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New technologies play a crucial role in the buyer decision process

(First appeared in La Journée Vinicole, edition 211, 10 March 2010)

The popularity of the internet as a medium for choosing wine has been revealed by a new survey by SOWINE/SSI 2010.

The survey shows the internet is now used twice as much as print media for preparing purchases of wine.

It also reveals new technologies, such as the internet and social networks, play crucial roles in French buying habits.

Other results include the ‘special place’ held by wine in French hearts: 70% consider wine to be different to other drinks, despite the fact 63% claim to be newcomers to wine or beginners in terms of wine knowledge.

This probably explains why 78% of people questioned believe it is essential to find out more about wine before buying any.

The French have generally espoused modern technology when it comes to gleaning this knowledge, but the internet now stands way ahead of print magazines – both specialist and general interest – as a chosen source of information.

Blogs and forums have also become an important part of the information scene while social networks are often used by wine drinkers to convey information and advice.

Buying habits on the internet differ from offline buying, mainly because the average spend is four times higher on the internet than in traditional outlets.

However, 60% of consumers say they sound out wines on the internet before going to a bricks and mortar outlet.

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