Digital Wine Sales are Booming But Will It Last?

The novel coronavirus pandemic and shelter-in-place orders have forced the wine industry to shift focus toward digital sales and marketing. The latest Nielsen data shows alcohol e-commerce has more than doubled compared to this time one year ago. Wine has enjoyed the largest success, making up nearly 70% of total online retail sales tracked in the report.

It’s no surprise that wine clubs previously dedicated to the online sphere have seen a substantial uptick in business.

Pre-coronavirus, was already one of the leading direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine businesses in the U.S. At sales of $3.2 billion, DTC shipping represented 10.8% of all retail wine sales for 2019, according to the 2019 Direct To Consumer Wine Shipping Report published by Sovos ShipCompliant and Wines Vines Analytics. As expected, consumers’ shift to online shopping has increased those numbers. To keep up, Naked Wines says it has hired 80 new positions, including customer service, data technology and marketing roles, in April 2020.

“The plans we have in place use our position of strength and size to create the best customer experience available,” says Max Miller, Naked Wines’ newly appointed president. “We need to continue to invest in that and make it better.”

Naked Wines works directly with independent winemakers, using funding provided by subscribers to assist with wine production, sales and marketing. The growth and success of the retailer means more opportunities for partnering winemakers.