The Grapevine

Retail Wine News: Amazon Case Discounts, Varietal Sales DTC vs. Retail

June 3rd, 2013

Will Amazon’s “case” discount policy affect yours? How do direct-to-consumer varietal sales compare to retail wine sales more broadly? [level-members]

Amazon “Case” Discounts
What’s your case discount? Is it 20% And do you offer it for 3 bottles or more?

That’s where Amazon is, according to an email promo we received this past week. We don’t recommend necessarily trying to match this pro-actively, but you should be aware of it and decide whether you’ll match it if a customer makes the request. You might counter with the fact that the Amazon bottles all have to be from the same winery. Chances are, you permit a wider mix in your discounts.

Comparing Varietal Sales Direct-to-Consumer vs. Retail Wine Sales
The folks at released their Direct Wine Shipping Report in April (which we’ll come back to) and they highlighted in a recent blog post the difference between sales by varietal for DTC and retail channels.


Direct-to-Consumer % of Volume Retail Marketplace % of Volume
Cabernet Sauvignon 20% Chardonnay 21%
Pinot Noir 16% Cabernet Sauvignon 12%
Red Blends 15% Merlot 9%
Chardonnay 12% Pinot Gris/Grigio 8%
Zinfandel 8% Pinot Noir 6%
All Other Varietals 29% All Other Varietals 44%


As the post says, this should be a reminder that every sales channel is different. Your marketing efforts must match the channel’s expectations if you are going to maximize your results.

Also interesting is that rosés are among the wines that are trending up. No surprise from what we’ve seen, though the post does point out that sales volume does tend to be inversely correlated with price. As price goes up, sales go down, and vice versa. Such is the case for rosé, sparklers and chardonnay. Pinot is the place to be, though, as it has seen volume and bottle price increase.