The one constant in wine marketing is that it is ever-evolving. Consumer demographics shifted as Baby Boomers age, and wineries found ways to connect to Millennials and now Generation Z. Technology advanced (yet again), and wineries adapted, learning the ins and outs of social media. The pandemic disrupted business as usual, and wineries created virtual tasting rooms and ramped up eCommerce. The result was synergy — tech-savvy younger generations soaked up social media and thwarted tasting room visitors of all ages discovered new wines online.
A recent WIN webinar highlights the pace of this evolution with the exuberant Joe Fattorini of The Wine Show fame presenting Pix, a new online discovery platform. Fattorini, the Managing Director for Trade at Pix, regales listeners with stories and insights from his 20 years of selling wine while explaining how Pix can help bring people and wine together — and sell more wine.
“We started with a very basic premise. We know you make and sell fabulous wines, and we know there are people out there who want to buy them. How do you bring those two groups of people together? That’s the fundamental question we had to answer.”
They answered it with a platform as entertaining as Fattorini and an artificial intelligence system as knowledgeable as Head of Wine, David Round MW. The platform’s online magazine, The Drop, provides the entertainment. Filled with stories about wines and varietals, winemakers and wine regions, and trends like gluten-free and canned wine, it allows readers to click and buy the story’s wines direct from the winery or an eCommerce marketplace. The ability to handle complex questions is a knowledge base Round is working on with students and sommeliers, who train the AI system on the world of wine.
“Discovery mattered to us,” says Fattorini, “that long tail of fascinating producers making wines that you love but just don’t know about yet. We designed Pix to answer complex questions in consumers’ search for wine.”
Fattorini asks webinar attendees why they bought their last bottle of wine. Answers included: “I was experimenting with alternative packaging and ended up buying some cans from a producer that I hadn’t tried before.” “Yesterday, I was at the beach and ended up buying a Grillo/Inzolia blend, slightly frizzante.” “I was going to dinner with the in-laws and needed something they hadn’t tried before.”
Fattorini laughs, telling the last responder, “That is a VERY important use case! I am gradually broadening my in-laws’ palates. Pix is finding ways to make even these recommendations, and we’re putting in curated selections so you (and I) can discover things we never knew to look for.”
Another question was whether there were opportunities for imported brands that can’t sell directly from the winery to the consumer.
“Absolutely,” Fattorini assures them. “Very much so. It’s a market-neutral tool that gives imported brands the chance to connect directly with wine shoppers and find their closest retailer.”
One final question — “So, Pix’s purpose is to serve as an ‘Ask Jeeves’ about wine to steer them to choices?”
“It’s more like Google,” Fattorini replies. “Free to use, free to appear on, but with keyword bidding that works like a highly targeted ‘fast pass’ to put your wine in front of the people MOST likely to buy it.”
Interested wine producers can go to www.pix.wine/trade and answer five simple questions to put their wines on the system. The platform is in closed beta now, with Shopify connected and WooCommerce in progress.