The liquor industry has evolved over the course of the past few years as consumers have shied away from visiting bars, and have instead opted to enjoy their liquor at home.
As a result, there are a handful of consumer trends that have emerged within the alcoholic beverage industry which have revealed the following:
● Alcohol Products Are Diversifying
● Packaging Design Is Becoming More Important
● ECommerce Is Beating Out Bars
● Convenience Is Key
● Unconventional Ads Beat Out Classic Ones
What can liquor retailers, wholesalers, and producers do to stay relevant and front-of-mind with consumers?
In this blog post, we’ll go over three marketing tips that will help grow your liquor business in these challenging times.
Alcohol is part of our culture and has contributed to the fabric of American society for hundreds of years. Today, the United States produces roughly 52-billion gallons of alcohol annually, which represents over 15% of the total production of beverages, including non-alcoholic beverages.
There is certainly money to be made in the liquor industry whether you own a bar, run a brewery, or manage a vineyard. Distilled spirits alone saw a 5% increase in sales during 2019 as compared to the prior year, and the pandemic of 2020 didn’t slow that steady growth down one bit. In fact, nationwide lockdowns may have caused a spike in liquor store alcohol sales. In terms of in-store sales, the biggest competitor of liquor businesses aren’t other liquor businesses, but rather cannabis retailers…
So, how can an alcohol brand like yours retain customers and increase sales when consumers are becoming more and more attracted to cannabis? You obviously can’t boast the kinds of cognitive benefits and other health claims that cannabis brands have been getting away with, but you can differentiate your brand by accentuating the experience of indulging in your liquor products. In other words, your marketing should be all about “lifestyle,” “experience,” and “social culture.” But the presentation has to be unique and outside of the box—waaaaay outside. Research how your competitors, both alcohol and cannabis, are framing their brands… and come up with a brand image that totally goes against the grain. Your branding and advertising should not resemble anyone else’s, period.
In order to stand out, focus on “storytelling.” For both your advertising campaigns and the actual design packaging of your products, try to depict a vivid “story” that captures the lifestyle image of your brand. The goal here should be better styling and stronger stories. This concept should be applied to the look and feel of the bottle itself, the branded label design, and any other packaging aspects, especially if your product is boxed. Most importantly, your packaging should match your advertising to present a unified, memorable brand.
A clever marketing strategy that has been on the rise within the liquor industry is to offer consumers paid subscription options. If you’re a liquor brand wholesaler or retailer, or own a liquor, wine, and spirits store, you can trigger a sudden boost in sales by offering your customers the opportunity to sign up for monthly subscription packages.
Yes, this will involve developing an additional order fulfillment workflow that will also require a secure website platform to process payments and automate various aspects of your subscription cycles, including shipping operations, but the benefits will far outweigh the initial investment. When customers realize they can have their favorite liquor delivered to their home once a month, saving them time at the store and saving them money for ordering in bulk, they’ll feel inclined to at least try the service.
Try offering a no-commitment trial for new members, and also offer a slight discount for long-term members who opt-into auto-pay or a large discount for members who pay for an entire year up front. There are many incentives you could try, just remember that personalization is key, and you can never go wrong with surprise-and-delight freebies. Meaning, surprise and reward subscription members for their patronage on milestone dates and anniversaries with your brand by including mini-bottles or other thoughtful freebies in their boxed order.
There are a lot of bells and whistles to think about when you’re running a subscription service as part of your liquor business. Similar to the branding of your product packaging, the packaging of your monthly subscriptions must also capture your unique brand. Instead of working with multiple designers for your branding, advertising, and packaging, it’s best to work with one branding agency, like FTx 360, that can meet all of your marketing needs. We offer creative services to handle designing your branded packaging.
Advertising on the social media sites Facebook and Instagram can be treacherous for brands that sell liquor products, but this isn’t to say it’s impossible. Simply approach your social media ad campaign strategy with eyes wide open… and don’t blink.
Here are the sobering stats. Alcohol brands pay the highest advertising Cost Per Click on Facebook than brands of any other industry. Their CPC cost averages about $0.20, which is due in large part to strict Facebook regulations regarding ads featuring alcohol, and also due to the flooded market. There are a ton of alcohol and liquor brands that invest in ongoing Facebook ad campaigns, and you will have to compete with them.
