‘Disruptive’ wine app tops US$40m sales

Wine review app Vivino has topped sales of wine worth over US$40 million within a year of launching its e-commerce site, it said, as it predicts a shift to ‘disruptive’ e-commerce models.

Vivino founder and CEO Heini Zachariassen

Speaking to CNNMoney this week, founder and CEO Heini Zachariassen said that wines worth more than $40 million have been sold through the site, with around 425 million labels scanned, 72 million ratings and nearly 12 million bottles of wine rated since launch.

The time was ripe for disruption in the wine market, he added, likening the potential of such a move to the way that Amazon challenged traditional bookshops and changed the sale of books.

“Wine is a $300 billion industry and if you look at the online part of wine, e-commerce, it’s still very, very small,” Zachariassen told the American news site. “Suddenly it’s better to buy it at home than in the store, and that shift is going to happen in wine too.”

“This data has never been available before; now it is, so that’s going to change.”

Research by ShipCompliant and Wines Vines Analytics shows that currently less than 4% of US wine sales are shipped direct to consumers, worth around $2.4 billion, although, according to Wine Intelligence it is a growing channel, rising 17% on the previous year, and up 70% since 2011, with online wine clubs doubling in the last two years.

Vivino was launched in 2011 to break down the fear factors of a ‘wall of wine” by allowing consumers to scan a wine label into their smartphone, which was then synched to user-generated ratings, reviews and price comparisons. Once the company had built its database to a critical mass, Zachariassen launched its e-commerce capability in 2016, something that had been planned from the outset, so that consumers could buy products then look up direct from the app, through around 100 or so retail partners. The next phase, Vivino Market, was launched in March last year, giving customers personalised wine recommendation based on their previous ratings, searches and purchases in a browse-able centralised ‘marketplace’.

Speaking to db at the time, Zachariassen said that consumers tended to stick to wines they already knew, as the wine world was “overwhelming”, and he wanted to offer more of a Netflix-style recommendation service.

“For us, personalisation is the key to getting users to come back again and again,” he said. “Our goal has always been to use data and machine learning to build a recommendation engine that is personalised and focuses on discovery.”

2 Responses to “‘Disruptive’ wine app tops US$40m sales”

  1. Jim Biondi says:

    Great, another over priced wine supplier. Prices are all above retail. What’s the point?

    • Jim's respondent says:

      Jim, highly encourage you to download the free app in iOS or Android as Vivino’s prices reflected on Vivino provide wine drinkers actual AVERAGE cost of the wine rather than lowest or highest. From there, the consumer can pick and choose who you want to purchase from based on merchant/retailer prices. With that said, the point to Vivino is that the app is using artificial intelligence to help you find wines that Jim Biondi would love based on your existing purchases, ratings, scans rather than have you blindly purchase a wine that you’re unhappy with.

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