The country’s $30 billion wine manufacturing business is expected to lose almost $6 billion this year. The smaller wineries are incurring the biggest losses, of course, those producing between 1000 and 5000 cases a year. According to reports, these wineries could lose more than 45% of their profits in 2020 because of the restaurant and tasting rooms shutdowns. Those producing below 5000, unfortunately, could expect a dropdown of up to 66%.
Despite the economic downfall and the plunging of wine sales across the globe, a lot of wineries have considered something that they’ve resisted before – they’re bringing their business into the digital realm, combining the conventional ways with the internet way of things when it comes to winemaking and selling. Wine entrepreneurs agree that theirs is the last industry not to be influenced by the web in a significant way. Now, wineries are learning and gaining so much from it.
Customers from Acquiesce, a wine company, state that they didn’t purchase wines from the brand before, and now they’re loading up through their online wine shop. In 2019, it made up 3% of e-commerce sales. This year, so far, it has upped by 10%. Sommeliers who usually make wine pairing suggestions in the tasting rooms are now doing YouTube videos and doing the pairing online. Instagram Live hosts Tipton trying her hand at wine mixing. Marketing firms, too, are helping the winery industry utilize Google ads and Facebook. Money normally spent on tastings, wine clubs, and parties is now exhausted into digital platforms.
Quarantined at home, people are catching up with friends online with wine glasses in their hands or cooking up a delicious new meal to feel some positivity amidst the pandemic. On other sites, homeschooling wine glasses are booming, owing to the popularity of distance learning. This is the same for so many of life’s other comforts that are indeterminately postponed.
Shopping carts are overflowing at wine vendors and on Instacart, Drizly, and other mobile applications. Shoppers are also choosing their favorite wineries or exploring new brands. Apparently, this could be the trend for a while, as many people are staying home and keeping safe while raising their wine glasses during family dinners.
Buying Wine Online
According to the Nielsen research firm, sales of wine for the first weeks of May increased by more than 250% year over year. With the current lockdowns, more wine enthusiasts are buying various spirits online from the comfort of their homes. What’s best is that the wines are conveniently and safely delivered on their doorstep. The spokesperson of Naked Wines reported of the company’s remarkable growth of wine sales, and it’s not going to change for the long term, even when the coronavirus subsides or disappears. At Wine.com, profits have increased up to four times its sales in March. Revenues in April grew to $40 million and are expected to bring in another million dollars this quarter. In fact, companies are hiring more people as their marketing spend has tripled.
Truth be told, some wine companies have prepared for this abrupt change to online purchasing. Online trading was rooting for the wine industry, whether the wine industry is ready to welcome it or not. The virus outbreak just catalyzed it. These wineries that were ready to make the shift to digital selling have done well in COVID-19, and they undoubtedly will do better after this.
One of the wine companies that were poised to do well is Wente. The Wente Family does virtual wine tastings using Google Home or Alexa and invites people to savor the wine and each other, not the screen. Other brands tell stories about the best wineries in the world, vineyards, and winemaking strategies. After that, they get to choose among a line of wines that they have onscreen and buy them online – from the comfort and safety of their bedrooms, in their pajamas.