Interestingly, more than 80% of alcohol marketing campaigns on Facebook appear on Facebook’s News Feed. That might not be where you want your ad to appear, but once you understand that News Feeds is more likely to feature your ad than any other area of Facebook, you can tailor your branded advertisements accordingly to increase the CTR. Be advised, however, that any kind of advertising on Facebook will come with risks. The CPC jumped more than 122% between 2017 – 2018, and though the CPC tapered off between 2019 – 2020, the CPA, or Cost Per Acquisition, actually increased by 76%.
Advertising on Facebook is costly, yet highly beneficial when it comes to increasing brand awareness and also driving in-store sales. We aren’t interested in discouraging liquor business owners like yourself from launching targeted Facebook campaigns, but we strongly recommend you partner with an experienced digital marketing agency like FTx 360 for all of your Facebook advertising.
There you have it—our top three marketing strategies for liquor stores, liquor brands, and liquor wholesalers.
Would you like a team of experienced designers and digital marketers to rebrand your liquor business and market your products online? FTx 360 offers affordable content marketing and digital marketing services that can help your brand stand out from the competition and stay front-of-mind with consumers. Contact our marketing specialists to learn more.
Customer experiences culminate in either satisfaction or disappointment. The result that ultimately follows is either increased business revenue or dismal eCommerce sales. Customer experience, or CX, is that critical.
You want your customers to have positive experiences when engaging with your brand online, but you might not necessarily understand what eCommerce elements will contribute to providing your website visitors with such an excellent customer experience that they successfully complete the online checkout process.
You can improve the customer experience you provide eCommerce website visitors by following these five tips:
● Offer Personalized Website Navigation
● Provide Customized Browsing Experiences
● Feature Customer Reviews & Testimonials
● Enhance the Checkout Process
● Build Brand Affinity with Valuable Content
In this article, we’ll walk you through all five, supplying you with in-depth steps you can take to implement each improvement into your eCommerce site.
Personalization has become the central goal of marketing and sales strategies in recent years, though the concept of personalization is nothing new. In fact, the retail industry has been committed to increasing personalization as much as possible, and Facebook along with most social media sites also offer personalized posts, page recommendations, and advertisements. By personalizing a consumer’s experience, no matter what the platform, you can increase engagement as well as sales. Realizing the importance of personalization, especially how it impacts revenue, is an important first step. The next step that naturally follows, of course, is implementing as much personalization as possible, and this includes personalizing the navigation experience of your eCommerce website.
Offering an eCommerce visitor a website experience that’s custom-made just for them is the best way to describe website personalization. When a visitor discovers that your site features products, information, and content that’s relevant to their interests, they will be more likely to explore your site, spend longer on each web page, and end up purchasing your products. The more often they visit your eCommerce site, the better the personalized experience they will have thanks to the site’s ability to leverage their prior visitor data such as their past purchases and item categories that they browsed.
How can you enhance your eCommerce site with personalization and personalized navigation? The right web development and web design team can accomplish the following:
● Optimize the Landing Page—Since your eCommerce landing page will be an online visitor’s first encounter with your brand, you can improve the first impression you give by adding a personalized touch. For example, greeting the visitor using his or her first name can add just enough personalization to increase their interest in your specific brand within the market.
● Integrate Unique CTAs—One of the most effective ways to guide your website visitors from one web page to the next is by integrating unique calls-to-action on the eCommerce web pages that need it most. Carefully crafted CTAs have the power to encourage website visitors to sign up for discount alerts, subscribe to your newsletters and blog, take a survey, and experience a free trial offer.
● Automate Relevant Content Recommendations—Suggesting relevant product recommendations to your website visitors takes time. Your eCommerce store won’t have enough stored data to make relevant recommendations to first-time visitors. However, with the right machine-learning A.I. in place, the site itself can collect valuable visitor data as consumers return to your eCommerce store time and again. This data can then be used automatically to suggest products that visitors will be more inclined to buy.
