Selling Wine & Spirits in the Time of Coronavirus

Cheryl Durzy CEO of LibDib


 By Cheryl Durzy, Founder & CEO, LibDib

From all of us here at LibDib, we are here to help get your products to market and increase your case sales. As we all try to adjust to the changes in our everyday lives during COVID-19, I wanted to reach out to the alcohol industry and our valued wine and spirits producers.

These are unprecedented times. Tasting rooms are closed. Restaurants are shuttered or only open for limited service/take-out. As a wine or spirits producer, how can you operate in this very challenging business environment? How can you be sensitive while keeping your business afloat?

Events and most on-premise alcohol sales could be non-existent over the next few months. It’s time to think about using digital tools and new distribution routes to connect with accounts and continue the sales process.

We recently conducted a Maker training program on how to sell wine and spirits remotely. While this was before COVID-19, the learnings from this training are directly applicable to today’s climate. We encourage you to listen to our training webinars here.

As more and more consumers shift to off-premise and online sales, there is an opportunity to continue selling. We know it will be tough. New product presentations might be out for a while. Retailers will scramble to keep up with demand. Focus on reaching out to accounts to see about reorders as retailers restock their shelves. If you have buyers in other markets who you have a great relationship with, expand distribution to those markets. LibDib can help you get up and running with distribution quickly.

For those cities where restaurants and bars remain open, keep in mind that business has slowed significantly. They may not be looking to reorder wine and spirits in the near future. But now is a good time for a friendly email to ask how you can help in these troubling times. Buy food and send in customers for take-out. Use your best judgement with your relationships and find ways to be supportive.

At LibDib we are doing our part to support our Makers’ alcohol sales with automated and in-person touches for all reorders. We’re encouraging Makers to reach out to accounts digitally, offer virtual tastings, or even just check in to see what accounts need.

When it comes to day-to-day business, we are all just trying to take things as they come. At LibDib we are staying the course and treating this as “business as usual.” Orders are being processed. Our warehouses are open and delivering. We have instituted a ‘Work from Home’ policy for our staff. As an online platform and technology company, we are fortunate to be set up with the tools to be productive and remain available for our community. We are here to help you.

We also encourage all Makers to take this time to update marketing materials. For LibDib Makers this means updating LibDib brandpages. Are your vintages up to date? Do you have any new POS to add? New images to add? Spend the time now getting ready for the future.

We will return to a new normal. The demand for authentic, small production wines and craft spirits remains and consumers will go back to the bars and restaurants when it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, LibDib Makers can also connect and talk with each other in our Maker Facebook Community. In this time of uncertainty and forced isolation, you can join us to connect and share experiences. You must be a LibDib Maker to join. If you’re not a LibDib Maker, sign up for free today!

Most importantly: please stay safe and healthy. We are in this together.

Cheers and thanks as always for your support.