No doubt the internet has changed the way we all sell our products. But as a wine retailer, what tools do you use to help you purchase the right inventory for the right price? And equally important, what tools are your customers using to hunt down the right retailer to find the right wine? You may have heard of http://www.wine-searcher.com/ and if you haven’t, you should check it out.
Wine Searcher allows both merchants and the public to see listings of wine prices all across the country. Consumers can find their favorite or rare bottles anywhere and contact the vendor (which could be you). Because of this information availability, wine-searcher’s results not only offer the lowest prices to consumers but allow companies to keep in tune with the going prices for certain wines. It’s a great way for you to keep your prices in tune with the market.
While wine-searcher might be convenient, like any web phenomenon, it’s not without a dark side.
Critics of the website say that competition may under or overvalue a bottle of wine. While Wine-searcher prevents under the table sales, companies have also been known to game the site to affect prices. Finally, businesses can purchase sponsorships that will have their results appear more often when someone searches for a bottle of wine. People have complained that this creates a competitive edge where local shops now have to compete with the entire country.
There is a great article from the LA Times on this website that you should check out when you have time. (Read Article)
Love it or hate it, websites like wine-searcher.com can be great tools for your business. From sites like snooth.com where anyone can publish a wine review, to more number based sites like wine-searcher, the internet is changing the wine industry and the knowledge available. It is important to figure out how to utilize these resources for your benefit and perhaps even how to differentiate yourself from becoming just a place to find the best price.