The Grapevine

Anchoring and Expectations in Your Wine Shop

September 27th, 2017

Yet another reason not to stock Yellow Tail and other mass market wines? [level-members]

Continuing on our theme from yesterday with advice and ideas rooted in psychology, today we turn to anchoring. That’s the phenomenon where the suggestion of a number, even if unrelated, can affect the number you come up with when asked for, say, a reasonable price to pay for a bottle of wine.

This matters not because we are hucksters standing in our shop doorways yelling at passersby, “How much would you pay for this delicious bottle of wine?” a la late night infomercial announcers but because if the first thing they see when they walk in the door is your loss leader or mass market bargain, that influences what they’ll think is reasonable when the get deeper in the shop. Better to show off the good stuff at $50 or $100 and above so that the $15 to $25 bottles look pretty great in comparison.

Remember that it’s not really about comparing the wine – most wine buyers will understand that a $100 bottle is going to be better than a $7 bottle, even if they don’t feel they’ll appreciate the difference – it’s about setting expectations.

It pays to think about your pricing, stocking, and merchandising across the spectrum and not just one part of the market at a time.