Wine Market Council conducted a study in the spring of 2015 to examine the online wine shopping behaviors of wine consumers, as well as the shopping habits of wine consumers across channels – online retailers, winery wine clubs, and brick-and-mortar retailers. A total of 7,294 wine drinkers participated in this survey and were sourced from Wine Market Council member wine clubs and customer lists, as well as from a research sample provider. It is important to note that this respondent pool, although large, is not representative of total U.S. wine drinkers due to the differences in sampling protocol of the survey respondent sources and the composition of the sample from these sources.
Highlights from this study include:
- Approximately three-quarters of survey respondents buy wine online and approximately three-quarters belong to a winery wine club. Over half belong to a winery wine club and buy wine online.
- A greater proportion of Millennial wine drinker respondents buy wine online on a regular basis (every few months or more often) compared to wine drinkers of older generations. Males also are more apt to regularly buy wine online than women.
- Wine drinker respondents who buy wine online tend to either buy a half a case, a whole case, or between 2 and 4 bottles of wine per online shopping occasion. Most spend at least $15 per bottle.
- The majority predicted the frequency of their online wine purchases to remain about the same in the next year. However, among those who predicted a change, respondents who think they will increase their online purchases overshadowed those who think they will decrease their purchases. Regular online wine shoppers drive this overall estimated increase in future sales.
- Wine app penetration among survey participants is under half among online wine buyers and under one-quarter among non-online wine buyers. Vivino is the most popular wine app.
- Online shoppers should be considered the brick-and-mortar retailer and wine club’s friend, as they are more involved in the wine category than another respondents.
- They buy wine at brick-and-mortar retailers just as often as non-online wine shoppers, but buy more bottles per occasion on average and spend more on average at brick-and-mortar stores.
- Online wine shoppers are more likely to belong to a wine club (of any type), to receive winery wine club shipments more often, to receive more bottles per shipment, and to spend more on wine club shipments than non-online wine shoppers.
- The main advantages of buying wine online, from the perspective of online wine buyers, is the convenience of shopping anytime, having wine delivered to the home or office, the opportunity to buy wine not available in one’s area, and that it is quick and easy. Shipping cost is the key barrier for both online wine buyers and non-online wine buyers.
- The advantage of shopping at a brick-and-mortar retailer for all respondents is the enjoyment and ease of browsing for wine. Non-online shoppers find it quicker and easier, and always find something new at higher rates than online wine shoppers.
- Comparing wine purchased at brick-and-mortar retailers, online retailers, and through wine clubs shows that respondents on average spend less per bottle at brick–and-mortar retailers and the most on wine club wines, with wine bought online in between.
- Survey respondents buy most of their wine at brick-and-mortar retailers (by both volume and dollars), followed by winery wine clubs, and then online retailers.
- Survey respondents who buy wine online and belong to a winery wine club:
- Drink wine more often than other respondents and skew male. Those who buy wine online but don’t belong to a winery wine club skew slightly more Millennial and winery wine club member only respondents tend to skew slightly toward Baby Boomers.
- Buy wine online more often than others, purchase more bottles per occasion, and spend more per bottle online. Although their brick-and-mortar purchase frequency is in line with other respondents, they also tend to buy more bottles per shopping occasion and spend more per bottle at brick-and-mortar shops.
- Receive winery wine club shipments more often than winery wine club member only respondents. They also buy more bottles per shipment and spend more per bottle.
- Source more of their wine from a combination of online retailers and winery wine clubs, than from brick-and-mortar retailers. In addition, they buy more wine through non-winery wine clubs than other respondents, although at low levels. However, the portion of wine they purchase online is half that of those who buy online but aren’t winery wine club members.
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