Going digital during the pandemic: quickfire questions with Noble Green Wines
In the past year and a half, we all had to throw ‘normality’ out of the window and replace it with a new way of doing things. Suddenly, online shopping became the undiscussed king of retail, and having both a website and a strong social media presence became vital to maintain a sense of community which, otherwise, would be lost.
So, without much warning, independent wine retailers had to adapt quickly to this new business model to keep customers happy (and quench their thirst for good wine). But what did they learn during these unprecedented times? We caught up with Csaba Toth, Head of Events & Partnerships at Noble Green Wine, to chat about their online journey and success.
How did you adapt your business model during the pandemic? What was the ‘new normal’ for you?
Thankfully, we already had an e-commerce system in place which allowed customers to choose between click and collect or national delivery. During the various lockdowns, however, these services became rather vital. Click and collect suddenly became a main feature of the website, and we had to expand our local delivery area. Our main revenue came through the website and the number of national deliveries per day multiplied. We were submerged by online orders!
How have you changed your social media activity during the pandemic?
We started posting more regularly, as opposed to ad hoc. Our aim was to engage with customers who we hadn’t seen during lockdown, as well as to reach out to new ones. We launched a weekly Instagram Live series with influencers, winemakers and masters of wine from aroundthe world. Once a month we talked about beer, too. This helped our customers to connect with us and kept the ‘human touch’ that was lost in the pandemic. We also started a ‘wine school’ video series on YouTube covering a different region every two weeks. The engagement level definitely grew, and our followers seemed to enjoy our content! We can say these online sessions have been a good replacement for the ‘live’ events during lockdown.
Do you think you can you influence wine sales through social media?
Yes, we saw a noticeable take-up on the wines we showcased in our YouTube videos, and also the ones we posted about on other social media channels. It was very surprising as we didn’t intend to use social media as a direct sales tool, but it just happened. People were clearly interested to know more about the wines, and then they were purchasing them.
Will you keep doing these live IGTV and YouTube videos in the future?
Yes, we believe it’s important to keep customers engaged and educated on social media. At the same time, these events allow us to stay in touch with winemakers across the globe, maintaining the strength of our relationship. Finally, we’re growing our social media presence with very valuable video content.
Finally, do you have any suggestions to other indies who have just started their social media journey?
Take it seriously, it’s a very powerful tool and it’s free!