Wine Clubs: Sink or Swim, Crash or Soar? Real Data Calls the Shots.

This winter I received many solicitations to join wine clubs—from unusual places. The Wall Street Journal, Macy’s, NPR and Martha Stewart all launched wine clubs. I also received solicitations for wine clubs that offer “great” pricing by selling wine that belongs on the bottom shelf of a discount grocer (a.k.a. cheap bulk wine). All of these clubs are competing directly with the more than 90% of US wineries that have wine clubs.

Wineries work hard to add new members to their clubs yet lose an average of 16% of their members each year. For most wineries, the number of new members does not offset the loss of existing ones, resulting in a yearly decline in wine club members, which translates to a loss of sales.

Friends Enjoying Wine at Wine Club ExperienceBrick and mortar wineries can offer something The Wall Street Journal, Macy’s, NPR and Martha Stewart cannot: an experience and connection to community.

The challenge for winery owners is to differentiate their wine clubs from the competitors who also offer experiences and connections. When asked why club members leave a wine club, many owners are confident in the answers: Health. Finances. Too much wine at home (is that really a thing?!).

Current research tells us most wine club memberships last as little as two years. Customers rescind their memberships for many reasons. Capiche has conducted numerous wine club surveys, and our findings show there are myriad factors within the club’s control that can prevent high attrition rates. Yep, health and finances are sometimes an issue. What the customer will rarely share with you is that a lack of special customer service or more enjoyable experiences at other wineries led them to leave your club for another.

If your wine club membership is lower than targeted goals or you aspire to increase your club’s membership size, it’s time to survey your wine club members. Do you have data to support your conclusions about why members are satisfied—and dissatisfied—with your wine club? Absent data, you are left with hypotheses that may or may not be true.

This new year, Capiche challenges you to survey your wine club members. And we challenge you to survey your former members—they will be especially honest with you.

Recently, we completed a survey of a wine club’s current and former members. The best outcome? Former members were so pleased to know the winery cared enough to ask them for their opinions that they rejoined. The number that rejoined completely offset the expense of the surveys.

If you don’t have the staffing to create and deliver a club member survey, Capiche can help. With more than 30 years’ experience conducting research, Capiche goes beyond the standard customer satisfaction survey and links survey responses to actual guest behavior. Club members will likely be more honest with a third party who promises anonymity. Plus, your survey results will be timely rather than months out of date (this is often the case when surveys are conducted in-house by busy staff). Tasting room leaders will receive actionable data that can be implemented immediately.

Capiche offers a real assessment of brand loyalty and wine club member satisfaction. Let us help you identify the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities for your wine club. Our customizable survey is quickly and expertly administered to your wine club members. A full report with recommendations is available to you in less than 60 days. Base your business decisions on data. Meet or exceed your wine club goals with Capiche.

Brick & mortar wineries offer something Macy’s cannot: experience and connection. Click To Tweet

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