Virtual Wine Tastings: It seems to be one of the most talked-about wine topics in 2020 and 2021. What once seemed like a trend now seems like a viable business idea that can help thousands of wineries around the world survive (and even thrive.)
We reached out to several wineries to determine whether or not virtual wine tastings have brought in significant sales. While the concept of virtual tastings may be trendy, the question is, was it profitable? And the feedback all had the same consensus: It is absolutely profitable.
Virtual Wine Tastings & Tours
So if Virtual Tastings have worked so well in the past couple of years, what does that mean for other virtual events? Is this something that the industry can incorporate in different areas? Will it eventually surpass physical events? As more wineries seek out initiatives, the immersion of virtual wine tours has closely followed the wine tastings.
These wine tours include video tours throughout the winery, including commentary and story-telling. The idea is to mimic the experience and immerse customers in the feeling that they actually experienced the complete tour.
Some wineries have taken it a step further, offering their guests a set of 360 VR glasses, heightening the experience. The guests can also select a specific room (the cellar, vineyard, tasting room etc.) and tour that particular part of the winery.
In our blog post on 3 Wine Initiatives That You Need to Get on Board With, we talk specifically about AR and its potential for the wine industry. As technology develops and AI is introduced to more industry sectors, there is no telling how immersive these virtual wine tours can become.
Securing Sales with Virtual Tastings
Whether it be a simple virtual wine tasting or a tour-and-tasting package deal, wineries need to appeal enough to the viewer to secure a sale. While offering this may provide great value to the viewers, your winery needs to benefit from the event too.
A successful virtual wine tasting will mean significant sales for your winery and is easier than ever before. While many businesses still can’t sell on-premise alcohol, individuals are still looking to purchase wine to enjoy at home. This is why it is possible to secure great off-premise sales with your virtual event.
A successful virtual wine tasting has several key components:
The look and feel of your tasting event is a crucial part of the experience. The visual and audio quality can play a significant role in how viewers perceive your business, brand, and wine. The way customers feel while taking part in the tasting will determine whether or not they purchase, and the setup significantly impacts that feeling.
Most smartphones are capable of producing quality video content, but audio and lighting need to be considered too. Natural light is often better than artificial light, so keep that in mind when setting up. And consider investing in a clip-on microphone that is compatible with a smartphone to enhance the audio experience.
An Appealing Offer
Prior to the actual tasting, customers need to be able to purchase the wine that they’ll use during the event. This is the perfect opportunity to curate a mixed box of wine that will offer excellent value to the customer and ensure a profitable experience for your winery.
To add to the appeal of the tasting kit, many wineries offer wines that are rarely accessible, combined with a discounted price. This is a crucial first step in getting individuals to join your virtual tasting event.
Some wineries, like Passalacqua in California, have designed smaller wine bottles that are sized for the tasting event. This makes it more affordable for viewers to purchase several bottles for the tasting. While the tasting kit does not generate significant income, the wineries rely on post-tasting sales. Passalacqua, who sold their 3-bottle tasting kit for only $55, noted that 75% of their viewers purchased wine after the virtual tasting event.
The best examples of successful virtual wine tastings have been from wineries that have done it regularly. The consistent reminders on social media or email have created awareness, appeal, and anticipation around these events. By consistently having the event, you gain more traction and consistently reach more people.
Wineries like Justin Vineyards and Winery, who do regular Live Instagram tastings, have been the perfect example of how regularity is critical. The second tasting that they hosted saw a 25% increase in views compared to the first event. So along with hosting it regularly, it is crucial to promote it on your marketing channels consistently.
So, whether you’re already doing virtual wine tastings or whether it is something you’ve only considered doing, there is great potential in this new initiative. Get on board with this as soon as you can, while it is still as popular as it is. Offering virtual wine tastings and tours might just give your winery an incredible boost in sales and loyal, life-long customers.