As time moves on cideries need to become more resilient and versatile to make it in the ever-changing landscape. This means being able to adapt not only their brand but their revenue streams. Since we have seen slipping sales in taprooms due to lower in-person traffic there needs to be other ways of getting products into your consumer’s hands. Traditionally this would mean distribution or walk-out purchases in the taproom. While these are still viable options there are a few other means to the end that can help future proof your cidery. This could include options like pick-up service, regional delivery, or online sales.
Taproom sales are an important element to any thriving cidery and the easiest way to expand on this is by offering either indoor or car pick up services. This not only can get those in the nearby area who do not want to sit within your property to get product but you are controlling your margins on these products. This should also help your cidery in regards to ranking on google as the term “delivery” has increased in search volume. This is the lowest investment you need to make in order to achieve another revenue stream and can help out in the case of unforeseen events in the future. When you offer a new cidery release it would be wise to push this on your social media and create a buzz for those to be the first to pick it up! Although we are talking cider, many breweries have been offering a free sticker or small offer to entice those to come and pick up product in the taproom. You will need to create either a system for your customers to order on your website so you can set these ciders aside. There are many services that offer this option such as 2nd Kitchen, Square Space, or you can talk to your website operator.
US alcohol e-commerce sales approached 5.4 billion dollars in 2020 according to an article from Forbes. This seems like an obvious next step for cideries as home delivery is becoming a more integral part of our daily lives. While this can be difficult to do independently due to the laws that are ever-changing across state borders. That is where someone like Vinoshipper comes in and can assist with this process while only charging a small fee on each sale. This direct-to-consumer method offers a way to expand your customer base with little effort. This may not be a huge revenue stream but it is a way to diversify your business, how can you afford not to? The snag in this chain typically in a consumer’s eyes is the high cost to ship alcohol. Although we cannot get around this due to laws and the weight and size of liquid goods, keep in mind that the more a consumer buys the cheaper the shipping is per item. Encourage them to buy less frequently and in higher volume to help balance this a bit. But, hey, it beats driving across the country to get product, right? If you are interested in learning more about partnering with Vinoshipper please visit their website, https://vinoshipper.com, and get listed on this directory at https://shopciders.com. We often encourage the use of Vinoshipper due to the ease of use, reporting, tax documentation, and their internal support!
Although we know this is not the easiest option we had to at least mention the possibility. Offering an expanded service is always a way to loop in new or existing clients into buying more product. It adds value for the client so they do not have to go out and get something and can still get something fresh or local. You will need to be careful to ensure you know your state’s liquor laws to ensure you have the proper license to deliver to someone’s door. Talk with your local liquor authority to see if this is a viable option. This service would most likely be offered in conjunction with an online ordering system and someone from your establishment can drop them off between certain hours and in a particular radius. It would be up to each business to determine if you will charge any additional fees for delivery but this can create additional interactions with customers and loyalty to your brand.
You can either do the math and see if it is viable for you to host your own subscription services or find subscription services that are willing to house your product. If you are working with another subscription service, this may not be an immediate sales driver. Instead, it will boost online sales and, potentially, taproom or pickup sales. Ask the cider community or do some research to find local subscription boxes you might be able to join up with. For example, there is the Northwest Cider Club and the Virginia Cider Club. If you do your own subscription service, you can control costs, present added value, and understand the dividends for each sale.
Want to drive more subscription box sales? Advertise that when you buy a box, you will be exclusive access to an online event with tasting note reviews, giveaways, and conversation with the cidermakers and the general community.
These are just some of the suggestions we have to help your cidery expand its revenue but do not forget the basics before expanding your brand. Ensure you have the time and resources for many of these options before venturing down these paths. Not all of these solutions are right for each cidery and perhaps other efforts could be taken to pull more consumers to your taproom. For instance, in areas that are less restricted due to COVID, you might want to bring back patio activities or on-site tasting events. Sit down with your team, determine your long and short-term goals in terms of revenue and expanding your revenue stream, and find the right solution for you!