Elaborating on the concept of personalized website navigation and content, you can improve eCommerce customer experience by providing your site visitors with customized browsing experiences. Your eCommerce store isn’t the only website that your target audience visits when they want to find specific products. The fact of the matter is that nowadays it’s so easy for consumers to find the products they want online that the products themselves don’t impact customer experience as much as the actual website’s functionality, features, and customized browsing capabilities do. By offering your eCommerce site visitors tailored content that features relevant products, you will help your visitors to bond with your brand.
A way to quickly integrate customized browsing into your eCommerce site is to display “recently viewed items” along the margin of each web page or across the bottom of each web page just shy of the footer. This tactic doesn’t rely on your visitors creating login accounts, which is why it’s so beneficial. As a site visitor checks out your products, the site’s A.I. can store browsing history data and automatically display the top 3 or 5 items under the header “Recently Viewed.” Depending on the technological capabilities of your eCommerce site, you can also integrate a site visitor’s recently viewed items under the header “Pick up where you left off” when they return to your eCommerce store in the future.
You can even customize the browsing experience further by implementing these features on your eCommerce site:
● Personalized Product Pages—Personalized product-detail page recommendations show eCommerce visitors items that are similar to those they’ve viewed as well as complementary products to those they’ve already added to their prior orders. This personalization feature gets even better when recommended items are tailored to the current or upcoming season, an upcoming holiday, and even the visitors’ birthdays.
● Customized Upselling & Cross-Selling During Checkout—Once a website visitor has made it to the checkout page, you have succeeded at collecting valuable data about them that you can use immediately. By understanding the items they’ve added to their shopping cart, you can automatically suggest helpful add-on products or opportunities to increase the quantities of their products in order to receive bulk-order discounts.
● Quick Glance Wish List Items—Including a Wish List on your eCommerce site is a great way to motivate website visitors to create a login account. Once they do, they can start adding items of interest to their Wish List and easily change Wish List items whenever they want. Try displaying your shoppers’ Wish List items on the margin of every web page they explore. When their Wish List items “follow them around,” they will be reminded to add them to their shopping cart.
Online shoppers take customer reviews as seriously, if not more so than real-life recommendations from their friends and family. In fact, online customer reviews are one of the best digital forms of word-of-mouth marketing there is. Reviews can either translate into sales or a damaged business reputation, depending on what’s said, since most online shoppers are in the habit of reading reviews as part of their purchase decision process. Small businesses and local companies that understand the importance of high-star and five-star customer reviews know to leverage them on their Google My Business pages, Facebook pages, and their website, all of which you should definitely do, too.
Featuring positive customer reviews and testimonials on your eCommerce site specifically cannot be overstated, and yet a lot of eCommerce businesses fail to do this, assuming that their Google My Business and Facebook reviews are enough. It’s always a good idea to include customer reviews and testimonials on your website, but there are a number of ways you can accomplish this. For some businesses, it’s appropriate to create a Customer Reviews tab on their navigation panels. These customer review web pages consolidate all of the positive reviews that the business has collected over the years. But this isn’t the only option.
If you want to feature your online customer reviews in creative ways, try one of the following ideas:
● Add Relevant, Scrolling Customer Reviews to Your Website Footers—There’s no way to predict or guarantee that website visitors will navigate to a Customer Review web page, which is why it’s a great idea to incorporate your best, shortest customer reviews on all of your eCommerce web pages. Try featuring the top three reviews, for example, within the footer of your site in such a way that they automatically scroll.
● Use Relevant Customer Reviews on Your Product Pages—You might not have customer reviews for every product you sell on your eCommerce site, but for those product reviews that you have collected, why not feature each on its correlating product page? Doing so can help convert an on-the-fence visitor into a buying customer.
● Include Customer Reviews About Specific Upsell Products at Checkout—Similar to the last idea, when you include a positive customer review along with a product you’re recommending during the checkout process, it’s kind of like having a little, digital salesman in your corner. The customer review can help convince your shopper to add the upsell product into their shopping cart.
ECommerce shopping cart abandonment is real. In fact, roughly 88% of lost eCommerce sales are due to visitors abandoning the checkout process for one reason or another. Factors such as having to provide too much information or seemingly unsecure payment gateway processes can give shoppers cold feet at the last minute. This is all to say that while enhancing the checkout process can impact overall customer experience for the better, you have to be really careful about what you enhance and how you enhance it. The last thing you want to do is further complicate the online checkout process, which will only increase the chances of your shoppers abandoning their shopping cart before they complete the purchasing process.
