4 Insights to draw wine buyers back to retail spaces

Background:  Buying a bottle of wine in Singapore is traditionally considered an aspirational, imported indulgence – plus it’s one of the most expensive bottles in the world (on average US$23.7 according to the 2018 Cost of Living Survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit).

Despite the price barrier, Singapore has the potential of becoming the next wine hub for Asia, full of increasingly affluent consumers looking for high quality products. Data and analytics firm GlobalData revealed Singapore’s wine market could grow from US$1b in 2016 to reach a market value of US$1.4bn by 2021. The 5.1% growth is attributed to still wine, followed by sparkling and fortified wines. 

Photo compliments of ‘Not Just Wine & Cheese’ India

At SPARK, we explored the wine retail market to look for emerging social trends and opportunities to answer the question – are current retailers poised to take advantage of this potential market growth? 

We believe combining customer behaviour trends and insights into retail design and customer experience directly influences brand value, help retailers stay top of mind and ultimately increases market share. 

See if our insights into the wine industry help maximise the potential value of your space. Or download a copy of our Retail Customer Experience Audit Tool to try out our thinking process for yourself!

1. Too much choice

Insight: In-store choices can be overwhelming especially for those new to wine but even for those with some wine knowledge and appreciation.

Interestingly, new world wine producers, whether on purpose or not, are taking advantage of this by introducing eye-catching labels or cheeky names appealing to the younger consumers and standing out on shelf.

Opportunity: We believe there are untapped opportunities, through use of well zoned stores, technology and in store communications to help customers make informed selections based on flavour profiles, occasion, pairing recommendations, product awards or top selling / top recommended products. All this information can be made available both on line and in the physical selling spaces. 

2. Shopping by price 

Insight : Overwhelmed with choice, customers revert to price as a primary selection criterion.

Opportunity 1 : Help customers to choose based on trusted “real person” customer reviews or third-party reviews in-store. 

Opportunity 2 : After sale – Incentivise customer reviews to both generate content and return purchases.

3. Stories to share

Insight : As the customers palette evolves with wider exposure and knowledge, they start looking beyond the big names to find niche brands that can provide them with both quality and interesting dining stories. 

Opportunity 1 : Highlighting special hard to find wines and their unique stories.

Opportunity 2 : Enhanced and engaging education and knowledge sharing at every opportunity. 

Also, never forget, the one thing you cannot get from an online experience is face-to-face customer service – one of your most valuable assets in wine retail is knowledgeable staff. Who better to ask for advice than the people working in the space?

4. Trend towards experience-based spaces

Insight : In almost every aspect of retail, the role of stores is or has already moved away from just product distribution to a more experience-based model. Chain Store Age predicts that “More stores won’t hold inventory at all and will simply become ‘guide shops,’ where consumers can touch the products and sales associates can educate customers.”

Opportunity : Add value over and above pure product offering, for example; wine bar/shop hybrid; wine/delicatessen hybrid, verified wine educator.

What is next?

Ultimately, a dining-focused culture such as Singapore where brand loyalty can be fickle, building a customer experience where regardless of palette sophistication, the customer feels informed, consulted and delivering with quality recommendations is key. We also highly recommend further assistance to ensure flow of a customer journey is smooth and considered through in-store tracking, automation, sensors and analytics.

Paying attention to emerging customer behaviour trends can help us foresee where retail is going. SPARK are Retail Design and Customer Experience specialists, we look to the future to help businesses create memorable, engaging and exciting retail experiences that are relevant to the consumer, build brand value and maximise the potential of retail spaces. 

Contact us for a confidential discussion  or view some of our other projects online

SPARK is a Singapore based retail design specialist, delivering unique and effective retail design solutions for its clients across the Asia Pacific Region.

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