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.

READ: Twenty Five Doors helps small wineries build market share

“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.

Twenty Five Doors helps small wineries build market share

Twenty Five Doors is bringing marketing expertise to small wineries, enabling them to concentrate on making great Australian wine.

For tourists seeking an Australian wine experience it can be hard to find offers by small wineries as websites can be hard to navigate and online searches can be time consuming.

For this reason, tourists often settle for the easiest things to find, which means small wineries miss out on customers, Twenty Five Doors explains.

Twenty Five Doors is a technology solution, empowering wineries to easily create, market and deliver accessible and unique wine experiences at their cellar door.

READ: Wine Australia to invest $67.8m in ambitious agenda for coming year

It is a marketplace of wine tourism experiences and helps wineries, particularly smaller ones, improve the quality, value and premium paid by visitors to taste their wine.

The company’s vision is a personal connection between every wine lover and their favourite wineries.

For all wineries, in particular small winemakers, wine tourism has been identified as a growth channel.

Twenty Five Doors explains that 35 per cent of small wineries’ sales occur through the cellar door.

As reported in Wine Australia’s Small Winemakers Production report, there is a strong opportunity for wine businesses going forward to focus on providing an overall, integrated tourism experience.

This includes, a focus on personalisation, an increased emphasis on hands-on experiences, pairing food with wine, and linking with broader tourism in the local area.

Twenty Five Doors has helped companies such as Steel Gate Wines broaden its reach.

Steels Gate Wines is a small vineyard and winery in the north of the Yarra Valley and one of the early users of the Twenty Five Doors platform.

Co-Owner, Brad Atkins said through the company, Steel Gates could create a deeper connection with visitors.

“We have been able to create unique experiences that integrate with our restaurant offering, and leverage their marketing capability to increase our exposure,” said Atkins.

“Twenty Five Doors also increases our competitiveness and capability to drive sales because experiences are booked in advance, allowing us to manage resources to ensure that we are available to personally take visitors through our wines in a seated tasting, learning about them and telling our story,” he said.

Steels Gate Wines had a number of walk-ins during the weekend, who were not always the best customers for sustaining business, said Atkins.

“What we need is the right customer who is interested in what we are doing. Once we have the right customer, it is about the right person serving them.”