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January 28, 2016 - Cathy Huyghe
For this third and final post in our series about the annual State of the Wine Industry report, released last week by Rob McMillan of Silicon Valley Bank, we take a deeper dive into digital.
Paul Mabray, of the Yountville-based W2O Group – Vintank, presented findings in the digital space of wine, including mobile traffic, direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales growth, marketing, apps, and social media.
They are findings that wineries and brands need to know, and act upon now. For example, more than one-third of winery traffic is from a mobile phone, and mobile ecommerce increased 32% in 2015, compared to the general retail ecommerce increase of 14%.
Another significant finding: relying on data from Wine Direct/Vin65, which is the largest company in the DTC/ecommerce category, Mabray and his team found that DTC sales grew 46% in just one year ($772 million in 2015, up from $528 million in 2014).
What should wineries do with information like this?
Here are six additional takeaways from Mabray’s research, paired with practical suggestions that wineries and brands can act upon now.
Takeaway: Shipping is the top deterrent to buying wine online.
Suggestion: Use shipping as a marketing strategy. Flat rate shipping is winning, and wineries who use shipping incentives to get their average order value up per order are killing it.
Takeaway: Social media engagement correlates to online sales. Using a data set of about 380,000 records, Mabray and his team demonstrated that a socially engaged consumer spends about $317 more than a non-engaged consumer.
Suggestion: Spend time and energy to get your buying customers engaged on social media.
Takeaway: Email is the best way to sell more wine online. Wineries who send emails get better conversion rates.
Suggestion: Collect more emails, even incentivizing staff to get emails and customers to give emails.
Takeaway: Only 5% of wine sales are currently completed on a mobile phone, but mobile ecommerce increased 32% in 2015, compared to the general retail ecommerce increase of 14%.
Suggestion: Start optimizing your site for mobile via responsive design. Start mystery shopping and exploring your own site.
Takeaway: Three of the four major digital wine companies were acquired in 2015 – Shipcompliant, Ewinery, and Vintank.
What this means for wineries: This means our key tools are going to either get infused with resources to improve majorly in 2016 or become so distracted that they no longer serve our needs. Hopefully the former for all three.
Takeaway: Wine apps are still growing.
Suggestion: We can’t ignore the numbers and for the first time in history, the four most important wine apps are the tip of the sword for influence, information and intelligence about wine.