Vinomofo boss on trends, expectations

Vinomofo’s co-founder and CEO predicts 2018 will be an even better year for wine consumers compared to 2017.

“Brands have to continue to lift their game as expectations and opportunities continue to increase at a rapid speed,” Vinomofo’s co-founder and CEO Justin Dry said.

Inside FMCG had a chat with Dry about what consumers can expect in the wine and e-commerce industries, popular wines for 2018 and millennials as the force behind wine consumption.

Inside FMCG: It’s another new year. What can we expect in 2018 in the wine and e-commerce industries? How do you think this year will differ from 2017?

Justin Dry: Generally speaking, we’ll see quicker delivery times, more personalisation, better
payment options, more content driven marketing and an increasing number of pop-up
events to deliver a more human and real customer experience.

From a wine perspective, it’s going to be a fun year. People are becoming more and more adventurous in their choices. They’ll continue to move away from large commercial brands and into more interesting small batch handmade wines including natural, biodynamic and minimal intervention styles.

Inside FMCG: Tell us how Vinomofo will adapt to the changing business landscape in 2018.

In 2017, we launched our own warehouse in Melbourne, which opened up click and collect for our Mofos and in 2018, it gives us the foundations required to massively improve our delivery experience including same day delivery.

We will continue to increase the number of consumer events we hold for our Mofos both here in Australia and in our OS markets (NZ and Singapore with US launching this year) meaning we can connect more deeply with our members.

We saw great results from our focus on personalisation last year and this will level up again in 2018. We will also focus heavily on original content again this year as the opportunity to build deeper relationships through this continue to explode and become more powerful.

Inside FMCG: Which type of wine do you think will emerge as the most saleable this year?

Shiraz is still king in Australia and that will continue to be the case this year. However as far as emerging trends go, it has to be rose or prosecco which have both been growing ridiculously fast over the last few years and will continue to do so in 2018.

Inside FMCG: We’ve seen AI become popular amongst businesses. How do you think it will be this year for AI and will the personalisation of products still be a trend?

I think it will reach a whole new level this year and it will be a really beautiful thing for consumers. Personalisation delivered incredible results for us last year and we will be pushing that further and further in 2018 to deliver the best possible user experience.

AI is becoming more and more important as competition for attention increases exponentially so businesses need to take advantage of it in order to survive in a world where expectations and competition are so high.

Inside FMCG: How will millennials drive the consumption of wines in Australia?

Millennials interested in wine are demanding more when it comes to which ones they purchase. They want it to mean something. They’re adventurous so are open to trying different varieties and styles but are more interested in small batch interesting wines than big commercial brands which will be reflected in the market. Millennials support brands that have aligned beliefs, speak to them authentically in their language and deliver value beyond just the wine. Education and content are becoming more relevant.

Inside FMCG: How can Australian wines compete with foreign imports?

We produce a lot of great, truly unique, world class wines in Australia so it’s about telling that story better both here and OS. However luckily, Australians are a parochial bunch so we do like to drink our own and hence our wines are generally well represented on local restaurant lists and stocked in stores.

There is also a huge opportunity for Australian wines through our export markets whether through a global retailer like ours, or independently. Education is key here as different markets have had different stories and experiences with Australian wine over time.

Inside FMCG: Do you think loyalty programs will still be popular with Aussies?

Yes I do but they are becoming less influential than in previous years especially to younger generations as they outgrow the older more traditional programs and are looking for connection rather than a clinical commercial relationship. Tribes aren’t built by loyalty programs because people want to be part of something bigger than that.

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