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.
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?
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…