The town of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, in the beautiful Annapolis Valley, is a thriving community that has made the most of its incredible surroundings. With wineries, cideries and growing numbers of innovative and sustainable small-to-medium businesses, it was a great place to hold -- and live stream -- our most recent Shopify Meetup.
We loved meeting an enthusiastic group of merchants, entrepreneurs and future business owners at the Lightfoot & Wolfville Winery, a gorgeous venue with excellent snacks (and plenty of delicious wine, of course).
If you couldn’t make it, here’s what you missed:
Session 1 - The Creation of a Subscription-Based Wine Club
Rachel Lightfoot of Lightfoot & Wolfville Wines spoke about how their family-run vineyard has been able to add a predictable income stream to their seasonal business by launching a successful subscription-based wine club, almost exactly one year ago.
Rachel’s top tips:
Your existing customers are your most valuable resource. She began with in-depth engagement and consultation with repeat customers, then carried out further months of research on other wine clubs’ offerings and pricings.
Stay true to your brand. She emphasized the importance of being able to maintain quality while scaling their wine club.
Keep Track. Rachel has found that 90% of their members sign up onsite, in their tasting room, via in-store signage and staff promotion. This will inform future marketing.
Able Sense have had the pleasure of working with Lightfoot & Wolfville for several years, from their first (ICE Award-winning) website in 2014 through to their continuing design and ecommerce needs. Their wine club has been successfully integrated with their beautiful Shopify platform via the Bold Subscriptions app. Read the case study here.
Session 2 - Transforming a Small Business into a Big Brand with Shopify
Our second presenter was Sean Myles, co-owner of Annapolis Cider Company. His cidery started only three years ago, as a very small business. Their goal is to become a leading national premium cider brand, and with Shopify, Shopify POS and some very smart initiatives, they are well on their way.
Sean’s top tips:
Say yes to growth. When out-of-town customers asked if their cider was available anywhere else, Annapolis Cider really didn’t like to say “no”. So they made it possible to sell and ship their products across Canada.
Invest at least some of your marketing budget in training your staff. Annapolis Cider built its business one customer at a time, via great one-on-one interaction in-store. Their staff is now also incentivized to encourage customers to buy their ciders online.
- Use your analytics. Keeping a close eye on their orders, margins and conversion rates, Annapolis Cider discovered that their online customers tend to spend more per order, and prefer premium products. They are using social media and newsletters to act on this information.
Annapolis Cider Company chose a Shopify platform with integrated shipping capability, a Shopify POS and accounting apps. All of these optimize their time so that they can serve their growing customer base. Our case study is here.
Thanks, and see you next time!
We want to thank the Lightfoot & Wolfville staff for providing a wonderful venue and delicious refreshments. As always, our Meetups wouldn’t be great without the help of the awesome team at Able Sense and the participation of the many familiar and new faces that come out to connect, network and share knowledge about all things Shopify.
It was a pleasure!
The next Able Sense-hosted Shopify Meetup will be held next year! Join us February 12th at Propeller Brewing in Halifax.
If you have ideas for topics for a future Meetup, or would like to present, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.