Wine E-commerce Software Comparison: WooCommerce vs Vin65, Vinespring & Shopify

Posted by | February 24, 2014 | Website Design | 4 Comments

WooCommerce is one of the most robust e-commerce software out there. Just like Shopify the platform is open to developers to create “add-ons” (otherwise known as “extensions”) to their platforms. Because of this business model they can have highly developed features that all work within one platform or integrate with other highly developed software. Vin65 and Vinespring are not the same business model, so while their features are specific to the wine industry they can sometimes not have as extensive of features as these open-source platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.

Cons

That being said, there are cons to this product if you are a winery:

  1. It doesn’t integrate with ShipCompliant, so if you have an account with them this software is not your best option.
  2. They only have one known POS system that they integrate with – Quickbooks POS. This doesn’t mean you can use your own POS, it just won’t sync the inventory automatically.
  3. Only wineries that charge a standard price per wine club level for every shipment can use Shopify or WooCommerce, so you can’t charge a wine club member $89 for their spring shipment, then $95 for their summer shipment; it would have to be $93 for each shipment every quarter at regular intervals.

Pros

1. WooCommerce is a free platform, only the add-ons cost extra.

2. Unlike Shopify, it doesn’t charge a monthly fee for their add-on features, but an annual fee.

3. WooCommerce, like Shopify will allow you to scale your business as you grow. Only paying for what you need. This also means not having to pay for things you don’t need. Often vertical software companies sell what we in the industry call “bloatware.” They offer all these extra features that appear to have value, until you use them and realize they are not practical or create any ROI. Because Shopify and WooCommerce are open-source and they are not supplying services to one specific industry, they avoid the bloatware phenomenon.

So I thought I would break it down for you so you can compare apples to apples what is the best option for your next winery e-commerce software. Every winery is different – they have different case volumes per year, support staff and budget that all play a role in the best decision for you. I hope this helps.

 

Wine Club Management

WooCommerce Subscriptions:

This is the feature that is a must have for almost all wine websites. The only caveat is that you will need to select a set price for your wine club levels. You can’t do a range of prices per wine club shipment. ($199/year)

Compare

Vinespring: yes +variable pricing (all in one pricing*)

Vin65: yes+variable pricing (all in one pricing**)

Shopify: Yes via the Recurhub ($79/mos) or Chargify ($65-$459/mos) add-ons

 

Dynamic Pricing

This is what you will need so that your wine club members can redeem their VIP discounts online. ($129/year)

Compare

Vinespring: yes (all in one pricing*)

Vin65: yes (all in one pricing**)

Shopify: Yes via the Customer Pricing add-on ($29/month)

Email Marketing

As soon as someone buys a product from your store their email information will be synced with your email marketing software.

Constant Contact Integration $49/year

Mailchimp/Campaign Monitor Integration:  $49/year

Compare

Vinespring: yes (all in one pricing*)

Vin65: yes (all in one pricing**)

Shopify: Yes via add-ons (Mailchimp/Campaign Monitor $0/month, Constant Contact $7/month)

 

Preorders

Woo Commerce Preorders

This is ideal for the high end fine wines with limited production that don’t have enough wine products for a wine club, do not want to have a wine club, but want to sell futures, create a feel of exclusivity and limited quantity. ($129/year)

Compare

Vinespring: no but do offer allocations (all in one pricing*)

Vin65: no but do offer allocations (all in one pricing**)

Shopify: no

 

Customer Relationship Manager (CRM): 

Wineries need to create a personalized experience, so you need a place to easily record and track each customer. This is the add-on that will help you do that. ($49/year)

Compare

Vinespring: yes (all in one pricing*)

Vin65: yes (all in one pricing**)

Shopify: yes (no extra fee)

 

Shipping

Outsourced Fulfillment

Order Exporter: If you outsource to a fulfillment house that requires you to send an excel spreadsheet of your orders daily, this is the ideal tool for you. ($99/year)

Compare

Vinespring: yes, but it also integrates with ShipCompliant which can then report to Bacchus FulfillmentFort Systems (WSN)Pack n’ Ship, Vintrust,Wine Country Pack & Ship and Wine Shipping. (all in one pricing*)

Vin65: yes, but also directly integrates with wine specific fulfillment houses – Copper Peak Logistics, Wine DirectSafe Haven Wine Services & Amedeo. Integrates with ShipCompliant which can then report to Bacchus FulfillmentFort Systems (WSN)Pack n’ Ship, Vintrust,Wine Country Pack & Ship and Wine Shipping. (all in one pricing**)

Shopify: yes  with Readout Add-on ($9/month)

In-house Fulfillment

ShipStation: This streamlines the whole process for you so it doesn’t have to be a pain in the arse! ($79/year + $25/month)

Compare

Vinespring: no

Vin65: no

Shopify: yes ($25/month)

 

POS

Quickbooks Integration  Quickbooks accounting software is a favorite of all accountants. This app integrates with your Quickbooks account and Quickbooks POS.

