Stay hopeful. There’s no “new normal” yet. All of us are reconsidering existing business models in light of shelter-in-place orders and other changes. We all know the best thing to do is to reframe your expectations to celebrate small wins or interactions, rather than goal conversions, but positivity isn’t something we can always take to the bank.

Shady Lane Cellars has always been a popular spot on Leelanau Peninsula, just minutes from Traverse City. It’s a handcrafted, sustainable product line represents Michigan-made quality in every glass. But like other MLive partners, Shady Lane’s model was centered around its tasting room.

“Overnight, our business changed. We couldn’t rely on visitors to taste our wines in person,” said Rick DeBlasio, General Manager of Shady Lane. “We had to invent a new way.”

Already running a special on orders shipped from the tasting room, the Shady Lanes team expanded this to charge penny shipping for every online order, using the offer code PENNYSHIP when ordering.

“We are still making wine. We’re able to take measures to safely produce our product and ship it. It’s keeping our team active and our business moving, even though it isn’t in the same way it’s been,” said DeBlasio.

And MLive Media Group can report that Shady Lane’s site traffic has improved considerably with online ordering, reflective of this transition:

SESSIONS AND USERS UP

41%

PAGEVIEWS ARE UP

33%

SOCIAL MEDIA IS UP

298%

Of the experience, DeBlasio observed, “We’ve got a lot to be grateful for right now. We’re extremely grateful for those that are purchasing our product online. Even in light of COVID-19, our customers are able to have a tasting room experience in their own homes.”

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