Wine Club Nuances

Wine Clubs offer unique value to both wineries and their members. Built on a subscription-based revenue model, these programs offer wineries a predictable income stream and a cash flow boost. Wine club members receive special perks in the form of discounts, private tastings and special event invitations while also receiving their favorite wines delivered directly to their doorstep, newspaper style. Everyone wins.

How it works

Following an enjoyable wine tasting experience, customers enlist in a program to receive a selection of wine on a periodic basis. As part of the subscription, they provide their shipping and billing information. They also give the winery permission to ship wine and charge their credit card. Unlike newspaper subscriptions that are renewed annually, member subscriptions generally last until the customer decides to cancel.

Not your paper boy’s subscription model

As I discovered while working on Teravina software’s wine club module there are some important differences between shipping wine on a subscription basis and getting that newspaper delivered to your door.

Here are some of the unique aspects of Wine Clubs:

  1. Configuration. While all newspaper subscribers pretty much get the same news, wine club members can generally choose among a range of different options or tiers. Clubs can be configured for different customer wine preferences (red only, white only, mixed), shipping frequencies, and quantities per shipment. To make every customer experience even more personalized, many wineries allow customers to add or remove wine items from their shipments, either in advance or after the orders are already prepared. The Teravina solution allows wineries to configure different wine club tiers and shipping templates that are used to generate hundreds and thousands of orders in a single batch process and to then modify individual orders as needed.

  2. Regulations. Each of the 50 United States has its own laws pertaining to the selling and shipping of wine and liquor – both within and across its borders. These laws can regulate anything from a customer’s age, volume limits per customer or address, bottle sizes, and even how the wine is sold. Some states, like Utah and Mississippi, prohibit the shipment of wine altogether. Compliance with state and local laws is a big part of wine club management. Teravina seamlessly integrates with ShipCompliant software’s database of direct shipping rules and rates. Before each order is sent for fulfillment, ShipCompliant checks licensing and compliance and determines the correct rate of tax for the winery to collect and remit in each of the  taxing jurisdictions. The Teravina wine club module allows wineries to create  a custom list of allowable states for an individual winery. As an order is processed, the module will check each member’s shipping address and bypass any accounts that aren’t in compliance with state requirements.

  3. Shipping rates. Every winery has its own approach to calculating shipping rates. Rates can change by zone, shipping agent, level of service, size, quantity, or even season. Teravina translates these often complex algorithms into shipping setup tables that make it easy for wine club managers to generate rates and shipping revenue.

  4. Pricing.  Wineries, like other businesses focused on customer retention, have designed loyalty programs that reward their best and most loyal customers. In addition to VIP treatment and special event access, these programs often include special pricing and discounts. Teravina allows wine club managers to assign special pricing and discounts to their loyal customers in advance so that each order properly reflects special pricing available to a club member.

  5. Weather. I have never heard of a person not receiving his/her newspaper because it was too sunny outside. In the wine industry, however, outside temperatures have a big impact on delivery dates as extreme heat or cold can both negatively impact the flavor of the wine. Wineries generally ship wine overnight during summer months or hold shipments to the “hot states” until temperatures drop. Teravina makes it easy for wine club managers to exclude club members from batch shipments at any time and for any reason, including the weather.

At Oztera, we understand that even with a robust wine club management software, managing a successful wine club can be a very hands on, time-sensitive, and often overwhelming endeavor. Our mission is to make complex tasks less time consuming. Our passion to identify and overcome new challenges. Our satisfaction comes from helping our customers share their passion and products in the form of deliveries to their customers’ doorsteps, wine club subscription-style.