Amazon.com Launches Amazon Wine

Nov 10, 2012 2:27 AM  By

Online giant Amazon.com launched Amazon Wine on Thursday – a marketplace that offers customers more than 1,000 wines from more than 100 wineries across the country.

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The new online store lets customers learn about various types of wine and offers access to details directly from winemakers, such as tasting notes, recommended food pairings and total case production.

Currently, shipping will be available to California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, with more states expected to participate at an unspecified later date.

Amazon spokesperson Grace Chung said that the participating wineries will manage the fulfillment and shipping of orders, and be responsible for the different wine selections offered. Customers can find out more information here about shipping.

Chung said customer feedback sparked the launch of Amazon Wine.

“We heard from our customers that they want to buy wine online so we wanted to offer this great shopping experience on their behalf.”

Both the purchaser and recipient of the wine must be at least 21 years of age, according to Amazon Wine’s shipping information, and all shipments require an adult signature upon delivery. The shipment won’t be delivered if an adult isn’t available to sign for the delivery.

Scot Wingo, CEO of platform provider ChannelAdvisor, said this is not Amazon’s first attempt at selling wine online. He said Amazon Wine’s launch is interesting since it has started collecting sales tax in California.
“I’m not sure about the motivation, but Amazon recently worked out a sales taxation deal with California, Wingo said.”That’s probably what’s driving this thing because it seems like wine would be a low priority for them.”

Wingo added that selling wine online might be a way for Amazon to “get into the grocery business. Wine is a relatively uniform product with high dollar value, and doesn’t have spoilage factor – actually just the opposite.”

Wingo said there aren’t any real dominant online players in the wine category and, from that respect, “this is a good move for Amazon.”

Jim Tierney (jim.tierney@penton.com) is a senior writer for Multichannel Merchant. You can connect with him on Twitter (TierneyMCM) and LinkedIn, or call him at 203-358-4265.