Heading into the holiday season, we had every reason to believe that DTC ecommerce would continue its upward trajectory as a key sales channel for wineries. The past 9 months have revealed an overwhelming desire among consumers to purchase all kinds of goods online. Combined with growing demand for wine as more people drink and dine at home, the ecommerce trend is here to stay — and our data proves it.
Our clients saw overwhelming success over the long Thanksgiving weekend, with gains even greater than those illustrated over the past week in several other industry reports. The data suggests that overall, our ecommerce clients outperform the average winery — and that for many wineries, there is an outsize opportunity to improve your ecommerce strategies.
Overall DTC sales during the Thanksgiving shopping rush were up nearly a full third over last year (32%). Half of this year's sales can be attributed to ecommerce, compared to just a third in 2019. And in 2020, wineries doubled their online revenue compared to last year.
This is a powerful indicator that the shift to ecommerce is permanent.Records wineries set in the early days of sheltering at home have not returned to the mean, which indicates a lasting shift in consumer behavior.
As our data from this Spring illustrated, some wineries did better than others when Covid-19 arrived on the scene. However, winery size, production and region were not the strongest indicators of success — rather, wineries that had already been investing seriously in ecommerce pivoted the fastest and thrived the most. This underscores that there is still room to improve for most wineries.
Looking back at winery sales over the long Thanksgiving weekend, what was the single largest share of revenue by channel in either year? 2020 website sales. Our clients made 20% more money online this Cyber Week — $10.5 million — than they made in tasting rooms during the same period in 2019, which represented the second largest share of sales in either year.
Cyber Monday was a particularly successful sales day for wineries on our platform. Looking back over the past three months, average activity across our clients' websites has consistently hovered around 3,000 - 4,000 requests per minute, or how often someone clicks on a page of your website. That number started trending upward in mid-November as consumers rushed to purchase wines by Thanksgiving, and on Cyber Monday, peaked at more than 10,000 website requests per minute - more than double the average activity across our clients' sites.
When we look at our diverse roster of clients from around the globe, a great deal of them are small, independent businesses. Investing in ecommerce offers these wineries the incredible advantage of a more level playing field to compete with the largest businesses online. This year especially, consumers are eager to support small businesses that they want to see stick around.
If you haven't already, make it a priority in 2021 to focus heavily on ecommerce as a primary sales channel.
2019 Thanksgiving weekend data includes sales and website activity from November 28, 2019 – December 2, 2019
2020 Thanksgiving weekend data includes sales and website activity from November 26 -30, 2020.
We excluded wine club sales from our data set to avoid skewing Thanksgiving weekend / Cyber Week results. Our clients process club shipments consistently throughout November, independent of (and sometimes during) the holiday weekend.
Tasting room sales are defined as transactions performed via the Point of Sale. Ecommerce sales are defined as transactions performed by a consumer through a winery’s online store. The 'Other' category includes telesales and orders that winery employees manually process through WineDirect's back end Admin Panel (private appointment sales, for example).