People over 45 years old make up almost 64% of wine sales in the U.S. (Statista). Unfortunately, the older generations are dwindling, and the wine industry must adapt to the demands of the younger generations.
The tasting room model is becoming less sustainable as younger consumers are increasingly purchasing online. In fact, did you know that 87.6% of Gen Z prefer shopping online? (DealAid)
This is a dramatic shift, but embracing the spending habits associated with the younger generations is the key. After all, in the next 5-10 years, these consumers will make up the majority of your customer base. Pivot now and you’ll be ahead of the game.
Here are 4 personality characteristics we have seen in the younger generations and how you can accommodate them.
They Are Less Likely To Take Financial Risks
Much of Gen Z grew up during the Great Recession, many watched their parents struggle through those financial challenges and influencing their spending habits today. They are reluctant to risk money on purchases they don’t trust. (Relative Insight).
But how does this factor into wine?
This hesitancy is playing a big role in wine sales. They are uncomfortable risking hard-earned dollars on an experience they may not like.
They Are Skeptical When Shopping
Along with the younger generations’ hesitance, they are also more skeptical when it comes to evaluating products.
Pair this skepticism with the unpredictable nature of wine, and every sale is only going to get trickier.
The solution is to increase confidence at the point of purchase – give them assurance they are choosing the right product.
Now, in the tasting room, this is fairly straightforward. Largely, they perceive the expense as tied to the tasting room experience, with the side benefit of maybe finding some wines they love. But how can you translate this to online sales, where we know most of the younger generation is shopping?
Thankfully, we’ve developed a tool that allows you to provide online buyers the confidence to make that purchase. Tastry Uncorked is a software that provides wine recommendations to online customers based upon their unique palate preferences. Simply plug this tool into your e-commerce site, and Tastry can provide the level of assurance the younger generations expect.
Over time, Tastry Uncorked can help you build customer confidence in your brand, as they are repeatedly delighted by the wine you recommended to them, all with very little effort on your part.
They Desire Experiences More Than Name Brands
These days, young people come for the experience, but are unlikely to pull the trigger on consistently buying wine, making costly experiences less profitable.
Take Robert Mondavi for example. He was one of the first winemakers to build the foundation for Napa Valley’s success. His tasting room experience drew older generations into the region and made them loyal fans for years to come.
However, when it comes to building customer relationships with younger generations, the beautiful tasting experiences that Mondavi created is less effective. Although they value the experience of the tasting room greatly, this is less likely to translate into the same kind of brand loyalty it did in the past.
Why? First, younger consumers are most interested in buying products that cater to their likes and loves, and less interested in buying a variety of branded products for the brand’s sake, and second, they increasingly expect an alignment on corporate responsibility. In short, it’s all about trust. They need to trust that your winery cares about their individual preferences.
If a customer purchases a wine they love from a winery they respect, they will come back for more. Tastry Uncorked is one path to creating and fomenting such trust.
They Expect Hyper-personalized Products
Individuality is one of the most crucial elements younger generations value, leading them to seek out products that are tailored to their wants and needs. In fact, 77% of Gen Z say that personalized products made to fit their specific preferences are extremely important to them (Kearney).
The space for customization is limitless when it comes to wine. With such a wide variety of wines, everyone can surely find many wines that suit their palate.
However, when sifting through a large selection of wines, and catering to a variety of different tastes, it can be difficult and overwhelming to pair someone with a wine they will feel is made for their unique preferences.
So, how do you cater to these seemingly unpredictable young consumers?
Catering to everyone’s individuality is difficult. But you can employ technology to do the heavy lifting for you. For example, you can deploy Tastry Uncorked at any marketing touchpoint– online, on iPads at your winery, events, etc.– to help your shoppers find wines that are a great match for them.
And, if you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to crafting your wines to fit this growing paradigm, Tastry has a solution for you as well.
With Tastry CompuBlend® technology, we help the winery to reduce COGS and help the winemaker to zero-in on the best version of their created vision.
The younger generations continue to influence consumer expectations, and their impact on the wine industry is undeniable. Understanding their purchasing tendencies and preferences, and embracing new strategies and technologies will be ever more necessary to remain relevant in the market.
With Tastry, we’re committed to building innovative solutions to not only help you to face the changing consumer landscape head on, but embrace it, hone your business, and become more profitable.
What are some of the challenges your company is facing reaching younger generations? Talk about them one on one with Jeff by scheduling a call with him right here.