For years, wineries have been looking for the holy grail of DtC software - a platform that includes everything they need, in one integrated package. It must consist of:
- Easy-to-use website builder and content management system
- Intuitive tools to manage wine clubs and automate shipments
- A reliable Point of Sale with access to customer and member data
- Best-in-class e-commerce for selling online
- Integration with digital marketing tools like MailChimp, Drip, or AdRoll
- Insightful, actionable reporting
- Flexible shipping options that work with ShipComplaint
Is Shopify the answer? Yep.
With other 800,000 merchants using the platform, racking up over 1 billion orders since Shopify launched, they are leading the world in e-commerce for small business.
Out of the box, wineries can manage their wines, inventory, customers, orders, shipping, and fulfillments. Additionally, wineries can sell on multiple sales channels including online, POS, Facebook, Instagram and eBay. With Shopify's mobile-first approach, over two-thirds of all orders now come from a mobile device. Wineries can even manage every aspect of their store, on their phone, using the Shopify mobile app. Extensive analytics and reporting for sales, profits, and customer engagement are at your fingertips. The Shopify app store provides endless ways to extend a winery's store. For example, they can integrate with MailChimp to fully automate email marketing. Need to create shipping labels in a few clicks? Then sync orders to ShipStation and print labels using your FedEx or UPS rates. Personalize customer experience by upselling related products on the shopping cart, or give loyal customers access to member-only products, and much more.
That is freakin' incredible.
But what about all the complexities that come with selling wine?
It is true, that even though Shopify provides a ton of features out-of-the-box, there are a few missing critical components. That is where Bloom comes in.
Not yet listed in the Shopify app store, the Bloom app fills in all the remaining pieces needed to sell wine, or any alcohol, successfully on Shopify.
Chances are that a small winery generates the majority of its revenue from its wine club. The question is, how do wineries get new members to sign up? Customer expectations have changed due to several factors including mobile commerce, social media, the new subscription economy, and a change in demographics. Building a large membership list, and keeping members in that list requires a different approach.
Consider lowering the barrier to entry. A case club is likely going to turn away many potential members or overserve existing members. Instead, let members join with only a three bottle selection. With proper nurturing, that new paying customer can turn into a loyal customer, who will stay around longer, resulting in a higher lifetime value.
Members expect personalization, so give them a choice. Let them pick the wines and the quantity that satisfies precisely what they want. Your club should let them update their selections for each shipment.
Bloom adds very flexible club options to a Shopify store.
Wine clubs create members who have memberships. As a winery's membership listing grows it becomes more and more difficult to manage. Bloom extends Shopify customers with new properties that make maintaining memberships a breeze. Quickly search across thousands of records, move members between membership levels, place a membership on hold for a specific period of time, and add a note with a single click.
Using a secure payment gateway, allow members to save their credit cards to use for automated shipments and order creation. Members are automatically emailed if their payment fails and can update billing in just a few clicks.
Memberships are then available through the Shopify Point of Sale. See a member's lifetime value and apply an accurate club discount to the order.
With hundreds or even thousands of memberships, batching orders is a critical feature. Customized selections can make this a messy job. Luckily Bloom takes care of a lot of this complexity by keep track of the selections behind the scenes.
As part of the batch process, the club administrator can select what wines the shipments will contain. For memberships where wines were selected by the member, the admin doesn't have to do anything except click a Process button. It doesn't get simpler.
Orders are automatically created in Shopify with the correct membership discounts, and members are emailed an order confirmation.
REPORTING AND COMPLIANCE
The size of the winery doesn't affect the reporting or compliance burden. Even if a single bottle of wine is shipped, the winery still needs to be licensed, calculate/remit sales tax, and report on the amount of wine that was fulfilled. Shopify does offer amazing reporting across all sales channels but doesn't provide wineries with the full set of reports they need to run their business.
Bloom extends Shopify products with wine product specifications. Some examples are bottle volume, vintage, alcohol percentage, and wine type. These specifications are used to generate reports used for federal excise tax, state sales tax, and more.
Wineries that use ShipCompliant are covered with Bloom's built-in integration. Just add the web service user name and password and orders are checked for compliance as they are created. If connected to a fulfillment center that syncs back to ShipCompliant, Bloom will update orders with a fulfillment status and shipment tracking information.
PERSONALIZATION AND CUSTOMIZATION
Shopify lets software developers fully customize the theme used for a winery's website. This opens endless possibilities for wineries to create very personalized experiences for all customer types. Of course, members should be treated differently than a first-time customer.
When a member logs in, special offers and products can be offered. Each visit to the wineries website can be personalized, resulting in more upsells and loyal customers.
The beauty of theme customizations is that they are tailored to each winery. The Bloom app is fully integrated into the website theme using Shopify's app proxy feature, which delivers the features all wineries use. Combining theme customizations with core Bloom features allows wineries to create any customer experience they can dream up.
Yes you can!
Wineries looking to leverage the power of Shopify now have all the tools they need to fully run their DtC business on the world's best e-commerce platform. Wineries no longer need a separate website and online store. The addition of the Bloom app will provide club management, memberships, batch shipments, reporting, and customizations.
The holy grail has been found.