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Like a fine wine, online wine buyers get better with age

by Arye Zucker - May 16, 2019

Image credit: AlexPro9500 via Thinkstock

Rosé, the namesake of the #brose movement, has become the new power player in the online wine market as more wine drinkers are ordering the pink, summer-centric (more on that in a bit) alcoholic beverage online. Rosé buyers have increased 50 percent year-over-year, but the source of that growth is somewhat unexpected: the older demographic.

According to new data from Slice Intelligence, 55-64 year-olds are driving a significant portion of this growth with an astounding growth rate of 84 percent. The next highest age group, 21-24 year-olds, saw 71 percent growth year-over-year. These mammoth growth numbers still keep those age groups behind 25-44 year-olds who make up 51.6 percent of all online rosé buyers over the last year.

Buyers aren’t spending any more on rosé than they were previously, there are just more people buying it. Spend per buyer and buyer are flat year-over-year, while revenue is up 45.9 percent, and total units sold is up nearly 50 percent.

Rosé sales are growing considerably

Even outpacing the online wine category as a whole

For every wine, there is a season

Slice data confirms that certain wines are more popular at certain times of the year. Based on the number of bottles, boxes, or cans bought,  rosé enjoys its fruitful season in the summer. The summer of 2017 (May - August) saw a 36 percent increase in rosé sold over the previous summer, and while rosé is clearly the more popular summer wine choice, its peak season looks to be growing. March and April 2018 showed a combined growth of 71 percent compared with March and April 2017. While we don’t yet know how the season is going to end, that significant uptick, and the fact that September sales grew 12.4 percent year-over-year, makes rosé’s future look mighty bright.  

Alternatively, one man’s flood is another man’s famine, as champagne and red wine pour off the shelves in the holiday/winter months compared with the summer months. With May 2016 serving as the baseline, December 2016 saw 150 percent more units of champagne sold, and 119.5 percent more red wine sold. Taking it yet another year forward, December 2017 saw 236.1 percent more champagne, and 183.6 percent more red wine sold than in May 2016. Not only is red wine and bubbly more popular in the winter months, but that popularity is growing yearly.

Online wine is growing more seasonal

Rosé rises in summer, while reds and champagnes pop in winter

Online wine sales are growing, thanks to new and seasoned drinkers

Wine seems to be finding its groove online and it’s continuing to grow across the board. Revenue? Yup: 34.4 percent. Orders? You bet: 39.8 percent. Units? Thought you’d never ask: 37.2 percent. And yes, even total buyers are up 28 percent year-over-year online. The 28 percent growth in buyers is largely due to wine’s curious newcomers, the 21-24 year-olds. While this age group comprises only 4.7 percent of online wine buyers, it saw 53.3 percent growth year-over-year. Seasoned veterans, the 65+ year-olds constitue 12.8 percent of buyers but saw growth of 34.1 percent. Wine clearly doesn’t discriminate by age as both age groups account for the two largest year-over-year growth rates for online wine sales.

”Sales of wine online are growing 10 points faster than overall e-commerce, driven by an explosion of evolving selling channels,” says Ken Cassar, principal analyst, Slice Intelligence. “In addition to significant growth by specialized sellers of alcohol, like Drizly and Minibar, we are seeing full-assortment online grocery become available to, and utilized by, a growing number of consumers, driving growth of 100 percent over the past 12 months”.

About this data

With a panel of over 5.5 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence gives the most detailed, and accurate digital commerce data available, and is reported daily.

Slice Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, and over time. Our retailer-independent methodology precisely measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Slice can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.

Slice gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time, which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world. Slice Intelligence is the exclusive e-commerce data provider for NPD’s Checkout Tracking e-commerce service.