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Digital technology is a 'disruptive' force for the wine trade hears DWCC

Published:  03 November, 2014

Technology is having a 'disruptive' effect on how wine businesses are run delegates at the Digital Wine Communications Conference heard this weekend in Montreux, Switzerland. 


Technology is having a 'disruptive' effect on how wine businesses are run delegates at the Digital Wine Communications Conference heard this weekend in Montreux, Switzerland. 

Whether that's through consumer-centric apps, better social media engagement and being ahead of the competition, when it comes to technology and talking to your consumers, the wine trade can do much more. 

The DWCC heard how technology is giving the wine trade the ability to connect with consumers in an unprecedented way. But it questioned whether the wine trade is making the most of this opportunity and how can it better capitalise on it.

App developer company Vivino said it is putting the customer at the centre of its wine searcher app that alllows people to scan bottlees and find out information about them at the point of purchase. Torben Mottes, vice president of product management at Vivino, said: "When we released our latest version of the Vivino app we were hitting 30,000 downloads per day. We expect to cross the 100 million scans in the next month."

The app also also wine writers to connect directly with consumers and build up their own profile by posting reviews and comments.

"Vivino is an app for phones that provides wine consumers with the right content within the right context," said Mottes.  "We are making the wine consumer the centre of our business and providing consumers with information when they want it, in a language they understand from a source they trust, like other consumers."

Being able to connect directly with consumers and get them involved in what you are saying or communicating online is to become increasingly important.

Christian Payne, a digital consultant that focuses on storytelling with his business, emphasised that Twitter's recent acquisition of CardSpring, a mobile payment system, offers the opportunity for businesses to capitalise on their online presence and sell products. He suggested the move will potentially be a "game changer" in social media.  "Twitter bought a payment company, which will be quite disruptive to the wine world," said Payne.

Jennifer Burke, from 9068 Creative, a marketing communication and agency focused on providing content within context, said at the DWCC: "The web has transformed behaviour and it has transformed our expectations as consumers. Why is this important? Because your customers are connected.  The competition is only one click away."

She said consumers have become "empowered" by technology and expect to be involved with or "heard by" products and companies they are interested in. She said some of the most successful companies, particularly online, are "integrating customers in their business".

She added: "What can the wine industry do? Collaborate, co-operate and co-produce and not just your content and communications, but your products."

Get that connection right with your audience and you can even start being paid for the value of your content, said Ryan Opaz one of the co-founders of DWCC and the Vrazon social media consultancy.  He pointed delegates to the site,, where people will pay creators for the value they put on the content they are producing. "This is a big opportunity for wine," he said. 

For example one illustrator had been pledged $145 by 16 people for a picture she had done matching wine to different wildlife.

This DWCC focused on the success wine companies are having by harnessing disruptive technology and the lessons the wine trade can learn from different industries and platforms like Youtube to help push the wine trade forward.