Cider Corner: Using Online Sales to Boost Marketing, Reach

Using an online sales can help generate growth for your cidery in both image and sales. Depending on your license and state laws, a cidery can expand its reach beyond a local tasting room and on- or off-premise venues.

Steve Selin of South Hill Cider has his own online store and cider club. But a new website like Cider In Love is a marketing boost for the Ithaca, New York cidery.

“They know how to connect small-scale producers like me (no full time employees) to a wider audience,” Selin said about working with a third-party website like Cider in Love, which specializes in heritage cider makers. “I am great at making cider. I am not a pro at marketing. They are great at connecting us to the people who most want our ciders.”

For Rick Hastings of Liberty Ciderworks in Spokane, Washington, a website like Cider in Love can help consumers match their needs and expectations with that “perfect” cider.

“For others, they pique interest, educate, and inspire exploration,” he explained. “That’s what we do in our tasting room, but it’s a tall order to manage it online. So far, we’re very impressed with how they’re doing.”

Hasting noted that with mass-market cider being available across the country, some buyers are understandably skeptical about premium offerings, having a website that helps promote heritage ciders creates an informative, trustworthy space for customers to explore.

“Though cider is well-established in other parts of the world, it’s something that’s still quite new to U.S. consumers,” Hastings said. “So education is a big part of what we have to do, not only creating products we believe in, but helping others value them too.

“Cider in Love understands that, and spends significant energies positioning cider as part of sales. They’re helping elevate cider in the marketplace, which over the long term, is great for the category.”

Eaglemount Winery has a shopping cart on their website but co-owner Trudy Davis said since they are such a small company the visibility was limited.

“We felt that being a part of Cider In Love and grouped with other artisanal cideries would be a great way to reach more people,” they said.

Philippe Bishop of Alpenfire felt it was important for like-minded producers to band together​ for a website like this.

“For the most part “heritage” producers are small and Cider in Love has been a great voice for them,” he said.

Bishop said Cider in Love approached Alpenfire looking for producers who are connected to the land and the apples that go into their ciders and take the time to mature their ciders and bring out the nuances that only heritage ciders have.

​”[They have] done a great job at marketing, a very important but often overlooked step when you are a heritage producer,” he said. “This platform gives those people who are in search of our type of cider options all in one place, and hopefully the adventurous types will try everyone’s options.​”

Cider in Love president and founder Annie Bystryn said that the new website hand selects heritage cider makers who, “craft extraordinary bottles from across the country.” Cideries can email for further details on the process.

Photos courtesy Cider in Love.

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