Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Annual DtC Survey is Open!

Today, the eleven largest wineries are moving 80% of the wine sold in America, while distributors continue to march toward complete consolidation. The other 9,000 wineries in the U.S. are left to compete with each other for the remaining 20% of case sales.

Not their Fault

I don't blame wholesalers. They have no financial incentive to take on that mass of small customers. Add to that the decline in restaurant sales, which historically have been a large part of family wine sales, and it's hardly an exaggeration to say that Direct to Consumer sales are required for the survival of small family wineries now. It's really their only viable path to market, and yet the industry itself is still barely novices in selling wine direct.

Getting the Facts

Because of that fact, six years ago Silicon Valley Bank collaborated with Wine Business Monthly to gather important metrics from which wineries could benchmark. The bank handles the survey, complete analysis of the data, and the logistics that follow to get the full results to participants. We then run a live videocast (the replay of last year is above). Finally, Wine Business Monthly takes the findings and puts together their own view and publishes their conclusions in the July issue (2016 WBM Tasting Room Edition - PDF ) The effort has been substantial but the rewards for wineries in benchmarking and understanding the landscape has been priceless.

Last year we had nearly 1,000 wineries participate in this survey, along with every major AVA association in the West Coast and many from the East Coast. Your colleagues definitely see value.

Learning is the Beginning of Wisdom

DtC as a Percent of Total Revenue
How do you know you are performing at the top of club performance, or even above the average? What percent of revenue, relative to total revenue do your neighbor wineries produce? If I asked you how many wineries pay for data capture within their comp structure in the tasting room, what would be your guess? What's the reserve tasting fee in your region? How about the average tenure of a club member sorted out by average bottle price? Would it help to know the average gain in club members in your AVA last year, or what about the average number of lost members?

Each of those questions are examples of benchmarks that will be available to you for free but here's the catch: The benchmarks are only available to those who take the 10-15 minutes to complete the survey. Isn't that an investment well worth making?

Take the Survey

When the survey is closed on March 16th, we will spend over 200 person hours completing the analysis, and then return charts, graphs, and an excel spreadsheet cleaned of any identifying information to all respondents. You will be able to dig even deeper into the data if you want.

None of the above is possible without the 10-15 minutes invested in the survey itself. Please consider taking the time to answer the survey questions. Your participation will improve both your own direct program, and help the US wine industry improve.

------------> Start the Survey [LINK]


If you feel this content is worthwhile, please promote this post in your favorite social media platform, or even better - please forward the link to your winery colleagues and ask them to participate.

If you would like your AVA to participate, we will also send them free Regional Benchmarks for their own use, presuming we have a statistically significant sample size and an address to send the information.

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