We have been Selling online and delivering across Ireland for 16 years and have watched carefully the ups and downs of trading online during that time. Of course being online has given us access to you, and everyone else near or far, regardless of their proximity to our warehouse facility in Dublin. That is superb, because everyone has access to great products and wines that companies like ours offer. We've often wondered though  retail, bricks and mortar and whether we should or should not necesscarily have a 'shop' that people could walk in and out of. It's something we've thought about, but have stuck with the online model. 

It's interesting to see the latest trends and research and the below research was all carried out in the UK, but makes for interesting reading. Most notable is the statement that 35 - 44 year old men are most likely to buy wine online. 

Commissioned by Inter Rhône and compiled by the Wilson Drinks Report, the pioneering piece of research shows a web-based wine market performing very differently from high-street retailing, which is dominated by the supermarkets.

Data within the document shows an online wine market in growth, in contrast to a “long term volume decline” for bricks and mortar UK wine sales, as well as a higher spend per bottle of £6.89 among online wine shoppers – at least £1.20 more than the average in offline retail.

Commenting on the latter finding, Tim Wilson, manager of the drinks research business, said that such a premium could be because the internet channel allows retailers to “tell the story about wine and get away from discussions about price”.

Another difference concerns the type of wine purchased: 43% of all online wine sales by value are red, while white is 34%, sparkling 17% and rosé 3%. However, in the off-trade, white wine sells 10-15% more than red, according to Wilson, while rosé holds a higher share.

Wilson then admitted that he was particularly surprised at the findings from his research into the average online wine shopper.

Noting that “35-44 year-old men are most likely to buy wine online”, he said he thought that the majority of internet wine shoppers would be older. He did note, however, that “the propensity to buy online increases among female wine buyers as they get older”.

Looking more generally at the UK online wine market, Wilson said that it has an estimated value of £720m and accounts for around 11% of the £6.3 billion UK off-trade.

He added that he believed that web-based wine sales “could become 15% of the off-trade over the next three years because of current growth rates,” stressing that “the online channel is growing, unlike the off-trade – or on-trade.”

Finally, he considered the best selling source countries for web-based wine sales, which, once more, show marked differences to the situation in the off-trade.

The leading countries on the web can be seen over the following pages:

The data for the Wilson Drinks Report was collected from 13 of the UK’s largest online wine retailers using statistics covering a 12 month period to the end of last year.

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