Case Studies

From Local Underdog to Nationwide Brand


Convive Wines, a local wine retailer in New York City, had always enjoyed plenty of passerby traffic and a loyal customer base in and around Manhattan. But then COVID-19 hit, and Convive’s revenue quickly plummeted.

Suddenly, Convive felt their lack of a digital presence badly – especially with apps like Instacart popping up to deliver wine straight to New Yorkers’ homes. To counter this, they mobilized quickly, offering online ordering with free delivery, and partnering with SharpSpring Ads for retargeting. Soon they were generating higher demand than ever and seeing unprecedented growth.

Convive saw an increase of 79.4% from April 2020 to April 2021 with retargeting, compared to April 2019 – April 2020 without retargeting


The COVID-19 pandemic forced many brick-and-mortar stores into temporary closures. Even if lockdown restrictions were not in place, consumers weren’t frequenting stores at a business as-usual pace. Any business that did not have a healthy digital presence to subsidize its retail operations faced a harsh reality that they may not meet their sales targets.

Pre-COVID, Convive Wines ran the majority of its business out of its retail location. Serving a niche customer base of budding beverage connoisseurs, they were particularly vulnerable to the lockdown’s effects. Fast forward to today: they have two delivery vans and a nationwide base of sophisticated wine drinkers.

Convive Wines realized they could not rely on brick-and mortar revenue alone. To come close to replacing those lost in-store sales, they’d have to compete with the apps that were delivering wine to people’s doors. However, they knew that their target audience still craved their insider knowledge and extensive expertise.


How did they not only survive lockdown but emerge stronger? By shifting sales to their online channel and accelerating their digital marketing. Convive Wines used SharpSpring Ads to retarget Manhattan shoppers with ultra-personalized content and experiences. With this successful strategy, they quickly scaled their audience and unlocked new revenue.

Convive Wines decided to launch online ordering with free delivery. This way, they could continue to provide their expert wine recommendations and sell their curated selection of fine varietals.


Tactic 1: Recapturing New Yorkers’ Business with Digital Sales

Convive had not done much with online advertising. They knew they needed to get the news out to customers, but they also understood the challenges — and costs — of customer acquisition. Their target CPA was $20, and even that was pushing it in the COVID-crippled economy

That’s where highly personalized retargeting ads became crucial to their recovery. Convive Wines needed to scale up their digital advertising from minimal ads to highly refined retargeting campaigns. Rather than try to cultivate net new leads and customers, they focused on recapturing their loyal buyers — as well as qualified leads who would appreciate Convive Wines’ offerings.

Being able to shift to an ecommerce market, especially with the challenges of the COVID economy, is only possible with the right mindset, strategy, and technology. 

Tactic 2: Comprehensive Retargeting Made Simple

SharpSpring provided Convive Wines with a feature-rich, streamlined platform to define their audience segments and run high-converting ads. Each retargeting campaign followed up on the audience’s previous activity, like prior purchases from Convive Wines or engagement with wine-themed content. Their new campaigns targeted: 

  • Wine drinkers of a specific variety 
  • Connoisseurs and sommeliers 
  • Previous customers 
  • New shoppers who were passionate about wine and spirits 
  • Email list subscribers 

They also developed some clever content marketing, including Zoom panels with wine experts, and promoted these events via SharpSpring Ads. 

The result?

High-performing campaigns that reached both previous customers and qualified leads, resulting in more than 1,300 online orders — and for just over $6 per 1,000 impressions. Convive Wines enjoyed an affordable expansion into ecommerce and unlocked new revenue. 

It’s worth noting that this retargeting strategy essentially doubled Convive Wines’ target CPA, allowing them to acquire customers for less than they expected. This was a great boon to growth in a struggling retail industry. 

As local audiences became aware of Convive Wines’ new offering, delivery picked up. The company now has multiple vans delivering throughout the greater NYC metropolitan area.

Online orders
$6 CPM
Only $6.36 per 1,000 impressions
$11 CPA
Low cost per acquisition of $11.32

The businesses that survived lockdowns were those that adapted their model to the new normal. This was tricky for a wine shop where the in-person experience is crucial to making sales. However, Convive Wine’s valuable wine expertise combined with the convenience of online ordering allowed them to recapture their sophisticated Manhattan wine-buyers — and reach customers in the greater NYC area, as well. 

Thanks to SharpSpring’s comprehensive marketing automation and easy ad management, they successfully tapped into their target audience’s buying journey — and expanded their business beyond its pre-COVID market.