Wineries get wired for China (by thedrinksbusiness.com)

Posted: November 25, 2012 by wynmaker in Cellars, Social Media, Wine, Wineries
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Social media and online purchasing is significantly influencing wine sales in mainland China, and to a lesser degree in Hong Kong, reports Stephen Quinn.

 

As the wine business matures, its China and Hong Kong players are embracing social media to sell to an increasingly sophisticated audience.

Thomas Jullien, Asia representative for the Bordeaux Wine Council says: “We are seeing a boom in social networking in China.” He adopted a web 2.0 focus last year because of the ability to measure results in a more powerful way than with traditional advertising.

Facebook and Twitter are banned in mainland China, but the country has its local equivalents: Renren and Sina Weibo, respectively.

Jullien set up a Sina Weibo account in the middle of 2011. In six months it had gathered 40,000 followers. “It is a direct channel to talk to people about Bordeaux wine,” he says.

Every year, the Bordeaux Wine Council runs seminars in at least 20 Chinese cities for people in the trade. Jullien uses Sina Weibo to publicise these events: “At the seminars we always check where people found out about them. A very high proportion found out through someone ‘re-tweeting’ Sina Weibo. It is so useful to be able to measure feedback by monitoring social networks.”

According to Jullien, Bordeaux sales in China have doubled every year for the past six years. He attributes recent sales success to engaging with people curious about wine.

WINE’S OWN NETWORKS

David Pedrol is Shanghai and Hong Kong product director for yesmywine.com, the most successful online platform on the mainland with more than 5.2 million members, which sells 15,000 bottles daily.

When people buy wine they see how many bottles have already been sold of that wine. For example, as of mid-June the company has sold 121,066 bottles of La Bastide Laurent red. The internet accounts for 70% of all wine sold in China, according to Pedrol. His is also the only company in China with its own wine-focused social network: i-Cellar. However like the Bordeaux Wine Council, it uses the big Chinese social networks.

Sina Weibo has about 300 million registered users, Renren roughly 100 million users, though accurate data, crucially on the number of active users, can be difficult to extrapolate.

Read on …

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  1. […] Wineries get wired for China (by thedrinksbusiness.com) […]

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