Wine.com CMO Peter Elarde told Loyalty360 that the company used to be very transaction-oriented.

“We cared a lot about a good customer experience, but we thought about it one order at a time,” Elarde explained. “Now we’re much more focused on the lifetime journey and lifetime value of customers. It’s forcing us to think more holistically about all the touch points we have with customers. We’ve also adopted the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a way to measure how well we’re serving customers. Armed with quantitative and qualitative feedback from customers, we’re getting better at improving the overall experience. We’ve enhanced the value proposition by expanding our assortment to offer the world’s largest selection of wine. And now we’re enhancing the website by giving customers a more personalized experience and better tools for shopping that huge assortment.”  

What’s more, Elarde said, Wine.com officials want to leverage the power of mobile.

“With our new Wine.com app, you can easily scan a label to read about that wine, rate and remember it, and order it for fast and convenient delivery right to your door,” he explained. “If you ever need help choosing a wine, just click the chat button to talk with one of our friendly wine experts seven days a week. We’ve always thought about customers as individuals, but with today’s technology, we can actually design and deliver individualized experiences. We’re quickly getting more sophisticated. Over the past year, we’ve added personalized recommendations in email and on Facebook. The website is now smart about reminding you which wines you’ve purchased before or rated. And we’re getting better at lifecycle marketing and leveraging multiple channels of communication for acquiring, activating, and retaining customers.”  

Elarde noted that the specific wines recommended on the site, in email, and on Facebook are personalized based on each customer’s individual behavior.

“And we’ve created a new place called My Wine that saves all your favorites so you can easily remember them and re-order,” he added. “With the redesign, it’s now a more immersive experience. When you look at a product page, you’ll see beautiful images of the wine label, wine bottle–front and back–the winery, region, and variety of grape. We want you to be able to not only learn about that wine, it’s winemaker notes, professional ratings, and reviews, description of the winery, region, and grape variety, but also to immerse you in a rich visual experience of that wine and region.” 

The explosion in data is a real challenge even for data-oriented companies like Wine.com.

“Since we are creating a wine discovery and buying experience, we’re bombarded with signals about what wine customers are engaging with as well as purchasing,” Elarde said. “It puts a premium on some key principles. You have to start with a business strategy and a vision for the customer experience you want to create. From that, you can decide what key metrics will help you measure progress toward those goals. There’s a lot of heavy lifting involved in actually gathering and analyzing the data, but if you get those first two steps right, then you can analyze the data to get to actionable insights.”

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