Modern technology has facilitated the evolution of the Italian wine industry in ways we wouldn’t have even been able to imagine a mere 20 years ago. Thanks to the internet, wine enthusiasts the world over are able to research wines, learn more about their producers, and make purchases that may not have been available to them otherwise.
The advent of Ecommerce, in particularly, has been a boon for the industry, leading to record sales for producers throughout Italy on shining a spotlight on those whose products can now reach an international market that would have previously been unavailable to them.
As the operators of an Ecommerce website in our own right, Xtrawine is well-placed to discuss the benefits that the technology brings. A quick perusal of our website will show you that we are able to offer tons of information about thousands of wines and producers around the world, all in one location. You can purchase any wine that you may desire from our website, all from the comfort of your own home, safe in the knowledge that your personal information is protected by the latest in online technology.
However, wine Ecommerce is extending even further than specialist sites like this one. Today, many major retailers sell wines online to bolster the sales they receive from instore purchases. For example, in the United Kingdom, the supermarket chain Aldi has recently launched its own Ecommerce site dedicated solely to wine, offering its shoppers access to products that are often exclusive to the chain and allowing wine enthusiasts to get their hands on one of their favourite bottles while shopping for their groceries.
That is a trend that is seen in supermarkets the world over. Whereas in the past a supermarket’s website would be limited to telling people about various locations, today, shoppers can purchase whatever they need online and have all of their groceries delivered to them, instead of having to waste previous time fighting through the crowds in supermarkets.
Having established brands sell wine online not only raises awareness of the industry as a whole, as it offers brand name recognition to products that may previously have been considered speciality items, but it also lends further credence to the wines themselves. After all, if a large supermarket chain is not only willing to sell wines online, but also to advertise them in prominent positions on their websites, that shows a certain level of confidence in the product that makes consumers feel more assured in their purchases.
The backing of large-brand supermarkets isn’t the only way that Ecommerce is helping the wine industry grow. In recent years, a lot of stock has been placed into the idea that the wine industry needs to start expanding into Asian markets. Perhaps saturation in traditional markets plays a part, as there really isn’t too much further the industry can grow in its regular locations. Whatever the case may be, countries like India and China represent the new frontier and Ecommerce technology is playing an enormous part in the expansion of the industry into these previously uncharted territories.
Ecommerce and China
In a country of over one billion people, 21 million may not seem like a particularly significant number. However, for the Italian wine industry, that is a huge number, because it represents the amount of people in China who are now using Ecommerce platforms to purchase their wines.
A report entitled Wine Intelligence Online Retail and Communication in the Chinese Market 2016 has found that the beneficiaries of China’s online purchases a large multi-tiered Ecommerce websites that offer plenty of variety and the opportunity to find cost savings on wine imports.
The same report highlighted that 65% of those surveyed believed that the prices they could find online were far superior to those they could find locally, whereas over a quarter noted that shopping online also gave them access to wines of a high quality than those that are available in China’s shops.
The key here is that this 21 million figure is really just the start for the Chinese wine market. As mentioned earlier, this is a country that hosts over 1 billion people and is only just starting to open its eyes to the wine industry. Over time, and as the Chinese market learns more about wines and really starts to open up, the potential is there for this one country to provide hundreds of millions of consumers to the industry, again facilitating the growth of producers and helping the wine industry as a whole.
None of this would have been possible without the growing technology that lies behind Ecommerce websites. Stronger servers and cloud computing allow such sites to host even more products and also ensure they run correctly when thousands, or even millions of visitors arrive to them. If what is reported here is an ongoing trend, which certainly looks likely, then the wine industry as a whole can expect an influx of millions of new online consumers from China alone in the coming years. Who knows, perhaps in a few decades the country may even become the single largest consumer of wine, all thanks to what Ecommerce platforms are capable of doing.
The Final Word
The evolution of Ecommerce in the Italian wine industry has been interesting to observe. Today, we have major brand companies, self-contained wine retailers, and even producers all selling their products online to an increasingly growing audience.
And that last statement is really key to the future of the wine industry. Ecommerce has allowed the industry to grow to unprecedented heights, but the full potential of such technological platforms has not even been reached. As expansion continues into new markets, fuelled by the ease of access that Ecommerce platforms provides to consumers the world over, we are likely to see both technology and the industry as a whole grow side by side. One will beget the other, with advances in Ecommerce technology making possible the growth of the industry, thus making Ecommerce even more vital than it is right now.