data systems are integrated and happy with your mobile POS choice.
Guest post by Susan DeMatei - Susan is the owner of Vinalytic, a consulting firm specializing in Direct Marketing for wineries. She is the winner of a Direct Marketing Association Achievement Award, a Certified Sommelier, a Certified Specialist in Wine and has over 20 year's experience in Direct Marketing in the luxury digital arena. You can read her blog at vinalytic.com/blog.
So you got your website live and your products are up to date. If you’re like most wineries, the day-to-day business, tasting room, wine club shipments and email offers fill your schedule. Maybe you get time to post on Facebook or send out a tweet or two.
Who has time to monitor their website and look at metrics?
Well, chances are the Vin65 team set up Google Analytics on your site. This will show you the metrics you need to be concerned with and how to set up a quick dashboard to see how you’re doing every month.
Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google that provides you with endless, valuable information about your website and your visitors. As of April 6th, BuiltWith reported that it knows of 15,429,942 sites using Google Analytics, and that includes more than 60 percent of the top 10,000 sites (as measured by Quantcast, Alexa and other sources) and just about 60 percent of the top 100,000 sites.
So you’re in good company. But the amount of data is overwhelming! Well here is a cheat sheet for the top metrics to look for and a short description of why each is essential.
This is the first statistic you’ll want to look at in your dashboard. You care about it because it is your baseline and what you calculate your conversion rates on. This is how many individual visitors came to your site on a monthly basis. Unique visitors tell you how many real people came to your website whereas Total Visitors can include repeats and bots (computers scanning the web).
Your Unique Visitors should go up and down based on any emails, or other marketing campaigns you’re running. If you compare your Unique Visitors to your website sales you will get an idea of how well your website converts visitors to buyers.
The bounce rate shows you how many people came to your site and immediately leave. This is not a good thing. Think of this as your electronic “BS” meter. If you’re promising something in a link, or email, or blog and then what is experienced when the customer arrives on your site is disappointing – they “bounce.”
What you’ll want to do is compare your bounce rate with your traffic efforts to see how your credibility is trending. Ideally you will want to increase your unique visitors without increasing your bounce rate. Although it varies greatly, you usually want to see your bounce rate in the 30-40% range. Any more than that, customers are feeling “teased” and aren’t finding the content they thought they would.
How are people finding your winery website, anyway? Good news! There is an entire tab that will show you how people got to your site. To me, this is the most interesting area of Google Analytics. What I find most interesting is the % of Referral, Direct and Search traffic. This will decipher between your existing customer database (that probably knows you and is clicking on your emails) and new customers coming from partners, or a search query.
There are many other things you can see in Google Analytics, like path analysis, where people enter and exit your site, track sales and you can even email the most important metrics to yourself on a periodic basis. But, if you only have a couple minutes a month – these are the three metrics you want to look at.
One thing you (or your management) might find helpful is a quick dashboard of metrics every month. Here is an example of something that might be helpful for you that doesn’t take long to prepare but will provide you with great insight into your online activities.
What you want to pay attention to is the trending. So, in our example above, the business has certainly grown from 2006 to 2007, but the % is not hugely different. We’re still converting about 25% of our traffic to sales, at about 7 bottles a sale. And while the Club sign-ups increased, the Average Order Value went way down. What happened? Did we discount? Introduce a new, cheaper wine into the mix? These are things this dashboard can point out to us.
So, with a combination of the data in Vin65 and Google Analytics, you can really start to see where your business is going. And, with a couple key metrics and some quick entry into an excel sheet – you to can be a metrics wizard!
Have you tried Google Analytics yet? Share your helpful tips or feel free to leave your comments below.
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