DWWA 2013: Special Award for Innovation: Morrisons Supermarkets
Go on – what’s
your favourite hot drink? Do you prefer diet versions or normal soft
drinks? Do you like salt? So run the three questions (each with five
potential answers) that constitute the Taste Test, an online initiative
launched as part of the new Morrisons Cellar in late 2012, which aims to
assess customers’ taste preferences and suggest wines. The idea,
together with free delivery and a moneyback guarantee, is to ‘eliminate
risk in a category with low consumer confidence’. Or, in less
corporate-speak, to give people confidence when choosing wine.
Something so proactive and consumer-focused (the move was a result of a 2,000-strong survey that highlighted customers’ lack of confidence regarding wine) is to be celebrated at a time when big wine retailers seem to rely primarily on discounts, rather than engaging customers. While identifying taste preferences and listing wines accordingly is not new in wine retailing, it is heartening to see it implemented in such a high-profile, commercial business as Morrisons. The Taste Test is part of a broader revamp of the company’s wine offering. The launch of Morrisons Cellar in 2012 coincided with a virtual doubling of the wine range, from 500 to more than 1,000 lines, many of them of laudable quality and interest (from Godello to Grecanico via Bobal, Israeli Sauvignon, Canadian ice wine, and Château Palmer 1996 at a cool £195...). In 2013, the own-label range is doubling to 140 wines in a relaunch of Morrisons own brand. Fine-wine fixtures have gone into 100 stores. Promotions aren’t just about price but also offer customers trips to wine-producing regions. The revamped website now has more than 700 suggested food pairings, with full recipes.
Whatever your preference in hot drinks, sugar or salt, it’s worth checking out Morrisons’ wine offering, especially online. May it inspire more wine retailers to be similarly proactive and ambitious in their customer focus.