E-commerce sales of wines and spirits have seen an insurgence since the pandemic. With merchants forced to explore new shopping channels - and consumers more engaged with the food and drink sector online - what was once predominantly a brick-and-mortar industry now has a large digital presence.
The problem is, many of the systems and processes available to these merchants do little to support the complexities of selling alcohol online. Nor do they help engage a younger, tech-savvy and experience-hungry generation of shoppers.
Whilst some brands are still grappling with inadequate technologies, Sydney-based Kent Street Cellars is maximising the potential of online sales with the combined power of Shopify Plus and REVIEWS.io.
To stay relevant, wine merchants need to innovate. And for that, they need solutions that can flex and scale as they grow. For Kent Street Cellars, it all starts with Shopify Plus.
By adopting this market-leading out-of-the-box solution setup, the business can centralise every part of its business on one platform, however and whenever it needs. That means less time spent on perfecting its shopping platform, and more spent building a successful brand.
That’s where REVIEWS.io comes in. Kent Street Cellars knows that to thrive in DTC eCommerce it needs to build trust, and it needs to tap into consumer opinion. By collecting both company and product reviews the brand has established a solid reputation online, built a popular collection of rare wines and spirits, and improved its customer service model.
“Being able to advertise reviews on our site and show product ratings is a great way to show potential customers what's popular and why to trust us. While the vast majority of our reviews are 4 or 5 stars, getting any sort of feedback about how we can improve is paramount to the continued success of our business and brand.”
With its innovative features and seamless integration with Shopify Plus, REVIEWS.io was Kent Street Cellars’ platform of choice from the beginning. Just like the Shopify Plus platform, REVIEWS.io is a solution built for flexibility and, customisable to meet the demands of each end user.
It’s also run by a team invested in the success of its customers - a team that ensures all relevant features are used to full effect, driving maximum return on behalf of every brand.
“The setup process was seamless and we have had no issues maintaining the process throughout the years. If we ever have questions about a particular feature, it always is answered quickly and thoroughly by the REVIEWS.io team.”
Kent Street Cellars’ primary target market is changing, as it is for all wine merchants both on and offline. Millennials and GenZ represent the biggest spending power today, and they have far greater expectations when it comes to the shopping experience.
One of the primary drivers in brand selection for these consumers is authenticity and a chance to be part of a like-minded community. As a forward-thinking solution, REVIEWS.io has evolved to cater to this demand.
It’s not just about product star ratings and text reviews anymore. A good review collection strategy looks to capture and share a brand experience through authentic content like photo and video reviews. This type of UGC is far more persuasive than brand-generated marketing and helps to establish that highly sought-after sense of belonging.
"UGC is a fantastic way for our brand to continue to grow. Customers showing how they enjoy their purchase, explaining their experience with the products and being able to continuously connect with our brand is invaluable. Being able to broadcast these interactions over our social pages, EDM’s and other channels is a fantastic way for us to continue to engage our customers pre and post purchase.”
Personalisation is also key to profitable customer relationships, but increasingly hard to achieve in the face of new online privacy measures. It is however very much achievable if, like Kent Street Cellars, you focus on first and zero-party data.
The former is the data you collect from things like onsite behavior, email click-throughs and purchase history. The latter is information you obtain directly from the customer and can be easily gathered through review attributes.
These additional questions allow you to get to know your audience on a deeper level - to understand their personal preferences, interests and physical traits - and use that knowledge to craft highly targeted email campaigns.
“We have seen growing success with our EDM’s. These are a great way to give our customers a personalized “hello” while offering them deals, information about products and customer testimonials to make sure our brand stays front and center in our customers minds.”
For Kent Street Cellars, the Shopify Plus + REVIEWS.io setup has been highly influential in its success and continues to drive its growth. The first takes care of the transactional foundations, the second provides tools to build emotional connections, and both offer market-leading functionality.
It’s a powerful combination. And with the rollout of Shopify for Wine it’s one set to help merchants in this sector finally conquer the world of eCommerce.