There is a little more than one month to the Christmas and Holidays season: the time of the year in which you can really boost your wine sales. Believe it or not, holiday shopping starts as early as September and October, while November and December are the peak months. Especially in December, the shopping spirit increases drastically: in the UK, retail sales grow by 30% during Christmas time. Statistics show that Holidays season is the peak time for wine sale, according to Wine Industry Metrics last year the last quarter brought approximately 30% of total annual revenue for Californian wineries.
Therefore, now is the perfect time for wineries to prepare the last details for Christmas spirit wine sales. To help you out, we have gathered some ideas on how you can sell more wine during the Holidays, especially if you have a small winery with a tight budget.
1. Offer a sale
Be careful with this one: it’s probably the most obvious and the easiest way to make the most sale during the Holidays. Cutting prices can really boost your sales, but do it in a smart way: you don’t need to cut prices for all of your products, just for some of them. If you sell on the US market, then there are two days you should be prepared for – Black Friday and Cyber Monday, especially if you sell your wine online. Black Friday is believed to be the biggest digital shopping day of the season and represents 4,6% of total US retail revenue for the holiday season while Cyber Monday represents 6,1% of total holiday retail sales. Great opportunity for wineries to join the train. If you come from other parts of the world, make sure to lower the prices of your wines on the special days during the Holiday season, like Boxing Day, for example.
2. Free shipping
Take the slower, lower-priced option. If you sell your wine online then during the holiday season, offer free shipping or at least lower the shipping costs. High shipping costs are often a drawback from the purchase. It’s predicted that this year more than half of holiday orders will include free shipping. Shoppers love free shipping, many of them are willing to shop earlier so that the orders with free shipping (which can be slower, and therefore cheaper for you as well) have plenty of time to arrive before Christmas.
3. Promote Gift Sets & Gift Ideas
Wine is one of the most popular gifts (not only at Christmas time) because you simply can’t miss with it, and it makes everyone happy. 🙂 Especially when shoppers are buying presents at the last minute, and when they don’t know what to buy, they buy wine. So how can you make sure to sell more wine – simply offer your customers gift sets with your wines. Make a gift set with you wine, together with some wine-related items like a corkscrew, nice glasses, or something similar – and wrap it up with a holiday-themed paper.
4. Offer gift-wrapping & wine bags
If you are not that much into making a gift sets, simply offer your customers nice gift-wraps, or wine bags that they can purchase together with your wine. Make buying simple, and shoppers happy, with pre-wrapped duos and trios available from the shelf. For example, you can offer a bag with two of your sparkling wines, or a bag with 3 different wines for a Christmas dinner. Don’t forget to add a note which of those wines pairs perfectly with deserts, and which with the main dishes – give valuable advice (see tip no. 10).
5. Offer Gift cards
Allow your customers to buy gift cards. For this one person who either has everything or is extremely picky when it comes to wine. Or for those that don’t want to worry about the perfect gift. Offer several different designs and monetary options, and as a plus bonus, write a nice (personalized) message next to a gift card.
6. Adjust your website and social media profiles
Dress up your web page and social media profiles into Year-end and Holiday spirit. Yes everybody is doing this so do it yourselves as well. Why? Well to be in line with the happy spirit and in this way you can showcase your favorite gift wraps or gift packages (mentioned above).
One more interesting fact for the US, it’s expected that this year more than half of all online holiday purchase will occur on mobile, so if you haven’t yet adjusted your web page for mobile devices, especially if you have online wine store.
7. Create a video
Make a video for your web page and YouTube channel; if you have none of them (eg. youtube or web site), share your video on your social media channels: almost all of them enable video distribution. Video is a very cost-effective promotion for your wines and winery. Group together and sing a Holiday Song, or simply record Christmas spirit in your winery and invite customers to visit you or showcase your Christmas offer. Making videos is one of the most popular and effective marketing strategies in recent years. Namely, viewers retain 95% of a message when it’s conveyed through video, compared to 10% when it’s presented in text form.
