The collected wine-tastings & wine-ramblings of one who prefers to describe wines with metaphors, not percentages

Is Naked Wines capturing the winos of tomorrow?

Today, I noticed (not for the first time) that this blog attracts a large number of visitors searching for ‘naked wines‘, ‘naked wines reviews’ and similar. Indeed, over the past 30 days, the above terms were the 3rd and 4th most popular searches leading to my blog, respectively.

[Edit: GrapedCrusader reports 'a similar experience with [his] own site’, BenAustinWine also concurs]

This got me thinking (in itself no minor feat). By targeting an internet-savvy segment of the wine market, Naked Wines poses an enormous threat to its competitors in online UK wine retail.

(And good on them for that, I might add.)

Why such a threat? Because the kind of customer who is active online — who googles wine reviews, posts feedback and suchlike — is likely (a) to be an influencer and (b) to be representative of the young(er) generation of wine drinkers. E-winos of the future, in other words.

Considering Naked’s size (still, surely, small) and youth as a company, shouldn’t the more established retailers be seriously worried that they’re failing to capture the customers and influencers of tomorrow?

And shouldn’t they be worried about graphs such as this?

A graph from Google Trends comparing search frequency for five online UK wine retailers

That’s from Google Trends — a nifty tool that allows you to compare frequencies of searches for various terms, over a given period. Purple is Majestic Wine, yellow is Laithwaites, red is The Wine Society, green is Virgin Wines, blue is Naked Wines.

You can see the ‘live’ graph (and mess around to your heart’s content) on Google Trends.

Overall, Majestic and Laithwaites are the most searched-for retailers (peaking especially in the runup to Christmas). But see what’s going on with Naked (the blue line)? It’s gone from a clear 5th place to a position jostling with Virgin Wines (and even The Wine Society).

Notice also that the general trend in all the other retailers is static or downward, year on year, since 2007 or so. Only Naked is trending upwards, year on year.

They’ve also done, by the look of it, a damn good job of making a splash with the recent Naked Wines Marketplace launch (which accounts, surely, for their current surge in searches).

Of course, there is a danger of reading too much into search frequency alone, and I’m not claiming that this is a full picture. Nevertheless, the world of online wine retail is — I predict — about to get a lot more interesting. I think (and hope) we’ll start to see other retailers upping their online game.

On which note, may I drop in a swift teaser: coming soon is Old Parn’s first video interview (just as soon as I’ve got round to editing the bugger) with Rowan Gormley, Naked Wines’ founder. I talked to him about Naked customers, online innovation, business models from outside the wine world and hideous wine-related injuries. So stick around for that in the not-too-distant future…

7 Comments to Is Naked Wines capturing the winos of tomorrow?

  1. June 16, 2011 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Interesting post from Old Parn: http://bit.ly/j3SpXC #nakedwines

  2. June 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Delighted to hear that BT is blocking my post about @nakedwines because it is ‘sexually explicit’. (I wish.) http://bit.ly/jnGkOd

  3. June 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    One of the many things that sets NW apart from other online retailers is the ability to interact with the producer. And given that most of the NW wines are made by small producers that probably means you are interacting with the actual person who made the wine.

    Put up a review of the wine – even a not very positive one – and the chances are that you will get a direct and individual response. I like that and I think that most internet savvy people will like that. It’s like a very focussed and wine specific Twitter or Facebook.

  4. June 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting blog, Tom.

    Naked certainly is taking the UK market by storm in terms of an online presence. I can’t see Naked having much impact on Laithwaites/Direct Wine group due to them cornering the mail order business, but anyone who relies on online sales better get their arses into gear.

  5. Ben Reynolds's Gravatar Ben Reynolds
    July 11, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Interesting article, the reason I searched ‘Naked Wine’ is that I am a new customer feel like I’ve been ripped off and fobbed off – and wondered if others felt the same. Searching for information about a company isn’t always a sign of success.

  6. AH's Gravatar AH
    January 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m searching for reviews of nakendwine wines from a “reputable” wino, not the regular dipsh1t whino who lives next door. Thank you, more please.

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