Christmas comes early for online wine shops

Online wine shops got an early Christmas present in December 2013, as households stocked up on their favourite tipples ahead of the holiday season.

Wine Intelligence reports that, in the past six months, 25% of wine consumers in Britain bought wine online.

That equates to a market size of seven million people, according to the industry analyst, with online wine shops now selling about 11% of all off-trade bottles in the UK.

Interestingly, it appears that people are more likely to buy finer wines online, and simply pop to the shops if they want a cheaper bottle.

Average bottle prices in mainstream retailers are about £5.50, but online wine sales have an average bottle price of £7-8, according to Wine Intelligence.

Is this simply because computer users are generally wealthier? The analyst admits that this might be part of the reason, but adds that the wealth of information available, including reviews from other customers, could also play a part in the online decision-making process.

On top of that, there is the possibility that many people are shopping for wine gifts online, and are perhaps willing to pay a little extra for a really good bottle to give as a present.