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Naked Wines is UK's most popular specialist online wine retailer, says Harpers new report

Published:  05 December, 2014

Naked Wines is the most popular specialist online wine retailer in the UK, according to a new Harpers report published today that examines the online shopping habits of British consumers.

The full findings show that one in four Brits have bought wine online at some time in the last year and that over 40% are expected to include wine as part of their online shopping this Christmas.

When it comes to where they go to buy that wine then Tesco, the UK's biggest retailer, is well out in front with 24% of shoppers having bought wine with Tesco online.

Sainsbury's comes in second with 10.7% of consumers, but Asda and Morrisons are well down in the retailer list with only 2.9% visiting Asda online and 2.5% Morrisons. Waitrose fares a little better with 4.1% of shoppers going there.

Strikingly only 38% of online shoppers buy their wine from the Big 3 multiples, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda, compared to research revealed in Harpers off-trade report published earlier in the year that showed 71% of high street shoppers buy wine from them.

Naked Wines' founder Rowan GormleyNaked Wines' founder Rowan GormleyNaked Wines is the most popular online wine retailer, according to Harpers new e-commerce report, and third overall

The report is good news for Naked Wines as it is only just behind Sainsbury's and third overall with 9.5% of shoppers saying they have bought wine online from Naked.

The next popular online retailers are Laithwaite's, fourth, with 6.2% of online shoppers, Majestic, 5.8%, Virgin Wines, 5.4% and the Wine Society at 4.1%.

Noticeably online wine specialists make up five of the top 10 ten most used sites for buying wine. 

Richard Siddle, editor of Harpers Wine & Spirits, said of the findings: "Our first in-depth online wine report reveals quite clearly shoppers are driven by different needs and concerns when going online. They are still looking for price and value, but they are also much more concerned by convenience, flexibility of delivery and are happy to shop around and find specialists that can provide them with more information about wine and make them feel involved in what they are buying."

He added: "Naked Wines is clearly leading the way amongst the specialist players in knowing how to talk with its customers."

The findings are further evidence of the growing importance of online retailing with some £400 million spent on food and drink products every month.

The report shows that online retail spending is currently growing five times faster than in traditional bricks and mortar retailers.

Over the next five years Harpers predicts online wine sales will double its share of the total off-trade wine market by volume going from 7.1% in 2014 to 14.3% in 2019.

Harpers estimates some 10 million shoppers, one in four, have bought wine online in the last year and that figure is set to rise dramatically in the next five years.


The study, Demystifying E-Commerce, polled over 1,000 consumers across all age-groups in each region of the country. It found that online buyers spend more on wine than they do in high street retailers. Twenty per cent said they spent more than £50 a month on wine online compared to 17% that spend that much in retailers.

Other key findings in the report include:

  • 35% of online shoppers spend over £100 a month on groceries and 17% spend over £200 a month.

  • 37% of 25-34 year olds have bought wine online in the last year, compared to 17% of 55-64 year olds.

  • But the 65+ age group is particularly lucrative area for online wine retailers as not only do 10% use the internet as their normal shopping channel to buy wine, 28% are prepared to spend more than £10 on a bottle of wine when they do showing the importance of the "grey pound".

  • 33% of shoppers only buy wine online when it is on promotion.

  • 42% of shoppers said they buy wine online specifically for Christmas or another special occasion.

Online wine retailers need to work harder at recruiting women. Not only do fewer women shop online for wine than men, but those that do typically spend conservatively. Nearly 30% of women spend less than £20 on wine online a month compared to 13% of men. But the opportunity is there with 21% of women who have bought wine online think there is a better choice than in supermarkets.

Seven per cent of men said they regularly shopped for wine online compared to 3% of women.  A third of British men have used the internet to buy wine over the past year compared to less than a fifth of women.

The report is published as part of the Demsytifying the Consumer reports published by Harpers new Data & Insights division. It can be purchased for £1,250 plus VAT through Willliam Reed Business Media's online shop.

The other reports,Demystifying the Consumer in the UK off-trade, and Demystifying the Consumer in the on-trade can also be bought through the shop. All reports are priced at £1,250 plus VAT with a 20% discount if you buy two or more.

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