Posts Tagged ‘Online’

 
The health lobby in France has invoked the Evin Law in a call for stricter limits on what bloggers and social media users can write about wine online.

 
A report on the issues of addiction in France entitled ‘Les Dommages Liés Aux Addictions et les Strategies Validées pour Reduire Ces Dommages’ (Damage related to addictions and strategies for reducing the damage) is being prepared as part of the background to forming government policy from 2013-2017.

One of the suggestions put forward is that alcohol promotion should be formally forbidden on the internet and social media, including promotion of wine.

Specific sites belonging to producers, online wine merchants or wine tourism sites would be exempt, but wine bloggers would fall under the definition of sites that would be no longer authorised, as would any specific advertising or promotion of wine.
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Wine is social. Sure, you can drink it solo, but it’s best enjoyed with friends, food and conversation.  Selling wine is social, too. Canny wine marketers know this in their bones. The job isn’t about moving a bottle of wine across a counter. That’s just the transaction. The job is about great service, gonzo enthusiasm and killer personality.

They approach a customer, ask the right questions, listen carefully, suggest wisely. If the customer goes away smiling and the wine is a hit, the customer will come back. And next time, bring friends.

If any industry is tailored for social media, it’s wine. The proof is in the data. According to VinTank, a social media software company for the wine business, 14 million people have mentioned wine online at some point, a number that grows by 450,000 people every month. And they’re talking a lot, having 1.5 million conversations about wine online—every single day.

The bulk of this chatter happens on mainstream social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus wine-centric apps like CellarTracker and Delectable. People post tasting notes, bottle shots, and ratings from 88 points to Yuck to Wow! They tag their friends, who share it too. Think of social media as the breeding ground for digital word of mouth.

Now, producers, retailers, restaurateurs and buyers have joined the conversation. Getting up to speed in social media means learning a new technology, but that’s not so different from learning a new point-of-sale system (and arguably a little easier). Happily, many wine pros find that success online requires the same kind of sensitivity and savoir-faire their jobs demand in real life.

“Customers are going to talk whether you’re listening or not,” says VinTank’s CEO, Paul Mabray. “You’d answer the phone if they called you. You’d answer an email. It’s fundamental customer service to answer a tweet, or a post on your Wall. And you don’t answer in stupid promotional ways. You just say, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’”

But social media success does require a slight shift in thinking. Traditional marketing was about push. A marketer publishes a notice about a holiday sale, or the arrival of a scarce Bordeaux, hoping customers will come pouring in.

Social media is about pull. Instead of broadcast-and-pray, a marketer goes where the customers are, connects with them, and engages with them on their terms.
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The Internet is blossoming into quite the virtual vineyard.

Online wine options are everywhere, from flash sale sites like Lot18 offering daily deals to Facebook prodding you to send a little something for Aunt Suzy’s birthday. And now there’s a new generation of startups such as Club W, which adds a little algorithm to your Albarino, using surveys and ratings to figure out what you might like to drink next.

 

Advertisement ..The click-and-sip approach seems to be catching on, says Jeff Carroll of ShipCompliant, a Boulder, Colo.-based company that helps wineries comply with shipping laws. “Wine is a unique product and it lends itself well to the social aspects of the Internet in terms of discovery.”

 

Online sales have been around for a while, with individual wineries selling wine through their websites, a practice that has become more prevalent as more states relax Prohibition-era laws that had banned alcohol shipments.

 

Today, only seven states have an outright ban on direct-to-consumer shipping, though some of the states that do allow shipping have various restrictions, and 89 percent of the U.S. population has access to direct-to-consumer sales, according to Steve Gross of the San Francisco-based Wine Institute, a trade association.

 
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For over 3 years, we have worked closely with the Burgundy School of Business both as a company – hiring interns to work with the EWBC, and as a research engine – helping us conduct field studies on various subjects. This year, Aymeric Dehont conducted a host of research for us, which eventually inspired him to create a paper on the fragile relationship between wine and social media. We appreciate Aymeric’s hard work putting together his thoughts and trust you will share your feedback with him. Keep in mind this is from a very European perspective.

How to improve the use of social media in the wine business?

Introduction:

As a Masters student in Wine Business in Dijon, the regional capital of Burgundy, I’ve continuously questioned myself on many issues within the wine and spirits sector. Yet, one of the most debated subjects has been the apparent effectiveness of social media. After attending the EWBC – Digital Wine Communications Conference, I have come to under that the wine & spirits industry, in general, hasn’t succeeded in its use of these new tools. Therefore, I wanted to get a better understanding on how to improve digital communication and what would be the ideal online strategy to follow.

