How do Millenials shop wine online?

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The online wine market is a giant that flies under the radar. Other industries make the headlines, such as Digital Entertainment, Online Fashion and Last Mile Delivery, but the US online wine market shows very interesting trends worth highlighting.

While online wine sales generated $2.6 Bn revenue in 2019, growing a healthy 22%, this only accounted for 2% of total wine sales. So basically, there exists a huge potential that is up for grabs.

There are indeed some challenges to consider to get the strategy right: the regulatory landscape, which hampers inter-state shipping, or same day delivery, a non-solved market demand.

But let us turn our analysis to the one area where E-tailers should focus, where they have plenty of levers to make an impact: Millenials

They represent the vast majority of the working force and are all moving into their higher-spending years. However, it looks like they are not embracing wine consumption as everyone hoped for.

This target represents 22% of all adults aged 21 and over but account to just 19% of all wine consumers. But studies show that consumers turn to wine as they mature.

So if you plan to sell more wine in 2020 and beyond you must reach Millennial consumers as they are the greatest opportunity..

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Millenials are price sensitive and health-conscious

Millenials do not have deep pockets and are indeed price sensitive. Millenials see wine as an expensive drink and seek the best value for their budget: 75% of millennials surveyed said that if they had more money to spend on wine, they would.

This is why they love bargains and the reason why new formats, such as canned wine or bulk sizes are gaining traction. 

On top, millenials´ health-conscious lifestyle is also impacting the product itself: vegan-friendly and organic wines are on the rise, and we can observe a trend towards listing ingredients on wine labels. Not to forget a growing interest in low-alcohol wines.

Wine is visual

Technology has definitely shaped consumers, rendering them more visual when choosing their wine. The growing influence of smartphones has resulted in a very sensorial economy and consumers are basing their buying decisions on the visual appeal of the label or bottle.

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Discovery is key to engage with Millenials…. but not only

So what are merchants doing to seduce this customer base? Wine.com offers a good example of successful strategy: millenials already make up one third of the site´s shoppers.

CEO Rich Bersund praises mobile as „the best thing to ever happen to wine retailing“ and how critical it is to help customers discover among a huge portfolio of almost 20.000 different wines.

Not just talking: Wine.com includes the menu item DISCOVERY in fully visible, central position in its main menu. This section gives access to customer-relevant pre-made filtered results, such as „90+ rated under $20“, saving users clicks and effort, and more important, inspiring and suggesting, something text based search engines can not achieve.

In a time where almost everyone owns a smartphone or has access to the internet, information is available within seconds and the need to remember details is minimal.

When it comes to wine, Millennials are aware of fewer wine-producing countries and regions, thus the need to provide them with tools to rapidly discover and find, instantly.

Investing in discovery tools also pays out for the knowledgeable wine drinker: there is little more exciting and rewarding for the mature wine lover than the joy of discovering and sharing that singular, unknown or elusive wine…