Now that we got that disclaimer out of the way, how can you enhance the checkout process on your eCommerce site without jeopardizing your sales? It might seem counterintuitive, but speeding up the checkout process is the kind of enhancement your shoppers will appreciate. Don’t force visitors to create a login account just to complete the checkout process. One-click checkout systems are far more popular than elaborate ones. That being said, by offering a Live Chat support box, providing different payment method options including PayPal, and keeping any associated shipping fees transparent, you will naturally improve customer experience.
In addition to the suggestions we just mentioned, you can also experiment with the following eCommerce checkout enhancements:
● Use Urgency and FOMO—There’s a reason why eCommerce brands launch flash sales. By offering products for a limited time, shoppers become triggered by a fear of missing out, or FOMO. You can implement this same concept for the checkout process of your eCommerce site to reduce shopping cart abandonment. Simply include Deals of the Day item recommendations with countdown clocks that show when the sale will end.
● Highlight Security and Trust Seals—Guest checkout should be an option for your eCommerce store visitors, but in order to push the sale through, it helps to establish trust first and foremost on the checkout page. Prominently display the trust seals of your payment gateway providers and highlight the security of your site.
● Offer Discount Codes for Upsell Products—A great way to incentivize shoppers to follow through with completing the checkout process is to offer discount codes they can use immediately. Instead of providing one discount code to all shoppers, try rewarding shoppers for following through with specific calls-to-action, such as when they acted on an upsell product that was recommended during the checkout process. By assigning a unique discount code to each upsell product, you can also track which promotional products are moving the fastest.
What improves customer experience more than when a brand goes out of its way to build meaningful relationships with its customers? Building a relationship with your eCommerce customers can increase customer loyalty and ensure long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. By identifying with your customers’ emotional reasoning and addressing the causes they care about, you will create opportunities for them to organically bond with your brand and feel a sense of affinity towards your business. It’s all about sharing common values with your customer base.
The average customer’s process for making decisions about which products to buy is influenced by their emotional reasoning, their pragmatic reasoning, and their behaviors. In other words, a shopper needs to feel good about buying a product and also know that the product will meet their needs. When, how, and why they follow through with buying the product has to do with their unique behaviors. That being said, you can persuade your shoppers to buy into your brand by speaking to their emotional side, and the best way to do this is to offer the kind of content they’ll care about and value.
The following are specific content ideas that you can weave into your eCommerce web pages to improve the overall customer experience of your site:
● Touch Upon Causes that Reflect Your Brand Identity—Social intelligence is regarded more highly than IQ in 2021. People have become extremely conscientious of social issues and everyone seems to have a fully formed opinion on the matters they care about most. While you wouldn’t want to alienate one audience in favor of another, you can use your website content to touch upon the social causes that reflect your brand’s identity. Doing so will help like-minded customers to view your brand as more than a business. They will view your brand as an ally and trusted voice.
● Stay on Message—Once you know your audience and have established your brand’s voice, you can then feature clear branding messages in your eCommerce content that help your shoppers connect with the purposes behind the products you sell. This type of content strategy helps to build brand affinity because shoppers will feel like they’re joining a community just by purchasing your products.
● Use Videos, Social Media Feeds, and Blogs—The more engaging and interactive your eCommerce site is, the better the customer experience will be. While you don’t want to overwhelm your web pages with too much flashy content, embedding relevant videos here and there, as well as featuring a social media feed where appropriate, can provide visitors with content they find valuable.
Does your eCommerce website offer visitors an excellent customer experience? If your site is lacking a responsive web design, engaging content, personalization features, impressive customer reviews, and an enhanced checkout process, then you should give the eCommerce marketing experts at FTx 360 a call.
FTx 360 offers scalable, easy-to-use eCommerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce that are designed to accommodate rapid business growth. Our eCommerce Marketing Services provide:
● Customer Website Design—We create innovative and user-friendly eCommerce websites that deliver positive shopping experiences.
● Responsive Website Development—Our designers and developers build eCommerce sites that work seamlessly on all devices and across platforms.
