Ten million people – a quarter of all alcohol drinkers – now buy wine online or from other direct-to-home (DTH) channels.
New research from Wine Intelligence estimates that DTH sales are worth as much as £800 million, which equates to around 13% of the off-trade wine market.
Although data from online retailers and wine clubs is notoriously hard to quantify, Wine Intelligence suggests that Tesco has a market share of 28%. Direct Wines – which runs Laithwaites, Virgin Wines and the Sunday Times Wine Club – accounts for 25% of sales.
No figure has been put on independents’ share of the market but the research found that people buying online from such stores tend to be older than the market average, and are more likely to be male.
The average online spend on a bottle of wine is £6.12, but this figure rises to more than £6.70 on the websites of more specialist shops (a definition that includes retailers like Majestic, Slurp and Oddbins, as well as independents).
Those who buy wine online or through a wine club are more likely to be in the AB socio-economic groups.
Convenience is a bigger purchase motivator than price, the research found.