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.”
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?!??…
Apparently, wine behaves exactly like, oh, almost every other product in that more people trust their friends and the experts hired specifically to assist buying decisions at the point of sale than they do the Internet. In other news, water is still wet?
Let’s ignore the fact that wine’s low online buying conversion rate might have something to do with the fact that we have outdated laws that specifically limit the ability of consumers to purchase wine online these days in the US. I think the more important news is that almost a third of regular wine consumers do trust Internet recommendations when it comes to wine purchases. That seems pretty high to me.
In their defense, the Wine Intelligence researchers acknowledge as much in the press release (emphasis mine):
“One in three use the internet to look up information about prices, and 38% use social media to stay up to date with discounts and promotions.
The use of social media to find out about all aspects of wine has increased rapidly and there’s little reason to believe that it will slow down.
It might not be too long before blogs, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are taking over from more traditional sources such as books and magazines as the main sources of information for potential shoppers.
The links between social media and online retailers will help to drive further growth of ecommerce in future years.”
So… social media use is on the rise and becoming mainstream, and garnering more trust over time from wine consumers (just as is happening with every other product, everywhere). Now… where have we heard those gems before?
I’m not discounting anything that, based on the press release, has been concluded via the Wine Intelligence report. I just don’t think I’d be spending over two grand to read it and reinforce the view of the obvious.