Matthew Mann
November 3, 2008 | Direct-To-Trade , eCommerce | Matthew Mann

Variety Is What Direct to Consumer Shipping Is About

Halloween is now in the rear view mirror. As I sat on my front porch handing out my collection of Snickers, Butterfingers and Crunch bars to the elaborately dressed Princesses and Jedi Knights, I couldn’t help but notice that all of the kiddies’ bags were filled with the same variety of candy that I was giving. I thought, “what happened to the variety of candies I would get as a kid?” I quickly realized that the candy market had become very much like the wine market: a few key brands dominating the store shelves. I wondered if the candy wholesale lobby had as much control as the wine wholesalers, deciding which candies would be available to children in the same way the wine wholesalers decided which wines would be available to the wine consumer.

A stretch maybe. But it points out just how important the rise of direct to consumer wine shipments are in this country. The multitude of quality, small producers who can’t land a distribution deal in key markets can still reach customers desirous of their wines. Needless to say, both the consumer and the winery benefit. Variety is important in the wine industry. Maybe more important than in other industries where a widget is a widget is a widget. Limiting variety is harmful in a free market and the fundamental problem in the 3-tier system as it is presently operating. Consolidation among wholesalers is ongoing, with fewer and fewer major distributors dominating the market. With over 6,000 licensed wineries in the United States, the few hundred brands generally available in major markets is just a slice of all of the wonderful wines produced. Responsible, accountable direct to consumer shipping is the logical answer to this gateway that limits selection. The benefits are real and several.

Key Benefits of Direct to Consumer Shipping:

  • Access: New markets and customers
  • Profits: Higher margins per bottle than wholesale
  • Brand Recognition: Reaching the individual consumer with direct, word of mouth guerilla marketing
  • Availability: Reaching those consumers who can’t otherwise get your product
  • Franchise: Building a base of loyal, repeat customers who know where they can get your wine
  • Variety: More wines, more wine selection

As a leader of the direct wine shipping revolution, Inertia is all about variety. Our goal is to make the incredible selection of fine wines produced in this country available to any legal adult who wants it. Wine consumers shouldn’t be limited to the same small selection of wines available through wholesale channels. Even kids don’t want to eat the same candy bar every night after Halloween. Join the wine revolution!


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