I Spy Wine
A new "one-wine-a-day" web store has emerged: The Wine Spies. (http://thewinespies.com/) Notice the "THE".
This new site, which just recently launched, is similar in concept to Wine.Woot and RadCru insofar as users will find one wine per day, sometimes at a great price, sometimes just hard to find. The difference with The Wine Spies is they’ve incorporated a "Spy Points" system. The more wine you buy, the more wines you review and the more folks you refer to them the more points you accumulate. Users with more points get special offers. Who doesn’t like rewards?
The granddaddy of "one-a-day" sites is is Woot.com, a site that offers, usually, electronic items are ridiculous prices. Their success was built around outstanding, even mind boggling, bargains that attracted a huge community of loyal one-a-dayers.
Creating such a community will of course be the key to the success of The Wine Spies and any other wine-related one-a-day wine site. So the question is, what will build a critical mass of Wine Spies users?
That too seems pretty obvious: Unique wines, very good prices, reliability of customer service. But the folks at Wine Spies realize too that every little bit can help, hence the social networking elements that are built into the site, the fun copy attached to each wine and, of course, the point system.
One of the reasons wine is good fodder for one a day sites is that there are so many wines that people never hear about. Sourcing unique wines from America and abroad introduces users of this and other similar sites to new horizons.
The Wine Spies, RadCru and WineWoot could do a real service to their users by providing a really great price on wines from places most folks don’t usually venture when seeking out wine. What about a great deal on Michigan Riesling or Virginia Viognier or Texas Sauvignon Blanc or Tasmanian Pinot Noir or Algerian reds?
I now subscribe to three one-a-day wine websites. Here’s hoping I’m exposed to something new.
Well… Thanks Tom for teasing me with this… yet another supplier of wine who is unable to ship wine to my state. This sucks!
Hi Tom, Thanks for the mention. The response from our wine-drinking public, from the press and from wineries has been overwhelming.
We plan to carry a an International selection of wines. We even heard from a small Texas winery that has a delicious-sounding Sauv Blanc.
There are a few other ways in which we are very different from our competitors and universally our wineries and customers love these differences. Can I tell you here? Nah, it’s Top Secret!
The site looks well done but my question is more about the 1-a-day category. The generic business model is fairly straightforward as these companies are essentially serving as wine marketers for wineries with all fulfillment offloaded to them. The problem with such a model is that it’s relatively easy for others to replicate, just as RadCru did and now Wine Spies.
Also, will consumers really be interested in signing up for more daily emails should more of these companies proliferate? I doubt it. There’s a lot of resistance out there to excessive email marketing (although the definition of “excessive” varies greatly by individual). I did a post on that topic on my own blog last year (11/16/06) which some may find interesting to read called “What’s your limit on retailer email offers?” Here is a link: http://www.vinfolio.com/thewinecollector/2006/11/whats-your-limit-on-retailer-e.jsp
As a point of clarification, we take possession of all wines that we sell. We do this in order that we first scrutinize every wine that we sell – and write our own detailed review for each. We only feature wines that we love. We do not select wines that are stagnant movers, bin ends or excess inventory.
We have a very finite sales inventory (365 days) and therefor take great pride and great care in our selections.
Another reason that we take possession is so that we can control the quality – the customer experience if you will – of our overall presentation. Each wine we sell is lovingly packaged in our Top Secret Wine Spies shippers (eco-friendly, of course) and we include many extras. Have you ever ordered a wine from a big online wine retailer? Eeew.
On the point of consumer interest in receiving emails, if the sheer number of our Daily Dispatch subscribers is any indication, yes, they are interested. Of course, we make it very easy for subscribers to change the frequency of mailings – or to opt-out. Our philosophy on this issues is very much like that of Vinfoilo.
Most of all, we have created a shopping experience that is fun, informative and accessible to wine drinkers of all experience levels. We welcome all comments and suggestions that will help us to offer an ever-improving service.
– Agent Red –
Not all of the one-a-day sites send out daily e-mails. Wine.woot.com, for one, leaves it up to users to check out the site whenever they feel like it. If anyone’s interested in more details on the deal-a-day wine concept and the players involved, check out my story on Wines & Vines: http://www.winesandvines.com/search/article.cfm?content=48508. Cheers!
Or New Mexico sangivose? Yum!
I think these are all great services to consumers. It is great to see Agent Red, Radcru, and even Woot help expose new brands. The concept of them being easily replicated is not true. Yes it is easy to start one but gaining the audience is the trick. Moreover, since they are “marketing agents” they have a unique ability to feature wines that a typical retailer may not take on the inventory risk. It is a great win to the winery, to consumers, and to their businesses. I fully support all three and think that they are doing a great job connecting consumers and wineries together in a virtual world. They also are all very clever about using more than email and tapping into the vein of social networks. Great job all – keep it up.
Inertia – Powering the Wine Revolution
—Paul Mabray – CEO
wine is an excellent business for making money, is unbelievable all the liquor is sell!
The concept of them being easily replicated is not true. Yes it is easy to start one but gaining the audience is the trick. Moreover, since they are “marketing agents” they have a unique ability to feature wines that a typical retailer may not take on the inventory risk.
It’s going to be end of mine day, but before end I
am reading this great piece of writing to increase