Unified commerce is the game-changer that all wineries can benefit from today!

We have all heard the saying customers are always right, right? And they are - it's simple economics, satisfied customers multiply and dissatisfied customers are costly to maintain. But today’s customers expect more than just being right, they expect highly personalised shopping experiences every time they shop with you no matter whether in person, at your cellar door, at an event or festival, online, or on the phone. So many wineries don't have the required infrastructure to provide a seamless experience across every touchpoint and in fact, many are not aware that this is even possible.

A typical winery in 2022 supports multiple sales channels including Direct to Consumer (DtC) Retail, Wholesale, and Export. Your front-line staff and DtC team often have the most complex channel with many touchpoints for eCommerce, mCommerce, Wine Clubs, Cellar Door POS, Cafe or Restaurant POS, onsite corporate or personal events, offsite festivals, and external telesales. Your wholesale and export teams want face-to-face (F2F) mobile sales tools such as tablets, laptops, and other mobile devices whilst other staff require a back-office CRM that can facilitate sales for internal inbound and outbound telesales and other purchases.

Importing/exporting data is a thing of the past, one system = single point of truth

Many wineries are trying to do the right thing however they are restricted in purchasing off-the-shelf software solutions, many of which are generic retail solutions and are not specific to wineries. This results in most wineries having disparate Websites, POS, CRM, Club, Newsletter, and Reporting solutions that don’t talk to each other, and at best require continual manual intervention to extract data and import it into external programs to provide you with the required data or reports. This leads to frustrations within the winery and is ultimately counterproductive and time-consuming. This can also prove quite expensive as you need to add ‘plugins’ many of which are paid add-ons and these costs soon add up, especially if you need to pay to implement and manage them ongoing.

Then take into account your sales channels and how much time it takes to reconcile your transactions and what channels they refer to. Reconciliation can take hours a week and is a resource drain that could be better utilised on more proactive tasks.

Unified commerce is the game-changer that all wineries can benefit from today!

Unified Commerce is a single software solution that centralises (Unifies) all sales channels

True Unified Commerce brings back-office processes, that were previously present in various systems, into a single ‘central’ platform in which each process surrounding the customer experience can be managed. Whether your customer is purchasing through Wine Club, eCommerce, back of house, or a physical purchase through the Cellar Door or Restaurant, Unified Software captures and organises data to a single location allowing you to retrieve, analyse and report in real-time. This powerful technology allows you to identify a customer through any sales channel in your business in an instant and provide that personalised experience using buyer persona information.

I now have time to work on my business, not in it!

Here are six ways a Unified Commerce platform will simplify your life – and support your business growth.

1. Single Source of Truth for all your data

Data-driven, intelligent business solutions utilise a ‘Single Source of Truth’ unified commerce data structure that enables business process consistency, whole-of-business data analytics, and visibility of ‘real-time’ consumer insights.

A Single Source of Truth (SSoT) data structure enables you to :
  • Accurately track customer lifetime value
  • Ensure all staff, across all business units, have visibility of all customer interactions
  • Identify industry trends to drive marketing and sales efforts
  • Access business insights that support better decision making and drive increased profits
  • Provide Omni-channel customer service to customers & Multi-channel sales opportunities
  • Reduce admin time required to fix duplicate & inaccurate data
Unified Commerce removes the need to export and import lists for marketing communications forever.

2. 360-degree real-time visibility of all customer, inventory, and business data

Having access to live inventory and being able to transfer stock in real-time is no longer a pipe dream and cellar door staff can view live customers from all sales channels directly in the POS.

  • Inventory decrements automatically so no need to worry about low stock or availability
  • BI Reports that provide in-depth analysis of your entire business
  • POS insights allow cellar door staff to understand their customers with full insights into their purchasing habits, club status, last purchase and so much more
  • Role-based pricing automatically adjusts product pricing across the entire system so the customer sees the benefit of being a member no matter where and when they shop with you

3. Real-time data segmentation for sales and marketing teams

Better segmentation will help you to improve sales but will also create stronger, more trusted relationships between your customer and your winery. Presenting relevant products and offers to your customers improves their user experience, and reduces sales friction which is the amount of effort they need to quickly find what they want.

  • Hosting an external event - quickly segment your mailing list by state, location, and postcode to identify the ‘low hanging’ opportunities to sell tickets to
  • Pre vintage release - select the previous year's vintage and send offers to all those who purchased it, increasing open and conversion rates as highly targeted
  • Cellar door event - select all people who have been to your cellar door and market to them
  • Look after your locals - have some clean skins to clear, simply filter and send an offer for them to pick up on the way home from work
  • Entice customers to join your Club - send a sign-up offer to select customers who are not currently Club members
  • Select by Communication preferences - making your selections even more granular will enable you to deliver information to only those who have specifically requested it
Quickly target the right customers, resulting in increased conversions and overall sales value

4. Management gets real-time, accurate information

Track your performance across channels, campaigns, variety, and vintage, and enable your team with real-time accurate information to make better business decisions.

  • Report on staff sales, uncover who discounts the most, conversion rates from newsletter to tasting to club sign-ups
  • Club stats, by state, moves, cancels, and more. See which clubs are working and make informed decisions
  • eCommerce sales over a period, by type, series, and brand and also other such as merchandise including discounts used and member purchases
  • POS reports including average basket value, average discount per basket, and tasting to sale %

5. Reduce and remove data errors

When a business chooses to build an eCommerce store they often overlook how their shiny new site connects with back-office management solutions like inventory, warehousing, financials, and CRM. Running a business with disconnected off-the-shelf software creates many operation inefficiencies. Data errors occur when multiple staff members are manually entering orders and data between multiple systems. This can result in product delivery delays. Inaccurate inventory and pricing can occur when managing product catalogues that operate independently of your system of records which presents challenges in knowing your true stock on hand.

6. Payments 

Finally, the most important factor of Unified Commerce is that you replace multiple transaction touchpoints such as payment gateways, subscription gateways for clubs, and EFTPOS machines for POS with a single payment method used across your entire business.

Having a single payment solution reduces admin and resource costs, mitigates errors and streamlines your sales processes, and improves the overall customer experience.

Your bookkeeper will no longer have to reconcile from multiple gateways which will save hours and as all sales data is in one system they will always know where the sales have been made which in turn provides better reporting.

Wherever your customer's shop, whichever channel they visit they expect you to know what, when, and how they want it. Unified Commerce is the future of eCommerce. Where in Omni-channel, you have multiple software platforms used for multiple channels equalling multiple versions of the truth, Unified Commerce is all connected to one piece of software sharing a Single source of truth all connected in real-time allowing you to know and deliver the information to your customers when and how they need it.

Written by Mick Clarke, vinCreative. As seen in Grape Grower & Winemaker Magazine, May 2022.