Jun 12

The importance of analysing your Customers: an example in the Italian wine sector

VVA Consulting developed over the years a strong expertise in the Food&Berverage sector, thanks to many projects in support of several companies and with a recent focus on Italian wine producers and on Consortium of Wines with Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.).

One of the activities that our consulting team has recently carried on, consists in a short research on the purchasing habits in this sector. The aim was trying to answer to the question “Who is your customer?”, to provide a first support to wine producers in understanding the characteristics of its Customers and to stimulate a constructive reflection about the importance of this kind of activity. In addition, the survey investigated Customers’ knowledge about Consortium’s role and activities.

We identified the online survey as the most appropriated tool to perform this research. It allows to quickly reach a considerable number of users, aligned with the chosen target (young Consumer with a dynamic lifestyle, age between 20 and 45 years-old) and to minimize costs.

The survey was composed by 16 questions. The objective was to give general indications on Customers characteristics and to underline the fact that in many cases the belief of knowing Customers is founded on not-so-strong bases or on obsolete data. Furthermore availability of updated information is particularly important in those markets where purchasing and consuming dynamics change very rapidly.

 Customer profile emerging from the results defines himself as an “Hedonistic Consumer” (65%). That is a customer with above-the-average competences but not yet an expert. Most of the respondents declares to prefer Italian wines (92%), but not necessarily produced in the Region they are resident in. The average expense for wine purchasing is between 6 and 8 Euros per bottle (28%). 

In order to guide the choice 73% of the respondents asks for advices to relatives and friends (73%) or to the shop-assistant (51%); modern distribution and wine shops are the preferred distribution channels (respectively 82% and 53%). The most important elements determining the consumer’s choice are Producer’s Name (40%) and the presence of a P.D.O. label (40%).

With reference to the role of Consortium of Wines with Protected Designation of Origin, 44% of respondents declares to have only a superficial knowledge about consortium activities.

In addition, the fact that 90% of the respondents never bought wine through e-commerce platforms represents a very interesting result.

This result means that the online channel has not expressed its full potential in the wine sector yet, although in many other sectors it is a fast-growing distribution channel. The reason may be identified in the product’s specificity, that influences the purchasing phase deployment. The average-Customer seems to prefer traditional channels, both for the lack of trust in the shipping time/procedures and for preserving social and emotional aspects that characterize the purchase of this particular product.