● Product Copy Creation—Our creative content writers produce accurate, SEO-friendly descriptions for products and services that engage customers and boost sales.
● Product Management—Our technological capabilities encompass the full spectrum of product management, integrating flawlessly into your eCommerce website.
● Payment Gateway Integration—Integrating the leading payment gateways into eCommerce, FTx 360 provides secure transactions with multiple payment options.
● Performance and UX Reporting—We provide continuing optimization services and work to identify areas of your eCommerce website that could be improved so that you never stop broadening your reach.
If you’re ready to upgrade your eCommerce site, our developers and designers can create a unique, reliable, and fully customized eCommerce store for you that offers an excellent customer experience and delivers a consumer checkout follow-through success rate that far surpasses your current rate. Contact us to get started.
Your business website has the potential to be your most powerful digital marketing tool. When visitors land on your website, they peruse the home page, navigate through the site, learn about your products and services, and decide whether or not to do business with you. In other words, each visitor assesses your company, and the actual experience he or she has while checking out your website is a big part of that assessment.
Website user experience, or UX, is a critical factor that directly impacts the success of a business. These days, consumers judge books by their covers and they absolutely judge companies, retailers, and organizations by their websites. Provide excellent UX on your ECommerce site, and you’ll see a healthy increase in both sales and Google search engine ranking. Forego amplifying UX on your professional services website–or educational institution website or non-profit organization website–and the visitor bounce rate will be through the roof.
Whether consciously or subconsciously, customers expect certain criteria when it comes to the functionality and presentation of the websites they visit. Do you know what consumers look for in a website? Keep reading to find out…
Website design directly affects UX, and it
isn’t hard to understand why. Your website’s design, layout, colors, and
content create an instant impression in the minds of consumers. Most people
would agree that web design should be aesthetically pleasing. However, the
design of a website has the potential to be so much more than that.
70% of website users abandon shopping carts because of
The visual elements of your website and the way in which content is presented on each web page play an important role in retaining visitors.
How can you improve your website design to
● Place navigation horizontally across the top of each web page
● Offer website visitors amazing deals
● Prominently display your business’s contact information
● Present one consistent, branded design on all web pages
● Add Clear Calls-to-Action
Imagine, you’ve searched Google and found an interesting website title amidst a long list of options. You click on the title, the browser opens the website, but all you see is a spinning ball, or worse, nothing at all, as the website struggles to load. Chances are, you’re not going to wait around, and neither will your customers if they encounter the same issue when trying to visit your site.
Slow-loading websites cost retailers more than $2 billion
in lost sales annually.
The speed of your website–every page of your website–massively contributes to whether visitors have a positive or negative experience. It’s imperative that you do everything you possibly can to make sure your website is fast online. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is an excellent tool you can use to assess the speed of your site.
What can you do to increase the speed of your
● Resize photos, images, and graphics so that they load fast
● Reduce website redirects
● Keep server response time under 200ms
Did you know that increasing visitor engagement on your website can help improve your site’s overall ranking on search engines like Google? But how do you get visitors to stick around, toggle from one web page to the next, and most importantly shop, sign-up for your email newsletter, and enroll in your customer loyalty rewards program if you have one? What can you do to increase visitor interaction on your website?
66% of millennial consumers expect real-time interactions and responses.
When visitors land on your site, they must be presented with valuable content, an opportunity to comment and discuss what they’ve read, and clear calls-to-action, or CTAs, so that they can take the next step and more deeply connect with your business and brand.
How else can you ensure visitor engagement and interaction on your website?
● Simplify your website’s navigation
● Craft well-written content that informs and inspires
● Provide a comments section at the footer of your blog posts
● Improve your internal linking structure
● Add a search box to your web pages
Is your website performing as well as it should? Does your website’s design support the best UX possible? Do the web pages load fast? Have you optimized your entire site to promote visitor engagement and interaction?
If not, let the website design and development team at FTx 360 revamp your business website, or build you a new one. Our developers design sites that strike a perfect balance between beautiful and functional, and our websites always load properly on mobile devices. Using SEO, social media integration, excellently written content, and stunning graphics, our digital marketing strategists can take your website to the next level and beyond. Contact us to get started with our web development services.