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    Direct Shipping 101: What is an On-site Shipment?

    Not all direct-to-consumer wine shipments are created equal. Across the country, state regulatory agencies treat on-site and off-site orders differently. So what is the difference between an onsite order and off-site order?

    Any order placed without the consumer being physically present is considered an off-site order.

    On-site orders meet the following criteria:

    • The order was made while the consumer was physically present at the winery
    • The consumer chose to have their wine shipped home to themselves instead of carrying it out with them from the tasting room
    • The order is not a gift

    (more…)

    How Hold Locations Improve Your Customers’ Experience

    In a recent post, we discussed the delivery problem. Frequently, consumers who order wine aren’t able to accept their package. Either they aren’t available during the day or they don’t have someone 21 or older available to sign for their package. This challenge frequently results in failed delivery attempts and a lot of back and forth on last-mile delivery trucks. These delivery problems pose unique challenges for the wine industry because of the products’ sensitivity. The longer your wine is on the truck, the more risks it encounters and ruined wine costs money. If your product is compromised during shipment, you’ll have to replace and reship. Also, this causes a less-than-desirable experience for your customers.

    Wineries with high delivery rates (the percent of your shipments that are delivered on the first delivery attempt) take precautions to prevent failed delivery attempts and returns. One of the most powerful precautions is leveraging existing, no-cost hold location options. Carriers provide this option which allows customers to pick up their wine packages at their local FedEx or UPS facility when it is convenient for them. (more…)

    Registration is Open for DIRECT 2015

    DIRECT-Email-Banner2

    It’s that time of year again — registration is open for ShipCompliant’s DIRECT conference.

    ShipCompliant’s 10th annual conference is a two-day event featuring an impressive lineup of highly-respected keynote speakers. Registrants will hear from a variety of leading experts on the latest direct shipping legislative changes and other evolving topics in the wine industry.

    The event also offers the opportunity for ShipCompliant customers to connect with the ShipCompliant staff in one-on-one sessions and participate in group workshops. (more…)

    What is Your Wine Delivery Rate?

    It’s easy to think that once your wine has left your property or the fulfillment house, you don’t need to worry about it anymore. In discussions with our customers, we’ve found that that isn’t the case. Package delivery is a critical component of direct-to-consumer wine sales.

    Consumer expectations have increased as a result of the new delivery precedent that companies like Amazon have set. People expect that receiving packages should be easy. If your customers’ wine isn’t delivered on time, the first time, their experience with your winery becomes tarnished, and the work that you put into creating an incredible experience is at risk. This is where the ability to manage package delivery becomes crucial to maintaining the experience that started in your tasting room. (more…)

    Qui Tam Troubles Continue in Illinois

    A new round of Qui Tam lawsuits regarding tax on shipping charges in Illinois has been filed against numerous wineries and wine retailers. For more information on tax on shipping in Illinois, please see our December blog post, which we’ve updated periodically with additional links and information in the “Resources” section, including a posting from Wine Institute on the matter.

    The latest round of lawsuits appears to have been filed in December or earlier, but kept under seal for at least 60 days prior to being served. Per the False Claims Act statute, the “complaint shall be filed in camera, shall remain under seal for at least 60 days, and shall not be served on the defendant until the court so orders. The State may elect to intervene and proceed with the action within 60 days after it receives both the complaint and the material evidence and information.”

    Therefore, it’s possible that additional complaints have been filed since December but remain under seal as we speak. Businesses that are engaged in sales to Illinois consumers should check with their tax advisor and/or legal counsel and carefully review their shipping policies and eCommerce checkout processes.