What Motivates Wine Shoppers

According to a recent study of wine retailers, most consumers are buying wine in the $10-$20 price range. But when given the opportunity to try before they buy, consumers will spend more.

Napa Technology, developer of the WineStation Intelligent Preservation and Dispensing System, commissioned a survey of 40 top wine retailers nationwide on wine purchasing trends and best practices for increasing bottle sales.

Respondents, which included grocery stores and wine shops, agreed that today’s consumers are willing to pay more when given the opportunity to sample wine before they buy. More than three-fourth of retailers agree that wine buying customers are savvier than they were four years ago. When it comes to wine, consumers are more adventuresome; 84 percent of retailers say consumers are demanding a wider variety of wines than they have in the past.

Consumers are paying less for a bottle of wine than they were four years ago, agreed 58 percent of the retailers.
Try-before-you-buy sales tactics can increase sales and the amount spent per bottle. Loyalty programs, daily wine tastings and events designed to engage the consumer in sampling higher-priced wines are some of the successful marketing techniques.

According to the Campbell, Calif.-based company, retailers with wine preservation systems had the largest margin of success. 69 percent of those surveyed with preservation systems report offering finer and higher priced wines to their grocery store aisles.

Almost all (97 percent) of retailers state that consumers are willing to spend more on a bottle of wine if they can sample it first.

When sampling is available, the increase in the wine bottle purchase will be 5 to 15 percent higher than average, agree 45 percent of retailers while 30 percent of the retailers surveyed report increases from 15 percent to more than 25 percent above the store’s average per bottle sale.

A Mid-Atlantic grocery store chain using the WineStation wine preservation system reports an average price for a glass of wine sampled through its WineStation to be $5.91. Additionally, the retailer found the average price per visit of customer sampling activity to be $17.20, increasing customer loyalty, time spent in store and overall profits.

The WineStation offers temperature control, 60- day preservation and tracking of product and customer sales.

Commissioned by Napa Technology, the retail wine survey took place in September 2011. The sample size included 40 top wine retailers who were contacted by Ink Foundry via a private database and select open and closed social networks. Individuals who participated in the survey are existing users of wine preservation systems, non-users of preservation systems, liquor stores, wine shops, supermarkets, club stores and state-controlled stores.