Wine Depot

A guide to wine shipping profitability


As e-commerce giants such as Amazon continue to set the standard for online shoppers with standard two-day shipping and growing on-demand delivery options, a smaller business can feel the pinch. Consumers now have an expectation around fast, free delivery, however these increasingly expedited delivery timelines are not easily achievable, nor affordable ex Winery.

Implementing an effective e-commerce shipping strategy is one of the most impactful steps you can take to grow your online direct customer business. 

While many wine businesses will take a simplistic approach to shipping – like offering free shipping across the board, or a standard delivery fee, understanding customer needs and offering strategic shipping options will create value for customers and improve margins. Data from MetaPack reveals that 96% of consumers will shop again with a business who provided a great delivery experience, from website to checkout, through to receipt of goods. 

It is also vitally important to deliver (pardon the pun) on your shipping promise. According to Clutch.co nearly half of consumers (45%) say they are unlikely to continue ordering from a company if it delivers a package late. Providing tracking updates to your customers promotes great service, shows transparency and sets expectations and reduces complaints. Rather than leave someone hanging after they buy your wine, tracking the final mile delivery allows you to remain engaged with your customer through their full purchase journey. 

Online Shipping Best Practices

  • Understand your customer and what will add value for them.
  • Set clear goals: Do you want to increase margins? Grow your domestic market? Improve operational efficiencies? Define and measure.
  • Review your current process and systems: What can be outsourced to create efficiencies in your business in both time and costs? Are there steps in your process where you are duplicating or completing unnecessary tasks?
  • Choose a shipping strategy: What provides the most value to your customers and your business? The vast majority of online consumers desire free shipping, but providing options will create a greater customer experience – Expedited, Same Day and On Demand can be offered at a surcharge, can drive a targeted campaign, or become a value add for wine club members.
  • Make the leap: Implement and iterate. It’s the only way to improve.

Small businesses can create economies of scale through third-party logistics providers. Many wine businesses can’t meet their customer’s shipping expectations quickly and affordably because they don’t have access to advanced technology that streamlines the process.

WINEDEPOT takes responsibility for direct customer order fulfilment and removes the administrative burden so that wineries can concentrate on what’s really important – making and selling wine. We do this through innovation and technology:

  • Smart Logistics: A connected national network of depots for fast, cost effective and reliable fulfilment service capable of meeting the needs of the modern consumer providing guaranteed Next Day as well as Same Day and On Demand Delivery options.
  • Streamlined Order Manager: Cloud based technology that allows for integration of legacy software systems to easily manage inventory and fulfilment of orders generated from any sales channel.
  • Connected Marketplace: A platform that provides a simple and cost effective way for producers to connect and transact with thousands of trade customers, improving margins and ensuring quick and guaranteed payments.