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VineSleuth simplifies wine knowledge, buying via personalized app

Online wine publication VineSleuth is facilitating consumer purchases with a new application that sharpens product knowledge.

The Wine4.Me app provides wine selections based on rankings and personal preference combined with expert analysis to suggest the best choices. Wine judges, writers and makers evaluate different types of wine to provide dozens of characteristics for the user to make a more informed purchase.

“The Wine4.Me app differentiates itself from other wine apps on the market,” said Amy Gross, CEO of VineSleuth, Houston.

“It uses sensory science, personal preferences and learning algorithms to empower consumers by finding new wines they will enjoy in an easy-to-use way, taking the risk out of trying new wines,” she said.

“Wine4.Me is the only smartphone app that uses expert-gathered objective data to build unique personal profiles for every user and rank wines individually for each user. We know they’ll love these wines because they’re based on what they already like.”

All about wine
Wine4.Me users first select their preferred grape types, regions, wineries and countries. The app then generates a taste profile based on overall wine preference, which can be saved as a reference.

The app does not require the user to provide specific characteristics of wine but solely what type of wine they like. Those choices are then analyzed and used to rank every wine in the database to the user’s liking.

Then the user is able to search by wine or wine with food and can filter search results by price, fit, personal ranking and year.

Once a brand of wine is selected, the user can make a note that they’ve tried it or want to try it. Users can also rate or share the wine on social media.

When users rate a wine, the database uses the rating as a basis for future recommendations. There is also a link provided to the winery’s Web site.

Wine4.Me encourages users to use the app while in the store shopping.

The app has been promoted on the publication’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Ms. Gross maintains two wine blogs, VineSleuth Uncorked and the Wine4Me blog, to further promote the usefulness of the app, which feature food pairing suggestions, event- and holiday-oriented ideas and more.

The app’s promotional video is a personal narrative told by Ms. Gross about her exploration of different types of wine during a trip to Napa Valley, CA, where she realized how little she knew about wine.

Casual wine drinkers may know what they like, but analytical details about various types of wine are not commonly known, which is why the app may be helpful.

The personal appeal of the video may connect to the consumer by establishing a sense of trust. Furthermore, consumers are likely to trust the recommendations of the app’s experts because the results have been personalized.

Trying before buying
Consumers appreciate apps that give them a better sense of a product before the purchase is finalized. Many brands have recognized this preference.

For example, Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest is letting prospective guests explore the property beforehand with a 360-degree immersive application.

The Room360 app uses spherical filming technology for relatively seamless tours of the property’s interior. As consumers continue to increase the amount of research they do prior to a trip, brands will have to meet the demand with similar apps and content (see story).

Beauty brands are also jumping on board to better the buying process via mobile.

For instance, Estée Lauder Cos.’ Clinique activated a new Web site on June 2 featuring numerous mobile components that allow consumers to try-on before buying.

Created with responsive Web design, the new presents the most important information as soon as possible and enables the consumer to shop anywhere and at anytime, which will likely encourage more traffic (see story).

The higher number of suggestions provided by the app, the more likely it will yield positive user feedback.

“The global wine market has grown and wine sales in the U.S. have increased,” Ms. Gross said.

“VineSleuth’s vision is to build the largest and most valuable collection of objective data about wine in the world by evaluating and analyzing close to 20,000 wines over the next three years,” she said.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York