Platform Helps Wine App Grow its Global Ecommerce Business


In 2014, Vivino, a popular wine selection and review app, decided to create an ecommerce business that would let its millions of users worldwide purchase wines they were researching. So the company looked for a system that would help it launch the operation successfully.

“We were starting to get a lot of traction worldwide, and reached a point where we started to make special wine offers to users,” said Will Pearson, Vivino’s head of commerce. “So we began looking for a platform in order to build out our ecommerce business.”

The company looked at different options, seeking out a solution that gave it the ability to adapt in all different markets, Pearson said. “We had grand plans to open up in dozens of countries, and needed a platform that was set up to enable that, with simple integration for web developers.”

Vivino selected BigCommerce as its ecommerce front end. Pearson said since the launch, Vivino has been growing its ecommerce business steadily each month. Today the company has customers in the U.S., Denmark – the company was founded in Copenhagen in 2010 – the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain and Italy. With more European countries to follow shortly, Vivino is looking to continue expanding its global ecommerce business.

When entering a new market, a lot of legwork is required to create a legal ecommerce business entity, and for Vivino this is more complicated due to restrictions on shipping alcohol. It can take weeks or months to set up licensing and establish relationships with banks.

“But with BigCommerce’s out-of-the-box solution, that part is only a 3-5 day setup, so the last step of the process is the simplest one,” Pearson said. “Once we’re through with the legal part we can immediately start selling wine. BigCommerce also gives us the flexibility to change things like the value-added tax (VAT) rate. It’s very intuitive and simple, very adaptable for each market.”

BigCommerce’s analytics tool has also helped the business grow, Pearson said. Every day feedback from the app’s 18 million users worldwide provides rich data about what they like and don’t like. “It helps us figure out who they are, what they’re buying and how they’re behaving in the app so we can tailor offers to them,” he said. “The analytics matches to the data users are telling us through the app so we can improve sales.”

An open marketplace, Vivino lets users of its app see the prices of wines they rate, giving them the option to purchase. It also pushes them special curated offers based on their history and activity. Orders are fulfilled through licensed retail partners, three in the U.S. Each market has a country manager who is responsible for sourcing and selecting wines, negotiating prices and overseeing inventory, logistics, customer service, analysis and day-to-day support.

Mike O’Brien is Senior Editor of Multichannel Merchant

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