June 23, 2010, 2:15 PM

Wine.com gets in on the daily deal trend

Wine.com has launched WineShopper.com, a members-only, daily flash-sale site for premium wines.

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Wine.com

Following the success of web retailers such as Gilt Groupe and Rue La La, Wine.com has launched WineShopper.com, a members-only, daily flash-sale site for premium wines.

Wine.com, No. 229 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says the site will offer as much as 70% off wines for 72 hours or until they sell out. WineShopper.com will sell both name brands and bottles from boutique wineries.

To receive daily e-mail notifications of new wine deals consumers must sign up for a free membership at WineShopper.com. WineShopper might feature one deal each day or offer multiple wines simultaneously. Members can receive deal notifications via Twitter at @wine_shopper and on WineShopper’s Facebook Fan Page.

To celebrate the launch of WineShopper, new members will receive rewards for inviting friends to join. The first 50 members to refer 50 friends to join WineShopper will receive four wine glasses worth $37.99.

WineShopper isn’t the first wine merchant to offer a members-only, flash-sale site. WineryInsider launched in May a similar site that sells wines between 40% and 80% below suggested retail prices. Consumers apply for free membership at WineryInsider.com and the site posts 45 to 60 offers a month, usually three at a time, for between 24 and 72 hours. Members receive a $20 store credit if they refer someone who makes a purchase.

A recent report from Goldman Sachs noted the growing trend of daily deal sites, pointing to the success of GSI Commerce’s Rue La La and Gilt Groupe.

Gilt, No. 140 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, had an Internet Retailer-estimated $97 million in online sales in 2009. Rue La La, No. 103, had an Internet Retailer-estimated $157 million in revenue in 2009. Rue La La owns deal site SmartBargains.com and Gilt operates Giltman.com in addition to Gilt.com.

Goldman Sachs predicted Rue La La and Gilt will each grow 70% to 100% in 2010 as the retailers expand their product lines.

Members-only, flash-sale sites benefit from their ability to get items to market quickly while saving on marketing and customer acquisition costs thanks to their membership-based referral systems, Goldman Sachs says.

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