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Wine buyers increasingly rely on phones for decision-making: study

A takeaway from “The Influence of Mobile Apps on Wine Purchases,” an analysis of consumer data jointly produced by digital marketing consulting firm Lotus Growth and Hello Vino’s popular wine recommendation mobile application, was that most wine consumers were not aware of the wineries and brands prior to engaging with the promoted wines in the Hello Vino app. The findings suggest how by integrating with category focused apps, such as wine brands partnering with wine apps, marketers can reach consumers in a more deeply contextual manner.

“Mobile is the ideal marketing channel for the $36 billion U.S. wine industry in that it addresses the number one pain point for consumers in the industry – the overwhelming wall of wine,” said Rick Breslin, a spokesman for Hello Vino, which has an installed base of more than 2 million users. “There is little to no assistance available to shoppers at retail, leaving them with nothing more than the back labels to help them choose a wine.

“Mobile apps provide the content and utility to convert an overwhelmed shopper into a confident one,” he said.

Informing decisions
Determining attribution to offline sales is one of the main challenges marketers face when conducting mobile marketing programs.

Making sense of the wall of wine.

“Mobile gives consumers the ability to connect to the Internet from any location at any time in order to conduct research on products, communicate with brands or peers, and make informed decisions,” Mr. Breslin said. “Its application is especially beneficial in retail environments, similar to how a desktop shopper uses Google to research products before making a purchase on a Web site.

“The real mcommerce, for physical products, at least, is being conducted at retail – using mobile to deliver and reinforce brand messaging at the point of purchase,” he said.

Various wine review applications are finding ways to streamline wine-buying for consumers.

Late last year, Vivino leveraged a translation service across multiple platforms to enhance the local flavor of its global mobile wine review application, reducing the time and cost related to making over digital properties for international audiences.

By choosing Smartling’s global delivery network, Vivino achieved the local reach that was critical to its success and growth. The results showed how a mobile app that is localized gains an edge over non-localized competitors in the international marketplace.

With a database containing over 3 million different wines, Vivino is a community driven app, with ratings, reviews, and pricing supplied by more than 7 million users.  Its services are offered on its Web site as well as Android and iOS mobile platforms.

Smartphone shopping
Google’s Shopper Marketing Council reports 84 percent of smartphone shoppers use their phone to help shop while in a store. Eighty-six percent of smartphone usage occurs within apps, with only 14 percent of consumers’ smartphone usage taking place on mobile Web sites, according to Yahoo! Flurry Analytics’ data set of more than 450,000 apps installed on 1.3 billion mobile devices.

Hello Vino app.

“Marketers at all levels should not restrict digital marketing with e-commerce, especially with smartphones becoming ubiquitous online tools that are used in the physical world,” Mr. Breslin said. “Too often, marketers are using the same metrics  – click-throughs, page views, time on site and app – that don’t entirely apply to the in-and-out, multi-tasking nature of smartphone app usage by consumers.

“The most used apps are those of utility, not novelty,” he said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York