Conference emphasizes closer collaboration to drive growth in US wine industry
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Wine.com, the nation's leading online wine retailer, hosted its eighth annual Industry Growth Summit last Wednesday, where it highlighted the role Three-Tier Ecommerce can play in driving wine industry growth, and issued a call for increased collaboration with its trade partners. Hosted on the campus of Sonoma State University, home to the Wine Business Institute, the global Leader in Wine Business Education and Research, attendees included nearly 350 industry executives representing Wine.com suppliers and wholesalers.
Three-Tier Ecommerce is the model Wine.com has used to reach annual revenue over $100 million, growing over 20% in the last 12 months, with revenue from mobile phones growing over 70%. The company sold 35,000 different wines in the last year, from 5,000 wineries – relying on over 200 wholesalers to provide selection breadth and inventory depth. To distinguish its model from the Winery Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) model, which excludes wholesaler participation, the company has coined the term Three-Tier Ecommerce or "3TE."
"The only way to get our industry growing at a healthier clip again is to do a better job engaging customers, at scale," said Rich Bergsund, Wine.com CEO. "3TE can reach large audiences with deep storytelling content, recommendation technology and live chat service to help customers make new discoveries, with confidence."
Presentations from Wine.com executives emphasized working together to find solutions to customer pain points, including the need for ever-expanding "long tail" selection, more convenient delivery options and eliminating the regulatory barriers to retail free trade across state borders.
"Limiting the market size of your own customers is not a recipe for growth," said Michael Osborn, Wine.com Founder and VP Merchandising, referring to long-held wholesaler policies that have restricted cross-border trade by retailers. "It's time to tear down trade barriers and trust our industry's retailers to do our job finding customers for your wine – online and off. 3TE can become an industry bright spot -- just like Winery DTC, but with wholesaler involvement."
Danny Brager, Senior Vice President of Nielsen's Beverage Alcohol Team, presented an overview of industry trends and announced a new partnership with Wine.com to bring online purchasing data into Nielsen's product suite. In comparing Wine.com with the industry, Brager gave Wine.com top marks for its selection, broad and balanced growth and premium price point ($30 average selling price).
In addition, Wine.com presented its Exemplary Supplier of the Year awards to Napa Valley's Hall Wines and to Jackson Family Wines (owners of Kendall-Jackson, La Crema, Freemark Abbey, Cardinale, Verite, Lokoya, Mt. Brave, Siduri, Yangarra Estate, Chateau Lassegue and many more). The annual Extreme Service Award was presented to Cliff Batuello from Skurnik Wine & Spirits of New York.
Wine.com also donated two $10,000 scholarships to the Wine Industry Scholars Program, a collaboration between the School of Business and Economics and Sonoma State University's Educational Opportunity Program dedicated to supporting and advancing higher education for first generation children from families of vineyard and winery workers.
Wine.com is the nation's leading online wine retailer, offering selection, guidance and convenience not found in brick and mortar stores. The company provides its customers access to the world's largest wine store, with live chat wine experts available 7 days a week on its mobile and full websites. Wine.com delivers in 1-2 days to most addresses, offering date-certain delivery and the convenience of shipping to over 10,000 Walgreens and FedEx Office local pickup sites. The company's popular StewardShip program provides unlimited wine delivery and exclusive access to new releases for $49 per year. Wine.com's mission, to inspire the wine lifestyle through innovation, is captured in its brand manifesto video, viewable here. For more information, visit the company's website at http://www.wine.com or download its app in the Apple Store or Google Play.