Posts Filed Under wine buying

Why Is It Always Someone Else’s Fault? (Thoughts On Slipping Wine Sales)

Vinted on January 26, 2016 binned in commentary, wine buying, wine news

Dr Who told you so

One of the staples of my recent speaking gigs to wine marketing types has been that wine, having achieved extraordinary success in the USA in recent years, are now a big target. A small example:

During a speaking gig at Taste Washington, I remember seeing the beer brand stands at the event and laughing to myself. Someone next to me at the time (who was involved in the organization of the event) asked me what was amusing me, and I answered “the beer stands.”

“But why are they funny? They’re great sponsors!”

“I’m sure that they are,” I answered, “because this is one of the cheapest and best ways for them to steal wine customers that I have ever seen!”

I’ve been preaching (let’s call it what it is, after all) for the last couple of years that everyone is going to be gunning for wine: beer, spirits, coffee, pretty much all beverages. That’s because once you reach the top – which wine has, in a very real sense, done – everyone can see more of your ass, and it becomes a nice, large, juicy sales-acquisition target.

For the impatient: the bottom line is that the a declining US wine consumption has been totally predictable for the last 3+ years, and the efforts required to reverse it have been around for just as long, and (it’s absurd that I even need to type this next part) it’s not the fault of the changing wine buying demographic for wines under $20.

For those wishing for more detail: we now have two interesting canary-in-a-coalmine examples to consider that suggest that is actually what is happening….

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Wine Intelligence Report Stating The Obvious?

Vinted on July 29, 2015 binned in wine buying, wine news

If you have about $2400 handy, you can buy the latest report from Wine Intelligence on US Internet and Social Media utilization with respect to the US wine market.

Or, you could invest that money and just go with your observations of the obvious when it comes to social media and wine. At least that’s the vibe I am getting based on the press release highlighting the findings of the report.

Here’s a sample (emphasis mine), followed by my snarky-ass comments:

While 58.5 million of regular wine drinkers – defined as those who consume wine at least once a month – say they research wine online, and around 30 million make online recommendations, fewer than 10 million buy wine online, suggesting that many wine shoppers still need convincing that the internet as interesting, convenient or as good value as going into a shop.

Use of Twitter has more than doubled since 2011.  Sourcing information on Facebook has grown from one in five to one in three regular wine drinkers, and Youtube is used by 27% of them, Instagram by 24% and Snapchat by 20%, all from a standing start.  But just 30% trust posts on social media sites against 83% for advice from friends, family or colleagues, and 76% for wine shops.”

So…

A full one-third of those making wine recommendations online go on to buy wine online, totaling upwards of ten million people, and we’re using adjectives such as “only” and adverbs like “just” to describe that action? What. The. HELL?!??…

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Do Wine Blogs Matter For Selling Wine? (The 1WineDude Conversion Rate)

Vinted on February 11, 2014 binned in about 1winedude blog, best of, commentary, wine blogging, wine buying

One of the criticisms most often levied against wine blogs is that they don’t “move the needle” in terms of wine sales.

Let’s forget for a moment that where I come from, coverage that costs me next to nothing for a product that results in even a handful of additional sales (and additional exposure) – that I otherwise would never have seen – counts for something.

The crux of this criticism is that coverage of wines on the virtual pages of wine blogs does not result in materially meaningful and/or measurable differences in the purchase volumes of those wines. Presumably, this is in comparison to similar mentions in print media (however, it’s worth noting that I’ve yet to see any hard evidence in the form of real data to support print media coverage having a sales bump effect, but I have anecdotal evidence from some California winemakers showing that it does not, as well as some from small producers indicating that some wine blog mentions have in fact increased DTC sales… which I can relay to you privately some day if we ever meet and you buy me a beer…).

The counter argument is usually a combination of two things: 1) that it’s extremely difficult to measure the impact of any media coverage on wine sales, regardless of the type of media, and 2) it’s the aggregate of blog and social media mentions (outside of concentrated special events, promotions, and the like) that amount to an increase in mindshare and small, one-consumer-at-a-time sales that otherwise wouldn’t otherwise have happened. In other words, wine blogging and social media mentions result in a stream of sales that are aggregated from tiny, rivulet-like trickles in combination, and so wouldn’t generally amount to a perceivable spike but do, in combination, make a difference. [ For an example of these arguments, see the mini-debate generated on this topic generated in the comments section of one of my recent posts here ].

I can now supply some data in support of that counter argument, by way of one example: namely, 1WineDude.com.

While I will not supply exact numbers (only because don’t have permission from all of the parties involved to do so), I can give you approximations that I think lend some credence and strength to the counter argument, though I strongly suspect it will be ignored by the wine cognoscenti, who have in my experience demonstrated a severe allergic reaction (sulfites got nothin’ on this!) to facts, data, and evidence if those things do not already support their own already-entrenched beliefs…

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