User Choice wine clubs. How they work and what are the benefits | CRU
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User Choice Wine Clubs. How they work and what are the benefits.

May 22, 2018

Considering CRU specialise in this area, I thought I would break down what User Choice Wine Clubs are, the flexibility they provide and the benefits our clients are seeing from implementing them or adjusting their current club structure to adapt to this flexible model.

Some background…

When CRU first started, our clients would say to us that it was hard to automate a wine club when their members would email or call to ask if they could swap out wines for something else. This meant we had to think about where wine clubs were heading and we started drawing ideas from other subscription products such as coffee.

We started to develop a club that included flexibility and had options, because we thought, “what type of club would we sign up to?”


What makes it flexible?

Gone are the days of the old school mentality of having set packs in specific months with minimal room to move. CRU started developing a matrix style tiered membership that was built on options. More options mean there is something for everyone, which makes up selling (especially in cellar door) much easier.

We ask the members what quantities they want, be it 3, 6 or 12 bottle packs – some newly launched clubs we have built include a 24 bottle pack! Next, we ask how often they want their packs delivered such as every 3, 6 or 12 months. We can determine certain quantities for specific frequencies such as just having 12 bottles for the 12 month option with no 3 or 6 bottle options.

Here is an example:

Here are some live examples to check out:


You can see that we have thought about the user experience and the design to be intuitive and more fun than filling in a form. User experience is very important to keep customers and members engaged with the brand as well as easily create their own club choices. As soon as anything gets hard to navigate or complete, we lose them.

Instead of deliveries in set months of the year, we recommend our clients adopt a rolling subscription for their wine club – the member signs up on the day, pays and receives their pack, then in 3, 6 or 12 months from that day they receive their next pack (these month ranges can be customisable).

Benefits of this are:

  • Club orders come in like any other order
  • Cash flow is more consistent rather than spikes during the year
  • No need to over resource in the set months for the larger spikes for club shipments
  • Easier for cellar door staff to convert there and then at cellar door
  • No ambiguity around whether a new member takes their pack immediately if it is a month out from the next shipment


Upgrading and downgrading

Things change and life happens. Also, brand loyalty is not what it used to be and there are many clubs out there. By allowing your members to upgrade or downgrade before each shipment, means you have less chance for someone to opt out. That month of their next shipment they might be having a party and need more wine, the next shipment month they might be away, have enough wine or be on a health kick. Giving this flexibility of upgrading or downgrading leads to lower attrition rates.

Sure, we want to lock members in and get as much out of them as possible, but if you don’t give them any of the options then they will leave. Yes, average order sizes may be smaller, however, growth is much higher and if wineries are smart, they will be driving more value out of each member by sending member-only offers – in some cases, we are seeing an extra 2 – 3 times the value.


Giving the power in the hands of the members

7 days before a members credit card gets charged, we send a reminder email to get them to update their billing and shipping details and to modify their wines. It’s at this opportunity that members can upgrade, downgrade switch between packs or do nothing and receive the same as their last shipment. By allowing members to manage themselves with a smart and intuitive user experience, we find they enjoy doing it leading to retaining them.


CRU is the only platform offering this much flexibility and options for your members. We are the only winery platform that has a high level of user experience utilising clean design that is intuitive for members signing up or managing themselves – Want some stats and a demo, get in touch!