Online wine sales to grow globally

From a small base of just 5%, the global proportion of wine sales carried out online is expected to rise considerably in the coming years, led by Britain and China.

Online wine sales, currently at only 5% of the market worldwide, will begin to grow considerably, researchers claim (Photo: Wiki)

Online wine sales, currently only 5% of the market worldwide, will begin to grow considerably, researchers claim (Photo: Wiki)

According to a study presented at Vinexpo this week, online wine sales are around 600% higher than in 2006, contributing $6 billion (£3.8bn) to the industry.

This route to the consumer will continue to grow and will become increasingly important, the report by Bordeaux’s Kedge Business School said.

Gregory Bressolles, who led the research, said this year would be key to the development of the sector. According to AFP, he said, “The online market will no longer be driven by wine-cellars. It will no longer depend on them… It now depends on buyers.”

Some countries are already ahead of the curve in terms of customers embracing the buying of wine over the internet. For example, online wine sales in the off-trade already account for 11% of the market in the United Kingdom annually, and this figure is currently growing at an exceptional rate this year.

At 28.7%, online sales of alcohol in the first quarter of 2015 recorded the highest quarterly growth for over four years in the UK, analysis by online retail tracker IMRG has shown. This figure includes beer and spirits.

Similarly, 20% of Chinese wine imports are already purchased online, with plenty of room to grow. The report said that other countries, meanwhile, will soon begin catching up. Currently, just 4% of the market in the United States – the world’s largest wine market in terms of both volume and value – is online.

Matching these figures is the percentage of the population in each country that say they have bought wine online. Lowest is the US at 23%, while it is 26% in Britain and over 30% of the population in China.

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