Majestic rolls out new ‘merchandising by taste’ trial

Specialist UK retailer Majestic Wine has confirmed to db it is trialing a new ‘merchandising by taste’ strategy, that allows customers to find the wine styles best suited to them online, and trial them in store.

The retailer told db the new ‘Take my Wine Fitting’ section on its website, which is still being trialed and has yet to be widely marketed to its subscribers, is part of a “joined-up” strategy for its website, email marketing and in-store merchandising.

The initial launch is being linked to the Majestic Awards to find the most retailer’s most popular bottle of wine.

“We have recently merchandised wines by different stylistic categories in a section on the website,” a Majestic spokesman told db.

“We are encouraging customers to explore these styles with an invite to come in taste four examples blind – it’s a joining up of website category, email marketing and then a tasting element in store. Customers can then vote for their favourite in each category through their email or in-store.”

Customers are invited to take a simple online test online to discover their wine profile, which produces a ‘top pick’ of styles best suited to the customer, colour-coded to help them navigate wines more easily, along with four suggestions for each style. It is also offering £9.99 off, when you buy a case of six.

It’s marketing claims that it will make customers “in-store and online experience…. curated just for your tastes”.

According to the retailer, the ‘Wine Fitting from Majestic’ was developed in house, and although still at an early stage of development, helps customers discover “the best wines they’ve never tasted”.

“Your wine profile is based on 35 years of understanding how we all buy wine, and it’s actually very simple…  all there is to know is will YOU like the taste? Not the grape, not the country, not the award, not the expert’s opinion, nor the label. Your taste buds are king!” its marketing says.

The trial follows a trial of a ‘palate fitting’ station at its pop-up store at last June’s Taste of London, which allowed visitors to ‘calibrate’ their wine tastes.

It is similar concept to the taste test launched by Morrison in 2012 in a collaboration with drinks supplier Bibendum, which was later used to remerchandise and segment the wine aisles according to wine styles. However, the retailer later returned to ranging its BWS aisles by country in 2015.

2 Responses to “Majestic rolls out new ‘merchandising by taste’ trial”

  1. Debbie Elder says:

    Also sounds very similar to the Spectrum of Style tasting guide that the innovative Boisset Collection offers its customers.

  2. The process mimics the progressive wine list used in about 30% of chain restaurants in the US. Best Cellars employed a “flavor merchandizing system”.Target made a half-hearted combination of traditional wine with a flavor profile that has been phased out. Predicting wine preference using questions unrelated to wine is a fairly straight forward process. If you combine, genetic origin, age, gender, wine experience and bitterness sensitivity you should reach a level of accuracy of around 95%. The problems arise when you try and combine traditional ‘wine speak’ with how consumers actually experience wine. One man’s single malt scotch is another man’s gasoline. Sweet wine drinkers who are over 30 are not immature they are just less like to eat or drink poisons than the rest of us. If the program is constructed based on sensory science and the staff trained the results will empower the retailer to have far more control over the wine selection process. Good luck.

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