Joanne Grantz
February 16, 2016 | eCommerce , Email Marketing , Wine Industry Trends | Joanne Grantz

February news roundup: Part 1

Wine business news
Despite their unconventional taste and colors, natural wines are gaining a cult following among consumers. Natural wines are hard to define, NPR noted, and are mainly characterized by what's not done to them. These selections have little to no additives, producing a unique experience in each bottle. Some enjoy this exclusivity, while others consider the taste unsophisticated. Have you noticed chatter about natural wines among your consumers lately?

On that note, have you seen any changes in the average age group entering your winery? If you noticed your customers are getting younger, you're not alone. According to Wine Spectator, millennials - those aged 21 to 38 - consumed 159.6 million cases of wine last year. That number works out to 42 percent of all the wine consumed in the U.S. - thus, millennials consumed more of the beverage than any other generation. In fact, 30 percent of high-frequency drinkers, defined as those consuming wine multiple times per week, were younger consumers. NPR also noted more millennials and older wine drinkers are willing to pay higher prices for a good bottle.

Meanwhile, scientists at the University of California, Davis, have identified an enzyme they hope will lead to future discoveries for diagnosing and treating Pierce's disease. This bacterial infection is transmitted to grapevines by insects and costs California wineries more than $100 million, the university said.

"We anticipate that this discovery could open new ways to think about dealing with Pierce's disease and highlight other areas of immune response, in general, that haven't yet been considered," Abhaya Dandekar, the study's senior author and a professor of plant sciences, told the school.

Wine is all about individuality. Each bottle you provide should give a unique taste consumers can find no where else. Thus, your website should work in the same way. Wineries face a lot of competition online, so it's important they show consumers how they differ from each other. This goes a long way in establishing the personal relationship that keeps wine enthusiasts coming back. Practical E-commerce has several suggestions for how wineries can establish themselves as personal, independent organizations and engage with consumers. Many of these suggestions focus on truth and transparency, sharing testimonials and the wine-making process. Which techniques have you employed, and which do you think will be beneficial for future use?

Personalization is also a way retailers develop a connection with their consumers, but they should be certain not to go too far. Multichannel Merchant noted that personalized messages shouldn't imply you're stalking your customers. Rather, they should provide helpful tips and anticipate a shopper's future desires. Your consumers want to feel like their needs are on your mind, not like they're being tracked across the digital - and, in some instances, physical - space.


Personalized online marketing should be helpful, not overdone.

Even if a shopper has decided to purchase from your winery, a bad online checkout process could make them reconsider. According to PYMNTS.com, online sellers miss out on 42 percent of sales because the process of paying is too cumbersome. People shop online for the convenience, but a lengthy checkout process negates that ease of use. Check out the website and see what they have to say about streamlining the shopping experience and increasing consumer trust.

Either way, winemakers should carefully consider their shipping processes. FedEx and ShipCompliant addressed this topic at the 2016 Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium. Some brief highlights of the presentation include 70 percent of e-commerce shoppers actually increase their order's value to receive complimentary shipping. On average, they spend $23 more than they would have without the delivery-based incentive. On the other hand, 68 percent of shoppers are deterred by high shipping costs and don't complete their purchases. The presentation contained some valuable insights.


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