Selling wine online is tricky if you are unaware of the complete process. In this blog post, we will explore how you can sell alcohol online efficiently to maximize your business returns.
Wine consumption has exponentially increased across the world in recent years. Due to this, the online sales of wine have increased, leading to a very developed market. Selling wine online is a great idea for introducing wine to a wider group of people. Setting up an online wine shop is a great progression if you have your boutique wine shop at a physical location and want to spread the word online.
While selling wine online is an excellent idea, you need to know how to set up a wine shop online to succeed. Let us look at the steps to set up an online store individually.
1. Learn the Law
As the first step to taking your wine shop online, ensure you know the legalities involved. The legalities depend on your physical location. Depending on where you want to ship wines, you might need permits and licenses. In certain places shipping wine is prohibited due to stringent laws around alcohol selling. You must be aware of them, so ensure that you do your research well ahead of time.
It is always better to source the wine directly from the wineries to avoid a few legal procedures. If you plan to ship wine outside the country of your current residence, ensure that you are aware of the shipping restrictions and the alcohol law of the country where you plan to ship your wine. Knowing the relevant laws and being aware of your options always helps.
2. Pick your Product Wisely
Wine is a versatile product, so you must pick your product strategically to ensure maximum revenue. When taking your wine shop online, the steps also depend on the kind of wine you choose. Based on your product choice, ensure you know the wines completely and update your knowledge regularly. After all, your expertise might be required anytime. Next, identify your target audience and tailor your advertisements accordingly. Ensure that your marketing strategies focus on people interested in buying online. Ask yourself, is your target audience individual people, eateries, or hotels? Before you take your wine shop online, ensure that you have done enough research and have identified your niche audience to target.
3. Identify your Supplier
If you plan to sell wine that you produce, you can skip this step. If not, you must source a wine supplier. Companies that distribute wine on a wholesale basis can be an excellent alternative. Identifying the right company to source your wine can make selling wine much smoother and the business profitable. When searching for a vendor, ensure they can be trusted. Next, check for the variety in their wine stocks. Immediately after that comes negotiations for the price, which determines your profit range. Once that’s decided, check how soon they can provide you with the stocks and whether they also give additional assistance or customer support if required. Last but not least, consider their attitude and how easy it is to work with them. After you have answers to all the above points, congratulations, you have found your perfect wine supplier.
4. Create Brand Presence
Although the wine market is versatile, there are multiple wine suppliers. To set up a customer base, you will have to have a unique selling point or USP. Nowadays, buyers have a lot of choices when buying wine online, so while having a variety of wines available is good, it is not enough. You will have to ensure that your wine stands out. Design the wine case and bottle in such a way that it catches the customer’s eye. Many people buy wine cases based on how they look and how well they travel. So, the bottle and packaging are very important. “Brand” is not only about your company logo; it also encompasses various factors, such as how consumers look at your brand, the colors you choose when marketing, and the buzz you create online. Ensure that you spell out how you want to be perceived by the consumer. That perception will stay on, so think before you choose it.
5. Build a Store Online
After getting the legalities done and identifying the supplier, the next step is to set up shop online. You can create a website manually yourself, or you can build a website using any eCommerce platform. Building your website is great, giving you flexibility in designs and customizations. However, it is expensive and time-consuming. Alternatively, some eCommerce platforms will allow you to customize and be less expensive. You can also opt for the drop shipping model to outsource the order fulfillment. The option you choose will have to be based on your business type, area, and resources available to you.
6. Packing and Shipping
Wine bottles are heavy and breakable, so it’s imperative that you think about how you are going to ship them to your customers. After all, you don’t want the recurring cost of replacing broken bottles. You need to design bottles that are practical and easy to pack.
Moreover, the package should be customized for the shipment of wine bottles. To ship the bottles globally, the packaging should meet domestic and international packing standards. Ensure that you also mark the shipment as fragile for extra precaution. Your courier service must be capable of shipping fragile items in bulk. Additionally, you will also have to get the relevant certifications to be able to ship the wine bottles.
7. Invest In Marketing
You cannot build an online wine shop without investing in marketing them. With so many competitors in the current market, you need strategies to stand out. The primary thing to do is start with your website and ensure that your product image is accurate and captures the wine and the bottle properly. Next, ensure you correctly add the image description without overhyping it. You can add strong words for better marketing, but transparency and honesty go a long way to building a steady and loyal customer base. Create social media pages for your product and ensure you post good material across all platforms. The more interesting your posts are, the higher your probability of attracting potential customers. Ensure that your website is customer-friendly and easily usable. You can also use other marketing options, such as building SEO, investing in paid promotions, and email marketing.
8. Create a Network
The last step in selling your wine online is creating a network. You need consumers to buy your wine and promote them across their network leading to further purchases. Nowadays, buyers rely more on customer reviews and recommendations when buying a new product. Needless to say, you will have to build a strong customer base to encourage and build that network. Look for highly satisfied customers with your product and want it to succeed. They might help you to spread the word across channels.You can partner with other product owners and offer complimentary products to each other’s customers. It is a great way to spread your brand name further and attract new customers. You can also collaborate with social media influencers and ask them to promote your product on their channels. Studies have shown that people tend to buy products their favorite influencers promote as they trust the influencer.
After the global pandemic that hit us recently, online wine sales have boosted considerably. People who previously used to go to a store to buy wine have shifted their focus to online stores. The online store has more variety and a smooth buying experience. By taking your wine store online, you reach a global audience, thus increasing your revenue considerably. You can build a loyal customer base slowly but surely.
As an online wine seller, you can ask specific questions to your customer that will help you to customize your offerings and send targeted ads to your customer. This type of personally tailored individual marketing effort has a higher success rate than generic advertisements.
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