If you’ve read my post about the Online Wine Competition you may feel a little stunned at just how competitive the online market is.
This post is about finding your gap in the market where you can elbow your way to get your fair share of customers.
Market Opportunities: the Gaps
I see two clear gaps depending on your particular interests
- the Local Market (within 1-20 miles of your store, depending on population density)
- a small niche (e.g. Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir, or White Burgundy)
The Local Market
As sophisticated as the national competitors are they cannot offer the ability to pick up or quick delivery.
Nor can they offer the face to face trusted personal service a local retailer can.
Even wine.com, with all its warehouses is going to be restricted in just how fast it can deliver to your local customers. Even BevMo doesn’t have stores in every township in CA. Most wine drinkers (90%?) will drink their wine the same day or weekend they get it so they’re reluctant to wait for next day or 3 day delivery.
This is the gap in the market for most local wine retailers. It can be supported by very specific “local” Search Engine Marketing (SEM) techniques. By staying local you also avoid the inter state shipping compliance issues in the US.
If you have lots of knowledge about a specific wine niche then this strategy is another possibility (indeed you could do both).
For instance, I know Central Otago extremely well. There are over 100 wineries, 6 subregions in different mountain valleys, different soil types, different micro climates, fascinating winery personalities, and some great and not so great wines. In fact I was about to start my own before my marriage failed.
I’m immensely proud and not a little bit biased about Central Otago pinot noir and could write all day about it. And this is the key.
You have to create unique and compelling content for the niche and for the wine brands. The truth is that I’m more interested in technology and online marketing so I choose to spend my energy in this realm rather than doing reviews (also my palate is not up to it 😉 ). Instead I’ve partnered with a local wine retailer.
If you can write, or do videos/podcasts about a niche – we’re talking an 15-30 mins a day, 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year – then this is a good possibility.
If you can’t find the time then you’re going to struggle getting enough unique and compelling content to get onto the first page of Google. You’re also going to struggle to standout in a competitive market.
Start with your Local Market. If you find you have the enthusiasm and the time to comment and review a niche then go for it as a separate but related website. Also note my next post, the long tail in wine, which throws cold water on niche websites – I guess you can say I run hot and cold on them myself…yeah bad pun I know.
What do you think the market gaps are?