The Grapevine

What Retail Wine Shops Can Learn from Kickstarter

October 22nd, 2013

You’ve probably heard of crowd sourcing. Websites like Kickstarter allow entrepreneurs and established businesses appeal to an audience beyond their own networks to fund a business idea or new product. [level-members]

What does this have to do with your wine shop, especially since seeking investors in a retail wine establishment is probably illegal in most states? You can put the same concept to use in your shop. The “wisdom of the crowd” can be used for things beyond raising funds.

Conduct surveys and polls on your website and social media properties to get your customers involved in your business. That involvement can lead to greater emotional investment (read loyalty) and, can also guide your decisions in everything from merchandising to how your organize your inventory. What better way to find out what your customers want than to ask them.

Here are some ideas for questions you can ask your  friends, fans and customers.

  • Should we have longer evening hours? Would it be OK to open the shop later in the morning?
  • Which of the following varietals would you like to see more widely represented in the shop?
  • Is there one favorite wine that you’d like us to carry?
  • Would you be more likely to attend our tastings if we offered discounts on the wine being poured?

You get the idea. Be creative in what you ask, and be sure to pose your questions in neutral language so you don’t inadvertently skew results by steering answers in one direction.