By James Atkinson
Many wineries using daily deals and other third party websites to offload excess stock are very dissatisfied with the experience, according to new research.
Dr Roberta Veale, of the University of Adelaide's Wine 2030 Research Network, recently surveyed 120 wineries on their impressions of various types of online third party operators.
"I guess you could describe industry perception of third party wine operators as somewhat underwhelming really," she told delegates at this week's Winemakers' Federation of Australia (WFA) conference.
Veale, who also released research that was highly critical of wineries' own websites, said none of the third party operators scored particularly well when rated by wineries on key indicators of business attractiveness.
"These options are being used to shift wine, perhaps wine that couldn't be moved any other way," she said.
"Those that are heavily relying on these forms of operators in their hearts understand that it's not, from a branding perspective or a sales perspective, a very long-term strategic approach."
Veale said the survey showed a sense of disdain among wineries for daily deal wine sites and their customers.
"They accept anything and they'll sell to people with no tastebuds," was some of the feedback she recounted from the survey.
Veale warned wineries that there are several risks involved in using third party operators.
"If people are buying wine online and they're not buying it from you directly, then there's the risk that they might be exposed to other brands that they wouldn't have otherwise tried instead of just sticking with you," she said.
"There's this risk that consumers are building their relationships with third party operators instead of with you, so they're Cracka fans or they're Snooth fans."
She said associating with the third party operators that have "cheap and cheerful inferences" can damage wineries' own brands and they could miss out on the other benefits of having their own loyal customers.
"One of the benefits of loyalty is a reduced sensitivity to price," she said.
"The message is that buyers are being trained to devalue wine," Veale concluded.