Virgin Wines launches wine store on Amazon

Virgin Wines has launched a wine shop for ‘boutique’ by-the-case wines on Amazon market place.

Virgin Wines_Christmas

Virgin Wines’ sendagift.com service, which was launched on Amazon before Christmas, saw strong sales, CEO Jay Wright said.

The range launched with around 40 of its most popular and top pick wines, which are available as cases of six or 12-bottles. There is a particular focus on 6-bottle cases and mixed cases in order to drive trial, a spokesman said, adding that it was likely to add incremental customers rather than cannibalise its own website.

Virgin Wines CEO Jay Wright said it had seemed like “an obvious step” to develop its relationship with Amazon, who it has worked with for more than eight years, originally offering discount vouchers to Amazon customers to drive recruitment to its own website and more latterly with the new sendagift.co.uk service that launched before Christmas.

“How and where people buy wine is constantly evolving, so making our wines available through a small number of carefully selected retailers seems an obvious step,” Wright said. “This gives us another opportunity to interact with wine enthusiasts and introduce them to the great wines we have to offer.”

Wright noted the success of the Virgin’s tie-in with Amazon over its sendagift.com service, which accounted for around 12.5% of the gift service’s total sales.

“These encouraging results gave us the confidence to expand our product range on Amazon into our core ‘by the case’ business,” he said.

The wine specialist is hoping to sell around 20,000 cases through the online retail giant next year and attract around 15,000 – 18,000 new customers over the next 12 months. Around 90% of the people using the Virgin Wine store on Amazon will be new, he added.

It currently has around 10-11% of the online market, but Wright has plans to develop this further and enhance its offer. It is in the process of overhauling its website, which will relaunch as an optimized site with enhanced content and capabilities over the summer.

“We are in a healthy position at the moment, but we have aspirations to do more in a sustainable way to make profit and turnover our focus – not just in winning turnover gains without making any money,” he told db recently.

Last month Wright told db there was a space for wine specialists and its clear proposition online made it stand out from the online clutter. “A lot of people like to deal with specialists who operate on so many levels. It is not just about delivery wine to your door, it is about the community,” he argued. “We are there for any customer who wants to interact and engage and want more out of the relationship than just buying wine – we are trying to do more than that and want to be at the leading edge.”

 

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