eBay Launches New Mini-Site for Online Wine Sales
Online wine buying may just have gotten easier and reached more people thanks to eBay.
The American multinational e-commerce giant has introduced a new category for wine lovers, making it easier to look for and buy wines. This move by the e-commerce company is a step towards its push to be an online marketplace for almost every kind of merchandise.
It’s Own Category
eBay has been selling wines online for years now, but it was often listed under the home and garden category. Today, there is a specific channel for it. This update is the first time the online retail giant has formalised and streamlined wine sales in its platform.
With eBay Wine, shoppers can browse the channel, filter the selection based on a number of given criteria such as region, price, rare wines, vintage, and varietal.
The new US-based webpage was launched in partnership with startup Drync, a company offering software for wineries and distributors selling online. Wineries using Drync can now also offer their products through eBay.
At its launching, eBay will list 11,000 wines ranging from rare finds to wines for everyday drinking. Inventory is expected to double in three months after its launch. Alyssa Steele, head of wine for eBay, explained that sellers will handle the shipping process, which means delivery time may vary.
“It’s a great opportunity for eBay to harness the power of the marketplace to offer customers more selection and listings,” Steele was quoted as saying in an interview.
Catching Up to Amazon
This new feature by the online retail giant is a move towards becoming a more-structured storefront (like its rival Amazon), and less like an online bazaar. eBay Wine may also be just the first in a series of launches for new curated destination sites within the eBay brand and website.
CEO Devin Wenig said consumers should “expect several exciting new category launches soon.”
The massive inventory at launch could give the e-commerce company a larger selection than Amazon’s online wine store. The online shopping site already has thousands in its listing. All wine sellers on the new platform are vetted by eBay, and customers will need to check the product listing to see if the seller ships to their state.
Making Online Purchases Easier
Top executives would be the first to admit that eBay does not provide a very user-friendly platform, especially when it comes to helping customers browse through the site’s massive selection. This is what eBay Wine plans to fix: it will provide a list with structure, rather than a mess of listing pages.
This push comes as online sales of wine, beer, and liquor are in high spirits. Online sales of these products have been slow to take off primarily because of state regulations for alcohol sales, consumption, and shipping.
While there are issues with regulation, alcohol sales are still going up. Market research firm IbisWorld estimated that online alcohol sales in the US for 2015 was at $743 million, up 11% from 2014. Annual growth forecast is at 11.1%.
Drync chief executive Brad Rosen sees the new partnership with eBay as an opportunity to take on and improve the online target market.
“This launch of wine on eBay…is the pivotal moment when we’ll see the mainstream e-commerce of wine,” TRosen said. “And I think that’s huge, because it’s one of the holdout industries to take advantage of the Internet.”
Surely, technology is changing the way we make and enjoy wines. From grape growing and fermentation, to shopping and wine storage, technology is making the wine industry better for all.