March 22nd- In January 2021, Winetourism.com and Geisenheim University conducted a global research survey about online wine tastings (OWT). Answers for the questionnaire were collected from 1,423 wineries representing 42 countries. The main objective of the survey was to evaluate the impact of the global pandemic on decision of wineries to offer OWTs.
On 17th of March, WineTourism.com and Geisenheim University hosted livestream webinar where Niklas Ridoff, project manager of WineTourism.com, and Prof. Dr. Gergely Szolnoki from the university of Geisenheim discussed the findings of the survey.
Some Key Findings of the Report
- Covid-19, the accelerator of digitalization in all sectors, also caused the rapid proliferation of OWTs. This modern type of wine tasting was almost unknown before the pandemic.
- Size matters – the larger the winery, the more OWTs have been organized. However, results show that larger wineries had the highest decrease in terms of winery visitors.
- The reason for offering OWTs is very versatile and differs mainly by the size of the winery.
- Zoom as an online platform for wine tastings rocks the wine world. This can be explained by the fact that Zoom is a user-friendly platform, which includes many useful features moderators can use during the tasting. In addition, no registration or download is necessary to start Zoom as a participant.
- OWT is an excellent way to counter decreasing sales, and it seems to be a profitable business – more than half of the wineries that hosted online wine tastings rated them as profitable or very profitable.
- The profile of a profitable winery: 1) leverages more sales and marketing channels 2) tends to hold tastings for larger groups 3) focus on B2C 4) host longer tastings.
- Germany hosted by far the most B2C OWTs, while a higher share of B2B tasting could be stated in other countries. ∙ Wineries are cautious about the number of OWTs. Every second winery offered less than 6, and one-third between 6-20 OWTs. ∙ OWT came to stay – the majority of wineries hosted OWTs in the last year, plan to offer OWTs in the future, too. ∙ The main reasons for not offering OWTs were “low perceived demand from customers” and “a lack of time and/or staff”. ∙ 12. 80% of wineries that did not host OWTs in the past are willing or at least considering lunching OWT in the future.