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Sheri Hebbeln
 
November 27, 2013 | Sheri Hebbeln

As e-commerce sales rise, personalized wine marketing is key

The online wine market has the potential to skyrocket, but wineries need to carefully tailor their Internet presence to attract customers. E-retailing has taken off in recent years, with businesses selling everything they can on the Web. But the demand for Internet shopping isn't exclusive to household items or clothing - consumers are expressing a growing interest in purchasing alcohol online as well.

At the Wine Vision trade show in London, Bram Duchovnay, senior executive at Amazon, addressed attendees on global alcohol sales and how there is a great deal of room for improvement in the market. Amazon only began selling alcohol online in the fourth quarter of 2012, so the company is still new to the market, Beverage Daily said. Even though the company earned more than $61 billion in sales during the 2012 fiscal year, Duchovany admits there is still much to learn about how to successfully sell wine online. 

Duchovany believes one of the crucial elements of an e-commerce strategy for wine will be duplicating the look and feel of the wine-buying experience online. Wineries will need to create a destination to attract shoppers and encourage repeat business.

Personalized wine marketing helps vintners capture online potential

It's no secret that customer reviews and product comparisons play a role in purchasing decisions, and these may have a major impact on online wine sales, according to Harpers, a U.K. wine and spirit news source. 

Not all alcohol consumers will fall under the same umbrella, and this is especially true of wine drinkers. Sophisticated online retailers like Amazon are capable of making fairly accurate recommendations based on other product categories shoppers have perused. The company is able to recommend different types of wines to consumers who fall into certain interest groups. Amazon will also use customer preferences to cross-sell between separate categories. For example, the retailer found people who purchase champagne online often search for specialty chocolates, the source said. 

Personalized marketing efforts are a must as wineries jump on the e-commerce bandwagon and try to attract more customers. Since word-of-mouth marketing has a major effect on purchasing decisions, winemakers have to encourage reviews on their websites. This can help them boost online wine sales and potentially increase wine club membership. Utilizing social media and sending targeted emails to customers will support the goal of increasing online sales.

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