You have wine-interested customers coming through the door, they’ve found a wine they love, at a price they like, and they frequently come back for more. But as overheads and the price of wine continue to rise, how can you get customers to trade up and remain loyal without spending a penny? 

1. Trust is one of the most undervalued assets in the marketing toolbox, so take time to get to know your customers and recommend wines they will enjoy rather than what you want to sell. If you have a good set of loyal customers who already trust you and the value of your wines, when they’re ready to trade up you’ll be their first port of call. 

2. Emotions. A key factor for successful trading up lies in your wine selection and how the brands make people feel: present your customers with reasons why they might want to consider trading up.

For example, clearly displaying and communicating a winery’s ethical, environmental and socially responsible attributes is time well spent and will help customers trade up when they can easily identify wines that align with their own standards in these areas. 

3. Empower through quality. No matter how good a wine brand or region’s reputation may be, if the quality doesn’t meet expectations, it’s meaningless. So, whether it’s informally offering a tasting sample when people walk in, or hosting a full-on tasting event, letting people experience the difference between an entry-level wine and a Reserva for themselves is always going to take the leg work out of the trading up minefield.

It also empowers customers to make an educated decision. Any reputable supplier will bend over backwards to support tastings like this, so don’t be afraid to ask them for help with free stock.