It was not long ago that the race to provide superior tasting room experiences reigned supreme within wineries large and small.
The onset of Covid-19 changed the landscape and turned everyone’s attention to the Web. For many large wineries, to maintain leadership and market share. For others, to survive. Yet for many others, to try to do more business online, since this is the new game in town.
The move to compete for online customer dollars has turned into a content battle. Wineries are discovering that better wine content moves more product, at the expense of the competition.
Consumers have always indicated their desire for better content and rewarded it with loyalty. Not many wineries had fully obliged, as online sales did not seem to be top priority. Major investments and focus typically went to traditional marketing, while companies like Amazon and others continued to invest in the online space and more consumers increasingly bought things online.
Covid, as we were told by a top ten wine producer marketing chief, “has forced the industry to implement programs we should have done years ago.”
In recent conversation with Dan Wildermuth, Rodney Strong Wine Estates’ vice president of global marketing, he stressed how important better content has become in the online war.
Many wineries are now setting up e-commerce and online market teams specifically focused on generating and publishing content. Both on a winery’s websites and third party platforms where consumers shop for wine.
Better tasting notes, product descriptions and photos, videos, wine reviews and educational materials have now started to become typical accompaniments to product listings online. Soon enough these will become standard expectations. It was not long ago that consumers could barely find more than a product name, a simple tasting note and a price. In some cases, not even a decent product photo made the listing.
Of note, where wine critic scores used to carry weight and still influence a generation that grew accustomed to them, the new, younger tech oriented consumer does not believe in those ratings as much. Millennials and Gen Zs believe their friend and peer reviews more, and may consult their smartphone before asking in-store staff or a help chat assistant.
Transparency, rather than censorship when publishing wine reviews, will be a key content philosophy that consumers will look for and judge your brand on as well. The time to embrace consumer ratings and leverage them to gain buyers’ trust is now. Those who choose to continue to dismiss them, or fear them, will be seen as old school and will pay the price.
Offering engaging, hands-on educational, fun wine tasting and rating tools on a winery’s website or third party sites such as Drizly.com or Wine.com, will, going forward, differentiate content further.
Enabling visitors to instantly rate and share their wine reviews with friends online and on social media, right within a winery’s website, through Drizly or other sites, will go further in extending a brand’s visibility and bringing consumers back.
Visual, informative wine rating and reviews, rather than mere written text and star ratings, will make such content stand out and deliver more value to both consumers and wineries.
The QUINI API™ platform is ranked in the top 8 APIs for wine, on Programmable Web. For good reason.
www.CaliforniaWineryAdvisor.com deployed QUINI API™ years ago, to give consumers more informative wine reviews and an engaging ratings experience. Likewise with Michigan-based www.UncorkedMonthly.com.
Integrating the Quini bloom, wine score, visual peer reviews and the universal Quini wine tasting and rating system can do wonders for wineries that are investing in DTC, e-commerce and better content. To better differentiate brands, offer unique content, drive sales and loyalty, and importantly for marketing teams, capture precious real-time sensory data to capitalize on across the organization. Plus, it makes creating content including tasting notes, easier and faster.
Technically speaking, sensory and attitudinal data generated through Quini will also be far more useful almost immediately, than written reviews and big data that needs a team of data scientists and a long time to generate substantial ROI.
Two birds with one stone.