The closure of large UK retailer, Tesco‘s online wine community is all over the news today and I have to admit that I am surprised at this move.
Just recently I shared my thoughts in a blog: Assets vs Interface – the new face of success focusing on how important the customer interface has become and I find it difficult to understand why anyone would do away with such an asset. Although there is no doubt that Tesco would have carefully considered this move, the reason offered in the press articles does not really explain it.
According to The Drinks Business: “Tesco has confirmed that the website will close on 28 August, as its sets about reducing its online and in-store wine range as part of a wider plan by CEO Dave Lewis to reduce the choice on offer across the supermarkets overall product range.”
The strategy seems to be to consolidate. Something that is understandable given the competitive environment and entry of more discount retailers to the UK supermarket arena. Having said that, getting rid of a successful vehicle of communication with an audience who is active and involved is quite a move.
Although this community was different to a wine club, the story made me think about wine clubs again. We have considered the idea of a wine club many times and while there are some out there that are very successful, we have not yet found a model suitable to our offering.
But if not a club, at least another platform of building a community is important and can also be achieved via a strong online and social media presence offering valuable content and creating the opportunity to interact.
hbr.org gives valuable insight into the the real value of an online community. “In the short run, however, businesses that create communities that satisfy both relational and transactional needs will reap the benefits of greater customer loyalty and may gain important insights into the nature and needs of their customer base. In the long run, electronic communities are likely to create value in four different ways.”
Do follow the link to read the whole article.
To read more on the importance of online communities and how to keep you audience engage, click on the below links.