What We Learned at DTC Wine Symposium 2015

One advantage of organizing the event this year is that we got a sneak peek at all the presentations and keynote speeches before the January 14-15 program. Here are some key takeaways that piqued our interest:dtcws-2015-recap

  1. “Mass will be massive”:. By 2017, ShipCompliant projects MA will generate $80 million in wine shipment value, and in the top 10 wine-receiving states.*
  2. The DTC Growth Opportunity: The DTC sales channel now supports about $2 billion in wine sales, yet it represents only about 3% of total U.S. wine sales. .*
  3. Tasting Room Abandonment: A staggering number of wineries don’t systematically capture contact information for tasting room visitors. There are some new tools – such as Winery Finder App and Vino Visit – that make this data capture easy and efficient.
  4. The Digital Divide: Mobile usage continues to grow across the board. Vin65 reported that mobile accounted for nearly 1/3 of traffic to all their websites in December 2014.** Mobile ecommerce is also growing rapidly. However, many wineries are unprepared for this shift.
  5. The 80/20 Rule Lives: The top 20% of wineries selling the most direct vastly outperform their competitors, making up 88% of ecommerce sales.*** Both Vin65 and WineDirect cited a focus on email marketing as the #1 differentiator of those top 20%.
  6. Boomers vs. Millennials: Boomers still spend most, but Millennials are growing fast. In 2014, Boomers represented 51.4% of wine sales by volume, but purchases were down 5.9%. By contrast, Millennials made only. 8.5% of wine purchase by volume, but they grew by 57% last year.*
  7. The Explosion of Pinot: Shipments of Pinot Noir increased by almost 25% by volume in 2014 alone, and the value of Pinot Noir shipments have increased 94% since 2010. Pinot Noir is the #1 shipped wine to California and New York State.*
  8. People Are Ordering More – and More Expensive – Wine: The number of bottles per shipment in 2014 increased to 6.17 from 5.74 in 2013. The average bottle price in 2014 was up 1.6% YOY to $38.40.*
  9. The Rise of Oregon: The Ducks didn’t win the Big One, but Oregon wineries won big in 2014: 46.3% growth by volume and 53% growth by value of wine shipped. This was more than double the growth experience by any other wine region in the US.*
  10. We’re Not Done Yet: Since 1997 we’ve gone from 17 to 42 legal direct shipping states, representing 90% of adult population.. We’ve come a long way, but we aren’t done yet! Now that we’ve succeeded in Massachusetts, next up are Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Indiana, Delaware, New Jersey and others.
  11. Delivery on Consumer’s Terms: FedEx can make a residential wine delivery on Saturday, at a time the consumer can specify, on their mobile app. We didn’t know that.

Ok, finally, even a fire alarm in the middle of a wine conference of 425 professionals won’t necessarily disrupt the proceedings!

For more insights into DTC Wine Symposium 2015, check out Cathy Huyghe’s great recaps on Forbes: Day One & Day Two. Download the full ShipCompliant/Wines&Vines 2015 report here (thank you ShipCompliant and Wines & Vines!): http://info.shipcompliant.com/2015-direct-wine-shipping-report


* Source: ShipCompliant 2015 Report
** Vin65
*** WineDirect