May 24, 2010 1:48:00 PM EST
Hi Matt, I have been absent from Booze Monkey for a long time now, but a quick comment. I think the idea is a great one, but needs a point of difference. Most become very similar over time: lots of listing, huge range of prices, etc, etc. What is needed is to have some form of consumer feedback on a wine(s) that can be seen by other potential buyers. Have you looked at Naked Wines in the UK? Also, are you looking for a vehicle that links rthe buyer tothe winery, or are you intending to hold inventory? Best, Roger
May 24, 2010 7:07:02 PM EST
Hi Roger. Good to have you back!
I agree, we do need a point of difference. We don't want BoozeMonkey to be just another wine sales site.
We've looked at heaps of wine sites over the past few months, some of them good and some of them downright awful: we're aiming to take the best ideas and incorporate them into BoozeMonkey.
On the inventory question, we won't be selling your wine: YOU will be selling your wine. BoozeMonkey will provide you with the means to market, promote and sell your wines, but it will be down to the winemakers themselves to make it work.
That's why we're only considering the most proactive wineries for our tests: they're the ones who will benefit most from it and who will understand the value in it.
May 29, 2010 3:19:32 PM EST
I applaud your attempt at democratizing the business of wine assessment. When you get the sales system in place I suggest you incorporate a statistic I would call the 'hit rate'. When a purchase of a particular product is made as a result of information provided at your site the product is recorded as having a 'hit'. That in itself becomes a form of review. Wines that people enjoy drinking will soon be apparent in terms of their 'hit rate'.
Many a time I have purchased a wine based on a show award or a review only to finish up unimpressed.
When I was young and keen I had in mind setting up a facility where people could call in to taste a flight of wines prior to purchase. The 'hit rate' would have come from the cash register record. The technology for preservation of the tasting stock via a gas on bottle arrangement is something we have long employed at cellar door. Can't understand why more people don't use it.
By the way, until recently we have employed the services of Greg at 'Virtual Cellar Door' to list our wines for internet based sales and this is a cost effective, foolproof and easily maintained set up. Now, a younger generation of managers here at Happ's want to self manage the website and internet selling arrangements so we have moved on.
I reckon that as the usual channels of distribution become less and less service oriented the web will become a more important source of information about wine.
So much of what is available is advertorial.....which means that the consumer is led by the nose. That means in the end that the big players get to dominate the field. Bigger is not always better.
May 29, 2010 4:44:06 PM EST
Good luck with the venture, having set up 3 websites in 3 different countries ourselves and currently working on next enhancements, I know what a huge task to embrace. Australian wine needs all the help right now with the 95 million bottles currently for sale in the market. Sales certainly don't come overnight and many marketing channels need to be applied. I do believe reviews and ratings help inform the buyer because with the fast selection of wines to choose from where do you start?
May 30, 2010 4:54:51 AM EST
I like the hit rate idea. I think we also need a reliability rating too (like ebay's seller ratings) so customers are better able to judge where they will get good service: good wine is one part of the equation (an essential one, obviously) but if a winery takes six weeks to despatch an order, clearly that won't be acceptable. So for the customers to have confidence, the entire process has to be transparent.
August 3, 2010 3:06:53 PM EST
I'm a bit late with this. Online sales are a great concept but so far the takeup with wine is pretty low. The real issue is that larger wineries with larger advertising budgets naturally have greater exposure and make more sales. To give all a more even chance you could feature a small number of wineries each week (you have enough hits to make that viable) so that all have some chance of standing out in the crowd. Online shops are expensive but if it is successful (ie lots of buyers) then you will be successful by levying a small commission on each sale. Good luck with the venture.
August 5, 2010 1:31:52 PM EST
Anything that puts more money right into the hands of the producer is worth working on !!
Right on !!
August 13, 2010 1:28:14 PM EST
Booze Monkey should consider working along the lines of how Get Price and My shopping are working on a PPC scheme. Every lead you divert to retailer website earns and all you needs would be the data feed. The alternative would be a commision based program but that mean using coding on the shopping of retailer to get a commision and that's might be more complicated.
August 13, 2010 1:54:34 PM EST
An interesting idea, WineSale, but unfortunately a lot of the smaller winemakers just don't have the cash to build & maintain their own online ordering system. And to be honest, even if they did have the cash, the amount of traffic to most boutique wine sites doesn't justify the cost of implementation: they would never make a return on the thousands of dollars it would cost them to invest in their own sales system.
That's why we want to help.
August 13, 2010 8:59:08 PM EST
Another interesting idea, WS :: we haven't considered opening the doors to retailers but that might work. I take it you'd be happy for us to post our latest deals on your website too?
September 1, 2010 9:02:39 PM EST
I agree, Matt. These days of extreme discounting by the major retailers with 80% Fosters brands on their shelves, not to mention the brand-crucifying efforts of online box movers offerring 2 for 1 $50 case deals (for wines reportedly retailing at $50 - yeah right) are killing the rest of us. You hit it right on the mark with the 'sales not justifying the cost'. That's why we don't sell direct from our own websites, E-commerce costs added to shipping would take us out of the game. I am sure I speak for all of us winemakers when I offer you deepest thanks for this initiative as it is now - giving us the chance to reach more consumers.