8. Host or join events
According to the Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute, the most profitable business model for small winery’s is direct wine sales to consumers. During the Holidays season, it is the perfect timing for you to host an event in your winery, and hold wine tasting event, end-of-the-year business parties, offer winery tour, and so on.
If you don’t have a place at your winery, join Christmas markets – most likely there are plenty of them in your local area, where you can promote your wines. Also, several shopping malls at this time of the year enable local farmers to set up the stand and sell wines on malls hallways. If you decide to participate on those events, don’t just offer free wine tasting and sell wine bottles, which is often a classic. Instead, as mentioned before offer different gift package and gift wrappings – in this way customers won’t need to bother and go to another store to buy wine bag or wrap the bottle. Make enough pre-made packages, or even better offer free wrapping if possible.
9. Create 12-days of wine
Create 12-days of your wines, you can also make a product of the week, or product of the month. The point is to feature one of your wines every day or every week during the Holidays. It’s most likely that many of your customers don’t know all of your product range – let alone they ever purchased it. Food business companies use this strategy a lot, we all know very well the cake-of-the-month. So in your case, simply choose a day in a week in which you will introduce one of your wines, therefore wine-of-the week 😉 and promote it that week. You can make a video about it and explain everything about that particular wine, or write a blog post about it, and promote it on social media channels, etc.
10. Give advice
Give advice to your customers regarding food and wine pairing for this Holidays season. You can do it through the videos, social media channels, or make an e-book with the most popular Christmas dishes and pair your wines with it. Or better yet make it the opposite way, showcase your wines, and choose the best dishes recipes that can be paired with your wine. Let your customers participate and let them give you their favorite recipes and you can help them out by pairing it with your wines.
11. Christmas Email Marketing Campaign
Send customized email champagne by matching shoppers preferences with your wine assortment. Since we all get a lot of emails during Holidays season, make sure to stand out with your winery newsletter with compelling content, offerings, and design. Emails are still the best way to get to the customers, and make a good sales result.
12. Reward Your Social Media Fans
Use your social media channels to promote your winery and Christmas sale. And no, you don’t need to go for a paid advertisement; actually, if you have a small budget, you will have a very hard time to outbid the big players at that time of the year. However, you need to be very active on all of your platforms to amuse and educate your audience and make them buy your products. Encourage your Facebook follower to share your video, or photos with your best Christmas deals or gifts – organize a giveaway, a wine package gift (or free degustation in your winery for two) for one lucky person who is going to like, share, and comment your photo. Don’t forget on Twitter and Instagram, where you can share photos of Christmas spirit in your winery, as well as your promo materials.
13. …don’t forget the sparkling wine
In December, sparkling wines really get a boost in sales. Especially the last days before the New Year is a great opportunity for all winemakers. After the Christmas, move away from all Santa Clause wraps and packages, and replace them with packages for New Year’s Eve. Pre-wrapped duos and trios of sparkling wine are a perfect gift for anyone hosting a New Year’s Eve party.
So for the end, what you need to know to successfully reach your full potential during the 2018 holiday shopping season, is that more and more mobile phones are dominating shopper experience. Therefore, make sure to have a mobile-friendly webpage, and an online store. Namely, more and more people buy online, last minute shoppers make nearly 30% of online holiday sales. If you don’t have an online store yet, not to worry there are several other ways to sell your wines like Christmas markets, and social media channels. Social media plays an important role in brand awareness, while personalized products will continue to be the driving force of sales.
Be in the Know: 2018 Holiday Marketing Statistics You Should Know. By Cydney Hatch at Disruptive Advertising (online), 2018.
27 Christmas Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses. By Chris Meier at AppInstitute (online), 2016.
Apply These 5 Simple Strategies to Improve Holiday Sales Promotions. By Itai Elizur (online), 2017.
12 Low-Cost Marketing Ideas for the Ho-Ho-Ho-lidays! By Ivana Taylor (online), 2017.