Vin65 Blog

DTC wine thoughts served up by Vin65

Andrew Kamphuis
December 2, 2009 | Ecommerce, Marketing | Andrew Kamphuis

The Most Important Time in a Customer Relationship.

The most important time in a customer relationship is the three months following their first purchase.

That statement may or may not be true for you... but it's true for Kevin Hillstrom. Do you know what percentage of your first time customers will purchase again? And do you know within what time frame they will place their subsequent orders?

We spend a lot of time tweaking the customer experience on winery websites so that visitors will make the first purchase.  We also know that repeat customers are the best customers to have. What happens between the first purchase and a customer becoming a repeat purchaser?

There are some really great comments in Kevin's blog:

  1. First time buyers are in a 'honeymoon' period.
  2. First time buyers generate a lot of buzz (positive and negative) - maybe more buzz than loyal customers.
  3. First time buyers should be given an incentive for their second order. 

Consider the following scenarios:

First Time Purchaser in the Tasting Room
A visitor from out-of-town makes their first purchase in your tasting room. Converting them to a repeat purchaser becomes a lot easier if your POS and website talk with each other. We would recommend that they receive a 'Thank You' for visiting email, followed by an email asking them to rate the wines they bought, and a coupon to entice them to make their second purchase online. 

First Time Purchaser on the Web
For most wineries this consumer may be a little more rare. They heard about your wine from a friend or at a restaurant, and now they come to your website and order a bottle. Do you treat them the same as any other customer?  Wouldn't it be better to treat them special with a customized message and coupon for their second purchase?


Mike Duffy's Gravatar
Mike Duffy
@ Dec 2, 2009 at 10:54 AM
Excellent post, Andrew. It's all about lifetime value of a customer.

And how many wineries follow up when someone doesn't re-order? Did they have a bad experience?

Direct mail experience says that a list of *purchasers* is worth 10-20 times what a list of *prospects* is worth. So your advice is spot-on.

Glad I subscribed to your blog!

Kathleen Rake's Gravatar
Kathleen Rake
@ Dec 2, 2009 at 1:25 PM
Great piece, Andrew, that rings true for so many industries, not just wine!



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