This paper will provide a brief analysis of how social media is currently affecting the wine industry based on articles, marketing analysis and knowledge.

Social media and the impact on marketing

It is true that social media has attracted an inordinate amount of people over the last two decades and currently, almost everyone is using at least one of its platforms. In large part, this is because interaction between each other, and the community, has always been a basic need for humans, referring to the very famous Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid.

As observed in the Nielsen Social Media Report 2012, social media is mainly used when watching TV in order to interact and function as ‘social care’ for customer service. Approximately, 47% of social media users were actively involved in social care. In 2011, more than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies were using some form of social media to connect with consumers.

Companies that are using these tools efficiently are not advertising, but instead creating bonds between themselves and the consumer; thereby establishing loyalty. The customer isn’t considered as an asset anymore, but as a person to interact with and to satisfy. Bear in mind that social media is made to connect remotely between humans, and being “connected” means interacting with each other. Advertizing is not an effective means to create a relationship with people, but rather a means to provide a straightforward message to the consumer without receiving direct feedback. 30% of consumers found advertising on social media annoying and only 25% are willing to pay attention to it, which proves that the use of social media is totally different from regular advertizing campaigns.

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So many choices!

In an ever more digital world, there are a few things that remain reassuringly analog. Wine, for example. The mysteries of a Montrachet or the magic of a Margaux remain too complex and too nuanced to reduce to the zeros and ones of digital DNA, though I imagine someone must be trying. Although technology has its limitations in the making of wine, it is increasingly useful in the buying and selling of it.

The Internet accounts for only a tiny fraction of worldwide wine sales. Most people buy their wine at local shops or supermarkets. But online sales have been growing strongly for a few years in Britain, Germany and some other European markets, as well as China and Japan. There are signs of progress in the United States, where regulatory hurdles have been a problem.

At the end of last year, Amazon opened an online wine shop in the United States. Presumably the e-commerce giant hopes to do for Bordeaux or Barolo what it has done for books: Make a previously unimaginable selection available to anyone, anywhere, at any time and at a bargain price.

But Internet wine sales in the United States have been complicated by Byzantine rules. Some states forbid online sales, others restrict cross-border shipments. Others maintain monopolies over distribution. So Amazon is starting with only a handful of states and the District of Columbia.

Europe, so fragmented and divided in other ways, is more coherent and unified in this niche of the economy. From my home in France I can order wine online from almost any other European Union country and expect it to show up at my door in a few days.

The only variable is cost. For some reason, Italian parcel services tend to charge more than €50 to ship a 12-bottle case of wine to France, about $70. German delivery companies often do the job, faster, for less than €20. There you have the euro crisis in a nutshell — or a case of wine. Still, my cellar would be a lot poorer without those occasional deliveries from the sunny south.

The most advanced online wine market is probably Britain. Wine Intelligence, a research firm in London, estimates that up to 15 percent of all retail wine sales in Britain take place online — perhaps five times the U.S. percentage.

Growth in Britain has been led by supermarket chains like Tesco, which have been using wine as a way to promote Internet grocery shopping services. But specialist British wine merchants like Berry Brothers & Rudd were also early online innovators, opening e-commerce sites well over a decade ago.

“Not only do we like wine, but we also like the Internet,” said Antonia Branston, an analyst at the research firm Euromonitor in London. More and more British online wine specialists, like Laithwaites, Slurp and Naked Wines, are expanding to other countries in Europe, the United States or Asia. Slurp, for example, opened sites in Germany and France last year. While the prospect of a British Web site trying to sell wine to the French might sound a bit like carrying coals to Newcastle, Slurp insists there is a place for it.

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New device allows the user to directly inhale alcohol – increasing the effects on the body
Experts have warned that the Vaportini – which is available to buy online – could be used by impressionable and inexperienced teenagers
Parents have been warned of the dangers of a simple new device freely available online which heats alcohol and allows it to be inhaled – reportedly giving the user an instant but intense high.


Released in December, the $35 Vaportini acts in a manner similar to a traditional vaporizer, heating and releasing intoxicating vapors which are breathed through a straw after being heated by a candle to 140 Fahreneheit.
Bypassing the digestive system, the Vaportini causes alcohol to be ingested directly to the bloodstream through the lungs, potentially causing dangerous levels of intoxication – especially if abused.
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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.

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