Facebook Enters the Wine Business

Social media giant Facebowine sold on Facebookok has entered the wine selling business.  The wine sales are part of Facebook’s new gift store, which the company has been rolling out since the fall of last year.  When a consumer places an order in the gift store, the recipient receives an email or a notice on their Facebook wall.  They then have to accept and agree to share their address so the gift can be shipped directly to their doors.  The idea of the gift store is to capitalize on the millions of birthdays, new homes, and numerous other occasions that are announced and celebrated through Facebook each day.

The Huffington Post reported recently on how this new aspect of the Facebook business works and the types of wines one can purchase.

Among the brands now available on Facebook are Clos du Bois, Wild Horse and Robert Mondavi, all owned by beverage giant Constellation, and offerings from smaller wineries like Titus Vineyards in St. Helena, which generally produces less than 10,000 cases of wine per year.  While orders are placed through Facebook, each sale is funneled through ShipCompliant, which provides software to companies to help navigate complicated direct shipping rules. Wineries then approve the sale and can ship to those states where they are licensed. Depending on the winery, it can be shipped to as few as 16 states or more than 30.    

The wines offered for sale range from $15-100 plus shipping costs, though Massachusetts is one of the states that does not allow for direct shipping of wine ordered online from outside of the state to its residents.  So Facebook users in Massachusetts can order wine for their friends in other states that allow direct to consumer shipping from out of state wineries, but cannot enjoy this new aspect of Facebook themselves.

It’s also not clear if the new wine venture will ultimately be profitable for the vineyards or for Facebook.

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