TALKIN
TECH
72
BEVERAGE MEDIA
June 2013
Sell, Retain, Repeat...
BY JAMES LAURENTI
T
oday few people raise an eye-
brow at the thought of selling or
purchasing wine online. Some
of the largest online retailers’ websites
have served consumers for over a de-
cade and a half. A quick scan at Wine-
Searcher.com also reveals there are
now over 12,000 outlets in the U.S.
showcasing their products online.
The increasing saturation of wine
stores online may worry some retailers.
With more competitors nationwide,
consumers outside of your market have
a better opportunity to find the same
products more cheaply and convenient-
ly elsewhere. However, stores should
remember that their long-term success
online—and in their store—greatly
relies on the ability to acquire
repeat
customers. And while it may be increas-
ingly difficult to attract loyal customers
outside of your market, your local mar-
ket is still ripe with opportunity.
A recent study conducted by
Adobe in Q2 2012, entitled “The ROI
From Marketing to Existing Online
Customers,” found that a returning
website purchaser (i.e., a person who
has placed one order previously) is
over five times more likely to com-
plete a transaction on a website than
someone who has arrived for the first
time. And repeat purchasers (those
who have placed multiple orders in
the past) are over nine times as likely.
The questions that loom, though, are
how can stores build customer loyalty
online—and where?
In a review of returning visitors on
20 established retail websites on our
network, from the New York Metro
and New Jersey markets, data taken
from January to April 2013 showed
that of all local traffic, 39.8% were
repeat visitors while of all non-local
traffic only 17.5% were repeat visitors.
What’s also striking is at the same time,
though almost 40% of the local visitors
are repeat customers, more than 60%
are first-timers. In other words, though
stores do a much better job at convert-
ing customers in their market into re-
peat purchasers, more than half of the
people looking at the site are engaging
with it for the very first time. This seg-
ment is where the greatest opportunity
lies to grow and develop the foundation
of your online business.
However, repeat business is often
not a major target of a store’s adver-
tising strategy. Instead many online
businesses attempt to maximize sales
through high-volume, paid referral
sites, where nearly all visitors to the
site are new, and the opportunity to
inspire repeat business is slimmer. This
strategy has merits (SEO benefits, sales,
e-mail list growth), but stores should be
wary of singularly relying on paid refer-
rals. If one of these referring sites makes
an unfavorable policy change (as when
Google Products removed wine and
spirits from their listings in June 2012),
the results can be catastrophic.
Stores should keep these details in
mind as they strategize to grow their on-
line business. Think: how can I change
the shopping experience on my site
to make it more appealing to my local
market? Review your policies on local
delivery and in-state shipping as well as
consider offering flat-rate or free ship-
ping/delivery opportunities. When it
comes to spending advertising dollars,
also look into marketing options that
allow you to target a local audience,
such as Google Adwords. And perhaps
most importantly, when you see an order
from a local customer whose name you
don’t recognize, make the order fulfill-
ment process as personal and pleasant as
possible. These customers represent the
best opportunity to grow the foundation
of your business.
n
To comment on this column or to learn more about how
Beverage Media can help with a website for your store
visit BevSites.com, or contact James Laurenti at 617-
864-1677. Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/bevsites.
Beverage Media has built integration to the
following POS systems to varying degrees. The
codes with each vendor correspond with the
integration points noted below:
WEBSITE INVENTORY UPDATES
WEB ORDER IMPORTING
PRICE FILE INTEGRATION
EORDERS SALES HISTORY
EORDERS PURCHASE ORDERS
ORDER SUBMISSION BY BEVMEDIA
• For information about any of these
POS
companies
, please call
201-820-4903
AIM
ATLANTIC SYSTEMS, INC.
(ASI - SPIRITS 2000)
CAM COMMERCE
(RETAILSTAR)
CASH REGISTER EXPRESS
(PC - AMERICA)
CATAPULT
CELLAR TRACKER POS
COMCASH
COMPUTER PERFECT
(LIGHTNING POS)
COUNTERPOINT
CREATIVE INFORMATION
SYSTEM
INNOVATIVECOMPUTER
SOLUTIONS (ICS - VISION)
KBA SPIRITS (KEN BUSH)
LBOS
MAGSTAR
MERCHANT
SOFTWARE -LiquorPOS
MICROBIZ
MICROSOFT RETAIL
MANAGEMENT
SYSTEM (RMS)
MPOWER
PERVASIVE
POS ANYWHERE
POS-IM
QUICKBOOKS
RCS
UNIFY POS
POS SYSTEMS
LEARN ABOUT
SELLING WINE ONLINE
Sign up for a
FREE DEMO
and see how a store uses the
BMG eCommerce system
to maintain and
promote products on a website by visiting:
or email our U.S.
eCommerce Marketing representative
J.C. Milam
at
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