$99/year for add-on (contact Quickbooks for hardware pricing)

Compare

Vinespring: Yes ($100/month) and they also integrate with Quickbooks, so you could use Quickbook’s POS

Vin65: Yes ($100 – $500/month, hardware $100/per swiper)

Shopify: Yes with the Shopify POS ($49/month)

 

Below I have listed some features that I love, because you know how much I love marketing! These are mostly unique to WooCommerce so I haven’t offered a price comparison.

Checkout Features

Cart Abandonment Email Notifications: Make sure you don’t loose customers and sales just because the buyer got distracted. This add-on notifies the customer to complete their order. ($15 flat fee)

Product Recommendations (like Amazon & Netflix) This is great too, once the customer has added a wine to their cart, you can display recommendations of other wines they may like based on what they have ordered. “Like our 2012 Cab? Well then you must try our 2011 Cab as well and compare the two!”($79/year)

Social Media

Instagram Shares:  Wine lovers love taking photos of what they are drinking on Instagram. Bring these images to life on your website, by integrating Instagram photographs, tagged with a specific hashtag, directly into a grid in your content area. $29/year

Yopto: Both Shopify and WooCommerce support this app and it is free. I especially like it because it makes it easy for the user to write a review because they don’t have to login, they can just post the review using their Facebook login account. $0/year

Facebook Store: Again, both Shopify and WooCommerce support this app and for free once again! BTW – for an extra $50/month Vin65 does offer this feature. $0/year

 

Promotions

Loyalty Programs: Reward your customers for purchases and other actions with points which can be redeemed for discounts. ($129/year)

Popup Messages: Alert people to latest offers, prompt them to sign up to newsletters or just deliver some generic or important content to all your visitors. ($29/year)

User Specific Discounts: Send discounts to only specified users. Only users who can click on the url that they receive via email or social media may validate the offer. Vinespring offers a similar feature. ($49/year)

 

*VineSpring is $150/month with $1000 activation fee

*Vin65 is $299/month

About Courtney Holmes

Courtney Holmes is the founder and creative director of Talk is Sheep Marketing. She developed her company as a full service wine marketing and design firm for two reasons. 1) She saw a direct need in the industry for modern internet marketing and design services. 2) She loves working with the people behind the bottle. They're smart, funny and generally pretty cool people. She works on keeping life simple. She is obsessed with yoga. In love with her husband. And is always failing at being a great dog trainer to her youngest - her 3 year old mutt and terrorist, Augie.

4 Comments

  • Josh Stein says:

    Thanks for the side-by-side comparisons. We recently migrated to shopify as it was the best ROI given ecomm volumes for us. One thing not mentioned here is that both futures and allocations can be done by creating a separate product for that specific release. It’s not as clean as native coding, but it’s a workaround which works on most systems most of the time, and it’s how we get around it with our shopify site.

  • We also used a fairly simple bookkeeping workaround to sell futures in VineSpring.

  • Thanks for the ShipStation mention!

  • Rich Reader says:

    Of the systems mentioned, only Vin65 has API-Integration and practical education for integrated marketing with Vintank Social Connect ( http://www.vintank.com/social-connect/‎ ), which Vin65 offers free to all of their full-platform customers. Vintank Social Connect equips your staff to:

    1) geo-fence the contextual whereabouts of e-commerce, wine club, and visitor center customers in realtime for every relevant incident in Facebook, Twitter (200 million per day), Instagram, Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp and 170,000 other social sites as well as 60,000 forums for 6.5 million social customer profiles which it adds to the customer database and summarizes at the POS terminals.

    2) integrates brand mentions in tasting notes by social customers across Cellar Tracker, Drync, WineLog, and Delectable.

    3) Facilitates fully-customizable customer tag classifications for all relevant brand mentions with as needed for making unique, relevant real-time offers to customers when they are ready-to-buy in a global instant marketing arena.

    The VSC system proves itself every day as the future of success in many wine enterprises.

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