The Grapevine

Label-Scanning Apps and Your Wine Shop

August 23rd, 2016

Are your customers using label-scanning apps? If so, how are they using them? [level-members]

Jancis Robinson’s recent article on label-scanning apps is worth a read, even though she focuses mostly on trends from country to country. It’s the comments of other wine pros that are most illuminating.

It seems that in some corners of the consumer wine world, the label-reading apps are just another way to consume conspicuously – to the point of ridiculousness. It’s bad enough when some is trying to show off by scanning high end wines that they might not truly appreciate. It’s even sillier when  consumers are making a big deal out of mass-produced wines that really aren’t meant to be evaluated in the same way.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m (trying) not to be judgmental here. Folks are certainly entitled to drink whatever wine floats their boat, even if they can’t afford it. More to the point, they’re welcome to drink wines, dear or cheap, for whatever reasons they want.

So how does this affect you? You might pay attention to some of the bigger players in the wine app world – Vivino and Delectable are mentioned in the article – and others such as Drync and Wine Spectators Xvalues.

You also shouldn’t be above asking your customers which apps they like, how they use them, and what value they find in them. Because the bottom line is these apps are amassing huge troves of consumer behavior data, and that data is valuable, even for small shops.

Most importantly, don’t stick your head in the sand. Technology isn’t going away. Pretending it doesn’t exist isn’t going to help ensure your shop’s survival the way that you might be able to if you’re away of the needs these apps meet and the ways you might either compete or stake out different ground.