One of the only good things that came out of 2020 – besides everyone getting to work from home in sweatpants – was the massive move of customers to online shopping. A move that provided wineries another opportunity to make sales as restrictions came in, but not every winery embraced the new digital opportunity.
While the cellar door will always be an important step in acquiring new customers and providing a memorable experience to loyal customers, your digital presence cannot be ignored in this new world of digital eCommerce.
Direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine sales were already on the rise before COVID, but the pandemic gave the industry a huge acceleration.
As Melissa Parker, a journalist at Drinks Trade put it in her article on the effects of the pandemic on the wine industry: “When it comes to the future of liquor retailing, it’s digitally adapt or die.”
We couldn’t agree more Melissa.
Not only does going digital make sense for wineries, but it also makes sense for consumers. A great eCommerce store on a winery website enables consumers to support their favourite wineries from the comfort of their couch. An added benefit when they couldn’t support them physically as restrictions came in. This online trend wasn’t limited to the wine industry alone.
In Australia Post’s Inside Australia Online Shopping eCommerce update, online purchases in January 2021 grew 44% year-on-year. This change in behaviour doesn’t really come as a surprise. Online shopping is more convenient, less time-consuming, and often results in being less of a hindrance on a consumer’s pocket thanks to promo codes, cashback partners, loyalty programs and the opportunity to research for the best price on a particular product.
The Inside Online Shopping eCommerce update also states that Food & Liquor sales in January 2021 were up 50% YoY, the biggest percentage increase compared to all over categories. Wine Intelligence also recently reported that 49% of consumers they surveyed were buying more wine online in 2020. An increase of 26% net change score.
This is significant as even though restrictions are easing, online sales are increasing. This suggests that the trend could become the norm. Wineries need to embrace digital or get left behind. No one wants that.
Melissa Parker commented on the Wine Intelligence report: “The report reveals a massive surge in online wine purchasing over the past 12 months. It also shows post-Covid online wine buyers tend to be younger, high spending and interested in discovery and a good deal while revealing consumer motivation for online liquor shopping is mainly driven by convenience.”
The challenge for wineries is the competition, specifically from the larger corporations that can offer same-day order fulfilment and cheaper prices. How can smaller independent wineries stand up to that? There are two main initiatives.
- By providing a seamless shopping experience for customers in the cellar door, the eCommerce store, and email marketing.
- By knowing what sets them apart from the competition: their story. Stories sell wine. Your brand is unique to you. In coming blog posts we’ll be discussing how to successfully sell your story in a compelling way to consumers.
WithWine is committed to equipping wineries with the tools they need to provide the ultimate winery experience. We can help you embrace digital with mobile POS, eCommerce, Wine Club management and more.
Check out our Full Features List and book a demo so we can show you how our software can make your life easier.
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