December 06, 2007
Online Wine Sales Flourish During Holidays
Online wine sales are surging this season, with wine related traffic up a whopping 35 percent from 2006 according to Winezap.com, an aggregator of online wine shops from across the U.S. These numbers are more than double that of overall e-retail traffic, which was up only 15 percent from 2006, according to Hitwise.com.
The above-average growth is most likely a result of the wine industry "catching up" from years of heavy interstate-shipping and Internet regulations, as well as the introduction of a drinking-age millennial generation.
"Purchasing wine online is a fairly new concept for Americans," said Michael Stajer of Winezap.com. "It wasn't really until 2005 that many of the restrictions on wine selling were lifted, allowing customers to finally purchase a bottle from somewhere other than the shop down the street."
While regulation removal was crucial to online wine industry success, it is only one of many factors contributing to the 2007 holiday spike.
According to the Wine Market Council, the Millennial Generation (those born after 1980) is the fastest growing segment of wine consumers and is expected to drive the beverage market for years to come.
"I have been purchasing things online for as long as I have had a credit card," said Tyler Barnett, a 24-year old wine enthusiast and online shopper. "When I discovered wine could be purchased from my home I naturally jumped at the opportunity. There are specific labels that are very hard to find in my local liquor stores which I can find easily online."
Additional wine statistics from Winezap.com showed Black Friday's search traffic increase nearly 18 percent, while Cyber Monday boasted 33 percent bump in overall searches.
And for 2007's most popular wines by search? The Top 5 came in as follows:
1. Chateau Latour Bordeaux
2. Chateau Margaux Bordeaux
3. Chateau Haut Brion Bordeaux
4. Opus One Cabernet Blend
5. Chateau Lafite Rothschild Bordeaux
Clearly the online wine industry has created a strong buzz surrounding the holiday season, leaving many business owners in high spirits. But, with national wine e-retailers only in their 3rd holiday stint, this growth is only a sip of things to come.
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