Survey seeks to identify best practice in direct-to-consumer wine sales

Wine companies are being encouraged to participate in Wine Australia’s inaugural Cellar door and direct-to-consumer survey to help develop best practice customer engagement.

Wine Australia chief executive officer Andreas Clark said that, in 2017, the small winemaker production and sales survey found that direct-to-consumer sales channels accounted for 43 per cent of total sales revenue for Australia’s 2000+ small winemakers, with cellar door the strongest growing channel.

“Wine businesses were found to be making significant investments in tourism-related offerings and developing a range of alternatives to traditional cellar door tastings,” said Clark.

However, there was very little in-depth information available on direct-to-consumer total sales, cellar door visits, conversion rates, wine club retention rates and other benchmark statistics that helped wineries develop strategies and assess their performance in these profitable and growing channels, he said.

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“This survey delivers on an initiative of Wine Industry Suppliers Australia (WISA) and will be used to develop a series of key benchmarks and statistics to assist wineries in the development of best practice wine tourism,” he said.

“It’s important for producers to benchmark themselves to improve overall performance, make informed business decisions and manage factors that affect consumers’ demand, loyalty and preference for their wine brand. This survey will provide meaningful and actionable insights for wine producers throughout Australia and will be an essential tool when building long-term sales strategies,” said Clark.

WISA executive officer Matt Moate said the research was imperative to define the capability gaps in Australian direct-to-consumer wine sales.

“The supply sector will be able to utilise this data to deliver opportunities to accelerate producers’ knowledge and skills resulting in a new level of competitiveness in this space,” said Moate.

The survey incorporates and expands on Wine Australia’s annual small winemaker production and sales survey and respected social research company Harrison Research will undertake the inaugural 2018 survey on behalf of Wine Australia.

Wine companies will receive a link to the survey in mid-August.

The survey will be anonymous, with the information presented in a report that will be published using aggregated, de-identified data.

The report will be released at WISA’s inaugural wine industry impact conference in Adelaide on the 18th of October.