The State of the Wine Industry: SVB Report & Leveraging Data

Last Week, Rob McMillan from Silicon Valley Bank hosted a webinar to review his annual State of the Wine Industry report.  I value Rob’s analysis because it provides an excellent snapshot of the macroeconomic trends affecting the wine industry.  Additionally, it dives deep into changing consumer behaviors and makes predictions for the year ahead.  While not all of the analysis may be relevant to the New York industry, the report serves as a benchmark to help us calibrate our marketing practices to the realities of our local market.

This year’s report presents an optimistic vision for the year ahead; compared to a dourer outlook last January with first decline in the growth in wine consumption reported in 20 years.  The COVID-19 crisis accelerated changes in tasting room service and how wine is sold online.  SVB predicts that we are moving into the golden age of wine e-commerce.  However, e-commerce does not happen without building a base of loyal customers.  One of the webinar panelists remarked, “2020 was about loyal customers, and 2021 will be about bringing new customers in.”  Another panelist noted, “Retention is the new acquisition.  Customization and personalization help to start a long-term relationship.”

While I am ready to jump on the positivity bandwagon, an important fact shared during the webinar caught my attention: 48% of wineries do not have anyone on staff to review consumer data.  SVB reported a similar statistic in April when they provided an update to their 2020 report to reflect new market realities due to COVID.  In my opinion, you cannot have an effective e-commerce offering or effective marketing strategy without proper management of data collected about your customers.

The Team and I at NYWGF also struggle with properly leveraging our data for more effective communications.  We recognize that this is a capacity and knowledge gap for much of the New York industry.  To address this challenge, we partnered with industry experts like DTC Workshops and the W.I.S.E. Academy to deliver capacity building workshops on how to best equip your winery to maximize your e-commerce opportunities.  We intend to cover this topic more during the business workshop sessions at B.E.V. NY scheduled for March 3-5, 2021.(And, just a reminder that any winery or grower that joins or renews with NYWGF before February 26th receives a FREE ticket to B.E.V. NY.)

Rob McMillan and Silicon Valley Bank will host a State of the Wine Industry Part II webinar this Wednesday at 12pm EST and they have posted a rebroadcast of Part I.  I highly encourage everyone to make time to watch these webinars because they generate a lot of excellent “food-for-thought” on how to elevate your business practices.

Sam Filler

Sam Filler

Since his appointment to Executive Director in 2017, Sam Filler has led the New York Wine & Grape Foundation in supporting sustainability efforts and has spearheaded marketing initiatives to elevate the image of New York wines.