Gema Boiza. Periodista. @GemaBoiza
European wines have found a strong online ally through which to expand sales. The boom in mobiles and the of lack of time to go to the store are two factors which have led sales of Spanish and European wines to skyrocket in recent years.
This was one of the messages in the presentation given by Xavier Court, co-founder of vente-privee.com, in connection with the French company's wine segment business, which specializes in flash sales, at the latest edition of the Prowine fair in Düsseldorf (Germany), which was also attended by wikispanishfood.com.
Court revealed that the company, which has been operating in Spain since 2006 sold 300,000 bottles of wine there between September and December 2013,a period during which it focused clearly on Spanish gastronomy.
Vente-privee.com, which operates in eight countries and has three million visitors each day, has provided this segment with a new sales channel, both in and outside Spain, and not only through consumer purchases via computer, but also through the boom in m-commerce on smartphones.
These sales have enabled the company, which was distinguished as the top wine seller in France and the second-largest wine exporter in the world at Vinexpo 2013, to draw several conclusions about online wine buyers.
According to vente-privee.com, 59% of online customers are men, and 58% are under 40. One in every three online wine purchases is completed via mobile, and the average basket value is higher than for offline consumers.
As for online shoppers' criteria, the company notes that they prefer gourmet products, drink more frequently, and spend more. The company revealed that three out of every four e-shoppers drink wine at least once or twice per week, a frequency not reached by even half of traditional consumers. Online wine buyers spend on average 14 euros more than shoppers who exclusively buy offline, and up to 9 euros more to serve their guests or to give as gifts.
They are also experts and more gourmet-minded: 72% believe it's important to let wine breath before serving (vs. 63%) and 48% use decanters (vs. 32%). Moreover, they have more reserve wine (46% vs. 23%) and, in general, more frequently give wine as gifts, especially for end-of-the-year parties (35% vs. 25%).
During the presentation of wine-related data for vente-privee.com, Court underlined that the main advantage for wine producers working with the company is the opportunity to sell their products directly to the company's 20 million members in Europe, enabling both small bodegas and family-owned wineries to access new markets.
In fact, while the company sold 300,000 bottles of wine in Spain in 2013, it sold 3.3 million bottles in France, up 12% compared with last year, with revenues amounting to 36 million euros (of the company's total for the year of 1.6 billion euros).
Logistics center for wine
The company, which operates in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and the UK, processed more then 350,000 orders last year. With a view to providing members with its extensive offer, it built a new specialized logistics center for wine in Burgundy, France.
New services have contributed to growth in Europe, such as the launch of Vinsd'été, a seasonal summer wine offer; and Click and Drink, a special box with three different wines each month, ideal for experts and amateur wine lovers alike.