Wine Industry DTC Vendor Prism
This year was an exceptionally different year for Rob McMillan’s SVB Annual State of the Union. Sadly the report, which is the the keystone for the industry, was delayed due to the fires. But as usual Rob and the SVB team were able to compile another brilliant looking glass into 2018. However, unlike previous years Rob extended his gaze even farther into the future and his core message was we as an industry need to evolve or have exceptional struggles in the next decade. A key part of his message was that we really need to stop depending on the tasting room for DTC sales and find ways to reach consumers when they are at home. This is a major transformation and will require innovative thinking, investing in customer acquisition and retention, leveraging software and services, and understanding our customers in meaningful ways. But most importantly we need to invest in our people to help them learn these new skills and to understand the changes that are happening faster and faster every year. To help start this journey Rob asked me to compile and categorize the vendors that focus on supporting DTC. While this list is comprehensive, it is far from complete. If you notice vendors missing, please let me know in the comments below. I’ve also included three vendors that are pre-launch (Commerce7, Clubzz & Customer Vineyard). It’s also a strange coincidence that they all start with “C” but they all have products that will be live in the first half of 2018.
A few pieces of context and interesting insights from the list:
- Being listed ISN’T an endorsement. If you feel you have been categorized incorrectly or you want to be added to the list. Please do so in the comments or email me directly. *UPDATE* I’ve had LOTS of requests for additions and we are updating the infographic the week of January 21, 2018. So many are not directly industry vendors so I’ve added the requirement that you need to have at least ten active paying customers in the last twelve months to be considered if your focus is not primarily wine.
- We tried to list the value chain all the way from accounting and then follow it through the journey of a transaction and consumer touch points. The arc also mostly moves from software to services.
- If you collapse POS plus Ecom/Club plus Full Stack Solutions you see the highest density of vendors (24+ since I’ve appended the list after publishing). This is problematic since there are not enough customers to fuel the R&D required of these companies to innovate and keep pace with the changing pace of the internet and retail solutions. In this category I am most excited about the launch of Commerce7.
- Aside from two vendors, the Accounting and POS categories are mostly non wine focused. This is a weak playing field for the complicated multi-channel retail like wineries
- For the most part, other categories in the stack don’t have many vendors. This is mostly due to market size and, on occasion, some solutions from other industries can be easily applied to wine (e.g. email service providers like Mailchimp) and are economical to for wineries to purchase.
- I need to include telemarketing companies in next years version (an accidental omission).
- Like Balzac Marketing, Benson Marketing and R/West are full service marketing agencies that also do DTC marketing. I was unable to get logos for them in time for the infographic. Tin Sheets also does DTC marketing & operations but was accidentally left off this infographic (deepest apologies). In my humble opinion they are incredibly talented (hopefully this little plug makes up for the accidental exclusion).
- The service side of the industry is particularly lean. It is wonderful to see specialty agencies like EchoDTC, LittleArrows, and VingDirect since they provide deep expertise in their respective categories. These categories are the exact growth areas that wineries need to leverage and invest more to increase sales to consumers at home. PS — For a good laugh I highly recommend you check out EchoDTC’s tool page — http://echodtc.com/tools/.
I look forward to updating this chart in the near future for any vendors I missed in this first pass and then again every year for the Annual SVB Report.
On a closing note and to emphasize the points above we received a timely email from a wine collector in Indiana,
“I am just a wine collector and consumer and wanted to say thank you for being able to participate in the videocast today. It was very informative and the panel was interesting. As one who simply loves and collects wines I enjoy your perspective on the industry.
I was intrigued with your closing comments regarding the future of online sales since I am remotely located, but we focus on Napa wines for our cellar. My observation after having bought wines online from over 100 wineries in Napa, belonging to 21 wine clubs, and being on many allocation lists, but having only visited only 12 of those, follows exactly what you said. I am surprised how often the wineries we buy from simply take our business as a given in their level of customer experience/service towards us. Granted we are no whale in the scheme of the industry, but we are a bird in the hand and spend significantly on premium wines each year.”
As you can see the opportunity is there, we just have to change the way we think and operate to realize it.
If you missed the webinar, you can watch the replay here.
DTC Vendor Prism *Updated as of Jan 24, 2018*
*This new version addresses every omission except telemarketers which will be added in 2019.*
On Premise (POS)
Club Only Tools
Ecom & Club
Full Stack DTC Solutions (Ecom-Club-POS)
- Simply CMS
- Active Club Solutions
Email Service Providers
Social Media Management
DTC Full Service Agencies
DTC Specialty Agencies
Social Media Marketing
Full Stack Marketing Agencies that do DTC
Addendum — Due to time we took HUGE inspiration from my friend Brian Solis and his Conversation Prism and also from the MarTech stack infographic. We plan to really evolve this into something more next year that truly reflects the disciplines and value chain.