Optimize Your Wine-Searcher Methods
5 Innovative Features that Will Change How You Do Business
Part one of three in a series on how fine wine retailers benefit directly from third party data sources
While it’s true that consumers engage digitally on wine platforms more now than ever before, it can be hard to see what exactly all their engagement has to do with your particular retail shop.
How can you benefit from all of that engagement that consumers are doing on their phones and laptops, from apps to websites to e-commerce and beyond?
Over the course of the next three issues, we’ll examine three unique platforms to answer this question. We’ll look at what these platforms do, how they are used by consumers and the trade, and how the developers now transition that usage into useful data about the wines you stock and ultimately sell
Let’s start with Wine-Searcher.com.*
If there’s one platform that, as a retailer, you use every day as you go about the business of selling wine, it’s most likely Wine-Searcher. It does not sell wine; rather it is a search engine to find and price wine. It’s been around since 1998, which means its warehouse of data on pricing and availability is practically unsurpassed. Its search engine and drill-down capabilities are well-recognized and familiar tools for both the trade as well as serious and smart wine consumers. It draws wine enthusiasts to your shop, who you can then convert into customers.
It is also an important source of data to help you sell more wine.
“We are told that Wine-Searcher is many retailers’ secret weapon,” says Suzanne Kendrick, promoter of Global Growth at Wine-Searcher. “So good they don’t want to tell their competitors how many converting customers it brings them. We are also told we are easily the best advertising spend due to our wine-smart users.”
Even for those of us who use Wine-Searcher every day, there are corners of the site that are surprisingly unexplored. Here are five insider bits of information about Wine-Searcher’s lesser-known features that you could be utilizing in your business.
- Wine-Searcher’s homepage, just to the right of the search bar, features ad space that can be geographically targeted, so that retailers in San Francisco, for example, can feature special promotions, or auctioneers in Boston can advertise special events, or conference organizers in Houston can promote registration information. With an audience that’s exclusively focused on alcoholic beverages and wine in particular, and especially when there’s a call to action such as registering for a local event, the ad space is an under-utilized, but particularly effective and specialized tool. The homepage slot is the most common and visible opportunity, though display ads are available throughout the site.
- Want to know which wines your competitors are selling, and at which price points? That information is available through Wine-Searcher Reports. Want to know how many people are searching for the exact wines you carry? Kendrick emphasizes the targeted competitive edge that these reports can give retailers of all sizes. Smaller, independent retailers can get the same data as large chains, wholesalers and distributors. The reports are straight-forward, easy to use, and cost-effective.
- “Discover” is a new search function that’s gone live on Wine-Searcher in the past month. Rather than having to type exactly the wine that you want into the search bar, it’s now possible to find a wine that meets vaguer criteria – when you aren’t sure exactly what you want, for example, or you can’t quite remember the name. “Discover” uses Artificial Intelligence, pricing, and critics’ scores (which they aggregate from more than 60 critics worldwide) to suggest wines based on your given location.
- Want to run a promotion on wines from a particular region? You can view the most searched, expensive and best-value wines by variety, location and producer. If, for example, you want to promote wines from California’s Central Coast, you can navigate to U.S Wines, then California, then Central Coast, then scroll down further to see that region’s wines sorted according to filters like most popular, best value, and highest-scored.
- Wine-Searcher Pro version users can see five years’ worth of pricing, availability, and search rank data on the Market Data tab. “This gives excellent insights to wine retailers on wine brands,” Kendrick said. “Five years of price, demand and supply of every wine and vintage for $60 a year is a bargain. Wine buyers find this very useful when they are deciding what to stock.” Note: Unless you are a customer (sponsor) of Wine-Searcher, your store’s inventory of wines won’t show up in search results unless the user is using the paid Pro version. That’s a very small percentage of the 5 million monthly active users that Wine-Searcher attracts. So being a Pro user seems like a no-brainer for a retailer, yet a surprising number of independent stores in the U.S. are not sponsors.
Constant user engagement, 24 hours a day, all around the world, is what generates web-based wine data and keeps it fresh. What the Wine-Searcher example shows is how the
platforms themselves are adapting to technology trends and changes from both the trade and consumers. The end result is the continued usefulness of the platform, and unique, new, high-quality insights that are derived directly from the online wine consumer.
The insights and functionalities are there. It’s just a question of tapping into them.
NEXT ISSUE: Delivery Agents
* Wine Dialogues and E. & J. Gallo are not affiliated with Wine-Searcher.
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