Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
 

Wine Industry Metrics

 

Wine Woot Driven by Fans and Critics

November 2012
 
by Jim Gordon
 
 
Sonoma, Calif.—The online retailer and Amazon subsidiary Wine Woot doesn’t lead the flash sales market in terms of offers; what sets it apart from other retailers is its distinct and loyal community of fans.

“Every day there’s winery participation with prospective buyers,” said David Studdert, president and co-founder of Wine Country Connect (WCC), which handles operations and winery relations for Wine Woot.

Woot offers one deal a day with special “Woot Off” offers of shorter duration and “Woot Plus” deals featuring wines from a single winery that may last for a few days. The site averaged about 22 offers per month until June, when that number catapulted to 88 offers. The site has averaged 85 offers per month through August, according to WinesVinesDATA.

Launched in 2006, Wine Woot came online in time to take advantage of the recession-fueled flash market, but Studdert takes umbrage at being compared to other flash sites. “I get a little chip on my shoulder when I’m brought into the fold with everybody else,” Studdert said. “Even though we started the space, I’ve never liked calling Wine Woot ‘flash.’”

Staying viable in a changing business
“Now six years later the economy is improving, excess supply has been largely corrected, and the space has matured and become crowded,” he said. “My guess is that the crowd will be thinning soon, and those without substance, strong regulatory footing or a positive impact for the winery will be the most susceptible.”

Wine Woot sources from more than 300 wineries, and its wine channel has enjoyed steady growth since the launch. Studdert declined to disclose specific sales numbers.

Woot provides advertising and the public face for the operation. Winery clients work with WCC to facilitate the shipping and sale of their products at prices agreed upon by the winery. The shipping must comply with a winery’s own permits (Wine Woot does not hold permits with any specific states itself), so consumers in some states may not be able to buy certain wines through the website. The arrangement ensures that every shipment by Woot and WCC is fully compliant and legal, Studdert noted.

Woot is an independent subsidiary of Amazon. The online giant approached vintners in Napa and other wine regions this fall about plans to return to the world of web-based wine retail, but so far the company has not made a public announcement. Studdert declined to comment about reports of Amazon’s latest flirtation with the wine sector.

Studdert’s introduction to the wine industry was Airborne Express, where he helped wineries ship wine. But after the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court’s Granholm v. Heald decision loosened shipping laws, he started looking for something new. Studdert discovered Woot through a newspaper profile; a year later, Woot and Wine Country Connect were in business. WCC provides the same services for Rue La La, an “invitation-only destination for a life of style” website with limited wine offerings.

WCC operates a warehouse in Sonoma’s industrial area off Eighth Street East with three full-time employees and a few part-time staffers. Studdert’s brother George Studdert is co-founder and managing director.

From Sept. 1, 2011, to Aug. 31, 2012, WinesVinesDATA recorded 444 unique offers by Wine Woot. The average winery retail price of the wines offered was $34, and the average flash price was $23, for an average discount of 31%. Woot recorded the fewest number of offers for wines with a retail price above $50.

Vocal fans and critics online
Studdert said the robust comments in the Woot forums make it a very different animal in the flash arena. “There’s an intimacy with buyers not seen in the industry,” he said, adding that Wooters can be a tough audience. Woot staffers occasionally promote a comment to the status of a “quality post,” and details about how many purchases forum commenters have made are available to fellow Wooters.

When someone with no quality posts nor history of being a regular in the Woot world comes along praising a specific wine, Wooters can be quick to turn on a suspected winery shill. “Nothing irritates Woot more than fakeness. Wooters can smell it a mile away,” Studdert said

More positive interactions occurred in late September, when a group of Wooters from Northern California used the message boards to plan a day of wine tasting in Sonoma County. Their posts included ideas on where to stop, what to have for a potluck lunch and where to eat dinner.

“There’s a physical manifestation of an online community,” Studdert said. “It’s very gratifying to see that occur.”

 
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
 
SEE OTHER EDITIONS OF THIS COLUMN ï¿½ CURRENT COLUMN ARTICLES »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
July 2015 $603 million
6%
$8,136 million
6%
July 2014 $568 million $7,701 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
July 2015 $66 million
9%
$1,906 million
14%
July 2014 $61 million $1,674 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
July 2015 323
4%
262
18%
July 2014 312 222
     
 
MORE » Released on 08.13.2015
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

FEATURES
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • September 6
     
    Harvest Wine Celebration
     
  • September 11-13
     
    Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic
     
  • September 17
     
    Winejobs.com Summit
     
  • September 18
     
    Owning and Operating an Urban Winery or Brewery
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Crowd Funds 10,000 Cultivars »
 
Thanks for interviewing the academic breeders. They would love to be able to raise $167K...
Reader: New York Viticulture
 
Article: Nielsen Unpacks Package Design »
 
Okay, I'll state the obvious (to anyone with CPG experience) - the Wine Biz is...
Reader: Joel Miller
 
Article: Nielsen Unpacks Package Design »
 
Very interesting reading. Certainly agree with the more indirect approach of evaluating the extent to...
Reader: Roger Brooks
 
Article: Experimental Solution to Pierce's Disease »
 
Congratulations to the team! It is amazing what can be done with biological controls. Keep...
Reader: Bruce Coulthard
 
Article: The Spiciest Wines You Have Ever Tasted »
 
There are some wines from New Mexico are infused with pepper flavors. Also, The Wine...
Reader: Guest
 
 


2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
   LEARN MORE »
 
   SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Digital Communications...
 St. Helena, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Personal Wine Consulta...
 Rutherford, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Florida Key Account Ma...
 Miami, FL
Sales and Marketing
 Maintenance Mechanic 1
 Napa, CA
Vineyards
 Brand Manager
 Gold Hill, OR
Sales and Marketing
 Account Manager- Alcoh...
 Atascadero, CA
Finance
 Tasting Room Sales Ass...
 Rutherford, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Executive Chef
 St. Helena, TX
General Administration and
 Hospitality Associate
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Brand Manager Beringer...
 Napa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.