Personalised marketing is key to future wine sales says Amazon at Wine Vision

Personalised marketing, customer reviews and product comparisons are key to successfully selling alcohol online, according to Amazon.

Bram Duchovnay from Amazon, who was speaking at the Wine Vision conference held in association with Harpers.co.uk earlier this week, said appealing to people at different life stages was part of the company’s approach to selling and would be applicable to alcohol.

“Personalisation enables a rewarding experience,” said Duchovnay. He talked about different types of alcohol consumers at different life stages - from early adopters to people who have become experts.

He told Wine Vision delegates that there are many different types of consumer that often fall under one umbrella. He used the example of ‘mum’ in what he called “the Amazon family”.

“There is more than one kind of mum,” he said and he described different needs of expectant, new and experienced mothers. Expectant mothers look at cameras, feeding equipment etc, whereas new mothers look for parenting and family books and also begin to think about themselves again with searches for beauty products. The needs of an experienced mother are different again.

Duchovnay said it’s possible to do this across all categories and it would enable Amazon to recommend different wines to different people.

Consumer trust and consumer reviews are also an integral part of Amazon’s website. “Word of mouth is still really powerful,” said Duchovnay. The site has used customer reviews for ten years and Duchovnay said social media is also a way of allowing customers to tell brand stories.

Comparison tables for products like tablets allow consumers to compare products alongside each other and the tables include a five star system that is compiled using consumer reviews.

“We can do this for wine,” said Duchovnay.

Cross-purchasing is also on Amazon’s agenda and the company has found that people who buy Champagne, for example, are often also interested in premium chocolates. The company capitalised on this recently with Crystal Head vodka, which was sold as a special package with a Rolling Stones t-shirt and CD.

Duchovnay shared a mock-up of an Amazon online ‘whisky store’ and he said the company plans to develop more ‘store fronts’.

The company started selling alcohol on Amazon UK towards the end of 2012.

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