Posts Tagged ‘Online Marketing’

Wine, emails and kind gestures

October 27, 2021

When the government pulled the plug on our supermarkets in the middle of Covid (if things weren’t miserable enough) from “multi-buy” offers on alcohol and including them in their “loyalty points” or “€10 off 50” deals, it was time to change my drinking habits!

The change of habit wasn’t drinking any less but it was a change as to where I was now going to purchase my wine!!

So instead of typically buying my six bottles as I was doing with my grocery shopping, I had now moved to purchasing a case of 12 from one of the online suppliers!!

The little piece of magic in this whole e-commerce transaction was a timely email (they send them approximately once per fortnight) from the wine supplier with the latest “20% off Italian wine” or “New wines from Portugal” teaser message, which would prompt me to click, click, click, start browsing and then selecting, then to checkout, credit card details please, confirm transaction and presto!

As we have all been working from home getting a case of wine dropped to the front door isn’t an issue as there is always someone here to take it in. Add to that the convenience and the joy of opening a case and seeing what you did actually order.

From the wine suppliers point of view their simple email was a powerful piece of marketing / promotion – their email hits my inbox in the middle of my busy days and it nudges me gently to consider stocking up and despite being really really busy I invariably get diverted for 5 minutes to quickly place the order (in truth it isprobably quicker than browsing the aisles in the wine section of the supermarket and there is extra information about each wine available to me).

Nudge, buy, nudge buy, nudge buy…

This company were emailing me for years BUT it was only when the supermarket scenario changed that they became relevant to me.

The whole process was very effective and efficient and on some days the mixed cases of wine would actually be delivered on the day I placed the order.

I was happily doing this for months and when the 5km restriction lifted I was looking forward to placing an order for some extra special wine as we were about to take a week’s break at beautiful Sheep’s Head in West Cork.

Just to be sure I rang the company the morning before we were due to head off to ask if the delivery would be with us before 2pm the following day – I wanted to be sure we had wine on time and also to be sure it wasn’t sitting outside the front door for a week!

I’m sorry but we can’t guarantee delivery before 48 hours” I was told by the voice that answered..

That’s ok, but I know your deliveries are really prompt. I order from you the whole time, can you at least check with someone?”

Em, no there is nothing I can do, that is our policy” (that response always sets me off…)

Can you please check at least?” …. “No, sorry, that is our policy“.

I was really disappointed and made a mental note to try to find an alternative supplier when we came back from our week’s holiday.

Despite this decision of mine the compelling, well timed emails kept coming every two weeks and I kept ordering until one day when I was making a brief visit to the office I popped into my favourite wine store in town and was delighted to chat to the friendly staff there and asked them to make a special recommendation for a meal that night.

As they were wrapping my purchases I apologised to them for not being in there for a while and explained that I had been working from home during lockdown and resorted to online ordering.

They politely informed me that they did online deliveries, something I never realised but I was surprised as I was sure that I was on some database of theirs.

I told them about the “trick” about the fortnightly e-newsletter that their competitor was employing to great effect and their response to me blew me away..

We don’t like to sell or force ourselves on anyone

Ah come on guys, are you for real? Have you any idea what you are missing out on. Of course it’s selling, but it is also informing and prompting and all part of their service

Eventually they considered what I was saying and said they would mention it to the franchise owner.

Because I really like them (and they do have great wines!) the next time I needed a wine top-up I looked for their website and ordered my case from them and not the other crew.

The order was delivered swiftly and the next time I ordered I was pleasantly surprised to see an extra bottle that I hadn’t ordered come with the delivery as a gift with a special note of thanks from the owner for giving them the business.

To wrap up my “wine story” I have continued to order wine from my favourite wine store, they still don’t send out e-newsletters with offers, news or suggestions which I would really appreciate but I am really happy to give them the business because they are nice and they do appreciate the business.

The biggest irony of all is that when the e-newsletter comes in from their competitor I use their well timed email as a prompt to order from them!

As for the competitor, their regular customer has disappeared and they will never know why unless they spot this change of trend and ask the question…

Mrs “sorry there is nothing I can do” sent me and my business on my way.

The e-commerce lessons we learn from this story:

  • Get online
  • Make sure your customers know about the service
  • Get an e-mail database going and use it tactically and frequently
  • Make it easy for people to sign up
  • Be efficient at processing orders
  • Look at patterns of ordering and try to figure out why when it changes
  • Build a relationship with the customer just like you do in person
  • and remember….there is always something you can do!!

Who is for red?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design Podcast Production and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


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