The big sales opportunity for wine makers
On one view, wine is just grape juice gone bad and put into a bottle.
But for most of us, it’s much more than that.
It might remind us of a visit to a vineyard or a nice meal with friends, or we might anticipate good times ahead, such as a special dinner with our partner or Christmas lunch.
And because it’s an emotional purchase, most of us are prepared to pay a premium over the true cost of the product, and this presents a major opportunity for wine producers which understand their customers and why they’re buying.
Wineries already have a lot of data about their customers from cellar door sales and vineyard membership programs and they can supplement this data to some extent with sales information from retail liquor chains and third-party e-commerce sites.
Most wine businesses already have the answers to key questions. In cellar door and membership sales, which customers only bought a couple of bottles and which bought dozens? And of those who bought dozens, where they straight dozens of just one product or were they mixed dozens – all red, all white or a mix of both?
And how do these customers respond to offers? Do discounts prompt them to buy or are they more likely to respond to offers of first access to upcoming vintages?
Customer data can drive better marketing
Wineries can pull trends out of this data and build up a picture of their customers and the way they’re buying wine throughout the year, drawing on data analytics to drive more effective promotions.
For instance, a customer who buys half a dozen bottles once a year, might respond to special promotions and increase the frequency to three bottles a quarter – doubling with winery’s sales.
Cost conscious, good times customers will respond to a volume-based promotion for wineries’ lower-end range of products. Customers with more income who are seeking great experiences will obviously respond to marketing for the higher-end ranges, which talks about the story of the brand and the emotion and experiences that will come with it .
There is a big prize for wineries which can get the behavioural piece right and adjust their messaging accordingly.
Taking the first step
Most wine producers are strong on e-commerce and cellar door sales. They already have a lot of data about their customers, but the vast majority haven’t taken the next step of extracting insights and using it for their marketing. This is their starting point for better sales.
The Australia wine industry is at a challenging point in its history. It’s being squeezed on the one side by rising fuel and input costs, higher interest rates and the economy-wide difficulty of finding workers, an on the other side by punitive Chinese import tariffs and a growing consumer preference for less alcohol.
The wine producers which will thrive and survive are those which can stand out from their competitors by getting smarter and knowing their customers and their preferences and providing promotions that will resonate with them.
The end result will be that they’ll sell greater volumes of product at a greater price.