For the Italian wine industry, the new crown epidemic has shut down many restaurants and hit the offline food and beverage channel, but brought unexpected life to the development of wine e-commerce. According to Nomisma, an Italian wine monitoring agency, the total revenue of Italian wine e-commerce sales platforms is estimated to be around 200 million euros in 2020. The boom in e-commerce has several important implications for the Italian wine industry.
Image courtesy of: ItalianWine.com
First, many small wineries that focused on the foodservice channel prior to the epidemic are unable to distribute on a large scale due to their growth strategy, structure and size, and e-commerce sales have become an important channel for their survival. But for larger companies and long-time distribution operations, the boom in e-commerce sales channels may have some degree of negative impact.
Secondly, more and more wine e-commerce sites are becoming a marketing communication tool that can connect wineries looking to build awareness with consumers looking for new products with different suggestions in terms of wine tasting courses, wine culture and food pairings.
Third , according to the analysis and evaluation of major wine merchants, many consumers who buy wine for the first time through e-commerce platforms will maintain their online purchasing behavior in the future, which is increasingly important and shows that the gap between Italy and other countries in this area is narrowing. In many instances in the US and UK, the total online wine turnover exceeds 10% of the total offline turnover.
The rapid development of Italian wine e-commerce during the epidemic shows that the future of wine is to be expanded through digitalization and e-commerce. Many traditional investment institutions, funds and others have also sharply turned their attention to the well-developed wine e-commerce platforms.
Wine e-commerce platforms are raising money with the initial goal of improving their technology platforms and artificial intelligence and refining user opinions, while investing more in markets with greater potential, such as the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Portugal and Italy. For example, Vivino, a wine review and sales app with 50 million users worldwide, announced within an hour of raising $1.55 million in funding in a round led by Swiss firm Kinnevik, Sprints Capital and others. After this round, Vivino"s total funding reached $221 million.