Amazon customers in Illinois can now add a bottle of wine to their checkout carts. The website has launched an online wine store. The products come from wineries all over the country. But both Amazon and participating wineries will be restricted by alcohol regulations from the state they are shipping from and the state they are shipping to.
Paul Tincknell is a marketing consultant at Tincknell & Tincknell. Two of his winery clients, Krutz Family Cellars and Ehret Family Winery, are already a part of Amazon’s wine store, with one more in the works. Tincknell says Amazon is allowing boutique wineries and others a chance to reach an audience that they would never be able to reach by themselves.
“For the amount of fees and commissions that the winery pays to be part of the program, it comes out as almost a cost for marketing to a whole new group of people,” Tincknell said.
Amazon’s wine store is only offering wine shipping to 12 states, due to strict alcohol shipping regulations. Jeff Carroll of Ship Compliance, a website that provides wineries with legal information, says Amazon has struggled with this issue for a while. However, a new Calfornia law, has allowed companies like Amazon to stand in as third-party wine distributors. Carroll helped push the initiative.
“Consumers check out on Amazon.com but that order ends up getting forwarded on to the wineries,” Carroll said. “They check it for compliance, complete the sale and then ship it either from their winery or from their licensed warehouse.”
Other states included in the Amazon wine store launch are California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.