Shop for it on Amazon, or through flash sales, or through dedicated retail channels? You bet.
But shop for wine on eBay?
Not so much. Until tomorrow, that is, when eBay officially introduces eBay Wine.
eBay, the major online retailer whose mission is "to be the world's favorite destination for discovering great value and unique selection," turns its well-seasoned algorithms to wine. They're doing it with help from Drync, the popular mobile wine app known for personalized wine recommendations and, more recently, for integrating their commerce platform with wine, beer, and spirits retailers. The announcement of eBay Wine dovetails the growth and evolution of both eBay and Drync, as they join forces to deliver (quite literally) a personalized wine shopping experience.
I sat down with Aimee Cronin, Drync's VP of Partnerships, to understand the collaboration and what it means for both companies moving forward.
Huyghe: How did this partnership come to be?
Cronin: When eBay made the decision to explore wine as a category of expansion they found that [Drync's] close relationships and tight integration with wine retailers could bring an unparalleled selection of wine from around the world to their marketplace.
Huyghe: This offering wouldn't be possible without your adaptation of the Drync platform to retailers. Is that right?
Cronin: Correct. Drync is the integrator between wine retailers and eBay, automating the process of representing the retailers' inventory on the eBay website and mobile app. Our integration with retailers is essential for this.
Huyghe: Please explain how the Drync platform evolved. Why, and when, did it seem right to you to empower retailers with your platform?
Cronin: For years, Drync has been known as an app for consumers to track, share and buy wine by scanning the wine label. After working with retailers for many years to fulfill orders through the Drync app, we came to realize that our wine retail partners really wanted more. They were looking for a way to better connect with their customers to drive lift and loyalty and we saw a way to make that happen by building them their own apps on our platform. This summer we will release dozens of apps for large and small wine and spirits purveyors with all of the features of the original Drync app, customized for their stores.
To do this, we integrate with our retail partners' POS systems to provide an accurate reflection of what they have in stock and enable them to market and sell it on various e-commerce platforms, including their OWN store app, the Drync app, and now eBay.
The eBay collaboration allows us to bring a huge new audience to our wine retail partners, allowing us to offer them a way to attract new customers and market to them through the eBay platform and build customer loyalty with existing customers through their own mobile apps.
Huyghe:The end result here — to deliver an optimized experience to people who want to enjoy wine — is simple, even if the path toward it is complex.
Cronin: The beauty about technology and wine is that we do the hard work, so that consumers can easily find wines they love and sit back and enjoy them.
We are entering a new era of accessibility and personalization of wine. With eBay, we are building the largest marketplace for wine available same day to be shipped, or bought online for pick-up at a local store. Across platforms — from retailers’ mobile apps to the eBay marketplace — complex algorithms make shopping a whole lot easier with personalized recommendations and offerings. Not only can you find the wine you want easier than ever, we are able to take that ominous “wall of wine” at the retail store and pull out what’s relevant to each individual consumer.
Huyghe: How will this announcement impact Drync moving forward?
Cronin: Our focus at Drync is to provide value to our retail partners, and our collaboration with eBay allows us to bring the reach of the marketplace to our wine retail partners while empowering a broad consumer audience with a huge selection of wine to choose from. We are excited to watch the success of this partnership and the value it brings to our rapidly growing network of liquor retail partners.
Cathy Huyghe is the author of Hungry for Wine: Seeing the World through the Lens of a Wine Glass. Find her online at cathyhuyghe.com and Enolytics.com.