April 27, 2001, 12:00 AM

A co-op approach to online wine lifts all wineries, says Winetasting.com

Wine buyers at the high end like more than one brand, so they’re likely to look around at a site and buy other wines that appeal to them.

Online selling cooperatives may actually increase revenue for each seller in the cooperative, says the experience of wine co-op site Winetasting.com. Shoppers at the site are likely to buy more than one brand of wine. “It’s not a zero sum game,” Lesley Berglund, president and CEO of Winetasting.com, tells Internet Retailer. “Consumers who buy high end wine buy different brands.”

Unlike other retail markets, where competition is fierce among companies in the same category, the wine business has more of a feeling of camaraderie. Berglund explains that many of the different wineries work together to promote their products. Therefore, having many different brands on one web site is more of a bonus than a deterrent.

Tom Shelton, president and CEO of Joseph Phelps Vineyard, says that while Phelps does direct sales through its own web site, the winery likes the association with the other top wineries on the Winetasting.com site. “We like being associated with all the other high quality wines. We’re all relatively small businesses and we don’t have huge advertising budgets. When customers are looking for fine wines and they look at Winestasting.com, we’re glad to be on that list. Plus, customers of other wineries might be attracted to one of our products as well.”

 

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