While Australians spend their time inside, it has reduced the amount of time spent in pubs and bars. We sat down with Justin Dry, the CEO and Co-Founder of Vinomofo, to discuss how the outbreak has impacted its business.
Vinomofo is one of Australia’s leading online wine stores. Founded in 2011, Vinomofo is a community that embraces wine and wine-inspired deals.
Over the last few weeks, Australians have felt the severe impact from the COVID-9 lockdown. Aside from the slew of closures across the country, one of the biggest shocks is the closure of pubs and bars.
So, how has this impacted Vinomofo? “We have seen a significant uplift in sales as people have shifted their wine buying online due to restaurants and bars closing and some avoiding physical retail due to safety concerns,” says Justin Dry, the Co-Founder of Vinomofo.
Just like plenty of other online retailers, a ‘business as usual’ mentality isn’t the process for the time being. “We’ve had to scale up the team to manage the increased sales,” he tells Power Retail. As a result, Vinomofo has had to expand the plans out for the future. “We’ve also been spending a lot of time thinking about and planning for the medium to long term impact on our industry and business more generally. There have been some big changes in both already but plenty more to come.”
With the closures of bars and pubs across the country, there has been a significant change in consumer behaviour over the last few weeks, which includes expedited online adoption. “Online adoption has accelerated as people are choosing this channel over taking the risk of going out,” Dry says.
In the Let’s Regrow Town Hall information session, Power Retail investigated the spending habits of consumers in the last few weeks. As a result of job losses across the country, there have been more shortages in online sending. Moreover, doubts about employment is the second-highest reason why consumers are shopping online. However, it’s not as significant as expected, showing a slight decline in the past week as the federal and state government’s rules around COVID-19 for businesses and individuals remain stable.
Due to these circumstances, Vinomofo has made a few adjustments to reflect these changes. “We’ve also lowered our average bottle price by about five percent as people are tightening their spending habits with so much uncertainty around employment and the economy as a whole,” Dry explains.
Since the outbreak, Vinofomo has experienced a few changes in the way people shop online. “We are seeing a lot more traffic and more frequent conversations with our community,” Dry explains. “Conversion rates are also much higher as online becomes the channel of choice.”
While it’s easier for an online business to maintain robust business sustainability while in lockdown, what may seem harder is maintaining loyalty. So, how does Vinomofo preserve its loyal fanbase? “Content and community have always been at the heart of Vinomofo, so this continues throughout,” he says. “We’ve also invested more in customer-facing teams to deal with the increased engagement.”
As the COVID-19 outbreak begins to dwindle, many predict that online shopping will continue to boom as a broader demographic of Australian shoppers embrace e-commerce.
For Vinomofo, the company is already experiencing this lift and expects to see it long into the future as consumer habits change and develop. “We have already seen a very significant lift, and I believe we’ll continue to see an impact over the longer term as behaviours are reset, and more people experience and become more comfortable with online shopping,” Dry says.
Power Retail is dedicated to providing critical and live e-commerce retailer benchmarking data and shopper insights for the online retail industry. Click here to find out more about Power Retail E-Commerce Intelligence or here to sign-up for the free weekly Pulse Newsletter for more essential online retail content.