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Selling Wine Online: Your Point of Difference

In other posts I have written about the competition and the market opportunities for local wine retailers on the internet. This post is about possible points of difference for an online wine retailer.

The Price of Entry

But first what most of the good online wine retailers offer, the “price of entry” rather than your point of difference:

  • Wine range
  • Wine at market values, some of which may be discounted, some of which may be expensive
  • Tasting notes and preferably photos
  • Ratings and reviews, ideally with customer reviews
  • eCommerce features including search, filterable navigation, secure payment options, and much more
  • Newsletter / email subscription

In other words if you don’t have these you sales will be limited. However if you do have these then you’re simply ‘in the game’ rather than ‘winning the game’.

Points of Difference

An online customer can visit 6 shops in one minute. With shopping comparison websites they can visit the whole country and indeed the world in 10 seconds.

It’s as though they can go to a wine shop with a shelf that goes all the way down Main Street with retailers hawking their wines every couple of metres.

Damn.

You need a point of difference.

Here’s a possible list with possible examples in brackets:

  • Pick up, on your way home
  • One hour delivery (the Dominos of wine)
  • Personalized recommendations (wine.com, snooth)
  • Discussion forums (WineLoversPage)
  • 18,000 wines to choose from (BevMo, WineChateau)
  • Expert tasting panel recommendations (MyWinesDirect, WineExpress)
  • Cheapest (BevMo, WineChateau)
  • Exclusive small vineyard wines (CA Wine Club, WineAccess)
  • In-depth articles (WineLovers)
  • Cellar Management (Vinfolio, CellarTracker)
  • Maps, showing wineries
  • iPhone/ mobile store (snooth, vinfolio)
  • Outrageous, highly entertaining video reviews (WineLibrary)

See my post for my recommendations for a local wine retailer. But if you can find something you can do well that is a point of difference in the market, and crucially, valued by wine drinkers, then position your wine store online in that way.

Do you have some suggestions on points of difference? Please comment below

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