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Australia, Wine Consumer Behavior in 2021

A new report has provided a range of insights into Australia’s domestic market consumer’s behavior and how these have been impacted by COVID-19, as well as opportunities for wineries to increase sales through winery-owned channels

The most commonly used channels to purchase wine in Australia in 2019 was in person at the bottle shop/drive through, followed by in person at the cellar door and thirdly through online retailers. Nearly all channels experienced a decrease in frequency of use in 2020 given the extensive disruption that COVID-19 had on people’s ability to purchase wine.

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Around a half of consumers surveyed did not buy any wine online since 2019. This is despite three quarters being confident in using the internet to make purchases, with the majority buying other items online. While there are many that will not change their minds about using this channel to purchase wine, there are some common issues raised that could be addressed to encourage use of the channel. Some of these include concerns about damages through delivery or not knowing which website to buy from.

Younger consumers were more likely to purchase wine through non-brick and mortar channels compared to the average. Those aged between 25–34 years and 35–44 years had a greater tendency to purchase wine online in 2019. In 2020, a higher proportion of 25–34 years were purchasing wine when wineries called them directly or sent an email.

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Compared to an online retailer, respondents tended to spend more per bottle through a winery website – thus it is critical to seek ways of driving more consumers to winery websites. When compared to online retailer websites, a higher proportion of consumers indicated that assistance with using the winery website would improve their ability to purchase wine. Where possible, wineries should review their websites to improve the customer journey. This would include from first landing on the site, finding the information they need and the ease in making a purchase. This is especially important, with one-third of respondents giving up if they run into difficulties while buying online.

Staying connected with a winery is important to some as they chose to join wine clubs or buy direct from the winery website to support local businesses. Interestingly, subscriptions services such as Naked Wines also deliver on this desire. That connection is also important at the cellar door.

When compared to online retailer websites, a higher proportion indicated that assistance with using the winery website would improve their ability to purchase wine. Where possible, wineries should review their websites to improve the customer journey. This would include from first landing on the site, finding the information they need and the ease in making a purchase. This is especially important, with one-third of respondents giving up if they run into difficulties whilst buying online.