Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is now partnering with an Oregon vineyard called King Estate Winery to offer US consumers a new range of high-quality pinot gris, red, and red blend wines under the ‘Next’ brand name.
This is, according to Amazon, “the first wine ever developed from conception to release with Amazon Wine”, which is the company’s alcohol brand launched back in November 2012.
Strangely for Amazon, Next isn’t positioned to undercut the competition with bargain basement prices. Instead it is firmly aimed at the more premium end of the market with bottles ranging from $20-$40.
Next’s focus on quality and locality makes it stand out from other, cheaper, wines sold by Amazon that are more price and value-driven. This emphasis on quality is likely to appeal to the 36% of US consumers that rated quality as the most influential factor when choosing alcoholic drinks, according to GlobalData’s Q3 2016 survey.
In addition to the quality of the product, Amazon and King Estate Winery are highlighting Next’s provenance and authenticity to further stand out to online shoppers. Ed King III, who founded the vineyard in 1991, explained that Next is designed to “re-establish the connection between winemaker and wine lover in todays ‘digital village’”.
The focus on provenance, connectivity and a “digital village” from King and Amazon helps Next build trust because of its transparent supply chain and heritage. Trust and authenticity are particularly important to the 26% of US consumers who claim to be influenced by authenticity when choosing premium products, according to GlobalData’s Q3 2016 consumer survey.
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Next’s unique positioning in Amazon’s US online retail store could be a sign of things to come from the retail giant. Its established place in the market and strong consumer loyalty will allow Amazon to increasingly diversify its own label products away from value and more towards quality, authenticity and provenance in a way it couldn’t in the past.
But who knows what’s next in store at Amazon?