Three Ideas to Increase Wine Sales in a Slow Season, or a Slow Year
05.06.2024  |  by The Copper Peak Team

Wine sales have a seasonal cycle to them. Wine orders, especially DTC wine orders, tend to spike during the holiday season (OND) and then even out in the new year, tapering off to a slower season as summer approaches.

But inventory does not always match this cycle. It’s not uncommon for a winery to see pallets of inventory waiting to move just as the slow season starts. 

Extra inventory can also happen if the year itself has been slow, regardless of what season it is. (And, for some wineries, that’s been the case this year—at least, if industry reports are to be believed.)

That’s the puzzle: How do you get all that inventory to move? We’ve seen some simple ideas that work well, and which can help you use what you have to your best advantage.

Idea #1: Mystery Cases

People love a good mystery. And they love to explore new things. So create a wine club package that is a “mystery pack” or mystery case. Fill it with a selection of products that have been slower to move—even better if you can group them into a theme!

While there are services out there that will bundle wines and help wineries sell that lingering inventory, they of course take a cut…after offering a steep discount to begin with. Why not put together the bundle yourself and keep all of the margin? Mystery bundles are easy to compose, working directly with your logistics partner. (If you do not have one, we can help.)

You can even do some fun things with the unboxing experience here. For example, you could play up the mystery theme by hiding the wine labels and leaving a list of clues for the recipient.

Idea #2: Make an Event or Experience Out of a Selection

Here’s an idea we saw that we just loved: One winery had a “white sale” to clear out some bottles—all white wines, of course. They timed this club package to come out just in time for National White Wine Day (August 4). Along with the package, they provided customers with a link to an online “live tasting” where one of the owners did a tasting and review of each wine in the package.

There’s so much to appreciate here:

  • Having a theme for the shipment
  • Timing the shipment (and crafting an appropriate theme) to coincide with a “wine holiday”
  • Offering a virtual tasting in real-time so that customers could explore with the owner

Of course, you aren’t limited to just white wines to do this. You can pick virtually any theme, with a little creativity. A good place to start is to look at the calendar of wine holidays and see which ones you can use to your advantage here. (Prohibition Repeal Day, #CabernetDay #DrinkWineDay, and so many more!)

Idea #3: Take the Time to Get Ahead of OND

Having a slow season, or a slow year, isn’t just a problem of stocked-up inventory. It also means your team and your resources are not being used to their maximum capacity, either. But just because sales are slow doesn’t mean there isn’t critical work to do—in fact, this is when wine clubs should be at their busiest!

For example, you and your team should be…

  1. Reviewing your metrics
  2. Planning out the marketing strategy for the rest of the year
  3. Working through the OND season checklist
  4. Taking a look at the customer journey
  5. Devising some ideas for gifts (especially corporate gifts)
  6. Considering what to do about merchandise
  7. Looking into packaging alternatives

A slow season is a great time to engage with us in order to review your metrics and plan ahead for OND. This is the long-term play—getting future inventory to move at the rate it should so you are not stuck with extra next year!

These are just three ideas to try when things are slow. Is your winery doing something creative to move inventory? We’d love to hear your story!