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Searches for wine see ‘huge acceleration’ on Google

Searches for wine have seen a “huge acceleration” on Google since 2019, but the drinks trade could be doing more to capitalise on this heightened interest in the category, according to a director at the US tech company.

Cyril Grira: “The real world is only commerce; it is a combination of online and stores”

Speaking at Vinexposium’s Act for Change event in Bordeaux last week, Cyril Grira, who is retail and omnichannel director at Google France, said that there has been a 30% growth in the number of searches for wine since 2019.

Considering more recent data, he recorded that the growth figure for this year was +6% in terms of searches for wine on Google, which he said was impressive considering the economic context, and a “good opportunity” for the trade.

Turning his attention to specific search terms within the wine sector, he said that 88% of queries on Google are “generic”, commenting that people don’t tend to look for a “specific wine, but start their exploration with a grape or a region.”

In terms of the commercial potential for wine producers, he said this was clearly great too, based on an “explosion” in the number of queries for ‘winery near me’ on the search engine, which means “it’s now in the top 10 worldwide”.

As for trends within wine, he said that the ‘vin naturel’ (natural wine) had seen a three-fold increase in search volume in the past five years in France, while ‘non-alcoholic wines’ had risen five times in the US on Google.

However, such search terms, although on the up, were some way down the list when it comes to the most common within the wine category on Google, with Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy the top 3 worldwide according to Grira.

Although “thanks to Covid it is accelerating”, he described the wine trade as having “low digital maturity”, commenting that many producers, particularly small ones, don’t have proper websites, and “in most cases today”, they are not “mobile-optimised”.

As a result, he urged those in the wine business to use Google Tools, which are a free resource for marketers to help them “accelerate digitalisation” – and you can read a guide to these and how to use them by clicking here.

Finally, in terms of retailing wine, he said that there should be no differentiation between internet-based sales and those through bricks and mortar shops.

“It should not be e-commerce, the real world is only commerce, it is a combination of online and stores,” with, he stressed, a mutual dependence to the benefit of both.

Act for Change was held at Bordeaux’s Cité du Vin on 20 and 21 June

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