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Wine Lovers Turn to Online Wine Retailers


Dylan James
Internet Marketer and wine connoisseur, blogger for BuyWinesOnline.com.

Online wine shops are finally able to compete with offline channels like wine shops and wineries.

For years, the Wine industry has been considered to be a late adopter when it comes to tech integration. In its first Direct-to-Consumer Wine Sales Report, Wine Direct talks about the growing role and opportunity of e-commerce in the success of wineries around the world. In this blog, I’m going to be telling you about some of the key takeaways from that report along with other new developments that are changing how wine merchants are approaching the market.

Does anyone buy wine online?

buy wines online

Online wine sales accounted for 5% of total wine sales globally, or $10 billion, in 2017. Yet, in the US, only about 2% of American wine sales are completed online. Why the big difference? Well shipping seems to be the biggest issue, with stringent US shipping regulations making it hard for online wine retailers. Additionally, due to the large scale of the US, delivering high quality wine shipments around the country is a challenge in of itself. 

Since consumers will always continue to drink wine (whether for fun or for health benefits), it is vital that these online retailers find ways to make shipping work. With direct to consumer wine companies improving their logistics and shipping processes, there is an opportunity to increase their market share. 

But how? ‘You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink’

Just because wineries and wine clubs are changing the way they ship and sell doesn’t mean that the customers are going to care, or even notice. However, there are consumer trends that are continuing to grow with no signs of stopping. Between 2018 and 2023, online grocery shopping sales in the United states are estimated to grow from $23.9 billion to $59.5 billion, and the data so far is backing it up. From 2018-2019, online grocery sales grew by 15% and as websites become easier to navigate and purchase from, customers are becoming repeat customers. GroceryDive recently reported that 81% of customers that use a service and have a good shopping experience will use that service again.

Since consumers will always continue to drink wine (whether for fun or for health benefits), it is vital that these online retailers find ways to make shipping work. With direct to consumer wine companies improving their logistics and shipping processes, there is an opportunity to increase their market share. 

Growing Opportunities in DTC Sales

As both internet marketing and social media become more proliferated into our daily life, it is becoming increasingly obvious that ecommerce initiatives have the largest potential for sales growth. Let me tell you some interesting stats from the wine direct report: even though online wine sales have a low market penetration, they have a comparatively high average order value ($282), high bottle order average (7), and the lowest barrier to entry. Mobile and m-commerce is also bigger than ever, with mobile traffic to wineries exceeding 50% of the total traffic in 2019. Additionally, mobile orders on online wine retailers were up 30% in 2018. Making your content and ecommerce initiatives mobile friendly is a great way to drive traffic to your store.

As populations and other industries continue to push us into a more digital market, wine retails must adapt to the changing tides if they wish to keep up with the competition. Planning market initiatives like e-commerce platforms and social media marketing can lead to not only an increase in sales but a more personal relationship with your customers. If current trends continue, I look forward to seeing the development of digital marketing plans centered around selling great wines.

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