Wine shoppers shun internet

07 January, 2011

Most British adults don’t buy wine online, and more than half wouldn’t consider doing so in the future, a WSTA-commissioned poll has found.

Just 14% of the 1,742 drinkers questioned in the You Gov poll said they bought wine online, with half of those doing so fewer than four times a year. Just 1% were weekly online wine shoppers.

Nearly half the respondents didn’t give a reason for shunning online sales, but 25% said wine online was too expensive, 21% said they did not want to pay for delivery and 14% did not want to wait for delivery.

The research coincided with a general surge in armchair shopping, according to card fraud prevention company Retail Decisions, which estimated online shoppers spent more than £123 million on Christmas Day alone, and more than £265 million on Boxing Day.

Toys, computer games and gadgets were particularly popular online.

But online drinks retailers have reported strong Christmas sales despite deliveries being disrupted beforehand. Tim Francis of told OLN the company met its sales targets but could have done 15% more business if it hadn’t been for the snow and detrimental press coverage.

“I think the BBC gave quite a biased report about delayed deliveries, things going missing and parcels being stolen. The negative reporting had a big effect on sales overnight,” he said.

In response to the WSTA poll, Francis said many consumers who would not consider buying wine for themselves online would buy gifts for others via the internet.

But he added: “I think there is a lot of work to be done within the drinks industry for a more compelling reason to order online, and the one thing that does always compel someone to order, unfortunately, is the lowest common denominator – price.

“Take Cristal for example – someone who wants Cristal is looking for the best price. We sell it for £137 a bottle, which is about the cheapest on the internet, and we get a lot of sales which are down to price.”?Angela Mount, head of yourfavourite, believes many of the 51% of people who said they would not buy wine online in the future could change their minds. “My view is that the market is changing extremely rapidly, and people’s views change.

“Fifty per cent of all adults shop online, and 78% of those only started buying online within the past two years,” she said.

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