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WineDirect Blog

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July 24, 2014 | Jim Agger

Same-day delivery: The next frontier for online wine?

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The one advantage that wine shops have over online stores is the sense of immediacy.

The one advantage that wine shops have overhaving_your_winery_run_on_same_day_delivery_can_bring_in_a_significant_source_of_revenue.jpg online stores is the sense of immediacy. If customers want to buy a specific bottle or case of a certain blend and/or vintage, they can get it at the store and go home with it. But when you buy wine online, you tend to have to wait at least a day or two before you see that chardonnay on your doorstep. Impulse buys are often guided by the sense of instant gratification gained from receiving a purchase, and that satisfaction isn't as strong if consumers have to wait more than a day for it. Online stores are now taking steps to address this particular problem through the use of same-day delivery. Wine merchants should take heed of this new development, for it may give them a leading edge and a place from which to build up customers.

Same-day delivery is not an entirely new phenomenon, but it has only recently taken hold as part of an ecommerce system. Even then, it is a very limited system. Same-day delivery is often only available for people living in large cities such as New York or Chicago, and the goods provided tend to be items that can easily be stocked. However, it is pretty inexpensive for consumers, especially when compared to one-day or two-day shipping options. To give an example, Amazon currently gives a minimum for same-day delivery at $9.98 for one item, with 99 cents tacked on for each additional item. Through their Amazon Prime subscription service, the cost is even lower at $5.99 per shipment with no limit on the number of items delivered. These prices are comparable with basic shipping, which tend to take at least a week to deliver its goods. It is little wonder that other companies such as Google are looking to expand into the field, with a focus on electronics and groceries, according to PYMNTS.

A leaner, less fermented operation
Wineries, especially midsize operations that may only have a small line of grape varieties they sell in large numbers, can stand to benefit from this form of delivery. For one, it creates an on-demand basis from which consumers purchase and imbibe your wine. From this situation, it's very easy to build a customer base without having to work directly with wine stores or visible wine distributors, which can result in cost savings that are passed along.

Fulfillment expert Dave Piasecki also discusses particular benefits for same-day shipping in an article for InventoryOps.com. In it, he suggests that same-day orders can boost the overall productivity of a distribution operation. When a shipping center is required to send out orders for delivery that day, it is likely that will encourage workers to push harder in getting other orders out as well, which improves fulfillment logistics for all orders, not just those expected at the customer's door by the end of the day. This can lead to a lower shipping time as well on all fronts.

More importantly, wineries will be able to spend less time focusing on making sure their wines get shipped out, according to Piasecki. This sounds counterintuitive, since adding a shipping option means more processes need to be put in place. However, that can also mean a shift in the way your wine orders are processed over the course of the day. Rather than running through a series of functions and decisions in order to ship wine, you would have to cut down the number of steps in order to ensure the item gets delivered in time. By reducing this bureaucratic process to prioritizing what needs to be sent today, you can become a leaner winery that is able to handle a sudden influx of orders, all the while maintaining satisfied customers.

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