Are wine retailers worried about Amazon's foray into wine? Personally, I am not, but I would love to hear the opinions of others. From my point of view, our value proposition is so vastly different from that of Amazon that I do not view them as competition at all.
Although my original post focused on the impact of Amazon on wineries, it will be interesting to see how retailers (online and offline) are affected as well. Since all 2006 Acme Winery Chardonnay is the same thing (allowing for storage and transportation issues), will people still buy from the winery or a retailer if they can get it cheaper on Amazon? Obviously, wines not available at Amazon will be a different matter.
In the Amazon program (as currently understood), wineries set their price and Amazon pays them 50% of that amount per sale. So, the winery has control of the price that Amazon charges. Will wineries discount in order to get volume via Amazon?
For retailers, it will be an issue of service and convenience. Shoppers have shown that they will cheerfully migrate to online ordering when retailers don't provide value (in terms of service, convenience, or experience) for the price they charge. Their one clear advantage is being able to taste wines at retail.
It appears that Amazon is willing to take relatively small quantities of wine (at least at the outset), allowing smaller producers to participate. For savvy consumers, Amazon will have to demonstrate that they take good care of the wines.
Regardless, since Amazon e-commerce is so familiar and easy, wineries and retailers will have to step up their e-commerce game to compete.
(Note that Amazon recently rolled out Checkout by Amazon and Amazon Simple Pay, both of which are explained on the Amazon Payments site, and both of which are worth a look to see if either makes sense to incorporate in your existing winery e-commerce system.)