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Wine.com uncorks sommelier live chat for revamped mcommerce site

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November 24, 2015

Wine.com is capitalizing on mobile sales

Wine.com is capitalizing on mobile sales

Wine.com has introduced a slew of new features to cement its status as the largest mobile wine store, including additional filtering options, wider product selection and a round-the-clock live chat sommelier service.

Wine.com has revamped its mobile site to better cater to on-the-go consumers looking to purchase the perfect bottle for a last-minute dinner party or date night at home. In addition to accessing a plethora of browsing features that help whittle down selections, customers can also opt to speak with a sommelier in real-time to receive expert advice and tips on which wine to buy.

“Mobile is perfect for wine, because your phone is typically on the scene when you’re enjoying wine in a way that your computer is not,” said Rich Bergsund, CEO of Wine.com, San Francisco. “So if you are having dinner, at home or out, and want help selecting, learning about, rating or remembering your wine – our mobile site is a great solution.

“We’re finding peak engagement occurs on weekends and peak transactions occur during the week – people will add a wine to their mobile cart on Saturday night, then come back on their phone or computer on Monday to finish their order.”

Splashing up sales
Investing heavily in mobile made sense for Wine.com, as the company sees smartphones make up more than 40 percent of its digital traffic. Additionally, revenue from mobile commerce has jumped 55 percent higher in the first half of this year, proving that consumers enjoy browsing and buying bottles from the comfort of their current location.

Mobile traffic appears to peak at nighttime, when users are researching potential wines for dinner or cooking purposes.

“In fact, November month-to-date (we launched the new site at the beginning of the month), mobile revenue is up 63 percent over the same period last year,” Mr. Bergsund said. “In addition to revenue growth, we hope to drive increased consumer engagement.

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Wine.com offers easy-to-use filtering features

“Very soon you’ll be able to rate wine you’ve tasted, request an alert when the next vintage is released and share a wine with friends – all from the Wine.com mobile site. Once you rate the wine, we’ll give you expert recommendations based on what you like.”

The new mobile site allows individuals to shop a massive selection of wine at any time, from anywhere, by using a slew of new filtering features. They include tools for searching, browsing and filtering by professional ratings, price, varietal and region.

Frequent shoppers will be able to view product recommendations based on previous purchases and wines they have rated.

The brand’s selection now consists of over 10,000 wines in California and other states on the West Coast. Wine.com believes that the absence of physical limitations is able to provide customers with much more options than a bricks-and-mortar store could.

The company claims to deliver purchases to most locations in just one or two days.

Experts on hand
Wine.com is also aiding the sales process by implementing a sommelier live chat, available to mobile and desktop users twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The chat is staffed by experts in the wine industry who work out of the company’s San Francisco offices.

Consumers have been proven to respond well to round-the-clock assistance when shopping on mobile, underscoring that these kinds of tactics can make or break a potential purchase.

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Speaking to a sommelier can fuel a customer to make a purchase

“Wine is a high-touch category,” Mr. Bergsund said. “People want access to a vast selection from all over the globe, but they also want help choosing the right wine for themselves. Our site does a nice job with recommendations, but sometimes you just want that personal touch.

“That’s why our phone number is on every page of the site, and that’s why we introduced our live chat sommelier service,” he said. “Imagine a store with ten times the selection of your average wine shop, but with the level of service of the best specialty wine retailer.

“Now imagine the friendly wine expert you’re chatting with knows every wine you’ve ever bought, and better yet what you’ve liked/rated highly, so they can give you personalized advice. Now pick the date you want your wine to arrive and join our StewardShip program so shipping’s on us. The live chat is a component of building the ‘world’s best service.’”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Alex Samuely is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at alex@mobilemarketer.com.

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